Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why not pitching AND offense?

So there are rumors that the Mariners are still in the hunt for Santana. There are lots and lots of rumors linking the M's to Erik Bedard. And then there's all the well documented Hiroki Kuroda blatherings (who, apparently is visiting all the interested teams next week - terrific... 42 and pissing rain vs. 70 and sunny in Phoenix and L.A.).

What I can't help but wonder is - if the Mariners are really, REALLY, serious players in this Santana brew-ha, then they absolutely must believe they have the payroll to give him his expected 20-mil per over six, seven years. There's no way they dump the lion's share of their youthful talent for a guy we'll have for one season. Is there (I can hear Paul grousing about anything being possible when Bavasi is involved...).

I've also read many-a-blogger lament the fact that the Mariners are not just an "ace arm" away from being a serious contender in this juiced-up AL that we now have - and rightly so.

So here are some thoughts. If the Mariners were willing to dump that kind of cash on Santana, why not figure out a way to pull this Bedard thing off, and use some of that "available cash" to improve your outfield defense and offense.

Why not float an offer for Andruw Jones? Stellar (okay, maybe "good" is a better superlative) defense and at least the potential for big offensive numbers - with the risk of a Sexson egg, of course. Jones wants a Torii Hunter-like contract. The only reported offer I can find is a rumored two-year $32 mil offer from the Dodgers. In a world where we give $8 million dollars for an all-but-assured stinker to a guy named Weaver, what stops us from giving Jones 15-per for a pair of years and see if we can catch lighting in a bottle?

Update...Jones signed with the Dodgers for two years, $36 mil. So much for Boras requiring a Hunter-like deal. Honestly, this seems like a great move by the Dodgers, but time will tell.

Move Broussard and a mid-level prospect (or anything within reason from the farm system) to the Rays for Edwin Jackson. Just do it. In this dream world scenario, it gives the M's Bedard, Felix, Batista, Washburn, and Jackson in their rotation.

Platoon Sexson and Ibanez at 1b. Your defense will be average at best, but you just might get above average production at the position and you'll avoid having to watch Raul run around like a drunken ostrich after fly balls.

This leaves a tricky situation of another OF slot to fill (assuming Adam Jones is dealt in the Bedard deal). What about a one-year deal for Milton Bradley? He's supposed to be ready for opening day and hell, if Guillen can behave in Seattle then maybe we can get lucky with a guy with a career OBP of .358 and OPS over .800 for five of the past six seasons. How about working out a deal for Xavier Nady, whom the Pirates would like to deal. He is a capable defender, could play some 1b in a pinch, and could expected to post respectable offensive numbers - not far off from what Guillen did for us last year.

This isn't likely - but there's also the possibility that the Cubs want Ibanez so badly, they'd give us Sean Marshall for him - which is a deal the M's ought to take (in concert with some plan on how to fill the OF positions).

Anyway, the point is that the M's need help in more ways than one, but it seems to me there are not-terribly-creative ways of pulling that off and making the team much, much better on both sides of the dish.

We'll see if they come up with anything.


Anonymous said...

I like the idea of platooning Ibanez and Sexson at first.. I've never thought of it before. Being the veterans that they are they might not be too happy about it, though. Outfield options I'd go with are Geoff Jenkins (just because Safeco benefits the lefties so much, plus he's a + defender) and I also like Milton Bradley on a one year deal.

Anonymous said...

While anything is possible, I agree that there is no way we'd deal for Santana if we weren't going to lock him up for at least 5years.

Bradley is interesting. I guess I'd rather have Nady, but Bradley seems to deliver when he plays. Realistically you can expect him to play what...100 games? Fine as long as we don't overpay for him.

Sean Marshall is very, very interesting. 14-13 with a 2.64 ERA in 44 minor league starts. He was pretty good last year in his first major league stint. Not sure about his arsenal of pitches or how they rate. Let me throw this out: How different would a Broussard's numbers over a full season be than Ibanez's? I'm a big Raul fan, but if we can get a solid young pitcher who actually gives us a shot to win out of the 4-5 slot in the rotation, I think it's worth giving Broussard a shot to show what he can do.