Mariners Analysis

Friday, August 20, 2004

M's face former SS, AL West race nears homestretch

The M's are in Motown today and we watch Ron Villone attempt to regain some of the money he threw around last weekend. A pessimist might say its actually in the M's best interests if Villone falls down again, because it might make the FO less likely to re-sign him to a ridiculous deal.

If the M's were smart, they would let Villone play out the year and let him shop himself over the offseason. They would tell him to get back with them with the best deal he could find and then the M's could choose to match it. There is little chance teams are going to go crazy signing a guy like Villone, and no way do you bother with more than a one-year deal. I'm quite certain that Villone would take an equivalent deal from the M's to stay here. By offering him a contract now, you are taking on risk for a guy getting on in years. If by chance he did sign elsewhere there are plenty of options within the organization who can fill a similiar role (RF?) so there seems to be little upside to signing him now.

Regardless, Villone will be trying very, very hard tonight to pitch well.

As for our good friend Carlos Guillen, he has cooled off a bit lately.

Last seven days-
.231 / .310 / .423 / .733

Still, his overall numbers are great and he will have fine season that created a nice three-year deal he would have never gotten from the M's.

Freddy and Carlos both benefited from getting out of Seattle. A little sad really.


I am tempted to go out on a limb and say the Anaheim Angels will win the West. They are really heating up and look to be the most balanced team of the three contenders. I am still amazed Texas is hanging in there, as you would think their pitching would have melted by now. With Boston playing well lately, we have 4 teams competing for 2 spots. I'm picking Boston and Anaheim, but then I look at Oakland's starting pitching and wonder how they could be left out.

Man, the M's could have been in the thick of one of the most exciting playoff races we've seen in a long time. We could have had 5 teams competing for 2 spots, and could marvel at Ichiro while checking the box scores practically hourly during September.

Instead, we only look at the standings to see how the race for Upton is shaping up.