John Jaso probably will become the left-handed side of a Mariners catcher platoon in 2012, but figures to play a bigger role going forward.
The Mariners made a great trade today, trading Josh Lueke and a PTBNL for John Jaso. Obviously, there is an unknown when it comes to the PTBNL, but presuming it isn’t something incredibly valuable—for example, one of the top picks from 2011’s draft—It seems like a steal.
Lueke is a reliever, a class of pitcher that has seen their trade value reduced with the signing of a new CBA, and for Lueke the Mariners got a guy who will probably receive upwards of 350 plate appearances next year.
Right-handed relievers have become an area of depth for the Mariners, and while Lueke was promising as a player, he was certainly embattled as a visible ambassador for the team.
Jaso is a catcher who bats left-handed, and is about a league average hitter against right-handed pitching (Career 104 wRC+ against righties). That doesn’t sound great, but when you consider that Miguel Olivo was about 30 percent worse than an average hitter (73 wRC+ against righties) in 2011, the move figures to improve the team quite a bit.
I didn’t think Jaso would be available so I ignored the possibility of him being a Mariner. However, he’s probably the team’s catcher for the next half-decade barring some young catcher unseating him.
Jaso will be 28 next year, and is under team control for four more years, and won’t likely see arbitration until after 2013.
Great move on Jack’s part.