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Seattle Mariners Roster Breakdown

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on October 16, 2006

Seattle Mariners Roster Breakdown
PLAYER POS. ’07 TP#
OUTLOOK
Ichiro Suzuki
CF 11.0 Returns for seventh season in U.S., looking for wins, extension.
Adrian Beltre
3B 12.8 Will be the subject of trade rumors – 30% chance he’s dealt.
Raul Ibanez
LF/DH 5.5 Should DH in 2007 to aid health, team defense.
Richie Sexson 1B 12.50 Trade bait to an NL club – 60% chance he’s traded.
Ben Broussard
1B/DH ARB2 If Sexson is traded, Broussard could return – 20% chance.
Eduardo Perez 1B/DH 1.825/.125 With or without Ben, he’s going to get bought out or traded.
Kenji Johjima C 5.5 Johjima as Opening Day No. 7 hitter = good offseason.
Jose Lopez
2B .375 Fully expect him to double his HR output in ’07.
Yuniesky Betancourt SS .710 A successful offensive year is a repeat of 2006.
Jeremy Reed
CF .350 If Reed is in Seattle past Hanukkah, I’ll be shocked.
Chris Snelling
OF .500 The M’s have to plan around Snelling as a regular. Yay!
Rene Rivera C .350 Bavasi will be open to a veteran backup. Rivera could be bait.
Adam Jones CF .350 Will start the year in Triple-A, barring injury, chaos.
T.J. Bohn
OF .350 May not survive the winter on 40-man; May not return at all.
Wladimir Balentien OF .350 Needs to spend time in Southern League before seeing Tacoma.
Willie Bloomquist UT .760 One day, we’ll all love Dynamite for hustling. Okay, maybe not.
Greg Dobbs 3B .350 I sense a Dobbs-Morse L-R combo for the ’07 bench.
Mike Morse UT .350 Hit .438 versus lefties in ’06. That’s his future.
Oswaldo Navarro 2B/SS .350 Tacoma’s shortstop in April. Seattle’s backup MI in 2008?
Felix Hernandez
RHP .375 El Mal Asno Tiene Venganza En Su Sangre
Jarod Washburn LHP 9.38 Every aspect of his game is average, except his paycheck.
Gil Meche RHP FA M’s will offer arby, but Meche is expecting 3+ years at 8+mil
Joel Pineiro RHP ARB3 Easiest. Decision. Of. Winter… Non-Tender!
Jake Woods LHP .350 Hargrove’s in love with him, so we’ll see him “battle” this spring.
Cha Seung Baek RHP .350 Better than Woods, and sadly the best ML-ready in-house option.
Travis Chick RHP .350 Say hello to T-Town, Mr. Chick. I’ll buy you a Latte.
Ryan Feierabend LHP .350 Needs at least another year to mature physically and fine-tune.
Eric O’Flaherty
LHP .350 Future pen regular needs a little more time to sharpen command.
Rafael Soriano
RHP ARB2 Soriano’s value is peaking – 2+ mil in arby = trade bait.
J.J. Putz RHP ARB1 Lots of talk about an extension here. Two years and six mil?
Julio Mateo RHP .940 Grover loves him, so he’ll stay. Worst favorite reliever in the game.
George Sherrill LHP .425 Nasty on lefties, didn’t serve up a single bomb all year. Georgie!
Jon Huber RHP .350 Would marry slider if Bush made it legal. Putz’s split is the ring bearer.
Cesar Jimenez LHP .350 Needs to refocus entire approach to relief work. Has a chance.
Bobby Livingston LHP .350 Without max effort in delivery, velo isn’t there. Tacoma bound.
Travis Blackley LHP .350 Came along ways in ’06; 2007 is a make or break campaign.
Jorge Campillo RHP .350 Don’t question his work ethic ever again… just his stuff.
Emiliano Fruto RHP .350 Good stuff needs better location. How about Cincinnati?
Mark Lowe RHP .350 If his elbow is sound, the M’s have the best pen in the biz.
Sean Green
RHP .350 Sinker baller is prime candidate for DFA action this fall.
Yorman Bazardo
RHP .350 Under the radar in ’06, could move to pen next year. Solid arm.
Ryan Rowland-Smith* LHP .350 Bold Prediction: RRS is in M’s pen by July.
Rob Johnson*
C .350 Brad Ausmus clone is still a few years away. Bat a big question.
Jeff Clement*
C .350 Will start year in Tacoma. Hopefully, the M’s don’t call ’til 2008.
Bryan LaHair*
1B .350 Most intriguing bat in Triple-A in 2007.
Yung Chi Chen*
2B .350 Prototypical utility player. Runs well, has a little pop… Bye Willie.

There is very little chance (okay, close to ZERO) that the club hands Gil Meche a multi-year deal and the word out of Camp Meche is that he believes the market may offer him as many as four years at as much as $9 million per season. Good luck with that (insert name of idiotic team here).Joel Pineiro is so gone, that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the club has already given away his locker and the No. 38 jersey to Mark Lowe. Pineiro will find a job, probably with a club that needs a middle reliever who can spot start, but he’s getting non-tendered by the M’s, who cannot legally offer him less than $5 million for 2007.
No thanks, said the fly, who knows nothing about baseball… except that Pineiro isn’t worth 10% of that.Jarrod Washburn and his $9.38 million annual salary is here to stay. He’s pretty much un-tradable and likely remain so until the final year of the deal — only two more years to go!

Washburn is serviceable and there is really nothing wrong with him taking up a rotation spot. It is simply his salary that doesn’t fit. He’s an ideal No. 4 starter, so here’s to looking at the positive side of things.

Felix is Felix. Cheap, studly, and in dire need of a padlock for the refrigerator. Actually, the 20-year-old simply needs to stay conditioned and avoid getting out of shape to begin with… if he shows up in Peoria in the shape he was in circa August 2005, the M’s are in for a treat. We’ve seen dessert, remember?

J.J. Putz will be back as the closer and is probably going to get a multi-year contract this winter, in lieu of a one-year arbitration agreement. Something in the two or three-year range at about $3 million per season seems fair and likely. Look for the third year to be an option if the deal goes further than two seasons deep.

Rafael Soriano, the healthy, emotionally un-scarred version, is the club’s most valuable trade piece this winter and fits nicely in a package including a mid-level prospect and Jeremy Reed in return for a starting pitcher or a bat.

Soriano is second-year arby eligible and is likely to command more than $2 million if the two sides go that route. The right-hander is certainly worth the cash but as he gets more and more expensive, his best value to the club seems to be as trade bait. Bill Bavasi is almost surely to explore such talks at the winter meetings.

If Lowe is not healthy, the M’s may decide to hang onto Soriano, but otherwise, the bullpen is set with Sherrill serving as the lefty specialist and middle men such as Julio Mateo around.

Jon Huber is a much better option than Mateo, but he’s under contract and we all know Mike Hargrove wants to have Julio’s babies. Huber is a perfect seventh man, however.

Eric O’Flaherty has a big-league career ahead of him, but he’ll probably start the year in Triple-A Tacoma to continue his development. O’Flaherty will be on the short list when the club is in need of relief help.

Travis Chick, Ryan Feierabend, Sean Green and Emiliano Fruto are all likely to be Tacoma-bound, but Fruto and Green may have a shot to break camp with the big club, depending on other transactions and the injury situation.

Chick and Feierabend will be part of the Rainiers rotation with Travis Blackley and Yorman Bazardo. Cha Seung Baek and Jake Woods are the top two in-house options for the No. 5 spot, but hopefully Bavasi finds a veteran or two worthy of the same fight.

Ryan Rowland-Smith is my dark-horse pick to get time in the bigs this season, even though he and O’Flaherty profile in the same role out of the bullpen. He’s built like a starter and may get another shot at more innings, but is scheduled to remain in his current role, just as as he’s serving in the Arizona Fall League.

Cesar Jimenez will have to re-adjust to his new-old job in relief, but that’s where his future is and he should really try and get used to it – again.

Bobby Livingston continues to try and strike a positive nerve with Bavasi and the rest of the front office, and though they love his work ethic and competitive nature, he’s still sitting in the 83-85 range with his fastball and his command isn’t quite on par with that of Jamie Moyer.

B-Liv is just 24, however, and has a little time to make some mechanical adjustments to add some consistent velo.

Jorge Campillo is an interesting option at the No. 5 spot, and might ultimately become the favorite if he continues to add strength and durability after TJ surgery.

The Mexican righthander displayed an average fastball, solid curve and a decent change to go with pretty good command this past season, including a cup of java in the show.



