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Some Worthy News

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on October 8, 2006

Word this weekend is that the Seattle Mariners have fired Tacoma manager Dave Brundage after nine years as a manager in the organization. If this is indeed the case, the housecleaning continues after Ron Hassey, Dan Rohn, Dave Myers and Glenn Adams have all been let go in the past few weeks.

Brundage was at the helm for two straight Texas League titles in 2002 and 2003 and made his Triple-A debut this past season in Tacoma.

I expect the news will leak as early as Monday, but at the very least sometime this week, since they can’t sit on this type of news very long.

No word yet on who might replace Brundage in Tacoma, but one thing is clear — Bavasi and company aren’t interested in self-serving coaches and managers.

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44 Responses to “Some Worthy News”

  1. Edman said

    Wow….interesting news. I really don’t know enough about these guys, but I guess a message is being sent.

    You’ll have to explain your “self-serving” comment. Don’t know if it was sarcasm or these guy really were more interested in their own careers, then helping the kids achieve.

    I guess I’ll have to see who replaces them. If they’re gonna clean out, they had better be willing to go after the best money can buy.

    Just glad Holman and Rice are still in the organization. I’ve seen many good comments from some of the kids about them both.

    Thanks for the info, Jason. Sounds like it’s going to be a very interesting offseason.

  2. Oly Rainiers Fan said

    I’m curious as to what you mean by the self-serving adjective as well. Are you implying that the Ms have some sort of organizational management strategy that Brundage ignored? Or that they only want managers in their minor leagues who are content to be minor league managers and have no aspirations on major league coaching/managing careers?

    I don’t know, I’m thinking that between the dismissal of several very highly visible and long-tenured managers/coaches and change in affiliation for 2 of the minor league teams, the farm system is getting a lot of organizational churn. And since the Ms brightest spots this year on that roster came FROM the farm system, as a product of several of the now departed coaches/managers… well, I’m not sure I understand the point. Or the message being sent.

  3. gwangung said

    That depends, I would think.

    It’s clear that Bavasi is trying to instill an organization wide philosophy, including such things as aggresiveness at the bat and promoting position players as aggresively as possible. As well, there have been signs in the development and handling of young players that suggest to me some problems. If there are people that aren’t with the program, and have contributed to the problems with young players, then this is good. If not, this isn’t. Just focussing on the won-loss record isn’t enough.

  4. Wow. Just. Wow.

    First Rohn and now Brundage. Yeah, it might be good to have some churnage in the system. But, I don’t know, it seems to me like they’re booting out the wrong people.

    Is it entirely possible that Bavasi could leave the M’s in worse shape than Gillick did?

  5. Edman said

    And, it’s entirely possible Bavasi is rooting out existing problems within the organization. Nobody here, sans Jason, has any real clue.

    I do know this…..I saw NOTHING with the way Brundage handled Tacoma that showed me that he was better than most the managers at his level. Perhaps we put too much value in wins and losses, than we do in being a teacher, guide and developer of major league talent.

    Brundage wasn’t given the best talent, but the team I saw early, wasn’t as good at the team I saw later. Honestly, I didn’t see anyone develop under him that wouldn’t have developed under someone else. And, maybe that’s what Bavasi is looking for.

    We’ll know when we see who replaces these guys.

  6. Fred said

    Yes, something strange truly is going on here. Rohn and Brundage were well regarded and respected managers—rated by their peers as outstanding in their leagues.

    Then came the loss of the San Antonio and Inland Empire (San Bernadino) franchises and their replacement with Jackson, TN, and High Desert, CA—a desolate, wind-blown patch in the Mojave Desert.

    Is it conceivable that Bavasi is so petty that he demands yes men just as Lincoln does?

    I’m beginning to think we would be best served if he just got out of the way. His signings and resignings of Lawton, Everett and Guardado were unaccountable, same for his dropping of Borchard from the roster after trading for him. The trades of Cabrera and Choo for Perez and Broussard also gained little if anything. Perez likely will be gone before spring training. It is worrisome to think that off-season trades will be in his hands.

