Cover your eyes, folks, becuase the first of the Suggested Offseason Moves columns has shown up in the P-I today. David Andriesen bats leadoff with his piece today. There will be more coming, surely.
For those who hate following the links, the key paragraphs:
The Nationals will try everything in their power to keep Soriano, and the suitors will be many. It’s estimated he’ll seek $75 million for five years. Give it to him. The Mariners made commitments of $64 million and $50 million, respectively, to Beltre and Sexson when both had major question marks — so how big a risk is $75 million to a five-time All-Star with no such question marks?
Soriano is going to do great things in the next five years, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be here.
Egads. Paying $15 million per year for ages 31-35 of Alfonso Soriano’s career, then sticking him in Safeco Field, would be a monumental disaster. Since Andriesen likes to focus on things like home runs, RBI’s, and steals, we’ll add a slightly more useful column to the discussion.
Soriano’s OBPs, by year: .304, .332, .338, .324, .309, .355. Yes, just what a team that ranks dead last in MLB in unintentional walks and ahead of only Chicago and Tampa Bay in on-base percentage needs; another swing-at-anything hack whose RH power will be mostly neutralized by Safeco Field. Andriesen tries to downplay the effects of Safeco, since he’s hit well in RFK, but RFK isn’t Safeco. It’s a small sample size, but Soriano’s hit .190/.270/.304 at Safeco in 79 at-bats over the last three years, and it hasn’t been the Mariners tremendous pitching that has been shutting him down.
Soriano is a terrible, terrible idea. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about it, because the M’s aren’t going to be players in that lottery ticket to hell.
Competition for Matsuzaka’s services will be fierce. The posting price could top $25 million — and that’s before negotiating a contract that should run about $10 million to $12 million a year for at least four years. It would be an extraordinary commitment, but by all accounts Matsuzaka is an extraordinary talent. If he pans out and Hernandez lives up to his potential, it could give the Mariners a phenomenal 1-2 punch for years to come.
At least he’s on board with the most obvious move of the offseason. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want Daisuke Matsuzaka. It’s like asking kids if they want pie.
Thanks to their raft of young, cheap talent, the Mariners could bring my 25-man roster in at about $95 million. That’s not counting prorated signing bonuses nor money the team is eating on past bad contracts — something fans don’t like to let the team count as payroll, but money that must be paid just the same. And, of course, it doesn’t count the one-time payout to the Seibu Lions. But right about now, Seattle accountants must be keenly aware of the price of being a cellar dweller.
Andriesen’s right. His plan of shipping out Broussard and importing Soriano and Matsuzaka would add about $20 million to the team’s payroll, meaning that the 25 man roster would come in at just under $100 million. And the team still wouldn’t be good enough to win the World Series.
If this is David Andriesen’s dream, let’s all be thrilled we’re not living in it.