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Polling The ‘Sphere

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on December 4, 2006

I recently sent out a short, 5-question poll to a number of people, including analysts, scouts, front office executives, beat writers, and notable bloggers, and these are the results.

The questions are centered around the current free agent market and how it relates to the Seattle Mariners and their strategy toward the future – starting now.

These are pretty interesting, and I thank those who participated for their time and efforts.

Q: Is it wise for the Seattle Mariners, considering finances as well as public relations and their competitive future, to be aggressive in what is clearly a market not bearing the fruits of safe, value contracts? Why or why not?

I’d love to see the Mariners be aggressive in making intelligent moves. If they were aggressive in acquiring Manny Ramirez, I’d be doing back flips. But, despite the failings of the team the past few seasons, that is still not justification for spending money on mediocre players just to give the perception that you’re trying.Dave Cameron, USSMariner.com

It is unlikely wise for the Mariners to spend in this market. I think that too many of this offseason’s contracts will hamstring the opportunity to compete in 2008 and 2009. Therefore the Mariners should look to trades and value signings in order to make another incremental improvement.David Josef Clark, FanHome.com

I can’t think of any reason why a team in Seattle’s position should be spending the kind of money it takes to land a figure in today’s free agent market. Bavasi is much better off looking into low-risk ventures, like the Guillen signing over this past weekend, and making sensible trades for proven talent.– Anonymous National Contributor

Its wise for them to be willing to make sacrifices to upgrade this team for 2007, while not losing site of the overall franchise improvement. A middle rotation guy isn’t worth the investment if that’s all they can do. Front-line pitching is hard to find these days, so I don’t envy Bill Bavasi one bit.-Seth Everett, MLB Radio

No, it wouldn’t be wise for the Mariners to act aggressively in this poor FA market – as much as it might act as a short-term PR fix, the problems such an approach would cause down the road would only make
things worse. That said, the M’s *do* need to be aggressive in scouring the trade market, now more than
ever. There are values to be had if the front office looks hard enough.
Jeff Sullivan, LookoutLanding.com

If the Seattle Mariners throw out the kind of cash that this market is demanding, the entire front office, all of them, should be fired – by someone, anyone, Mr. Nintendo, Bud Selig, David Stern, the President of the United States, someone. This is a winter where this club has to be smart. Another group ofbad spending could truly cripple the franchise for the next decade.Assistant GM, NL West

Q: Considering the hot-seat positions of GM Bill Bavasi, field manager Mike Hargrove and possibly Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong as well, do you believe the club has to do something extremely proactive to appease season ticket holders and fans in general, while making a
strong attempt to improve the club, despite the wicked nature of this year’s free agent market?

I believe part of the job responsibilities of the decision makers is to be a steward of the best interests of the franchise. While it’s easy to say from the outside, since my job isn’t on the line, I believe that when decisions are being made in an attempt to save someone’s job, then that person has already disqualified themselves from their position and should be removed. The focus of the front office should be on building a winning franchise, and not on creating a public perception that allows them to continue receiving a paycheck.Dave Cameron

Yes, They most certainly do. Attendance is in a freefall and the only way to get early season attendance is to make a splashy deal, be it in free agency or via trade. It is unfortunate, but the management of the team will have to act in this way because they will be unemployed if they do not.

David Josef Clark

The higher-ups should already understand that it’s not a good market and thus the GM and manager’s job status should be assessed accordingly. Bavasi shouldn’t be fired if the moves he does make before spring training, and during the year, pay off and he gets good value in a large percentage of the personnel decisions. Hargrove shouldn’t be fired as long as the club takes a full step or two forward and as long as it appears that the players are responding well to the way he’s running the roster.

– Anonymous National Contributor

This club could use some good PR…. Apathy is the worst thing that a ballclub can face in a city. However, I evaluate Bill on what young pitching he has. For example, Felix is considered an untouchable. If so, then let’s start to see a return on that investment.

That young pitching is the only thing that this team can do because Johan Santana-types don’t grow on trees. This year should be about progress, that’s the only realistic goal I can think of.

– Seth Everett

I think the organization does need to do something to regenerate interest in the team, but at the same time I don’t think signing a free agent is the way to do it. Jason Schmidt would be effective in getting the fans going, but someone like, say, Manny Ramirez would do the same thing while also helping the Mariners win. It should be noted, though, that trying to appease the fan base is a lousy way to run a ballclub, and that winning always has more drawing power than names. All the front office needs to do is make this a good team.

The rest will sort itself out.

– Jeff Sullivan

It’s an impossible situation, if that’s the way things are up there. Bavasi can’t effectively do his GM gig if he’s forced to win enough to save his job, regardless of the damage it may do to their future. It may be time for Lincoln and Armstrong to give in, or even give up their positions, if they aren’t smart enough to see this.

– Assistant GM

Q: Jason Schmidt – Wise to offer a 34-year-old four or more years for $12-15 million in order to achieve some of the immediate goals of the franchise?

It’s almost never wise to offer any pitcher four or more years. Toss in Jason Schmidt’s age, recent performance decline, and injury history, and giving him a four year deal is simply asking for trouble. There are times when long term contracts make sense for both the player and the franchise, but Jason Schmidt is not one of those times. – Dave Cameron

Wise? No. Necessary considering the market and the team’s needs in the starting rotation? Yes. I would be loathe to go five years, and would not want to go on the high end of that dollar value. I would also prefer that the contract offer be frontloaded in order give maximum flexibility to the club at the end of the deal.

