Winter Meetings, Day Two

Dave · December 4, 2007 at 8:31 am · Filed Under Mariners 

A fairly boring day one of the meetings. Let’s hope today provides a little more excitement. Here’s what we know after 24 hours.

1. With the M’s out of the Johan Santana sweepstakes, they’re now pursuing Erik Bedard – he’s not quite as good as Johan, but he’s still a terrific pitcher, plus he’s under club control through 2009. However, just as with Santana, the price is exhorbitant, and I’m still of the opinion that the Mariners aren’t one pitcher away from being a legit contender.

2. The Edwin Jackson rumors didn’t last long, as it appears the M’s were only offering scraps to Tampa, who are too smart to give up a quality young arm for pieces of questionable value like Ben Broussard or Rob Johnson. If the M’s want to get a guy like Jackson, they’re going to have to part with a talented player in return – Wladimir Balentien actually makes a lot of sense for both clubs, especially now that the Rays have traded Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes in the last week.

3. Apparently, Hiroki Kuroda’s first name isn’t Hideki. Whoops. M’s still seem like the frontrunners for his services.

4. Also, Jose Guillen signed with the Royals for 3 years and $36 million. Because the M’s declined to offer arbitration, they don’t get any draft pick compensation. Bavasi gave the typical crap answer about the team not wanting the exposure of him potentially accepting arbitration and wrecking their budget with a $12-$15 million award down the line. However, that’s a load of B.S.

The actual exposure the team had was 1/6th of whatever they projected his potential arbitration award to be, thanks to a clause in the CBA that allows teams to release players prior to March 15th and only be liable for 16% of the salary they were given in arbitration. So, if the M’s thought Guillen would accept abritration and they really didn’t want him back, they could simply release him by paying him something around $2 million to just go away. That’s their real exposure.

And really, what were the odds of Guillen accepting arbitration? 10%? 20%? No way it was higher than that. A 20% risk of a $2 million exposure is about $400,000 in risk. The team punted a supplemental first round pick because $400,000 scared them away. What a bunch of pansies.

Comments

178 Responses to “Winter Meetings, Day Two”

  1. Mustard on December 4th, 2007 8:38 am

    See, these are the kind of decisions that an everyday fan would miss….but this is the kind of decision that the M’s FO should absolutely not miss, this is what they are paid to do. Reading this post absolutely pisses me off as a Mariners fan. Just another mistake that some other team is not going to make.

  2. argh on December 4th, 2007 8:41 am

    What is the present value of a supplemental first round pick? Or is there any way to put a reasonable value on it?

  3. bakomariner on December 4th, 2007 8:46 am

    ridiculous about guillen…one, we should have him in right and jones in left…two, we should have gotten something in return if he left…such a bunch of crap…bavasi better do something in the next two days…although him doing anything scares the hell out of me…

  4. gwangung on December 4th, 2007 8:48 am

    I’m convinced the front office knew about the “risks” and didn’t care–they (and I’m looking at Armstrong) just wanted him gone. [No real evidence, of course...just what I've read about him and other players like Randy Johnson]

  5. CCW on December 4th, 2007 8:52 am

    Seems like a team’s actions in dealing with the question of whether to accept arbitration will generally be representative of its philosophy as a whole. The M’s are old school, haven’t yet adopted the baseball team as business model of operation, and so often get these purely economic questions wrong. Or at least they get them wrong from a purely economic perspective. In some cases (not necessarily this case), there could be a non-economic argument for their actions.

    Question, Dave: would you trade Adam Jones straight up for Bedard? I think I might.

  6. terry on December 4th, 2007 8:56 am

    If the Ms had no problem flipping Asdrubal Cabrera for 87 ABs by Eduardo Perez, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t have gone after Jackson with a legit offer of Wlad if JAckson is truly a guy the Ms see as a viable option.

  7. mark s. on December 4th, 2007 8:57 am

    Wow, thanks Dave.
    I feel I have learned something while I feel the M’s have learned nothing.

  8. Mr. Egaas on December 4th, 2007 8:58 am

    I think Wlad for Jackson makes all kinds of sense and I’d like to see it happen.

