|By Justin Hendrix||By 12-14-2012|
|1. By: Wishhiker on 12-14-2012 00:32:41|
Maybe teams would offer enough for Felix now?
2 years before the renegotiating window for Root Sports probably isn't the best time. Nor is the backlash from higher ticket prices followed by a Marlins light sale.
I agree with what you're saying about the market. Also we can't be sure how long salaries will continue to rise or how high they'll get. I just see this as a horrible time for the mariners to go full into using that insight. Maybe a deal or 2 to gain some value, but being the 3rd best team in this division could still get you into the postseason. I don't think the Ms can afford to forestall present improvements even if it's not the same impact as Hamilton individually.
|2. By: Jason A. Churchill on 12-14-2012 01:06:53|
The problem has never really been about what teams would be willing to offer, IMO. The issue is finding a team with enough to offer in the first place.
I wrote about this very subject in June. Click here.
|3. By: Justin_Hendrix on 12-14-2012 01:08:59|
Regardless of the value in return, a Felix trade is nearly impossible at this point because people would burn down Safeco Field.
I would agree with you it is not worth it to forestall improvements that need to be made. However, addressing the need right now via a trade for a major piece will almost certainly cost the M's too much. I would love to take a chance and land Justin Upton but we are talking Walker/Paxton/Miller just to get Kevin Towers on the phone. Unfortunately for the M's and Jack Zdurienzik it is a horrible time to acquire impact talent via trade. Free agency is looking like the best option, but the M's will ultimately have to overpay by a fair amount. On top of that you would also be losing a high draft pick, which I'd argue is worth more to the M's because of the success of Tom McNamara. Jack is really in a tough spot, but kudos to him for sticking with the plan.
|4. By: thomas_matthew3 on 12-14-2012 01:26:51|
Is there a chance or have you heard anything about the Mariners potentially going after the new free agents from Cuba, Cuban baseball players Dariel Alvarez (OF) and Aledmis Diaz (SS)?
|5. By: d2ret on 12-14-2012 01:44:59|
What a job Zdurenciks got eh? Hes shrewd though. Very impressed with his dicipline. Were building much like the Rays west.
|6. By: d2ret on 12-14-2012 02:00:31|
We've been linked to so many players, and its not just media talk either, GMs say it too. Z's head has to spin from time to time, especially with no deals being made. Can you imagine? But he maintains the discernment.
I believe, if we hold onto Jack Z, it is just a matter of time before he brings the M's to a World Series. His process is that good IMO.
I know you've stated that before as well Jason.
|7. By: rjfrik on 12-14-2012 02:17:32|
Amen brother. It seems like I've been preaching this for the last year. Don't overpay for a burnout FA, don't give up the farm for a rental, hold strong, hold fast, utilize your draft picks both this year and in the past, develop from within and it seems like I'm constantly ridiculed by a lot of fellow followers who are hell bent against that strategy. Sign Swisher!, Sign Bourn! Sign Anyone! Trade all are talent!
That is folly and it's nice to read a piece from a person who has the same beliefs in how the Mariners are going to turn this thing around. There is only one way and it's being patient and being precise and no one in this FA market follows that plan.
I'm looking forward to the kids performing next year.
Here. Here. Jack. Keep up the diligent work!!
|8. By: Juan Valdez on 12-14-2012 02:39:47|
I'm coming to the belief that it probably doesn't make sense to resign Felix. Assuming he's willing to take Seattle's money, does an AAV of $30 million a year for an extended number of years, beginning with his age 29 season, really make sense? I don't think it does. I can't imagine that one pitcher is worth that much. I also don't really believe that these salaries are justified. The market is skewed right now by the TV money flowing in to some franchises (but not others). The problem is that these RSN cable deals can't last. But until they do, teams like the Dodgers are being subsidized by millions of people that don't have any interest in them as fans.
Right now, I'm not sure they could trade him, even if the Marlins came knocking and offered Stanton. The PR hit of trading Felix would be mind numbing. The problem is that if you wait until next offseason, at that point he only has a year left on his deal. Also, we've been extraordinarily lucky that he's been more or less healthy his entire career, but that could change at any time.
Trading him now would be a bold move, for sure.
|9. By: Juan Valdez on 12-14-2012 02:56:00|
I read Jason's article from 6/23 that he links to above. I found this passage, which I agree with:
"no team is going to be willing to sacrifice four good players -- two of them premium and at least one of them a high-end bat under team control for 3-plus years."
The thing is though that if no team is willing to pay that price, then by definition Felix's market value is something less than that. So what do you do?
|10. By: d2ret on 12-14-2012 03:08:18|
Are you guys really starting in with the trade Felix discussion again? For real?
|11. By: d2ret on 12-14-2012 03:34:24|
That said, Id take Tavaris, Miller, Wong ++ for him lol. But theyd have to include Maekel Cleto in the deal..... :/
Then conspire to have a common understanding when Felix reaches Free Agency.
Its perfect..... :9
|12. By: docsmith on 12-14-2012 04:44:31|
Nice analysis Justin. And I agree. The prospect market has dried up, for now, and it makes sense that it is due to the second wild card and additional cash in the market. Fortunately, as long as those prospects turn into talent, Seattle will be good again.
We are at the walk before you can run phase. I see us running starting in 2014-2015.
|13. By: maqman on 12-14-2012 06:28:38|
The M's would have had to have offered more years or money to entice Hamilton to Seattle, if it was even possible and he's not worth what he is getting. If he went back to Texas we still would end up facing him every season as we have for the past five. It does weaken Texas and strengthen the Angels but both lost out to the A's this year so they needed to improve. The Angels have, Texas hasn't. The Angels are going down the same road as the Yankees and getting older and older every year, that will inevitably cause problems sooner or later. We are paying the cost for having a young and still developing team but I think we will be better than most of the doom and gloom prognosticators think. We don't have the drag of Figgins, Olivo and Noesti to deal with, we have a great bullpen and Iwakuma will contribute all season next year and some of Smoak, Carp, Ackley, Montero and Zunino, Franklin and Romero will add some firepower next season. That's not even considering what some of the Big Four pitchers might contribute. We're going to be at least a .500 team, if not better, We are making sustainable progress. I fully support Jack's view. He's using the Rays template however with more money but less sunshine to offer.
|14. By: Wishhiker on 12-14-2012 06:46:49|
Sorry for starting that. I wasn't seriously considering it, just saying ifit's a sellers market, he's worth more. I want to see Felix celebrating championships here. I hope nobody ever offers what he's worth.
I'd probably rather not lose the pick for anyone left. Swisher is tough if he's singable by Seattle for anything reasonable. The pick would seem to be worth a bit less if prospects in general are.
Finding a Branyan/Jaso type that's just not getting the plate appearances or had a bad season would be great, but i've got no ideas. Bay has to be an attempt at that already.
It still would be best to add something more solid. Still need an OF, SP and backup catcher. Most of the decent backup catchers have signed already too. Not that that's a spot that has much potential to add wins.
Sanchez would not cost a pick, since he was traded during the season.
There's still a lot of options, I am not sure there's anyone I specifically prefer at this point though.
|15. By: Paul Martin on 12-14-2012 07:00:27|
Justin, great article! My only difference would be that Jack continues fielding the best team possible without signing a high prices free agent or trading away the farm. Then, AT THE TRADE DEADLINE look to be sellers and grade one or more of the players you mentioned. Don't you think we could get more value at the deadline? Teams desperate to make the playoffs tend to give up more, especially when teams have lost players due to injury or lack of production.
As for trading Felix, that is ridiculous and not worthy of discussion.
|16. By: docsmith on 12-14-2012 07:45:50|
If we are sellers at this year's trade deadline, I hope it is the last year. Maybe Vargas, maybe one of the bullpen arms and hopefully getting a young hitter in return. But hopefully we aren't selling.
Not that I am missing your point, which is that Jack is being smart about where to get his value.
