Predicted Moves

Dave · November 8, 2005 at 8:21 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

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.

Onward ho.

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

Expected Trades

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:

C Jojima
C Torrealba
1B Sexson
2B Lopez
2B Bloomquist
SS Betancourt
3B Beltre
LF Burnitz
LF Morse
CF Reed
RF Ichiro
DH Ibanez
DH Dobbs

SP1 Morris
SP2 Felix
SP3 Pavano
SP4 Pineiro
SP5 Moyer

CL Guardado
Setup Soriano
Setup Sherrill
Relief Putz
Relief Villone
Relief Atchison
Long Harris

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.


72 Responses to “Predicted Moves”

  1. DMZ on November 9th, 2005 11:17 am

    However, I think it’s more than likely that this team is also third in the AL. It just makes me sad.

    I would be overjoyed if the team was third in the AL!

  2. Adam S on November 9th, 2005 11:21 am

    This wouldn’t be my first choice of plans, but we could do a lot worse.

    Jojima and Moyer we all seem to like though I wish Jojima was cheaper.

    I know Dave is no fan of Pavano, though perhaps that’s contract related not a talent issue. He seems like a reasonable 3rd starter to me based on the past three years, though 3/30 is too much for that level of pitching. If we put Pineiro and his $6M in the deal, I’d be happier. Trading Meche and Thornton is addition by subtraction as they shouldn’t figure in the 2006 plan based on their 2005 seasons.

    Burnitz is a league average RF both offensively and defensively by BP numbers. He loses some value (both) moving to LF, but if all they have left is $4M, I can’t complain about getting a guy with a WARP of ~4. He’s a huge upgrade over Morse and we can pursue a different plan in 2007.

    Morris is really my only big gripe with this plan. It’s big money for a #4 starter and with Pavano locked up for 3 years, locking up Morris for 4 looks even worse. I’d be surprised if Morris gets 4 years. To be honest, I can’t see the Mariners taking on $60M in pitching contracts.

    For the same money, I’d rather have Giles (3/30) and Kevin Brown (1/4) instead of this plan for LH sock and starting pitching.

  3. Todd on November 9th, 2005 11:37 am

    Hey I’m reading that the Yankees are putting out feelers for Jorge Posada. If the Mariners dont get Jojima, would you all be for a Meche-Thorton-Morse(or Jones) to NY for Pavano and Posada?

  4. Southpaw on November 9th, 2005 11:46 am

    Yeah, lets totally get an aging catcher and pay him 20M over two years and a pitcher who’s never had a great year and pay him 30M over 3 years. At which point, I’m becoming an Oakland As fan or something.

  5. Mike Snow on November 9th, 2005 11:47 am

    I don’t want anything to do with Posada. He’s in the rapid decline phase of the typical catcher career path, and certainly would not be worth throwing a good prospect like Jones into the deal.

    Actually, since any catcher we get is a placeholder for when Clement is ready, one of the attractions of Jōjima to me is possibly flipping him to the Yankees once we reach that point.

  6. msb on November 9th, 2005 11:51 am

    #53– Posada is 34, and due $8M next season, with a guaranteed $12M option for 2007 kicking in if he catches 63 games in ’06.

  7. JB on November 9th, 2005 11:52 am

    Mateo vs. Villone. That trade wouldn’t seem to make sense even from the standard “lefties are always better against lefties” justification.

    Three-year pitching splits, according to ESPN:

    Right / Left AB AVG OBP SLG OPS
    vs. Left 401 .227 .271 .416 .688
    vs. Right 469 .241 .290 .414 .703

    Right / Left AB AVG OBP SLG OPS
    vs. Left 361 .227 .324 .330 .654
    vs. Right 705 .238 .340 .399 .738

  8. eponymous coward on November 9th, 2005 12:17 pm

    Everybody who think getting Pavano back in a deal is a guaranteed improvement has a short memory. Jeff Cirillo, anyone? Do you think he represented an improvement over what we gave up in the deal?

    Overpaid players are huge risks, and Pavano has less in the way of quality years as a starter (200 IP, sub-4 ERA, 30+ starts) than Millwood or Burnett- or even guys like Paul Byrd or Esteban Loaiza. Locking up 30 million in salary for the next 3 years for someone who has very “meh” peripherals and an extensive injury history can have an unequivocal downside, and this team isn’t going to be able to eat a 10 million dollar a year contract like it did for Cirillo or Spiezio.

  9. Smegmalicious on November 9th, 2005 12:54 pm

    DMZ…I meant the AL WEST!

    Third in the AL would be grand too, provided that the first two teams aren’t the A’s and the Angels. Wouldn’t that be just our luck!

