Johan, Finally

Dave · November 30, 2007 at 8:51 am · Filed Under Mariners 

So, I’ve been ignoring this topic for the last couple of weeks, but now that Geoff Baker has gone and written an article about it (by the way, welcome back Geoff), I guess we’ll address the Johan Santana situation.

It isn’t often that the best pitcher in baseball becomes available for trade. Johan is, without a doubt, in the middle of a Hall of Fame type career. Whether he has the durability to one day end up in Cooperstown is another story, but his peak is certainly induction worthy. He’s a truly great player. He isn’t Barry Zito – he actually is a good pitcher, worthy of a ridiculous amount of money and the acclaim being thrown his way.

So, if you’re the Mariners, you need starting pitching, and the best of the best is available – being interested is pretty obvious, yes?

Yes and no.

The Mariners absolutely should be interested in Johan Santana, and I’m glad Bavasi’s making calls and figuring out what it would take to get involved in the sweepstakes. It’d be irresponsible for the Mariners to not be at least somewhat involved in conversations about Johan Santana.

But should they be willing to compete with Boston, New York, and potentially others in a bidding war? I say no.

Johan Santana, for as great as he is, has to be projected as something like a 5 to 7 win addition to his new team (not accounting for the wins surrendered by giving up major league talent to acquire him). He’s an incredible pitcher, but the irrational exuberance surrounding the “Get Johan Santana, pair him with Felix Hernandez, win World Series!” type of analysis is just not realistic.

Look at the 2006 Twins – they had peak Johan, Francisco Liriano putting up a performance that we can’t even expect Felix to match, quality back-end starters in Brad Radke and Boof Bonser, the best bullpen in baseball, a legitimate MVP candidate in Joe Mauer, a non-legitimate MVP candidate who won anyway in Justin Morneau, solid role players in Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Jason Bartlett, and useful years out of spare parts like Nick Punto, Luis Castillo, and Mike Redmond.

That team had a +120 run differential, won 96 games (squeeking out a division title by one game), and got swept out of the playoffs in the first round. And that roster ran circles around what the 2008 Mariners with Johan Santana would look like.

Johan Santana is a great player. He is not a panacea for all the ills that the Mariners are suffering from. This team is just not one pitcher away from greatness, so their situation is inherently different from that of New York, Boston, the Angels, or other teams that legitimately could claim that Santana is their missing piece.

The cost to the Mariners future – certainly the package would require Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow, and likely two additional players of significant value – is simply too high, considering their current situation. The cost benefit analysis just doesn’t work for the Mariners right now.

It’d be great if it did. Perhaps if the Mariners hadn’t screwed the pooch last winter, building an inflexible roster with three DHs, they’d be in a situation where giving up some future value to make a run at winning it all would make some sense. But for this organization, for this team, it just doesn’t. Not right now.

Comments

149 Responses to “Johan, Finally”

  1. TwinsFanc.1981 on November 30th, 2007 9:12 am

    In our defense for being swept out of the series so quickly, Liriano had blown his armout (and did not see postseason play) and Radke was pitching with basically a fractured shoulder (and couldn’t throw over 85 mph against Oakland). Santana carried us with his dominance in August and September to the postseason.

  2. MarinerDan on November 30th, 2007 9:12 am

    I agree with your analysis, Dave. I assume your argument still holds in your mind even if the M’s were able to work out an extension with Santana.

    By the way, I see your reference to Morrow being included in any potential deal. Would you be THAT upset to see Morrow go? In other words, what do you see as his potential down the road?

  3. Dave on November 30th, 2007 9:17 am

    Yes, even with an extension, it’s still not worth it.

    While I was unhappy with how Morrow was handled in 2007 and don’t think he’ll be a useful starter in 2008, he’s still a valuable property with significant potential. Don’t let my Morrow’s-not-ready stance be interpreted as a Morrow-is-trash stance.

  4. msb on November 30th, 2007 9:18 am

    and of course the biggest obstacle to anything happening with Santana is his no-trade clause.

    I’m guessing the only way the Mariners could convince him to accept Seattle over the powerhouse teams would be by making a financial offer that blew the Yankees/Sox/Angels out of the water (not to mention the number & quality of players that would be given up to make the trade acceptable to the Twins)

  5. urchman on November 30th, 2007 9:26 am

    Well put, Dave (as usual). I agree with your analysis — while Johna Santana is a great pitcher, it would cost too many M’s players & prospects to trade for him (assuming he agreed to come to Seattle). And the likely impact to the M’s Win/Loss columns resulting from adding him and subtracting the players we’d lose is not enough to put the M’s into the playoffs. Sad but true IMO.

  6. HamNasty on November 30th, 2007 9:37 am

    Dave, do you think the package the BoSox offered (according to ESPN) will be enough?

    Crisp, Lester, and two minor leaguers.

  7. built2crash on November 30th, 2007 9:42 am

    #5, the red sox’s apparent interest is most likely only to raise the price for the yankees

  8. Mike Snow on November 30th, 2007 9:43 am

    I’m guessing the only way the Mariners could convince him to accept Seattle over the powerhouse teams would be by making a financial offer that blew the Yankees/Sox/Angels out of the water

    How exactly are they going to make this offer to Johan when the Mariners can’t negotiate with him until after the Twins have already agreed to trade him here, and not to the Yankees/Sox/Angels/whoever?

    Santana is not a free agent. He can’t simply go wherever he gets the most money. Instead, he can decide for himself what it will take financially to convince him to accept a trade (and that number could vary depending on the destination).

  9. oar68 on November 30th, 2007 9:44 am

    Santana is saying pretty loudly (at least in Minnesota) that he wants to play on the East Coast, and specifically in New York, so I think Seattle’s out of the equation, anyway. I don’t even think he wants to go to Boston. It’s much like the way Griffey held the Mariners hostage.

  10. Mr. Egaas on November 30th, 2007 9:53 am

    How scary would Boston be with a rotation of Johan, Matsuzaka, Beckett, Schilling, and Wakefield?

    I could be the 5th starter for that team and they’d still win 100 games.

    Considering that Coco Crisp isn’t even a starter for them anymore, that’s a steal.

  11. Carson on November 30th, 2007 9:54 am

    9 – It’s not that much the same, actually.. Griffey had reasons to go to Cincinatti other than winning, franchise tradition, etc. Johan Santana was not raised in New York, and I bet he doesn’t have family there either. So I doubt the same emotional ties apply.

    Boston can throw as much money at him, and give him a better chance to win a ring. I think that is something he and his agent will consider.

  12. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 9:55 am

    Teams that can squeak into the playoffs have a leg up when they have two dominate starters. ie Arizona with Big Unit and Curt. Felix and Johan would be that for us.
    Really, if the Twins were interested, is a package of Jones, Morrow, Clement, Lopez and/or Tui that big of a loss for us?

    While Jones is exciting, he doesn’t have 40 HR .320 average potential. Wlad would be a recent fill in to Jones. Or FA (Fukodome or Jenkins) would probably put up better numbers then Jones next year.

    Morrow, you don’t see as a long term starter and relievers are a dime a dozen.

    Clement, probably decent LH DH, is block for at least a year and you question his MLB talent. Plus DH are easy to find.

    Lopez, really Loretta or Iguchi would be better short term next year awaiting Trunifel or Chen.

    To have the two best stuff pitchers in the game in their prime, how can you be against that?

    Plus if he goes to Boston, World Series champs for the next 5 years. If he goes to New York, then wild card will always come out of the division for the next five years. If the Angels get Cabarea, Vlad and Miguel would kill us. Just look at how Vlad did that alone by himself this year.

    If Johan would agree to an extension. I’d sell the farm.

  13. oar68 on November 30th, 2007 10:00 am

    i wasn’t talking about emotional ties (re: Griffey). I was talking about the childish “I’ll go here and nowhere else.” A reputable Minneapolis scribe said yesterday that Johan is telling people privately he doesn’t want to play in Boston. Plus, that package of players Boston is offering is garbage. Unless they include Ellsbury, the Twins aren’t listening.

  14. Carson on November 30th, 2007 10:09 am

    12 – You’re wondering if giving up four players who have been in the majors, two of which will play every day roles next year, and the other two contributing the same in 09, is a big loss? And then toss in one of the guys who would need to possibly fill those holes in case of emergency?

    It’s not about the quality of the players we’d be giving up (well, yes it is), but that we are incredabily thin in our system. If the Mariners use most of their trading chips in one deal, and leave themselves with a depleted major league roster and an even more depleted farm, how can you expect them to even reach the playoffs?

    It’s like having enough money to make the down payment on an luxury car, but having a job that pays you 25 grand a year. Not going to pan out very well for you.

