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Stupid Yankees… And Other Notes

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on November 28, 2006

The New York Yankees are the winners. The winners of the Kei Igawa Sweepstakes, which makes them losers. The Bronx Bombers bid more than $25 million for the rights to Igawa, a left-handed starter. Yes, $25 million for the rights to sign him to a contract and pay him a salary.

It’s not much different than what the Boston Red Sox did with star right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka earlier this month, when they won with a bid of $51.1 million.

Matsuzaka is perhaps the greatest pitcher in Japanese Baseball History and his stuff directly translates to the major leagues. But 1/20th of one billion dollars just to earn the rights to pay him what is rumored to be more than 10 million a year for at least three years? That’s $80 million for three years of a starting pitcher.

No thanks.

But Matsuzaka is one story. He’s a legit US Baseball prospect. Igawa is another tale altogether. While there are questions as to how good Matsuzaka will be in MLB, the questions surrounding Igawa are more along the lines of “is he a No. 4 starter or a reliever?”

And the brilliant New York Yankees just paid more money for the rights to the 27-year-old than they did to retain Mike Mussina through the 2008 season.

The early rumors on Igawa’s contract demands are three years and about $6-6.5 million per, slightly more than what the Seattle Mariners gave to catcher Kenji Johjima last winter. But add in the posting fee and the Yankees are paying about $45 million for three years of a “potential” No. 4 starter.

We all know that money is not a matter to the New York Yankees, so there’s really no ripping them on value in a deal like this. But to take such a risk with Igawa instead of tossing that cash into the pot of US starters, where they could have landed two established MOR starting pitchers for the price of Igawa, is, well, stupid.

This, among other reasons, is why the Yankees haven’t won a World Series in six years after they captured four in a five-year span of the late 90s and 2000. They buy players and look for the quick fix – sound familiar?

The Seattle Mariners, however, made a smart business decision not to try and outbid the Yankees and Red Sox on Matsuzaka. They made an even better decision to play the game with Igawa’s posting with a conservative eye.

So far, the Seattle Mariners have given no inclination that they are going to be signing overpriced, risky, aging free agents to four and five-year contracts, and that includes Jason Schmidt.

The club could have gotten involved in the talks for Carlos Lee, but didn’t even consider paying the preposterous price, nor should they have.

But onward go the big-market, big-money teams, spending away and barely looking at what they’re getting for their money, and the Chicago Cubs are as guilty of this as anyone in recent memory.

The 2005 Cubs had two main issues, aside from the health of their best players, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez; starting pitching and getting on base.

So what did they do over the past four weeks? Signed two players over the age of thirty with nearly identical career OBP’s of .331 and .325, to three and eight year deals, totalling $149 million dollars — and neither are pitchers, either. Good luck with that, Lou.

Chicago offered RHP Jason Schmidt a three-year deal believed to be worth more than $40 million, too, and that offer may have a fourth year vesting option worth $14 million – that’s 4/54 for a 34-year-old declining pitcher with a history of nagging back and shoulder problems.

There’s been one solid free-agent signing this winter, and that’s the 3-year, $12 million deal that OF/DH David Dellucci signed with the Cleveland Indians on Monday. Other than that, every contract has disaster written all over it.

And ya know what? None of them (yet) were signed by players who will wear navy and white next season. Let’s all be thankful for that.

The longer the Mariners go without getting into the free agent market, the more it appears they are curbing their interests in this year’s market. And that’s a good thing… a very good thing.

Notes: The trade front has cooled, but there are things on the burner in Bavasi’s office, though he’s supposedly been home in SoCal, apparently GM’ing remotely… Jeremy Reed will not be a Mariner come Christmas… Teams are asking Seattle for closer J.J. Putz… The Giants aren’t likely to bite on Richie Sexson as they plan on either re-upping with Bonds or spending the extra money on pitching… Don’t expect the Manny Ramirez rumors to end until he actually gets dealt… but for some reason Seattle isn’t being proactive so Ramirez isn’t coming here, not that he’d waive his no-trade for Seattle anyways.

Prospect Watch: Early signs point to the Mariners re-signing RHP Jorge Campillo, who was DFA’d earlier this month in order to make room on the 40-man roster for the necessary rule 5 protection. If he returns, Campillo, 28, could battle for a spot at the end of the M’s rotation… Last June’s first-round pick Brandon Morrow is likely to start the 2007 season in Double-A West Tennessee with a chance to join the M’s bullpen by the end of the year. Don’t worry, he’s still a prospect for the rotation, but he’ll probably get the Joel Pineiro treatment in that regard… Expect newly signed Latin prospects Mario Martinez and Carlos Truinfel to both play in the states this year, likely in Peoria with the rookie club. Martinez, a multi-tooled outfielder, signed for $650,000 last month and the 16-year-old Truinfel, a five-tool shortstop, signed for more than 1$ million and is considered among the top 10 prospects in the organization by, well, me… The Tacoma Rainiers added an owner today. Yep, Mr. Nick Lachey, formely Mr. Jessica Simpson, joined the Dallas based ownership group. I guess that means I’ll have to listen to his sappy, crappy pop songs from the press box at Cheney now.

Great.

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111 Responses to “Stupid Yankees… And Other Notes”

  1. J said

    The curious thing about Martinez is that he’s been playing all around in the LVBP minor leagues. I’ve seen his name come up in boxes as playing at short and third in addition to the outfield. He probably ends up in the outfield by the end, but the athleticisim is impressive, and he’s hitting. That doesn’t mean much of anything, but it’s better than not hitting, I’d say.

