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2007 Prospect Rankings: 31-40

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on January 18, 2007

One afternoon at a minor league ballpark I saw a kid, maybe eight or nine years old, sitting by himself watching batting practice as he leaned eagerly on the seat in front of him. A slugger in the cage was hitting screamers off the wall and over the fence into the parkling lot. I sat down a few rows ahead of him and started making notes and such, scribbling on the media notes I’d just picked up from the press box.

After about 10 minutes, the kid asked me if I knew who the specific player was that was putting on the show in the cage every few minutes. I did, and I told him, and he then asked, “when did he get here, he’s raking?” Taken aback that a grade-schooler just described what he just saw as “raking,” I filled him on the acquisition history of the player in question.

He then sat there in silence for another 10, 15 minutes until the player ran out onto the field to shag fly balls while they rotated groups for BP. I was about to get up and go sit on the bench so I could strike a conversation with a player or two as BP ended when the kid sprouted up again and asked if that player was going to be in the majors soon.

So here I am, talking prospects with an eight-year-old who keeps using words like “raking” and “range” and “mechanics.” I told myself while he was talking that I had to ask what this kid’s name was before I went down to the field, but then he said the damndest thing to me.

Looking straight at me for the first time, “Jake” said to me: “Hey, have you ever read that web site, prospectinsider.com?”

I started to laugh, almost uncontrollably, and told him “yeah, I’ve read that site from time to time… why?” He responded, “well, that’s where I go to read about minor league guys and stuff. My dad goes there everyday, and he saved it on my favorites for me. I used to have trouble reading, but my dad thought If i was reading something I liked to read about, that I wouldn’t be so bad at it.”

So when people ask me why I do this, I now have this story to tell. Jake gets a little better at reading because he reads about baseball, and he even visits Prospect Insider sometimes. When I asked him if it was working and if he was getting better at reading, he said this: “Heck yeah, I am here with my school today because I read more books than anybody else in my grade. Last year I read one book. This year, I read like… sooo many, like 20 or 30.”

Okay, so Jake isn’t THE reason I started writing about prospects and minor leaguers, but he’s certainly one of the reasons I enjoy it as much as I do. Oh, and the player he was in awe over was none other than Adam Jones.


Doug Fister, RHP – Ht: 6-8 Wt: 210 Fresno State/2006 – 7th round

Fister was the Mariners’ 7th rounder last June after being a sixth rounder in 2005 and was impressive in his pro debut in short-season Everett last summer. The 6-foot-8 righthander regularly touches the low-90s with his fastball – and there may be more in his four-seamer, particularly if he is moved to the bullpen somewhere on his way up the ladder.

The 22-year-old made just four starts with the Aqua Sox but logged 40 innings after throwing 116 frames in 19 starts with Fresno State. Fister made the most of his time in the Northwest League, punching out 35 versus just 11 walks.

He allowed just two long balls, thanks to the downward plane he creates with his tall frame and 4/5 arm angle.

“I really like him a lot,’ said one scout of Fister and his aggressive style. “He really attacks hitters and his stuff is good enough to avoid big damage when he misses his spots – but he didn’t miss much the few times I saw him. Being that tall he can really create some tough angles for hitters and he seems to use that to his advantage.”

Fister has above-average command of his fastball and an above-average slider that should get better in 2007 when he begins his first full-season campaign in the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers rotation. He’ll need to continue to keep the ball down in the zone, which is what he did in Everett as he posted a 1.72 G/F ratio – rates that could lead to success in the upper levels.

Fister could ultimately be a big-league reliever and has the stuff to back it up. In relief, he could turn his fastball up into the mid-90s with regularity and wouldn’t need to worry as much about his change-up, perhaps the toughest pitch for young arms to develop.


Thomas Hubbard, 1B – B: L T: L Ht: 6-2 Wt: 215 North Carolina/2004 – 8th round


Hubbard, the M’s seventh round draft pick in 2004, took a step back last season after prompting a near dead-even race for the system’s best first base prospect with Bryan LaHair last winter. LaHair won out with a big year in the Cal League, which is exactly what the Mariners were hoping to get from Hubbard this past summer. It didn’t happen and Hubbard’s status is spiraling downward.

The 24-year-old North Carolina grad spent most of the season on the shelf and hit just .265/.353/.420 in the 61 games in which he did play. He did, however, show signs of ability with 27 walks and just 40 whiffs in 258 plate appearances, but the power just wasn’t there as it was in 2005 when Hubbard smacked 17 homers among 43 total extra-base hits.

“It did look like he was turning the corner,” said a former Midwest League manager who played nine years in the bigs. “He hurt us on mistake pitches a few times last year, but this time around he seemed to have trouble picking up pitches and making adjustments. He can hit, we’ve seen it, but now it’s about how well he can use his strengths to overcome his weaknesses.”

Hubbard lacks optimal pitch recognition and carries only average bat speed for a first baseman. He’s adept at working the count but struggles against left-handers and anything with a lot of movement hands him far too much grief, even though he limits the strikeout totals.

Defensively, the former outfielder has good range and a decent arm to go with solid hands, which may bode well for his chances beyond Double-A West Tennessee, which is where Hubbard is slated to start 2007.

Hubbard’s future is likely as a career minor leaguer with a slight chance for a reserve role in the big leagues. LaHair put a considerable amount of distance between the two lefty sluggers with a strong finish in Triple-A, and Hubbard will need a rather huge showing in the Southern League this year to get back on the map.

We probably haven’t seen his best yet, but it’s hard to imagine Hubbard playing his way into a Mariners uniform anytime soon, if ever.


Gerardo Avila, 1B – B: L T: L Ht: 6-2 Wt: 190 UFA/Venezuela – 2002


Avila’s strength lies in his solid power swing with a natural upper cut, which is also detrimental to his inability to make consistent contact. He’s still very raw and has a lot to learn, but the physical tools are there.

Some scouts see a lot of holes in his approach and while the 20-year-old still has time to make corrections, he’ll have to do so as quickly as the Mariners challenge him.

“When he connected, the ball really takes off for him,” said West Coast scouting coordinator for a National League club. “He has a major league swing, but needs a big-league approach to go with it. Chasing pitches out of the zone is a tough habit to break, but the good hitters find a way.”

Avila co-led the Arizona Rookie League with seven home runs with an aggressive, somewhat impatient attack that led to 35 strikeouts to just seven walks. Avila posted a strong .929 OPS in 32 games with Peoria, but his AVG-OBP differential was just .063.

The Venezuelan will have to become more patient at the plate and working the count more often while cutting the strikeout totals considerably. Avila was very streaky last summer with his ground-ball-fly-ball rates, starting off with a predominant amount of fly balls and ending the year with far too many ground balls. The Mariners will attempt to get him to level out that swing to induce more line drives and improve his ability to make contact on a regular basis.

Avila is a long shot to reach the show and is basically a lefty version of Wladimir Balentien with less natural power. Avila will start the 2007 season in Class A Wisconsin looking to build on a solid first year in the states.


Jose Escalona, LHP – Ht: 5-11 Wt: 170 UFA/Venezuela – 2003


Escalona is perhaps the most impressive of the young group of arms the Mariners assigned to Wisconsin last season, turning in a respectable 4.06 ERA in 26 starts and 126 1/3 innings of work.

Using a high-80s four-seamer and a potentially above-average slider, the 21-year-old southpaw yielded just over a hit per inning for a .262 BAA and 110 strikeouts. The slider is effective as a two-strike offering and missed enough bats to eventually become a major-league pitch.