    The M’s need Jackson this season and in the future more than they need Wlad this season and in the future.

  9. giuseppe on December 4th, 2007 9:05 am

    CCW,

    I don’t wanna speak for Dave, but I wouldn’t make that deal and the Orioles certainly wouldn’t.

    Dave,
    Disappointing to hear about Jackson. Is that deal totally dead, or could they revive talks?

    I’m not sure I understand the logic of the last statement. Isn’t a 20% risk of a $2m loss still a small chance of a $2m loss? The likelihood of one thing happening doesn’t change the dollar amount at risk.

    I understand and agree with your point. It was a stupid business decision and a stupid baseball decision. At least they’re consistent.

  10. Dave on December 4th, 2007 9:11 am

    I’m not sure I understand the logic of the last statement. Isn’t a 20% risk of a $2m loss still a small chance of a $2m loss? The likelihood of one thing happening doesn’t change the dollar amount at risk.

    Companies buy and sell risk all the time – it’s called hedging, and it’s one of the main things that goes on at Wall Street everyday. There are hedge funds setup to simply scour the world looking for opportunities to buy risk.

    If the M’s were really that concerned about Guillen accepting arbitration, they could have simply hedged by selling the risk to an investor. If the investor agreed with my calculations, they’d value the liability at about $400,000. That’s the actual value of the exposure.

    Think of it like insurance. You’re at risk of getting in a car accident and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage everyday. You sell that risk to a for-profit insurance company, who charges you a fixed amount so that you have a guaranteed smaller payout and avoid the catastrophic scenario. There are companies out there that insure baseball contracts every year, and it would not have been a significant challenge for the M’s to hedge themselves against Guillen accepting arbitration.

    There’s essentially two options here:

    1. The M’s are idiots who don’t understand the financial liability of offering arbitration or the reward of the draft pick they forfeited.

    2. The M’s are lying about why the declined to offer arbitration.

    I’m going with #2 personally, but I can believe #1, which is kind of sad.

  11. galaxieboi on December 4th, 2007 9:14 am

    I had no idea about the 1/6 clause. That’s amazing. There’s almost zero reason to not offer arbitration to a departing player if it nets you a decent draft pick. Ugh. M’s. I weep for my city.

  12. galaxieboi on December 4th, 2007 9:23 am

    Also, did anyone hear the whole Baker conversation on Mitch this morning? I only caught a couple minutes and it scared me. Should it have? Or did I take the ‘no one was even talking about Jones and Clement until last season’ out of context?

  13. Sec 108 on December 4th, 2007 9:33 am

    I was angry yesterday that we did not offer arbitration to Guillen. Now that he has signed with KC I am livid. There is some reality that we made Guillen a more palatable target by not offering arbitration. However, why are the M’s willing to risk a Soriano for HoRam swap but not a possible arbitration acceptance by Guillen? Stupid management team that thinks it’s entire fan base is stupid is why.

  14. msb on December 4th, 2007 9:33 am

    FWIW, out of Tampa this morning: “There were reports out of Seattle that the Mariners covet Edwin Jackson and suggesting the Rays would have interest in 1B/DH Ben Broussard. But indications are the teams haven’t talked and that the Rays wouldn’t have much interest in Broussard, who could be nontendered if the M’s can’t deal Richie Sexson.”

  15. arbeck on December 4th, 2007 9:34 am

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s #2. And the reason they are lying is that it has to do with the Mitchell report.

  16. tgf on December 4th, 2007 9:36 am

    Any chance that the scraps the M’s were offering for Jackson were just an opening salvo? Honestly, it makes it hard to make fun of some of the proposed trades proposed by people in the comments here and elsewhere when Bavasi is apparently making similarly laughable offers.

  17. junglist215 on December 4th, 2007 9:37 am

    I think the overall decision might border more into their upcoming draft philosophy. I could easily see the M’s breaking slot this year with a lower overall pick. Allocating the money from the supplemntal pick into their 1st round.

  18. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 9:39 am

    Concerning Guillen:

    Dave (or anyone who has deep knowledge) — can you construct an explanation for the M’s actions? We have to posit that Bavasi is NOT an idiot. In my view, the M’s blew the Guillen deal twice: they gave away $500,000 when they did not pick up the option he was not going to take anyway (Guillen even laughed that the M’s had just given him a free half-million), and then they blew the sandwich pick over a $400K risk.