  2. Doug Taylor said

    Jason,

    Do you expect Bavasi to be busy at the Winter Meetings, and, if so, how? I wholeheartedly agree that it’s good news that the M’s have not been part of the free agent market, as there hasn’t really been anyone who would help the team (except perhaps Dellucci or a Wade Miller-type), and the market’s been insane for the big catches.

    So, are there guys out there who would still be of some use? What can we do in the trade market without giving up the farm? It sounds like, for us to improve, we will have to pull off a blockbuster move like the one you might have heard about. I’m glad we’re not spending in this market…but we can’t just stand pat with what we’ve got, or at least Bavasi, Hargrove, and Lincoln can’t.

  3. Lots of signing don’t hit in the LVBP, minors, too, so that is a good sign, J, thanks for the info.

    Re: Doug

    I do expect Bavasi to be busy, if by busy, you mean putting his hand in every cookie jar within sight. Lots of trade talk already and that will only heighten next week.

    There are guys of use still out there, but there aren’t any bargains because the market sucks. November and most of December are for huge dollars… after Christmas hits, players and agents usually come down a bit in price because they run out of options and time.

    The waiting game is very tough to play because a lot of times you end up with nothing.

    I think they’ll do something, and they still may jumo into the Schmidt thing head first, but at least the rumors aren’t out there about Seattle offering 5 and 60 right now.

  4. Alex said

    Do you know of anyone the Mariners have been “hot” on other than Huff?

  5. RollingWave said

    At least the Yankees makes the playoffs every year in a pretty tough division…..

    this isn’t a smart move, but it’s nothing disastorous/ team killing like the Juan Pierre deal. espically when the Yankees are involved, at worest they waste money. while the alternatives out there certainly isn’t very attractive anyway , so you would have a different opiion if the Yankees go out and throw a 6/96 at Zito?

    The M’s havn’t made any dumb moves so far, but if they make no dumb moves and end up with nothing, and suck again next year and Ichiro leaves… that would make Bavasi real smart?

  6. Jerry said

    “The M’s havn’t made any dumb moves so far, but if they make no dumb moves and end up with nothing, and suck again next year and Ichiro leaves… that would make Bavasi real smart?”

    Uhhh….yeah, it would.

    I don’t think that M’s can go into this offseason with Ichiro’s situation as their main concern. Bavasi needs to make moves that will make the club better in 2007 and beyond, irrespective of what Ichiro thinks about them. Who knows, perhaps a slow offseason would make Ichiro less likely to resign. But he is a player, and Bavasi is the GM. He can’t let a player determine the clubs direction.

    Besides, assuming that Ichiro does want to resign, it will be pricey. If getting him to sign is contingent on the M’s handing out bad contracts this offseason……

  7. Oly Rainiers Fan said

    So what’s the deal with King5 reporting tonight that there’s going to be a press conference tomorrow announcing that Nick Lachey is now part-owner of the Tacoma Rainiers? I thought Kirby Schlegel just bought the team…

  8. Jerry said

    Thanks for the update Jason. Good stuff.

    Nice to hear some real prospect news, especially the new guys. Do we know anything about Martinez? All I have heard about is his signing bonus and his position.

    Good news about Campillo as well. The way this offseason is going, the M’s really could use some good luck next year. I don’t know if Campillo will ever be more than a marginal #5 starter, but having one more guy to throw into the mix for that last spot in the rotation is a good thing. That has to increase the M’s chances of a pleasant suprise.

    Regarding free agency, am I the only one here with an impending sense of doom?

    The farther we get into the offseason, the more I hope that the M’s don’t sign one single free agent. I wouldn’t mind seeing them make a few smaller moves, a few good trades, and focus on 2008.

  9. Just because the Igawa thing, and many other deals, isn’t team killing, doesn’t mean it’s SMART. Hence the “stupid” moniker.

    It’s very fitting to that front office.

  10. Lachey simply joined the group that recently bought the Rainiers.

  11. Jerry said

    Oh, one last thing:

    How would you guys feel about the M’s moving Putz if the right deal came around?

    Everyone has talked a bunch about how Soriano is expendable. Really, Soriano has been consistently dominant more than Putz has. Putz was fantastic this year, but the M’s really have two closers on their roster right now. That is a major advantage.

    If Putz has a lot higher trade value than Soriano, perhaps the M’s should entertain the idea. I like Putz better than Soriano, but if the trade would net better value, it could be wroth it.

    It would have to be a great deal for the M’s. Putz is cheap and insanely good. But if the M’s could bring in a 3-4 hitter or a good young starter, they would have to consider it.

    Then, they could go sign Octavio Dotel or Eric Gagne (assuming he is still looking good in workouts) to hedge their bets a bit.

    Just a thought.

  12. Nighthawk180 said

    I would much rather trade Soriano because of the money factor. Considering that Putz makes what 350,000 or so a year as to 1.5 mil. or so a season. I totally like them both and wouldnt like to trade them but if the right deal came along anything goes.

  13. Slackman said

    Jason,
    What do you mean that Brandon Morrow will get the “Joel Piniero treatment”? I hope Morrow doesn’t end up like Piniero.

  14. larryl said

    On the Yankee signing Igawa, I’m guessing he will be available by next off-season for a couple of prospects and the Yanks will be out the $25 mil. Not that they care, but that is usually the end result of their overspending on marginal guys.

    Trade JJ? You bet, but the M’s better get a bundle.