Escalona’s future success will rely mainly on two things – a third pitch to keep better hitters from laying off the slider and sitting dead red, and better overall command of all of his pitches. He throws a change, but it’s still in its early stages and needs a lot of improvement.

The 5-10 and 170 pounder will probably have to move to the pen as a big league pitcher, but will remain a starter until he is no longer effective in that role as he tunes up his stuff and mechanics.

Expect Escalona to see action in the California League this season, where his fly ball tendencies will clash with the ballpark and climate and certainly provide him with plenty of incentive to keep the ball down and establish a third pitch.


Edgar Guaramato, RHP – Ht: 6-1 Wt: 188 UFA/Venezuela – 2000


Guaramato didn’t take too well to his assignment to the bullpen in 2006, posting a 5.74 ERA in 54 games. But the Venezuelan’s stuff is better than his numbers suggest -the 22-year-old right-hander has decent stuff headlined by a sinking fastball in the 87-90 mph range and an above-average slider.

In 62 2/3 innings, Guaramato allowed just 51 hits and fanned 64, but served up 47 walks, hit 17 batters and tossed 12 wild pitches.Needless to say, Guaramato’s control needs quite a bit of improvement if he’s to have a shot in MLB.

The stuff is good enough for a journeyman middle-relief role and his ground ball ratios are solid (1.80 in 2006), but if he can’t keep runners off base he’ll have no chance.

“I’m not sure why he isn’t starting anymore” one scout said. “I’ve seen him since his days down in the Latin leagues and (he) needs to start to log innings, even though he’ll be a reliever in the long haul. I like his slider and he seems to know what he’s doing out there. But you do have to throw strikes.”

Guaramato is slated for High Desert where he is among very few who have a chance at success with his sinker. A fast start may be enough to earn a quick promotion to Double-A.


Andrew Baldwin, RHP – Ht: 6-5 Wt: 220 Trade/Philadelphia – 2006


Baldwin came over in the Jamie Moyer deal with Phildelphia and did nothing but show he belonged in the rotation at Inland Empire, posting strong numbers in all areas, including a 13-2 K/BB ratio and more than seven frames per start.

Baldwin, 23, uses a four-seam fastball in the 87-90 mph range, a curve ball, a slider and a change-up that may be his best pitch at times, and his command is above average with all four pitches. His fastball has room to gain velocity behind his 6-5 frame.

“That slider is a bit flat and his curve ball hangs more than I’d like to see,” said an AL scout. “But he’s a nice arm to have and it’ll be interesting to see what he can do at the next level. Sometimes when a young pitcher changes his environment, the instruction sinks in differently and he becomes a better pitcher because of it. Maybe he is one of those.”

Baldwin’s future is likely as a No. 5 starter or long reliever, but he is a candidate for the Diamond Jaxx starting rotation to start 2007.


Steve Uhlmansiek, LHP – Ht: 6-3 Wt: 190 Wichita State/2004 – 12th round


Uhlmansiek would rank higher if he had pitched more than the 66 1/3 innings he logged in Everett last season after missing most of 2005 from the Tommy John surgery performed on his left elbow in May, 2004. The M’s picked up Uhlmansiek in the 12th round of the 2004 draft, just one week after his procedure, and still believe he’ll recover fully and give them an option at the big-league level.

Not many share the team’s optimism, but minor league pitching coordinator Pat Rice likes what he saw from Uhlmansiek in the southpaw’s first extended action in pro ball.

“He’s been pretty good, I think,” said Rice. “We’d like to see more consistency from him but he’s taking the ball every time out and hasn’t had any setbacks, so that’s good news.

“His breaking ball isn’t where it needs to be, and really none of his pitches are, really, and that is to be expected. But that will come with time as he builds his arm strength back up. We would like to see him break out at some point and really get it going, and we think he will, but he’s just getting things going again.”

Uhlmansiek’s four-seam fastball sat anywhere from 85 to 88 mph last season, and his breaking ball, a ¾ armed curve ball, has good depth that, like any curve ball, requires a consistent release point to remain an effective pitch.

The former Wichita State star, 24 in February, must regain his control after issuing 38 walks in 15 starts in 2006.

Look for Uhlmansiek to start the 2007 season in Wisconsin where any sustained success will send him packing for the California League.


Nathan Adcock, RHP – Ht: 6-5 Wt: 195 North Hardin HS (Ky.)/2006 – 5th round


Adcock threw the ball pretty well in the rookie league last summer, posting a 1.35 G/F ratio and a 3.31 ERA in 35 1/3 innings – 10 games, six starts and the club’s 5th round pick in the ’06 draft has a chance to climb these rankings in a hurry.

The North Hardin, Kentucky product sits in the 87-90 range with his fastball and already possesses the makings of an above-average breaking ball. There were questions about his mechanics prior to the draft but physically he’s the prototypical pitcher and the Mariners like what they see in in the right-hander.

The soon-to-be 19-year-old displayed good pitchability in Arizona, whiffing 31 and allowing just 33 hits, but also showed how his control can be erratic at times; he walked 16, hit five batters and tossed five wild pitches. He’ll have to clean that up to get the most of his stuff, which is potentially above average.

The development of a change is essential if Adcock is to remain a starting pitcher unless his curve ball develops into a plus pitch and he adds a split-finger or another show-me offering. He’ll also need to refine his delivery, ironing out some of the inconsistencies and kinks that exist in most prep pitchers.

Adcock could remain in short-season play in 2007, but it isn’t out of the realm of probability for the Mariners to challenge him in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League where he’ll be assisted by the weather and ballparks.


Travis Chick, RHP – Ht: 6-3 Wt: 220 Trade/Cincinnati – 2006


Chick came over in the trade for Eddie Guardado last summer and was the second best thing that came from the deal. Okay, third best.It meant J.J. Putz, the pen’s best pitcher, was finally the club’s closer. It meant Eddie Guardado was NOT. And it meant Travis Chick was a Mariners farmhand, which, while not an impact acquisition, gives the team another capable middle relief option sitting in Triple-A Tacoma awaiting the call.

Chick had a breakout year as a 20-year-old in the Sally League in 2004, posting an 11.04 K/9 and then following that up with a 11.69/9 rate in the Midwest League after being dealt from Florida to San Diego. The former 14th round pick of the Marlins then hit the wall, struggling in High-A and AA with the Padres and Reds, before pitching somewhat better in Double-A San Antonio the second half of last season.

Armed with a fastball in the 88-91 mph range, but has sat 90-93, touching 95 in previous seasons. His slider has also lost some bite as well as velocity, but Chick has had no major injuries in which to attribute the fall-off.

He has overthrown his slider at times and leaves pitches up in the zone far too frequently. His best pitch is a potentially plus change-up and his arm action at the top of his delivery is unconventional to say the least.

Chick’s future is probably in the bullpen where he can dial-up a decent fastball-change-up combo. If his slider returns to its previous state, the 24-year-old could be a decent option as a swing-arm in the mold of a Ramiro Mendoza, but that’s his ceiling at this stage of his career.

Chick is slated for Triple-A Tacoma to begin the 2007 season, but his role is yet to be defined.


Doug Salinas, RHP – Ht: 6-5 Wt: 195 UFA/Venezuela – 2005

Salinas is a power pitcher with a fastball sitting in the 88-91 mph range and a potentially plus slider. With Peoria last summer at age 17, the Venezuelan allowed just 39 hits in 50 2/3 innings, striking out 49 and issuing just 15 walks. He yielded just one home run in his five starts and seven relief appearances, posting a 2.84 ERA and a perfect 4-0 record with two saves.

