There are a lot of free agents out there on the market, free for the taking. Well, they’re not really free. In fact, signing even the cheapest of them will cost more money than I will make in half a dozen years. Wow, that’s depressing! Still, there are close to 200 established players who are looking for jobs. Many of them will stay with their current clubs. Many others will not. While we hope that the Seattle Mariners sign the very best of them, reality tells us that they will probably sign some of the not-so-best-of-them, too.
You also have former Mariners out there. Some are as good or better than when they left. Some, believe it or not, have actually got worse! And will still get paid.
What if we built an entire team of them? How good — or bad — would they be? What I’m presenting to you here is an all-star roster of former Mariners out there for the taking.
We’re using Fangraph’s free agent leaderboard for this. Where filled out, the salary and fWAR figures come from that leaderboard, using their crowd sourcing numbers.
|C||John Buck||$1,000,000||1.5||SP||Aaron Harang||$6,000,000||0.3|
|1B||Corey Hart||$1,000,000||2.6||SP||Erik Bedard||$1,000,000||-0.5|
|2B||Chone Figgins||$1,000,000||-0.8||SP||Chris Young||$5,000,000||-1.7|
|SS||Asdrubal Cabrera||$11,000,000||1.5||SP||Randy Wolf||$1,000,000||0.5|
|3B||Ramon Santiago||$1,000,000||0.4||SP||Joe Saunders||$1,000,000||0.2|
|CF||Chris Denorfia||$1,000,000||1.5||CL||J.J. Putz||$1,000,000||0.3|
|RF||Ichiro Suzuki||$5,000,000||0.0||LH||Joe Beimel||$1,000,000||-0.2|
|DH||Kendrys Morales||$6,000,000||2.2||RH||Brandon Morrow||$6,000,000||0.0|
|C||Humberto Quintero||$1,000,000||0.7||RH||Rafael Soriano||$7,000,000||0.1|
|IF||Josh Wilson||$1,000,000||-1.1||RH||Mark Lowe||$1,000,000||-0.5|
|OF||Endy Chavez||$1,000,000||-0.8||MGR||Raul Ibanez|
For players who did not have a salary figure projected, I went with your run-of-the-mill $1 million veteran, buy-low contract. Some of these guys will make more than that. But then some of the actual sought after free agents will probably make less than what is projected. Some of the fWAR projections will be wrong, too. But, this is all just an estimation for funsies anyway, right?
In any case, I don’t think there’s a lot of doubt about how horribad this team would be if it were real. While you have the veteran grit of John Buck — the loss of his presence being reason the 2014 Mariners collapsed — you’ve got Erik Bedard’s five-and-dive pitching and smug-look interviews to deal with. Add a dash of Chone Figgins and Mike Carp, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for locker room of DOOM.
All the while, Ichiro will be in the corner selfishly preparing and minding his own business.
Randy Wolf will only be around until he gets dumped in Spring Training, much to the ire of the interwebz.
Asdrubal Cabrera will be traded to ESPN for Eduardo Perez.
And then there is this:
— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) November 11, 2014
Putz can be the first ever player-GM. And new skipper Raul Ibanez will be forced to become the first player-manager since Pete Rose in 1986. And, somehow, he’ll actually be an improvement. But at the end of the season, the team will have complied a 54-108 record over the campaign. That’s a record bad enough to taint Ibanez’s legacy of grit.
Unfortunately, as we know, Mariners players always get better when they leave. So when the team relocates to Las Vegas for 2016, they will be the Cinderella story for the ages, simultaneously winning the World Series and the heart’s of all Americans.
Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio prior to joining HERO Sports in July, 2016.
Find Jason's Mariners podcast, Baseball Things, right here and follow him on Twitter @ProspectInsider.