If you’re new to the site, I highly encourage you to take some time out of your day and check out my “Seattle’s Worst Trades, Draft Picks, & Free Agent Signings” page. It’s chock full of slap-your-forehead, pull-your-hair-out
As you make your way towards the bottom of that page, you’ll notice what happened on June 6, 2006: the day the Seattle Mariners drafted Brandon Morrow. “But, how can THAT be a bad thing? Isn’t he a pretty good pitcher?”
Slow down, friend! He’s okay, but he still has his flashes of complete ineptitude. However, I believe he’s well on his way toward being great … let’s just not get ahead of ourselves.
Drafting Brandon Morrow was a mistake. It was a mistake because we passed on Tim Lincecum, who was a home-grown product who went on to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards. Tim Lincecum is great, in spite of his rocky start to this season. Brandon Morrow is not great. Brandon Morrow will probably NEVER win a Cy Young Award.
But that doesn’t mean he won’t be a damn good pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays (and then, when his contract ends, the New York Yankees).
I know Mariners fans are pretty happy with the young pitchers we have coming through the pike: Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton. But, the Mariners could have had all of those guys PLUS a top-flight starter in Brandon Morrow.
And instead, we gave him away for a would-be closer and a guy named Johermyn Chavez who COULD be a good outfielder for us, or he could be absolutely nothing.
I always liked Brandon Morrow. Not as much as I would’ve liked Lincecum, but I thought he had raw ability that would take him far. And essentially, we gave him away for a relief pitcher who probably won’t be around beyond this season, and an outfielder who’s probably many years away from making a dent (if he ever makes it at all).
In short, drafting Brandon Morrow was a bust of a move, and trading him for League and Chavez was a bust of a move. Yesterday, Morrow 3-hit the Angels in Los Angeles. He had 8 strikeouts and 0 walks. Last week, he dominated the Mariners over 6 shutout innings (but, then again, who HASN’T dominated the Mariners over 6 shutout innings). Last year, he might not have had the best numbers, but he showed flashes of what he could eventually become. This year, I think he’s finally making that leap towards being an elite starting pitcher. (and, let us never forget that 2010 game where he had 17 strikeouts against the Rays, while only giving up 1 hit … anyone who can do THAT, you gotta figure will eventually put it all together in the realm of Consistency).
Even if you think trading Morrow was a smart move, what we GOT for him isn’t NEARLY as much as we could’ve gotten if we would’ve just held onto him these past couple years. Really, trading him when we did made little-to-no sense when you think about it. Yeah, it coincided with the 2-week period where we made the Cliff Lee deal (which was awesome) and the Chone Figgins signing (which was lauded when it happened); but it would’ve been foolish to think we would seriously contend. And, even if you DID think we were going to contend, I guarantee having Morrow at the back-end of our rotation would’ve been a lot more beneficial than having Brandon League locking down the 8th innings behind David Aardsma.
Pretty soon here, when I get around to it, I’m going to have to add a date to my Seattle’s Worst Trades, Draft Picks, & Free Agent Signings page. December 23, 2009: the day we gave away a potentially dominant starting pitcher for dandelion seeds.