One way or another

DMZ · June 28, 2005 at 9:40 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Bavasi, via

“We feel better about this club than last year’s club,” Bavasi said. “The way we look at it, we don’t have to make those kinds of decisions until after the All-Star break. We’re not ready yet to say we’re going to trade veterans for kids in the classic give-up style.

“But neither are we at the point of trading for veterans in the classic contender style. The so-called ‘rent-a-player’ idea doesn’t scare us, but I don’t think we would want to trade for someone with a bad contract.”

Fair enough, and in other discussions I’ve tried to make this point: if the team has to pay all of a veteran’s salary (say, Boone) to trade them for a gumdrop, they may be better off keeping the player and letting them finish off the season.

That being said, Bavasi predicted the Mariners would be active “one way or another” as the trading deadline approaches. A lot can happen in the next three weeks, especially with so many games (10) against American League West opponents heading into the three-day All-Star break.

A hot streak could catapult the Mariners into the Angels’ rear-view mirror. A cold snap could bury them in the lower echelon of the division.

We’ve discussed this before, but no hot streak gets this team into contention. They’re over ten games out at this point. Historically, teams that are over ten games out this late in the season don’t come back. It’s possible but extremely unlikely.

This article’s general point, that Seattle’s looking at the pot and wondering, is backed up elsewhere.

In the PI:

The Mariners are said to be considering offers on three players: second baseman Bret Boone, left-handed pitcher Jamie Moyer, and outfielder Randy Winn.

It’s interesting Guardado’s not mentioned here, though we’ve noted that they refused to consider trading him last year and consider having a closer an important part of their .450 team.

A baseball executive whose club spoke with the Mariners recently was told Seattle was in a “holding pattern.”

“If they continue to lose, they’ll probably move some players,” the executive said.

That seems to be the perception of the executive more than anything Bavasi’s said, in the same way the article is. Much of the speculation about what’s in the front office’s head is unsupported by even their statements.

They may be doing what they did last year at this time, and playing hard-to-get. There was a time they weren’t going to trade Freddy Garcia. They could be working the phones, or waiting for the last round of suitors to come knocking again.

They could be bored. They may figure that given the choice between dumping a veteran (and eating a lot of their salary) to pick up a AAA guy they’re going to release this off-season and having that veteran finish out the year, they might as well have the veteran around.

They might be twiddling their thumbs.

We can reasonably expect they’re not punting on next year. As the Yankees, and Red Sox, and other contending teams have trouble getting other teams to cough up players that might help them, it’s unlikely the Mariners are going to go out and trade off their middle infielder crop for rent-a-players.

At some point though, we should worry about Bavasi weighing self-interest against the long term interests of the team. We’ve seen it happen in other teams: if he doesn’t feel like he’ll be around for the next really good Mariner team unless they get to .500 in 2006, there’s a lot of damage that can be done in a one-year quest to guarantee contention.


97 Responses to “One way or another”

  1. Russ on June 28th, 2005 2:30 pm

    you goes left from eagel nrth to a road witch hsa stripe in the middel. take the rite fourk at the cow, go anothe miel.

    hope this helps.

  2. aaron c. on June 28th, 2005 2:30 pm


    Then, again people can exclaim the virtues of our wonderful hitting magician–who seems to to never hit under pressure of a pennant race (2001deleted)

    Don’t you think that perhaps the need to qualify your statement to such an enormous degree means that it’s not really a statement worth making?

  3. Dave on June 28th, 2005 2:31 pm

    Dan O’Brien has been insistent that he’s not trading Kearns. The Reds are a rudderless ship, perhaps the worst run run organization in sports right now. Until they clean house, I don’t think you can count on being able to conduct any kind of rational business with the Reds.

  4. jaketrash on June 28th, 2005 2:32 pm

    Continuing on the worst thread ever theme.

    Any thought that the Mariners can have any positive outcome in the trade market this year is a pipe dream.
    There are two 2B with better upside than Boone being shopped to get anything for him. Jays Orlando Hudson and Tigers Placido Palanco.
    There are too many OF on the market to get any value for Winn.
    And the Mariners don’t have anyone besides Felix that anyone else would ever consider trading for.

