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Everyone Else Can Be Had

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on May 4, 2006

[Begin Rant.]

It's hard work being this good at something. Truly, just ask anyone that is as good at something as I am at this.

Not many on the planet can match my skills in this field. It's fun walking around with my head held up high knowing that I am so much better at this than everyone else around me.

I'm the best there is, the best there ever was and the best there ever will be.

It's a great feeling. I am the man, the myth, the legend.

Okay, maybe if I was talking about being great at something cool. What I'm talking about, however, is how good I am as an M's fan at putting up with a bad baseball team.

We're all doing it. It's not that fun, and it's not something to be proud of, for sure.

After complaining so much, many recently began asking me a very important, and pertinent question.

What would you do to make the Mariners a good baseball team? Huh, genius?

Ah, finally, someone asks me. Now I get to respond.

First of all, let me say this. My way or the highway. That's the way I do things. Those who know me already have a good idea how I operate. I'd be no different in a role like this.

Bill Bavasi does not have this leisure, nor do any GMs in the game, with the possible exception of Oakland's Billy Beane, so I'm not in any way claiming to be some heroic player personnel master.

To me, it's all about philosophy.

I despise the quick fix. Always have. I've always hated the one-year contract for a veteran if he's costing more money than he's worth, unless the club is so close to championship contention that he fills an immediate hole that could be the difference.

Considering who is on the M's current roster, this is what I'd do… for starters.

Goodbye Mike Hargrove. You just aren't the man for the job. Good luck to ya, pal.

Dan Rohn, here is your audition. Good luck, we'll re-evaluate your status this winter.

Trade away Carl Everett, Matt Lawton, Roberto Petagine, Julio Mateo and Eddie Guardado, even if it means agreeing to pay half, or more, of the remaining salaries of Everett and Eddie both.

The club isn't winning today, won't win this season and it's not worth their roster spot to keep them around when they are simply not part of the future.

Lawton and Petagine are capable bench bats, but those are a dime a dozen these days. When the M's are ready to win again, they can go out on the market and ink a few benchies to back up the regulars.

For now, this team needs to find out how much its youth it can use for the long haul.

Exit the vets, enter Shin-soo Choo, T.J. Bohn, Hunter Brown, Greg Dobbs and Emiliano Fruto.

I'm OK with starting the clocks of Choo and Fruto, the two prospects of the group, because ultimately, Choo is on my list to include in a bigger trade down the road and his arbitration status is not an issue at hand.

Fruto is a potential mainstay.

Next, I'd start looking for a trade to make with Joel Pineiro and Gil Meche. The best time may not be right now, since both right-handers are going good and could build some decent value. But I wouldn't wait too long. I don't want to look up at my roster on August 1 and see either among the 12, yes 12, pitchers I have.

I keep 12 for now because I have more arms that need to be weeded out than bench players.

Exit the two 27-year-olds, enter Clint Nageotte and Francisco Cruceta. Cruceta to the bullpen, Livingston to the rotation.

I do not seek a deal for Moyer, unless he's open and willing to the idea. Unlikely. If Moyer is traded for prospects, Cha Seung Baek would take his place in the rotation.

For the remainder of the year, barring another deal in which I acquire a big-league caliber arm, my rotation is… Felix, Moyer, Washburn, Nageotte, Livingston.

My Bullpen is… Soriano, Putz, Sherrill, Green, Fruto, Cruceta and Woods. I keep Woods up to work through some kinks to get a good idea of whether he can be an effective relief option. He's only 24 and throws with his left hand. He'll have some value down the road if he can get through a few innings at a time.

My September call-ups include Adam Jones, Asdrubal Cabrera, Rob Johnson, Jeff Clement, Travis Blackley, and potentially my June draftee.

I head into the offseason looking for the following.

1. Three starting pitchers to join Felix and Washburn; one has to come from within. Livingston, Nageotte, Foppert, Cruceta, Baek, Blackley… one of them is the fifth starter.

Daisuke Matsuzaka may be posted, and if he is, I make damned sure I do what it takes to win the rights to the 26-year-old. He immediately becomes my second best starter.

The free-agent market is pretty bare, so I'd prefer to try and wiggle one off the trade wire. I would, however, be willing to offer Doug Davis (left) a three-year contract worth similar to what Washburn received, but I wouldn't make that deal until I knew what else I had in the bag to improve the team. Davis isn't a high-impact difference maker. He's a complimentary starter, not unlike Washburn.

Jason Schmidt may feel like coming home to pitch. I'd certainly look into that. But no arm, other than DM, is worth more than three years.

Seeking a deal for Carl Pavano, complete with a lot of cash from the Yankees is something I'd consider.

2. Bats. Plural. This club is two MOTO bats from contention. The only positions locked up are first, catcher, third and DH.

Since the club doesn't have a lot of talent to trade, it may be necessary to take on a contract that isn't so attractive. The free agent market is dry, save Carlos Lee, who would be a nice addition but is more likely to head back to Chicago, either Windy City club will be interested.

Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell (right), Geoff Jenkins and Ken Griffey, Jr have been mentioned before. All are hitters I'd consider with varying degrees of money involved.

Griffey would have to agree to play left and DH at a 50-50 rate. He's lost three steps in center and can't stay healthy playing the field everyday. Maybe he can DH and stay in 140 games.

The Reds are still going to have to pony up a lot of dough, unless Adrian Beltre is involved. Highly unlikely, but not out of the question. I'd think about it.

Because there isn't much available, however, I'm not going to be desperate. Unless Griffey, Jenkins, etc, comes super cheap, I'm not doing a thing. Burrell is a bit of a pipedream, but the best option out there. If the M's had the pitching to get him, I'd do it.

In the end, I'm probably not going to be able to add even one bat to the middle of my order. Instead, I decide against the Doug Davis or Jason Schmidt signing, and instead go with a younger, more economical pitcher. Let's call him Jesse Foppert.

But I'd still do the deal for DM.

So basically what's happening here is that instead of trying to force a winning team together by blowing millions of dollars and useful young talent on aging veterans, I'm allowing my roster to develop from within, and spending the money on the right guys.

Will the club win enough games to bring fans to the ballpark?

Not in 2007.

But guess what?

They aren't winning now, either. And when the club isn't winning, it's a killer to be spending 90 million on a 90-loss team while your attendance is dropping like a Ray Allen three ball over Bruce Bowen.

My philosophy is to draft, sign, develop and trade. I don't like the free agent market much. Why should I? It hasn't been good to me.

I'm keeping Johjima, Ichiro, Lopez, Betancourt, Felix, Soriano, Putz, Sherrill and the two best prospects.

Everyone else can be had. I'm doing this right.

My way, or the highway.

[End Rant.]

Photo Credits –

Daisuke Matsuzaka, Pat Burrell: Getty Images

Doug Davis: Associated Press

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83 Responses to “Everyone Else Can Be Had”

  1. Willmore said

    Midway through the read I was about to start my own rant about how you are unrealistic with no plan B and how you are dooming this team to disaster all over again. Then I read the rest of the article and I have to say, well said. I have patience, but only as long as I see progress. I don’t forsee progress right now.

