Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The ridiculous situation with Brandon Morrow

The Times today talks about Morrow and his role to the team- link. Most of the blogs have been following this story for some time, and the mainstream media occasionally picks up on it as a feel-good piece.

And in general, none of us need to feel sorry for Morrow. He is a young athlete getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw a ball. On the scale of things-we-need-to-care-about, we all agree this doesn't register.

But we are Mariner fans, and this is a Mariner blog. The value Morrow has as a #5 pick in the draft matters because we want the team to win. And the team is criminally misusing Morrow.

Let's think about this for a second. If Morrow had been allowed to spend last year in AAA like many of us argued, he just might have been ready to start this spring. In which case the team didn't need to spend $48 million on Silva. Or could have traded Washburn.

You could very easily argue the team was so desperate for wins last year that the set-back to Morrow is costing the team millions and millions of dollars. Was 88 wins that important to the franchise they are willing to sacrifice the long term good of the team? To Bavasi the answer is obvious.

It's the classic short term solution costing you more money in the long run. It's a band aid when major surgery is needed. If you don't get your teeth cleaned eventually they fall out and you have to buy dentures, cleaners etc... You were better off investing in the health of your teeth.

The Mariners were so desperate to win last year they went for the quick fix and allowed a young, wild pitcher they have spent millions on to sit in the bullpen.

From the article-
"Manager John McLaren admits the Mariners have pondered the past few months whether Morrow would be better off in the minors, developing as a starter."

Does the team really need to ponder this?

Does Mike Hargrove fret over using Seneca Wallace as his punt returner? No, because he understands the value of having a healthy backup for his quarterback if/when he needs him. It's an easy decision. He can find punt returners, but a QB is simply too valuable and the reward wouldn't be worth it.

In the same way, the team wonders if Morrow is more valuable as a set-up man or as a starter.

How often does a set-up man get a $48 million contract? How often does a team give up 5 players for an 8th inning set up man?

The Mariners think this is hard decision. A tough question.

I don't agree, and I suspect most FO people will privately tell you this is a mistake.