Ichiro
will return in the leadoff spot, but this time is likely to be trolling center field for the Mariners. This move allows the club more flexibility this winter to go after a power-hitting corner outfielder. With an improved offense, Ichiro’s speed and diverse talents can be put to better use, setting up the middle of the order, much like he did in 2001 when he was voted the league’s most valuable player. If the M’s win 90 games and challenge strongly for the AL West, Ichiro could garner some votes for the award one more time.Both Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson will be the subject of numerous trade rumors, and it is conceivable that one of them is traded this winter. But wake up from the A-ROD dream and forget about getting a whole lot in return for Sexson – the M’s aren’t likely to be writing any large checks to aid in the completion of any trade involving either slugger. In the end, I expect both to be back, but Sexson is the more likely to be dealt.Neither side of the Benuardo experiment is likely to return, as Eduardo Perez‘s options is scheduled to be bought out and Broussard, due more than $4 million via arbitration, is as good as traded.If Sexson is traded early on, Ben Broussard could be an option at first, but the club is already planning on Raul Ibanez as the DH for 2007 – at least part of the time.

Kenji Johjima, Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez are all going to be back, and in their second full seasons should provide the club with more than adequate offensive production and improved defense all around. Johjima’s game management is critical, but he’s a worker and cares as much as any player on the club.

Raul Ibanez is likely to return to planet Earth, but I sure don’t expect the team’s leader to drop off a whole lot. He’ll be productive and consistent and probably surprise us again, though I’d bet heavily against 30 homers and 120 RBI again.

Jeremy Reed will almost certainly be included in a trade this offseason, and it’s my belief that he’ll become the player most thought he’d be… just not here and not in the AL. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land on one of the following four National League rosters; Florida, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chicago.

Rene Rivera could be the throw-in piece on a trade, or he could return as the Johjima’s backup… or he could return to Triple-A Tacoma where he belongs. The club still has a shot at Guillermo Quiroz*, who is a free agent, but there are better options on the market.

T.J. Bohn is either Triple-A bound or destined to be DFA’d to make room for the necessities on the reserve list next month.

Adam Jones, on the other hand, is destined for millionaire-dom, but is going to get more time in Tacoma to smooth out the rough edges on his plate coverage, strike zone judgment and defense.

Willie Dynamite will return and do his usual, but hopefully he does it more sparingly on a better overall roster capable of winning 90+ games. We’ll see.

Greg Dobbs and Mike Morse actually combined to make a nice lefty-righty duo off the bench. Both need more experience and Dobbs isn’t any kind of power threat, but there are worse combos on better teams. They do lack experience and track record, however, and a veteran bench is much preferred, but may not be possible under the club’s payroll restrictions.

Chris Snelling… hmmmm. In my opinion, the Mariners have little choice but to count on him, at least somewhat, if they plan on putting a strong offensive lineup together for 2007. They aren’t going to get TWO corner outfield bats, and even if they did, where would the finally-healthy Snelling play?

Besides, the M’s may be hard-pressed to find ONE .450+ slugging bat to be more productive than Snelling, let alone the second one that places Snelling on the bench or in Triple-A.

Outfield prospect Wladimir Balentien is likely to start the year in Tacoma, but should get another 300 PAs at Double-A in the more hitter-friendly Pringles Park. His ’07 season is critical.


40-man roster members
*non-40-man members


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102 Responses to “Seattle Mariners Roster Breakdown”

  1. Dave Cairns said

    That is an awesome assesment of 07 Jason.

    Obviously I hope the 3 Aussies are as succesful in 07 as you say. Is RRS in the AFL for experience or because he missed so much work early in the year ?

  2. Goose said

    “One day, we’ll all love Dynamite for hustling. Okay, maybe not.”

    Oh yes we will. I’ve always believed that when the Mariners win the World Series, the baseball gods will ensure that it’s Willie Ballgame that scores the winning run after pinch running and stealing a critical base ala Dave Roberts. And then John Q Marinerfan will proclaim him the greatest Mariner ever.

  3. Orlandu said

    How can you give Richie Sexson a 60% chance of being traded and then say you expect him to be back? It just confuses the hell out of me.

  4. eknpdx said

    Will you have a Rule 5 / 40 man roster protection post too?

  5. Willmore said

    I like Willie. You know, he can’t hit a lick, but the things he does, he does very well. As a 25th man who steals bases, gives an odd man the day off or just a defensive replacement at the end of a game, he is a great fit for this team. The problem with Willie, is that some Mariners fans perceive him as a regular, Hargrove considers him a pinch-hitter and the front office considers him something more or different than he actually is.

    If utilised correctly, Willie is one of the players that make up a World Series roster, incorrectly, and he’s a starting Kansas City Royal.

  6. Jpax said

    Do either Perez or Broussard have much trade value? It appears as if we wasted three of our minor league assets in obtaining them. I guess I figured Broussard had some ongoing potential for next year at least?

  7. slim said

    How about Jeremy Reed for Ryan Doumit straight up? Seems like both teams would be interested in that deal.

    The pressure is on for Blackley, Bazardo, and Balentien – all 3 are heading into their last option years. I’m going to be rooting for Blackley all spring. There’s no reason he couldn’t be in the Opening Day rotation.

    I like that Snelling is a part of the future now. Problem is, what on earth is there to prevent Hargrove from installing a Snellquist platoon in RF? Especially if Snelling starts hitting 2nd where his OBP plays well?

  8. johnb said

    Great write up Jason…it will be interesting to see how they shape the team over the Winter.

  9. re: 3

    Because in the end, that 60% sinks down to 10-20 once the market shrinks… and that’s what I think will happen. It’ll all depend on how quickly teams get things going.

  10. Sneekes said

    #6
    I don’t think the Broussard trade was a waste, he’s still got some trade value – and he’s a decent player.
    Perez on the other hand was a waste, I think Cabrera was potentially a better player than Choo – and we gave him up for just 87 at bats from Perez! Plus we’ve now got to buy him out. I guess the key thing IIRC is that the front office considered us division contenders at the time of the trade. If we were genuine contenders it makes some sense – but it was clear to all that we weren’t – so it was a stupid trade.

  11. Edman said

    As long as the math says you are contenders, you ARE. Stop with the crap about not standing a chance. Who in this world, or any world, picked the Tigers to be headed for the WS?

    When you’re presented an opportunity, you take it. Anything can happen. If Bavasi did nothing, I’d want him fired. If he doesn’t believe in the team when they’re down by a few games, then he doesn’t deserve the job.

    Try selling it to your team that you don’t believe in them. So many bitch about Gillick not doing anything. Yet, Bavasi makes a fairly safe move that improves the team and doesn’t jeopardize the future ONE SINGLE BIT, and it’s a mistake.

    Fickle fans.

  12. Troy said

    Very nice article. I don’t know much about the Mariners, but it sounds like they have some young talent on the team to work with, and have a better season next year.

  13. Sneekes said

    Chill out Edman, we disagree – so what?

    At the start of the season yeah, I wouldn’t have picked the Tigers for the post-season, but we’re not talking at the start of the season – we’re talking at a point where it was clear the M’s were at best .500, The addition of Perez alone was not going to push them into the 90+ win bracket necessary to win the division. So if they’d somehow traded Bloomqvist for Santana and Liriano then yes the Perez deal makes sense – but on it’s own (or even taken with the Broussard trade) it doesn’t.

    By saying that the people who berated Gillick for not making these moves are fickle for criticizing Bavasi for actually making moves you are missing the point. What I want my GM to do is to make the ‘right’ move, and sometimes the best move is to sit tight, wait til next year.

    It was a mistake, but not a massive one, no biggy. I’d just rather have Cabrera available for trade this summer than paying Perez to get lost.

  14. Jerry said

    Edman,

    The reason why people are upset about Benuardo is because it reflect bad planning.

    The problem wasn’t necessarily the mid-season trades. In a vacuum, they weren’t that bad.

    The problem started with the idiotic signing on Everett. Because the M’s went into the season with a horrible DH, they were forced to deal good prospects to pick up a replacement later on. If Bavasi had made the right decision initially, they would have never been in that spot to begin with. And think about how much better the M’s record would have been without having to work around perhaps the worst DH in MLB.

    Because the M’s made a serious error in bringing in Everett, they had to overpay for two players who are the types of guys that can be acquired for little or nothing in the offseason. The M’s had to overpay because of their poor offseason planning.

    But even if you restrict your perspective to just the mid-season deals, the M’s got hosed in those trades. Asdrubal Cabrera in particular is a good player. He has starter potential, and the M’s essentially gave him away for a RH pinch hitter. Stupid.

  15. Orlandu said

    That makes sense Jason. Thanks.

  16. david flock said

    i think perez has value with the club he is a good club house man in particular with the latin kids. i like broussard he is a lefty with some pop can play first and is still relatively young.i am tired of willie and his hang dog look in the dugout.

