February 23, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Sooooooo Pocket Lint wrote a fine article that ran Sunday. And by fine I mean it also does a great job showing exactly how amazingly clueless the M’s management is.

The Mariners say they would have jumped in, spikes up, if they had known the Texas Rangers would be so generous in getting rid of the former Seattle shortstop.

Asked if Seattle would have gone after Rodriguez, Mariners president Chuck Armstrong called it “a no-brainer.”

Okay, one, you can’t jump into something spikes up unless you’re taking a header.

But here’s the point: Rodriguez almost went to the Red Sox. Clearly, he was available. I can’t believe they were so busy negotiating Ron Villone’s deal that nobody in the front office could have called the Rangers up to say “Hey, sorry the Red Sox deal fell through. We might be willing to take on his contract without dumping another on you… what do you need to make a deal?”

This is crazy. Armstrong later says that their reports were that the Rangers… reports? They read the paper? No one called and asked? Did their calling card run out of minutes?

“We offered him more than that, in terms of salary,” said Seattle CEO Howard Lincoln of the short-circuited negotiations to keep Rodriguez after the 2000 season.

Now, no one outside of the M’s is really privvy to what went on, but if you followed the story you know that the M’s did not offer more than *Alex will be paid* in terms of salary, and they certainly weren’t anywhere near on guaranteed years, and they didn’t like the escalator clauses either. Finnigan shockingly does mention this: that the M’s offer was 5/$95 ($19m/year). While strictly speaking Lincoln may be correct, from Alex’s side it wasn’t remotely close.

Finnigan also repeats this gem:

One old, but unconfirmed story is that Boras, who was unavailable to comment, recommended the club shorten its offer, so that his player would not be tied up so long and have a chance at a subsequent contract.

Here’s a thought: if it’s unconfirmed, don’t write it. This is beyond rumor mongering, and just a cheap shot.

Then he lionizes Lincoln for predicting the demise of the Rangers:

Lincoln also was prophetic when he added, “I think it is impossible to field a winning team when you pay a player as much as Texas is paying Rodriguez.”

That’s not the problem. Alex’s contract has never been the problem in Texas: it’s been everywhere else they spent money stupidly, from Chan Ho Park on down. They’re not a losing team because they overpaid the best player in the game, they’re a losing team because they’re crap. Perpetuating the easy myth that Alex’s contract hurts the Rangers helps the Mariners because they can use it as a cover for not pursuing or signing top-tier free agents.

Plus the news that the M’s might be after Alfonso Sorianio, who we now know is 28 and has probably peaked already, a deeply flawed hitter with a lot of potential who Ks all the time, as a possible center fielder. Soriano would be like Mike Cameron with 15 more HRs and no defense. Who could resist such temptation?