More Moves for Mid-week

DMZ · December 14, 2005 at 8:35 am · Filed Under General baseball 

Javier Vazquez traded to the World Champion White Sox, with the Diamondbacks receiving Orlando Hernandez, reliever Luis Vizcaino, and outfield prospect Chris Young. The Diamondbacks, it appears, will pick up some of Vazquez’s salary as well.

The Devil Rays won the rights to negotiate with reliever Shinji Mori. Dude was once a really good reliever over in NPB, but hasn’t been as effective lately.

In other hot Devil Ray news, the Marlins are asking after Joey Gathright, and are willing to give up LHP Scott Olsen. Mmm… prospects a-swappin’.

The PI’s got the skinny on Reed being highly-coveted by other teams in trade talks.

O’er at the Times, Finnigan’s flogging the Reed-for-Clement story as Boras links Clement to Millwood to Washburn to JEFF SHAW OMG!!

Also, confidential to CE in FL or TX: three million gay paleontologists.


50 Responses to “More Moves for Mid-week”

  1. Colm on December 14th, 2005 8:40 am

    Seems like a smart move by the White Sox. What sort of a prospect is Chris Young, since the other two don’t amount to much?

  2. Dave on December 14th, 2005 8:42 am

    Chris Young, if everything goes well, is the offensive equivalent of Mike Cameron. He’s not that kind of defensive player though he can handle CF just fine. He’s a good prospect, but not a superstar in the making.

    Also, the Marlins would have to be insane to swap Olson for Gathright. I’d give up Reed for Olsen in a heartbeat. He’s one of the best young lefty arms around.

  3. The Ancient Mariner on December 14th, 2005 8:45 am

    The way the Sox have been talking up Young, it sounded like he is a Cameron-level glove; though all I have to go by is the reports of others, I’d be glad to have him. Looks to me at first glance like a win for the Snakes, but then I’m dubious about Vazquez.

    And I agree, the Fish would have to be nuts to make that move. If they’re seriously willing to do that, I wonder if we could cut in and offer them Reed — would we need to throw someone else in, too? (Maybe they’d take Willie.)

  4. DMZ on December 14th, 2005 8:47 am

    Mmm… Reed for Olsen. If I was in the M’s front office I’d be trying to weasel my way into this one.

  5. Jeremy on December 14th, 2005 8:52 am

    I know this has been said before but….FREAKING Gillick/Mattox. There’s a great trade market and the strategy employed by those 2 “fine baseball minds” has left the Mariners in a situation with no talent to play with.

    It’s almost like sitting down at the end of the month and deciding if you’re going to buy food or pay your mortgage.


  6. Rusty on December 14th, 2005 9:30 am

    Moyer on Everett:
    “I don’t know what’s going on, so I shouldn’t speak about it,” said Moyer, who signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract last week.

    Moyer gets the last laugh. Moyer’s 1 year contract brings 5.5 while Everett gets only 3.5.

  7. Tod on December 14th, 2005 9:31 am

    With respect to the farm system, while I share the frustration, we should temper our anger with the realization that the only reason any of the free agent and trade discussions might matter is because the Mariners have a pretty good haul of young talent from the farm system already on the major league roster. Felix, Lopez, Betancort (not Mattox’s), Soriano, Mateo, Putz, Sherrill. That’s a very good core of talent that was recently graduated. Yeah, it would look stronger with better drafting in the early 2000s, but the farm system isn’t to blame for our situation. (I’d criticize Gillick for not trading enough of the guys to grab for a title, rather than for destroying the system.)

  8. Rusty on December 14th, 2005 9:48 am

    “Reed, 24, has spent the offseason working out in Southern California.”

    I like the sound of that.

  9. Adam B. on December 14th, 2005 9:57 am

    This offseason has me going bonkers.
    On one hand we hear rumors so insane that they’re obviously moo-crap, but then real deals go through that make about as much sense.

    Oh, and as far as the “unmentionable one” is concerned, I would actually like the Mariners to sign him.
    What better reason to have “Flaming Paleontologist” night at the Safe? It’d make for some awesome “fan of the day” camera shots/commentary.

  10. Tek Jansen on December 14th, 2005 9:59 am

    I believe that the Finnigan article also said that trading Reed would move Ichiro! to center and that Ichiro! has expressed that he would have no problem with such a move. Is this true? If so, it should have been done in spring training 2004.

  11. pensive on December 14th, 2005 10:01 am

    DMZ and Dave have both commented that they would trade Reed for Scott Olsen. Is Reed better than Gathrigt? ARE the 2 Boston pitching prospects (Joe Lester & John Papelbon) as attractive as Olsen?

