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The Plan

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on November 4, 2006

PI’s 2007 Seattle Mariners
Starting Lineup
CF Ichiro Suzuki
Final year of 4-year, $44 million deal.
Chris Snelling
Team Control
3B Adrian Beltre
Year three of 5-year, $64.25 million deal.
DH/LF Raul Ibanez Year one of 2-year, $11 million extension.
Richie Sexson
Year three of 4-year, $48 million deal.
LF/DH David Dellucci
Two years, $10 million.
C Kenji Johjima Year two of 3-year, $16.5 million contract.
Jose Lopez
Team Control
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
Team Control
Starting Rotation
Felix Hernandez Team Control
Jason Schmidt
Three years, $33 million*.
SP3 Jarrod Washburn Year two of 4-year, $37.4 million contract.
SP4 Adam Eaton Two years, $10 million**.
Wade Miller One year, $1.5 million***.
CL J.J. Putz
Two years, $7.75 million.
RHR Rafael Soriano
Two years, $6 million.
LHR George Sherrill
Team Control
RHR Justin Speier
One year, $1.5 million.
RHR Jon Huber
Team Control
Eric O’Flaherty
Team Control
Bench1 Jose Cruz, Jr.
One year, $1 million
Bench2 Alex Cora
One year, $650,000.
Bench3 Scott Hatteberg
One year,$750,000.
Bench4 Willie Bloomquist
Year two of two-year, $1.6 million deal.
Bench5 Rene Rivera Team Control

Rather than springing a 5-year offer for more than $12 million per season on right-handed bats and defensive liabilities Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Lee, I’m playing it safe by adding an underrated defender who is incredibly patient at the plate – and he bats left handed.I would certainly give the Cubs a call about Jacque Jones, but the two clubs probably don’t match up well in trade, especially when the Cubs need the same exact types of talents the M’s do.And that’s how I landed on David Dellucci. I had to look deep into his defensive game to realize he wasn’t bad out there at all, and wouldn’t be the worst center fielder in a smaller ballpark. He is aging a bit, however, so left field is solid fit for him.Dellucci is probably one of the most underrated players in the game, and if enough clubs realize that, the bidding could get ridiculous.

At 33, he isn’t likely to get any offers of more than three years, and I’m not against offering him that here in Seattle. Since 2004, he’s posted OBPs of .342, .367 and .369 and slugged over .500 twice – granted in two hitter’s ballparks in Texas and Philly.Dellucci is a pretty safe bet to post .350 OBPs and Raul Ibanez-like slugging percentage numbers – somewhere around .450 – while giving the club a little bit more in left field where Ibanez’s lack of range is a hidden detriment.

He’s not the true MOTO bat the club needs, but he’s a solid hitter and the type of bat the Mariners lack.

I like Snelling in the two-hole versus righties, and against lefties I’d use Johjima there, and bat Snelling in the lower third – but I do not remove Doyle from the lineup against southpaws until he gives me a reason to do so… and a few ABs is not enough evidence that he can’t hit left-handed pitching.

Beltre’s spot in the lineup is not what fixed his offensive game last season. He was struggling in April and May, and would have done so hitting second, third, sixth or tenth. I like him hitting behind Ichiro and Snelling/Johjima, and in front of the Ibanez-Sexson-Johjima/Dellucci portion of the lineup.

Having developing kids hitting in the eight and nine spots could play a key role in the success of the M’s offense in 2007. Betancourt is likely to dupe his ’06 output, which is more than adequate.

Lopez is much more capable of vastly improving his game, particularly in the power department. The club is trying to teach Celestino how to recognize what pitches he can turn on and which ones are there to poke into right field. If he masters this skill to satisfactory levels, 20+ homers and 40 doubles are not out of the question.

Jason Schmidt is a big risk. If you have spoken to me in the past six months, you know how I feel about adding Schmidt to this club. But in case you haven’t, or forgot, or want a reminder, here ya go.

Schmidt is a good pitcher. He’s likely to be good in 2007, and probably 2008, too. He’s not a great pitcher, not an ace, not a true No. 1, and he’s certainly not a lock to go 200 innings in any year.

He’s 34 in January, has a laundry list of nagging injuries to his shoulder, back and knees, and even though they have yet to rob him of large chunks of his career, the lethal combo of brittle health and advanced age aren’t to be taken lightly.

Having said that, I’d guarantee him two years at $11 million per season, which is a risk in itself, with a third-year option that vests with 400 innings pitched in the first two years, or 200 in year two.

