Mariners Analysis

Friday, July 23, 2004

Back in a week

Off to Mexico for a week of fly fishing. I hope to see the M's continue to play .500 ball- there's no reason the current group can't do it.

Take care,


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Leone's defense

After a few weeks into the Justin Leone experiment, the main thing that jumps out is some of the bad plays he's made on defense. Along with the defense, his current line:

.200 / .263 / .429 / .692

After a nice start, Justin has been struggling a bit. With the M's offense playing better of late, perhaps Melvin will resist the urge to tinker with the lineup and just leave Justin out there. He needs to play every day and not feel like he's going to get yanked if he makes a bad play. He has too much of a track record in the minors to cause alarm yet, but if this continues...

Meanwhile, Bucky's current line:

.333 / .500 / .762 / 1.262

He needed to produce immediately to justify taking bats from 'Gar and Spiezio, so mission accomplished. He is fun to watch- how could you not keep running him out there?

And our current SS, Melvinquist:

.245 / .276 / .309 / .584

Jose Lopez can't get here fast enough.

The simple answer for why the M's are scoring more runs is pretty straightforward. Ichiro is on fire, Winn is hitting (doubles even!) and the middle of the order is driving them in. Let's hope the hitting continues, because the pitching is a real cause for concern.

Speaking of which, for those that believe the M's need to add a pitcher next year (and most do), who do you see available this winter you want to see in an M's uniform?

It's going to be tough to find a free-agent pitcher who will not cost an arm-and-a-leg, and who will be better than Freddy Garcia...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Funny article in PI re: Boone

After writing last night the M's wouldn't release Boone, I laughed when I read this in the PI- link

About the rumors of him being released-

"I think there's about zero chance of that happening," Boone said.

Pretty cocky stuff for a guy making $9 million next year and hitting around the Mendoza line for most of the year. But that's the difference between John and Bret. Boonie's all about attitude, and he really seems to think he can pull out of his slump.

"I haven't gotten to the point where I'm going to call this a bad year," Boone said. "I still think there is time to turn it around. And I think there's a good chance I'll have a real good comeback year next year."

Hear that M's FO? Bret thinks there's a good chance he'll earn his money next year. Time will tell. While the M's might dismiss the Gammons report, the fact is there is ZERO trade value for Boone. I wonder if Bret's agent or inner circle knows that, or cares. Meanwhile, Bret apparently isn't losing any sleep on his poor start contributing to the M's being where they are.

Meanwhile, I'm shocked our good buddy Hiram is getting DFA to make room for Bobby Madritsch. This is a good move by the M's, but yet another sign how disastrous the Carlos Guillen trade was.

I'll let this play out before passing judgement, but I can't imagine this will look good in the future- Santiago for Guillen.

Note- Correction: Thanks to Mariners Wheelhouse for the correction. Bocachica was signed as a free agent, and Gonzalez was the second player for Guillen.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

No chance the M's release Boone

Now that the majority of M's fans finally realize trading Boone is not really an option- ie. they finally figure out there is essentially no trade value for him, the next rumor seems to be the M's releasing him.

There is really no chance Boone gets released. I don't think it has been seriously discussed, and doubt it will be. It is reasonable to wonder why Olerud gets released, but not Boone.

A couple of quick thoughts on why Boone stays-
* Boone had almost MVP-caliber seasons, while Olerud's best years were barely tops among first basemen
* M's have plenty of options at First
* Olerud is in the final year of his contract, Boone is not with 450 BA
* The team realizes it must keep SOME veterans for next year
* Boone looks like he may come out of his slump, while Olerud just looked old and distracted

So Boone stays, and the M's will not be releasing him. The only way he gets traded is if a team gets desperate to make a move, or the M's eat most of next years salary, which doesn't really make any sense.

Meanwhile, the M's are 3-3 after the break. If they get any kind of starting pitching, they should play .500 ball for awhile.

Entertaining loss to Red Sox

The M's split the series anyway (grin).

The big story was 16 men LOB and Joel pitching poorly, but the M's fans got to see an entertaining game. Ichiro had a big day and it will be interesting to see if he can avoid the late season problems he has displayed the last two years. If he can't, then the M's are paying $12.5 million next year to a player who won't contribute after the All Star break.

Is there a chance we'll see Nomar in an M's uniform next year? Seems unlikely, but some big name free agent will take the M's money next season.

