Dave · December 8, 2004 at 12:55 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Some updates from the now booming free agent market.

Everyone else is contradicting what I was told about Clement and Philadelphia last night. Not sure what happened there, honestly. Most reports have the Phillies on the verge of signing Jon Lieber to a 3 year deal. They could theoretically afford Clement and Lieber, though that may not be in the plans.

Al Leiter went to Florida.

Richard Hidalgo looks like he’s going to be the bargain of the offseason so far. Texas is the frontrunner for his services, and he’s going to take a 1 year deal to reestablish market value. He’ll be a nice pickup for whoever snags him, and the M’s really would do well to get in on him now.

The White Sox signed Dustin Hermanson to a two year contract. Just Kenny Williams being Kenny Williams.

Magglio Ordonez is so healthy that Scott Boras is canceling his workout. Now you just get to take his word for it. Yay!

Jeff Sullivan goes all graphic on the market so far.


44 Responses to “Updates”

  1. David J Corcoran on December 8th, 2004 1:04 pm

    If Hidalgo could return to his past glory, ore perhaps live up to potential, we’d be good off.

  2. Tom B on December 8th, 2004 1:08 pm

    any more info available on the terms of the offer made to delgado by seattle?

    The toronto sun is reporting they offered him a 3 year deal..

    “Next year he’ll be hitting them out for someone else, be it Seattle, which has offered a three-year contract, Texas, the Mets, Baltimore or whomever else.”


  3. joebob on December 8th, 2004 1:14 pm

    got this from an espn chat with buster olney. I’m not even beginning to say that I take this seriously just based on his word, but i wanted feedback from peeps if anyone else has heard the same kind of thing being said about seattle.

    Buster Olney:The Mariners will be stuck with a lot of left overs. Talked to an agent yesterday who says the Seattle execs seem to be all over the map with what they want to do, with no solid plan; the agent is shying away from that place, thinking that it doesn’t seem right. Maybe they’ll become the island for free agent misfits — Delgado, for one…

  4. Dash on December 8th, 2004 1:21 pm

    Olney tried to clarify what he mean by misfit a couple of questions later. Don’t think he did a very good job of it though. I do agree with what he says about overpaying though.

    “Julie — you’re right, I should have explained. It’s just that this was not the best time for Delgado to become a free agent — he was hurt some of last year, numbers went down, he had the whole thing with the National Anthem, the fact that he rejected trade” opportunities to contenders … There are just a lot of doubts about him on the market right now, and nobody is ready to give him a big deal. I would agree with you, though, that he’d be a great fit in Boston. I just wouldn’t overpay to get him…

  5. msb on December 8th, 2004 1:24 pm

    re: Clement, from the LA Times: “Free-agent pitcher Carl Pavano, who has visited Boston, Detroit, the Yankees, Baltimore and Seattle, will meet with the Angels in Anaheim on Thursday. The Angels, as well as the Dodgers, also have shown significant interest in Chicago Cub right-hander Matt Clement, who reportedly received a three-year, $18-million offer from Cleveland.”

  6. msb on December 8th, 2004 1:40 pm

    #4- is it really so hard to tell the difference between the Anthem & God Bless America? is it?

  7. RealRhino on December 8th, 2004 1:40 pm

    I’ll take the misfit Delgado and Clement for 3/$19mm please, with a side order of Beltre at 6/$72. Then I’ll go home.

  8. Basebliman on December 8th, 2004 1:55 pm

    Why on earth is there so much interest in Jon Lieber? There is nothing special there. Look at his stats, this guy is only slightly better than Ryan Franklin, with a bit more luck in the W/L column. Plus he’s only one year removed from surgery. I just don’t get it.

  9. Dash on December 8th, 2004 1:59 pm

    #6 Too further show the example of how bad Olney is the question that was asked about Delgado was about how he would look in the Baltimore lineup between Tejada and Lopez. No mention of Boston at all in her question.