He’s probably going to get four-year offers at $12 million per season from clubs like the Mets, Red Sox, Yankees and Orioles, but if he truly wants to return home, he might be open to a little less cash. A little. If the difference between Seattle’s offer and other clubs, even those on the east coast, is rather large, forget it, he won’t be coming here, and I won’t cry about it.

In the end, I’m just as inclined to pass on Schmidt as I am to sign him to a three-year deal, and not even force another frontline arm into the rotation.

Adam Eaton is a bigger risk than Schmidt, but he’s more of a slam dunk, provided the offer is somewhat fair, than is Schmidt. Eaton’s contract must be incentive laden, due to his recent history of time on the DL. When he’s healthy, he’s a solid arm, and one in which I’d be willing to take a chance.

Guaranteeing him $5 million per season doesn’t handcuff the club from other moves, and offering him incentives that can earn him as much as $7 million, plus a vesting, third-year option for innings pitched, might get him to sign on the dotted line.

He did, however, turn down a 3-year, $18 million extension from the Rangers, but that may be a simple middle finger to Texas, rather than a sign that Eaton is going to play hardball on a long-term deal.

He won’t be returning to Texas.

Wade Miller is one of my favorite low-risk, medium reward options, and I’m sticking with him, rather than saving more than $1.5 million and going with Cha Seung Baek as my No. 5 starter.

After shoulder surgery in September of 2005, Miller returned to the mound for the Cubs this past September and had some messy outings, but did flash some of his old abilities, posting 20 strikeouts in 21 innings. He did, however, issue 18 walks, which is a side effect of surgeries and could subside, at least somewhat, with more rest and rehab this winter.

I think he’s worth a shot, and I’d guarantee him more than a million bucks just to see what happens. Heck, the M’s have wasted more money on multi-year deals. Why not?

With Mark Lowe out, and possibly done for his entire career (more on that another day), the M’s probably have to hang on to Rafael Soriano rather than offering him up in trade. He and Putz get multi-year extensions instead of arbitration deals, and the pen is as good as most in the AL, once again.

Sherrill is solid and O’Flaherty may not be ready, but Huber throws strikes and is a better option than Mateo, who I have simply package in the Ben Broussard deal to obtain one solid prospect and one mid-level minor leaguer.

Looking at the entire staff, I thought I needed Speier to give me one more reliable arm, so Huber wasn’t thrusted into high-leverage innings before he was ready for them. Speier was very good for Toronto last year and is worth the money here, considering the possibility that the rotation doesn’t give the club a lot of innings, particularly in the early months of the season.

If Lowe comes back late in the year and somehow looks fine, or another minor league reliever looks ready (Steve Kahn, Emiliano Fruto, etc.), Soriano might be the main bait to obtain another arm or another bat if the M’s are in the race.

Cruz is a switch-hitter who can field, hold his own from the left side of the plate and serve as a pretty solid bench bat as a right-handed hitter. He’s likely to come pretty cheap after being DFA’d by the Dodgers last year and has always looked for a way to return to Seattle.

Bloomquist is Bloomquist, and if this 25-man roster was the actual one taken north next spring, he’d be serving in the exact role in which his skills as a defender and base runner are best used.

Hatteberg costs just about $400,000 more than Dobbs, and can actually hit the gaps once in awhile, and draw a walk. How about that? He wanted to sign here last year, and now there might be a fit if he’s ok with playing a few times a week, serving as the DH/1B backup and main lefty pinch hitter.

Cora gives the M’s a defensive middle infielder for late in games – remember how bad they needed one a year ago? He wouldn’t cost much and he’s realized he is a reserve and wouldn’t likely bark at the playing time.

He could also help Lopez continue his development at second base and we all know how good the Cora’s are in the clubhouse.

Rivera. Well, I entertained the thought of trading Broussard, Rivera and Mateo to the Reds for Javier Valentin and a C+ prospect, but the idea of having $8 million wrapped up in my catchers deterred me. I’d rather spend Valentin’s $2.5 million on Wade Miller, Cora, Cruz, Hatteberg, etc.

So I guess I’m stuck with Rivera, who one day might be adequate defensively, though he’s a career backup due to his lack of everything at the plate. Guillermo Quiroz, who is a free agent, is a better option, but I have heard he’s already close to signing in Chicago to back up.

This roster would cost a shade under $95 million and could cost as little as $88 million if the free-agent contracts are structured in such a way.

The starting lineup would make about $54 million, the rotation about $27. The Bullpen is starting to get expensive, but still comes in under $10 million, and likely even less than that with properly structured salaries for Soriano and Putz’s multi-year extensions.

The bench would cost just over $3.5 million and is light years better than that of the past few seasons’ reserve options.

All this without trading Sexson or Beltre.