Regarding Felix...I am all for keeping Felix for as long as he will have us. But am I the only one that noticed the extension talks didn't appear to go anywhere, at least not yet. Maybe Felix said wait until February, or next year. But if he indicated he may not resign or isn't resigned by next winter, I can see a trade. Not this year, but next, if he isn't extended.
|17. By: baseballman on 12-14-2012 08:11:52|
Great piece Justin, great work!
After reading this and thinking about it for a little bit, I agree with what you wrote. If a handful of our top prospects actually pan out, the Mariners are setting themselves up to be a pretty special team for years. I would hate to see someone like Hultzen, Paxton or Franklin tear it up for some other team like I've been forced to do with Choo, Cabrera and Jones. I leave Walker out of this scenario because I don't see anyway he gets traded unless it's for a superstar (obviously as part of the package).
What's great right now for Mariner fans is that we aren't far away from seeing if these guys can make it or now. They aren't playing Single A ball next year, our top prospects are all in the advanced levels of the minors. We aren't pinning our hopes on Chris Tillman in High A ball, or wondering what his true value is.
As a whole, I like where this organization is at. Now the 25 man roster is not at the point of competing for the West yet, but am I crazy to think that this team could finish close to .500 with how it's currently constructed? We did finish with 75 wins and there are quite a few players who should hopefully take another step in their developments.
|18. By: firstname.lastname@example.org on 12-14-2012 08:21:10|
Call me crazy but I still believe Smoak, Montero, and Ackley will come back this year and be what we had hoped.
And Jack Z is not on the hot seat like people like to say. If they got rid of him who would they get to replace him? He is the best thing to ever have happened to this franchise.
I was around in Woody Woodward days and he was a disaster. I remember once during a critical period during the season when M's fans were hoping for a trade and he was off vacationing in Hawaii. And back then there weren't cell phones and much internet.
So, Jack Z, Smoak, and Ackley are here to stay and I am delighted.
|19. By: d2ret on 12-14-2012 08:31:22|
We've got the Astros stepping into the division. We'll be a .500 team because of that alone :)
|20. By: d2ret on 12-14-2012 08:39:57|
Finally!!! We no longer hold the celler dweller title!!!
|21. By: Jerry on 12-14-2012 08:41:49|
I couldn't agree more.
There are surely some shrewd under the radar moves yet to be made. But blockbuster trades and huge signings aren't wise, given the market and the M's current situation.
I know everyone hates to hear "wait till next year", but I agree with Jack that that is probably the best way forward.
Between 2011 and 2012, the M's improved by 8 games. The club, right now, is a lot better than the team we had in April 2012. Given no major changes, I'd fully expect another 8-10 win improvement given a full year of improved pay from Jaso, Iwakuma, and Ramirez, plus some improvement (either better numbers or replacements) from 2B, 1B, and the OF corners.
Next year, I think the club should e in a better spot. The impact of the changes to Safeco will no longer be hypothetical. Questions about whether or not guys like Smoak, Ackley, Saunders, Montero, and Ramirez will be contributors going forward will be far more clear after they have another year under under their belts. And because the majority of the M's minor league talent is in AA or AAA, we can expect lots of internal improvement. Guys like Zunino, Hultzen, Walker, Paxton, Maurer, Franklin, Miller, and Romero will all be nearly ML ready or get their first chances in 2013.
All the M's need is breakouts from 1-2 guys already on the team (Smoak, Ackley, Montero, etc), and 1-2 guys from the glut of talent we already have at AA and AAA. A few internal improvements in addition to what we already have, a less extreme park, and a club coming off 85 wins, and this team will look much much better at this time next year.
|22. By: Jerry on 12-14-2012 08:57:01|
By the way, with the Tigers signing Anibal Sanchez, I think the M's and Detroit are great fits for a trade.
The Tigers have a pitching surplus, and are looking for a closer and a good defensive SS. How about Wilhelmsen and Ryan to DET for Rick Porcello, Avasail Garcia, and a draft pick? Brennan Boesch, Nick Castellanos, Casey Crosby, and Jhonny Peralta are interesting players too.
The ms could replace Ryan with someone like Hiroyuki Nakajima or Stephen Drew until Franklin or Miller are ready.
|23. By: Missthosepilots on 12-14-2012 09:32:43|
Well said Justin. Everyone wants big bat. If it is not there, it will not help anything to make a trade for the sake of a trade. You have to wait for the right investment and the right timing or you can get burned in today's business environment. No different for the M's.
|24. By: slamcactus on 12-14-2012 10:06:01|
If this is really a trend and prospects' values have gone way down (still not convinced it's not just a couple isolated bad moves) then it's time to seriously consider what we can get for Tom Wilhelmsen. Very good chance his value will never be higher.
|25. By: novler on 12-14-2012 11:06:45|
Makes me wonder if Wilhelmsen could be packaged to net someone like Nick Castellanos from the Tigers—though I readily admit I'm not sure just how good, or grim, Castellanos projections really are. But it seems the Tigers are in win-now mode and could use a proven closer after that awful postseason performance by Valverde.
I also wonder if Jackie Bradley is a possibility if we sent the BoSox some proven arms.
Just rosterbating out loud. Sorry. Times seem. Need hope of hitters...
|26. By: maqman on 12-14-2012 11:08:47|
I really don't want to see them move The Bartender, Pryor and Capps are high potential relievers with some experience in The Show if they need to trade a bullpen arm. I know he's not highly regarded but I think Beavan is adequate at the back of the rotation. He doesn't seem to have a lot of ability but he does seem to get the job done more often than not. I wouldn't mind them looking at Wilhelmsen and Furbush as starters through spring training, they would be more valuable as starters and would still leave us with a strong pen.
|27. By: slamcactus on 12-14-2012 11:50:42|
I don't want him moved just to move him, but if they can get the kind of piece that nobody would've paid for a good closer 2 years ago they need to explore it.
Again, not sure there's actually been some kind of huge market correction - bad moves by Dayton Moore & Kevin Towers aren't necessarily the strongest bellwethers. But it's possible given the 5th wild card. If nobody's offering more than a couple interesting B- types then hold on, but there could be some great returns out there right now.
|28. By: Rudolf on 12-14-2012 19:09:13|
Erasmo Ramirez for Mark Trumbo? Would the Angels consider it? Is Trumbo worth it?
|29. By: dewey on 12-14-2012 19:47:19|
If you where the Angels would you give up a guy who hit 26 HR and made the allstar team for a guy with three wins in M.L.? I think JZ would here a laugh and then a click. Love ideas but other teams have scouts also.
|30. By: masonb on 12-14-2012 19:53:36|
I think any trade involving Trumbo would start with the Angels asking about Wilhelmsen. And honestly, if I'm Seattle, I'd rather have Bourjos then Trumbo. Trumbo has alot of flaws, and I think being in a lineup with much less protection could hurt him. Bourjos at least provides a ton of value on the basepaths and in the outfield. Think of him as a cheaper alternative to Bourn.
|31. By: Juan Valdez on 12-14-2012 20:14:05|
Anyone have any thoughts on Rick Porcello? Stats are middling he's still very young. Curious if there's still projection there. Looks like lefty bats are his big problem.
|32. By: dewey on 12-14-2012 20:19:46|
Just think if Trunbo has flaws and yes he does his 26 HR would have lead our team by a bunch and before we go into the diffrent fields hard to hit in safeco routine his HR go out of anywhere.I like Bourjus idea better but you have to give up some good kids to get him and i think i would.
|33. By: Rudolf on 12-14-2012 20:38:34|
Dewey, I understand that Trumbo is perceived to have more value than Erasmo (and probably does regardless of perception). Trumbo is, however, a flawed player with defensive shortcomings. He has put up 2.5 WAR in each of the past two seasons. Erasmo could very well put up 2.5 WAR this year. Erasmo has six seasons of control and #3 starter upside. The Angels could use a cheap starting pitcher.