  7. DaddyO said

    Yeah right. The problem with the M’s is the managers in the farm system. If only they can get the right people in those positions, Hargrove will start making better decisions.

    I got it. Brundage and Rohn were motivators. The young players got used to motivational managers. When they got to the big club, they find a manager who is not a motivator, who expects them to shut up and accept their place as rookies and not need any special attention from him. Since the rookies weren’t prepared for this, they don’t perform as well under Hargrove as they did under Rohn and Brundage. So the M’s solution is not to get a ML manager who is a motivator, it’s to fire the minor league motivators.

    That M’s front office…really into creative thinking…sure.

  8. Oly Rainiers Fan said

    I don’t know if it was only their peers that had expressed positives about Rohn and Brundage. I know at least in Rohn’s case that it was also the players, who loved playing for him. He inspired an almost Lou-like devotion from those interviews and comments I remember. I don’t know what players thought of Brundage though.

    Can’t say I’ll miss Brundage; I got really tired of watching him refuse to let runners advance past third. It was almost as if Myers was back.

  9. Edman said

    Won’t be the end of the world….managers are hired to be fired.

    It’s not like those guys “can’t” be replaced.

    Historically, the M’s have been loyal to their minor league managers, so I have to believe it goes beyond what we see on the surface. No way Lincoln or Armstrong let Bavasi make these moves without ample belief that it’s the right thing. They’re too much in the stable ship camp.

    Bavasi may not be a lot of things, but from what I can see, he’s NEVER sacrificed someone else’s head, to save his own. He’ll always work in baseball, it’s not like he needs the job.

  10. It looks like the M’s are headed for a major minor league overhaul.

    I think that’s a mistake — the focus should be on the Big League team, which starts with Hargrove getting canned (though he won’t).

    I’m sorry to say it, but until Bill Bavasi starts focusing on the Mariners and not their minor league affiliates, the team won’t go very far.

  11. Whatever, dude. Successful teams do this sort of thing with regularity. Sometimes it’s just time to move on and that is what is happening here.

    Some of the guys that have been let go just do not fit anymore.

    This has ZERO negative effect on Bavasi’s focus on the big club and any claim that there is is almost as unfounded and baseless as it is shortsighted.

    Ask yourself why these things are going down NOW, rather than after the postseason…

    Here’s a hint: because they are MINOR league moves and they dont want to make these sorts of decision when the parent club needs the attention.

    Besides, you don’t think the entire personnel department isn’t cooking up a nice big pot of free agent soup with a side trade market right with gravy now?

    They are, as detailed and focused as any team in the league. You can question their pure ability to put together a winning roster, but don’t doubt the way they are going about things this month.

  12. By the way, that mug of Brundage… doesn’t it look like they took that photo right after he was canned?

    Man, he looks shocked and flustered.

  13. Goose said

    His face says “Why me?”

  14. marc w. said

    “I saw NOTHING with the way Brundage handled Tacoma that showed me that he was better than most the managers at his level.
    “Brundage wasn’t given the best talent, but the team I saw early, wasn’t as good at the team I saw later. Honestly, I didn’t see anyone develop under him that wouldn’t have developed under someone else.

    Edman,

    Adam Jones, Cha Seung Baek, Jon Nelson.
    I really don’t think a replacement level AAA manager could’ve gotten as much out of Adam Jones. I’m going to withhold judgment for now, as Brundage’s replacement may well be better, but you can’t really debate that no one developed. Remember what everyone was saying about Baek at this time last year? DFA him, he sucks, he’ll be selling insurance in a month, etc. I don’t know that Brundage gets all the credit here, or even most, but he took some cast-offs, some non-prospects (nelson), and a hyper-promoted, not-ready-for-AAA, not-ready-for-CF guy and made them a pretty fine team before the trades of Choo/Cabrera. He did a bang-up job, and I think we should avoid selling him short, whatever the reason for this move.

  15. jp17 said

    Anybody remember or credit A-Rod’s or Griffey’s minor league manager as the key to their success?

