Bargain Hunting

Dave · September 21, 2005 at 10:36 am · Filed Under Mariners 

— Seattle, WA
November, 2005

Bill, this is Scott. How are ya? Yea, I know, not the best of years for you guys. Sorry about Adrian. But I want to make it up to you. I’ve looked at your pitching staff, and, well, to be honest, I’ve got better arms in the high school ranks that I’m ‘advising’. Not so good, that rotation of yours.

Anyways, I’ve talked to K-Mil, and while he loves Safeco, I’ve got a 10 year, $300 million offer on the table for him. So, if you can match that, and toss in a dinner at the Met for me, you’ve got yourself a new starting pitcher.

Umm, excuse me? That’s anatomically impossible, Bill, and you know it. Okay, so you’ll pass on Kevin #1. Well, that’s fine. I’ve got another Kevin that you may like. I know, I know, you’re asking, ‘What can Brown do for you’ (chuckle chuckle). Oh man, I slay me.

No, seriously, Kevbo can help you guys. Yea, he’s 40, but that just means he’s got experience. You’re concerned about the 6.51 ERA? Well, you gotta admit, with the Yankee defense playing behind him, he should get a medal just for having it under 10.00. Back problems? What back problems? He got a new tempur-pedic mattress, and wham, he’s in the best shape of his life. And man, he’s motivated. K-Brow is so fired up, he’s even authorized me to take a 1 year contract so that he can reestablish his value and cash in next offseason as the top pitching arm on the market. You don’t want to miss out on this one, Billy boy. I’m telling you, Brown’s going to deliver, no pun intended, for you or somebody else. Holla at me when you’re ready to deal, B-Bav!

That conversation, or something roughly mirroring it, should take place sometime this offseason. And while poking fun at Scott Boras is always a good time, in this instance, I’m actually going to stick up for the point of the parody.

I’m endorsing Kevin Brown, the broken down 40-year-old with an ERA of six and a half as a free agent target. And I’m not insane. Here’s some numbers for you.

2.1 walks per game. Among the 45 American League qualifiers, this would tie him for 11th best in the AL, well above average.

5.5 strikeouts per game. From the 45 qualifiers, that would put him 22nd, tied with Mark Buehrle. His strikeout rate, essentially, is league average for an AL starting pitcher.

0.55 home runs per game. Among the AL qualifiers, this ties him for best in the AL with Scott Kazmir. He’s allowed 80 flyballs and just 5 home runs. Even if you normalize to an 11 percent HR/FB ratio, he’s only giving up about 20 homers over a full season, making him one of the hardest pitchers in the AL to take out of the park.

1.73 G/F rate. If you put him in the AL qualifiers, he’d rank 3rd, behind Jake Westbrook and Daniel Cabrera. He’s still a dominant groundball pitcher.

Fielding Independant ERA: 3.66. Among those 45 qualifiers, Brown’s 3.66 FIP would rank fifth in the American League. Bartolo Colon, the likely league Cy Young winner, has a Fielding Independant ERA of 3.63. Remember, FIP is a far, far more reliable predictor of future pitching performance than actual ERA. And FIP thinks Brown pitched very well this year, right in line with what he’s been doing the past 10 years.

So, why on earth does Kevin Brown have a 6.51 ERA? Two main reasons:

The defense behind him has been absolutely abysmal. Just 61.5 percent of all his balls in play have been turned into outs, which is just absolutely awful. It’s not like he’s getting torched, either. His line drive percentage is basically league average. We’ve been over the DIPS theory many times, but for the new readers, basically, most pitchers are going to generally fall in the range of a .300 average against on balls in play. Hitters whacked Brown to a .385 average on balls in play, which is most likely a factor of the players behind him simply being unable to get to balls in the hole. The average on balls in play against Brown in 2004 was .290 while his other rate stats were basically the same as they were this year. That’s defense, not pitching.

