|By Jason A. Churchill||By 11-07-2009|
|1. By: eastcoastmariner on 11-07-2009 09:27:34|
Great post Jason. Another name to keep your eye on at second base might be Mike Fontenot
|2. By: Jerry on 11-07-2009 10:18:50|
One issue: Jason Donald was traded to Cleveland. The M's would have to talk to the Tribe to get him.
The one big mystery here is how Jack and the M's front office view this team. In a lot of ways, the M's are similar to the 2007 club: they are a rebuilding club coming off a season where their W/L record is higher than it probably should have been. Like the 2007/2008 offseason, the M's are in the precarious position of having to decide if they are a few pieces away from being legit contenders or not.
The nice thing is that we now have a GM who isn't functionally retarded. However, I don't think that anyone really knows how the front office views this team. Honestly, I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Jack Z continue with his rebuild, or go all in and go for it.
The other unknown is the Felix issue. I hope that Jason is right, and that the M's can work out a reasonable extension with him. However, if Felix and his agent are looking for a contract that isn't extremely team friendly (and, really, why wouldn't they be looking for big $$$), it would make a lot of sense to deal him.
If Felix isn't signed to an extension this offseason, the M's need to deal him and adjust their focus to 2011. The M's have a lot of young players (Morrow, Tui, Carp, Saunders, Ackley) who could be important pieces in 2011 after getting more playing time in 2010.
I want to see them win ASAP. But it might be best to move Felix while his value is sky high, trade in some other chips while their value is up (like Aardsma and Lopez), and build a strong foundation for long-term success.
|3. By: Jerry on 11-07-2009 10:44:20|
One other player who I would definitely look into:
The Royals are the worst run franchise in baseball. Gordon has been a big disappointment thus far. It would take a good player or two to get him. But he is the type of guy who could be a huge buy-low steal if the M's could work out a trade. Obviously, 3B is a hole for the team. and Gordon's lefty bat would be a great fit for Safeco.
Probably a pipe dream. But I would love to see the M's unearth the next diamond in the rough. It would be nice to see them find another Gutierrez-like bargain, but this time providing value on offense.
|4. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-07-2009 10:47:51|
You can tell how long ago I started this... forgot to change Donald's bio... thanks, Jerry.
|5. By: CrustyJuggler on 11-07-2009 10:56:22|
We seriously need put together a trade of Triunfel, Aumont, Saunders, JC Ramirez and Michael Pineda to Toronto for Roy Halladay. If they say no to that, we can throw in Carp or whoever else they want. They can have all the quantity they want, but I would refuse to give more quantity than we have.
We just need that one more arm to slot next to Felix and the Wests is ourszez!! FTW! ARggghhhhh!
|6. By: DKulich44 on 11-07-2009 11:01:37|
Crusty, I hope that was a joke, or that you weren't a Mariners fan circa 2007-'08 offseason.
|7. By: mykillmagnum on 11-07-2009 11:42:31|
Jason, great post as always, are you not going to do the whole gm thing you did last offseason and show what you would do if you were the gm, and then have the people say what they would do? That really intrested me last year and was hoping you would do something like that again this year. Two players that really intrest me are rickie weeks and a player you didn't mention, but jerry did, alex gordon. First, what kind of package would it take too get weeks? And is there some kind of package that we could put together and maybe have them throw in gamel? secondly, with gordon, who seems to fallen out of favor in kc, would he be a guy the ms should go after? Like jerry pointed out, he's a left handed bat, which is ideal for safeco. Is he worth going after, another guy who we could possibly buy low on. Or is he someone you don't think is the best idea?
|8. By: kyle_mahlstedt on 11-07-2009 11:56:03|
In able to get Milwaukee to ATLEAST consider trading Gamel and Weeks, the M's would likely have to start with a package surrounding Brandon Morrow, Mark Lowe and Jose Lopez.
I Like Weeks and Gamel, but Gamel doesn't seem to be the player that can stay at 3B for a long period of time. It's likely that his career is as a 1B/DH role.
|9. By: Slurve on 11-07-2009 13:24:54|
@DKulich44 it was a joke since that was the average fan was saying that we needed that one more ace in order to get that west. And the trade he suggested is eerily similar to the Bedard one...
|10. By: marinerseric on 11-07-2009 13:44:21|
I think we need to get rid of Lopez, he is what he is. His plate discipline is the worst I have seen in years. Swings at anything and everything.