Masonb, I don't think the M's need a guy like Bourjos. We need someone who can plate runs. Trumbo might not be the guy, but he's more the type of player we're targeting. Personally I'm not a fan of Bourjos. As far as Wilhelmsen goes, do the Angels need a late inning reliever? It seems they've put some real effort into their bullpen.
|34. By: JonathanAicardi on 12-14-2012 21:17:35|
Trade Erasmo?! He's adorable! He has the greatest first name for a pitcher this franchise has ever seen and did no one else see him touching 95 all of a sudden?
Also, K:BB of 4.0. Yeah.
|35. By: Juan Valdez on 12-14-2012 21:48:45|
Would the Angels trade to a division rival?
|36. By: Juan Valdez on 12-14-2012 21:48:45|
Would the Angels trade to a division rival?
|37. By: Juan Valdez on 12-14-2012 21:50:11|
I hate it when my smartphone double posts.
|38. By: Rudolf on 12-14-2012 22:01:02|
JohnathonA, I totally love the guy, too! I am not excited to consider trading him, and I think he has surprise stud pitcher written all over him. Still, he seems like a guy the Angels could use and we all know Trumbo's power would be appreciated in our lineup. I doubt the Angels would go for it unless we included other players.
|39. By: VikingArthur on 12-14-2012 22:01:40|
Is someone actually saying that we should get Bourjos? Seriously? He is not a starting caliber player. Look at those bb/k ratios! Ha, Ha. He is Carlos Peguero but white, scrappy and kinda fast. Hilarious.
|40. By: masonb on 12-14-2012 22:15:05|
No one (Me) said that we should get Bourjos. I simply said he's preferable to Trumbo because he brings more to the table than Trumbo. I also didn't say Wilhelmsen should be traded for him. I just said that I'd think the Angels would want Wilhelmsen in any deal for Trumbo, and that's a bad deal. Trumbo is basically Peguero with a little bit better plate discipline. And he can't play defense. If I were Z, I'd approach Detroit about a Castellanos and Boesch for Wilhelmsen deal. Obviously that'd probably need to be expanded, but that's the type of deal I'd be looking for if Wilhelmsen were involved. That or package Wilhelmsen and someone like Miller and Kelley to get Lawrie. Trumbo although young and cost controlled isn't the type of player this org needs.
|41. By: Justin Hendrix on 12-15-2012 00:30:00|
Thanks everyone for the nice comments!
24 - I think trading someone like a Whilhelmsen makes a lot of sense at this time. The FO has a value system and parameters already laid out for what they must obtain in potential trade of The Bartender and other targets. The beauty in a Whilhelmsen deal is my belief that Jack holds all the cards. The M's don't have to deal Whilhelmsen, as he is under team control for 4 more years. Yet if someone offers Jack a deal the team values more than Whilhelmsen, you play ball.
With the 2nd Wild Card obviously there are naturally going to be more teams in playoff contention. If you are the Mariners of 2010 you would be in a great spot to deal pieces for prospects. However the Mariners are now closer to contending and Jack wants to add pieces to his 25 man roster. This is the type of situation Jack can use his poker skills and try to land a top prospect. Obviously you are banking on a contender having an urgent need and a willingness to deal a top prospect over someone on the current 25 man roster. We saw this in 1997 when the Mariners traded top prospect Jose Cruz Jr to the Blue Jays for Paul Spoljaric and Mike Timlin. The M's had already acquired Heathcliffe Slocumb for Jason Varitek and the front office knew this was going to be the last postseason opportunity with The Big Unit. So Woody Woodward went all in and Toronto used the M's irrational exuberance to land a top prospect . The deal ended up not working out, but using names of today, the Blue Jays essentially acquired Oscar Taveras for Tom Whilhelmsen and Lucas Leutge. Stranger things....
|42. By: VikingArthur on 12-15-2012 09:04:51|
I simply cannot understand anyone who would not trade Wilhemsen for Trumbo. Wilhemsen is a scrap heap reliever that is easily replaced. Trumbo is a young slugger with offensive upside. I'd give up Wilhemsen + for a guy like that.
|43. By: StandinPat on 12-15-2012 09:22:46|
"I simply cannot understand anyone who would not trade Wilhemsen for Trumbo"
We can all see that
"Wilhemsen is a scrap heap reliever that is easily replaced"
Yeah, so that's not even remotely true
"Trumbo is a young slugger with offensive upside"
He's an above average hitter with no defensive value. You don't need more 1b/DH types unless they are elite and Trumbo is definitely not elite.
|44. By: hklinger on 12-15-2012 09:39:58|
What about Kendrys Morales? The Angels need to trade one of Bourjos, Trumbo and Morales. They seem to want to keep Trumbo. Morales is the most expensive of them, and I think he'd come cheap.
He would challenge Smoak for 1B in spring training, and if they both work out well, sent Montero to AAA to work on first base. He would instantly become our best hitter, and he's a switch hitter. What would it take to get him? I doubt it would take any of Walker/Hultzen/Paxton/Franklin, and I'm sure LAAA would be happy to offload $3 mil in salary to start to replenish their farm.
My offseason plan:
Trade for Morales
Sign Swisher to 4 year/$60 mil
Sign Kelly Shoppach to 1 year/$2.5 mil
Trade for Chris Capuano
2B Ackley L
3B Seager R
RF Swisher S
DH Morales S
1B Smoak S
C Jaso/Shoppach L/R
LF Saunders/Wells/Bay L
CF Saunders/Gutierrez R
SS Ryan R
Mid-season Montero can challenge Smoak at 1B, Paxton can push Noesi, and Zunino can unseat Shoppach.
This gives us maximum flexibility, a decent line up (good LH/RH balance, including 3 switch hitters), and doesn't sacrifice our future. We would also stay under budget (this projects at about $85 mil).
Alternatively, you can start Montero and send Smoak to AAA to become a right-handed hitter exclusively.
|45. By: VikingArthur on 12-15-2012 10:17:58|
Wilhemsen is, in fact, a scrap heap guy. He is similar to Putz and Aardsma, guys who were given a chance in the closer role and did an ok job with it. In the last five years or so the M's have had four guys in the closer role. They have all worked out. Closers are NOT hard to find, at least, for Jack and his group. Capps or Pryor can do the job. Move Wilhemsen in a heartbeat if you can get a starting level bat at any position (because unless you haven't noticed, we don't have many real MLB bats).
|46. By: VikingArthur on 12-15-2012 10:19:59|
Buy low and sell high... it is very simple. We got him for nothing and if we can get something of decent value for him... you do it. Or you can wait until his arm falls off or he has a mediocre year.
|47. By: rotoenquire on 12-15-2012 10:50:28|
You add Boasch this year and maybe another bat by trade, say M. Morse. You then go into F/A next year and get local product J. Ellsbury. Who may come to Seattle despite all the national stuff, about this being Alaska. And, a bad reputation when comes too hitters.
Also targets next year:
C. Gomez OF
P. Hughes SP
S-S Choo OF
A. Casilla SS/2B
Don't forget there is still D. Young who the M's have shown interest in. And with his surgery may not sign till next month too prove it all went well. A. LaRoche could also be a target to play 1st for the M's. R. Ibanez is also still on the radar.
|48. By: maqman on 12-15-2012 10:59:02|
Obviously I hold Wilhelmsen in higher regard than some but I wouldn't trade him to the Angels so he can shut us down several times a year. I might do a deal with the Nationals for Mike Morse but would offer Capps or Pryor and a lesser piece for filler if needed. That would save the Nats $6.75MM next season and he has some thump. He would be one of two bats we could use, hopefully the other would be Swisher. The Indians are hot after Swisher though and he is from Ohio and went to Ohio State, that probably trumps our moved-in fences and scenery.
|49. By: VikingArthur on 12-15-2012 11:44:37|
The guys you point out as "targets" are not significant upgrades to what we have now. Choo is in decline. Hughes is a classic Yankee, in that he is overrated. Gomez? Casilla? I'd hope those guys are not upgrades to what we have now.
