Jacque Jones

Dave · October 5, 2005 at 3:10 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Initially, I had planned on posting a full overview of what I would do to reshape the M’s this offseason if the world came crashing down and I was magically installed as the Mariner GM. As I tinkered with the roster, however, I started making decisions that were going to require some fairly in depth explanations. Like the Kevin Brown idea, for instance, which most of you hated even after I did an entire post on my train of thought.

So, rather than drop the full roster construction post on you at once without any explanation, I’m going to break down the bigger pieces into their own seperate posts. I’ve already addressed Brown as an option for a back-of-the-rotation starter. Today, I move on to adding that “left-handed sock” that the club has repeatedly referred to. And we’re not talking footwear.

With the trade of Randy Winn and the injury to Chris Snelling, the M’s are missing a left fielder who can take advantage of Safeco Field’s short porch down the right field line. Raul Ibanez’s defense makes him a prime candidate to DH, and with Safeco rewarding teams who have flycatchers who can chase balls in the gaps, there is still a good amount of wisdom in acquiring a player who actually has some skills with the glove. The perfect fit for the M’s would be an above average defensive player who swings from the left side and hits the crap out of the baseball.

Unfortunately, those guys just aren’t available. Brian Giles could potentially fit the bill, but he’s not likely to leave San Diego, is looking for a big payday, and is reaching the end of his career. So, assuming Giles and Matsui aren’t going to be realistic targets, especially with the team having to rebuild nearly the whole rotation, we’re looking for an opportunity to bring in a quality player who can contribute to the team without breaking the bank.

Ladies and Gentleman, Jacque Jones.

Okay, okay, I know, he hit .249/.321/.438 this year. Not exactly the big bat everyone was hoping for, is he? His plate discipline is legitimately terrible, and his .258 EqA places him as a league average hitter playing one of the easiest defensive positions in baseball. His offensive production the past two years is actually fairly similar to what Adrian Beltre put up for the M’s this season. And I don’t think I’m going to win anyone over by saying that acquiring another 2005 version of Adrian Beltre was going to save the Mariner offense.

Stay with me, though. I’m not insane. Really.

Take a look at these numbers over the past four seasons:

Vs Left: 608 AB, .229/.285/.365

Vs Right: 1510 AB, .277/.338/.472

Jacque Jones cannot hit lefties. At all. Since 2002, against southpaws, he’s drawn 37 walks and struck out 147 times. His line against left-handed pitchers makes him the rough offensive equivalent of someone like Jason Phillips or Neifi Perez. In other words, not anyone you want in your line-up.

But against right-handers, he’s pretty darn good. His line against righties the past four years puts him in the category of guys like Carlos Lee, Jose Guillen, and Shawn Green. When a right-handed pitcher is on the hill, Jones is a well above average offensive force, even when compared to other left fielders. You’d like to see a higher OBP, but the power is a legitimate offensive weapon that the team lacks. Jones has “left-handed sock”, if you will. But he only has it against 75 percent of the major league pitchers out there.

To be truly effective, Jones needs to be platooned. At 30 years old, he’s had plenty of time to make adjustments and show some improvement against lefties. He hasn’t. So he shouldn’t play against them. This puts a cap on his value, since he would begin 25 percent of the M’s games seated on the bench. However, that flaw in and of itself isn’t enough to disqualify him. Even if he only manages 450 at-bats next year while hitting .270/.330/.470, that’s worth approximately 25 runs on offense. 25 runs is a significant upgrade from what the M’s got from their left-fielders this season. Creating 25 runs with his bat would have made him the 4th best hitter on the Mariners this year.

However, 25 runs from a left fielder isn’t the kind of production you’re looking from in a left fielder, especially one who is going to command a multimillion dollar deal as a free agent. Thankfully, offense is only part of the Jacque Jones story.

We’ll be the first to admit that defensive statistics are flawed. When evaluating defense, we need to speak in generalities. We have a pretty good idea of who is good and who is bad, but we don’t have anything like the tools we do to evaluate offense production. The defensive metrics that have been developed based on proprietary play-by-play data hardly ever agree anyways.

But occassionally, they do. And in Jacque Jones case, they agree that the man is pretty freaking awesome defensively.