  17. Edman said

    So what….Carl Everett failed? It happens. Could have been Jose Lopez who failed. Would Bavasi be held in contempt for not having a better plan for his failure? Or, what if Betancourt had fallen to the Mendoza line?

    While Carl didn’t have a great batting average in 2005, he DID drive in plenty of runs per plate appearance. If he’d have had 600 AB’s, he’d have driven in over 100 runs. He was here to drive in runs, not hit .300. He didn’t, that’s part of the game. It wasn’t the best decision, but it wasn’t, without the use of hindsight, the worse, either. Had he performed at even 80% of his 2005 season, it would have been enough to protect Richie.

    If Carl had a great year, you’d simply call Bavasi lucky. Go figure. The absolute hatred of Everett is mystifying. Some simply CAN’T get past their personal feelings. I don’t know if you are or aren’t one of those, but it certainly appears that way.

    Cabrera is a good player, and nothing more. Defensively, he’s a ML player. But, he hasn’t even shown an ability to hit at AAA, and some STILL can’t get past the possibility that MAYBE, that’s who he really is. Instead, the cling steadfast to the homegrown belief that he’s some kind of special prospect. He isn’t, and until he proves otherwise, he’s a role player off the bench.

    Choo, was a man without a spot. Personally, I see his as a fine role player too, but not an everyday starter……nor a future star.

    I could be wrong about both Cabrera and/or Choo, but I’ll stick to history, which indicates that far more prospects NEVER serve meaningful time in the majors, than do.

  18. Edman said

    Sneeks….and just WHAT are the right moves? You have a crystal ball the he doesn’t have? Just how is it bad to trade for two guys who upgrade a position, even if it’s the DH?

    Because you are a pessimst, and believed the M’s had no chance, doesn’t mean your thoughts are right. You want moves that make YOU happy. Great. But, Bavasi is paid to be an objective optimist. When he sees opportunity, it’s his job to balance what’s best for his team, both short and long term.

    You’re right, we disagree. But, would you rather work for a man who can only see you for a failure, or one that’s willing to give you an opportunity to be successful. Bavasi gave his team the opportunity to be successful……THAT is his job. Not fold his hand while holding a pair, simply because he doesn’t believe luck will swing his way.

  19. Edman said

    IMHO, Broussard, Perez, Beltre and Sexson will all be back. There’s room for them all.

  20. Jerry said

    Edman,

    I hate to be rude, but you are really dumb.

    It would take a hour to go through and refute all the crap you just spewed on this blog, and I am running late as is.

    I would just point out two things:

    First, Asdrubal Cabrera is very young and was rushed by the M’s. The fact that he hasn’t proven he can hit at AAA is not at all relevant to his status as a prospect. Jeff Clement hasn’t proven he can hit at AAA either. Is he a bench bat too? Clement is older than Cabrera.

    Second, the difference between Everett and the other guys you mention (Betancourt and Lopez) is that Everett was old and clearly well into decline before the M’s got him. Lopez and Betancourt are both young players who are only going to get better. I feel silly pointing out such a totally obvious fact, but you don’t seem to recognize this. Everett sucked before we picked him up, and all signs suggested that he would get worse, not better. That is exactly what happened.

    Sure, any player can abruptly fall apart. Prospects and aging players are especially vunerable. But paying millions of dollars for a player who was already 75% washed up is just stupid. Everyone else – the mainstream media, bloggers, etc – knew that this was an idiotic move the second it was announced. Well, everyone except you, apparently.

  21. KB said

    Re: Everett, I think to characterize him as “75% washed up” prior to the season is misleading. As Lookout Landing discussed yesterday, the consensus going into the season was that we would get around league-average production from Crazy Carl. The fact that he unexpectedly fell off the charts really hurt this year.

  22. Rick said

    You 2 can continue to fight about this, but I for one had no problems with us dealing Choo. And if either of you are a fan of Snelling (I still am not personally sold on him), I don’t see how you could be against that deal.

    That’s all for me.

    Thanks for the breakdown Jason.

  23. MtGrizzly said

    Reading Edman’s posts makes one pine for a good old Bavasi-jihad rant from Revolution.

  24. jp17 said

    re:21

    Big difference between having a league average player at league minimum (which we had in Choo or Snelling) and paying millions for one who has nowhere to go but down.

    I feel that Bavasi made a move simply to make a move and appease fans who thought the offense needed “LH sock.”

    Choo had proven enough IMO and while Snelling needed to get healthy, his talent has never been in question.

    Plus there were plenty of other veterans available who could have posted similar numbers to Everett and one of them (Petagine) was already on the team and never given a shot after a nice spring.

  25. Jerry said

    Rick,

    Just because a player doesn’t fit into the plans of a team doesn’t mean that he should be traded away in a bad deal.

    The whole reason it is nice to have a strong farm system is not just to raise home-grown talent, but to also give the club trade chips.

    The issue isn’t whether or not Choo was going to be able to help the M’s. The issue was whether or not the M’s got equal value in thier trades. The M’s traded Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin Soo Choo for a platoon DH combo. They didn’t get equal value.

  26. A’s a fan of another American League Western Division team, just wanted to add that I was very impressed by Jojhima’s play this year when facing my team. What is the general consensus on his ability or potential ability to handle the staff (seems he’s got the hitting down)?

  27. Knuckles said

    Edman makes me want to poo. If only so I have something else to do than scroll past his posts.

  28. Re: Ben deal

    Imagine Ben producing at even 75 or 80% in Seattle of what he was doing in Cleveland… the M’s would have looked really good in that deal and would have hung around in the race longer than they did.

    Choo had no future here anyways, but in terms of the deals (Ben and Perez for Choo, Nottingham and Cabrera), the M’s won’t miss any of the three.

    Choo MIGHT hit enough to become a regular, versus Snelling, who WILL hit enough to be a regular, but has to stay healthy, and the opportunity to have Broussard’s ;efty bat in the lineup.

    The only people who don’t like these two deals are idiot scout types who almost always favor the prospect over the veteran and those who judge a deal after it didn’t work out.

    What side do you belong on?

    Cabrera may not hit, and the doubt grows more and more as he struggled mightily in Buffalo, and if his future is as a reserve middle infielder, well, I’d deal that for the RH hitting half of Benuardo while my club is within striking distance of the division lead.

    We should all be happy that Bavasi and co. recognize that trading Adam Jones and/or Jeff Clement for Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano was NOT the answer… why? Because those two, 365 days a year, have more value all by themselves than the duo of Bena and Eddie, unless the club wins the world series.

    Protect the future stars, trade the iffy’s for immediate help. Sounds good to me, and more often than not, it works.

    Now the M’s won’t have Choo rotting in Triple-A, blocking a younger prospect, or even rotting on the big league bench.

    Losing Choo for two months of Broussard+whatever Ben brings back in trade is probably worth the shot for this club, this year.

  29. jp17 said

    The deals themselves don’t bother me a whole lot for the reasons you mentioned. Snelling and Choo were essentially vying for the same position. An injury caused the probability that both could could be utilized, but that is unforseen. Snelling to me was the better prospect even while dealing with injury issues. Had Choo been a bit farther down the development line it wouldn’t have made much difference.

    My problem with the trades is why we needed to make them in the first place.

    First off Everett was a mistake. When all doubt that it was a mistake was removed we continued to stick with him. After he lost half of his duties when losing the ability to hit RH we stuck with him. Choo could have been playing instead of Everett. Of course so could Petagine and under Hargrove that was the only possibility. I don’t believe Choo would be allowed to play over Petagine without him first failing.

    Of course it is all hindsight, but nobody can disagree that there were serious reservations about bringing Everett here, and cannot disagree that he should have been removed from the DH role sooner.

  30. You cant judge the trade using the Everett mistake… that’s counter productive and provides no true basis in which to add or subtract value to the discussion.

    Nobody thinks getting Everett was a GOOD idea. And I haven’t talked to a soul that wouldnt have DFA’d him in April or May… including a few M’s people.

    But teams cant avoid fixing a mistake simply due to the fact that they made a mistake in the first place.

  31. Dave Cairns said

    Is RRS in the AFL for experience or because he missed so much work early in the year ?

  32. RRs is in the AFL because the M’s drew his name out of a hat.

  33. Edman said

    Funny, Jerry…..I read many decenters who wished their teams would have passed on both Frank Thomas and Jim Thome….because they were injury prone and in decline……seems to me both the A’s and White Sox benefited from taking those risks.

    I don’t get myself wrapped up in wheither or not Everett was a good signing. He has a good year, and all those who supported the idea, jump up and declare how brilliant they are. Those who were firmly against the idea, proudly declare their brilliance. So what?

    And really, the childish remarks made by some are best left for the PI forum, let it be a wasteland. Evidently some who enjoy destroying the PI forum, feel the need to do the same here.

