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Michael Saunders traded for J.A. Happ

The Mariners sent outfielder Michael Saunders to the Blue Jays for J.A. Happ

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I've been saying for a while that I would like to see the Rangers trade for Seattle Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders, and I've previously identified Blue Jays lefthander J.A. Happ as a potential trade target for the Rangers, as they look to shore up their rotation.

Well, Saunders and Happ were traded for each other today, presumably taking both off the market.

This is a pretty baffling deal...Saunders is a solid fourth outfielder/platoon outfielder in the David Murphy mold, while Happ is a barely-above-replacement-level pitcher.  Happ is also going to make $6.7M this year, while Saunders, arbitration-eligible, will likely make less.  And Saunders has one more year of team control.

This makes the M's worse, which is a good thing...Dave Cameron is suggesting that this is a prelude to a Taijuan Walker/Justin Upton trade (particularly with Nick Markakis being signed by the Braves), but even if that's the case, one would think that you could get a better return for Saunders than Happ.

And speaking of this point, I'd say that the difference between Markakis and Mitch Moreland is fairly negligible.  Markakis is getting $44M over 4 years.  Moreland will make around $3M in 2015.  So, while people are questioning why the Rangers would opt to keep Moreland around at that price rather than non-tender him...that helps explain why.  To find someone similar to Moreland would cost the Rangers more money than they are paying Moreland.