Pioneer Press floats Boone-for-Lohse trial balloon

Jeff · July 6, 2005 at 12:21 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

If you’ve noticed a wealth of posts about potential trades over the last few days, that’s because it’s more interesting than continually bemoaning the cruel fate of backing a losing team.

Usually, I’m loath to speculate about what the Mariners might get in a deal. The market fluctuates naturally, GMs have different perceptions of player value, and I have no inside information to speak of. Most of what you see bandied about in these stories is more chaff than wheat. Today affords us a perfect example.

Bret Boone: the Twins have no interest … and yet, the Twins also want to get him and start him!

From Finnigan:

Minnesota, which had been hinted as a suitor, said it had no interest. Although Luis Rivas is having an off-year, the Twins reportedly are placing their faith in Nick Punto, whose lead asset is hustle.

From the Pioneer Press:

If three-time all-star Bret Boone isn’t the Twins’ starting second baseman next week, it won’t be for lack of making a run at the suddenly available Gold Glove infielder.

The Twins appear to be in the middle of the pursuit of Boone … “I’m not going to deny anything right now,” said Terry Ryan, the Twins’ typically tight-lipped general manager, when asked about pursuing Boone. “I’ve got to keep everything going.”

Maybe Finnigan’s statement that Minnesota said it had no interest refers to the state, not the ball club.

These two disparate reports should serve as enough of a caveat. Believe rumors at your own risk.

Still, the Pioneer Press story is enough to get an M’s fan’s blood percolating, in a good way. It says that if the Mariners will pick up the tab for the rest about Boone’s season (about $4.5 million), the Twins might be willing to deal a pitcher or an outfield prospect.

Specifically, the article floats the possibility of Kyle Lohse. This is a deal that I would do in a heartbeat.

Lohse is no world-beater — he has career numbers similar to Gil Meche’s, and we’ve seen how frustrating Meche can be — but he’s durable, is going to be 27 in December and would fill a hole in the 2006 Grand Canyon of a rotation the M’s are looking at.

The only current starter virtually guaranteed to be on the club is Joel Pineiro, and he’s at serious risk of getting injured or being bad. I’d bet Franklin will be back, but that means right now we’re looking at Franklin, Pineiro and Felix, with maybe Madritsch if he gets healthy. Lohse’s strikeout rate has dipped a bit, but he’s also walking fewer batters. His 2.44 K/BB this year beats any current Mariners starter.

For the price — a player you’re going to cut loose anyway, and money you’re not going to put back in the club next year — I think this is a move you make if it’s on the table. That’s especially true given a dearth of free agent pitchers to get excited about in the coming offseason.


91 Responses to “Pioneer Press floats Boone-for-Lohse trial balloon”

  1. jc on July 6th, 2005 3:14 pm

    49 are we on dope here SANTANA.This is turning into a joke?Santana was the cy young winner last year and has more upside then even felix give me a break .Dont chime in with crap like that please!!!!!

  2. David J Corcoran on July 6th, 2005 3:15 pm

    I’m not entirely sure that he has more upside than Felix.

  3. LB on July 6th, 2005 3:18 pm

    #51: You’re right about Santana, of course. Hey, I hear the Mets could use a veteran 2nd baseman! Maybe they’d trade that Pedro fella for Boonie, whatdya think?

  4. strong silence on July 6th, 2005 3:24 pm

    And Bert Blyleven pitched exactly one year in his 40’s, age 41, with an adjusted ERA at 84% of league (his career number was 118).

    So, uh, no, not so much a good example.


    I thought you might catch the number of home runs Blyleven allowed (over 40) then notice that he was out of the league two seasons later. Even though he isn’t the best comp, it is a data point. Nothing more.

  5. DMZ on July 6th, 2005 3:24 pm

    JC: It was a joke. Calm down.

    Also, if I may — for someone who posts comments almost entirely without punctuation, with poor spelling, telling anyone “Dont chime in with crap like that please!!!!!” is a little rich.

  6. Steve Thornton on July 6th, 2005 3:25 pm

    JOHAN Santana?

    Right. As soon as we work out that deal, we can get started on Bloomquist and Borders for ARod and Posada. Or maybe Dave Hansen for Albert Pujols, that’d be a nice trade for us. Or Matt Thornton for Dontrelle Willis.

    I assume by “revert to form” you meant “move up from the top twenty pitchers back into the top ten again”.

    The Twins wouldn’t trade Johan Santana for our entire roster.

    We could probably get Julio Santana from the Brewers for that package, though.

  7. DoesntCompute on July 6th, 2005 3:28 pm

    Wow. Didn’t expect anyone to actually think I was serious. Next time I will make sure I put /sarcasm in for those wound a little too tight.