    Down with Bavasi … and Lincoln … and Armstrong … and Hargrove … and Yamauchi.

    Ah who am I kidding. There’s no hope.

    Then again, if I ever start a blog of my own it’s going to be called “Facile Musings of a Quixotic Fan.” Like Russia, my thoughts are a series of riddles wrapped in mysteries inside an enigma.

    In essence, there is always hope, and for as long as the Mariners are in Seattle, I will come to games and watch the baseball that is provided, all the while mumbling about the front office.

    [end rant]

  2. Plan B is just more of Plan A.

    If I’m going to fail right now as I build the team up, it’s going to be with kids making nothing who are hungry and developing every year.

    If they aren’t part of the future, I’d move on to kids who are.

    As soon as I get close, like the Indians were a year or two ago and like Arizona is now, that’s when I start thinking about spending some cash on a veteran.

  3. Willmore said

    Yeah, I got it. I like it. I would go a step further. To ensure long-term success of the franchise, the team should invest the money it will save from the salaries on the farm system and the scouting department. Open up more academies in Latin America. Send more scouts to Japan, Korea, etc. Sign Japanese prospects before they enter the bastille of Japanese Pro ball. Grab the next Matsuzaka in Japan when he’s 18 and not 27. See the next Felix in a place like Colombia where baseball isn’t as developed yet. Send scouts to Europe, sign athletic guys for 50-100 K in eastern europe at 12, 13 years old on the cheap. Guys who can develop into 5 tool players in 3 years. Encourage MLB to expand and promote the international baseball scene. Go to Africa and clock every kid throwing a rock. I can guarantee that there will be kids there who have a cannon for an arm and don’t know what to do with it.

    Money well spent now can pay dividends as soon as 6 years down the road. I can wait that long.

    He who searches – finds.

  4. That goes without saying, really. They spend a % of the profits on scouting, etc. So money saved is money earned = more on scouting and player development.

  5. 1996Coug said

    You speak the truth, man. But if we did break it down, I’d be mad as hell anyway because we didn’t do it in 2004. This site rules!!!!

  6. The M’s should have began the makeover in 2002.

  7. Dave Cairns said

    Beautiful work Jason

    No place in your plan for Snelling.

    Any thoughts on your comments on a pitching trade with Atlanta (last week) in your plan ?

    You putting your hand uor the GM’s job ??????

    Dave

  8. Snelling has a place, as does Jones, Clement, and even a few others in the lower minors… but he has to stay healthy.

    Atlanta has inquired about both Meche and Pineiro. Nothing imminent, though.

  9. Jerry said

    Nice ideas. I couldn’t agree more.

    One little note: Doug Davis isn’t a free agent this year. He is in a similar situation to Pineiro. His contract is up, but he still has one more year of arbitration. I was interested in him too, and some sites are listing him as a FA, but he is still under team control through 2007. Bummer.

    You are 100% correct about rebuilding. Really, the M’s inability to committ to a rebuild is what is costing them right now.

    However, I think that they are a little farther along in getting back to contention that you do. With Sexson, Johjima, Felix, Washburn, Lopez, Betancourt, and Ichiro, they have a few places on the roster set. If they play their cards right, they should be above .500 in 2007. Hell, if Ichiro, Sexson, Beltre and Felix improve (not at all out of the question), they could get up near .500 this year.

    If they are smart, contention in 2007 is not out of the question. They just need to committ to next year soon.

    Also, if the M’s shop around Guardado, Moyer, Pineiro, Everett, Meche and Mateo, they will be something back. If the M’s hold on to Everett until July, and he is hitting even sorta decently, some team will likely be interested. Guardado is horrible right now, but he also could turn things around. But Meche and Pineiro are both pitching pretty well right now. Pineiro in particular could have good value in a trade by July if he keeps up his mediocre, junkballing performance.

    Obviously, a few of these guys are not going to be doing well at mid-season, and won’t have trade value. But a few of them might. In the M’s rebuilding process, you have to consider that they will get a player or two who might be able to help them in 2007. Even if those players are not blue-chip prospects or young all-stars, I don’t think the M’s will just let all those guys walk for nothing.

    Between Guardado, Piniero, Meche, and Moyer, the M’s will have some pitching to trade. Pitching is always overvalued at the trade deadline. And Everett is seen as a ‘clutch hitter’ and a decent offensive force by people who aren’t that smart. The M’s should get something back, especially if they eat some payroll (which they can and should do). At the very least, the M’s should get some low-level prospects and a few interesting players back. Those guys could help in 2007, or be used in a package to trade for a veteran bat.

    Part of rebuilding is stocking the system with talent. The M’s – as sellers – should be able to do that to some extent this year. This is something that Bill Bavasi has done a decent job at.

    Hopefully, the M’s can get lucky in a trade. Between Beltre, Olivo, Reed, Cirillo, and Carlos Guillen, the M’s have been on the short side of lots of transactions lately. Their bad luck can’t continue indefinitely. It would be nice to see them strike it rich with a player like Boone (a vet who flourishes) or hit the jackpot with an under-the-radar prospect in one of the mid-season trades.

    If they can find two or three contributors among their current upper-level prospects (Livingston, Foppert, Choo, Jones, Nageotte, etc) and through mid-season trades, they will be one or two big free agents away from being a really intersting team.

  10. However, I think that they are a little farther along in getting back to contention that you do. With Sexson, Johjima, Felix, Washburn, Lopez, Betancourt, and Ichiro, they have a few places on the roster set. If they play their cards right, they should be above .500 in 2007. Hell, if Ichiro, Sexson, Beltre and Felix improve (not at all out of the question), they could get up near .500 this year.

    Except that Ichiro is a FA after 2007, Sexson, Ibanez and Johjima after ’08…

    And there isn’t near enough help coming from the farm.

  11. And I do keep forgetting that Davis is a trade target not a free agent.

  12. 2quarters said

    Miller…

    (place drooling emoticon here)

  13. slim said

    I think shopping Beltre this offseason will be something Bavasi explores pretty heavily. At this point, it looks like Jose Lopez is becoming the player we all hoped Beltre would be. If we can swap his contract for Abreu, Drew, or Griffey, I think the M’s will be better off. Such a deal would give us a MOTO bat that could succeed in Safeco and it would also open an infield spot for Cabrera, a switch-hitter who would help restore lefty-righty balance to the lineup.

    But I’d hate to be the GM that sent Beltre to Philly or Cincinnati, only to see him explode for 40 HR again.

  14. How are yoou going to convince any of those clubs to give you Drew/Abreu/Griffey, all owed far less cash than Beltre at this point, with the exception of Griffey’s deferred payments in which the M’s ownership will never ever agree to take on, to swap for Beltre?

  15. slim said

    The difference in money isn’t that big. Drew is only a million a year less than Beltre for the same years.

    Griffey is $12.5 million a year if the M’s pay the full salary for 2007-08, plus an option buyout in 2009.

    Abreu is due an enormous $18 million if his option is declined for 2008, and $31 million if it isn’t. That’s only $5 million less than 3 years of Beltre.

