|By Jason A. Churchill||By 02-12-2013|
|1. By: Paul Martin on 02-12-2013 15:01:53|
Love it!!! My wife is from Venezuela, so I am biased, but I am a HUGE Felix fan and can't imagine him in another uniform. We are so lucky to have a star like him that WANTS to be here.
When I first heard about the elbow I remembers Randy Johnson not getting the contract he wanted because Seattle thought he had a bad back! Glad new management didn't make the same mistake.
Having said all that, I hope this leads to a higher payroll in the 100-125 million range moving forward. Jack has proven he won't spend recklessly like Bavasi, and I would love to see what Jack could do with more payroll flexibility.
This year the team has a nice mix of veterans and young players I am excited to see develop. The team is now interesting and moving in the right direction. I can easily see this team in the playoffs in two years, maybe even sooner if we get lucky.
|2. By: ripperlv on 02-12-2013 15:16:12|
Feeling good about Felix. The rest of the team is still a work in progress.
|3. By: jgstecker on 02-12-2013 15:41:12|
I'm feeling better than last year at this time.
Some of the young bats will take a step forward. There are fallback options in place for those that don't. Both Morse and Morales should hit better than anybody on last year's club.
The pitching should be about as reliable as last year, with more upside.
Texas and Oakland don't scare me and I think the M's can stay in Wild Card contention for the better part of the season.
The farm should also have them poised to make a move this summer. If Stanton hits the block, Seattle can be in the driver's seat if they want to be.
|4. By: diderot on 02-12-2013 15:54:10|
I'm feeling just as good as Felix's elbow feels--however that is.
But aside from that, optimistic.
1) No trade or free agent signing will matter unless our young hitters progress. And I think there's a good chance that they will (as a group), just because of the fact that they collectively hit in such bad luck last year. Normal regression in this case is a positive.
2) I think we've pretty well established that we're not going to be considered by any impact free agent hitter until things change. That leaves two options. First, bring in hitters short term and positively influence them enough that they want to stay (Morales, Morse). Second, trade for what you need. And to do that, you've got to have enough established pitching to attract the interest of other teams. Consequently...
3) The thing I'm most interested in this year is the performance of Iwakuma and Ramirez. If they pitch to the promise of last year, then our selection of pitching talent should be virtually unparalleled. Want the high ceiling prospects? We've got the big three...plus Maurer...plus Sanchez, etc. Want established #2 or #3 guys? Take a look at Iwakuma, Ramirez, maybe even Garland or Bonderman. (And I really hope we can let both Paxton and Hultzen spend an entire year in Tacoma).
But more optimistic than any time in at least the last five years.
|5. By: MarinersArmy on 02-12-2013 16:07:54|
I'm feeling more upbeat about our team this year, we finally got some offense! Unfortunately Morales and Morse are short term, I hope at least one could get locked up for longer.
My one concern, I don't feel they got a true #2 SP. Iwakuma and Saunders are more like #3/4 in my opinion. Not sure why they didn't take a chance on Marcum (I do think he's #2 quality), seeing that he only got a one-year deal... ???
But we're going in the right direction. I think... =)
|6. By: Wishhiker on 02-12-2013 16:24:58|
I'm fully exited. Glad the Felix deal got done. Hopefully that buys about 5 years of not reading about him being traded as well.
There's more depth at just about every position (SS?) than i remember seeing since Gillick. Injuries and bad performance happens so having a backup that can actually produce at every spot is very important. A lot of it then was veterans with less upside where now most is younger guys with more upside. I think if the floor is 80 wins the ceiling has to be around 90.
Things just look better from here on out too with the depth on the farm. People talk about bringing a guy up every year, but it looks more like 2+ guys every year for the foreseeable future. There's no reason to think they'll stop drafting well and it will slow down unless there are changes in the front office. I would not be surprised to see a Vargas and Jaso traded almost annually to make room for prospects and a few 4 for one trades for top players at positions of need.