  15. Re: Morrow

    I mean he might pitch out of the pen for a half year, a year or so, and then be thrust into the rotation.

  16. Katal said

    Slackman – Piniero debuted in the majors coming out of the bullpen. It wasn’t until after he established success there as a longman that they moved him into the rotation. I suspect that Jason sees the team doing something similar with Morrow.

  17. Katal said

    … darn. Right after I post my reply, the page refreshes, and there’s Churchill’s response.

  18. Exactly, Katal. I think he gets a few dozen frames, minimum, in the pen before getting a number of starts, mainly because he might be effective as a reliever and help the club at the time… and could make a non-contending Mariners team able to deal Soriano.

  19. marinerswinws said

    Hope we can get somebody this offseason.

  20. Jason,

    I saw that you mentioned that JD Drew has agreed to a 5yr 74M deal with the Red Sox. Just curious why you think that deal is just as bad as Carlos Lee’s. Also, what kind of year do you expect from him in Boston next season?

  21. 3rd Watch said

    Report in the Seattle PI suggests that Garcia is on the M’s front. Don’t want to overpay for his services seeing that the M’s only have Reed and Morse left from that deal. Don’t think they will take them both back for Freddy. Ha. I don’t feel that the PI is always up to speed and speculates on what might be pipe dreams of the past that made good headlines. The last person I want to see with out with Freddy is Felix.

    As far as the idea of trading Putz. No way this guy is an animal and has shown that he has the best stuff of any of our arms, maybe in the MLB. You gotta keep Putz and lock him up to a long term deal that is financally sound. The ninth inning was never a problem this year and that is something that we have not seen much of in past years.

    I’d like to see an offer to Lilly. Looks like the Yanks are in over there heads with the sum of 21 million to an unproven player. If it takes 23 mil to sign both he and Schmidt I see that as a major improvment.

    Jason any news on the M’s and Marlins trade front? If the M’s could coupe Jacobs to replace Sexton that would be a nice fit. I see the puzzle pieces set for a few deals to go down, but it appears that they are contingent upon each deal falling into place.

    Hot Stove is here and we need it with the cold weather.

  22. Edman said

    Trading Putz…..and just who closes, Soriano? And if Soriano’s closing, who gets setup duty?

    Bad idea. Putz is a guy you keep and anchor to, not trade him just because you have value. Nobody gets better creating more holes….you get better, filling them.

    The insanity that is baseball is amazing to me. Drew, worth $15 million a season, for five years? He’s Ibanez with a glove and a little better OBP. The market is just stupid at the moment, and the teams with the most money are killing it. The new CBA hurt baseball, it didn’t help it.

    Seattle will be OK, because they at least have competative money, but hardly the kind of money BoSox, Yankees, and the Cubs have. Those teams have been spending money like there is no end to the cash flow.

    There will be three big losers.

    1. Fans in small markets. Their teams won’t be able to compete as the gap gets even wider. There is NO way out for them. And worse for the fan, they will likely see ticket prices rise, to fill the gaps.

    2. Fringe players. They’re going to get reamed badly. More quality guys are going to have to accept crappy contracts, because a lion’s share of the money goes to the fortunate few. At this rate, there won’t be much of a middle class, in baseball. It will be those who have, and those who wish they had.

    2. Small market teams. As mentioned about, the fans get hammered, but more so, it spells doom for the small market teams. They will become suppliers, again, much as they were in the eighties and early ninties. They can’t even get a break under the new draft compensation system, which is their only realistic way to compete. You’ll see more players refusing to go to those teams, since the odds of being competative are now worse. Just when their players get good, they’ll do an A-Rod, and go for the money.

    I see nothing but a decline for baseball. The owners and players have done it to fans, this time. While the new CBA may seem to be about finding common ground, it’s more about opening the candy jar, on both sides.

    I see no good at all, for the near future of baseball. Both sides have proven they can’t be good guardians of the game, and have found a way to make sure the big teams are grabbing even more.

  23. Malcolm said

    ^^^^^

    *yawn*

    I’m sorry, I thought it was 1994 again.

  24. 3rd Watch said

    Oakland and Minnesota have done it very well for being in small markets with small payroll. They do not share the market that the M’s bring. You really have to feel for KC and Pittsburgh. Two storied teams with plenty of great history and players.

    I’m tired of hearing that the M’s are small market!! The problem with FA’s and players is that we are located too close to Alaska. I forget the quote and who said that and surely don’t want to take the credit.

    Speaking of Oakland, I wonder if a new stadium will bring in larger revenue? They are in the third or fourth largest market and the Bay Area is a great place to live. I’d hate to see what they might do if they had more money. My guess is that Beane would be able to write a new book. The M’s should strike while they can they have way too nice of a ballpark and ample revenue to not capitalize on what is presently at hand.

  25. Edman said

    I’m confused, just where did I declare the M’s a small market team?

  26. david flock said

    some of these comments are so depressing, trade richie, why? he has been everything as advertised home run’s rbi’s and a much better defensive first baseman than we thought. as for trading putz or soriano how stupid would that be? there both good citizens and still very cheap and very good as i said before until hargrove is gone there will be no improvement.

  27. Sneekes said

    Trouble is – if we successfully avoid signing players to stupid contracts – and we don’t trade some of our existing good players -then Washburn will be our 2nd best starter, and Pineiro may well be in the rotation.
    If we are going to do that then we may aswell trade anyone on a big contract and go into full rebuild mode. There doesn’t seem much point in winning 80 games. But that’s not an option for Bavasi/Lincoln etc

  28. David Flock,

    Trading Sexson frees 28 million over the next two years… that’s a lot of money to use in other areas and to use better at first base.