Should the M's take a chance on Derek Lowe next year? He should come fairly cheap, and Safeco might be the perfect place for blister boy.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Time and PI articles still in sync

Both the Times and PI focus on decreased playing time for Edgar Martinez. Now that Bucky and Justin have "earned" semi-regular playing time, Edgar's role will diminish. He is a classy guy, so we have no reason to think he will handle this in anything but a great manner.

Regarding trading Edgar, how big a market can there be? I mean, clearly we are talking AL only teams, so who would even consider playing 'Gar?

NY- have plenty of DH bodies
Boston- Ortiz having a great year
White Sox- with Thomas being out, maybe?
Twins- unlikely
A's- can't see Beane and Bavasi making this trade
Angels- need pitching
Rangers- plenty of hitting, need pitching

I don't know, the market seems small and I'm not sure the M's would get anything back. We have to assume this is Edgar's final year, even if he hasn't figured that out. It would be nice if the M's and Edgar announce this is it and we give him a nice sendoff in September.

Regarding Bucky, it sure is fun watching him play. One gets the feeling with the M's you'd better start out fast, because the leash can be short. We saw with Putz he started out strong and the M's had patience they didn't show in the past. While we know Bucky and Leone will have poor stretches, the recent good play should help them stay in the lineup.

As far as the M's as a team, the pitching is as bad as we've seen in a long time. Freddy Garcia is currently 5th in ERA and 2nd in innings pitched in the AL. While Freddy is not coming back, someone will have to be indentified to take his place next year, because the crop of young pitchers coming up from Tacoma is not showing much.

Chalk up one more thing for the M's to acquire during the offseason- 1 or perhaps 2 starting pitchers.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Congrats Justin!

Nice to see Leone hit the winning home run tonight. While there will be times the young guys cost us the game, try to remember games like tonight too.

The problem with the M's offense right now is even with Olerud and Aurilia gone, we still have a ton of automatic outs. More changes need to be made to this roster, or our pitchers will need to repeat Joel's performance every night.

Lincoln's Math

I have been talking about the M's budget for some time now. My main questions have centered around when are the M's going to spend some money, and will they apply it to next year.

The Times article is so full of crap I can't decide what is worse- that Lincoln said it, or that the Times printed it.

I know Derek at USS Mariner essentially summed it up, but I cannot believe the gall of Lincoln. How stupid does he think we are? And Bob Finnigan- how can you write this?

Please Bob, write a follow up article. It's sort of like fact-checking an article; here's what you do. Get a piece of paper, a pencil and a calculator. Then add up the numbers. When you do, you might think of a few more questions for Howard.

Let's keep this real simple.

  • M's budget for '04 is $95 million
  • M's open season with roughly $82 million payroll ( USA today
  • M's budget at start of season includes Jarvis, Davis, Garcia etc...
  • Now think of salary added since opening day. Cabrera? Nope, included.

Keep thinking about salary added since opening day, because you're going to have a hard time doing so. Sure the M's have called up a bunch of prospects making the MLB minimum, but they also got rid of Garcia.

Since opening day, the M's haven't added any significant payroll, so where's the $13 million?? You had to pay Jarvis anyway, you have to pay Aurilia anyway, you have to pay Olerud anyway. None of those are ADDITIONAL costs.

As I have stated before, the M's are on the way to record profits this year.

Because they are not adding any salary, and attendance will not drop enough to make up the $13 million or so they are under budget, the M's will simply pocket the rest!!

From the article:

Can that savings be added to next year's payroll budget? Apparently not, according to Lincoln. "It doesn't work that way," he said. "You close the books on one year and turn the page."

Actually Howard, it can. There is no rule that prevents you from applying your huge profit from this year and applying it to next. The only thing preventing it is your desire to pocket the money.

Just watch. Forbes will report next year on record profits for '04.

Boone next?

With Olerud packing, the M's FO has to be looking over at second base. Bret has been just as bad as Olerud this year, and yet has a huge contract for next year. People are finally starting to realize Boone's trade value right now is almost zero.

Per the times-

"Boone, with $9.25 million due next year, has a market so limited as to be virtually non-existent. He was included in a package that would have sent him and Garcia to the Yankees, but that fell apart when New York balked at having to give up players as well as pick up Boone's 2005 salary."