    In any of those deals, the M’s could include a minimal amount of cash and it would be pretty equitable.

  16. But you still haven’t convinced me why any of those teams would do it?

    Why would LA? They have LaRoche within a year of the bigs.

    Cincy? They’d rather keep Griffey, plus they have a cheap 3B who’s developing nicely.

    And a million a year is a lot when yer talking about a productive player versus one that isn’t.

    None of those teams, or those players, mayne any sense whatsoever for a deal involving Beltre. Not even remotely.

  17. slim said

    I think Philly would make the deal this morning. They’d take on Meche and Beltre (and all his salary) for Abreu and David Bell. The Phils get an instant upgrade at 3B and a new arm for the rotation mix. They’ve got Dellucci in RF. Plus they gain financial flexibility in 2007 and 2008.

    The M’s get Bell as a stop-gap at 3B/2B (and hopefully reversing the curse at 3B) until Cabrera is ready. And they get a legit #3 hitter that will have a ripple effect down the lineup. Of course, you’d have to convince Ichiro that he needs to move to CF for the good of the team.

    The Phillies have had Abreu on the market, so its at least something they might consider doing. I think most baseball people still consider Beltre to be a prime talent, just not worth $12 million a year. But then, Abreu ain’t worth $15 million either.

    However unlikely a Beltre deal may be, its still something Bavasi should pursue.

  18. Abreu has a full no trade, and no they wouldn't make that deal.

    Abreu is producing and Dellucci is not Abreu. 

    Gillick would get creamed for that. 

  19. dnc said

    Jason don’t tease me about Andrew Miller. He’s not going to drop to us. Or at least I don’t want to get my hopes up.

    Holy crap, Felix and Miller would be the new Spahn and Sain (and Daisuke’d make a nice #3)!

    *don’t get hopes up, don’t get hopes up, don’t get hopes up*

  20. 2quarters said

    I’m with you Dnc

  21. Willmore said

    *cough*lincecum*cough*

  22. Willmore said

    I know miller is better, but man does L-man have impressive stats.

    Then again … Franklin was undefeated in college.

  23. taro said

    Your giving up on this year already? AND 2007? And possibly 2008 as well?

    The time to rebuild was in 2004. Right now they have a chance to contend with a few tweaks. No way I trade Sexson.

    Petagine starts against righties and I find two platoon hitters for Ibanez and Peta. Its easy to create MOTO platoons in LF and DH given that we have two guys that mash righties already on the roster. Guys that can hit lefties at LF/DH are literally everywhere. Just go get two of them. Give em C+ prospects if thats what it costs.

    I showcase Reed in center, package him with other blue chip prospects like Jones and Clement (all three plus Soriano if thats what it costs) for an impact starter like Willis (hopefully at the deadline). If not trade them for an impact bat. Ichiro goes to center.

    If I’m succesful we contend, if not we’re in good position to contend in 2007 with the addition of DM.

  24. taro said

    I’d MUCH MUCH rather trade players like Choo and Jones in packages for an impact player then watch them struggle for a couple years and MAYBE turn into impact players themselves. Unless you got close to a surefire guy like a Lopez or a Clement (but if trading Clement brings back an impact guy hes gone) I think your better off trading those guys. I don’t like the idea of developing high risk and/or low return guys in corner positions. Its nice having prospects up-the-middle but you can find good corner hitters every year on the market. If not, just platoon in the corners and trade your prospects for some impact players.

  25. Willmore said

    Impact players in trades are just as risky, when they come to Safeco and if they switch leagues as well.

  26. JH said

    I have one issue with avoiding “quick fix” veteran pickups: smart teams have been able to use the short-term veteran contract as an entre to your preferred strategy of building through the draft.

    In the past few years, the Red Sox, hardly the team profile the draft compensation system had in mind to benefit, have done a very good job at getting compensation picks for their short-term FA deals. While the Red Sox have gotten extra picks for legitimate losses like Damon and Pedro, they’ve also gotten first round picks for the likes of Bill Mueller and Orlando Cabrera.

    In Mueller’s case, this is an effect of the team using its park to its advantage. Mueller was a low-risk, medium reward signing at the time, and Fenway made him look good enough to sign a long-term deal when his contract ran out. Now the Red Sox get an extra first-round supplemental pick and an extra 3rd round pick for letting him walk.

    The Mariners can use this same strategy with veteran pitching, signing innings-eaters, enjoying their adequate performance (made more attractive by Safeco), and then letting them walk in FA and getting draft picks in return. Under this strategy, Jason Johnson would have been a good pickup last offseason.

    My strategy would meet Jason halfway. Paying big money for non-elite talent (Washburn) is clearly not the way to go, but I don’t think running out everyone on the Tacoma Rainiers who might have a chance to stick over the next couple years and throwing the next few seasons for high draft picks is, either. Avoid long-term commitments in free agency unless a truly elite talent comes along, buy serviceable players to fill out your roster around your best young talent, and try to rebuild using the draft picks and international signees you get along the way.

  27. The Red Sox have been on the brink of winning for years. The M’s have not been.

    Quick-fix veteran additions make no sense for a team that isn’t close to winning. And they aren’t going to offer that guy arby to get the draft pick the following year.

    They never have.

  28. eknpdx said

    Jason, are we going to see the “Asdrubal–YuBet–Lopez complication” scenario by season’s end? Do you try to keep all three? If not, who moves? (all of this depending on Cabrera matching performances of either YuBet or Lopez)

    Also, you referred to Foppert in your article. Is that just an example, or do you believe his current injury was his main problem and he still has a chance?

  29. taro said

    “Impact players in trades are just as risky, when they come to Safeco and if they switch leagues as well.”

    How is it risky when you KNOW your getting good to excellent production? The key is going after the guy you want.

    Safeco is a plus for pitchers.

  30. warner28 said

    Yeah with the way Cabrera is playing and how YuBet and Lopez are doing it sure does make the Beltre deal even more regretful.

    And I still think Beltre will be productive but it would be nice to put that money somewhere else.

    And Jason I saw you alluding to your belief that Ichiro will not be back after his deal over at ITP.

    Is that based on inside info. or just a hunch?

    And will it be Ichiro choice or the Mariners choice?

    Personnally I have been on board with exploring an Ichiro trade but just do not see why Seattle would in any way want to let him go from a marketing standpoint.

  31. dnc said

    I’d like to hear Jason’s take on the MI situation as well. I know coming into the year he thought Yubet at short and Droobs at 2nd was the future, but I’m interested to hear if he feels differently after Lopez’s hot start.

    As I’ve said many times, I like Droobs at short and Pez at 2nd, with YuBet being dealt.

  32. warner28 said

    Not sure I can get behind Yubet being dealt.

    I still think he will be a quality BOTO (.260-.280 hitter with doubles power) bat with Ozzie defense and I would be ecstatic to have that.

    Lopez looks like he may be a MOTO hitter so I am definitly good with him.

    AsCab looks good but I would probably look to deal him if needed.

    Prefer to unload Beltre (yeah right) and move Lopez to 3B and let AsCab play 2B.

    That would be an incredible infield.

