Top 3 Noteworthy Trades: Mariners and Tigers
Trades have arguably haunted the Seattle Mariners’ franchise more than any other team in Major League Baseball. Each week we’ll compile the three most-noteworthy trades that have happened between the Mariners and their current opponent.
After a playoff drought spanning from 1988 until the 2006 season, the Detroit Tigers have established themselves as a team to never be counted out — especially in the seemingly “always up for grabs” American League Central division. Detroit has made the playoffs for the past three seasons, including a American League championship in 2012.
Here are three of the most significant trades the Mariners have made with the Tigers:
3. 2009: Mariners trade Jarrod Washburn for Luke French and Mauricio Robles
How it panned out:
Washburn was having one of the best seasons of his career in 2009. At the time of the deal he was 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA, but with a rebuilding plan in place for Seattle — and Washburn only having a year left on his contract — the trade made sense. The lefty started eight games for Detroit, going 1-3 with a 7.33. Detroit finished just a game shy of the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central crown and a playoff birth. Washburn would retire after after the season.
French started 20 games in his two years with Seattle going 8-10 with a .444 ERA. After the 2011 season, French was granted free agency.
The Philadelphia Phillies plucked Robles off waivers from Seattle in 2012. To date, the Cuban native has only pitched four and two-thirds innings at the Major League level.
Winner: Neither. Washburn’s renaissance ended abruptly in the Motor City making French’s tenure with Seattle futile.
2. 2011: Mariners trade Doug Fister and David Pauley for Francisco Martinez, Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells and Chance Ruffin
How it panned out:
Fister was pitching well for Seattle in 2009, but was not getting any run support. He was dealt while holding a record of 3-12 and an ERA of 3.33. As soon as he put on the Tigers’ uniform, the Golden Valley High School standout showed the league what kind of potential he had by going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA. For those 11 games with Detroit in 2011, Fister’s walks-per-nine-innings ratio was 0.6. Fister would appear in eight postseason games for Detroit from 2011 to 2013. This past December he was traded to the Washington Nationals.
Furbush is the only player from that trade that remains on the Mariners’ roster. On June 8, 2012, etched himself into Mariners history by being one of the six pitchers who combined for a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Detroit. The Tigers presumably got more than they anticipated from Fister, who helped solidify the back end of one of the toughest starting rotations in baseball for nearly three years. While Furbush is a valued member of the bullpen, Fister could have been the reliable starter Seattle had been trying to find for three seasons.
1. 2004: Mariners trade Carlos Guillen for Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez
How it panned out:
You don’t need to be a Mariners fan to know this is one of the ten worst trades in the franchise’s history.
There are so many things wrong with this trade, it’s difficult to summarize. This was one of the first moves by former general manager Bill Bavasi, and we’re guessing trading Guillen, the emerging, 28-year-old shortstop would be the most efficient way to stick the aging, free agent infielder Rich Aurilia in the Mariners’ lineup.
As a new member of the Tigers, Guillen would finish 24th in the running for American League MVP in 2004; he finished tenth in 2006. Guillen was also selected to the All-Star team three times as a Tiger.
Gonzalez (not the Juan Gonzalez) never saw any time in the Majors; Santiago hit .170 in his two years with the Mariners…then signed with Detroit.
Detroit. Detroit. Detroit. Guillen played a crucial role in getting the Tigers to the World Series in 2006 — the first time the franchise had made it since winning it all in 1984.
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