Which of the following is not alike: .253, .264, .267, .312, .255, .259. If you do a google search for the word “outlier”, Rich Aurilia’s 2001 season comes up, right next to Brady Anderson’s 1996 campaign (okay, it doesn’t, but it should). Yet somehow, every article I read about this trade mentions that just two short years ago, Rich Aurilia was hitting .324 with 37 home runs. And, by God, Carlos Guillen only has 29 career home runs. This must be a big upgrade. Spare me.
However, as usual, the truth lies somewhere in between the local media spin (every move is great!) and the overall blog reactions (every move is a steaming pile of horsecrap). Aurilia is a decent player, and at $3.5 million for one year, is a decent little pickup. Now, keeping Carlos Guillen and spending that extra million intelligently would be more ideal, but lets be honest, that million bucks was going to be as useful as an oasis of salt in the Sahara. There’s a pretty good chance that Aurilia is going to be worth his contract, and in this offseason, that makes this a prime candidate for best move of Bavasi’s tenure.
I expect the team to be thoroughly mediocre next year, winning between 75-85 games, depending on how healthy Edgar stays (umm, name the guy who is going to take the 150 AB’s Edgar is invariably going to miss, by the way), but it really won’t have much to do with today’s moves. Yes, this acquisition further proves that Bill Bavasi has no ability to judge talent or balance a budget, but that case was rested long ago, and the prosecution is preparing its presentation for sentencing now. But it probably doesn’t cost the 2004 Mariners anything, and there’s no future commitment. In a year, Aurilia probably walks, Santiago gets non-tendered, and the Tigers won’t re-sign Guillen as a free agent. This is a basically meaningless trade between directionless franchises that won’t have any real impact on the future of either.
And yes, this likely brings the Mariners off-season to a near close. They need one more outfielder for the bench, but there’s no reason to not believe that Marvin Benard won’t be getting an NRI and a chance to make the team as a 5th outfielder in spring training. What we see is what we get. And man, what I see is an opportunity to be thankful that I live in North Carolina.
All hail the new Big Board! On second thought, don’t. I mean, look at some of those names. Just look at them! Oh, the humanity.
Before you shoot me an email, yes, I know they are currently 41 players listed as being on the 40-man. We still haven’t heard anything official about who’s being removed to make room for all these new craptastic players, though everything points to it being Ryan Anderson.
Line of the Day ™: “May I suggest Bavasi?” — Derek, when asked who he’d remove from the 40-man.
Aureate Aurilia addition accompanies au revior to Guillen. I still think it’d be dumb as a straight swap, but at $1m more it gets even dumber. Guillen nets us the execrable Ramon Santiago and SS-B Juan Gonazlez, who hit .249/.346/.338 for the West Michigan Whitecaps the A-ball Midwest League. Gonzalez can take a walk, interestingly (as can Hansen, now that I think about it) but can’t hit for power. He stole 24 bases last year and got caught 10 times.
I don’t know what’s left for Bavasi any more. It’s gotten so bad that if you told me that you’d heard Bavasi was driving over to my Haus Zumsteg, where he was going to glue the pages of my favorite baseball books together, terrorize my cat, run over my bike, steal my TiVo, and delete all my Knights of the Old Republic saved games, I’d get into my car right now and tear home.
Several people objected to having Luis Ugueto penciled in as the backup shortstop in my Bench of Doom post a few days ago. After all, the M’s were likely to acquire a better player, and send Ugueto packing to Tacoma.
It appears they were half-right. The M’s are going to replace Ugueto, though unfortunately, not with a better player. The Guillen-to-Detroit trade is rumored to net the Mariners shortstop Ramon Santiago, who spent last year as Detroit’s shortstop. Now, Santiago is young, which goes against what the M’s look for in acquring a player, but everything else fits to a tee:
1. He’s toolsy
2. He was once a decently regarded prospect for no particular reason
3. He’s completely unable to hit a baseball
Its a match made in heaven. If only Santiago was 34 instead of 24, they just might sign him to an extension.
Here’s a quick rundown of Santiago’s career to date. Those of you with weak stomachs should turn away now. For those of you hoping that he’s just gotten off to a slow start in his first two professional seasons, his numbers so far are nearly identical to the projections based on his minor league performance.
AB BA OBP SLG EqA
2002 222 0.243 0.306 0.365 0.245
2003 444 0.225 0.292 0.284 0.217
The Times is reporting that the Guillen-for-Aurilia swap is all but done. Blah, blah, blah, we’ve heard that for two weeks now. What’s interesting, though, is the speculation that if the M’s need to make room on their 40-man roster — which they would, if the Tigers send a major league player in exchange for Guillen — the player they’ll drop is one Ryan Anderson. Dave and I have thought for a year that Anderson’s (and Ryan Christianson’s, for that matter) spot on the 40-man was somewhat in doubt, and it appears it may finally come to pass.
Meanwhile, the P-I reports that Guillen will be traded for minor leaguers, making a 40-man roster move unneccessary. Hickey also notes that the deal(s) might have been announced Wednesday, if not for Winter Storm ’04 ™ keeping Aurilia from flying to Seattle for his physical.
Once this all goes down I’ll upload an updated Big Board.