|By Jason A. Churchill||By 01-24-2013|
|1. By: leos_world on 01-24-2013 05:55:44|
Would love to get get Porcello. Would something like Casper Wells and a reliever do the trick?
On another note, I really don't see a true leadoff hitter and assuming we don't sign Bourn... Whats the chances of a Saunders and some for Fowler trade?
Opening Lineup something like:
|2. By: Marlin Man on 01-24-2013 06:08:22|
You wanna trade Saunders NOW? I recall two years ago when Jason told me to have some patience with Saunders, I told him he was nuts, the kid had too long of a swing and afraind of his own shadow. Well, I have to admit, looks like I ws wrong on that call, BUT this is the year we should find out if a little self confidence will allow him considerable more success than last year, if so, we have a pretty good player, if not..............................
|3. By: Jerry on 01-24-2013 07:53:38|
Is this team better than last year?
I'm honestly not sure.
We added some bats, but no elite guys. And all the hitters we brought in are one dimensional and have question marks (particularly age and injuries).
In the process, we've downgraded the pitching and defense.
I don't hate the offseason, because the team maintained a ton of roster flexibility beyond this year, kept all their prospects, and didn't block many of the young guys.
But in terms of wins and losses in 2013, I'm not sure this club is any better than the team was in the second half of last year. After the all-star break, the M's were 39-36.
Anyone think this club is better than that?
The only way I can see that happening is is Seager, Saunders, and Ramirez build on last year, and a few of Montero, Smoak, Ackley, Franklin, Hultzen, Paxton, etc turn into good players quick.
That's a lot of big ifs
|4. By: Jerry on 01-24-2013 07:55:08|
Oh, and it looks like the Braves just got their second Upton of the offseason.
My prediction: Justin goes off this year.
|5. By: Jason A. Churchill on 01-24-2013 08:30:23|
There's no question the M's are better now than a year ago. None. using w-l record for 75 games as a basis isn't going to help draw any meaningful conclusions, either. Schedule, hot streaks, cold streaks, home-road weight, et al, all come into play.
The 2013 roster is better.
It's not 15 wins better, however, so they aren't going to contend.
But despite the defensive deficiency we will see in the OF -- whichever spot Morse/Ibanez plays -- the fact that young players like Saunders and Seager can be used in the No. 2, 7 or 8 spot, not the middle of the order, is huge.
Is Montero going to get worse or fail to improve? Of course not. Is Ackley? Of course not.
While he's unreliable, it's probably a safe bet to say Gutierrez plays more in 2013, and that's a small addition, too.
The starting staff, as is, is down a quarter grade with the loss of Vargas, and assuming they don't add someone with similar abilities, they'll fall short of what I would call a significant uptick in win total. Still, barring major injuries, it's difficult to imagine fewer than 80 wins, and 85 or so is very plausible.
With another mid-rotation type starter or better, that 85 becomes more and more possible.
As for pure W's, the schedule is a bit easier this year, too.
|6. By: Jerry on 01-24-2013 09:17:26|
The M's, in the second half last year, were about an 85 win team. The question related to whether or not this club is better than they were at that point. They clearly got better over the course of th year, due to subtractions and increased playing time to guys like Jaso and Iwakuma.
I agree with you that the developing players are the key. But is it realistic to think that all of the things you mention - Guti playing more, Montero improving, Ackley improving, Seager benefiting from not hitting in the middle of the order, etc - will happen?
Not infrequently, young players just don't work out. Justin Smoak is teetering on that precipice right now. In any projection, we have to consider downside and bad luck, as well. If a starter goes down, this team is in trouble. Especially if it was Felix or Iwakuma (If we did lose Felix for a substantial amount of time, the M's rotation would be one of the worst in baseball).
Even Morse and Morales come with caveats. I hate to say this, but the M's don't have a good track record of success with bringing in hitters from outside the organization. Beltre, Figgins, Bradley, Smoak, and Montero all came to Seattle after having success elsewhere, and struggled greatly (especially in Safeco). I think thats why players like Hamilton and Upton weren't willing to join the team. Hopefully moving the fences mitigates that somewhat. But it isn't inconceivable that one or both of those guys just doesn't work out.