    Just goes to show that you need to start taking facts with a pound of salt until you can confirmation from another source.

  10. Dave on December 8th, 2004 2:01 pm

    Well, actually, Jon Lieber’s a pretty darn good pitcher. He’s consistently posted above average ERA’s the past three seasons he’s pitched, mixing exceptional command with good stuff. Franklin’s ERA was twelve percent below average last year, after adjusting for park effects. Lieber’s was four percent above average despite coming back from arm surgery.

    Lieber actually pitched better last year than his ERA+ would indicate. The defense behind him was fairly poor, only turning 67 percent of balls in play into outs (league average is about 70 percent). With a league average defense, his ERA would have been around 3.94 instead of 4.33. Franklin, on the other hand, pitched even worse than his already lousy 4.90 ERA would indicate. His defense turned 71 percent of his balls in play into outs. Adjusting for his teammates support, his fielding independant ERA was 5.45.

    Lieber’s a solid above average pitcher, consistently good but unlikely to be great. Franklin’s a scrub being propped up on the backs of his teammates and his home park. There’s no real comparison between the two.

  11. Evan on December 8th, 2004 2:04 pm

    I don’t see how you can hold Delgado’s rejection of a trade against him. He signed a contract with a no-trade clause. All he did was ask Toronto to live up to their end of the deal.

  12. msb on December 8th, 2004 2:09 pm

    #10- all of which was why the Yankees paid him money to rehab for a year. He should do nicely, back in the NL, and another year back from TJ.

  13. Basebliman on December 8th, 2004 2:10 pm

    Re: 10, I guess I’ve just never been impressed when I see Lieber pitch. I know Franklin was horrible last year, I meant the comparison over their careers (albeit Franklin’s history is much shorter). He just seems like an average pitcher that had one great year, sorta like Pavano.

  14. Evan on December 8th, 2004 2:15 pm

    Well, Lieber’s a Phil now, so it’s moot.

  15. JP on December 8th, 2004 2:15 pm

    I don’t know why anyone would question Scott Boras. He is one of the fairest, most honest agents out there. He would never try to take advantage of any teams or owners. We should really just take his word for it that Magglio is healty and sign him up.

  16. msb on December 8th, 2004 2:17 pm

    #15- well, you do get a copy of the doctor’s reports along with the ‘Why Maggs is the best outfielder ever, except for the Icon Carlos Beltran’ booklet

  17. ChrisK on December 8th, 2004 2:22 pm

    No need for Hidalgo. We already have 3 starting outfielders in Winn, Ibanez and Ichiro, right? RIGHT? [/sarcasm]

  18. Dave on December 8th, 2004 2:22 pm


    Unfortunately, your impressions of Lieber aren’t really accurate. He’s been a very solid, above average pitcher in 7 of the last 10 years. He’s never had a year like Pavano had, but he’s been consistently good and a workhorse. He’s really nothing like Ryan Franklin.

  19. David J Corcoran on December 8th, 2004 2:23 pm

    Re #17, Actually, we have FOUR, if you count Reed!

  20. Murton on December 8th, 2004 2:31 pm

    I was very impresed with Lieber, especially with the bite he had on his pitches, with hyperspin that looked like it could sting the batter’s hands. Getting acclimated again after surgery, he struggled earlier in the season, victim to moonshots and linedrives but he came on and had a pretty decent postseason I thought.
    I was impressed by him, however, I think it’s a bad deal for Philly. My theory on him was the Yanks caught him on his good cycle. During his Cubs days, I remember him as a fringe all-star, a sort of 1B starter, that is, during the firt-half of seasons. When the second-half rolled around, as if on cue, he would become one of the worst starters in baseball. Whether from fatigue, the ballpark playing differently according to his personal sensitivity and pitching style, or whatever, he was awful in the second-halfs for three straight seasons. With the long layoff from Tommy John and by being less effective in the first-half which limited his workload, I think he regained his first-wind and pitched like he’s capable of. I wouldn’t bet on it happening again next season. He’s also 35 and got signed with three seasons. With the exception of great pitchers, how many average to slightly above average age well, for three straight seasons? Not many I’d wager.

