Is that fair? Woody made his share of bonehead moves, Piniella easily manipulated him into making stupid moves, but I don’t think Woody ever had an off-season this bad. 97-98 was 90 wins to 76 wins, but what’d he really do in that off-season that was so bad.
Woody’s career is a list of dumb moves to patch things he’d left open and occasional smart moves that turned out really well. Woody poured prospects and money into trying to fix a bullpen that didn’t need fixing, left-fielders that didn’t solve anything… but I’ll say this for Woody: first, the moves worked sometimes. He didn’t make, say, 20 stupid moves in a row. And second, Woody, he at least was looking at actual problems (though with the bullpen/pitching, not looking for the cause of those problems). As opposed to Gillvasi, who seems determined to swap every perfectly adequate player for a worse one no matter the cost.
It’s like… imagine sending someone to the grocery store with a list that says “cracked wheat sourdough, eggs, orange juice, peanuts.” You give them a twenty.
Woody comes back from the grocery store and he’s got the wrong kind of sourdough, eggs, he’s bought fresh OJ in the bottle instead of concentrate, and shelled peanuts, for $19.50.
Bavasi comes back and he’s bought a 24-pack of Budweiser, a frozen pizza, a family-size box of Saltines, 3 oranges and a juicer, a carton of the kind of instant noodles you hate, and a copy of “Monster Truck Weekly”. He takes the Redhook out of your fridge and leaves it out on the street, where someone scoops it up within seconds. He tells you that you don’t really need sourdough, because you can eat Saltines instead, and they’re awesome with EZ-cheese, which you don’t have because he tossed that out too. And besides, this ramen is awesome, he used to eat it all the time at the last place he was at and he loved it, so you will too. The pizza he cooks and eats immediately while reading the magazine and drinking the first of his Budweisers. Then he tells you you owe him $100 because he went a little over on the groceries.
I hope everyone had a Happy New Year and you’re enjoying your snow back in Seattle. I’d just like to point out that the forecast calls for a high of 71 degrees in High Point, NC on Saturday, and 73 degrees on Sunday. Looks like I’ll be breaking out the sunscreen and shorts. I’ll be thinking about you guys, though.
While others have touched on it and its appeared at the bottom of a few columns across the country, it hasn’t received as much notice as the Guillen-Aurilia-Mariners hate triangle. However, from what I understand, a tentative deal has been reached that will send Jeff Cirillo and cash to San Diego in exchange for RHP Kevin Jarvis and C Wiki Gonzalez. If the Mariners can find a taker for Ben Davis by Monday, the deal will be completed. Including the buyout of his 2005 contract, Jarvis is owed $4.75 million this year. Wiki Gonzalez is owed $1.2 million for 2004 and is under contract for for 2005, though I can’t get my hands on the exact number. The Mariners are going to have to send a significant amount of cash to San Diego to even out the transaction.
Now, I know everyone is going to hail Bavasi for finding a taker for Jeff Cirillo, but this is a deal the M’s would be better off not making. They aren’t likely to save any money, and neither Gonzalez or Jarvis represents anything resembling an upgrade on the players currently in place. Gonzalez posted a .200/.264/.277 line last year, one that eerily resembles another M’s offseason pickup. And he’s not even the worst player the M’s are getting back. In 9 major league seasons, Kevin Jarvis has posted a cumulative ERA 25 percent worse than league average. Last year, he was 33 percent worse than league average. In the 2001 season that “earned” him a 3 year contract extension by virtue of winning 12 games in 193 innings, he was 16 percent worse than league average. DURING HIS BEST SEASON.
Kevin Jarvis is a terrible pitcher, something along the lines of a brittle, expensive Giovanni Carrara. He’s worse than darn near everyone at Tacoma who would make the league minimum and actually has a chance to turn into a decent pitcher if given the right opportunity. Jarvis does not belong on a major league roster, much less the Mariners, who are overloaded with quality young arms that deserve a chance at the big league level.
There is simply no market for Jeff Cirillo, and rather than focusing on acquiring other peoples crap just to say we traded him, the M’s should release him and eat the $15 million. At least that way they won’t be committing more roster spots to terrible players.
Add in the downgrade at shortstop for more money, and Bavasi has almost completed the task of turning a 93 win team into a 73 win team in two short months. A Woodward-esque performance from the new guy. Nice job, Bill.