David Josef Clark

It’s probably not even a good move to give him three years, let alone four, at least of the guaranteed money variety. His market value is around 4 and 48, but he could drive the price up past 5/65. The Mariners would be much better off passing on Schmidt and realizing that they are a better franchise for it, even though they may not be a better team in 2007.

– Anonymous National Contributor

I wouldn’t do it for 4 years…. 2, plus an option is all I’d do. And that goes for most teams in the league, not just the Mariners. I think we’ve already seen the best of Jason Schmidt.

– Seth Everett

Schmidt would be fine on an expensive but short contract, but I fear that the probability of his significant decline is far too high to justify a four-or five-year commitment. It’d be different if I knew that he’d be the only overpaid player on the team, but I think we all know that won’t be the case.

– Jeff Sullivan

We’ve been talking to Schmidt and his reps but the money he’s asking for is not realistic, especially since he’s ignoring any club east of the desert, including the Cubs, who offered him $15 million per. For Seattle? It’s a terrible, terrible idea. Two years makes some sense. Three if you have to, and if it’s for 10-12, but anything past that and it’s a PR move for the local kid, and maybe nothing else. Their scouts know what we all know; Schmidt is a No. 3 starter looking for ace dough.

– Assistant GM

Q: Middle of the rotation types, such as Gil Meche, Vicente Padilla and Ted Lilly — a relatively decent investment for a club in Seattle’s position, even if it costs $8-10 million per for 3-5 years?

The middle class of pitchers, with an established reputation for being mediocre, are the most overvalued commodity in baseball right now. Teams are paying for names and past performance, and despite the huge failure rates of recent similar signings, they continue to not learn their lesson. Committing $8 to $10 million for a back-end starter is a great way to insure that your team underachieves.

Dave Cameron

No. The team already has one middle of the rotation guy at a higher value in Washburn. I would rather they sign a guy like Okha or Park for lower dollars and less commitment or count on filling two spots from minor leaguers or Woods. The lack of attachment to the veteran presence would then allow the club to quickly react to poor performance and go with hot arms.

– David Josef Clark

Tolerable investment at a MAX of $24m/3yr. Anything higher than that and you need to walk away. There are just too many random guys who can give you 180 half-decent innings to warrant giving Gil Meche four years.

– Jeff Sullivan

Meche has been a prospect his entire career…. Cut the cord. Padilla and Lilly don’t’ thrill me that much. Suppan or Randy Wolf were the only pitchers I’ve been real high on, from this free agent class.

Wolf signed with the Dodgers, and I don’t think Suppan is interested in Seattle. I realize I’m not painting a pretty picture, and I think Bill knows that.

– Seth Everett

Not at those dollars. That’s frontline money and the teams that know which guys to give that and which aren’t worth the risk, are the ones that will come out of this frenzy ahead of the game. Clubs without other hindering contracts have a little lattitude, but not very much. Seems Toronto is collecting the mediocre on the mound and that’s sad because Halladay is tremendous. Seattle isn’t one of those teams that can afford it – not in the pocket book, nor on the field.

– Assistant GM

Yuck. I talked to a GM on friday before he left for Florida (winter meetings) and he was –hoping– that one of the above names would come –down– to 4 and 36. This will keep getting worse, every year, until teams show some ability to spend more intelligently, particularly on pitching. The Mariners aren’t being mentioned in most talks, except for Schmidt, and that’s been all speculation to this point. Pray they stay way, Mariners fans. I feel for ya.

– Anonymous National Contributor

Q: How important ,and perhaps reasonable is it, in general, for the Mariners to be responsible when making decisions on big-money players this winter, again taking their situation into consideration, i.e., last-place finishes for three straight years even though they have spent tons of cash?

The Mariners front office is full of well-compensated executives who have been around the game a long time and have decades of experience in franchise building. If a few seasons of poor on field performance is enough to convince the baseball operations department to forsake wise team building philosophy in search of a short term gain in wins, than the team needs new people making decisions.

– Dave Cameron

It’s getting more and more crucial for this particular group, and that includes the team’s president (Armstrong) and their spokesman and CEO (Lincoln) that they make better decisions than in the past. I don’t frown so much on Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, but they have been in the middle of so many disasterous PR situations with their big name guys (AROD, Griffey, Randy Johnson), that they haven’t the room for another last-place finish, further falling attendance and a return to the dreaded 1980s as a franchise.

– Anonymous National Contributor

Well, I think payroll is not directly connected to results. Teams should spend between $50-$100 million. If the right decisions are made on the minor league level, then a GMs job is easy under those circumstances. The bottom line for the M’s is that they had a veteran team and didn’t replace those aging players in time. Moyer held them up when he refused the trade in 2005 to Houston. Beltre has underachieved but I still think we all would have made that signing. It’s a tough road for Seattle, and this is a big year for Mr. Bavasi (who I am a huge fan of).

– Seth Everett

The team needs to win now. Falling attendance in what is now an older park can only be combatted with winning. Hopefully a culture of winning can replace what is already here. Waiting until next year is no longer going to satisfy the Pacific Northwest.– David Josef Clark

The reason the Mariners have been in last place for three straight years is that they haven’t spent their
money wisely. Therefore it’s more important that they’re careful with their money now than ever before,
because the longer you continue the same cycle, the longer it is before you can get out of it. It’s always
smart to be responsible with your money, but since the Mariners are already giving a ton to
Beltre/Sexson/Washburn for an underwhelming return, for them it’s critical. Rushing to sign one of these
free agents will only set them back.
– Jeff Sullivan

I’ve heard some rumors that not only will four guys lose their jobs if things aren’t turned around, but that this very issue that the question asks, must be handled with better results, or that, as much as anything else will be the reason why massive changes are made.But what that does is put four guys into bad situations, and if they simply make choices to save their jobs, Seattle is doomed. The key is for everyone to be on the same page, and so far, there is no reason to believe that they are. – Assistant GM















121 Responses to “Polling The ‘Sphere”

  1. Willmore said

    I guess my poll was lost in the mail …

    Seriously, I can’t disagree with anything that’s been said. The Mariners, and particularly Bill Bavasi, are in a tough position in the current market.