So why is John getting dumped and Bret is still here? The M's have more options at first base, and Bret's 450 AB clause. Otherwise it could have just as easily been Boone, whose defense in my opinion is noticeable worse this year.

I notice plenty of people are ripping on the M's management for cutting ties with Olerud. I wonder how people feel sorry for a guy who will make more in the next two months than some will make in their lifetime. How about holding the players accountable for their performance? When John signed that contract, expectations on performance were part of the deal.

Several people make it sound like John left millions of dollars on the table when he left the Mets. John left the Mets because the M's gave him a ton of money to do so. John signed the recent two-year deal because it contained 15 millions reason to stay in Seattle. It's not like he pulled a Karl Malone and signed for pennies on the dollar. John is a multi-millionaire who never has to work a day in his life again if he so chooses.

I wish John well, he's a great person. But I was not willing to shell out $7 for a beer to watch him look at called strikes.

More comments centered around how few RBIs John's collected. A number of people point out how much fewer opportunities John had than other first baseman. It's true John often batted 6 or 7, but that was because he played so poorly. Jon was just as responsible for not getting on base or driving in runs as as Edgar, Aurilia, Martinez etc... They were all part of the problem. John didn't drive in Edgar, who didn't Boone... how can you say Olerud should have gotten more chances? Crappy teams always have fewer RBI opportunities and give up more runs. You can't just keep rolling out the same product, or playing Cabrera again and again.

It seems like many fans wanted changes, but then were upset when they actually happened. It's like dropping out of school and then finding it hard to get a good job.

Seems like Bavasi thought the present situation through and made a sound decision.

A tough decision, but the right one.

The M's are killing their fans right now

I wake up this morning and hear on the radio the M's are releasing Olerud (per the PI, now confirmed).

My initial reaction is disbelief. This is a very aggressive move, especially for such a conservative organization. Given the passive nature of the FO, I have to give a

Standing ovation to Bill Bavasi

This is just as positive a move as the Garcia trade. The club clearly has a problem at first base, and they recognized it. They actually DID SOMETHING!

So bravo to Bavasi, you are giving me hope for this organization. However, there are a couple of things that are giving me pause from my celebration:

- First, the absolute piece of ^%&* article in the Times regarding the M's budget (link)
- The theory the M's are releasing Olerud purely for monetary reasons

Now Derek at USS Mariner beat me to it, but the article in the Times regarding the M's accounting practices for this year and next are so revolting it makes you want to boycott the M's. I'll vent on this in a minute.

Before I go ballistic on the budget issue, why did it come to this regarding Olerud?

Quick timeline on John:
- he joins the M's for the 2000 season
- has 3 good seasons (00,01,02)
- is rewarded with a 2-year contract
- was terrible last year
- equally bad this year

I know a lot of M's fans are going to be upset at how the M's are treating Olerud. However, you have to ask yourself, what has John done for the organization that Freddy Garcia hasn't?

I know John is a great father, and survived a brain tumor, and went to school at WSU, but why should that matter for the M's? Quick answer- it shouldn't.

If the M's are supposed to make baseball decisions based on your kids, or your wife, or your zip code, it's going to be a lot harder to get to the playoffs. The fact of the matter is John got paid a ton of money to play baseball in Seattle, and is set for life financially. If Garcia can be shipped off, never offered a contract, then the M's can shop Olerud. And if John refuses to play for a team that wants him, then what are the M's supposed to do? Just let him hang out with the club and collect a paycheck?

This is a really positive move both for the club and Olerud. The club can play prospects who might help in the future, and John can learn just how valuable his baseball skills really are. This is just the kick in the pants he needs right now.

One more minor point on why I'm not that sad to see John go. Would it have killed him to join a gym in the offseason? The guy has arms skinnier than Robert Swift. For a guy getting on in years, and making the kind of money he makes, I honestly believe he needed to dedicate himself more, especially after last season.

Edgar Martinez is in GREAT shape. John seems like he might be a guy who got by on talent for a long time, and time has taken some of that away.

Now several people are claiming the M's are releasing John for financial reasons. Basically they theorize the FO is hoping someone claims John on waivers and they pocket the extra coin. To be honest with you, I'm not sure I believe this.

More to come, but the M's are suddenly interesting again.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

George Sherrill and Bucky Jacobsen joining the club

Wow, this is a really sound move. While one could reasonably ask what took so long with Sherrill, the fact is they made the right call. The present M's bullpen stinks, and Sherrill deserves to get the opportunity to help fix it.