The other huge factor has been his inability to strand baserunners once they get on. Brown has left just 60.3 percent of the baserunners he’s allowed on the bases when the inning ends. Jose Lima, probably the worst starting pitcher in baseball, stranded 61.4 percent. Stranding runners is not inherantly a skill. Good pitchers do it because they’re good pitchers, and bad pitchers don’t because they’re bad pitchers, but you won’t find many examples of pitchers who succeed in almost all aspects of pitching and then just can’t get anyone out when there’s a runner on base. In fact, Brown’s opposing batters lines with runners on and with the runners empty aren’t dramatically different. In other words, he just allowed an awful lot of clutch hits that happened to pick up baserunners, and he got outs when it didn’t matter as much. Unless you want to believe that after 15 years of dominance, Kevin Brown suddenly began to wilt under pressure, there’s little reason to expect his strand rate to stay so low. Even a bounce back to a Ryan Franklin level strand rate-70 percent-would be a drastic improvement.

When people criticized Jamie Moyer for not wanting to go pitch in Houston or New York, maybe they should have looked at Kevin Brown. Moyer and Brown, at this point, are similar pitchers. The difference between them? Environment. Moyer has succeeded, and is in line for another nice paycheck, thanks to his home ballpark and the defense that surrounds him. He is the perfect complement to the Seattle environment. Kevin Brown is what Jamie Moyer would be with an abysmal defense behind him and a park that doesn’t allow you to make mistakes.

Their talent levels are comparable, and so is what you should expect from them next year. Thanks to his ridiculous ERA and the fact that, at 40 years old, most people are going to view this season as an age related decline that should lead to retirement, Kevin Brown will almost certainly come cheap. Give him a 1 year deal with a base salary of $1 million and a bunch of incentives and get yourself the bargain signing of the offseason.

So starts the Bring-Kevin-Brown-To-Seattle bandwagon. All aboard.


231 Responses to “Bargain Hunting”

  1. eponymous coward on September 22nd, 2005 1:58 pm

    If you don’t like Brown, then yeah go for the NRI because there will be no real chance of getting him that way. If you do like Brown then you have to pony up at least $1 mill to get in the game.

    Because there’s going to be massive competition for a 40 year old guy with a glass arm who started 11 games in 2005 with a 6.51 ERA, and who’s a prima donna- and who will end this season on the DL for a playoff team instead of throwing any pitches in the postseason?

    I don’t see Kevin Brown getting any more attention than Sele or Nelson did this offseason (meaning: if you want him, you can probably have him) and an NRI offer that’s at $1 million base + incentives. Sele made 700K as an NRI; Nelson was somewhere around there as well.

    The thing is I think Brown probably tops out at around adding 3-4 wins above replacement value- in other words, his 2004 season, and that’s a close to best-case scenario- 20-25 starts with decent ERA and peripherals before he flames out. As I pointed out, that’s not REALLY an improvement over a guy like Ryan Franklin, who at least can stay injury-free at a lower level of performance and keep you from having to dredge up this year’s Clint Nageotte before he’s ready, or Jeff Harris. You also have to decide if it’s worth it to have him piss off teammates or risking temper tantrums that put him on the DL. I don’t see Brown’s antics in that one as much better than that of a drug user- he cost his team wins and couldn’t perform for them. It’s a jackass thing to do. But hey, maybe he’s better; maybe you’ll interview him in the offseason and he seems OK; maybe he’s worth the risk.

    Another side to look at is the M’s had a guy or two in their pen or in AAA who they felt confident in throwing into the breach once Brown has his annual arm injury, this would make sense. But we’re already sharpening the knives for Franklin, we dumped Villone, Foppert, Bazardo and Livingston don’t seem to be ready, and guys like Harris and Lorraine strike me as truly replacement players. You can’t be signing guys like Brown who have novel-length injury histories without developing a backup plan. It didn’t work too well for Pokey Reese, right? So, that means we probably need to sign a swing guy for the bullpen. So it’s not “$1 million + incentives”; it’s “$1 million + incentives + more money for someone who can go from starting to relieving and not be total garbage” (this becomes even more critical if you want to make Jamie a “home starter” and juggle his starts a bit).

  2. domovoi on September 22nd, 2005 3:32 pm

    But Ryan Franklin’s peripherals are not as good as Brown’s. Even if they had similar WARP’s in 2004, Brown is still the better pitcher. Seriously, would you rather have fly-ball, HR prone Franklin giving you 30 starts or ground-ball, control pitcher Brown giving you 10-20 starts? I’d take the latter, ’cause even if he goes down, you still got Franklin. And you’re only out $1m, which is close enough to “free” for the M’s.