    Did you know that beyond all the homers and rbi that Sexson is only worth 7 runs over replacement? For 14 million, that’s absurd.

  29. Edman said

    Wow, on paper, everything is simple.

  30. Edman, you’re just flat out wrong regarding the Sexson situation. That’s how simple it really is.

  31. Edman said

    BTW….more absurd that paying the insane contracts that are currently going around?

    And, where do you suggest we get “cheap” equivalent help? You speak as if it’s $28 million, free and clear. That’s fuzzy math. Try……

    $28 million
    -(cost of replacement)
    ———————–
    = Adjusted cost of replacement.

    And, lets just use the dollars that a certain former Texas outfielder who sorta represents the center of the market as and example……

    So, in terms of this year only……

    $14 million
    -$10 million
    ————-
    $4 million net gain.

    Even if you adjust the numbers down, it’s still not enough to make a big slash. It ONLY works, if you have a cheap alternative, preferably from within the organization…..which Seattle doesn’t.

  32. Edman said

    And Jason, you’re ABSOLUTELY right? Glad to see you’re open minded.

  33. Jerry said

    Edman,

    The M’s DO have cheaper alternatives in the organization:

    Ben Broussard
    Raul Ibanez (shifted to 1B)

    That’s two big league players already on the roster who could play 1B right now.

    Other cheap options:

    Craig Wilson (who will probably be the best bargain this offseason after Dellucci)
    Erubiel Durazo (who is a good bet to be this years Frank Thomas)

    I am sure that you are about to regurgitate your tired argument about how none of those guys have put up as many RBI and HRs as Sexson. But the fact is, all of those guys are better values, and would give the M’s the ability to spend their money more effectively.

  34. Edman,

    Trading Sexson means an extra 14 for TWO STRAIGHT YEARS.

    And it’s much easier to replace Sexson’s overall value to this team than you obviously believe.

    He posted a 6.0 RC/G mark this past season and surely isn’t going to be much better, if he’s better at all, in 2007 and 2008. He’s 32 in December and clearly on decline, though he isn;t going to truly blow wads in either year.

    But take that number and think about it… 6.0. If there were 9 Sexson’s making up the M’s lineup last year, they would have scored 6 runs per game.

    Ya know who else posted numbers in the 5.6 to 6.5 range last year?

    Dellucci – 6.2 – .950
    Overbay – 6.2 – 2.5
    Kevin Millar – 6.0 – 2.1
    Adam LaRoche – 6.3 – .420
    Mike Jacobs – 5.6 – .327
    Geoff Jenkins – 5.9 – 7.8
    Melky Cabrera – 5.9 – .327
    Emil Brown – 5.7 – 1.8
    Matt Murton – 5.7 – .327

    All nine of those players either play OF, DH or 1B, or a combination of the three… all posted 5.6 to 6.2 RC/G numbers, 7 of them are lefthanded, which plays better at Safeco and in the righty heavy M’s lineup, and combined they made 16.5 million bucks, just 2.5 mil more than Sexson will make in 2007 and 2008 – each.

    If the Mariners traded Sexson for, say Hayden Penn of the Orioles, then turned around and sent Penn and Jeremy Reed to Florida for Mike Jacobs, the Seattle Mariners would be as good or better than they were in 2006 WITH SEXSON, and they’d have 14 million extra dollars in payroll to sign pitching or take on a contract or two in whichever way they deemed necessary.

    You don’t have to have a replacement for Sexson in the bag, you just have to know you can get one that’s at least as valuable, and that’s not hard to do at all.

  35. Salty Dog said

    A Broussard/Wilson platoon would be nice.

    All this, of course, depends on what’s available in return for Sexson. He’s a very good player and should only be dealt if it makes the team better, not just to clear salary room.

  36. Edman must not believe in runs created or VORP numbers, because even the front office people I have talked to think the Mariners have to jump at any chance to deal Sexson, even if they don’t have a ready replacement.

  37. Salty,

    Of course, you don’t want to clear the roster spot and the salary and do nothing with it… but to assume they wouldnt do anything with it is shortsighted, not that you are saying that at all.

    This all comes down to a simple decision.

    If the Mariners had Ben Broussard playing first base last year on their 77 or 78 win team and Richie Sexson was asking Seattle for a 2-year, 28 million contract, would they/should they give it to him?

    The answer is no.

  38. Lamda said

    so Jason – make me happy and tell me there is some good news coming the M’s way via a trade or signing, lol.

  39. Ok, Lamda.

    The M’s are about to make a trade for Alex Rodriguez where they give up Sexson and a prospect, and then flip Rodriguez and a B prospect to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp and James Loney.

    Feel better?

    Merry Christmas.

  40. larryl said

    Jason,
    I wonder if you don’t undervalue Sexson. He is one of only a few guys you can legitimately expect to hit forty homers (Okay, he didn’t last year, but that’s the expectation), fifty in the right circumstance. If he were a free agent in this market, I’m sure he would get at least what he’s getting now, which is probably why other teams are interested.
    I don’t mind trading Sexson, in fact, I’d be in favor, but we need to get value and we need to find someone who can hit a three-run homer since that is how Hargrove manages.
    Who is expressing interest and what might we reasonably expect to get for Sexson?

  41. Jerry said

    Jason,

    I like the idea of Geoff Jenkins.