Jacobsen fits in that he supplies the M's with what they don't have- power. Whether that power can be flexed at the MLB level remains to be seen, but he deserves the shot.

Now who will be dropped from the roster? I'm guessing Meche or Myers. Of course Olerud plays first, and Martinez is the DH. Where will Jacobsen play ie. who will he steal bats from?

Should know shortly.

Melvin getting a free pass?

So yet another team loses a manager due to a disappointing season- Jimy Williams

The Astros fire their manager in part because they expected to contend this year, and instead find themselves a .500 team.

In contrast, the M's expected to contend (FO anyway) and have one of the worst records in baseball. The M's would have to go on one of the biggest winning streaks in team history just to sniff .500, and yet Melvin has his contract extended.

I'm not saying fire Melvin mid-season, but it is clear the M's FO has a different mindset then other teams. What I'd like to see is the M's take a little bit more of an aggressive approach to winning. If you produce, you stay. If you don't, you go. I've asked this before, but what has Bob Melvin done in 1 1/2 years that shows you he has what it takes to lead this team? If the M's don't play hard the entire second half, Bob must go.


On a different note, we all know the talk around trading Boone will heat up big time. Right now he is probably the leading veteran to get traded, along with Myers.

Now before you look at trading scenarios for what you'd get for Boone, first look at why you would want to trade him.
- He's had a terrible season
- He's been fighting injuries all year
- He's dealing with family issues
- He's getting older
- He's going to make $9 million next year

Now ask yourself how many teams are willing to overlook all the above. I've said it before, but VERY few teams are taking on $9 million contracts for next year. The Yankees are of course one of the first to jump to mind that would.

Quick look at AL teams in the race who might make a move for Boone:
Yankees- could use a 2nd baseman
A's- no chance
Angels- money not an issue, have prospects, in the division
Texas- no chance
Minnesota- no chance
White Sox- no chance
Red Sox- offense presently not the problem, seems unlikely

The one that really jumps out at you is the Yankees. Here's the most likely scenario where I could see Boone going to the Yankees:

1) Someone besides the Yankees gets Randy Johnson in the AL
2) George screams at Cashman to make a countermove
3) The Yanks offense cools, and the Red Sox get within half a dozen games
4) Cashman looks at the roster, and sees the only glaring need besides pitching is second base
5) The M's find someone to dump next years salary, and deal Boone for whatever the yanks have lying around

I don't see any scenario where the M's get anything of real value. It's the classic addition by subtraction.

Let me know your predictions.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Rocket gets grounded

As a fan who thinks Roger Clemens is almost certainly the best pitcher I'll see in my lifetime, but also thinks he is a colossal jerk...

What a grand stage- playing in front of all his fellow Texans, kids all over the place whose names start with K, the flag waving, his good buddy Piazza behind the plate... and he gets SHELLED!

Yeah, this is what makes the All Star game fun.

For the record, I'm a huge fan of making the games matter. I was getting turned off watching the players perform group hugs in the outfield with their pals and bringing their kids in the dugout. If you thought it was better before the decision to decide who gets home field advantage, well your crazy.

In fact, you are an idiot of the worst kind, a complete imbecile. You know nothing about baseball, and drive in front of me on the highway just to annoy me.

I'm just kidding, but I applaud Selig for making the change. I thought they should have done it when Safeco had the All Star game, we were just a couple of years too late. (However, I am in favor of a clause that says if the AL wins, then the Yanks have to start Jeff Weaver for all home games should they make the series.)

So it's hard for me to cheer for the AL knowing it will probably benefit the Yankees, but that's okay. I'm just hoping the Red Sox land Randy Johnson, and George is told by the M's front office, not to worry, because of his bad back and all...

God I wished Albert Pujols played for the M's... back to the game.

Oh, and congrats to the new home run champ

While most of us could give a rats-ass about the home run derby, it can't be lost on M's fans that Miguel Tejada would have looked awfully good last night in an M's uniform.

Let's see, who would you rather see at SS for the M's?

Miguel Tejada or Willie Bloomquist

Hmmm.... tough choice, but I'm leaning on Tejada.

Meanwhile, what kind of interest do you think the M's are earning on that Kaz refund?

What will the Yankees do?

