Meche signs

DMZ · January 26, 2006 at 2:27 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

One year, $3.7m. Could be almost $4m if he hits targets for innings pitched.


45 Responses to “Meche signs”

  1. Dave on January 26th, 2006 2:31 pm

    The fact that the contract is not guaranteed is a pretty big surprise. I’d be curious to find out when the guarantee date kicks in, and how much is guaranteed. Probably March 15th or so, and I’d guess at least 20 percent of the contract is guaranteed.

    So, essentially, the M’s have bought themselves 7 weeks to try and trade him, and if they can’t, they could tell him to go away for around $750,000.

  2. Smegmalicious on January 26th, 2006 2:43 pm

    This seems like a relatively good thing. At least it could have been a lot worse.

    My question is how the hell can they trade him? If he is doing anything that would make him attractive to other teams, like comming out pitching really well, the M’s are going to want to keep him. If he’s pitching like ass no one else will want them. It seems like a catch 22 to me.

  3. Dave on January 26th, 2006 2:46 pm

    The M’s could give him away if they wanted. There are a couple of teams that would take him off their hands at $3.7 mil, especially non-guaranteed. But that would require that the M’s find something else they wanted to spend his salary on, which may or may not happen.

  4. nickpdx on January 26th, 2006 2:49 pm

    How about now we flip him to the Red Sox along with Rene Rivera and Jeremy Reed in exchange for Marte, Shoppach, and a warm body?

  5. Dave on January 26th, 2006 3:09 pm

    Right, because what we really need is a better backup catcher and backup third baseman.

  6. Smegmalicious on January 26th, 2006 3:17 pm

    Not to mention a huge hole in Center.

  7. nickpdx on January 26th, 2006 3:20 pm

    Mmm, my RDA of snark, just what I needed. If the Sox are being left in the lurch without a CF, and they’ve shown their willingness to deal this upper-echelon prospect, why not? Marte can’t be converted to play another position?

  8. Smegmalicious on January 26th, 2006 3:51 pm

    Didn’t the Sox just trade for a CF?

  9. Jim Thomsen on January 26th, 2006 3:53 pm

    I don’t see Meche as particularly tradeable for anything the Mariners could use.

    So $750,000 could be the price of making a bad decision at the non-tender deadline. As DMZ might say … niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

  10. Tek Jansen on January 26th, 2006 3:53 pm

    I just looked at the details, and Meche’s incentives do not kick in until 190 innings pitched. Since his career high is 186 (or something close), I doubt Meche reaches any incentives.

  11. Eugene on January 26th, 2006 3:59 pm

    The non-guaranteed part surprised me. What would Meche have to gain by signing a non-guaranteed contract prior to arbitration?

    From the M’s stand point, this makes great sense. If someone looks much better in spring training or Meche looks damaged, then ship him out or cut him with minimal loss.

  12. Jeff Nye on January 26th, 2006 4:02 pm

    Oh boy, another random person showing up, suggesting something completely ridiculous, and then complaining about the authors being mean to them.


    Your proposed trade creates a huge hole at a major defensive position that is currently filled by a cheap, young, good player; brings in an admittedly very nice prospect, at a position where we already have a good young player; and brings in a backup catcher, which would be nice but isn’t that important in the overall scheme of things.

    It creates a glaring new need while not filling any real existing needs. I’m not sure why you expected anything but snark back.

  13. Evan on January 26th, 2006 4:03 pm

    A non-guaranteed contract, when his worst-case arbitration award was a guaranteed $2.5 million?

    Meche needs to fire his agent.

  14. chrisisasavage on January 26th, 2006 4:04 pm

    #7, No he can’t. You usually dont send 3B to CF, it usually doesn’t work. Google defensive spectrum.

  15. nickpdx on January 26th, 2006 4:20 pm

    Nobody’s feeling got hurt and I regret the snark comment. I should’ve known better re: posting hypothetical trade scenarios… if you think it’s ridiculous, and obviously folks do, that’s fine, and since I’ve been reading this blog for at least a year I expect some level of snark directed toward that kind of comment. I’m not new here.

