The All They-Got-Away Team
Written by Brendan Gawlowski on June 20, 2012 @ 04:35AM      Jump To Comments

Getty Images I don't know if it's because of Adam Jones's full blown ascension to superstardom, Bryan Lahair's ridiculous start, R.A. Dickey's unprecedented success on the mound, or some combination of the above, but it recently struck me that there have been an awful lot of ex-Mariners having very good seasons in 2012. This phenomenon isn't entirely unique to the Mariners: every team can kick themselves over a player that got away, and all clubs can point to a few ill-advised trades. But there are a number of examples of former Mariners performing well this season that seem to sting a bit more than what most franchises usually endure.

Nobody misses a rental player, for instance. The Angels got two months of Mark Teixeira in 2008 but he doesn't belong on a list of players the Angels and their fans really wish they'd held on to. He remains a talented first basemen, but Teixeira was more mercenary than building block. It's only frustrating for fans when a member of the latter category slips away, and are the Mariners ever covered on that score. Just to illustrate the point, I've compiled an all-star roster of ex-Mariners:

C- Rob Johnson
1B- Bryan Lahair
2B- Jack Wilson
3B- Adrian Beltre
SS- Asdrubal Cabrera
LF- Scott Podsednik / Raul Ibanez
CF- Adam Jones
RF- Shin-Soo Choo
DH- Alex Rodriguez / David Ortiz

SP- Cliff Lee
SP- R.A. Dickey
SP- Brandon Morrow
SP- Erik Bedard
SP- Doug Fister (EDIT)

RP- Scott Atchison
RP- Rafael Soriano
RP- Matt Thornton
RP- Mark Lowe
RP- J.J. Putz

That looks like a team that could win some games (collectively, they've already produced nearly 25 fWAR, a total figure that trails only one MLB team, the Texas Rangers.) I slid Wilson in as a second basemen because I refuse to be responsible for pairing Johnson and Yuniesky Betancourt on a list already constructed to torment Mariner fans. Nonetheless, this team seems to draw from every possible well.

It has players who were traded away while playing in the minors (Ortiz) and those dealt after an all-too-brief big league cameo (Choo.) We have players that stunk here but got better elsewhere (Thornton) and players that were already great in Seattle and stayed awesome after they left (Lee.) There are popular players (Beltre) and people practically run out on a rail (Rodriguez.) There are some we all knew would be good (Jones, Cabrera) and others who only morphed into major leaguers after leaving the Mariners (Lahair, Dickey.)

At the end of the day, one can only be so mad about players like Lahair and Dickey. Lahair took years to shed the Quad-A label, and the M's weren't even the last team to pass on Dickey (the Twins allowed him to walk a year after the M's did.) It's the players like Cabrera, Jones, and Morrow that really hurt. Hopefully (the recently promoted) Danny Hultzen and Nick Franklin will be treated with a bit more caution.