    But whatever makes the best team is what they need to do.

  33. Jerry said

    I agree with JC on the issue of trading prospects for veterans. There are some situations when trading prospects for vets is a good idea, particularly if the veteran player is young and relatively cheap, or when the prospects aren’t that important to the organization.

    However, for a team like the M’s, making trades like those during the season is not a good idea. The selling teams almost always inflate the price they expect for veteran players, particularly with pitchers. Plus, a lot of the guys changing teams are near free agency.

    For a club like the M’s, they need to rebuild the farm system and bring in more young talent. Trading those young players away is not the answer.

    If the M’s play their cards right, trade away a lot of their dead weight (and there is a lot), and pick up young talent, they will be way ahead. Then, next season, they can focus on adding a few pieces through free agency, and perhaps even look at trade possibilities. But draining the farm system is not what they need to do at this point.

  34. Edman said

    Well, well, well…..giving up already, in a weak division?

    There are no magic beans to be had in the minors. While I love to watch the kids and hope their futures pan out…..odds are, they won’t. Two fail, for every one success…..no matter how good the prospect.

    The idea that clearing house at the FIRST OF MAY is fatalist and damning. Just how smart is it to tell the kids to play hard, when you’ve sent up the white flag? Not even Kansas City, as bad as they are, are sending those kind of signals.

    I’m all for trading for a “geezer” if it helps the offense. I like the idea of Lofton playing center, behind Ichiro. That allows Lopez to move into the five or six hole.

    What some of you haven’t figured out is, that ALL trades aren’t good. There’s the hope that trading Carl, will bring back a top prospect…….hope away, but you’re not getting anything in return.

    I’m all for making changes, but not going to fall into the belief that ANOTHER year of “tryouts” is good for the team. We may not be winning, right now, but this is a better team than last year’s. Last year, they were out of games before the first pitch.

    Good things ARE happening. Putz is about to take the closer role, and I see no reason why he can’t hold on to it. Kinda cracks me up, how impatient folks were with him, at the beginning of the season.

    We’re finally seeing the Lopez we hoped to see, last year. Some harped on all the harm sending him back to the minors would do. A trip that I think would be good for Reed.

    We’re seeing guys like Livingston, Green, etc. They have a chance to force the M’s to keep a spot open for them.

    I know some of you only see the black and white of things, but teams IMHO, are better served not throwing all your young players on the roster. They NEED to be around guys like Everett, Ibanez, Moyer, etc. They lack maturity, and there are examples those guys set, to help them take it from a game, to an occupation.

    Jason….there are no magic beans. There’s no rush to transition, especially when the team isn’t playing poorly. They have losses, but they aren’t the same team as last year. THIS team isn’t far from winning consistantly.

    As much as I like to watch the kids……I’d rather see them feathered in……than thrown in. It’s hard enough learning how to play at the major league level, but then to add the pressure to win and place it on the backs of Choo, Snelling, etc…..is unfair.

  35. dnc said

    Hi, ClosedRoof.

  36. Edman said

    Hello

  37. dnc said

    Jason’s new site is pretty sweet. Nice to see you over here. I hadn’t noticed you posting here before (although I could have just missed it) so i thought I’d say hey.

  38. Willmore said

    “Jason….there are no magic beans. There’s no rush to transition, especially when the team isn’t playing poorly. They have losses, but they aren’t the same team as last year. THIS team isn’t far from winning consistantly.”

    The improvement is in Carl Everett being somewhat productive and in Meche, Pineiro and Moyer overachieving. T-Rex won’t be here when this franchise becomes a winner again, and probably neither will the other three. We need to groom kids now, so that 2 years down the road, they are productive. If that means that some will not be able to handle the pressure of the Majors and burn out, well, tough.

  39. JH said

    Jason: I’m just saying there’s value to paying for 1-year, low-upside veteran talent beyond the attempt to pay your way to a .450 season, as long as those veterans aren’t blocking anyone signifcant.

    Obviously there’s a difference between the Red Sox deciding they need a cheap veteran 3B and the Mariners filling spots short-term with cheap veteran pitching.

    However, at the major league level, I’d rather see deals like Jason Johnson at $4 million for 1 year than rushing someone like Nageotte or Livingston before they’re ready. I’d also rather see these kinds of deals than debacles like the Washburn signing, where we pay premium money for mediocrity in a terrible market.

    In terms of future plans, there’s the potential upside of getting more picks to work with.

    Just because this isn’t a strategy the Ms are likely to employ doesn’t make it a bad one. I’m pretty sure this management group’s not going to be willing to blow up the team and promote all the B and C-level talent on the Rainiers, either, but that doesn’t stop you from suggesting they do so.

  40. JH said

    This got deleted for some reason.

    Jason: I’m just saying there’s value to paying for 1-year, low-upside veteran talent beyond the attempt to pay your way to a .450 season, as long as those veterans aren’t blocking anyone signifcant.

    Obviously there’s a difference between the Red Sox deciding they need a cheap veteran 3B and the Mariners filling spots short-term with cheap veteran pitching.

    However, at the major league level, I’d rather see deals like Jason Johnson at $4 million for 1 year than rushing someone like Nageotte or Livingston before they’re ready. I’d also rather see these kinds of deals than debacles like the Washburn signing, where we pay premium money for mediocrity in a terrible market.

    In terms of future plans, there’s the potential upside of getting more picks to work with.

    Just because this isn’t a strategy the Ms are likely to employ doesn’t make it a bad one. I’m pretty sure this management group’s not going to be willing to blow up the team and promote all the B and C-level talent on the Rainiers, either.

  41. Lemme use yer Jason Johnson reference…

    If I see my team as a .500 team at best, I get the best starter I can for less than 4% of my payroll. There’s no use in wasting 4 million for one year on someone who doesnt make me a contender.

    If i see Johnson as a useful piece to winning team, which he can be, I wouldn’t go one year with him. I’d go at least 2 and make sure the money I paid him in my 80-win season pays some dividends when my club gets to 90 wins with him in the following seasons.

    The M’s ownership wouldn’t allow any GM to sign a one-year vet, offer him arbitration in hopes for the draft pick, because then they may end up paying a player significantly more than they are worth.

    Again, If I’m Boston or NYY or a team that can spare 6-8 million for the next year, I take that shot with a mid-tier guy like Johnson.

    Because if he accepts arby, I have him for a second year to help me in the second year of my yearly progression, and the money doesn’t hurt me at all.

    But in Seattle, I have Livingston, Nageotte, Foppert, Appier (whose dirt cheap by the way) Cruceta, Baek and soon Bazardo and Blackley that can combine to handle a spot in the rotation for 327 k.

    It’d be far different if that group wasn’t ready to give me any innings. But they are. Some of them have been ready for two years.

    No need for JJ on a 1-year thing.

    BTW, was this the comment you thought was deleted?

    And no, not giving up, Edman, but the club is being built incorrectly.

  42. JH said

    Yeah, it was deleted, then it reappeared when I re-posted.

    The biggest difference between our positions, I think, is that you have more confidence in that group of pitching prospects than I do.