  34. Sneekes said

    Edman

    I don’t think I was pessimistic, I acknowledged that there was an opportunity for the Ms, just that it would take far too much to achieve that. The trades for Benuardo were never ever going to push the M’s over the top – therefore the trade for Perez in particular was pointless as he now has negative value.
    I would rather still have Cabrera not because I think he’s blue chip – but because he’s cheaper, there’s no buy out expense, and he’d have some trade value.
    Bavasi is not paid to be an optimist, he is paid to make the right decisions – and that involves a balance of short-term (winning this year) and medium-long terms (winning in 2-5 years) decisions. The Perez deal improved us slightly short-term, but not enough to make a difference, and it harmed us medium term. If we had been a Perez away from being a post-season side then sensible trade – otherwise – it was a waste.
    As for the crystal ball – no I don’t – but Bavasi should be better at it than me, and on this one occasion he wasn’t.

    I’d just like to note – whilst this post is critical of Bavasi – overall – I think he’s doing an OK job.

  35. Jerry said

    I don’t think that you can evaluate the Benuardo trades independently on the Everett deal. The mistake with Everett was the catalyst of overpaying for a platoon DH. At the very least, Bavasi et al should have hedged their bets by bringing in someone who could take over for Everett following his highly probable decline. They didn’t do that, and ended up paying a very high price to correct that initial error.

    I get what Jason is saying about the trade, though. Unlike Edman, his argument is sound.

    I don’t want to get too much into 20/20 hindsight, but at the time of the trade, I was concerned that we were buying high on Broussard. Now, I am sure that that is what happened. Broussard/Perez might put up something like .280/.360/.460 with 25 HRs next year, but would mean that the M’s will either not add an impact bat or will have traded Sexson.

    Perhaps the M’s hadn’t gotten to that point, but I don’t see why we just didn’t move Ichiro to CF a month earlier. Then, put Choo in LF and Ibanez at DH. You get another bat into the lineup, improve the defense, and avoiding giving up prospects.

    Now, I am pretty sure that Benuardo will be gone next season, and there is just no way the M’s will get equal value relative to what they gave up to get them. Both players will get more expensive, and the M’s will be lucky to get anything for them.

  36. Cabrera has a good chance to turn out to be nothing. Remember that. And Choo STILL hasn’t proven jack.

  37. marc w. said

    yes yes, Cabrera might turn out to be nothing. But Eduardo Perez has an even chance to be a coach in 6 months as he does of being a decent hitter. There’s value in using your system, especially positions where you’ve got a surplus, to improve your team. It’s just that it’s damned hard to argue that the M’s weren’t swayed by Perez’s gaudy first 100ABs in Cleveland in 2006, and that this led them to overpay. I know, many don’t care, and the revisionist history on just how incompetent Asdrubal Cabrera hits is coming in fast now, but ask yourself: did we get value for these two guys?
    Even if you think Cabrera is the second coming of Rey Ordonez, 20 year-olds in AAA aren’t exactly common, right? Particularly ones with one MLB-ready skill. Add in the fact that he had some idea of plate discipline, and I say he’s somewhat valuable; in a season in which Adam Everett got 500+ABs, I don’t even see this as debatable.
    The M’s bought high on Benuardo, and as Jerry points out, there’s basically no way they get much of anything for Eduardo, and they’ll probably not get a whole lot for Ben. Did Ben underperform what everyone (me included) projected? Of course! But don’t you think he was playing out of his mind for a few months preceding the trade? And this is the heart of the disagreement with edman: I *do* think looking at how the M’s evaluate talent, and what sort of moves they make is important. I *do* think the M’s attempt to cover up a mistake by trading moderately interesting prospects for aged platoon DHs illustrates poor planning, and a poor approach to getting production from the DH spot. DH platoon guys are *always* going for next to nothing at the start of the year. That the M’s needed to burn Cabrera on an insanely overvalued 36-yo platoon DH mid-season doesn’t (solely) indicate a desire to win now, it indicates that they’re constantly trying to catch lightning in a bottle – hey this guy might get hot!, hey this guy is slugging .600 out of nowhere! Maybe he’ll keep it up!
    The M’s had a few big holes last year around July 1- DH, CF and SP. Maybe Bavasi did all he could to fix one with what he had, but I would’ve loved to see him try and replace Pineiro and use Snelling/Morse/Ibanez (w/Snelling/Morse/Dobbs in LF) to replace everett.

    And here’s to RRS, however he got to the AFL, for pitching well and avoiding the walk. Can’t wait to see him in Tacoma…

  38. Edman said

    Of course the M’s paid higher than market value….you do that at the trading deadline. You let me know when teams are willing to trade young, talented players, for a mediocre prospect. Yet, that’s what many expect. Seattle, just like EVERY OTHER TEAM at the trading deadline, generally give up more. So what? You want value, go to Walmart.

    It costs to buy proven ML talent. There’s a reason….because they aren’t a prospect.

    As for the “first 100 at bats”…..I suggest you look at the last few years of Perez’ performance against lefthanders….it wasn’t just about this season.

    Both Perez and Broussard could well return to share DH duties, next season, so it isn’t necessarily about one year.

    You want an all prospect team, go watch the Rainiers. The M’s are about winning at the ML level…..not to be a cultivator of young talent. In that pursuit, it’s always good to cultivate your own talent, but you can’t live simply by that diet, and expect to be healthy.

    What’s insanely overvalued, is the love for prospects that some seem to have. I love prospects, but I also know that if one in four succeed to ANY degree in the majors, that’s a winning program. Perez IS a hitter. Cabrera is a prospect…..and may never be anything more. THAT is the reality.

    And….what cover up? What exactly got hidden about Carl Everett’s performance because they traded to upgrade his position? That’s simplitic. Does every team that goes out to upgrade a position do it to cover up a mistake? It was about…..stay with me…..attempting to win. WIN!!!! Had they been out of competition, they’d have never made those trades.

    It’s more about the fact that some of you just will not let go of the Carl Everett bone, and feel a need to work it into every line of logic you attempt to formulate. They are SEPARATE issues. Signing Everett may have created the need….but it easily could have been at other positions. We can all argue that Everett was a good or bad choice. Every team makes bad choices to begin the season….and my try to correct them, at the deadline, if they are in the race. It could have been the Dodgers signing of Sele. It could have been a number of borderline veterans.

  39. marc w. said

    It costs to buy proven ML talent. There’s a reason….because they aren’t a prospect.
    I guess so. How’d that work out, by the way?

    As for the “first 100 at bats”…..I suggest you look at the last few years of Perez’ performance against lefthanders….it wasn’t just about this season.
    Hey, now that’s a legit argument. You’re right, his platoon splits were getting ever more extreme, he had a bit of pop – his 3 year average before the trade was .260/.335/.498 versus lefties. Not bad. But couple that with the fact that he turned 37 this season, and did you really see a chance that he was going to get *better* than this? What value does having kicked around as a bench bat/platoon DH have, really – yes, it means he was ‘proven’ MLB talent, but would you really want him + an option year over Ryan Shealy/Justin Huber, or, hell, Eric Byrnes, who had better platoon splits, plays a bit of defense, and has been shipped around like crazy the past few years.

    What’s insanely overvalued, is the love for prospects that some seem to have.
    Given that we’re both agreed that Choo/Cabrera were going to be traded and should be traded, I don’t see who you’re arguing with here. I think enough of Cabrera to say that we should’ve packaged him for more; you think enough of Perez grizzled-vet status to think we got enough. That’s fine. I happen to disagree.

    Both Perez and Broussard could well return to share DH duties, next season, so it isn’t necessarily about one year.
    As you can probably guess, I think this would be a mistake. Perez will turn 38 in ’07, and at some point, the M’s really need to look elsewhere. I’ve talked about Justin Huber, whom the Royals seem to have no interest in, and who I think could give us more production for more years. He’d also be a fine partner with Bryan LaHair. Perez/Broussard, even if they worked out, were always going to be stopgaps. I agree that sometimes that’s what you need, but given that even according to your criteria (win the division in ’06) the acquisitions didn’t quite work, there’s no harm in moving on.

    You make some decent points about the Everett signing; sometimes things don’t work. But I think all the acquisitions show an extreme overvaluing of ‘leadership’, and an Edmanesque importance given to ‘proven’ veteran status. But that’s exactly where the M’s have been burned so often. Everett could have been, if everything worked right, a platoon DH who was in the decline phase of his career. They went out and got a still-older clone (who at least had a decent personality and seemed to work with the kids exceptionally well) who hit from the other side.

  40. Beady Eyes said

    #28: Good post Jason. While I don’t always agree 100% with Edman, his points are valid. Those claiming Cabrera is going to be something special need to get over it (no offense, okay guys!).

