M’s sign Chris Reitsma

Dave · January 5, 2007 at 11:46 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Wondering how they’d fill the hole created in the bullpen by the loss of Rafael Soriano?

Say hello to Chris Reitsma, who the M’s signed today. One year deal, club option for 2008 with a $700,000 buyout. It’s either going to be a 1 year, $2 million deal, or a 2 year, $4 million deal.

Like every other pitcher they’ve acquired this winter, he’s a groundball guy, so that’s a positive, but unfortunately, that’s about where the good news ends. He’s a failed former prospect turned decent enough reliever who was terrible in ’06 due to an elbow injury that cost him most of the year after having ulnar transplant surgery. The Mariners are hoping he returns to his ’04/’05 form when he was simply decent, but he’s not significantly better than guys like Justin Lehr. He costs a lot more, though.


70 Responses to “M’s sign Chris Reitsma”

  1. kentroyals5 on January 5th, 2007 4:53 pm

    Hargrove could be a White House Spokesman for any administration the way he and Bavasi spin things…its disgusting

  2. dw on January 5th, 2007 5:00 pm

    SCENE: Seattle coffee shop

    BAVASI: I really need to replace the tires on the ’77 Mariner. And I think one of the headlights is burned out.

    DAVE: Well, you know, if you go to Costco, you can pick up a set of pretty good quality tires for cheap. And hey, call Rainier Automotive in Tacoma; I bet they have a headlight sitting around on their shelves.

    LINCOLN: Wait. That all costs money. And I need to buy everyone Wiis.

    DEREK: Speaking of, where’s my Wii?

    DAVE: Look, you’re going to spend money on your car anyway. Buy decent stuff for cheap. You’ll get more out of it.

    BAVASI: Wait! I got it. I have a buddy in Atlanta with a couple of retreads that might fit the front wheels. I’ll have him UPS them to me.

    DAVE: You’re an idiot. The cost of shipping those tires is what a new set of Costco tires would cost.

    BAVASI: You know, I think he’s going to want something in return. I’ll send him my catalytic converter.

    DAVE: OK, you’re really an idiot.

    BAVASI: But hey, it’s cheaper than buying them new, right?

    LINCOLN: You know what I love about that car? The Bloomquist Glasspak. Makes it run real fast and purty.

    DEREK: Uh, a glasspak isn’t an engine, and WHERE THE HELL IS MY WII?

    BAVASI: You know, I should really get rid of the stereo in that car. I know it’s got some kick, but it’s so balky. I know. I’ll send it to my buddy in Washington. He has an old AM radio. I bet that plays CDs.

    DAVE: That’s it. I’m out of here. You guys make me want to drink — and I don’t drink.


  3. JMB on January 5th, 2007 5:54 pm

    Nice, dw.

  4. Salty Dog on January 5th, 2007 5:54 pm

    Here’s one big difference:

    Reitsma: 585.1 career IP in the majors, 379 career IP in the minors
    Lehr: 83 career IP in the majors, 769 career IP in the minors

    Reitsma has waaaay more big league experience. He’s demonstrated his stuff works against major league competition. Lehr still has to prove that, IMHO.

  5. kentroyals5 on January 5th, 2007 6:35 pm

    54- Seems like all we do is never give our young guys a shot..we just trade them for older guys who have simply proven they are mediocre