    Each of them is intriguing and could be an effective major league pitcher. None of them are even close to “can’t miss.” All of them are serious risks to implode and be entirely ineffective.

    When all’s said and done, my position’s similar to yours. I think the team should make Johnson-type signings instead of Washburn-type signings when they need to use Free Agency to fill holes. To avoid overpaying, I’m not opposed to 1 revolving door rotation spot to see if any of those guys can stick, but I think the team has to play this season out to see if they’re in a position to start thinking about veteran pickups for next year.

    Replace Eddie with a reliable closer and this team is 15-15, 2.5 games out of first place. That’s without Beltre, Sexson, Ichiro, and Felix performing up to expected levels, and with nobody dramatically overperforming.

    There’s no need to start emulating the Marlins yet.

  43. Between the group, they can cover 200 innings. I don’t think any of them can do it alone. But it’s a waste of payroll to give someone 4 more million than s necessary.

    The Marlins? They had a firesale.

    I wouldn’t. I’d keep my best players, but would be willing to deal Ichiro, Beltre and Sexson is I can get something of value in return.

  44. BTW, I don't categorize JJ as an aging vet and 4 mil wouldn't be overpaying him.

    Giving, say, Carl Everett 3.4 mil guaranteed is a better example, though the salary isn't ridiculous. If Snelling were healthy I'd have an issue with it, but if Doyle weren't on the DL, Everett wouldn't havebeen inked in the first place.

  45. Jerry said

    I don’t think that anyone is talking about blowing up the team right now. But in a few months, they should do so.

    JC brings up a good point. You don’t want to throw away prospects. You can’t get much quality talent in return for Everett or Meche. The one guy with a lot of trade value is Ichiro.

    I hate to quit pounding the same drum, but the M’s would be stupid to not listen to offers for Ichiro. Last offseason, they had a ton of interest. When he comes around by mid-season, he should have great value to contending teams.

    I would seriously consider trading him this year. He is the one trade piece that the M’s could use to make a highly meaningful, organization-altering trade. If the M’s work it properly, it could be a Bartolo Colon or Brian Giles type trade, that nets the club a few major pieces.

    Think about what clubs like the Mets, Yankees, Angels, or Dodgers would cough up for him.

  46. I agree, but they won’t do it. Not with a Japanese owner.

    They should, but won’t.

  47. Willmore said

    Yamauchi does not seem like such a hands on owner. Wouldn’t we still Have Kenji as the “token” Japanese player to satisfy the owner, and going after Matsuzaka next year should be good too. Does he really have such a big issue with us trading an aging veteran who can bring us top prospects and who has already lost a few steps.

  48. Ichiro is the face of the franchise, so no. It won’t fly.

  49. Edman said

    What is the facination with prospects? Yes, they’re fun to watch and speculate on, but they aren’t and answer…..but rather a question.

    When you trade an Ichiro, or any PROVEN player, and receive prospects in return……you solve very little, and only add that many more question marks.

    The Garcia trade, for example. Freddy is a proven player, someone you at least know will battle for you. Seattle received what many believed was a package with large returns. Jeremy Reed, afterall, was a former BA minor league player of the year. Olivio was a talented catcher, who appearred to be able to hit at the ML level. Well, how well did that work out, so far?

    Problem is, prospects are, unless you’re a Griffey or A-Rod, like speculating on penny stocks. They can be the best looking kids, who never pan out at the major league level. If your strategy is that the team with the most prospects, wins…..well, good luck.

    IMHO, the M’s would be better served to feather in the kids. I believe Bavasi made the statement that he wanted to see a couple kids a year earn a spot on the roster.

    Again….there are no magic beans. And, the idea that trading an Ichiro for prospects, will somehow make you better…..is fantasy.

  50. You have to weigh more than just the concept that one side has a proven player and the other has a prospect or prospects.

    I wouldn’t trade Ichiro for prospects.

    I’d need to get proven big-league talent in return, and ultimately wouldn’t deal him unless I got what I needed, which would be young – but proven talent in spots my club is short.

    I wouldn’t trade Sexson for prospects, unless it was two top prospects that were very, very close to big-league ready and one would have to be a big bat.

    Others, such as Meche, Pineiro, Moyer, Eddie, Beltre… there are other issues there, such as salary, value type and roster spots that come into play.

    I’d prefer prospects in return for any of them, and that’s probably all they are worth anyways.

    Nobody said anything about a firesale here.

  51. taro said

    “I’d need to get proven big-league talent in return, and ultimately wouldn’t deal him unless I got what I needed, which would be young – but proven talent in spots my club is short.”

    What caliber player are you talking about? I’d need a very very nice player to move Ichiro. Ichiro is one of the best centerfielders in the game if you move him there and he starts slapping the ball to left again. Hes only 32 and hes going to be very productive into his mid thirties (provided he cuts out this hitting for power to all fields crap).

    And with Sexson what caliber player are you talking about? Hes a 40 homer guy and you want to trade him?? Just give us an idea of what kind of players you’d be trying to deal for.

    Keep in mind we are a $90mil payroll team. Unless you can get equal value or close to equal production for less money, you don’t make the deal. You never trade away your best players unless your getting a sure thing back.

  52. taro said

    “but proven talent in spots my club is short.”

    When you trade your best players away your CREATING holes not filling them. Sure theoretically you could fill those spots in free agency with the extra money, but you’ll have to overpay and your not going to get players of Ichiro and Sexson caliber until at least 2008. Neither of these guys are overpaid or over-the-hill. Unless your trading them for some absolute STUDS, you don’t make the move. When a team trades a star for prospects, nine times out of ten the team that trades for the star wins out.

    Beltre, on the other hand, I’d trade for a carton of cigs.

  53. Imagine, for discussion’s sake, that the M’s traded Richie Sexson for two really well thought of prospects.

    One is a pitcher and one is a… gasp! Major League ready first baseman.

    That’s how you make deals. It’s never random.

  54. taro said

    Right, but you’d be pretty much dooming the club to non-contention in the next two years+. And I think it’d be a waste since this club is only a couple pieces away.

    But given that we were to go on an all out rebuild what kind of guys are you talking about? Which guys are you specifically targetting?

  55. Willmore said

    How about this:

    Sexson + Meche + Rob Johnson to Washington for Nick Johnson and Bill Bray (or Kory Casto)

  56. 1996Coug said

    Jason, suppose the rumors are right and the Marlins have to trade Willis and Cabrera this offseason. Who do you want, why and who would give to get them?

  57. JasonAChurchill said

    I want both, but I don’t have what it takes to get either.

    re: Taro… dooming the club to non-contention? Where are they now?

    Certainly nowhere near contention.

  58. Edman said

    And, Jason…..you’d be even FURTHER away, if you trade guys like Sexson, Ichiro, etc. Prospects are prospects, AND, if the guys you were trading for were that much a can’t miss, why in the heck would anyone trade them?

    They trade them for one reality……no matter how good the prospect, unless they are in a class that seldom gets traded, they KNOW it’s better to have proven….than projected.

    Who’s to say Felix Hernandez will be the dominate pitcher some expected? What if he lacks the mental aspects to achieve that status. If it depended on talent alone, the league would be full of superstars.