They seem to me to be right on the verge of being buyers or sellers come July, neither would surprise me. They may even have to do both at the same time to make room for an acquisition. It's a long way to go until then and I'm anticipating watching things unfold with quite a bit of faith that at last a few of the young guys will breakout. Maybe there's only marginal gains, but i believe right now that this is the year for a few to step up.
|7. By: Docmilo on 02-12-2013 16:39:30|
Carp and Kelley to Tampa for non 40 man prospects?
|8. By: Wishhiker on 02-12-2013 16:43:47|
MarinersArmy: I'm not worried about having a #2 "type". You could argue the 2001 team didn't have an ace "type" and most people consider that more necessary for a winning team. If it was a longer term issue I'd think they may have made a move, but there are a few shots at a #2 type or better that will probably start the year in Tacoma. Spending resources to acquire one now would have seemed wasteful to me, since there are more demanding needs that probably aren't 35 miles down I 5. The chances of us feeling pretty good about the rotation in a year without worrying about who's good enough to be a #2 seem pretty good to me. Wondering who will be #'s3-5 in the lineup seem more likely to be issues for 2014.
I guess I do understand what you're saying about this year, I'm just hopeful that we're only a few months away from it not seeming to be a problem anymore. That does seem to be the big weakness at this point, but it can be overcome as well. Maybe the reliance on youth is the big weakness, but it's a potential for strength too.
|9. By: Mackie on 02-12-2013 17:07:25|
I think this season will be one for making gains. The M's now have a very good farm system, and there should be more offense this year in the majors from a combination of newcomers (Morse, Morales, maybe Ibanez) and maturation of youngsters (Ackley, Montero, Seager, M. Saunders). The rotation should be at least average overall, and the bullpen could be pretty good. All in all, I believe things are looking up!
What I believe will happen, if the M's have a good 2013 at both the major and minor league levels, is that it could set into motion a pleasant chain of events. First, if they don't make some good trades for important missing pieces at the trading deadline, they can do some of that next winter... but I think they will be in a position to make some good trades for impact players.
If that isn't enough by itself to get some good free agents interested in coming to Seattle next winter, then even more on-field success in 2014 will bring them here after the 2014 season. "Build a winner, they will come." 8-) Winning will breed more winning, success will breed more success.
So... I'm very excited about this season, because I think we are finally going to see (at the major league level) some real indicators of what is to come. I'm excited about the organization, top to bottom, and I feel very certain that things are headed in the right direction!
|10. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-12-2013 17:09:54|
Marcum has shoulder concerns that scared off 29 teams.
|11. By: greentunic on 02-12-2013 17:13:39|
This is a very subjective statement but we may just have the most "young talent" top to bottom of all 30 teams (MLB and MiLB). At this point any of them can be great and any of them can flop.
Ackley (My Potentially Irrational Optimism: 7/10)
*Bullpen in general (9)
My entire outlook depends on how the young guys play. So I'm both cautiously optimistic and covertly nervous. Extremely excited to see what happens though.
|12. By: diderot on 02-12-2013 17:47:09|
BTW, I like this thread.
I hope you create ones during spring training for people to give their opinions on our AL west opponents.
|13. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-12-2013 17:50:36|
What we're going to do is create game threads for each spring game, with as much pre-game info as we can muster up. So that will be perfect!
|14. By: Edman on 02-12-2013 18:22:04|
I love the fact that the "Felix will test Free Agency" crowd has to eat some crow. It goes to show that what you and I feel, isn't the same thing that the players feel.
Great for Seattle, and more importantly, the future of Mariner baseball. Free agents no longer have to worry that Felix will be gone in a couple years.
And Docmilo, Tampa Bay would be a great fit for a package of Carp and Kelley. They could use both players. Maybe Brignac +?
|15. By: Docmilo on 02-12-2013 18:58:49|
Edman, the issue with Brignac is he's a 40 man kind of guy. The M's would then have to make a cut to get him on the team. I would like Brignac, though. I say grab him and a low A arm and dump Francisco Martinez. At 22, Francisco is no longer young for his level and he's regressing every year.
The other thing about Brignac is he's out of options I believe so he's on the major league roster... which means moving Andino.
Hmmmm. I would like Blake Snell please.
|16. By: Docmilo on 02-12-2013 19:30:27|
Full Name: Blake A. Snell
Birthplace: Seattle, WA
Height: 6' 4"
47.1 IP 17 BB 53 K .202 BAA
Give me, give me, give me. LOL
|17. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-12-2013 20:07:34|
Zero chance. Snell is up to almost 190 pounds, I hear, and that curveball has been devastating to the lower levels. If he clean up the fastball command -- he's up to 95, sits 89-92 -- and develop the change, there's a good chance we;re looking at Brett Anderson Part 2, here.
|18. By: jbltzfk on 02-12-2013 20:33:04|
I am very happy about Felix, and I'm getting happier about our starting pitchers - Garland says he's now 100% - makes him a #2, only because we have Felix. Iwakuma #3, Erasmo #4, and #5 TBD - prbly Saunders.