  2. You aren’t a notable blogger, analyst, beat writer or assistant GM, are ya, Willmore.

  3. Lamda said

    I found the Anonymous National response but mostly the Assistant NL GM’s responses pretty fascinating. I honestly didn’t even read over the bloggers responses cause they aren’t a lot better than me – just have some contacts that I don’t. but the guy that is really there – gives us more of a professional insight into the current state of the M’s,etc. Good read/idea.

  4. I dunno, I thought Cameron’s responses were very well thought out, objective and right on.

    Clark is all about winning, that’s clear. I like it.

  5. Willmore said

    I could be … you never know.

    Stay classy, San Diego.

  6. I dunno, I thought Cameron’s responses were very well thought out, objective and right on.

    Heh. I’ll give you well thought out. No matter what you think of DC’s thoughts, their always well thought out. He deserves a ‘tonne’ of credit (as they say across the Atlantic) for that…

    Nice read — thanks for posting this.

  7. I used to disagree with Cameron about 90% of the time.

    He used to disagree with me about 90% of the time.

    But the further along our brains go, we seem to share more thoughts than we used to. He’s a smart dude and what’s awesome (In the spirit of Christmas), he’s a really good human being.

    If he was dumb, I’d still search for his comments at USSM

  8. Lamda said

    no dis-respect was meant to Church or any of the other guys that run the sites – I for one appreciate the effort you put towards the sites and in keeping the chatter going and interesting within us fans. My meaning was that we hear your opinions all the time and while valid – I simply keyed in on what the GM was saying about our situation.

  9. He’s a smart dude and what’s awesome (In the spirit of Christmas), he’s a really good human being.

    Couldn’t’ve said it better me-self. I just wish more of the blog-o-spherites would get to experience that themselves (especially with all the anti-DC chatter that’s spewed about ’round the ‘Net).

    The interesting thing is, really, is that pretty much everyone believes the M’s are in a heap of trouble, and there’s a lot of thought that Bavasi should be given somewhat of a mulligan in this offseason. An interesting question, that’s sort of hinted at by the questions responded to here, is what these folks believe would be a ‘successful’ offseason would be for Bavasi, that likely would help him keep his job. I would think that he’s looking pretty good so far. He’s avoided the huge albatrosses, and (from what I hear) has been pretty conservative on some of the trade proposals.

    If indeed he is on his way out, so far, he’s doing a pretty decent job of leaving the M’s club in better shape than how he inherited it. However, I’ve noticed that Bavasi’s track record includes some fairly decent signings/trades followed by 1-2 WTF moves. I’m still waiting for the 2006/7 WTF move…

  10. Jason, thank you for including me. Yes, I’m all about winning at this point. That should be evident now.

  11. wsm said

    Cameron better start limbering up. Gammons is reporting that the Dodgers and Mariners are “in the hunt” for Manny.

  12. Yeah, but in the hunt means Adam Jones and JJ Putz, and lemme be the first to tell you – that aint happening.

  13. Slackman said

    Good responses all around. I was impressed by what everyone said. One would wish that the M’s front office would be on the same page the way everyone else is regarding the M’s current state. That doesn’t seem to be the case, does it?

  14. Eh, I dunno, it does appear that they are to this point — but it’s really early.

    I think in the end, they will probably extend a very competitive offer to Schmidt, which may or may not be enough to get him, but a bad idea to begin with.

    But if they stop there (say, 4/50 for Schmidt), it could have been worse. Like, say, Aubrey Huff at 4/32, Lilly at 4/42, or even Padilla at 4/40+.

  15. JohnnyBeisbol said

    Jason… You think the Sox would take a Jones, Feierband, another prospect package…

    Or how bout Sexson, Soriano, and another prospect

  16. Slackman said

    If the M’s were smart enough not to bid for Matsuzaka, trying to get Schmidt should be a no brainer.

  17. I dont think Sexson makes sense for the Sox unless they deal Mike Lowell as well, and want a righty stick.

    If Ortiz didnt have to be the DH 100% of the time, Sexson might make sense.

    I hear the Sox are dying to get James Loney in the Manny deal.

  18. Lamda said

    hey Jason – any legs to this Sexson for Hudson thing or is it just writer/fan speculation?

  19. Not only are there no legs – yes, it’s pure speculation and bad speculation at that – but it’s terrible idea.

  20. BoratForPresident said

    ESPN is reporting Padilla is staying with the Rangers for 3years/$34M

  21. when they offered him arby, that paved the way. It also hurts the market for Meche and Lilly.

  22. thr33niL said

    3/34 for Padilla?!

    Desperation has a distinct odor.

  23. Mr. Egaas said

    I see Padilla as the best of that worst group, and the rest will probably get 4 year commitments.

  24. I think Padilla is the SAFEST, but Meche has the biggest upside. But he’s also the biggest risk.

  25. Scott said


    We are hearing that the M’s are willing to talk about Sexson. How likely is it that he gets traded? Is the Noah Lowry rumor pure speculation or is that really possible?

  26. Sean Hope said

    yesterday you said the M’s would have another addition to the offense. You said you couldn’t say anything then, but to ask you around 5 o’clock today. So can you tell us anything??