    I actually wanted to know if anybody considers Marte a candidate for shifting away from 3B and as such, something the M’s could consider trying for if/when the Crisp deal falls thru. If the Red Sox got a little desperate (which admittedly is less than likely) could the M’s benefit from a better version of the old quote-unquote-rumored Reed trade, a version that includes Marte.

    I didn’t suggest shifting Marte to CF. Could Marte could be shifted to LF, which I was under the impression was an organizational need. (Not sure how his bat projects as a corner OF versus 3B, I admit.) Yeah, this would result in the M’s needing a CF pretty badly for the long term. But if it shored up LF, would the difference in future returns of Marte vs. Reed be worth the effort of looking for a new CF.

  16. eponymous coward on January 26th, 2006 4:23 pm


    No, because the M’s could have cut him after the arbitration hearing and only be on the hook for 1/6th his salary.

    The non-guaranteed contract is similar to that- they only owe 1/6th his salary up through March 15 (30 days), and 45 days through the beginning of the season.

    Yeah, they still have a chance to trade him, I guess- but that still represents a big pile of dollars wasted had they just washed their hands of Meche and went elsewhere. There’s really no evidence he’s about to break through other than “If you believe, clap your hands, and Tinerkbell will li-er, Meche will pitch well”.

  17. eponymous coward on January 26th, 2006 4:30 pm

    I didn’t suggest shifting Marte to CF. Could Marte could be shifted to LF, which I was under the impression was an organizational need. (Not sure how his bat projects as a corner OF versus 3B, I admit.) Yeah, this would result in the M’s needing a CF pretty badly for the long term. But if it shored up LF, would the difference in future returns of Marte vs. Reed be worth the effort of looking for a new CF.

    In theory, yeah, you could shift Ichiro into CF, put Marte in RF (I figure a 3B is likely going to have enough arm for RF, and keep Ibañez in LF… except now you’ve swapped out Winn for Ibañez from last year (downgrade), and Ichiro for Marte, who’s new to the position (downgrade, at least to start), possibly countered if Ichiro is an improvement over Reed (unknown how much that would counter). Oh, and did you notice all our returning free agent starters (Meche and Moyer), plus our premiere FA signing (Washburn) are flyball pitchers who need good OF defense?

    Marte’s a neat prospect, and position shifts sometimes work out OK, but this doesn’t strike me as very smart in the big scheme of things.

  18. Celadus on January 26th, 2006 4:39 pm

    The Meche deal looks like a classic CYA signing by the organization. If they cut him and he starts pitching like Weaver or somebody, then they look quite bad. If they wait for him to suck and then cut him and then he starts to pitch like Weaver, they can say “obviously what he needed was a change of venue because when we let him go he was still sucking.” They’d get criticized less for losing that 750K than they would for losing the unaccountably transmogrified Meche. If the organization was pitching-rich it would be a different story.

    I’m using Weaver as a best-case potential upside for Meche, by the way, if that wasn’t obvious.

    #15: I think people get snarky about suggestions such as yours not because they may or may not be well thought out, but because they (and for “they” I also include myself) are afraid that it’s just the sort of thing this front office might do. It’s a magical thinking sort of thing: if somebody says it, it might happen.

  19. Deanna on January 26th, 2006 4:53 pm

    This contract actually sounds like exactly what you’d expect after Bavasi’s comments in that article the other day about how “Meche and Pineiro need to step up, NOW”. Cool.

    (Honestly, I’d love nothing more than to see Meche earn his full paycheck, but even my optimism isn’t that infinite. Though, an interesting point about this contract is that if Meche DOES go to the bullpen, he can’t possibly make 190 innings.)

  20. Rusty on January 26th, 2006 5:10 pm

    Perhaps Meche is confident of a comeback, thus the non-guaranteed status of the contract. That would certainly fly in the face of some of the evaluations of him in terms of not having heart or guts or what have you. Maybe he’s tired of it and has a “I’ll show you” attitude. We can only hope.

