Leone moves on

JMB · November 13, 2005 at 8:38 am · Filed Under Mariners 

In case you missed it — Justin Leone signed a minor league deal (scroll down) with the San Diego Padres last week. Leone was a favorite among many M’s bloggers, but to be honest, he was never going to get a shot in Seattle. Whether or not he deserved much of one given his age and performance last season is another issue. I wish him well in San Diego, though he’s of course now stuck behind both Vinny Castilla and Sean Burroughs.


24 Responses to “Leone moves on”

  1. Graham on November 13th, 2005 9:02 am

    Being stuck behind Castilla and Burroughs is probably better than being stuck behind Beltre.

  2. Mat on November 13th, 2005 9:45 am

    From a talent standpoint, Leone has a better chance going up against Castilla and Burroughs instead of Beltre, sure. However, so many times “unproven” guys don’t get their shot until someone gets hurt or until a team is way, way out of contention. Being stuck behind two guys is generally worse than being stuck behind one guy, if your best hope is for someone to get injured to create a need for you.

  3. JMB on November 13th, 2005 10:20 am

    It does sound like the Padres are just about done with Burroughs, though, for what that’s worth.

  4. Mat on November 13th, 2005 10:54 am

    No more Burroughs would definitely help Leone’s case for playing time. I suppose that by moving to the NL he might be able to draw attention to himself through pinch-hitting. Also, the Padres don’t have anyone as solid as Sexson at first base, so Leone could maybe help for a little playing time there, too.

  5. John D. on November 13th, 2005 11:07 am

    “Being stuck behind Castilla and Burroughs is probably better than being stuck behind Beltre.” (# 1)
    Better? It doesn’t get any better than this. (Although, I guess one could be stuck behind JEFF CIRILLO and SCOT SPIEZIO.)

  6. Kelly on November 13th, 2005 11:45 am


  7. Jim Thomsen on November 13th, 2005 11:56 am

    Count me in on the good wishes for Justin Leone. The 2004 version, properly used, could have helped a team. Unfortunately, he had to go and have that terrible 2005, and did all he could further lower the Mariners’ already low opinion of him. He’s 28 now (will be 29 in midseason 2006), and if he gets 100 more major-league at-bats in his career, I’ll be surprised.

  8. Shoeless Jose on November 13th, 2005 12:32 pm

    Yeah, Leone is one of those limbo AAAA guys who will end up either coaching somewhere or selling cars and telling his Sunday golf buddies about his time in the bigs, if they bug him enough.

    And yet there are plenty of those guys who keep finding work around the majors, if they can play several positions and pich hit and if they’re willing to chase opportunity from team to team and the right guys get hurt at the right time. It’s a perilous existence.

    As to the Ichiro rumor: ha! If Ichiro wanted Hargrove gone, Hargrove would be gone. If Hargrove wanted Ichiro traded, Hargrove would be gone. The fact that Hargrove is still here suggests Ichiro has not made his wishes in this regard known to the ownership. Though I rather hope he does (assuming they are anti-grover).

  9. Shoeless Jose on November 13th, 2005 12:34 pm

    I mean… Super Charles Gipson was on a WS team this year (though not on the WS roster) so anything is possible. Good luck Leone…

    So with Felix in the majors, and Bucky and Leone gone, who’s the new designated obsession for the blogosphere?

  10. Matt on November 13th, 2005 12:37 pm

    #9 I think it’s gotta be an outfielder this year, given the sorry state of affairs left field is in at the moment…

  11. Deanna on November 13th, 2005 12:56 pm

    9 – T.J. Bohn? Hunter Brown? Damian Moss? Chris Snelling (still)? Who knows?

  12. David J Corcoran on November 13th, 2005 1:00 pm

    If it’s Damian Moss I will never read another blog again.

  13. Jim Thomsen on November 13th, 2005 1:20 pm

    Francisco Cruceta. Or Bobby Livingston.

  14. David J Corcoran on November 13th, 2005 1:35 pm

    Now those are some good options. Even Jesse Foppert.

  15. Jim Thomsen on November 13th, 2005 1:56 pm

    Then again, Leone could really help himself merely by being his 2004 self. If he emerges as the third, AAA, option behind a declining and overvalued 38-year-old and a busted prospect in the team’s doghouse, he could be the Padres’ second-half third baseman. About nine things would have to literally break just right for that to happen, though.

  16. NBarnes on November 13th, 2005 4:29 pm

    If not for Frank McCourt, Leone is the sort of guy I could have seen DePo taking a flyer on in LA as injury insurance in 2006. He probably would have been a nifty spare part last season for the Dodgers. In a larger sense, I remain surprised that more teams aren’t looking for players of his sort to help fill in and populate the bench; why is Ruben Seirra taking ABs in New York when Leone at his worst could do better?

  17. Jim Thomsen on November 13th, 2005 4:37 pm

    Because Ruben Sierra is a “proven veteran” and one-time “star,” and these things matter very much to George Steinbrenner. Remember that the Yankees turned to Robinson Cano only after exhausting all sorts of options with “proven” players.

    Leone, like a hundred other George Lombards, needs a) good health; b) a good year; c) a manager in his corner; and d) a fortuitous and certainly unplanned job vacancy.

    Plan on seeing Leone play a lot in Portland this year.

  18. Jeff Sullivan on November 13th, 2005 5:39 pm

    I expect to see Leone on the Padres’ 25-man by the trade deadline.

  19. Mat on November 13th, 2005 5:53 pm

    “…why is Ruben Seirra taking ABs in New York when Leone at his worst could do better?”

    I was a little incredulous of this at first glance, but it seems you’re on to something with this particular comparison. In 2004, Sierra and Leone had identical .252 EQA’s, both in fairly limited PAs. And last year, Leone was PECOTA’d for a 10th percentile .227 EQA, while Sierra put up a .218 EQA. Of course, Leone didn’t do all that hot in AAA this year, either.

    I think that if you’re a team that has most of the parts in place to contend for a title, it’s somewhat justifiable to go with the somewhat more known quantity of the “proven veteran” than the higher risk, higher reward younger player. Sure, the vet is going to decline, but generally in a way that is fairly well known. The younger player might turn out to be a fabled AAAA player, or he might turn out to be great, but either way, you know less about how he’ll perform at the major league level.

  20. Chris on November 13th, 2005 8:03 pm

    Off subject… but did we ever get those PTBNLs from any of last year’s trades?

  21. Ronc52 on November 13th, 2005 9:22 pm


    What’s the latest on Bucky “Git er done” Jacobsen? Haven’t heard or seen any info on him for months.

  22. Deanna on November 13th, 2005 9:49 pm

    The reason you haven’t seen any info on Bucky for months is because he was released by the Mariners about two months ago. He was terrible in AAA, most likely owing to him weighing about as much as Walter Young.

  23. Hit and Run on November 13th, 2005 10:10 pm

    Wasn’t Leone playing with a wrist injury in 2005?

  24. Scraps on November 13th, 2005 11:22 pm

    Because Ruben Sierra is a “proven veteran” and one-time “star,” and these things matter very much to George Steinbrenner.

    More Torre in this case than Steinbrenner, I think.