Friday, December 19, 2008
Everyone agrees Franklin Gutierrez is the centerpiece of the deal for 2009 as far as the Mariners are concerned. You'd have to assume Aaron Heilman will get a chance to compete for the closer role. Or maybe even the 5th SP slot if they keep Batista and/or Silva in the bullpen. (Quick note to the M's: PLEASE don't even think about moving Morrow back to the bulpen. Seriously. A team this bad doesn't need a great closer. Toss Batista in there. I really don't care who you put there...just don't do it! PLEASE. Ok, moving on...)
ESPN's Tim Kurkjian described him as a player that Cleveland decided was not good enough to be one of their 3 starting outfielders. This is a team starting Grady Sizemore, Ben Francisco and Shin-Soo Choo in the outfield. Sizemore is an all star. Choo had an OPS of .946 in 317 AB last year, so he would be in the starting mix in most outfields. Francisco is not very good. So maybe the Mariners know something about Gutierrez that Cleveland doesn't. Maybe Cleveland has the wrong take on a kid who has been in their system for years and a professional ballplayer for 8 years. Mabye...but doubtful. What we do know is he is a terrific defender who has shown an inability to excel at the dish at the major and minor league levels. In 807 career AB's Gutierrez has hit .258 with an OPS of .707. Speed? Moderate at best (17 career SB).
A quick glance at his minor league career, which spans many levels and AB: 2314 AB, .281/70/298 (BA/HR/RBI) wth 84 SB. Project those numbers over a 450 AB minor league level season and you get: .281/13/57 with 16 SB and 76 runs. That's in the minors. Things get a little tougher in the bigs.
While not officially "invited," The Log crashed the Bellagio in search of interesting tidbits at last week's Winter Meetings. Real reporters were everywhere with fancy passes. Baseball officials seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. As the event came to a close, Met's GM Omar Minaya held an informal chat session with a couple of reporters on the casino floor. Less than 24 hours after the Putz deal was announced, Minaya at first appeared giddy or even gloaty (yes, new word) on the heels of aquiring one of the best closers in the game and a decent arm in Shawn Green without giving up one important piece of his 2009 team. Minaya seemed to catch himself shortly into the conversation, toning down his excitement and engagement in some good-natured banter about who would get the ball in the 9th inning. Everyone knows it will be Francisco Rodriguez, but Minaya was in a playfull mood, saying that even he didn't know who the closer will be. One thing is for sure, they have two great options.
A quick refresher on the deal:
The Mariners received:
-From the Indians: Franklin Gutierrez
-From the Mets: Outfielder Endy Chavez and reliever Aaron Heilman
-From the Mets, 1b Mike Carp, right handed pitcher Maikel Cleto, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and left handed pitcher Jason Vargas.
The Met's received:
From the M's: Putz, Green & Jeremy Reed
The Indians received:
Major Leaguer: From the Met's: RP Joe Smith
From the M's: infielder Luis Valbuena
At quick glance it is easy to see why Minaya seemed to be walking on air. What a great deal for the Met's in 2009. Time will tell the true value of the minor leaguers involved.
Monday, December 8, 2008
While Griffey is not the long-term solution at designated hitter or outfield, he may actually be an improvement over the Mariner alternatives. For a team with a $100+ million payroll, with no real offense to speak of, paying $15 million over 2 years for a veteran power bat can not sink your team. (However, paying $100 million for a trio of pitchers (Silva, Washburn & Batista) who shouldn't even be in the rotation will get you fired.)
If there are better alternatives than Griffey, then by all means the Mariners shoudd go that route. Considering Griffey will put fans in the seats, a better alternative is not pocketing the $5-$8 million a year it should take to sign him. If Griffey doesn't work out, the Mariners are no worse off.
With that said, it is curious that Griffey is so beloved by Mariner fans while the standing of our other two future hall-of-famers is cloudy.
The M's didn't make a real effort to resign ARod. Fans justify booing with the fact that he said he wanted to play for a winner, and then promptly left for a last-place Rangers team. In the middle of those boo's it is easy to forget that any team willing to fork over a $250 million contract to a superstar is committed to winning. Maybe they aren't smart and won't find a way to turn things around, but they want to win. There is no reason to think at that moment that Texas wouldn't have as bright of a near-term future than the Mariners. ARod gave his all for the Mariners and left Seattle the same way every free agent leaves a team he likes: He was offered way more money and his old team didn't care to make a compelling offer.
Randy Johnson catches heat from Mariner fans who say he didn't try in his last season in Seattle. Johnson is the only person who really knows the truth. I suspect Johnson is not capable of doing things at less than 100% intensity. Players play for pride and money (and hopefully to win). Why would he risk his huge free agent payday to try and punish the Mariners for not giving him a big contract extension? Doesn't make sense.
That brings us back around to Griffey, who lived up to his reputation as an immature, spoiled brat in his exit from Seattle. No player in Mariner history has treated the team more rudely than Jr. in his departure. In fact, it isn't even close. Griffey and his father colluded with Cinncinati management to ensure not only that Griffey would be a Red, but that the Red's would pay the lowest price possible for him in order to contend right away. How else can you explain Griffey announcing that he must be traded, and that there is only one team that he will play for? Let's take a trip back in time for a minute, back 9 years ago when the Mariners were trying to unload their franchise player and get young talent in return:
From the Chicago Sun Times, December 1999: CINCINNATI Ken Griffey Sr. agrees with the Cincinnati Reds' decision not to give up Pokey Reese and pull out of trade talks for Ken Griffey Jr.
Reds general manager Jim Bowden abandoned talks with the Mariners last weekend. The Mariners wanted Reese, the Reds' Gold Glove second baseman, in any deal with Cincinnati.
"I totally understand where Jim Bowden is coming from because if I was making the decision, there's no way I'd give up Pokey Reese," Griffey Sr. was quoted as saying in today's editions of the Cincinnati Post.
Really? No way you'd give up Pokey Reese for your own son who was in the prime of his career and on his way to the hall of fame? This was one of the biggest con jobs in Seattle sports history. Much like the David Stern/Clay Bennett thuggary, it was executed in plain sight. Everyone knew what was going on, but nobody could stop it. The commissioner's office refused to do anything about it. So Bowdin and the Griffeys tied Seattle's hands and made the Mariners take the Reds' package for Griffey. In hindsight that wasn't the worst thing in the world, but it happened. Don't forget when it is time to welcome Griffey back to Safeco Field in a Mariner uniform.
Thought I would share one more blast from the past. From the Associated Press, 2/21/02:
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) _ Infielder Pokey Reese thinks the special treatment that Ken Griffey Jr. gets from the Cincinnati Reds' front office hurts the chemistry in the clubhouse.
Reese, now playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, said clubhouse spirit and discipline declined after the Reds lost Greg Vaughn to free agency and traded for Griffey in 2000.
"Junior's going to be Junior," Reese was quoted as saying in Thursday' s editions of The Cincinnati Enquirer. "He's going to do his thing, and they are not going to say anything. But it's 25 of us, not one ... I know he's Ken Griffey Jr., but..."
So even the guy hand-picked by the Griffey's and Bowdin as Griffey's key partner to make the Reds contenders was sick of Griffey's antics shortly after his arrival.
The Mariners should sign Griffey if they can't find better value for those dollars. It may be a smart business and baseball decision. But never forget the way Griffey left Seattle. He is not an old friend returning after years away. Griffey plays for Griffey, nobody else.
Friday, November 21, 2008
But with Jason Varitek also being a free agent made me wonder if we could somehow right a Woody Woodward wrong - correct one of the black marks in Mariner history that we'd all like to forget.
Let's bring back Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe and hire Heathcliff Slocumb as some kind of roving scout (roving only Portland strip clubs, maybe - but who cares, it's not the point here). It could reverse some kind of curse put on this organization, who knows. It's not like the M's aren't desperate enough to try - it could even put assess in seats!
While we're at it, let's sign Mike Timlin and Jose Cruz Jr. - and I'm sure Paul Spoljarik would appreciate running stats for Rick Rizzs or something of that nature...
Who's with me? Let's DO IT!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Maybe they really wanted to use a picture of Carlos Silva there instead, but they couldn't fit his giant fat head in the space. That was mean spirited, yes - but I don't hear any complaints...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The shortstop market really becomes Furcal, the O.C. (Orlando Cabrerra), Renteria, and "others". All those clowns are going to make a lot of money, for one reason or another - and "a lot of money" and "Kansas City Royals" don't get used together very often.
Thus, I think it's time for GMZ (M's GM, I refuse to try and spell his name) to call up Dayton Moore and say he's got a young shortstop signed to a cheap contract who has "lots of potential" (read: he stinks, but that opinion isn't shared by everyone that doesn't have to watch him game in and game out...). Betancourt for Butler.
I'm not going into the virtues of Butler, but there's a damned good chance that he would be the second best hitter in the Mariner lineup next season - which either should make you shudder, make you excited, or both.
Make it happen.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Anyway...here's how the last 4 days are shaping up:
FLA: Sanchez (2-5, 5.57) vs. WAS: Balester (3-6, 4.83)
Washington's 2 hottest hitters, Zimmerman and Guzman, were out with the "flu" yesterday. Guzman is back in the pregame lineup today, but the hard hitting Zimmerman is out again tonight. M's need both of them in there this weekend if the Nationals want a shot at winning a game @PHI.
LAA: Moseley (2-4, 7.15) vs. SEA: Jimenez (0-2, 3.56)
Moseley? Come on. Are they even trying? Another must-lose situation for the Mariners.
OAK @ SEA
WAS @ PHI
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
1st: Mariners: 57-98, .368
2nd: Nationals: 58-98, .372
3rd: Padres: 61-95, 391
Analysis: CRAFTY move by Washington to drop the three game series vs San Diego. They are now the owners of the 2nd longest losing streak in baseball (5 games). The Mariner free-fall has reached 11 and counting.
Mariners: 4 games vs. the AL powerhouse Angels, and then finish up with 3 against the A's. Prediction: 2-5. Tonight's loss is critical for the M's. Santana comes in with a chance to show in the CY Young balloting. Win tonight and the M's are locked up with Washington. A loss puts them a full game ahead and in the driver's seat.
Nationals: 3 vs. FLA and then on the road to finish up with a 3-game-set @ PHI. Florida's season is over, so the Nationals have a shot at a game or two there. Too early to tell if Philly will be playing for anything, but you have to like their chances for a sweep there. Prediction: 2-4.
Padres: @LAD for 3 and then back home for a 3-gamer vs. PIT. San Diego has to lose all 6 games to have a shot at Strasburg. Prediction: 3-3.
The Mariners have to lose tonight. If they can find a way to drop their next 3 games it would be very difficult for Washington to make up that ground. The Mariner Log staff will be at Safeco all week tracking their progress.
Friday, September 19, 2008
KANSAS CITY -- The bad news for the Mariners is that left-hander Erik Bedard is expected to require six to nine months of rehabilitation following his exploratory shoulder surgery on Sept. 26. The good news is that Seattle is developing a cluster of young starters in the waning days of this season who have the potential to bolster the rotation early next year.
The real news here is that Bedard hasn't pitched since July 4th, and they are finally scheduling elbow surgery for September 26th. Those 2 1/2 months likely mean he will start the season on the DL rather than being ready for spring training. To be fair, medical issues like this are rarely black and white and there are probably legitimate reasons why the team and Bedard waited this long. Had he been able to come back and make a start or two it would have gone a long way to help the Mariners deal him for two buckets of baseballs in the offseason. At this point one bucket seems like a stretch.
The other takeaway from that first paragraph is the "cluster" of young starters the Mariners are developing. Developing into what? Team ERA in August: 5.78. Team ERA in September: 5.40.
1st: Mariners: 57-95, .375
2nd: Padres: 58-95, .379
3rd: Nationals: 58-95, 379
The Padres and Nationals, both 3-7 over their last 10 games, kickoff a three game set tonight. Tough to know what to root for there.
The Mariners need to take care of business and drop the series in Oakland. A clean sweep would put them at 11 losses in a row. Just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately they send Felix to the mound vs Eveland tonight. Big mistake. The key tonight is to have Felix cover home and 1b a few times early. That should ensure an early exit and put the M's on-track for #10.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
1st: Mariners: 57-93, .380
2nd: Padres: 58-94, .382
3rd: Nationals: 58-93, 3.84
Never mind that the M's still haven't signed their 2008 first rounder, Josh Fields.
Checkout the latest on this disaster from the Seattle PI: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/378318_mari09.html
I totally understand the Mariner position on the Fields situation. Boras is holding them hostage for an extra $500K that they don't want to spend. BUT...had they forked over the $500K (which is basically one Carlos Silva start) they would have a better idea of what they have in Fields and potentially be in a position to deal Putz in the offseason for a young power hitter and slide Fields into the closer role for 2009. If they find a suitor for Putz this offseason we could be looking at Batista at the back end of the bullpen to start 2009.
Back to Strasburg...maybe they can get a package deal from Boras for both pitchers if they finish with the worst record? Either way it gives Mariner fans something to root for at the end of a horrible season. REFUSE TO WIN!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
The Vidro move was long overdue. Although it was entertaining wondering why he was on the team every time he stepped up to the plate.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I'd have to guess the answers are "A Lot" and "Yes." But time will tell. If the Mariners sign another below average starter to another $9MM+, 3+ year contract this offseason, then we should let Bavasi off the hook for this mess. In the meantime, I'm curious to find out how long the Mariners will wait to make major roster shakeups like replacing Silva/Batista/Dickey (pick one) in the rotation with Morrow, cutting Sexson, giving Clement a full-time gig and shifting Vidro to full-time pinch-hitting duties.
Personally I don't think they have much to gain by cutting Sexson. Sure his career is pretty much over. But he's our only power off the bench. The Mariners have plenty of other players to send down in order to make room for Clement. With that said, the next time Sexson refuses to comply with management's orders they sould suspend him and pocket the cash add to their aquisition warchest in the offseason.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Let's take a peek at Lopez's stats so far: .299/4/29/27/2, with a .309 OBP and .736 OPS. That puts him on pace for: .299/11/80 w/ 74 runs and 5 SB. I'll make the call right now that he will NOT hit .300. He won't even hit .290. His batting average the past 3 years in the 2nd half is .250 with a pitiful OPS of .610. A player with very limited power and no speed who doesn't walk needs to hit .330 to be productive. So unless he turns into Placido Polanco overnight, the Mariners should deal Lopez now before the annual 2nd half swoon starts.
Maybe the rest of the league hasn't noticed what has become a painful reality for Mariner fans: For HR Lopez puts on the board he loses a game with his glove. Let's ignore for a minute all the balls an average fielding 2b would typically get to that Lopez doesn't make a play for, and focus on his inability to simply catch thrown balls or field grounders that share both meaning and velocity. Whether it's a perfectly thrown ball from Beltre to start a double play, or like last night, a grounder with the bases loaded that any major league 2b would have fielded to save 2 runs, he seems incapable of executing plays this team needs to stay in ballgames.
Let's deal Lopez before the rest of the league catches on that he has limited power, no speed and can't field. For a team that needs a little bit of everything, there has to be someone out there willing to part with a AAA+ player that can be part of the 2009 strategy and beyond.
