Dave · December 21, 2004 at 12:46 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Here’s the complete list of players who were non-tendered. The ones below are those who I think are somewhat interesting for the M’s. Keep in mind, however, that the M’s are essentially at budget right now. Odds are we won’t be signing any of these players.

David Eckstein, SS
Josh Phelps, 1B
Wade Miller, RHP
Alex Cora, 2B
Dustan Mohr, OF

The Dodgers non-tender of Cora is pretty stunning, to me. They’re willing to pay $3.5 million for Jose Valentin, but scared of what Alex Cora might get in arbitration? DePo is having a terrible offseason.


44 Responses to “Non-Tenders”

  1. stan on December 21st, 2004 1:01 am

    I would rather have alex cora than eckstein…. cora is better defensively and can play either short or second base… If Winn could be traded, the Mariners could afford Cora… I am surprised there was not a trade market for Cora rather than the Dodgers just letting him walk out the door

  2. Adam S on December 21st, 2004 1:10 am

    Dave, how likely is it that the Mariners will trade Ibanez or Winn and free up $3M? Seems like Reed, Winn, Ibanez, Jacobsen is still one player too many for CF, LF, and DH.

    Didn’t we think the Mariners had about $25M to spend on free agents. With 10.5M to Sexson (counting the signing bonus, which I assume they do) and about 10M to Beltre (I’m guessing) doesn’t that leave a few million, or at least enough for Eckstein?

    They were offering $6M/year for Perez just yesterday, no? Let’s hope this means they’re willing to go over budget, even if it’s temporary.

  3. tede on December 21st, 2004 1:34 am

    DePo can thank his boss aka McBankrupt, McGreedy, or together with his wife the MacBeths. Donald Sterling but with less money.

  4. Goob on December 21st, 2004 1:35 am

    Hey, Big Ben is available. Maybe we can pick him back up like those Jim Street readers had wanted! 🙂

  5. Jon Wells on December 21st, 2004 1:56 am

    Yeah that’s a surprise that Cora got non-tendered. They must have felt that he wasn’t going to be starting next year cause he likely would have gotten about $2 mil in arbitration. My guess is that LA will play Kent at 2B and go after a cheap third baseman (Joe Randa?). Cora would be a good, cheap choice for Seattle and he’s probably be popular with Seattle fans because most of them are still in love with Joey Cora…

    With Chicago having no catchers other than Jamie Burke, it is a little surprising that the White Sox non-tendered Ben Davis after just 2 months there It took the M’s 2+ years to be tired of Davis!

    I really don’t understand not offering minor league contracts to Rett Johnson and Ugueto. If Johnson isn’t ever gonna come back and pitch that would be one thing but now they’ve given up his rights. It would suck to lose a talent like that and have him succeed in the majors elsewhere. He looked like he was pretty close to being ready when he was in Tacoma the second half of 2003. While Ugueto never developed into a starting shortstop type, he’s certainly good enough to be a utility player in the majors for somebody – and I think he will be next year.

  6. Marty Lighthizer on December 21st, 2004 1:56 am

    Re: #4
    Be careful what you say. The next thing you know, those Street readers will be clamoring for Griffey again…

  7. tede on December 21st, 2004 2:08 am

    Pick up Davis and he can catch Aprils and Olivo can catch Septembers. Oh wait, Bob Melvin already did that.

    Dodger fans want Arte Moreno to buy the team now. They say he can even change the team name to Anaheim as long as the McCourts leave.

  8. jeff on December 21st, 2004 2:18 am

    pick up cora! would be perfect, he can play ss, or 2b. he would be perfect and when boone leaves next year put lopez at 2nd, cora at ss. cora is a gold glove type of defender, with cora at ss, sexson 1b and beltre 3b and boone 2b for the year, we would definatly have the best defensive infield.

  9. eponymous coward on December 21st, 2004 2:25 am

    Phelps? It would make sense…if we didn’t have 3 1B on the roster right now (Sexson, Ibañez and Bucky).