Why didn’t I deal either player? Too much cash is going to be required to send Beltre away, and the return isn’t likely to help the 2007 or 2008 Mariners.

The available cash wouldn’t provide immediate help either, since there aren’t many worthy talents out there to give it to. I’m open to dealing either, but the market isn’t likely to bare the fruits I’d be looking for in such a deal.

This club, with all conservative expectations achieved, should be able to stay in the race until the final few weeks, if not find a way to win the division, which isn’t likely to get all that much better, with the possible exceptionof the Angels, who could ultimately add Miguel Tejada, Manny Ramirez or Alfonso Soriano, without sacrificing anyone significant from their current core.

Next Up:What I think the Mariners will ACTUALLY do this winter. Some of the players are the same, but… ummm…


52 Responses to “The Plan”

  1. marinerswinws said

    Sounds good to me except i would rather have Baek then Eaton in the rotation. I like the idea of Wade Miller.

  2. Cha Seung Baek costs ya 400 grand and gives you below average work. For a million more, chump change that doesn’t prevent you fron making any other prospective moves, you can have Miller, who has a much better upside.

    If he gets hurt or doesnt work out, call Baek up and use him then.

    But ya might as well take the chance.

  3. Matthew C said

    He wasn’t saying Baek over Miller, he said Baek over Eaton.

    Anyways, the plan really doesn’t thrill me, but that’s not a slight against Jason, that’s just the reality that w/o Daisuke, the Ms, unless pulling off some incredible trades, can’t put together anything that thrills me. Among every FA SP out there, not a single one really interests me. Schmidt would only if he signs something like what Jason lays out. That’s it.

    This is going to be a crappy crappy year. Thanks Yamauchi.

  4. Great description of what the M’s SHOULD do, Jason.

    I don’t think however, that this is what will happen. I love the addition of Justin Speier you put in there, but I think Speier is more likely to get a job as a set-up man or closer somewhere, possibly San Francisco or Cleveland. The only other thing I disagree with is Wade Miller. I don’t think Miller would make a good 5th starter because I doubt he’ll get back to prior form.

    Just wondering, what are Francisco Cruceta’s chances of cracking the Big League team in 2007?

  5. warner28 said

    0% since Cruceta is not a mariner anymore.

    If you mean his chances with Texas, I have no idea.

  6. pensive said

    Jason, The worst news tidbit all off season was info regarding Mark Lowe’s injury (career threating?). Had no idea it is this serious. Of course not posting and Hargrove returning are sickening as well.

  7. Willmore said

    Jason, so your rotation involves just one starting lefty at Safeco ? Miller and Eaton are likely to crash and burn with the porch in right field. I would go after Igawa over Eaton for that reason alone, even if Igawa costs more. I like the Miller move as a low-risk one, but I would only get him if he’s in competition with other young arms for the job. Miller might be a nice long-reliever if he doesn’t get the job.

  8. jp17 said

    The thing I like best about this proposal is the lack of long term, big-money deals. Outside of Matsuzaka, nobody to me is a good fit long term for the price they’ll be asking. I like leaving options open year to year, and so far next year could be a better FA year and a few big money guys (Beltre, Sexson) may be easier to deal with a good return.

    I’m not too high on Eaton. Is there any specific reasoning for not including other Japanese pitchers (Kuroda, Igawa)? Do you not like what they bring, or possibly not counting on them even coming over?
    To me they seem like possible cheap solutions, but again, Eaton and Miller are that as well with actual MLB experience.

    Overall, I like the ideas. Maybe tweak a name or two, but the overall premise is the direction to take.

    Don’t commit to an expensive name just for the sake of placating fans.

    Good stuff.

  9. I got Cruceta confused with Ryan Feierabend, sorry. I have no clue how it happened, but it did.

    Anyway, what are Feierabend’s chances of making the M’s next season?

    Sorry again for the confusion.

  10. Bretticus said

    Hm. Well, there is one good 3B option on the market in Aramis Ramirez. He did opt out of his contract after all. Personally, I don’t think he’s a huge upgrade over Beltre, and likely not worth the money, but if we could find somewhere to put him, he’s a good MOTO bat. Beltre was drafted as a shortstop, so that could allow A-Ram to slot in. Our infield defense would get way worse, but our offense would look much better.

    I like the Wade Miller idea. If it doesn’t work out, we have Baek and Woods who can fill the spot.

    The only way I’d trade Sexson is for a big SP. Detroit seems a good place to send him. Maybe Sexson + Bobby Livingston for Bonderman? From what I’ve read, Detroit seems to under-value Bonderman, and they’re looking for offensive punch. Sexson’s a fit, but I wouldn’t trade him for just anyone in that rotation.