  15. msb on November 30th, 2007 10:16 am

    How exactly are they going to make this offer to Johan when the Mariners can’t negotiate with him until after the Twins have already agreed to trade him here, and not to the Yankees/Sox/Angels/whoever?

    oh, I imagine there are ways of letting a player know what neighborhood you are willing to play in ….

  16. Carson on November 30th, 2007 10:18 am

    12 – I left a couple things out.

    1) Yes, DH’s are easy to find. Look how easy it was for the Mariners to give up two prospects for one. You didn’t mean it is easy to find one that is good, did you?

    2) If Felix is in his prime, we’re in trouble.

  17. SBG on November 30th, 2007 10:21 am

    @1

    Not to mention that former center fielder Torii Hunter cost us game two by misplaying a harmless two out single into a two run inside-the-park HR that proved to be the winning margin. Hunter was playing on an injured foot in the second half of 2006 and never accounted for his lost step by taking less aggressive routes to balls. Enjoy, LAA!

    The 2006 Twins, had they had Liriano in the post season and not had Radke pitching with a broken shoulder, would have been the best team in the post season.

  18. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 10:22 am

    Jones, Morrow, Clement, Lopez and/or Tui are not the core of our team next year. Lopez easily replacable. Clement, we have a good catcher already and DH o’ plenty. Morrow, would be replace by Johan in rotation, upgrade there. Losing Jones would be the only hole created. It would require FA money to be spend or a little downgrade with Wlad. But to have Johan every 5 days, paired with Felix, too good to pass up.

    This organization salivates adding Japanese players. We got Felix to sign here because we had Freddy. To have Felix and Johan, Venezuela favorite team would be the M’s and who knows what other great talent would sign here because of that.

  19. SBG on November 30th, 2007 10:23 am

    Also, if the Twins hadn’t trotted out a left hand side of the infield including Tony Batista and Juan Castro for 50+ games to start the season, they most assuredly would have won 100+ games.

  20. Carson on November 30th, 2007 10:28 am

    18 – A little downgrade with Wlad? So, you want us to believe a right handed strict pull hitter in one of the most spacious left-center fields in baseball would be a “little downgrade” from a guy who can spray the ball? Not to mention his superior defensive skills?

    I dig ditches for a living. Have any dirt I could buy?

  21. SBG on November 30th, 2007 10:28 am

    One thing about Santana and Boston. Santana is an extreme fly ball pitcher and susceptible to the home run. I’m sure he’d much prefer to pitch in Yankee Stadium as opposed to Fenway Park.

  22. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on November 30th, 2007 10:29 am

    Dave,

    Let me present you with an unlikely (though maybe not remote scenario). Suppose the Twins get tired of teams with which they negotiate keeping their target trade names “off limits.” Suppose they say, “hey, let’s go with Johan, see where we are near the trade deadline, and revisit all of this at that time when teams are really aching to add a pitcher.”

    The reason I think this is unlikely is that the Twins are in the driver’s seat right now. Every team in baseball is in contention as far as win/losses go, so the market is much greater for teams that could bid for Johan’s services (though obviously not all would). In July, the teams in a position to deal (and the contributing players those teams are willing to give up if they are on the edge of making the playoffs) gets narrowed down considerably. Not to mention the fact that a GM wants to get as much return as possible for a major loss -draft picks aside. That’s why I think Johan goes this winter.

    But to continue the hypothetical. The Twins are in it until the end and maybe even make the playoffs. They keep Santana, because to do otherwise in a run would be foolish. So now Santana is a true free agent. My question to you is: How much would you pay for him? What would you be willing to spend to bring him to Seattle (factoring in the resources of the likely competition) and how many years?

  23. fetish on November 30th, 2007 10:30 am

    I think if we pick up some salary and package Steve Scheffler, we should be able to work something out to get Santana.

  24. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 10:30 am

    16 the DH debate is a whole other discussion. If Richie would get his head out of his ass than a Broussard/Vidro combo is decent IMO. Sure, Ibanez would be in left and that’s an issue but I’d deal with all that for Johan.

  25. Mere Tantalisers on November 30th, 2007 10:32 am

    I am comforted by the fact that what the mariners have to offer for him is highly unlikely to be as good as any NYY/BOS package. Particularly now that they’ve traded for an OF bat. That Jhan would lekely be less willing to come here is also heartening.

    As far as high quality starters on the trade market go, I think a much better target for the mariners is Erik Bedard, who in my mind is a very similar pitcher to Santana but without all the hoopla around him. His extension talks have reportedly stalled and he is more likely to be dealt now. The advantages to him are that he may cost less in terms of the trade, is under contract for two more years, and may command a more reasonable extension.

  26. etowncoug on November 30th, 2007 10:36 am

    Dave-

    The 2006 Twins were horrible in April and May. If they had the roster they had in July for the entire season, they would have ran away with the division.

    Juan Castro and Tony Batista stunk up the joint on the left side of the infield, while Rondell White was horrible as the clubs DH. Baker and Lohse all had horrible seasons and were replaced by better players (Liriano and Bonser) which made the club dramatically better.

    They were a club with a lot of holes and when they were fixed, it became a great team. Who cares if they got swept in the playoffs? I’m always reading that the playoffs are a crapshoot.

  27. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 10:37 am

    20 including Jones in the trade is the reason not to get Santana. He’s best pitcher in the game and a future hall of famer. What kind of career do you think Jones will have? He’s good but easily replaceable. Having the best starter in the game is worth more then a spray hitting, good defensive RF.

  28. bellacaramella on November 30th, 2007 10:38 am

    22: The Twins are in the driver’s seat to the extent that they can decide whether or not to trade Santana. He has a no-trade clause, so he’ll dictate where he wants to go should the Twins decide to trade him. He’ll choose a team that has the capacity to pay him what he wants and has a good chance of winning. That’s a narrow field.

  29. Sports on a Schtick on November 30th, 2007 10:40 am

    I would go after Santana if/when he becomes a FA. It’s not like adding Santana now makes the M’s World Series contenders. Seattle wouldn’t even be favored to make the playoffs.

  30. msb on November 30th, 2007 10:44 am

    I think a much better target for the mariners is Erik Bedard, who in my mind is a very similar pitcher to Santana but without all the hoopla around him.

    from the Bal. Sun:
    “The New York Yankees, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers all have inquired about Bedard, who would be one of the most coveted pitchers available in a market that also includes two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana.”

    “the Mets’ offer for Bedard, which was rejected, included 21-year-old outfield prospect Carlos Gomez, reliever Aaron Heilman, 29, and a third player, believed to be right-handed starter Philip Humber, 24 … The Orioles and Dodgers have also had discussions about Bedard. Center fielder Matt Kemp, reliever Jonathan Broxton and pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw are among the names discussed, sources say.”

  31. ndevale on November 30th, 2007 10:44 am

    Taking as a given your analysis that a package including Jones for Santana is paying too high a price, suppose that the Mariners (and Stone and Baker and the mass fan base) assume otherwise and the Mariners make the deal, in which only Jones is included from the 2008 roster. Once the deal is done, what would you do with the 2008 roster? Assuming part of the answer would be signing Jenkins, and that Ibañez is a bad idea for RF, would you look for an outfielder via trade? Sign Jenkins and Guillen?

  32. Mike Snow on November 30th, 2007 10:47 am

    oh, I imagine there are ways of letting a player know what neighborhood you are willing to play in

    …and competing teams ready to cry bloody murder at any hint of tampering.

    The phenomenon of signaling contract expectations, when you can’t actually engage in contract negotiations, is primarily one-way. Player-to-team, not team-to-player. The best example is in the draft, which is filled with this kind of discussion, where players and “advisers” use their expectations and the commissioner’s bonus recommendations to guide where they will be drafted and whether slot money is enough to sign them.

    Players can do this because they can talk to anybody they want, there are no rules for them and they won’t be punished (except possibly by the NCAA). If he wants, Santana can say, “I won’t sign an extension for less than seven years, $140 million.” He can also announce he won’t go anywhere except, say, New York, hence the comparisons to the Griffey situation. Teams can’t do this – whether directly, through the media, or using backchannels.

  33. MyOhMy on November 30th, 2007 10:54 am

    It seems to me that the M’s are still too thin with their Major League prospects to get any of these aforementioned pitchers. Everyone of these pitchers (Santana, Bedard, Haren, Kazmir …) are going to start with Adam Jones and I don’t see Bavasi and crew nuttin’ up to make that deal … even though the M’s have been talking about getting a #1 since the Gillick days.

    How about upgrading 2nd base as Geoff Baker’s article indicates? Why no interest in Kaz Matsui? He’s a free agent, switch hitter, solid glove, good speed, and would be a good 2 hole hitter, and from what it sounds, relatively cheap. 2-3 years at $3.5M per year.