    He had an off year, but put up great numbers in the second half last season (like Sexson). He would probably need a platoon partner, but he would give the M’s a big improvement defensively in either RF or LF (with Snelling playing the other corner).

    Jenkins could be picked up for nearly nothing. His salary is steep (1 year/7 mil) but he wouldn’t require a long-term commitment. He is a local guy and a lefthanded bat as well. Perfect.

    Move Sexson. Put Broussard or someone else at 1B. Move Ibanez to DH (or 1B?) and pencil Jenkins in for LF.

    That would give the M’s a significant defensive upgrade, little if any offensive change, and $7 million bucks in free payroll (and $14 mil next season).

    In this market, that would be a great way to go.

  42. JH said

    Jerry – from what I’ve heard, the Ms absolutely love Martinez. Projectable and athletic as all hell. They had him locked up well in advance of the July 2 “first day” to ink international players this year. I’m betting that the reason you didn’t see more about him pre-signing is that no teams other than the Ms were even looking at him after they reached their verbal agreement, so he flew under the radar in the ESPNdeportes/BA “top international players” lists.

    Fun fact to keep in mind if either Martinez or Triunfel end up starting the year in Everett: the last four Mariners players to play in Everett at age 17 were Felix Hernandez, Adam Jones, Jose Lopez, and Chris Snelling.

  43. Lamda said

    hahaha… not really but I appreciate the effort.

    On a serious question though – you say that the M’s are not showing interest in the high salaries for aging FA’s yet you think we will sign Schmidt. How far do you think the M’s are willing to go? If it becomes a 4/60 or even say a 5/70 will we bite on it or let him go?
    Also – is our interest in Jennings dead or is that still a possibility?

  44. The interest is there, Lamda, but I dont think Seattle can beat the offers of Minnesota or the Cubs.

  45. For the record, I’d make that trade in a heartbeat 🙂

  46. Knuckles said

    JAC: I didn’t get to see many games at Cheney after LaHair was called up. How is he defensively at 1B? Why would he not be a potential candidate to replace VORPing Sexson?

  47. I saw a few games at Cheney, Knuckles, with LaHair at first, and in the games I watched, I had no complaints. He can stretch and pick it out pretty good, as far as I could see. His size is probably a help. But, yeah, Church saw him more than I did of course, and his POV is much, much more valid than mine 🙂

  48. LaHair might not be quite ready, and there is still some question as to whether he can hit and hit for enough sustained power to be a regular, but he’d certainly be a candidate a year from now, or midseason if they made the deal at those times instead of now.

  49. wsm said

    Freeing up Sexson’s salary doesn’t do us as fans any good, not this year anyway. What are we gonna do with that money? Having an extra $14 million to spend in 2006 is not a good thing, since whoever we sign with that money is likely going to be sucking up that salary beyond 2007 as well. Unless its Bonds. I’m all for that.

    Still if we can get something useful for Sexson its worth considering. Trading him just to free up salary doesn’t make much sense right now. We can talk about that in July.

  50. Trading Sexson and saving the payroll space doesn’t do anything for the fans?
    It’s good for the future, immediate and distant, of the roster and how it’s constructed for the betterment of the current club.
    You don’t trade Richie JUST to save the salary. You do it so you can use the 14 million per season more effectively.
    This is such a no-brainer. I’d take one B level prospect (even though they should be able to get a little more than that) for Sexson, take that prospect, toss it into a pot with another one or two B spects and get Sexson’s replacement.
    Voila.
    Why wouldn’t the team trading FOR Sexson just go out and do that instead of trading for Richie in the first place? Some team want proven veteran bats instead of players that are still developing. This is a chance for the Mariners, for once, to be the smart team and realize that Mike Jacobs, for example, is a far more valuable asset than Richie Sexson and that just because Sexson hits 30-40 homers a year, that doesn’t mean he’s a better hitter to have than any number of bats that can be had.

  51. Knuckles said

    Name brand familiarity is everything, apparently. Me? I’d rather save the 14 large.

  52. But again, it’s not about SAVING it, ultimately.

  53. larryl said

    I still haven’t heard. What teams are actually interested in trading for Sexson? How about Putz? Soriano?

  54. Knuckles said

    Right. And I’m not suggesting the M’s are going to sock it away. Payroll budgets are meant to be spent. But, as you say, I don’t think his numbers would really be that hard to replace.

  55. Edman said

    I love the list of alernative players. So, we save money on Sexson, then have to trade for most on the list, perhaps costing Adam Jones, depending on who you get back.

    And, everyone’s all a ga-ga over the prospect of the often injured and aging Geoff Jenkins. It’s so easy when you get to throw out unrealistic options and using them as if they are viable.

    IMHO, we can afford to lose some money, we CAN’T afford to lose top prospects. It’s a pay me now, or pay me later proposition.

    Richie’s got TWO years left…..I think the M’s can survive.

  56. None of those players cost the M’s Adam Jones, Edman, stop acting like you have no clue about value.

  57. JH said

    Durazo’s a free agent, so’s Carlos Pena – both of them would be fine replacements that would allow the Ms to take on significant salary back in trade.

    Cal Pickering’s still floating around, as well. He’s 2 years removed from being an above league average DH.

  58. Russ Sala, JR said

    Hello Jason and Others,

    I enjoy coming to your site and reading the latest news. I have been a fan of the M’s since the mid-80’s. I can still remember when Ken Griffey, JR. was a rookie and they sold Ken Griffey, JR chocolate bars.

