Salt In The Wound
Not to distract from the ritual suicide being committed in the Carl Everett threads below, but, in the wake of the Everett signing, there’s some other bad news that’s being overlooked.
Now general manager Bill Bavasi says his focus is on free agent pitching. He didn’t name names, but that would mean Kevin Millwood, Jarrod Washburn and Scott Elarton, among others.
With the traditional break agents, players and front-office types take at Christmas, time is closing quickly.
Bavasi has offers on the table to all three of the above. It’s not that he’ll land all three. For now, he’d settle for one, then seeing if a second one might come along.
He says if the Mariners don’t land a pitcher right away, it won’t be from lack of effort — or money.
“No one will act before we do,” Bavasi said at the early evening new conference to introduce Everett, late of the Chicago White Sox. “We’ve got our offers out there. We’ve put a lot of money out there.
“Even with Matt Morris (a top choice of the Mariners who signed with the Giants), it wasn’t a money thing. We got eliminated by Morris the same day the Cardinals (Morris’ former team did). The offer was competitive.”
Millwood, Morris, Washburn, and Elarton. Those are the pitchers we know that the M’s have expressed serious interest in this offseason. So which of these is not like the others?
Seriously, putting Millwood in the same group with those three is like serving a honey glazed salmon with a side of fries, grits, and chasing it with a can of Schlick’s.
Millwood, we’ve covered. We like him. He’s good.
Morris, we were against, and we’re glad he chose the Giants over the M’s. Dodged a bullet there.
Washburn, well, he’s just not good. He’s one of the more extreme flyball pitchers in the AL, has mediocre command, and can’t miss bats. If you break out his batters faced by contact type, his mediocrity shines through.
27 percent of his BF hit flyballs
8 percent walked
13 percent struck out
Want a Mariner comparison? How about Ryan Franklin:
Flyballs – 28 percent
Walks – 8 percent
Strikeouts – 11 percent
He’s basically a left-handed Ryan Franklin.
And Elarton? He’s basically the epitome of replacement level. He’s even more flyball prone than Washburn, and his basic strategy is throw-ball-over-plate-and-pray.
In fact, here’s the batted ball outcomes, side by side, for Elarton and Eric Freaking Milton.
Player Team BFP K% BB% GB% OF% IF% LD% Oth% Elarton S. CLE 774 13% 7% 26% 31% 5% 17% 1% Milton E. CIN 855 14% 7% 26% 31% 4% 15% 2%
2005 Expected Fielding Independant ERA for the three pitchers the M’s are known to have offers out to:
If the M’s give any kind of significant contract to Washburn or Elarton, this offseason will go down as disastrous. Washburn and Elarton are barely better bets going forward than Bobby Livingston or Jeff Harris. Washburn, especially, is going to command a salary so far from what his real talent level is that he’ll be untradeable from the minute he signs.
So, it’s Kevin Millwood or bust. Literally.