  34. Manzanillos Cup on November 30th, 2007 10:56 am

    Griffey had reasons to go to Cincinatti other than winning, franchise tradition, etc.

    How’s that worked out for him? He’s really happy now, right?
    /gloat

    Count me in for a yes for Santana. (assuming we re-sign him after the trade to us). If it’s for one year, well then I would have to agree with Dave, we’re not that close yet.
    1. He would DOMINATE in Safeco.
    2. Best pitcher in the game for prospects and exactly zero players who are above average at their positions right now? Yes please.

  35. Carson on November 30th, 2007 11:02 am

    20 – If Jones is so easily replaceable, why do we not have a farm system full of majoe league ready prospects?

    Yes, Santana is a better player than every single player you mentioned to trade him for. However, the loss of the combined contributions of those players, regardless of how good each one is individually, cannot be negated by one player.

  36. thefin190 on November 30th, 2007 11:03 am

    I am really hoping this won’t happen, just because what the Mariners will have to give up to get Santana. Like Dave said, it won’t give the Mariners a world series. It will make them better, but how much is the question?

    Plus it seems Boston, New York, New York, Los Angeles, and Los Angeles (pretty much the only teams the media cares about) are probably the front runners for Santana if anything. I think Geoff Baker just had a pipe dream of the possibility of having Santana. Not going to happen.

  37. Carson on November 30th, 2007 11:05 am

    #35 was meant for #27.

  38. msb on November 30th, 2007 11:10 am

    #33– Kaz Matsui is shortly to become an Astros for 3/$15.

  39. msb on November 30th, 2007 11:13 am

    an Astro. just one of them.

  40. TheEmrys on November 30th, 2007 11:14 am

    The only way I can see making a deal for Johan Santana is if the M’s already have a deal in place with Bartolo Colon. Adding these two pitchers would bring a completely new dynamic to pitching.

    And that would be quite unlikely.

  41. PositivePaul on November 30th, 2007 11:21 am

    While I was unhappy with how Morrow was handled in 2007 and don’t think he’ll be a useful starter in 2008, he’s still a valuable property with significant potential. Don’t let my Morrow’s-not-ready stance be interpreted as a Morrow-is-trash stance.

    Couple of things.

    1) I recognize that Morrow indeed has some value. But considering the way the M’s have started off handling his career, it’s entirely possible that they:
    a) don’t have the patience to keep him in the minors long enough to develop into an effective SP;
    b) have a track record of injury attrition in the minors anyway that is certainly red flag worthy; and
    c) would likely be tempted to keep Morrow in the majors as a bullpen arm,
    then don’t you think Morrow’s value will probably only be maximized in another organization? Certainly he has value, and a fair amount of it. But I just don’t see that value being maximized in a poorly-run organization like the Mariners. With this in mind, I’d think Morrow’s value to the M’s is much higher as an important piece to an over-the-top trade for a guy of Santana’s caliber.

    Secondly — the M’s have Ichiro in CF for at least a few years. He may very well move back to RF eventually, but as a CF he has a little bit more value than as a corner OF (comparatively). Certainly Jones’ value is probably a little higher as a CF, too. And it’s a bit easier to find a corner OF than a good CF. With Ichiro around for the next 5 years, certainly there’s the possibility that another OF could come up through the system to take over for Jones.

    Certainly adding one of the best pitchers in the game, in spite of the cost of the potential upside of the players involved (assuming Morrow and Jones are two of the key pieces), would be a big boost for the M’s chances of competing. Yeah, you raise up some good points in talking about the 2006 Twins, but it certainly wouldn’t cripple the M’s if they surrender Morrow and Jones for Santana.

    The question, in my mind then, becomes what else does it take to get it done? Clement? Tillman? Would they see value in Lopez? All of the above (keeping in mind the fact that the more players on the 40-man they take in for Santana, the more players the Twins have to remove from their 40-man)?

    //assumes Santana would want to play here and would sign an extension here…

  42. MyOhMy on November 30th, 2007 11:22 am

    38 – UGH! Well, maybe he’s better off in the National League … err Quadruple-A. The M’s haven’t had too much success with signing National Leaguers

  43. Jeff Sullivan on November 30th, 2007 11:31 am

    The 2001 D’Backs had Randy, Schilling, Gonzalez, and a pile of crap, and they won the Series.

    I think I agree with your main point, but I’m not yet convinced either way.

  44. PositivePaul on November 30th, 2007 11:35 am

    Another way of looking at this — yeah, it might hurt the M’s to lose them, and we can certainly debate over whether or not they should do this. But if the M’s can’t at least compete — i.e. if Jones + Morrow + Clement (and maybe one more guy) isn’t at least a competitive package to what other teams can offer, then are Jones, Morrow and Clement all they’re cracked up to be? Will they become the next generation of important players on the M’s?

  45. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 11:38 am

    #35- the loss of those players wouldn’t be as significant as you think. Again they’re not our core group of players. Lopez and Jones are our 7th and 9th bats in our lineup not 3 and 4. Jones didn’t even play in the majors last year and Lopez disappointed. If you don’t like Wlad as a Jones replacement then Jenkins and Fukodome or even Guillen are alternatives. You have Lorreta or Iguchi at 2B, Jenkins or Fukodome in RF and Santana as the ace you think we’re worst then Lopez 2b, Jones RF and Morrow starting? I’ll take Johan minus Jones/Lopez/Morrow/Clement anyday.

  46. Dave on November 30th, 2007 11:38 am

    then don’t you think Morrow’s value will probably only be maximized in another organization?

    Maybe, and I’m not saying don’t trade Morrow. If the M’s turned Morrow and stuff into Johan, I’d do back flips. But I’m not giving Morrow away just because the organization handled him badly last year.

    Secondly — the M’s have Ichiro in CF for at least a few years. He may very well move back to RF eventually, but as a CF he has a little bit more value than as a corner OF (comparatively).

    This is 95% myth. A player’s value is his hitting contributions + his defensive contributions + his baserunning contributions. In very few cases will a position change have any effect on offense + baserunning (moving out from behind the plate is the big exception), and while sabermetricians have done well at figuring out positional adjustments, they’ve done poorly at realizing that the defensive value increases almost exactly in line with that adjustment.

    For instance, Jones might be a +20 hitter and +5 fielder in center and a +10 hitter and +15 fielder in left. That makes him a +25 player regardless of whether he’s playing left field or center fielder.

    There’s a tiny little bit of diminishing returns by placing a premium defender in a corner OF/IF spot, but especially considering Safeco’s left field area, that’s something like one or two runs a year, and certainly not any real reason to deal Adam Jones just because we already have Ichiro.

    The idea that a team only needs one center fielder, and then should surround him with two lumbering oafs who can hit, is an outdated flawed concept based on incorrect assumptions from 10 years ago.

    but it certainly wouldn’t cripple the M’s if they surrender Morrow and Jones for Santana.

    You watch Raul Ibanez and Wladimir Balentien chase balls around Safeco Field next year – crippled will be exactly the word coming to mind.

    Or, think of it this way – would you be happy to include Yuniesky Betancourt in a deal for Santana? My guess is no, because the M’s need him at shortstop. In the same way, the M’s need Adam Jones in the outfield.

  47. TwinsFanc.1981 on November 30th, 2007 11:39 am

    SBG,

    Don’t know if you were at the Dome during Torii’s ole at the inside-the-parker, but I have never heard a collective silence as piercing as that was (with the exception of Gary’s Missed Field Goal).

  48. Dave on November 30th, 2007 11:40 am

    I’ll take Johan minus Jones/Lopez/Morrow/Clement anyday.

    You won’t win the AL West next year, and your team will suck for a long time.

  49. nfreakct on November 30th, 2007 11:47 am

    The Mets have traded Lastings Milledge to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.

    I have no idea how you can defend this trade for the Mets on any level.

  50. cebo04 on November 30th, 2007 11:49 am

    I’m torn on the Santana debate. I don’t think we should sell the farm for him in one thought but on the other hand, he makes us much stronger as far as pitching goes. My concern is if all is true about BB and our farm system that I’ve read here, then is it the FO’s intention to give time to our youngsters to progress? All indications seem to be that our FO likes the idea of winning now and deal with the farm later. With that said, doesn’t it seem realistic that BB (still holding tight with a 1 year deal) makes a crazy move to add a veteran left hand starting pitcher for a bunch of youngsters for his veteran loving manager?

  51. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 11:55 am

    Jones/Lopez/Morrow/Clement are all easily replaceable. You really can’t think there the key to the M’s winning the West.

    If the Angels add Cabarea, with the staff we have and with Jones and Lopez on the team, we’re not winning the AL West for years to come.

    Santana and Felix give us that 1-2 punch that would stop losing streaks. Certainly we would contend.