  10. Scooter the Mighty on November 9th, 2005 1:09 pm

    I don’t give the M’s management a lot of credit for being smart, but I somehow have faith that they aren’t going to be interested in Pavano at 10 million a year when he’s only got one good year on him. If his good year was last year, that would be different, but I think it would require even more boobery than they’re up to to go for Pavano.

  11. Mike L on November 9th, 2005 1:36 pm

    That looks like a crapbag offseason Dave. I agree, I hope you’re wrong. I don’t like the Pavano trade, the Morris signing is too much money, and Burnitz is garbage.

  12. Ray Oyler Fan Club on November 9th, 2005 1:55 pm

    wow…if the original post does wind up being the 25 man roster, this time next year, we’ll all be speculating as to who the new GM of the Mariners will be…

  13. Brent on November 9th, 2005 2:11 pm

    Well, if Dave’s assumptions pan out, Bavasi can clean out his office now.

    Maybe we can again hope for someone like DePodesta, Antonetti, or Ng…

  14. John Brooks on November 9th, 2005 2:11 pm

    #43- Don’t count on it, Matsuzaka gave up on his pursuit of going to the majors. Matsuzaka waiting to 2008 now.

    #44- I would lean against Tino Martinez, if I could chase Olerud back to Seattle first, he’s way better than Martinez offense and defense wise. Also, Olerud will come cheap too and comes from Seattle.

    #46- Trading for Pavano is a terrible option and I can’t believe anyone here is actually in favor of it. First, off he’s only been average in his career, will come at a high pricetag, and his health will still be a ? mark. I just keep Meche, who will have better upside than Pavano.

    #47-Ditto on Thome, who is another terrible option at his high salary and injury risk. Even if Philly is going to pay half of the contract you are still stuck w/a lot for who knows what? I would have just took my chance with a minor lg. player over Thome for the league minimum w/his health.

    Also, there is no way Johjima will come on a 1yr deal, it will probably be more like a 2-3 yr deal worth $5-7 million.

    #50- Jones might be the more superior defensive player, but Burnitz will always outhit Jones in any park. He outhit him in Wrigley this yr. Burnitz is a average OF, just not worth a multi-yr deal these days.

    #55- And why would you what to trade Johjima to the Yankees? They have absoultely no one to trade back to you? They sure not trading Duncan, Cano , or anyone else of any value?

    #61- I agree Pavano is just plain garbage like I pointed out, Morris will be inflated due to a lack of pitchers on the FA market, and Burnitz well is way better than Jacque Jones and a good 1 yr signing, beyond that no.

  15. Evan on November 9th, 2005 2:22 pm

    Are you crazy? Jones is a better hitter than Burnitz right now. In 2005:

    Burnitz hit a park-adjusted .255/.322/.440
    Jones hit a park-adjusted .251/.332/.461

    Jones is the better defender. Jones is 6 years younger.

  16. Andrew on November 9th, 2005 2:58 pm

    John Brooks:

    I believe the thought was you signe Johjima to a 3 year deal, and then if in year 2 or 3 Clement becomes ready, you trade him to the Yankees. Just because the Yankees don’t have alot of trading chips now (and that isn’t exactly true) who’s to know what they will have 2 or 3 years from now.

  17. Scott on November 9th, 2005 3:00 pm


    Are there any young players in another organization that might fill our need for a LF with power from the left side? Is it possible that we could trade Adam Jones for someone ready to make the jump to the bigs. I know the team is wanting to get some veterans, but someone who could do what Francouer did in Atlanta last year would be nice, and great for the next several years.

  18. gabo on November 9th, 2005 3:04 pm

    If Meche ends up being traded, I guess I’ll have to give up on that dream of making a giant ‘Gil-Ga-Meche’ sign to finally give the guy a nickname… Although, given enough time, the fans should be able come up with something for Pavano…

    Burnitz is going to pull a Palmiero next year… Not the doping side of things, just a slow fade to obscurity.

  19. Scott on November 9th, 2005 3:18 pm

    How about Josh Kroeger of the D-Backs? I don’t think we would have to give up Jones for him, and he has decent pop, but a down year last year hurt his stock. The D-Backs have so many prospects they might be willing to deal him.

  20. Southpaw on November 9th, 2005 4:38 pm

    Pavano for 20M over 3 years wouldn’t be bad. I don’t see the Yanks eating 10M of his salary, but you never know. Point is, everything is about the (salary) context.

  21. Steve on November 10th, 2005 11:10 am

    #68: a giant ‘Gil-Ga-Meche’ sign

    A young pitcher with a great stuff but he can’t put it all together. That’s probably the oldest story in baseball.

  22. Rusty on November 14th, 2005 11:07 am

    From John Hickey (Nov 14):
    Seattle has contacted the agent for outfielder Jacque Jones, a left-handed hitter with some pop, with the idea of luring Jones to play left field for the Mariners.