Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Slow part of the off season

The M's haven't made any moves, or even really hinted at one, so we are all left waiting, wishing and wondering.

Two things pop to mind.

First, be glad the Angels signed Hunter. It makes them better in the short term, but hurts them in the long run. If you don't understand why this is good for the Mariners, you will eventually.

(This assumes of course there isn't some mystery move about to happen that ties it all up in a neat package. But even with Cabrera added, there is no way this is a good idea to build a club.)

For those that still think Hunter is a great move by Anaheim, consider this. The Mariners signed Sexson who had one decent year followed by a great one. Since then he's become this untradeable anchor who kills the team financially as well as at the plate. The Angels are making a run on Sexson's right now. They have Anderson, Mathews and now Hunter who will all fall in to the "untradeable" category soon after inking their deal. They are good players getting paid like great players. That is not the long term recipe for building a franchise.

Put another way, the Angels got better with Hunter than without. But the real point is they could have been significantly better using that money elsewhere. Signing a player worth $.75 for a dollar is not something anyone other than the Yankees can get away with long term. (See Bavasi as an example)

The second thing that comes to mind is Santana. This is like trading for A-Rod or Griffey. You know local writers will bring it up, even though there is no way it will happen.

Let me say it for the thousandth time. The Twins don't want our prospects. Sure we have some prospects to trade. There are other teams with far better prospects. Why would the Twins want our players then?

Answer- they wouldn't. The trade for Santana crowd far overestimates our own prospects while downplaying other teams players.

And what about the question of why Santana would sign here?

Think about it. The Mariners haven't been to the playoffs in years. But the best pitcher in baseball is supposed to sign here? What for? Why would Santana pick Seattle unless they vastly overpay what any other team is willing to do?

For the Mariners to get Santana would take us throwing every prospect in the farm system (quantity over other teams quality) and then throwing huge sums of money beyond what anyone else will offer.

Does that sound like a good idea to run a franchise?

People who write about acquiring Santana really need to stop and think about what they are proposing. It's barely above the Bloomquist-for-Pujols type of fantasy we often see among the most casual of fans.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fascinating story about A-Rod

By now most baseball fans have heard the story- Alex has gone around Boras and requested a meeting with the team w/o his agent present. Even the NY Times is reporting what started as rumors, so it appears to have legs.

By tomorrow I am certain writers will be writing this situation is not w/o precedent. Remember when Alex went around Boras and signed with the Mariners? Scott was so upset he sued to try and get out of it, but the Mariners ended up getting A-Rod to play against the advice of his agent (who felt he took a way-below-market deal by signing).

You would think A-Rod would learn- when you have hundreds of millions of dollars already, your integrity and reputation matter. While I would do all sorts of unthinkable things for a million dollars, Alex doesn't have to. His handling of the contract issue has been awful and it sounds like he's coming to his senses.

A-Rod has gone against the advice of Boras before and it worked out well. Looks like history might be repeating itself.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

HoRam in '08

Many fans and writers left the final game of the 2007 season certain they would never see Horacio Ramirez in a Mariner uniform again. His performance as one of the worst pitchers in all of baseball was the reasoning, and a change of scenery would probably benefit both parties.

Of course we know there is a lot of politics involved with Ramirez. You gave up one of the best set-up man in baseball for him so the club is going to be reluctant to jettison him. But surely, fans reasoned, the ultimate question is still "can he get hitters out." The answer based on 2007 was pretty clear- no.

But we know the Mariners are a flawed team. The first step in recovery from any malady is first recognizing/admitting there is a problem. The process and people that made the trade for Ramirez is the problem and we have seen no evidence any significant changes have occurred since.

Basically the Mariners screwed up when the traded for Ramirez, and we have no reason to believe they are any different a year later.

Don't we have to assume Ramirez is back next year until we hear otherwise?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fascinating to see A-Rod situation play out

Everyone agrees Alex Rodriguez sent a giant "F*ck You" to the Yankees. If money is his true objective it made sense to at least listen to the team proposal and then shop it, using the ten days allowed in the contract to drive up the price. This would allow him to get a huge pay day and control where he landed, while at the same time giving him a good deal of time to plan for next season (new house etc...).

Instead, Alex basically burned any remaining bridge with the richest team in sports by not even listening to their offer. (We might also add he pissed off most of baseball with his timing.)

The only thing we can conclude are two possibilities:
- He already has an offer better than anything the Yankees might deliver
- He did not want to remain a Yankee

That's it. Nothing else would make any sense.

There is a chance baseball is repulsed by the Boras process and no one steps forward and offers him the $350+ million he is looking for. But it seems unlikely Boras would stake his reputation on such a highly visible client. It's one thing if Damon never got his 5 years. It's another if Alex is reduced to accepting a contact less than advertised. This is a landmark moment for A-Rod, Scott Boras and baseball.