Rotation Building

Dave · September 21, 2007 at 7:26 am · Filed Under Mariners 

One of the main topics of conversation this winter will be, I’m sure, how to acquire some new starting pitchers. Jeff Weaver and Horacio Ramirez are unlikely to be back, and the Mariners will continue their annual offseason pursuit of starting pitching.

Everyone knows the normal suggestions. Throw big money at a free agent (which, in this years case is, I don’t know, Carlos Silva?). Trade for an established frontline starter, even though those guys are almost never available. I’m sure you’ll hear names like Dontrelle Willis mentioned in rumors because, after all, everyone knows who he is.

However, I’d like to offer an alternate option, and one that will could make the casual fan write me off as a blithering idiot – make a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for one of their excess arms, because they’ve got more good starting pitchers than they have rotation slots.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They have too many quality starting pitchers. Really. I’m not kidding.

You probably know that the Devil Rays 2007 starting rotation has the 3rd worst ERA in the American League this year, posting a 5.15 ERA that is only better than the performances by the Seattle and Texas starters. Whenever people talk about the good young talent in Tampa, they always bring up B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford, and Delmon Young, so the perception is that the team can hit but not pitch.

Well, perception is not reality, especially in this case. The Devil Rays, as we’ve mentioned before, have the worst defense in baseball and one of the worst in recent history. They’re absolutely abysmal at turning balls in play into outs. They’ve used guys out of position in up-the-middle positions for significant portions of the year, and while it gave them a good chance to evaluate what guys can and can’t do, it also sabotaged their pitching staff.

But, if we evaluate their starters (bullpens not included in these numbers) by fielding independent metrics, we see that they’ve actually pitched pretty well this year.

Team	BB/9	K/9	HR/9	FIP
LAA	2.83	6.97	0.90	3.90
CLE	2.21	5.64	0.92	4.01
BOS	2.83	6.92	0.98	4.02
OAK	2.99	5.93	0.89	4.16
TBD	2.99	7.63	1.18	4.21
MIN	2.34	6.58	1.23	4.30
NYY	3.11	5.66	0.92	4.30
TOR	2.80	6.39	1.17	4.40
CHW	2.59	6.14	1.20	4.43
SEA	3.11	5.83	1.10	4.53
BAL	4.07	7.02	1.09	4.57
DET	3.27	6.33	1.21	4.64
KCR	3.16	5.28	1.13	4.71
TEX	4.33	5.68	1.16	5.06

That’s right – the Devil Rays starters have the fifth best Fielding Independent ERA in the American League, ahead of Detroit, Minnesota, New York, and Toronto, all of whom are considered to have playoff caliber starting pitching. Yes, I’d have rather used xFIP for the comparison, but I don’t have team GB/FB/LD totals, and in this case, it doesn’t matter, since xFIP would tell the same story. This is despite going through the first couple of months with Casey Fossum and Jae Seo getting regular turns in the rotation. Those guys have since been replaced by actual major league quality arms, and while it may still seem tough to believe, the Devil Rays have a very good rotation.

Everyone knows about Scott Kazmir and James Shields. But it doesn’t stop there. Andy Sonnanstine, Jason Hammel, Edwin Jackson, and J.P. Howell have thrown a combined 390 innings and posted a 4.74 FIP/4.75 xFIP. Those are solid numbers for the 3/4/5 spots in a rotation, especially considering their cost. And, of course, that gives the Devil Rays six arms for five 2008 rotation spots, and it doesn’t leave room for top pitching prospect Jeff Niemann, who is essentially major league ready after succeeding in Triple-A and staying healthy this year.

Counting Niemann, the Devil Rays will enter spring training with seven guys worthy of a rotation spot, none of them older than 26, and all of them making peanuts. And they’ll have two more top prospect arms starting the year in Double-A or Triple-A, knocking on the door to the majors, in Jake McGee and Wade Davis, along with moderately interesting Chris Mason, who could be next year’s Andy Sonnanstine.

That is an abundance of pitching depth, almost all of it certain to be undervalued by the market, and a chance to acquire a quality young arm with a better future than a past. No, you’re not going to get Kazmir or Shields, but that’s okay – pick up one of Sonnanstine, Howell, Jackson, or Hammel (with Howell getting my vote as the primary target), and your rotation is instantly better, younger, and you’ve managed to keep your money to improve other areas of the club.

Comments

142 Responses to “Rotation Building”

  1. smb on September 21st, 2007 7:31 am

    I like Howell and Sonanstine. Who do we have that would make good, and reasonable, trade bait to a team like TB, and then who are we really likely to be willing to trade? We seem to excel at trading gold for silver (or tinfoil, as the case may be).

  2. Mr. Egaas on September 21st, 2007 7:33 am

    Costing us… Jeff Clement?

  3. Dave on September 21st, 2007 7:37 am

    Clement’s a possibility, though Dioner Navarro has had a big second half after being the worst player in baseball in the first half (.491 OPS at the break, .850 since), and we don’t know what TB scouts think of Clement’s defense behind the plate.

  4. spokane dude on September 21st, 2007 7:38 am

    Considering Sonnanstine pitched a nice game against them last week, there might be a chance the Ms would have interest. I don’t know that Howell has had that kind of success against the Ms.

    Your point is well-taken. Making small moves like this to gather a few pieces is the smart way to go in this market, although the casual fan won’t understand it or support it because the Ms aren’t going after the big names that they know.

    I think, if the Ms do nothing else, building depth and quality (by a few degrees) in the rotation should be their first priority. Oh, and putting their best defensive players in the most important defensive positions wouldn’t hurt either.

  5. DC_Mariner on September 21st, 2007 7:41 am

    Dave, what type of prospect(s) would it take to land one of the guys you mentioned? Starting pitching is very expensive, but maybe (hopefully) TB doesn’t value all these guys as highly as you do. I don’t know anything about TB’s front office so I have no clue as to how much/little they value all these pitchers.

  6. bermanator on September 21st, 2007 7:42 am

    Jackson is intriguing, because even though it seems like he’s been around forever he just turned 24. And my guess is that he’s not in the team’s plans for next year, given the 4-15 record and 5.99 ERA, so you could probably get him for nothing much.

    For anyone else … off the top of my head, Lopez would be the guy Tampa would ask about. And maybe Clement. They already have a hundred outfielders, but could use a middle infielder and they don’t have catching depth.

  7. Eugene on September 21st, 2007 7:54 am

    Assuming you are Tampa’s GM for a minute and you want to build your team into a contender for several years, what pieces would you want in return? Or is a trade even necesessary as you can always stick any of these “extra” arms in the bullpen (where Tampa has been dismal recently)? Basically, my question is what pieces would compel you to sell off some of these arms?

  8. Matthew Carruth on September 21st, 2007 7:54 am

    sooo….. Carlos Silva it’s going to be then? 3Y/29M sound about right?

  9. smb on September 21st, 2007 8:01 am

    Damn you, Matthews…damn you.