    I really like Dellucci in there too. I agree he’s always been very under rated…when given a chance to play, he’s a solid contributor. It’s less flashy than I thought it would be, but still, I think that team would be able to win. Nice job, Jason.

  11. JI said

    I think 2yrs/$12m is way too much for Dellucci, the guy has only been a regular much and is a platoon player. I would have a hard time believing he’d command that type of money. I’d rather go for a guy like Alou to DH, although he has his own drawbacks.

    Also, Scott Hatteberg signed an extension with the Reds some time ago. He’s going to make $1.7m(?) next year, and has a 2008 option.

    I doubt you could sign Schmidt to a three year deal, but if it is possible then it would be a good idea. Defiantly you want to steer clear of Lee/Soriano as a LF patch, I just don’t think they are really that good.

  12. JI said

    the guy has only been a regular much


  13. Alex said

    Is Jim Edmonds not a consideration because you think his option will ultimately be picked up by the Cardinals or they will decline it and bring him back at a smaller price tag?

  14. JI said

    I think it’d be foolish for St. Louis not to pick up his $10m option. They owe him $3m either way (as a buyout), and if they resigned him he’d probably make in neighborhood of $7m per anyway.

  15. Edmonds isn’t a very likely option… I had to stay reasonable and do things I thought were more than possible. St. Louis is probably going to buy Jimmy out and extend him for two seasons so he can end his career as a Redbird.

    As far as the rotation goes, I’d love to have Igawa, but he’s going to cost more than some thing, and he’s not likely to be any better than a fourth starter in performance, no matter where he’s slotted in the rotation. Eaton has a desire to be here, therefore making it very possible.

    I don’t give a rats about league average – or worse – lefties in the rotation. It doesn’t do ya much good if they dont get righties out very well – we’ve seen this before with a number of arms.

    Re: Hatteberg

    Ya know, I could have sworn the same, but didn’t have my notes available when i finished off the bench. So, in that case, I’d offer Broussard+Mateo for Hatteberg.

    The Reds are NOT going to start Dunn at first – if he returns – which doesnt make sense to me since he’s bad in left field, but they’d need a 1B to play at least versus righties. I would not be surprised if such a deal happened, and then Eddie Perez follows Ben to Cincy to complete the platoon.

    Either way, it’s very possible to get a Hatteberg level bat to come off the bench, they may just have to pay a little more to get it.

    I’m not willing to go into 2007 with Dobbs as my lefty stick off the bench. No way, no how. The M’s will NOT be much more than an average offense to begin with, so they need any help they can get, even in the form of a 150-AB reserve.

  16. Re: Dellucci

    That’s probably Dellucci’s market value and while he’s only been a regular for TWO years – not one, check it – he’s still THAT good right now.

    If I’m Bavasi, these are the types of moves I make this winter, if possible. He’s got one chance left to save his job and he has to be gutsy and take even more chances.

    I’d have loved to make one major trade but the club’s best trade piece is probably a little more important to the ’07 club than anticipated, now that Lowe is going to be out.

    Still, if Soriano+ can get a better bat than Dellucci without crashing the payroll, I’m for it, even without Lowe in the pen.

  17. JI said

    Well, Dellucci did play regularly at times last year but he only got in the neighborhood of 250 ABs, and yes he did kick ass in those 250 ABs.

    I’m all for Dellucci as a LF option, but I just have a hard time seeing a guy who’s had 700ABs in the last two seasons, and has only accumulated 400 ABs once in his career getting $6m per. I’m probably naive– I never though Troy Glaus would get an $11m/per deal either.

    I feel that if we’re going to go in for that much money for a platoon outfielder (assuming he platoons with Perez, with Ibanez playing LF v. LHP– Ibanez may need his own RH caddy but that’s another post entirely) we mights as well pick up and more reliable bat, one that can hit RH and LH, like Thomas, Piazza, or Alou.

    If we ditched Benaurdo that the $$$ saved from that plus the $$$ that would have been spent on Dellucci would more than cover anything. Personally I’d like Dellucci as a 4th OF, but I don;t think Dellucci would like that…

  18. JI said

    Ooops, DD also batted 400 times with the expansion D-Bax, but you get my drift.

  19. Dellucci-Cruz is a nice lefty-righty split and both are better defensively than Ibanez.

    D2 smacks righties pretty well and Cruz, while a switch hitter, has been much better versus lefties of late.

    The entire left fielder (between the two of them) would cost ya all of $7 mil, and you could have a .470 slugging corner man.

    Where else can you get that for 7 mil?

    You can’t.

