We got the Winter Meetings going on this weekend and as you hear mentioned consistently by just about every media news source this is often a place where the ground work for the “big” off-season deals begins to be laid. JJ Putz, Cliff Lee both deals started at this point and while one was consummated here and one wasn’t both get their roots from here.
I’ll be honest and a bit of a buzz kill I really still am not sold that any “big” really happens this off-season. While it certainly is appealing considering the state of the roster it just doesn’t make sense with the large amount of question marks facing this team. From Justin Smoak and Mike Carp to Franklin Gutierrez and Casper Wells. Not to mention Alex Liddi, Trayvon Robinson, Kyle Seager and Adam Moore.
As I pointed out earlier Greg Johns highlighted a few Jack Zduriencik quotes he also made out a sort of shopping list for the team. I figured I’d throw out a few thoughts on the list.
Tags: Bobby LaFromboise, Brendan Ryan Luis Rodriguez, brian moran, Casper Wells, Cesar Jimenez, Dexter Fowler, erik bedard, kevin millwood, Michael Saunders, Munenori Kawasaki, nick franklin, Off-Season, Seth Smith, Travis Snider, Will Venable, winter meetings
We’ve all been talking about what the Mariners can do to improve this off-season and while we all agree that third base is a concern a lot of fans continue to dwell in left field. While, I don’t disagree that it’s an issue, I’m less concerned with it. Yes, I would like to see a left handed bat that has shown the ability to hit major league pitching, or at least right handed pitching, ala Will Venable. But really there quite a few different individuals that could potential fit the bill. Dave Cameron threw out Angel Pagan, who I’m also a fan of, and there is Jeremy Hermida that vaguely interests me as a potential platoon partner. Then of course there is Grady Sizemore and all the murmuring that is going on with him.
We can do a lot of speculate at this point and really that’s half the fun. My real point here is, though, left is less of an issue than most people think. I certainly am not saying that it’s not a concern but when you compare it to say the major league Catchers that we have it’s less of an issue. Mike Carp, while really not very good, is someone that could be platooned to a point to where he could help out with the position while giving someone like Casper Wells, a very good defensive outfielder (and possible an solid hitter), the meat of the starts (assuming his health issues have cleared up, which is a HUGE concern of mine; SEE: Denard Span and Justin Morneau).
The point is the Mariners have options there that have shown the ability to be potentially be average if not perhaps slightly better than average. Miguel Olivo has never ever been a league average hitter, and sure he’s a catching so you take what you can get, but despite the fact that “pitchers love him” he’s a terrible with balls in the dirt. How many times has Safeco field collectively sighed at a Felix Hernandez fastball in the dirt? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the perils of catching, especially Felix, as I was a catcher in High School and not a very good one. So take perhaps the most electrifying pitcher in all of the sport and add some of the most insane movement and you have a very difficult pitcher to catch. I’m not saying that I fully understand it, but I can certainly relate.
Tags: Adam Moore, Angel Pegan, Casper Wells, chris Iannetta, Felix Hernandez, grady sizemore, Jeremy Hermida, Kelly Shoppach, Matt Wieters, Michael Pineda, miguel olivo, Mike Carp, Off-Season, Ramon Hernandez, Will Venable
Below you are about to be absorbed into my own little world. One that I’ve taken the better half of … oh well… let’s just pretend it’s been two weeks and not the last two months, because that’s just sad.
This is strictly of my own opinion, take it at face value, which is worth nothing. I understand no one cares how I would improve the Mariners and that in general most of my theories for roster construction are really just a mish mash of other brilliants minds at work.
Be prepared to be completely disappointed. I, like many others, love talking trades. I love discussing how to make this team better simply because, My Lord they are awful this past year, but really I can’t believe they are as bad as they really are. As I’ve previously discussed my sole goal for this team is to do the following:
- A) I want to give this team a trampoline. The goal is to give them the opportunity to bounce forward from this point. Start this coming year as a 77-80 win team and give them the opportunity to better themselves to becoming an 85-90 win team. Next year starts this year.