  6. Vamac53 on January 5th, 2007 7:25 pm

    Hi Guys, This is my 1st post to USS MARINER. It looks like this is THE place to be for knowledgeable baseball/mariner fans. I cant wait to get the season started. I am a mentor/youth pony/high school coach of Justin Lehr’s, and VERY close friend. I also coached the following players in youth pony: Mike Young, Mike Lamb, Aaron Rowand, Chris Woodward, Danny Haren, JJ Davis, and Lawrence Phillips (yikes), and I pitched on the adult league that Alfonso Soriano played on, when he was working out for the scouts. there were alot of scouts who came to my games (I thought it was to clock my 78MPH heater). I guess there’s not much need for a 50 year old control pitcher. About Justin Lehr. He is a hard nose baseball player with a strong desire to win and accel. He was Barry Zito’s catcher at ucsb(santa barbara) and he was a great catcher and hitter. Yost called Justin the best fielder on the team, and the quickest move to first for any righthander he’s seen. Your catcher will love the way he holds runners on. He got about 7 guys last year on the “play-that-never-works” supposedly: the fake to 3rd,throw to first. He closed for Sacramento’s AAA for 2 years before they called him up on A’s. His 1st game upon callup he struck out Derek Lee. Sammy Soto, and Ramirez with 97 mph and splitter. He has 4 quality pitches, 2 seam, good curve, change, and splitter. He is more suited for starter, which is why he chose to go to Seattle this year, for a chance to win a starter spot. But he’d rather pitch relief for M’s til something opens up, then start for Tacoma. He has very good mechanics and has never had ANY arm problem, which is a plus for the pen. His stats over just a short sample each year are not good, but he had 2 games where he gave up 3 to texas and 4 to Red sox,(not bad hitting teams) in a mop up situation, which he doesnt like (who does). For a reliever, without alot of innings, it’s harder to overcome a couple of bad innings. but no excuses.
    so Bavasi selected him in high school, then college draft, when Bavasi was with Angels, but he didnt sign, because Angels wanted Justin to pitch, Justin wanted to catch. Oh well. And like someone earlier wrote, he really hasn’t been given a fair chance. Anyway, lets get it on. I travel around to games since I’m retired. I will see some of you guys in Peoria maybe. Thanks for lettin me ramble on. Go M’s. I am/was an Angel fan since I live in LA area, but whatever team Justin’s on I follow and am a fan of M’s now. I don’t know much about your team except it seems like you have a very good starting 9 position players, but it sounds like pitching is questionable at best. I don’t give any opinion of players based on stats, but rather how they perform in person or tv.


  7. DMZ on January 5th, 2007 7:32 pm

    Where is my Wii, anyway? This is getting ridiculous.

  8. PositivePaul on January 5th, 2007 7:44 pm

    Where is my Wii, anyway? This is getting ridiculous.

    I think it’s stuck at the Denver airport. Or, if it’s coming via UPS, it’ll get here shortly after the PS-4 release. But, then again, it could’ve been traded to a blogger in Atlanta along with Doyle.

  9. kwk on January 5th, 2007 8:23 pm

    From the Chris Reitsma ESPN profile:

    Reitsma (elbow) signed a $2.05 million, one-year contract with the Mariners on Friday, the Associated Press reports.

    I think the “(elbow)” pretty much sums up our front office incompetence.

  10. Matthew Carruth on January 5th, 2007 9:49 pm

    Say we completely forget about 2006. It never happened. Going into 2006, Reitsma’s PECOTA-forecasted ERA had him at a 4.24 equivalent ERA, and his forecasted peripherals put him at about a 4.07 FIP. Lehr’s been right around a 4.65 FIP the last three years.

    Say we completely twist numbers to make them appeal more to what we want. PECOTA projected Lehr for a 5.56 ERA and 5.43 PERA compared to 4.47 and 4.28 for Reitsma.

    If you want to talk about FIP, then fine, use FIP.
    If you want to talk about PECOTA, then fine, use PECOTA.
    Don’t cross the two and cherry pick which to use in order to try and pass your argument off as legit. It’s not.

    Reitsma, by either measure up to 2006 has been about 1 ERA point better than Lehr. Over the course of a season, he’s worth about 8 runs, or 1 win more than Lehr. That’s worth what they’re paying him.

    Now, remember that 2006 happened. Reitsma’s injury may be healed enough for him to pitch, but will he really stay healthy? Even if he is healthy, will he regain his effectiveness?

    Reitsma injury isn’t detrimental to his “stuff”. It caused numbness in his hand, which would make it pretty difficult to pitch effectively. The surgery removes the numbness.

  11. Mat on January 5th, 2007 10:42 pm

    If you want to talk about FIP, then fine, use FIP.
    If you want to talk about PECOTA, then fine, use PECOTA.
    Don’t cross the two and cherry pick which to use in order to try and pass your argument off as legit. It’s not.

    Fine, then we’ll use Reitsma’s actual 2006 performance against Lehr’s actual 2006 performance and Lehr beats the pants off Reitsma.