There is only one way for the M's to go forward.
1. Build from our drafts which have been good to outstanding since Jack got here. Make trades to address shortcomings (presumably to the offense) from the depth of our up and coming talent.
2. Supplement our young kids with BIG TIME talent in the FA market. If most of our team is cost controlled and young we could spend big money to bring these guys in. The only guys who fit that bill this year were Hamilton and Grienke. None of the guys you talk about are within shouting distance of difference makers.
The WRONG way is to sign middling free agents like the guys you mention to overpriced deals. Those guys end up blocking younger cheaper guys who can provide similar levels of production so then management looks to move them....i.e. the Bavasi Era.
|50. By: rotoenquire on 12-15-2012 12:19:21|
With our young kids that are up now and Zunino and pitchers on the way. What the M's will need is solid role players and versatiity. Ellsbury would be a great get with a winning mentality. Add too what we have, Gomez would be a solid #4 OF Hughes at the back end of a rotation allowing to move Beavan and other into a long role. Casilla as another role player with the ability to play several INF positions.
I think the M's will sign D. Young and R. Ibanez this off season. Maybe even getting LaRoche to play 1B. They dont need that huge bat, if as most believe they got it here and just need time to develope.
|51. By: d2ret on 12-15-2012 19:48:28|
Im glad we've got Zunino coming up together with the pitchers. They'll be familair with eachother prior to stepping into Safeco...
Thats pretty big for the pitchers, if they can get on the same page.
|52. By: dewey on 12-15-2012 21:08:09|
So after 1258 major league atbats and a 223 avg we still think and or gonna wait on Smoak .No other plater or team waits this long on a player admit you where wrong JZ every GM makes mistakes but go dign Laroach or someone who can produce this guy has been given a fair chance time to move on.I crack up people just keep saying he will be better look at those at bats he has had more then a fair chance.
|53. By: Wishhiker on 12-16-2012 06:58:59|
Smoak after changing his swing: 42 games, 160 PA, 139 AB, 18 runs, 40 H,, 8 2b, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 20 BB, 1 IBB, 26 SO, .288/.375/.475
Do you advocate ignoring the most recent data for some reason? I'd understand a bit if those numbers had been put up without him making changes to his swing and approach, but there are clear and obvious differences.
And 1200 AB is longer than any other team gives? Really? I'm sure you could find your way to the stats of a Cameron Maybin, Jose Bautista or some other slow starter if you bothered looking. Remember Raul?
|54. By: Panhead55 on 12-16-2012 08:00:25|
Let's not forget how Smoak's 2011 transpired. He started the season off great and then he suffers the loss of his father. Shortly there after he injured his wrist, which hampered him all season long. When evaluating Smoak, 2011 should be significantly discounted.
Was the end of 2012 real or merely small sample size? The Ms owe it to themselves to find out.
|55. By: dewey on 12-16-2012 08:08:34|
#53 your gonna name 3 guys what about the other 1500 it didnt work for? So a decent 160 at bats makes up for 1100 bad ones? I hope he becomes what people think he can but i dont think he will we will talk in october again about this just like last october proably unless he hits our gets sent down again. Time will tell
|56. By: titans12 on 12-16-2012 08:20:34|
I like the Boesch and Morse acquisitions. I think Boesch could return as a hitter and would be worth the gamble for what it takes to get him.
|57. By: dewey on 12-16-2012 10:27:03|
Didnt Jack have Morse once allready?
|58. By: maqman on 12-16-2012 11:14:14|
Yup. Morse blew everyone away in spring training then face planted himself early in the season trying to dive for a fly ball and messed up his shoulder. Dave Cameron touted Ryan Langerhans of the Nationals and Z gave up Morse for him. Then Langerhans played in all of 79 games for the M's in 2010 and 2011 and is now just a memory. Morse got better. If the Nats resign Adam LaRoche (they offered 2/$25MM, he's asking for three years and will cost another team a draft pick) then Morse becomes expendable and will cost them $6.75MM to keep on their roster next season. By taking him as a salary dump the M's don't have to surrender a big talent. I don't think the fact that Z traded him would stop him from bringing him back because it makes sense.
|59. By: dewey on 12-16-2012 11:58:07|
Sakary dump? Teams will line up and give good prospects to get that guy he had solid year and is cheap really compared to what guys our getting paid. He is the kind of offense we need here.
|60. By: Juan Valdez on 12-16-2012 15:09:06|
I wonder why the M's don't go after Adam Laroche? He's a left-handed batting and left-handed throwing first baseman. He isn't awesome but he's got some power. B-R.com puts him at 4 WAR last year. The Nats, last I read, were only interested in giving him a two-year deal and he's holding off on signing it. So why not offer three years?
|61. By: perpetualfan on 12-16-2012 15:59:41|
since we are looking for possible bats for an under performing offense how would you feel about Delmon Young (16 hr, 90 rbi & 284 ba avg for 162 schedule) or Vernon Wells if we could get him for a low prospect and the Angels picking up a high percentage his salary ?
|62. By: masonb on 12-16-2012 16:07:12|
You wanna give a 3 year deal to LaRoche who has a history of injury issues and is towards the end of his prime, and pay him upwards of 13-15 mil a year to do so, also while blocking guys like Montero and Smoak who could feasibly provide similar production for pennies? Terrible idea. I'd be open to getting LaRoche for 2 years max. There's a reason that teams are reluctant to give that guy more than 2 years.
|63. By: Mackie on 12-16-2012 16:41:29|
@61, Not sure about Delmon Young... he's a guy who had a .707 OPS overall, and .649 against RHP. .833 against LHP, though. He's 27.
Wells hasn't hit well for a couple of seasons now, and may not have much left at age 34. Maybe they could catch lightning in a bottle or something, but surely there might be better ones to pursue? Not sure who the M's are "in on" at this point.
|64. By: Juan Valdez on 12-16-2012 16:46:10|
@masonb - it seems like the M's are running out of options to add talent to the team. I don't feel passionately about Laroche, but it seems like the price for even mediocre talents is going up, and so it seems like something they ought to at least consider. Honestly, I'm fine with the Mariners not making any major moves this offseason. Wouldn't mind seeing Swisher in an M's uniform, but if it doesn't happen, then that's just the way it goes. It would be nice to add a piece, but the future of this team is in the development of the young players.
Speaking of adding talent to the team, it's also curious to me that the M's have never been linked to Edwin Jackson. The Padres are rumored to be near to signing him to a 3-year deal. I would sure be interested in that if I were JZ.
|65. By: VikingArthur on 12-16-2012 17:52:12|
Sign Ibanez and Delmon Young? Ha, Ha!!! That has to be a joke right! Neither can play a lick of defense. One is ancient and one has never been any good. Vernon Wells? Why? He isn't as good as Thames/Wells or Saunders and hasn't been in years. Give up on these loser guys who were good at one point or were drafted high for no good reason. Raul seems like a good guy and can still do some things but he has no place on this roster. No wonder the M's front office thinks it can do what it does...when you have "insiders" espousing the wisdom of Ibanez and Delmon Young! Ha, ha. To make the Mariners better you have to find people who are better than Saunders, Wells/Thames, Guti... none of those guys are even as good.
|66. By: rotoenquire on 12-16-2012 17:58:01|
I like the Line-UP. However, I think Smoak maybe on the way out in trade. M's could still go after LaRoche or Swisher and put either of them at 1st and then trade Smoak.
Swisher OR LaRoche 1B
|67. By: Wishhiker on 12-16-2012 19:00:26|
I still really like what Swisher can bring. How has it gone mostly unnoticed that his Safeco career line is .287/.375/.538? 201 plate appearances against a mixed bag of the good and bad pitching we've had from 2004 through last year. He didn't rack that all up when he was with Oakland and our pitching was worse either. Last year he had a .936 OPS in Safeco, the year before was 1.014. He's arguably been the most positive and fitting "veteran presence" available this offseason and may have been the best target all along. I admit I wanted Hamilton more, but its possible that Swisher brings more value and improvement to the team anyway.