  21. paul mocker on December 8th, 2004 2:41 pm

    2005 should be for sorting out the future. 1 year of Hidalgo won’t help us to reach .500 and for 2 or more years I would want more upside for the risk.

    Regarding VORP, is this correct? 0-10 replacement player, 11-30 average player, 31-50 good/very good player, 50+ excellent player. Does this vary by position?

    VORP could be made more accessible by providing a key for translating the VORP into a category (replacement, average, etc.)

  22. Todd on December 8th, 2004 2:43 pm

    With regards to Olney’s assertion that Delgado refuses to stand for the “National Anthem,” it seems as though nobody wants to report the facts. Delgado, or his agent should contact Olney or any other hack, (Kruk also made the same mistake iin an article during the summer), and threaten a libel suit unless they retract the statement and make an accurate report of what Delgado does, refuse to leave the dugout for “God Bless America”. It is grossly unfair to Delgado to assert that he refuses to stand for the National Anthem. And while my political sympathies might align with Delgado’s, my outrage in this comment stems from the absolute ineptitude and laziness of the Olneys and Kruks.

  23. The Ancient Mariner on December 8th, 2004 2:50 pm

    Hey, I agree that “2005 should be for sorting out the future,” but if Hidalgo really does come cheap on a one-year deal, I’m all for that. It would give us more payroll space to go after long-term solutions at other positions, it would make us a better team in 2005 without weakening us in future years, and it would give us a chance to see if Hidalgo would make sense in the M’s long-term plans. What’s the downside?

  24. paul mocker on December 8th, 2004 2:59 pm

    Regarding downside I seem to recall a bad attitude. I could be wrong.

    Either give AB’s to young guys or go after the REAL and ONLY long-term solutions: Beltre or Beltran.

  25. paul mocker on December 8th, 2004 3:11 pm

    I have to reiterate this nagging question: Does Bavasi have the acumen to avoid overpaying for average players on the downside of the age-performance curve? If you say yes, then you should advocate signing Delgado or Sexson. If you say no, as I do, then he should pursue Beltre or Beltran because they are better players. They have slightly more risk, but it is contract risk. And Bavasi might make a mistake by signing him to 8 or more years, but at least we get very good players into the next decade.

    My point may not be clear. I apologize.

  26. Evan on December 8th, 2004 3:24 pm

    If Bavasi signed Beltre to an 8+ year contract, I’d take it. Sure, I’d prefer 7 years, but 8 years of Beltre is a better outcome than 3 years of Sexson.

  27. Jeremy on December 8th, 2004 3:55 pm

    re Hidalgo:

    Hidalgo is exactly the type of player the Mariners need. He has a chance to overperform his contract value at which time the Mariners would have an option to either lock him up long term or trade him for prospects that could help in the future. I’d rather see several guys like that brought in on short term deals than signing mediocre talent to long term deals. Guys on 1 year deals have value at the trade deadline if they are producing.

  28. chief on December 8th, 2004 4:55 pm

    #25 and 26. Sounds great and I would love to see Beltre in an Ms uniform. But Paul and Evan have forgotten the Lincoln Factor and how it applies to the Ms. There is no way Howard will approve an 8 year contract. What really worries me is the escalating costs of the contracts we have seen so far. Now I am concerned that the Ms will freak out and back off of Delgado, Glaus, Sexson and a front line starting pitcher. I was hoping for one or two of these guys to get us back to a winning club and position us to really take off in 2006.

