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Rumorville: The Entire Seattle Mariners

Rambling Al did a nice job finding this Seattle Times article about Jack Z. and possible trades with his former club, the Brewers.  It's all speculation, of course --- then again, this section isn't called Factville, now is it.

The scout suggested that one need look no further than Zduriencik's former team, the Milwaukee Brewers, to find a trade partner that could fix a lot of what ails Seattle. Milwaukee is about to lose free-agent pitchers CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets and also needs big-time help in the bullpen.


That could be solved by trading for some of Seattle's arms, including J.J. Putz, Jarrod Washburn, Brandon Morrow, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and even Bedard.

The Brewers are loaded with bats the team might be willing to part with.

First baseman Prince Fielder earned $670,000 this past season, but he is now arbitration eligible and stands to see his salary skyrocket beyond $6 million. The Brewers have quietly let word get around baseball that they might be willing to part with the left-handed slugger.

It would take more than Putz to get Fielder in a Mariners uniform. The pitcher generating the most interest heading into the meetings is right-hander Morrow — the former No. 1 pick who started the final month of last season after nearly two years in the bullpen.

Beyond Fielder, the Brewers have others who could help the Mariners.

Brad Nelson is a Class AAA first baseman blocked by Fielder from a full-time job in Milwaukee, but who could also be used as a designated hitter by an American League club. The Brewers are said to be willing to trade shortstop J.J. Hardy, who earned $2.65 million last season and is arbitration eligible for two more years.

Morrow, who has the advantage of being young and new, is the most interesting prospect to me.  Keep in mind that his ERA was under 2 last season until the final month, when he was converted into a starter.  (His first two starts kept the Yankees and Angels in check, before being kicked around by the powerhouse known as the Royals.)  Rowland-Smith is an Australian reliever also turned into a starter at the end of 2008, and he responded by closing the season with 8 consecutive quality starts.  LaCrosse native Washburn is always a threat possibility to be traded home to Wisconsin, though his career-high WHIP in 2008 makes me think Suppan-in-training.  Full-time starter Erik Bedard pitched only 81 innings last season, but it marked his third straight season with an ERA under 4.  Putz's 40 saves in 2007 and high career K/9 rate are nice, but he also was injured for some of 2008 and posted a whopping 1.60 WHIP.

Before Brad Nelson was a never-was, he was a pretty hot prospect for the Brewers.  He seems to have rebounded some, and can be a pretty useful player.  That being said...if we can get something of value for a guy who seemed thiiiis close to being kicked off the 40-man a few seasons ago, that seems like a good idea to me.