  27. Lowry is solid, lefthanded and signed cheap beyong 07… why would SF part with that to get Sexson?

  28. No, i said ask me after 5 if there were more trade rumors going on… there aren’t. Not that I’m aware of.

    1 – Reed for Lindstrom
    2- Reed and others in a larger deal with Florida for Mike Jacobs and/or a young starter
    3- Manny
    4- Sexson

  29. Sean Hope said

    Oh, my bad. Thanks though

  30. This isn’t true, but use thise as aperfect example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you read.

    Gil Meche, a serviceable right-hander who has won 21 games over the last two seasons, is getting serious interest from five teams. The Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants all appear willing to offer four years.

  31. Sean Hope said

    If we trade Reed for Jacobs, then we we trade BOTH Sexson and Brousard? I would like to get Jacobs, young LHB with some pop. The sky would be the limit for that kid. Hopefully we can get a good SP for them. Any rumors on who is interested for Sexson, and for what??

  32. Edman said

    I must admit, while I’m not fond of the massively inflated egos on display at USSMARINER……David is the most well rounded of the group. I do enjoy reading his comments. I don’t always agree, but I understand his point of view. I honestly feel some of them are critical to be critical, and if we got Manny for Reed and a box of ear wax, they’d still be upset that Bavasi didn’t get $10 million in cash back.

    I was a huge fan of BP, years ago. It was really the only place you could get an objective point of view. But sadly, something happened. I just saw them go from objective, to highly critical of anyone not thinking like them. It truly ruined the read. They use to breakdown transactions fairly….but, the tone changed.

    One must keep in mind that they’re Mariner fans too. And, years of mismanagement makes it harder to be subjective. And, with the Mariners, it’s easier to be on the critical side, than the optimistic side, your odds of success are much greater…..at least at the moment.

    I don’t think there is anything really surprising in all the responses. Nobody really knows the right thing to do. I think Seth Everett is right, there is obviously right answer. So many things hang in the balance. Too conservative, and the bulk of your fans will lose interest in a fickle sports market. Too aggressive, and you end up with bad contracts.

    But, you know what….I’m with Mr. Clark on this one. Seattle can afford to lose a few dollars…..they lose fan interest, and it will take twice the effort to convince them to come back. There won’t be another 1995 season to save their asses…..you can’t plan around that kind of thinking.

  33. Edman said

    As much as some of you want to believe, there aren’t teams out there jumping at the opportunity to bail out Seattle. They aren’t going to send cheap talented players to Seattle, to get back two years of Richie Sexson at $28 million. And, Seattle doesn’t have enough depth, nor are they appealing enough to attract anyone to Seattle if they trade Richie. As it sits right now, Seattle’s best playing card for Richie is to hold on to him and hope he has a productive season. If the M’s are contending, they can ride it out. If not, some team like the Yankees, Boston or the Cubbies will pay to have him in the lineup for a playoff run.

    I’m not opposed to trading Richie, I’m just not in favor of removing him for the sake of removing him. You throw a platoon of Broussard/(pick your poison) and they don’t come close to his production……fans won’t praise you for the fact you removed a financial burden.

    And, if trading Richie nets a return of overpaying Schmidt…..how in the world could some of you be happy with that.

    As I see it, everyone wants players with sterling stats, good community responsibility, no performance risks…..and, oh, by the way……comes at a bargin price. That’s a mighty short list.

  34. Massively inflated ego? Really?

    I’m not defending them, but I don’t think they need defended.

    I think maybe they are a bit misunderstood if people think that of them.

    Anyways, this is certain to be a HUGE week for the Mariners.

  35. BoratForPresident said

    Supposedly Theo wants to make his decision re: Manny by Wednesday. My gut feeling: Manny the Mariner. My gut has been wrong before…and queasy on occasion.

  36. Edman said

    Jason…..are there any teeth at all to the Manny rumor? It could make some sense, especially for both Boston and Seattle. Manny’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to return. That does affect the ability for Boston to demand too much, but he’ll still net a decent package.

    If the rumors hold any water at all, Sexson would make sense for SF, and Manny for Seattle. But, I can’t see Seattle giving up both Putz and Jones in a deal. Sure, Soriano could close, but Putz is cheap…..and is nails. I just don’t see any team that’s trying to win giving up a closer like Putz.

    I’d be willing to give up Jones and Soriano, but not Putz. I love Adam Jones, and think he’s going to be a great player….but he’ll never be another Manny. Is it a risk? Sure, but a safe one. Manny in the middle of your lineup, with Beltre, Ibanez, Guillen, and a yet to be added rotational guy, would be a dramatic improvement for Seattle’s offense.

    I’d truly hate to see Jones go, but if I were Boston, I’d want that kind of payback.

  37. Goose said

    This whole thing is just so exciting.

  38. Edman said

    LMAO…..that in itself is an improvement for a Seattle offseason. Even the Sexson/Beltre signings weren’t this exciting.

  39. BoratForPresident said

    Another rumour: Sexson to the Giants, Lowry and Manny to the M’s, Soriano and Jones to the Sox. Odds: 10000-1

  40. Edman said

    I’d be happy with that….which means it probably isn’t true.

  41. Edman said

    HUGE week for the M’s? Me thinks Jason isn’t telling all he knows…..LOL.

  42. Adam B. said

    Manny sure would be awesome in that DH slot, and I’ll reiterate that he’d be a BARGAIN in this market–his presence alone would make the M’s line-up significantly better then at any time since Edgar retired, but what are the odds that the M’s could actually land him with teams like the Angels and Dodgers and their overstocked minor-league systems vying for a piece of the Man-Ram?

