Also, I’m starting to finally assemble M’s links on the left-hand sidebar. I’m going alphabetically for now, corporate and then personal, but knowing me I’m going to spend a couple hours coming up with some kind of super-complicated formula to rank them like
content quality rating * content frequency = utility ranking
And then forget to ever update it.
One of the things I realized last night is that the Ibanez signing means that the Mariners have now blocked Chris Snelling, Official Mariners Prospect of the U.S.S. Mariner. Snelling’s a left-fielder, and with Ibanez inked to a needlessly long and lucrative (for Ibanez) contract, the only position that’s likely to be open for the team is wherever Ichiro’s not playing, be that center or right. Jamal Strong (who I also like but is Ichiro – the occasional power) can play center passably, but he’s no Mike Cameron. I’ve always seen Strong as a cool 4th OF type, who can play some defense and get on-base, useful for subbing in regularly, but he’s not a future superstar because he doesn’t have any power.
Not only was the Ibanez signing too long, for too much, it blocks the Mariners from finding playing time for their only high-level outfield prospect with any significant upside. The Ibanez signing was an awful, awful move by this franchise. Even if you believe that Snelling will never be healthy, it’s a terrible signing, and if you think there’s a chance he could spend a year in Tacoma, stay healthy, and be ready to contribute mid-2004 or in 2005, this becomes even worse.
Here’s my hope for salvaging something at this point:
Ibanez plays left and some first base for the first year of his contract, shocks me and everyone else by being worth his deal, and then Olerud retires and Ibanez moves to first where he’s also worth his contract, and a titanium-reinforced Snelling plays everyday in left-field. Strong’s the super-sub outfielder.
And while I’m at it, the team lets Guillen walk, signs Matsui to play short. They go into spring training with Leone at third, Bloomquist as the infield super-sub. They outright Cirillo to the minors (so if anyone wants his contract they can claim him, and if they don’t and Cirillo wants to play in the majors, he can talk to the M’s about settling the remainder of his contract or he’ll be the best-paid minor league third baseman in the PCL), and maybe wiggle out of that one.