    Me niether, and I wonder why we would do so for Jones. The kid will hit regardless of his manager.

    If you credit Brundage for Baek, will you do the same for Nagoette or Foppert? Was Rohn the key to Felix’s success as well?

    I can’t believe anybody mentioned Nelson.

  16. marc w. said

    I mentioned Nelson because he’s the antithesis of a prospect, a guy who was a power hitter without power. He had a pretty crappy 1/2 year in AA, and was then promoted out of necessity to AAA and actually had a decent time of it. It didn’t say anything great about the team, but he was the only dangerous hitter on that squad in August.

    I’ve often thought I’m Adam Jones’ biggest fan, but you’re comparing him to A-Rod and Ken Griffey Jr.? Seriously? How on earth are those analogies relevant at all? Yes, it didn’t take much to ‘manage’ or teach A-Rod. He’s a once-in-a-generation hitter, and a first-ballot hall of famer. I think Jones may be an all-star some day. Huuuuge difference. I think Jones would’ve hit at some point, but many people questioned his starting the year at AAA, and after struggling for a couple of months, he was able to turn it around (quickly). I’m giving Brundage some credit here (how much is of course debatable) because he took some players that didn’t look like they belonged anywhere near AAA and made them useful, contributing players. A-Rod *never* struggled in the minors. He was in AAA at 19, and owned it the day he got there.
    Griffey had a 1.000+ OPS in high-A ball at 18. Remember, at one time, many (including Dave Cameron) thought Adam Jones would reach the Majors as a pitcher. Some scouts questioned his ability to hit in the high minors. Did anyone, anywhere question whether A-Rod or Griffey could hit?

    Baek-Nageotte-Foppert – yeah, fair point here. I think Foppert’s a special case, seeing as how he pitched less than 11 innings. Unless you’re arguing that Brundage kicked him, or something. Nageotte is working his way back from injury, and is trying to reinvent his entire pitching style in AAA, but yes, this was a big failure.

  17. Jones did most of his development on his own… naturally. Brundage is just the manager, and while he plays a role, he has far less effect on a prospect’s development than the hitting coaches and coordinators.

    Credit guys like Glenn Adams and Terry Pollreisz, if you need to go outside the player to give credit where credit is due.

    I give most of the credit to Jones… he’s willing to go the extra mile to get better, and that is what makes him a very good prospect, as opposed to being just an interesting player with physical tools.

  18. jp17 said

    How about Snelling. A healthy year on the plus side, but a horrible offensive year as well.

    Obviously, most weren’t questioning the guys talent, but he did have a bad year.

    I think Rohn did a better job in Tacoma than Brundage when you consider Rohn took the Rainiers deep into the playoffs with mostly scrubs.

  19. But the parent club doesnt give a rats about the minor league playoffs. Well, that isn’t true, but developing players is far more important. Brundage did do a good job of handling the club, just as good as Rohn.

    I think Rohn has better managerial skills, but in the end, Brundage just wasn’t up to following protocol the way the front office wants.

    The organization STILL has plenty of highly thought of managers in their system, such as Daren Brown and Gary Thurman, who were both named the best managerial prospects in their leagues for the Baseball America “Best Tools” feature in August.

    And something tells me Jim Horner is going to be special.

  20. marc w. said

    I totally agree that Rohn was better – all-around – than Brundage. But come on, Brundage wasn’t chopped liver.
    Yes, Jones should get most of the credit for being a good baseball player, and how much credit should adhere to the manager as opposed to the hitting/pitching coaches is debatable, and it may in fact be somewhat minimal. But when you see guys make significant improvements within a year, even after it seems like they’ve been ‘overpromoted,’ it’s probably not crazy to think that the mgr has a hand in keeping their confidence up or in making sure they’re working will with, in this case, Pollreisz. I think the M’s do have great managerial candidates, and it may be that this move was the right one. I was just reacting to what I perceived as slights to Brundage, who had better success than anyone currently in the org – including Brown and Thurman (although Thurman’s job this year was indeed pretty special).
    I’d just like to understand exactly what protocol Brundage needed to follow (Rohn’s firing seems a bit more straightforward), and exactly what qualities Thurman/Horner/etc. have that the two recent fires lack.

