Jamie Moyer, circa 2006

Dave · August 18, 2005 at 8:09 am · Filed Under Mariners 

From April 30th to May 18th, Jamie Moyer had four starts that were, to be kind, awful:

4/30: 4 2/3 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
5/6: 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
5/11: 2 1/3 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
5/18: 5 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

For those four starts, his ERA was 12.63 and people were calling for his release. Since May 18th, he’s pitched 102 1/3 innings and posted an ERA of 3.34.

For the season, Moyer’s ERA is 4.20. His Fielding Independant ERA of 4.26 is better than C.C. Sabathia, Brad Radke, Barry Zito, and Jarrod Washburn, among others.

At this point, there should be no doubt that Jamie Moyer should be part of the Mariners 2006 rotation. The man continues to defy age, and his skills are perfectly suited for pitching in Safeco Field. While the team rightfully acknowledges that the rotation needs serious upgrades, the new acquisitions should be replacing Ryan Franklin, Gil Meche, and Joel Pineiro. Jamie Moyer should be back in 2006.


120 Responses to “Jamie Moyer, circa 2006”

  1. roger tang on August 18th, 2005 2:29 pm

    $3M for 200 replacement innings compared to what? Look at the context and what’s available, both in free agency and in the mariner farm system. What’s a better deal?

  2. msb on August 18th, 2005 2:32 pm

    Bob Montgomery said:”But $3M for 200 replacement level innings if we are trying to make the playoffs doesn’t sound like such a good deal to me”

    you must not have been watching the pitching pay scale rise… $3,064,021 is the average salary for a starter this season.

  3. Gomez on August 18th, 2005 2:37 pm

    75. You hit the nail on the head in that he’s worth bringing back next year, given our in-house options are extremely limited. If we had a solid rotation and maybe a guy or two waiting in the wings, I would say let him go and give him the chance to extend his career elsewhere if he wants to.

    But one thing to remember is that his skills have already eroded. Look at his numbers over the last couple years and you’ll see a dropoff from his 20 win seasons, the type of dropoff you’d expect to see from a fortysomething veteran hurler finally hitting the wall. However, there’s a difference between ending up like Aaron Sele, and ending up like Jamie Moyer. Common logic says he should have quit after his disastrous 2004 year. However, not only did he come back, but he’s shown enough improvement over a sustained period that he clearly made an adjustment to his game and is still able to compete every 5 days. Felix aside, he’s our most reliable starting pitcher. As many learned junkballers are there have been and are in MLB, not many can made such an adjustment and return to that kind of competitive form despite diminished abilities.

    Now, give this team a year or two to accumulate some able, healthy, talented arms, and if Moyer absolutely melts down by 2007, and you have an arm or two that can competently take that spot, then let Moyer go. Until then, keep him.

  4. Mike Snow on August 18th, 2005 2:51 pm

    They’ll all be a year older, though, and if you never know when they’re going to explode and so should take no risks on players getting older…

    That’s right, you should only take risks on players who are getting a year younger every year.

  5. msb on August 18th, 2005 2:55 pm

    Gomez said: “But one thing to remember is that his skills have already eroded. Look at his numbers over the last couple years and you’ll see a dropoff from his 20 win seasons, the type of dropoff you’d expect to see from a fortysomething veteran hurler finally hitting the wall.”

    you’re expecting 20-win seasons from Moyer? by that measure, the Astros should dump Clemens (the bum, an 11-4 season so far) Moyer gives you 200 IP, he gives you a circa-4.00 ERA, he gives you maybe 13-17 wins and the chance for more. He has only hit 20 twice in 21 years, and that was with good luck, run support and a bullpen. As a reminder, in 2004 he had 7 wins, 13 losses and 14 NDs, 8 of which were blown saves.

  6. Jeremy on August 18th, 2005 3:05 pm

    Some other soft tossers at age 43.

    Charlie Hough: 176 1/3 Innings 4.02 ERA
    Phil Niekro: 234 1/3 Innings 3.61 ERA
    Tommy John: 70 Innings 2.93 ERA
    Dennis Martinez: 91 Innings 4.45 ERA

  7. Gomez on August 18th, 2005 3:09 pm

    The 20-win remark was just in general reference to his previous seasons prior to 2004, not so much to label him a 20-win machine. His ERA stayed in the 3’s and he held opponents to about .240 over those previous years, while working 200+ IP per.

    He’s diminished from solid to reliable.