    Yet we still want to bash Bill for not getting anything done.
    Well, well. Why do we even try?

  5. Jeremy on June 28th, 2005 2:33 pm

    #53 Dave,

    The worst run organization in sports right now is still the Los Angeles Clippers. GM Elgin Baylor is a veteran of the lottery process, as Reggie Theus noted in 2000.

    Hey, I just contributed to the worst thread ever!

    Yeah baby! You can do it!

  6. eponymous coward on June 28th, 2005 2:33 pm

    OK, then are there players to be had as a result of O’Brien’s irrationality?

  7. Mike on June 28th, 2005 2:38 pm

    Continuing the downward spiral with off the subject tangents, I think the Clippers are actually rather well run. There goal does not seem to bewinning, however, it has been a profitable bottom line for Donald Sterling. They have made some better draft picks (Livingston is the real deal) recently and seem to be moving in the right direction. Whether or not Sterling will sign any of his developing young players is a different story.

  8. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 2:38 pm

    So, about Idaho backroads…

  9. DMZ on June 28th, 2005 2:39 pm

    Worst thread ever? Oh man, I don’t think this is even close.

    I was going to search for the thread with the most deleted comments just as a starter, but #$@@#%@#@% Bela Txadux fakes out his %#^$%#^ sign-in with “deleted” so it screws up my query.


    Which, now that I think about it, would pretty much make this the worst thread ever.

  10. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 2:39 pm

    Oh crap, that’s already been mentioned.

  11. DMZ on June 28th, 2005 2:41 pm

    Oh, and seriously:

    Any time you start a comment with something that acknowledges you’re going off-topic, or further off-topic, baby Jesus cries. This includes:

    “Not to derail the thread, but –”
    “I know this off-topic, but–”
    “This is even more off-topic…”
    and so forth and so on.

  12. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 2:41 pm

    [deleted, annoying]

  13. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 2:41 pm

    [deleted, annoying]

  14. Archie Leach on June 28th, 2005 2:42 pm

    One reason the Mariners (and the A’s) will probably hold off from pulling the plug on the season very soon is the schedule. The Angels still have 35 games to play against the AL East, all of them after the all-star break. That’s almost a guaranteed slump somewhere along the line.

  15. Dave on June 28th, 2005 2:42 pm

    The Clippers are in far, far better shape than the Reds. Yes, Elgin Baylor is a stooge, but they’ve actually got solid talent up and down their roster. The Reds have a couple of good major league players and a lot of bad players making huge money. They’re paying Danny Graves to pitch for the Mets. They’re paying Sean Casey to hit into double plays and Eric Milton to throw batting practice. Griffey’s contract is still completely unmovable. Kearns is their third best player, and he’s in Triple-A. Their players hate the front office, and the owner is a senile nutbag.

    The Reds are the titanic. They need to fire basically everyone involved with the organization and just start over.

  16. Mike on June 28th, 2005 2:47 pm


    I agree, and my comment was done purposefully re: #46

  17. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 2:48 pm

    According to P-I, Olivo is up? What?!

  18. jaketrash on June 28th, 2005 2:52 pm

    Probably mixed up catcher promotions. According to KOMO, Wiki is off the DL.

  19. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 2:53 pm
  20. DMZ on June 28th, 2005 2:55 pm

    Hang on, I’m looking into this.

  21. Adam S on June 28th, 2005 2:59 pm

    Oh, just delete this thread from 31 down. I can’t believe we’re talking about basketball (sorry Dave, I know it’s your blog).

    Nothing that has happened this season should lead anyone, even the most ardent optimist that this club will play .500 ball here on out.

    I’m not sure why it’s too much to believe the Mariners could play .500 ball from here on out. They’ve played .500 ball over long stretches — all of April, and from mid-May to present. Sure the pitching isn’t very good and will likely fall off. But Beltre, Ichiro, and 2B have to get better. Soriano, Reese, and Hernandez will help out in the second half. And at quick glance the schedule is easier. Even if this is truly only a .450 team, they have a chance to play .500 ball for 90 games.