    Damn, I really want that Sexson signing back. Phelps, Wade Miller, David Eckstein, Dustan Mohr, Beltre, a very solid bench (it would be Eckstein or Lopez, Phelps or Bucky or Ibanez, a C, Mohr or Reed, Spiezio- depending on who’s starting/etc., and you’d have a DEEP roster for PH, resting players or having depth to withstand an injury or two in the team) and a whole lot of flexiblity next year look pretty goddamned good right now.

    Oh, well.

  10. Josh on December 21st, 2004 2:33 am

    Before we worry to much about adding another position player (Cora or Eckstein) I would really like to see a decent starter added. Picking up Wade Miller would be a pretty nice move, I would rather have Perez though. That said we are probably done this off-season unless we can clear some $ through a trade. San Fran was said to be interested in Winn and knew that they would also have to take on Spiezo, if we can make that happen and get little to nothing back I would do it. I would prefer to move Ibanez and Speez, but I don’t think Ibanez value to dollar ratio is enough to carry Scott out the door on a deal, which is what I would really like to see.

  11. patnmic on December 21st, 2004 2:40 am

    There must be a mistake Willie Bloomquist isn’t on the non tendered list. Unbelievable!

  12. Shawn on December 21st, 2004 2:47 am

    I know that many of you probably hate Jeff Cirillo. But why not sign him to a minor league deal and send him to Tacoma? Maybe he’s too prideful and wouldn’t go for it. But he did have great numbers before his collapse. And not just in Colorado as many like to say, but in Milkwaukee his numbers were virtually identical. He’s obviously got some issues with playing in Seattle and the fans don’t exactly adore him, but if he somehow gets his swing back and performs well in Tacoma he would have more confidence and could eventually come to Seattle if needed. And since were still paying him millions of dollars we might as well pay him minimum salary to do something.

  13. Jon Wells on December 21st, 2004 2:49 am

    #11 — I don’t know why he was lumped in with Cabrera and Meche, but Willie Bloomquist is not arbitration eligible. He can still be paid in the $325,000-$350,000 range for another year and the contract is not guaranteed — if he’s cut in spring training he won’t get the $$$$.

  14. Jon Wells on December 21st, 2004 2:54 am

    It would be great to sign Wade Miller but it’s looking like there will be many suitors, including Boston (see Boston Globe note below). What the M’s should have tried to do was trade with Houston before today’s deadline. Considering the Astros got nothing for Miller, they might have taken what they could get once they were certain they weren’t gonna be able to get him to agree to a contract (hey maybe they’d have taken Johnson or Ugueto…). If Seattle had traded for Miller all they would have to do is offer him arbitration. Having made $3.4 mil last year and missing half the season he probably wouldn’t have gotten too big of a raise in the arbitration process. Now that he’s a free agent it’s looking like he’ll get at least $5 mil a year and could get a two year deal.

    Astros pitcher Wade Miller also was not offered a contract last night, and he could be a player the Sox are interested in. The teams had discussions about him at the winter meetings. Miller was 7-7 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts this year before being sidelined for the season June 29 because of a rotator cuff injury.

  15. Shawn on December 21st, 2004 3:08 am

    #10 – why trade spezio away? San Fransisco will never take on more than a tiny bit of his contract, so we’ll be paying for him to play for the Giants. Plus he’s a pretty good first baseman and better than Willie Bloomquist if Sexson gets injured.

  16. Josh on December 21st, 2004 5:16 am

    If San Fran wants Winn they would have to eat more than a little of Scott’s contract. Its Winn they are interested in not Sandfrog.

  17. Josh on December 21st, 2004 5:44 am

    Also doing that trade gets Bucky and Reed back in the lineup every day. I’m not ready to say we will be contending this year and think that we will still be rebuilding, I’d rather have both Bucky and Jeremy Reed in the lineup and seeing what they can do, and whether we want to move forward with them after the season. If Sexon goes down, I’d move Bucky in to play first. His defense wouldn’t be as good as Bloomquist, but he is a sure bet to do better with the bat.