According to Baseball Prospectus, Jones was 12 runs better than an average right fielder this season.

UZR had Jones as being 11 runs better than an average left fielder from 2000-2003.

PMR thinks that Jones was worth about 9 runs over an average right fielder last season.

Lastly, David Gassko’s new stat put Jones at 23 (!) runs above average for 2004.

Keep in mind, all these stats are compared to the league average. Calculating replacement level for defense is a bit tricky, and we don’t have something like VORP for defense, but it’d be fair to say that all of the advanced defensive metrics make Jacque Jones worth something like 25-35 runs better than a replacement level defensive corner outfielder.

In other words, his defense is more valuable than his offense. And his offense is league average!

Jacque Jones is from the Mike Cameron school of undervalued players. They aren’t exactly the same type (Cameron actually walked and was otherworldly in center field), but the analogy fits as a blunt tool. Jones isn’t a great hitter, but he is a tremendous asset with the glove. The combination of his value added by whalloping right-handed pitching and playing great defense is a valuable, and generally underrated, asset.

After the 2003 season, the Mariners decided to take a huge hit on defense to make a minor upgrade on offense, and it cost them dearly. While the focus continues to be on adding “a big bat”, and fans clamor for a superstar hitter, the fact remains that acquiring a world class defensive left fielder who can also hit a bit will have a similar positive effect on the team’s ability to outscore their opponents. I’m fairly sure the comments will be filled with folks who simply want a big stick and don’t like the idea of Jones, because, after all, this team needs to score more runs.

In reality, however, the team’s problem isn’t that they didn’t score enough runs. It’s that they didn’t outscore their opponents by enough runs. Run prevention or run production achieve the same goal. The M’s have a chance to acquire a guy who, between the two, adds a significant amount of runs to the team. He just doesn’t add them all at the plate.

Okay, so, how much will Jones cost? He made $6.2 million this year after being arbitration eligible following last season, but before the injury to Jason Kubel, he was almost certainly going to be non-tendered by the Twins. So, heading into the 2005 season, his market value was assessed to be right around the $6 million mark for one season.

Look at some of the contracts signed by comparable players last offseason:

Richard Hidalgo: 1 year, $5 million
Jeromy Burnitz: 1 year, $5 million
Jermaine Dye: 2 years, $10 million
Moises Alou: 2 years, $13 million

Two years ago, the standard contract for a corner outfielder was 2 years, $6 million. That’s what Jose Guillen, Rondell White, and Reggie Sanders signed for.

The market for solid but unspectacular corner outfielders has been set pretty evenly the past couple of seasons; short term, mid-millions range. Jones overall numbers are dragged down by his poor showing against lefties and the Twins refusal to platoon him, so he may not even match what the top guys in his level from each of the last few classes have gotten. He’ll be looking for something like 3 years, $18 million, but more than likely have to settle for something like 2 years and $12 million. $6 million per year for a player worth between 4-5 wins? That’s a bargain, especially in the free agent market, where wins generally go for between $2-4 million apiece.

Now, if the M’s go through with my endoresement of Jacque Jones, they’re certainly going to have to acquire a platoon partner for him that can be expected to play well and get 200-250 at-bats a year. I’ll do a Reshaping The Bench piece at a later date, but to head off too many questions now, I’ll mention that a guy like Marcus Thames could be had for a song, and he’d be a perfect fit with Jones. Between the two of them, you’re not going to pay more than $6.5 million a year, you’re going to have a short term commitment, and you’re going to get something like 60-70 runs out of your left field platoon.

Jones is not a classic statistical darling, but for the 2006 Mariners, Jacque Jones is a great fit. At 2 years, $12 million, he’d be a steal for the M’s. He gets my vote to wear the Left-Handed Sock.


242 Responses to “Jacque Jones”

  1. Typical Idiot Fan on October 6th, 2005 9:16 pm

    Re: 198,

    I did. Problem was I forgot the closing tag for the blockquote. My bad.

  2. Andrew on October 6th, 2005 10:41 pm

    RE: 199

    Is that true? Could any free agent on a bad team just get up and leave to go to a contender?