    IF prospects of Cabrera’s skillset are a dime-a-dozen. So to those mad that he went to Cleveland for Eduardo Perez, let me ask you this:

    Where would Cabrera play with Lopez and Betancourt here to stay? Yes, maybe we could have dealt Cabrera in a package deal, but I like what Broussard can bring us from a desperate team in need of a cheap plug in at 1b.

    I so tire of this Bavasi bashing. If he stood pat y’all would be saying he blew a chance to compete when we were in striking distance. I read all this hindsight that we weren’t good enough, fine, but when we WERE in striking distance don’t tell me you weren’t excited!

    Anyways…thanks for the levelheaded post, Jason.

  41. Beady Eyes said

    Re: Carl Everett. Wasn’t that signing at the request of Hargrove? Further proof Bavasi should not EVER listen to Dudley for anything.

  42. Beady Eyes said

    Sneekes: Where exactly would Cabrera play? He’d be blocked much like Choo was. And even if he does succeed in AAA, it’s a 50/50 chance at best that he performs at such a level that we’d snag a quality player in return.

    I am of the belief that had Dudley used Eduardo better, MAYBE we’d have seen better things. But then again, Eduardo seemed to be a presence in the clubhouse with the young latin players (as opposed to the fake crap about Carl Everett being an ignitor). I dunno…I still think in hindsight it was a good trade. Too bad it didn’t work out.

  43. Edman said

    I doubt that Hargrove specifically requested Everett. It’s more likely he asked Bavasi to look for a lefthanded power hitter, since that was a weakness. Then, when Bavasi asked how he felt about Everett, he most likely responded that he had no objections.

    I’m sure, if Hargrove, or any manager had the luxury to request a lefthanded hitter of his choice, he’d have picked a better name. For the record, there weren’t a lot of lefthanded power hitters available in free agency.

  44. Edman said

    I doubt that Hargrove specifically requested Everett. It’s more likely he asked Bavasi to look for a lefthanded power hitter, since that was a weakness. Then, when Bavasi asked how he felt about Everett, he most likely responded that he had no objections.

    I’m sure, if Hargrove, or any manager had the luxury to request a lefthanded hitter of his choice, he’d have picked a better name. For the record, there weren’t a lot of lefthanded power hitters available in free agency.

  45. Actually, Edman, Bavasi flat out stated several times that Everett was Hargrove’s direct request. IIRC, Bavasi mentioned that Hargrove wanted Everett specifically for his clubhouse leadership.

    Well, I, for one, am tired of the M’s acquiring clubhouse leaders, when that’s one of the biggest roles you’d expect out of a manager. Dave Cameron and I discussed last weekend how the M’s have indeed led the league in acquiring clubhouse leaders, and how that’s a category we’d like to see them ignore.

    I actually like Perez a lot, and I believe he’s a great bench bat. He’s not horribly expensive, either. And, he can hold his own defensively both at first and in LF. I’d be happy to keep him around, even with his clubhouse leadership. He’s a satisfactory performer in the role he’s hired into.

    Broussard, however, I’m not convinced about. He is certainly insurance that would allow you to trade Sexson for the right deal. I’m curious if the Dodgers are crazy enough for a proven veteran type that they’d flip us Loney for Sexson. They’ve got the budget for it, and it could actually be a trade that might work for both sides.

  46. jp17 said

    Well I guess I don’t like making two mistakes to cover for one big mistake. You may well treat each as a seperate instance, but they all stem from the same problem and attempts to fix that problem.

    I can understand Everett being signed even while being against it. As long as his option didn’t vest the money wasn’t that big of an issue.

    My only problem was that when it became apparent that he truly sucked worse than expected, he was still run out there. Some may dismiss this, but that is where the real problems begin. Rather than dumping Everett and letting Choo (who was doing well in AAA) play we try to mask Everett’s suck by acquiring a guy who really shouldn’t be with the team the next year. Contention, blah, blah, nonsense. The problem wasn’t that Everett couldn’t hit RH and Perez was needed, the problem was that Everett couldn’t hit period and even worse right handed.
    So they try and mask the problem and appease whomever wanted Everett around. The simple solution would be to let Choo come up and play in LF with Raul at DH and you also upgrade your defense while most likely upgrading your offense. If Choo struggled against LHP so be it. Everett sucked vs. both handed pitching. It’s still an upgrade.

    Then a day or two after acquiring Perez, Reed breaks his hand, which of course is unforseen, but then you already have Choo beginning to get comfortable in the MLB and the move to CF isn’t as stressful and coming to the MLB and immediately playing out of position.

    Yes it is hindsight, but these are not things that people weren’t saying at the time.

    The main problem was not wanting to DFA Everett and give a young guy a chance. We only gave a young guy a chance after exhausting every other avenue which included trading two guys (who likely would be blocked I understand) for guys who may not be here half a season later.

    Yeah I would say it’s poor planning mixed with a reluctance to play young position players over established(?) veterans.

    That being said I’ve otherwise liked what Bavasi has done with the minor league system.

  47. Actually, Hargrove was presented with three options, and he chose Everett. Jacque Jones was one of the other two, and the third is believed to have been a trade target, perhapsTrot Nixon.

    But there is no doubt, Hargrove chose Everett over a better option.

  48. cujo said

    Campillo has a avg fastball? What where you looking at one of those playoff radar guns?His slop will not play in the majors and the rabid dog cujo has spoken!

  49. Well, according to baseball info solutions, who provides this sort of data to Major League Baseball, the average fastball in 2005 was 87.5 mph and Campillo, whose heater has been clocked by the ridiculous TV and ballpark guns at 87-90, sits a legit 85-88, he’s in the average range, albeit on the lower end.

    And it’s easy to say that a pitcher off TJ surgery with an 86 mph heater not named Jamie Moyer is going to fail in the majors.

    Tell me how that Chris Young-Adrian Gonzalez for Adam Eaton deal worked out for the Rangers…

  50. SudsMcDuff said

    I’m not sure why people are so down on Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera had a .658 OPS at AAA, the same level that Jeff Clement played at, who had just a .668 OPS in about 150 less ABs. And Clement is about 2 years older.

    Yeah Clement was injured, yeah he’s a catcher, e.t.c, e.t.c. The point is that Asdrubal was only 20 when he made the transition to AAA, and there aren’t many sharp-fielding SS that young at that level. He can spend the next 3 years at the AAA level and still hit the majors at a young age of 24.

    Fact is that Cabrera was overmatched, but he was supposed to be overmatched. Cabrera isn’t a “dime a dozen” infielder, and it’s insane to think so. Cabrera has more OBP skills in his right pinky than Betancourt has in his whole body, and is near on par with Betancourt’s defense. It’s not completely unreasonable to think Betancourt could be a future .280/.380 hitter or even a .300/.400.

    That Cabrera was blocked is irrelevant. So is Adam Jones.

  51. I’m not sure why people are so down on Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera had a .658 OPS at AAA, the same level that Jeff Clement played at, who had just a .668 OPS in about 150 less ABs. And Clement is about 2 years older.

    Which is a perfect example of why statistics cannot be used as a standalone factor is evaluating talent and future potential. You have to look at tools, trends, track record and intangible issues, such as makeup, work ethic, etc.

    Cabrera simply doesn’t have the tools to do what Clement has the tools to do, but because they had a nearly identical OPS in limited sample sizes in AAA we’re supposed to draw some correlation betrween two players talent wise?

    It’s not completely unreasonable to think Betancourt could be a future .280/.380 hitter or even a .300/.400.

    No, it IS completely unreasonable to think YuBet can do that. It’s just not his style. +100 on his OBP? I think not, and you’ll have a rough time finding any sane person to agree with you.

    You may have meant Cabrera, and if so, you are still wrong. .300/.400 for AsCab in the bigs? Based on what, his career-best +60 in AAA this year?

    I think Cabrera can be a starting shortstop in a few years, but his bat is still a big question. he has to hit for a decent average because he wont walk 80 times a year to get his OBP to respectable levels, and he surely isn’t going to hit for enough power to make up for any of that.

    He’s still a few years away, but could make his ML debut in 07. He can pick it, and if Cleveland needs a defensive reserve for awhile, he may get the nod.

  52. Edman said

    For the record, I saw Cabrera at Everett. And, yes, he was a gem defensively, but honestly, Ishmael Castro showed a far superior bat, at that level. Even though he had the stats, he didn’t impress me much with the stick.

    You can’t fall in love with stats. I’ve seen many guys who tear it up all the way up to AA. But, when they get to AAA, they stall. They aren’t getting the BP fastballs anymore, because the pitchers lack control on the edges.

    Experience has taught me to be careful not to over-value stats in the lower levels. You also have to compare them to the leagues they play in. Wisconsin is horrible to hitters, while California is a blessing.