    Or if Sexon went down you could call up Strong and play him in the outfield and have Ibanez DH or play first with Bucky DHing. Either of those is a better option IMO than playing Speez or Bloomquist. Then throw in the factor of having some cash to get a decent pitcher. I think its a no brainer if San Fran is willing to eat a decent size chunk of Scott’s contract.

  18. Vin on December 21st, 2004 9:24 am

    You’d have to think that the signing of Eckstein is a big possibility given Bavasi’s history of loyalty to players on his former employer. This could be one situation where Bavasi’s shortsightedness and a good move actually coinside.

  19. Paul on December 21st, 2004 10:06 am

    How is the Valentin signing a bad one by any means? This brings back the whole arguement over defensive metrics, but UZR has Valentin at +22 runs 2000-2003 and +20 runs for 2004. And that’s at SS. With a slide to third, he could be in the +30 range. He would also be productive in a platoon, where his downside would be, park nuetral, .230/.290/.460. The OBP is weak, but his defense more than balances that out.

    By the way, has Kevin Millwood been slept on this offseason. His DERA the last three years has to be better than almost every FA starter besides Pedro.

  20. Till Schreiber on December 21st, 2004 10:14 am

    What about Jolbert Cabrera? Few so far have mentioned him as a serious contender for ss. If I remember correctly, his defense was not bad whereever he played last year. He is already with the club, thus leaving whatever money there still is to improve pitching.

  21. Ralph Malph on December 21st, 2004 10:47 am

    Why would you play Jolbert and sit Lopez (if you’re not going to sign a stopgap)?

  22. Jesse on December 21st, 2004 10:55 am

    Can anyone enlighten me a bit about the process of switching to 2B from short? I ask because I *feel* inclined to just see what J-Lo can do in a full year at short and move him if we trade Boone or don’t offer him a contract, but I don’t know if that’s actually smart.

    How much do you think he would really struggle at 2nd defensively if he moved over midseason if we traded Boone? I guess we need an option at short if we do end up doing that, but I question whether getting Lopez more experience at Tacoma at 2nd is really worth sacrificing whatever progress he’d be likely to make against real pitching this year.

    I mean, to me it’s great if we compete in ’05 but no decisions should be made that limit the curve of getting this team better in ’06 and ’07. Does potentially (or likely?) shoddy defense at short really justify not getting Lopez playing every day in Safeco? Or do you guys envision Eckstein or Pokey or whoever sitting on the bench behind Lopez until Boone gets traded (if he does) and then figuring out a longterm solution at short in the offseason?

    I know we’re all just getting our head around what this team will look like in ’05, but I’m really enjoying speculating about what longterm solutions at SS, CF, or C will look like. Seems like this crowd is pretty skeptical about Reed’s longterm efficacy at center and the M’s farm system at getting us an everyday shortstop who can also hit at the major league level. We’ll assume for now that Olivo actually is the answer and just needs a little more time, but what moves would you guys like to see to make sure we have superstar defenders at short and center behind Felix (who aren’t an offensive liability) by ’07 or ’08? The question may be premature, but I’m suffering M’s news withdrawal out here on the east coast after last week’s amazing developments.

  23. Jim Thomsen on December 21st, 2004 12:37 pm

    Okay, let’s rein ourselves in a bit here:

    — The Mariners aren’t going to trade Ibanez. And there is no trade market for Spiezio unless the M’s pick up a big chunk of his money as the throw-in part of a Winn deal, which makes about as much sense as what the M’s will probably do, which is keep him and be careful about how often they trot him out there. Remember, it’s not entirely unlikely that he could be most of what he used to be — say, a .270 hitter in 240 at-bats. Why deal him when his value is at its lowest now?

    2. Jeff Cirillo will never again be a Seattle Mariner for the same reason that Bucky Dent would never be considered as manager of the Boston Red Sox — fans with long memories would never allow it.