I don't mean to sound like a Negative Nancy. This club could be surprisingly good. But that would require lots of good luck. Oddly, the M's had pretty good luck last year: a career year from Jaso, good production from Iwakuma and Millwood, far better than expected performances from Wilhelmsen, Seager, and Saunders, and very few major injuries. I don't think it's realistic to expect that continue, plus improvement from all the players who disappointed last year.
As with any young team, the range of potential outcomes for the M's is large. If I had to bet, I'd say this club should win 80-85 games. Like I said, thats about the same as the second half last season. But I think it's more likely they win 70 than 90 given how many question marks they have. I know everyone is optimistic heading into spring training, but I think this club treaded water this offseason: we traded defense and pitching for power, but made lateral moves.
|7. By: Paul Martin on 01-24-2013 10:32:42|
What are your thoughts on the Justin Upton trade?
Sounds like Atlanta got him for a LOT LESS than the reported package Seattle offered...
In any event, it brings closure to the whole thing...
|8. By: Jason A. Churchill on 01-24-2013 10:55:17|
The Diamondbacks screwed themselves. They received two back-end starters, one a prospect within a year of the majors and one a club-controlled major leaguer making under a million bucks, plus a Brendan Ryan clone prospect, a fringy C-level prospect wit raw power and a 35 hit tool and a solid veteran third baseman that they have to pour 9-12 million per year into to keep around beyond 2013.
The M's offer, WITHOUT Walker, was just as good.
|9. By: Edman on 01-24-2013 11:24:57|
Interesting, the Mets are trying to get an exemption from having to surrender their first round pick, if they sign Bourne. I don't see that happening. That would imply that the new agreement needs to be reworked, and I doubt either party wants that, nor do they want to set an example that other teams might want to use to not have to surrender their draft picks.
|10. By: maqman on 01-24-2013 11:25:31|
I agree with Jason's projections and might add a win or two but nobody knows how injuries and luck will affect any team. I think the club has more depth this season, if Smoak doesn't pick it up he will sit, probably in Tacoma. I doubt if Ackley and Montero will play worse than last season. (When it comes to passed balls/wild pitches Montero is a tick better than league average, despite popular opinion.) I like what Morales and Morse bring to the table, Raul not so much and Bay is just a short lived gamble. That's without a positive contribution by any of the farm hands this year, which is certainly not an impossibility. Guti for instance is not guaranteed to be injured and he played well in winter ball. Saunders spent the winter with his batting guru, who sure helped him last winter, so he still has room for growth. A full season of Iwakuma and Erasmo has some nice potential. I get we need another arm and expect Z to find one.
I'm glad Justin Upton did not find his way to Texas, he would have hit much better in their ballpark than he would have here. I would have not liked that trade with us if it happened, I thought it was too much of an overpay. It looks like the Texicans have to deal with Boras and sign Lohse or Bourn or both to get better, that works for me.
|11. By: Edman on 01-24-2013 11:47:15|
I agree, maqman, I don't see any reason to believe the M's won't be at least a little better. I expect improvement from Smoak, Ackley and Montero, though Jesus doesn't need a ton of improvement.
And losing Felix? What team wouldn't struggle if they lost an ace pitcher? Can't worry about that.
The A's were greatly aided by luck. Injuries play an important part. So, if they can avoid costly injuries, they should logically improve, especially with the kids gaining experience.
|12. By: Jason A. Churchill on 01-24-2013 11:52:30|
No, the M's at no point were an 85-win team last year. You can't simply take their above-.500 record and project it forward. It doesn't work that way.
Despite the wins and losses, they scored the fewest runs in the American League AFTER the All-Star break, posting the third-worst OBP in the circuit and third worst OPS, and didn't improve the overall pitching performance by nearly enough to suggest by any stretch of the imagination that it was all real. They played some bad teams out of the break and took advantage of the schedule for stretches and stayed above .500 for that stretch.
If they had found mid-circuit level offense -- not just runs scored but in the rate states, too -- I'd be all over the idea that they were a legit 85-win team after the all-star break. But in no four-week span in 2012 did the M's rank in the top 8 in the 14-team AL in batting average, OBP, slugging or runs scored. They are the only team besides Cleveland that did not.
|13. By: masonb on 01-24-2013 12:01:31|
*BOURN not bournE
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