  8. strong silence on July 6th, 2005 3:28 pm

    Hypothesis: We seem to undervalue our known players (pitchers especially) and overvalue our unknowns (minor league players). Discuss.

  9. LB on July 6th, 2005 3:29 pm

    #56: Bloomquist and Borders for ARod and Posada

    Only if NY (or Texas, I don’t really care who) picks up a lot of salary in that deal, otherwise no way.

  10. David J Corcoran on July 6th, 2005 3:33 pm

    58: It’s true. I don’t think there is anything to discuss.

  11. Steve Thornton on July 6th, 2005 3:36 pm

    58 – we seem to undervalue our hitters, and overvalue our pitchers, because of the distorting effects of Safeco Field.

    Overvalue our unknowns? Certainly; many times I’ve read on here suggestions that our minor league prospects are done deals, that Betancourt or Felix or Choo or Doyle or whomever is a done deal. Certainty is usually wrong.

    But undervalue our pitchers especially? I don’t think so. They suck. Our rotation is abysmal. We don’t have a single pitcher in the top SIXTY in SNLVAR, top SEVENTY-FIVE in VORP.

  12. eponymous coward on July 6th, 2005 3:36 pm

    Yes, I was kidding about Santana for Ibanez.

    Ryan Howard for Ibanez is MUCH more realistic.


  13. DoesntCompute on July 6th, 2005 3:38 pm

    While it is fun to discuss potential trades I find it pretty worthless. As the original post here pointed out, there are rumors saying the Twins would give us Lohse for Boone and others saying the Twins aren’t interested. These are rumors and the vast majority of the time there is nothing to them.

    People in this thread have gotten all riled up over the possibility of the M’s trading for Lohse (for and against) when that is only one rumor out of many. It has been funny to listen too but man relax. Wait for a trade to happen before you expend all of your energy blasting it. I make a completely tongue in cheek comment about an obviously stupid trade and I immediately get blasted by not one but two people – wow!

  14. DMZ on July 6th, 2005 3:38 pm

    Hypothesis: We seem to undervalue our known players (pitchers especially) and overvalue our unknowns (minor league players). Discuss.


  15. strong silence on July 6th, 2005 3:40 pm

    You are in a bad mood.


  16. David J Corcoran on July 6th, 2005 3:43 pm

    Wee Willie at short, batting second, FYI.

  17. eponymous coward on July 6th, 2005 3:44 pm

    While it is fun to discuss potential trades I find it pretty worthless.

    But considering the quality of baseball coming from Your Seattle Mariners, is it any suprise we’re talking about potential trades?

  18. Steve Thornton on July 6th, 2005 3:45 pm

    Rank in VORP:

    Ibanez, 40
    Suzuki, 51
    Sexson, 66
    Morse, 134
    Beltre, 189
    Reed, 252
    Winn, 255
    Boone, 261
    Wiki, 296
    Meche, 426 (as a hitter)
    Choo, 445
    Franklin, 525 (as a hitter)
    Moyer, 557 (as a hitter)
    Sele, 606 (as a hitter)
    Piniero, 623 (as a hitter)
    Bloomquist, 634
    Lopez, 651
    Hansen, 689
    Spezio, 742
    Wilson, 744
    Dobbs, 750
    Borders, 757
    Valdez, 802
    Olivo, 806

    Out of 807 total.

    What exactly are we undervaluing here?

  19. jc on July 6th, 2005 3:47 pm

    I didnt know this was a spelling session.I wasnt talking to you anyway .So please dont answer for everyone just be the monitor and let people talk to each other.A little rich!!!!HAHN that stament the gut made was asanine.

  20. Evan on July 6th, 2005 3:47 pm

    Toronto would love to have the Pat Borders mojo back. I’m sure we could pry Halladay away in exchange for the 1993 World Series MVP. Halladay’s only the best pitcher in the AL by a wide margin, and that’s nothing compared to WS MVP cachet.

  21. Evan on July 6th, 2005 3:51 pm

    Doyle starting in left tonight.

    Batting eighth.

  22. Jim Osmer on July 6th, 2005 3:52 pm

    Did Morse piss Grover off? Hard to sit a .330 hitter even though he has been scuffling a bit.

  23. Steve Thornton on July 6th, 2005 3:53 pm

    Rank in VORP, pitching:

    Franklin, 78th
    Mateo, 92
    Guardado, 136
    Putz, 139
    Moyer, 142
    Sele, 157
    Villone, 171
    Hasegawa, 191
    Nelson, 202
    Thornton, 279
    Meche, 297
    Campillo, 327
    Sherrill, 341
    Pineiro, 352
    Madritsch, 353

    Same question.

