Seattle Mariners Roster Breakdown
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on October 16, 2006
|Seattle Mariners Roster Breakdown
||CF||11.0||Returns for seventh season in U.S., looking for wins, extension.|
||3B||12.8||Will be the subject of trade rumors – 30% chance he’s dealt.|
||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.
||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.|
||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.|
||CF||.350||If Reed is in Seattle past Hanukkah, I’ll be shocked.|
||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.|
||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?|
||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.|
||LHP||.350||Future pen regular needs a little more time to sharpen command.|
||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.
||RHP||.350||Sinker baller is prime candidate for DFA action this fall.
||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.|
||C||.350||Brad Ausmus clone is still a few years away. Bat a big question.|
||C||.350||Will start year in Tacoma. Hopefully, the M’s don’t call ’til 2008.|
||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