    I don’t know what the answer is….but I DO know that trading known talent, is a risky business.

    In any case, it doesn’t really matter, because Ichiro is staying, and as far as the rest go…..nothing will happen until June, at the soonest. And, nobody’s gonna rid us of our burdens, without payback. So, is it worth the price?

    I’m hoping Everett has a good season….up to the trading deadline. If we’re not in it, then maybe someone gets desparate enough to trade for his bat. I’m hoping Guardado shows enough that a team would take a risk. But, I don’t want to see Beltre moved, for the sake of moving him. I don’t want to see Sexson traded for a couple of prospects that have a ceiling approaching Dustin Mohr. You don’t get better that way….never. You just become a recycler.

  59. That’s not true at all.

    The M’s can’t get further away than they are right now. Fourth best team in a 4-team division, relying on too many aging vets, top three prospects more than a year from being ready…

    By the time Clement and Jones are ready to help full time, Sexson and Ichiro’s contracts are up, Moyer is long retired, and Lopez, Felix, YuBet, Soriano, Putz just became really expensive via arbitration.

    If you deal Sexson for a legit ML ready OF prospect, not only would there not be a hole in the lineup, but Sexson’s money would be free.

    If you dealt Ichiro for an ML ready 1B, not only would the talent be replaced at some level, but Ichiro’s money would be free.

    Ya see, there are two key points you are missing here.

    1. Ya don’t deal either guy for just a couple of run of the mill prospects. You make sure yer getting Lyle Overbay, at least. Or for Ichiro, a solid starting pitcher and a young outfielder with upside.

    2. The M’s have always spent money. They just haven’t spent it correctly.

    They have 18 million bucks wrapped up in aging vets in positions that could have been adequately filled by rookies and minimum salary players while that 18 mil was spent elsewhere.

    Well, since in this scenario, I get to pick who the dough is spent on, saving Sexson and Ichiro’s salary is actually helpful on a team with some good young pieces in place.

  60. 1996Coug said

    As excited as I was when we signed Sexson, I was wanting us to do a massive re-build, thinking that 2006-7 would be the watershed years for the fruits of our labors. Signing Sexson, and Beltre for that matter, has only delayed the process. Now we’re two years behind the curve.

    If only we had gone for it in 2000 and 2001 and traded for that extra bat. Man, with one or two WS titles in the case, no one would be hung up on a re-build. We’d still be basking in the afterglow…

  61. Edman said

    Afterglow?

    Go read the Yankee board. You think they’re all warm and fuzzy because of past titles?

    That’s one of the great lies in baseball. Yes, it’s nice to say, “We won it all in 2001″…..but it doesn’t take any sting off the present. If anything, it makes it worse in that you’ve dropped even farther.

  62. Jerry said

    Edman,

    Jason is right here. You can’t just bring up one bad trade (Garcia) and write off the value of restocking a team through moving veterans.

    The M’s are not good right now, so you don’t have to worry too much about contending, regardless. The M’s suck, regardless of whether they lose 90 games or 100.

    This is just an example of what the M’s could do to get back into contention really quickly:

    Trade Ichiro and Julio Mateo to the Met’s for Lastings Millege, Mike Pelfrey, and Cliff Floyd

    The M’s would then ditch Everett and Guardado for anything they can get, eating all the salary.

    Floyd is the DH for the rest of the year, and he comes off the books after the season. The M’s could move Millege to RF by the end of the year, but Shin-Soo Choo would be a good option there as well. Millege could also come in and play CF in September.

    Going in to 2007, the M’s would have a new OFer in Millege and one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Pelfrey could challenge for a spot in the rotation, but would likely spend a good chunk of 2007 in the minors. Millege is a 5-tool player who is currently doing very well in AAA. With him, Jones, Choo, and Snelling, the M’s would have some nice OF hitters nearly ML ready.

    With Floyd, the M’s would just see how he works out. He has needed to DH for a few years, and could thrive in that role since he would have an easier time staying on the field. If he hits, they could resign him. If not, no big loss.

    The M’s would be able to replace Ichiro with a player who would be nearly as good, while saving $12 million. That cash could then be spent on a guy like Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Carlos Lee, or Craig Wilson.

    In summary:

    M’s lose:
    -an icon
    -a leadoff hitter
    -a good defensive OFer

    M’s replace that with:
    -a good defensive OFer in Choo or Millege
    -a good leadoff hitter in Choo or Reed
    -an elite pitching prospect
    -a bat in RF with power potential and speed, who helps on offense and defense (Millege)
    -$12 million to spend where they see fit

    I would do that in a second.

  63. 1996Coug said

    Edman- Don’t compare Yankee fans to Mariner fans. I would bet my retirement that Mariner fans wouldn’t be jumping from the Aurora bridge had they a WS title to cling to right now. Look how long the good feelings of 1995 went before we started to get unsettled. A WS goes a long way. Mariner fans are far more practical about there chances than the Yanks who feel it’s their birth right. That hardly describes Mariner fans.

  64. Goose said

    Not to mention that Yankee fans, especially long term fans, have alot of titles to bask in, so it’s old hat to them.Their expectations are much much higher.While Mariner fans have never had a title to bask in.Just one would be enough for many years.

  65. Edman said

    So, let me see if I can apply your logic here. You win ONE WS title, and you get afterglow?……

    You win several, then you get expectations?…….

    Nobody should be satisfied with a single WS win. I can’t imagine any fan who’d have the effects of winning a WS one year, then be happy when their team isn’t in it, the following year. You don’t think they’d have an expectation of repeating?

    It’s baseball fan Jibber-Jabber, IMHO. It’s like the kid who keeps asking for, “One more cookie”…..it was never about ONE cookie……but it sounds less greedy than saying you want the whole jar.

    Jerry, one slight revision…..

    [i]The M’s would be able to replace Ichiro with a player who [b]could[/b] be nearly as good, while saving $12 million.[/i]

    Being a prosect, isn’t being a major leaguer. All your accolades could easily been placed on Jeremy Reed, after Seattle acquired him.

    When your season isn’t the best, is not the time to trade a drawing card to the stadium. They could easily lose more than $12 million a year, without Ichiro’s draw. Just how many fans would pile through the gate to see an outfielder with an interesting name…..that they know nothing about?

  66. Edman said

    Let’s be clear about something…..I don’t oppose trades, I welcome them…..as long as they make sense. The idea that you’ll trade your way to a winner, isn’t likely. You get new pieces, not necessarily better ones.

    We’re a good TWO MONTHS from even worrying about trades. One month into the season isn’t enough time to make those evaluations.

    What if Ichiro gets hot? He usually doesn’t have good Aprils, so it’s not unusual.

    Sexson won’t always hit like this. Power hitters are usually streaky.

    Are Lopez, Betencourt and Jojima not upgrades, offensively?

    Beltre’s starting to show some life.

    The only REAL problem is CF. Maybe sitting Reed takes some pressure off, and he starts to show what he can do. His AB as a PH’r the other night was certainly the best he’s hit a ball in a couple of weeks.

