So… we know Olerud can’t hit lefties (.707 OPS the last three years). Ibanez, who at this point appears to be the only player the M’s will sign this winter, can’t either (.693 OPS the last three years). Carlos Guillen, who now looks like the team’s opening day shortstop (barring injuries, of course), checks in at .691 over the same period. And now we’re looking to both add Scott Spiezio (you’ve seen the numbers) and subtract Greg Colbrunn (.969 over the same period)? I don’t get it. It’s almost as if they’re attempting to construct the roster without actually looking at what they already have (or already lack, as the case may be).
Also, I hope people aren’t going to get too upset about this Miguel Tejada thing. Yeah, it would have been nice if he had signed here, but let’s be honest — the O’s blew the M’s offer out of the water. I’m not talking about the initial three-year, $25M offer, either, but rather the recently confirmed five-year, $45M offer. As much as the M’s need a bat, I’m glad they didn’t try to top Baltimore’s extremely generous offer.
I’m a firm believer that a GM should be evaluated on the players he attempts to acquire, and not just the ones he convinces to put their name on the dotted line. While people consistently point out Gillick’s free agent record, they never mention that he also made serious runs at lemons like Roger Cedeno and Jose Contreras. So, while some may perceive it as jumping the gun, let me throw another stone at Bill Bavasi, as word has come tonight that the Mariners have made an offer to Scott Spiezio. Now, usually, I’ll link to a players page at baseball-reference.com, but if you follow the link, you will notice it takes you to Scott Spiezio’s splits at ESPN.com. Why the change?
Vs Left: .223/.282/.338
Vs Right: .282/.344/.499
Ye gads. With Raul Ibanez and John Olerud already penciled in as everyday players who cannot hit lefties and the Mariners attempting to give away Greg Colbrunn, whose only job is to hit against lefties, the last thing the Mariners need is another player who can’t hit southpaws.
Now, Spiezio’s a decent enough player, a nice bat off the bench, and a good fit for a team who wanted to build a cheap platoon at first base (with, say, someone like Greg Colbrunn). But the M’s want him to be their everyday third baseman, and thats just not realistic. He posted a .326 on base percentage last year, is 31 years old, and is a below average defensive 3B. If you asked me who I thought was a better bet for success in 2004 between Spiezio and Justin Leone, I’d probably call it a coin flip. Toss in the salary differences, and its Leone in a landslide.
The philosophy of throwing a little bit of money at a lot of players is downright stupid. Until the organization learns the value of replacement level talent, we’ll be consistently outgunned in the AL West.
Now, Jason, I don’t disagree with you, but those are the exact same comments I made last year when the Marlins “foolishly” threw $10 million at Ivan Rodriguez, and then echoed when they wasted a good prospect in a trade for Ugueth Urbina. I mean, its not like they were world series contenders or anything… Moral of the story is that improving your team by adding good players is rarely a bad idea. In the case of Tejada’s contract, it could hamstring them in years 3-5 when he’s not worth the money he’s pulling in, but adding 15 wins to their roster makes them a playoff contender.
Also, I’m going to go pull up a dead horse and beat him again, since he is now relevant.
Jose Cruz Jr isn’t a great player. He is, however, better than Raul Ibanez, two years younger, did not cost the Tampa Bay Devil Rays a draft pick, can play center field, does not require a platoon partner, and signed through his 30-31 years instead of his 32-34 years. When you’re getting outsmarted by Chuck LaMar, well, its bad times.
OK, so you’re the Orioles, and you now have Miguel Tejada. Let’s say you get Vlad and Pudge too. Good for you. Here’s my question — even with those three additions, are you a better team than either Boston or New York? No, I don’t think so. I know these signings aren’t just a one year proposition, and of course they’ll make the Orioles a better team, but right now I’m not sure how much sense it makes to break the bank in that division.
Well, not to be outdone, the Mariners have signed a shortstop. Carlos Guillen re-signed with the M’s for $2.5 million and incentives that could push it to $3.4 million. With Tejada off the market, it now possible that Glass could be the M’s starting shortstop in 2004 after all.
Rumor has the Orioles announcing the signings of Vladimir Guerrero and Ivan Rodriguez later tonight. If true, well, crap.
Well, you can cross Miguel Tejada off the list. The shortstop is going to Baltimore for 6 years and $72 million. While I was glad to see the M’s pursue Tejada and liked him at 3 years and less than $30 million, he becomes an albatross in 2005 when his salary balloons, and I’m glad the M’s let him go at that price. People may take this as another sign that the organization isn’t willing to sign a big name player, but this is simply overpaying. Bavillick shows good restraint. There was just no reason to pay that much money to Miguel Tejada.
Hopefully, this takes the O’s out of the Vladimir Guerrero market, and puts the M’s squarely back in it. If they do turn to Omar Vizquel as Plan B, well, lets just say he’d go well with Quinton McCracken.
The Detroit Tigers, according to Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer (story various places, including here), have dropped their pursuit of Miguel Tejada, leaving the M’s and Orioles as his top suitors.
In other news, as much as I dislike Roger Clemens, I must say I’m amused at the possibility of him “coming out of retirement” to pitch one more season in Houston, just because it’d be a big slap in the face to the Yankees (and hey, I dislike them quite a bit more). You go Roger!
We are down to the last available 10 spots for the U.S.S. Mariner feed next Saturday. Details can be found here. In order to confirm your reservation, I will need payment via Paypal as soon as possible in order to place a food order for the proper number of people. A good time will be had by all, and if you would like to come, there is still time. Email us with the subject “Feed Confirmation” if you would like to attend, and I will send you the address to submit payment to.
Some good news hopefully coming down tonight. More later.
The NY Post has an article about the possibility of Yankee GM Cashman leaving the Yankees after this season. Yeah yeah yeah, but here’s the M’s bit:
They say Cashman was particularly annoyed that Steinbrenner constantly tells him he is overpaid, but then refused permission to let him interview for the Seattle GM job this offseason when he was believed to be the front-runner.
That aside’s interesting because it would seem to fit with the GM process, which seemed to go:
tons of candidates
press around a couple big-name candidates
big-name candidates fall through