Rolling contracts

DMZ · November 21, 2004 at 12:54 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Kris Benson to the Mets, 3y, $22.5m. I once hoped for great things from Kris Benson, and now $7m/year seems excessive.

Glendon Rusch signed a 2y, $4m deal too.

I don’t know what to make of these deals, except to say that hauling Meche to arbitration looks like a better idea with each pitcher signing.


20 Responses to “Rolling contracts”

  1. adam on November 21st, 2004 1:17 am

    No kidding. Meche could easily out perform Benson.

  2. Moses on November 21st, 2004 1:51 am

    For what its worth, Meche’s VORP is 15.4 to Benson’s 15.8. Pretty darn close. For comparison, Jason Johnson is 15.2 and Adam Eaton is 14.7.
    At the top, Johann Santana is 88.8 and Schilling is 72.9.
    Pavano is #5, at 62.4 (for those of you looking for a reason to invite Pavano over for turkey sandwiches during his post-Thanksgiving visit!)

    Highest Mariner?…
    Freddy, at 35.1. Okay, highest current M?…
    BOBBY MADRITSCH, at 28.0.

    Food for thought-
    Free agents on the “wish list” and their VORP:
    Sexson 6.6 (but small sample size)
    JD Drew 79.6
    Alou 55.0
    Nomar (Cubs) 13.4
    Beltran (Hou) 41.9
    Koskie 25.7
    Dye 27.7
    Polanco 33.0
    Renteria 26.5
    Delgado 42.8 …

    Highest Ms?:
    Ichiro 79.2
    Winn 33.2
    Ibanez 29.5 (I hope this ends the Winn and Ibanez bashing!)
    Boone 25.8
    Bucky 11.1
    Reed 9.2 …

    Highest in MLB?:
    Bonds 144.6 !!!
    Next highest?
    Pujols 102.0 (Nobody else above 100.)

  3. NBarnes on November 21st, 2004 4:27 am

    Nobody bashes Winn and Ibanez because their don’t perform. People bash Winn and Ibanez because they are overpaid. It’s possible to be overpaid even for a above-average level of perforance.

  4. misterjonez on November 21st, 2004 10:26 am

    Look, my opinion on Winn/Ibanez is this: Perhaps they are overpaid, but even *if* that is the case, they are two of the most productive hitters in our lineup. YOU DON’T GO TRADING YOUR BEST PIECES AWAY BEFORE YOU HAVE REPLACEMENTS…of course, that’s just me. I don’t care if they’re “overpaid” by a million or two (which I think it’s ridiculous to suggest they are overpaid by two million dollars per year). If we had a whole team that performed like them, sure we’d never compete (unless we had the big three or their equivilent), but we would be much better than we were last year.

  5. big chef terry on November 21st, 2004 10:48 am

    Winn is a below average cf, bad routes, never ever touched a wall, can’t throw at all. Ibanez is a first baseman in leftfield and at first he doesn’t hit enough…

    Neither would play on a pennant winning team.

  6. Brent Overman on November 21st, 2004 10:55 am

    Misterjonez, if you don’t trade until you have a replacement, how do you maximize return on investment? If the other team knows you want to dump BECAUSE you have a replacement, you get low-balled.

    With that in mind, say they dump Winn. Who could take his place? I’ll be damned if they didn’t get an outfielder from CWS in the Freddy trade. Winn could already be considered excess baggage. There’s enough replacement-level talent on the market that they could easily dump Winn and Ibanez in trades and more than make up for their departure.

  7. Jim Thomsen on November 21st, 2004 12:51 pm

    I hate to say it, but I really wanted the M’s to give Rusch a minor-league contract and an NRI last year. After being cut loose by Milwaukee, he floated around for a few months before latching on with the Cubs. The take on him was “Good stuff, good K/W and K/IP ratios, not too old … but pass on him because he’s getting his brains beat out and we don’t know why.”

    I wish baseball had a “Dumpster Dive Of The Year” award … Glendon Rusch would have gotten it in the NL, and David Newhan would have gotten the AL’s.

    This year, I’m pushing Aaron Myette … who, I believe, still hasn’t found a new team.

  8. eponymous coward on November 21st, 2004 1:37 pm

    Winn 33.2
    Ibanez 29.5 (I hope this ends the Winn and Ibanez bashing!)

    Winn at 33.2 puts him 8th in MLB in CF… but combined with below-average glove, it makes him strictly so-so. If you put him in LF, he’s 11th, but his glove becomes a mild plus. I’d go with “in the high end of the middle 3rd of MLB OF’ers, or the lower end of the upper 3rd”.

    Ibañez gets about the same placement, I guess.