Dewey, really...I threw out a couple names off the to of my head to show that teams often give closer to 1500+ AB to players they believe in. its your turn, show me talented players that teams gave up on in less than 1000 AB. Then I'll give you the long researched list you arm to be asking for. Otherwise admit that 1200 AB is an early career sample that doesn't cause teams to pack it in and ship them off in the "other teams"you were saying all don't give that much leeway. Your assertion is asinine and untrue.
|68. By: slamcactus on 12-16-2012 19:11:18|
53: it's very rarely good analysis to advocate for the small sample over the large one. I'd like to believe Smoak can right the ship, but I'm not falling for a decent run at the end of the year. It's be great if that's a sign of sustainable improvement, it's just not a good idea to bank on it.
I wouldn't advocate releasing Smoak or anything, but at the very least the team needs to explore alternatives.
|69. By: Wishhiker on 12-16-2012 19:33:58|
If Romero is headed to LF and we have Franklin a SS with "noted leadership presence", with Miller also at SS having "noted leadership presence" and Zunino a C with "noted leadership presence", Paxton, Hultzen, etc.
I'm just thinking this year most of those guys could spend time on the roster. If Romero goes to LF, Franklin or Miller at SS, Zunino at catcher there is potentially not room for anyone not on the roster. I'd like a RF, a one year backup catcher and a one-two year pitcher, but its arguable that none of those are needed. Top prospects in all of those positions will be in AAA. Is it such a bad idea to just say "screw it" and bring Zunino, Romero and one of the young arms straight from spring training? If a part of the goal is getting these prospects major league experience to raise their value, why not just plan on doing so where there's also a roster need? Does that also mean we should shop Ryan now or at the deadline?
|70. By: Wishhiker on 12-16-2012 19:42:48|
68 I agree entirely except for one thing. I gave his career stats for his current batting mechanics. There are no other numbers to add to that without going forward and seeing what performances come in the future. Its a good sign that the changes have been positive, but I agree it's no guarantee. It's also a part of why I just said Swisher may have always been the best fit this offseason, i'm sure it's been typed 1000 times that "Swisher can play 1b too" and be insurance behind Smoak.
|71. By: Juan Valdez on 12-16-2012 20:54:01|
@Wishiker, bringing those guys straight from Spring Training may be asking too much. If they dominate in AAA, they'll be here soon enough. This is a good problem.
|72. By: Ianyo on 12-16-2012 21:02:06|
How about David DeJesus as a platoon bat to pair with Wells? I actually really like that combo and he shouldn't be too expensive.
|73. By: Wishhiker on 12-16-2012 21:46:40|
I understand that it may be asking too much, but the other side of that is that it may not. If clear upgrades are not in the cards, is it better to get veterans that aren't upgrades and keep the idea of these players as fallbacks? Is it better to get the next influx earlier? We're talking about potential core players that at some point in this season will likely be getting PA in the show to advance their careers. Is a couple months in AAA really that meaningful? I guess it is when you're talking about super 2, but I'd argue that their value to the club those couple months could be greater if they're doing well enough to be super 2. I'm trying to discuss the idea, dismissing it with a vague statement that in general may be true doesn't answer what I specifically asked which is about this club this year.
If they can't get any real upgrades, which seems to be a choice recently of vastly overpaying in dollars/years/prospects, its it really better to pay marginal players for those couple months? This year, for this team.
|74. By: Juan Valdez on 12-16-2012 23:50:42|
Oh well, sorry, I didn't mean to sound dismissive. I'm not concerned about arbitration timetables at all. What I was getting at was more about development and giving guys time at each level to adjust and hopefully dominate before moving them to the next level. That's all really. The goal is to give them the best chance to succeed when they get here. As good as Stefen Romero could be, I would rather give him a chance to dominate AAA before having to face major league pitching. When I look at the way that Ackley and Smoak struggled this year, I wonder if another year at AAA would have been in order - getting in those daily at bats in batting practice and in games, honing their craft day after day. It's not like AAA pitchers aren't challenging. It's the second highest level of baseball, after all.
|75. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 01:45:18|
It seems to me that nobody really knows for sure and the best any team can do is evaluate each player to make determinations. I don't think there's one right answer for every player.
I think the mariners need to market something and Zunino in particular has, what 10 awards to potentially list off in commercials. Romero was incredible last year taking a couple himself. Maybe Bourn and Swisher are more marketable, but the FA market doesn't have much beyond that.
It doesn't seem a trade for anything significant is both possible and advisable. Those are the things that are pointing me toward the thinking. Long term it's practically a given that not trading away prospects is better for the team. I look at all the deals this offseason and, without exception, I'd rather be the teams trading away veterans.
Just like adding a few impact players now could put them in decent position, a few prospects panning out could. My thinking is also about pushing that timetable forward because they can't pan out until they're in MLB. I understand the thinking that it could slow down their careers by bringing them up too early, but I know nobody can say that's 100% true. Some have done just fine or better and there's no way to be sure that Smoak or Ackley would have acclimated better with more time in AAA.
Even with Swisher I think I'd lean towards hoping that Zunino is ready enough, as well as either Paxton or Hultzen. I like the chances of the holdovers improving as a group though. I have seen that players careers aren't necessarily mirrored in their first few years though. I wouldn't be counting on Zunino putting up middle of the order stats in 2013 either.
I think it's probably not as defensible as getting 2nd/3rd tier players from most angles, I just cringe with each proposed package I read. There's one free agent I like. There's also Bourn who I don't really like, but would at least be a likely improvement. That's all that's left that I really like at all. Not that there aren't other players who are interesting, but the packages of prospects for players that aren't even top 25% at their position just aren't worth it overall. In 2 years Paxton OR Franklin OR Walker could be worth far more than Upton. Not that i'm certain that package would get an Upton or Morrison.
|76. By: Jerry on 12-17-2012 07:56:35|
Signing Bourne, Delmin Young, Adam LaRoche, or Raul Ibanez?
Trades for Vernon Wells?
Promoting Zunino, Romero, Paxton, and Hltzen out of spring training for marketing reasons?
These are excellent examples of desperation measures.
Mike Morse could make sense if he's very cheap. Otherwise, the s might be better off investing in buy-low candidates. Brennan Boesch is a great example. The goal would be adding depth, so they have plan B's in place in the event that guys like Smoak, Montero, and Ackley continue to struggle, or Guti goes down again.
|77. By: slamcactus on 12-17-2012 08:28:11|
I'm not sure why signing Michael Bourn would be a desperation measure. Looks to me like it'd be signing the best remaining free agent on the market
If they give him $20 million/year sure, but if the price is reasonable he's a pretty good player. He's a roughly league average hitter (98 OPS+ from 2009-2012), and depending on what you think of fielding metrics (all agree he's great), he's been worth something like 18-20 wins over that time. He's the player we've been hoping Franklin Gutierrez would be the past few years, only with much better speed. And there's nothing wrong with playing two of these guys together if Guti's healthy.
I'd love Bourn on something like 3/36 or 4/40. Anything more and I'd start to get skittish.
Don't write off any player who doesn't have mammoth power just because the team got burned by Figgins.
"Brennan Boesch is a great example."
Brennan Boesch sucks. Even when he's hitting he gives a ton of value back in the field. I don't want him anywhere near my team, and I'm curious why Boesch would be an interesting buy low while Bourn would be "desperation."
|78. By: VikingArthur on 12-17-2012 08:34:15|
He is not a very good player. That is why spending 10+ mil a year for 4 years is not a good idea. He is Chone Figgins Jr (with less plate discipline and a bit more speed). If Bourn was a 25 year old speed guy with great CF defense..sure. But he is getting older (by speedster standards) and his only real tool is speed.
Boesch is another slug. He is a left handed Casper Wells (with significantly less defensive skills).
Thanks for being another voice of reason (I just don't agree at all with Boesch).
