Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Piping Hot Stove

The Mariners' stove this off-season has been mostly cool this offseason. General Manager Jerry DiPoto has made a few moves here and there, tinkering with the back end of the 40 man roster; nothing really to write home about. The Mariners are in "win now" mode so I haven't expected anything big.

Tonight before I headed off to the store to pick up a few last minute Thanksgiving items, I decided to take a look at Twitter real quick.  What I saw was a flurry of Mariners posts.  Trying to get my wits about me, I briefly saw the names Walker and Marte.  It turns out the Mariners traded Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, and Zac Curtis.

Not one to want to pass up a good blogging opportunity, I've decided to say farewell to the now former Mariners the best way I know how: through cards.

2016 Topps Mariners Team Set
2016 Topps Now

Of the two, the only player I'm disappointed to see leave is Walker.  He's been inconsistent at times but when he's on, he is dominant.  As a young pitcher, Walker's biggest problem is that when he gets into trouble he has a hard time getting himself out of it mentally.  It was not uncommon to see him leave in the 5th after only giving up a run or two because there was no way to tell if he could pull it together to prevent a further collapse.

Like I said, he is still a young pitcher.  Walker has been making progress and I think he will become a great pitcher.  Thankfully, when Walker finds his groove, the Mariners won't have to worry about facing him.

Surprisingly, I only have two cards of Taijuan in my collection according to the Trading Card Database.  As part of the COMC Black Friday sale I will probably look to pick up a cheap autograph of his.

2016 Topps Mariners Team Set
2016 Topps Bunt - Future of the Franchise 

2016 Panini Diamond Kings - Rookie Framed Signatures 

2016 Panini Diamond Kings

2016 Bowman

When Marte was called up at the end of the 2015, he appeared to be a promising player.  Although his defense was shaky, he had speed and could hit decently.  Speed and hitting have been two key attributes lacking for the Mariners that past couple seasons.  At the start of the season, I was excited to see Marte improve.  

However, Marte struggled at the plate, his defense didn't improve, and he made a couple trips to the disabled list this season.  This offseason, Marte became the elephant in the room.  Thus, I view this trade as not an commentary on Walker's inconsistency but on Marte's lackluster play.  I hope for the best for Marte because he will need it.

He didn't inspire to much excitement in me this so year considering that I have a rookie patch autograph of Marte (that I managed to pull myself), I'd say my collection of him is complete. 

2016 Topps Now

A side note of the trade is that the Mariners designated Pat Venditte to make room on the 40 man roster. Venditte didn't make much of a blip on the Mariners' radar this year, appearing in only 7 games.  He was a last season acquisition as the Mariners' pitching staff was setback by one injury after another.  Venditte's fame is for the "oh that's so baseball" stat of striking out the first two hitters he faced with both hands.  

While Walker is a big loss for the starting rotation, Segura is an instant upgrade for the infield. Whether Haniger or Curtis ever see playing time for the Mariners is too early predict.  As a whole though, I'm very optimistic about this trade.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


  1. I really didn't like the Topps Now concept, but that Venditte seems like an oddity worth commemorating in your collection. How did I not know that?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Out of all the times I thought the Mariners should get a Topps Now card, they went with this random factoid. The selection process was strange

  2. I was surprised about this trade, but no one knows Walker like the Mariners so they probably got scared of the injury history.