Rumor roundup

Jeff · December 5, 2005 at 11:05 am · Filed Under Mariners, Off-topic ranting 

Not much new to report. The dailies are mostly rehashing rumors we’ve hashed out in the past (Juan Pierre, Jeromy Burnitz, etc.).

One older rumbling is effectively shot down by both Larry Stone and certain east coast media reports. Evidently both the Tigers and Mariners have asked about Carl Pavano and been rebuffed by the Yankees, who say they aren’t trading him. This is for the best. For the M’s, anyway.

The team’s pursuit of A.J. Burnett looks less and less likely, and it seems their attention is turning to Kevin Millwood. Word is that the M’s came way up on their offer to Millwood this morning, and they’re pushing Scott Boras to get a deal done in the next few days.

Then there is this in today’s TNT:

Sources say the Mariners have already approached the Rockies to inquire about starters Aaron Cook and Jason Jennings. But Colorado has balked so far.

Neither of these guys excites me. Jennings has been terrible, and he can’t blame all of that on Coors Field given his road splits. Cook pitched pretty well during his partial season, but there’s that scary history of pulmonary blood clots. As with all trades, it would depend on what we’d have to give up –but it appears the Rockies aren’t interested anyway.

Finally, in other news: I was going to argue that Congress had much more important things to do than investigate the BCS. But seeing what they did to Oregon, I say go, legislators, go!


91 Responses to “Rumor roundup”

  1. troy on December 5th, 2005 2:08 pm

    What really sucks in all this (okay, sucks for the Duckys) is that Oregon is going to lose to Oklahoma. Now that Peterson’s healthy, they’re a much better team than they were early in the year. OU will win the Holiday Bowl, just like Texas Tech did last year, and all the screams of “the Pac 10 got screwed” will dissapear quicker than a defender trying to tackle Reggie Bush.

    Seriously, this is Oregon’s own fault. Play somebody in your non conference or win your own conference. Otherwise, don’t expect any BCS favors.

  2. ajp on December 5th, 2005 2:08 pm

    I was right with Jeff about congress investigating the BCS when he said, “it keeps them from working on more important things.”

    Curiously, he seemed to imply that made it bad. For my money, the more trivia that keeps congress away from the important things, the better.

  3. Whisky&Rye on December 5th, 2005 2:16 pm

    ND isn’t the reason that Oregon isn’t going to a BCS game. Rather, it’s the conference champion rule that lets someone like FSU in while legit top 8 teams like ND and Oregon have to compete for at-large bids.

    The BCS isn’t about fairness beyond securing the 1 vs. 2 matchup. It’s about cash and ND is the 800lb gorilla in that arena.

  4. Gomez on December 5th, 2005 2:38 pm

    Amidst all of this grumbling about the BCS hosing Oregon is the fact that the BCS itself is flawed, but most of you knew that. So we let a computer spit out two teams to play for a mythical championship based largely on subjective poll rankings (with a token factor built in for strength of schedule and other power ratings)? And then we let a bunch of old men in suits pick out who plays in the other big money games?

    I haven’t watched a bowl game on New Year’s in years because of this nonsense and am not about to start. All the talk about a proposed playoff getting in the way of academics is hogwash. If D-III teams can play a 16 team playoff through November and December, we can at least get 12 I-A conference champs together and play four weeks of elimination games. Let the bowl-money-mongers in on sponsoring the games if losing the money bothers everyone so much.

    Anyway, it’s too bad the Rockies rumors don’t have legs, because I wouldn’t have a big problem with giving Jennings a chance in the back of the rotation, even with his bleh peripherals. Getting out of the high altitude, which flattens breaking balls and makes pitches float, will give his stuff and his confidence more bite, especially making 15 starts in Safeco. Worst case scenario, he couldn’t do much worse than Franklin.

  5. lefty on December 5th, 2005 2:47 pm

    Millwood… please!
    Jennings… interested. I think (anecdotal evidence) that Coors Field wears on pitchers after a while. jennings had some success at first, but eventually it just wore him down.