Jack is playing this right. Avoiding stupid contracts for slightly above average players.
|79. By: rotoenquire on 12-17-2012 08:38:47|
You do what moves you can to improve your team while not destroying you future. And these minor off the cuff moves could be all the Ms need. Bourne is a no in my book, he will cost to much. We are in a new baseball worl where S. Drew jsut got 9.5 mill.. frickn S. Drew!! The market is wack right now. A 1 year D. Young off injury a trade low and hope to get high Boesch a big trade for Morse and a large signing in. LaRoche could be a huge plus. And what an added 60Hrs on the year at least. Whith the Ms pitching could put theme at 500 or better.
|80. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 09:21:19|
What high do you foresee in boesh? Wells looks better to me. Boesch hasn't even really hit well anywhere in the minors. I'd much prefer Bourn, even tough I think WAR overestimates defense and players with defense driven WAR seem to drop off quicker than ones with offense driven WAR.
Bourn and Swisher are the only FA position players I think are definitive upgrades.
I think Bay has a better chance of being a decent MOTO bat than Boesch for Seattle this year. The upgrade he might represent probably doesn't even justify the cost. Capps is more valuable to me. No thanks.
Overpaying in prospects is not justifiable for marginal upgrades. If we're talking about a Stanton, sure. I get that. But players like Bosch for anything in about our top 15 sounds like too much to me.
|81. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 09:33:54|
Um...yeah. Promoting for marketing reasons as well as not wasting resources to acquire replacements for players already here, as well as the possibility of moving their acclimation too the league forward sooner. It was absolutely not just for marketing purposes that I proposed bringing them up. The other options seem to be overpaying for players who might just perform worse in a mariners uniform anyway. Has beens, never beens and ok but not worth much are not preferable especially with the current high tide rising all boats. Let's set sail with our own new boats that haven't floated yet rather than wasting multiple on acquiring players like Boesch.
Did you really get that my whole reasoning for sticking with what we have was marketing? I am just considering as many things as possible to figure the likelihood.
Although...if the mariners aren't desperate for something more marketable with their contract with root sports having a renegotiation window only 2 years out...they are fools. That's a situation worth making desperate moves to improve. Desperate, not stupid.
|82. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 09:40:14|
Desperate would have been paying Hamilton $100+ million. Stupid would be trading 3 of our top 5 for Upton (never was)
|83. By: Jerry on 12-17-2012 10:23:50|
Those prospects you mentioned clearly aren't ready yet, which you yourself acknowledged in your post. The reason you stated for rushing them to the majors was marketing and selling tickets. Nobody mischaracterized your argument.
Rushing players to the big leagues is stupid on multiple levels. You risk hurting their development long-term. A big part of player development is shoring up weaknesses. That is much easier to do in AA or AAA than in the high stress environment of MLB. Further, you burn a valuable year of service time while that player is struggling to just keep their head above water.
Which would you rather use a year of team control for?
-Zunino at age 22, when he hasn't even had a full year of pro experience and will likely struggle to be even replacement level
-Zunino at age 28, when he will be in his prime A's a player after being developed properly and reaching the big leagues in late 2013
The exact same argument works for Franklin, Romero, Hultzen, Paxton, and all the M's other advanced prospects. From the perspective of player development and cost/production, rushing those guys is idiotic. You pointed out the marketing aspects, but that should NEVER be a central issue in these decisions.
Which brings us back to guys like Boesch. He was a good player in 2011, but was terrible last year. However, he won't cost anything (he'd likely be a throwin in a trade or cost a non prospect). Maybe a change of scenery helps him get back to 2011 production. If not, they simply move on to the next guy. If the M's could add another bat or two as plan C, even better. This would be a similar move as Jaso last year: a cost-controlled player who has had some success in the past, but is coming off a bad year.
If you don't like Boesch, substitute another similar guy.
With Borne, you're going to pay a premium price for a guy who doesn't help us fix our biggest issues. All his value is tied up in base stealing and defense. He doesn't get in base much, doesn't hit for power, and is redundant with Guti. Plus, he is a speed-dependent player who is on the wrong side of 30. He will likely get around $15 mil/year on a multi-year deal (Shane Victorino - a similar yet inferior player - signed for 3/39). And he costs us a draft pick. No thanks.
All else being equal, is Borne better than Boesch? Clearly. But all else is very far from equal.
That is why low risk/moderate reward guys like Boesch make sense: it gives the team time to develop the talent already in the system (and not make hasty moves based on marketing) while potentially adding a very good player and maintaining roster and payroll flexibility.
There were other guys who made sense as big additions (Hamilton, Upton) but those aren't happening now. I think it's smarter to make minor moves instead of simply signing the best player still available.
|84. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 10:40:44|
It seems to me that nobody really knows for sure and the best any team can do is evaluate each player to make determinations.
My thinking is also about pushing that timetable forward because they can't pan out until they're in MLB.
Long term it's practically a given that not trading away prospects is better for the team.
It doesn't seem a trade for anything significant is both possible and advisable.
There's one free agent I like. There's also Bourn who I don't really like, but would at least be a likely improvement. That's all that's left that I really like at all.
Which was all just expanding and expounding my original question:
If they can't get any real upgrades, which seems to be a choice recently of vastly overpaying in dollars/years/prospects, is it really better to pay marginal players for those couple months? This year, for this team.
So I would say that the one paragraph about marketing was absolutely not the only thing I said regarding player acquisition and just sticking with what we have. I posted far, far, much, many, many more words about not overpaying for mediocrity, which seems to be the alternative.
i'm not uncomfortable with the minor league system being this strong. They can keep them for their own major league real, in my opinion.
|85. By: maqman on 12-17-2012 11:22:37|
The new media money is raising free agents contracts for sure. I like Swisher but he's going to get more than he's worth. Both he and Bourne will cost our first round draft pick, for some teams that might not matter but our strength is good scouting and development. The KC and Blue Jays trades have been highly expensive in prospect talents. The Jays make sense, KC not so much. I liked the idea of possibly signing Jackson but he seems to be and up and down type of pitcher and I'd hate to pay him the market rate for three years.
|86. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 11:35:56|
I've witnessed enough change of scenery fools gold in Seattle to not find ANY meaning in the assertion. Sure if we played at Fenway, maybe that castoff from Seattle might be appealing. If they couldn't do it in a hirers park with a solid lineup i'm not biting because I've been bitten enough.
Casper Wells had a career .286/.341/.490 line with the tigers. Borsch had a .283/.341/.458 year, a year after we got Wells from them and you want him now? Wells already falls in to that category, so does Bay and Gutierrez. We need no more reclamation/maybe they still cans for the outfield right now...we have those. Looking for legitimate improvements over here.
Bourn is on the right side of thirty for another 375 days. Turns 30 2 days after Christmas, so he won't be "over 30" for another year. I also said I didn't really like him so you're preaching to the choir. Unless you don't think he represents a likely upgrade, because I do think he does.
|87. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 11:42:27|
People keep mentioning the #12 pick, so ignoring what we'd have to trade for something doesn't make sense when you're comparing the options. Are you really thinking it would take insignificant pieces? That doesn't match up with the talk, the environment or recent trades. What I heard for boesch is "a package centered around Capps". So Capps + is insignificant? I view Boesch as more insignificant than Capps, personally.
|88. By: VikingArthur on 12-17-2012 11:43:15|
By the way... is anyone else just insanely jealous of the Blue Jays like I am?
A rotation of..
And a lineup like this...
Not only do they look like the best team in baseball, they look like a historically great team, in my opinion. Incredible.
|89. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 11:46:11|
What's the biggest competitive advantage some baseball teams have right now?
Don't the Mariners have an opportunity to maximize that advantage in the next couple years?
This isn't a normal situation for any MLB team right now and especially for the mariners.
That is why I even considered marketing because the mariners certainly have to be.
