2005 free agent list

DMZ · September 6, 2004 at 4:57 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

From Gammons today.

Also contains this insane bit:

We also know that this winter’s signings will be for 2005, with the Players Association chomping at the bit for another labor war in 2006.

There’s probably a 10% chance of labor meltdown in 1994 or worse style, in 2006. But to say that anyone’s chomping at the bit for a labor war? I don’t understand why Gammons carries this anti-MLBPA torch, taking every chance to attack them (see: Rodriguez trade) anyway, but this is ridiculous. Players don’t get paid when they’re locked out or on strike. Most of them love their jobs and love playing baseball — they’ve done it all their lives. It’s crazy to think that they want a fight, especially after all the concessions they made in the last CBA to avoid a labor action by either side.

And as much as the owners enjoy winning a good labor fight, the money they save is far less than what they lose in an extended outage. Labor negotiations are bitter and too personal between the two sides, but neither of them wants to go to the mattresses.

That aside… the really funny bit in here is “FREE AGENTS WHOSE VALUE HAS BEEN TARNISHED BY INJURY:”

which includes Magglio Ordonez, who… well, to put him in a ‘tarnished’ category is like saying the Camaro I wrapped around a phone pole while drinking Mickey’s Ice and speeding through Auburn cursing is a “pre-owned” car. It’s a fair bet Ordonez will never be the same after this.


13 Responses to “2005 free agent list”

  1. stiletto on September 6th, 2004 5:25 pm

    question: when I think of Free Agents and the possible needs of the team to contend (or at least return to .500) I wonder, “would Ichiro play CF if asked to do so”? It seems to me if he would roam CF for us next year, then we would have a different plan for FA acquisition this offseason. no?

  2. Dave on September 6th, 2004 5:32 pm

    Barring some major change of heart, Ichiro will retire as a right fielder.

  3. matt on September 6th, 2004 5:40 pm

    The mariners will try to get sexson in offseason,wouldnt it be better
    if we tried for magglio instead?they are both coming off injury but
    magglio has been having monster years.And magglio would cost only a
    couple million more.

  4. tede on September 6th, 2004 5:44 pm

    “Barring some major change of heart, Ichiro will retire as a right fielder.”

    I’m not so sure he has ever been asked by the M’s. IIRC, his past quotes to the media regarding a possible switch did not shut the door on the possibility. But in baseball, what is said publicly and reality are often two different things. I would let the new manager do the asking. Since the M’s follow the “Seattle Process” in hiring, expect the new manager not to be selected until after free agency starts.

  5. Dave on September 6th, 2004 6:18 pm

    Ugh. Magglio and Sexson are in the pantheon of Red Flag Free Agents. They’ll be instant albatrosses the minute they sign. Both should be treated like they have some kind of plague that can wipe out cities in a matter of minutes.

    This is an amazingly interesting free agent class, honestly. There’s a sure fire hall of famer, some legitimately great players in their primes, good depth all around, and a core of 6 or 7 guys that can single-handedly ruin the franchise that signs them. I think we need to bust out a post explaining why Delgado, Sexson, Ordonez, Koskie, Lowe, and Varitek are just bad ideas.

  6. eponymous coward on September 6th, 2004 7:35 pm


    Unfortunately, I have a sinking feeling that we’ll end up with exactly those FA’s, and we’ll be in a cycle like the Mets have been in since 2000, where the team is bad year after year after year due to crap signings…

  7. Kyle S on September 6th, 2004 7:47 pm

    Sportswriters as a whole seem to be very anti-union. In the latest ESPN: the Mag, a writer lauds Joe Montana for his derisive attitude towards the NFL player’s union in the early 80s, casting Joe’s contemporaries as money-grubbing whiners while Joe was a true sportsman. Funny, despite all the specials I’ve seen about ex-players who have left their sport only to descend into homelessness, alcoholism, or drug addiction, I’ve not yet seen the special focusing on the downtrodden franchise owner who sucks the proverbial d**k for crack. Maybe that’s the subject of a future Sports Century: And Beyond?

  8. DMZ on September 6th, 2004 7:57 pm

    tede: Ichiro’s been asked.

    Kyle: I think you’re right. There was a time when baseball players were oppressed by the reserve clause, made little money even if they were premier players, traveled and drank with the reporters, and were accorded a degree of freedom by that press that seems crazy today.

    At some point, the resentment built, jealousy and envy — “You make a million dollars, you can’t be troubled to give me a quote? Fine.” That has eventually led into the saga of Barry Bonds, where his frosty relationship with the media became a story, constantly flogged as an indicator of his personality.

  9. Jerry on September 6th, 2004 9:48 pm

    These are the guys that I think are interesting:

    Position players: Carlos Beltran, Adrian Beltre, JD Drew, Mike Lowell, Edgar Renteria, in roughly that order.

    Pitchers: Carl Pavano, Odalis Perez, Brad Radke, Matt Morris, Derek Lowe, Scott Williamson, in roughly that order.

    The other players on the market, like Magglio Ordonez, Richie Sexson, Carlos Delgado, Troy Glaus, Nomar, Varitek and Pedro are all too old, and too risky. Ordonez, Delgado, Sexson, and Glaus are interesting players, but I just don’t think that they are right for the M’s. I really hope that they can get a good player at 1B through a trade. Sexson and Delgado would be good pickups if they came cheap, but trading for a player like Ryan Howard, one of the kids from Anahiem (Casey Kotchman or Dallas McPhearson) or maybe even Paul Konerko would be a better move. Other trade possibilities could be Andruw Jones or Alfonso Soriano (switching him to CF). I like Jones a lot, especially if Beltran is out of the M’s budget. However, I have no idea what the M’s could send the Rangers or Braves for these guys.

    If the Mariners are going to improve next season, and get to .500, they need to sign two position players and two or three pitchers. I think that they should focus on 3B and CF/RF. If they could sign some combination of Mike Lowell or Adrian Beltre at 3B and Carlos Beltran or JD Drew at RF/CF, they would improve on several levels.

    I think that JD Drew would be an awesome guy to get, especially if Beltran gets too pricey. Drew is playing great defense, and is a very polished hitter. He is really a complete hitter:
    .312AVG, .433OBP, .588SLG, 1.021 OPS, 30 HR, 83RBI, with roughly as many K’s as BB’s. Plus, he is a plus defender at CF or RF. He would be a great addition. Although he will probably resign with Atlanta, he might do well in the mellow atmosphere in Seattle.

    This is a great year to add some good pitchers also. I would love it if they would sign two guy who can start, one guy for a higher salary (8-9 mil/year) and one to a lower contract (4-5 million). Perhaps they could sign Odalis Perez and Derek Lowe or Matt Morris.

    It will definitely be an interesting offseason. Hopefully the M’s will be smart, and stay away from the risky older players and mediocre guys like the ones they signed last offseason. If they can fill one or two holes cheaply (1B!) they could possibly field a decent team next year. Too bad it had to come to this for the management to realize that they need to turn over the roster.

  10. Paul Weaver on September 7th, 2004 11:03 am

    I’m tired of people blaming their high ticket cost on player salaries. Prices are determined by WTP – willingness to pay – it costs a lot because the fan chose to buy it. Players just want a cut of that – owners want a cut. They’re both entitled, and when they squabble over who gets what, Sport’s writers don’t need to take one side and just blame the players or their agents. Owners shoot themselves in the foot, by signing the A-Rod deals – then whining about player salary decisions they could have passed on.

    Player salary decisions……on that vein, I’m happy with any free agent that is a good price. It’s about value. So Delgado, Magglio, and Sexson got injured – does that mean they will never produce again? With the risk comes reward – if the asking price is too high, the M’s can afford to pass. Beltre, Beltran – we want them, bad, but if they tie up the team’s resources, we’d be better off and more successful signing other talents. The Rangers hurt themselves when they signed A-Rod. The White Sox hurt themselves when they had Thomas AND Belle. The Mets….. The Dodgers….. The Orioles….
    Too many teams have histories of tying up too much money in free agents.

  11. Jerry on September 7th, 2004 12:18 pm


    I agree with you completely. The M’s have to be careful not to handicap the team with a bunch of overpriced players. If you have guys that make 15 million, and they can’t perform, you are in trouble. However, I think that Beltre and Beltran are both worth 12 million/year. These guys are young, pretty durable, and are likely to be playing at a high level at the end of a 5 or 6 year contract.

    Players like Pudge look like good signings now, but it is the last two years of the contract that are the killers. With Ordonez and Delgado, if they sign 4 year contracts, they will be 34 and 36 at the end of their deals. Both have big injury questions. With Ordonez, it is a huge question because he will not be able to play at all this year, and his injury is the type of thing that can slow down a player permanently.

    With Beltre and Beltran, they will be 31 and 33 at the end of 6-year contracts. That is a big difference. With these guys, the team will be getting their 28-32 years, which statistically are the primes of baseball players careers. With Beltre, he will be 26-31 over a 6-year deal. Those will almost definitely be he career years. Really, the Dodgers just developed Beltre for whatever team signs him.

    I would rather see the M’s go after some of the more expensive guys on the market than continue to repeat the mistakes of the past with guys who are over the hill. The M’s track record with aging players past age 30 has been horrible (Kevin Mitchell, Rickey Henderson, Cirillo, Aurillia, Spiezio, Ibanez to name a few). When you add in injuries to the mix, it gets even worse. They need to go young. I really think that it is wise to avoid any position players over 30.

    Paul is right that it is not wise to tie up a whole lot of the teams salary in one player. But if the M’s pay Beltran and Beltre a total of 25 million, they would only have 36 million tied up in their three best players (with Ichiro). That would be a little over 1/3 the payroll. That isn’t too bad. It leaves over 50 million for the rest of the lineup. Olivo, Lopez, Bucky, Madritsch, Reed?, Sherrill, Taylor, and some other potential contributors are making minimum salaries. Further, the only guys on the roster who make more than 5 million are Ichiro and Boone. Ichiro is earning his pay, and Boone comes off the books after 2005. The team can afford to splurge on a few well-thought-out free agent acquisitions.

  12. Pete on September 7th, 2004 12:47 pm

    I think it’s all well and good to be excited about signing Beltran and Beltre. However, I don’t see the Mariners ever getting both of those players – too much competition, and the timing of it all would have to be perfect. It’s difficult to be amidst massive, pressurized negotiations with two players at once…

    If they are able to sign one of those two players, it will be a major coup. And we should be satisfied and pleased if we get one.

    I don’t see anything wrong with pulling off that one huge signing, and then taking a risk on a shorter-term contract for one of the players everyone is saying “stay away!!” Risk is always involved. For my part, Delgado is has the greatest risk-reward. He’s shown over the past couple of months that he can still hit with the best in the league. Natural grass should help his knees. A contract of 3 years, $25 million is worth the risk. He’ll be only 35-36 at the end of the contract, not 41-42. He could very well be healthy and put up 35-40 HRs and 110-120 RBIs. Isn’t “taking a risk” what we’ve been wanting the M’s to do all along?

    The fact is, signing both Beltre and Beltran will be the biggest miracle ever. Be happy with one, then take a risk on another player, and sign a front-line starter – try Morris, Radke, or Clement.

    If we sign:

    Beltre OR Beltran;
    and Morris or Radke or Clement

    it would probably be the greatest offseason in Mariners history, and would probably be the best offseason of anyone in the league this year.

    I think we should all be satisfied with that. Goodness knows, even that much would be a miracle from this front office….

  13. Pete on September 7th, 2004 1:05 pm

    Another point about Delgado…

    Why is everyone so worried about his knees anyway? I think it’s pretty understandable. However, are you more worried about him than your were Edgar late in his career? There’s no way…

    Here are Edgar’s numbers during the five years between age 33 and 37 (older than we’d probably even have Delgado).

    age 33: .327 AVG, 26 HRs, 103 RBIs
    age 34: .330 AVG, 28 HRs, 108 RBIs
    age 35: .322 AVG, 29 HRs, 102 RBIs
    age 36: .337 AVG, 24 HRs, 86 RBIs
    age 37: .324 AVG, 37 HRs, 145 RBIs

    His knees and hammies were so fragile, they could’ve broke down with any swing, or any step. You can’t tell me Delgado is in any worse shape than Edgar has been…and we’d only have him for ages 33-35 for a 3-year deal.

    Delgado’s career numbers are have a slightly lower average, with better power numbers when compared with Edgar. He has a pretty, pure left-handed swing. This just doesn’t seem to be such a horrible risk to me.

    Sure, Delgado will need to play first base, but you can platoon him with a righty, like Bucky at DH.

    Yes, there are examples of players tailing off with injuries in there mid-30’s, but there are also examples like Edgar, who are able to maintain into their 40’s. We don’t even have to commit to Delgado into his 40’s.

    Anyway, I’ll get off my high horse now. Just stop poo-pooing a proven, pure-swinging lefty like Delgado.

    There’s a risk, but there’s a HUGE possible reward. An All-Star with 40 dongs and 120 ribbies is a bargain at $8-$9 million per year.