Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More Winter madness

Last winter we all remember the quote Bavasi made about being "surprised" regarding the free agent market. This despite the fact he knew full well each team had a huge check in their hands courtesy of the Nationals sale.

This market is shaping up to be a similar experience:

- Reports say the team offered 4 years at over $40 million to Kuroda. If true, I don't like this at all. While I don't claim to have watched him pitch, the market has made it clear he's a middle rotation pitcher at best in terms of expectations. This smacks of Washburn V2. We are hearing mixed reports, but the M's clearly have interest. If we find out Bavasi does cave and give 4 years we will hate the deal the moment it's signed.

- Guillen signing with the Royals. Bavasi screws up again. What else can be said? The team had the opportunity to obtain a high draft choice as compensation and literally threw it on the street. This team can talk all it wants about money being spent on scouting, player development and rebuilding of its farm system. All of this flies out the window when you literally throw away a pick due to irrational fears. This is one of the worst moves Bavasi has made in his career, and that's really saying something. Terrible, terrible move by the team.

- Santana out. We've talked about it before, but it's one thing for Baker to misread the market for Santana. It's something else if Bavasi does it. Reports from the meetings seem to indicate Bavasi actually thought he had a chance at acquiring the best pitcher in baseball. But once again, our fearless GM shows he's in over his head.

Did Bavasi really think Jones and Morrow + some combination was really going to be compelling? Remember, Jones is the player the team thinks so highly of they managed to get him at-bats roughly once a week this season, since he was blocked by the superstar duo of Ibanez and Vidro. The team completely mismanaged the playing time of Jones, which we've been over before. Perhaps if Jones had played regularly since June and posted some interesting numbers, the team could actually market a "proven" prospect. The advantage teams like Boston and NY have is the ability to showcase players who already have contributed on the big league level. Guys like Lester and Hughes have success to point to. The way the Mariners treated Jones (ride the pine while we try to win) and Morrow (try to throw strikes please) is not adding to their value.

I'm not saying other teams don't value Jones or Morrow. What I am saying is the Mariners hardly did themselves any favor in the way they have treated their top prospects. Jones has value DESPITE the teams playing mentality, and it's come back to hurt them in a way they never imagined.

So far this winter meeting is proving yet again why Bavasi is not a competent GM.