    The Pac 10 has poor leadership. They have the worst TV contracts, the worst bowl agreements. UCLA gets NWU, Oregon gets Oklahoma. The Pac 10 is regularly matched up against teams which are farther down the totem pole in their own conferences because the leadership of the Pac 10 does a terrible job. And I am not a Pac 10 grad or fan.

    Please, Millwood, please!

  6. the other Jeff on December 5th, 2005 2:48 pm

    The big issue as I see it is the disparity in payoffs between BCS bowls and non-BCS bowls. The BCS bowls pay out $14-17 mil to each team this year. The other bowls are around $2-5 mil. Are Ohio State and ND better teams than Oregon? Well, maybe. The BCS thinks so. Are they $9-15 mil better? No. Would as many people be complaining if Oregon got $12 mil for playing in the Holiday bowl? Not a chance. That’s what needs to be changed more than determining which team is #8 and which is #9.

  7. Erik Loomis on December 5th, 2005 2:49 pm

    You know, it’s not as if Fresno St. is no one. While they collapsed at the end of season, they did almost beat USC. And as far as soft non-conference schedules, in 2003 they beat Michigan and last year they played Oklahoma. Next year they play Oklahoma again and then Michigan the year after that.

    In any case, their schedule is comparable to Notre Dame this year. Who did Notre Dame beat exactly? Is a 7-4 Michigan team their best win?

    And as far as the Pac-10 and their bowl tie-ins go, everyone here is right. The Pac-10 does a terrible job. We should be playing games against top teams from the other conferences for our #2, #3, and #4 games. Very bad.

    As far as Washington goes, no doubt Oregon reject Johnny Durocher will lead you all to 4 wins one of these years.

  8. NMS on December 5th, 2005 2:52 pm

    “You’re absolutely right about it being an anti-Pac 10 bias. East coast sportswriters don’t realize how good the conference is. ”

    That’s because it’s really not that good once you get past the very top team(s). But that being said i do hate how Notre Dame gets everything handed to them and i do think Oregon deserved that bid, even though I think ND/OSU is a heck of an interesting matchup.

    As for the talk of academics being hogwash…ABSOLUTELY! I’d encourage all of you to read the NY times peice thats now starting an NCAA investigation into a Miami HS “diploma mill”. In the story its shown that a Tennessee defensive back got into school with a 720 SAT and a 2.5 something GPA (and that was on his fake diploma, hes real GPA was a 1.something). I dont mind relaxing admissions standards somewhat for athletes, and i know UTK isnt the greatest school to being with, but COME ON!
    And its not like hes the only one, hes presented as a somewhat typical case. And then later on in the story another similar guy talks about being academically unprepared for college…..Really? you had a 700 SAT and a D average and your unprepared? im shocked.

    Let kids who have some rudimentary academic ability play college ball and let the guys who shouldve flunked out of HS redeem themselvs in JUCO ball. I’m not asking for scholars, just mediocrity say a 2.5-2.7 and 900-950 SAT. (and Lord knows you dont have to be even halfway intelligent nowadays to get a 2.6 and a 950 SAT or something like that-esp with half your teachers giving you extra credit for being All-State)


  9. shortbus on December 5th, 2005 2:53 pm

    Ok maybe NOW this is on topic.

    Worst. Baseball Wife. Ever.

    I’ll post the web site but every time someone views it, somewhere a puppy gets run over by a car. She’s not a bad looker but the more you learn about her the harder it is not to regurgitate lunch. And the web site itself is vomitous to boot.

  10. Jason on December 5th, 2005 2:55 pm

    I go away for a meeting all afternoon and I come back to the monster I started.