  10. ira on September 21st, 2007 8:01 am

    Edwin Jackson sure was a hot prospect as a Dodger a few years back, and some pitchers just don’t get their shit together for a while. I remember going to Shea Stadium as a kid and watching this kid Nolan Ryan pitch, walking everybody, not lasting more than a couple of innings before being sent back down to AAA.
    It actually seems that Jackson is now on the verge of becoming good. They’d probably let him go for a bag of baseballs and a couple of Ichiro t shirts.

  11. Jimmie the Geek on September 21st, 2007 8:17 am

    #10 sorta said what I was going to ask, but not in the form of a question. :) Dave, what caused the Dodgers to give up on Edwin in the first place? It seemed that he was being touted as the saviour of their starting rotation a few years ago.

    Unfortunately, the M’s FO will want “Proven Veterans&trade” since that worked so well this season. :roll:

    Jimmie

  12. HamNasty on September 21st, 2007 8:20 am

    Obviously something worth looking at for the M’s front office, just make sure they stay away from Reyes.

    Not pitching, but any chance Carlos Pena is back on the market without Boras bending everyone over after his good year? Pena instead of Vidro this year could have been a huge boost.

  13. arbeck on September 21st, 2007 8:24 am

    I thought one of the problems with TB was always their crazy desire to ask for the moon in trades, and to not give in unless they got it. Or has that changed with the new front office?

  14. Tek Jansen on September 21st, 2007 8:34 am

    Thank you, Dave. I agree with such an approach. Unfortunately, like many others in this forum, I fear that the M’s will perceive a need to acquire someone with “name” and a “track record.” Do the M’s really fear some sort of media backlash, or is that fear simply media and fan driven and something the M’s never consider in player acquisitions and roster construction?

    Also, why is it that since everyone knows who Dontrelle Willis is, why don’t they seem to know that he is a bad pitcher.

  15. Mr. Egaas on September 21st, 2007 8:38 am

    I would be so interested in a “What Dave would do to fix the Rays” post. It’s probably a bit off-topic for the blog, but, wow. So many question marks. What do you do with Dukes, Gomes, Baldelli, where to play Upton, sell high on Crawford?, re-sign Carlos Pena?, how to fix the bullpen, is Navarro the long-term guy behind the plate, all on a low budget and in the best division in baseball.

  16. billT on September 21st, 2007 8:41 am

    Re: Pena

    Won’t be back on the market. I believe he’s still under team control.

  17. DKCecil on September 21st, 2007 8:44 am

    Pena is still in his arbitration years. He’s not going anywhere if the Rays still want him, which they’d be foolish not to.

  18. gwangung on September 21st, 2007 8:52 am

    Do the M’s really fear some sort of media backlash, or is that fear simply media and fan driven and something the M’s never consider in player acquisitions and roster construction?

    I don’t think the Mariner front office thinks much of rookies/minor leaguers as things to get. It goes along with their treatment of young players in their own farm system. They have to get players with substantial major league experience.

  19. gwangung on September 21st, 2007 8:53 am

    And I’m not sure that the Mariners have anything that the Devil Rays will want; they don’t quite mesh up…

  20. billT on September 21st, 2007 8:58 am

    The Devil Rays have a hard time drawing fans – maybe they could use a player like Willie to bring in the huge retirement home population!

  21. scraps on September 21st, 2007 9:12 am

    Dave, do you think there’s much chance the Mariners would follow this path?

  22. Grizz on September 21st, 2007 9:14 am

    With Navarro’s second half, the Rays’ most pressing needs are a major league shortstop (at least for the immediate future) and relievers. The M’s cannot help with the shortstop, but could certainly spare a reliever, even a lefthanded one.

  23. shupurrs on September 21st, 2007 9:14 am

    I wouldn’t mind Howell, but certainly wouldn’t give up Clement for him. C’mon, his potential for missing bats shouldn’t be valued over his 6.08 ERA in 160 major league innings. Clement is still considered a top prospect, even if his defense isn’t enough to cut it at catcher. Personally, I’d love if we went into next year with an opportunity for Clement to see regular playing time at DH. 20+ home run upside, which is about as much as we can expect out of Ibanez at this point in his career. Plus, Raul has proven to be a better hitter when he plays the field, anyway. One possibility I’d love to see explored would be Scott Olsen of the Marlins. They’ve soured on him a bit, and while a bit of a knucklehead, I love his long-term potential. Oh, and he misses bats too. The Marlins desperately need a centerfielder, so why not package Jeremy Reed in any deal (probably with someone better than Reed included) to get a deal done.

    Another cheap arm we could bring in to compete for a rotation spot would be Jason Vargas of the Mets. Local kid who was once viewed as a future #2 or #3 starter… And we could probably get him at a discount… An arm we should have made a push for before the season started, ALA, if we had offered Soriano for him we might have got him, would have been Dustin McGowan. Poor guy was stuck in Triple A for like 3 years before the Blue Jays realized that he was their second best starter… If only our front office had the foresight to get discounts at the expense of other team’s soured perceptions of their own talent. Yeah, then we might be O.K. So here’s to hoping that there’s an actual plan this offseason that isn’t centered around impulsive decisions by the bonehead collective…

  24. Dave on September 21st, 2007 9:16 am

    I don’t know anything about TB’s front office so I have no clue as to how much/little they value all these pitchers.

    Tampa’s front office is very smart – they did a complete overhaul after firing Chuck LaMar, and Andrew Friedman is one of the best young GMs in the game. They know how good these kids are.

    so you could probably get him for nothing much.

    That’s certainly not true. Tampa won’t give these kids away. The cost of talent in trade, however, plus the potential upside of having a young arm under club control for several years, is certainly a better bet than overspending for a free agent.

    Assuming you are Tampa’s GM for a minute and you want to build your team into a contender for several years, what pieces would you want in return?

    I’m still not a Dioner Navarro fan, so I think they should be hunting for a catcher. They also need a shortstop to hold down the fort until Reid Brignac is ready in a few years.

    Dave, what caused the Dodgers to give up on Edwin in the first place?

    He lost most of his velocity from his minor league days, when he routinely sat in the 94-97 range. He’s now more of a 90-93 guy.

    thought one of the problems with TB was always their crazy desire to ask for the moon in trades, and to not give in unless they got it. Or has that changed with the new front office?

    That was Chuck LaMar. Andrew Friedman is, by all accounts, a reasonable man.

    Also, why is it that since everyone knows who Dontrelle Willis is, why don’t they seem to know that he is a bad pitcher.

    Reputation lasts long after ability has faded.

    I would be so interested in a “What Dave would do to fix the Rays” post.

    It’s pretty much all about the defense. If they can break in Evan Longoria at third, Iwamura can handle second, and they find a legitimate defensive shortstop who can hit a little bit, they could win 85-90 games next year.

  25. lokiforever on September 21st, 2007 9:16 am

    The M’s might spend too much money on Guillen, and thus with budget constraints could be forced to go cheap on pitching…leading to a Tampa Bay trade scenario.

  26. SCL on September 21st, 2007 9:17 am

    Seriously, could TB use a Sexson or Vidro if we ate all of the salary?

  27. Zero Gravitas on September 21st, 2007 9:23 am

    25 – Knowing the M’s, they would probably ship Lopez to them instead.

  28. Mike Honcho on September 21st, 2007 9:23 am

    Dave,

    A guy I’m intrigued by is Wandy Rodriquez.

    7.8 K/G, 4.16 FIP, 4.26 xFIP, below-average LOB% (66.3).

    He may be a bit more expensive than Howell or Jackson given Houston’s relative lack of arms, but I would like to us go after him. He’d actually be a good fit for Safeco (unlike Ho Ramirez), and will be 29 next year.

    Now that Ed Wade is the Astro GM, we’ve got a decent chance of Wandy being undervalued.

    Thoughts?

  29. Dave on September 21st, 2007 9:24 am

    There’s no reason for the Astros to trade him.

  30. Todd S. on September 21st, 2007 9:28 am

    And I noticed you didn’t even mention David Price. Considering how fast Andrew Miller made it to the majors, Price would be a possibility as well. Except of course, you rightly point out that there are too many others in line ahead of him…

  31. Mike Honcho on September 21st, 2007 9:28 am

    Even if we offered Clement?

  32. Dave on September 21st, 2007 9:30 am

    Uhh, no. Not even close.

    The point of this post was that you look for opportunities to find something that someone else might not value as much as you do. Tampa has too many starters. Houston doesn’t have enough starters.

    Look at it from the other team’s perspective. They aren’t here to be a farm system for Seattle.

  33. bakomariner on September 21st, 2007 9:39 am

    Great point Dave…the point of trading is it needs to be a win-win for both teams…each team gives up what they have in excess for what they need…TB has too many pitchers, we need pitchers…we have too many outfielders, but so do they…they middle infielders, so i would think that Lopez would be the perfect candidate, especially given how everyone is down on him lately…

  34. bermanator on September 21st, 2007 9:40 am

    That’s certainly not true. Tampa won’t give these kids away.

    You’re not getting him for free, but Edwin Jackson ranks near the bottom on that list of young pitchers, plus he’s arbitration eligible either this offseason or next offseason (so if he does get it together, you’re paying more for that success).

    If the D-Rays are asking for an elite prospect from other teams in exchange, they may find themselves waiting a long time.

  35. skyking162 on September 21st, 2007 9:41 am

    How’s Upton in CF? Can he become league-average?

    Word is that payroll will eventually creep up from $25 million to maybe $35 to $40 million, so the Rays do have flexibility to sign a free agent or two to fill in the missing pieces. But all the young players making next to nothing will start to become arbitration eligible shortly, eating up some of that extra money. Of course, crappy fielding is a good way to lower arbitration values of your pitchers.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if TB pulls of a Marlins-like championship run in the next few years.

  36. Dave on September 21st, 2007 9:41 am

    The D’Rays don’t really need a second baseman, actually. They’re likely to give 3rd base to studly prospect Evan Longoria next year, shifting Akinori Iwamura to second base. And they have to figure out what to do with Brendan Harris, too – he can hit but not really field, so they should probably ship him off to another team that doesn’t understand defense.

    I think its more likely that they send us a middle infielder than vice versa, honestly.

  37. Mike Honcho on September 21st, 2007 9:47 am

    My point is that Wade MAY undervalue Rodriguez based on his rather pedestrian ERA (4.66). I’ll concede that he’ll be harder to get than one of the D-Rays’ pitchers, but I’m also taking into account the fact that Friedman will righfully overvalue his pitchers to a similar extend that Wade will undervalue Rodriguez.

    The Stros have Oswalt, Chris Sampson, Brandon Backe, Matt Albers, Troy Patton.

    If Wade looks at that group, decides he can go with it plus a FA starter, Rodriguez could be undervalued.

  38. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on September 21st, 2007 9:48 am

    I think this is a good “think outside the box” strategy. Who else in the league might be looking to do this (which clubs have good clever GMs and a need for starting pitchig is probably the better way to ask it)?

    You mention Tampa’s GM is pretty smart, so if I am him, I don’t make it a secret we are trying to fill a few regular spots in the field by trading a major league ready arm and one of the guys you mentioned who could be ready for the show in a year or so. What are the odds this becomes a market strategy for Friedman to employ? Or is he going to look at the abundance of pitching and think – “hey, you can never have too much depth given the way arms go, so unless a good deal comes to me, I’m holding firm and seeing how things shake out in the Spring”?

    By the way, how and when did TB start stocking the cupboards like this?

  39. Jeff Nye on September 21st, 2007 9:51 am

    Would Clement be enough to get the deal done? Would it be possible to pry more than one arm away from TB, since they have such a surplus? We’re going to need at least two starters for next year, after all.

  40. gwangung on September 21st, 2007 9:56 am

    My point is that Wade MAY undervalue Rodriguez based on his rather pedestrian ERA (4.66). I’ll concede that he’ll be harder to get than one of the D-Rays’ pitchers, but I’m also taking into account the fact that Friedman will righfully overvalue his pitchers to a similar extend that Wade will undervalue Rodriguez.

    Never hurts to ask. But I wouldn’t be making this a key element of my offseason strategy…

  41. Evan on September 21st, 2007 9:58 am

    they should probably ship him off to another team that doesn’t understand defense.

    That would be us.

  42. Mike Honcho on September 21st, 2007 9:59 am

    Never hurts to ask. But I wouldn’t be making this a key element of my offseason strategy…

    Why not?

  43. bakomariner on September 21st, 2007 10:02 am

    so what would the deal look like from our end? it sounds like the only thing they need is a catcher…would they do a clement deal straight up?

  44. Evan on September 21st, 2007 10:04 am

    I thought little enough of Wandy Rodriguez this year that I put him on my HACKING MASS team.

    Do we have anything TB might want? I recognise that Clement and Balentien are players most teams would want, because even if they don’t need them there are lots of teams that do, but TB looks like a team that’s almost ready to win a bunch of games, regardless of whether they get anything from us.

    They can’t use Lopez, they’re smart enough not to take Vidro or Richie, and everyone else we have on the big club who’s worth anything in a trade is someone we need to keep. They could really use Betancourt, but we don’t have anyone to play short if we trade him. We could bundle up a couple of good prospects to get one pitcher from them, but that’s a pretty high-risk trade from our side.

  45. Dave on September 21st, 2007 10:05 am

    Why not?

    Really? You don’t understand why hoping that the Astros trade their #2 starter, who makes the league minimum next year, isn’t something you can bank on?

  46. awolfgang on September 21st, 2007 10:08 am

    I just read this from Hickey over at the PI,

    McLaren said the team is working on a schedule for rookie Brandon Morrow that will have the right-hander start a handful of games in winter ball, build up his innings for the year, then come back to the U.S. in time to be rested and ready to enter spring training as a candidate for the starting rotation.

    So, do we think that Morrow has an inside track for the #4 spot, considering we’re already factoring Felix, Batista, Wash in the 1-3 spots?

