Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Ouch- M's eliminated from postseason in '05?

With the terrible news tonight that Soriano and Guardado are both out with season ending surgery, the M's are now facing a perfect storm in the bullpen.

Starting the season, the M's figured to have one of the strongest bullpens in baseball. Just looking at closer options, the M's counted on-

Option 1- Guardado
Option 2- Soriano
Option 3- Hasagawa

With options 1 and 2 out until basically 2006, and Shiggy becoming one of the worst relievers in all of baseball, the M's strength suddenly turned into a terrible, sucking chest wound.

The M's are now faced with having to completely rebuild their bullpen over the offseason, which will put considerable strain on a budget that seemingly grows smaller by the minute. The M's have so many holes to fill next year the likelihood of bringing in big name free agents with names like Glaus or Beltran seem more and more unlikely. Plus, even if they do sign a big name free agent, it's going to take a lot more than one to make a difference in this division.

I advocated earlier this year for the M's to trade Guardado. It didn't make sense to me to keep one of your most tradeable commodities in a season going nowhere. With so few players on the roster that were actually tradeable, Guardado was an incredibly rare player for the M's. I won't second guess the M's here, for they had no way to know he was going to blow out his shoulder, but this problem is precisely why you trade relievers when your season is going down the tubes. They can't help your team in the standings, and you can get stuck with dead weight on your payroll next year when you are trying to rebuild. Look for this to be reason #407 why the M's payroll next year will be smaller than we have been led to believe. Bavasi is learning on the job, just like Melvin.

Unless the M's get unbelievably lucky next year (ie. career years by everyone), they won't need to bother firing Melvin this off-season.

It won't matter who the manager is next year- the M's hole is that deep right now.