  21. Edman said

    Marc, that goes two ways.

    Just exactly do Thurman/Horner/etc. LACK, that keeps them from advancing?

    Don’t know? Neither do I.

    And give me a break about the “manager” getting credit thing. Managers, in general, have LITTLE to do with player development. They’re field decision makers, modivators, baby-sitters, etc. Few spend any real time coaching players….they don’t have time. Their jobs are to provide general focus and to feedback to the organization, developmental information about the players they are responsible for.

    There are several managers out there that are just as good. I don’t know all the reasoning for the dismissals, but if Brundrige WASN’T managing his team as directed, or wasn’t doing PROPER player evaluations, then perhaps it’s a time for a change. Maybe, it’s just time to change focus….and maybe they don’t see said managers as guys who are capable of managing under that new focus.

    Either way, unless they bring in total managerial cancers, the changes won’t be noticed……and, perhaps will give BETTER results.

  22. Goose said

    OT: But Fransico Crueceta was just claimed off waivers by the Rangers.

  23. People, think about it. How much “coaching” does any manager do?

    Not a lot, not in the upper levels. His job is to “handle” them as best he can so they can develop properly.

    Brundage isn’t a hitting guru or some defensive wiz and isnt even all that good of a motivator. he just gets how a young player needs to be caudled or tough-loved. That’s his thing, and that’s any managers thing in the minors. Their job is to do whatever needs to be done to develop players.

    But to say Brundage had more than a minimal effect on Adam Jones’ development, for example, is ridiculous. No manager has, specifically one who had Jones for a little more than a full year’s worth of games… second half of 05 in SA, about 60% of 2006.

    Jones got better because he was properly challenged by the organization, was coached well by the team hitting instructors and defensive coaches, and worked his butt off every day of the offseason and then every single day of the schedule.

    Brundage’s impact is a speck.

  24. Edman said

    At least I get it, Jason. I went to several games and not once did Brundage show any signs of even being creative. The biggest roll of the dice he took, was having Snelling perform a straight steal.

    If Brundage is such an influence, why didn’t a talented hitter, such as Clement shine under him? He doesn’t have that great an effect on individual player development.

    This isn’t something that Bavasi alone decided. This is something the organization felt it needed to do. That input comes from a variety of sources.

    And, it might not have anything to do with how well Brundage managed. It might be that they feel the organization needs a different kind of manager at those positions. I don’t know enough to even speculate. I do know that the minor league system won’t collapse because of these changes.

  25. Oly Rainiers Fan said

    I won’t miss Brundage; I already said that. Not like I missed Rohn, who was far more entertaining (both in his personally animated style and in the actions he would prompt on the field).

    But, I find the viewpoint that a) a minor league manager is a ‘speck’ and/or makes virtually no difference and b) the minor league manager needs to be replaced because they’re not on the same page with the front office’s development philosophy to be sort of, well, contradictory.

    Either they are or aren’t important in the scheme of things. They either do or don’t have a major impact on player development. Granted, it is ALWAYS going to be the player who makes the most difference, but in Oakland’s farm system, for example, where the managers/coaches are there to instill .obp and plate discipline, the ability of the manager/coach to do so and the player to soak THAT in is also an aspect of player development, within the goals of the organization.

    Yet the TNT article yesterday talks about how shocked Brundage was, and that, to me, means he didn’t even get MIXED messages from the front office during the year but he got virtually unconditional support which would include whatever player development or organizational philosophy he was passing out.

    Which to me means that we really don’t have any kind of organizational development philosophy but are just sort of making it up as we go along, day by day.

  26. Edman said

    Gee…..you got that much out of the numerous facts we don’t have?

  27. Minor League managers manage the game and the team, not players. That is what I have been told on numerous occasions as I talk to prospects, intructors, coordinators, coaches and managers, as well as player development people and scouts.