  29. The Ancient Mariner on December 8th, 2004 5:18 pm

    Re #24 and #27: *What* young guys? Reed and Choo aren’t ready, and it’s not like we have any top sluggers just waiting for a chance. Jeremy’s right–Hidalgo’s a good candidate to give top-tier performance for a mid-low-tier contract, which makes him the kind of player we should be pursuing. As for our kids, if Reed or Choo is tearing the cover off the ball come July, we can deal Hidalgo and call them up; on a one-year contract, he wouldn’t be any kind of obstacle to their development. The reverse, actually, as the addition of Hidalgo would reduce if not eliminate the possibility of their being thrown into a situation for which they aren’t ready.

    From my point of view, the M’s should give long-term contracts to long-term solutions and fill out the rest of their roster, as much as possible with one-year deals with players like Hidalgo, who could help us win in ’05, give us trade bait at the deadline, and not hamper us in ’06 and beyond.

  30. Anthony on December 8th, 2004 5:43 pm

    I was watching Mike & the Mad Dog before and Sweeny Murti reported that the reason the Yankees signed Jaret Wright, as he was told, was that they want power pitchers. Could they be a possible landing point for Matt Clement?

  31. HemorrhoidRage on December 8th, 2004 5:45 pm

    Every minute that passes without an idiotic M’s signing is making me a little less pessimistic – hopefully they can recognize this absurd free agent market for what it is and take a pass, unless they can land one of the young guys who actually has some upside (beltran, beltre, or… ummm… rusty greer?) and instead use the money creatively… like, tie a nice bow around Randy Winn’s neck and stick 5 million in his pocket and send him (and whoever) to TB in exchange for Aubrey Huff, for instance. They should also be looking to exploit other team’s poor personnel decisions (seriously, what would it take to take Marlon Byrd off the Phillies’ hands right now, Michael Garciaparra maybe?) and restock the system’s position players, instead of subjecting us to another year of Koskirillo and Grievezio-level deadwood signings. That said, if enough other teams are scared off by Boras, I wouldn’t mind taking the risk on Magglio Ordonez for about 7 million/1 year…

  32. Rob on December 8th, 2004 6:31 pm

    #22, I agree completely. I personally would do the same thing he does. I think it is a joke they teams like NY do it alllllll the time. It annoyed me when the redsox did it only on sundays.

  33. enkel on December 8th, 2004 8:40 pm

    Believe read last year that the problem with long contracts is that the Insurance companies will only insure them for five years. Thought at the time the insurance companies are running the game.

  34. enkel on December 8th, 2004 8:59 pm

    Can either Hildalgo or Ordonez play centerfield? As that seems to be a need position along with left side of infield>>starting pitcher>>relief pitching.

  35. Bela Txadux on December 8th, 2004 9:55 pm

    I’ve loved Leiber since he was in Pittsburgh, and the deal that sent him from there to the Cubs was one of the worst I’ve ever seen and finally convinced me to cut all ties of affection to that particular organization. I’d have put Leiber’s name into the Ms pot for consideration before this except he is simply too old for what they should be doing. The man’s a ‘professional pitcher,’ though, and I love the type; unlike Franklin, Jon actually gets results from good control.

    I wouldn’t ming Magglio Ordonez coming here on a one-year at all. He wouldn’t be much more expensive than Hidalgo, who has disappointed more than he has come through and will _never_ repeat his big numbers in baseball’s New Era. —But I’d rather that the Ms hang in there and sign Drew instead, who is a real solution, not a stopgap.

    On another note, there were a lot of interesting names on the lists of those not offered arbitration. Intelligent bottom fishing could real in a number of guys, particularly on camp invitations. Osuno, Mantei, Desi Relaford just for a few. Somebody’s likely to sign Jermaine Dye to a real deal but to me he is more likely to bounce back into, say, Reggie Sanders range of production than many of the guys who are going to become genuine albatrosses for the organizations who sign them long-term instead.