Jason, any chance we get rid of Lopez? If I were a manager I would have never made him a number three hitter.
|11. By: DKulich44 on 11-07-2009 15:24:11|
@slurve ok good. That's what I figured but for my own sanity I had to check. And at least Halladay might stay healthy. All in all though it feels good to be in safe hands for once.
|12. By: Blowgun7 on 11-07-2009 18:29:49|
Anyone see Triunfel just homer in the AFL Showcase game?
|13. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-07-2009 19:31:05|
Not bad, eh?
|14. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-07-2009 20:42:39|
Milwaukee isn't trading Gamel and Weeks for Morrow, Lowe and Lopez.
No, I'm not going to play GM. It's fruitless, it really gets people all riled up as if any of it can happen. Look at the fuss caused by Cameron's Danks trade thought.
|15. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-07-2009 23:59:33|
BTW, regarding Mike Fontenot, he's not very good and unless the Cubs think he's so bad that they release him, I'm not sure why they'd trade him.
He's not arbitration eligible until after next season and they'd be selling low, if anything.
Fontenot can handle second base -- he's about average -- can't hit left-handed pitching, was awful versus EVERYONE in 2009, and, well... I think you get the point, but if you need more reasons why he doesn't make sense as an everyday option at 2B for Seattle, I offer you the following:
He slugged just .377 in 2009 and while he slugged .514 in '08, he failed in his first attempt to play regularly and hit left-handed pitching. There would be a league change and a ballpark factor for him to deal with, too, because despite Fontenot being left-handed, Wrigley is still easier on LHBs than Safeco. He's also 29 years old and done developing, so... he is what he is.
|16. By: marinerdan on 11-08-2009 13:00:06|
Jason, is it me or did you only list bad options? It seemed like under every option, there were mostly negatives listed, except for Nick Johnson.
|17. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-08-2009 13:21:47|
I listed mostly realistic options.
The free agent market sucks and the M's don't have much trade bait.
Sorry, but facts are facts. I'm not going to list Chase Utley and create unrealistic trades that land the M's impact players.
|18. By: Fireballer55 on 11-08-2009 13:30:58|
Do you think if Carl Crawford became available, we would take a shot? It seems like we "might" have some pieces to match up with Tampa Bay. I know they need relievers and I think we could spare some. I would let go of the DA and a pair of prospect for Crawford.
With all the trades going down right now...any word of the street about the Mariners?
Thanks in advance!!
|19. By: StandinPat on 11-08-2009 14:42:09|
I guess I'm quite a bit higher on Fontenot than you are. His career UZR at 2B is +10, which seems to be more than just average to me and his BABIP in 2009 was almost 50 points lower than his previous low set in 07. Even regressing his BABIP halfway puts him in the .260/330/410 range, while not great still is about as valuable at the plate as Lopez, add the dif with the glove and I think Fontenot is very likely to be the better player in 2010.
That being said, the inability to hit Lefties, and the fact that his struggles came in the first year he was used regularly is a cause for concern.
I have no idea what it would take to get him, but it shouldn't be much. I still like Mike as a buy low candidate, but you'd def have to be ok with waiving him after ST and not missing whatever you gave up via trade. I'm thinking a player similar to what you gave up for Langerhans, Hall or Hannahan.
|20. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-08-2009 16:31:35|
UZR is all over the map on him, and he's played in such spotty stints that there's no reliable conclusion on him whatsoever as far as UZR goes. It's really an ignore-it sitiation. There's no pattern and not trend to see there.
The scouts I have asked about Fontenot -- it's been since middle of the season, but... -- The eyes see an average defender there right now, maybe slightly above.
|21. By: eastcoastmariner on 11-08-2009 16:44:55|
In no way am I suggesting that Fontenot should be the M's primary option at second base this offseason. However, I do think he's in a similar situation as Kelly Johnson, with the potential for both players also somewhat similar. Johnson has more upside with the bat, while Fontenot is more handy with the glove. Of course, like many of the other options you listed, he has his faults but I wouldn't completely write him off as an option though...
|22. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-08-2009 17:28:34|
We don't have pieces to match up with Tampa. They aren't trading Crawford for relief help, they're going to require ML-ready arms or catchers.
The upside on Johnson is far greater, and its probably not going to cost the M's players in return.
