Random Monday Musings

DMZ · November 13, 2006 at 12:38 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The GM winter meetings start. Rumors a-flurry! We’ll see if the M’s look to make any moves, or if they sign Jason Schmidt this week (which, if I may, seems likely).

We find out Tuesday whether the Seibu Lions accepted the highest bid, whatever it may be, for Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Hardball Times has a piece today worth reading (“When Will Daisuke Matsuzaka’s Arm Fall Off?“) as food for thought. The summary contains this gem.

I am surprised that so many baseball fans are worried about how Matsuzaka threw over 200 pitches in a high school playoff game. That kind of stress on an arm probably isn’t a good thing, but it isn’t a death sentence either. Strenuous 150-plus pitch outings for high school and college pitchers happen, even in the United States.

I’m surprised that people are frightened of playing Russian Roulette. Many people play and are not killed…

We find out Thursday (or earlier) whether the Yakult Swallows accepted the highest bid for 3B Akinori Iwamura, who we haven’t discussed here at all since the M’s aren’t in the market for a 3B.

The interesting news is that the Yankees, rather than pay $4m to opt out of Jaret Wright’s contract, agreed to pay $3m of it so they could ship him to the Orioles, re-uniting him with Leo Mazzone, who is guy who managed to last wring a nice season out of Wright.

Also interesting is the M’s are converting some suites into one large super-suite (thanks to eponymous coward for the pointer). Sounds kind of like the Diamond Club, only higher. This is a really weird thing to do. You’ve seen the team push the bizarre press box seats before, but this means that the team’s been unable to get any companies to bite, aaand didn’t have much success selling them for individual games, either. Look forward to having Dave Valle pimp these seats endlessly during broadcasts.


64 Responses to “Random Monday Musings”

  1. AK1984 on November 13th, 2006 8:24 pm

    Hey, DMZ, you should delete my last post; I posted it in the wrong forum.

    As much as I dislike Seattle Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln, he nevertheless seems to be a savvy businessman. All in all, if Lincoln thinks that one large suite be more profitable than a few small suites, then so be it.

  2. colm on November 13th, 2006 8:43 pm

    Has it occured to the M’s front office that, no matter the quality of the team on the field, having Dave Valle in the press booth must knock a couple of points off their television figures?

  3. LB on November 13th, 2006 11:35 pm

    having Dave Valle in the press booth must knock a couple of points off their television figures?

    Expecially (sic) when he opens his mouth.

  4. eponymous coward on November 14th, 2006 2:31 am

    Tomo Ohka?

    So, basically, we’re getting the RH Japanese version of Jarrod Washburn, except not as good?

    Well, if he’s cheap and on a one year deal, I guess, but yeesh.

  5. eponymous coward on November 14th, 2006 2:31 am
  6. Tak on November 14th, 2006 4:24 am


    I think you definitely have a point about “richer teams having an advantage” in the posting system, but again, that applies to almost every aspect of the game other than drafts, and this whole posting system is NOT a draft. (but then, it kinna does not make sense to call these players “rookies” in their first year in the big leagues)

    There really is not a “fair” way of doing this, since the posting fee is there to give compensation to the Japanese teams and avoid large number of players flowing to the US.

  7. Oly Rainiers Fan on November 14th, 2006 5:39 am

    Om, yeah, richer teams have the advantage. That’s why revenue sharing is the best answer MLB has come up with yet with regard to trying to maintain or get to competitive balance among teams. (Not that it’s a good answer).

    Even the draft (which is a restraint of trade on a players’ right, you know, since they only get to negotiate with one team and/or go back to college and wait it out…kinda like the Japanese posting process) is only a temporary fix and a lousy one at that. Weak teams can’t afford the signing bonuses anymore, so don’t even get to DRAFT the best players each year. And even the players they draft, well, they have them only until they hit free agency, when they inevitably lose them to teams that can pay more – if they haven’t traded them off well before then.

    It’s called the invariance principle, by Simon Rothenberg. Talent goes where the money is. Thus the solution is: spread the money around evenly and presumedly the talent will also get spread around evenly.

    Of course, that’s assuming you have somebody in charge smart enough to identify the talent, and coaches in place smart enough to not screw it up while you’re developing it.

    In other news, Larry Larue’s TNT article today is pretty interesting. The Red Sox winning DM bid was $42 mill, and 2 teams (Yankees and Rangers) each bid over $30.

  8. DMZ on November 14th, 2006 7:11 am

    Weak teams can’t afford the signing bonuses anymore, so don’t even get to DRAFT the best players each year.

    That’s absolutely not true.

    Every team in the major leagues can afford a first-round signing bonus for any player. That they choose not to is another issue.

  9. Mike Hargrove's Cameltoe on November 14th, 2006 7:14 am


    I saw this posted on another blog and had to ask: what keeps a team like the Marlins, Pirates, etc. (with low payrolls), to put in an absurdly high bid on Matsuzaka? Say, $75 million.

    Then, pretend they lowball him…offer him a minor league contract or the major league minimum.

    I thought the posting fee was only paid if the teams came to an agreement.

    Couldn’t a “low payroll” team do this to effectively block the Japanese player from playing for a rival?

    The team could split the posting fee with the pitcher, and call the bluff.

  10. JI on November 14th, 2006 8:12 am

    From Ken Rosenthal.

    How hot is free-agent right-hander Gil Meche? His agent, Casey Close, says that more than half of the teams in the majors have expressed interest in the pitcher, with about one-third of them indicating that Meche is their top priority.



  11. Funkatron on November 14th, 2006 9:16 am

    Is it safely assumed that Meche will be offered arbitration by the M’s? And, it looks like the M’s will be receiving compensation under the brand new CBA, correct? And if so, is there really that much of a difference between a third round and a sandwich 3rd / 4th round pick?

  12. The Ancient Mariner on November 14th, 2006 9:59 am

    Re #61: Huh? Where’d you come up with that? We’ll offer Meche arbitration, he’ll sign elsewhere, and we’ll get a sandwich pick after the first round. Where are you pulling the third round from?

  13. Funkatron on November 14th, 2006 10:23 am

    Some article I was reading on the CBA specifically gave Meche as an example of a class B free agent…


    “Type B and C free agents, that are the run-of-the-mill, Gil Meche and Marlon Anderson type free agents, will also be affected by the new CBA. Type C free agents are eliminated entirely in the new agreement. This means there will be no compensation if a team signs a player of below average ability.

    Teams losing type B free agents will also no longer receive direct compensation from the team that signs them. So, if a team like the Phillies signs a player like Meche (who will most likely be considered a type B free agent) from Seattle, the Mariners will no longer receive the Phillies 3rd round pick. Instead Seattle would receive a pick sandwiched between the 3rd and 4th rounds.”

    So…maybe this is team specific? I don’t know, as looking around at other articles, other people are interpreting it differently.

  14. Mike Snow on November 14th, 2006 3:12 pm

    The article you were reading is ignorant. Direct compensation is “team-specific” in the sense that the top half of the first round is protected, so those teams would lose 2nd-round picks instead. And in theory, to the extent that a team signs multiple free agents and has to surrender multiple picks, some other team might actually receive their 3rd-round pick that way. But sandwich picks are independent of that, they come after the first round regardless (Type C sandwich picks used to be after the second round).

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