All right, everyone has had a few days for the Aaron Heilman-Garrett Olson trade to sink in. But this should really be thought about: Should players from any team be traded twice in the same off-season?
Let’s recap, shall we?
Trade 1: New York Mets receive J.J. Putz, Sean Green, and Jeremy Reed.
Seattle Mariners receive Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Frankiln Gutierrez and four Minor Leaguers
Cleveland Indians receive Joe Smith (Mets) and Luis Valbuena (Indians)
I have no problem saying that the Mets obviously won this trade. They filled a pressing need and it puts them in a position to OWN the late innings and give the Mets and their fans something to dull the pain of losing the division to the Phillies – by the hands of the Marlins and Nationals – two years in a row. Blazing fastballs can do the trick. Next, the Mariners came out with a hoard of youth and talent. Endy Chavez is still only 31 years old and can give some experience to a young Mariners team. Getting Gutierrez (who is slated to start in centerfield as Ichiro moves back to right) and the Minor Leaguers was even more of a bonus. Cleveland could afford to stand pat after getting Mark DeRosa, so this deal didn’t really help them or hurt them.
Trade 2: Chicago Cubs receive Garrett Olson and Henry Williamson
Baltimore Orioles receive Felix Pie
This trade was pretty even seeing that these three are all prospects with a lot of time. But the number of prospects AND the fact that they are pitchers give the Cubs the edge here.
And now this….
Trade 3: Seattle Mariners receive Ronny Cedeno and Garrett Olson
Chicago Cubs receive Aaron Heilman
Who got the better deal out of Trade 3? The Mariners without a doubt. With Olson, they get more years out of him, more promise (he was fifth in wins among rookie starters), and upgrade what looks like one of their strengths – young pitching, especially with a rotation with Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard headlining it. Chicago’s rotation is very good, and Heilman is a candidate to start. Plus, the trading of Ronny Cedeno leaves second base wide open for the left-handed-hitting LSU product Mike Fotentot
But back to my previous point.
I don’t think that it is fair to any player to trade them, but business is business is business. Without trades, especially with blockbuster players, teams don’t improve. Because of that, teams lose revenue and maybe don’t get any to begin with. But TWICE? I don’t just see this as fate striking or just being opportunistic. I see this as a team telling a player, “OK, you’re here and we want you to stay in the (fill in the blank) organization” and then telling him two days later, “You just didn’t make the cut. Yes, I know Spring Training hasn’t started yet, but we’ve found someone else to take your place. The (fill in the blank) will handle your paycheck. Have a nice career.” The players are more than meat and contracts; situations like this are reasons why players that wouldn’t even be All-Stars have no-trade clauses.
Then again, business is business is business.