    If ordinary thoughtful fans see this, surely the M’s have to see it.

    So, if one were to talk to Bavasi, how would he explain this? Not to the press, but in his own mind, or in their internal discussions, in their conversation leading to the decisions….?

    There is absolutely no explanation that I can imagine that makes sense. But it seems silly to simply say they are flaming idiots.

    So, have some fun and play it out for us … if you were paid a million bucks to explain both of the M’s actions toward Guillen (no option pick-up, no arbitration) in a way that would convince USSM readers that the M’s had made two smart decisions … what would you say?

  19. Matthew Carruth on December 4th, 2007 9:40 am

    The team punted a supplemental first round pick because $400,000 scared them away.

    This would be so dumb it hurts if true since the Ms punted $500,000 needlessly when they declined to exercise their option on Guillen.

  20. msb on December 4th, 2007 9:40 am

    #13–why should they have to lie about the Mitchell report worrying them?

    and (not that I am defending losing the pick) wasn’t the arbitration decision made when it looked like the KC deal wasn’t going to happen, as Guillen was insisting on a 4th year? supposedly this preliminary deal with KC didn’t happen until KC said no, and started looking at Andruw Jones … then Guillen’s agent jumped back in with a 3-year deal

  21. Carson on December 4th, 2007 9:50 am

    Amazing on how much more of a business baseball is than a sport.

    Dave – Care to indulge on what you think the real reason for declining arbitration is? Fear of bad PR with inclusion in the Mitchell Report?

    On the Wlad for Jackson idea, it looks like a medium risk/high reward for both sides. Each has an excess of what they are dealing, and could use what they’d receive, making the potential reward very appealing.

  22. arbeck on December 4th, 2007 9:51 am

    msb,

    Because if they lie about it they either show that they already know what’s on the report (they can’t do that) or they knew about his steroid use. Neither of those are good options. Plus they it allows steroids + Mariners to get into the news, something they don’t want.

    I’m not saying they are smart if those are their reasons. I just see how their family friendly philosophy could lead them to do what they did.

  23. F-Rod on December 4th, 2007 9:54 am

    The only theory that makes any sense is some sort of wink, wink deal. Is it rumored/believed that some teams agree before hand (when the original contract is signed) that they will decline arbitration, when the time comes?

    Perhaps teams agree to do this to lure free agents to take one year deals. By declining arbitration the player immediately becomes more valuable, and this kind of mutual agreement makes sense.

    Other wise it is an insane decision.

  24. Sec 108 on December 4th, 2007 10:22 am

    “Is it rumored/believed that some teams agree before hand (when the original contract is signed) that they will decline arbitration, when the time comes?”

    This can and has been written into contracts before. There is no need for a wink wink agreement.

  25. rigelwilson on December 4th, 2007 10:26 am

    Can anybody explain to me why we’re talking to Mark Loretta and we didn’t even come close to talking to Kaz Matsui?

  26. Mike Snow on December 4th, 2007 10:28 am

    Because neither of them is anything special, but Matsui got a three-year contract and Loretta won’t?

  27. Mr. Egaas on December 4th, 2007 10:40 am

    Kaz Matsui is overrated.

  28. Jar on December 4th, 2007 10:40 am

    “The Mariners like Mark Loretta as a backup and challenger to Jose Lopez; they may offer around $2MM.” – ESPN

  29. MyOhMy on December 4th, 2007 10:41 am

    I agree 100% with this whole Guillen situation. There is NO WAY he would’ve accepted arbitration with that kind of offer from the Royals. In fact, if he did accept arbitration, he would’ve been a serviceable piece for the M’s on a 1 year deal … which is what his mutual option was anyways.

    So, the M’s give up a supplemental pick that was just handed to them! This is why the Red Sox, A’s, Indians, … have more prospects that are major league ready for either their teams OR for trade bait. How do the Red Sox have more prospects AND better prospects when they are continually drafting later than the M’s? Because they ACTUALLY know what they are doing …

    #25 – AND, I totally agree on the Kaz Matsui argument!