  3. LB on October 6th, 2005 11:28 pm

    #202: No, no, not any FA. Sorry to be unclear about this.

    NYY signed Vasquez to a multiyear deal, then traded him to Arizona. The CBA says if you are traded to another team after you sign a multiyear deal, you have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card at the end of the first season with the new team.

  4. Colm on October 6th, 2005 11:48 pm

    Eee, the things you learn on USSM.

    Is this thread petering out yet?

  5. Bela Txadux on October 7th, 2005 12:14 am

    So Dave,

    I understand your thinking behind the JJones proposal, and in general I like it, though I’m glad that you clarified your design in #111. The approach is sound, sure, and Jones fits that approach well. Your cocktail napkin summation of the lineups’s likely value for next year as expressed in that post sounds pretty fair to me, too, although I’m sure we’ll get to more later.

    I think, and have thought for years, that the value of superior defense is underestimated because it’s a multiplier: not only do you prevent opposition runs, but because you keep the score close you enhance the win potential of what runs you manaage to score yourself AND improve the results of your pitching staff beyond what they take to the mound. The Cardinals ’04 and the Mariner’s ’01 pitching staffs are obvious examples of such benefit. Whatever pitching staff makes up Mariners ’06, it’s going to be average at best, so get them plenty of help in the field.

    Accordingly, it’s JJones defense that makes him interesting to me, plus he can play all three outfield positions. In a strict platoon, I like him at the cost it’ll take to get him; say, JJones/TBohn, or JJones/MThames. Jones is much better than doing nothing, and enormously better than getting someone like Griffey.

    The issues I have with JJones aren’t with him and what he would most likely bring, then, but with the context of the team and the organization.

    1) Jones at $6M plus platoon counts as a regular in the lineup, and against payroll: it he’s signed, that’s an impact bat that _isn’t_ acquired. Supposing that all works well and signing him in a platoon gets the offense to league average: what happens when someone else goes down, as happens almost every year? League average is immediately below average. We won’t see much out of Tacoma next year.

    If Jones is signed to make that platoon AND an impact bat is acquired, I _really_ start to like this idea. Does that sound like the Mariners FO to you?? The Ms organization has a long history of ‘cheaping out’ for a ‘satisficient’ player; this is why we have Raul Ibanez batting third today, and penciled in for the same next year. Jones fits that narrow box in their pay ledger perfectly. In large probability, if the Ms sign Jacques Jones, then all we get is him. I don’t like that so much, but that’s nothing against the player. The idea for Anyteam USA with this team’s numbers is a fine one; I don’t trust this organization to get the best out of that idea rather than the least.

    2) Why should we aim for a league average offense with a $90M payroll, hey? Safeco suppresses numbers to a degree, but not _that_ far. It’s not that I want or expect the Ms to go on a shopping spree, but this team needs to get more for the money they are spending. One way is to get smarter, always a good idea; you’re advocating this, as I read you. . . . Another way is to get other players for some of the ones you have now. That entails risk, but to keep them entails a high probability of mediocrity.

    This organization has got to stop settling for league average results out of larger than average expenditures, which is why several people projected into that starting lineup should be moved in my view. That isn’t going to happen, and I’ll speak to it a bit more over the next couple of months nonetheless, but that’s my view.

    And here’s why: This organization doesn’t have two years to fix the team; it doesn’t have one year; it has three months. If this team doesn’t go into camp next spring with a _very solid probability_ of winning 85+ games and being in some kind of contention, I feel certain that attendance will drop to around 2.2M. Not below that; sunshine and feel-good are good for that; but that far, yes. And at that attendance level, the team FO and ownership isn’t going to support a 90$ payroll. Whether by a ‘silent layoff’ approach or otherwise, the payout is going to shrink down toward $81-2M. With a league average or below team. Which is all we are going to see until we see somebody other than Lincoln owning the team [which is what he is, de facto now, with Yamaiuchi gone, the owner]. I’m not say this to rant, it’s my considered observation of probable outcomes. We really are in a win now, baby, or the context of the team is going to suffer a sharp and probably long-lasting downward valuation.

    —So let’s turn over a chunk of the roster, take some risks, and win now. This FO won’t do it. But they should.