    I’m all for trading if we get real value in return. But to dump players without any short-term replacement for the sake of doing something or saving the owners money is just dump.

  22. Eric on June 28th, 2005 2:59 pm

    To further drift (sorry DMZ couldn’t resist) I remember reading a couple years ago that the Clippers are one of the most profitable teams in the NBA. Sterling knows exactly what he is doing, the constant influx of young talent keeps the team interesting to watch, with Lakers tickets unavailable to the average joe there is a huge population of basketball fans in LA who will attend the Clips games. If the goal is to win a championship, yeah the Clippers strategy will never work. If the goal is to make the most money possible for Sterling, then he probably is doing the right thing.

  23. Jeremy on June 28th, 2005 3:09 pm

    #72 Eric,

    “If the goal is to win a championship, yeah the Clippers strategy will never work.”

    That’s exactly why I’ve criticized the Clippers.

    Yes, the Reds ar ethe worst-run organization in baseball. I can’t argue with that. The Reds have been a mess for years. At least they have a nice ballpark now, instead of Riverfront Stadium. Not that it matters too much.

    (End of basketball talk from me. Not that this thread will be saved anyway.)

  24. Rusty on June 28th, 2005 3:10 pm

    Can someone please explain to me the high perceived value of Kotsay? His numbers are down across the board this year compared to 2004. Now an optimist might say that a 2nd half rebound is just around the corner, however, his current 2005 numbers are almost identical to his 2003 year. So what would be the cause of such optimism?

  25. LB on June 28th, 2005 3:15 pm

    #74: My theory is, Kotsay’s value varies inversely with Bernie’s mis-adventures in CF for the Yankees. As Bernie looks worse, Kotsay’s stock rises.

  26. Knuckles on June 28th, 2005 3:16 pm

    “Dan O’Brien has been insistent that he’s not trading Kearns. The Reds are a rudderless ship, perhaps the worst run run organization in sports right now. Until they clean house, I don’t think you can count on being able to conduct any kind of rational business with the Reds.”

    I have to admit, I never thought it would be possible for a GM to suck worse than Jim Bowden. Dan O’Brien has proven me wrong.

  27. Jon Helfgott on June 28th, 2005 3:19 pm

    I’ve wondered about Kotsay’s perceived value, too. A career .340 OBP with hints of marginal upside while providing solid CF defense is a nifty little piece, but at $6.5 million? Kotsay has shown a little more pop than Winn, and is 2 years younger, but he definitely hasn’t been worth almost $3 million more this year.

  28. Dead Ball Tim on June 28th, 2005 3:24 pm

    Wow.. Olivo up and Rivera down. They just can’t stand prosperity I guess. But it could be the M’s version of an ultimatum to Olivo. “See, we sent down a hotshot .364 flashy kid to make room for you. Don’t mess up.”

    I figure Rivera’s chances of coming back soon are pretty good.

  29. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 3:25 pm

    I have to assume that either something happened off the field that they aren’t telling us about, or they are showcasing Olivo for trade.

  30. Jim Osmer on June 28th, 2005 3:28 pm

    Sorry about the Wiki confusion (Lookout Landing had Wiki not Olivo). Not sure why we make this move since Olivo has not really been tearing up yet at AAA. Replace a guy hitting .233 in Tacoma for a guy hitting .364 in the majors.

    Question: outside of catcher ERA how do we from a distance rate “handling a pitching staff”? Has Rivera not done this well? What do pitchers think of Wiki?

  31. Jim Osmer on June 28th, 2005 3:32 pm

    I would not surprised to see Olivo traded back to the White Sox this year ( a Sean Elliot type of thing if you remember that).
    Wiki is hitting .326 at Tacoma.

    This whole catching group is getting really muddy.

  32. Rusty on June 28th, 2005 3:35 pm

    Is too much being made of our catching situation? With Wilson off the rolls in 2006 and Clement 2 years off (fingers crossed), aren’t we really just looking for some acceptable backstops for the next 1.5 years? The multi-headed hydra of Wiki, Olivo, Borders and Rivera works for me. Shuttle these 4 back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma and concentrate on improving at other positions with trades and free agent signings.