    DMZ that Memo to CE is precious. Made my day even though a root canal early this afternoon.

  12. eponymous coward on December 14th, 2005 10:05 am

    Yeah, it would look stronger with better drafting in the early 2000s, but the farm system isn’t to blame for our situation.

    Of those guys you just mentioned, how many are high-round draft choices?

    The last time the Mariner farm system cranked out a position player from their farm system who came back for a sophomore season as a Mariner before 2006 was…A-Rod in 1996.

    Ten years is a long, long time to go between drinks of water. Compare and contrast with any number of MLB teams, and you see that we lose.

  13. John Evans on December 14th, 2005 10:16 am

    #9,it could be kind of like the “Burning Man” thing they do in California, and the giant effigy could be of a famous or outspoken scientist, someone like Stephen Jay Gould.

    I don’t really care one way or another if Seattle signs Jurassic Carl. He bats left-handed, he has some power, and he would probably get on teammates’ cases if they were dogging it. Or maybe even if they weren’t. He’s a contentious oddball, there’s no doubt about that, but if it’s only for a year, why not take a flyer on him? It would at least provide some entertainment.

  14. David H on December 14th, 2005 10:28 am

    # 13

    Use Baron Franz von Nopsca and Everett would probably sign for the league minimum.

  15. Nadingo on December 14th, 2005 11:01 am

    If Everett signs, I’m going to start circulating a petition to change the Mariner Moose to the Mariner Gay Tyrannosaurus Rex.

  16. lefty on December 14th, 2005 11:46 am

    “Hi this is Rick Rizz, and seated right next to me with tonight’s Gay Paleontologist’s Night starting lineups is none other than RuPaul”

    “Really? Your last name is really Rizz? Honey, I thought that was your pornstar name”

    Seriously, could RuPaul botch the starting lineups nearly as bad as Hendu? Besides, if you saw them standing together, Rick would be about chest high on RuPaul, which would be good for a laugh.

  17. Ralph Malph on December 14th, 2005 11:54 am

    “I don’t know what’s going on, so I shouldn’t speak about it,” said Moyer.

    Moyer is a wise man. A lot of sportswriters (not to mention USSM posters) should learn from this.

  18. shortbus on December 14th, 2005 12:10 pm

    #3: “the Fish would have to be nuts to make that move.”

    Aren’t Devil Rays and Marlins BOTH a kind of fish?

    Confused (but then I ride the short bus)

  19. Jim Thomsen on December 14th, 2005 12:11 pm

    I think it’s time for an appearance from “Evil Rick Rizzs.”

  20. wabbles on December 14th, 2005 12:22 pm

    RE 7 Thank you for finally pointing that out. Maybe our farm system is barren NOW but that’s only because about one-third of the team is Tacoma and San Antonio grads (and a couple/few others were used in trades).

  21. The Ancient Mariner on December 14th, 2005 12:23 pm

    The Marlins are the Fish, Tampa is the Demon Fishies.

    As for dealing Reed, if we could actually get Lester and/or Papelbon, I’d do that, too — but I don’t see any way the Sox do that.

    BTW, re: Everett, there’s a better nickname out there — some Boston sportswriter dubbed him C. Everett Kook.

  22. The Ancient Mariner on December 14th, 2005 12:27 pm

    wabbles — it just ain’t so. Gillick not wanting to sign #1 picks (or shell out to sign draft picks who slipped) plus Mattox’ incompetence in the draft really did do a number on our system — Tod’s wrong on that point. Think how much better our system would look right now if we had John Mayberry Jr., Eddy Martinez-Esteve, and Conor Jackson (just to name three egregious examples) closing in on taking lineup slots. LF would be no question — Jackson would be starting out there, as the most advanced of the three — and one of the other two would be warming up to turn Raúl into deadline bait.

  23. Russ on December 14th, 2005 12:38 pm

    Ancient Mariner,

    Well put, that is a very nice summation of many FO errors in recruiting. What good is a high pick if you don’t sign the guy? Why even select one of those guys if you aren’t going to commit to signing the talent?

    I agree that some of our minor league talent is moving up but I don’t know that we have even an All-Star in the system, let alone a superstar that could one day sustain an organization. Too many of those guys have simply not developed as hoped (I’d bet due to poor scouting) or have been injured or have simply not been able to make the leap.

  24. wabbles on December 14th, 2005 12:46 pm

    Agreed. It could be a lot better. But baren? Is that overstating the case? (We shoulda traded our “strong young arms” before people found out they were all busts.)