    Nothing’s going to happen right now, and it not happening isn’t a sign of complacent behavior.

  67. Willmore said

    “What if Ichiro gets hot? He usually doesn’t have good Aprils, so it’s not unusual.”

    What about Mays ? He’s hitting just .160 in May right now.

    “Sexson won’t always hit like this. Power hitters are usually streaky.”

    Beltre.

    “Are Lopez, Betencourt and Jojima not upgrades, offensively?”

    Johjima – yes, the others – no. Lopez is replacing the production of a top-3 offensive 2nd Baseman in Boone. Betancourt will be a bottom-5 shortstop offensively.

    “Beltre’s starting to show some life.”

    Corpses grow hair and nails after death. Does not mean that they are alive.

    “The only REAL problem is CF. Maybe sitting Reed takes some pressure off, and he starts to show what he can do. His AB as a PH’r the other night was certainly the best he’s hit a ball in a couple of weeks.”

    So you want a guy to get out of a funk by using him as a pinch hitter ? That’s absurd.

  68. Goose said

    Edman:

    No, what I mean that is as Mariner fans, we have never experienced a World Title, to where Yankee fans have experienced several.So yes the expactations are different.

    Let’s say for sake of arguement that the Mariners finally win one in 2007.Then they make it to the playoffs but get knocked out in the ALCS in 2008.Yes as Mariners fans we would be dissapointed, but not near as much now that we FINALLY have our trophy.Some of us have been waiting our entire lifes for a trophy.So if we finally get one, not getting one the next year won’t be quite as bad.

    But with the Yankees there is greater expectations.They have had several trophies, so anything less than another would mean failure.I don’t believe we would be like that after our first one.At least not right away.I know I wouldn’t.

  69. FTR, I wouldn’t deal Sexson or Ichiro during the season. You’ll never get any value because teams are too unwilling to re-structure their rosters mid-season.

    And Ichiro won’t get traded so talking about what we would do when it’ll never take place in actuality is pretty dumb of me.

    Moving on…

    I like trades like the one the Mets made with SD last winter. Cameron for Nady.

    Both teams win. SD gets a great defensive CF who isn’t a hole in the lineup or a burden to the payroll and the Mets get a young, cheap hitter that is on the upswing.

    One scout told me at the time of the deal that Nady is a 280 hitter with 25+ HR power that just needs to find a position.

    Nice pickup for the Mets and it’s paying off.

    To get something of value, you have to give up something of value. This is why I wouldn’t be opposed to drafting another catcher, 1B, SS or 3B.

    Rob Johnson is going to end up netting the Mariners a pretty freaking good player in return. That is, if he doesn’t end up the M’s catcher for the next 10 years.

    The Mariners have assets. They have assets that they aren’t using and that is my problem with the way things are being run.

    But I do think this year is different. By challenging the better prospects at higher levels than they would have naturally experienced, the M’s are telling everyone that they’ll be weeding out the keepers, the sleepers and the peepers.

    Re: Pineiro/Meche

    It’s fun to watch them right now, because they are both showing baseball that they can pitch. It’s also fun to scour the standings and take a gander at who might want to make a deal for them and what they might give up.

    A 27-year-old starting pitcher with six years of experience that is posting a sub 4.00 ERA has quite a bit of value.

    It’s unlikely the M’s are going to net anything but prospects, but they may be able to get a few legit spects, rather than the questionable sort, ala Jesse Foppert.

    If the Phillies come calling, LHP Cole Hamels won’t be part of the equation, but OF Michael Bourn, RHP Scott Mathieson, and 3B Mike Costanzo will be.

    If it’s the Braves, we’re probably not talking about C/1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but 3B Eric Campbell and LHP Macay McBride would be.

    The D-Rays?

    Maybe they decide on three outfielders and a DH between Crawford, Baldelli, who just signed a long-term extension, Gomes, Delmon Young, Joey Gathright and Elijah Dukes and the M’s can pick one of the group.

    Obviously, Young, Baldelli and Crawford are off limits, and you’d think Gomes, too, especially gor Meche or Pineiro, but Dukes isn’t out of the question, and he’s a great athlete with unlimited potential.

    The Yankees may ultimately be after Meche or Pineiro, but I don’t see a match. They aren’t going to deal Philip Hughes, and they haven’t any other interesting prospects.

    Sorry, George.

    The Reds need pitching… so, lemme see.

    They can’t deal Jay Bruce, he was drafted last June and they won’t deal Homer Bailey. How about a package including Brandon Phillips and prospect BJ Syzmanski? Makes some sense.

    And Cincy has no young catching in their system and LaRue and Valentin are getting mighty expensive. Guillermo Quiroz or Rene Rivera, perhaps?

    Someone suggested to me that Houston might be interested if Clemens goes elsewhere, or retires.

    I don’t think so, not unless they suffer another injury to Oswalt or Pettitte. They have a stud in AAA named Jason Hirsh, who i’ll sit down with next week at Cheney Stadium, who;s just about ready to come up and help. He’s 6-8 and 250 and polished.

    The Cubs are a good fit for Meche or Pineiro, especially if Wood is going to be relegated to the bullpen or if he and/or Prior are going to miss more time than expected.

    They have offensive issues right now but Maddux and Zambrano need help and Sean Marshall can’t possibly keep up a his No. 3 performances.

    Rich Hill and Angel Guzman may not be ready to step in and be a No. 3 or 4 right now.

    What does Chicago have in their minors? Well, forget about acquiring Felix Pie, he’s their stud center fielder of the future.

    But 1B Brian Dopirak and OF Ryan Harvey make a lot of sense, especially since Lee re-signed and Dopirak is blocked and Harvey may be blocked by Pie and Murton.

    Let’s keep this going…

    If the D-Backs deem Juan Cruz and Russ Ortiz unfit for the rotation… hmmmm.

    They are loaded, and while there is no chance to land Jackson, Quentin, Drew, Upton or Tracy, and probably not Carlos Gonzalez either, RHP’s Matt Torra, Micah Owings or Garrett Mock may fit.

    LA will simply call up Chad Billingsley…

    The best two fits, in my opinion, are Toronto and San Francisco.

    The Jays will have issues keeping Burnett in the rotation for the next five years, and it appears that their top pitching prospect Dustin McGowan is not the answer.

    If they deem LHP David Purcey unready, as well as ’05 draftee Ricky Romero, maybe the M’s can swing a deal for OF Adam Lind or RHPs Brandon League or Francisco Rosario.

    The Giants don’t have much ML-ready talent to offer but they do have one thing the M’s don’t; Jonathan Sanchez.

    The lefty is 23, dominating the AA Eastern League and Brian Sabean doesn’t believe in prospects much.

    The better Meche and Pineiro pitch, the higher the price goes. And if any of the aforementioned prospects are included, it’ll be a nice deal.

  70. BTW, Lopez is not replacing a top 3 offensive 2B, because Boone was far from that in 2004 AND 2005.

  71. Willmore said

    The Mariners weren’t winning in ’04 or ’05. Lopez would need to replace the ’03 Boone for the Ms to become a winning franchise.