Monday, June 2, 2008
One reason the Mariners may not be willing to make a move now is they are paying the back end of their rotation $28 million a year. That's a lot of cash to lose games. Time to break up the "Three headed 5th Starter" and try to win some ballgames.
A second part of this could be dealing Putz and shifting Batista into the closer role. The Mariners need pitching and hitting. It shouldn't be difficult to get two good young players, or possibly one very good youngster ready to start along with a mid-minors propsect, in return for Putz. The closer position can be filled fairly easily. That's not to say that great closers are easy to find. Putz is a great closer. But when you lose 90+ games how critical is the closer position?
I realize Bavasi and McClaren need to win now, but the team isn't good enough. It's almost like the Mariners are the last ones to realize they should be rebuilding.
If you don't agree, I'd love to hear some other ideas. But first answer this question...what do they have to lose?
Monday, May 12, 2008
But tonight, Mark Lowe walked a run in (followed by Puffy Rhodes doing the same - a nice display of pitching). After Lowe did so, he turned and he very obviously cursed - my guess was the F-bomb - into his glove. Did he want to hide this message from the opposing team? Is he worried that if they pick up on his talking-to-himself-in-his-glove-strategy of walking runs in, that it might hurt the Mariners? Did he want to hide his bad language from the good folks in his hometown of Houston?
Who knows. But it was almost as stupid as watching him pitch tonight. Almost as stupid as when Adrian Beltre appeals his own check swing at first base.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
But Wilkerson and Norton get cut over guys like Vidro, Cairo, and Willie Ballgame?
Sure, I recognize that Willie Boom-Boom can play virtually any position and he's "gritty" and he does things like "give a shit" and he "chews seeds" and he "wears black eye muck" and all the things you want in players.
But come on - Willie would fight for a job with even the Bridgeport Bluefish from the Atlantic Independent League. He's not a major league quality player, he's just not - and that's not news to ANYONE in baseball other than John McLaren and Bill Bavasi...and perhaps when he's really, really drunk - Willie Bloomquist (otherwise, when he's lucid, I think even Bloomquist knows he's fooling anyone).
I'm not going to bother posting statistics, because you already know - he's a piss poor major leaguer. Really, really nice guy and I wish the best for the dude, but if I'm going to root for this team any longer I pray to God Almighty that he never sets foot on the diamond as a Mariner ever again, save for as a coach or consultant or soda vendor.
If I didn't constantly look at the roster on MLB.com, I wouldn't believe that Miguel Cairo was a Mariner. Has he appeared in more than two games? What's his purpose on this team? Wasn't he just brought in to piss off Jose Lopez into giving enough of a shit to actually try? Well, that seemed to work - can we finally get rid of him now? Why is Cairo here when he can't really hit and he can't really field - two things, based on my research, that are essential for quality baseball performance.
And Vidro? My God, what else can we say about Vidro. He's fat #3. He slugs less than his weight - and unless he continues to down Krispy Kremes at the same rate Richie Sexson looks dumb at the dish every night, that's a bad figure.
I'm not thrilled with Wilkerson and Norton, but I can tell you this - I'll take Wilkerson, Norton and Jimerson over Vidro, Ballgame, and Cairo on this team.
Anyway, welcome Balentien and Clement. Please help us. A lot. We need it.
And if you happen to see Bavasi in the hallway, please kick him in the groin for me.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Top reserve bat: Juan Rivera (.310/23/85 in '06), who may get the nod on opening day due to an ankle injury to Matthews. If he played for Seattle, Rivera would be one of the Mariners' top 3 or 4 hitters.
Top reserve bat: Hmm...
Assuming Ichiro is better than Figgins, and the backend players are comparable, the real difference in the lineups is LAA putting up Vlad/Anderson/Hunter every day vs the M's Ibanez/Beltre/Sexson (or Wilkerson). Tough to imagine the two teams have nearly identical payrolls. LAA will shell out $109 million this year, while the M's payroll is around $106 million.
Pitching is where the M's invested this offseason, and only injuries to LAA's top two starters (Lackey & Escobar) give them the edge. But the more the rotations are examined, this could be a significant edge.
1. Jered Weaver: Can he bounce back from a disappointing 2007? I think he will be a solid #2 this year. But there is always the chance that neither Weaver will live up to their hype.
2. Jon Garland: This deal looks GREAT for the Angels now. Losing Orlando Cabrera hurt, but they would be in big trouble without Garland holding down the #2 slot. The trouble is he isn't much more than a #3 starter on a good team. Maybe a #4.
3. Ervin Santana: Followed up an encouraging 2006 campaign with a 5.76 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 2007.
The Angels round out their rotation with two replacements for their injured big guns.
4. Joe Saunders: 3 year avg: 4.47 ERA, 1.48 WHIP. Silva's 3 year average is 4.49 ERA, 1.34. Look for the Mariners to give Saunders a $50 million. 4 year deal in the off season.
5. Dustin Moseley: Moseley was 4-3 with a 4.40 ERA in 46 appearances, including eight starts, for the Angels last year in his first full big-league season. Minor league numbers are not terribly impressive.