    3. Jolbert Cabrera is not a full-time player. Never has been. Let’s not force it. Last year pretty well stretched him to his limit. He’s fine being used as he is — and probably about 10 percent less. That being said, if it saves money, I don’t see why the M’s necessarily have to have ONE shortstop in 2005 if they buy into the idea that Lopez needs another year in Tacoma to refine his craft (which they don’t seem to think he needs). Why not a flotilla of Cabrera, Bloomquist (if he makes the team, which seems more likely than not, plus a long look at Leone there)? It probably won’t work, but if we can’t somebody like Eckstein for $1.6 million or whatever … maybe it should get a test-drive.

  24. ChrisK on December 21st, 2004 12:50 pm

    #23 (Jim) – good points, all. Ibanez won’t be traded simply because he’s their lone left-handed stick who can play everyday. I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

  25. Shoeless Jose on December 21st, 2004 2:15 pm

    Ibanez hits well at Safeco, before he was an M and last year before he got derailed by his injury. Assuming he is healthy this year, he’s probably a better bet than anything they have the budget for in the corner outfield. Winn improved over the season but he’s unlikely to ever be anyone’s first choice in CF. Still, he’s quick on the basepaths and he switch hits. Unless they can get a substantial upgrade, or unload his salary for some useful prospects (which would put Reed there, and all that entails) he’s probably not going anywhere either. And I can’t see any takers for Spezio whatsoever, unless bundled with something a lot more appetizing than Winn. The M’s best bet for him would be to run him out there and hope he returns to his career averages, at which point they might be able to unload him. I know everyone is excited about the signings so far and want it to continue but it is a rebuilding year and the outfield may be a project for next year’s offseason.

  26. Matt Bjorke on December 21st, 2004 2:26 pm

    #24—Ibanez is the lone LH stick who can play every day? What Ichiro and Winn both suddenly stopped hitting LH? Did I miss something?

    Seriously though, you must’ve meant With POWER but I’d Argue that #51 could do that too if he wanted.

  27. ChrisK on December 21st, 2004 2:29 pm

    #26 – yes, I meant a lefty with power and can be counted on as a reasonable run producer. My bad.

  28. eponymous coward on December 21st, 2004 4:40 pm

    Whee, a LH with a lifetime SLG well under .500 and exactly zero seasons with 25 HRs. We’re cooking with, um, gas, guess.

    I’d still trade him over Winn if someone was willing to consider both. Because if Reed goes down with an injury/needs a few AB’s in AAA because he has a disastrous April after you trade Winn, your CF options are right now Strong (Winn’s arm, but NO power, think a poor man’s Otis Nixon) or Ichiro. Winn’s clearly the better defensive player.

  29. David J Corcoran on December 21st, 2004 4:41 pm

    How about Brian Sweeney as an NRI? He seems to look pretty good in his limited time.

  30. David J Corcoran on December 21st, 2004 4:44 pm

    He would easily be an upgrade over Franklin…

  31. Bernard Aboba on December 21st, 2004 5:44 pm

    In the first half of the PCL season, Sweeney was the most effective starting pitcher on the Portland Beavers (Padres AAA affiliate). Then they brought him up, and he gave up 9 runs in 14 1/3 innings. I don’t know that he could replace Franklin in terms of innings worked, but he could perform at least as well as Ron Villone for a fraction of the cost.

  32. David J Corcoran on December 21st, 2004 6:05 pm

    I see good peripheral hnumbers in limited time, career 17:3 K/BB, he posted an 1.93 ERA with Seattle in ’03, still only gave up 1 HR in 23.2 career innings pitched, 1.14 BB/9, 6.46 K/9, and only 15 pitches/inning. Even with his rockiness, that is a good number. He can go 8 innings a start like that. I’d give him a chance.

  33. Dave on December 21st, 2004 6:08 pm


    Sweeney is basically Scott Atchison. We already have one. Find another cause.

  34. Kwickie on December 21st, 2004 6:11 pm

    Ben Davis just re-signed with the White Sox for $1 mil.

  35. David J Corcoran on December 21st, 2004 6:17 pm

    I meant Sweeney as a Starter.

  36. MaAlHo on December 21st, 2004 6:50 pm

    From Bob Klapisch:
    “Vazquez will be sent to the Dodgers and Brown will likely never throw a pitch for the Yankees in 2005. One team official speculated the right-hander might be gone even before spring training, assuming the Yankees are willing to swallow most of the $15 million he’s owed next year”.