  52. cliff29 on November 30th, 2007 11:57 am

    49-I’m currently in a room with two Mets fans who are freaking out over the Milledge for Schneider/Church deal. Their reaction is comprable to mine every other day last December.

    It was also funny to hear Mike and The Mad Dog be so dismissive of Ryan Church’s abilities, then consult stats and realize that he’s actually an underrated, valuable hitter and backtrack.

  53. MKT on November 30th, 2007 11:57 am

    26. “They were a club with a lot of holes and when they were fixed, it became a great team. Who cares if they got swept in the playoffs? I’m always reading that the playoffs are a crapshoot.”

    Yes, that’s the one disagreement that I have with Dave’s analysis. Although I think I agree with his overall conclusion, to say that the Twins “got swept out of the playoffs in the first round” is basically irrelevant — it’s an example of the outcomes based analysis the he correctly decries. A lot of very good teams lose in the playoffs, and a number of not-so-great teams win the World Series.

  54. Graham on November 30th, 2007 12:01 pm

    Jones/Lopez/Morrow/Clement are all easily replaceable.

    Wrong

  55. chris d on November 30th, 2007 12:02 pm

    This is all a mute point since Santana will not choose to come to Seattle. He intends to play for a winner or a team with a CHANCE to win a WS. But I guess it is fun to discuss- hot stove league and all that.

  56. PositivePaul on November 30th, 2007 12:05 pm

    but it certainly wouldn’t cripple the M’s if they surrender Morrow and Jones for Santana.

    You watch Raul Ibanez and Wladimir Balentien chase balls around Safeco Field next year – crippled will be exactly the word coming to mind.

    Or, think of it this way – would you be happy to include Yuniesky Betancourt in a deal for Santana? My guess is no, because the M’s need him at shortstop. In the same way, the M’s need Adam Jones in the outfield.

    Well, yeah, if it means Wlad and Raul in the OF, then some of that value is diminished. But the M’s could certainly add a solid OF and mitigate some of that loss. No, he probably wouldn’t be as good as Jones in his prime, but, then, just as it’s taken the other-wordly Felix a few years to get underway with his pitching, it’s just as likely it’ll take Jones’ bat a few years to adjust to ML pitching.

    I don’t deny Jones’ defense as being a big part of his value, but finding defensive-minded OFers that have at least a solid stick is MUCH easier than finding HOF-level starting pitchers like Santana.

  57. Mere Tantalisers on November 30th, 2007 12:06 pm

    wrong

    Wrong

  58. Graham on November 30th, 2007 12:08 pm

    Ok, I’ll flesh this out a bit further. If Jones/Lopez/Morrow/Clement are all easily replaceable, why would Minnesota trade Johan Santana for them?

    Young, good players under club control are amongst the most valuable resources a team has in roster building, because it enables you to pay players like Ichiro and Beltre whilst still fielding a decent team around them.

    Jones is probably already an average left fielder, Morrow is a promising arm, and if Clement sticks behind the dish he has the potential to be the best catcher this franchise has ever had. Jose Lopez’s stock is crashing down to earth, but even he could very well bounce back to give us an average second baseman for essentially free. Granted, the possiblity of all of them turning out isn’t great, but saying they’re easy to replace… well… you can keep saying that all you like; doesn’t make you correct.

    You’re confusing this bunch with replacement level players, which they are most emphatically not.

  59. Dave on November 30th, 2007 12:11 pm

    I don’t deny Jones’ defense as being a big part of his value, but finding defensive-minded OFers that have at least a solid stick is MUCH easier than finding HOF-level starting pitchers like Santana.

    Okay, how about this – if the Mariners sign Geoff Jenkins, Bartolo Colon, Jeremy Affeldt, trade Sexson for Ray Durham, move Ibanez to DH, and then trade Adam Jones/Brandon Morrow/Jose Lopez for Johan Santana, I’ll be on board.

    So yes, there’s a theoretical world where the M’s can trade for Johan and have it not be a bad idea. But let’s be somewhat realistic – it’s not going to happen. If they trade for Johan, that’s the offseason.

  60. Pete on November 30th, 2007 12:11 pm

    Jones/Lopez/Morrow/Clement are all easily replaceable.

    This is one of the dumbest things I’ve heard in my 20 years of avid fanship.

    Impressive.

  61. Manzanillos Cup on November 30th, 2007 12:15 pm

    60: That’s being a bit harsh. I think the idea was that their likely combined contribution for 2008 is not hard to replace. Maybe it was just worded a bit wrong. Most people who post here are far from dumb.

  62. PositivePaul on November 30th, 2007 12:15 pm

    But let’s be somewhat realistic – it’s not going to happen. If they trade for Johan, that’s the offseason.

    Fair point. Still, I remember 2004 when Howard Lincoln surprised the heck out of pretty much everyone and pulled the funds to land Adrian Beltre out of his hat.

    Okay, how about this – if the Mariners sign Geoff Jenkins, Bartolo Colon, Jeremy Affeldt, trade Sexson for Ray Durham, move Ibanez to DH, and then trade Adam Jones/Brandon Morrow/Jose Lopez for Johan Santana, I’ll be on board.

    Actually, sans moving Ibanez to DH and signing Colon, the other moves wouldn’t be too impossible, even for the M’s.

  63. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 12:17 pm

    Jones- Fukodome, good fielder, high BA, LH 2-hole gap hitter. 3 year 30 million deal

    Lopez- Chen would be a cheap alternative, not better but who knows, Lopez might suck this year and Chen might not. Or FA Loretta or Iguchi. They would both be better. (Also Dave idea of Sexson for Durham would work)

    Clement- He’s not playing this year. We have Kenji catching and Broussard is really just the same at this point.

    Morrow- Now a starter, would be replaced by Johan. Big upgrade there.

    That was easy

  64. joser on November 30th, 2007 12:20 pm

    If Johan would agree to an extension. I’d sell the farm.

    Congratulations! You have just agreed to be the 2001-2003 Texas Rangers, a team proudly sporting the best and most expensive player in baseball surrounded by scrubs, left-overs, and whatever else they can afford, mired at the bottom of the AL West. Actually, of course, Santana would just be the best at most expensive at his position, since ARod is still out there. On the other hand, ARod is actually contributing more than one game in five.

    Santana, by all accounts, is looking for Zito-esque numbers (and actually deserves him) which puts him into the $25M territory. That’s a huge chunk of the M’s payroll; even if they grow it a bit (and backload things until they can get Sexson off the books) I doubt they can grow it enough. That just looks hopelessly unbalanced to me. (And Santana knows it, which is another reason for him to exercise his no-trade clause to exclude teams that can’t build around him even if they can meet his salary, rendering this whole conversation moot).

    Here’s a question: what was the last World Series-winning team to have 20% of its payroll tied up in a single player? (Manny was just 16% of the ’04 Red Sox, and even less of the ’07, and he played more than one game in five). Has there ever been a WS-winning team that had 20% of its payroll tied up in a single pitcher?

  65. Dave on November 30th, 2007 12:21 pm

    Fair point. Still, I remember 2004 when Howard Lincoln surprised the heck out of pretty much everyone and pulled the funds to land Adrian Beltre out of his hat.

    Ehh – check the archives – I told everyone for three months that the M’s were going to sign Adrian Beltre. It was no surprise to anyone reading the blog.

  66. Carson on November 30th, 2007 12:21 pm

    51 – You’re missing the point. You need to stop with the tunnel vision of how great Felix and Johan would be as a 1-2 punch.

    People say defense wins championships. This is true, to an extent. However, you can’t win if you don’t score runs. Each offensive piece of the trade you propose may not be a .300 30+ 100+ hitter, but if you subtract ALL of them, you significantly remove offense from a team that already lacked one last year.

    I’m sorry, but your ideas are complete irrational, and borderline stupid.

  67. Graham on November 30th, 2007 12:22 pm

    Jones- Fukodome, good fielder, high BA, LH 2-hole gap hitter. 3 year 30 million deal

    That was easy

    You don’t understand player value over longer time periods than ‘next season’. At all.

  68. Manzanillos Cup on November 30th, 2007 12:24 pm

    64: Santana + Felix + Ichiro + Beltre does not equal the Texas Rangers.

  69. Mike Snow on November 30th, 2007 12:24 pm

    Santana, by all accounts, is looking for Zito-esque numbers (and actually deserves him) which puts him into the $25M territory.

    Point of clarification – Zito’s contract is not quite $20 million per year. $25 million is very much uncharted territory for pitchers, and I don’t think even Santana is going there yet.

  70. Sports on a Schtick on November 30th, 2007 12:24 pm

    I think people need to get idea of the M’s seriously contending in 2008 out of their heads.

