Mariners Analysis

Friday, December 12, 2008

Raul gone

Thank goodness we don't have to hear people gush over Mr. Professional anymore. The guy Lou couldn't find playing time for and who quietly left for KC before finding success is now back in the NL.

A 36 year old who already can't play defense is going to the NL on a 3 year deal!

(I had to type it because it just doesn't seem real reading it.)

Seriously, this is one of the dumber contracts we'll see this year. Imagine if Griffey signs a 3 year deal with a NL club. Not going to happen, but its about as logical as having Raul play the field for the next 3 years.

Raul is coming off a really nice season offensively, on a really bad team that played for nothing except possibly avoiding 100 losses (which they didn't). However, his defense is terrible, as most upper-30's guys experience. He is the poster child for the AL. Too old to play the field, but has a decent bat.

Put him at DH, maybe play the field in a pinch. Instead he goes to the NL where they can't hide his glove. Did we also mention he can't hit lefties?

So let's summarize. The defending WS champs signed a guy who can't play defense, can't hit lefties and will be 39 before its over. He can't steal bases, has a weak arm and is going to a team that really needed a right-handed bat to balance the lineup.

My prediction. Raul never sees that 3rd year in a Phillies uniform. He'll get traded to the AL before his 3 years are up, where he belongs.

I like Raul and wish him all the best. But players need to be in the right situation to be successful. Raul belongs on an AL club, not Philadelphia. This may not end well at all. Let's see if Phillie fans get their money's worth (they'll have no problem telling you if they don't)!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Quick thoughts on trade

We finally have a major move to judge Zduriencik and the early signs are incredibly promising:
  • He realizes 100 loss teams don't need to worry about their closer, and sells high. Sounds simple, but not every team believes this no matter how obvious.
  • He saw the same thing I saw with JJ. A guy who put an incredible 2007 together that frankly is something we should never expect to see again. JJ far exceeded what we ever could have expected to get from him as a closer, and he sells a year early instead of a year too late. Combined with the injury and declining fastball, he gets rid of Putz at the right time.
  • The importance of defense. This is the biggest story by far in the trade. Instead of the old way of looking at baseball-card stats and ignoring defense, we have a real GM. Would the Mariners of the past 8 years ever make this trade? No way. We have real GM. Let that sink in.
  • He assembles talent, and let's his manager and staff provide input on how they will make it work. Rather than say "Player X is our new left fielder" he understands words like "platoon" or "earn" are not bad. If Wlad wants to play in the outfield, he needs to show he belongs. This is light years ahead of last year when Bedard is suddenly announced as the opening day starter before spring training begins. Players will have to perform and I love to hear that. A far cry from what we've seen the previous years under Hargrove and Bavasi.
Way to go Jack. I know you're not done, and I hope you don't screw up the Morrow situation.

Sign Fields.

Keep Morrow in the rotation, sending him to AAA if you have too.

Find some more baseball players and tell me Yuni is no longer our opening day SS and I'm ready for opening day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Simple test

If you think the Russell Branyan signing is bad, you probably wish the M's signed Griffey instead.

Which means you're:
  1. Not capable of making baseball decisions based on logic
  2. A casual fan who doesn't really care if the team wins
  3. An idiot
Most will fall in some combination of the three.

The first player signing by Jack and he gets a healthy round of applause. Picks up a useful bat for little money on a likely one-year deal. If you think Branyan is simply a new version of Brad Wilkerson, you need to take the test again.

Monday, December 01, 2008

And just like that...

The M's offer arbitration to Raul.

It was an easy decision, but after the Guillen debacle still gave reason for concern.

Further proof this Jack guy might be all right...

Surely they offer arbitration to Raul ,right?

How could they possibly spin this if they don't? We don't even offer arbitration to our best hitter because we are afraid he might want to come back? For ONE YEAR?

There is literally zero chance of having a doomsday scenario where the M's get burned. In the unlikely event he accepts, you get your new DH on a one year contract who can be traded at the deadline in a heartbeat

In the event he signs elsewhere, you get draft picks.

An early test for Jack, and would raise immediate concerns if he blows it.