While the trade deadline didn't see the Mariners make any last second moves, it did give us a peak into how Jack Zduriencik valued his trade pieces, as the Mariners watched as 3 players similar to their most valued tradable players were moved today.
Let's start with David Aardsma, one of he and League were supposedly all but assured to be on the way out. It's not even much of a stretch to find the player like Aardsma; Octavio Dotel was traded to the Dodgers for James McDonald and Andrew Lambo. Dotel is a near perfect match for Aardsma, lots of strike outs, lots of walks, closing experience, and a hot fastball that he uses most of the time, except that Aardsma has been doing his work in the AL (though for closers maybe that doesn't matter), is several years younger, and cheaper. Regardless, Dotel netted a talented young starter with control issues and a touted prospect tainted by a positive test for performance enhancers, still, I think most of us would have been content with such a package.
Matt Capps isn't as good a comparison for Brandon League, but I think he'll do. They have about the same strike out rate, and while Capps has fewer walks, League gets more ground balls, of course Capps has the closer denomination. Capps equalled Wilson Ramos (who many would have been happy to get for Cliff Lee) and a high K, high BB, relief prospect. I think Mariners fans would have been content for just Ramos, though Aardsma would likely have netted a similar return with his closer tag. There's also the Giants giving up a combination of John Bowker, Joe Martinez, and Ramon Ramirez for Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez
Finally, there's Cristian Guzman going to Texas for a couple of (just glancing at the stats) marginal pitching prospects who have gone back and forth from starting and are a touch old for AA. It's an underwhelming return that makes you glad they held onto Jose (though Jose is much younger, with better power, so he might have gotten more).
Oh, and I almost forgot. During the day a report surfaced that the Mariners shopped Figgins to the Braves, and then it turned out that the Braves had called the Mariners instead, and been told Figgins was unavailable.
The main point of interest for me here, is that it seems like there was willingness to part with quality prospects and even ML players for relief help from at least the Dodgers, Twins, and Giants. At least enough that fans (the internet ones at least) would have been pretty well satisfied with the returns. It's hard for me to believe that there's a real chance of either League or Aardsma gaining value over the rest of the year and being traded during the winter. Even if both pitchers completely fulfilled their potential, isn't the highest point of value for relievers at the deadline, when teams are desperate to scrape together every last win? It seems like, by keeping both League and Aardsma, Jack is quietly announcing that he has a plan to be competitive in 2011.