Dave’s long-term plan for 2004
Given all the discussion about Dave’s last post, I’m a little surprised no one’s looked at what Dave wrote about this last year, which I thought was awesome. And generally, while going back and looking at what-ifs is… pretty pointless, I thought this was interesting.
So, with commentary:
Catcher: Wilson/Davis — no difference, we’d still have seen Borders (but not Olivo)
1B: Olerud stays, no diff
2B: Boone stays, no diff
3B: Leone, no Speizio, upgrade but injury later
SS: Guillen over Aurilia makes about a 6-7 game difference. Really.
LF: Guerrero over Ibanez is a 5 or 6-game difference. Really. And he came cheaper than Dave had figured.
CF: Dave had Cameron at $5m, which would have been a game down with the bat and (we’ll see if the defensive stats bear this out) making that up on defense. Also, Cameron signed a three-year, $21m deal, and as much as I love him, I wouldn’t have been willing to make that deal. Neither would Dave, I think.
RF: Ichiro, no diff
DH: Edgar, no diff
Colbrunn stays, so we don’t get the McCracken adventure, but then he’s injured so no diff
Grieve had a decent year hitting and playing right field.
Reese would have taken over for Guillen if we keep assuming the same injury patterns would affect players if we did the season over again, and would have overall been an upgrade.
In retrospect, this team still needs a good 4th OF, since Grieve’s no great shakes out there, but that’s that.
Pitching: without Garcia, and Soriano slotted as a starter, we’re in more trouble here. Madritsch, who appeared on Dave’s team as long relief, would have nearly a full season in the rotation, and then the Meche-Pineiro issues put things in a lot of trouble. Miguel Batista underperformed Dave (and everyone else’s) expectations. This starting rotation’s going to end up with the same problems the real one had, where we run a bunch of not-ready guys through and churn service time.
The bullpen also wouldn’t have come together: Rhodes was terrible in Oakland, so retaining him doesn’t help. Sasaki doesn’t show up, but we didn’t have any hint of that when he wrote this. Quantrill isn’t much better than Rhodes.
The M’s finish around .450 if Dave’d been the GM and followed that construction strategy. Beyond the improved finish, there are a couple notable differences.
First, Dave didn’t gamble on Garcia, so instead of Reed-Olivo-Morse, the farm system has to take what he got dumping Franklin-Winn etc before the year — which could have been better, or worse.
Second, because Dave spent on Guerrero instead of Ibanez-Spiezio-etc, the 2005 Mariners would have two elite corner outfielders, they’d have the rights to an MVP candidate at short, and they’re not saddled with the Franklin-etc contracts, so they’d head into this year with even more payroll flexibility.
That’s pretty cool. Dave’s a smart guy.