Dumping Cirillo and signing Randa… sounds like throwing good money after bad to me.
I like the M’s approach with Lee, as outlined by Derek below, even though it means they probably have very little chance of signing him.
Isn’t there a top-notch Korean outfielder on the free agent market as well?
Update: Looking around just now, I think I’m talking about Shim Jong-soo, although it appears he’s not headed for MLB as of yet.
Also, what’s up with the talk that the M’s are going to release Cirillo and go after FA Joe Randa? What’s the point? The difference between the two taken as a whole is one, maybe two games a year. While I understand the reasoning behind regarding Cirillo a sunk cost, if the M’s spend a couple million on Randa that could have gone to Matsui, or towards Vlad, I’m going to tear my hair out.
Peter Gammons reports that Bavasi went to LA to see about “both Kaz Matsui and Korean first baseman Seung-Yeop Lee.”
The Korea Times reports the M’s have made an offer, though at less than $1m/year. Lee is 27, hit 56 home runs last year. Further:
Lee, who hit an Asian record 56 homers this season, told reporters that he liked the Dodgersâ€™ family-like atmosphere after meeting the teamâ€™s vice president Tommy Lasorda and general manager Don Evans with his agent John Kim.
“I feel like Iâ€™ve been here before although I am here for the first time,â€™â€™ Lee said. “The atmosphere was much better than with the Mariners. I want to play for the Dodgers.â€™â€™
And in the Seattle Times, Roger Jongewaard : ““Weâ€™d probably send him to Triple-A to see if he is the real deal.â€™â€™
For the M’s it looks like they would throw him in the minors, give him a year, and if he’s ready they’d plug him in at first in 2005 after Olerud moves on… and if he washes out, they hit the free agent market.