Hey, so apparently Jeff Blair has multiple sources that claim the Jays were looking in to Michael Pineda this offseason. So far so good. It turns out the Mariners wanted Brett Lawrie in return... No, that's it... straight up. Yeah, I know.
I guess Jack Z. was in charge of drafting Lawrie when he was with the Brewers in 2008, and wanted him again for his Mariners club now, but heh. I wouldn't have done that trade either.
Remember last night when AA said that he could have made all kinds of trades this year, but fans would have just turned to him and said "Well what did you do that for?" Yeah, me too. This would have created another hole in the infield, unless you want Luis Valbuena playing third everyday in exchange for a pitcher who is probably worse than what they gave up to get Lawrie initially. Obviously Pineda still has room for improvement, but there's something to be said about the attrition rate of pitchers vs. that of position players.
Neither Lawrie nor Pineda is really proven as a big leaguer yet, but I'd certainly rather have the guy who put up 3 WAR in 1/3 of a season vs. the guy who put up 3 WAR in a full season, given ages, size, and positional scarcity. Especially when Pineda's success could have been, at least partially, assisted by the pitcher-friendly confines of Safeco.
A Pineda-Lawrie trade wouldn't be completely outrageous in a vacuum, but I wouldn't do it. It's not that Lawrie is miles ahead of Pineda or anything in terms of value, because he isn't. The mere fact is that Jays fan cared about Lawrie so long before they ever saw him play a single game of baseball, and we'd have a complete mutiny on our hands if we ever lost him, let alone traded him away.
In closing, I provide video evidence suggesting Lawrie>Pineda: