M’s make all kinds of moves

Dave · March 29, 2006 at 10:20 am · Filed Under Mariners 


Nageotte and Morse optioned to Tacoma.

Appier, Atchison, Cruceta, Green, Dobbs, Morban, Ransom, Jones, and Miller reassigned to minor league camp.


The last two bullpen spots are down to a fight between Jake Woods, Luis Gonzalez, Jeff Harris, and Emiliano Fruto. Harris is the only non-roster player on the list, so he’s fighting an uphill battle to begin with. I’d be surprised if they carried Fruto, but they like him a lot more than I do. So my guess is Woods and Gonzalez, giving the team four lefty relievers. Prepare for some LONG innings.

Dobbs and Morse both going away means that Petagine and Borchard both make the opening day roster. When Lawton returns from his suspension, they’ll pick one of the two to try to sneak through waivers. Pretty surprising that Petagine made the club over organizational favorite Greg Dobbs, but surprising in a “I just found $1,000 in my jeans!” way.


87 Responses to “M’s make all kinds of moves”

  1. Ralph Malph on March 29th, 2006 4:49 pm

    Even as bad as Sele was last year, he averaged more than 5 1/2 innings per start. Pineiro averaged 6 1/2. Meche averaged over 5. Keeping a 7-man bullpen this year is nuts. Especially if it means Bloomquist is the only backup infielder.

  2. West Coast King on March 29th, 2006 4:54 pm

    1. Ichiro! came in and lit off a whole new way of hitting.
    2. Boone has a career+ year.
    3. Olerud was still ripping doubles all over the place.
    4. Edgar was still ripping doubles all over the place.
    5. We had great bench players in Mac and Javier.
    6. Great, great bullpen.
    7. Starters held their own and went deep into the 7th or 8th inning.
    8. Sweet Lou can be a fine manager and he had good stuff to work with.

    The M’s also had a great bench, defensive weapon in Charles Gipson in 2001. He was almost as good as Rich Amaral was for the M’s inital playoff voyage in 1995.

    But the 2001 season turned into a nightmare for the Mariners, overall. One, because they didn’t win the World Series, and couldn’t even make it there for the first time in francise history. Two, because it convinced the front office that they could win with guys who were quickly becoming has-beens.

    Then again, maybe 2001 was just too tough of a year for the M’s follow up with. Too many expectations. I still favor the 1995 season for the Mariners for many reasons to this day. It seems so long ago, but thinking about it makes me wish I was 15 again, having all the time in the world to watch Mariner baseball games.

  3. Jim Thomsen on March 29th, 2006 4:55 pm

    Speaking of Sele, the Dodgers told him today he’s not making their 25-man roster after posting a 4.32 ERA in six outings. He’s been asked to accept a Triple-A assignment and, according to the Dodgers’ mlb.com writer, he’s thinking it over.

  4. West Coast King on March 29th, 2006 4:58 pm

    Speaking of Sele, the Dodgers told him today he’s not making their 25-man roster after posting a 4.32 ERA in six outings. He’s been asked to accept a Triple-A assignment and, according to the Dodgers’ mlb.com writer, he’s thinking it over.

    Anyone surprised?

  5. eponymous coward on March 29th, 2006 5:03 pm

    The 2001 season was the worse thing that could ever happen to the Mariners. It convinced the front office that they could win with guys like Boone, Edgar, Olerud and Cameron, even after they all had down years in 2002. “These guys won 116 games in 2001,” that’s all anyone ever talked about.

    But you CAN win with guys like that, really. Ichiro’s a HOF’er lock if he plays the next 5 years close to his first 5. Edgar’s a borderline HOF’er, Olerud, Boone and Cameron are superior players at their positions, if not quite at that level. Add Garcia, Moyer and Sasaki to that “very good, but not historically great” category and you’ve got a pretty decent core of players to add supporting cast to.

    The problem is you can’t win with guys like that once they hit their decline phase- but the core of that team from 2000-2003 hit 90 wins each year over that time, so it’s not like they were one year flukes ala the 2002 Angels (who were under .500 the other 3 years during that time period…but they rolled 7-11 their hot year when the M’s rolled snake eyes at various times all four years, so they get the shiny trophy and rings).

  6. Evan on March 29th, 2006 5:16 pm

    52 – Olerud and Edgar were also both still two of the greatest OBP guys in baseball. Their combined OBP was something like .410.

  7. Dave in Palo Alto on March 29th, 2006 5:20 pm

    # 49, 52: Correction: 2001 was not the “worse” [sic] thing that could ever happen to the Mariners. It was the best thing that ever happened to the Mariners.

    Also: The M’s were successful despite Gipson, not because of. Rich Amaral, although not invaluable himself, was much more useful to the ’95 Mariners that Gipson to the ’01 version. I still don’t know why they burned a roster spot on him. Maybe they thought they solved the problem with Al Martin.

    And — you state with certainty that Pinella left because he sensed the inevitable decline of the team and couldn’t bear the limitation of the team player personnel budget. Sure, that would explain the appeal of the Tampa Bay job.

  8. terry on March 29th, 2006 5:24 pm

    Well its settled. Looks like another last place, below .500 season for the M’s. This time its not just me predicting it-Pecota thinks so too!!!!!

    Only Tampa, the Nats, Rockies, and the Royals are projected to be worse….

  9. Evan on March 29th, 2006 5:28 pm

    Tampa Bay’s looking decent these days. They’ll probably still finish last because they have no pitching, but their bats look like they might make some noise in the coming seasons.

  10. Steve T on March 29th, 2006 5:30 pm

    If anybody ever needed an object lesson in how teams get old, the 2001-2005 M’s are textbook.

    People think Boone falling off a cliff was bizarre, but it’s pretty standard fare. The unusual thing was the peak he climbed up to beforehand. Likewise Edgar, Olerud, etc. 2001 was already an oldish team.

    Not to mention fluke pitching all fluking at the same time; that is pretty unusual.

    Gomez? Gomezticator? Is that you? Christ, don’t get mad. It’s me, Fnarf, from the Slog. Your arch-enemy. USSM-head, I should have figured.

  11. Ralph Malph on March 29th, 2006 5:34 pm

    Among the many things West Coast King had wrong about the 01 M’s is that they wouldn’t spend money. The problem isn’t that they didn’t spend money, it’s how they spend their very large payroll.

  12. zzyzx on March 29th, 2006 6:45 pm

    The problem with the ’01 M’s is that they didn’t get any NOW pitching.

    Ah for the good old days of asbs-m

  13. terry on March 29th, 2006 7:36 pm

    If Lou would’ve carried 12 pitchers in ’01, the M’s probably would’ve won the world series….

  14. Gomez on March 29th, 2006 8:14 pm

    HA, that’s you, Steve T? How about that…. No, I ain’t mad.

  15. BelaXadux on March 29th, 2006 8:58 pm

    Petaigne’s making the 25-man is pleasant, and not entirely a surprise. The fact that he was brought to camp at all is a sign that someone in the FO gets it a little bit. Then the man hit a ton, really better than anyone except Sexson and Ichiro who are only the most valuable offensive players on the team. I’ll bet Hargrove fell in love with him—for now. After Petaigne sits for most of April, it’ll be hard to expect him to still be sharp at the plate; then we’ll see what the org really thinks of him. Still if Everett ends up being Petaigne’s caddy for a back-up DH, I won’t be crying; Hargrove isn’t going to use the last guy on his bench anyway, so whoever’s name is on ‘Splinter Joe’s’ jersey doesn’t much matter. I’m way happier with Borchard and Petaigne than with Morse and Dobbs, I’ll say that much; one can hit and one can field among the former pair, while neither is true of either in the latter.

    Rivera always had the inside track at back-up catcher. Miller was brought to camp for exactly the same reason as Vina, to push the org’s favorite lazy son. Only Miller actually played well enough to show he can still hold down that role in the Bigs. Bummer for him to be the special invitee at a game of kick the can; I actually hope he gets traded or released so he can hook on for a real job, but he’ll probably be kept as insurance. Oh well.