    All the player needs the manager to do is handle him right as far as playing time, lineup situations, and the occasional atta boy or tough love.

    The talents develop because they were challenged, because they worked on certain things with the hitting coach or the defensive coaches.

    They get better at hitting the breaking ball because of what the hitting coaches are teaching them. They start taking better routes on fly balls because of what the outfield defense coaches teach them and the work they put in with the player.

    Brundage isn’t useless, managers aren’t useless. But they have little direct impact on a player’s development.

    And no, Brundage didn’t ANY messages, because they gave no one hints on what they were thinking. They didn’t decide to fire Brundage in June. They made that decision after the M’s season was over. So what messages were they supposed to be sending?

    And no, you are wrong, Oly, the Mariners certainly have a philosophy for player development. It’ as good or better than a lot of teams’ ways of doing things.

    The farm system is in good hands. That’s the least of our worries as Mariners fans.

    It’s the one thing that we can say bavasi is certainly good at. He trusts Fontaine who in turn trusts the scouts and have the right guys in place to get the job done.

    Bavasi has spent twice cash on the farm system in three years than Gillick did in his four-year tenure. He just should have made that the focus from the start, rather than asking Rich Aurilia and Scott Spiezio to spend the night in our tent.

  28. MacMariner said

    On BA this morning Jim Callis was again hinting that Morrow is destined for the closer’s role @SafeCo. I know he was used sparingly after he signed, but the plan is still for Morrow to begin next year and beyond in the rotation, right Jason? Nothing has changed in that regard as far as you’re aware?

  29. Edman said

    I doubt they drafted Morrow to be a closer, when there were other choices that would have filled a need…..starting pitching.

    It’s typical of Callis and other reporters to make assumptions. I doubt that he’s heard ANY rumblings within the organization to make him a closer.

    He’ll ONLY become a closer, if he shows that he can’t go deep into games. There is nothing to indicate he can’t. IMHO, it’s just people tying to label him, because of his diabetes…..and nothing more. If he didn’t have diabetes, none of this would even get mentioned.

  30. Callis is basing that on Morrow’s lack of a breaking ball and potential durability issues due to a few minor injuries and the fact that he has diabetes.

    It’s SAFE for Callis to say that, because the chances are, ALL pitchers will turn into relievers. Hochevar, Miller, Lincoln, Morrow… ALL of them.

    I think Morrow still has a chance to start. For me, nothing has a changed since the draft. And no, the Mariners didn’t draft Morrow to be a relief pitcher. But it’s nice to know that his stuff is already fitting of a quality 2-inning relief ace, just in case he can’t start.

    I don’t think you can say that about Lincoln and Hochevar.

  31. Jerry said

    I think that Callis’ argument is based mostly on Morrow’s stuff. He throws really hard, and has a plus splitter and slider. That is a power reliever repertoir, just like JJ Putz.

    I think that Callis’ assumption is totally warranted. He projects as an excellent reliever and a great closer candidate.

    I imagine that the M’s are going to let him pitch his way out of the starting rotation. They would be stupid not to. The M’s have a ton of good power relievers, and they should be looking to resign Putz soon. They need starters far more than relievers.

    But Morrow lacks a real off-speed pitch. I have read that he is working on a change, and that will really be the key for him if he wants to be a successful starter.

    I hate to bitch about the M’s draft, because they did well in getting Tillman and found a potential steal in Butler.

    But not chosing Andrew Miller was a really stupid decision. Indefensible. They had a polished, dominant lefty, the best talent in the draft, delivered to them on a silver platter. He is PERFECT for the M’s. Miller could have been in the M’s rotation by late next year, giving them a incredible 1-2 punch with Felix. Instead, they rolled the dice on a signability pick who projects as a reliever. Dumbass move.

  32. I have talked to Callis and he bases the Morrow projection on Morrow’s lack of a third pitch and durability questions.

  33. Willmore said

    Right now, to me at least, Lincicum seems like the top talent out of the draft. He can be a top-5 ace, or a TOR starter. Miller, Morrow, Lincoln, they just don’t seem like TOR material right now.

