Dave’s 2006 Offseason Plan

Dave · October 1, 2006 at 4:47 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Okay, so, after several shorter posts explaining parts of the ideology I’m taking into this offseason, and hinting around at some of my ideas, I’m finally unveiling the offseason plan. These are my suggestions on how to reshape the roster to best contend both next year and in the future. Essentially, this is what I would attempt to do if I was handed the keys to the front office and given full power to make personnel decisions.

While this kind of exercise cannot reflect reality, I’ve done my best to make sure that the transactions involved are at least within the realm of possibility. The trade values and free agent dollars are close to what I would expect the actual cost to be. And, as always, keep in mind that the ideas are more important than the names. The main thrust of this post is to get the concepts of how I would build this team across, and not necessarily an advocacy of acquiring a specific player at any cost. So, without further ado, the roster:

Lineup Player Position Salary
1. Ichiro Suzuki CF $12,500,000
2. Chris Snelling RF $500,000
3. Manny Ramirez DH $19,000,000
4. Jim Edmonds LF $8,000,000
5. Adrian Beltre 3B $11,500,000
6. Raul Ibanez 1B $5,000,000
7. Kenji Johjima C $5,430,000
8. Jose Lopez 2B $350,000
9. Yuniesky Betancourt SS $450,000

Bench Player Position Salary
1. Todd Greene C $1,000,000
2. Willie Bloomquist Inf $850,000
3. Jose Cruz Jr OF $500,000
4. Mike Morse 1B/3B $350,000
5. Oswaldo Navarro Util $350,000

Rotation Player Position Salary
1. Felix Hernandez Starter $400,000
2. Daisuke Matsuzaka Starter $6,500,000
3. Jarrod Washburn Starter $9,500,000
4. R. Lopez/A. Guzman Starter $1,000,000
5. C. Baek/T. Redding Starter $350,000

Bullpen Player Position Salary
1. J.J. Putz Closer $3,000,000
2. Mark Lowe RH Setup $350,000
3. George Sherrill LH Setup $350,000
4. Jon Huber RH Middle $350,000
5. Eric O’Flaherty LH Middle $350,000
6. Emiliano Fruto Long Relief $350,000

Whew. That’s a lot of changes to digest, I know, so here’s the specific transactions that lead to a 25 man roster that comes in at just under $89 million.

Sign Ichiro to a 3 year, $42 million extension from 2008-2010.

While this doesn’t necessarily have to be the first chronological move, it is the first domino that needs to be discussed. The way this team needs to be built this offseason, uncertainty about the team’s star center fielder (and man, it’s nice to say that) is not something they can afford to deal with. If they’re going to build a team around him, they can’t have him walk away at the end of next season. He either needs to be re-signed or traded. I’m betting on, and pulling for, re-signed.

Bid $25 million in posting fee to secure rights to Daisuke Matsuzaka and sign him to a 3 year, $30 million contract.

Convince ownership that, like they did with Ichiro, this should be a special expenditure that does not count against the budget. The key in the contract negotiations will be to not grant him free agency when the deal is up. After this contract expires, he’ll be arbitration eligible, and still under Mariner control through 2012. To justify the posting fee, the Mariners have to control his rights for six years.

Trade Richie Sexson to San Francisco for DH Eddie Martinez-Esteve and OF Nate Schierholtz.

The Giants badly need hitters and have truckloads of cash to spend, but they’ve shown a strong resistance to giving out long term contracts. Sexson’s 2 year, $28 million deal is a bargain compared to Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano’s demands, and the Giants get their cleanup hitter for a pair of outfield prospects who may or may not develop into major league regulars. The Mariners clear salary space for other acquisitions, as well as acquiring two bats who could potentially help in the second half of 2007 or 2008.

Trade Ben Broussard and Julio Mateo to Baltimore for RHP Jim Johnson.

The Mariners continue to clear salary and roster spots, saving about $5 million in salary in this deal and bringing in a 23-year-old starting pitching prospect who could be stashed in Tacoma and provide rotation depth. The Orioles badly need some power in their line-up, as well as bullpen help, and they have a surplus of younger starting pitchers. Johnson adds depth to the Tacoma rotation, giving them another guy with a good arm who is a couple improvements away from being in the mix for an end-of-rotation starter spot.