    One thing you MIGHT notice, though, is look which teams had two good OF’ers instead of one good one and a couple of mediocre ones:

    Yankees (Sheffield and Matsui)
    Boston (Manny and Damon)
    Anaheim (Guillen, Vlad and Anderson)
    St. Louis (Edmonds, Drew and Walker)
    Atlanta (Jones and Drew)
    Houston (Berkman, and Beltran)

    The only playoff teams with a weaker OF than ours would have been Minnesota and LA… arguably the two weakest playoff teams. Our OF’s a RELATIVE strength, but that’s just because the team’s crappy.

    Ibañez at 1B, BTW, scores out a little above Darren Erstad, well in the bottom tier behind a LOT of full time 1B. Yes, I know, he wasn’t healthy all year. I don’t see this as an argument in his favor- at age 32, a falloff in production overall that keeps him at around 25-30 VORP playing full time next year as doesn’t strike me as unreasonable.

    The fact that we keep hearing about a 1B (Delgado) and 3B (Koskie) who well in the middle of the VORP pack at their positions for 2004 and in their 30’s as our hot FA candidates either shows cluelessness on the part of the M’s front office or the media in understanding statistics. The fact is that you’d have more VORP replacing the 2004 version of Randy Winn with JD Drew than replacing Scott Spiezio with Corey Koskie.

  9. tvwxman on November 21st, 2004 2:13 pm

    The problem that I have with Winn and Ibanez is not Winn/Ibanez per se. However, for the most part, it’s a lot easier to find your #3-#4-#5 mashers in the OF and at 1B. If you assume Ichiro at one outfield position, and Reed at another, that narrows the places where you can place your mashers at the middle of the order. Your 9-1-2 hitters should be coming from the SS/2B position, with an OF sprinkled in there. But with an outfield of, say, Ibanez-Winn-Ichiro, you’ve got your 6-1-2 hitters locked up, forcing you to find your power at a position that’s harder to find it at.

    It wasn’t a problem when Boone and Edgar could be counted on to be that reliable middle of the lineup, but now Edgar is gone and Boone is now a #5 hitter at best. So, you’re forced to find a 1B or 3B with middle of the order power. Not impossible, obviously, but it does leave you with less options than if you have an available OF spot to get a masher.

  10. Grant on November 21st, 2004 2:58 pm

    Does anyone have career numbers for Jong-Soo Shim, the Korean guy that they are featuring on, the artile I read saysthe guy is a slugger who walks a ton, but who doesn’t stand to make much money because Korean position players are unproven in MLB. I think we should go after him it seems like there is minimal risk involved.

  11. misterjonez on November 21st, 2004 3:58 pm

    I know that you have to keep your plan close to the vest, but when it comes right down to it, noone has dealt with the thrust of my comment: They’re two of our three or four best position players. A trade is just that, a trade in which a number of teams exchange players/money of approximately equal value. So, assuming you don’t go out there and pull off a Carlos Guillen trade (on the DET end) in the offseason, a trade only addresses problems from a position of strength. Offense is not this team’s strength, no matter how you want to present your argument.

    I agree that the OF is one of the easiest places to add offense, in theory, but if you want to examine our team’s offensive contributions, our offense was our STRENGTH last year. That’s how bad the team is, so rather than “trading” Randy Winn and his VORP of 33.2 for an OF with a VORP of 50, I’d rather we pick up a 3B whose VORP is 30 and leave Winn where he is. Whenever Reed can prove he is able to be consistent in this league, he’s got the job because he’s basically the same type of hitter as Winn at 10% the money. I would just hate to get stuck with a .220 bat in the OF because he had a hard time adjusting, especially since we have a good option in Winn.

  12. Brent Overman on November 21st, 2004 4:11 pm

    #11 – So they’re 2 of their three best players… From what? A 99 loss team? Just because they held this regard doesn’t mean they’re not overpaid and expendable. If they clear their payroll from the books, they have the capability to improve significantly, meanwhile upgrading their respected positions.

    Bill Bavasi is in a position that he can’t wait one year to upgrade the team. He’s going to do it this year, and if they fail, he’s out of a job. Bavasi’s not in a position to be conservative and hope to keep his job.

    Move Ibanez and Winn (particularly Winn), while their value is up, and utilize the payroll more efficiently.

  13. tyler on November 21st, 2004 4:14 pm

    no way we “get stuck with a .220 bat.” Reed will hit .250 minimum. And if he doesn’t, Strong, if healthy, will; and if he doesn’t, Snelling, if healthy, will; or some NRI (bo-ca-chi-ca!) will.

    Playing footsie will your rationale– you are somewhat correct. But you’re evading the primary issue, that the team direly needs to get stronger in many different ways, including power hitting and defense. Neither of these two guys are particularily strong in those areas, despite their positive impact. With a limited number of positions from which to acquire higher impact players, and a limited amount of spendable money, and a limited number of tradeable assets, hard decisions need to be made. And make no mistake both Winn and Ibanez are assets.

    It is never easy to trade one of your better players and play somebody without experience. But the long term goals of the franchise may need to include taking a small step backward next year (and how much further backward can we go?) before we move forward again.