    I guess you can say I am a fan that is just waiting to see if and when the Mariners make a move. I do get frustrated with Bavasi from time to time, but I also understand this current market is not very promising. I can’t believe some of the contracts teams are giving to players this year. I am also not hip on the idea of giving a 34 year old pitcher a 4/ 50+ million dollar contract. Don’t get me wrong, I would be happy to have Schmidt, but the price needs to be lower.

    With all that being said, who do you all forsee us picking up–whether through trade or free agency–to help us with starting pitching in 2007? I mean, we need a TOR pitcher. Hernandez is not ready to be our ace yet; Washburn is NO ace. Anyway, love the site. GO M’S!!!!

  59. Lamda said

    Hey Jason – any ideas what Mulder is asking for contract wise coming off his shoulder industry? All I heard is an incentive-based type deal but didn’t get any word on what the base salary would be. If he could be had for say 6-7 mill/year base wouldn’t he be a better option than even Igawa was?

  60. Yeah, and Pena is a MINOR LEAGUE FA. Ya dont even have to guarantee him a 25-man roster spot and 327k to get him…

  61. Mulder wants at least three years at at least 8 mil per.

    Re: Slackman

    All the M’s have to do to get draft pick compensation for Meche is offer him arbitration. They don’t have to offer a contract of any sort.

  62. Knuckles said

    JAC: Any word from your sources as to whether or not the M’s are planning on offering the Great Sucking Sound from the South (aka Meche) arbitration? I’m still pissed off about the whole Mike Cameron deal.

  63. Lamda said

    As a person smarter at baseball than me – think he’d be a good one to take the chance on at 3/24 or would it be too big of a risk? if he returned to form – 8 mill would be a steal I think. if he wanted 3 we could offer 4/28 if we really thought he can rebound.

  64. I’d be shocked if they didn’t offer Meche arbitration. No risk in it.

  65. Knuckles said

    Wait a minute…Mulder wants Meche money? For chrissakes, I’d take him.

  66. Knuckles said

    Jason, I was shocked when they didn’t offer Cammy arbitration. And that shock has long since turned to anger.

  67. They just flat out didnt want Cameron back at any price above 6 mil (which he would have gotten no doubt) and Cameron didn’t have a ton of offers, so the chances thathe accept arby and get upwards of 8 mil were pretty decent.
    Meche will get a number of multiyear deals so there is NO CHANCE that he accepts arbitration. And even if he does, because of the market this year, his arby number will be considerably less than his market value. It’s the first year ever that such players would get MORE annually without question than a 1-year arby deal.
    If Meche accepts arby, they’ll use other 6 year starting pitchers, and tie the logical performance comps with the salaries. He wouldn’t even be able to ask for more than 7-8 mil max. And he still might lose that fight, if the club offered 6.5. He only made 3.7 last year.

  68. #65,

    Yes, Mulder wants Meche-type money, but he’s also out for half of next season and it’s hard to say if he’ll ever be good again. The injury he’s recovering from is a fickle one in that you never know how the comeback tale will go.

  69. Mulder had shoulder surgery, was terrible in 2006, has been declining since 2004 and hasn’t been healthy for a full year since 2003, and he won’t even be able to start 2007 on the active list.
    Who knows when he’ll pitch. May, June, July? He’s not worth a $24 million risk.

  70. Alex said

    Would a Reed for Jacobs deal be something both sides would be willing to do?

  71. not straight up. Jacobs is a somewhat established power bat. Reed has yet to hit for any extended periods of time.

    It probably wouldn’t take a ton to get him, but the Marlins have no other reason to deal Jacobs other than what they might get in return.

    He’s good, cheap and likes Florida.

  72. Jerry said

    Joe Koshansky

  73. Jerry said

    By the way, JH rocks.

    You should post more often.

  74. Gookie said

    IF the mariners are unable to bring in enough starting pitching, would they consider brandon marrow for the rotation and use him carefully like they did with Felix last year? yea, i realize that he just came out of college and is still young, but couldnt they sort of teach him as the season goes along?

  75. Edman said

    Some of you actually get wood when you think of Pena, Durazo or Pickering replacing Sexson? They’re all great low risk give them an opportunity in Spring Training kinda guy, but NONE has “dependable” written anywhere close to their names.

    You wanna construct the all “take a chance” team, be my guest……just do it with your roto team.

  76. Brett said

    You’re funny Edman. 🙂

  77. Edman said

    Thanks Brett, I have writers working around the clock to keep my material fresh.

    🙂

  78. Edman said

    I can’t speak for Jason, but the idea of Morrow headed anywhere near the major league club next year, just isn’t realistic. He hasn’t even pitched 20 innings of pro ball.

    Extreme best case is that he gets a call-up in September, but even that’s a longshot.

    They’d probably be more likely to go after a veteran player, rather than rush a #1 draft pick.

  79. Baseballistic said

    I wonder if the M’s will go after Vicente Padilla. Texas seems to want to bring him back, but I think he’d be a good fit in Seattle, in the middle of the rotation.

    Also, how much do you think Padilla would cost on this market?

    And one other question…what the heck are the Orioles thinking? — they’re signing mediocre reliever after mediocre reliever. I would love to see the O’s GM’s face after their bullpen is no better in 2007 than it was in 2006.

  80. JH said

    Pena’s got 1200 ABs that say he’s a legit .800OPS guy in a pitchers’ park. You can reasonably pencil him in for a .240/.330/.470 line, and at 29, as a potential left-handed bat in Safeco, there’s still upside there.

