Mariners Trade Lueke for Jaso
Lueke was part of the Cliff Lee deal with the Texas Rangers in 2010 and split time between Tacoma and Seattle last season.
While Lueke seemed to be working out the kinks in his control and increasing the strike out rate, the Mariners have enough depth on the mound to sacrifice this potential for more options behind the plate, where they were thin last season.
Here are five things that Jaso will bring to Seattle.
1. Left Handed Bat
Safeco field is a pitchers park and while the Mariners have a pitching strategy, they must also recognizable that they need to get more offensive production happening in their home field. Jaso brings a left handed bat that will complement Olivo who bats from the right side.
2. Back up catcher
Miquel Olivo‘s return to Seattle proved to be a good move for the M’s last season.
He provided solid defense, leading offensive production and a strong veteran presence with a young pitching staff.
However, the Mariners backstop was injured in spring training and forced into overdrive before he was fully ready when back up catcher Adam Moore had a season ending knee injury in the first week of play. This left Mariners with tall switch hitting Josh Bard and Chris Gimenez to fill in, neither of which dazzled the fans.
With their opposing bats and strong defense Jaso will more likely split the position than be a back up in the true sense of the phrase.
3. Playoff Experience
With a clubhouse full of raw talented, but unseasoned newbies to the big leagues it is no surprise that management was looking to get some more experienced guys on the bench. Jaso has been a part of a playoff level team each of his two years in the majors.
Not only that, he has played catcher which in many ways is like the Quarterback of baseball.
The good thing about Jaso not winning the Rookie Of The Year award is that he doesn’t come with the superstar praice tag. Jaso was paid $427,000 last season and is set for arbitration until free agency in 2016.
That means the Mariners can have a decent catcher for an affordable price.
At least not as much as signing Yadier Molina from free agency.
5. Moneyball Principle
Jaso gets on base. Somehow freakishly. his on base percentage was .372 in 2010 compared to Ichiro at .359 in the same year.
You need base runners to get runs. You need runs to get wins.
Right Billy Beane?
Last year Jaso’s numbers dipped slightly and he only played in 89 games, but in having a solid partner in Olivo the M’s wont have to worry about playing these guys through injury.
Which both of them did this past season with their respective clubs.
This is a good trade, it would be even better if the player to be named later was Chone Figgins.