  30. Mr. Egaas on December 4th, 2007 10:43 am

    Mark Loretta — your 2008 Jose Vidroesque acquisition.

  31. pensive on December 4th, 2007 10:43 am

    Along this same type of move, why would the Mariners non-tender Broussard? Have read for a couple of weeks other teams just waiting. Certainly he has value. Either trade or as platoon on roster.

    This baffles me as much as the Guillen move.

    Plus remembering the Mariners not waiting a week or two when they signed Raul as Free Agent from KC. Nice of BB to be kind to KC.

  32. msb on December 4th, 2007 10:49 am

    well, as Rotoworld opined, “Loretta would likely get more playing time in Colorado and he’d still be with a contender. If both teams are offering him about $2 million, then staying in the NL seems like an easy choice.”

    Rosenthal says the Tiggers are trying to get both Cabrera & Willis from the Marlins, with Andrew Millers name being tossed around …

  33. smb on December 4th, 2007 10:50 am

    Nice to see our GM either doesn’t know the club’s liabilities in arbitration procedural outcomes or is a bald-headed liar. Awesome.

  34. david h on December 4th, 2007 10:50 am

    ##23/24 – but what would be the purpose of a player asking to not be offered arbitration, when he can just decline anyway?

  35. Chris Miller on December 4th, 2007 10:52 am

    I bet the Marlins would LOVE the haul of Cabrera for Miller a couple lesser prospects.

  36. msb on December 4th, 2007 10:54 am

    Maybin, Miller and more?

  37. thefin190 on December 4th, 2007 10:55 am

    Yea the Guillen move just further proves the imcompetence of Bill Bavasi. It’s funny because it seems the draft was one of Bill Bavasi’s only strong points. He could’ve really taken advantage of that. Plus we could’ve found a place to Guillen if he did accept.

    Dave, I know that you think very highly of the Rays organization and you think they will turn the corner next year and become a contender. How do you feel about KC since their GM change a year ago or so? They weren’t too far from 4th place, but then again that was probably with the help of the White Sox collaspe.

  38. F-Rod on December 4th, 2007 11:02 am

    34..A FA player is more marketable if the team does not have to give up a draft pick. Teams would rather sign player (A) over player (B) if player (A) does not cost a draft pick.

  39. F-Rod on December 4th, 2007 11:06 am

    One other theory for this madness would be that the team is going to sell the team and they do not want to pay the draft pick, that won’t do anything for them (but then why waste the 500k)? Its pretty frustrating.

  40. galaxieboi on December 4th, 2007 11:14 am

    Wow, it really sounds like the Twins are going to get a hell of a haul from the Sox for Santana. It’s looking like a 5 for 1 now. They must really feel the Yankees are bluffing. Otherwise, why hurry?

  41. cebo04 on December 4th, 2007 11:16 am

    Great stuff Dave! Easily one of my favorite times of the year with all the rumors. To anyone and everyone out there reading, if he is available late in the game and can be had for a 1 or 2 year deal b/c of lack of interest, would we have any interest in Corey Patterson? Not the greatest player but still young and could cover a lot of ground in Safeco…

  42. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 11:19 am

    what would be the purpose of a player asking to not be offered arbitration, when he can just decline anyway?
    Only Type A free agents cost the signing club a draft pick. Type B free agents (which is what Guillen is) do not cost the signing club anything in draft picks. Clubs that lose a Type A free agent get signing team’s first (or second) round pick, and a sandwich pick. Losing a Type B gets you sandwich pick only. Because Guillen is a Type B, if the M’s had offered Guillen arbitration, it would have had no effect on his free agent value (i.e. no need for Guillen to have negotiated the agreement into his contract) — and it would have earned the M’s a sandwich pick.

    It really can’t be that Bavasi is just stupid … can it?

  43. Evan on December 4th, 2007 11:21 am

    34..A FA player is more marketable if the team does not have to give up a draft pick. Teams would rather sign player (A) over player (B) if player (A) does not cost a draft pick.

    Unless that team is run by Pat Gillick.