    Say the yankers are willing to pay 1/2. Does anyone else think Brown for $7.5mil is worth the risk? Granted Klapisch jumped the gun on that first point.

  37. Conor Glassey on December 21st, 2004 7:16 pm

    I like the idea of X, but when Craig Counsell gets $2.7M, I don’t think Eckstein will be available for very much less than that.

  38. AK1984 on December 21st, 2004 9:01 pm

    What is the deal with Barry Larkin? Could he be had for around $500,000 or so? I mean, look at Sandy Alomar, Jr. — who currently sucks, however — who signed a cheap deal at only $550,000 with Texas; Larkin could be like that. Moreover, Larkin is a more cost-efficient option at shortstop, at least moreso than David Eckstein.

  39. James T on December 21st, 2004 9:20 pm

    Barry Larkin has fallen off the zone rating cliff in the last couple years.

  40. AK1984 on December 21st, 2004 9:36 pm

    With the mentioning of Brian Sweeney being a possible NRI pickup, it makes me wonder as to who is next to be removed from the 40-Man roster if their is another free-agent signing…? Obviously, Aaron Looper is not going anywhere — so he isn’t an option — which makes me believe that if the Mariners sign a free-agent shortstop this off-season, it ought to be either Scott Atchison (due to the fact that he is 29 and he isn’t likely to make the team) or one of the third basemen [Justin Leone and Greg Dobbs] that gets dumped from the 40-Man roster, because the Mariners do not need two older non-prospects at the hot corner taking up space in Tacoma. Also, if the Mariners could trade Ryan Franklin for some single-A bum — in conjunction with signing sombody such as Odalis Perez or Wade Miller — that would be a positive, too. Furthermore, who do y’all think is the best candidate for the LOGGY spot on the M’s this upcoming year, George Sherrill or Matt Thornton?

    Edit: We’re going to start deleting these mock rosters when you hijack threads. Stop it

  41. DMZ on December 21st, 2004 10:29 pm

    AK — Would you please, for the love of Snelling, stop posting your complete, what-you-think 2005 roster is on every thread you see? There’s a whole roster construction post for exactly this purpose.

  42. Jon Wells on December 22nd, 2004 1:39 am

    #37 — Conor,

    That Craig Counsell deal with AZ is TWO YEARS for
    a total of $2.7 million, just 1.35 mil a year.

  43. AK1984 on December 22nd, 2004 2:53 am

    Hey, the mentioning of Snelling — along with the Twins drafting of Ryan Rowland-Smith in the Rule 5 Draft — made me think of Craig Anderson…what is the deal with him? He’s been in Tacoma the past couple of seasons; however, he has not yet produced up to an adequete level, which makes me wonder…what will ever become of him? As it is, he’s a soft-tosser, in the mold of Jamie Moyer, which doesn’t really bode well for him. Also, what ’bout other AAA pitchers — (Brett Evert, Jared Hoerman, Jeff Heaverlo, Chris Key, Ryan Anderson, etc.) — for what, too, is the deal with them?

  44. Bela Txadux on December 22nd, 2004 10:28 pm

    “DePodesta, Genius GM,” has bombed in the test screenings, so it’s back at the studio for a re-cut. There are plenty of very bright folks who become very dim executives. Seriously, after the Beltre fiasco I was thinking of putting up a post summarizing DePo’s tenure so far, but I decided to wait a week or two to let this offseason get it’s ballast reloaded after some of the big moves weighed in. Certainly the fact that DePo pulled out of the crazy bend-over-for-the-Yankers threeway it was a sign in his favor—but the fact that he let himself be talked into it as a means of jettisoning Green and Ishii doesn’t say too much for his approach to begin with. DePodesta has gotten off to a very, very poor start, and it’s not all McCourt by any means: even if the Dodgers have to dump salary, who they’re acquiring on the come back makes DePo look like a rube in almose EVERY deal. Hmmmmm.