Yesterday, I did an overview of how I would attempt to reshape the roster if I ran the M’s. This post deals with what I actually think they are going to do. Some of these guesses are based on things I’ve heard through the grapevine, while others are just hunches. Don’t take everything written here as inside information. Don’t freak out if you hate what you read. When I did this last year, I got most of it wrong. I nailed the Beltre thing, but also had them trading Randy Winn, signing Matt Clement, and trading for Shea Hillenbrand. So, your mileage on how useful this post is may vary. But at least it’s interesting.
Expected Free Agent Signings
Matt Morris: 4 years, $30 million
Kenji Jojima: 2 years, $10 million
Jamie Moyer: 1 year, $4 million
Jeromy Burnitz: 1 year, $4 million
Gil Meche and Matt Thornton to New York for Carl Pavano
Julio Mateo to Florida for Ron Villone
That would leave the Mariners with a roster that looked something like this:
Hargrove gets his 12 man pitching staff, including two new name pieces for the rotation. The M’s interest in Pavano has been no secret. They think he’s perfect for Safeco Field, and they attribute most of his struggles in 2005 to the pressures of pitching in New York. According to the M’s, Pavano took less money than they offered him to sign with NY, and they aren’t likely to balk at assuming the rest of his contract.
Morris fits the veteran with a long history of success that they are looking for. A couple of years ago, the guy was one of the elite pitchers in the game. Due to a poor second half, a lot of teams, including the Cardinals, are shying away from him, so the M’s will likely view him as a bargain considering what other pitchers will get in this market.
Burnitz provides home run power from the left side, and as a heavy pull hitter who can exploit the right field corner, his swing is what the M’s are looking for. At 36, though, he’s a shell of what he was, and at this point, he’s not much of an asset as an everyday player.
Villone’s ERA in Florida was disastrous, but he actually pitched just fine. The Marlins weren’t impressed, though, and he’ll likely be available. Mateo is younger, cheaper, and will still be under their control for several years. The M’s have never really liked Mateo, as his inability to hold runners has relegated him to mop up duty, and the team would jump at the chance to have Villone back.
Jojima, we’ve talked about.
So, that’s what I expect the M’s to do. How do I feel about it?
Blah. I wasn’t a fan of Pavano last year, and I’m still not. Morris is on my guys-to-avoid list. Burnitz isn’t a big asset. I support the Jojima acquisition, but the rest of it doesn’t get me too excited. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong.