Interview with Bavasi
Larry Larue conducted an interview with our GM last week. It’s a pretty nondescript Q&A with blase answers for the most part. There was one question that made my skin crawl, however:
Q: Do the free-agent signings of last winter â€“ Spiezio, (Rich) Aurilia, (Eddie) Guardado, (Raul) Ibanez â€“ carry any lessons?
A: Nothing we didnâ€™t know going in. On Aurilia, we were trying to get by until the kid (Jose Lopez) was ready. Spiezio? That should have worked. I donâ€™t find what he did last season indicative of what he can or should do. Scott has issues he needs to take care of before we can see the real Spiezio. Guardado? I feel fine. If heâ€™d stayed healthy, heâ€™d have had his usual numbers. Ibanez did what we expected, but we canâ€™t expect him to carry the club. The only one that was a real shock was Spiezio. Aurilia we rolled the dice with, and it didnâ€™t work.
If the M’s were trying to “get by” until Lopez was ready, they’ve still failed, as he’s clearly not major league ready heading into the 2005 campaign. And, of course, there’s little explanation for why they couldn’t have simply kept Guillen, the cheaper, younger, better alternative.
Spiezio obviously underperformed even the most pessimistic expectation, but to say that the signing “should have worked” again shows a lack of ability to read market value. Even if he had performed at his previous levels, he would not have been worth the 3 year, $9 million contract the M’s signed him to.
The signings I wish LaRue would have asked about, though, were the extensions offered to Franklin, Hasegawa, and Winn. Those are contracts the M’s really should be learning from.