Take Seattle, of course. Of course, the ultimate deal - Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda - now looks, at best, to be nothing for nothing. It's still on the board. But two lesser trades that have been widely celebrated as Yankee victories might need a second look.
According to the Seattle Mariners blog Lookout Landing, the acquisitons of Sean Kelly and Ichiro were not the giveaways the Yankees wanted us to think. In fact... yeesh.
For Kelly, we gave up Abraham Almonte. Here's what Lookout Landing says:
"Abraham Almonte, 24, who received the Mariners Minor League 2013 Heart and Soul Award for his exemplary play and leadership, went from organizational filler to a potential big time player in the club's 2014 outfield plans with the season he turned in. The switch-hitter who came over in exchange for Shawn Kelley combined to hit .295 between two stops in the minors and in Seattle this season, cranking out 17 home runs, walking 73 times and stealing 27 bases while playing all three outfield positions. He showed a lot of defensive ability in all three outfield spots during his 25 game late season trial with the Mariners and looks like a steal for what he cost. His athleticism and versatility are a big change from the outfield the club started the 2013 season with, and that could see him stick on the 25-man roster in 2014."
And then there was Ichiro. Does anybody remember the non-entity we gave up for him? Of course not. It was a steal, right? Well, Seattle remembers him.
"Of everyone on this list... Danny Farquhar is probably the most surprising to have turned into something valuable at the big league level in 2013. Danny (26) came to the Mariners as one of the pieces in the Ichiro trade... Somewhat of an enigma as a 5-foot-9 right-hander that employed a lot of three-quarters and below arm angles, Farquhar had only two big league innings before his promotion to Seattle this season, but he ended the year as the club's closer and posted the 9the highest SO/9 rate of all MLB relievers in his 55 2/3 innings this season. And while his ERA was an uninspiring 4.20 his FIP was 1.86 -- the fourth best number in the majors among relievers. Farquhar's curveball really made a huge difference for him this year, and sticking to a more natural arm angle allowed him to refine his command past where it had ever been for him before. His 1.9 fWAR was the third highest number on the club and tied for 9th among MLB relievers for the 2013 season."
Farquhar is expected to be Seattle's closer this year, and Almonte might start in the outfield. Kelly pitched well for us this year until he ran out of gas, and Ichiro - well - less said, the better.
Surprise, folks: We don't get these washed up players for nothing.