  8. jim on August 18th, 2005 3:17 pm

    For better or worse, Billy Beane isn’t sentimental about cutting loose players to improve his team since his primary focus seems to be winning rather than marketing family entertainment. The A’s win a lot more games and Mariner Inc. makes a lot more money. Sure, it makes more sense for Moyer to hobble out to the mound every 5th day than some Steve Trout clone just like having Edgar DH last year seemed like a good idea at the time as touted often by USSM. It seems more like desperation than anything else. It makes more sense to try to acquire some decent young untried arms than to continue this deadend strategy.

  9. Jim Thomsen on August 18th, 2005 3:26 pm

    To me, the question is: Are the Mariners smart enough to know how to spot Moyer’s starts last year and protect him from parks and teams in which his weaknesses are magnified?

    I don’t doubt that Moyer can still pitch, but I don’t think just trotting him out every fifth day regardless or where the M’s are or who they’re playing is necessarily a winning strategy.

  10. roger tang on August 18th, 2005 3:32 pm


    Where are those “decent, untried” arms coming from?

  11. Jeremy on August 18th, 2005 3:44 pm

    How many people seriously expect the Mariners to be a playoff team next year? With the right offseason moves, they’ll be an 85 win team. They are at the bottom of the success cycle and slowly coming back up. Thank you Mr. Mattox and Mr. Gillick for that present.

  12. Jerry on August 18th, 2005 3:59 pm

    I agree that bringing back Moyer would be a nice move. He obviously is still an effective starter. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hits a wall soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he pitches two more years at his present level either. Given the M’s lack of alternatives, it would be a good move.

    However, I wonder if Moyer might get a better deal to pitch somewhere else. As many have said previously, the free agent market this year is really weak. Moyer could definitely give the M’s a home team discount and resign before getting to free agency. But some team could come out and sign him for a lot more than one year at $3mil. If he gets an offer for 2-years at a pretty high salary, the M’s might want to consider just taking the draft picks and investing that money elsewhere.

    I still think that AJ Burnett should be their #1 target. I disagree with Dave that Kevin Millwood is just as good. Their numbers are the same this year, but Burnett is two years younger and has much much better stuff that Millwood. Millwood is a great #2 or #3 pitcher on a good team. Burnett is a guy that has ace-quality velocity and a good track record of success. Both guys have some injury question marks. However, Burnett has a much much higher ceiling. The M’s need someone who can miss bats and dominate. Burnett is better in that role than Millwood.

    Don’t get me wrong. If Burnett gets crazy money, or only wants to sign with an east coast team, and the M’s sign Millwood, that would be great. However, if the M’s have a choice between these two, even if Burnett will cost a few mil more for a year longer committment, it would be worth it.

    Burnett and Felix would give the M’s two guys who can dominate. If Moyer returns, they would have the first three spots in the rotation sorted out. The M’s have cash to throw at their pitching problem, so it wouldn’t even be out of the question for them to sign someone like Burnett and perhaps another starter. Daisuke Matsuzaka would be a great addition. Or perhaps a trade. If the M’s can get the first three spots in their rotation sorted out (Felix, a free agent, and either Moyer or another FA), then they can cross their fingers and hope that the last two spots can be filled from the group of Foppert (who could be the big suprise next year), Madritsch, Meche, Piniero, Livingston, or whoever else emerges.

  13. jim on August 18th, 2005 4:33 pm

    108 is not me.
    Keep in mind we tossed off quite a bit of talent to acquire some pitching prospects. Borzado and Foppert weren’t throwins, they were key components of those deals, with the hopes that they both might be in the rotation in 06 or 07. So it’s quite likely that next years rotation is (no particular order) Moyer, Felix, Pineiro, Foppert, and Borzado, with Mads starting in Tacoma to rehab a bit, then potentially taking one of the other guys’ spot. Given the lack of FA starters, this might not be such a bad thing if Foppert/Borzado can show something in line with their potential (there’s that word again).

  14. Christopher Michael on August 18th, 2005 4:52 pm

    Although I wouldn’t mind Foppert being in the rotation I do not want to see us throwing out the same rotation with our AAA guys being the only change. I don’t care if the FA pitcher we sign costs 10 million a year we better get one of the few top guys. Unless of course the Yankees decide they have to buy all of them.

    As for Moyer he stays. He has been the only reliable guy on the staff all season. He wants to stay and he doesn’t cost a whole lot of money. So keep giving him one and two year contracts until his skills degrade considerably or until we have someone who can actually take his place. This team has to win next year and they aren’t going to do that playing musical chairs with their starting pitching.