    I wouldn’t mind if the M’s gave up Soriano or Putz and Clement for him, but I’d hate to lose Adam Jones in Ichiro’s potential walk year.

    As for Sexson, I understand why the blog community has been suspicious of his value, but we have to remember that there are GM’s out there who thought Juan Pierre and Gary Matthews Jr. were attractive options as well and I for one would much rather have Sexson for 2/28 then the contracts those two were willingly offered.

    What’s with all this Gonzalez crap I’m hearing about though? After the Guillen signing is there any truth to this, or is it just the Name-game happy beat writers forgetting we have someone named Snelling sitting on our roster?

  43. Adam B. said

    And yes, I understand that Matthews and Pierre play different positions then Sexson and that their contracts have no DIRECT bearing on Sexson’s value. I’m just saying that stupid managers exist, and there very well could be a GM to whom Richie is an attractive acquisition. And I don’t think the M’s would be “trading him just to trade him”, the reasons you move him (as I’m sure Edman has heard before) is to spend that $14M on something better. Now you can say that there’s nothing certain about the M’s spending that money on anything better, but I think the only reason you trade Sexson at this point is if you have something better in mind, and right now something better then Richie Sexson isn’t necessarily difficult to find for a creative team.

    Also, I don’t get this hesitancy to trade Soriano or Putz? Yes they’re very talented. Yes the loss of either would impact the M’s bullpen negatively, but for the potential positive impact of a hall-of-fame calibre bat? I don’t miss even the best set-up man in MLB for that. Think about it this way, how hard is it to get a decent righty set-up guy vs. getting one of the best bats in baseball? Yeah, not even close.

  44. Can we avoid back-to-back posts by the same person by putting all of your thoughts in ONE post?

  45. Re: Edman,

    That will always be the case. Unfortunately, media types and aqcuaintances of team reps and agents and such are never allowed to reveal everything.

    But I don’t know of anything super significant thats going down that hasn’t been reported. Lots of inklings, thats it right now.

  46. marinerfanintexas said


    Bottom line….what percentage do you put on Manny being a Mariner by the end of this week?

    How much hope should we put into these rumors?

  47. zero. I wouldn’t get any hope until you hear a second wave of reports out of disney world that the M’s are the easy frontrunners.

    Until then, it’s just Boston adding team to the fire to strengthen their position. Nobody that reported the Mariners-Manny rumor even knows if the two teams spoke past the “Hi, Theo, we like Manny, talk to us” stage.

    They just assumed that the two clubs, who did have discussions over the past 24 hours, were talking about Ramirez.

  48. Goose said

    Way to be a buzzkill.

  49. BoratForPresident said

    Steve Phillips just said possibly Jacque Jones to the Cubs for Jennings.

  50. Goose said

    Bwhaha Steve Phillips.

  51. Baseballistic said

    No way the Sox would even trade Manny for Putz and Jones. Jones is good, but he isn’t MLB ready just yet, plus the Sox would have to move him back to shortstop and they’re about to sign Lugo (any idea if that’s close to done, Jason?). Putz is awesome, but he’s not worth Manny.

    The Padilla deal for 3/34 with Texas is awful. Plus, it means Ted Lilly and Gil Meche will likely get the 4/40 they’re looking for — can’t wait to see which idiot GM offers that…!

  52. Willmore said

    Jason: 44->45

    Anyway, people need to understand that while there are talks about Manny and Sexson, that’s all it is 99.9% of the time. What people don’t seem to realize is that there are dozens of reporters cooped up in a confined space chasing stories on a day with few signing. They will report the most minute rumors, because that’s what the public eats up during the winter meetings. And when the magic word “Manny” is said, there are a dozen reporters on the spot trying to figure out what’s going on. And while most of the reporters realize there is absolutely nothing in the talk, there are a few who will use this as an opportunity and file a story about “possible Manny talks between teams X, Y, Z.” Then the horde of other reporters will jump on the story, then some idiot radio personality will say something else, then an idiot caller will chime in with some fake insight, then the story hits ESPN and all hell breaks loose. Now add to that the collective blogosphere of 30 major league teams and the combined national papers, local papers, national and local radio and TV stations and you have rumors that are way more than they ever should have been.

    In any case, my main reason to drop by was to say that I heard it from a credible source that we might be in the running for a Sexson for Philip Hughes deal that ties into the Manny deal, which in turn should trigger Schmidt’s lowered asking price. So, cross your fingers and by the morning, we should have a contender, baby.

  53. Baseballistic said

    So, Willmore, if I stood in downtown Orlando with a megaphone and started shouting “Manny”, I’d get reporters around me within seconds? Hmmm…I gotta think about that…

    Ok, that’s not the part of this I’m criticizing. There’s NO WAY IN HECK the Yankees would trade Philip Hughes. He’s a HUGE part of their future. The M’s could do the Sox a favor that way, but why would Cashman ever trade Hughes for Sexson? Think about it…

    Yes, the Yankees need a 1B badly, but Hughes isn’t available and probably won’t be for a long, long time.

  54. Isaiah Hunter said

    Willmore, what type of package do you think Hughes would command. Earlier, I thought maybe Sexson, Washburn (at Six), and Reed. Thats given up alot of talent. But is clearing off 20 Million. Gives you one of the top 5 Prospects in baseball. Sets you up to have the best staff since Schill/Johnson and lets you sign Bonds and Shcimdt. This would be better then trading Jones for Manny IMO Bonds is free talent. Manny will cost the same, plus we lose talent. Bonds isnt that much worse.