  24. David J Corcoran on July 6th, 2005 3:54 pm

    We’re probably giving Willie a chance to play everyday so he can rack up PA’s and murder us during arbitration.

  25. dw on July 6th, 2005 3:54 pm

    Doyle starting in left tonight. Batting eighth.

    From Game Summary:

    Bottom 1st
    Bloomquist replaces Snelling in LF

    You know it’s going to happen.

  26. eponymous coward on July 6th, 2005 3:55 pm

    Doyle’s batting 8th and Bloomquist’s batting second. Ooookay.

    Hargrove’s setting us up for the punchline, right?

  27. Steve Thornton on July 6th, 2005 3:55 pm

    Spelling session, no. Communication session, yes. Biology 101, no; what does “the stamen of the gut was as a nine” mean?

  28. rockymariner on July 6th, 2005 3:55 pm

    Well done jc, I think you made DMZ’s point.

  29. wabbles on July 6th, 2005 3:56 pm

    One glance at the AL East standings should tell us that the price for a pitcher the equivalent of Lohse this winter is gonna go up again. (Think Jared Wright and Carl Pavano, only more expensive still.) If we can get him for Boone, let’s do it.

  30. DMZ on July 6th, 2005 3:59 pm

    Bottom 1st
    Bloomquist replaces Snelling in LF

    Holy mackeral, I *just* made that joke introducing the game thread.

  31. Xteve X on July 6th, 2005 3:59 pm

    Lohse’s OK, another low strikeout pitcher … at this point getting anything in return for Boone’s OK by me. I don’t see why the Twins wouldn’t wait to see if they couldn’t claim Boone off waivers, however.

    Freaking Willie “If you hate me, you’re not a true NWer” Bloomquist at SS tonight AGAIN?!?!?!?!?!

  32. Gary on July 6th, 2005 4:01 pm


    If it is fun to discuss potential trades, then it isn’t worthless. When the team sucks, sometimes trade talk is the only fun you get.

    Implicit premise of above statement: having fun is more desirable than not having fun. This may not be true for everyone.

  33. Jim Osmer on July 6th, 2005 4:12 pm

    Actually Grover is trying to piss off Bavasi.
    Not playing Olivo to see if he is fixed.
    Not playing Doyle when your LF is slumping badly.
    Sitting Morse for Bloomie.

    I see conflict coming.

  34. Steve Thornton on July 6th, 2005 4:13 pm

    You’re not a real Mariner fan unless you believe that having fun is wrong.

  35. Evan on July 6th, 2005 4:22 pm


    Seriously, I laughed out loud.

  36. DMZ on July 6th, 2005 5:16 pm

    To try and move threads back:

    “Stars and scrubs” as a strategy is the avoidance of mid-tier players, particularly mid-tier free agents, in favor of star players and common, easily-available players. The “scrubs” part, in the strategy, should be crazy gambles who might turn into big contributors: damaged goods coming back from injuries, guys with big flaws in their game like the inability to play defense, minor league free agents, players who you picked up when they were released or put on waivers… and if they don’t work out, you toss them.

    The theory is that if you’re good, you can spend $20m on Manny Ramirez and then turn up Bill Mueller and Bellhorn for a couple mill a piece, you’re far better off than paying four middle-tier guys $10m each.

    Now, whether this works or not, or if it’s a good strategy, I leave up to the reader.

  37. Shoeless Jose on July 6th, 2005 5:31 pm

    JC: so, in addition to being 12 years old and spelling/punctuation/grammar-impaired, you’re also oblivious to sarcasm? Worse, you seem to forget the fundamental truth of USSM: it’s not your blog. It belongs to DMZ and Dave and the other guys who maintain it, and they can do whatever they like. If you don’t like that, you can start your own. I hope you do, actually; I expect it will look something like this.

  38. Baltimore M's Fan on July 6th, 2005 7:56 pm

    I know I’m late on this, and I’ll probably get no response. But….Jeff you said that only Piniero and Franklin will be back next year. Why do you guys seem to be so convinced that Meche won’t be back? Is it that you think he shouldn’t be back, or do you know something about what management thinks about him?
    Just curious.

  39. David J Corcoran on July 6th, 2005 8:44 pm

    87: My God.

  40. James on July 7th, 2005 1:17 am

    Well I guess insane rumors, or insane rumor mongering knows no bounds. Imagine being a Phillie’s fan and opening your morning paper to find the solution to the Phillie’s problems is not to deal prospects for a solid starting pitcher or two, nope, its dealing Bobby Abreu.

  41. Evan on July 7th, 2005 10:36 am

    I’m sure we could find an “overpowering personality” to ship to Philly in exchange for Abreu.