    Of course what the hell do I know, but in a crap shoot like the june draft, how many people actually do know what the hell they are talking about. It’s like trying to judge race horses based on their pedigree. It all sounds like a million bucks, but 99.99% of them will never smell the roses.

  34. Willmore said

    Errr, typo. Top-5 closer, or a TOR starter, is what I meants, I doubt he ever becomes a true ace, far less a top-5 one.

  35. About 28 of the scouting directors know what they are doing, but there is more than just evaluating talent when it comes to the June Draft. Politics, money, an owner’s preference…

    Like… tell me why Greg Reynolds was picked second.

    Andrew Miller is the class talent of the draft, and it’s really not close. Lincecum has nasty, nasty stuff, as good or better than anyone’s in the draft, but until he sustains command versus legit bats, his numbers mean nothing.

  36. Jerry said

    I agree with Jason,

    Miller was head and shoulders above the rest of the players in this draft. Unlike 2005, when there were two guys who you could make good arguments for as the best player (Gordon and Upton), this year every legit ranking had Miller at the top.

    Not taking him was a big mistake. Sure, these prospects can flame out. But taking the best player is never a bad move. With Miller, injury is the only thing in his way. He has everything you look for in a draft prospect.

    I hate to second guess Fontaine, because he has done pretty well. In fact, I am sure that he would have picked Miller if not for political and financial concerns from above.

    In hindsight, they should have done this:

    1. Andrew Miller LHP
    2. Tillman
    3. Butler
    4. Kyle Orr OF
    5. Chris Errecart OF

    That would have cost the M’s an extre 1.2 million in bonus cash.

    In the grand scheme of things, that is chump change.

    On the other hand, the M’s did really well on the international market this year, so I probably shouldn’t gripe about it. Especially since they made a brilliant pick in getting Butler.

  37. Adding Truinfel to Morrow, Butler and Tillman… well, wow.

  38. Jerry said

    Jason,

    Are there any late round picks that you have heard good things about? Or any prominent DFE candidates.

    I love the Tillman and Butler moves, particularly Butler. It is funny to read the scouting reports before the draft – “86-87 mph fastball that tops out at 90” – and after the minor league season ended – “pitches in the 89-92 range with his fastball and touches 93-95, and he projects to throw even harder as he continues to mature.” This guy looks like a steal in the third round.

    But, it doesn’t seem like there is much after that. There is no Anthony Varvaro or other late round picks that are eyebrow raisers. Kam Mickolio was ranked pretty highly by BA in their league top-20s. Justin Souza and Dan Runzler both seem like interesting arms, and Stan Posluszny sounds like a guy who could have power.

    Are there any hidden gems in this group? Are any of the later round prep players or junior college players worth keeping an eye on? Is there a Michael Saunders or Steve Uhlmansiek lurking around?

  39. Mickolio is getting rave reviews, and he does get groud balls so that is a great sign. He can sling it.

    He’ll be one to watch.

    I don’t like Pos much, and Souza is uninteresting to me. This year’s draft is top heavy… But thats the way we want it.

    I dont see any DFE’s that may make an impact.

    Varvaro, BTW, is going to open some eyes next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he sprouted to AA by August.

  40. Edman said

    Jerry, in a perfect world, yes, the M’s should have drafted Miller.

    But, did you see the INSANE contract he got? Guaranteed ML roster spot?….Not uncommon. But, the ability to void his contract in a couple of years, ahead of his eligibility, if he so desires? An insane signing bonus?

    If he was such a steal, why did he fall to the Tigers? Some things, don’t make sense. The Tigers are gambling BIG TIME. With Boras as his agent, what if he DOES excel? He can take that good fortune and either force the Tigers into giving him and even better contract, or, go work for someone else while he’s still young, assuring a couple more insane contracts.

    It’s not just a matter of a million dollars…..it’s WAY MORE THAN THAT!!!!!

