I took some flak in my last post for suggesting the Mariners should consider signing Luke Hochevar. On the surface his 8-16 record and 5.73 ERA would not be a fit for a team that has not made the playoffs in over a decade. However, looking at some of his stats, Hochevar does make some sense for the Mariners. In my opinion, he seems to be a perfect fit for Safeco Field.
Here’s five things to consider.
- Safeco Field is a pitchers park. This is unlikely to change by moving in the fences next season. According to MLBTradeRumors.com’s Non-Tender Candidate series, Hochevar had a 43.6% ground ball rate in 2012. He struck out a league average 6.9 K/9 IP, while averaging 3.0 BB/9 IP.
- This would allow the Mariners to protect their investment in the “Big Three”, considering Paxton is not traded and how much credence there is in the trade rumors linking him to the Royals. As fans we should hope not to have Kerry Wood or Mark Prior type injuries to the young core. If they flame out because they can’t get big league hitters out that would be better than never knowing because of injury. Just my thinking.
- As a non-tender candidate, Hochevar would come cheap with the possibility of a high reward. No one figured in 1996 that Jamie Moyer would be such a good pick up. In recent history, Oliver Perez was seen as an experiment. He paid off in the M’s bullpen in 2012. My suggestion, pick up Hochevar at a one year incentive laden deal with a 2014 option. If he doesn’t work out then the M’s wouldn’t be out much if they decided to later trade him or designate him for assignment.
- As pointed out in the comments to my Letter to Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik , Jason Vargas home/road splits are a point of concern. Vargas is great at Safeco Field. He had good trade value at the deadline last year, but given his splits, will it remain what it was? I’m not necessarily saying Vargas should be traded, but if he could net a young bat with team control it would be worth into at least looking into.
- Beyond the “Big Three” there are few pitching options in the organization for the rotation barring a free agent signing and/or trade. The outfield depth could be used as trade options, but the tradability and major league talent of some of them are questionable at best without depleting the outfield for 2013 and beyond.
I’m a hometown fan, but not a disillusioned “homer”. The Mariners are more than a year off from contending again. The “rebuilding by spending” has been tried and failed. Now let the kids develop on the farm and sign some stop gap help for a year before rushing the arms to Seattle.
I welcome your thoughts and comments. What do you think?
I think it’s pretty clear that the Mariners need to upgrade third base. It’s currently their biggest weakness, and the need to upgrade this offense is still there, even after the addition of Jesus Montero. The problem is that there just isn’t anyone … [visit site to read more]
This just in on twitter from the Giants official feed.
I’m not going to do this for every single little thing that comes out but I figured this had been repeated enough to have legs and it seems as if this could potentially play out in the next few days.
That thing that sucks about living in Africa is that I’m on a completely different sleep schedule than the rest of America. I go to bed just as things start getting dialed up and into working motion and I wake up and get into work just as everyone is getting ready for their own bed and closing down shop for the night.
So when I get to work and I check all the news stories I get to be the last of the bunch to write about the Josh Lueke-John Jaso trade. I get that for the most part everyone appreciates and/or likes the trade. We used a piece of our depth and got a league average hitter that can play a premium position. Not only that but he comes in rather cheap too. There isn’t much not to like about this trade.
The thing is I’m going to go all Buzzkill Brita on this thing because I have some minor qualms associated with this deal that I haven’t seen many people bring up. So if you are rather up beat about this and positive… you might not want to read everything below. Because my normal upbeat, positive disposition is kind of missing here.