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Pulling the Thread of a Trade

With so many similarities in the recent trade of James Paxton to the hated New York Yankees to the 1998 trade of Randy Johnson to the Houston Astros, we thought we'd look back on that RJ trade and see what became of it for the Mariners over time. Sure, the initial deal was Johnson for three then-Triple-A players, but what were the ripple effects? How'd those guys do for Seattle?

Here's what we dug up. The links are lengthy...

 

  • July 31, 1998: The Mariners trade Randy Johnson to the Houston Astros for:
Halama

John Halama

    • LHP John Halama (43-31, 4.46 ERA, 81 GS, 312 K, 171 BB, 1.461 WHIP with Seattle)
    • RHP Freddy Garcia (76-50, 3.89 ERA, 169 GS, 819 K, 389 BB, 1.299 WHIP  w/SEA)
    • IF Carlos Guillén (488 G, 439 H, 29 HR, 211 RBI, .264/.335/.383 w/SEA)
  • December 2002: Halama leaves via free agency
  • January 8, 2004: The Mariners trade Guillén to the Detroit Tigers for:
    • IF Ramon Santiago (27 G, 8 H, 2 RBI, .170/.191/.291 w/SEA)
    • IF Juan González (minors only)
  • June 27, 2004: The Mariners trade Garcia (with catcher Ben Davis) to the Chicago White Sox for:
    • IF/OF Mike Morse (107 G, 90 H, 3 HR, 37 RBI, .300/.365/.397 w/SEA)
    • C Miguel Olivo (104 G, 55 H, 11 HR, 32 RBI, .176/.216/.333 w/SEA)
    • OF Jeremy Reed (336 G, 273 H, 9 HR, 20 RBI, .257/.314/.365 w/SEA)
  • May 2005: González released from Class-A affiliate
  • July 31, 2005: The Mariners trade Olivo to the San Diego Padres for:
    • RHP Nathanel Mateo (minors only)
    • C Miguel Ojeda (16 G, 5 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .172/.314/.276 w/SEA)
  • October 2005: Ojeda lost to waiver claim by the Colorado Rockies
  • November 2005: Santiago released
  • September 2006: Mateo released from Double-A affiliate
  • December 11, 2008: The Mariners trade Reed and two others to the New York Mets for:
    • 1B Mike Carp (173 G, 139 H, 18 HR, 71 RBI, .255/.327/.413 w/SEA)
    • OF Endy Chavez (54 G, 44 H, 2 HR, 13 RBI, .273/.327/.342 w/SEA)
    • LHP Jason Vargas (36-42, 4.09 ERA, 110 GS, 442 K, 192 BB, 1.257 WHIP w/SEA)
    • RHP Maikel Cleto (minors only)
    • RHP Aaron Heilman (offseason only)
    • OF Ezequiel Carrera (minors only)
  • Vargas5051

    Jason Vargas

    January 28, 2009: The Mariners trade Heilman to the Chicago Cubs for:
    • LHP Garrett Olson (3-8, 5.26 ERA, 118 IP, 78 K, 49 BB, 1.441 WHIP w/SEA)
    • IF Ronny Cedeño (59 G, 31 H, 5 HR, 17 RBI, .167/.213/.290 w/ SEA)
  • June 28, 2009: The Mariners trade Morse to the Washington Nationals for:
    • OF Ryan Langerhans (38 G, 22 H, 3 HR, 10 RBI, .218/.311/.386 w/SEA until free agency)
  • July 29, 2009: The Mariners trade Cedeño and four minor-leaguers to the Pittsburgh Pirates for:
    • SS Jack Wilson (154 G, 115 H, 1 HR, 33 RBI, .243/.278/.304 w/SEA)
    • RHP Ian Snell (5-7, 5.12 ERA, 20 GS, 63 K, 64 BB, 1.672 WHIP w/SEA)
  • November 2009: Chavez leaves via free agency
  • December 2009: Langerhans re-signs via free agency
  • June 26, 2010: The Mariners trade Carrera and one other minor-leaguer to the Cleveland Indians for:
    • 1B Russell Branyan (57 G, 44 H, 15 HR, 33 RBI, .215/.319/.483 w/SEA)
  • October 2010: Snell leaves via free agency
  • November 2010: Branyan leaves via free agency
  • December 12, 2010: The Mariners trade Cleto to the St. Louis Cardinals for:
    • SS Brendan Ryan (351 G, 237 H, 9 HR, 91 RBI, .215/.286/.294 w/SEA)
  • March 2011: Olson lost on waiver claim by the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • August 31, 2011: The Mariners trade Wilson to the Atlanta Braves for:
    • IF Luis Caballero (minors only)
  • December 19, 2012: The Mariners trade Vargas to the Anaheim Angels for:
    • DH/1B Kendrys Morales (156 G, 167 H, 23 HR, 80 RBI, .277/.336/.449 w/SEA)
  • February 20, 2013: The Mariners trade Carp to the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations
  • September 10, 2013: The Mariners trade Ryan to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later that became minimal cash considerations
  • October 2013: Morales leaves via free agency
  • September 2015: Caballero released from Double-A affiliate

(Several of these guys would come back to Seattle for a second go-round, but we're not counting those stints in the trade ancestry.)

 

So, the last vestige of the RJ trade turns out to be Luis "Who?" Caballero. Meanwhile, Johnson went on to pitch through 2009 (170-88, 3.16 ERA, 327 GS, 2662 K, 580 BB, 1.098 WHIP, 4 Cy Young awards, 1 Cy Young runner-up, 1 perfect game, 1 Hall of Fame induction after SEA).

There are more than a few decent players in that list, some of them even valuable pieces of successful(ish) Mariner campaigns. And sure, Randy Johnson was paid over $144 million in his post-Mariner career and the M's paid all those guys in the trade chain a bit less than half that. But I think we'd still rather the M's had kept Johnson.

Comments

  • Posted by Tim Harrison on November 25, 2018 (9 months ago)

    Imagine the 2000 and 2001 teams with Randy Johnson instead of Freddy Garcia, though...

  • Posted by Mack McCoy on November 25, 2018 (9 months ago)

    That’s a lot of fun to read!

    Unit was coming off a 20-4 2.28 season heading into free agency, but he was 9-10 4.33 when he was traded. The Ms were 48-60 at the time, having been swept by Cleveland, and Randy had lost his last two starts. While it sucked at the time to see him go, I think the Paxton trade is even worse, given that the M’s are coming off of a winning season and the Maple Bar wasn’t headed for a big payday!

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