  36. Jeremy on December 8th, 2004 10:31 pm

    Payroll flexibility rules if you use it right. If the Mariners are not able to get $25 M worth of long term solutions, then let them get 1 12M long term solution and the rest in guys who have a chance to outperform what you pay them. More important than the money these fiscally irresponsible teams are throwing around right now are the roster spots that are being sucked up by midling talent. That means less leverage for the top guys when they sign. This also increases the possibility of a decent player having to take a short term under market value contract and try again next year. Those are the guys to fill the roster with.

  37. Jim Thomsen on December 8th, 2004 10:43 pm

    Here’s just how whacked the market has gotten — it’s given Corey Koskie all the leverage he needs to bend his team over and give him a multi-year contract AND a freaking no-trade clause. No word yet on a private jet.


  38. Bela Txadux on December 9th, 2004 1:03 am

    The BoSox just signed Mantei. Theo Epstein does the job right. Even if Matt doesn’t work out, it’s a one year for $750K, the right kind of flyer to take.

    Note to Colm on Eric Milton: If you’re reading here, you asked wassup on Milton in another thread. Basically, Milton was mediocre initially, then down the stretch in ’01 he put it together a bit, and was looking like a front of the rotation lefthander. Then in ’02 he got hurt. Since he got hurt, he’s never come all the way back, but teams insist on remembering the very brief window when Milton was a name. The idea after the Twins let Milton go following ’02 was that Eric had become too expensive, which was true; he was also ineffective. The idea that Milton would top off Phillie’s pitching staff, much bruited last offseason, seemed like just typical baseball weirdness to me, and in fact Milton wasn’t even mediocre. The fact that Ed Wad in Philadelphia re-signed Cory Lidle but waved bye-bye to Milton tells you everything. The rumors that the Yankees have Milton in their sights seem ludicrous in the circumstances except for the fact that Milton was originally a Yankees prospect whom they hated to surrender in the deal to get Chuck Knoblough, so this is more a trip down memory lane than anything. If someone signs Milton to one-and-an-option at $1.5-2M per, that’s not braindead given that Eric _is_ lefthanded and teams need five guys to fill out rotation slots. Milton shouldn’t be counted on as anything more than roster filler, though, and any price higher is just fool’s money, your right on that.

  39. Perconte on December 9th, 2004 1:29 am

    Give me Delgado or give me death.

  40. eponymous coward on December 9th, 2004 1:35 am

    Ancient Mariner, you are spot on in #29.

    “Carlos? Wanna come here and play 1B? Here’s 9 million each year, with 2 million buyouts each year, so only $11 million’s guaranteed Take it or leave it.”

    Rinse, lather, repeat with anyone born during the Nixon administration or earlier, or Troy Glaus.

    SOMEBODY’S going to take a one year deal with an option kicker/buyout- and if it ain’t Delgado, Glaus or Sexson, I won’t cry my eyes out as long as it’s not Burnitz (giant. waste. of. cash.). Work down the list and reduce the dollars as needed as you go down. If the M’s are bound and determined to spend money on guys over 30, at least make it relatively painless in 2006 if they screw up.

  41. eponymous coward on December 9th, 2004 1:38 am

    Re: 38-

    “The newspaper reported that Koskie and his agent, Pat Rooney, told the Twins of an offer from another team for as much as $16 million over three years. The team was not revealed.”

    Aarrgh. $#!+ Anyone want to bet which bald GM made that one? Well, time for me to pray that Terry Ryan rises to the bait and hands Koskie the no-trade clause…

  42. eponymous coward on December 9th, 2004 1:38 am

    er, 37.

  43. Sweezo on December 9th, 2004 3:15 am

    Well, looks like we can all forget about Glaus. The Arizona Republic says he’s agreed to a 4 year/$45 million deal with the D’Backs. Heck of an offseason for the D’Backs. A managerial hiring fiasco and now giving Glaus over $11 million a season. Good Lord.

  44. msb on December 9th, 2004 9:08 am

    #34-re: insurance– IF you can get a company to cover a player these days, they will generally only cover up to 3 years of the contract, at prohibitive prices.