  25. eponymous coward on December 14th, 2005 1:03 pm

    Let me restate this: the Mariner farm system has not produced a position player who’s been a M’s regular in back-to-back years IN TEN YEARS.

    Really, seriously- before Lopez and Betancourt (Reed doesn’t count, he’s from the White Sox), there was A-Rod. We traded away Cruz Jr., Ortiz and Varitek, dumped Ibanez and Podsednik (and Podsednik’s not very good).

    One of the reason’s we’re undergoing the Sophie’s Choice of having either LF or DH manned by guys like Everett or Burnitz is because the farm system’s been such a bust at producing regular players, so we’ve had to sign expensive veterans damn near everywhere- C, 1B, RF, 3B, etc. Think of how many All-Stars have shown up from other farm systems through the draft since 1996. Our net haul during this time? Willie Frigging Bloomquist.

  26. wabbles on December 14th, 2005 1:05 pm

    Okay, you’ve convinced me. But, um, so you’re saying WFB doesn’t have a first ballot ticket to Cooperstown?

  27. vj on December 14th, 2005 1:10 pm

    Am I the only one who doesn’t get the link from Boras over the pitchers to Jeff Shaw?
    Puzzledly, VJ

  28. Oakland M on December 14th, 2005 1:10 pm

    C. Everett Kook is too much of a mouth full (though very clever). I think “Jurassic Carl” says it all, and it rolls off the tongue.

  29. Mike Snow on December 14th, 2005 1:10 pm

    Don’t know about which ballot, but Bloomquist’s ticket to Cooperstown will be $14.50, same as yours.

  30. wabbles on December 14th, 2005 1:13 pm

    I thought we agreed the nickname of our latest regrettable acquisiton was going to be SoDo MoFo. 🙂

  31. eponymous coward on December 14th, 2005 1:23 pm

    I’m going for Anti-Edgar. It fits. Edgar is a class act in the community, widely respected in the clubhouse, spent his career with one team, and was a good DH at age 36. Everett is the exact opposite of these things.

  32. eponymous coward on December 14th, 2005 1:28 pm

    I’m also convinced that Edgar and Anti-Edgar need to be kept separate, otherwise the panet will be instantly vaporized with a burst of gamma rays. 😀

  33. The Ancient Mariner on December 14th, 2005 1:35 pm

    wabbles, on this we’re in agreement: rather than hoarding young pitching (which tends to break down), our FO should have dealt some of it for young hitting (which, on the whole, doesn’t). I was all for dealing the Little Unit 4-5 years ago — partly because of the return, and partly because I never thought he’d hold up.

    I have to say, though, I would have kept Blackley.

  34. Ralph Malph on December 14th, 2005 1:37 pm

    Yes, epcow, I grant that they wasted 3 #1 picks on guys they didn’t sign. But there are two factors here that you can’t blame on bad drafts — one is all the pitching injuries, and the other is the loss of most of their good position player prospects to other organizations.

    If we’re trying to evaluate the farm system, we have to give them credit for all the players lost to other organizations either through trades (good or bad) or even just cutting them loose (Podsednik, Ibanez).

    The primary reason for the lack of position player prospects is their emphasis on pitching, which didn’t pay off due to injuries. Depending on your point of view, that’s either bad luck or bad care of young pitching.

    It’s not necessary bad talent selection; a lot of it is just a long-term organizational emphasis on pitching.

  35. msb on December 14th, 2005 1:38 pm

    wandering a bit a-field while looking at the head shot of Millwood next to Finny’s article … so does Millwood look like Paul Jr from Orange County Choppers or what?

  36. Evan on December 14th, 2005 1:41 pm

    C. Everett Kook.

    If he comes to Seattle, I’m still going with SoDo MoFo.

  37. DMZ on December 14th, 2005 1:42 pm

    I have to disagree: it’s far beyond injuries or losing talent. If you look at the Gillick/Mattox drafts, they’re horrible both in picks given up, guys not signed, but they’re beyond that in who they picked and signed: tall high school pitchers, particularly left-handers. The return the team got on those picks is about zero.

  38. Oakland M on December 14th, 2005 1:46 pm

    Yeah, Sodo Mofo’s cool.

  39. Oakland M on December 14th, 2005 1:53 pm

    I personally believe it was the picks given up that killed us the most. But even when we had a compensatory pick, what did we do with it? We drafted Michael Garciaparra. It’s tough to defend picks like that.