  6. Bela Txadux on October 7th, 2005 12:36 am

    And a passing thought to you and Blog Elite, Dave: has there been quantitative analysis done on the issue of how many runs it takes to win? “One more than the other . . .” That’s not what I mean, although what I mean is difficult to express. As I said above, good defense keeps the score close so it enhances the ‘win value’ of the runs a team scores itself. The throws out, purely speculatively, the idea that a run scored might have something like an expressible ‘win value’ to it which might vary given team context and game context.

    Any analysis along such lines? It would interest me to read it if so.

  7. Typical Idiot Fan on October 7th, 2005 1:36 am

    Bela Txadux wrote:

    —So let’s turn over a chunk of the roster, take some risks, and win now. This FO won’t do it. But they should.

    You had me until that. How many players turned over is a “chunk” to you?

  8. Bela Txadux on October 7th, 2005 3:40 am

    Oh, and a further opine on a what if for the rotation, which would have been better in the Kevin Brown thread, but I didn’t think of it then: Kenny Rogers. Seriously. He threw 195 innings last year, he’s healthy, he’s effective, he’s a lefty, he’s available but a lot of teams will be scared off by a single, atypical incident.

    Kenny Rogers. Ummm-hmm.

  9. Bela Txadux on October 7th, 2005 3:49 am

    Chunk: 3-4 of the starting nine; all of the rotation not named Hernandez; 1-3 of the bullpen depending upon the deal; 1-2 of the top prospects still in the minors. It’s pretty obvious who should-and-could go if you think about it.

    I’m not saying ‘be radical’ just to swing a dead cat. Nor do I think that this would be easy to do, obviously. I do think that it is possible, and that it should be done. . . . And I would far rather see it done than the ‘incremental improvement to sustainable mediocrity’ we’re seeing right now.

  10. Scooter the Mighty on October 7th, 2005 7:39 am

    206, I haven’t done the stathead thing for a long time, but if I remember correctly 10 more runs over the course of the season is roughly eqivilent to one more win. If that’s not right, I’m sure I’ll be corrected.

  11. Scooter the Mighty on October 7th, 2005 7:42 am

    197, I think if you’re going to be pulling out people’s great months to evaluate them, you’ve also got to pull out there outlier crappy months. And pretty soon you’ve got nothing left.

    Baseball players just don’t always perform steadily like clockwork. I think you have to leave Giambi’s July performance in there.

  12. BrianV on October 7th, 2005 8:09 am

    As much as I would have liked to see Big Sexy win, how can you pull out Giambi’s July? What happens if you pull out Richie’s best month?

    Giambi went nuts in July and he should absolutely be given credit for that.

  13. msb on October 7th, 2005 8:31 am

    #200- Rusty said: “I’ve made plenty of negative remarks about Lincoln already so I’m not going to pile on further now except to say that sometimes you just need new blood to picture success in an organization. I think that’s where the M’s are now with Lincoln. Would that we had Stu!”

    so, seen the new blood rumored to be in line for the Tampa GM?? Gerry Hunsicker, Pat Gillick… 🙂

    actually, it will be interesting– along with the old guard (including Hart) thats been rumored, there are also some of the next gen (Josh Byrnes, Chris Antonetti, Tony Lacava) names floating about.

  14. Chris Miller on October 7th, 2005 8:33 am

    #206 – It’s about scoring more runs than your opponent. You can score 800 runs, but if you give that many up you’ll be around a .500 club. Pythagorean Win Percentage is a better way to determine win-loss based on Runs scored and Runs allowed. Keep in mind Safeco is fairly extreme in run supression, so the offense will be worse and the pitching better (assuming good fielding). As far as Kenny Rogers, first the M’s brass would NEVER hire someone who had an ‘incident’ like he had with the camera man. As well, I wouldn’t want to see him signed for more than a year or two because of his age. I suspect he’ll want a 3 year contract (just a hunch). He would probably be fairly effective at safeco, considering he surpressed home runs the way he has in Texas. I don’t expect his ERA to stay that low next year, even at Safeco though.

  15. Andren on October 7th, 2005 8:43 am

    Just not crazy about signing anyone as old as Rogers really. I would rather go young and take a chance with someone that has a chance of improving instead of the inevitable slippery slope.