  44. RaoulDuke37 on December 4th, 2007 11:29 am

    We all know the Mariner’s tend to do make some “interesting” decisions every offseason. But what I want to know is… where did Kansas City find $36M to sign Jose Guillen?

  45. BP on December 4th, 2007 11:33 am

    #43 – Sweeney’s deal expired, that’s where the money came from.

  46. msb on December 4th, 2007 11:34 am

    #43– read this

  47. RaoulDuke37 on December 4th, 2007 11:39 am

    msb,

    Thanks for the link. I’m a Seattle boy, but I’d love to see the Royals return to relevance. It’s encouraging that they’ve got some money to spend.

  48. david h on December 4th, 2007 11:45 am

    42 – that makes sense, but why ever agree to not offer arbitration for anything other than a Class A free agent, since those are the only ones who cost signing teams a draft pick. Are you not allowed to have any language in a contract dependent on the players free agent classification at the end of the season?

  49. msb on December 4th, 2007 11:46 am

    I get the impression Glass always had money, he just wouldn’t spend it, much like Carl Pohlad.

    several good columns this morning on the HOF snub of Marvin Miller, ESPN and Chass in the NYT

  50. david h on December 4th, 2007 11:47 am

    …47 continued…basically, why would the explanations I was questioning have anything to do with Guillen’s situation.

  51. MarinerDan on December 4th, 2007 11:49 am

    How do the Red Sox have more prospects AND better prospects when they are continually drafting later than the M’s? Because they ACTUALLY know what they are doing …

    Let’s also remember that the Red Sox are willing to spend more $$ in signing their draft picks than are the Mariners. This leads them to selecting guys who the M’s wouldn’t take in the same position — guys that would cost too much to sign. This is one advantage that the Red Sox have that doesn’t depend on the stupidity of Bavasi.

  52. gwangung on December 4th, 2007 11:53 am

    Focussing on just Bavasi seems a bit short-sighted, given the lack of priority given to things like this under previous regimes. It just seems symptomatic of the entire organization.

  53. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 11:54 am

    why would the explanations I was questioning have anything to do with Guillen’s situation.

    I think people are grasping at straws to try to come up with some kind of intelligent or at least “secret” basis for the M’s failure to offer Guillen arbitration. If Guillen had been a Type A, then it is at least maybe theoretically possible that he had gotten a clause in his contract where the M’s wouldn’t offer him arbitration.

    But as a Type B, even this far-fetched possibility doesn’t even hold up.

    And as has been mentioned, when you look at the range of players who have been sandwich picks over the last few years, it is staggering how stupid Bavasi and M’s were to just miss this….

  54. pensive on December 4th, 2007 11:54 am

    Kuroda certainly appears to have gotten very pricey 4/11 per year. Some team will pay. Should it be the Mariners?

  55. MarinerDan on December 4th, 2007 11:57 am

    This is being reported in a Bay Area paper:

    The Tigers want Haren enough that they might be induced to part with outfielder Cameron Maybin and pitcher Andrew Miller, according to one source.

    That would be a sweet haul for Billy Beane. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.

    Also, apparently there are some Lincecum rumors floating around:

    Sabean said one team made an “interesting” offer for Lincecum. Among the rumors: The Reds parting with outfielder Jay Bruce, a blue-chip prospect, or a package involving third baseman Edwin Encarnacion; the Blue Jays parting with outfielder Alex Rios.

    If Jones + Clement could land Lincecum, I think I would pull the trigger.

  56. bakomariner on December 4th, 2007 11:58 am

    my opionion matters not, but i wanted the Ms to get Kuroda last year, before he re-signed in Japan…i really think he will do well as a #3 or #4…

  57. Ace on December 4th, 2007 12:00 pm

    The Guillen risk isn’t as simple as what Dave says. In a similar case last year the union was going to file a grievance when the Padres cut Todd Walker in the exact same circumstances.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=players%27+association+grievance+Walker

    I don’t know what the results of the grievance are, perhaps they didn’t file it because the A’s picked up Walker, or it hasn’t been arbitrated yet. The Union’s contention is that the Padre’s cut Walker only because he won arbitration, and that that is not allowed. It very well could be that an arbitrator might decide that a player can’t be released just because the club didn’t win it’s arbitration award.