Sorry about losing Carp, but hoping he'll catch on somewhere.
|19. By: Rescami on 02-12-2013 20:42:00|
Longtime voyeur, first time poster. I'm pretty jacked for the season. I was slightly disappointed we didn't sign Swish, I liked the flexibility and steady bat; but I don't think he's the type of player you lose sleep over not signing. I love the fact there are no high dollar commitments beside El Rey, because that money will be needed to lock down the "core," that should start to reveal themselves this year. ( Seager, Montero, Franklin, Saunders). I believe this year will serve as the line of demarcation, separating the "Dark Ages," from "The Renaissance." I'd like to throw out a question to you fine lads. Who will have a more productive career, Ackley or Franklin?
|20. By: Mackie on 02-12-2013 21:23:07|
@19, I think it's simply cool that we have enough decent young players now that that kind of question can be asked! We know they all have a shot at being pretty good major leaguers, and that's SO great!
I was actually thinking more about whether it will be Ackley or Seager. ;-)
To answer your question, I'd bet on Ackley, but I like Franklin too!
I'm high on Seager as someone who can become a consistent 20+ HR and .750-.800 OPS guy with a good glove. I hope he continues to develop. He just seems to have a genuine sense for the game, and a great work ethic... I don't get to go to games often, but when I was at Safeco last year, Seager just seemed to be bursting at the seams in both the focus and enthusiasm departments.
And I totally agree with you about this year being a "demarcation"! I'm confident that those of us on board now are in for a great ride, with this season giving us some good hints about where things are really headed... in the right direction!
|21. By: Docmilo on 02-12-2013 21:24:47|
Is there anything we could add to Kelley and Carp to get Snell?
|22. By: Rockstar Parking on 02-12-2013 22:24:11|
Maybe a better question is what type of value do Carp and Kelley? What type of return is reasonable, and is that value made greater or worse by packaging the two?
|23. By: short on 02-12-2013 22:27:40|
Not getting the excitement over Garland. He looks like a #5 or long relief guy. Career 4.58 xFIP, just 4.86 K/9 to go along with very meh 3.09 BB/9 and avergish ground ball rate. Not seeing it.
My rotation right now is (as if order really mattered) Felix, Iwakuma, Erasmo, Saunders, Pile. Move Saunders up a peg for being a veteran...I guess. But Erasmo threw very well to end last season. Garland and Bonderman only get a whif of the fifth spot if none of the youngsters is viable, in my book.
|24. By: Rockstar Parking on 02-12-2013 22:34:05|
Another question I've been thinking about is whether their trade value has been significantly finished by being DFAed? It was not difficult to see that Carp was not long for this team. I'm guessing the M's have also known Kelley was not in the plans for quite some time. So, was this bad planning, not trading them prior to having to DFA, or just a solid indication that there wasn't much trade value to begin with. Or maybe I'm misjudging the affect on their value from the DFA. Thoughts?
|25. By: docsmith on 02-13-2013 04:14:04|
Temp is nice and warm. Should be a good season. I want to see the M's playing good competative baseball and expect to win 80-85 games. If things break the right way, I could see 87-90 wins (still no playoffs this year). Of course, a few key injuries and busts from young players and we are back in the 70's. But, we've jettisoned much of the dead weight from last year, the young talent from last year has another year of experience, we have two pretty good "veteren" hitters, and a lot more young talen knocking on the door.
All in all, things are looking up.
BTW, imagine, just for once, one of the young players exceeds expectations. Lately, only Seagar has exceeded his modest expectations. But imagine Hultzen, Paxton, Zunino, Walker, Franklin or Miller coming up in July, or earlier, and exceeding expectations. That is what would need to happen for things to "break right" for the M's. I could happen. I am not counting on it, but we are due for some good luck.