  14. eponymous coward on November 21st, 2004 4:50 pm

    Some guy who Bavasi’s dad used to work for once said “Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late.”

    Winn and Ibañez meet that description to a T- they are about to hit their decline phase, are eminently replaceable either from within the farm system or by a free agent signing (or, if by SOME miracle the M’s are contending and Reed’s hitting .220, by a deadline salary dump trade where you give up a B prospect).

  15. Jon Wells on November 21st, 2004 5:30 pm

    Well said Tyler. Whoever it was that’s in love with Randy Winn
    and Ibanez must love them because they’re such nice guys and
    incredible in the clubhouse. Sell while they (or at least Winn)
    still have some value and get some power hitters (Drew, Delgado)
    in here! I’d sign Troy Glaus for $8 million a year before I’d give Koskie $3 mil a year…

  16. DMZ on November 21st, 2004 5:52 pm

    if you want to examine our team’s offensive contributions, our offense was our STRENGTH last year.

    I guess, in a certain sense, but the Mariners had a middle-of-the pack offense last year. That they had one of the worst pitching staffs doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try to improve the offense if they have the chance — it only means that there should be more opportunities to improve the pitching staff next year.

  17. Michael on November 21st, 2004 11:19 pm

    The challenge is to make trades and sign FAs that make your team better. We have holes to fill (power, SP, and maybe some relief).
    You tend to exchange middle-tier talent or prospects with trades and top & middle-tier talent with FA signings. We should not trade our middle-tier talent unless our FA signings force us to (power outfielder) or a top prospect is available for a replaceable middle-tier player (Winn, Raul, or Franklin). We should target FAs who we have a chance to sign and who would agree to play for us. I believe we should pursue Delgado (LHB with proven power, a “Beltran” in the later years of a long-term deal), Beltre (power, relatively little competition for his services, family on the West Coast), Sexson (power, local talent, potential bargain due to recent injury), Glaus (power, plays well in our division, potential bargain-injury). A SP who has TOR potential at the right price (Pavano?).

    Most of these ideas have been tossed around in some form or another. However, I think we should take a serious look at this twist:

    RF Ichiro
    CF Winn
    LF Raul

    1B/DH Delgado/Sexson (both!)
    2B Boone
    SS Lopez
    3B Betre or Glaus
    C Olivio

    Bench: Reed OF, Cabrera IF (2B, SS), Spiezio 3B, Wilson C, Bucky 1B/DH

    If power OF is signed (Beltran or Drew), Winn is traded if we get both Delgado and Sexson. If not, have Raul platoon with Bucky and Delgado at 1B/DH and move Winn to LF with Reed at CF.

    This lineup takes the pressure off of both Reed and Bucky to perform immediately. They can have a soft landing (pitching coach term). If they perform well, they increase their playing time.

    By the way, you will not get Beltran here unless you have the money AND the potential to be very good (Read his comments regarding his potential return to Houston.)

  18. Swing and A Miss on November 22nd, 2004 11:04 am

    Jeeze. I know teams need pitching. But, this continual giving of mega-millions to pitchers barely around .500 for a career with ERA’s over 4 plus is bad. You get stuck with a 10-14 with 4.97 ERA guy for three years.

  19. eponymous coward on November 22nd, 2004 12:38 pm

    This lineup takes the pressure off of both Reed and Bucky to perform immediately. They can have a soft landing (pitching coach term). If they perform well, they increase their playing time.

    There’s no way to give Reed and Bucky significant playing time with those signings, barring injury. You’re not going to bench your multimillion dollar FA signings for guys making the MLB minimum.

    If rookies do better with “soft landings”, how is it you can find MANY of them who began to perform their first weeks in the majors? Bucky’s almost 30 years old- what the hell does he have to DO to get a job, freaking hit 1.000 and slug 4.000 for a month? Why does Jose Lopez deserve more playing time than Bucky or Reed, precisely? His MLB performance (sucked)? His minor league performance (also not as good as theirs)? Because he can be a bad SS instead of a decent OF like Reed?

    Delgado+Sexson+Glaus/Beltre+Pavano is going to run you $35-40 million per year, BTW, bargains or no bargains. You’d probably need to bump the budget to $110 million or so. While it would be nice for the team to do that, and I guess those 4 signings would keep the team in good shape for 2004, the long term would be worrisome.

  20. Adam S on November 23rd, 2004 12:50 am

    On the original topic, Rusch’s contract seems perfectly reasonable to me. $2M/year for a 4th or 5th starter. Am I off on what his performance is worth. I’d rather have Rusch than Vizquel or Guzman.

    Benson, yuck. Pretty clear the Mets are going to try to continue to have one of the five highest payrolls and one of the five worst teams. Obviously the Mets BELIEVE in him, which is why they traded for him. They must be the only ones.