    Jeff, not sure haw your comment to me in #3 jives with your statement in 38. Seems that we’re on the same side. Unless you’re taking issue with me being a Husky and generally anti-Oregon, to which I say, Damn Ducks… 😉

    Yeah Orgeon got hosed by both the BCS (read: independant/Notre Dame rule) and the fact that the Pac-10 has become a weak conference when it comes to getting good TV and bowl deals. There’s no way our #2 bowl should be the Holiday Bowl and our #3 the Sun Bowl. We need a good #2 bowl to go between the Rose and the Holiday. And we need to get better timeslots/coverage of our games. USC – Freson St. started at 10:15pm EST, when most East Coast writers were headed to the bar or bed…

  11. Jason on December 5th, 2005 2:56 pm

    Sorry, that second line should read:

    Jeff, not sure how your comment to me in #3 jives with your statement in #8

  12. Jeff on December 5th, 2005 2:56 pm

    Jason: I was responding to Jason Barker, “JMB,” who commented right after you. Sorry, I should’ve made that clearer. We are in concordance.

  13. PaulMarrottWeaver on December 5th, 2005 3:00 pm

    Looking at the list of free agent pitchers – an eyebrow goes up, sees how much mediocre pitchers command, and now it’s time to go drink. How much pay roll do you want to eat up on any one of these pitchers. Millwood and Burnett just seem better than average, yet it looks like they’ll command CyYoung Award money. These guys are going to go home and cry on their bed of money after they gave up another home run. I want to offer them minor league contracts and see them fight for a spot on the team. Instead they’ll be able to buy their own small island, then pitch batting practice throughout the season. Look at that list!!! Gah!!!

  14. Jon Wells on December 5th, 2005 3:07 pm

    #58 and I thought Olga Petagine was the worst baseball wife ever…

  15. Mat on December 5th, 2005 3:11 pm

    Where can I find objective evidence that the East Coast media is especially underrating the Pac-10? None of the computer ranking systems like the conference at all, so all these arguments seem to boil down to is “my conference is better than your conference.”

    Ohio State took matters into their own hands when they put Texas on their schedule. If teams in the Pac-10 start to toughen up their schedules like that, maybe they’ll start getting some credit. (And yes, on merit, they deserve the Fiesta over Notre Dame, but that has everything to do with Notre Dame being overrated and very, very little to do with Oregon being underrated.)

    The whole bowl system (even long before the BCS) is screwed up anyway. Thank god for baseball, where playoff matchups are determined objectively.

  16. msb on December 5th, 2005 3:17 pm

    depending on your view of Ken Rosenthal’s accuracy/validity, he is covering winter meeting lobby rumors up on the Fox site

  17. martino on December 5th, 2005 3:28 pm

    ESPN is reporting on it’s site that Burnett is close to signing with Toronto for 5yrs/$55 million.

    Seems pretty outrageous for a guy with less than eye popping numbers and the hope that he’ll get better. The Blue Jays have just spent a BOATLOAD of cash on BJ Ryan and AJ Burnett. Seems like that could backfire badly for them.

  18. Ralph Malph on December 5th, 2005 3:32 pm

    Johnny Durocher? I doubt he’ll keep Jake Locker off the field for long.

  19. JMB on December 5th, 2005 3:33 pm

    Bias against the Pac-10? USC has been #1 all year!

  20. msb on December 5th, 2005 3:34 pm

    #66– per Fox, “The Blue Jays have increased their offer to free-agent right-hander A.J. Burnett, putting the ball squarely in the Cardinals’ court. Toronto’s deal is believed to be for five years and somewhere in the $52.5-to-55 million range. That’s up from five years, $50 million. There are still additional details of the deal that would need to be negotiated, (i.e. perks, structure). St. Louis has reportedly offered Burnett a four-year deal worth $40 million.”

  21. Jeff on December 5th, 2005 3:35 pm

    USC hasn’t lost a game in years and is defending two national titles. There is no other possible choice for #1.

  22. Mike Snow on December 5th, 2005 3:49 pm

    Re: Jennings, how many comps do we have for GB machines going from extreme hitter’s parks to extreme pitcher’s parks?

