We’ve really laid off Bob Finnigan this year. We used to hammer him pretty regularly, but the decision was made to mostly ignore him and keep the blog focused on actual analysis, rather than reminding everyone how abysmal the guy was at his job.
Today, he’s decided to re-incarnate last year’s “M’s Caught in Numbers Crunch” article, where he claimed the team had about $13 million to spend on free agents (they spent about $24 million, in reality), and today has posted “No Easy Solution to M’s Problems”. Despite the fact that he’s run this bad-math-expectations-lowering pile of crap article every year since the beginning of time, he still feels the need to remind us all that he lacks basic logical skills, and attempts to share his depressing view of the world with his readers. Fortunately for us, his ramblings aren’t based in reality, so we don’t have to take his down-in-the-mouth approach to the offseason.
But man, how this thing gets published every year is beyond me. What a lousy paper the Times is. They should be embarrassed to put this thing in print.
So that would leave Millwood, the American League earned-run average champ, Kenny Rogers, or Jeff Suppan, a former American Leaguer, as the best choices.
When the right answer to your question is Kenny Rogers or Jeff Suppan, you’re asking the wrong question.
Suppan, who won 16 games for St. Louis, has AL experience. The problem is that his prior AL experience was nowhere near as successful as he has been with the St. Louis Cardinals. But then he was pitching for Kansas City…
So, we should pursue Suppan because he was once horrible in the American League?
Indications are that the payroll will be down some from the $96 million/$98 million, to $90 million/$92 million.
Of course, every real analysis of Mariner payroll puts the ’05 mark somewhere around $86-$89 million, nowhere near Finnigan’s numbers. But he’s the king of making up payroll, so this is nothing new.
This money still is not Cracker Jack, but it awaits the market to see how much it will bring. Based on existing contracts, Seattle has already used up about $49.5 million (all figures rounded off) of that money.
For that they get Sexson, Beltre, Ichiro, Joel Pineiro, Raul Ibanez, Miguel Ojeda and Eddie Guardado. (The club is unlikely to pick up Guardado’s option at $6.5 million, and he can opt out or come back at $4.25 million.)
About $50 million for that group is actually pretty accurate. Amazingly.
Add in buyouts of club options that might not be exercised Ã¢â‚¬â€ Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Pokey Reese, Wiki Gonzalez, Jeff Nelson and Spiezio Ã¢â‚¬â€ and you get another $4.5 million.
This is poor wording; Spiezio’s buyout is only $250,000, but his ’06 salary is $3.25. If that comes off the ’06 books (it probably will), then this number is accurate. If the M’s eat it on the ’05 payroll, this number goes way down.
Add in prorated signing bonuses (including that of departed Ron Villone) of about $6 million, and about $1 million still due on Jeff Cirillo, and you’ve got another $7 million.
And now we get into classic Finnigan. Villone’s signing bonus was $500,000. Prorating that over the two years of his contract, we get $250,000. Big whoop-de-doo. And here Finnigan uses prorated signing bonuses, assumed for every player on the roster who got one, but earlier in the article used actual 2006 payout to add up the salaries for the guys currently under contract. Consistency, Bob. Either use actual payout or annual average value. You don’t get to combine the two to make your bottom line as high as possible.
Add in other contracts Ã¢â‚¬â€ Hernandez, Yuniesky Betancourt, Jose Lopez, Greg Dobbs, Rene Rivera, Jeremy Reed, Bobby Madritsch, Rafael Soriano, J.J. Putz, George Sherrill, Mike Morse (and possibly Jeff Harris, Matt Thornton, Scott Atchison, Chris Snelling, Jamal Strong, Ramon Santiago) and you could reach another $4.5 million.
That’s 17 players, Bob. 17! If you think the M’s are going to give major league contracts to all those guys, you’re freaking insane. Chalk this group up to about $3 million.
Then there are arbitration eligibles Ã¢â‚¬â€ Gil Meche, Willie Bloomquist, Julio Mateo, Yorvit Torrealba, Ryan Franklin Ã¢â‚¬â€ and put down another $10 million, give or take.
Now the real fun begins. No comment on this for now. But you should note that, at the moment, Finnigan has the M’s carrying a 29 man roster.
The budget is so tight, it will almost certainly turn Franklin and Torrealba and other arbitration eligibles into non-tendered players, although it is tough to see Meche in this category. If they are not traded and don’t sign a deal by the Dec. 20 deadline, they might not be offered a contract, and will become free agents.
So, the arbitration group knocks $10 million off the payroll… but they’re likely to be non-tendered. Wait, what? Did Bob even bother to read these two paragraphs. And who are these “other arbitration eligibles”? He already said Franklin and Torrealba would be, and Meche wouldn’t be (he’s wrong about the last two), so that leaves Bloomquist and Mateo. Anyone here really expect either of those to be non-tendered? Does anyone see any situation, ever, where that would happen?
In reality, Franklin is a certain non-tender, Meche is a very likely non-tender (or trade for peanuts), and Torrealba, Bloomquist, and Mateo will combine for about $3 million in salaries for next year. So you can immediately lump $7 million off of Finnigan’s bottom line, despite the fact that he wants you to believe that the M’s are broke.
Finnigan wants you to believe that the M’s have about $10 million to spend. In reality, they have about $25 million. Last year, he threw out a $13 million figure and wrote several articles ridiculing everyone who expected big changes. When the M’s ended up signing Beltre, Sexson, Reese, Villone, Campillo, Betancourt, Sele, and Nelson, blowing Finnigan’s numbers out of the water, we never saw any kind of retraction. Or even an article explaining how the M’s fit these contracts into his little $13 million window.
Now, a year later, we get the same thing. Apparently he hopes that everyone who reads today’s piece forgets the hatchet job he did last year and gives him a mulligan.
Sorry Bob, but you don’t get any more chances. You’ve earned the nickname Pocket Lint.