Spend now or spend later
This seems to come up a lot, so–
Given the conditions the team is operating under:
– Has $90m next year
– That money disappears if they don’t spend it. Can’t be saved, or invested, or used in any other way but payroll.
– Won’t be competitive until 2006 most likely
I don’t agree with how the team arrived at the first two, but they’re not changing. What happens then?
At the end of 2005, when they survey the team, the last thing we need is two, three more Ibanez/Spiezio deals clogging the team’s ability to make moves to put the next good team together.
The team either needs to invest in young, top-talent free agents who will still be good values for the 2006 Mariners, or spend that money any way they want on short-term fixes.
Seriously. Stock the bullpen with a ton of random free agent relievers. Sign injury risks to one-year deals. Then if the team’s not competitive, trade any of the good performers for prospects.
The worst thing the Mariners could do this off-season is to take the money that’s burning a hole in their pocket. I frankly don’t care if they spend all of that $90m or not as long as they stay out of their own way. If all the good free agents sign elsewhere, I would rather that the Mariners pocketed that money, as much as it galls me, than offer Sexson a long-term deal.
Their reaction to fan disappointment last season is a mixed blessing. They know they have to do something, and that’s encouraging to the outsider. But their drive to do something — anything — is cause for concern. Making fans feel like the team really went for it in 2005 is not worth sacrificing 2006 for.
And moreover, these moves… fans may feel re-assured by the moves, but they’ll feel better when the team wins. If every year the team leaves itself only 10-12m to work with, brings in a couple of veterans, and complains about the salary burden of bad moves of the last 1-3 years, eventually fans won’t care which random veterans the team’s dragging in.