The trade that was most likely to happen did, and Arthur Lee Rhodes is now a Florida Marlin – moved in exchange for a young, minor-league starting pitcher.
It was a move that served the future, and whether 22-year-old Gaby Hernandez works out is something no one can know today.
But Rhodes, 38, will be missed – as much in the clubhouse as on the mound, where he was having a rock-solid season.
Arthur had character, the kind that lets a man deal with a son who has cancer without using it as an excuse for poor outings. He was the unquestioned leader of a Mariners bullpen that has been effective and close-knit.
He had the strength to challenge others on the team who didn’t work hard, whether they were pitchers, first basemen or shortstops.
Good games or bad, Rhodes would be at his locker afterward, and insisted his fellow relievers do the same. In a clubhouse where regulars rarely did, it was a breath of fresh air to see someone who believed in taking responsibility.
Rhodes was the kind of man you’d have liked as a neighbor, the kind of player that will be missed now that he’s moved on.
That doesn’t mean Seattle shouldn’t have traded him, begun the process of rebuilding.
It just means he left his imprint on a team, and how many left-handed specialists can say that?