Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hickey article

Todays PI has Offseason Analysis by John Hickey, and it's an interesting read. It contains some information we already knew, like the last minute plan on Zito, as well as some disturbing information... "Weaver and Batista were among the top six starters the Mariners targeted back in October, Bavasi said." Yikes.

The most fascinating part of the article to me was the additional money the Mariners used in landing Weaver. After Lugo and a few other questionable moves, it seemed the M's had used up most of the budget. The ability to add Weaver for over $8 million caught me by surprise.

It turned out the money was there all along, the team just hasn't been talking about it much.

According to Hickey, the Mariners landed a roughly $20 million windfall from the sale of the Nationals. This poses the following questions:
  • Why didn't writers like Hickey mention this money when the free agent period began? This should have been a key question when the M's were making budget plans for this year... i.e. What are you planning on doing with the money gained from the sale of the Nationals?
  • Was this money common knowledge, or were teams told to keep quiet on the sale. I have seen little-to-no mention of this during the offseason.
  • If each team pocketed this money, is anyone surprised at all salaries escalated they way they did? No wonder Meche received $55 million. To KC it probably felt more like the $35 million we thought he might receive.
  • How much of that $20 million has been spent? Is there any remaining for this years budget?
  • Why the foot dragging on the part of the M's FO to spend this money? It sounds like Zito was a last minute attempt that divided the FO- what was the alternative plan(s) discussed?
I think we have a pretty good idea the FO wanted to pocket that one-time windfall and further reduce the debt from the Kingdome era. It's too bad Hickey chose to gloss over this critical item. If the FO knew each team had $20 million laying around and they still misjudged the market, they are bigger idiots then we thought.