The Mariners think Salinas could be an impact arm, starting games or recording key outs in the final three innings of victories. He’s raw and just turned 18 in December, but has the acumen to learn how to pitch much quicker than the average teenage hurler. The club would like to see him throw his change-up more and develop it into an average or better offering, thus providing another option other than the slider.

Salinas is currently a fly-ball pitcher and needs to learn to learn to pitch with more leverage and attack the bottom half of the strike zone and induce more ground balls. Seattle will likely suggest using a two-seamer, but that may not come for a few years until the right-hander is finished developing physically.

Expect Salinas to gradually add velocity and settle into the low-90s but he must not overuse his slider and destroy his live arm. He will have to develop confidence in his fastball and stay away from the upper portion of the strike zone as he starts to face better hitters.

Seattle is likely to take it a little slower with Salinas than with other teenagers such as Adcock, due to the financial commitment differential, but he should see time in Everett and/or Wisconsin at some point in 2007.


114 Responses to “2007 Prospect Rankings: 31-40”

  1. jp17 said

    Good intro story. “Jake” for GM in 2038!!!

  2. Jerry said

    Nice work JC.

    I was wondering why we there is so little buzz about Salinas.

    He seems like he has all the things you look for in a lower-level prospect: he held his own at rookie ball at age 17; he is big and projectable; and he already is hitting the low 90s at such a young age.

    What are his downsides? It seems like the weaknesses you listed are the types of problems that would apply to 98% of all 17 year olds. Is there something else? Or are people just being conservative because he is so young and doesn’t have a whole lot of pro experience.

    As a side question: are there any other young international pitchers who you could see adding velocity and emerging as excellent prospects in the next year or two?

  3. J said

    Jason, you know I’m a big Guaramato fan, but I have to ask, do you know for certain if he’s still around? The late September transactions at BA were listing him as released.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/news/262533.html

  4. Guaramato WAS released, but the last I heard he was on his way back to baseball after some major issues at home and struggling so bad last year that he told the club he wanted to quit baseball and go home to be a farmer.

    So I included him. He’s pretty unimportant at this point, since he is probably never going to be ranked very high ever again.

    re: Jerry

    Most teenage arms are expected to add velo as they mature physically and clean up mechanics, but you never know who is going to end up in the mid-90s or whatever.

    Salinas is one of a half-dozen or so that are most likely to add velocity, and from what I hear he’s the one with tbe best secondary stuff, so he’s ranked higher than most.

  5. Willmore said

    Jason, can you include the prospects’ age on the first line?

  6. No, the line is already too long, which is why for prospects 21-50, I often mention the players age in the write up.

    For 1-20, I will be using a simple table for the bio info, including opening day age, bats/throws, ht/wt, and so on.

  7. J said

    Hmmm… curious thing for the Timber Rattlers then, because Harold Williams also had troubles at home and had to quit baseball to focus on a real job to support his family. Not often that you see it twice on the same team.

    Thanks for the info.

  8. Yeah, and usually it does happen with older guys, not 22-24 year olds…

    I just emailed the team and they said Guaramato is “about 50-50 or so. We haven’t closed the door, and neither have they (player and agent).”

  9. StandinPat said

    Am I off base or does Uhlmansiek seem like the best pitching prospect out of this group? His stuff wasnt quite as sharp as we would have liked, but thats kinda the point with guys coming off major surgeries, its a wait and see.

    Avila is a very interesting guy to watch as well.

  10. Gookie said

    Shouldn’t The mariners focus more on singing a projected starter rather signing players who project as relievers ?

  11. Jerry said

    Gookie,

    I think that the M’s typically do focus on starters, at least with their big-money acquisitions.

    But with a lot of those guys, if things don’t work out perfectly with them, they end up getting moved to the pen.

    The M’s have also done pretty well converting drafted players from starters to relievers and picking up guys who later end up as valuable bullpen arms through minor trades. Mark Lowe, Stephen Kahn, and Eric O’Flaherty are examples.

    From this past draft, they used a lot of their later round picks on guys who project as bullpen arms, and should be working from the pen exclusively. Kam Mickolio and Justin Souza come to mind. A lot of the other guys are players who were acquired in very minor trades: Travis Chick, Andrew Baldwin, Jose De La Cruz, and Andrew Barb are recent examples.

    Not all acquisitions need to be high-profile starters. Having a glut of relievers in the minor leagues is a nice problem to have. Even though the M’s lost two good relievers this year, they still have some depth. Even using a high draft pick can work out well.

    Look at what types of contracts relievers are getting these days. Danys Baez, Chad Bradford, Scott Schoeneweis, Justin Speier, and Jamie Walker all got big money, multi-year contracts. It is not that smart to spend that type of money on guys who are middle relievers or, at best, setup guys.

    If the M’s can load up on cheap and effective guys like George Sherrill, Mark Lowe, Eric O’Flaherty, Jon Huber, Yorman Bazardo, and Stephen Kahn, and avoid spending big chunks of their payroll on guys like Baez, then great. That is a very good thing.

  12. JH said

    Gookie:

    An organization that has a glut of projected starters in the ranks of their #30-50 prospects would be the best organization in baseball. The Ms, like every team, draft and sign a bunch of pitchers, and hope they work out.

  13. StandinPat said

    Jason,

    Whats your opinion of Brian Lawrence? He had pretty solid numbers in the past and was a 200 inning guy before last year. Also, whats your take on Campillo? He’s been lights out in the winter leagues so far.

  14. Lawrence is a waste of time.

    Campillo is nothing more than most teams have 10 of between AA and the bigs.

  15. Deanna said

    Heh, I was thinking more like “So do you think this ‘Jake’ kid will be drafted by the Mariners in 2016? Where do you project him to start?”

  16. Lance said

    Jason, the kid’s story, very nice BTW, prompted my wondering, what was your boyhood team? Did you grow up on Mariners’ baseball?

    And, to the extent you want to reveal it, what got you from there to what you’re doing today?

  17. Heath said

    Jason , you really don’t know very much. Thomas Hubbard played in 128 Games this year. He hit 289 in AA and slugged 421. Please do more research next time.

  18. JH said

    Heath,

    Jason was talking about Hubbard’s time in the Cal League, where his line was .265/.353/.420. He didn’t mention Hubbard’s time in the Texas league, which does nothing to change his current prospect status.

  19. Jerry said

    Heath,

    Let me get this straight. You are accusing JC of not doing enough research? As JH noted, your comments about errors aren’t valid. But did you happen to notice that Jason is doing a rundown of all the top 50 prospects in the M’s organization? Do you have any idea how much work that entails? Stop posting drunk.

  20. Guys, don’t mind Heath, he’s already shown in prior posts that he doesn’t comprehend well. He loves to tell me that I don’t know anything.

    Let him.

  21. re: Lance

    I did grow up on the Mariners, listening to them on KVI 570 way back in the earliest of days when Dave Niehaus worked the radio side by himself and I tuned in way past my bedtime at age 4 and 5.

    The very first Neihaus call I remember was a game against the Texas Rangers when Pat Putnam was the M’s first baseman and he hit a two-run shot to give the M’s a 2-0 lead… Neihaus went nuts, and it was the first time I heard his fly away, my oh my, call.

  22. john said

    Jason
    If Beak gets the no. 5 starting spot how many wins do you expect him to get. I was very impressed by him last year in his handfull of starts in Seattle. I personally think he is the best candidate out there right now for the no. 5 starting spot. What do you think.Thanks

  23. Heath, ALL of your posts will now be filtered to the spam area, not because you were right and I was wrong (perhaps the word most doesn;t fit a player who played in 90% of his team’s games, sure…”some” would have been much more appropriate) but because you are only here to start shit.

    Yer an ass.

    Goodbye.