Kelvim Escobar is likely done for the year.
John Lackey has a strained tricep and won't throw at all for the next 3 weeks. Return is tentatively slated for early May.Mariner Rotation:
1. Eric Bedard: My favorite quote from Eric Bedard this spring is this gem after his last spring tuneup start: "I didn't have a plan. I just went out there and threw strikes." I guess he's not a big believer in "practice like you play." My 5th grade basketball coach would be appalled. Should we be concerned? Bedard had a 6.06 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP in April last year, with the league hitting .291 against him. Expect a mediocre April and a great season.
2. Felix: The waiting is the hardest part. It's not now or never, but if not now, you have to wonder if he will ever emerge as a #1 starter in an M's uniform.
3. Silva: See: Joe Saunders, with upside.
4. Washburn: See: Silva.
5. Batista: Has his moments, but nothing to get excited about.
So when it comes down to it, the M's rotation is 2 high ceiling guys, and 3 others who are all just about identical. Any one could have a good year, but it is more likely that each has a month or two that are above average, and the rest nothing to write home about. The good news for Mariner fans is they have a proven track record and piece together a better rotation than what LAA is putting on the hill.
So what scenarios open the door for the Mariners to win the AL West:
1. Escobar is done for the year. CHECK
2. Lackey doesn't pitch effectively or is out until the All Star Break.
3. Anaheim's bullpen struggles early in the absence of Scott Sheilds. Speaking of Shields, the Angels' setup man is slated to only miss a week. Make that a month and now we have something.
4. No young pitchers step up to fill the voids in the backend of the LAA rotation.
5. Significant offensive injury. Vlad, Anderson, Hunter...one of those guys, or at least Figgins, need to miss significant time.
All of these are possible. But none matter if Sexson, Beltre, Ibanez, and the rest of the Mariner hitters don't step up.
Disaster has already struck the LAA rotation. Now it just needs to spread to the rest of the team. And the M's need to sign Barry Bonds.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
So the M's have reportedly shut down Brandon Morrow for a few days due to what they're calling a "tired shoulder". Shocker. They take a kid, overwork him in the bullpen as a rookie, send him to winter ball to turn him into a starter, and now he's back as a setup guy firing mostly fastballs all spring. He hasn't stopped throwing for a year. I'm tired for his shoulder.
Enjoy your rest, Brandon.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
From a baseball fan and a fantasy baseball perspective, I've always had kind of a love/hate relationship with him. Here's a skinny white kid who can hit 49 home runs, drive in 125 runs, and swipe two dozen bags. He had a stretch with Toronto and the Dodgers that was just silly. I could run the official numbers, but I'd bet his OPS between '98 and '02 was about .930. He hit better than 40 home runs three times, drove in 100 or more runs four times, stole 20 or more bases four times, and scored over 100 runs four times. That's just insane production over five years.
And then in 2003, it was pretty much over. He's always been able to get on base (hey, maybe he could guest coach for the M's this spring and teach them how to do that), but his tremendous power would only come in little fits and his wheels all but disappeared. He became human, and that's when I started referring to him as Sham Green.
But I really do have to say it seems weird for the guy to retire. Maybe it's because we're the same age. Maybe it's because he's one of the better outfielders of my generation. Maybe it's because I've always been impressed he took off Yom Kippur during a pennant race.
Whatever the case, in his prime, he was among the elite and was tremendously entertaining to watch hit. He finishes with a career .283/.355/.484 line including 328 HR's, 1070 RBI, and 162 stolen bases. Not too shabby.
Nice career, Shawn. Have fun at home with your kids. And your $100 million dollars.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Okay, I really don't wish this on anyone, but I guess I just don't really feel sorry for him. I mean, you're a millionaire (with a really stupid red patch of chin hair and a crappy, crappy-ass band). Call a freaking cab!
Who can watch this video without laughing out loud when Spiezio walks up to the microphone like Mr. Tough Guy? What an ego-maniac. His wife might be hot, but at least he's a horrible musician and almost as bad on the diamond.
Friday, February 8, 2008
First off, I really like Sherrill. He always seemed like a down-to-earth kind of guy, he was media friendly, he was humble, and I just love the story of the M's plucking him out of the independent league and letting him develop into one of, if not the best, setup men in the game.
But in the last few days, it has surfaced that Sherrill may be handed the closers job in Baltimore, which has to be exciting for the big guy. I've also spotted fantasy news sources touting the potential for 30-35 saves, low ERA and WHIP, good strikeouts, etc. That he'll be "a steal on draft day" - that kind of typical fantasy baseball blather.
Will George Sherrill make a good major league closer? I don't know. Let's look at his career numbers:
128 IP, 95 H, 60 BB, 138 K's, 3.65 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .208 BAA. Damn!
But then there are the splits:
vs. Lefties 76 IP, 43 H, 19 BB, 98 K's, .81 WHIP, .167 BAA
vs. Righties 52 IP, 52 H, 41 BB, 40K's, 1.79 WHIP, .261 BAA
Hmm... and mind you, in his role - the righties were probably coming off the bench in late-game situations to face Sherrill. These are the Mike Napoli's not Vlad Guerrero's. He is practically unhittable by lefties, but he is pretty miserable against righties.