    Lets put it this way…..Cabrera wasn’t even close to Lopes with the bat. He’s a punch and judy hitter, in comparison. He may be a useful role player, someday, al la Luis Sojo…..but that’s about his top end…..well, other than his glove.

  53. Edman said

    BTW…..paraphrasing Bavasi…..they depend on scouting reports to filter out those stats. They want to know if the kids are hitting the weakest pitchers, while struggling with the talented ones. I haven’t seen a stat that tracks that. That’s the value of scouts. They’re paid to observe if a hitter gives up on good pitches.

  54. Sneekes said

    Beady

    You asked me where Cabrera would play? If you’d read my posts properly you’d see that my problem with the Perez-Cabrera trade isn’t that I think Cabrera is blue chip – it is that acquiring Perez will cost us money this winter (to buy him out) and robbed us off a minor trading piece – whilst adding very little to the team last year.
    So where would Cabrera play? Most likely somewhere else – I’d probably try and package him this winter for a starting pitcher or a LH bat – depending on how free agency goes.

  55. One thing you also have to consider is the reality of Choo’s and A-Cab’s value. Certainly there’s the ‘perceived’ value that we all had — pretty much all of us knew both of those guys were trade bait. But what we didn’t have knowledge of was what other teams were willing to give us for those players. Yeah, ideally, we’d like to have gotten a starting pitcher or something else a little more useful than both halves of a platoon DH. But, the ideal and reality are rarely equal. I’m not quite certain that teams were knocking on Bavasi’s door and flooding his cell phone to give us what we hoped to get for those two. Not during the season, especially, but even not during the offseason. In reading the Cleveland blogs, they certainly didn’t seem to be very excited about either player. Just because we M’s bloggers like them and put some value on them, doesn’t mean that the GMs around the league do.

    I’m not saying there’s nothing to criticize here, of course. I do agree that signing Carl Everett created a huge mess, and they had to upgrade the team mid-season which is always expensive via trades. But even still, I’m not convinced that Choo + A-Cab had the trade value that we M’s bloggers perceived.

  56. cujo said

    Before Campillo had TJ he threw 83-87 mostly 85 mph.That is not a avg fastball.The young -gonzales trade was better for the padres but you did forget that Otsuka had 32 saves.Young won 11 and eaton won 7 in a 1/3 of a season.Gonzales went off but he wasnt gonna play because of texiera but why was that trade even brought up?Young throws 88-92 not 85 like campillo.

  57. Edman said

    Not saying Campy is an example, but it’s not unheard of for pitchers to gain velocity, after TJ surgery. So, to imply that pre-surgery numbers are significant, may be in error.

  58. SudsMcDuff said

    Well, no, my point was that Cabrera looked bad because he was rushed and overmatched to AAA, just like Jeff Clement more or less was. 150 ABs doesn’t make Cabrera much more of a significant sample size over Clement’s, so you just made my point, which is that anyone can look bad in a small sample and when they’re at a level far higher than they should be. Adam Jones was rushed and also looked overmatched for some time at the AAA and the MLB level.

    Clement’s a lot better than Cabrera talent wise, but Cabrera is only 20, which isn’t emphasized enough.

    And yes, I didn’t mean Betancourt would be a .300/.400 hitter, I meant Cabrera could be, based on the fact that he hit .318/.407/.474 at Wisconsin at age 19 and then was rushed to the AAA level where at Tacoma he showed a mature approach at the plate hitting just .236 but with a .323 OBP.

    It’s really not surprising that Cabrera is struggling right now. He completely skipped AA and had only a small sample of high A ball. Cabrera isn’t a low average hitter, though, and he certainly has shown the maturity and advanced eye most of our prospects lack. At his young age, it’s not unreasonable to think that both contact and patience can improve to the point where he is a .300/.400 hitter in his prime though that would obviously be his ceiling.

    In any case, the power is completely irrelevant. Betancourt doesn’t have much of that either, nor does Betancourt have good OBP skills. Power isn’t what’s dooming the Mariner offense right now, it’s lack of OBP.

  59. SudsMcDuff said

    One thing to add: I realize I’m completely overhyping Asdrubal right now, so I’ll take a step back. Let’s say Cabrera becomes only something like a .275/.350/.400 hitter. And let’s say that Cabrera is only above average at SS. Not quite Betancourt, but decent enough, something like Alex Gonzalez or Furcal or something.

    That’s still a .750 OPS hitter with an above average glove traded for a few months of the RH part of a DH platoon, which entails little or no gain on defense and limited ABs to be useful against lefties. Even if Cabrera isn’t that decent at the ML level, if he is an average hitter at his position, his glove more than compensates for a lack of hitting, similar to Betancourt but ultimately superior. And we traded that for Eduardo Perez.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Eduardo and everything. But he’s not worth Asdrubal Cabrera, who we sold at quite possibly his lowest point in his career.

  60. Edman said

    Let’s get a little more realistic. How about .240/.300/.375? Your numbers would be quite good, for a middle infielder.

  61. marc w. said

    I’d tend to split the difference between edman and suds; I think AsCab has the patience to put up an OBP slightly north of .300, but you may be right Edman, especially early on, about the average and power.
    Now, as I’ve said, the Astros, a successful club, trot out a good defensive SS *every day* who would kill for numbers like that. Clint Barmes put up a line of .220/.264/.335 this year. In Colorado. Damian Easley has been putting up stats like our projection of AsCab for years (he was better in Detroit, but that’s not the point). Jack Wilson, JJ Hardy, Craig Counsell, David Eckstein – none of these guys OPS .700 with any regularity. Need I remind anyone that we might see Ramon Santiago start a World Series game…for the overwhelming favorites? There is *value* in someone who can pick it and give you some ABs that aren’t automatic outs – in a world in which Cristian Guzman to Jack Wilson to Adam Everett get paid a decent amount of money, a 20 yo SS who’s under team control, making the minimum… well that’s nothing to sneeze at, even if he never comes close to getting on base at a .400 clip. Again, the point is not that he’s so awesome, we should DFA Betancourt. He wouldn’t ever play on the M’s, because Yuni’s just plain better. But there are a *lot* of obvious trading partners out there, and maybe, just possibly, we could’ve done better than a platoon DH guy in return. Who ‘slugged’ .241 for us.

  62. Cabrera and Choo were expendable and nobody here should be assuming that the club could have gotten more for them.

    Bavasi may not be a good GM, but he doesn’t take shortcuts. He does his homework and you can bet that the deal he made was the best one available.

    Or would you rather have just sat back and done nothing to try and help the team’s chances?

    Neither Choo nor Cabrera, nor Nottingham, is going to be missed.

  63. JH said

    My problem dealing Cabrera was one of insurance. As much as I like Jose Lopez, I really don’t see him as a can’t miss 20hr guy like most people around here do. He was HORRIBLE in the second half of this year, and he doesn’t have the skill set of a can’t miss guy. He’s basically living on his contact ability, abandoning plate discipline, and the league’s exploiting that. Betancourt, similarly, is a player at serious risk of regression.

    In Cabrera, we had a great glove and promising bat up the middle. His offensive stats were pretty bad this year, but other organizations probably would have had him in the Cali league this year, not the PCL. I was a lot more comfortable with the middle infield situation when Cabrera was our top insurance for the potential breakdown of Lopez or YuBet. I’m a moderate Navarro fan, but I really don’t think he has the upside of anything more than a defensive replacement/utility guy. I also think the Cabrera departure pushes Garciaparra up the organizational depth chart, and the idea that the Ms might be forced to play a guy whose upside is 2006 Willie Bloomquist minus the speed in the next couple years doesn’t sit well with me.

  64. Orlandu said

    Young players will struggle at times. You just have to learn to be patient with Lopez.

  65. JH said

    Edman –

    That’s a very strange projection for Cabrera. You think he’ll walk (.060 ISOd), and have decent pop for a middle infielder (.135 ISO), but be unable to hit for average?? He’s not an extreme contact hitter, but he doesn’t have a long swing or a history of high k-rates. You’re gonna have to explain to me why you think Cabrera will display all the secondary skills of a good major league hitter but be unable to hit for average.

    Normalize that projection to a normal batting average and you’ve got a .270/.330/.400 guy. With his plus glove, you actually just projected Cabrera to be a very valuable major leaguer. At least as valuable as Betancourt.

  66. I disagree that Cabrera’s bat can be categorized as “promising.” That’s where I differ on AsCab.

  67. JH said

    I see Cabrera as a potential .350 on-base guy in the majors with gap power. He’s shown the ability to draw walks in droves at certain stops in the minors (see his time in Wisconsin last year and Tacoma in April/May), and then his discipline has deserted him at other times.

    He posted a .155 ISO in a pitchers’ environment at the age of 19, and was then rushed through the system, and he doesn’t have any huge holes in his swing.

    He’s never going to be an impact bat, but he’s got a really good chance to hit well enough to be a regular.