  15. roger tang on August 18th, 2005 5:10 pm

    Foppert and Borzado aren’t options yet….my inclination is for them to force their way into the lineup, not just give them a spot in the rotation. Right now, we haven’t even seen them be OK at the minor league level….

  16. Long Suffering on August 18th, 2005 5:17 pm

    I expect/hope to see 2 new acquisitions in the rotation for 06 with Felix, Moyer, Pineiro staying. I hope the 2 comes from Burnett/Millwood/Schmidt/Matsuzaka, allowing us to keep guys like Morse so that we can have a decent bench.

    The Ms still have a lot of possible rotation members, they’re just all marginal. We need to beef up the front of the rotation because we could probably turn over the entire back 3 spots with people like Harris, Soriano, Foppert, Bazardo, Livingston, Blackley, Nageotte.

    The health of Madritsch and the effectiveness of Pineiro the rest of the way are huge keys to the rotation next season. If Pineiro maintains the level he’s been at the last 3 starts, he becomes a legitmate 3 starter, and means the Ms could get by with just 1 new pitcher.

    By all means though, the more new SP, the merrier. I expect the offense to show improvements next season and the bullpen is fine. If the pieces fall into place, I’d expect an 85 win season, with a shot at 90.

  17. Oly Rainiers fan on August 18th, 2005 5:30 pm

    Of course Moyer stays. he’s like a 2nd pitching coach for us and unlike Price, who helps the guys mostly with their mechanics, Moyer (who has been a real live major league pitcher for as long as Felix has been alive) helps the young guys with preparation, how to prepare for particular teams, particular parks, particular hitters. ‘They complement each other.

    I’ve had the good fortune of having had at least 5 amazing conversations with Moyer over the past several years that have spanned some great topics which I think give me a little insight into the mans’ head – at least more than you’d get from the media in general.

    Of course I can’t say definitively that he wouldn’t go elsewhere, but I can say fairly definitively that he doesn’t want to, and that at this point in his career, and in his life, he’s extremely happy to be in Seattle and would like to close his career here. He doesn’t care about the money; he cares about respect. If the Ms are willing to negotiate with him and give him a similar deal as to what he (who acted as his own agent last time) worked out last time – he’ll most definitely stay here. As he should. The deal he worked was filled with performance criteria that he had to meet, so that the Ms were essentially placed in a ‘pay for performance’ situation. He doesn’t want to get paid for stinking up the joint. He’s as fair, and intelligent, and honest a ballplayer as you’ll ever meet.

    And he is still, at present, an effective starting pitcher. If he wasn’t performing up to his own level of expectation, I firmly believe he would just walk away from the game. The man has a great deal of pride and integrity, and that is shown by his work ethic and the fact that he’s in such amazing condition at his age, and still willing (eager) to put in the time to maintain it.

    I just can’t imagine that the Ms would go off the deep edge and offer him some insane contract (that some of you seem to be worried about). I think they’ll negotiate another win-win contract for both of them, and as I told him last time he did that – I sure wish it would start a trend among his fellow players. (He didn’t see much likelihood in that happening, incidentally).

  18. The Ancient Mariner on August 18th, 2005 5:49 pm

    There’s no downside to re-signing Moyer, given that he’s already shown he’s not about getting top dollar, and no upside to letting him go, given how thin we are in major-league pitchers; I think there’s a good chance that Foppert contributes as a starter next season, but maybe not until the second half, Bazardo isn’t that close, Madritsch is coming back from shoulder surgery and may never be the same again, and Livingston has posted a 5.88 ERA for Tacoma so far — and they’re the best internal candidates for the rotation. Bottom line is that Moyer’s still a good pitcher, and given our current situation (much $$$, little pitching), we’re actually better off letting him go a year too late.

    On pitching coaches, IMHO, we already have one of the best in baseball — in the bullpen: Jim Slaton. Nothing against Price, but I’m guessing he’s leaving after this season, and my hope is that Slaton replaces him. The man’s remarkable.

    As for FA pitchers, I wouldn’t sign Burnett for anything like what he’s going to get. Millwood and (if available) Matsuzaka would be my targets; if we can only get one, the latter in preference to the former.

  19. ray on August 18th, 2005 8:17 pm

    I have nothing against Moyer but remember what happened to Edgar. He was great the year before his retirement. And the extra one year was not good for the M’s. Sure, Moyer could turn in another great year but I don’t want the M’s to take that chance. Go younger and see who fits for 2007.

  20. Jim Thomsen on August 18th, 2005 8:37 pm

    Clint Nageotte tonight: 2 1/3 IP 1, hit, 0 ER, 1 K … 5 groundouts, 1 flyout.