  20. BTW, I thought you were seeing things when ya said 12 million, because it’s supposed to be 10 for Dellucci.

    2 and 10, total.

    I went back and fixed it, but it did originally say 12, my bad.

    Not a huge difference, but some. But that IS his market right now and if the M’s want him, they’ll have to skate across the top of it.

  21. JI said

    Not a huge difference, but some. But that IS his market right now and if the M’s want him, they’ll have to skate across the top of it.

    Can’t argue with that, especially if JC is the 4th OF. That gives you a lot of flexibility, and– as mentioned– its all non-comittal, so when that *real* MVP caliber hitter enters the market, you can blow your wallet then. Plus, if we’re completely out of it, he could probably be flipped in July.

    What I don’t trust is Hargrove’s ability to handle said platoon (unless of course he comes out and says its not a platoon, in which case were fine). Cruz is a switch-hitter, and you don’t platoon switch hitters. Hargrove’s idiocy is why I prefer the more expensive aging hitter that needs no platooning.

    Actually, my worst nightmare is the inevitable Snelling/Ballgame platoon out in right.

  22. Jerry said


    Interesting ideas. However, I think that your figures for Schmidt and Speier are way too low.

    Schmidt will be getting lots of offers for 4 years, and he would be taking a HUGE pay cut to play for the M’s. I just don’t see that happening. The Giants would beat that offer in a heartbeat. It would be sweet to have him sign for that little, but I don’t think it is reasonable to ask a guy to take that much of a pay cut.

    Justin Speier had a career year in 2006, and has been very good in the past few years. The free agent crop of relievers is thin this offseason, and some clubs may even be looking at him as a closer. Speier had a 2.98 ERA last year, with 9.64 K/9. He made 2.25 million last season. Why would he accept a huge paycut (1.5 million) and a one-year deal?

    If you want a good idea of what the market for Speier may be, look at what Bobby Howry (3 years, 12 mil) and Scott Eyre (3 years, 11 mil) got last season. That is what Speier should cost.

    Finally, the last problem I have with the offseason plan regards draft pick compensation. Schmidt, Dellucci, and Speier are all Type A free agents. If the M’s did make these moves, they would lose their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round draft picks. This is not a huge concern, since they will likely pick one up for losing Meche, but it still matters.

    I would not be pissed if they did this. I just don’t think that the figures you posted on a lot of these guys are realistic. Here is what I would expect all these guys to get:

    Schmidt: 4 years, 52 million
    Eaton: 2 years, 15 million
    Dellucci: 3 years, 21 million
    Speier: 3 years, 12 million

    I think that you are pretty close on Miller and Cruz.

  23. cujo said

    You guys think Raul is bad in the outfield try Deluchi out there and you will see brutal.As for miller he is a broken pitcher that will break down god bless him he just cant stay healthy 2 surgerys last 2 years and 1 before that he used to be special.Eaton has allready turned down 3 years 17 million so 2 years 10 has no chance.Hatteburg is under contract and they say Krivsky loves him also that bench could be the worst in the majors but i guess it doesnt matter because when hargrove plays them once every 2 weeks he puts them all in together.Spier will get around 4.5 million from someone who is desperate and thats really the only spot seattle isnt desperate.

  24. Dellucci is NOT worse than Raul in the outfield… He’s just not. He doesn’t have an arm, but he has more range and does not make more mistakes.

    Eaton turned down 3 and 17 from TEXAS, not his hometown team. Much different scenario.

  25. slim said

    I like Dellucci. In the free agent class, he’s my second option behind Bonds. I’ll take another year of Raul in LF if I can have Bonds DH. But I’m happy with Dellucci in LF. The scouting reports I’ve seen make me think he plays with the same abandon as Snelling. And he can hit. Check out his road splits from his years in the AL. Those aren’t just Ballpark in Arlington inflated numbers there.

    Speier will get a mlti-year deal for a lot more than $1.5 a year. The free agent class is weak on relievers this year. He’d be nice to have.

    I don’t see why Cora and Bloomquist are necessary. They seem redundant to me. How many reserve MIFs do we need? Neither of them should even bother bringing a bat to the park. I’d much rather have another reliever in the pen. And we WILL have 12 pitchers, so its a pipe dream to think we could have two MIFs anyway.

    Hatteberg would be nice, but he’d come with a $1.65 price tag and cost us trade pieces (he has value to the Reds). What’s he gonna do for us anyway? Pinch hit for YuBet 40 times a year and start 2 games at 1B? Dobbs actually did fine in that role, and I don’t see why he can’t continue to.

    Jose Cruz seems like a no-brainer.