Fontenot is not going to be waived/non-tendered/released.
He's a backup backup backup option. Personally, I think he's a horrible match for Seattle. Fontenot is not a regular on a pennant-winning club.
It's not a surprise that the Cubs fell short in the NLC, and their offensive weaknesses hurt them pretty bad. Fontenot was part of that, as Hendry either made a huge mistake and chose to, or was forced to by lack of better options, rely on guys like Fontenot, and Reed Johnson.
|23. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-08-2009 17:33:16|
Lopez = Fontenot when you consider trade cost. Fontenot is the Cubs starting 2B right now, not an over-priced veteran or Triple-A player they don't need for anything. It's going to cost something, whether he's GOOD or not. The Cubs kind of need his not-horrible value.
He's way, way down on the list for Seattle. He's not a clear-cut upgrade, and Jack has no business replacing incumbents with anything but significant upgrades.
Fontenot-Lopez (2B and 3B) isn't even close to being the klind of upgrade over Lopez-Tui that you want.
Is he worthless? No. Does it make sense for a team that needs impact additions and is without an abundant of financial and other resources in which to acquire such talent? No.
|24. By: candasharp on 11-08-2009 17:48:28|
Alex Gonzalez just got non-tendered by the Red Sox and he was scheduled to make about 6 million a year.
Viable option in lieu of Wilson?
Adding a lot of strikeouts on offense but the defense would be pretty solid.
|25. By: candasharp on 11-08-2009 17:50:31|
What about a deal with the Royals for Getz, Callaspo or Gordon if Kelly Johnson becomes unavailable?
|26. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-08-2009 17:51:59|
Sounds like Boston still wants him back, or at least will consider it, but honestly, Jack Wilson might even be BETTER. He's certainly better defensively and Gonzalez was worse than Wilson at the plate in 2009.
Neither are any good, really, but I'd prefer Wilson. Shockingly.
|27. By: FelixElRey on 11-08-2009 18:34:48|
Could Gonzalez come cheap enough to actually make him a better option though?
I'm of the opinion that the best way for us to get significantly better this year is to trade Jose Lopez, Aardsma, Lowe, and any other valuable relief arm for prospects to be flipped for a more impact player using Morrow. I know Jack isn't a huge fan of trading for unproven talent, but if his intention is to turn around and trade them or at least use them to justify trading a different prospect, then it seems plausible. I just have no idea what kind of value we could get for those guys.
The other obvious way of getting better is throwing a bunch of money at injury-risk FAs and hope a couple pan out.
I wish Ichiro would be traded...but I know he won't be.
|28. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-08-2009 19:45:00|
Gonzalez isn't a better option, even if he's free, really.
|29. By: rocketdawg31 on 11-08-2009 23:53:09|
All of the above posts kind of go with my growing suspicion that there's no real "Eureka!" move out there for us this off-season.
|30. By: jonbbt on 11-09-2009 00:23:03|
It's not like we all predicted the Putz/Gutierrez deal.
|31. By: jgstecker on 11-09-2009 06:28:31|
I'm curious how much value you think Aardsma might have to TB. They had a rough time finding that 9th inning guy last year and it may be their biggest hole this offseason. How would DA's value compare to Brignac or Bartlett?
|32. By: Jason A. Churchill on 11-09-2009 06:28:42|
Thing is, the M's could make two Putz-Gutierrez deals this winter and still finish third.
They need offense and starting pitching.
|33. By: Edman on 11-09-2009 08:22:10|
I'm just curious. Some of you seem to think that Aardsma is a great trading chip. One of Seattle's strengths last year was the bullpen. Why in the world would they trade Aardsma when:
1. There is no viable candidate to replace him.
2. Neither Josh Fields or Philipe Aumont is ready to advance any further than AAA.
3. There was nobody at AAA who was even remotely ready to even take a mop-up role in the pen.
Unless someone blows Seattle away with a deal, I can't see it happening. He's not a Putz, in that he had no prior seasons of that type of success. You're not gonna get another deal like the Putz deal, with Aardsma. There's no rush to move him. You could probably get a bigger return with Lowe, considering his 100 MPH fastball and a longer shelf life.
Personally, I wouldn't deal either. Nobody's gonna give up a Carl Crawford to get him, and you'd be lucky to get another Gutierrez, or even close.