  3. eponymous coward on September 22nd, 2005 3:39 pm

    Franklin’s a free agent at the end of the year, and I doubt he gets kept.

    And if it’s Brown giving you 20 starts at 4 WARP (close to best case scenario) and, say Andrew Lorraine giving you 10 at 0 WARP, there’s really no difference between that and Franklin giving you 30 starts at 4 WARP.

    I’m just sayin’: You’d better have a competent 6th starter if your 5th starter is a regular DL resident.

  4. domovoi on September 22nd, 2005 3:52 pm

    So in that situation, sign Brown and Franklin. I’m sure both can be gotten for really cheap. Although, realistically, there’s probably better options for a cheap 5th/6th starter.

  5. Rusty on September 22nd, 2005 3:55 pm

    Well, bottom line, I guess this is where Bavasi earns his paycheck when he starts piecing together next year’s rotation. It doesn’t look to be a pleasant undertaking, especially if he has to go 6 deep.

  6. domovoi on September 22nd, 2005 3:57 pm

    Also, I don’t think one can assume Franklin’s best case is even close to 4 WARP. And I don’t believe WARP is adjusted for defense.

  7. ray on September 22nd, 2005 4:11 pm

    #150, please read your own argument carefully, mine again, think about where the Indians are, then I think you will realize you have just strengthened my argument.

    Anyway, I am personally tired of the M’s doing these plug and plays. And man have they done a lot of that. How more years do you want the M’s to sigh a guy who was great in the past, has the “potential to do it again” (and it’s a big if), then just be released. I think when some say get younger they really mean get players you can keep for more than two years, and are on the right side of 27 (supposed peak of baseball). The M’s have the money but are not the Yankees (plug the hole with money) so they need to have a different philosophy(something like and A’s type). It is because the rotation has been so bad they need to work harder at setting a rotation that will last at least 3 years. Now if you don’t mind musical chairs played with the rotation (1-year contact guys every year) then we disagree. I know the M’s farm system is not great, and the FA market is thin but it just means the FO has to work that much harder to find guys to build a long-term rotation with. Heck, they get paid enough.

  8. domovoi on September 22nd, 2005 4:15 pm


    Signing Brown and signing young talent are not mutually exclusive, assuming Brown agrees to a low-priced contract. The latter is a condition that Dave has clearly stated is important.

    And yes, the Indians did do such a thing many times. See: Aaron Boone. I don’t quite understand how his signing supports your case, unless you’re trying to say the M’s lacked the foresight to begin their rebuilding earlier. Which is wholly irrelevant to whether or not Brown is a good signing.

  9. ray on September 22nd, 2005 4:20 pm

    Problem solved for Brown and Moyer — Brown to limit risk of injury and being a clubhouse cancer, and Moyer to keep him at home: Brown will only pitch on the road and will stay at his home and travel alone to the visiting ballpark and just pitch on his day. When it’s done he goes right back home and gets lots of time with his family. Moyer only stays in Seattle and never travels. He keeps a sparkling ERA and his family happy with all the time he gets to spend with them. As a back up for Brown in case he does get injured on the road: Harris or any AAA guy. Actually, any guy since being on the DL doesn’t affect the 40-man. Problem solved. Dave is happy, opponents of Dave are happy, everyone is happy. What a perfect world!

  10. ray on September 22nd, 2005 4:25 pm

    Well, I think this point has been argued to death (and the only agreement is to disagree) and there is no reason to take this argument seriously anymore because it’s fantasy league stuff. And Bavasi is not going to listen to anyone of this blog unless he or she is part of his focus group, lol.

  11. Jonah Keri on September 22nd, 2005 8:44 pm

    Brilliant, I love it, Dave.

  12. Scott on September 22nd, 2005 9:20 pm

    Ouch! Kevin Brown was a great pitcher in his day, but that day ended a few years ago when he was with the Dodgers. However, I would like to remove his heart and exchange it for the flimsy one in Gil Meche’s carcass!