  40. Jeremy on December 14th, 2005 1:57 pm

    My whole point was that if Gillick hadn’t had the philosophy of intentionally giving up high draft picks by signing FA’s that would be non-tendered and Mattox wasn’t the scouting director version of Woody Woodward, Ken Behring and Bill Plummer, we wouldn’t be looking to create one hole to patch another. We would have a couple nice prospects that were blocked at the major league level that we could trade for pitching.

  41. Tod on December 14th, 2005 2:08 pm

    I agree with DMZ’s point that one of the biggest problems with Mattox and Gillick was the decision to draft so many tall (soft tossing) lefties. Talking about courting injury risk with limited upside. It is fine to say that Seattle could have done better. That includes giving away first round picks for Colburn and Ibanez (who KC wasn’t going to offer arbitration). But, as wabbles said, it is a questiion of degree: yes, the farm system could do better. But which system couldn’t?

    The lack of position players produced is galling, but it makes sense. Seattle decided to emphasize developing a surplus of pitching at the expense of drafting position players. That strategy wouldn’t have looked so bad if Gillick had bartered the preceived surplus.

    An interesting question raised by recent Mariner history is what lessons to draw from this. Dave has eloquently demonstrated the value (central importance) of developing your own prospects. But I can’t help but look at the pitching market now and agree that emphasizing pitching prospects isn’t appealling. (DMZ’s point that tall lefties isn’t a good bet, deserves underscoring (and I’ll add again, soft tossers). However, I don’t look at the college-trained first round starters and wish the Mariners had picked them.

    Maybe the team’s visas should go dispropotionately to foreign-signed pitchers and the team could use the DSL and the VSL to even further emphasize quantity. Perhaps the best current answer is (surprise) in the Athletics’ research about pitcher characteristics that Will Carroll advocates.

  42. Jeremy on December 14th, 2005 2:26 pm

    41, Stand Pat….making a trade?? Seriously? His whole plan was to sit on that perceived surplus instead of either turning it into young position players or a deadline deal to put the team over the hump.

  43. The Ancient Mariner on December 14th, 2005 2:38 pm

    Ralph: loss of what “good position player prospects to other organizations”? I have no idea to whom you could possibly be referring. Further — as Derek indirectly notes — any time you put “a long-term organizational emphasis on pitching,” increased injury attrition of your prospects is going to be a side effect of that (which is why we should have been regularly dealing some of those talented young pitchers for talented young hitters); the type of pitchers Mattox preferred only worsened that (as Derek pointed out), as did other, as-yet-uncertain organizational dynamics. Taken all in all, the high percentage of our prospects wiped out by injuries is in large degree a function of our drafting strategy, not an excuse for its failure.

  44. mln on December 14th, 2005 2:42 pm

    Regarding the White Sox trade, wasn’t Chris Young supposed to take over for Roward in Centerfield. Now whom do the White Sox use? How about Jeremy Reed in a trade to the White Sox for … Freddy Garcia?

    Wouldn’t that be ironic?

    And, Carl Everett is just begging to be introduced to the Flying Spaghetti Monter.

  45. Ralph Malph on December 14th, 2005 2:43 pm

    Varitek, Ibanez, Cruz, Ortiz (Arias), Podsednik (OK, he was never that good), and farther back Boone.

  46. pensive on December 14th, 2005 2:47 pm

    An intriging comment from Dave in an earlier thread regarding 5 miilion, for one of the mediocre players the Mariners have been rumoured to be courting, wrote those funds could be used to acquire 4 Premier Latin prospects. That sounds like a quality investment. What does a premier Latin prospect project to become and what level would prospect start?

    Is there a draft or limit to how many Latin players a team may sign?

  47. John D. on December 14th, 2005 5:55 pm

    Re: LATIN PROSPECTS (# 46) – USS M should address this. At present, there is no world-wide draft. Most Latin players are free agents.
    And, AFAIK, there is no limit to the number of Latin players you can have in your organization.
    If only Clark Griffith were still around. He’d know what to do.

  48. David J Corcoran on December 14th, 2005 8:25 pm

    44: It was Brian Anderson, not Chris Young, that was supposed to take over in CF. He who hit 2 HRs vs. Felix.

  49. The Ancient Mariner on December 14th, 2005 11:04 pm

    Raul was nothing special when we gave up on him, nor was/is Podsednik, and the other guys you mention were dealt too long ago to be relevant to this discussion — i.e., back when our farm system was still quite strong top to bottom.

  50. John D. on December 14th, 2005 11:34 pm

    BRIAN ANDERSON (# 48) – BTW, BASEBALL AMERICA ranked him 11th among minor league outfielders. (REED was ranked 13th.)