    And a happy birthday to 2 former prospects of the Mariners, Kenny Kelly (28) and Antonio Perez (26), as the Hardball Times points out.

  21. msb on January 26th, 2006 5:37 pm

    #20– Gil has always been confident that he has turned things around.

  22. Typical Idiot Fan on January 26th, 2006 5:39 pm

    Meche’s problem is between his ears. Maybe now he can afford to fix that problem.

  23. chrisisasavage on January 26th, 2006 5:52 pm

    Whoops, you didn’t say CF! Sorry for misreading that ;0

    I still wouldn’t want to see the team gamble for him based on shifting him to another position, but LF makes way more sense than CF, sorry for the confusion.

  24. David J. Corcoran on January 26th, 2006 5:52 pm

    Anyone care to tell me why we just signed Dave Burba? Meche insurance?

  25. Mr. Egaas on January 26th, 2006 6:27 pm

    To ‘push’ Meche just like Vina is going to ‘push’ Lopez. Also, it gives guys like Appier and Vina somebody else to chit chat with, to describe their former fame compared to a year away from the majors.

  26. Jim Thomsen on January 26th, 2006 6:54 pm

    Cite your source, Corco.

  27. Doug Taylor on January 26th, 2006 7:01 pm


    Our good friends at the Denver Post, the bastion of reliable journalism, broke the news:

    Apparently there were no hard feelings from the Kevin Mitchell deal, as now all three pitchers involved returned to their former club (Mike Jackson in 1996, Bill Swift in 1998 and Burba today). Must be that family atmosphere Howard Lincoln has toiled day and night to establish.

  28. Mike Snow on January 26th, 2006 7:28 pm

    That business about whether the contract is guaranteed looks like a misunderstanding by whoever sent the initial story out on the wire. According to the article on the Mariners’ site, “all but $225,000 of Meche’s contract is guaranteed.” And that $225,000 would appear to be referring to the incentives for innings pitched. The source for the numbers either way is the Associated Press.

    There may be some confusion on the part of the reporters or editors here, but I would guess this is a perfectly normal contract. Meche doesn’t need to fire his agent, and the union can rest easy again.

  29. Jim Thomsen on January 26th, 2006 7:49 pm

    And Mariner fans can go back to rending their garments and donning sackcloth and ashes.

  30. Jim Thomsen on January 26th, 2006 8:14 pm

    Burba’s been out of baseball for a year, but not for injury reasons, as far as I can tell (unlike Appier). And he wasn’t really all that bad in 2004 — his walk and strikeout numbers were okay, he didn’t give up too many hits and his HR rate, as it has been throughout his career, was decent. He’s always been a modest groundball guy.

    All in all, assuming he hasn’t lost too much from normal aging accelerated by a year’s layoff, a better gamble, probably, than Kevin Appier as an emergency fifth starter.

    He’ll be 40 in July.

  31. Jim Thomsen on January 26th, 2006 8:30 pm

    There’s actually no reason to think Burba would be worse than Meche … he has about the same upside.

  32. Mat on January 26th, 2006 8:55 pm

    For what it’s worth, in 2004 PECOTA had Meche and Burba at:

    Burba: 5.3 EqK9, 3.4 BB9, 1.2 HR9
    Meche: 5.8 EqK9, 3.2 BB9, 1.3 HR9

    Burba looks somewhat worse, but that’s a lot closer than I expected it to be. Lately in his career, Burba’s G/F looks pretty close to Meche’s G/F, too.

  33. Typical Idiot Fan on January 26th, 2006 9:04 pm

    So what you’re saying is that Gil Meche is only as good as a pitcher >10 years his senior?

  34. Jeff Sullivan on January 26th, 2006 9:12 pm

    Dave Burba hasn’t started 15+ games since 2002. He doesn’t really count as rotation depth anymore.