    I’d be happy if the Ms traded Sexson for salary relief and a pack of Big League Chew, signed Pena, and then made a couple of smaller deals to improve key weaknesses (a 1-year stopgap at backup catcher, a corner OF who can field the position and move Ibanez back to DH, etc…). Hell, I’d even accept Bubble Tape in leiu of Big League Chew.

    A couple of B prospects for Sexson would be icing on the cake.

    Still waiting for a thread that doesn’t turn into Edman arguing against the world and all known methods of rational thought that somehow it’s a bad thing to lose a mediocre, declining 1B taking up more than 15% of the team’s payroll.

  81. Baseballistic said

    I’ve heard a rumor that the M’s might trade Sexson to the Giants for lefty starter Noah Lowry. Do you see that happening?

  82. Edman said

    I wouldn’t at all mind having Pena in camp, as a non-roster invitee. Unlike you, I’m not willing to hand a full-time position to a guy who hasn’t had 300 AB in the last two seasons.

    Playing on paper is fun……but it’s not reality.

    AVG OBP Slg OPS
    2003 .272 .379 .548 .927
    2004 .233 .337 .578 .915
    2005 .263 .369 .541 .910
    2006 .264 .338 .504 .842
    ————————–
    Total .269 .350 .526 .876
    .243 .331 .459 .790

  83. Edman said

    OK, don’t understand what happened, but half my post is gone. I’m not gonna fix it now, so just disregard it, like you do all my posts. You wanna believe Pena’s the answer, be my guest.

  84. Edman said

    Second try…….here we go

    I wouldn’t at all mind having Pena in camp, as a non-roster invitee. Unlike you, I’m not willing to hand a full-time position to a guy who hasn’t had 300 AB in the last two seasons.

    Playing on paper is fun……but it’s not reality.

    AVG OBP Slg OPS
    2003 .272 .379 .548 .927
    2004 .233 .337 .578 .915
    2005 .263 .369 .541 .910
    2006 .264 .338 .504 .842
    ————————
    Total .269 .350 .526 .876

  85. Edman said

    OK……now I’m really confused. Only thing I can think of is that the dashes must have caused a problem. Learn something new, everyday

  86. wsm said

    I’d be ecstatic if the Lowry rumor is substantiated. Lowry has a beautiful contract all through his arby years paying him a whopping 4.5 million in 2009 with a sweet option for 2010. He’d be a great Safeco fit too as a #3-4 starter.

    I still don’t understand why I should car about payroll relief from Rchie’s contract. If the M’s do offload his salary, what are they going to do with the money besides blow it on some else just as undeserving – probably more undeserving. What’s the point of saving $14 million for no apparent purpose? Certain bloggers are advocating that we stay out of free agency completely, hinting that entering the season with a $70 million payroll is just fine.

    I guess I’d rather not have Seattle’s FO get used to the idea that they can put together the same mediocrity for a fraction of the price.

  87. Salty Dog said

    #86: I think the point would be that if you can get close to the same production from Sexson without spending much money, there’s no real tradeoff. It’s not getting worse in exchange for payroll room, it’s staying the same and having payroll room.

    IOW, if you presume that you can move Sexson for a cheap young arm and plug Broussard + a RH platoon mate (Eduardo Perez or Craig Wilson, for example) at 1B, and get about the same production, you’ve gone from spending $28 mil over 2 years to half that or less.

    Will that money be useful? Well, that depends on how we use it. If we can fill the hole in LF or DH with it (Jacque Jones via trade, or a FA like Cliff Floyd or Trot Nixon), we’ve improved at one position without a loss at another – and presumably gotten some cheap young talent to throw into the mix.

  88. Rick said

    My Mike Jacobs name is being thrown around is beyond me. Since when did Florida take on salary?

    Mike Jacobs projects to be far better than Sexson (and may be right now). Keep dreaming.

  89. JH said

    “Mike Jacobs projects to be far better than Sexson (and may be right now).”

    No, he really doesn’t.

    The trade idea’s bogus, but Jacobs is not the hitter Sexson is, and at 26, he doesn’t have a whole lot of projection left. He doesn’t hit an ungodly amount of doubles that will turn into hrs, he doesn’t have a long history of excellent plate discipline, and there’s no real reason to believe he’ll be able to dramatically increase his power output to become the HR threat that Sexson is. In a perfect world, Jacobs’ peak should look a little worse than Sexson’s 2006, with fewer strikeouts.

    Jacobs is a nice player to have, but he’s not special for any reason other than his production relative to his salary.

  90. JH said

    Edman,

    Wow! You’ve totally convinced me! I’d never looked at Sexson’s stats before!

    Yeah, I’m being sarcastic.

  91. TyranT said

    Erdman –

    Big whoop. Yes, Sexson is a proven major league hitter. He’s not the type of slugger this team needs. Being able to get prospects in return for the man and dumping the salary would be huge.

    Finding a servicible replacement for Sexson at 1B shouldn’t be as hard as you make it out to be. You can’t expect the M’s to magically replace his production, but you also can’t expect that the replacement player wont put up decent numbers.

    I would be more than happy if the Mariners were able to dump Richie’s contract for a few prospects or pitching help, then turned around and got either Pena or Durazo.

    Do you honestly believe that in the next two years that the Mariners will be World Series calibur? That they’ll make it to the big show? I sure as hell don’t. So why not build for the future? For when this team’s young players will be stepping into their primes? Seems like the best option to me.