    Everything except Texas (case in point, John Thomson) is an extreme pitcher’s park after Coors. Mike Hampton is probably the closest case, and recovered decently after leaving Colorado, if perhaps not fully to his peak level of performance. Darryl Kile also did pretty well, although he wasn’t quite on the same level as a groundball pitcher.

    Given the adjustments people make to playing 81 games in Coors Field, I think it’s increasingly likely that even road numbers for Rockies players are less reliable indicators than they would normally be. Hampton was as bad on the road for the Rockies as at home.

    Jennings is quite intriguing to me as a creative way to supplement our forays into the free agent pitching market. I’d rather give him a shot than Matt Morris. It just depends on how much we have to sweeten Torrealba to close the deal.

  23. Brian Rust on December 5th, 2005 3:54 pm

    As much as I like the Pac 10 and root for the NW teams (go Cougs!!) I think it’s hard to make an objective case that the Ducks, and the rest of the conference after USC, are all that good. The Trojans handled Oregon in their typical save-it-for-the-second-half style, and the next best teams they played were, what, Fresno State and Cal? Hell, the Cougs gave ’em all they could handle, and I expect it’ll be a good game against Oklahoma.

    The real injustice perhaps is for the SEC and Big 10, where it’s way tougher to run the table than in the Pac 10 or Big 12. Don’t forget that Texas played only one tough team all year, and Reggie Push — er, Bush, that is — had to cheat to beat Notre Dame.

  24. Evan on December 5th, 2005 4:04 pm

    Toronto’s “spend-everything-on-pitching” plan is only going to work out for them if they can now turn around and trade their excess pitching for position players. They need to score more runs, and the nature of their club is such that incremental increases aren’t going to be easy.

    They need to pack up Batista and Lilly and Rios for Adam Dunn or something crazy like that.

  25. patches on December 5th, 2005 4:05 pm

    Speaking of PAC ten sports how about the huskey basketball game aginst Gonzaga what a win for #13 Washington

  26. JMB on December 5th, 2005 4:07 pm

    Yes, heck of a game last night. It was even on TV way out here in NY!

  27. patches on December 5th, 2005 4:14 pm

    go dawgs

  28. Jim Thomsen on December 5th, 2005 4:17 pm

    This is still a baseball site, right?

  29. Bongo on December 5th, 2005 4:19 pm

    On Cook and pulmonary embolisms —

    Blood clots are typically sourced from other locations and move to the lung. Legs are one possibility. Other possibilities are scarier — undetected fractures, cancer, etc. The key is to find the cause, not just treat the symptom (usually with blood thinners such as Coumadin). David Cone had blood clots that were eventually traced to his shoulder, but it took quite a while (and eventually an operation) to figure it out and get the problem under control.

    The bottom line is that the Ms should not go near Cook without a *very* complete physical. Typically athletes on blood thinners are forbidden from playing contact sports.

  30. RealRhino on December 5th, 2005 4:21 pm

    Baseball: I like Millwood. Let’s sign him while others focus on Burnett (I like him, too, but realize we are probably out of it unless we greatly overpay)

    Football: I think there are many misconceptions about the BCS judging from the comments here. First is that Oregon got hosed somehow because of the love of ND and the greed of the game brokers. Not really. In an attempt to placate schools like Oregon who had a great year but didn’t win their conference because of the presence of another great team, the BCS awards an automatic berth to the #4 team. Ohio State is going not because some fat guy in a suit wanted more money, but because they earned the #4 slot. And in an attempt to placate non-BCS conference schools, they agreed that any team in the top 6 who was not in a BCS conference got an automatic slot as well. That’s ND this year. Now, you can argue that it was to make sure they had ND that the BCS made this rule (that was part of it; also avoiding suit from small conferences), but the Pac-10 and Oregon were complicit in this arrangement. I would argue that Oregon and the Pac-10 traded the security of getting an automatic bid for that rule. Second is that the Pac-10 is losing out big financially. IIRC, a conference placing two teams in the BCS gets only $4.5 million or so for the second team, not the full payout. And Pac-10 member schools share this equally after bowl expenses. So each school is losing just a few hundred thousand or so.
    Finally, if you really think about it, this same thing happens in ever sport. Conference (division) winners are granted automatic playoff spots (think San Diego Padres) while teams with better records in other conferences are left out. For that matter, having intra-league playoffs at all is rather silly, in a way. The St. Louis Cardinals proved all year long they were better than the Astros, by virtue of their record. Why did they have to prove it again with some made-up, small-sample “playoff” series? $$$$.