In other words, I have a healthy dose of spring training optimism.
|26. By: Docmilo on 02-13-2013 07:14:10|
Rockstar Parking, could Carp's trade value go up a little bit with the DFA? If a team like Tampa wants him, they know they have to trade for him because getting thru waivers isn't something he likely does. Heck, maybe even the Brewers could be in on Carp after they see what Hart's knee looks like after his physical.
Whatever the team gets for these two, I'm guessing it has to be non 40-man prospects. I still don't understand why Medina and Martinez are still doing on the 40-man, but I'm not paid to understand these things. The M's are surely going to have to make another 40 man cut if Garland cracks the rotation.
|27. By: Paul Martin on 02-13-2013 07:20:24|
@24 I think you might be right, there might not be much of a market for Kelley and Carp, and I would have preferred to trade the earlier.
I am sure Jack tried to trade them before, but was unable to, thus he gave them their release. He still might get B level prospects for them, but I am not worried about it. Even if we get NOTHING for them, it was just the cost of FINALLY building a better roster. They are going from a roster with no depth or options, to acquiring talent. With only 40 spots, and 25 roster spots, the weaker players are finally going to be out of jobs. Next look to see guys like Triunfel and Jason Bay looking for work elsewhere.
I always laugh when fans propose trades where we give up left overs, players with no options, or players like Hector Noesi (who have been God awful) and in return for these players fans think we are going to be able to trade for pieces we could use like Porcello or Capuano. The fact that Carp and Kelley have little trade value proves how foolish thinking like this is.
|28. By: Jerry on 02-13-2013 07:33:35|
Regarding Kelley and Carp, I'd expect the return to be modest. Either a lower level prespect few of us have heard of, or a similar type of player who fits the teams needs a bit better. Brignac could be intreating, but getting him would necessitate another DFA. I'm quite surprised it came to this with Kelley, as he's got good stats and could help a lot of teams. Maybe they already have something lined up.
|29. By: Jerry on 02-13-2013 08:01:14|
I'm cautiously optimistic about this club going forward. The team has good players on the roster, but I'm a bit worried about how Wedge will use them. Some particular players/issues I'm interested in:
-Smoak needs to play! I woutdent bet money on him finally emerging as a good player over an entire season, but he is one guy who could have a major impact on the teams fortunes. If he turns into a .270/.370/.500 guy, this team looks a lot better.
-Ibanez DOESN'T need to play! If he is in the starting lineup regularly, something went wrong.
-Jesus Montero is a key player in two respects. As a hitter, he's one of the only guys on the roster that has the upside to become an excellent player. We really need guys like that. Second, the M's are clearly much more bullish on his abilities to stick as a catcher. If they are right, it totally changes his value to the team. This is a big year for Jesus.
-The lottery ticket pitchers are VERY interesting this year. I love that Jack has left the 5th spot in the rotation open for competition. Right now we have lot of options:
Injury reclamation projects: Bonderman and Garland. I think there is a good chance one of these two returns to something similar to their previous levels of performance. If so, they can really help the team. I particularly love Garland. He is my pick for surprise of 2013.
Rookies with upside: Hultzen, Paxton, Maurer, Walker. It'll be interesting to watch how these guys play in spring training. It's not inconceivable one of them could just blow away the competition and make the club (either immediately or early in the year). I'd put Noesi in this group too, as he has upside. But he's more likely to stick in the pen.
Serviceable and safe guy with little upside: Beavan. I think Beavan is a solid player. He's likely to be a league average 4/5 guy. Perfect 6th starter, and great plan B. He was damn good in his second stint with the team last year. Could be better than most think. But, if nothing else, he provides insurance that the 5th starter won't be a complete debacle. Often, that is the biggest difference between solid and bad teams.
I like how the team has great depth in starters. My bet is that Garland wins a spot in the rotation and turns into a good #3 starter at a bargain price. But there are man ways this could go.
|30. By: Jerry on 02-13-2013 08:04:46|
Oh, I put the over/under for M's wins at 82.
|31. By: Edman on 02-13-2013 08:34:38|
Jack wisely went after two reclaimation projects that make them a bit different than the standard reclaimation project. They both took an extra year to heal, rather than to rush back too quickly. I think a lot of pitchers rush their returns, seeing a small window of opportunity. The question is, the affect of that extra time off. Logically, you would have to think it's better to be more fully healed, before you try recovery after major surgery. I think it was a very smart move by Jack, now we'll have to see if it pays off. Jack has been a pretty good gambler.