In closing situations, he may very well face a steady diet of right handed hitters too.
While I hope I'm wrong, I just don't see Sherrill being real successful as closer there. If Baltimore were smart, they'd let him be a lefty specialist, post his typical ridiculously dominant stats and then peddle him to the Yankees, Mets, RedSox, or some other contender at the deadline for two more shining prospects.
Or just watch - the O's will trade him back to the M's for Brandon Morrow.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
- Brandon Morrow: McClaren is in-step with Norm Charlton in feeling that Morrow was forced into throwing nearly all fastballs last year due to his role in the bullpen. He expects Morrow to compete for a rotation slot this year. He added that Morrow has the opportunity to be a #2 starter in the future. On the surface that is great, except that everyone knows Morrow won't have a shot at a rotation slot unless someone else gets hurt. The Silva signing handcuffs the M's unless they want him to be the highest paid middle RP in baseball. Don't get me wrong, it was great to hear him talk about Morrow in the rotation. Someone will get hurt at some point this year, and Washburn is gone after 2008. But for now he is the best setup man on the staff. It is clear Bavasi did not have a cohesive plan going into the offseason. Everyone knew Bedard and Santana were on the block. Don't blow $44 million on a #4 starter when you already had one (Morrow) and what you need now is a setup man.
- Richie Sexson: The KJR host lured McLaren into guaranteeing that Sexson will win the comeback player of the year award. Whether he wanted to guarantee it or not, it is clear that a .265/40/110 year is desperately needed from Richie this year.
- Felix Hernandez: McClaren spoke about his high expectations for Felix. He is looking for lower pitch counts early and for The Prince (You likey? Let's all agree that King is a bit premature.) to go deeper into games.
Monday, February 4, 2008
But seriously - there are ridiculous rumors out there about B.R. being part of some M's deal involving Bedard. I know the rumors are completely wild and wholly unsubstantiated, but why can't we at least dream, nay - PRAY - that somehow all the holdup with this Bedard deal is because:
Brian Roberts will soon be a Mariner
Yes, I recognize that's just pure fantasy. But what a team that would be...
This deal has gone from Jones, Sherrill, and Tillman only to those three plus another top prospect to it's current incarnation of a five player deal for Bedard. As such, it has certainly raised some "M's getting fleeced" eyebrows, especially in context of the package for Santana (yes, I know all the arguments about cost and years of control, blah, blah, blah). So what stops the M's from tossing in a guy like Yung Chi Chen (or hell, give them Lopez) to net Bedard and Roberts?
Well, the answer is probably "reality". But this is a blog, it's not the New York Times. So allow a fellow to dream...
Would I rather have B.R. at second or Carrie-Anne Moss on my doorstep in The Matrix leather body suit with those bedroom eyes, pouty lips, and milky white skin? I can't really say.
But I'm pretty convinced I won't have the choice. Reality freaking sucks.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
- It is an extremely fair offer.
- Okay, who am I kidding, it is monstrously lopsided towards your team, but I guess you understand the desperate situation we're in right now.
- Before there is any agreement with your "general manager" - you will, of course, have final say.
- By the way, you really do have a lovely Mercedes S-class sedan. I didn't know they made cars with more than 600 horsepower. Wow.
- We will, of course, allow you to subject all of the players involved to a rigorous physical prior to completion of the trade. I will put this in writing.
- If any one of the players happen to speak of the trade to the media, I will publicly reprimand them.
- In fact, if any one of the players talks about the trade before completion, I will attempt to ruin their week - perhaps hang the trade over their head without resolution or prevent them from playing in an important game, or maybe even miss witnessing their first born child walk for the first time.
- If any one of the players fails to meet the physical to your satisfaction, you have the authority to void the trade or request a new player.
- In fact, should one of the players involved fail the physical, because of your time lost, I will force them to sell crackerjacks at our single-A affiliate in Appleton, Wisconsin wearing a skirt and a t-shirt that reads, "I am a failure and I wasted the time of a millionaire".
- Mr. Angelos, I can tell that you're already unhappy with these terms, so let me just include another player to be named later - any player of your choice, your call.
- Can I just say that you're looking particularly healthy these days?
- If, after the trade is agreed upon and Adam Jones takes the field and you are unhappy with his performance during the first week, you can request Bedard back.
- In fact, if you're unhappy with anything about Adam Jones - his attitude, the way he wears his stirrups, or even his facial hair, call me - we'll work something out.
- If you agree to this trade, you will drink Starbucks for free for the rest of your natural life.
- If you agree to this trade, your children and your children's children will have unlimited Nintendo games for their respective lifetimes.
- Mr. Angelos, I can see that you are great and wise and I hope you find the terms of this deal acceptable.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
McPhail: "Hey, how are you?"
B: "Fine, fine... Pelekoudas just brought me a nice ham sandy and a venti latte."
M: "you still got Squiggy doing scouting for you guys?"
B: "hmm...I'd have to ask Looper, I don't know. So hey - you want to do this Bedard deal or what?"
M: "Jones and who was it again?"
B: "Sherill, Tillman, your choice of a couple PTBNL's..."
M: "You sure you want to do that? Bedard is good, but..."
B: audibly eating sandwich..."job's on the line, Andy - I can't wait for next year. I mean, come on - didn't you see I gave Silva almost $50 million?
M: "Hahahahahah...oh, man...Bill...you're killing me... that's rich... okay, yeah, sure - let's do this thing. Get Jones on a plane to Baltimore for a physical"
B: "will do"
M: "I just need to talk to Peter to get the go-ahead"
M: "oh, don't worry - he brought me here so I could make deals like this on my own"
M: "just hold the line, Billy..."
M: dialing Angelos...
Angelos: "Andy, this better be good, I'm having my Monday rub-n-tug"
M: "Seattle wants to give us Jones, Sherill, Tillman and a couple others for Bedard."
A: "Honey, honey...stop that for a minute... Andy, say that again?"
M: "You heard me."
A: "Do they want Roberts too?"
M: "Just Bedard"
A: "Huh. So they're not that bright. Make something up to throw a wrench in the deal and get other teams involved to drive the price up."
M: "Like what?"
A: "I don't know, something that will scare Baltimore fans. Think of Joey Belle... say he's got a bum hip - leak it to the press"
M: "doesn't that seem unethical?"
A: "Bwahahahahahahah...bwahahahahahah... you're funny Andy, that's why I hired you. Gotta go. Okay, toots, I ain't got all day, get back to work..."
M: "uh, Billy - you still there?"
B: "Yeah, just called Adam to tell him to get on a plane, that he's being traded for Bedard. Kid is disappointed - Venezuelan finals and all - but understands."
M: "Yeah, uh - Peter has some personal matters to tend to today, so we'll have to get back to you, maybe tomorrow or the next day."
M: "nothing to worry about, I'm sure it's just his osteoarthritis or something"
M: "nothing. Forget it... we'll talk tomorrow"
B: "Sally, get Adam on the phone and make sure he doesn't say anything to the press about this. And call the Twins for me. Then get Willie in here to wax my head."
Sunday, January 27, 2008
This thing is on again, off again like a well priced dancer on the Vegas strip.
Reports had Jones on a plane to Baltimore to take a physical as part of a blockbuster trade for the M's, and now it seems that he's still in Venezuela and the whole thing might have been terrible translation between the club and the Venezuelan press. If so, that's pretty funny.
Regardless, there's obviously some teeth to this thing beyond the typical aluminum-hat 'net speculation. By most accounts, it looks like the O's are due to receive Jones, Sherrill, and Tillman plus a "fourth player" (when is the last time a PTNL turned out to be any good?) and the only thing holding it up is Peter Angelos himself (which is one giant ego roadblock). Reports have Angelos out of town Monday, so maybe we'll get nibbles of news about what he's thinking tomorrow or Wednesday. If you ask the great underbite himself, Ken Rosenthal, Angelos has or is likely to kill the deal anyway.
So around and around we go. Where's the waitress? Another 8 dollar Heineken!
Assuming it DOES happen, however - let me just go on the record: I started out in favor of this deal a couple months ago. Since when do the M's get to deal prospects for one of the top 5 starters in the AL? But it seemed every day a new reason NOT to do this deal would pop up. They include, in no particular order:
- M's offense was terrible in the 2nd half of 2007. Can they afford to make it worse?
- Dealing for Bedard after giving Silva a huge pile of cash will prove one of two things: 1. M's didn't have a cohesive strategy this off season. No way Bavasi would deal for another starter after spending a pile of cash on a guy who may be worse than Morrow. 2. M's don't believe Morrow is ready to start.
- Why deal Jones, who we have no replacement for, instead of Morrow who would be pushed into the bullpen by a deal anyway? (No clue if Baltimore had any interest in a deal headlined by Morrow...)
- Morrow's development as a player is being damaged by the M's. Why spend months in winter ball getting acclimated to becoming a starter to only be throw into what is likely a setup role for Putzer?
- Ibanez and Wilkerson in the same outfield is going to make the M's pitching worse.
- Pitchers hurt all the time. Hitters hurt some of the time.
- Bedard has a couple of good years, and only one great year. However, if he had 2 great years there is no way the O's would deal him just for prospects.
- Is there ANY way we can toss Lopez and Clement into the deal and get Brian Roberts? How great would that be?
If Jones has a mediocre rookie season, and Bedard has an average "Bedard" season in 2009, Bavasi is a genius who sold high. If Bedard gets hurt and Jones puts up a Rookie of the Year quality campaign, this one will go next to Soriano for HoRam as another Bavasi blunder. Tough call.
This deal is not an obvious stinker like the Soriano deal (Congrats to the Braves by the way for resigning Soriano for 2-years, $9 million just as they are about to hand him the ball in the 9th inning. 35+ saves later that deal will look like a bargain.) But it is a risk. So I tip my cap to Bavasi and hope Bedard retires a Mariner great. Hopefully sometime after 2010.