  35. Jim Thomsen on January 26th, 2006 9:18 pm

    He’s pitched as much as he’s been asked to pitch. There’s a distinction to be drawn between not having done so and not being able to do so.

  36. terry on January 27th, 2006 4:16 am

    Cant we just get Sele back and declare the rotation solid again? 😛

    Now if Bavasi really thought outside the box, he’d track down Charlie Hough’s agent….

  37. Mat on January 27th, 2006 4:24 am

    “So what you’re saying is that Gil Meche is only as good as a pitcher >10 years his senior?”

    I would say Meche is better than Burba, but the fact that it’s so close makes one wonder why anyone would bother to sign Meche to a seven-figure contract.

  38. MedicineHat on January 27th, 2006 8:37 am

    Si Iguess MEche is the # 4 starter?

    From Rototimes:

    The Mariners announced on Thursday that Felix Hernandez (P) Sea will be their No. 5 starter in 2006 so that they can keep a close eye on his innings and pitch counts, according to the Seattle Times. “We’ve been thinking of having Felix as the fifth starter, to start the season,” manager Mike Hargrove said. “That’s the easiest place for us to monitor his work.” It was also announced that Hernandez would not pitch in the World Baseball Classic.

  39. Adam S on January 27th, 2006 8:51 am

    I love the headline on the Mariners site — “One Fine Meche”, as in “one fine mess”.

  40. msb on January 27th, 2006 9:20 am

    when the Chuckster was on KOMO on tuesday he said they’d heard that no pitcher under 21 would be pitching in the WBC…

  41. Evan on January 27th, 2006 9:38 am

    That’s great news. No extra innings on Felix.

  42. Safeco Hobo on January 27th, 2006 9:45 am

    Let me get this straight…..
    Meche is signed under a “non-guaranteed” contract for a 1-yr “show me” contract. The M’s have invited every washed up, used and abused former Major League arm to spring training. It would appear that Bavasi has assembled his team, yet he has left himself a loophole to play with on Meche’s contract. We all know the next two months will be the most boring part of the year for Major League baseball. Bavasi has now given himself a hobby for February…..See if he can turn Meche into something. Absolute worse case scenerio; Meche shows up in the spring drunk and never finds the strike zone and he is let go. But what about a best case?

    What about Weaver? I know the off-season is esentially over, but it appears Boras may have just shopped his client right out of the market. Without much demand out there like there was in nov/dec Boras may be forced to accept a short term deal or a shorter deal than what he was asking for earlier. Couldn’t the M’s keep in touch and offer him a back-loaded deal, then turn around and shop Meche? I know its not going to happen, but who else is going to offer this guy that $10 mil for 5+ seasons?

  43. Mike Snow on January 27th, 2006 10:45 am

    The non-guaranteed stuff is probably wrong, so there’s no loophole, see my comment above.

  44. Calderon on January 27th, 2006 12:10 pm

    So, essentially, the M’s have bought themselves 7 weeks to try and trade him, and if they can’t, they could tell him to go away for around $750,000.

    Not exactly. Meche is guaranteed the $3.7 million. It’s the bonus part that’s not guaranteed. $225,000 in innings pitched incentives. If Meche is traded in 7 weeks the M’s still owe Meche the $3.7 million. It’s up to a negotiation deal on how much the other club takes on in the deal and there’s no guarantee we will get the fair end of the financial deal. Another team that looks at Gil in a trade is looking at $3.7 mil or $3.9 if he reaches 220 innings pitched. If we release him, we owe him the $3.7 million.

  45. dickpole on January 27th, 2006 5:01 pm


    For the record, it was grade A snark. Your comment deserved a respectful, intelligent response, not those you got.

    Now, for the thread: Good call M’s. This deal seems to be in line with the fantasy deal proposed on this site many times over for Kevin Brown, give or take a few fantasy millions. A healthy Meche will pay off for us. Right know, as sad as it is. We need Gil more than he needs us.

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