    We then would have a platoon at first between Benny and Ibanez. Snelling in Left Guillen in Right. Bonds DH. Staff would be Shcimdt, Felix, Hughes, Thompson, and Lehr/Woods/Baek. That sounds like a great team. If Betlre preforms at post May levels, we would challenge for the pennat with this team.

    In the end, you leave your farm system in tack, move bad contracts, only take on one, and leave yourslef in postion to challenge for the WS.

  55. Isaiah Hunter said

    Mr. Churchill,
    I’ve only recently started posting here, so if I say stupid stuff im sorry, but I hear many Man Ram trade ideas. Many say its a three way, but it seems more like two two ways. Doesn’t it make more sense for Seattle to send Soriano or Putz to Boston and Sexson to San Fran. San Fran sends Lowry to Boston. Boston sends Manny to Seattle. Boston also sends some cash San Fran’s way. That makes it more fo a three way. Anyway this makes sense?

  56. Willmore said

    Well, this proves it, sarcasm as a literary form is dead. The last paragraph was meant to point out how rumors start, not to actually start one. Hughes isn’t going anywhere, not unless the Yankees front office is collectively stoned and is offered a free buffet in return for Hughes. Hughes is a part of the Yankees future, and the Yanks are beginning to understand that they won by using the farm system, not by trading it away.

  57. Roberto said

    Boston is asking for a lot in return for Manny Ramirez, do you think it is logical to get Ramirez when the Mariners need a pitcher? Also, Gil Meche is out of his mind. He is commanding 4 years for 40 million, according to ESPN, yet he isn’t a frontline starter. Do you think there is a chance he will take a pay cut and return to Mariners? Also, who is the next blue chipper? Thanks.

  58. Adam said

    Padilla at 3/34 is a steal compared to what Lilly, Meche, Schmidt, or Zito will get. THREE YEARS. For a guy w/little history of injuries and actually has better than average stuff.

    Isaiah – Sexson, Washburn, and Reed for Hughes? ROTFLMAO. Sorry, but let’s keep it real…

  59. d2ret said

    If we trade Putz, which has been rumored a bit, who is our closer all of a sudden? Do we make Soriano the new closer? then who is setup? Most of all, can anybody tell me what exactly happened with Mark Lowe’s injury? I heard he was done for his carreer. If so, that might be the saddest news from this off-season. The kid had plus-plus stuff, and was just nasty last year, especially for such a young pitcher just getting called up from AA ball. And his best attribute might have been his demeanor. So what happened to Lowe?

  60. Willmore said

    Jason, if Adam LaRoche is available, what kind of a 3-way deal would it take to rid us of Sexson and get LaRoche to replace him ?

    Would something like this work:

    Sexson to Giants
    Adam Jones to Braves
    Baek to Giants
    LaRoche to Mariners
    Lowry to Braves
    Marcus Sanders to Mariners

    thoughts ?

  61. Adam said

    Richie Sexson and Adam Jones for Adam LaRoche? Really?

  62. Willmore said

    and Marcus Sanders.

  63. Adam said

    This Marcus Thomas?

    Like I said, Sexson and Jones for LaRoche?

  64. Adam said

    Excuse me, Sanders.

  65. Willmore said

    The very same. He had a bad year, what’s your point? He’s a legit prospect. He has 50 steals potential, and might hit for .300/.350/.450 in the majors if he gets healthy. His bad 2006 stemmed from a shoulder injury. If healthy, he’s a legit Top-100 prospect, and a future leadoff hitter.

  66. Adam said

    We’ve already got our 2B. If you propose we move him to the OF, where does he play? If Adam Jones is blocked, this kid is really in trouble. And pardon, but we need prospects w/power, rather than a leadoff guy. I see no value whatsoever.

    So, he does not, in my opinion, even come close to narrowing the cost gap between Sexson/Jones and LaRoche.

  67. Willmore said

    Jose Lopez is not untouchable, he has not proven anything and having a very good backup plan is always nice. Sanders is at least a year and a half away, and if Lopez does solidify himself by then, then Ichiro’s contract will be coming up, and depending on how Ichiro ages, CF might be an option.

    In any case, a prospect is a prospect, and if we don’t need him, we use him in another trade down the road.

  68. Adam said

    “In any case, a prospect is a prospect”

    That’s not true. All prospects are not created equal. You don’t make deals just for the sake of getting a “prospect”.

  69. Edman said

    Adam, you do on this board….prospects are like gold to some….LOL.

  70. Willmore said

    Prospects are gold. They are a commodity in baseball, without which it’s impossible to compete because it severely limits your ability to make moves. Only the Yankees can afford not to have prospects. Look at the Angels or D-Backs, they are loaded and will be competitive for the next decade.

  71. Goose said

    Well considering the name of the site IS “Prospect Insider”….

  72. Edman said

    It was a joke, relax

  73. Adam said

    A GREAT prospect is gold.

    A prospect is, in fact, nothing more than that – a prospect. You don’t go dealing established MLers for “prospects” unless those prospects have requisite value. And your Jason Tyner clone doesn’t seem to have such value.

  74. Edman said

    I agree Adam…..some treat “B” prospects like you’re getting your hands on something special.

    Even the best prospects will fail at a greater than 50% clip.

  75. Willmore said

    Sorry, typo. It was supposed to say: Prospects are like gold. In that they are a commodity.

  76. Goose said

    New rumor of the night:

    Sexson to Giants, Soriano and Benitez to Braves, LaRoche and Hudson to Mariners.

  77. mariners said

    Really this team really needs pitching.

  78. JH said

    “Even the best prospects will fail at a greater than 50% clip.”