    I wanted to compare 2006 performances. I was giving Reitsma the benefit of the doubt that his performance this year was a fluke and the best way to estimate his performance would have been using his PECOTA forecast. We don’t need to do that for Lehr because we have his actual performance in hand and his actual performance is more valuable information than his year-old PECOTA forecast.

    Call it twisting the numbers if you like, but in my view, considering all of the information Lehr looks like a 4.50-5.00 FIP/ERA/whatever pitcher going into next year and Reitsma looks like a 4.00-4.50 pitcher going into next year. That’s something like a 4-5 run difference over 80 IP, and safely smaller than the margin of error on whatever projection we’re making on either player.

    Over the course of a season, he’s worth about 8 runs, or 1 win more than Lehr.

    At the top, Dave claimed:

    The Mariners are hoping he returns to his ‘04/’05 form when he was simply decent, but he’s not significantly better than guys like Justin Lehr.

    Even if the difference is as much as 8 runs, that’s not a significant difference. No one–not me, not you, not Dave, not the Mariners–is good enough to accurately project player performance to single-digit run precision.

    Anyway, like I said before, you could do worse for $2M, but it’s nothing to get excited about. I’m not really against the acquisition, but I think Dave’s point about Reitsma v Lehr stands.

  12. Matthew Carruth on January 5th, 2007 11:07 pm

    If you think 2006, when Reitsma was hurt and Lehr was not, is a legit comparison to make, then you’d be right, Lehr and Reitsma would be interchangable. I think differently.

    I would agree that Lehr looks like a 4.5-5.0 RP. I disagree that Reitsma is a 4.0-4.5. He’s been 3.5-4.0 when healthy. Even a half-run of ERA is “significantly better”, a full run is markedly better.

    Picking up a win, even just one, for the cost of 0.9-1.6M is a good investment. Sorry if you can’t be excited about that.

  13. minnesotamariner on January 5th, 2007 11:44 pm

    Here is a question. What would be worse, the Mariners winning 75 games and the whole F.O is fired, or the M’s winning 90, making the playoffs and losing in the Divisional series

  14. Josh on January 6th, 2007 12:19 am

    It would really depend on what steps were taken after the FO was fired. Who would be brought in? Would they share the same philosophies?. Likewise, if they made the playoffs, what would follow? Would they think they had the magic formula and go on to trade Adam Jones for the broken down remains of Javy Lopez? Toss in Jeff Clement if that’s what it takes?

    Unfortunately, making the playoffs and then axing the FO probably isn’t an option, because it would be nice. I miss October baseball in Seattle. I also miss competence in the FO (well, I suppose that means it had to have been there…).

    Either end could be something nice, or it could finish up with the same old problems.

  15. ChrisK on January 6th, 2007 12:21 am

    Bavasi on Reitsma’s ability to close if needed:

    “He’s got the stuff, and his makeup as a closer is off the charts,” Bavasi said.

    Yeah, his makeup is so “off the charts” that he has blown 36% of his save opps the last 2 years.

    Also – does that mean Mariano Rivera’s makeup is “off Reitsma’s charts”?

  16. matthew on January 6th, 2007 12:56 am

    63, if A includes Lincoln, then I’d say B is worse.

  17. Mat on January 6th, 2007 1:39 am

    Sorry if you can’t be excited about that.

    No need to be sorry, you made some good points. Perhaps my lack of excitement is to be blamed on the weather or something.

  18. F-Rod on January 6th, 2007 3:15 am

    Not a bad pick up, not a great pick up. Seams worth the risk, especially with the relatively cheap club option. If he has a full healthy, productive year he could be a valuable piece to deal the following year. I would much rather have him than Joel at twice the price. This team is slowly picking up 1.5 wins with each off-season move. Pretty soon we will be at 86 games. I would bet that we don’t get last in the West now.

  19. Josh on January 6th, 2007 7:19 am

    Perhaps my lack of excitement is to be blamed on the weather or something.

    Really. It was dreary all day, and raining and windy all evening. My power went out (again) briefly around midnight.

    We need something like… oh wait, even the record high for today’s date is only 56.

    Observed at Beautiful Downtown Lacey

    Yeah, sure.

  20. gk91 on January 6th, 2007 11:35 am

    His name sounds like a disease and I think it could describe the whole Ms offseason so far…a bad case of Reitsma.

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