Mariners Analysis

Friday, July 29, 2005

M's holding on to players till the last minute

It might not be until Sunday at the deadline before we know who is going where. And we know SOMEONE will be traded this weekend. Somebody who has an M's uniform tonight is not going to be here next Monday. That much is certain.

Bavasi has shown he is not afraid to make a trade. The M's have a cushion to add payroll, and have shown they are not afraid to make touch choices (Olerud, Boone etc...) So the question is, who goes where?

By waiting until the last minute, Bavasi risks other clubs making moves now rather than risk being left out Sunday. We have already seen the Yankees acquire a starting pitcher, and more moves will be made today and tomorrow. It's a risky move for Bavasi- wait too long, and you are the only dance partner left.

I won't even address what should happen if no moves are made. I'll prefer to not think about that possibility.

I hope Monday is about welcoming our new players aboard.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Boone struggling

With all the talk about Boone needing a change of scenery, the plain fact of the matter is Boone is finished as an elite player. Heck, perhaps even as a player.

He's hitting .195 and displaying the bad hands on defense we've seen the past two years. Easy balls are misplayed, and his lack of average and power make him a liability for any club hoping to make the post season.

It's possible Boone could be cut, since the M's are paying his salarly for the rest of the year anyway.

I hope he picks it up and he is able to stay with the Twins. It's not the way you want to see a guy like Boone end his career.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Winn only has value at trade deadline

If you think Winn is a redundant piece on this team, then you'd better hope Bavasi trades him now. Otherwise, the odds plummet on actually getting something in return this winter.

Winn has known problems as an outfielder. He doesn't hit for power. His arm is weak. He is at best a decent defensive CF, and has been known to take strange paths to the ball. It is unlikely a GM will be rebuilding his team this offseason and thinks Winn is the finaly piece of the puzzle. It is HIGHLY unlikely an offseason trade results in quality prospects back for Winn.

However, when a team is in a pennant race, all bets are off. Is Winn better than Bernie in CF if you are the Yankees? Of course. Is Winn able to fill in while a star outfielder is nursing an injury? Absolutely.

So if the M's are going to get anything of value for Winn, they'd better trade him now. It's simple. Winn in summer = hot. Winn in winter = cold.

I hope Bavasi can remember that.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Any interest in Odalis Perez?

During the offseason, many M's fans wanted to see Bavasi go after Perez. It was thought he would flourish in Safeco, and help solidify the starting rotation. After Bavasi blew his wad on Beltre and Sexson, Perez ended up signing with the Dodgers.

With the Dodgers sinking fast in the horrific NL West, Perez is on the market. He of the 5.06 ERA. There is a chance he could benefit from a change of scenery, but there is a better chance he will never earn the $8 mil/year he is making.

I have no doubt Bavasi won't be interested, but I also know Bavasi is going to have to DO SOMETHING to re-architect this team. Signing free agent pitchers this offseason is not going to be enough.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Trade Winn now

We are hearing the Yankees might be interested in acquiring Randy Winn. I have talked about trading Winn to the Yanks for over a month now.

Bavasi should already have his price established. If NY wants Winn, they should already know what it is going to take to get him. Why aren't we hearing the names being bantered about?

If Winn has trade value, he must be shipped. He is blocking Doyle, and he is an older version of Reed. He is a nice to have 4th outfielder on this team, but can be useful in restocking the farm system.

Trade him now.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Meche on the trading block?

I don't know how many of you heard Jason Stark this morning on KJR, but he did mention Meche's name is coming up in trade talks. Once Burnett's status is resolved, Jason indicated Meche's name will come to the forefront of trade talks.

With so many teams still in the hunt for a postseason berth (sigh) pitching will always have value at the deadline. The fact Gil posted his 10th win yesterday might get some GM to give up more than he should.

It is good to know Bavasi is floating names and trying to evaluate the market for his players. It's what good GM's do, and along with Boone's DFA is a sign the M's FO "gets it."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Expect AL to win tonight

After the joke of an All Star game we saw in Milwaukee a few years back, predicting a winner in tonights All Star game would seem foolish. However, with Bud putting the focus back on winning, I would expect the talent to shine through and see the AL get home field advantage again this year.

As the M's saw this year, the NL is really weak- you would much rather play the Padres, Dodgers, Rockies, Reds, Brewers, Mets etc... then flawed but dangerous teams in the AL like Cleveland, Toronto, Oakland...

Besides the Cardinals, is there any team in the NL that is actually good? That boasts a complete lineup and is build for the post season? I haven't seen it.

So I'll have fun watching the game, and expect to see an AL winner. But of course with all the crazy roster decisions by the likes of Francona and LaRussa, know that just about anything can happen.

That makes it worth watching too.

Friday, July 08, 2005

What is the plan for Miguel Olivo?

I don't really question the M's daily moves too much. If there is a player that I think should be traded, I will say so. If there is a player I think they should acquire, or a trade they shouldn't have made, I have no problem giving my opinion. But most of the day to day stuff I leave to Hargrove and Bavasi. I'm not going to pretend to know the ins and outs of the club and every one of its players.

However, for the life of me, I cannot figure out what the heck the M's are thinking when it comes to Olivo.

He originally was the prized talent acquired when the M's dumped Garcia. He was an everyday catcher who had a great arm and would replace the aging Wilson. It was fairly hard to get too worked up over losing Garcia when you had a starting CF in Reed and an everday catcher in Olivo.

We all know of course that Olivo has struggled mightily since joining the M's. In fact, struggling isn't a strong enough word. In terms of hitting, you really couldn't do much worse than Olivo has done. Rick Ankiel could hit better than Olivo right now. He is hitting at a level you expect pitchers to hit in the NL. He is an automatic out roughly 17 out of 20 times he comes to the plate. He is a black hole who gives the other team only 23 outs they need to worry about, and on top of that he can't catch either!!

I fully supported the M's when sent Olivo down. I think he should have stayed down until he figured something out, or the M's traded him. It seemed simple enough. Heck Rivera, who is on the 40 man roster was FAR outperforming Olivo, regardless of what you thought of Rivera as a catcher.

So when the M's decided to bring Olivo up, only to sit on the bench and back up a 42 year old Crash Davis, what is the plan?? I just don't see how this is helping the M's, Olivo, Rivera or anyone else for that matter.

Having Olivo sit on the bench, not playing, not getting better, is just plain idiotic. It is unexplainable, indefensible- heck, I feel like Jesse Jackson here- just plain dumb.

Can anyone else explain the plan for Olivo, and how he will become a better catcher?

Right now, I think Hargrove and Bavasi are making a big mistake with the way they are handling his career.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hard to believe Podsednik is an All Star

Another former M makes it the All Star team. Ha!

Who would have ever thought Scott Podsednik would be named to an All Star team, and had to beat Derek Jeter at that. There is simply no logical explanation as to how the voters picked Podsednik over Jeter, other than simply most of the US is sick of the Yankees.

I mean Jeter is such an easy call over Podsednik that it is not even close. Podsednik has ZERO power (the M's FO probably covets him now) and is a singles hitter who steals. Jeter has the name recognition, higher average, hits for power, more runs... it is hard to construct an argument at all for Podsednik.

With the White Sox having such a nice season, and the Yankees underperforming like no other $200 million team ever has, I am glad for Scott.

But there is no way he is an All Star caliber player.

Possible problem with trading Eddie to Boston?

I didn't realize Eddie had a no-trade clause in his contract that includes Boston- link

This would be one of those crazy business decisions that only makes sense to Eddie and his accountant. You would think Eddie would jump at the chance to pitch in Fenway, in a playoff race, with a huge crowd on hand every night.

Instead, he is more worried about incentives in his contract. Apparently KC would be a better fit for Eddie, since he can earn a few more dollars. (<-- insert sarcasm)

I'm sure if Boston really wanted him, they can agree to rework the deal so he reaches the incentives, or they guarantee they pick up next years option.

Regardless, I can't believe a guy like Eddie would actually turn down an offer to pitch for the Red Sox.

M's at low point, with plenty more to come

It's hard to say losing 2 of 3 to one of the worst teams in baseball is a low point, because there will be plenty more. The M's will get swept by some good teams, they will get hammered by some decent teams, they will look lackluster against some bad teams. The point is this team is not going to turn it around like the A's seem to be doing, and what we say with Bret Boone is only the beginning.

So what will Bavasi do next? That is the big question, because for most of this season Hargrove has been running the same starters out there, with mostly the same hitters, and we see where that has got us.

The blog community has been calling for action for some time now. We don't see why Winn is on the team. We don't see why a last place team needs an effective closer with a serious shoulder tear when they have Putz and Soriano for the future. There are a number of moves that can and should be made. We should all be surprised if Eddie, Villone and Winn are still on this team at the end of the month.

The problem for Bavasi of course is how to put a good spin on 2006. Your starting pitching for next year is unbelievably uninispiring, and your lack of power is still evident. There simply isn't enough in the minors to make anyone think next year will be any different, King Felix or not.

The M's have never been very active at the trading deadline. This year, it seems to me, must be different. Bavasi needs to seriously upgrade his farm system, ala Billy Beane. As much as it pains him, every player on this suckfest of a team should be made available for trade, with the exception of Ichiro.

If Baltimore will give up good prospects for Meche, do it. If Piniero will bring something of value to a desperate team, do it! If Mark Mulder can be traded, is there a starting pitcher on this team that should be considered untouchable?

I really believe this next month will have an impact on 2006.

For better or worse.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Do M's realize trade value in Eddie?

The interest in "Every Day Eddie" is really starting to heat up. I see his name mentioned in literally dozens of newspapers across the country as baseball fans with bullpen trouble begin daydreaming about ways to get into the postseason.

Nobody knows more about the heartbreak that comes from blowing late leads than Mariner fans. There is little more demoralizing to a team then to have your bullpen blow lead after lead in the 8th and 9th innings. It is very difficult to get in the postseason without a good bullpen, and it is just about impossible to win the WS w/o one.

So the M's have actually been really lucky with regards to Eddie. No one had any idea at the beginning of the season if he could even make it through the season, much less be great.

No, make that better than great. Eddie has been the only "star" on this team all season. Not many relievers have first half numbers with 1.5 ERA's and only one blown save. You could argue he is the M's MVP this year.

The FO should really consider themselves lucky. Here is a guy you hoped you could get a decent, heathly year from, and instead he is posting obscene numbers. The kind of numbers that get clubs like the Nationals and Red Sox interested.

The M's have HUGE holes to fill in their rotation next year. They have HUGE holes to fill in their power-deprived lineup. The only way to get better right now is to make a trade, and Eddie is perhaps your most tradeable asset.

I hope the M's FO realizes how lucky they are to have Eddie available right now, and they are doing everything they can to maximize his trade value.

Eddie is a key to rebuilding this overpaid, underperforming team.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Trade Eddie to Red Sox

Not sure if the Red Sox are in panic mode or not, but with the Yankees only 4 games back and Foulke looking awful, our own Every-Day-Eddie would sure look good to Sox fans.

Bavasi has a couple of things going for him here. First, the Red Sox have a nice farm system, and getting value back would not be a problem. Second, the Sox can take on salary and won't be put off by his option next year. Third, Theo HAS to address the problem on way or another.

Not sure if Bavasi can get a deal done, but he should be trying. This would really help both teams.

What to do with Snelling?

With Chris on the club, Hargrove has some decisions to make. Do you sit Winn, or just juggle the lineup and try and get guys as many at-bats as possible?

It is obvious to everyone that Winn/Reed/Ichiro/Snelling are in some ways the same ballplayer. They don't hit with any power, don't walk much, and basically rely on singles and doubles to move around the bases. Unfortunately for the M's, the lack of power throughout the lineup makes it hard to carry 4 players who have to string together hits to score a run.

It is also obvious to everyone that Winn is the odd man out. Of course trading Ichiro is silly, Reed is cheap and is actually playing good CF defense, and Snelling has no trade value. So Bavasi we presume is on the phone trying to work a trade.

The problem with that scenario is that it's hard to trade a guy you aren't playing everyday. If Hargrove plays Snelling and Winn sits on the bench, that doesn't really increase what you get for Winn. Likewise, if you play Winn and Snelling sits on the bench, what's the point of bringing up Snelling, who clearly needs heathly at-bats?

A possible conclusion to be drawn from this is that Bavasi has tried to trade Winn, and has found is value on the market to be so slight, it doesn't matter if he is playing or not.

That is the most likely scenario. We should be surprised if anything of value is generated in a Winn trade.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Thoughts on Boone DFA

If you've read this blog, you know I have long questioned the sanity of a team giving up something for Boone. Look back last year and I basically laughed at even the suggestion a GM would give anything of value for a guy in his declining years with a huge salary. The M's gambled on Boone, and it didn't pay off.

The DFA is not a surprise in the sense that this gives the M's the chance to see if ANYONE is willing to pay part of his salary. The good news is that the M's actually did this. To have a player as popular as Boone and just out right release him is pretty shocking, and a good move by Bavasi. Boone is not in a "slump" and he is not going to break out of it. The youth movement needs to happen, and having guys like Boone wasting at-bats wasn't helping.

It is curious that Lopez was just sent down, then almost immediately brought back up. It makes you wonder when this was planned, and for how long. This seems like a recent change of heart by Bavasi, so lets see if the beat writers can give us some insight into the thought process behind the move.

From a personal standpoint, I like Bret Boone. He is fun guy to root for, and I wish he had been more productive. However given his declining production, he is this years Olerud.

I hope things work out buddy. Good luck wherever you go.