  24. Predicting wins is impossible and frutiless, really. I would expect Baek, if he’s given the No. 5 spot and gets the chance to start in that spot every time they use the 5th starter, that he’d be somewhere below league average for much of the year.

    He is injury prone somewhat, and is inexperienced, so I’d lean toward Baek being about average at best.

    But if he’s 100% all year he has good enough stuff to be a little better than average, too.

  25. Excellent intro, and I’m still high on Uhlmansiek. I take it this is the year that he proves if he’s a starter or not?

  26. I think this is the year he proves whether he’s even a prospect or not. He’s 24 this year… not a lot of room for error.

    But he was thought to be a 3rd rounder until the injury and surgery. Look what the M’s got in round three THIS year.

  27. nighthawk180 said

    Regarding this years draft coming up do you see it as a pitching deep or offensive deep draft. Not necessarily deep but which of the following is more so than the other and possibly where does it rank in the recent drafts as far as talent goes. Thanks

  28. I think there are more pitchers worthy of the top half of the draft, but there are more bats this year than last.

    It’s a better draft in 2007 than 2006, and about even with 2005 overall, but 05 has turned out to be better than it was expected to be with the emergence of guys like Ryan Zimmerman and the fact that Gordon and Maybin have been better than advertised.

  29. Jerry said

    Nighthawk,

    I am not sure what JC’s take on things is, but, from what I have read at places like BA, brewerfan, and other sources, the draft is supposed to be pretty balanced as far as pitchers/hitters. In particular, there seems to be a lot of middle infielders and power RHPs. There are also a lot of catchers who are currently projected to go high in the draft.

    The biggest weakness in the draft demographics is college players. The highschool crop is a lot more impressive and a lot more deep.

    Overall, it is supposed to be one of the better draft classes in a while. Its a good year to have an extra pick.

    A lot of things can and should be different over the course of the next season. But usually, the general tendencies stay the same while the names change.

    This should work out pretty well for the M’s. In the past two years, the organization was thinnest in pitching, and went crazy drafting arms. Now, I don’t see a huge lack of talent in either of those two areas. Hopefully, the M’s just pick the best high-ceiling player available with each high pick. If they do, we should expect lots of highschool players. The one thing the M’s need are impact hitters and front of the rotation starters. This is a good draft to hopefully get those types of guys.

  30. nighthawk180 said

    Thanks for the info. Also do you project Morrow to be a TOR starter or a bullpen arm. It may also be to early to tell considering he didnt pitch all that much after the draft due to some injuries I think. From what I remember reading before and after the draft was that most see him as a bullpen arm while others think he will be a starter.

  31. Baseballistic said

    JAC,

    Where do you project high-school righty Michael Main going in the draft. I’ve heard that he’s a sure first-rounder, but do you see him as one of the top-10 picks or lower in the first round.

    A friend of mine who saw him pitch says his stuff looks like that of Tim Lincecum and that he’s probably the top high school pitcher in the country. Do you have any info on him?

    Also, you mentioned that you think Doug Fister will eventually be a ML-reliever. How long do you think it’ll take him to get to the Bigs?

    BTW…you’re doing a great job with these prospect profiles!

  32. Jerry said

    Baseballistic,

    If you want to know about highschool draft prospects, or just draft prospects in general, check out this site:

    http://www.brewerfan.net/ViewDraftArchive.do?draftId=5

    If you click on the players names, there is a scouting report on each player.

    Brewerfan.com doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves, mainly because the site focuses on one club. However, the guy who does most of the draft stuff there works with Perfect Game, which is a scouting service.

    The draft coverage at that site has particularly good information about highschool players. It is probably ahead of Baseball America in that sense. The information about college players is also good. Check it out.

    Michael Main seems a bit overrated. Neither BA or brewerfan rank him at the top of the prep pitchers. Brewerfan ranked him 10th, while Baseball America had him 5th. He is good, but both have him ranked below Matt Harvey and Rick Porcello.

    Highschool pitchers are a pretty volatile group, and a lot will change. Main throws hard, and could easily jump to the top of the list of highschool pitchers with a strong season. But there are literally 20 other pitchers who you could say the same thing about.

    I am really excited about this draft. The M’s are going to be able to pick up a few good prospects this summer.

  33. Baseballistic said

    Thanks for the link, Jerry.

    I’m looking forward to this draft as well!

  34. Haven’t done much draft studying yet, so I don’t know where Main fits in exactly, but it seems like he’s not a breakfast pick.

    re: Morrow

    I think he’s a starter — yeah, even with just two pitches. When you have a 93-97 mph heater with good downward plane and a pretty darned good slider and a splitter that, at times, is a plus pitch, you can get outs at any level provided you can throw strikes and stay healthy.

  35. Edgar said

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we draft a HS SP in the draft this year. As long as Morrow progresses ok we’ll be “set” with starting pitching with a few years of Felix, Washburn, Batista, and Ramirez. I think that gives the Mariners the ability to take a guy who would take a little longer to get to the majors but somebody with more potential than a backend starter.

  36. Edgar said

    I wouldn’t mind an offensive OF. Our minors haven’t seen a great projectable OBP/SLG OF in a long time.

  37. nighthawk180 said

    “I wouldn’t mind an offensive OF. Our minors haven’t seen a great projectable OBP/SLG OF in a long time.”

    We havent seen any player like that in a long time. They need to make some decent picks again this year. Last year we did very well and hope they keep the pickings going. Now that we have the supplental pick from losing meche maybe we’ll use it for a projectable bat. I would much rather they go after the best player at their picks regardless the position but I would like to see some position players with some good upside coming through the ranks soon.

  38. Jerry said

    Yeah, I agree with Edgar.

    I would love to see the M’s use one or two of their first three picks on a bigtime bat.

    Luckily, there are loads of guys like that.

    With the M’s first pick, there are guys like C Matt Wieters, OF Michael Burgess, 1B/OF Jason Heyward, 3B Beau Mills and 3B Matt Mangini. All are lefthanded hitters (Wieters is actually a switch hitter) with power. Wieters, Mills, and Mangini are the types of guys who already have plus plate discipline. Burgess and Heyward are more toolsy hitters with bigtime power potential. I don’t think that Wieters will be available at #11, but some of those other guys will likely fall there. Burgess in particular would be awesome. He has been compared to Gary Sheffield because of crazy bat speed and all-around good tools. But he probably will get snatched up beforehand.

    Just by looking at how the draft prospects stack up as of now, it would seem like the best value would be to go for a hitter with the first pick, then look at pitchers with the sandwich pick or the second rounder. There are a ton of highschool pitchers this year. Dozens.

    There are two local guys, Greg Peavey and Julian Sampson, who would be awesome choices with the sandwich pick.

    As it stands now, it seems like the pitching talent is concentrated after the mid-first round. And, ideally, the M’s should use that first round pick on a hitter, since they tend to be safer bets. That is, unless someone like David Price or Andrew Brackman slide to the #11.

  39. john said

    I agree a hitter would be best for the first pick. All of the hitters in this years draft look good. I would want us to get either Burgess, Heyward, or Mills. They all seem like good power hitters who might be able to get to the show really quickly. Then they should use the next couple of picks on pitchers, look what they got this past year in the second and third rounds in tillman, and butler.

  40. The Mariners will most likely take the highest rated player on the board at No. 11, regardless of whether he is a catcher or a shortstop or a pitcher, and I seriously doubt that the prep v. college issues matters at all unless it’s a catcher. There may be a situation where their two highest rated players are a pitcher and, say a lefty-hitting outfielder/3B/1B, they may decide the difference in grade isn’t enough to make them draft the need, or vice versa.