    Well that’s just not true.

  79. baseballmanic said

    Hey Goose, where’d ya hear that?
    I would love that!

  80. Goose said


  81. Drew said

    Jason, I think we miss you….where are you?

  82. thr33niL said

    If the Ms could swing Sexson and Soriano for Hudson and LaRoche, I would dance in the streets.

  83. Jerry said

    Needless to say, that trade would absolutely rock.

  84. Baseballistic said

    If the M’s get LaRoche and Hudson for Sexson and Soriano, Atlanta might run GM Schuerholz out of town. That would be the worst trade of the offseason from Atlanta’s perspective and a dream-deal for the M’s. It’s a pipe dream…I’m pretty sure…

  85. Marinerman(Grant)Always said

    Braves want to dump Huddy’s salary after two very subpar years…

  86. baseballmanic said

    If we get rid of Sexson, and do not get a bat in return. What does everyone think about maybe going after the best LHB in FA? BARRY BONDS. I know most don’t like him, but he would be a huge improvement to out lineup. He could easily hit 30+ in Safeco if not in the 40’s if healthy. Give him 10-12 plus lots of incentives. I dunno, I would just love to have his BAT.

  87. Beady Eyes said

    Uhhh Isiah: Why would you platoon Ibanez and Broussard? Both hit righties better than lefties. So it’s not a real platoon.

    Also, Bonds is not needed. We’d overpay for his “services” and we already signed one potential whiner/headcase in Guillen, let’s leave it at that.

    I like some of your thinking, but for 1B to truly work without Sexson, we would need to let Ibanez play the majority of games and use Broussard off the bench or trade him for a prospect or pitching (should we get Manny).

  88. Beady Eyes said

    We need to understand that Barry INSISTS he will not drop his price. He truly thinks he’s still worth 14 mil/yr.

    I think there are better players out there available via cheaper trades than throwing money at Bonds. I just don’t think he’s a fit.

  89. Scott said

    foxsports.com is reporting that Schmidt has agreed to sign with the Dodgers. How does this impact the M’s interest in Hudson? With Schmidt out of the picture does Bavasi step it up for Hud, or throw scary money at Zito?

  90. Edman said

    What a crazy market. I like Schmidt, but $15.67 per season? I guess it’s supply and demand, at it’s best.

    Personally, I’d take my chances with Hudson. I wouldn’t mind Zito, but not for 6-7 years on a contract. I don’t think Tim is done, though I do think he needs to change his pitching style a little. His contract is alot like Sexson’s is to the M’s. The Braves can’t really demand alot in talent. Seattle needs to take a bit of a gamble.

  91. Scott said

    I think Hudson would be a great addition, especially at 3 years and $33 million. He may be making less money than Gil Meche by the time this all gets done. If the M’s could get LaRoche in a 3 way deal involving Sexson, that would be a great early Christmas present. In my opinion, as far as Zito goes, I say no.

  92. 3rd Watch said

    Dunno, but things looking bleak in the FA market.

    If the speculated trade is correct, then having Huddy and LaRoche would be an improvement. WE NEED PITCHING.

  93. Willmore said

    Why 5/75 for Zito is not stupid.

    Today’s market has made it clear that the business side of baseball is very healthy. The signings show that while the money might seem extraordinary, they are within the market value of the players. Certainly, some players were overvalued, but only when compared to contracts signed by better players in years past. However, comparing pre-CBA contracts with post-CBA contracts would be like comparing DiMaggio’s contract with that of Babe Ruth. We have entered a new era in baseball. The TV money and overall growth of team values has catapulted the value of individual players beyond what most would consider the norm. However, if we shrink from signing contracts this off-season, we accept that the team can not compete in any future off-season.

    Now, let us now consider the value of Barry Zito. He is not an ace number one starter. He had a season when he was one, and the rest of his career, he was the borderline #1-#2 he is today. He is also 28 years old and not a flamethrower. He has also pitched 200 innings every single year. What this all boils down to is that he is a durable starter, entering the prime of his career, without apparent future health problems. And that has great value. He might not dominate like Felix might, he might not be the stopper we desperately need, but for the next 5 years, he will be a very solid #2 pitcher, who can sometime pitch like a true ace for 7-8 innings. What’s more, he is an even greater asset at Safeco field, and with our defense behind me, he is sure to improve his recent performance. Zito is a much better Washburn. And it’s true, but it’s a good thing, he might not blow the roof and pitch 9 innings of 1-hit ball, but he can be expected to perform in 32 (out of 35) starts a year.

    Is that worth 15 million per year for 5 years ? In years past, no. But the current market price for such a pitcher would be even higher, considering the price tag for Padilla, Lilly, Schmidt. I say that Zito becomes a bargain at 15 mil. 5 years ? 5 years is nothing, not for a 28 year old without an injury history. Will it be a steal signing to rival the most shrewd signing in the history of baseball, of course not, but it will be a value signing predicting the market economics of baseball 2-3 years down the road.

    Sign Zito for 5/75, and in 2 years, we’ll be glad we did, and we will marvel that some hack is getting 12 million per year, while we have a quality arm under contract.

    Baseball economics is crazy, we can’t shy away from signing because of it, we don’t have the farm system to shy away from it.

  94. Edman said

    I wouldn’t really have a problem with Zito at five years…$15 million per. It’s the going rate….so live with it. In five years, pitchers may be commanding $20 million a season.

    I have objections to 6 or 7 years, that’s a long element of risk, especially with potential arm injuries to pitchers.

    I’d be all in favor of a guaranteed 5 years, with options that kick in for 6 and 7, should he pitch at least 180 innings in all five previous seasons…….those kind of incentives.