    I’d have to think that the year spent in the bigs and having some high leverage strikeouts will leave good feelings in BB and Mac, IF they are still around.

  47. Dave on September 21st, 2007 10:11 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Brandon Morrow needed 2+ years in the minors. His command is ridiculously bad, and his secondary stuff has a long way to go. The idea that he’ll be a quality major league starter by next March is somewhere between pipedream and lunacy.

  48. Mike Honcho on September 21st, 2007 10:14 am

    Who said anything about “banking” on Wandy R.?

    The point of the post is to ID pitchers who may be undervalued by his current team. Does Wade understand peripherals like a Friedman or Billy Beane? I don’t think so.

    I concede that Wade likes the fact that Wandy R. will be cheap. I’m not saying we can rob him blind. But could he be undervalued? Absolutely.

    And if we are targeting such players, we can at least kick the tires, so to speak.

  49. Dave on September 21st, 2007 10:17 am

    Who said anything about “banking” on Wandy R.?

    You resisted the suggestion that making this a “key element of your offseason plan” was a bad idea. It is a bad idea.

    There’s no reason to believe that the Astros are going to make Wandy Rodriguez available. It’s akin to fans of another team suggesting they trade for Adam Jones because we already have a center fielder and we don’t realize how good he is.

  50. Ralph Malph on September 21st, 2007 10:18 am

    The idea that he’ll be a quality major league starter by next March is somewhere between pipedream and lunacy.

    Which probably makes it a key element of the M’s offseason strategy, given recent history.

  51. Grizz on September 21st, 2007 10:20 am

    Tampa Bay’s bullpen is a near-expiration-date Al Reyes, Dan Wheeler, and a bunch of guys that would have been released from Tacoma. Smart teams usually build their bullpen on the cheap, but when there are so many spots to fill, a team needs to add some quality to the quantity.

    Morrow in the rotation? 34.6% GB%, 8.6 K/9, 6.9 BB/9. Unless stretching him out this winter also magically cuts his BB/9 ratio in half, Morrow will not be ready for a rotation spot for awhile.

  52. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on September 21st, 2007 10:20 am

    Honcho, we’d probably have as much luck proposing a trade for Santana offering Baek and the Mariner Moose (who is actually useful given that he can run down opponents in his little cart, and laugh it off Bullwinkle style). I’ll admit that I didn’t appreciate the looking at trades from the other team’s perspective not too long ago, but it’s become increasingly clear that in a tough market to find reasonably-priced F.A. pitchers, even a decently bad GM isn’t giving away a useful starter for nothing when they, themselves, will be looking for pitching in the offseason. Why would they?

  53. Jeff Nye on September 21st, 2007 10:23 am

    Whether they undervalue Wandy Rodriquez or not isn’t really the salient point, though.

    The Devil Rays have an excess of pitching, the Astros do not. That’s why a trade with Tampa Bay makes sense where a trade with the Astros does not.

  54. Mike Honcho on September 21st, 2007 10:23 am

    It’s akin to fans of another team suggesting they trade for Adam Jones because we already have a center fielder and we don’t realize how good he is.

    No, it’s not.

  55. DMZ on September 21st, 2007 10:25 am

    Ummmm… except that it is, you’re totally right.

  56. Dave on September 21st, 2007 10:25 am

    And that brings one pointless discussion to a close.

  57. gwangung on September 21st, 2007 10:31 am

    Why not?

    If you come across stupidity, take advantage of it. But relying on it, depending on it is pretty stupid in and of itself.

    The current front office is intelligence challenged as it is. It’s probably best to suggest strategies that would IMPROVE their intelligence.

  58. Mike Honcho on September 21st, 2007 10:33 am

    The point of this post was that you look for opportunities to find something that someone else might not value as much as you do. Tampa has too many starters. Houston doesn’t have enough starters.

    Tampa’s front office is very smart – they did a complete overhaul after firing Chuck LaMar, and Andrew Friedman is one of the best young GMs in the game. They know how good these kids are.

    So, are the TB pitchers really undervalued?

  59. Jeff Nye on September 21st, 2007 10:35 am

    Okay, now go back and read the rest of the first paragraph after what you bolded. That’s the point people are trying to make to you.

  60. Ms_in_Vancouver on September 21st, 2007 10:36 am

    That the Mariners are trying to rush Morrow to start in March is just evident that they’re trying to justify picking him over Lincecum. Hopefully it won’t be as foolish as it was trying to show that HoRam was better than Soriano.

  61. Mike Honcho on September 21st, 2007 10:36 am

    If you come across stupidity, take advantage of it. But relying on it, depending on it is pretty stupid in and of itself.

    I’m not sure where this idea that we “rely” on Houston’s stupidity came from. If we find Wade puts a value on Wandy R. which is more than we expected, fine. What I’m suggesting is that he’s possible candidate for undervaluation.

    And I concede I’m basing this on peripherals rather than on position scarcity.

  62. Matt from Tacoma on September 21st, 2007 10:37 am

    23 – Why would anyone want Jeremy Reed? Really. That ship has sailed. The only thing he might be is a toss-in on a bigger deal, but his future probably is more Jason Ellison without the fightin’ spirit.

    Wouldn’t George Sherrill be the logical trade chit for the off-season? For about 60 appearances every year, he’s a lights out LOOGY who won’t kill you if he faces a RH hitter. He’s also pretty cheap – guys like him don’t make a zillion in arbitration. And given the shelf life of random relief arms, he’s probably not a guy who you’ll regret shipping off. I’d think a package with him and Wlad / Clement might get back somebody worth having.

    What about the non-tender market? Would you, for instance, take a flyer on Prior? He might have the savvy to still be able to be effective without as much zip on the heater. And he’s got that squeaky clean thing the M’s marketing team loves.

  63. argh on September 21st, 2007 10:39 am

    It’s akin to fans of another team suggesting they trade for Adam Jones because we already have a center fielder and we don’t realize how good he is.

    Shhh. Our management just might bite.

  64. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on September 21st, 2007 10:39 am

    Can you imagine the front office looking at multiple years of rotation failure and thinking the PR from trading for one of these pitchers unknown to the fanbase (especially if a known M’s prospect were included) is tolerable?

    That’s my biggest concern. Where the perception has been a need to bring in big names, the M’s have chased big names under Bavasi (it in some sense is logical if you rely on people buying tickets). I don’t think this offseason will be any different – the rotten level of talent and lack of real big names on the FA market being our only saving grace, perhaps.

  65. Jeff Nye on September 21st, 2007 10:39 am

    Position scarcity matters more on a team basis, though, than peripherals. Basically, it’s:

    TB: Values their players more intelligently, but recognizes that they have a surplus at a position of high value;

    Houston: May value their players less intelligently, but is thin at the position you’re suggesting they should be willing to give up talent from.

    Even if Houston completely misunderstands the value of what they have, they know that they need MORE and aren’t going to create more holes that they have to fill at a position that is scarce league-wide.

  66. Mike Honcho on September 21st, 2007 10:42 am

    59 – I’m making a slightly different point in #58, but I do understand the positional scarcity argument. And it’s a valid one.

    But by the same token, given how smart Friedman is, how much can we count on him to undervalue Howell or Jackson, if at all? And if, as Dave says, he completely understands their value, how much can we depend on TB’s surplus to push Friedman to make a deal to both team’s liking?

    I guess what I’m saying is that in Houston it’s Wade’s possible “old school” valuation vs. positional scarcity, while in Tampa it’s Friedman’s proper valuation of talent vs. positional surplus.

    So is one situation really better than the other?

  67. Dave on September 21st, 2007 10:45 am

    Tampa Bay has seven starters, plus three top prospects and an intriguing mid-range guy on the doorstep, for five rotation spots.

    Houston has two good starters and a bunch of crap.

    That’s literally the only thing you need to know here.

  68. skyking162 on September 21st, 2007 10:49 am

    Yes, Wandy might be underrated, but a 4.60 ERA is nothing to scoff at you’d have to give up a fair amount for that performance even assuming Ed Wade doesn’t think Wandy’s a 4.00 pitcher. Considering the Rays pitchers have ERAs 5.50 and up, the cost is hopefully a lot less.

    Also, adjusting Wandy’s ERA for the AL/NL disparity puts it around 5.00, or 4.40 projected for 2008. Not as much of a steal for whatever you might get. If I’m an NL GM these days, I try to find value in AL players coming over.

    But yes, the main point is that the Rays are dealing from an area of excess. Although, as young pitchers are so fragile and variable, I don’t mind the “problem” of having seven starters for five spots.

  69. msb on September 21st, 2007 10:50 am

    Reputation lasts long after ability has faded

    [coughMarinerscough]

  70. bakomariner on September 21st, 2007 10:50 am

    60- the basis for the soriano trade was logical…we traded an excess (bullpen) for what we needed (starting pitching)…we just happened to pick the worst possible piece of junk we could get(ramirez)…i hate the trade, but in theory, it made sense…

  71. scraps on September 21st, 2007 11:03 am

    Also, adjusting Wandy’s ERA for the AL/NL disparity puts it around 5.00

    I assume the disadvantage of pitching half his games in a tremendous hitter’s park more than compensates for the advantage of pitching in the NL.

  72. Dave on September 21st, 2007 11:05 am

    No, it doesn’t. The AL/NL switch is worth about 0.9 R/G. That swamps the park effect.

  73. ndevale on September 21st, 2007 11:11 am

    what about pittsburg? they have some interesting, possibly undervalued starting pitching, and as yet no clear replacement for the GM for the ‘worst managed team in baseball’

  74. Dave on September 21st, 2007 11:13 am

    The Indians have hired Neil Huntington to run their team. He’s spent the last decade working for the Cleveland Indians. He’s a smart dude.

  75. scraps on September 21st, 2007 11:14 am

    Wow, Dave, I had no idea the league disparity could outweigh the park effect. Thanks.

  76. skyking162 on September 21st, 2007 11:16 am

    #71 –
    Houston PFs for the past few years are
    2007 .91
    2007 1.03
    2005 .95

    MM does give up more HRs (PF of about 110), but not runs overall.

    ******

    AL/NL ERA disparity is… wow, not that much. This year NL starters have a 4.63 ERA and AL starters have a 4.60 ERA. So the move from NL to AL would mostly involve a league difficulty adjustment. More specifically, a league offensive difficulty adjustment.

    (Reliever ERAs: AL 4.33, NL 4.06
    Does this mean NL teams are more likely to value relief pitching because more pitching changes are needed? Am I getting extremely off topic? Yes.)

  77. ndevale on September 21st, 2007 11:20 am

    the pirates have hired Huntington?

  78. Grizz on September 21st, 2007 11:22 am

    The “undervalued” part also relates to how other teams view them — if there are fewer teams interested, the M’s become more likely to put forward the best offer.

    Neither Andy Sonnanstine, Jason Hammel, Edwin Jackson, nor J.P. Howell have a major league ERA under 5.50, nor do any of them project as more than a middle of the rotation starter. The M’s would not be the only team calling the Rays about them, but it would not be like if the Tigers started taking calls on Andrew Miller.

  79. Sec 108 on September 21st, 2007 11:28 am

    This is an interesting discussion, but why do I get the same gut feeling as I do when rosterbation talk gets going at the dealine? I just do not see the Mariners trading for young talent. If anything we will be getting a veteran who has died many deaths in the “wars” as they love to put it.

  80. Evan on September 21st, 2007 11:37 am

    I don’t understand why anyone would want a play who has “been through wars”. All that means is, rather than someone young and strong and improving, you’d rather acquire the armless, legless wonder of the 20th century.

  81. Tom on September 21st, 2007 11:37 am

    Too bad Bavasi doesn’t really know the meaning of undervalued talent in a free agent market (although to be fair, Betancourt and Johjima were steals). . .

  82. joser on September 21st, 2007 11:40 am

    I brought this up a few weeks back when Balentien’s future came up:

    Crawford makes $5.25M next year, but then he starts getting expensive (by TB standards): $8.25M (club option) in ’09 ($2.5M buyout), $10M (club option) in ’10 ($1.25M buyout). The buyouts are cheap, but you have to have someone to replace him. Baldelli isn’t getting cheaper either — $6M club option in ’09 ($4M buyout), $8M club option in ’10, $9M club option in ’11, plus a bunch of incentive and escalator clauses. Keep both of them on the team into ’09 and beyond and the outfield starts getting expensive. An outfielder with some pop making the league minimum has to look pretty attractive. And Tropicana is a good field for a right-handed pull hitter. Of course, TB may have some kids coming up who are tearing up the minors at the plate and in the outfield. But Balentien is pretty much a known quantity, and is ready to go either out of spring training or in July if TB wants to make a deadline deal with somebody else for one of its outfielders.

    Will Balentien by himself get a starting pitcher, even an unknown right out of AAA? No. But the M’s have some pieces that TB should find attractive (and if they’re not thinking that far ahead… well, what exactly does Bavasi talk about in those phone calls anyway?) There’s definitely opportunity for a deal ehre.

  83. Dave on September 21st, 2007 11:43 am

    Actually, I’d argue that Bavasi does understand the concept of undervalued talent, and last winter was a perfect example. The team loaded up on players coming off down years relative to their career norms, believing that a rebound was in store.

    However, the problem is that the M’s paid their “undervalued” talent like highly valued talent, committing significant resources to guys who should have cost a fraction of what they actually did. And, unfortunately, since they value track record so strongly, the only guys they view as undervalued are veterans.

    Bavasi understands the concept – he just struggles with its practical application.

  84. Sec 108 on September 21st, 2007 11:46 am

    So will we be seeing one of these TB pitchers in Oakland next year?

  85. IchirosTalkingDog on September 21st, 2007 11:53 am

    Will you be bringing this message to KJR today, Dave?

  86. etowncoug on September 21st, 2007 11:54 am

    I doubt a bargain is available in the trade market with Tampa because everyone is going to be looking for starting pitching. Regardless of how sabr-friendly MLB teams are Tampa has the reputation of being a terrible defensive team, so I’m sure that most major league teams value the Tampa pitchers higher than the collective ERA of the group.