    If you think that’s overly bullish on Cabrera’s offensive potential, I’d love to hear an explanation.

  68. When i hear “promising” that tells me it’s a bat that has a chance at being better than average, and that isn’t where Cabrera is headed, most likely.

    I, too, think in his better years he can jump in and post an OBP around .350, but I do not believe in his ability to do that regularly, not based on what he’s done thus far and his physical tools.

    He does understand the strikezone has a strong approach, but doesn’t square the bat on the ball enough for my taste, and falls out his solid approach far too often. Some of that is about being young, but some of it because pitchers aren’t even the slightest bit afraid to throw him their best pitch at any point – he can’t hurt them, at all.

    He’s a few years from regular major league play, and in that time he needs to mature physically and become more consistent. If he does both, he can play either middle infield spot and not be a detriment to a batting lineup.

    But I’m not betting on it. To me, his future is as Cesar Izturis without the footspeed, which is a nice player, but hardly one worth so much more than a cheap veteran platoon bat in a trade.

    It sounds like I don’t like Cabrera, which isn’t true at all. I just think he was rushed and it really set him back and I’m not sure he’s going to fully recover, at least statistically. He’s more fun to watch defensively than Betancourt, because he’s flashy, and he displays similar plate skills as a young Carlos Guillen.

    There is hope, but the chances aren’t on his side.

    In the end, 2007 is a critical season for Cabrera, or he may become an organizational guy in Cleveland or even land on another club’s AAA team before too long.

    And no, for those who are wondering, I do NOT prefer Oswaldo Navarro to Cabrera, but the Mariners rank them very, very close, due to Navarro’s apparent advantage in plate discipline, even though he draws less walks.

    Brundage on Navarro/Cabrera on the second-to-last day of the Triple-A season:

    “They are similar in skills. Oz is a little quicker but they are about even with the glove. Navarro’s got a quicker release which helps make up for a little bit of Cabrera’s advantage in making the spectacular play, like sliding on his knees or a great backhand. But Oz is doing that, too.

    “Offensively, I like Navarro a little bit, I think. He’s more patient up there and swings at more strikes than Cabrera. Both are fun players to manage, work very hard and I think both have some sort of a future in the big leagues. But in a pinch, I think I really might choose Navarro.”

    I disagree, but the gap isn’t nearly as big today as it was a year ago. Navarro has made nice strides and is but a handful of months older than his buddy, AsCab.

    Cabrera just wasn’t a prospect to cry over losing. Neither is Choo, really.

    Bavasi and co. did the right thing, and it just didn’t work out. You can rip the GM for so many of his trades “just not working out”, which is very valid, but you can’t properly judge one deal on top of other failed ventures. It just doesn’t work that way.

  69. Jpax said

    Very interesting point regarding Navarro vs Cabrera. I had not heard Brundage’s evaluation comment before. There may not have been as much difference as I had thought.

    It also means we had 2 (3 if you count Little Garciaparra, which I don’t)near Major League ready utility infielder backups at Tacoma. With Chen and now Truinfal in the lower minors. So it truly does become an evaluation of which has the most value to the M’s, either for a trade or as a player.

  70. Chen is an “upper minors” guy, and though he doesn’t do anything really well, he does a lot of things adequately or better. He may poke his head up to AAA in 07, also.

    He’s a solid player.

    Garciaparra is a little better than at the plate than even I thought he’d be. He hreally has an idea up there and takes it very seriously. He studies pitchers and situations and works his tail off.

    Not sure if he’s ever going to hit enough, but he probably has a shot to get some time in the majors in the next year or so.

  71. cujo said

    Of course brundage is gonna support navvaro he is still in the system and so was brundage at the time.I bet if you asked a few of your scout friends there would be a huge diffrence in there opinions.I even think if you asked brundage now he would tell you a diffrent story but he was saying the company line in my mind.Cabrera is a much higher celing type player then navarro in my mind .The bat and glove are better and there is strength there where navvaro doesnt have phsical strength at all.Trades are trades some are good some are bad we will find out in about 5 years how this one ends up by then all of us might have given up on the mariners.

  72. Beady Eyes said

    # Sneekes Says:
    October 20th, 2006 at 4:49 am

    Beady

    You asked me where Cabrera would play? If you’d read my posts properly you’d see that my problem with the Perez-Cabrera trade isn’t that I think Cabrera is blue chip – it is that acquiring Perez will cost us money this winter (to buy him out) and robbed us off a minor trading piece – whilst adding very little to the team last year.
    So where would Cabrera play? Most likely somewhere else – I’d probably try and package him this winter for a starting pitcher or a LH bat – depending on how free agency goes.

    Uhhh, Sneekes, I read what I read and maybe I missed your point. Anyway, I disagree on Perez and if you feel that way, fine, but you’d be wrong there…respectfully speaking of course.

  73. Brundage, however, never spoke as highly of Cabrera as others did. I think maybe he just wasn’t Brundage’s type of talent, maybe, I dunno.

    Most scouts prefer Cabrera 5-1 over Navarro, as do I, and just about anyone else… and in the end, Brundage would have taken Asdrubal, too. He was simply pointing out who he personally liked better at that point in time, not who he necessarily thought was the better prospect.

  74. Jpax said

    Jason – I forgot about Chen’s promotion to AA.

    I have always thought that the high minors were AA and AAA. Somewhere (I think it was a Mariner’s press release on Rob Johnson over the winter) I saw that they included High A ball as the ‘upper minors’.

    Am I right or are they?

  75. It’s an interpretive term, JPax, but to anyone I have ever talked to, there are three general steps… short-season, low minors and upper minors.

    Short = Peoria, Everett
    Low = Wis, High Desert (Inland last year)
    Upper = SA, Tacoma

    But it’s not something official.

  76. Edman said

    Robbed us of a major trading piece? Cabrera was, and will most likely NEVER be a major trading piece. He’s interesting, at best.

    You’d think he’s the next Omar Visquel, by some of these assessments.

    I’m just curious….how many of you who are going on and on about his talent, have ever even seen him?

  77. marc w. said

    Plenty of times, Edman – maybe 12-15 games. Are you basing this ‘he’s nothing’ opinion on one game in everett, when he was probably 18 years old?
    Again, this is isn’t terribly complex: no, he likely wasn’t ever going to be a .290/.400/.480 hitter, but please, look who’s starting 100+ games at SS around the league. Would some of those teams perhaps like a 20 year old in AAA with an MLB ready glove? Someone who could step in in July of next year and give teams a better OBP than 7-8 starting SS in MLB? I think you’re underestimating the importance of his position.
    It’s also possible that the disagreement hinges on what you think a ‘major’ trading piece means. To me, that doesn’t mean he’d be traded for Ervin Santana straight up, or for Delmon Young. But he’d be a very important part of a trade to land us a promising arm, without the MLB-seasoning or the lights-out stats of the top tier guys. Their longer-term needs for an arm clearly outweigh the need for a lefty-masher, and in any event, they picked a really horrible time to go after Perez (when his value was patently overinflated). Or maybe you think Perez is awesome, and that we couldn’t have done better – clearly, I disagree with that. Perez wasn’t the best lefty-masher out there, just the most overpriced. Eric Byrnes, his annoying TV presence aside, hits lefties better, and can actually play defense…all at a position the M’s needed filled. Justin Huber is clearly unwanted in KC. Etc. etc. They’re younger players, guys who can play in the field, and probably would’ve cost about the same in terms of talent given up. my $.02…

  78. Beady Eyes said

    Marc: Huber is clearly unwanted but do you really think the Royals new GM will part with a player who is still highly regarded by a lot of scouts for nothing?

    I dunno. The Royals won’t want our vets, so I seriously doubt we have anything they want (or need). They need MLB ready players, especially pitching.

  79. marc w. said

    BE –
    No, not for nothing. But not for a lot. That new GM clearly made the call that Ryan Shealy is more valuable. I’m not really in a position to disagree, but given that the Royals still have Sweeney (kind of), and now Shealy, they just don’t need Sweeney. I’d say that they’ve got a big need at middle infield, which would’ve made Cabrera useful at this point… but there are guys I’d imagine the royals might be interested in. They could have a number or relief guys, like OUR Huber (who will never pitch better than he did last year, in my opinion), or Chick. I also thought Francisco Cruceta would’ve been a handy piece of trade bait, but that options gone too.