  71. JAG on November 30th, 2007 12:25 pm

    Hello Dave (and everyone else onboard the USSM), I’m a longtime reader, 1st-time poster. While I agree with your logic behind the potentially crippling effect that trading for Santana would have on the M’s longterm, what are your thoughts about the other pitchers supposedly also on the block? Specifically Prior – I know he constitutes a huge risk for whoever acquires him, but what would it take to get the Cubs to listen to an offer and would he be worth that price?

  72. Pete on November 30th, 2007 12:27 pm

    61: Agreed. If the idea that “their likely combined contribution for 2008 is not hard to replace” was all he was saying, that wasn’t so bad. But I’m not sure that’s what he’s saying. Goes on to mention the AL West for years to come. Additionally, I think you may be undervaluing what Jones and Lopez may contribute to a major league team this year.

    And regardless of the context, I think a list of four high draft picks with high-ish ceilings, all on the cusp of a major league jobs, combined with the phrase “easily replaceable” is foolish. These are four of the best prospects the M’s have drafted.

    Sorry, to me, it does sound really dumb.

  73. Manzanillos Cup on November 30th, 2007 12:28 pm

    Each offensive piece of the trade you propose may not be a .300 30+ 100+ hitter, but if you subtract ALL of them, you significantly remove offense from a team that already lacked one last year.

    I’m sorry, but your ideas are complete irrational, and borderline stupid.

    1. You’re not taking into account the offense of the players that replace the player’s you lost.
    2. The Mariners did not “lack” an offense last year.
    3. Can we stop calling people stupid?

  74. matto on November 30th, 2007 12:31 pm

    SDRE?
    Fukodome is not the equal of Jones. Add the contract price of Jones, Chen would plausably be OK but a veteran laden team with a rookie @ 2b who hasn’t even had a coup ‘o ‘jo yet? Don’t bet on it. Clement is ‘insurance’ or a chip to trade to another team. Morrow, too good to give up on, unless traded for a good chip.

    Remember, like Dave said, if they got Johan that’d be IT. nobody else no other contracts. He’d be getting 28 million or so a season. Where’s the other $ gonna come from? The Money Tree? Also, the M’s shouldn’t mortgage their complete upper tier of prospects (Minus Carlos T.) for one player, no matter how great he is, unless they were already a ‘lock’ for the postseason. And they’re not, so End of story.

  75. Graham on November 30th, 2007 12:31 pm

    3. Can we stop calling people stupid?

    He was attacking the ideas, not the poster. What would you prefer he say?

  76. matto on November 30th, 2007 12:32 pm

    that should be to “SDRE #63

  77. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 12:37 pm

    #71 For 2008 was what I was saying. Certainly, holes would needed to be filled after that point but having Santana and Felix for the next five years outways that IMO.

    We have good core. CF (Ichiro), SS (Yuni), 3b (Beltre), Closer (Putz), Starter (Felix). Adding Santana to that would be a huge piece to the puzzle.

  78. Alaskan on November 30th, 2007 12:39 pm

    As exciting as Johan would be, I don’t quite follow how he puts us into the playoffs. In 2007 we were a sub-.500 team (by run differential). It’s not as though we are one big move away. Sure, if you get into the playoffs, the 1-2 of Johan and Felix could make a miracle happen, but it’s the 162 games before that I’m concerned about. Adding Johan does not improve our ailing offense.

    On a separate note, I’m much more excited by the idea of Jones, Clement and Morrow in the lineup in three years, with Triunfel and some of the pitching prospects just around the corner. That sounds much better than the Johan team we bought, because we didn’t have any propsects left. The idea of building a young team sounds like so much more fun, and something I would be proud of.

  79. Graham on November 30th, 2007 12:41 pm

    No it doesn’t, because by adding Santana you are taking away from your ability to fill holes.

    Santana for Felix would be an upgrade in terms of runs for next season. Should we do that?

  80. Pete on November 30th, 2007 12:45 pm

    Saying Jones and Lopez are replaceable with Fukodome and Chen sure flies in the face of a lot of people who know a lot about baseball talent. You can’t ignore the future with these players.

    Jones, by many accounts, is a future All-Star in his low-20′s. Lopez is a one-time All-Star in his low-20′s.

    Jones is a better player today than Fukodome, as a hitter and as a fielder, and the potential to be much better.

    Lopez is a better player than Chen today, as a hitter, and certainly in the field (minus fixable mental gaffes).

    If Jones is replaceable with Fukodome, why does every team ask for Jones first in a deal with the M’s? And why don’t we hear that the market for Fukodome is just exploding into the stratosphere.

    It’s not a big deal, but I’m just glad you’re not evaluating talent for the M’s.

  81. B_Con on November 30th, 2007 12:47 pm

    Santana sure isn’t going to the Mets. It is amazing how far Lastings Milledge’s stock has fallen. He was just traded to the Nats for Brian Schneider and Ryan Church.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3135229

  82. Jeff Sullivan on November 30th, 2007 12:49 pm

    Milledge’s stock has fallen, yes, but you also have to consider that Omar Minaya isn’t good.

  83. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 12:56 pm

    #80 With those guys I mentioned replacing the group you forgot were adding Johan Santana, CY Young winner, LH ace pitching half his starts in Safeco.

  84. Pete on November 30th, 2007 1:00 pm

    83: I think we should stop arguing at this point, because that has nothing to do with the argument we’re having.

  85. Pete on November 30th, 2007 1:02 pm

    I take that back, you’re right it has everything to do with it.

  86. SDRE on November 30th, 2007 1:06 pm

    Well, I not advocating dumping Jones/Lopez and replacing them cause the group I mentioned is better. I’m putting it in context with acquiring an legit ace. I not saying Fukodome is better than Jones, Chen better than Lopez. They’re not. But getting Santana IMO makes us more of a contender with other guys replacing Jones/Lopez.

  87. joser on November 30th, 2007 1:21 pm

    Point of clarification – Zito’s contract is not quite $20 million per year. $25 million is very much uncharted territory for pitchers, and I don’t think even Santana is going there yet.

    Well, I was thinking same total package over fewer years (say 5 instead of Zito’s 7). But yeah, I edited out my longwinded thinking there. In any case, it seems reasonable that a pitcher who is universally acknowledged to be significantly better than Zito will get significantly more per year than him? Whatever it may be, if the M’s were paying it would represent something like 20% of their total payroll.

    I think people need to get idea of the M’s seriously contending in 2008 out of their heads.

    Exactly. Unfortunately, with ownership who refuses to contemplate an “Indians-style” rebuild while employing a GM on a “hotseat” year-to-year contract, the team has to act like it’s trying to contend next year even if that damages any hope of constructing a team that wins more consistently over a longer term. Combined with Bavasi’s, uh, spotty record with trades that makes for a very ulcer-inducing offseason.

    On a separate note, I’m much more excited by the idea of Jones, Clement and Morrow in the lineup in three years, with Triunfel and some of the pitching prospects just around the corner. That sounds much better than the Johan team we bought, because we didn’t have any propsects left. The idea of building a young team sounds like so much more fun, and something I would be proud of.

    I’m right with you. But the M’s ownership is afraid that there aren’t enough people like you and me, and that they’ll lose all those casual fans with a roster of Ichiro and Felix plus youngsters. I don’t really understand that, because the overall success of the M’s positioning as “family friendly” and its marketing of its players suggest otherwise (and they did hold onto fans throughout the Hargrove era), but I guess they have no confidence that will work in the long term if they don’t have a winning team almost immediately.

  88. BLYKMYK44 on November 30th, 2007 1:22 pm

    What I don’t understand is that back this summer when Ichiro hadn’t signed and people wanted to trade them there was a nicely written piece about why it doesn’t make sense to trade him because trading superstars for prospects rarely works out…why doesn’t this same logic apply in the reverse?

    Johan is a known quality who could possibly be even better in Safeco Field due to its current configurations. I’m sure that Boston doesn’t mind trading their prospects for Pedro Martinez (the most recent example of a great pitcher traded)…people seem to be much to willing to rely on the potential of the unknown to dismiss this trade.

  89. BLYKMYK44 on November 30th, 2007 1:24 pm

    Quote:

    “On a separate note, I’m much more excited by the idea of Jones, Clement and Morrow in the lineup in three years, with Triunfel and some of the pitching prospects just around the corner. That sounds much better than the Johan team we bought, because we didn’t have any propsects left. The idea of building a young team sounds like so much more fun, and something I would be proud of.”

    - This quote kind of sums up my comment about preferring the potential of the unknown…

  90. PositivePaul on November 30th, 2007 1:29 pm

    Fair point. Still, I remember 2004 when Howard Lincoln surprised the heck out of pretty much everyone and pulled the funds to land Adrian Beltre out of his hat.

    Ehh – check the archives – I told everyone for three months that the M’s were going to sign Adrian Beltre. It was no surprise to anyone reading the blog.