    What is the list of Mariners trading chips? Jeff Clement, Rob Johnson, and bullpen arms? It’s too bad that they don’t want Jose Lopez.

  87. lokiforever on September 21st, 2007 11:55 am

    I wonder if trading Asdrubal Cabrera last year for E. Perez limited our options this year – both at 2B and for inclusion in a trade to TB. I guess it seemed reasonable at the time, but short sighted now.

  88. mcfly on September 21st, 2007 11:55 am

    I know this is a bit off topic, but I just read that Chris Antonetti turned down the interview with The Pirates…

    In a related note, if you search his name on Google, the first result is USSMariner.

    I wonder if Mr Antonetti has ever googled himself.

  89. kenshabby on September 21st, 2007 11:56 am

    Dave – is Morrow considered an ‘untouchable’? Would he even be considered as part of a trade, and, if so, would it be sensible to send him off as part of a package for one of Tampa’s young starters?

    As you point out, the Rays have more starters than spots, while the M’s seem to have an abundance of relievers. I understand the move to make Morrow a starter, but…

  90. Mat on September 21st, 2007 12:04 pm

    Dave, would you consider the Twins to be in a position similar to the Rays in this regard? (Santana/Garza/Baker/Slowey/Bonser/Perkins, with Manship/Swarzak looking to come up sometime in the future. Maybe Blackburn and Duensing, too, depending on who you ask.) With Mauer, they wouldn’t really be looking at Clement, but as you mentioned earlier this season, Balentien could make sense for them.

  91. Matthew Carruth on September 21st, 2007 12:04 pm

    #89, but the Ms believe Morrow can start next year, so why would they trade him for a SP?

  92. Mat on September 21st, 2007 12:08 pm

    Oops, almost forgot Francisco Liriano.

  93. kenshabby on September 21st, 2007 12:10 pm

    91 – Well, we’re talking theoreticals here. I’m already too familiar with the ugly reality. It’s fun to play pretend a bit, no?

  94. CCW on September 21st, 2007 12:11 pm

    Unfortunately, the DRays are now one of the smarter organizations out there. I can’t imagine what we could possibly give them for any of those starting pitchers. Clement, I suppose, but a smart organization is not going to conclude that Clement is their future when they have Navarro right there. The only position where the DRays need an upgrade is at SS. Check out this lineup:

    RF/LF/DH: Crawford, Gomes, Young
    CF: Upton
    3B: Longoria
    2B: Iwamura (and he COULD play SS)
    SS: Harris / Zobrist
    1B: Pena
    C: Navarro

    So… Yuni?

  95. joealb1 on September 21st, 2007 12:16 pm

    CCW, I had the same thought. But then the M’s have to find a SS and looking at the F/A market. Well…..

  96. Rick L on September 21st, 2007 12:20 pm

    Brilliant, Dave. If they need up the middle help, how would you feel about trading Lopez? Would they take Bllomquist?

    Please send your analyisis to Bavasi.

  97. msb on September 21st, 2007 12:31 pm

    Dear Bill,

    Just a note to see if you would be free to come talk once again at this year’s preseason Feed.

    Oh, and by the way, here is my roster construction.

    Get on it right away.

  98. Chris Miller on September 21st, 2007 12:48 pm

    I took Howell’s 2005-2007 #’s, including his minor league stints and did rough MLE’s, then a marcels. He looks to be a decent starting pitcher, with some upside. His walk rate’s are a little concerning, but that’s improved each of the last 3 years. Not having seen much if him, I’m not sure what his stuff looks like, but he had good GB% and K% #’s in the minors and is both are around league average in the majors. Put him as a LHP in Safeco with a modicum of defensive prowess behind him and god knows how he’ll look (perception wise) in a year’s time. M’s need to try and make this trade.

    FWIW, My #’s came up w/a 4.67 xFIP, 7.28 K/9 (.193%) 4.19 BB/9 (.095%), and 1.3 HR/9, although given his age and rapid improvements he’s made in his game this year (despite a 5.50 ERA in a very short sample in the MLB this year), he might be better, but not knowing what he throws, I’m not sure I’d say that.

    That said, what is Howell’s reprotoire. Thanks!

  99. Karen on September 21st, 2007 12:53 pm

    Dave said, in part, You probably know that the Devil Rays 2007 starting rotation has the 3rd worst ERA in the American League this year, posting a 5.15 ERA that is only better than the performances by the Seattle and Texas starters.
    and
    The Devil Rays, as we’ve mentioned before, have the worst defense in baseball and one of the worst in recent history. They’re absolutely abysmal at turning balls in play into outs. They’ve used guys out of position in up-the-middle positions for significant portions of the year, and while it gave them a good chance to evaluate what guys can and can’t do, it also sabotaged their pitching staff.

    If the Mariners were to work out a deal with the Devil Rays for some of their excess pitching, they should also shore up the Mariners defense in order for those poor pitchers to differentiate between being a D-Ray and a Mariner…

  100. Chris Miller on September 21st, 2007 12:55 pm

    That’s a 1.3 HR/9 based on expected HR, which would be from expected HR/9 based on GB #’s.

  101. Grizz on September 21st, 2007 1:04 pm

    If the Mariners were to work out a deal with the Devil Rays for some of their excess pitching, they should also shore up the Mariners defense in order for those poor pitchers to differentiate between being a D-Ray and a Mariner…

    The funny part here is that the new Rays’ logo and uniforms will look very similar to the Mariners’logo and uniforms, down to the colors and using a compass rose-like star as an accent. Maury Brown has them at his website (bizofbaseball.com).

    For any relatively new M’s fan who missed out on the 1993 Seattle Mariners, you get another chance: the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays.

  102. Dave on September 21st, 2007 1:13 pm

    That said, what is Howell’s reprotoire. Thanks!

    Howell’s a pretty typical lefty. He throws a two-seamer at 84-88, a four seamer at 87-91, throws a mid-70s curve that has solid life but he struggles to command and inconsistently flashes a high-70s change-up with nasty dropoff action.

    Stuff wise, think Mark Buehrle, and you’re in the right ballpark. Definitely not going to light up the radar guns, but enough movement and command to make his average repertoire work, and the groundballs make him more attractive than the usual average-stuff lefty.

  103. awolfgang on September 21st, 2007 1:36 pm

    Is there any possibility that the M’s can offload Washburn. We know the M’s are all into results based analysis, so that being said they can’t be too happy with a W-L 17-29 and a 4.60 ERA (in Safeco no less), over the past 2 years. How come Washburn continues to get a pass from just about everyone? Is it because he has sucked less than other lefties, or because since he is a hit-to-contact pitcher, the casual fan/reporter, can just claim he got unlucky, you know “if just a couple pitches went our way, or if the ball was a couples inches here or there…” Seriously how long to we have to be fed those lame-ass excuses?