  16. Grizz on October 7th, 2005 9:15 am

    For those calling for a roster turnover, it is already happening. From Opening Day to Opening Day, the M’s batting lineup will have 4 of 9 new starters, the rotation will have 3 of 5 new starters, the bullpen will have 3 or 4 new arms, and the bench will have all new players but one. So far, almost every new player is a noticeable improvement over his predecessor.

    Give the young players a little time — just look at Cleveland. Most of their core young players (Peralta, Sizemore, Martinez, Crisp) struggled when first called up and then early this season.

  17. Evan on October 7th, 2005 9:31 am

    maybe a lefty like Zaun

    Zaun’s a switch-hitter, and he’s under contract. Toronto would be crazy to give up Zaun while he’s their 4th best hitter at a position where most teams suck.

    Zaun drew 71 unintentional walks in 2005 (which would rank behind only Richie on the M’s). He had a park-adjusted OBP of .370.

    Toronto’s not losing him.

  18. Ralph Malph on October 7th, 2005 9:46 am

    has there been any quantitative analysis done on the issue of how many runs it takes to win?

    I believe there is a guy on the broadcast crew who has done some work on this issue. My understanding is that his conclusion is “four”.

  19. Gomez on October 7th, 2005 10:06 am

    205. Bela Txadux, you had me initially, but…

    1) You have to realize that a large portion of our struggles came from a) bad hitters like Olivo, Valdez and a deteriorated Boone who aren’t with the team anymore, and have been replaced with guys easily capable of league average performances at the absolute least, and b) a horrible starting rotation with horrible pitchers (Sele, Franklin, Meche) who should not be back with the team in 2006. These guys often put us in such a deep hole that our offense couldn’t have scored enough to win even if they were above average or excellent. Count on Bavasi to fill the rotation with better pitchers who will keep us in more games, games we won’t have to score 10 runs to win.

    Combine that with a 2006 offense that, without any additions, should easily outperform 2005’s Mariners, and all it may take is Jacque Jones for us to possibly contend for the wildcard.

    2) We should aim for a $90 million payroll because we’re not the Yankees or Red Sox and can’t just throw $120 million into player salaries.

    The offense, as it stands today, could probably give us league average performances in 2006 with nothing more than improved performances from a couple starters (any of Beltre or Lopez or Reed or Betancourt). Add another decent hitter in left, sign cheap but capable hitters (that means not Dave Hansen) for the bench, and the team should easily outperform their 699 run total. Make sure we have five starting pitchers who can keep us in games (Felix, an improved Pineiro, count on Moyer being back, and whichever two guys Bavasi manages to sign), and 2006’s Mariners will play much better baseball than 2005’s Mariners did.

  20. Bruce on October 7th, 2005 10:28 am

    It’s simply not accurate to say that the current FO is risk-averse. Inking Beltre and Sexson in the previous off-season were huge risks; in fact, they represent different types of risks. Potential aside, Beltre has has exactly one huge season in his career to justify his contract. Sexson’s offers shoulder worries and a looming decline phase.

    What kind of risk do you want the FO to take, that you feel they won’t?

  21. Pete Livengood on October 7th, 2005 10:30 am

    217, Evan — You’re right. Some of the lists of free agents out there include Zaun, because technically the Jays have a team option on him for next year ($1M, $100K buyout). However, that option became guaranteed with 70 games played in 2005.

    If the Mariners are going to acquire Zaun, they’re going to have to trade for him. And like you, even though they have Guillermo Quiroz coming, I just don’t see that happening. Quiroz had major injury issues this year, and didn’t hit that well when he played; they need Zaun, and he doesn’t make enough money to make it worthy clearing him out for some free agent.

  22. Bruce on October 7th, 2005 10:32 am

    Regarding “how many runs equal a win?”, the “Pythagenport” winning percentage at Baseball Prospectus probably comes closest to answering your question. It adjusts for the run-scoring context, which matters when you’re comparing adding x runs on offense, or saving y runs in pitching or defense.