With the second half of the season about to begin, it's clear the team is being built around Wee-Willie as our SS of the future.

Think about how stupid that statement is, but that's where we are right now. I can only hope the roster we are seeing right now is due to change REAL FAST, because it is hard to get excited about the product on the field right now.

So while the M's ponder how they assembled one of the worst teams in franchise history, the hot topic of late has been Randy Johnson.

As in, how will the Yankees get him. A month ago it seemed crazy to think Randy would be going anywhere- he is the most important baseball figure in Arizona's short history- 4 Cy Youngs, 1 World Series title. With the perfect game this year, he at least gave the fans there something to get excited about. And yet, the rumors persisted he might get moved, and now this weekend Randy made it official.

Personally I think it's crazy for Arizona to move a pitcher of Randy's caliber. As we know all to well here, pitchers like Randy don't come along often. And when you trade someone like him, you are guaranteed to never get equal value in return. But now that Randy has publicly stated he would be okay with moving if it helped the team, this thing will become THE story until the July deadline.

So with Arizona needing to dump salary, which team will land him? It would seem NY is the logical place, with George ready to get down on all fours and beg everyone else to let him have Randy. But NY is in an interesting place- they have nothing to trade but money. The farm system is barren, and it's not clear how many team are able to take on Randy's salary right now.

Just think if Boston lands him. Let's say Randy lands in Beantown and the Sox take the wild card. Can you imagine Pedro, Curt and Randy in the playoffs? I'll bet Theo can. Just the fear of such a possibility will cause George to go crazy!

How can you not love as a baseball fan all the intriguing subplots that will fire up over the next couple of weeks? All kinds of crazy trade scenarios will be rumored to be true, and players feelings will get hurt (awww...)

So while NY has no real prospects, Boston has a better chance of offering something of value. The problem for Boston is they have real money issues- unlike NY, they actually have a budget. This could be an area where the M's get involved as a sub-player in the Randy swirl. The M's are in a position to take on money THIS YEAR.

This makes them a pretty unique team- very few teams can take on a contract right now. If the M's are smart, they will insert themselves in the NY-Boston Randygate scenario and see if they can take advantage.

If the M's don't get aggressive, all they need to do is look at their new SS to motivate them.

Monday, July 12, 2004

While the M's ponder the second half of the season

It's clear the M's brass are sitting down right now and are about to make some key decisions. While we can speculate on what those decisions will be, that's all we are doing- speculating.

Who will be added to the 40 man roster? Has Meche been traded? Are the M's really going into the second half of the year with Willie as their SS? Are the M's serious about reducing Olerud's playing time? Will they sit Boone in the second half to keep him under 450 AB's? Will they steup up the effort to trade Boone?

I found it interesting Melvin indicates Leone will be playing 3rd base, not SS. So where does that leave our current 3rd baseman, and his 3-year contract?

Lots and lots of questions.


I'm guessing Boone's days are numbered. I know I have stated Boone's trade value is next to zero, and I still believe that. But if Cirillo can be traded, anyone can, so look for more Boone rumors to pop-up. The M's will throw money they have to make it happen.

I look for Olerud to sit on the bench more and more.

I look for Martinez retirement talks to heat up.

And I see the M's losing a ton of games the second half. Triple digit losses- catch the excitement.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

So we release our shortstop...

Okay, it's offical- Aurilia is no longer with the team: link

So tonight we have Willy starting at shortstop. In the announcement, Bavasi indicated more moves are yet to come.

Are the M's up to something interesting?

Is Nomar coming to Seattle?

It just doesn't make sense for the M's to dump their shortstop and not have a better plan than what we've seen. I doubt Nomar is involved, but things don't add up right now.


Friday, July 09, 2004

Melvin's use of Leone

Further adding doubt to releasing Aurilia and having a rookie play, here is Melvin's response per the seattle times and Leone:

Last night, Aurilia was at shortstop, and Justin Leone started at third base. Melvin said he would not "run Leone out there every day."

Further proof Melvin is an idiot. Let's see, the kids been playing baseball now his entire adult life, and Melvin figures pinch hits and occasional starts are the best way to see what this kid can do.

Can anyone explain why Melvin refuses to play Leone more often?

Any reason to believe M's will release Aurilia?

It really doesn't make any sense to release Aurilia right now. Sure, you clear up your roster spot for when Ibanez comes back, but who's your starting shortstop?