  104. Ebenezer on September 21st, 2007 1:39 pm

    We should be trying to trade Ibanez while he still has value, and to open up a spot for Jones (or Balentien, if the M’s don’t resign Guillen and are allowed to have two rookies at once starting in the outfield). If Tampa Bay doesn’t need Raul, who would and what could we get for him (or by packaging him with some other players)?

  105. gwangung on September 21st, 2007 1:43 pm

    We should be trying to trade Ibanez while he still has value,

    I’m not sure that’s EVER a consideration with this front office.

    Too much veteran experience for them to consider getting rid of.

  106. awolfgang on September 21st, 2007 1:47 pm

    I think it is a given that Ibanez ain’t going anywhere. Even a new GM probably won’t want to piss off average-joe/jane fan. Case in point: My Mom and grandparents think Raul is awesome and can do no wrong, obviously they don’t ever use a computer, but when Blowers, Sims, and the rest of the crew say something, no matter how stupid, there are plenty of lemmings that will believe, including most of my family.

  107. Chris Miller on September 21st, 2007 1:54 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone would be willing to take Washburn off of our hands, given the way the pitching market looks like it’s going to shape up this winter. The M’s probably wouldn’t do it, even if someone wanted to take him off our hands. God forbid his HR prevention “skill” regress/comeback to earth/whatever.

  108. msb on September 21st, 2007 1:56 pm

    since he is a hit-to-contact pitcher, the casual fan/reporter, can just claim he got unlucky, you know “if just a couple pitches went our way, or if the ball was a couples inches here or there…” Seriously how long to we have to be fed those lame-ass excuses?

    since the dawn of low-velocity pitch-to-contact pitchers?

  109. awolfgang on September 21st, 2007 1:57 pm

    Since BB include IBB, do they subtract out the IBB when determining BB%, and BB/9? Or is it too small usually to make a difference, or do they feel that a pitcher probably got himself into the mess? I only ask, cause it seems with the horrible in-game management by M’s managers, we shouldn’t be faulting the pitchers for the IBB, which is always a call from the bench.

  110. Chris Miller on September 21st, 2007 1:59 pm

    If Raul was for some (very) odd reason an Athletic, he’d been traded last winter. Career year, a power surge that is not likely to recur. Doh, missed opportunities!

  111. Chris Miller on September 21st, 2007 2:00 pm

    I personally throw aways IBB’s when looking at pitchers (although I forgot to when looking at Howell), although a bad pitcher would probably have more of them than a good pitcher.

  112. scott19 on September 21st, 2007 2:04 pm

    I know ERA on its own isn’t always the greatest determining factor, but I’m still surprised that TB’s team starting earny is that high DESPITE the presence of Kazmir and Shields.

  113. Colm on September 21st, 2007 2:05 pm

    No matter what analysis anyone uses on Jarrod Washburn, he’s not going to look like a good idea. Not with the counting stats, not with the fancy-schmancy SABRmetrics, and certainly not when you consider his albatross contract. He’d be almost as hard to shift as Richie Sexson.

    Now consider the fact that the Mariners already have 2 starting pitchers who are a lot worse than Washburn and tell me again why we dumping him should be a priority.

    He’s mediocre, he’s massively overpaid, but if he’s our fifth best starter next year, we’ll be in much better shape.

  114. Teej on September 21st, 2007 2:07 pm

    Washburn obviously wasn’t a great signing, but the Mariners are trying to shore up the rotation from the bottom up, and Washburn is far from the biggest problem. I think the team will have to worry about finding better options to replace Weaver and Ramirez before even thinking about replacing the No. 2 or No. 3 guy in the rotation. The M’s are trying to aquire starters, not deal them away. Now if they can find better options than all three guys, that’s awesome, but call me skeptical.

  115. Teej on September 21st, 2007 2:07 pm

    Colm, you beat me.

  116. scott19 on September 21st, 2007 2:11 pm

    73: Tom Gorzelanny, in particular…who reminds me a bit of a young Tom Glavine.

    101: Mariners South? I agree…some of the similarities between today’s D-Rays and the M’s of fifteen years ago are uncanny.

  117. Librocrat on September 21st, 2007 2:14 pm

    Honest question: Do we really think Jeff Weaver is not coming back? Isn’t it Bavasi’s mantra that short term success will equate to long term success if you give it enough time?

    I mean that question honestly, because I assumed he’d be resigned next year despite his abysmal season, but you and LL have all been saying he’ll be gone.

  118. awolfgang on September 21st, 2007 2:15 pm

    My point wasn’t that Washburn was our biggest problem or first priority. But if we can have RRS, or Feierbend, or any other AAAA LHP do the same job that HoRam did, then I’d say, why stop at HoRam, cause Washburn hasn’t done anything worth while, no matter what STATs you look at, hell even result-based analysis would say HoRam had a positive winning percentage.

    I just think that Washburn is replaceable with any other LHP pitch-to-contact guy, and was wondering why everyone gives him a pass. But I guess Teej and Colm answered that, obviously because he sucked less.

  119. Joe on September 21st, 2007 2:19 pm

    That’s not a compass rose on the Rays’ new logo. It’s irregular, like some kind of starburst. If you look at the version that has the schematic diamond in the background, it appears their 3rd baseman exploded.

  120. Chris Miller on September 21st, 2007 2:24 pm

    Washburn isn’t going anywhere.

  121. Teej on September 21st, 2007 2:24 pm

    awolfgang,

    I think the difference is that Weaver’s contract is up and Ramirez can be non-tendered (I believe; I’m not good on contract stuff), whereas the M’s still owe Washburn a good deal of money over the next two seasons and kinda have to stick with him because of that contract. He’s essentially untradeable.

    The logial idea, it seems, is to try to move hitters (perhaps Clement and/or Wlad) for pitching from a team that needs hitting more than it needs pitching. Trading SP’s for SP’s is a difficult task, especially when you’re dealing with a contract like Washburn’s.

  122. Librocrat on September 21st, 2007 2:27 pm

    118, 120, 121 –

    I think all of you are agreeing on the same thing, though – if you can replace Washburn also, then GREAT, but we already need to fill 2 SP holes, and finding a third – and getting rid of Washburn – is a task that not even the best GM is going to be able to succeed.

  123. Shizane on September 21st, 2007 2:51 pm

    Why don’t we consider moving Felix for a package of a few young pitchers?

  124. Librocrat on September 21st, 2007 2:54 pm

    That’s a dangerous question on these blogs.

  125. Shizane on September 21st, 2007 2:57 pm

    I was kidding of course….got ya.

  126. Librocrat on September 21st, 2007 3:00 pm

    I was going to say we should trade Bloomquist for Peavy. And maybe Chris Reitsma for David Ortiz. Or Ho Ram for Rafael Soriano.

    Oh, wait…

  127. awolfgang on September 21st, 2007 3:02 pm

    sorry for the many posts, but another quick question, why isn’t HBP included in the BB total? They are basically the same, lack of pitcher control allowed hitter to get a free pass, one just takes more pitches.

  128. Colm on September 21st, 2007 3:41 pm

    Maybe you have a point, but it’s not really a question for us, is it?