    And I know No. 11 doesn’t sound as promising as No. 3 or No. 5, but think about the players that have been the No. 11 pick over the past few years.

    2006 – Max Scherzer, RHP (Tim Lincecum was 10th)
    2005 – Andrew McCutchen, OF — Top 40 prospect in all of baseball, may be better.
    2004 – Neil Walker, C (Jered Weaver was 12th) – Solid catching prospect.
    2003 – Michael Aubrey, 1B (Lastings Milledge was 12th, Ian Stewart was 10th) — Aubrey’s luster has been tarnished a bit lately after a sub par season in 2006, but Milledge is still a premium guy and Stewart is as well.
    2002 – Jeremy Hermida, OF – A healthy Hermida is a .300/.420/.500 guy with 30 homer power and a plus throwing arm.

    There is a lot of premium talent that can be had at the 11 spot, and with all of the money issues juggling things around, who knows, maybe a top 3 talent falls. It did this past year with Lincecum and Miller.

  41. Jerry said

    Yeah, I agree with your comments JC. I was commenting more on the stength of the draft, and who the best player available might be, than on drafting for need.

    It is obviously way too early to be making predictions. But I don’t see the premium college players (Price, Wieters, and Brackman) sliding to the M’s. Some players could slide, but there are two teams picking in front of the M’s that are not afraid to spend for the best players. The Cubs pick early, and they are highly unlikely to go cheap. And the Diamondbacks have teh 9th pick. They have made a habit of grabbing the best players regardless of cost (often Boras clients). Those clubs make it less likely that one of those top college players will drop.

    If the draft were today, I would bet the best available player would be a highschool hitter. But a lot will change.

    Also, just to add to Jason’s list of players that went #11 recently. Nearly every pundit and authority is saying that this is going to be the best draft in years, with better talent than any of the groups from the years JC listed. The M’s are in a good spot to get a player even better than Clement or Morrow.

    That is, assuming they don’t go cheap again.

  42. Prior to the 2006 season, Matt LaPorta was a surefire top 10 pick…

    A perfect example of how things can, do and will change, like you mentioned Jerry.

  43. StandinPat said

    I’m def all for a Beau Mills or Matt Mangini with our first pick. LH hitting 3rd baseman with power. Not that easy to find and a perfect fit for Safeco. People underestimate being able to put a power bat at non-traditional positions or finding a lefty with sock anywhere in the infield besides 1b.

  44. kmo said

    Mills will never play 3b because he can’t field a lick. He is a DH. I saw him this summer and he booted everything hit to him. it was embarassing. With that said, the dude can rake. Had great power with wood bats

  45. Jerry said

    Jason,

    I agree with you 100% about the draft board changing greatly over the course of the season.

    However, the general strengths of each class seem to be pretty clear early on. For instance, there was general consensus that the strength of last years draft would be college pitching, with very little depth in hitters at either the college or prep levels. Guys like Snider and Rowell emerged as top prospects, and guys like LaPorta, Chris Marrero, and Cody Johnson fell, but the general consensus (a weak crop of hitters) stayed the same. Same thing with the pitchers. Ian Kennedy was disappointing, but Brandon Morrow emerged as a top 20 prospect.

    I suspect it will be the same this year. Some of these guys we are talking about will be disappointments, while a bunch more should emerge. In fact, I could see this draft crop improving, since there are so many high-ceiling highschool players. But, overall, I would be suprised if the general pattern didn’t remain the same: a few college players in the top-5, followed by tons of depth in highschool hitters and pitchers.

    I just hope the M’s lean towards upside. They need difference makers. If two players are pretty even in terms of overall talent, I would hope that they would err on the side of ceiling, even if it meant taking a highschool player who will take longer to develop.

    Michael Burgess is exactly the type of guy I am hoping for. It will be interesting to see how things change, though.

  46. Jerry said

    RE Mills,

    People are already considering him a first baseman. Sounds like his bat would be fine there.

  47. JasonAChurchill said

    Yeah, Jerry, the depth of any draft, whatever it may be, usually doesn’t change a whole lot barring some huge percentage of pitchers or hitters getting hurt, struggling or for some odd reason hinting they are staying in school.

    But guys drop for the dumbest of reasons, just like they rise for the worst reasons.

    The draft selection order does not necessarily reflect the depth of the draft.

    Look at who the No. 2 pick was – Reynolds should have been a late 1st at best… and Longoria has shown he deserved his draft slot – which surprises a lot of scouts, and teams.

  48. Edman said

    I find that most of baseball is reactionary, especially in the draft. Probably because the draft is such a low yield source of talent, they tend to get scared off of certain prospects for generally mild concerns.

    I think the good teams ignore the rumor crap, and do their own evaluation. I praise Seattle for their selections over the last few years. They’ve taken some chances with a couple injured pitchers, and we’ll see this year, if that risk pays off.

    All in all, Bavasi put the right guy in charge and it’ll start to show soon.

  49. Jason – I just looked at the #11 pick in the draft after you left off. Yikes!

    2001 – Kenny Baugh
    2000 – Dave Krynzel
    1999 – Ryan Christianson
    1998 – Josh McKinley
    1997 – Chris Enochs

    Yuck. Now, obviously that’s not saying much – it’s a small sample and there was certainly talent surrounding those picks. I just thought it was funny that the #11 pick turned out poorly for five years in a row.

  50. Also, the M’s signed Aaron Small

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/news/263171.html

  51. Wasn’t Small signed weeks ago?

  52. Not sure – just saw it on BA’s transactions

  53. Ah, yeah. I think he’s been on the roster sheet since December, but it’s an interesting signing since he has big-league experience.

    Re: The 11th pick.

    I went back and looked, and it’s awfully funny that I stopped where I did, because those picks you listed Conor — wow, ugh. I didn’t even notice that, I just stopped because I thought it was enough to serve as evidence to my point.

    But even in those years, picks below 10 often turn out to be better than some or most in the top 10.

    2001 – Casey Kotchman, Aaron Heilman, Jeremy Sowers, Bobby Crosby, Jeremy Bonderman, Noah Lowry, Jeff Mathis and, tada!, David Wright.

    2000 – Chase Utley, Adam Wainright, Aaron Heilman AGAIN.

    1999 – Brett Myers (right after Seattle chose Ryan Christianson, yuck), Jason Jennings, Alex Rios, Brian Roberts.

    1998 – Jeff Weaver, Brad Lidge, CC Sabathia, Aaron Rowand.

    The point is, and I don’t think Conor or anyone else was disagreeing at all, is that if clubs do their work as well or better than other clubs and truly take the best talent available, they will get the better players, no matter where they draft.

    We saw in last June’s draft how ridiculous things can get. Daniel Bard and Tim Lincecum fell way too far. Miller fell way too far.

    Kyle Drabek should have been a top 7 pick. Kasey Kiker should have been a second rounder.

    Teams are worrying way too much about the smallest of issues, and it’s not going to stop. I expect a total repeat of 2006 this coming June.

  54. Jason – what issues do you think teams worry about too much? Makeup? Signability?

  55. 1. Money
    2. Makeup
    3. Size

    Teams passed up on Miller because they thought while he’d sign for sure, that he’d cost tons… well, it’s like having a choice between Miguel Batista at 3/25, or Felix Hernandez at 3/36.

    It’s a lot of money, but you are getting the BETTER player. No club in their right mind can HONESTLY say Miller was NOT the the top talent in the draft and it’s really not close.

    Drabek dropped because of a few instances where he drove his car too fast and hit a tree and told a cop, probably in a snobby tone, that he was a Drabek and the officer got ticked off.