  33. jaketrash on June 28th, 2005 3:36 pm

    Could it be someone thinks that Rivera has learned what he needs from a big league experience and is now going to play everyday to put that new knowledge to use?

    Combine that with Olivo having learned all he can from AAA and now is on the make or break track with Pat looking over his shoulder.

    Makes about as much sense as anything else I have said or heard today.

  34. DMZ on June 28th, 2005 3:37 pm

    Seriously, when I said I was looking into it, I was looking into it — there’s a whole post now for the comments on…

    I have no idea why I’m trying to save this thread. Dave was right. It’s post #2,700… further proof that milestones aren’t significant.

  35. Jim Osmer on June 28th, 2005 3:39 pm

    #82 I agree, I just think I would keep a different pair in the majors today. Rivera is 5 years younger than Olivo but looks better behind the plate, not even including the hitting difference.

    What are the chances Wiki is part of the 2006 plan?

  36. Evan on June 28th, 2005 3:40 pm

    I’m with Corco. There must be interest in seeing Olivo.

    Maybe they’ll try to set him up like Soriano when he was first promoted. Let him face only patsies to inflate his numbers, and see if anyone bites.

    So, if Willie is syphilis, what’s Olivo?

  37. Jim Osmer on June 28th, 2005 3:45 pm

    the clap

  38. Rusty on June 28th, 2005 3:46 pm

    #85, I guess keeping the right two or three makes sense. From one standpoint, trading (giving) Olivo back the White Sox makes a little bit of sense while trying to develop Wiki’s and Rene’s defense. It improves organizational know-how at the major league level for when it might really count… like if Clement is called up. Minnesota’s development of Mauer would probably be a good template to follow. But at this point, I don’t think there’s such know-how on our coaching staff. Developing catchers at the major league level has been largely ignored by this franchise because Danny was pretty much fully developed by ’94/’95 and there hasn’t been a need since that time.

  39. DMZ on June 28th, 2005 3:59 pm

    Seriously, whole thread, just for this catcher talk, down the hall to the right.

  40. Typical Idiot Fan on June 28th, 2005 11:36 pm

    (or close to it, say 75-78 wins- it baiscally requires us to play a skosh above .500 the rest of the year)

    I would just like to point out that I don’t think a lot of you even know where the term “skosh” came from.

  41. eponymous coward on June 29th, 2005 12:54 am

    It’s originally Japanese: “sukoshi” (a little bit). Came over in the 1950’s or so.

  42. Typical Idiot Fan on June 29th, 2005 2:14 am

    I said “a lot of you”. I figured the one using it would know it.

  43. Mords on June 29th, 2005 6:49 am

    If you thought the person using it knew what it was, I’m not quite sure why you wrote:

    “I would just like to point out that I don’t think a lot of you even know where the term “skosh” came from.”

    What were you trying to accomplish?

  44. Typical Idiot Fan on June 29th, 2005 1:36 pm

    Same thing you are by replying to it: Nothing.

    I hear the term used a lot. Kind of like how people use the term “machismo” and have no idea where it comes from.

  45. MacMariner on June 29th, 2005 4:24 pm

    RE: #91: I’m not so sure, : “skosh” sounds a lot like “skoosh” and means pretty much the same thing back in Scotland. It’s extremely unlikely a Japanese word influenced Scots.

    i.e : Q: do you want some Ginger?
    : A: Aye, bit just a skoosh.

    veryintersting though.

  46. Should Be Working on June 29th, 2005 5:08 pm

    The yankees are looking for speed and youth in the outfield what if the mariners made a deal with winn for posoda?

  47. tyler on June 29th, 2005 5:55 pm


    great tangents, off=shoots and useless information, complete with additions in irrationality and semantical nonsense. i looooove it!

    “not to go off topic, but…” where did the 3-word, period embedded statement originate. i’ve tried to search it, but haven’t had any success. this little pop culture phenomenon is perplexing.
    primary examples:
    best. thread. ever. worst. thread. ever.