- B) You can’t move forward without talent. I’m not just talking about acquiring talent either, it’s about cultivating and helping it grow towards being healthy and productive. The Mariners are never going to compete, let me reiterate this for everyone, NEVER going to compete again unless they can eventually grow internal talent. Doug Fister was good, Dustin Ackley is of course way better, but there needs to be less gap time between the time periods and more players. Really, what this team needs to figure out is how to grow position players and while you need to give them time you need to have the talent to step in for if those young guys fail.
- C) With growing talent it means keeping it. My goal is to keep as much internal talent possible while moving forward. This is extremely difficult and it relies on… more risk. You can’t get premier talent without giving up premier talent but you can acquire certain individuals that are available around the league for less than they potentially could be worth. This takes a lot of time and is a huge risk. But the important thing is all your giving away is at bats. The talent you have to give up to get them was hardly negligible. Bottom line: I hate giving away young cost controlled arms for risk/reward situations. There is a time to hold ‘em and a time to … well deal them. I see few moves that could should be made by dealing away any of the young arms the Mariners have collected to this point.
- D) I know Seattle fans are looking at the potential 20 million dollars and they feel like finally they can spend it. Oh they have the money free right now and it’s already starting to burn a hole in their pocket. The unfortunate truth is we can’t just throw that at the “best” guy possible. They have to spend it wisely or be doomed to repeat more of the mid -2000’s. Likewise it means acquiring talent that is on the mend that other teams have deemed “too much time to invest or too pricey due to lack of production” some call it dumpster diving others call it investing. We need to come away from this season with more money in our pockets next year. As I continue to say getting to .500 is easy. Once we’re there it’s going to take money or prospects to make that last push. We’ll discuss that more as we get into the free-agent section.
Without further ado I give you my EPIC king of the off-season post.
Tags: Adam Moore, Blake Bevan, Brandon League, Casey Blake, Casper Wells, Chance Ruffin, Charlie Furbush, Chris Capuano, Chris Gimenez, David DeJesus, dustin ackley, Erik Kratz, Felix Hernandez, franklin gutierrez, grady sizemore, Ichiro, Jason Vargas, Josh Lueke, justin smoak, Kelly Shoppach, King for a day, kyle seager, Landon Powell, Matt Antonelli, Michael Pineda, Mike Carp, prince fielder, Ramon Hernandez, Raul Ibanez, Scott Rolen, Shawn Camp, shawn Kelley, Tom Wilhelmsen, Will Venable
It’s funny, reading lookout landing yesterday morning Jeff Sullivan mentioned the following:
I don’t know how well this rotation is going to hold up down the stretch. It’s one of those concerns that everyone knows about, but no one wants to talk about, in fear of coming off like a wet blanket. I wonder about Michael Pineda. I wonder about Erik Bedard. I wonder about Vargas, and I wonder about Doug Fister. But as concerned as I am about the rotation’s future, enough can’t be said about the rotation’s present.
It’s funny because I have thought a lot about this and even more so this weekend with the way things went down against the Phillies (us winning 2 out 3!). While we’ve talked a bit about trades vs. the wavier wire with hitters the truth is that bats are in short supply and in high demand. Anything that you want to acquire is going to cost you more than what you really want to give up. If I’m the Mariners I’m trying to do damage control while flipping prospects and I want the best bang for my buck.
If that’s the case the value lies in the pitching on this years trade market and with having Michael Pineda on an innings limit for his development and keeping Erik Bedard‘s arm from falling off the Mariners may need to make a move.
Tags: Billy Butler, Blake Beavan, Carlos Peguero, Chris Heisey, Chris Seddon, Cody Ross, Colby Rasmus, David Pauley, Doug Fister, erik bedard, fabio castro, Garrett Jones, greg halman, Hiroki Kuroda, Jason Kubel, jeff francis, Jon Jay, Kevin Slowey, Kosuke Fukudome, Mariners General, Matt Kemp, Michael Pineda, Michael Saunders, nick franklin, Paul Maholm, Ryan Ludwick, Will Venable