    So what? He was 17, I’ve done worse and I certainly was never a problem between 18 and 25. Drabek isn’t a problem, he’s an asset and he’ll mature, LIKE EVERY OTHER PLAYER AND HUMAN BEING.

    Lincecum’s size, and therefore injury risk, was a problem for a lot of teams, and I was concerned, too. But clubs made the mistake of assuming to no end that the player they drafted in 2006 was going to be in the organization in 2013 or 2014.

    If Luncecum gets hurt, the freakish sort, then I guess those skeptics were right. But he’s had a heavy workload in college and can be monitored properly to avoid raising the risk of him getting hurt.

    The chances, however, that a college developed pitcher has a career-ending injury is still not on the LIKELY side, and any wear-and-tear wouldn’t likely show up until well after he was playing elsewhere anyways.

    What are the chances Brandon Morrow is a Seattle Mariners 8 years from now? Not good, almost no matter how good he turns out to be. Drafting Miller than Lincecum SHOULD have been what Seattle did.

    The three best talents in 2006 were not taken in the top three slots…. That’s terrible. All teams worry far too much about those things.

  56. SlackMan said

    If the M’s had drafted Miller, he could have been a candidate for the rotation in “07. I like Morrow a lot but he probably won’t be here quite THAT soon.
    By the way, how much better is Miller than Hochevar?

  57. Jerry said

    Good comments Jason,

    I find the makeup concerns so much more ridiculous with highschool players.

    Unless you have guys who are convicted of extremely disturbing things, I don’t see how you can make a decision about a players career based on how he acts at age 17.

    I hate to over generalize, but I don’t think that arrogance, immaturity, and occasional partying are rare among highschool athletes. So maybe Drabek thinks he is the king shit. And perhaps he doesn’t play at 100% effort all the time. Those types of players are always the huge fish in the tiny pond when they are in highschool. I would imagine that 90% of those types of guys will change their attitudes quickly when they are a few years older, and there is no longer the huge talent gap between themselves and the people they are competing against.

  58. Walrus said

    Jason,
    Just curious if you know much on the guy the A’s just traded for..David Shafer. If yes, would you rate him a Lowe, a Fruto or Livingston or Chick?

  59. jp17 said

    Somebody at Sportspot translated this from ESPNdeportes:

    “The Seattle Mariners will hire a righty 17 year old pitcher, Danny Cruz Ayala, who lives in El Salvador.”

    Any info on him floating around?

  60. SlackMan said

    Jason,
    Good comments on Kyle Drabek. I didn’t see it that way but it’s a very good point. In the case of Drabek, scouts love to nit pick at any so called weakness they can find and so it was “make up” with Drabek.
    I also agree that Miller and Lincecum fell to far in the draft but I don’t think so with Daniel Bard. If I were Bob Fontaine, I would know that he has great stuff but was inconsistent. The M’s had Gil Meche and Joel Pineiro and they had good stuff too but they were very inconsistent. So if I were in charge of the draft, that’s why I’d pass on Bard. Not so for Miller and I’d think long and hard about Lincecum.

  61. Walrus (is that you coach Holmgren?):

    Shafer is a little like Jon Huber in ability and has a similar arsenal, led by a slightly above average fastball in the 89-91 range.

    He uses a slider, too, but it’s more of a true slider while Huber’s has a lot of slurvyness to it.

    He’s a sixth inning guy, even though he’s been closing of late in the minors, but so was Huber.

  62. Re: Bard

    Slack… Bard was a consensus top 15 pick until he “fell” from the top 8 or so due to some inconsistencies during his season at UNC.

    He fell all the way to 28. Are you going to try and sit there and tell me that Kasey Kiker, Brett Sinkbeil, Jeremy Jeffress, Colton Willems, Ian Kennedy and Avery Morris were better pitching talents than Bard?

    If makeup and inconsistencies were the issues, why did anyone between Kiker and Bard draft a prep arm?

    Bard fell way too far, and he fell because of money as much as anything else. Boston, at the very least, got a top 10 talent at No. 28 and he’s probably going to see the big leagues as early or before Greg Reynolds (2), Brad Lincoln (4), Brandon Morrow (5), Sinkbeil (19) and Ian Kennedy (21).

    He was two teams, NYY and Bos, from falling into the second round where Seattle was waiting to pounce.

  63. fish said

    Have you seen these boys you named
    Kasey Kiker, Brett Sinkbeil, Jeremy Jeffress, Colton Willems, Ian Kennedy and Avery Morris pitch?

  64. yep…. all of them, some of them extensively. But that doesn’t matter. Nine of 10 scouting directors would STILL agree today that Bard is a better talent. I know of five or six for fact that think that.

  65. Baseballistic said

    According to FOX’s Ken Rosenthal…

    “the Mariners have emerged as the leading contender for starting pitcher Jeff Weaver”.

    KNBR in San Francisco also reports that “Weaver could sign a deal with the Mariners as early as next week. It remains to be seen whether the agreement would be for 1- or 2-years.”

    I don’t know how to feel about this one … actually I do — and I don’t like it. What do you think JAC?

  66. If it’s for one year, I like it. Two? That will depend on what the salary is and what kind of incentives there are.

  67. nighthawk180 said

    What would you consider a “good” contract JAC? Would you consider if he got close to what he got last year (little above 8 mil) or do you think he should get less? Or do you think that the mariners could get him for less if they even get him at all?

  68. I think he SHOULD get less than 8 mil, but if it’s one year and 8, I’m “ok” with that, not excited, not depressed.

    If it’s two and 16, it’s not a good deal at all, but I have been told by several that the two-year deal is not for that kind of money and Bedir just informed me that Rosenthal just said on radio that Weaver has the choice of a 1 or 2 year deal and is apparently leaning toward ONE.

    I would imagine that it’s a 1-year deal for at least six million, PLUS INCENTIVES that can make it more than 8, or a two-year pact worth something around 12 mil, plus incentives.

    Which is why Weaver is leaning toward the one year deal… he pitches above league average, he gets a 2-3 year deal next winter for 8-9 mil per.

  69. Gookie said

    at this point, i would have to think that signing weaver could be a good thing. theres upside there, but you never really know what you are getting with him.

    if he signs a one year deal, he is a lot tougher to trade if he has a above average-weaver type season.
    then again, if the crap hits the fan with him, he wouldnt be such a loss of money.

    i still think that he is better then whats left out there on the market, and we could use the extra arm to help push guys trying out for the number 5 spot.

  70. I disagree that he’s tougher to trade if he signs a one year deal and is sucking it up. That makes him easier to deal over him signing for TWO years. Teams dont like the guaranteed cash.

  71. Gookie said

    M’s ink earring king

    Mariners sign arthur rhodes to ML deal.

  72. I’ll fix it, Gookie.

  73. Gookie said

    yeah, thanks man. i really dont understand all that jibberish ”XHTML”

    JAC, of the minor league non roster invites, who do you see as having the best chance to make the team out of ST?
    get realeased?
    make an impact later on this year ? (a callup)

  74. I don’t think any of the true minor leaguers that were invited have any chance at all. Rhodes is likely to make the team.

    I won’t limit the “make an impact later” thoughts to guys who got invites, but here goes.

    I don’t expect O’Flaherty or Feierbend to make the club out of ST, but either could make an impact later in the year. Not KROD level impact, but they can lend a valuable hand.

    As could RRS, Blackley, Jones, LaHair…

    Navarro has an outside shot to get some PT in the show this year, too, BEFORE Sept. He can field and handle the bat.