|32. By: maqman on 02-13-2013 11:40:45|
Well Z definitely finished off the off-season with a flourish. I had pegged the team to win 82-88 games this season and I feel even better about it now. Not that I expect them to contend, but it would not be totally impossible. I really like the depth that they have on the big club and will have stashed in Tacoma, that will enable them to withstand some DL time at a number of positions. Now it's time to sort out the keepers, sleepers and weepers. When this season is over the team will have $30MM to $40MM to add to their payroll so they can pay to fill holes or trade some then established youngsters. I'd really like to see Stanton here. If they have a good year he might just like that idea too. If Morse and/or Morales do as well as they have the potential for the club will able to resign them, or Garland or Bonderman if they make legitimate comebacks. It's a good time to be an M's fan.
|33. By: Lonnie on 02-13-2013 12:53:15|
My personal temp is going to go way up once I'm sitting in the stands down on the training fields in Peoria :)
Seriously though, I think that between the new makeup of the team, and the new configuration of Safeco has me more than a little excited for this coming season.
Temp is very warm and rising.
|34. By: Scruggers on 02-13-2013 12:55:45|
Solid. It wasn't a world beating off-season, but they've certainly moved in a new direction without giving up on the youth they've put together over the last few years. I'm looking forward to watching them try to develop.
|35. By: k0o56 on 02-13-2013 13:53:10|
#34 "It wasn't a world beating off-season..." Thanks, I had my laugh for the day ;)
I'm really excited for this season. While I'm not excited at the team's W/L record, I am very interested in seeing the team fuse and progress. I really like the direction this team is going.
|36. By: roosevelt on 02-13-2013 15:20:50|
With springtime approaching... hope springs eternal for Mariner diehards.
|37. By: short on 02-13-2013 17:04:52|
The M's organization kind of blows for outfielders. Who's the most likely to contribute as a major leaguer? Morban? Leon Landry? The kid they just got from NY: Abraham Almonte?
|38. By: rotoenquire on 02-13-2013 18:08:33|
I been watching some video on Almonte. He reminds me of a younger right handed De Aza OF ChiW. Steady not spectacular, but with speed and some slight pop, 19 Dbles last year with 4 HR's. I always look to Dbles for major league HR power translation. I hope he is invited to spring and given a shot to see what he can do. I would not get my hopes up. But, he has leadoff potential and I MEAN potential.
|39. By: Hackinator on 02-13-2013 18:12:42|
If a guy is a good enough athelete to play middle infield, then he should be good enough to play outfield. Dont pidgeon hole the prospects....ton of infield talent that can transition to the out field.
|40. By: rightwingrick on 02-14-2013 06:32:34|
I'm of course excited that the team committed to Felix Hernandez, as it was both a great baseball move AND a very symbolic statement to the baseball public, both in Seattle and around baseball. In the right circumstances, this move says, Seattle is a player.
But honestly, I think the OTHER moves we made this winter, while not the "perfect" moves that might have created longer-term competitiveness (those were Hamilton and Upton)...were excellent additions because the directly addressed obvious weaknesses.
Kendrys Morales had the looks of an All-Star prior to his injury, and that one looks to me like a great move. I think he hits .290/.340 with 25 home runs...just what we need in the middle of the order.
While I have questions about Mike Morse (defense and how "big" he is), when healthy he's also put up real numbers that suggests he could be a much-needed and legitimate power addition to the middle of the lineup. And he WANTS to be here. He's also a veteran that had to scrap several years to make it, so he's likely to help our young guys through some of that.
Joe Saunders is another really good pick-up, in my view. And he also wants to be here (his wife is a Vancouver, B.C. native, and Baltimore had an offer on the table which he didn't take). And Saunders is probably BETTER than Jason Vargas, with post-season experience. Very nice veteran stability to a rotation that needs it.
Kelly Shoppach is better defensively than either Montero or Jaso, which is exactly what we needed. He's no defensive superstar by any means, but he's more steady defensively than what we had last year.
And Robert Andino is a step up in the utility infield position.
In every case, we upgraded. And with another year under their belts, and some injuries cared for, it's very likely that a few of our current roster are going to show improvement.
85 wins. And maybe more if we are in it at the trade deadline and Zduriencik goes to work to bring it home.
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