  23. yteimlad on October 7th, 2005 10:46 am

    does anyone else think that beltre is probably 30 years old or more? does he look 26 to any of you? and as far as pitchers go, esteban loaiza should be the first target for the mariners. he was 24th in vorp in the majors this year and will be undervalued not only because gms dont use vorp, but because he pitched in washington and tanked it with the yankees. he was also pretty unlucky this year, with a .321 babip, though i dont know how much of that is from having 1/2 of your starts in that giant stadium. an increase in homeruns can obviously be expected, but if he can be had for 2 or 3 years at $4-$5m per, then a modest decrease from his 5.5 warp this year will be well worthwhile.

  24. Evan on October 7th, 2005 11:12 am

    221, Pete — As I mentioned earlier, Toronto doesn’t have ANY free agents. Not one.

    Toronto does, however, have 6 infielders and 6 outfielders, so they’ll need to move someone. They can’t keep all of Adams, Catalanotto, Griffin, Gross, Hill, Hillenbrand, Hinske, Hudson, Johnson, Koskie, Rios, and Wells.

    But they’d be idiots to trade Zaun. A switch-hitting catcher with plate discipline for $1 million? And, he’s a personal friend of Slash.

  25. Evan on October 7th, 2005 11:20 am

    I forgot Menechino. 7 infielders.

  26. Pete Livengood on October 7th, 2005 11:39 am

    Evan wrote:

    “221, Pete — As I mentioned earlier, Toronto doesn’t have ANY free agents. Not one.’

    Yeah, I know, I remember you pointing that out, and I was agreeing with you. I should have made myself clearer. What I was trying to say was, that while Toronto clearly needs to move some people if they are going to increase payroll through participation in the FA market (as they’ve said they will), Zaun makes no sense as a target for that, since he only makes $1M and is their best catcher and one of their better bats. The only caveat is he is going to be 35 early next season, and the Jays do have Quiroz coming. It seems to me he had a bad, injury-plagued year in AAA, but maybe the Jays feel differently about him. Otherwise, I think we completely agree.

  27. Shoeless Jose on October 7th, 2005 11:52 am

    If we’re going to talk about Jacque Jones shouldn’t we also talk about guys like Aubrey Huff and Carl Crawford? Or even Juan Pierre (who admittedly has no “sock”)?

  28. Typical Idiot Fan on October 7th, 2005 12:03 pm

    Re 211, 212,

    My problem with Giambi winning is manyfold, but statsitically speaking he only was good from July on. His first 60 games were abysmal. In a sense, because that July woke him up, he was basically winning the award for his performance for the last 79 games he playd in the year.

    Giambi (before July):

    .258 / .409 / .374, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 6 2B, 60, .783 OPS, 60 G.

    (Note the OPS is heavily OBP related)

    Giambi (rest of season):

    .282 / .463 / .655, 27 HR, 65 RBI, 8 2B, 1.118 OPS, 79 G

    Meanwhile, Richie Sexson, Bob Wickman, and even Mark Ellis were doing it consistently all year long. Sexson played only 23 games last year with a shoulder injury that was of concern this year too. All he does is go prove the naysayers wrong. I can take out Richie’s best month and his season totals still look fine. For comparison:

    Richie up to end of June:

    .241 / .341 / .492, 17 HR, 57 RBI, 16 2B, .833 OPS, 79 G

    Rest of season:

    .284 / .394 / .586, 22 HR, 64 RBI, 20 2B, .980 OPS, 77 G

    Yeah, he had a better second half too, but his first half didn’t suck by any means, mostly mired by a really bad May (everybody on the team had a bad May).

    And let’s not piss around the bush here, you can’t mention the name Giambi without the 8-letter S word sneaking into the conversation. His OBP is sick, and I can appreciate that it takes a patient (or scared) hitter to walk that much, but there seems to be an odd opinion that “Giambi Survived (8-letter S word) Controversy” and is now “doing it” without those cheating supplements. These same people believe you shrink like a limp Chien-Ming Wang when you’re off those said supplements.

    I don’t think Giambi should be celebrated at all. Because of his leaked Grand Jury testimony, we know the truth. When the case is resolved, it’ll all go public anyway, and we’ll know for sure. But I refuse to believe that Jason Giambi deserves an award for anything because of last season.