  80. C. Cheetah said

    I go along with what JP17 said in #29 and what Jason has been saying for months now…
    Bavasi had to make a trade to try to support the success the Mariner’s were showing at the time, albeit meaningless to most of us who could envision how poorly the Mariner’s would be outside of the NL West, but possibly meaningful to the Mariners’ moral, Grover’s need for a “veteran voice in the clubhouse”, an ultimate excuse to get rid of Carl, and for John Q. Public’s believe that the Mariner’s were doing something to try to win.
    Was it a good trade..NO
    Was it a bad trade…maybe in terms of talent, but not PR at the time, which is a big reason Bavasi made the trade
    Was it the BEST trade AVAILABLE to the Mariner’s…who knows, but I believe Jason when he says it probably was
    Was it a trade that will HURT the Mariner’s going forward…probably NOT.
    As all have stated, Cabera is a prospect. If he turns out to be great for the Indians…Congrats…It proves once again that Shapiro is smarter than Bavasi. I hope that is not NEWS to anyone, because Shapiro is one of the top 5 GM’s in the business. Billy Boy is still learning. Maybe he will get there, probably he won’t, but this trade more than likely not be a determining factor in either’s success.
    Feel free to comment on this, but please move to another subject soon….

  81. Jpax said

    I agree!

    New subject please.

  82. For the record, Sweeney can be had for zippo. Moore would loooove to dump the final year of his deal on some poor team.

  83. Drew said

    The AFL pitchers for the M’s are sure getting beaten around….

  84. Well, when you pitch every 7 days, or worse, every four for a reliever, you aren’t likely to be sharp.

    But the numbers mean jack.

  85. Drew said

    I know that it doesn’t really matter. I guess the M’s won’t have to worry about having any prospects on the All Time AFL team from this batch! BTW, I tried to vote, but I didn’t remember any of the players from when they played in the AFL….

  86. I dunno, Garciaparra is hitting the ball pretty well and made the AFL WEST All-Star Roster.

  87. Drew said

    Pitchers that is..sorry. The voting thing seemed like it just listed all the current and past MLB All Stars.

  88. JH said

    I tried to post this yesterday, but it didn’t show up for some reason.

    To answer your question, Edman, I saw Cabrera play about a dozen times last season, and I spent half an hour interviewing him for the Grand Salami magazine, but the article was shelved after the trade.

  89. Beady Eyes said

    Jason: Hopefully not us. I am not convinced we’d get any value out of Mike Sweeney and his neverending back problems.

  90. marc w. said

    Sorry – the sweeney thing was a typo – I meant Huber. For the record, I don’t want sweeney. I’m not at all surprised he could be had for nothing; I mean, that contract looks awful right about now. Again, it wasn’t my intention to float some sort of ‘Mike Sweeney in ’07: rested and ready for duty’ campaign.

  91. Edman said

    JH…..I’ve seen Cabrera about as many times as you, and he showed me no signs of “gap power”. When folks write that, it’s like saying, “He’ll never hit for power, but I don’t want to say he’ll be a singles hitter.” I’ve used it too, for the same reason. It’s measured hope.

    Cabrera’s glove will get him to the majors. There are MANY minor league shortstops with the same kind of bat. But, unlike Cabrera, they don’t possess the ability to be an impact defender. Problem is, many teams tell you they want guys with gloves, but really, they don’t. They’d LOVE a guy who can hit and field, but settle for one or the other.

    The BEST Cabrera will be is a gap power hitter….and honestly, I don’t see that he’ll hit enough doubles and triples to be considered a run producer in that regard. It’s really hard to project him right now, because he’s so young. But, to imply that somehow, he possess skills with the bat, that he’s NEVER shown at any level, just is wishful thinking.

    I hope the kid has a great career. But, to imply that Bavasi gave up something special, just isn’t true, no matter how you paint it. Bavasi gave up an intereting prospect. The baseball world is full of them…….and many, never see an at bat in the majors.

  92. To be fair to Cabrera, he was 20 all season, so the gap power has a good chance to show up, but that’s in physical tools only. Who knows if he’ll become a good enough hitter in general to be capable of utilizing those tools.

    But again, and I agree with Edman here, Cabrera isn’t, nor will he likely ever be a special baseball player. Interesting is a good word.

  93. JH said

    I wasn’t trying to say I’ve seen him more than you, Edman, though the fact that you’ve referenced seeing him in the Northwest League at the age of 18 digs pretty deeply into your evaluation of him.

    Statistically speaking, a .150 ISOp in the Midwest league at the age of 19 is a damn good sign of gap power.

    He has the tools, and the performance was there when he was playing at an age-appropriate level.

    Jason and I aren’t far off on our evaluation of Cabrera. I think his discipline will take a step forward now that he’s in an organization that actually has a clue how to teach patience, so I see him sustaining a solid OBP a bit longer, but on power potential, we seem to agree.

    I do think that giving up 6 years of Cabrera was a high price to pay to get fewer than 90 ABs from Eduardo Perez, even if Perez had panned out. Not because I think he’s an impact bat or a blue chip prospect, but because I see him as a near certainty to be a useful player on a winning team once he develops, and I value 6 years of useful MI production more than 90ABs from a 36-year-old platoon DH.

    Nobody’s saying this falls in the Varitek/Lowe for Slocumb category, though.

    Sidenote: am I the only person baffled by Cleveland’s decision to keep Cabrera at AAA after the trade?? Maybe they thought a demotion would hurt his confidence, but his bat clearly wasn’t ready, and for Christ’s sake, he was only 20. No other organization would have started Cabrera in AAA this year.

  94. Edman said

    Tomas Perez is “useful” too…….big deal. Six years of Tomas Perez wouldn’t excite me.

    You can believe what you want. Hell, you even twisted Jason’s words, to make your position sound more promising.

    I don’t really care. This move has a less than ten percent chance of EVER coming back to haunt the M’s……that’s worth two months of Eduardo Perez and a chance to get to the playoffs.

    You never roll the dice, you’re sure to never win. You hold those dice. You’re right, you’ll never lose……but, you’ll be right where you are now, because you’re afraid to stick your neck out….for fear of losing something that’s overvalued.

    As I’ve said before…..Bavasi is paid to be optimist….not a pessimist.

  95. JH said

    Um, how did I twist Jason’s words? We both think he’s got a good shot to become a serviceable bat. Jason said he thinks he’s got .350 OBP ability, I think he’s got that same ability, but I have more faith that he’ll reach it. That’s not too far off.

    The number of times either of us has seen Cabrera is entirely irrelevent, unless you have some scouting training we don’t know about. Your opinion of him based on seeing him in Everett as an 18y/o means nothing, just like my opinion of him having seen him multiple times in Tacoma and Arizona last year means nothing.

    The criterion for being a contributing player to a winning team isn’t “that which excites a moderately informed fan who posts on internet messageboards.” There’s a lot more value in a guy who’s good enough to be a regular for a low pricetag for 6 years than you seem to believe. More value, in my opinion, than 90ABs against lefties from a 36y/o DH, especially when internal options like Morse exist to fill the role of righty bench bat.

  96. MatthewCarruth said

    Yep, that advanced plate discipline sure showed itself with the 8BB-39SO after the trade and his 0BB-7K performance so far in the VWL.

    I highly doubt As-Cab ever becomes a serviceable regular player. More likely, he’s Ramon Santiago.

  97. That’s really easy to predict, Matthew, since JH and I both belueve that almost any prospect’s most likely scenario is that he never becomes a regular.

    Way to walk out there on that limb.

  98. MatthewCarruth said

    What are you talking about Jason? JH came right out and said that he believes Cabrera to be a future regular. I think that’s highly optimistic.

  99. I didnt say JH said anything different of Cabrera, but in general, prospects are so much more likely to be nothing than they are anything else… so, try stepping out on a limb… cuz saying that a minor leaguer won’t ever be a regular isn’t saying much.

    You might as well have just typed nothing.

  100. MatthewCarruth said

    You are making it seem like I was just stating this in a vacuum. I wasn’t. I was disagreeing with JH’s assertion that Cabrera was future regular. Why should I need to “step out on a limb”?

  101. Edman said

    Step out on a limb? Why? You could do that for any prospect, and many do, because of home town bias. But, Cabrera doesn’t possess anything that can’t be acquired elsewhere for LESS than Perez…..other than youth. Youth alone, isn’t a reason to hold on to a prospect.

  102. john reilly said

    petagine should have gotten 250-300 at bats with the mariners last year so they could at least see if the guy was as good as he was in japan. I saw him play for both the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Boston Red Sox and can tell you the guy can flat out hit!In Boston Terry Francona did not like the guy because his pal Kevin Millar was not getting the playing time a .260/12/50 rbi ib-dh needs.Millar is a phoney “rah rah”great team player when he’s happy but behind other teammates back he rips them secretly in the media.Petagine did everything that was asked of hin in Seattle but Hargrove was afraid of DH carl everett and gave Petagine 27 abs after a .450 spring training. Is the Roberto Petagine experiment over?I mean how can this guy not at least get a chance with somebody?All he wants is a chance to play and he is a good teammate.Does anyone know where he will end up?

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