    Sure — I remember my “WTF” after reading this August article, as well as my skepticism (at the time) of Beltre’s über-stardom. Another buddy of mine with ties to the Dodgers told me back then, too, that the M’s were at least in the running as early as November. Doesn’t alleviate the fact that it still shocked me that Howard Lincoln would allow it to happen (by completely pulling out the purse strings).

    IIRC, even after hearing the buzzings of the M’s pursuing Beltre a lot of us were expecting Corey Koskie. Still, when they were able to pull off the signing, I still stand by my statement that a lot of us were shocked that they were able to actually make it happen. Heck, I went so far as to personally THANK Howard Lincoln to his face — from the bottom of my heart, even! I’m sure some folks ’round here know my loathe-dom for Howard, and would be surprised to hear that I did that. But, yeah, I’m sure I could one-up that move, were the M’s to pull Santana out of their hats, and make other moves to improve the team both now and in the near future…

  91. Alaskan on November 30th, 2007 1:31 pm

    86 (SDRE), I would very much like to see the rough math on that one. I agree that they’re better, but better enough?

    Let’s say for a minute that Johan allows 2 less runs per game than the guy he replaces, and the slightly worse guys behind him actually manage to break even with the current roster. So, that’s 33 starts x 2 runs = 66 run improvement. If we apply that to last year’s differential, when we were 19 runs under even, we are now plus-47. Expected win-loss (RS stays the same, RA decreases by 66): 85 wins. That doesn’t sound like a playoff-bound team to me.

    What do you think? Am I overlooking something? Obviously this is not a very vigorous analysis, but are there other problems?

  92. Sec 108 on November 30th, 2007 1:42 pm

    I’m on board with wishing people would stop thinking the 2008 M’s are going to contend. We were lucky last year and most often luck is a broken rubber band that slaps you in the face.

    My fear is that if you bring Johan here and make him pitch in front of our defense he suddenly becomes very average.

    I do not want a blockbuster deal this winter. I want solid moves that make us a little better in all phases. Better offense, defense and pitching that will allow us to build towards the future. The future is NOT now for this franchise. Stop letting Bavasi, McLaren, Lincoln and Armstrong lie to you.

  93. Alaskan on November 30th, 2007 1:48 pm

    89, you make an interesting argument. Just to clarify, let me say that I do not expect all of these guys to pan out. Given their stage of development, I might go 2 of 3, though.

  94. msb on November 30th, 2007 2:08 pm

    well, if you combine his no-trade clause with a NY-Boston price escalation, I’m thinking we don’t realy have to worry.

  95. msb on November 30th, 2007 2:11 pm

    uh oh. Eckstein may be available.

  96. joser on November 30th, 2007 2:14 pm

    What I don’t understand is that back this summer when Ichiro hadn’t signed and people wanted to trade them there was a nicely written piece about why it doesn’t make sense to trade him because trading superstars for prospects rarely works out…why doesn’t this same logic apply in the reverse?

    You’re misremembering the article. What it actually said was “the expected return by trading an all-star in the last year of his contract is not any higher than the expected return of letting that player walk at the end of the season and collecting two draft picks as compensation.” (Emphasis mine)

    It turns out the draft picks work out as well as the prospects, in many cases, and that’s the factor that distorts the equation. It’s not that the team trading for the superstar usually gets the better of the team getting the prospects, it’s that the team with the superstar is going to get prospects whether they trade him or not.

  97. joser on November 30th, 2007 2:27 pm

    I will add, though, that Santana is far enough into the outer reaches of the bell curve that Dave’s analysis may not apply. Santana is so highly-regarded, and starting pitching is so scarce, that the Twins are going to be able to get a lot for him — and it’s not like they get to draft from a special list of super prospects if they hang on and let him walk. This may be the case where trading your superstar is exactly the right thing to do because your trade partner will overpay — particularly when you have the Red Sox and Yankees bidding against each other.

  98. SBG on November 30th, 2007 2:32 pm

    @47

    I was there, I saw it. From my vantage point, it was clear he had no chance to catch it. I’d been railing on his poor routes to balls for about a month before that. It was no surprise.

    Considering that Morneau and Cuddyer had just homered to draw the Twins even, that was about the biggest killer imaginable.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread. Back to Santana.

    Johan was very ordinary down the stretch. The stated reason was that he wasn’t throwing his slider due to blister problems. If that’s the only problem, then his late season swoon was probably an aberration.

    How-ever, if there are other, unstated reasons for his not throwing the slider (elbow?), then caveat emptor.

  99. terry on November 30th, 2007 2:44 pm

    uh oh. Eckstein may be available.

    Just throwing this out there….do the ya think it would be worthwhile to bring in Eckstein to challenge Adam Jones for 2b?

    :-P

  100. jlc on November 30th, 2007 3:14 pm

    Eckstein, argggh! Just what we need, more grit.

    Does that label always apply to players who are shorter than average?

  101. Mat on November 30th, 2007 3:16 pm

    This may be the case where trading your superstar is exactly the right thing to do because your trade partner will overpay — particularly when you have the Red Sox and Yankees bidding against each other.

    It gets pretty complicated when you start thinking about all of the draft pick compensation angles. If the Twins don’t trade Santana, they’ll probably get a pick in the 16-30 range and a pick in the 31-45 range. If Santana is not traded, then a big market team (at least the Yanks or Red Sox) would have to give up their first round pick in 2009 to sign him. So the options for the big market teams are:

    - Trade 3-4 prospects, get Santana, pay him $$$$, keep 2009 first-round pick.

    - Don’t trade prospects, lose Santana to competitor, spend $$$$ elsewhere, keep 2009 first-round pick.

    - Don’t trade prospects, sign Santana as a free agent, pay him $$$$ (maybe more than if you traded for him), lose 2009 first-round pick.

    From where I sit, for the Twins to really come out ahead in a trade, they need to get at least two first-round talents out of the deal. For the big-market team to come out ahead, they need to value Santana higher than the net loss of 1-2 top prospects and some payroll flexibility. It seems feasible to me that Boston or New York could make a trade that would benefit themselves and the Twins without significantly overpaying, but feasible and likely are two different things, I guess.

  102. Evan on November 30th, 2007 3:48 pm

    Congratulations! You have just agreed to be the 2001-2003 Texas Rangers, a team proudly sporting the best and most expensive player in baseball surrounded by scrubs, left-overs, and whatever else they can afford, mired at the bottom of the AL West.

    And that’s why selling the farm to get Santana is bad.

    Acquiring Santana for huge money is a good idea (I’d offer him 6/180 next off-season). The bad part is filling the rest of your team with scrubs.

    The Rangers were even worse than that, because they only used expensive scrubs, so they also lacked the capacity to improve themselves.

  103. gwangung on November 30th, 2007 3:53 pm

    And that’s why selling the farm to get Santana is bad.

    Acquiring Santana for huge money is a good idea (I’d offer him 6/180 next off-season). The bad part is filling the rest of your team with scrubs.

    Well, I’d say bad players instead of scrubs….but I follow your point, particularly the point of expensive ones….

  104. Sklyansky on November 30th, 2007 4:08 pm

    Long time lurker chiming in. If the Mariner’s were a competently run organization, and could realistically replace the pieces they’d trade away for Santana, I’d be all for it. But Bavasi has no track record of running anything competently, so I’d rather gamble on the idea that either Jones, Clement or Morrow actually pan out, and becomes a viable star.

    And I think Lopez will have a rebound year, as the death of his brother had to have some effect on his play, and his defense has to be worth something (regardless of whether his bat comes alive).

    In reading what other teams are offering for Santana, I’d be surprised if the Jones/Clement/Lopez/Marrow package would even be enough in the first place.

    Additionally, with Santana, the M’s would probably experience just enough success to repeat last year’s “success”, and Bavasi and McClaren would get yet another stay of exection, and be allowed another year to trot out the same philosophy. And who really wants that?

  105. C. Cheetah on November 30th, 2007 4:51 pm

    Ok, I am really confused how several of you posting here view A. Jones now and in the future.
    From what I have read here and looked up other places, Jones is compared to Eric Byrnes to Mag Ordonez, but probably somewhere in between…like a JOSE GUILLEN..those numbers being…
    Player / AVG / OBP / SLG / HRs / BBs / Ks
    Byrnes / 267 / 329 / 451 / 15+ / 35 / 80
    Guillen/ 274 / 325 / 447 / 20+ / 30 / 100
    Ordonez/ 312 / 370 / 552 / 30+ / 60 / 70

    While there are not ANY of these types of guys in the M’s farm system readily available other than Jones…there are several who are available now, like Jenkins, Guillen, etc…, so why again are we going to miss him??
    I know we would have him cheap for several years, but with the money that is coming off the books next year, we should be able to afford Jenkins and Santana, IMHO.