Ahem, that is - if it happens.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Let's take a step back and look how the last few years have gone. After Hernandez's 2005 debut (12 G, 84.1 IP, 4-4, 77K, 2.67 ERA, 1.00 WHIP), here is what the writers at TSN projected the last two offseasons:
2006: The teenager has superstar stuff and a mental toughness that belies his2006 Result: 191 IP, 12-14, 176 K, 4.52 ERA, 1.34 WHIP. Actual fantasy value: $13.
lack of experience. He throws hard (98 MPH) and has a terrific curveball
and a tantalizing changeup. His strikeout-to-walk-ratio is already solid
and will get even better. Nine of his 12 starts were quality starts.
Bottom Line: King Felix already is a No. 2 (fantasy starter) with upside.
Projected 2006 fantasy value: $20.
2007: Hernandez's first full season in the majors wasn't what fantasy owners had
hoped for, though he was much more effective once June arrived. He
harnessed his command in his last six starts (four walks) and at times looked
like a premier power pitcher. Bottom Line: Still not a king, but will inch
closer to power in '07. Projected 2007 fantasy value: $14.
2007 Result: 190.1, 14-7, 165 K, 3.92 ERA, 1.38 WHIP. Actual fantasy value not available yet.
2008: All I was able to dig up is that TSN has Felix ranked as the 28th best starter in baseball for 2008. Last year that was equal to a projected fantasy value around $17. Or about 15% less than they thought he would be worth two years ago.
2008 is a make or break year for Felix in the sense that he could slip back into 2006 form, or take a step forward towards becoming a #1 starter. He's very young, so that's not to say he will never develop into a top starter if he doesn't do it in 2008. But how long can someone tread water with a WHIP pushing 1.40 and still be considered a team's number one starter? (If your name is Barry Zito the answer is 3-4 seasons.) If he regresses the Hernandez situation will start to smell more and more like Freddy Garcia. And I don't mean just the stench of the bar at Jalisco's. Felix is more exciting to watch than Freddy Garcia ever was. But another mediocre season and his act will tire just as Garcia's did.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I've lamented the M's rotation repeatedly on this blog - that basically we have a #2 starter and then three #4 starters - and then who knows what for a fifth. Three starters roughly at league average with one capable of being pretty good. That's at best.
This rotation doesn't inspire October fantasies.
However, I recently read this post about the St. Louis rotation.
Their rotation, going into 2008 looks like this:
Yeesh. I mean, that actually shocked me when I read it. This is the same St. Louis Cardinals team that won the World Series in 2006. Do they even have a pitcher that you would expect to win 12 games going into 2008?
Wainwright is obviously the gem of the group with an ERA+ of 119, going 14-12, giving up more hits than IP, and striking out a paltry 136 batters over 202 innings. Wainwright is good, but on a playoff team, he should be a #3 or #4, not your ace.
Clement last saw action in 2006 where he was shelled like his nickname was HoRam, then hit the DL and sat out all of 2007. Although he won 13 games with Boston in '05, he still wasn't lighting the world on fire with an ERA+ of 99 and a 4.57 ERA. His most productive years were in Chicago from '02 to '04. Well, Matt - it's 2008. Where you been? This is their "#2" starter.
Looper? ERA+ of 89. A failed conversion from closer to starter.
Pineiro? Do I even need to tell you?
Mulder - ERA the last two years: 12.27 and 7.14, respectively. He was once great, but injuries have simply ruined him. Reyes or Thompson will probably occupy the #5 slot by April - and that shouldn't make any Cardinal fan excited either.
Their rotation is so bad that the author of that post actually makes a pitch for going after Jeff Weaver. Yes, that Jeff Weaver. If that's not desperation, I don't know what is. They might as well ask Ankiel to take the hill if they're in such dire straights. I guarantee he'd have better stats than Weaver.
So my point is, after reading this I gained a little bit of perspective. While I don't think the Mariners have a particularly exciting pitching rotation - I'll take Felix, Batista, Silva, Washburn, and Morrow (Dickey, HoRam, Rowland-Smith, whoever) over what St. Louis is trotting out there.
But then again, when you start comparing yourselves to the worst possible scenarios, you've got problems - but I'll take my silver lining for now.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Here is how the offseason has shaken out so far:
The A's lost:
-Rick Rizz's favorite...Marco Scuuuutaro
-Bunch of minor leaguers
Current Free Agents:
Current Free Agents:
-Boogie Bear Colon
-Kazuo Fukumori (Japanese RP)
LA and Texas have made some nice improvements. Seattle hasn't made a significant move and Oakland has all but punted the 2008 season. (That's not to say that Silva's money wasn't significant.) Assuming Texas and Oakland don't compete for the division, Seattle could be only a couple of LA injuries away from being in a 2-team battle for first place. Rather than make a trade or (another) signing they might regret, I wouldn't mind seeing the Mariners stop chasing mediocre talent and hold some cards to make a deal in early June.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
I see a few great uses for this site.
- Simple way to run your office or social pools. NBA, MLB, NFL, regular seasons, playoffs, etc
- Extremely easy way to take on the predictions of national experts. For example, here is a link to their MLB Pundit page: http://www.sporcle.com/group/?gid=24. So basically you can go in before the 2008 season, enter your predictions for each division and see how your picks stacked up against guys like Gammons, Stark, Olbermann, etc.
For future reference I'm going to put a link in our resources area.