    I agree that Fruto and Gonzalez are the probables for the last two slots. And again, it has seemed all along that many of these ‘pen possible’ guys are just here as shadow boxers to push the few folks the team _really_ wants to step up and make the big club. Come on: has anyone seriously thought that the Ms wanted Jake Woods, Sean Green, or Cruceta in an Ms uniform. ‘Certain guys’ have friends on high, but haven’t established the desired performance level yet, and the ‘earn it’ philosophy seems much in the air in ST this year; rather like smoke from burning oily rags in a 55 g. drum, but. Could Fruto be Chavez’ personal project? The dude seriously needs time in the high minors. I was hoping the Ms would find a way to hang onto L. Gonzalez; if it takes a 12th man on the staff, I’ll say “hear, hear” for that, but again I don’t know how effective he’ll be. Like his arm, though. I’ve liked Atchison all along, too, but he through SO BADLY this Spring one has to wonder if he’s still hurt. Bad timing for him, but he’s always been a hard luck guy.

    Nageotte and Foppert are being groomed to start. There was no way either one was going to make the 25-man unless one of the starting five totally imploded in camp; that didn’t happen, and Clint and Jessie both wore down later in Spring Training. I wouldn’t put to much into that, as it was the normal ‘dead arm’ time in the prep cycle. Neither Pinero, Meche, or Washburn threw all that much better these past ten days or so, but when a young guy gets hit around everyone makes more of that. The best thing for both Nageotte and Foppert is to get a solid 10-12 weeks of starting at AAA. If the big club needs them after that, they’ll be in a better position to help then they would coming out of camp with all eyes on every mistake they might make.

    First it was “We won’t rush Jeremy Reed back, because that’s the worst thing for a wrist injury,” then it’s “He may start on Opening Day.” Now, it’s good to hear that JR’s injury is apparently much less serious than feared—except that such a phrase from a Mariners senior employee strikes fear into my heart. They’ve been wrong so many times with exactly this kind of sequence that one would better bet on trend continuity there, in which case rushing Reed back is exactly what the first statement implies, the worst of all possible choices. Let him get some work in, then assess how the wrist handles it. Still, it’s good to hear that Reed appears to be better; I’m not a Reed man, as is (too) well known, but I can’t root for any athlete to be injured, this is what they do with some of the best days of their lives, and one can only root for success. Beyond that, though, I’ve been hoping for a put-up-or-shut-up year from Reed in ’06, real progress or reality turns the wheel. Now, if JR comes back from the ‘injury’ and tears the cover off the ball, well and good; that’s one kind of progressive reality. But if he sat for ten weeks, then came back and hit soft and small like he has, everyone’s going to say, “Awwww, it was the wrist injury,” Reed gets given a mulligan for ’06, and we do it all over again next year. Here’s for JR being healthy, on the field, and showing what he’s got.

  16. G-Man on March 29th, 2006 10:48 pm


    M’s shopping Pineiro to Pittsburgh for Craig Wilson:


  17. Mr. Egaas on March 29th, 2006 11:09 pm

    Would have made sense several months ago before the bulk of the free agents were gone, but now, I just don’t see why we would pull the trigger on this one.

  18. Jim Thomsen on March 29th, 2006 11:21 pm

    I agree. There are no ready options for Piniero’s turn in the rotation. And what exactly does Mullet Man do for the Mariners? He adds no flexibility or depth, he’s getting old and he’s coming off an injury. He’s a legit hitter, but adds nothing defensively. PASS.

  19. jonwells on March 30th, 2006 12:26 am

    What would Wilson add? Gee, how ’bout a little bit of power to a team that hit 130 home runs last year (91 by players not named Sexson). The Mariners hit exactly half as many home runs as Texas last year — and we can’t attribute all of that to the difference in their home ballparks.

    Yes, the timing seems odd since they now have Lawton and Petagine as good hitters off the bench. As for the comment that “he’s getting old
    and coming off an injury” he’s 29, which isn’t particularly old for a guy that’s primarily a hitter. And the time to acquire a guy like
    this is after a year like he had in ’05 not after he hits 29 bombs like he did the year before. You’d have had to overpay big if you wanted to get Wilson a year ago…

    Wilson had a .387 OBP in ’05 which overall was a bad year for him. Over his 5 seasons in the majors, he’s averaged a HR for every 19 AB’s. What’s not to like?

    If the M’s are considering making a deal like this it’s because they’re not liking what they see out of Joel and they know if they don’t deal him now they won’t get anything for him. It’s certainly possible that they’d get a 4th or 5th starter type back in that deal or another deal (John Thomsen is being shopped by Atlanta).

    It seems that the Pirates are interested because Pineiro won’t be a free agent next winter and Wilson will. But as far as the M’s are concerned Pineiro may as well be a free agent next winter. Unless he has a really good year, what are the chances they tender him a contract next winter at $7.5 or $8 mil (that’s the raise he’d get in arbitration even if he has another crap year)???

  20. ray on March 30th, 2006 12:29 am

    #66 sounds like a bad deal, therefore Bavasi will make it… JK. anyhay, about that Sizemore deal. I wonder if Bavasi can be as creative… Hey Carl 24 mil for 6 years, Yea baby! x-(

  21. BelaXadux on March 30th, 2006 12:49 am

    Regarding Joel, if he pitches poorly over the next three months, his trade value by the deadline is negative, and considering his salary said value is thin at best now. To get anything back for him, let alone a useful player, would be a plus. The only question to me, then, is: Is Joel on track to return to any sustained effectiveness _this_ season? Sentiment and analysis around here are, Not likely, with which I tend to concur. Piniero really disappered from the map in the back part of ST this year, didn’t he? Few comments from Hargrove, Chavez, Bavasi, and nothing particularly attractive in his time on the mound. Were he to to, this would probably mean that Appier would be starting for the first half of the season, which doesn’t figure to be pretty, but I’m more for the team moving on so that they can move up.

    I’d love to see John Thomsen come here, and if he did he figures to be significantly better than Washburn. Atlanta should be expected to name a fairly dear price, though, so I don’t see this happening—unless somehow it’s Pinero + sweeteners for Thomsen, in which case act today not tomorrow sez I.

  22. ray on March 30th, 2006 12:52 am

    Can someone confirm this: Asdrubal Cabrera & Adam Jones will be playing for Tacoma. I certainly didn’t expect them to be promoted so fast. It’s nice if they are ready and it would be nicer if they can be on the team next year. How cool would it be to have Reed LF, Jones CF, Ichiro RF — a 3-CFer outfield defense with 3 potentially awesome bates. I do wonder about Cabrera… there is no spot anywhere for him for possibly many years.

  23. eponymous coward on March 30th, 2006 1:15 am

    Piñeiro IS a free agent next year (his 6th year in the majors). And the problem is that the rotation’s paper-thin right now, with no viable candidates behind Meche at 5, so you HAVE to get someone back, as well as figure out what to do with the logjam you’d have between Wilson, Ibañez, Everett and Lawton. Everett and Lawton can’t be traded as FA signees until June, and Ibañez just got resigned precisely because the M’s want to keep him around to be the Warm And Fuzzy Fan Favorite Who Came Up Through The System. The deal makes no sense.

  24. jonwells on March 30th, 2006 1:20 am

    Pineiro WILL NOT be a free agent after the ’05 season. This is his fifth full season. He did not accumulate enough service time in ’00 and ’01 to count as a full year…

  25. idahowriter on March 30th, 2006 4:12 am

    Is it possible that Bavasi wants to pick up Wilson and flip him to the Braves for Thomson? Seems like I read that the Braves were one of the teams interested in Wilson. Could Bavasi be that smart? Keeping Pettagine on the 25-man gives me a glimmer of hope.

  26. terry on March 30th, 2006 4:51 am

    Could this be a guilty conscience trying to rectify a past mistake (even I can see Petagine/Wilson platooning at DH improves the club dramatically)? But truthfully, this move doesnt makes sense NOW when the roster has a ton of guys who can play outfield ut no real option to replace Joel.

  27. G-Man on March 30th, 2006 7:49 am

    I agree that this deal doesn’t jive with the current shape of the roster. It would have been different a few months ago, though.

  28. eponymous coward on March 30th, 2006 8:04 am

    So the team signed Piñeiro to a three year deal to buy out some arbitration, but didn’t buy out his last year?