Trade Rafael Soriano, Jeremy Reed, and Francisco Cruceta to Boston for DH Manny Ramirez.

The annual Manny Ramirez trade request has reportedly occurred again, and the Mariners are one of a few teams that could actually swallow the $38 million he’s still owed, have a need for a DH, and have the young talent the Red Sox will demand in return. The Mariners significant bullpen depth will allow them to survive the loss of Soriano and Curceta, while Jeremy Reed’s spot with the team has essentially been usurped by Chris Snelling. Reed gives the Red Sox a cheap legitimate center fielder, allowing them to shift Crisp back to left field and significantly upgrade their outfield defense. Soriano gives them a young flamethrowing reliever to replace Papelbon, and Cruceta gives them depth in middle relief or as a swing starter. Boston also sheds $19 million in salary commitments each of the next two years, allowing them to chase another top tier free agent.

Trade Eduardo Perez, Wladmir Balentien and Justin Thomas to St. Louis for Jim Edmonds and $2 million in cash.

The Cardinals have made overtures about declining the option on Jim Edmonds’ contract and paying him a $3 million buyout rather than having him under contract next year at $10 million. His injuries have hurt them this year, and at 38, he’s definitely at the end of his career. However, he’s still a productive player when he’s on the field, and the Mariners should take advantage of the Cardinals need to retool. Balentien and Thomas give them two midlevel prospects, Perez gives LaRussa another bat off the bench, and they save $1 million in cash by not paying the buyout to make him a free agent. The Mariners, in turn, get a patient left-handed slugging outfielder whose swing is perfect for Safeco Field and would provide an all around upgrade in the outfield. His defense isn’t what it was, but he’d be a major improvement in left field, and his offense against RHP is still among the best in the league.

Trade Jake Woods, Nate Schierholtz and Michael Wilson to the Cubs for RHP Angel Guzman.

Guzman is a classic change-of-scenery guy. A former top prospect, who has dominated the minors with his fastball/change combination, has struggled in Chicago, and at age 25, the Cubs are running low on patience. Their desire to add a veteran to the rotation this offseason likely eliminates his chances of landing a job in the 2007 rotation, and the Cubs could certainly use a couple of outfield prospects with some power in their bats.

He gives the Mariners another league minimum option as an end of rotation starter with significant upside. He uses his changeup as an out-pitch weapon to miss bats and has shown good command throughout his career in the minors. His breaking ball is still average, but the change-up is good enough to feature as his offspeed pitch. As a flyball pitcher, leaving Wrigley for Safeco would be a dream come true. Baseball is littered with guys who profiled as Guzman did, struggled early in their careers, and developed into useful starting pitchers later. Call it the Carl Pavano mold.

Sign C Todd Greene, RHP Rodrigo Lopez, RHP Tim Redding, and OF Jose Cruz Jr to one year contracts.

Having spent a huge majority of the payroll on Ramirez, Edmonds, and Matsuzaka, the M’s need to get some undervalued role players to fill out the roster. I’ve written up Lopez before, so read that post if you haven’t before. Greene gives the Mariners a backup catcher with a little power who would be a significant improvement over Rene Rivera, and Jose Cruz Jr gives the team a fourth outfielder that can hit left-handers and play both corners as well as center in a pinch. Redding comes in to challenge Baek for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Convert Raul Ibanez to first base.

For the pitching staff’s sake, Ibanez needs to get out of left field, but he’s been consistent in his desire to play the field. With the acqusition of Manny Ramirez, DH is taken, and the removal of Broussard’s contract was necessary to get the team under payroll. Ibanez has played first for long stretches before, and with an offseason of preperation and some work with Mike Goff, he should be adequate at the position. The defensive improvement Edmonds provides in left will more than make up for any frustrations we’d have with Ibanez at first.

Okay, so, that’s the team. The total payroll for the 25 man roster comes in at $88.7 million. The team is, in my opinion, significantly better than the one they’re going to end the year with, and a team that is good enough to win a World Series. Seriously. Let’s take a look at some strengths and weaknesses:

Team Strengths

This team can hit. You’re looking at something like an .800 OPS, in Safeco, from this line-up, as long as Ramirez and Edmonds each play 140 games. Aside from the Yankees and their all-star lineup, it would have a chance to be the best in the American League. The defense would also be upgraded, which would have a cascading effect to improve the pitching staff. There’s not a bad position player on the team, and while the bench isn’t great, there’s depth in the upper minors. It also is a roster that doesn’t block the long term positions of the organization’s better prospects, and gives opportunities for young players to break into roles once they’ve shown they can succeed in the minors. And, for what its worth, Jim Edmonds is a revered clubhouse leader with all kinds of playoff experience, and should at least provide a respected voice in the clubhouse.

Team Weaknesses

Injuries could be a big problem. Snelling, Ramirez, and Edmonds haven’t been pictures of health, and that’s the heart of the batting order. There’s not a true first baseman on the roster, so if Ibanez and Morse are absurdly awful with the glove, you have to live with it. The bullpen’s depth has been thinned out significantly, and you’d be leaning on unproven pitchers for significant contributions in the middle innings. The back of the rotation is filled with innings eaters who lack a true outpitch, and, with the exception of Angel Guzman, are not the power arms the organization covets. The pitching staff would be built around a 21-year-old and a guy who has never pitched an inning in the majors.


Knowing the risks and the potential failures, this is still a good team with a real shot to go deep in the playoffs. On paper, depending on what the rest of the AL West does, I’d pencil it in for 85-95 wins. The key players would be Edmonds, Felix, and Matsuzaka, with the performance of those three probably determining how far the team goes. It’s a good enough team to win the AL West in 2007, and it’s still a team that is young in the core and is setup to contend long term. The Mariners can win next year with this roster and not sacrifice the future to do so.


271 Responses to “Dave’s 2006 Offseason Plan”

  1. gwangung on October 3rd, 2006 11:25 am

    If you win the WS in 2007 the 2008 payroll might rise enough to make this viable. Otherwise I see a salary dump in the near future. How would the fanbase react to the team trading Manny, Ichiro or Beltre in the offseason after thier first contention in 4 years? Unless a couple pitchers move through the system very quickly and you can find a fit to unload Washburns backloaded contract, this seems the most likely scenario for 2008.

    Really? If this team competes in October 2007, I don’t think there’s any way attendance for 2008 goes down. That means re-entry into the playoffs, and with a “name” like a Manny, that means credibility to the casual fan.

    It’s when they DON’T make the playoffs that folks should worry (and that’s applicable with ANY roster…)

  2. Livengood on October 3rd, 2006 11:45 am

    EC wrote:

    “And by the way: guess which position player had the highest VORP on the Giants? Hint: not Barry Bonds. For all Barry’s awesomeness, he was 20th in his league in VORP (and somewhere in the 50s in MLB), behind guys like Alfonso Soriano.”

    Ray Durham had a great year, but your (implied) argument that he had a better year than Bonds is flawed. VORP is essentially a counting stat. If you look at VORPr – which is a rate stat and accounts for Bonds’ time lost to injury – Bonds’ was .400 to Durham’s .366. Among all NL batters with at least 450 PA, Bonds was 8th in VORPr (behind only Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Miguel Cabrera, Chipper Jones, Lance Berkman, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran). By another offensive value-measuring rate stat, MLVr, Bonds was 7th in the league.

    “There’s something to be said for a lesser player (like Ray Durham) playing every day, rather than a better player who can’t stay in the lineup. and meaning you end up playing a player much closer to replacement value 30 games a year.”

    I’m not sure that is always true. It depends on how many games the better player misses, and what the difference in VORPr or MLVr (or RC/GP, or any other rate stat you choose) is between the better player and the lesser replacement. You have to add in the difference between the fragile-but-better player, and his lesser-skilled-but-durable counterpart, over the games FragileBoy will play, and then you can subtract out the difference between FragileBoy and his replacement. My guess is it is at worst a wash, and probably you come out ahead by using a better but more fragile player. Of course, any player can miss a larger bulk of the season than expected, and some are a riskier bet than others, but all of that has to be part of your risk/reward analysis.

    Of course, if you go get a fragile player, you need to construct a better bench, and I’m sure in reality we’re both skeptical of the Mariners’ ability to do this, and Hargrove’s ability to utilize it properly if they did. But I’m not sure I would automatically reach the conclusion you have — that it is always better to choose a lesser but more durable player. this is a theory that could be tested with simulations, using various roster constructions and assumptions about how much time various players will miss. I don’t have the time or the skills to do that, but I think the answers would be interesting.

  3. Wishhiker on October 3rd, 2006 12:18 pm

    #251 I’m not talking about massive salary dump. I’m talking about the FO not raising payroll. I don’t think any of us see it as likely that after the lowest attendance since 95, payroll is going to increase much. If they did make it to the WS in 2007 attendance would increase dramatically in 2008, not 2007. If they only make the playoffs and fall short, the fanbase will expect that little bit of improvement to get over the top.

    If you’re filling the same spots (LF,#4SP,4OF,BC,Util) at the same dollar amounts ($11.35m) from ’07 and the total pay increases for all the young players comes to $2 million you’re looking at a $96 million payroll for 2008. That’s before the upgrade (say $5million). 7-12 million dollar Payroll increase plan for 2008? You either include this or a contract removal for 2008 with this 2007 plan.

  4. gwangung on October 3rd, 2006 2:09 pm

    #251 I’m not talking about massive salary dump. I’m talking about the FO not raising payroll. I don’t think any of us see it as likely that after the lowest attendance since 95, payroll is going to increase much. If they did make it to the WS in 2007 attendance would increase dramatically in 2008, not 2007. If they only make the playoffs and fall short, the fanbase will expect that little bit of improvement to get over the top.

    Yes? And attendance will increase. Probably ticket prices as well (any competent bean counter will tuck in an inflation adjuster). If they make the WS in 2007, they’re not going to dramatically increase payroll anyway.

    Make the playoffs in ’07, no matter how far they go, attendance will increase for ’08 and they can make plans accordingly.

  5. Wishhiker on October 3rd, 2006 2:36 pm

    All I’m saying is that with this plan it looks like you’re either raising payroll by aprox. $10 million in 2008 or dumping more contracts. This after an aprox. $4million in payroll increase($85m/’06-$89m/’07) after the lowest attendance figures in 11 years.

  6. Wishhiker on October 3rd, 2006 5:00 pm

    The more I look at Thomas, The more I like the idea. Thomas was the only AL player to have 35+ HR w less than 100 SO (39/81.) Only Pujols 49/50 was significantly better. Also including Ortiz (54/117/119), Pujols (49/50/92), Giambi (37/106/110), Garrett Atkins (29/76/79) and Bonds (26/51/115), Thomas (39/81/81) was one of only 6 MLB players to hit 25+ HR and not have more SO than BB. Thomas just became the oldest player to have a multi-homer postseason game. He’s LH and would be signifficantly cheaper while providing more than most other options.

  7. DMZ on October 3rd, 2006 5:06 pm

    Frank Thomas is right-handed.

  8. Wishhiker on October 3rd, 2006 5:50 pm


  9. BelaXadux on October 3rd, 2006 9:56 pm

    The overall design here I agree with, and many of the acquisitions I’m all for. There are for me two serious deal breakers, but even if the transactions involved didn’t go quite that way, your overall model could be put in place.

    Problems: 1) Ibanez is absolutely awful at 1B, significantly worse at that position than he is in LF. Folks keep talking about moving him there, but every time I’ve seen him, he’s stiff, has no range, and a stone glove. He has been ‘shoved out to 1b’ at times—but he doesn’t want to play there and isn’t comfortable there accordingly. To me, the only positions he can play are LF or DH, and we’ll suffer mightily if he’s put anywhere else. Given that a major offensive upgrade is easier to swing at DH, he should probably remain in LF—or be dealt. Yes, that should be the deal, move Raul while his value has taken a bump upward off a fine year, but I know it won’t happen, so I’ll leave it at that. 2) I’m not down with the package for Edmonds. Now, I’m a _big_ fan of Jim Edmonds, and acquiring him is something I’ve hoped the Ms would do for _years_, specifically when they went out and signed Beltre and Sexson. I know, Dave, that the guys you are sending out in this package are on your ‘sell now and high’ list, so the design is clear. The reverse is true for me: I’d like to see how Balentien and Thomas play out in ’07 before dealing them. Also, I think there is zero (0) probability of Edmonds making it through any season healthy, so dealing a bunch of value for a guy who is going to be dinged up most of his time here is pushing the envelope. I don’t have a big problem with acquiring him, but the deal and his role need some very careful consideration, and I’m not sure the balance is optimal as proposed here. 3) Manny is a personnel management problem very few teams can handle; specifically, the Ms are unlikely to be able to cope with him. Bavasi and Hargrove vs. an indespensible maximum contract far outside the org’s comfort zone?? I don’t see that workind. I like his bat, and I love the idea of getting a major bat. It’s hard for me to see this one work out. Much more like the /Kevin Mitchell era’ in my view. That said, one player and their contract does not make or break a team.

    That said, overall points of agreement: 1) Dealing Sexson, Broussard, Perez, Mateo, and most of the rest makes perfect sense, as they clearly cannot take the Ms to another level, and may not end up having any significant value at all. I say that even though I think it’s a lock that Sexson has a better offensive season than Beltre next year (because decline or not his year by year offensive value exceeds that of Beltre), but I’m already on record saying _both_ should be moved. If the Ms are not going to convert Soriano into a starter, I’m fine with them dealing him, and I love the guy. But the Ms have too many power relievers to over-value any of them, more of them on the way, and moving somebody to upgrade the team is a natural. Rafey is oldest and most shopworn, but also has the most proven value, so he’s the obvious guy. 2) Acquiring Matsuzaka would be ideal. My gut tells me that the highest bid for him _won’t_ come from the Mariners however; just ones man’s vibrations. If that’s the case, the Ms FO are going to panic and throw money at some other veteran, and that knocks the financials into the circular filme, but all that’s a second-level what-if. 4) Picking up Jose Cruz as the 4th OFer, and I thought this should have happened two years ago. He’s far from perfect, but his positives match well with what is needed. 5) I like the idea of picking up Guzman, Lopez is no worse than most other options and may well be better, and Redding is also a useful guy better than most in house options at modest $, so yeah, yeah, yeah. Even more, yeah to the idea of trying out some of these ‘change of scenery’ guys; it has to be done, and the upside/$$ ratio comes out much better than signing another Washburn. 6) Hargrove doesn’t use his defensive subs sensibly, so it really doesn’t matter that it’s Bloomquist and Navarro, and the team saves money by staying in house, so fine. 7) You keep the best guys in the bullpen rather than move them, and the pen should be outstanding again, which is best, don’t break up that strength no matter how you mix and match packages.

    So, if the team acquires either Ramirez _or_ Edmonds, and swings Raul Ibanez to fill whichever role the acquisition can’t it’s the same basic plan.

  10. BelaXadux on October 3rd, 2006 10:16 pm

    And #36 Dave, yes, I think that is exactly the plan the team will pursue in the offseason. Lincoln is as locked into the idea that he can buy his way back to respectability as he was locked out of the idea that he needed to invest to make a winner better before, and the org is terrified of trades, having muffed rather a few under Bavasi’s tenure, and too many to name way back under Woodward.

  11. BelaXadux on October 3rd, 2006 10:21 pm

    The idea of using Mike Morse as a good-glove 1Bman is quite interesting, and I think he could actually bring it off. His hands are fairly good, and he is teachable as far as I can tell; it’s his feet that are sub-par, but that can work OK at 1B given his size. It’s the first real idea I’ve heard about how to realize some value from the guy. Hmmm.

  12. BelaXadux on October 3rd, 2006 10:34 pm

    Re: Trading Sexson, who we get back for him is NOT irrelevant. Particularly given how he ended the year, the Ms have a chance to play more than one team off another for him, and to leverage the best talent return. And to me, it’s the _talent return_ for him which is more important than the salary cleared; yes, the latter matters, especially with the idea of signing Matsuzaka and acquiring a major bat. But really, we could get back more—or even do a Sexson-for-Ramirez plus sweeteners on either side. Think big here, not just about shipping out a guy many are down on.

  13. BelaXadux on October 3rd, 2006 10:48 pm

    I’d happily see the package going to Boston for Ramirez proposed here go to Cincy for Dunn, or add Balentien for the Reds putting in someone else of comparable value, too. Adam isn’t the hitter that Manny is, and both _MUST_ DH, but Dunn won’t cost as $$much$$ and I suspect will match up to the park really well. Someone mentioned above that Manny may ask to have his option picked up to come, something I think more than likely as well, so he becomes 3-at-$19M, injuries included. Dunn at, say, 3-for-much less is easier to swallow. The _idea_ of Manny, attractive as it may be, shouldn’t blind one to the fact that others bring similar if not comparable value.

  14. Tak on October 4th, 2006 12:05 am

    First time posting, here are some of my own thoughts:

    1. Offense

    Though I think pitching is more of a priority than hitting, it could do better. The Mariner’s offense was not too awful, I still hate the fact that it heavily relies on Sexson and Beltre so a trade for Manny would be the perfect solution. Ichiro is Ichiro, Ibanez is doing good, and the youngsters are definitely developing, so the offense is bound to get better as long as there aren’t any huge injuries. Johjima is proving a consistent bat as a catcher, something the Mariners haven’t had in a while, and there is no reason why he should not continue to be consistent. Though Beltre was showing signs of improvement towards the end of the season (and so was Sexson), I still cannot trust these two, so at least one has to go… As long as the Mariners are able to aquire a good power hitter to score Ichiro, they should be fine. I actually think Bonds could be worth it depending on the price, but since Bonds will probably contribute the most by walking, you still need a big bat to drive him in. Bonds will be a nice No.3 hitter, but the key to success will be the No.4 hitter. So in other words, in terms of offense Manny (or somebody close to his calibur) should be their No.1 priority. (and probably one good hitter like him is worth more than 2 above-average hitters)

    2. Pitching

    Though I rather watch a team with great offense, pitching is what wins games. For example, though this is not the best way to prove my point, the easiest way to see is to check the top run scoring teams vs. the top low-ERA teams.

    Top runs scored

    White Sox

    Lowest ERAs


    Yes, obviously it all has to do with balance, and stadiums will have a huge effect on these numbers, but you can see that the lower list contains 4 playoff teams + 1 which almost made it, compared to the 1 playoff team in the higher list…

    Felix should improve we hope, he probably won’t be like a Liriano but has the potential to become something close to that. Signing Matsuzaka will be tough, it will cost a ton (my guess is the Yankees will bid at about 30M, not sure if the Mariners can afford that), but I am sure it will be worth it. (not just as a player) His toughness and stability is something the Mariners need. So, like most people have said, signing him should be the No.1 priority. On the same line, picking up another Japanese SP and/or RP would be good. One option could be Igawa of the Hanshin Tigers who wants to come to the Majors. He is not a monster like Matsuzaka but he also is pretty tough and consistent. They could also look for a RP whilling to give the majors a try for cheap, and it will not be a huge risk since Japanese pitches (especially relief pitches) have already proven themselves, like Sasaki / Hasegawa of the Mariners, or Otsuka and Saito who are both great closers right now.

    I am not too sure if breaking down the bullpen is such a great idea unless you have a good idea on how to build one back up quickly and efficiently. I am not expert on the prospects so I will let the experts decide, a good bullpen is always good to have and usually pretty cheap to make (with the exception of the closer, but no need to worry about that for a while)

    With all that said, I really hope something like what Dave proposed will happen… this club has such potential…

  15. ndevale on October 4th, 2006 11:00 am

    Not that anyone’s still reading, but…
    What about Gary Sheffield instead if trading for Manny doesn’t pan out? I’m unaware of the contract status but it seems that the Yankees have a surplus and are more likely to hang on to Abreu…

  16. Livengood on October 4th, 2006 11:31 am

    Sheffield has most of the negatives Bonds does (old, implicated in steroids, breaking down even more, something less of a clubhouse issue but still some) and not as much offensive upside. Bigger issue may be that the Yankees have a club option (not sure what they have to pay, if anything, to decline it), so the situation may be more like Edmonds (we give something up – hopefully not too much, and with $$ coming back – to get the ability to get one year of Sheffield at apprx. $13M) than Bonds.

    I think he deserves to be on the list, but I’d tread carefully there, especially on the injury side of things.

  17. Wishhiker on October 4th, 2006 1:23 pm

    I could handle a few of the possible blockbusters the Yankees and Mariners could put together. One problem with finding them as trade partners in anything big. They both have the same need, SP. I’d love to talk about getting a big bat from the largest surplus, but unless we’re willing to trade Ichiro or Felix I don’t see a partner in NY.

    P.S. I wouldn’t mind Cabrera or even Matsui.

  18. Wishhiker on October 4th, 2006 5:33 pm

    Cliff Floyd is a FA and looks like the best available answer for LH high OPS for LF or DH.