  129. Matthew Carruth on September 21st, 2007 3:57 pm

    it should be.

    std FIP formula is

    3.2 + ((13*HR + 3*(BB-IBB+HBP) – 2*K)/IP)

  130. Bearman on September 21st, 2007 4:07 pm

    I agree Dave the D-Rays are a good trade partner for the M’s with their # of excess SPs and making peanuts as you say.
    Tampa needs RP and a catcher I’m sure say Huber/Baek/Clement would net Howell or Hammel.

    I also advocate looking at the possible aquiring of P Scott Baker of the Twins along with looking into aquiring from the ChiSox P Jon Garland who I believe with a change of venue is more than a upgrade over Washburn.

    I can see either of these rotations as a upgrade over the present one:
    Rotation #1
    1)Hernandez
    2)Garland
    3)Baker
    4)Batista
    5)Roland-Smith or Morrow
    If the trades with the D-Rays fail this is the possible one I can see.However should they succeed
    along with one with either the Twins or ChiSox.
    Rotation #2
    1)Hernandez
    2)Garland or Baker
    3)Howell or Hammel
    4)Batista
    5)Roland-Smith or Morrow.

    These deals are a must and the MLB FA SP market MUST be avoided at all costs where as most of the top SP due to go FA this offseason Zambrano/Buehle etc… have signed extension contracts with their present clubs.
    The only FA worth pursuing isn’t a FA til after next season P Johan Santana of the Twins.He will be traded this offseason by the Twins who are in need of OF/INF help etc……
    However unless the club that spends the trade value to aquire him has the money available to tie up at minimum 6 yrs/100mil + in a contract for Santana alone.
    He walks after the one yr service and to aquire his services has got to pay Zito money or no deal.
    He has already made this a matter of public record via the press.

  131. Matthew Carruth on September 21st, 2007 4:34 pm

    I like how #130 offers the statement “[Johan] will be traded this offseason by the Twins” without any qualification on likelihood.

  132. Bearman on September 21st, 2007 5:39 pm

    Of course he’ll be traded (Johan Santana)because of 3 reasons:
    1)He unhappy with the Twins FO and has made it plain he wouldn’t object to a trade.
    2)He due to go FA after next season and the Twins have a # of holes his value will help to fill.
    3)Again he has made it known in the press and in other public venues he won’t sign for less than a minimum of 20 mil a yr but hopes to get upwards of 30 mil.
    These statements have been aired and reported on ESPN and in the Minnesota press.
    The Twins aren’t the M’s who just let top talent to walk in their FA yr they trade unsignable players and get as much of that player’s value as possible.

  133. scott19 on September 21st, 2007 6:38 pm

    132: I agree on Santana — who, sad to say, I totally expect to see on the mound in pinstripes come Opening Day ’09 at the (new) Yankee Stadium.

  134. Joe on September 21st, 2007 6:54 pm

    Bearman, if you’ve been paying attention this season you’d have seen several posts that make a good case for letting top talent walk in their FA year because the compensation draft picks are often at least as good as anything you could get in a trade. Santana, being arguably the best pitcher in the game, is probably an exception (the exponential curve on talent makes anybody at the far end of the curve disproportionately valuable) but in general you can get a lot of value from allowing a free agent to walk. With the current M’s front office, that’s even more true because their drafting track record has been very good and their trading record… not so much. (In the past, the reverse might have been the case).

  135. shupurrs on September 22nd, 2007 1:59 am

    Not to change course or anything, but [deleted, changed course]

  136. Wishhiker on September 22nd, 2007 3:07 am

    I understand that the FA Pitching doesn’t look very good, at any price, the M’s need 2 more starting pitchers…

    I like the idea of getting Sonnanstine and/or Howell, but not sure who we’re talking about needing to let go of to get them.

    I don’t like the idea of trading Morrow at all, for any reason right now. He may not be ready next year, but he’s still got 6 years, right?

    I would absolutely love to see Santana here next year, but somethings telling me to get real. I don’t think I’d like to even hear the names the Twins started their asking price at…

    This brings me to someone who might have been undervalued as a FA Starting Pitcher coming out of Japan. Unfortunately a guy I’d been watching, Koji Uehara, Started his year injured and wasn’t active for a full month. That month might have pushed his Free Agency back a year (not 100% sure on those rules.) He returned from injury about May 1st and has spent the rest of the year as a closer (which is why he might have been a steal.) As long as his market doesn’t get too out of hand, I was thinking. If he signs for 4th starter/Closer money he could be a steal. Even if you couldn’t stretch him out as a starter he’d be valuable. I’d rather see him starting, but that’s the chance you’d be taking (and even that he doesn’t look so hot.) He pitched 54 Complete games in 195 Games before becoming the Closer. I can’t find 2007 Stats, but through 2006 he has 186 BB in 1397 Innings (1.19 BB/9). He has a career 1.00 WHIP. Some people think the team made him Closer to get back at him for asking to be posted since 2004/leaving now and lower his value in the MLB Market going into FA. But then I’m not sure if he’s a FA or not. There’s a blog out there for almost every team that’s been talking about him some and they all seem to think he is, but from what I’ve read he’s stuck another year.

    Most of the sources who list interested teams list the Angels (who offered him a contract in 1998 and probably had the 2nd/3rd highest bid for Dice-K) Yankees, Dodgers Red-Sox and Mets…

    Anyway, this instead brings me to a Japanese Pitcher who I’m pretty sure is eligible for FA. He had what seems to be a superficially down year, but I can’t find detailed stats on him. Career (2007) 7.68 K/9(7.88), 2.06 BB/9(1.20) look good this year, but 9.14 H/9 (9.67) 3.30 ERA (3.60)

    He’s got a very weird pattern developing in W/L

    04: 17-7
    05: 11-8
    06: 17-7
    07: 11-8

    This speaks well for 08 though, right? I’m joking!!!

    uh…What about Jason Jennings on an incentive Laden deal…Oh yeah, some idiot will offer him a Laden Deal and forget the incentives.

  137. Wishhiker on September 22nd, 2007 3:12 am

    I wasn’t supposed to forget to put that last Japanese Pitchers name in alltogether:

    Kenshin Kawakami!

    I really wish the list was longer…

  138. DC_Mariner on September 22nd, 2007 4:04 am

    135

    The whole Blackley-has-potential-to-be-a-good-SP ship sailed a long time ago.

  139. Wishhiker on September 22nd, 2007 4:06 am

    138…Totally!

  140. mln on September 22nd, 2007 5:57 am

    I still think that the Mariners should look to grant Willie’s burning ambition to pitch. He could be a great back of the rotation filler!

  141. shupurrs on September 22nd, 2007 7:05 pm

    Re: 138, and deleted 135:

    Um, not that I’m bitter or anything, but… trading Blackley for Ellison ended up being a mistake. I’m under the impression this site disagrees with the statement judging by the deleted material in post 135?

  142. DMZ on September 22nd, 2007 7:44 pm

    Nooooooooo, hijacking threads is bad

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.