    Honestly, it’s 3 am, and I’m not thinking straight, so my arguments are pretty muc nonsense.

  72. But the inquiry was whether Lopez is an upgrade over the past two seasons and the answer is a resounding yes.

    And don’t count Lopez out for replacing Boone’s ’02 numbers this year – not ’03, but ’02.

    278/339/462 with 24 HR and an 801 OPS? Sure, he can do that. And the club won 93 games that year, too, just like they did in 2003.

  73. Jerry said

    Interesting trade candidates Jason.

    I would be amazed if the Met’s didn’t have some interest as well. They just lost Victor Zambrano, and have a big hole to fill. Pineiro or Meche would be good additions.

    Unfortunately, their farm system is thin. They have two elite prospects (Milledge and Pelfrey) and not much below that.

  74. taro said

    I think the M’s need two platoon hitters for Ibanez and Petagine and one TOR starter (sign to two-four year deal). And they are contenders. I’d rather use prospects as currency for those pieces. Who cares what it costs us in prospect if it makes us contenders now and in the next couple of years? This is a $90mil payroll team and it needs to start acting like one.

    Again, I’m firmly against a rebuild, but if you WERE to rebuild than a fire sale would be the way to go.

  75. I know Raul is hitting .225 against lefties, but there are two reasons why you don’t platoon him.

    1. He’s a career .264 hitter versus lefties and hit .275 against LHP last season. Be patient, he’ll be better.

    2. You can’t sit a regular, a prodictive one at that, against lefthanders, the 1-2 times a week a lefty comes into town, because everyday players need to play everyday. Sitting them regularly is a mistake and can only upset Ibanez’s season.

    Sitting him every now and then is fine, and he should be doing that, as should Ichiro on occasion, but there needn’t be a platoon for him.

    A platoon for Petagine? With Sexson?

    Again, you can’t sit an everyday player on a regular basis. Richie is struggling against EVERYONE right now, so the last thing you want to do is sit him versus righties so Petagine, a 34-year-old career reserve, can get ABs versus RHP.

    Sexson needs to snap out of it.

  76. taro said

    I meant trading for two platoon partners for Petagine and Ibanez. Everett gets DFA’d since he’d likely be a cancer on the bench. Peta starts vs righties and you find an 850+ OPS guy vs lefties to platoon with him. Find two right-handed with extreme splits (guys with high Isos and Ks are more likely to have extreme splits) and platoon two positions everyday. These guys could be mashers at AAA, bench players from other teams, etc.. very easy to aquire.

    I don’t understand why you can’t platoon a regular. If anything it’ll give Ibanez a rest every four games or so and keep him sharper over the long haul. He mashes righties and is inept against lefties (career 727 OPS). Why leave a 727OPS LF bat in the MOTO? Its not like the guy is going to improve vs lefties at this point in his career. If you want to maximize the production from DH than find a right-handed bat that mashes lefties but does squat vs righties. I don’t understand why more teams don’t platoon. The Indians are using an effective platoon at 1st. Earl was famous for it.

    Certainly Ibanez seems like he has the character to be down with something like that. Peta will just be happy to be in the lineup.

    If you can get ~840 OPS production from DH and LF why NOT platoon?

  77. taro said

    Of course that doesn’t mean you sit Ibanez and Peta EVERY time vs a left-handed. If they’re on a streak you may keep them in, if Ibanez has a good history against a certain left hander you keep him in, if one is in a slump you may sit him against a righty, etc..Same goes for their platoon partners.

    We need production from LF and DH. And right now we have two guys in there that can’t hit left handers.

  78. I don’t understand why you can’t platoon a regular. If anything it’ll give Ibanez a rest every four games or so and keep him sharper over the long haul. He mashes righties and is inept against lefties (career 727 OPS). Why leave a 727OPS LF bat in the MOTO? Its not like the guy is going to improve vs lefties at this point in his career. If you want to maximize the production from DH than find a right-handed bat that mashes lefties but does squat vs righties. I don’t understand why more teams don’t platoon. The Indians are using an effective platoon at 1st. Earl was famous for it.

    Because you’ll get instances where Ibanez, the team’s best hitter, sits for three out of five games.

    Cliff Lee, then a righty, CC Sabathia, Casey Fossum, then a righty, Scott Kazmir. You just can’t do that and take Raul out of his rythmn. You can’t simply avoid the platoon “when they are on a streak” because then they may never get on a streak.

    Platooning Raul makes no sense.

    And The fascination with Petagine has to stop. He’s done nothing to earn 50% PAs with anyone, though he might be better than Everett. So a platoon there certainly makes sense, but he’s got no future with the club, so I don’t see the point.

    Everett won’t be DFA’d, it just will not happen. He’s guaranteed 3.4 mil this year and there’s no reason the club can;t deal him for an A ball prospect in July.

  79. taro said

    “Because you’ll get instances where Ibanez, the team’s best hitter, sits for three out of five games.”

    That is VERY rare. It won’t happen often and he will still get some ABs on the days he doesn’t start as a pinch hitter. He would be fine.

    Ibanez the team’s best hitter? I’ll go with Sexson.

    “So a platoon there certainly makes sense, but he’s got no future with the club, so I don’t see the point.”

    Winning now is the point.

    As long as they leave Everett and Ibanez in the lineup vs lefties, they will continue to struggle against them. These are the LF/DH positions and we need to be maximizing production out of those spots. No reason to start start guys that have no chance and aren’t even developing players.

    And I know none of it is going to happen. I’m just saying what they SHOULD do, not what they WILL do. What they WILL do just depresses me, so I’m not trying to think about it.

  80. No, Ibanez is the team’s best hitter.

    Sexson SHOULD be, but he’s not. And those instances aren’t as rare as ya think. And there are a ton of stints where they see two lefties in three days and then three days later it happens again.

    Lee, Sabathia, Zito, Buehrle, Rogers, Koronka, Maroth, Robertson, RJ, Kazmir, Fossum, Santana, soon Liriano, too, Affeldt, Bedard… more and more lefties being added to starting rotations.

    But basically, if yer not sitting Raul more than that, it’s not a platoon situation anyways.

  81. taro said

    He would be fine. If anything the rest would be good for him. If your worried about guys staying in grooves you should worry about his platoon partner. And even that guy is going to be seeing a lot late-game action.

    Guys don’t get stale that easily. Especially when they see game time nearly everyday. I wouldn’t sweat it. Its important that we get MOTO production from our LF and DH spots – and if it takes platooning than thats what we should do.

  82. A little rest is fine, especially against lefties and especially as long ashe’s the left fielder.

    And yes, guys do get stale that easily.

    Ask any ballplayer. All it takes is one day to screw you out of a groove.

    You’d have to really pick your spots in order to sit Raul, which I would prefer even if another lefty stick gets the nod once a week, but it’s still not going to be a true platoon situation.

    Raul needs to play 140+ games.

  83. taro said

    “Raul needs to play 140+ games.”

    I was thinking that Raul still gets around 500 ABs so thats definetly doable. But regardless it sounds like we both agree that a LF lefty masher would be a great addition to the bench.

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