  106. arbeck on November 30th, 2007 5:17 pm

    Don’t forget defense. Jones plays better defense than any of those guys.

  107. Evan on November 30th, 2007 5:18 pm

    Cheetah – Find me a guy like that who’s both cheap and can play CF competently.

    And Jones is significantly cheaper than someone like Guillen, who will probably earn $8 million/season (compared to Jones at $500K).

  108. eponymous coward on November 30th, 2007 5:20 pm

    Ok, I am really confused how several of you posting here view A. Jones now and in the future.
    From what I have read here and looked up other places, Jones is compared to Eric Byrnes to Mag Ordonez, but probably somewhere in between…like a JOSE GUILLEN..those numbers being

    Actually, for next year ALONE, yeah, comparing Jones to Guillen is right. For ceiling, he probably grades out between Mike Cameron (marginal All-Star, damn good player) and Eric Davis (perennial All-Star, a potential HOFer if healthy for entire career).

  109. HamNasty on November 30th, 2007 5:22 pm

    98- Also players who are less talented then others but find a starting job. Including anyone who has 13 years in the league and busted as a starter and ends up in a bullpen somewhere.

  110. James T on November 30th, 2007 5:40 pm

    #88. Yup. Trading prospects for Pedro Martinez worked out pretty well. And remember, the Indians could have added Pedro to their rotation before the 1998 season but John Hart wouldn’t part with . . . the immortal Jaret Wright, so Montreal took Boston’s offer.

    I’m not sure how trading the farm for Johan would leave the M’s as the 2001-3 Rangers. They’d still have Felix Hernandez, J.J. Putz, Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre etc.

    Caution in an of itself isn’t smart. You can convince yourself to do nothing and miss great opportunities.

    That said, as a Red Sox fan, I’m very ambivalent about this. I’d probably be almost as happy with Santana going to, say, the Dodgers as his being traded to the Sox. Only his going to the yankees would bother me.

    That said, there’s different value to those 5-7 wins when starting with different bases of wins. 5-7 wins more for a 70 win team don’t mean much. 5-7 wins more for an 87 win team? That could be worth a ton of money. There’s the immediate value of some home playoff games. And there’s value in energizing the fan base, more tickets sold and better tv ratings both that year and the start of the next. All wins are not created equal.

  111. James T on November 30th, 2007 5:42 pm

    I should have added to my statement of unhappiness if the yankees acquire him, “unless they trade Hughes, Cano and a few prospects, or something monumental like that for him.”

  112. jlc on November 30th, 2007 5:46 pm

    109-And don’t forget those that play through adversity, you know like being hurt when they should take a couple of weeks off.

  113. C. Cheetah on November 30th, 2007 5:48 pm

    Well, Ichiro is playing CF, but I get your point on defense nonetheless. I agree that there isn’t anyone readily available who can play defense at the money that Jones will…However, my point is about the money. If I recall right, the M’s have atleast $10 mil to $17 mil to spend this offseason, and again the M’s will have alot more money to spend next year AND since we all hope the following years will include Aumonte, Tillman, Bulter, Ramirez, young bullpen, Carlos T., Tui and/or Mangini, and etc…the M’s should have a lot of money to spend on Felix and Santana. The M’s could use this money for Jenkins or whoever…
    Regardless, since most here do not believe that the M’s will contend in 2008, why not have the holes in the OF or 2nd than in the Starting rotation.

  114. Mean Dean on November 30th, 2007 6:19 pm

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet is that the Twins have amazingly little use for Clement. They have Joe Mauer at C and Justin Morneau at 1B! Both young, lefty hitters, and great overall players (ok, Morneau may not quite be “great”, but he’s plenty good.) Clement would be DH-only for them, and most teams don’t like DH-only players because it takes away flexibility, plus the Twins have Jason Kubel — yes, another young, quality lefty hitter — there anyway.

    If the Twins want Jones plus substantially more, and they don’t particularly want Clement — and I think those are both very likely scenarios — then I don’t know who the M’s could give up as the #2 guy in the trade who could make it at all plausible.

  115. George Kaplan on November 30th, 2007 8:45 pm

    I read that the Twins last offer to Santana was $80 over 4 years. This surprised me, since I thought the Twins wouldn’t be comparable on a per-year basis to what Santana was seeking, and apparently they were spot-on. However, they drew the line at 4 years, while Santana is seeking 7 (like Zito).

    That gets me to wondering: What does the Twins coaching staff know? Since $20M in years 5-7 is money well spent if Santana is close to his 2006 (or even 2007) self, do the Twins have doubts about his long-term durability? Keep in mind he has something like 900 IP on his odometer. If the pitching staff is seeing some cracks in the foundation, then they might have advised the front office that 4 years is maximum for that kind of money. Otherwise, what is to stop the Twins from going 7 years or more?

    This would make me wonder if I was a GM sniffing about a possible deal.

  116. scraps on November 30th, 2007 9:46 pm

    then I don’t know who the M’s could give up as the #2 guy in the trade who could make it at all plausible.

    Triunfel. Who has no value next year for the Mariners, and is therefore infinitely replaceable.

  117. milendriel on November 30th, 2007 10:35 pm

    116- :(

  118. TAYTAY20 on November 30th, 2007 11:22 pm

    Santana for Jones, Morrow, Rob Johnson, and Reed sounds good to me.

    Sorry to get off track, but [deleted, off track]

  119. MnMsFan on December 1st, 2007 12:03 am

    Update.. This is all worthless talk.. The Yankee’s include Phil Hughes in their package.. The twins would be dumb not to take that deal. Its a way better package than the m’s could offer? Its too bad. He would dominate in Safe Co Field..

  120. Sidi on December 1st, 2007 2:00 am

    That gets me to wondering: What does the Twins coaching staff know? Since $20M in years 5-7 is money well spent if Santana is close to his 2006 (or even 2007) self, do the Twins have doubts about his long-term durability?

    Perhaps they just realize that he’s unlikely to improve, every single year puts up a risk his body will explode (or he’ll fall apart), and they’re a small enough payroll that $20 million, without him actually playing, is a death sentence to a season.

    Even the Mariners would be seriously wounded eating a $20M salary, for no performance in a year…if he got hurt for the Twins it would be all over. Seven years is an insanely long time for a position player, and flat out stupid for a pitcher. Unless baseball switches to a non-guaranteed contract scheme, like other sports, seven years is not worth it for a pitcher contract (especially for an elite pitcher).

  121. smb on December 1st, 2007 9:43 am

    111

    ESPN is reporting the Yanks are prepared to add Hughes to a proposed deal.

  122. shemberry on December 1st, 2007 11:37 am

    119- ESPN is reporting the Yanks will be serving Ham sandwiches for lunch at Spring Trainin.

  123. msb on December 1st, 2007 12:01 pm

    a non-ESPN columnist blogs about why the D-banks might have the edge over Seattle for Kuroda

  124. smb on December 1st, 2007 12:20 pm

    123

    Best comment from a d’backs fan below that blog entry:

    “We need him here for two reasons. I want to see Nintendo ads in Japanese behind home plate and on the outfield walls, and the Japanese have the world’s best gameshows.”

    Spoken like an average M’s fan!

  125. manifestus on December 1st, 2007 1:49 pm

    The question then becomes, what sort of pitching might it be possible for the M’s to add — and what would be the cost?

    If the Giants really are fielding offers for Lincecum, I’d be all over that one. Same goes for Bedard. What would it take?

    I think the most critical pitching issue isn’t even getting significantly spectacular pitching … it’s making sure that this quote by Bavasi is erased from all minds:
    “We also need for [Horacio] Ramirez to turn himself around. We don’t think he is a lost cause by any means, and this is just the kind of pitcher that can be affected by a guy like [new pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre].”

  126. thefin190 on December 1st, 2007 8:17 pm

    “We also need for [Horacio] Ramirez to turn himself around. We don’t think he is a lost cause by any means, and this is just the kind of pitcher that can be affected by a guy like [new pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre].”

    I am thinking the thing is that Bavasi is still trying to make something out of the trade he made last winter when he should’ve just given up long ago.

  127. scottg02 on December 1st, 2007 8:42 pm

    FWIW on espn.com’s current Santana article it mentions that the M’s and Dodgers are also talking to the Twins about Santana.

  128. Joof on December 2nd, 2007 12:31 am

    While we’re on the topic of gutting a team for big name players, ESPNs reporting that in the Angels quest for Miguel Cabrera, it seems that they are going to give up Kendrick, in addition to some other players. However, with the trade of Orlando Cabrera, would they have any legitimate middle infielders if they gave up Kendrick as well? I don’t know much about the Angels farm system, but it seems this would not bode well, even with Miguel Cabrera’s bat.