  75. Gookie said

    so as a mariners fan, should i/ we all forget what i/ we read or hear about in the papers, websites, magazines?… just throw all that out the door, and expect bigger things of the team?

    it seems that the mariners are loaded up with all the right tools, former all-stars, up and comers.. and so on.

    what would the biggest surprise be for you to see out of this team in 2007?

    ( *still thinking that the rainiers are going to be better as of right now though. )

  76. No, i dont think we should ignore the papers and magazines, and certainly not the blogs…

    The M’s are about a .500 team on paper in 2007, but aren’t incapable of 90 wins, they’d just need a lot of things to their way.

    The M’s are not loaded up with the right tools… the club has money, doesnt spend it wisely, has a need for TWO more bats, two more SPs and are a bullpen arm short of a good relief corps, not to mention the bench can’t hit their way out of Cheney Stadium.

    Their farm system lacks immediate impact help anywhere but the pen right now, too.

    The biggest surprise? The biggest surprise, on-field performance wise would be Adrian Beltre having a full season like he had between June 1 and Oct 1 a year ago.

  77. Gookie said

    D@MN, yeah, you can see why I dont know anything abuot the mariners anymore…Used to follow them very closely other wise i guess i would know what i am talking about.

    they interest me just from the standpoint that they are my favorite team. baseballs just my favorite sport.

    this team, HAS made me go from stat geek to i dont care.

    Whats it gonna take to get FSN to put the rainiers on tv more often?

  78. StandinPat said

    Jason,

    You say two bats, but where specifically are you talking about? What upgrade options might be out there?

  79. d2ret said

    Ichiro for three sick prospects, at least one of which are pitching. How bout it? Either one of the LA teams can pull it. I seriously hope we can take a good look at what kinds of packages are offered. If I am offered Roy Oswalt still, I make the deal.

  80. d2ret said

    JC, say we do start to listen to packages for Ichiro, what teams do you think will be calling, and what might they offer? I know this is a lot of guessing, but how many very good young players can we get for him and what might Bavasi accept on a deal?

  81. Willmore said

    Over/under on Rhodes release date. I would say May 25th.

  82. Lance said

    I’m really not seeing where Rhodes fits in, other than compitition for Sherrill or insurance if he gets hurt or flops. ST would just be a place to showcase him for the other teams. I don’t see him willing to go to AAA, but I could be wrong about that. Appier was willing. Still, seems Arthur’s best days are behind him. Plus, they won’t need three lefties in the pen and Rhodes is no long man. Never was.

  83. Rhodes fits in as the second lefty. He’s a better option than Woods there and O’Flaherty isn’t ready.

  84. jo said

    JAC, if Weaver gets the fith spot in the rotation, do you see him having a better year then Beak? I was impressed with Weaver in the WS, and he has a lot of motivation trying to be a big Free Agent next year, and pitching in the same division as his younger brother. But, I think there is a good chance that he becomes the same guy that pitched for the Angels last year. Last year, Beak was consistantly solid. Personally I think Beak is a cheaper, safer, fith starter.

  85. How can he not have a better year than Baek if he’s in the bigs and Baek is not?

    And I agree, I don’t like the move now that I hear it’s for more than 8 mil. Weaver was a 5 mil risk only.

  86. Baseballistic said

    According to KNBR in San Francisco:

    “The Seattle Mariners have agreed to a 1-year deal worth $8.33M with free agent starter Jeff Weaver. The deal also includes $1.6M in incentives and may also have a mutual option attached. It should be finalized early next week”.

  87. 3rd Watch said

    Weaver is a good for alot of innings and I’m not sure that Bavasi and Grover are settled on Baek. I really like Woods as a starter, but he lost his gas and got hit after pitching five innings. Guess they didn’t want to see Woods come to spring training and try and strech it out….

    This is alot of money for a guy who got ripped in the AL West. The M’s sure put it to him last year. I think the M’s went 3-0. Not bad for a team that couldn’t buy a win against divisional foes. One year deal is good, but was 8 million dollars just burning a hole in Bavasi’s pocket? This deal will look good if Weaver puts up good numbers but decides to walk and the M’s at season’s end. Might result in a draft choice the following year if the new GM play’s it right. Note that I believe Bavasi will be out the door at season’s end.

    Does this mean that the M’s are settled on thier roster going into camp? Or are we looking at a trade that will come as a result? Who are the candidates to be released from the 40 man roster?

    I really like the minor league contract extended to Rhodes. This is a win, win situation if he shows up and competes for a roster spot. Plus we don’t have to decide on who to drop from the 40 man roster.

  88. This deal sucks. 8+ mil is too much guaranteed and to give him incentives based on innings? May as well guarantee him 11 mil then.

    Terrible.

  89. StandinPat said

    From the p-i

    “This is actually a good deal for Seattle,” said a major league source with knowledge of the proceedings. “They felt they needed one more guy for this year, and he’s a veteran who can help. He’s the kind of guy who will probably pitch better with (potential free agency) on the line, so the Mariners figure to get the best he’s got.”

    Umm wasn’t he a potential free agent last year, and just completely disastrous? My guess is the source was Lincoln or Armstrong.

  90. The source was probably a Cards or Pitt rep, they were after him, too.

  91. Baseballistic said

    Yeah, I could see a Dave Littlefield-type saying something like that. :)

  92. Willmore said

    I like the Weaver deal. The key here is 1 year. He doesn’t work out, who cares? I would be flipping mad right now if it was a 12 mil 3 year deal. I wanted him last year and I still want him. He can do as well as Meche last year, and we don’t have to give him 50 mil. Is he an ace, no. He’s a #4 on a good day, and I’m fine with that.

    Here’s something everyone is missing. If Weaver does ok-good. Like a 4 ERA by the trade deadline, he can bring in some good prospects from a club like the Cards or Mets or Yankees who are looking to make a run at the title. Weaver is a commodity, and a cheap one at that. That 8 mil means nothing. We weren’t getting anyone else in free agency, and it’s not blocking any in-season trades because either Weaver is involved in the trade or we can’t get the person anyway because we don’t have the minor-league pieces.

  93. Goose said

    I gotta agree with Willmore. If it had been something like the deal the Cards were offering him, then it would of been terrible. But at one year it isn’t so bad. I wouldn’t of given him that much money, but at least if he sucks, we can just dump him like the Angels did and he’ll be off the books at season’s end. If he doesn’t suck, then we got one of the better #5 pitchers in the AL.

  94. Baseballistic said

    Willmore:

    The problem is, I don’t see Weaver putting up a 4.00ERA at the break — I’m guessing something closer to 5.00. While he may be unload-able at the deadline because of how he pitched in the playoffs in 2006, I don’t think this is a good deal at all, especially not with innings-based incentives that could make it a $10M investment for the M’s.

    By the way, another rumor had the M’s showing interest in Mark Redman, and potentially getting ready to offer him $6M for 1 season. This was reported a day before the Weaver signing was reported by Rosenthal though, so I’m guessing it’s probably no longer valid, but it does show the M’s were almost desperately looking for a veteran SP.

  95. Jerry said

    I like this deal.

    It is a lot of money, but the big thing here is that it is a one-year deal. This is not a deal that Bavasi’s successor will have difficulty working around.

    Jeff Weaver is a better pitcher than he was last year. Look at his career stats. He is a solid #4 type. He is incredibly durable. And he is playing for a contract next offseason.

    Adding him gives the M’s some much needed rotation depth. It also gives them a potentially valuable trade chip at the deadline this year.

    There is a very good chance that Weaver will be the M’s second best starter in 2007.

  96. There is a very good chance that Weaver will be the M’s second best starter in 2007.

    You can say that about all five of the projected started the M’s are now going to camp with. That doesn’t mean paying Weaver more than all of them but Washburn is a good idea, even on a 1-year deal.

