Blue Jays, Mariners Swap Power Arms

Update: This trade is now official. The prospect the Blue Jays will be sending to the Mariners is Johermyn Chavez.

Chavez is a 20-year-old outfielder, who hit 21 home runs and hit .283 in 134 games in his second stint in Single-A in 2009. He was not ranked in Baseball America’s top-10 Blue Jays prospects going into 2010.

So the completed deal is the Mariners send Morrow to the Blue Jays for League and Chavez. Unless Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik believes Morrow will retire from baseball tomorrow, on the surface this trade makes no sense for the Mariners.

Morrow is a top, top, top pitching prospect and talent and for the Mariners only to get an inconsistent middle reliever and a marginal prospect for him leaves me befuddled.

This is a really good score by the Blue Jays.

I know Blue Jay fans are upset because of the Roy Halladay trade, but the Blue Jays are building a nice team for the future in Toronto.

Kyle Drabek, Brett Wallace, Adam Lind, Travis Snider, Aaron Hill, Ricky Romero, and now Morrow give the Blue Jays some hope for the future.

Original Post:

A very interesting trade took place today between the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have been really active this offseason haven’t they?

As reported by’s Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have traded RHP Brandon League to the Mariners for RHP Brandon Morrow. The Blue Jays will also be sending another prospect to the Mariners to complete the deal.

Morrow was shipped to Toronto

Since the player the Mariners are going to get to complete the deal is probably going to be of significance, I am going to wait to see who it is before I say which team got the better of this trade.

What I will comment on, is the two players involved in the trade because I have watched them a lot over the last couple of years.

I will start with League. League has always been an enigma to me. He really reminds me of another former Blue Jay, Billy Koch.

Koch threw extremely hard, but was extremely hittable. Koch on one pitch would make a hitter look very foolish, but then on the next pitch he would throw a flat, 96 mph fastball and the ball would ripped in the gap for a double.

I feel like League is the same way. League throws in the upper-90’s and can’t strike anyone out. It’s puzzling to me.

Now League did strike out a career high 9.2 batters/9 innings last year. But I feel with League’s stuff, he should be striking out more than a batter per inning.

League will join Mark Lowe and Sean White as right-handed set-up men in the Mariners’ bullpen. If the Mariners can harness League’s ability, the Mariners have the makings of a very good bullpen.

As for Morrow, the former crown jewel of the Mariners’ farm system should get a fresh start in Toronto. Morrow, who was the fifth pick in the 2006 draft, never really had a role with the Mariners.

He kind of fell into that Joba Chamberlain issue of whether or not he was better suited to be a starter or a reliever. The Mariners brought Morrow up as a reliever, but transitioned him to a starter towards the end of the 2008 season.

In his first start of the season on Sept. 5th against the New York Yankees, Morrow threw a one-hitter over 7.2 innings. In my opinion, that might have been the worst thing to ever happen to Morrow.

I believe he is better off as a closer and that one-hitter raised expectations of Morrow as a starter. In 2009, the Mariners started Morrow off in the bullpen and yet again, moved him into the starting rotation. And once again, Morrow pitched a one-hitter in Sept.

This time his one-hitter was against the Oakland A’s.

While Morrow has had flashes of brilliance as a starter, like I said his makeup leads me to believe he will be better suited as a closer.

The Mariners must believe that Morrow’s long-term future is in the bullpen as well otherwise trading a 25-year-old starter for a middle reliever makes no sense.

As soon as it is announced who else the Blue Jays will be sending to the Mariners, I will update this post and talk about who got the better of this trade on paper.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg


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One Response to “Blue Jays, Mariners Swap Power Arms”

  1. JR Says:

    League was frustrating to watch, because he did have killer stuff. His pitches had a lot more action on them than Koch’s 100mph straight down Broadway pitches. I’m not sure about Morrow, if the M’s are giving up on him so early there must be something wrong with him.

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