Acquiring a left-handed hitting reserve catcher is often the kind of move contending teams make as they round out an already-solid roster, though the Seattle Mariners weren’t in that position when they traded for John Jaso on Sunday.
For a portion of the fan base chomping at the bit for Prince Fielder, this was as disappointing as unwrapping a lump of coal on Christmas. It shouldn’t be.
No matter what general manager Jack Zduriencik does the rest of the off-season, one major trade or signing isn’t going to make the Mariners contenders. What will? Upgrades every chance he gets, at any position.
Improve in small steps and when a big one is made, you have a good team, not just an added bat.
The emergence last year of relievers Tom Wilhelmsen, Steve Delabar and Chance Ruffin allowed the Mariners the freedom to move Josh Lueke, whose promise appeared only in flashes and whose future was hardly can’t-miss. A left-handed hiting catcher is a luxury few teams have. Now, the Mariners have one.
It would be far more popular to land a cleanup hitter before filling out the Seattle bench, but when opportunities arise, good GMs seize them. The Mariners are a better team today than they were last week.
It’s a start.