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Mariners

Top 3 Noteworthy Trades: Mariners and Braves

Chris Coyle, 1090 The Fan
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Rafael Soriano in 2003 (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Rafael Soriano in 2003 (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

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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. 

See our growing list here: Notable Trades

Despite not having a title to show for it, the Atlanta Braves have been one of the most consistently competitive franchises in the National League for the past 25 years. Trading with the Mariners, fortunately, has had virtually nothing to do with their success.

Here are the three most significant trades (we could find) the Mariners have made with the Braves:

3. 1990: Mariners trade Jim Presley to the Braves for Ken Pennington

Jim Presley is now the hitting coach for the Baltimore Orioles (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Jim Presley is now the hitting coach for the Baltimore Orioles (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

How it panned out:

If you’re wondering why this is “noteworthy,” your instincts are correct. Jim “Hound Dog” Presley was traded after the 1989 season to Atlanta to fill the hole at third base left by Jeff Blauser, who moved to shortstop. In return, Seattle received minor league slugger Ken Pennington. Presley marginally improved from his previous season by tallying a .242/.282/.414 line and knocking in 72 RBI; Pennington never made it to the Majors.

So, why is this noteworthy? Here’s why: Presley is the only All-Star Mariner to be traded to Atlanta. Presley represented Seattle on the American League All-Star team in 1986 — the same year he finished 21st in the NL MVP vote.

Winner:

Jeopardy (if the show needs new material).

2. 1996: Mariners trade Roger Blanco to the Braves for Mark Whiten

Mark Whiten (Otto Greule Jr.  /Allsport/Getty Images)

Mark Whiten (Otto Greule Jr. /Allsport/Getty Images)

How it panned out:

When Seattle acquired Whiten from the Braves in mid-August, the team stood at 61-58, seven games behind the first place Texas Rangers. With Whiten’s help, the Mariners went on a tear for the remainder of the season, including a 10-game winning streak in September. Catching Texas would not be accomplished, unfortunately, and Seattle additionally missed the Wild Card by 2.5 games despite finishing 85-76.

Whiten held a .300/.399/.607 line in his 40 games with Seattle and gave the team a shot in the arm during the most important stretch of the season. It’s also worth noting that his first at bat in a Seattle uniform was a game-tying pinch-hit home run against the New York Yankees — the M’s would end up winning too.

Blanco, meanwhile, bounced around in Atlanta’s minor league system but never made it to the Majors.

Winner:

Seattle. The Mariners can look back at this trade and say it made them legitimate contenders late in the season.

1. 2006: Mariners trade Rafael Soriano to the Braves for Horacio Ramirez

Rafael Soriano (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Rafael Soriano (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

How it panned out:

The Soriano trade is another “head-scratcher” induced by former general manager Bill Bavasi. Heading into the 2006 season, Soriano was arguably the only effective reliever on the roster — and the 27-year-old was still under team control for at least two more seasons.

Seattle dealt Soriano to Atlanta in exchange for Ramirez hoping the Braves’ young starter could revamp the poise he showed his first two seasons in Major League Baseball. (In his rookie season, Ramirez went 12-4 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.)

As a Mariner, Ramirez started 20 games and held a 7.16 ERA — his strikeouts-to-walks ratio was 0.95. After the season, Ramirez signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals.

Soriano blossomed in Atlanta and would eventually become the team’s closer. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays after the 2009 season; in his lone year in Tampa Bay, Soriano saved 45 games and was selected to the American League All-Star team. The Dominican Republic native, who currently closes for the Washington Nationals, has only seen his ERA jump above 4.00 once in his career after being traded from Seattle — and he has 186 saves to date.

Winner:

Atlanta. Well, by default. Atlanta didn’t really win this trade because the team failed to make the playoffs while Soriano was on the roster. Atlanta won only because Seattle lost…big time.

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