  29. Pete Livengood on October 7th, 2005 12:25 pm

    TIF, I agree with you on Giambi, even though I disagree with you on priciple about “taking” out anybody’s best month, etc. Though I understand your larger point is Giambi wasn’t consistent this season, you’ve got to take the good with the bad.

    My objection has to do with what Giambi was coming back from, which, ughh, you’ve already covered.

  30. Pete Livengood on October 7th, 2005 12:25 pm

    Oh, and let’s not forget that MLB does not currently test for HGH.

  31. Gomez on October 7th, 2005 1:04 pm

    227. Huff and Crawford will be prime targets in the FA market, Jacque Jones not so much, and thus will command a more inflated price than we’d end up paying for Jones.

  32. Evan on October 7th, 2005 1:21 pm

    No one tests for hGH. There’s no reliable test.

    I had actually been agreeing with you up there, Pete. I was just emphasizing because it’s so weird. What team finishes a season with all of its players under contract?

  33. Chris Miller on October 7th, 2005 1:43 pm

    We should REALLY push to get Hideki Matsui. Great LF defense, good offense, probably a good Safeco fit, AND he’s japanese!!!! Chances are slim to none of course, but would be worth a big push.

  34. Long Suffering on October 7th, 2005 1:52 pm

    There’s no push to get Matsui, either he resigns with NYY or he hits waivers. If he hits waivers he likely goes to us because we’d be willing to pay him what he wants. If he decides to play in Seattle, he does, if not, back to Japan. The Ms don’t need/can’t do anything to increase our chances of getting him.

  35. Jake L. on October 7th, 2005 1:59 pm

    One plus about trying to acquire Aubrey Huff or Carl Crawford from Tampa: no crazy GM there that would demand King Felix in return. I believe a shadow has been lifted from above Tropicana Field……

  36. msb on October 7th, 2005 2:56 pm

    I’ll be curious to see who gets Comeback Player from the Sporting News and from the Players Assn….

  37. Daryl on October 7th, 2005 10:58 pm

    I was thinking Aubrey Huff myself #227. He’s left handed, a year or two younger than Jones, and with only one year left on his contract at around $7 million the D-Rays are reportedly ready to move him. I would hope that we would atleast check out what they are asking for him. I would be willing to send a Cha Sung Baek or two there way if that would do the trick.

  38. Daryl on October 7th, 2005 11:08 pm


  39. jack howland on October 8th, 2005 10:12 am

    I don’t see the attraction with Jones at $6M although I do think he may get that kind of a contract with someone:

    1) His offensive numbers have significantly declined over the last two seasons compared to his 2002 and 2003 seasons. He should have been coming into his prime in 2004 and 2005.

    2) He is particularly unselective at the plate. Or as Ron Fairly likes to say “you don’t walk your way off the island”.

    3) Assuming that the other 1/3 of the platoon costs $3M, we will have spent $9M for a left field tandem that is about offensively league average.

  40. Long Suffering on October 8th, 2005 3:35 pm

    Where did you get 3M for the other platoon? It isn’t algebra, you don’t just say Jones at 2/3 for 6M ergo player X at 1/3 for 3M. First off, it’s more of a 3/4 to 1/4 split. Secondly, salaries aren’t linear, Marcus Thames is a good example. There are plenty of people out there that can be had for ~500K. Call it 7M just for S&G for Jones at 40 VORP and player X for 5 VORP. That’s 45 VORP or about 4.5 wins for 7M. 4.5 wins is worth about 9M in salary.

  41. jack howland on October 8th, 2005 4:54 pm

    I guess I don’t agree that Jones will be a 40 VORP. Assuming that he plays 74% of the time all against righties I estimate him getting approximately 518 PAs. I think that 25 would be a high end VORP prediction. Of course I am not factoring in defense. Perhaps I haven’t figured this out right, if so please show me where I went wrong.

  42. JI on October 25th, 2005 11:27 am

    I’m not very high on Jones, but in theory, on a team that could handle the responsibility of platooning him, he’d be a decent fallback plan. Unforunately on the Mariners, you can count on Grover letting him swing the bat v. a LHP in the bottom of 8th with runners on 2nd and 3rd…