    And yet we happily accept that the NFL, NBA and MLB playoffs are somehow necessary and fair, but rant about the BCS every year….

  31. seattlesundevil on December 5th, 2005 4:26 pm

    AJ Burnett = Bluejay 5/50ish

  32. MacMariner on December 5th, 2005 4:28 pm

    I thoufght the M’s were willing to go 5/$65 for Burnett? Surprised we’re not in there for 5/$55M. Maybe he’s reticent to come out west after all.

  33. G-Man on December 5th, 2005 4:36 pm

    I’ve read that the Rockiers were intersted in Torrealba, so it makes sense to me to look hard at any starters they’re willing to trade. It seems to me that a team that has a surplus at a position like, IMHO, the M’s do at catcher usually has a lot of trouble getting fair value for the guy they want to trade.

    Yes, it will take more that YT to get a worthwhile arm, but hopefully not a lot more.

  34. msb on December 5th, 2005 4:40 pm

    #77– um, the Husky baseball team just got some very nice letters of intent for ’07 ….

    #81– where’d you hear that?

  35. Jason on December 5th, 2005 4:42 pm

    Jeff, that should have been obvious. Sorry about making things more confusing. 😉

  36. DMZ on December 5th, 2005 4:43 pm

    Burnett’s got his own post now. Thanks.

  37. Eric on December 5th, 2005 4:49 pm

    Rather looking for a better bowl for their #2 team the Pac-10 should work with the Holiday Bowl to make it a better bowl. They have a great stadium, a great city that people should like to travel to. Get a good tie-in for the other team, Big 10 #2 maybe, or get really radical and make a deal with the non-BCS conferences to take the highest rated team from among them who got hosed by the BCS:-) Then get a better TV deal for it and make it into a premier non BCS bowl.

  38. Mat on December 5th, 2005 6:03 pm

    “And yet we happily accept that the NFL, NBA and MLB playoffs are somehow necessary and fair, but rant about the BCS every year….”

    Uh, when was the last time a poll was used as even a component to decide the playoff field in those sports? In the NFL, NBA, and MLB, you very well might have an unfavorable schedule, but if you keep winning, you can win the championship. In football, you not only have to keep winning, but you have to convince the voters (and a set of computer polls with rather ambiguous, though more objective, criteria for what defines the best team) that you deserve a shot at the national title.

  39. John D. on December 5th, 2005 7:47 pm

    “EXTREME” – (# 24) – Comparing COOR’s and SAFECO, using the word “extreme” to apply to them both, is a little like comparing a grape to a grapefruit.

  40. The Ancient Mariner on December 5th, 2005 11:22 pm

    I hope so, Jim . . .

    From my point up here in the Colorado Rockies, I prefer watching the geological ones to the baseball-playing ones, so I can’t claim to have seen a great deal of Jennings, but from what I have seen, I’d be quite pleased to add him to our rotation. I agree that it depends what we’d have to add to Yorvit to make the deal go, but for a reasonable price, moving from Coors to Safeco with Betancourt and Beltre behind him, I think he’d be a great gamble. I doubt he’s more than a #3, but — best-case scenario — if we win out for Millwood and re-sign Moyer, with Felix at the head and Piñeiro rounding things out, that’s a much better five-man rotation than we’ve seen lately.

  41. jojo on December 6th, 2005 3:49 am

    The real injustice of the BCS? Its that the Big East gets an automatic bid.