    I’m apathetic on Eaton, but I expect him or Kuroda or Igawa will fill that role. I’ll take a $1.5 million (non-guaranteed) flyer on Miller too, but I’ll be rooting for Blackley to win the job in Spring Training.

    At backup catcher, I’m advocating a change. Ryan Doumit is my man. Reed for Doumit straight up ought to get it done. Doumit can hit from the left side, creating a natural platoon with Joh. Plus he’ll have trade value when Clement is ready to take on a role.

  26. I’m not sure Speier gets much more than 1.5, but I can see a 2-year deal, though the soft arket on relievers isn’t going to net him a ton of cash. I wouldn’t go more than 2 on him, personally.

    Reed doesn’t net the M’s Doumit, unfortunately, or I’d be on that wagon, too.

    Re: Dobbs

    He sucks. Next!

    Man, Slim, if Blackley found a way to win the 5th spot in ST, I’d jump for joy, because that would mean he’s all the way back, and if he’s good enough to win that spot, he’s a much needed lefty that would also be a cheap option, too. But his biggest attribute is his stubbornness. He could teach Felix and company a thing or two.

  27. On the Hatteberg thing…

    If he’s going to cost too much in trade, and his 1.55 mil salary is a lil steep, then go elsewhere. The M’s shouldn’t be settling for Dobbs as the lefty bat.

    While he might hit .275 off the bench, he has little pop and is just as good a bet to hit .240 as he is .275.

    I want a veteran. Stan Javier, where art thou?

  28. cujo said

    Deluchi is worse then Raul i swear on this!Eaton is gonna go where the highest bidder takes him.He lives in San Diego now so the home town discount means squat and you never get that when you are a last place club anyway.Guys would rather play in a winning enviorment at the same price are for less.

  29. slim said

    I don’t see much out on the open market for lefty bench bats: Ward (whom it sounds like the Braves want back), Stairs, Burnitz… Klesko might be an interesting option. I guess, I’m not too worried about this slot since I don’t see anyone playing that big of a role.

    I’m not sure how to gauge Doumit’s value right now. He had a bad year at the plate and lost the starting catcher’s job in Pitt. But then Neil Walker sounds like he’s turning into a bust, a least at catcher. How about Broussard and Reed for Doumit and a mldly interesting prospect? The Pirates gotta love a deal like that. Its better than bringing in a Joe Randa/Jeromy Burnitz again.

    Cujo, I’d be more inclined to believe you if you how to spell Dellucci’s name.

  30. Jerry said

    Do we really need a lefty bat that bad?

    If so, wait for the annual release of guys like Hee Seop Choi or Russ Branyan.

    Cheap bench bats are easy to find late in the offseason.

    Grover won’t use that player anyhow, so just bring in a guy like Petagine.

  31. Yeah, Cujo, cuz Richie Sexson went where the money was… he could have gotten at least as much elsewhere, but came to a last place team instead, because it’s where he’s from, even though he LIVED in Phoenix at the time. He didn’t even wait long enough to take enough offers to weigh against Seattle’s.

    Eaton’s immediate family, most of them anyways, still resides north of Seattle. That has a lot of weight. But sure, if some idiotic club with a dumb owner and a ridiculously stupid, egostistical GM wants to offer him three or more years at 6 mil guaranteed, he’ll probably take that instead.

    But he already turned down Texas, so there is no reason to discuss that again. They traded a better, cheaper pitcher to get Eaton in the first place, with a near All-Star caliber lefty bat to boot, and then tried to offer him money he doesn’t deserve?

    I believe it’s true, but if a team is THAT stupid, why is it so hard to believe that a player might give some on the money if it means coming back to where he’s from?

    Unless Eaton has TOLD you that he doesn’t think fondly of Seattle… which he hasn’t.

  32. Slim:

    I’d think Pitt might do that if it weren’t for the arby dollars Ben is due. That club is cheap.

    And yeah, the M’s do need a worthy bat off the bench, and they aren’t easy to find, because many teams covet them.

    Sure, Choi or Branyan would do, I guess, but the M’s wouldn’t be the only team calling them, so if they wait on those types, they may not get one.

    It’s not a top priority and can be something that is added during the year, but in my plan, it had to addresses or I would have been ridiculed for having Morse and Dobbs on the bench. I had a little money to spend, I spent it on short term reserves so I could put the very best, but REALISTIC 25-man roster that I think the M’s are capable of putting out there.

    They WON’T, because apparently WE ALL are smarter than they are, but hey…

  33. Oh, and… No… Dellucci is NOT worse than Raul in the field. I don’t care if Jon Daniels says so, it’s just not true.

    Neither make a ton of ERRORS and Raul has a little bit better arm, but D2 has more range, takes better routes on fly balls and liners.

    I did the homework, I went back and watched a lot of Philly games with Dellucci in left. Lots of clicking the FFWD button on MLBtv, but I watched enough balls hit out his way to see he’s better in left than Ibanez.

  34. Edman said

    As I see it….there are some things I like, some I don’t.

    First off, I think Broussard stays, period. I don’t see a big improvement by adding Dellucci, quite honestly. At best, it’s nearly a wash. I do like picking up Cruz Jr. and Cora.

    And, I do like your recommendations for the starting rotation, sans Miller. It’s Baek’s job to lose. I wouldn’t hand it to someone else, just because of the old “better stuff” clause. You invite Miller to camp, with a bumped guaranteed contract, fine. But, I wouldn’t go over a million guaranteed…..and think $700K is more than enough.

    I also think Eaton is better than most think. I don’t expect him to be great, but he can be solid. He never fully recovered from his injury last year. He had spurts of solid work.

    All in all, I think we’re going to see lots of movement, particularly in the rotation. There could three new faces, realistically.

    The M’s aren’t far from competing for the division. Many don’t think so, but there are far fewer holes today, than there were at this time last year. We’ve gone from renovation….to tweeking.

  35. How is Ben v Dellucci a wash?

    Look deeper than the HR, RBI and SLG areas, Edman. You’ll figure it out.

  36. cujo said

    There will be some dumb GM are a owner with a ego that will pay alot for eaton only because the free agent market is piss poor this year!That dumb GM might even be in seattle who knows.We will never agree on Delluchi your eyes tell you one thing mine tell me something else.Sexson owned a home in vancouver also at the time he signed here and they had not been in last place 3 straight years at that time also.Sometimes players going back to where they grow up has a very poor effect because of the pressure they put on themselves and the fact that everyone wants the guys free time.

  37. Bretticus said

    Eaton will come here. My dad sold him some stereo equiptment a few years ago when he worked at Magnolia Hi-Fi in the offseason. He signed a business card and flat-out told him “I want to sign with Seattle when I’m a free agent”…so unless he gets a monster offer, it’s almost as good as done that Eaton’s an M.

  38. jp17 said

    I’ll take Dellucci over Broussard. This team is sorely lacking for guys that can just plain get on base. Dellucci could do just that with comparable power numbers, but much better OBP. Plus he gives us the added benefit of moving Raul to DH, thereby upgrading the defense and the overall flexibility of the roster.

  39. Mike L said

    I’m really interested in the M’s going after Ted Lilly. His K numbers were better than Zito and Schmidt last year.

  40. M-Pops said

    A trade of Ben+Washburn+(Fruto/Campillo/Woods/Baek)+$$ to Washington for Nick Johnson has been mentioned on other sites. Washington has bigger holes in their starting rotation than the M’s do, this would get the M’s out from under that horrible contract, and M’s get the OBP guy they need.

    Wash. gets the 200 inning starter they need (for a good price after the $ from the M’s), and they get another viable starter for the 4/5 spot.

    I think that this would be very unlikely now that Kuroda signed with the Carp, not to mention the fact that the FO seems to really like Washburn, but I would still like to see it happen…What do you think?

  41. drrrew said

    Jason, does that team you put together win the division?

    The starting pitching still looks pretty bad after the first two. I would assume Ibanez slides some while Lopez has a more consistent season. Snelling is a step up over Reed/Jones/Bloomquist. Delucci can’t possible be as bad as Everett/Broussard/Perez.

    Does this team as constituted have a 15 game improvement in it?

    I understand the rationale behind not paying an obscene amount for Matsuzaka but he really looked like the only chance the team had at doing something exciting this offseason. The changes you’ve suggested, while positive, are worth a shoulder shrug at best in terms of excitement and I’m assuming that when you post what you think the team actually will do, it’s going to look even uglier.

    I’d like to see them do something bold, make a run at Carl Crawford or Vernon Wells or Adam Dunn, hell, take a flyer on Barry Bonds…someone that would dramatically change the look of this team.

  42. Edman said

    I get tired of the crappy fantasy league trade ideas.

    Nick Johnson isn’t coming here, because the M’s package a “bunch” of guys together.

    Geez….think about it….would you trade Sexson for three guys who won’t make you better?…..or poorer?

  43. I think the above team contends seriously, but probably loses out to an Angels squad that is likely to get markedly better offensively this winter. I think they should win 88 games or more with the above roster, or something very close to it.

    Re: Nick Johnson

    The Nats love the dude and he isn’t expensive for them, so, like Edman is saying, that isn’t happening.