  97. Gookie said

    What about Bazardo? whats the chances of him getting some time in the bigs this year?

  98. Ralph said

    Yes, just what we need. A #4 type who can be our 2nd best starter. And that’s supposed to be a good thing? It’s shameful how far this franchise has fallen.

    And enough about signing players who can be flipped at the deadline. We heard the same garbage about Everett. Good organizations don’t need to do that. They have actual plans to make good teams better, not bad teams worse.

  99. Bazardo will be covered mid week in the top 20 prospects…

    21-30 is done, just awaiting my posting.

  100. Jerry said

    RE Weaver,

    The money doesn’t really bother me. This late in the offseason, the M’s weren’t going to use that money for anything better. Who else is out there that would be better than Weaver? The only real answer to that question is: Woods and Baek. But that $8.3 million is not going to be rolled over into 2008, or put towards the draft or international signings. From a fans perspective, it is free money: It wasn’t going to be used for anything else. And, most importantly, it will not impact the M’s roster at all in 2008.

    In this situation, $8.3 million isn’t the most important number. The most important number is 1. As in years.

    Since that money wasn’t going to be used on anything better, all that is left is the question of whether or not this move makes the M’s better. I don’t see how you could argue that it doesn’t. The M’s are almost definitely going to need a 6th starter at some point during this season. Now, the M’s can go with the best of Baek/Woods/Campillo, instead of being forced to use two of them. Weaver greatly improves the M’s starting pitching depth, which previously was a major weakness.

    RE: Ralphs comments about how good teams don’t sign players who can be flipped at the deadline, that just isn’t true. Well managed teams will look for value in short-term contracts. Good teams take a chance of players who are coming off below-average seasons. Good teams also look to make trades to bring in young talent, especially when they can fill the resulting holes in the roster with young, cheap, internal candidates. If the M’s are not in contention, or someone like Ryan Feierabend proves he is ML ready, then trading Weaver is a great idea.

    Good GM’s MUST consider all future options. For a team like the M’s, who are not likely to contend this year, not doing so would be incredibly stupid.

  101. If Weaver was in place of Batista, I’d have no issue with it at all… but let’s say Weaver repeats 2006, or something similar to it, and is basically Joel Pineiro again, but somehow, probably thanks to Felix and the offense, the M’s are in the race at the deadline.

    Now they have 8 million less to play with as they look for more necessary pieces to compete to the final day – or god forbid, in the postseason – and may not have any substantial room at all.

    And if that doesn’t matter, then why get Weaver at all in the first place? If he wasn’t signed to help make the team better, what’s the point?

    Weaver, at most, still comes up short as an impact starter. It’s a C- deal at best, and would be an F if it was 2+ years.

    The offseason has gone backwards and I have to think that back in December, if the Mariners thought they were going to get Weaver for 1/8, we wouldn’t have the Batisat deal to put up with.

  102. Edgar said

    The good part is that he gives us some depth at the SP. Sure its too much money but they weren’t going to spend it on anybody better. If he sucks, hopefully we’ll swap Baek in quick. If somebody gets hurt and Weaver is doing ok we can throw Baek in too. Eliminating replacement level starters is a good way to help the team throughout the season. Its not a good value but its short term and I think its difficult to argue that our team got much worse because of it.

  103. This whole “they weren’t going to spend it on anyone better” stuff is total crap.

    So, if Weaver wasn’t available, or he signed elsewhere, the M’s should have given 8 million to the best SP left just because they couldn’t spend it on anyone better? That’s insane.

    And I totally disagree that they couldn’t have spent it on someone better. Why did they have to have a guy right now? Why not lean on Baek/Woods, etc for a few months and scan the field for trade options where that 8 mil may have very well come in handy?

  104. Jerry said

    Jason,

    I just don’t see this as a lateral move. Having Weaver on the club makes the team better. This late in the offseason, and without any commitment beyond 2007, that is a solid move. It is not a great move, but it makes sense for the club.

    In regards to your hypothetical scenario above, I think that it is highly unlikely that the Weaver will suck AND the M’s will contend. In order for the M’s to be in the playoff picture by the trade deadline, Weaver is going to have to pitch like he did pre-2006. And if he doesn’t, who is to say that the team wouldn’t bend their budget a bit to make a run. This club badly needs a PR boost. They just extended themselves for Weaver. Who is to say they won’t do it again?

    This was not just spending money because it was there. Weaver has been pretty solid throughout his career. His peripheral stats have not really changed, and he has no injury issues. The M’s just bought low on a guy who is trying to reestablish his market value. That is good.

    Plus, the M’s had terrible starting pitching depth. With a guy like Ramirez in the rotation you need a good 6th starter. This signing really helps in that respect.

    The team might have overspent a bit, but they got him on a one-year deal. All in all, I don’t really see a downside.

  105. marinerswinws said

    I wish they would put Baek in instead of that bravaes guy we got from atlanta.

  106. marinerswinws said

    it would look like

    Felix
    Weaver
    Washburn
    Batista
    Baek

    looks better to me.

  107. It’s lateral when you consider the financial restraints the club is now under.

    And what of Weaver actually does suck as bad as he did a year ago? That certainly is as likely as him being league average… and for 8.3 million? That’s worse than lateral, because Baek/Woods can get you a mid 5’s era for a hell of a lot less money.

  108. Gookie said

    i still rather have woods or baek in the running for atleast one of those spots in the starting 5.

    bazardo is coming on strong, i much rather have him over any of the new dudes we picked up this year.

  109. Baseballistic said

    Jason,

    I asked about 3 weeks ago if you thought the M’s were done adding/subtracting this offseason and you said that they don’t want to be done and are still (hopefully) working to improve.

    With Weaver now on board — the only major move since then — I’ll ask the same question, do you think the M’s done this offsseason?

    –I hope not :-(

    Thanks.

  110. I think we could still see a smaller deal or two, probably involving Ben or Jeremy. But I think that may wait until ST.

  111. slim said

    From listening to Bavasi at FanFest it sounds like the club decided that a.) no one was comfortable with Snelling as an everyday outfielder, and that b.) they decided Reed was a better fit for the 4th outfielder position and that they weren’t ready to give up on him yet. That’s why Snelling is gone and Reed is still here. Bavasi said he had to put aside his personal feelings for Chris and do what he felt was best talent-wise for the club. He also said that he believess in Reed still and that Jeremy will get a lot of opportunities next year as the first guy off the bench. So, in that regard, I doubt will see Reed traded unless someone wants to give Seattle value equal to Reed’s potential as a .300 hitting, gold glove CF.

    He also specifically mentioned that Broussard gave the team depth to trade from. I really can’t see Broussard on this team on Opening Day if everyone is healthy.

  112. Ron Hagerty said

    Looking at the present design of the outfield and overall roster… I highly doubt Jeremy Reed sees “alot of opportunities”… He’s never gonna play in CF with Ichiro there… and the corner outfield spots are pretty much held down with two of our better offensive players…

  113. Funny… because Reed is brought up a lot more than Ben in trade talks.

    I think the chances are 60-40. Ben at 60, Reed at 40, and both could go.

  114. slim said

    Reed should be more valuable than Broussard at this point. Any time you have an opportunity to get Broussard in the game, you could also opt for Reed. Reed could be the first option to come in at 1B (shifting Raul, of course), DH, or all 3 OF spots. Two of those positions have very recent injury history. Reed could get a lot of ABs and Bavasi was quick to point it out.

    But, yeah, both could get traded and the team could just call Adam Jones whenever they need to.

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