More than ever.
|90. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 11:54:37|
I'm not really jealous of any team that's traded away prospects this offseason. The piece they had to get for Halladay is now leaving for Dickey? The team is pretty good, but at what cost? I'm certainly jealous of their lineup, looking at it without considering the cost. I hope for their sale they at least win the east. Its about time they went for it and seems like a good year for them to do so, so I guess it was a good choice for them to do all that now.
|91. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 11:57:31|
For their sake...maybe they plan on selling anyway though...not likely
|92. By: VikingArthur on 12-17-2012 12:03:26|
So @90... you think holding prospects forever is the way to go? I generally agree that you build your team from the inside out and draft well. That is inarguable. When you look at the Blue Jays, the equation changes. The Red Sox are down and probably not a contender this year but we all know they'll be back. The Yanks? Definitely vulnerable. The Rays? Probably set up for 2014-2016. The Blue Jays, to my eye, are the favorites in the division this year. They haven't won nor have they had a shot to win the division or the Wild Card for nearly two decades. They could wait until all their talent matures (half of which won't) and then hope the Yankees and Red Sox (don't forget the Rays as well) are down or they can go for it this year. Seems like a no brainer to me.
|93. By: rotoenquire on 12-17-2012 12:19:15|
in regards to Boesch I thought last years projection of him were high. .280 30hr kinda numbers.. I think .270 25 is a better expectation. You would be looking at having a + + infield D and a even OF D. With solid pitching and an improved offense. The A's should come down to earth this year and Texas has changed there offense and not by design. I see the M's if do these moves or similar type moves could vault into 2nd place in the AL West.
|94. By: slamcactus on 12-17-2012 12:51:44|
"With Borne, you're going to pay a premium price for a guy who doesn't help us fix our biggest issues."
Our biggest issues are having good position players, particularly in the OF, where the team has at least one glaring hole (2 if you're not optimistic about guru playing a full season).
"All his value is tied up in base stealing and defense."
Look again. His bat is league average (better in '12) by metrics that don't include based inning and defense. Also, you say that as if those things aren't valuable. It's the same manner of argument as all those people who used to say "sure Barry Bonds is valuable, but only because of those IBBs" or "Ichiro's only that valuable because he gets more than 700 PAs every year). All those times on base are hugely valuable, as was Ichiro's durability. Sonia Bourn's elite defense and baserunning.
"He doesn't get in base much, doesn't hit for power, and is redundant with Guti."
OBp the past 4 seasons between .344 and .354. any mark in that range would have been 2nd on the team to Jaso last year. He doesn't hit for much power (though his ISO was near 120 last year - more Denard Span level than Figgins territory), but that's a totally myopic focus. If Bourn were the perfect player he'd cost a whole lot more. His combination of skills make him both valuable and a good bet to be underpaid.
The redundancy with Guti argument is by far your worst. Guti's not a safe bet to stay healthy, and you don't see diminishing returns by playing two fantastic outfielders next to each other. Any ball that can be caught by both a CF and the guy flanking him is a ball that virtually every OF in the bigs can get to. The plays where outfielders add value are on balls that only they have any chance to catch-there's no evidence of diminishing returns.
If I'm gauging the market wrong and Bourn would take 4/5 years at something like a $18 million AAV, then I wouldn't like a Bourn signing. I don't think that's going to happen though. The market for CFs is drying up this offseason, with most teams having found their guy. If the team can pay Michael Bourn like a 2-3 win player, it'd hardly be a desperate move. It might in fact be a very, very good one.
Don't let Figgins scare you off any player who doesn't have plus power.
|95. By: slamcactus on 12-17-2012 12:53:55|
Wow, several epic autocorrects there. My bad.
|96. By: masonb on 12-17-2012 13:30:52|
Where are you hearing Capps for Boesch, haha? In your own head? JZ would laugh Dombrowski off the phone for that.
|97. By: Jerry on 12-17-2012 13:46:58|
First, playing an elite defensive outfielder at a corner position IS less valuable, because that person will have less chances to impact the game. CFers get more chances. Take Guti out of CF, and his ability to impact the game goes down.
Second, I think you are radically underestimating how much it will cost to add Bourn. Shane Victorino signed for 3/39. BJ Upton got 5/75. That is Bourn's market. He might get a little less than Upton due to fewer potential destinations, but he's not going to be a bargain. I don't see any bargains this year among any of the top free agents. Not with Texas and the Yankees still out there. If his price goes down too much, I think Boras will get him a big one-year deal (the Yanks being a likely destination) and wait till next year. If that is the case, I don't think it makes a ton of sense for the M's.
Third, his value IS tied up significantly in baserunning and defense. You yourself just said that he is a league average bat. The guy has hit .279/.346/.376 the past three years, playing in the weaker league. His OBP's are based a lot of BA, not BBs. A lot of that value is based on speed, as he typically puts up .350 BABIP. As he slows down, that should go down. The guy is already 30. I don't see him settling down into the Torii Hunter/Kenny Lofton athletic fast-guy career track.
That, for me, is the big difference between Bourn and your comps of Ichiro and Bonds. I wouldn't ever compare anyone to Ichiro, because he was an anomaly. And Bonds couldn't be much different than Bourn. Bourn may have some of the same skills as Ichiro, or derive his value from the same skill set, but he is highly unlikely to play the way Ichiro did in his mid-30s or age the way Ichiro did. Honestly, Figgins is a far better comp (although the degree of his downfall is unlikely to be repeated).
I guess I am just skeptical about players who derive so much of their value from defense. WAR is great, but I definitely think that the defensive part of that metric is still a bit sketchy. This is my own personal bias. But for me, I'd rather place a large bet on a player who derives more of his value from offense, as it doesn't seem to fluctuate as wildly. Maybe this is just Figgins bias.
I completely agree with you that these types of players can be valuable. And the M's do need more average or better hitters. But with Bourn, the team would be paying a high rate for a guy who doesn't fit the clubs needs that well, and a guy who isn't likely to continue to play at the same level through the life of his contract.
No player is
|98. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 14:07:42|
I'm not responding to people targeting one sentence and ignoring the rest of them anymore. Read it all. My position is pretty clear. This team, this year
|99. By: Wishhiker on 12-17-2012 14:24:57|
How would you convert a .270 25 hr projection from tigers stadium to Safeco? Would .220 14 hr be that big of a surprise? I don't think so. Boesch is not appealing to me. Wells, Saunders, Guti, Bay, Romero and keeping all the prospects has a greater appeal to me. I just don't view him as a clear cut improvement. Again, Wells had higher overall stats playing for the tigers than Boesch has. Boesch may break out, but he hasn't done so in a much better park and lineup so far. He's less likely to do so in Seattle next year than in Detroit. Some other site its probably having this debate about projecting Wells right now....
|100. By: Edman on 12-17-2012 14:47:23|
I'm not posting this just to be post #100, but it is kinda cool.
Wishhiker, you're using the old Safeco Field in your argument Boesch. Personally, I'd be happy with a Wells/Boesch tandem, at least to start the season, if there were no better options available. Let's hope Jack finds something better.
And personally, I think the 30 HR a season thing was a bit of a stretch for a full season. More conservative may have been 20+.
|101. By: Paul Martin on 12-17-2012 15:03:16|
The past 30+ post have brought nothing to the table. Seattle will not be signing Swisher or Bourn. They will get way more years and $$$ that Seattle will pay. Just take a closer look at the $$$ being paid out on the market today, Seattle just isn't a player in it, and I can't say I blame them.
Trades for Boesch, Wells, and signing Ibanez??? Give me a break.
Jack is going to sign a couple fringe free agents out of the left over scrap pile and hope for the best.
If a trade happens, it will be real minor.
|102. By: slamcactus on 12-17-2012 15:19:04|
I didn't compare Bourn to Ichiro and Bonds. I just said it's ridiculous to say "(player X) is only good because (insert valuable, repeatable skill)." If Bourn had a 1-year BABIP of .400 on infield flies or something, then sure. But unless its something flakey, that kind of analysis just chooses to ignore real value.