    Speaking of that there’s been alot of talk on one side that the M’s need more LH power and on the other that LH power is rare. I don’t see how something being rare makes it non-essential.

    LH & SW hitters with High OBP and power/High OPS…Hafner, Howard, Ortiz, Berkman, Thome, Chipper, Bonds, Beltran, Giambi, Morneau, Delgado, Sizemore, J.D.Drew, Matsui, Edmonds, Tiexiera, Utley, Abreu, Helton, Giles, Laroche, McCann, Hawpe, Overbay, N. Johnson, Posada, Swisher, Dunn, Damon, Duncan, Adrian Gonzalez, Mauer, Floyd and Ibanez.

    That’s 34 players plus or minus. This list isn’t all inclusive, you may argue that a couple don’t belong and/or are missing. Point is there’s more of these type of players than there are reliable closers. A reliable closer is essential. I say even more so because it’s rare (not less so.) You are even less likely to have one than someone who’s made it a priority.

    Only 2 of these are Free Agents at the end of 2006: Barry Bonds and Cliff Floyd. You can watch Floyd this postseason in the NL’s best lineup with 2 others that fans in recent years wanted to see sign with Seattle (Beltran and Delgado.) You may notice that the other team with 3+ of these is the other NY,(also in the postseason/AL’s best lineup) who has 4. Although some will consider Damon a stretch, others might argue that Cabrera will be there in a year or two.

    These players were all developed by a Minor League system. Aprox. half of this list has signed FA contracts with at least a second team. They aren’t entirely unobtainable either, are they.

    Others that may be available are (obviously Edmonds via trade or buyout/FA sign) J.D. Drew who can opt out of his contract after 2006 season (doubt it will happen) and a Yankees OFer if you’ve got SP to trade for one.

    Floyd, although turning 34 in December, looks like a good answer to me. He hasn’t played in the AL aside from 47 games with the Red Sox in 2002. It all depends on what his market is.

    If he could be had for a reasonable price I’d go after Abreu. Since the M’s don’t have SP to part with, the price would probably not be reasonable for them.

  19. mntr on October 6th, 2006 12:41 am


    I read the whole thread, including the comments.

    Lefty hitters discussed:

    Barry Bonds (a bit)

    Lefty pitchers discussed:


    Every other player anyone’s talked about bringing in is a righty.

    Did I miss something? I don’t think so.

    Manny does have decent power to all fields relative to other righty sluggers, but wouldn’t you rather invest in someone with power to right field? Wouldn’t you rather invest in pitchers who better neutralize lefty sluggers? Assuming the Ms bring in talent for about the same price as other teams, the Ms are getting less per dollar out of the players who don’t fit the park.

  20. Safeco Hobo on October 6th, 2006 7:48 am

    Just getting warmed up in searching the “hot stove” for potential trade partners. Question: Would Florida be a suitable place to send Reed? I love the proposed Manny deal, but i have a hard time seeing Boston settling with a 2007 outfield of Crisp, Reed, and a FA RF (or a resigned Nixon). I think after their drop off they will be looking to be making a bigger splash than sending Jeremy Reed out to CF.

    FL has 4 above league replacement to great starters on their MLB roster. It doesn’t appear they have much sitting in AAA. I wouldn’t expect any of the 4 Marlins decent starters could be had for just Reed. Would a Reed for a AA starter be too cheap? They have a few guys who look to have a future in: Paul Mildren (L), Adam Bostick (L), and maybe Jose Garcia (R). I don’t know much about any of these guys other than they are young and have decent stats in AA this year. Could we get more for Reed?

  21. serpentear on October 21st, 2006 4:48 am

    This is about the dumest offseason plan I read so far.
    Edmonds is old, and most likely done. How in the world is Todd Green, and Jose Cruz Jr. Going to help out our bench? Oswaldo Navarro better than Morse, I don’t think so. Manny Ramirez is also old and having some injury issues, he would also cost too much, and not worth giving up one of our stellar young arms. Fruto is not ready for the Majors yet, and neither is Eric O’Flaherty. R. Lopez, A. Guzman, C. Baek, T. Redding, how are they going to help out a limp pitching rotation? We Need Barry Zitos and Jason Jason Schmidts. One thing we do agree on, Daisuke Matsuzaka is a must sign.

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