    I hate simplistic views like yours. You make it seem like it was a sure thing the M’s let pass…..I don’t think so.

    Oh, and did you miss the part where he informed everyone he’d prefer to stay on the east coast? Meaning, a west coast team would have to pony up even more.

    Not so simple….not at all.

  41. Edman said

    Christ….hindsight? If ANYONE had that ability, they’d never make a mistake. Are you saying, YOU knew better?

    Let’s wait a few years before we go on about who was smart, and who wasn’t. Right now, noboby knows how the story will end.

  42. Goose said

    Wow, that’s one of the stipulations in his contract?

    Yikes. If it’s true, I’m glad the Mariners passed on him.

  43. Goose said

    Argh, apparently tonight I’m html challenged.

  44. Jerry said

    Edman,

    I have to admire your consistency in being wrong 100% of the time.

    Nearly nothing you said is correct:

    “…did you see the INSANE contract he got?”

    He got a bonus of $3.55 million. In the past three drafts, 6 players have gotten bigger bonuses. In fact, the M’s gave Jeff Clement only 155K more than Miller got. How can you call that bonus insane? Justin Upton got 6.1 million last year. Alex Gordon got 4 million. Miller only got 50K more than Luke Hochevar, even though Miller was regarded by nearly everyone as a better pick.

    For the consensus #1 prospect in the draft, Millers contract is totally reasonable.

    “Guaranteed ML roster spot?…”

    Who cares? Miller was guaranteed a roster spot IN SEPTEMBER!!! Why is this a big deal. Miller is genuinely ready to play at the big league level as a September callup. He was just as ready as guys the M’s brought up, like Feierabend, Jimenez, and Chick. It isn’t like the Tigers had to release him afterwards. He almost made their postseason roster on merit, and having him up in September didn’t effect them negatively at all.

    “But, the ability to void his contract in a couple of years, ahead of his eligibility, if he so desires?”

    No he doesn’t. His contract includes salaries of about 500K for the first four years. He has a clause in it that he can go to arbitration early if he gets enough playing time on the big league team. Miller is still under team control for 6 years. If he does very well in the next few years, he can be eligable for a raise after 3 years.

    Basically, the Tigers won’t lose Miller before he is eligable for free agency like any normal prospect. If he is really good, he could earn up to 7.5 million in the next four years. For a guy with his talent, that is still a bargain. If he isn’t that good, the Tigers have to pay him 5.5 million over the next four years. Justin Upton’s bonus alone exceeds that amount.

    “An insane signing bonus?”

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    Again, Miller got smaller signing bonus for a consensus #1 pick in YEARS. You have to go back to 1997 to find a year where someone didn’t get more than Miller.

    Miller’s signing bonuse was exceptionally LOW.

    “If he was such a steal, why did he fall to the Tigers?”

    Simple. The clubs picking at the top of the draft – the Royals, Devil Rays, Rockies, and Pirates – are all small-market teams and they picked signability guys. They went cheap. So did the M’s. Every year, clubs do this. That doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

    The M’s have financial resources that those other clubs don’t have. They have no excuse to take the cheap alternative.

    “The Tigers are gambling BIG TIME.”

    Actually, they took the safe bet. The top player in the draft is much more likely to turn into a big league contributor. Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus have both done studies of this over years of draft data. The rate of attrition with the top guys is much lower than it is with signability picks. To prospects just pan out more often. Much more often.

    Go read this stuff instead of just talking about things you don’t understand. You will look stupid less often.

    “With Boras as his agent, what if he DOES excel?”

    Scott Boras isn’t his agent.

    “He can take that good fortune and either force the Tigers into giving him and even better contract, or, go work for someone else while he’s still young, assuring a couple more insane contracts.”

    No he can’t. The Tigers control his rights for 6 years. He can go to arbitration, but, that is it. If he is good enough to warrant a super-high contract, then the signing bonus and major league contract he got will have been more than worth it.

    There just isn’t any factual basis to anything in your comments. You are wrong on nearly every point you make. These are empirical issues, and you clearly don’t know what you are talking about.

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