    I can see a lot that could be done with that extra cash, for the present and future.

  92. Edman said

    More name calling? Gee, how I take anything you say seriously, when you preface it with an insult.

  93. Edman said

    OK, JH…..since you didn’t get the posts that followed, let me try another angle. Perhaps you just missed it, or I didn’t make it clear enough for you. I had more than stat comparisons….you know, like the fact that Pena is nearly .100 points lower in OPS. That’s a pretty big difference. But, since it all didn’t post, it wasn’t shown.

    Got it…..there was a posting failure of some kind, of which I have no idea what I did that lost the entire second half.

    But, if you wanna have fun with it, go ahead.

  94. J said

    Edman-

    None of these propositions expect to replace Sexson’s OPS point for point.

    What they’re trying to do is free up as much money as possible with the least amount of production loss.

    In this case, for what Sexson provides, that’s at least somewhat feasible.

  95. Lamda said

    hey Jason – any rumblings around Guillen? I’d rather we signed him than Gonzales, etc. He’s only 30 and if he gets 500 ab’s – seems able to go atleast 20/90 which is what we pay Raul for right? I’d imagine he’d cost the same as Raul if not a little less. What’s your thoughts?

  96. JH said

    You really need to take a look at how winning GMs with limited budgets run their teams, Edman. Hint: it’s not by paying through the roof for the guys who’ve earned the stamp of “proven major leaguer.” That’s the kind of thinking that gets you Juan Pierre at $45million for 5 years.

    Overpaying for old guys with mediocre production is what sinks franchises and keeps them from competing. Kind of like, I don’t know, the Seattle Mariners, version 2004-2006.

    Developing talent internally, finding solid production for good value, and spending big money on players who are actually worth it is what gets teams to the playoffs. The Mariners are a couple of smart moves away from becoming this kind of organization, and dealing away an albatross contract for a poor defensive, slightly above average hitting 1B is one of them.

  97. Beady Eyes said

    #95: He’s also the worst kind of cancer one could have on a team. Sure, the team chemistry thing is a bit overrated, but this guy is a distraction and I would hope the M’s learned from having T-Rex on our team last year.

  98. Beady Eyes said

    I agree with #87’s post. Trade Sexson for useful prospects that are close to the Majors and use a combination of Broussard or Perez/Wilson to play 1B.

    Then I’d move Ibanez to DH and go after a corner OF that gives us steady production and a solid glove.

  99. Lamda said

    well #97 – our good ol’ boy group has sure done wonders the last few years hasn’t it? boy the Sexson really knows how to lead a team. IMO – we need some fire on this team again – someone who genuinely seems to care about winning/losing. Boone/Buhner while good guys, we also fiercely competitive and got on guys for crappy effort. We have nobody like that anymore which has breeded a chemistry of mediocrity.

  100. Jason,

    Just wondering if you know much about Japanese reliever Hideki Okajima, who just signed with the Red Sox.

    Also, I think the M’s should deal Sexson for two decent prospects or a younger starting pitcher with some potential. He’s doing more harm with his salary than good with his bat at this point.

  101. I don’t, really. Those that have that I have talked to say he’s a middle reliever. Nothing special. If he commands his pitches well, he may be a solid get. But he has a chance to not contribute much at all, too.

  102. Umm, who’s the “blue chipper” in the photo?

  103. 3rd Watch said

    The photo is that of Greg Halman. From what I hear from the players up in Everett is that he is the real deal. I asked Fister and Schilling about him after he injured his hand and what exactly transpired…lets just say they thought that he was one tough hombre. Lets just hope he bounces back quickly and shows off his physical size (6-04 / 200) and athletic gifts at the plate and field that make him a five tool player. He was also the youngest player at 19 on a roster filled with college players.

    Jason have you heard where Halman will start the season? What do you see in the future for him?

  104. Beady Eyes said

    Lamda: I agree 100%, problem is fire-y players are one thing, but losers like Jose Guillen are another.

    This guy is Raul Mondesi part 2.

    If we want fire, he’s not it.

  105. ericthemariner said

    Halman is a beast I got to see this guy play alot in Everett and with out a doubt he was the top player there. Where do you see hime ending up? and throw in the other 2 guys schilling and fister i heard they were decent prospects

  106. Halman is playing center field right now, though he’ll likely end up in right, but he has the offensive profile to play well there.

    He has holes in that approach, though.

    Fister I like, Schilling I like… but they are sleeper types, really. Both are in my Top 50 for 2007 — that list starts coming out right before Christmas.

  107. As far as where Halman will play in 2007? That’s tough to say. The club has been very aggressive of late and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in High Desert in 07, but I’d be a little surprised if he STARTS the year anywhere but Wisconsin.

  108. Lamda said

    Hey Jason – any word on why we let Campillo go today? I saw on rotoworld we released him – thought the plan was to re-sign him if he cleared waivers?

  109. Hey Jason, I really like this John Thomson signing. It’s incredibly low risk compared to other starters on the FA market and while he’s injury prone, when healthy he can be quite a good #4 pitcher. I’d much rather have him than Meche, but then again I’d rather have mad cow disease than Gil Meche.

    Your thoughts?

  110. I heard that the M’s are going after Jose Guillen. I think that would be a terrible acquisition — any idea why he’s on their list of targets?

  111. Cheap. It’s not a TERRIBLE acquisition, if he’s got on the cheap, considering the market.

    He’s a plus defender, too. I’d take him over Gonzalez.

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