Mariners move Bedard, pick up two prospects
Three-team deal with Dodgers, Red Sox lands Robinson, Chiang
SEATTLE -- The Mariners landed two young power bats on Sunday in exchange for veteran left-handed starter Erik Bedard, who was dealt to the Red Sox in a three-way deal that also involved the Dodgers.
Seattle sent Bedard and right-handed Minor League reliever Josh Fields to Boston. In return, the Mariners received Triple-A outfielder Trayvon Robinson from the Dodgers and Double-A outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang from the Red Sox.
The Red Sox, who initially acquired Robinson to make the deal happen, sent Minor League catcher Tim Federowicz, righty Juan Rodriguez and right-hander Stephen Fife to the Dodgers.
General manager Jack Zduriencik said the deal makes the Mariners better in the long run, though he acknowledged it could be tough for Seattle's rotation the last two months of the season now that Bedard and right-hander Doug Fister have been dealt away in the past two days.
"In the big picture, we got two offensive guys that our scouts like a lot," Zduriencik said. "And we make the sacrifice right now to give up two months of Erik Bedard for two more players who will be with us for a long period of time. That's the balance.
"Could we suffer from now to the end of the year? I hope our fans understand there are sacrifices to be made, and it's possible our pitching staff won't be as good with the two guys we just moved. But to get six players in return ... it's about today, but it's also about where we're headed. It's about accumulating talent. That's where we're at."
Bedard, 32, was 4-7 with a 3.65 ERA for Seattle, but missed the past month with a sprained left knee before returning for one start on Friday that lasted just 1 1/3 innings.
Fields, 25, was a 2008 first-round Draft choice of the Mariners who has split this season between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma.
|Seattle netted a pair of intriguing outfield prospects in Sunday's Trade Deadline deal with the Red Sox and Dodgers. Here's some more information on Trayvon Robinson and Chih-Hsien Chiang.|
|Trayvon Robinson, OF: Listed as the No. 3 prospect in the Dodgers' system, Robinson has shown a whole lot of speed in the past. He's always struck out a bit too much for a leadoff type, but he had been showing better plate discipline and stole 85 bases in 2009-10. A Pacific Coast League All-Star in 2011, Robinson flexed his muscles more and ran less, hitting 26 homers and slugging .563 at the time of the trade, both career highs, while stealing only eight bases.|
|Chih-Hsien Chiang, OF: Signed out of Taiwan back in September 2005, Chiang has really come into his own this season, making both the Double-A Eastern League All-Star team as well as the All-Star Futures Game. Initially an infielder, Chiang moved to the outfield in 2009 and has been playing there exclusively since. He's worked very hard to turn himself into an average outfielder defensively, but it's his bat that has really come around this year. He has plus bat speed and a tick-above-average power, proving to be a very good fastball hitter.|
Robinson, 23, is a switch-hitter batting .293 with 26 homers and 76 RBIs for Albuquerque in the Pacific Coast League. Chiang, 23, is a left-hander who leads the Eastern League in batting average (.340), RBIs (76), doubles (37), runs (68), slugging percentage (.648) and extra-base hits (59).
"Both players are having very nice years," Zduriencik said. "There's no question we're looking for bats."
Robinson is on the Mariners' 40-man roster and will report initially to Triple-A Tacoma. Chiang will join the Mariners' Double-A team in Jackson.
Zduriencik said the deal came right down to the 1 p.m. PT non-waiver Trade Deadline, with Robinson's inclusion not being raised until the last few hours.
He also said that Boston assumed the remainder of Bedard's one-year contract, which is for a $1 million base, and the two teams had an arrangement in place on how to split his remaining incentives.
Bedard has earned $1.45 million in incentives so far from the Mariners, including $350,000 for making his 16th start of the season on Friday to reach that escalator clause. With two months remaining, he could accumulate another $2.65 million in incentives if he makes 11 more starts and pitches 58 2/3 more innings.
Bedard has been with the Mariners the past four years, going 15-14 with a 3.31 ERA in 46 starts while missing all of 2010 and parts of '08 and '09 with shoulder problems. His shoulder was finally healthy this year after three surgeries, and he pitched very well until spraining his knee on June 27.
He came off the disabled list on Friday, but gave up three hits, four walks and five runs in just 1 1/3 innings in an 8-0 loss to the Rays as he struggled with his location.
"Erik is sad to leave us, but has a degree of excitement in going to a club that has the possibility of being in the playoffs and participating in the World Series," Zduriencik said.
The deal was completed just as the Mariners were taking the field for their 1:10 p.m. PT finale with the Rays, so Bedard was not available for comment.
Mariners teammate Brandon League said Bedard had mixed emotions as he said his quick farewells.
"He's going to the playoffs. Why wouldn't you be happy?" League said. "If this was a negative clubhouse or a clubhouse full of terrible people, it would be something totally different, but when you've got a great group of guys who are great players, too, you don't come across that too often. So that makes it tough."
League and starter Jason Vargas, who lost Sunday's game to the Rays, had been mentioned in trade rumors as well, but both said they were glad to still be part of the Mariners.
"There's nothing I can do about that," Vargas said. "I love it here. My family loves it here. I'm happy that I'm still here and looking forward to keep building and trying to put some wins on the board."
Vargas now finds himself in what will be a revamped rotation for the final two months.
"To lose both of those guys is tough," he said. "I think Dougie was a little more of a surprise to all of us than Erik. It's hard to replace a teammate like Doug and a friend like Erik. We're going to miss them and we just wish them the best."
Zduriencik acknowledged the deal "does put a little wrinkle" in the Mariners' rotation for the remainder of the season. Rookie Blake Beavan will start in place of Fister on Monday, but the club will now need someone to step in for Bedard's scheduled start Wednesday against Oakland.
Charlie Furbush, acquired from Detroit in the Fister trade, is a rotation candidate, but Zduriencik and manager Eric Wedge both said he'd likely need time to be stretched out after pitching primarily out of the bullpen this season, which means someone will likely be called up from Triple-A Tacoma to fill the gap.