"Take Guti out of CF, and his ability to impact the game goes down."
Last time Guti played corner OF consistently, UZR had him worth +20 runs above average in 3/4 of a season. You may not buy UZR completely (and its a mistake to quote it as a pure indication of value), but by its design, it's impossible to rack up that much positive value without getting plenty of chances to impact the game.
"But with Bourn, the team would be paying a high rate for a guy who doesn't fit the clubs needs that well, and a guy who isn't likely to continue to play at the same level through the life of his contract."
We just disagree on a few things. I see OF as the club's #1 need. I think it'd be a bonus to get a guy who can play CF every day, because I don't think Guti can and I don't think Saunders should. I don't think Bourn will be as pricey as you do, and you may very well be right. I also think he's a great athlete with a good chance to remain valuable through his age-33 season, and I think the team could get him on a reasonable 4 year deal.
But even giving you the benefit of the doubt on all the disagreements, I still don't see how signing him would be a desperation move. He's widely considered either the best or 2nd best remaining position player on the market, depending on how much you value defense. And he's 2 years younger than the other guy at the top of the list (who, by the way, is much more of an old player skills guy).
I admit, my initial reaction to Bourn was much like yours, but that's before I took a close look at him. It's be great to get a real MOTO bat, but failing that, the team should focus on adding good players. There's a lot of evidence that Bourn's a good player.
|103. By: Paul Martin on 12-17-2012 15:21:48|
@102 they are not signing Swisher or Bourn you are wasting your time with these arguments.
|104. By: Edman on 12-17-2012 15:53:15|
To be blunt, Paul Martin, what I do know is that you don't know anything, you just choose not to believe. Not the same thing.
|105. By: Rudolf on 12-17-2012 16:14:16|
Agree with #104. Gimme a break.
I'd be happy with Swisher or Bourn, btw. I don't care if we overpay three million per year. Spend some money!!!
|106. By: slamcactus on 12-17-2012 16:15:43|
103: I hope you're wrong.
|107. By: dewey on 12-17-2012 17:05:41|
1 or 2 free agents that arent impact will not really make a diffence for this club so just play the kids again and hope some of them step up. I think thats what will happen i hope for JZ that he has the extention in hand before they do this because Howie and Chuck wont take the blame if it goes bad.Right now it will be a touch better then the Lastros.
|108. By: slamcactus on 12-17-2012 17:56:31|
Which kid starts in RF? If Wells, then which kid becomes our 4th of?
There is zero justification for not trying to get better. Good teams that build from within do their best to fill out a respectable roster in case the stars align and the kids are good enough to put the team somewhere near contention.
|109. By: rotoenquire on 12-17-2012 18:19:39|
Even if the Ms do not grab a huge F/A. The other moves are small and well within the realm of posiibility. Leaving Smoak at 1B which maybe he can pull it out, if not we would see some improvement as a whole. 16 for 3 year on LaRoche sounds good after 9.5 by Boston for Drew..
|110. By: Paul Martin on 12-17-2012 18:51:37|
@106 I Hope I am wrong too, but I just don't see anything that would lead me to believe they will pay the money it will take to sign Swisher or Bourn. Time will tell...
|111. By: Edman on 12-18-2012 08:56:00|
Of course, Paul, because nothing can ever change. (sarcasm alert)
|112. By: dewey on 12-18-2012 09:54:33|
#108 I couldnt agree with anymore.We can only listen to the prospect talk so long as long time fans we deserve some results its been 10 lousy years of Mariner baseball and we still care.
|113. By: Wishhiker on 12-18-2012 11:37:39|
"Prospect talk"? Lol
Like, uhm...Ryan Anderson? Followed about 5 years later by Clement? Then, uhm...ha ha ha...there wasn't much to talk about until late 2010 and having multiple top 50 is a pretty new thing for this club. Notice that the top 50's advance to MLB and are getting replaced by other newer prospects?
Prospect talk is getting tiring for you? What site do you think you posted that comment on? Ha ha ha
|114. By: maqman on 12-18-2012 11:44:15|
I wouldn't be surprised to see the M's sign Swisher or Bourne but it will cost them a lot to do so, disregarding the draft pick loss. Free agency costs are probably going to increase, as signings last year and this year by the Angels and Texas show. With every team getting an additional $25MM from the new national media contract and new regional media deals teams have more money to spend and most will have to in order to compete. So if the M's give Bourne 4/$60MM or Swisher 5/$75MM they can afford to do it and and in a couple of years those deals will look cheap.
Tonight I'm pimping for a trade for Kendrys Morales from the Angels for Capps or Pryor. He's only a one year rental as he's a free agent after next season but his $ cost is low and he can thump. He or Morse with one of Bourne or Swisher is realistic and that's Z's MO.
|115. By: VikingArthur on 12-18-2012 12:42:53|
I love the idea of getting Morse or Morales for one of these bullpen arms. I place nearly zero value on guys who throw 50 pitches a week so getting a real MLB bat for a guy who pitches 3 innings a week is a complete no brainer in my mind. I view relievers in baseball like I view the running back position in the NFL. It is nearly fungible and every year there are starters in every system who wash out and become good to dominant relivers (i.e. Furbush).
|116. By: rotoenquire on 12-18-2012 16:43:46|
According to J. Heyman the M's are not willing to sign Swisher. Really any F/A that will cost them the #12 pick of those left in the player pool.
With that said low cost possible high return guys are what the M's will be looking at.
B. Boesch OF League Min.
M. Morse OF 1yr 6.75Mill
D. Young OF 1yr 9Mill
A. LaRoche 1B 3yrs 38Mill
I think this is what we maybe looking at boys and girls.
|117. By: Edman on 12-18-2012 17:31:25|
The same Heyman who keeps posting that the M's should trade Felix? Jon has no idea what Seattle is and isn't willing to do. If he's so brilliant, why didn't he know where Albert and Josh would sign?
I'd give up the draft pick for Swisher, but that's me.
Nothing to worry about here. It's just another sports writer posting what he thinks. Doesn't have any real meaning.
Jack and company don't let stuff out that they don't want to become news to the general public. So take it with a grain of salt.
|118. By: rotoenquire on 12-18-2012 18:30:29|
I think it sounds about right. I dont think the M's are willing to part with that pick,, they were for Hamilton at 3 years and 36 but that is about it. As too your critic of Heyman. Many have talked about the M's trading Felix on a national and local level. And nobody could have seen those signings. Add to the fact that Swisher is not even visting Seattle on his F/A tour this week of places who want to sign him.
|119. By: Rudolf on 12-18-2012 18:55:49|
#118: Do you know for a fact the M's were unwilling to pay more than $36 million in total dollars to Josh Hamilton? Cause that sounds ridiculous, and I'd like to know your source.
This off-season has become a disappointment. Maybe we can salvage some optimism by trading for guys like Morse, Willingham, and signing a Marcum. For the first time-- and this may sound horribly naive-- I feel like the F.O. is jacking me around (as a fan).
Even if we do nothing more than patch a hole or two with flyers I believe in the direction of the team. The kids should get better in 2013. We should see multiple minor leaguers join the fray. Perhaps we can play .500 ball.
But I fear we will enter the season without expectations, and that sucks. It would be nice to have a false sense of excitement.
|120. By: tkeister22 on 12-18-2012 21:40:44|
Here's my concern. We've been linked to more players than we EVER thought we would be linked to, but we have only added two bodies: Bay and Andino.
I feel like we have done nothing this off-season. We havent brought in several veterans on minor league deals, we havent picked up scrap from other teams as AAA fodder, we havent brought in a plethroa of bullpen arms to compete.
I also know it's early and that there will be time for picking off the scrap pile as the winter continues, it's just odd to see almost every other team making moves and we haven't done anything.
|121. By: rjfrik on 12-19-2012 12:00:07|
I've been saying this all along. JZ valued one high FA, Hamilton, as someone he would punt 12th pick for. Didn't get him. Now 12th pick is more valuable then everyone else left on market.
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