Santiago- done nothing this year to deserve the job
Bloomquist- same argument
Leone- needs to be playing 3rd

Now if Jose Lopez wasn't hurt, I'd agree you drop Aurilia and play him instead. But I'd rather have Aurilia than Santiago or Bloomquist. If it comes down to releasing Aurilia and Leone gets the SS job for the rest of the year, I'll take it, but its a curious move by the M's.

Remember how almost two months ago we heard the M's were ready to release Aurilia? Of course nothing happened, so I'll believe the latest rumor when it comes true.

Here's Rich's line so far:
.241 / .305 / .339 / .643
4 HR's, 28 RBI
Here's Olerud's:
.249 / .356 / .366 / .722
5 HR's, 22 RBI

Not sure why Aurilia suddenly deserves the Jarvis treatment, given he makes half as much money as Olerud and plays at a position the M's have far fewer options. It will be interesting to see what the M's FO does.

Meanwhile, last nights game was a new low, but we'll see plenty of those throughout the rest of the season. Franklin's stinks right now, and the M's bullpen is right with him.

There is no reason the M's should be this bad- they are no playoff team, but they also are not a 100 loss team either.

But that is what we are looking at. This team is completely leaderless right now- no inspiration from the team, or the manager.

I can't possibly see the team pulling out of this nosedive. Can you believe the Texas Rangers are leading the division, and the M's are this bad??

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Is Melvin losing this team?

We are hitting new lows this season, and last nights game looked dangerously like a team that is playing through the motions.

There will almost certainly be a scapegoat in this if the M's continue losing like this. If the M's players like Melvin as a manager, they'd better start playing harder or a change will need to be made.

+-- Nice to see Justin get a hit last night. Too bad he wasn't playing full time and had to come in as a pinch hitter.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Garcia would have stayed in Seattle

I've already been finding fans coming to the conclusion since Freddy signed with Chicago, that clearly meant he was not going to re-sign with the Mariners. Which means Bavasi made the right move by trading him.

This is stupid thinking of the worst kind.

Sure, he might not have, but you can't base it on the fact he signed with Chicago. Freddy signed a contract with Chicago because... <---- insert drumroll

Chicago offered him a contract!!

Freddy has been to arbitration with the M's because they wouldn't offer him a long term deal. So here comes Chicago with a contract in front of him and he signs it. Where's the big conspiracy folks?

If Freddy didn't want to sign with Seattle, there are plenty of good reasons. Lincoln, no contract offer, Lincoln, arbitration, Lincoln, Guillen shipped off, Lincoln, Jarvis coming in from the 'pen ...

But the biggest reason Garcia is gone is because the M's didn't want him. They had the money, he liked his teammates, he liked the city, he felt comfortable. Garcia could have been an M for life for all we know. The fact he accepted a 3 year deal is even more amazing- that fits right into the M's plan of not taking on big contracts.

It's a little like Randy Johnson. You can say he was leaving for Arizona, but you'll never know what would have happened if the M's FO made him feel important and ACTUALLY OFFERED HIM A CONTRACT.

He clearly wanted to be paid like his peers, and feel wanted.

Chicago made a contract offer.
Seattle did not make a contract offer.

To conclude he wanted out is simply silly.

Note- I'm not saying the M's shouldn't have traded Freddy. They really didn't have any choice, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Okay, I see it's official- Garcia signs

So Garcia signs with the Sox- espn link

I suppose if you don't like Freddy, then you think this is a terrible deal. If you think Freddy is a good pitcher, then you think it sounds pretty reasonable.

All in all, I'd say both the M's and Sox win. We get position players, the Sox get a pitcher who will be around next year.

Is this too much money for Freddy?

Well, I think we all agree Freddy is not a superstar pitcher- ala Randy Johnson, Pedro, Curt etc...

But then again, those types of pitchers make closer to $15 million.

So is Freddy a number 1 pitcher?

By definition there should be around 10 in the AL (several teams clearly don't have a number 1 type pitcher). So if you are one of the top ten pitchers in the AL, I think it is at least fair to mention you as a possible number one pitcher.

Per the espn story-

"He currently is fifth in the AL in baserunners per nine innings (10.99) and strikeouts, and sixth in ERA. Since the start of the 2001 season, Garcia ranks third in the AL with innings pitched (776.2), fifth in strikeouts (578) and eighth in wins (51)."