Why would anyone trade for Aardsma, when they could sign Putz for a potentially semi-reasonable contract, and not lose a valuable piece?
|34. By: SMariners11 on 11-09-2009 09:55:57|
Just throwing out a name of a buy low kinda guy, but what do you think about brandon mccarthy? With the right help from adair how good can he be? I am hoping a above avg 3. Than signing a bedard/sheets type could prove to be a decent rotation with snell and hyphen. What are your thoughts?
|35. By: eastcoastmariner on 11-09-2009 10:38:51|
They would trade Aardsman for a couple of reasons
1. He is arbitration eligible this year and will continue to cost more money.
2. Another team may value him more than the Mariners do and, as a result, the Mariners would be able to add players that have more value to their team then a bullpen arm
3. It wont be long before Fields and Aumont are ready. Keep in mind Edman, that Shawn Kelley hadnt pitched above AA prior to last season. It's alot easier for a bullpen arm to get to the big leagues then it is for a hitter or a starting pitcher
I agree that he should only be traded if the offer is substantial but I dont necessarily think Lowe offers more value than Aardsma at this time. People will prefer Aardsma over Putz because Putz can no longer stay healthy and Aardsma had a very good 09 season
|36. By: StandinPat on 11-09-2009 12:19:11|
Putz had exactly ONE more 30 save season than Aardsma does when he was traded. Its not like he had years and years on being an elite closer, he had TWO.
As far as how it would affect the bullpen, Eastcoast makes a great point in that relievers can have alot of helium and jump from below AAA to the majors often, couple that with the fact that the M's have proven over the past several years how well you can construct a bullpen without a bunch of top names of 95mph flame throwers, its not like its such an absurd idea.
Aardsma is prob due to regress, so this might be selling high, and selling too soon on a RP is way better than selling too late, case and point, Putz. And speaking of Putz, when we traded him many said the bullpen and CL specifically would be a huge weakness, a little later we trade a C level spec for a guy that would become our next Putz. Whats to say we couldn't trade our next Putz and find our next, next Putz in the same offseason?
As far as anyone trading for Aardsma when they can sign Putz...There is one JJ and 29 other teams, so the remaining 28 sure might be interested. And honestly with his injury history and the fact that he hasn't been effective in 2 years, the better question would be why sign Putz if you could trade for AArdsma.
|37. By: d2ret on 11-09-2009 18:06:41|
Once again, I am continually impressed with the level of intelligence around this site. Jason, you are really takin it, 'next level', of late, and the response has been an elevated readership, as well. I love the direction your work is going in, as the clarity and thoughtfulness are really coming through, well now. Just thought I'd pay credit where is was due :) Appreciate the tremendous work.
|38. By: Tommy O on 11-10-2009 15:53:25|
The Ms would be major contenders in 2011++ if they traded Aardsma, Lowe, Gut this year and Felix, Ichiro next year.
I'd hate to see Felix traded but, the return could be too large to ignore.
|39. By: maqman on 11-12-2009 08:15:59|
I'm not fond of Lopez but he was a 2.6 WAR player in 2009 and might even have a bit of growth left in him. He's not the Ms main, or even a major, concern. Trading any current players or prospects to replace him is a misallocation of resources. 3B, LF, DH, C and 1B need replacing or offensive upgrades.
|40. By: StandinPat on 11-12-2009 12:36:39|
I think what your missing here is that there are significantly more options available internally, via trade and free agency at 2B than there are at those other positions. If you were able to trade Lopez for a true upgrade at one of those spots and then turn around and sign someone like Hudson, you could wind up being significantly better at two spots vs trying to spend other resources to upgrade just one.
As far as having any growth left, I'm just not sure where its gonna come from. He will continue to get bulkier, therefore losing range and defensive value, his BB% has pretty much remained unchanged for his career, so its not likely that he makes a huge jump in that department, and his .191 ISO is pretty much maxing out what he's capable. I'd say he's prob more likely to take a step back than forward. This might be his peak value and the optimal time to trade him.
I agree that Lopez is far from a problem and has actually been an asset the past two years, but that doesn't mean the M's shouldn't be looking to upgrade 2B, especially when it might be the easiest get of the off-season, and allow them to use his 25HR season to upgrade another spot as well.
You don't move Lopez just to do it, but you also don't keep him just because you have other holes to address. The M's need to be creative and this might be the perfect time to move some pieces around.
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