  129. msb on December 2nd, 2007 9:23 am

    last report, the Twins want the Yankees to send Philip Hughes, Melky Cabrera & either pitcher Alan Horne or outfielder Austin Jackson or Ian Kennedy might be nice, and the Red Sox package should improve from Jon Lester, Coco Crisp & maybe Jed Lowrie and Michael Bowden to instead adding Clay Buchholz or Jacoby Ellsbury.

    oh, and “Moreno said last week that he thought his team had twice completed a deal for Cabrera, who won’t become a free agent until after the 2009 season, only to have the Marlins ask the Angels to sweeten the package.”

  130. msb on December 2nd, 2007 1:03 pm

    Mariners declined to offer arbitration to OF Jose Guillen, RHP Chris Reitsma, LHP Arthur Rhodes and RHP Jeff Weaver.

  131. TAYTAY20 on December 2nd, 2007 1:16 pm

    I wonder if Santana would come here since he and Felix and buddies, or so i’ve heard.

    I suppose it would simply be better for the team financially to not trade for Santana and attempt to turn around Ramirez’ career in Seattle instead. If he wins 20 games, I will forgive Bavasi.

  132. tgf on December 2nd, 2007 2:23 pm

    Mariners declined to offer arbitration to OF Jose Guillen, RHP Chris Reitsma, LHP Arthur Rhodes and RHP Jeff Weaver.

    Right, because why would they want a supplemental 1st round pick anyway? It’s not like any players ever picked there ever pan out or anything. Mostly marginal guys like that David Wright character, for one.

  133. bakomariner on December 2nd, 2007 2:30 pm

    seattle really should have offered to guillen…one, i want him on the team next year with jones, ichi, and guillen in the outfield, two, worst case scenario, we get a pick if he signed elsewhere…another bad move by bavasi…raul is gonna kill us in left this year…

  134. Mr. Egaas on December 2nd, 2007 4:34 pm

    I really feel Bavasi dropped the ball not offering arbitration on Guillen. He should get enough offers elsewhere that he wouldn’t accept, and if he did, I don’t believe it would have cost the team a whole lot.

    At the very least, they would have Guillen around to play right, dump Sexson, and move Ibanez to first. Ridiculous.

  135. terry on December 2nd, 2007 4:35 pm

    good riddance to guillen….

  136. DC_Mariner on December 2nd, 2007 6:43 pm

    why good riddance to Guillen??? He was one of our best hitters last year!

  137. Bearman on December 2nd, 2007 7:18 pm

    I admit the M’s should have at least offered Guillen arbitration that way when he signed elsewhere for the money he wants the M’s get that supplemental 1st rounder.

    However I can also see the reason for NOT offering him arbitration.
    What if Guillen acceptec arbitration and he forced the case?
    What amount of money based on his performance from ’07 would he have been awarded for 1 yr contract?

    #133: I agree with the dumping of Sexson as well as Vidro and the moving of Ibanez to 1stB/DH duties with Morse his platoon partner at 1stB.
    However I disagree with the retaining of Guillen because of the money to keep him can be better spend aquiring SP help,strenghtening the bench,and signing FA RP Jeremy Affeldt for the pen should a RP arm or two have to go to get SP help via trade.

    Futhermore to be quite frank I love to see the following trade done:
    The M’s sent Sexson/Lopez and a mid level RP to the Giants for Lowry and 1stB prospect Ishigawa (Seattle born)and Durham.
    The including of Durham in the deal allows the Giants to accept Sexson’s salary and saves the M’
    s 7 mil cause Durham is only owed 7 mil for ’08.
    Gives the M’s a solid 2ndB vet to platoon with Chen and also gives the M’s an upgrade with a LHP who’s younger and can be turnaround by Stottlemyre more readyly.

  138. scott19 on December 2nd, 2007 7:59 pm

    Agreed — we should have at least gotten a pick for Guillen.

  139. terry on December 2nd, 2007 8:11 pm

    why good riddance to Guillen???

    He had a VORP=28. UZR rated his defense at -21. He had a $9M club option and probably would’ve gotten a big raise if he accepted an arbitration offer. You do the math.

  140. Walrus on December 2nd, 2007 9:25 pm

    The M’s NEED another corner OF…and Guillen would be a decent get for one year, even if he was paid $10 mil. The reasons he is worth it are:
    1. better than Raul for OF defense
    2. a proven right handed hitter for Safeco field
    3. Since the M’s FO and or Bavasi believe in vocal team leaders, and having a player with “attitude”…now Bavasi has to go get another one, which will probably be more like Everett
    4. should force Bavasi to trade Sexson (or remote chance of Vidro or Ibanez), because even the M’s FO has to realize the M’s have too many 1B / DH types.
    5. Guillen would bring a decent player back in a trade at the AS Break, when the M’s are totally out of the race this year.

  141. msb on December 2nd, 2007 9:30 pm

    take it with the usual grain of salt:

    “Sources told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal that Johan Santana has informed the Twins he will not waive his no-trade protection to allow an in-season trade.”

  142. thefin190 on December 2nd, 2007 9:37 pm

    Guillen’s whole HGH ordeal should’ve lessened his value atleast a little right? I don’t know if I wanted him back, but if it was either him or seeing Raul in left field for another year, I would take Guillen. We’ll just see what Bavasi does at the winter meetings.

    Walrus, just because the Mariners aren’t a WS caliber team doesn’t mean that we should write them off now. We will just have to wait to see what Bavasi does this offseason before we make that prediction.

  143. fwbrodie on December 2nd, 2007 9:53 pm

    Imagine:
    Johan Santana
    Felix Hernandez
    Jarrod Washburn
    Miguel Batista
    Hiroki Kuroda

    CF Ichiro
    2B Chi-Chen
    3B Beltre
    LF Ibanez
    1B Sexson
    RF Fukudome
    C Johjima
    DH Clement
    SS Betancourt

    If only the Mariners could spend a little bit more cash.

  144. msb on December 2nd, 2007 9:57 pm

    it’s nothing to do with cash.

  145. thefin190 on December 3rd, 2007 12:16 am

    Not that impressed with that lineup. Especially with Sexson and Ibanez still in left field. Fukudome isn’t coming to the U.S. and that rotation is a #1, a #1.5, and bunch of 4s (Batista is possibly a three). But again, I think the Twins seem to be more interested in the Yankees or Red Sox packages for Santana rather than the Mariners.

    At the same time, the media always seems to love to focus on the Red Sox and Yankees, and not so much on the other teams. I guess we don’t know what actually is happening.

  146. Walrus on December 3rd, 2007 12:39 am

    Fin190…I wish I had your optimism, but Bavasi scares me. If Kuroda does not take the M’s offer, I’ll bet this Guillen issue will be small, compared to the hoopla that will come.
    However, I do firmly believe, even if Bavasi gets both Kuroda and Fukodome, trades for Santana, and signs Colon…the best that the M’s can hope for is the wildcard. There is no way the M’s can catch the Angels this next year, especially when they get Cabrera or Tejada and one or two more.

  147. joser on December 3rd, 2007 2:23 am

    Seattle simply doesn’t have the trade pieces NY and Boston can offer (if they choose to make them available). But it’s not just media focus, and it’s not just what the Twins are interested in. It’s also what Santana wants. He has a full no-trade clause. If he tells them he’s only interested in AL East teams, or he’s only interested in teams that won their division or the WC in the last two years, or he’s only interested in teams that at least have a shot at the postseason, or he’s interested in any team except that basketcase in the upper left corner of the country, that sets the parameters. The Twins are only going to talk to teams Santana is interested in. You can rosterbate all you want, but that doesn’t change the facts: Santana is in the driver’s seat on this.
    And there’s no sign he’s interested in stopping here.

  148. eponymous coward on December 3rd, 2007 3:34 am

    143-

    Why would I want to imagine that lineup? You have a horrible defensive 1B and LF, and Chen and Clement have by no means proven they are ready for MLB based on their minor league performances (Chen is OLDER than Lopez, which should tell you why it’s a bit early to label Lopez a bust). Santana and Kuroda improve things, sure, but you arguably have 4 positions where you are below average (2B, 1B, DH and LF), a couple of positions at around league average (SS and RF), one a bit above (C), and two superior ones (CF and 3B).

    That just doesn’t scream “division winner” to me.

  149. hub on December 3rd, 2007 5:09 am

    Time to awake from the dream.

    The Providence Journal reports:
    “Santana, who has a full-no trade clause and intends to wield it to land a six-year contract extension from any team striking a deal for him, told the Twins that he would veto a trade to any team except the Yankees or Red Sox. He also warned them that he would not accept a deal in-season, forcing the Twins to move him this week or lose him to free agency after the 2008 season, when his current contract expires.”

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