    Ted Lilly? Ok, sure, but not for what he’s asking for — 7+ mil PER x three years. His K numbers aren’t bad, but look at his G/F rate and his worse than mediocre walk rates.

    Lilly is ok. That’s it. He’s just ok.

  44. Baseballistic said


    With less than 24 hours left to submit bids, who do you think will get Matsuzaka?

  45. Vidya said

    Thanks for the list of Minor League Free Agents.

    I see you do like the vets. If the Mariners can get Schmidt and Eaton to reasonable contracts, that would be fine. I would not get a vet for the #5 starting pitcher. Baek would fill that role fine, and Feierabend should be given the opportunity to compete for the spot in ST.

    Guys like Cora, Cruz and Perez might be nice to have around, but to fill the bench with them would be a waste. One would be good. Because Hargrove puts his relief pitchers into roles, having 7 guys in the pen is a must. He doesn’t use his bench players anyway.

    Dellucci sounds like the kind of player the Mariners might go after. Personally I would keep Broussard and use rookies to fill in as needed.

    What’s the point of building a minor league system, if all that’s going to happen is they end up as minor league free agents? We need to give the young players an opportunity to compete for spots on the roster. Filling them up with aging vets just blocks what young talent we have.

  46. Rick said

    I don’t think there is any way we get Cora. Boston is said to be smitten with his play this past season and, let’s face it, they need backup MI help more than we do. Also, as stated above, having him and Bloomquist on the team seems like a waste. I do like Dellucci as a defensive outfielder much more than Ibanez, though the biggest weakness in Raul’s defensive game is his HORRIBLY weak arm (it is accurate), and Dellucci’s isn’t much (any?) better. One thing that isn’t being mentioned enough though is that Dellucci works the count and gets on base by drawing walks….something the M’s need BAD.

  47. I have to be realistic here, I don’t see any point at all going and making up unrealistic trades to land Manny Ramirez or Roy Halladay, so the PLAN isn’t a dream offseason by any stretch. But I’m not going to act like money, the market and the state of the franchise have no bearing on what the roster looks like in 2007.

    As far as the rookies, what rookies have proven they can help a contending team? That’s how the FO should be thinking… we wanna be a contender, who can help us get there? And that includes benchies and bullpen guys.

    There was a few million bucks left, so why not add some vet benchies instead of hoping Dobbs and Morse get it done?

    The only YOUNG players that deserve a shot to WIN a spot on the roster are Snelling, who should be a given, save for injury, knock on maple and ash, and maybe Baek. Lopez and Yubet are already in… Dobbs and Morse are borderline deserving… they MIGHT derserve to be in the running… but a good bench can only carry one of them, at most.

  48. Willmore said

    I still can’t help but think that there’s a chance the Mariners were sneaky enough to drop out of the bidding just to force the bid price down. The Yankees would have paid 30-40 mil, if they thought the Mariners had a billionaire’s pocketbook behind them. This way, it allows the bids to be as “low” as 18-20 mil. Which would theoretically allow the Mariners to get D-Mat (I hate the nickname already) on the cheap, relative to what was predicted. The idea that the system is generally not clean is fair, but with so much scrutiny on Matsuzaka, I don’t think much manipulation will be possible, beyond whatever Boras’ sneaky mind conjures up. Also, Boras might actually be trying to steer D-Mat towards the Mariners by spreading the rumours of New York or bust, thus, once again, lowering the bidding. I can’t believe Matsuzaka would refuse to go here. Boras knows Bavasi, Matsuzaka understands the importance of a good pitcher-catcher tandem, he’ll get pretty much the same deal from whatever team bids on him, and he has 7+ years to win a championship, so wanting to go to the Yankees might be a smoke screen as well.

    Chances are, it’s not, but I keep getting a funny feeling about this. Too few leaks, too few much of a slam-dunk for Steinbrenner.

  49. Willmore said

    And here’s the conspiracy theory scenarist in me: Mariners win rights to Matsuzaka, but turn around and trade him to the Yankees with Beltre for A-Rod and Philip Hughes. Eh ? Never gonna happen, but imagine the headlines on ESPN and in NY papers.

  50. Goose said

    I would seriously consider that deal. Hughes is pretty good and we all know how good A-Rod is.

    Heh, if it turns out the Mariners end up winning the bidding after all, what the Mariners did has to be considered the greatest disinformation campaign ever. Because EVERYBODY would of have been fooled.

  51. If they made some token bid, it surely wasn’t enough to win the bidding.

  52. Willmore said

    Update: Matsuzaka decision will not be made until Friday (perhaps Saturday our time)

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