Dave’s long-term plan for 2004

DMZ · November 12, 2004 at 2:04 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

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.


13 Responses to “Dave’s long-term plan for 2004”

  1. Troy on November 12th, 2004 2:16 pm

    Good analysis Derek. That’s kind of scary though – even with Vladi and Guillen that’s still a pretty bad team, and we’ll be lucky to add two players of that caliber this year. Yikes.

  2. eponymous coward on November 12th, 2004 2:44 pm

    Now you see why I don’t care for moves that are 1 or even 2 year moves (read: Delgado). Realistically, if we win 75 games this year (+12 wins) and 85 games (+10) next year we’ll be doing well- and that only leaves us around .500 over the next 2 years.

  3. Aaron on November 12th, 2004 3:51 pm

    I don’t think assuming Guillen would perform as well in Seattle as he did in Detroit is a safe bet. He was pretty clear after he was traded that this was a situation that he wanted to leave behind, and is a perfect example (as far as I’m concerned) of a change of scenery being all a player needed to reach his full potential (and beyond :O).

    He had given up on Seattle, and the FO had given up on him (and he knew it), and expecting anything other than his past performance, even in hindsight, is really looking at things with rose-colored glasses.

  4. HLS on November 12th, 2004 4:58 pm

    As Dave Cameron himself has written, middle relievers are an inconsistent bunch. I commented last year that $4 million per was a ridiculous amount of money to pay for Quantrill and it would have been a huge waste of money given the year he had in ’04 — Quantrill had about as bad a year, possibly worse(!) as Shiggy Hasegawa did in ’04, believe it or not. Hasegawa’s ERA was 5.16, Quantrill’s was 4.76, Quantrill’s WHIP was actually higher, 1.51 to 1.44 and finally, while Hasegawa held opposing hitters to a .260 BA, major league hitters teed off on Quantrill to the tune of a .316 batting average!

    This is most interesting given that Dave has harped again and again and again about how badly the M’s misfired on re-signing Hasegawa after a career year when they “should have known” he was due for a big falloff. Give the M’s some credit — at least they didn’t sign Paul Quantrill for 4 million dollars…

  5. earlweaver22 on November 12th, 2004 5:01 pm

    At least the Ms are finally going to get that 1st baseman they’ve been needing.

  6. Eric Walkingshaw on November 12th, 2004 5:23 pm

    4) The difference between Shigetoshi Hasegawa and Paul Quantrill at the end of last season was that Shiggy had a career of mid-3 low-4 ERAs compared to four sub-3 (and one 3.04) seasons out of 7 for Quantrill. And, in Hasegawa’s one big season, his K-rate was actually the lowest of his career, suggesting that it had less to do with actual improvement than more balls finding fielder’s gloves. I agree that watching Quantrill suck it up for 4 million wouldn’t have been fun, but he’d be off the books now. Instead there’s three more million dollars tied up in Hasegawa this year.

  7. Conor Glassey on November 12th, 2004 5:40 pm

    Aaron – How do you know that Guillen’s change was from moving to Detroit and not from getting away from Freddy Garcia? There are a lot of assumptions made, so to nitpick one of them seems kind of pointless since the whole thing is entirely hypothetical…

  8. HLS on November 12th, 2004 5:45 pm

    Re: Quantrilll — you don’t really think that he would have signed a one year deal with the M’s? He signed a guaranteed two-year, $6 million deal with New York, with a club option for 2006 for $3.6 mil (which the Yankees had to decide on this year — they declined the ’06 option and paid him a $400K buyout). Why would he sign with Seattle for one year, even for $4 mil when he could be guaranteed $6.4 mil elsewhere?

    I believe that the M’s also have an option for ’06 on Shiggy, so the deals signed by the two are pretty similar.

  9. Aaron on November 12th, 2004 6:01 pm

    It’s got a few dumb mistakes, but this article captures everything I’ve heard from Carlos since the trade:

    What matters for the Tigers, way beyond his antagonism toward Seattle, is that Guillen likes playing for Detroit. He looks to his right, at Rodriguez sitting contentedly in front of his locker, and says the picture doesn’t lie. On a team that is a long way from playoff-bound, players nonetheless feel like they can do their jobs, enjoy playing a baseball game, and not deal with undue stress.

    “We were always in first place when the trade deadline came, but they didn’t want to compete,” he said, teeing off again at Seattle.

    “Here they want to win.”

    Yes, I’m just focusing on one projection to nitpick on, but when it’s stated that Carlos was 6-7 games better than what the M’s trotted out there, there is an implication that the M’s would have been 6-7 games better if they’d kept him. Obviously, I don’t believe that at all.

  10. Eric Walkingshaw on November 12th, 2004 6:12 pm

    8) Ok, you caught me not doing my homework before I responded there. I assumed that Dave meant a one year deal and didn’t check to see what he actually got. The point still stands though, that at the end of last year Quantrill looked much more appealing than Hasegawa. So why did they get such similar contracts?

  11. HLS on November 12th, 2004 7:01 pm

    Quantrill may have seemed more appealing to some but don’t forget that Hasegawa “proved” in ’03 (at least to the M’s) that he could be a solid closer (16 saves in 17 oppos). Even though we didn’t know Sasaki was going to bolt, there was a great bit of concern over his health (since he’d missed 1/2 the ’03 season). Hasegawa was re-signed before Guardado signed with the M’s as a free agent.

    Another reason the M’s paid as much as they did for Hasegawa (besides the fact that he had other offers) is that he’s Japanese — I don’t mean that to sound like a racis statementt, but face it — the M’s do treat their Japanese players different than the other players (i.e. mid-season contract extension for Sasaki in ’02, which was against the club’s stated policy).

  12. Dave on November 12th, 2004 10:42 pm

    I actually agree with Aaron; we can’t take the 2004 performances of individuals and place them in the Mariners context and assume there wouldn’t be a change. Safeco could have had a major impact on Vladimir Guerrero. Guillen may have needed a change of scenery to break out. On the flip side, if Cameron had stuck around, the implosions of Franklin and Hasegawa probably wouldn’t have been as severe, and we wouldn’t have had to turn to the never-ending-ferris-wheel-of-crap. We just don’t know what might have been.

    I’ll defend Quantrill, by the way. He was actually a pretty solid reliever in 2004 until Joe Torre ran him into the ground from overuse. Look at his splits:

    Pre all-star: 56 innings(!), 62 H, 1 HR, 10 BB, 23 K, 3.05 ERA
    Post all-star: 39 1/3 innings, 62 H, 4 HR, 10 BB, 14 K, 7.09 ERA

    He basically threw a years worth of relief in the first half of the season and did quite well. The ridiculous usage patterns directly led to his collapse in the second half, I believe. Again, this is a case where we can’t assume that his 2004 NY performance would be translated to Seattle. In a non-New York environment, he probably doesn’t get ridden into the ground by July, and the M’s likely would have been very happy with the results.

  13. stan on November 13th, 2004 12:31 am

    Quantrill was an excellent set-up guy for the Dodgers, my favorite team in the National League. He messed up his knee in Japan during the opening of the season against the D-rays; by the time the 04 season ended he was about as effective as you could expect someone pitching on one leg to be. The one good decision that Gillick/Bavasi made last year was to not bring back Rhodes. The worst decision they made was to let Cammy leave when it was obvious that he wanted to stay.