(due to this post, the projected MLB standings will come out tomorrow)
Months of speculation ended Wednesday night when, after a hard-fought 12-inning win over the detested Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (seriously, just pick one home city), John McLaren let it be known that the Mariners had made a move. Jason Ellison, whose Mariners tenure was highlighted by the his response to the Blanton-Ichiro dust-up, is gone and in his place is the heralded 23-year old, the most heralded position prospect the Mariners have had since Alex Rodriguez.
The timing is right too. Raul Ibanez has really slipped both offensively and defensively this year. According to my rating formula (which I revised and need to update in the explanation links), Adam Jones will be a 73 in the majors right now, whereas Ibanez is a 72 right now. It's a minimal upgrade offensively, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Jones should quickly establish himself as one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, and nobody questions he is a significant upgrade over Ibanez. The though of Jones and Ichiro patrolling the outfield is worth drooling over.
Perhaps the greatest sign that the timing is right is the dissent voiced by some players about the call-up, most notably Jose Guillen. Guillen says that it's about the team and not seeing the need to shake it up, but Guillen is a veteran. He didn't get a contract extension mid-season, and he knows Jones is probably a big reason why. I'm sure he is scared that it will hurt the team, but there's got to be a part of him even more scared if Adam is an improvement. Jones wasn't ready last year, but now he is. Adam is no longer a prospect, he's the newest Mariner, and a safe bet to become a permanent fixture for years to come.