Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Contreras rumors won't go away

The NY media still keep hinting Contreras could be part of a Garcia package- NY Post

"Not only was Florida reported to be interested in Contreras, but Seattle had scout Ken Madeja at Thursday's game watching him for any potential deal for Freddy Garcia. "

I still am at a loss to explain why the M's would be interested in this guy. Initially I just blew these reports off, figuring it was wishful thinking on the part of the NY fan base. But we are seeing too many reports of interest by the M's to just keep ignoring it. So is it possible Contreras is heading to the NorthWest?

Let's look at what we know:
- 95 mile an hour fastball
- great slider
- at times stuggles with his command
- has been sent to the minors this year
- according to everyone, doesn't trust his stuff enough

Of course I'm talking about Gil Meche. But other than the fact Contreras looks 53 years old, and makes 4 times what Meche does ($1.95 million) it's hard to see what the M' desire that they don't already have.

The problem with the M's today is crystal clear- they need hitting. They need power, they need youth, they need energy. The one thing they do have is pitching- while their pitching has been a disappointment this year, it is getting better and is at least fixable. Every one of us reading this all agree we need hitting.

So why would the M's possibly be interested in picking up an expensive pitcher with control problems? Even if NY eats his contract, it doesn't help you score any runs. It seems so obvious that any package for Garcia needs to involve position players, not pitchers.

Also, we know now that Garcia is clearly the best pitcher who will be available at the trading deadline. You have a ton of teams in the race, and position players are to be had. Just because NY really, really needs a quality starting pitcher, doesn't mean the M's have to oblige.

The only possible scenario I can think of is if Bavasi thinks he can turnaround and deal Contreras as part of a 3-way or next day deal. Perhaps he has targeted players he wants but needs to get creative to make it happen.

But nothing I've seen to date suggests Bavasi is capable of any such deal. More likely, Bavasi is moving cautiously, talking to his inner circle, and hoping the nightmare goes away.