Personally, my favorite part of the article was this: “But while Seattle may have afforded the ex-Expos slugger if it had put the combined $11 million that Ibanez, Spiezio and Randy Winn will make toward Guerrero, it chose instead to spread its money around. What the Mariners didn’t want to do was sign Guerrero and surround him with the likes of Jose Cruz Jr. in left, Denny Hocking at third and Deivi Cruz at short.”
Uh, no. First off, Jose Cruz Jr. is not a bad player. Second, Denny Hocking would not have had to play third — there was still Cirillo, and there’s always Justin Leone. Third, you already had Carlos Guillen at short. Hell, you could have dumped Cirillo (and by “dump” I mean “release,” not “traded for crap”) moved Guillen to third and signed Rey Sanchez for peanuts to play shortstop. Signing Guerrero would not have meant surrounding him with marginal players.
Then there’s this, which we’ve been over before but still strikes me as stupid logic: “The anticipated loss of Mike Cameron required someone to play center field. Melvin’s call was to have Ichiro remain in right, and how could anyone argue with the manager’s extreme reluctance ‘to move the best right fielder in the league, if not in the game.’ ”
Overall, you can tell Derek and I aren’t big fans of the article.
Jason thinks they’re going to try and get a catcher for Soriano, rather than a first baseman. Also possible, I hadn’t considered that: put Davis in the deal and get a backstop who can hit, then Wilson turns into Moyer’s personal catcher and team backup. Anyway, if we find out anything else, we’ll post it.
Also, I don’t know what everyone’s opinion on this is, so feel free to drop us a line about it. In a case like this — I’m talking to someone and I find out a nugget like this, should I drop it? Personally, I’m inclined to: I think we’re a good enough judge of this stuff to know when it’s credible or not. But if I can’t cite sources, it goes out into the world as a rumor and sparks random discussion, and if they don’t get the deal done, it passes.
The question then is: sit on this stuff or post what can be posted?
If you’ve got a thought on it, email us.
Pocket Lint ran a long piece today o’er at the Seattle Times (“Paper of Quality”) titled “Mariners makeover: Team swaps defense for extra offense” an at-best uncritical look at the disastrous off-season. My favorite quote is this gem:
“There are two distinct ways to analyze this winter’s work by the team: first, looking at Ibanez, Spiezio and Aurilia as a trade for Cameron, Cirillo and Guillen; second, as a swap of some defense for some offense.”
Uh… except that that’s grossly simplistic and wrong, sure, you could look at it that way. And as to the second, sure, except by “some defense” you mean “a lot of defense” and by “some offense” you mean “some offense”.
Seriously: if you want to look at it like a trade, here you go:
Winn for Cameron: huge defensive downgrade, but a couple runs back on offense
Ibanez for Winn+millions: modest defensive downgrade, modest offensive downgrade (there, I said it)
Spiezio and Hansen for Cirillo+many millions: offensive upgrade
McCracken for Colbrunn: pointless move, sets the bench back
Aurilia and Santiago for Guillen+1 million: depending on which of us you talk to, slight downgrade to slight upgrade, plus another wasted roster spot
Rhodes for Guardado: enh
So to simplify: Cameron, LF Winn, Cirillo, Colbrunn, Guillen and enough cash to sign any free agent on the market for Ibanez, CF Winn, Spiezio, McCracken, Aurilia, and Santiago.
“With Tejada gone and a determination to bring more determination to the clubhouse, general manager Bill Bavasi looked for men of character as well as talent.”
Anyway, Boone likes the moves. He’s quoted over and over in the article saying — and I like Boone, I really do — amazingly dumb things, like Ibanez is worth at least four games in the standings because he was so good against the M’s last year.
But folks, here’s the capper. If you wanted a single quote that demonstrated that Bavasi has utterly no clue, at all, in any way, that he is twelve eggs short of a dozen and possesses as much insight as a discarded Jolly Rancher wrapper into the way teams are built in 2004, here you go:
“The guys we got are used to late-game pressure situations, guys who want the ball hit to them in the eighth and ninth innings of a one-run game, who know what to do with it when that happens. Have we a bit less defense? Probably. But I don’t think a lot less.”
One, he’s stupid. Two, he’s wrong. And three, if you can’t have good reasons and the best information you could get behind your decisions, you shouldn’t be making them. I would have more respect for Bavasi if he’d come out and said “Our scouts think Winn’s going to be just as good in center as Cameron and Ibanez will play left field as well as Winn did.” Then at least he’d have some kind of reasoning behind it. Right now, it’s like they’re a bunch of old geezers sitting around a stove passing a pot labeled “XXX” between them, offering stupid random insights to anyone who’ll listen.
“Ahhh, my knee’s acting up. We need to get rid of that Guillen kid. He’s got a shifty look about him, back in my day, a kid like that, why we’d teach him some manners. Oh, but nowadays you can’t hit kids in the minors. Congress! Bah!”
For those of you who don’t want to register for the LA Times, here’s the gist of things from ESPN. It doesn’t sound 100% final yet, though it’s pretty darned close — Vlad Guerrero to the Angels, $70M over five seasons. Guerrero only turns 28 next month; in my opinion, this is going to wind up looking like a huge bargain a few years from now. Heck of a signing for Anaheim.
U.S.S. Mariner exclusive rumor mongering: Bavasi’s trying to trade Soriano for an offensive upgrade, and through process of elimination…
Not third, just signed someone
Not shortstop, just signed someone
Not second, Boone’s there
Not DH, Edgar’s there
Not LF/CF/RF, they’ve made moves there (poooossibly center)
Probably not C, but maybe
Most likely 1B
So who’s out there who sucks but was once highly regarded, available in trade.. Mo Vaughn? I don’t have a good bead on who they’re pursuing yet. I fear it’s going to be bad: Scott Hatteberg, maybe?
If the team trades Soriano this will be contend for the worst off-season of any independently owned-and-operated major league team ever.
I wanted to post a thought that’s been rattling around my head for a while. One of the things I’ve heard about the Cirillo trade is that by trading Cirillo for Gonzalez-Jarvis, the team takes on two smaller crap contracts which they can then unload individually, eating some portion of the cost but in the process saving even more money (that is, if the M’s offer to give Gonzalez to someone and pay all but $1m of his remaining salary, and manages the same with Jarvis, they’ve saved $2m!)
Here’s my thought: Kevin Towers, whatever your opinion of him, is a deal-maker, with good relationships with the new school guys, the old school guys — I don’t know of any team that wouldn’t deal with the Padres. If Kevin Towers, motivated to dump salary in those two, could have made those individual deals himself, he would have. Instead he took on Cirillo. Now, maybe it’s to get Sweeney, which is possible though unlikely, but doesn’t it seem likely that Towers at some point this off-season has tried to dump these guys anywhere he could and found no takers?
If that’s the plan, Bavasi now is going to have to call teams up and make a sweeter offer than Towers did, whatever Towers’ offer was. The M’s may well be able to unload all of these guys, but it might be a “Free Snelling with Purchase of Regular Jarvis” offer… which is bad news.