  13. Bela Txadux on September 22nd, 2005 9:32 pm

    So Dave,

    As I said, I don’t like to sit here and throw darts at another guys brainstorming, i.e. Kevin Brown, it feels cheap. My disagreements are not with Brown’s age and potential role per se; KB could indeed be a useful #5 guy for a contending team with a solid front end to their rotation, in that I agree. Where I disagree is in fundamental issues of team construction which face the Mariners organization as of now. It’s not that _every_ guy the Ms bring in should have several years of utility, of course not. The Ms have more pressing issues than one-year fifth starters, though.

    It’s interesting that you say in #159 that your interest in Brown is as exactly this, a back-end guy with upside to help the Mariners contend in ’06. You weren’t this clear in starting the thread, so I see your thinking better here. But: There is no way in hell the Ms are contending for anything in ’06. They need two impact bats [since Beltre is not nor will he become such, and the team is last at everything in offense]; they need two, solid mid-rotation guys to build around [presently one (1) starter who can be counted on for ’06, Felix]; the bench needs a total overhaul and they have several near rookies whose assessments and hence futures are in flux [still and still, since neither problem got addressed last offseason]. Oh, it is possible to address all of this in one offseason; teams like Atlanta and Oakland are capbale of that kind of turnover, and other teams have been that active and made it work. Bill Bavasi isn’t the guy to do all that. I’m not going to scream if Bill B. is back next year, he has made some productive moves. But he is soooooooooo slow. It would take him until ’08 to make this team a contender—but he won’t be here that long, so. [In fact, to digress, I do not believe that Bill Bavasi will _ever_ build a contender: he is too slow, and too cautious, and to oriented to hoping for the best rather than planning in depth for the worst. It’s harsh to be that blunt, but that is my assessment of Bavasi, given his record in California and after two years here. He won’t ruin anything, but he won’t really fix anything, either. I was dead serious above when I said that the Number One Priority this offseason is to bring in a GM who will be more active; Cashman has a track record, there, but that’s just one idea.]

    So to return to Kevin Brown, if the Ms had three solid starters, I’m prepared to start thinking about ‘a cheap #5 starter with upside to help the team contend.’ The Ms have one (1) effective starter with a future here; different context, to me. Accordingly, the priority for this team this offseason is to bring in two guys with who can win more than they lose in mid-rotation roles around whom the team can build. Names for _that_ role? Loaiza and Rusch are both fully affordable for a team like the Ms without subtracting any salary. Or one or the other and Millwood (who may well pitch no better than these guys, but). If the FO is particularly slow footed and uninspired to the point where they only pick up one mid-rotation arm on the open market, then when (not if but when) they trade Guardado, they’ll have to get back a starter with several years of winning ahead of him, rather than the bat Guardado should be packaged for.

    So why not do this—get two arms—and _then_ sign KB for the number five role? Well, Brown is cheap to bring to camp, but he only stays cheap if he’s useless, i.e. hurt or ineffective. It’s an _incentive_ deal, right? If he’s as effective as you project, he’s going to meet most of those incentives. That’s going to be another $5-$6M in incentives if he meets reasonable targets, or he’s not signing. So any GM signing him is going to see him as that many $$ committed out of budget. Furthermore, Kevin Brown is an excessively proud man who thinks very much of himself; he’s only going to sign a contract with the clear understanding that he is in the rotation unless he is physically unable to perform, no ‘trying out for the fifth starter’ for Personal Lear Jet Brown. So in effect, both budgetwise and role wise, Brown becomes ‘one of those two mid-rotation arms’ the Ms need, i.e. they won’t sign that second pitcher if they sign _him_. And this is exactly why I don’t want Brown signed, he will all but certainly PRECLUDE the Ms getting someone who they urgently need to fill a multi-year effective role, a role for which it’s untenable to project _him_. Not that I think that Kevin Brown is going to achieve 150 innings with a 4.25 ERA, as I spoke to above. He’s a year older with five years of chronic injury now, and more of those hits he’s giving up this year really are _his_ hits, in my view. I’d say an intermittant 120 IP with an ERA of 4.75-5.00 is a better bet; still better than the Ms fifth starters this year, yes, but not anything which addresses fundamental issues for the team, no.

    Last year, the Ms had what seemed like a middle of a rotation with Madritsch, Meche, Moyer, so they stayed away from getting a mid-rotation starter focused on bringing in some back end arms, and waiting a year for people to slot themselves. This was not that bad an idea given last year’s market, but things didn’t work out. Meche and Pinero regressed to the point where neither looks solid going forward at all, and one of them should certainly be moved this offseason. Madritsch got hurt; who knows what or whether he’s going to produce in ’06? Soriano or Nageotte should be in the rotation (‘nother post but briefly here); I’d prefer Soriano, but the team has decided on Nageotte—after wasting his year by having him pitch relief and then changing their minds (*arrrrgghhhhhhh* again, with this indecision). But neither one is likely to be ready for that role come ST ’06. The team needs to get off the pot and get themselves some mid-rotation guys who will help for several years to come. I mentioned Cleveland deliberately in my post above. They did not come from a 66 win season to a 90 win season and contention by bringing in one-year, problematic, fifth starters with upside to ‘stay within reach;’ they went out and acquired three mid-rotation arms to eat up innings behind Sabathia, and ponied up for a #2 guy—Millwood—who turned out to be rather less than they hoped but good enough.

    . . . I don’t want to be talking about fifth starters. ‘Cause if we are, the Ms are guaranteed another stinker season next year, but I’ll have checked out on following this team until ’08 at least, when we have a new GM who will be largely starting over.

  14. Bill on September 22nd, 2005 10:32 pm

    Kevin Millwood is 5th in the AL in VORP at 46.3 and leads the Indians pitching staff in that same category — he has been the best pitcher on one of the best teams in the league.

    There is not much materially different about what the Indians did with Millwood last offseason and what the Mariners could potentially do with Kevin Brown this upcoming offseason. What’s really different are two things: (1) Kevin Brown is perceived much more negatively, and as a corollary, (2) Kevin Brown presents much less risk than Millwood’s did because he’ll be looking at $1-2M guaranteed, unlike Millwood’s $7M.

    Just look at the numbers:
    Millwood, 2003: 141 IP, 8.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, .89 HR/9, 2.4:1 K:BB ratio
    Brown, 2004: 73.1 IP, 6.2 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, .62 HR/9, 2.6 K:BB ratio

    How can the signing of Kevin Millwood be so lauded while the potential signing of Kevin Brown sounds like a root canal to most people? Health is a factor, but the depressed asking price we’re talking about already has factored that into the contract.

    Signing Kevin Brown is not intended to be the centerpiece of the M’s 2005-2006 offseason, but rather a small but important piece of a larger puzzle. The M’s are not as far away from contending as people think. As Dave pointed out earlier, the recent past is littered with teams that went from stinkers to contenders in two season or less. The key is to make shrewd moves — seeking out undervalued players and acquiring them. All the negative perceptions against Brown — attitude problems, injury risk, high ERA (unsupported by peripheral stats) and bad W-L record, are the things that GM’s like Billy Beane and Theo Epstein salivate over because research has shown consistently that these things disproportionately depress the market value of baseball players. It’s time for the M’s to start going after guys like this and why not start with Kevin Brown?

  15. Bill on September 22nd, 2005 10:33 pm

    P.S. My bad for not closing my italics brackets.

  16. eponymous coward on September 22nd, 2005 11:42 pm

    I think Brown isn’t particularly undervalued. He’s had one uninjured season in his last 5, and a couple of his injured seasons have been pretty bad (2002 and 2005), and the decline in his peripheral stats (K/9, etc.) leads me to believe his upside is, at best, a repeat of his 2004 season, as opposed to his 2001 and 2003 years, which, as I’ve pointed out, is basically a Ryan Franklin kind of contribution to the team. Basically, you’re taking him as an entry in this year’s Veteran Starter Comeback Sweepstakes, as opposed to Aaron Sele last year, Jose Lima in 2003, and so on.

    So, the best case is you get a guy who requires you to carry a Glendon Rusch, Ron Villone, John Halama or Ryan Franklin, 1-2 million dollar established swing guy on your roster so you can deal with the inevitable injury sometime during the season- or you have to dredge some guy like this up out of the minors via minor league free agency/trade/indy or Mexican leagues/whatever- and odds are if you made that swing guy your 5th starter, you’d probably get fairly similar results (since the M’s bullpen is looking prety deep for next year, if somewhat deficient in swingmen starter candidates- the best one is Harris and I don’t think he’s very good), except you’d save on having to deal with Brown being a jerk for a million a year.

