|By Alex Carson||By 10-30-2012|
|1. By: Ungnome on 10-30-2012 01:24:43|
Thank you for writing this Alex.
My thoughts are to burn Smoak's last option season in AAA, rather than Montero, and getting some production from 1B from Morneau. As you said, if the M's hope to contend in 2013 they can not rely on Smoak to be the productive bat they require at 1B. If Smoak can restore his title of first baseman of the future, then great, he will get that opportunity in 2014. He if sucks then, oh well, try to resign Morneau assuming he is healthy and productive. For the M's, acquiring Morneau creates options, either a restored Smoak or a resigned Morneau, for 2014 and beyond.
While it may not be in Minnesota's interest to trade Morneau if they hope to contend next season (hahahaha, yeah, right), by keeping him they are betting on him being productive enough to earn an extention. The M's have the AAA pieces to entice Minnesota to make this deal without compromising what they already have in the majors. Because he only has one year left on his current deal and Minnesota's obvious pitching needs at the major league level, the price tag to acquire Morneau may not be that high if they have their eye on the future. I believe Pryor/Capps/AAA bullpen arm and Romero/Miller or Mauer/Sanchez/Fernandez could make the deal work.
Any direction the M's go, trading for a veteran or buying someone in free agency, the M's will be spending money. Money will not be the issue this off season. Swisher and Hamilton are both flawed players that will cost a lot of cash over a lot of years and that carries its own risks. Sending legitimate prospects for a player who has not performed at his previous levels is also a risk but it could pay off in the long run by providing Smoak the time necessary to fix his swing without the pressures of the major leagues. This deal is all about finding a long-term solution at 1B while only giving up what amounts to extra pieces.
Note: I like the players I mentioned giving up in the deal but Romero has no true position and may be stuck behind Seager at 3B and Saunders and whoever is acquired to play the other outfield position this winter. Felix, Ramirez and the big three take the rotation slots and bullpen arms are replacable, especially with the shear amount of quality arms the Jack Z administration has been able to churn out. Prospects are only as useful as what they can contribute at the major league level.
Overview of previously discussed players: Lawrie will likely cost way too much to acquire via trade. Swisher will get a long, expensive contract that he is unlikely to live up to and Choo will get a bigger deal when he hits free agency the following year, not to mention the talent cost to acquire him. Sizemore is an upside play whos downside could be of a non-contributor which, obviously, doesn't help. So far, Morneau is the best player discussed when considering how he fits as both a short-term fix and possible long-term solution.
|2. By: iheartfelix on 10-30-2012 02:26:15|
If Morneau had duplicated his 2010 first half effort exactly in the second half, without any regression from his career high .385 BABIP, he would have ended the year with:
A fine year to be sure, and a career year for Morneau but, "one of the all time great seasons"? Not too sure about that...
|3. By: sexymarinersfan on 10-30-2012 02:39:04|
I want cost controlled players or players who are entering or just beginning to entire their prime. Not over the hill former injured players who cost tons of money with one year attached to them.
Morneau is an attractive piece none the less, but not what I am looking for as a fan for the long run of this team. Stefen Romero could be an option behind Smoak at 1B if he isn't dealt to another team. He could help shape a young infield nucleus for years to come.
So far the only players that I've been interested in are Sizemore and Lawrie. We still haven't got to Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, or Angel Pagan yet however. I can't wait to hear those write ups.
|4. By: Jerry on 10-30-2012 08:20:40|
I don't think that 1b is the place to invest most of our money/resources in fixing the offense in 2013.
While I realize that the M's need to make major improvements offensively to contend, a big chunk of that improvement is going to need to come from players already on the team. Thus, Ackley, Smoak, and Montero are key players for us. We need at least 1-2 of those guys to pull through.
If the M's bring in Morneau, one of Smoak or Montero is out of the picture. Since we have such huge holes in the OF right now, why not focus there?
Call me a homer, but I can still see Smoak turning into an above average player. He only deserves one more shot, but kicking him to the curb now is incredibly risky. Sending him to AAA is pointless. With Zunino looking to take over catching duties soon, I'd have Montero and Jaso work at 1B in the offseason and spring training to give the M's other options there. Plus, we have Carp as plan G. I'd supplement that with a minor addition. Someone like Bryan LaHair, who kills RH pitching, and can play a bit of OF in a pinch. There will be several viable options that get nontendered in the future.
I hope the goal is to bring in competition for Smoak, and add depth at the position. He deserves another shot, and it's not like the M's don't have plenty of other areas where they can add offense. I wouldn't count on Smoak, but the guy has talent. Of everyone currently on the roster, he has a legit chance of having a breakout year.
|5. By: Alex Carson on 10-30-2012 09:57:48|
iheartfelix - Fair enough, and perhaps "all time great" might be a stretch. Now extrapolate his wRC+, UZR, DRS and WAR.
At any rate - the point was this: This is a player who was a superstar. Will he get back there? Probably not. Can he be a productive addition to the Mariners, if the price is right? Certainly.
|6. By: Tpatt253 on 10-30-2012 10:29:03|
great article and im pretty much on the same page as #1 entry.
i know smoak is cheap and still young, i just think hes failed way to much to fall for his sept tease. i think going with him OD at 1b is conceding to a 4th place expectation.
i love morneau, for a slugger he could very much have some prime like years at 31 especially now that he is getting back to full health, i dont think the head injury debilitated him, just kept him off the field, prolly allowed for the rest of his body to heal.
its just hard to deal specs for a 1 yr guy when we are not that close to competition, if we landed hamilton it'd make a lot more sense.
it seems like minny would want to start the season with morneau and put him on the market if(when) they fall behind, but maybe they be compelled to deal him in offseason to get better value. i think its a must to at least kick the tires on morneau, smoak is unproven and has been given plenty of time, morneau would look good in a Ms uni this year and beyond, count me as a believer he can at least be an average AL 1b this year and the next 2-4. something we have not been close to for some time now.
|7. By: Shawnuel on 10-30-2012 10:55:01|
#4 Speaking of Minnesota and non-tendered, I would be interested in kicking the tires on Scott Baker, who was non-tendered the other day. He's an injury waiting to happen but his skills are intriguing.
|8. By: Bookbook on 10-30-2012 12:09:50|
"Sending Smoak to AAA is pointless" has been asserted many times over the last 1.5 years, usually without any supporting argument. Guy with a messed up swing who can't hit in the majors. . It's not true.
|9. By: maqman on 10-30-2012 12:39:56|
I just can't see spending $15MM, or even $5MM and prospects on a guy who was so unproductive the past two seasons, will be age 32 and who we would control for one season. We have multiple in-house possibilities for 1B. Got a better idea, the Royals need arms, one of their blogs says Mike Moustakes could be had for a good arm. He's at 3B and could play 1B, produced +3.5 fWAR this year and is under team control for years yet. The Twins do need arms and could spare one of Span or Willingham, they are under contract for the next two seasons at $6-7MM a season. They qualify for Let's Make A Deal.
|10. By: Alex Carson on 10-31-2012 07:26:09|
Hopefully everyone is enjoying these. And hopefully everyone knows we aren't advocating all of these moves. It's more of a cover-some-of-the-options thing, exploring if and how they'd fit.
In this case, Morneau wouldn't fit for numerous reasons.
Thanks for all your input, guys.
|11. By: Tpatt253 on 10-31-2012 09:13:24|
Absolutely Alex, enjoy the coverage.
I agree with you on morneau, there are more reasons it doesn't make sense this off season but I hope they keep a gauge, who knows maybe it will make sense in season or next winter...
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