    Ooooooookay…what the hell was the point of that?

  29. Evan on March 30th, 2006 8:38 am

    Doesn’t stup us from non-tendering him…

    ..and Meche.

  30. jonwells on March 30th, 2006 8:42 am

    #78 said “So the team signed Piñeiro to a three year deal to buy out some arbitration, but didn’t buy out his last year? Ooooooookay…what the hell was the point of that?”

    The point was that they didn’t want to give a pitcher a four year deal because of a) risk of injury and b) risk of suckiness.

    That deal saved the Mariners from being on the hook on Pineiro for another guaranteed $7 or $8 million for 2007 so they can hopefully spend that money on someone who won’t suck…

  31. msb on March 30th, 2006 8:43 am

    while P’burgh has been interested in Thomson, too, he is still hurting, and at last word might start the season on the DL…

  32. eponymous coward on March 30th, 2006 9:16 am

    Except they could have Halama’ed his ass for nothing THIS season, had they not done a 3 year deal, and had the extra 6 million.

  33. JI on March 30th, 2006 9:20 am

    So we don’t want to do this out of fear that we couldn’t replace Pineiro?

    I’m all for chucking Pineiro’s salary to the curb. He’s not a LAIM, or even an IM at this point. Wilson, on the other hand, could become coveted by a decent team (read: TOR, STL). It’s your basic something for nothing trade.

  34. JI on March 30th, 2006 9:35 am

    Finding $1000 in your jeans would be like if the M’s traded Willie Bloomquist for Alex Rodriguez. Petagine for Dobbs is like finding $20…

  35. eponymous coward on March 30th, 2006 10:16 am

    I’m all for chucking Pineiro’s salary to the curb. He’s not a LAIM, or even an IM at this point. Wilson, on the other hand, could become coveted by a decent team (read: TOR, STL). It’s your basic something for nothing trade.

    Again, where does Wilson play, and do you put a guy like Jesse Foppert in the rotation, even though he’s not shown you he deserves it? This deal would have made plenty of sense in November, but corralling the market on lead-footed outfielders and DHs and blowing a hole in your rotation doesn’t make much sense 4 days before the opening of the season.

    The thing I’m wondering about isthat apparently Piñeiro’s contract was under team control for 2003 (read: would not have gone to salary arbitration)…but they gave him a guaranteed contract covering 2003 anyway. I don’t see why you wouldn’t buy out his arbitration after 2003 instead of 2002, unless the M’s THOUGHT he was going to be a FA in 2006. The deal was widely reported at the time as being a buyout of Piñeiro’s arbitration years.

  36. JI on March 30th, 2006 10:25 am

    Other sites (mlb4u) don’t have him listed as an upcoming FA.

    I think they’d go to Harris first, then to Foppert. Wilson has no role in Pittsburgh, for reasons that cannot be explained through logical means. So I doubt he’d be more unhappy here. My guess is that they’d platoon him until he could be dealt.

    I see it as an opportunity to get something for nothing. I can’t imagine any other circumstance where the could drop Joel without taking on someone else’s problem. It may inconveinet in the short term, but could pay off.

    I’d just like to see the M’s take a chance to improve the team rather than wade waist-deep in the status-quo.

  37. eponymous coward on March 30th, 2006 12:25 pm

    Harris is the version of Ryan Franklin that’s not from Spiro, Oklahoma. His peripheral numbers suck just like Ryan’s do, and Piñeiro is CLEARLY a better P.

    I don’t see that having 73 left fielders and not enough starting pitching “improves the team”, simply put. If the Mariners want to give up on 2006 before opening day and randomly accumulate talent regardless of the holes it leaves on the roster, OK, I guess. Like I said, this would be a great move for November when you CAN make over the roster and sign free agents. But absent enough starting pitching in an American League where everyone who is a legitimate contender either has massive amounts of offense and adequate starting pitching (Boston, NY) or massive amounts of starting pitching (Indians, White Sox, Oakland, Anaheim), I don’t see how this helps you contend. Wilson’s a nice player and an improvement on Everett, but the M’s problems are more likely to stem from a crappy pitching staff, because I think they have an OK offense- it’s just that Safeco helps obscure that.

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