    Wait a minute, why are we doing this again- if it’s just as plausible that Ryan Franklin or Glendon Rusch can come up with 4 WARP as Kevin Brown, and we probably don’t save any money this way?

  17. Dave on September 23rd, 2005 2:13 am

    EC, you’re just way too smart to not be able to discern the difference between ’04 Kevin Brown and ’04 Ryan Franklin.

  18. Scooter the Mighty on September 23rd, 2005 7:42 am

    There seems to be a certain amount of poo-pooing of the idea that one should worry about age being a factor in a 40 year old in this thread. I’m wondering if maybe one of you skilled stathead folks might have some sort of data on how much decline you can expect on average from a pitcher going from 39 to 40, or 40 to 41.

  19. eponymous coward on September 23rd, 2005 7:54 am

    Sure. Brown was performing at a higher level than Franklin, when healthy– he got his WARP over less time.

    But better talent doesn’t help while it’s on the DL, and that’s the problem- and there is a value to performing at a lower level but staying healthy. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assert, when WARP is concerned (good player who gets injured part way through season + replacement level player who plays when this player is injured) = someone not as good as injured player. And look who the Yankees gave starts to in 2004: Brad Halsey, Tanyon Sturtze, and so on.

  20. Dave on September 23rd, 2005 9:02 am

    Or, you could be like the White Sox and get several excellent months out of Orlando Hernandez, then replace him with Brandon McCarthy when he goes down.

    The assumption that whoever replaces Brown would be guaranteed to pitch at replacement level is a faulty one, and throws the rest of the argument out of whack. Yes, you need to plan for Brown missing some time. But it’s far better to get 20 good starts and then 15 who knows starts than 35 below average starts.

  21. BoneFan on September 23rd, 2005 10:57 am

    You are insane. Good thing we are crazier than you are to even humor this over 220 posts. Of course, Kevin Brown is crazier than all of us. In addition to being washed up, he is the biggest a-hole to play the game since Ty Cobb (who the M’s should also not sign, no matter how many hits he’d have thru ’04 if he weren’t hampered by nagging death-related health issues).

  22. eponymous coward on September 23rd, 2005 11:01 am

    The assumption that whoever replaces Brown would be guaranteed to pitch at replacement level is a faulty one, and throws the rest of the argument out of whack.

    Yeah, but I mentioned that: you need to carry someone on the roster who can come in and fill in the rotation when Brown decides to punch out a wall or has his shoulder go “sproing”.

    This means they’ll probably be a veteran and cost you extra money, unless you’re good at finding talent from out of nowhere, or you have a deep enough minor league system that you can send a kid down in April and feel confident they can come up. The second condition doesn’t really describe the M’s as of Spetmeber 2004, and if you can scavenge a guy who could be 4 WARP out of nowhere for the MLB minimum reliably, you don’t need Brown- a 5th starter who’s 3-4 WARP is going to be OK if 1-4 are doing what they should be. Seattle and Oakland have gone to the playoffs with guys like Franklin and Halama as backend starters the last few years. So Brown doesn’t cost just a million. He costs his million + the cost of his insurance policy on the roster.

    It’s not also a given that Brown performs like he did in 2004. He’s had two recent seasons where he’s essentially not contributed significantly to his team (2002 and 2005), and I think based on his statistical declines, his inability to stay healthy, and scouting reports which say he’s not getting up to his old velocity, that the gauge on his arm is getting pretty close to E. So I’m pretty skeptical that he IS much of an answer, and that’s before getting to his “intangibles”.

    I understand the logic you’re advancing, Dave, and can understand that reasonable people might disagree, but I just wouldn’t count on him contributing- which is why an NRI invite makes more sense (it’s my preferred method of playing Career Revival Sweepstakes). He may have some characteristics that make him a decent invite (better than Sele, for instance), but there are enough red flags that he isn’t anything you should be staking hopes on.

  23. roger tang on September 23rd, 2005 11:23 am

    re 221

    A) No, Brown is NOT demonstrably washed up. He could be, but a lot of his stats don’t show it (and they’re stats that are better than what we got now….which is very pertinent and the whole point of this topic).

    B) Being the biggest a-hole in baseball is NOT a serious argument against getting him.

    You’d be crazy NOT to consider Brown.