    I’d be very happy with a Zito, King Felix, Washburn, Thomson (if he’s still in the mix), Ohka rotation.

    Mostly, I want Barry’s 200 innings a year while keeping us in games. The bullpen got beat up last year, trying to cover for the 5 inning a game most starters were getting.

    It’s not a perfect world, so you bite the bullet and hope.

    Now, wouldn’t it be even greater if they could add Hudson and LaRoche?……Zito, King Felix, Hudson, Washburn and Thomson would be able to keep us in the hunt.

    OK, it’s just a dream…..but dreams can be fun.

  95. Adam said

    “Baseball economics is crazy, we can’t shy away from signing because of it, we don’t have the farm system to shy away from it.

    Yes, you can shy away from it, and you should. If your car breaks down, you don’t go buy a shiny new Escalade just because the neighbors do. You buy what you can afford. You don’t buy Zito at 5/75 just because others do, you get value for your money, because you are not the Yankees or Red Sox, with endless supplies of cash. You don’t pay Richie Sexson 14 million to be a league-average 1B, you pay Adam LaRoche 500,000 to be a league-average 1B. Because if you are stuck paying Sexson that much, you are wasting money that should go to other places on the team.

    You determine value by comparing performance, then salary. Don’t just look at what everyone is paying. If a few teams offer Willie Bloomquist 10 million per, is he really worth that much? I don’t think so.

    If we bought Zito for 5/75, we’ll likely be wondering we we are paying our No. 3 or 4 pitcher 15 million per, and bemoaning the fact that we can’t use that money somewhere else.

  96. Willmore said

    Hmm … edman agrees with me. I might be wrong.

    Seriously, Adam, you don’t have to buy the Escalade, but try getting a date in your Pinto.

  97. Adam said

    I’d rather be making no payments on my Mazda (and I don’t) than paying 500 bucks a month for an Escalade. Especially when I have other bills.

  98. Willmore said

    There’s a Russian saying: He who doesn’t risk never gets to drink champagne. I’d rather risk with Zito and hope, then play it safe and be the Royals for the next decade.

  99. Adam said

    Hope for what with Zito? Do you honestly think he’s the missing link?

    Meanwhile, in 2008, and 2009, when we are paying 25 million for our 3 and 4 starters (Zito and Washburn), are you going to be complaining that we have too much money tied up into those two to be competitive?

    And just because a team spends money wisely doesn’t make them the Royals. Just ask the A’s. Or the Twins. Or the Indians. Or the Marlins.

  100. Willmore said

    Once again, we don’t have their farm system, or their front office. As soon as Bavasi learns to make smart signing, I’m all for it, but until then, I would rather have Zito for a few extra mil per year than Lilly.

  101. Beady Eyes said

    Willmore: Bavasi isn’t the complete Moron that some love to make him out to be.

    Compared to many GMs, Bavasi isn’t the greatest, but he’s not an idiot either.

  102. DIQ said

    Options aren’t looking great right now.

  103. Lamda said

    Well, turns out the Hudson deal seems to be false – saw a link from another board where Atlanta’s GM said it was bogus – not something they are considering.

    I’d be all for giving Zito 6/90 – the problem is – he won’t be had for that anymore thanks to the Schmidt signing. Borass is licking his chops right now – expect him to go for 17-20 mill/year now.

  104. DIQ said

    Instead of trading Soriano for LaRoche.

    We trade Sorian for Horacio Ramriez.


  105. DIQ said


  106. 1996Coug said

    Ahh, f*ck. This is great. Premium reliever for who? What’s that now? Oh, that guy. Yeah, I….don’t know him. We’re screwed.

    Did Bavasi prepare for this off-season by watching how to assemble a team from the movie Major League?

  107. Goose said

    Just one word comes to mind.


  108. Compared to many GMs, Bavasi isn’t the greatest, but he’s not an idiot either.

    You were saying, Beady Eyes…

  109. Knuckles said

    Hey…who broke USS Mariner?

  110. Adam said

    Ramirez is not bad; he’s a good GB guy who might get better with our infield, but for Soriano?

    I don’t know about this…

  111. DIQ said

    If you can’t get anything better in return, why not just hold onto him.

    I’m thinking there’s something wrong with Soriano that the FO knows that we and the league don’t know about.

    Otherwise …………………..

  112. Goose said

    Ladies and gentlemen, your new Mariner starting pitcher, Julio Mateo’s groundballing cousin!

  113. Sneekes said

    I don’t get how the same article says that the Braves are willing to give up LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez – yet somehow we get Horacio Ramirez???
    I think Ramirez has some upside – but this close season is soul-destroying

  114. Edman said

    May I remind you that just because it’s reported, doesn’t make it true.

    I’m going to wait for an official announcement……sounds like crap to me.

  115. DIQ said

    For once.

    I’m actually with you Edman.

    Gotta stay positive. But my gut tells me its done.

  116. Sneekes said

    I’ve never wanted you to be right quite so much. Fingers crossed.

  117. Edman said

    I’ve seen too many “internet” generated trades that never were.

  118. DIQ said

    Please. If there’s really a Santa then Bavasi couldn’t of possibly………..

  119. Lamda said

    seems to be pending physicals so i hope we come to our senses and pull the plug on it just as we did with the Vizquel trade.

  120. Goose said

    The Latest article was there and then quickly dissapeared.

    Kinda like my hopes and my faith in the Mariners.

  121. MacMariner said

    I think Jason posted it then realized that the world had just ended. Smart move.

    Seriously, let’s hope Jason has the full story and that this is just BS.

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