If Freddy was pitching for a good team this year, he'd likely be going to the All Star game.

Is it really so clear cut that Freddy is not a #1 pitcher for a lot of teams in baseball?

For the Yanks and Red Sox, he is not a number 1. But for plenty of teams, Freddy is just what they need, an innings eater who is durable and wins games.

In the weird world of baseball, this deal is very fair. To put it into perspective, he's making roughly what Olerud and Boone make.

We'll see if the M's regret trading Freddy in the years to come. We do know the M's never offered him 3 years at $27 million, and will never know if he would have taken it.

Did Garcia sign for 3/yr-$27 million?

Still waiting to see confirmation. If so, that is a very fair deal, and clearly shows Garcia was not interested in getting set for life with this contract ala. Alex or Carlos.

Regarding Olerud, I notice David at USS Mariner wonders why the resentment torwards our first baseman.

Certainly ball players making $7 million/yr are hard for most of us to relate to. And having a daughter with a physical ailment is one of the worst things any human being could go through. So wondering what one of us would do in the same situation is pretty difficult.

That said, we want our ball players to want to WIN. We also want our ball players to work in the offseason, and care about their performance. When we hear a player say losing isn't really that bad, as long as I collect my paycheck and get to be near my family, that's when we do a double-take and wonder what we are cheering exactly.

Are we cheering Olerud at Safeco because he's a good father? Do we boo Alex at Safeco because he likes to make a lot of money? Lots of interesting stuff here.

I like Olerud as a person, but I don't like the 40 RBI's he's going to collect. Not at $7.7 million a year.

If Jon is really that concerned with seeing his son off to school, or being there to help his daughter, then retire THIS YEAR. By definition baseball players are on the road all the time anyway, and I can guarantee you Jon's October is wide open this year...

If Jon signs a 2-year deal with some team on the East Coast next year it's going to be hard to forget the 2 months he wouldn't give up this year.

We'll find out in the off season just how important family really is to Jon.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Any interest in Nomar Garciaparra?

It's no secret Boston is looking to dump Nomar after his hissy-fit in the Yanks series last week.

Normally given our current situation, I would look forward to swapping players and it would make the season a little more interesting. However after seeing Nomar quit on his team, why would anyone want this guy?

It's even more unbelievable when you think Nomar pulled this stunt in a contract year. How much will this cost him- $10 million, $30 million?? Whatever it will be, it's a lot!

So I say pass unless Boston is willing to take on players we want to dump- Shiggy, Winn, Spiezio et al.


Regarding Olerud waiving his no trade clause....

It certainly is Jon's right to invoke it. It is in his contract, he wants to see his kids more often, he's a very nice person...

But its also true that Jon is terribly overpaid, and not performing to the level he expected to play when he signed the contract.

So if baseball is no longer the number 1 priority for Jon, and family is, then the M's have every right to sit his ass on the bench for the rest of season.

Where he can think about his kids, and not why he didn't swing at that pitch right down the middle.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Wow, Justin Leone called up

The M's are making so many logical moves lately, it's getting hard to keep track of them all.

This is a great move, and one we have been talking about for some time. Bring up your younger players and find out which ones fit into your future plans. Waiting for September is silly when you are 13 games under .500, so I'm glad to see the M's making wise decisions.

Now I just hope they bring up George as a reliever, and find a taker for Myers.

Let's see how Travis pitches today- 1st inning, 11 pitches, 3 batters faced.

Will the M's lose 100 games this year?

Texas is sure looking good this year. I am still amazed at their pitching, and I would have to say are the biggest surprise of the year.

Let's see, last night Freddy pitched poorly but got the win any way. Boston lost to NY again, and Clint pitched so poorly he was sent down afterward.

Oh yeah, and our new catcher had kidney stones removed.

Meanwhile, the M's are just getting embarrassed by good teams. Since it is highly unlikely this team will be scoring any runs this year, 100 losses seems like a distinct possibility. Will Boone and Olerud start hitting in the second half? Will it matter?

Finally, this team needs to send down Mateo, Putz or someone. Bring up Sherrill please. Let's try and reward good performance in the minors at least once this year, okay?

On that note, Travis Blackley represents the cream of the crop of our young starters (outside of Felix of course). If he pitches well, there is a good chance reloading is the correct prognosis for this team, instead of rebuilding.