  24. BoneFan on September 23rd, 2005 11:39 am

    Being an a-hole does matter when your mental deficiencies lead you to punch a wall with your pitching hand during a pennant drive.

    The guy’s “performance,” such as it is, a figment of your imagination. He has averaged 120 IP a season during the BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

    The guy is a mental midget and physically decrepit. Anybody who signs him will get what they deserve.

  25. km4_1999 on September 23rd, 2005 12:10 pm


    Any chance the M’s would have what it takes to get Jason Schmidt away from S.F. I believe he is in the last year of his contract and is a Washington native?

  26. km4_1999 on September 23rd, 2005 12:11 pm

    Sorry I meant will be in the last year of his contract in 06.

  27. mZak on September 23rd, 2005 2:45 pm

    The idea that we’ll get Brown to come here for $1m-ish plus some incentives and that he’d pitch well enough to warrant the decision to invest the energy, time, commitment of resources, etc., smacks of good ol’ PNW optimism. I suppose if it all works out it would be great. But the downside? How about the next year? The year after? We still have giant holes in our pitching staffs right down to Everett. I think we need to start stocking, developing, growing talent and get used to the fact that we’re going to suck for the next 2 or 3 years while things start to shake out a bit. I don’t know what Brown gives us in the long run and it’s that diversion of focus on the future that concerns me.

  28. roger tang on September 23rd, 2005 3:24 pm

    re downside:

    Um, if you haven’t noticed, there AREN’T any long term solutions for pitching. And the front office IS stocking and developing talent–but it sure as hell isn’t ready yet.

    What Brown or someone like him in the long term gets you is one year closer to a long term solution. It is NOT a diversion of focus…you have to find a way to get from here to there in one way or another… and a $1M contract is fairly cheap stopgap (there’s that word again) to bridge the gap to the longer term solution.

  29. ray on September 23rd, 2005 10:14 pm

    Since the discussion continues on an old guy (baseball years) who the M’s should sign because they need to fill a hole — then I will add something along the lines of that.

    137 GS: .328 BA, 38HR, 118 RBI, 114 Runs, 171 hits (34, doubles, 3 triples), 95 Walks, 77 Ks, .432 0BP., Bats left, throws right, and plays LF, 37 years old. Name: Tomoaki Kanemoto. Plays for the Hanshin Tigers.

    If you could accept Brown then I think this guy is acceptable.

  30. eponymous coward on October 10th, 2005 6:26 pm

    It occurs to me that Dave has the right idea- he’s just picking the wrong guy over 40 with anger management issues.

    I think Kenny Rogers clearly blows Kevin Brown away, in terms of overall performance the last few years (since 2002). Yeah, Brown had a dramatically better 2003- which is more than made up for by Brown being a complete washout in terms of contribution 2002 and 2005 while Rogers was doing his usual 13 win, 110-130 ERA+ season. I’d have to give 2004 to Rogers as well, since Brown led in ERA by a hair (106 to 110), but only chipped in 22 starts- Brown came in at 35 starts, 200+ IP).

    I don’t see how an incentive-laden deal for Brown that tops out at 3-4 million makes more sense than one for Rogers that rewards his ability to stay off the DL a bit better and also tops out at 3-4 million, but hey, maybe that’s just me.

  31. BiasedGiantsFanatic on November 30th, 2005 4:28 pm

    RE: Vazquez

    He exercised his right to request a trade, due to his trade in a multi-year contract, because he wanted to be closer to his home in Puerto Rico, his wife and family sometimes flies back and forth to visit him and from Arizona it basically is an all day trip, from dawn to midnight. Moving to Seattle would be going in the wrong direction. A quote somewhere mentioned that he wants to be East of the Mountain Zone.

    And yes, as the other poster noted, he can go free agent if the team does not trade him but odds usually are that no team would pay him similar money. However, he’s “only” making $11.5M in 2006 and $12.5M in 2007. With Loaiza getting $7M/year and Ryan getting nearly $10M per year, that could look like the Price is Right or even cheap, especially to a team desperate for starting pitching like Baltimore (which is in the right time zone).

    RE: Schmidt

    The Giants are looking for a proven power hitting lefthanded 1B plus a starter to take a spot in the rotation, got any to spare?