    So unless Dave knows for sure that the union filed and lost its case it would be a very real possibility that if the M’s offered arbitration they could get stuck with the whole contract. Arbitrators over the years have tended to favor the players in these kind of work rule disputes.

  58. msb on December 4th, 2007 12:07 pm

    #54– FWIW, the San Jose paper has already mentioned the Ms re: Lincecum

  59. joser on December 4th, 2007 12:07 pm

    So that’s the second Guillen the M’s have allowed to leave for nothing when they could’ve gotten something of value in return, and in both cases they gave the appearance that they were so concerned about non-financial / non-playing issues that they were willing to look stupid by making a bad business decision. Honestly, trying to figure out what’s going on in the heads of management / ownership is often akin to the “kremlinology” of the cold war, when analysts had to look at parade review stand seating charts to try to divine what was actually happening in the halls of power. Fortunately, this is less important. Unfortunately, it also seems less rational.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s #2. And the reason they are lying is that it has to do with the Mitchell report.

    Except that a front office with brains and balls would offer arbitration and then get him to KC before the report came out. Same net result but you’ve got a draft pick. Instead of picking KC’s pocket, they’ve just picked yours (or, more accurately, picked up what fell out of your pocket and is lying on the street, thanks to your own shoddy tailoring).

    We all know the Mariner’s tend to do make some “interesting” decisions every offseason. But what I want to know is… where did Kansas City find $36M to sign Jose Guillen?

    They offered $70M to Torii Hunter (Guillen is their Hunter the way Bedard is the M’s Santana, except they didn’t have to give up any talent and they actually signed him). Didn’t you get the memo? Baseball is awash with money. Kansas City is getting about $25M in revenue sharing this year, on top of their cut of the merchandise, overseas, and national TV contract revenue. So they’re using it. And they appear to be using it wisely, or at least not squandering it. I hate to say it, but signing players the M’s have given up on is probably the same kind of indirectly intelligent strategy as trying to grab anybody the Twins have targeted in a trade or avoiding any pitcher the Braves don’t want.

    (BTW, that linked KC Star story makes it clear that the Royals had Guillen in mind, and were widely known to have him in mind, well before this week — making the decision by the M’s not to offer arbitration all the more mystifying).

  60. MarinerDan on December 4th, 2007 12:14 pm

    #57 — Thanks for the link re the M’s and Lincecum.

    Frankly, I would rather acquire Lincecum than either Santana or Bedard.

    That the Giants would consider trading him (even given the state of their putrid offense) is mind-boggling.

  61. joser on December 4th, 2007 12:19 pm

    I think the overall decision might border more into their upcoming draft philosophy. I could easily see the M’s breaking slot this year with a lower overall pick. Allocating the money from the supplemntal pick into their 1st round

    You wish. This team has always been careful to stay on Selig’s good side, and there’s zero indication that has changed. IIRC, the M’s first pick is at #20 in 2008 — how much slot are they going to have to break? (Yet one more reason to rue the mirage that was that mid-summer surge to 20 games over .500).

  62. D Truth on December 4th, 2007 12:22 pm

    [i]The Seattle Mariners and Reds were known to be two teams in pursuit of Lincecum and able to offer a variety of young position players. The rough outline of a deal with Seattle would have reshaped both franchises, with the Mariners potentially shedding first baseman Richie Sexson and the Giants moving veteran infielder Ray Durham or Rich Aurilia.[/i]

    Why would the Giants ever include Lincecum in a deal to get Sexson? There must be some other players involved?

  63. david h on December 4th, 2007 12:22 pm

    Joser – the M’s couldn’t “get him to KC before the report came out.” The M’s have no control over KC’s front office free agent decisions or Guillen and his agent’s decision to sign somewhere. And it wouldn’t be picking KC’s pocket – as a Class B free agent, the M’s would get a sandwich pick between rounds 1 and 2, not one of KC’s picks.

    Unless you are talking about offering arbitration, Guillen accepting, going to arbitration, finalizing the 1 year deal, and then trading him. But that would take a while.

  64. Evan on December 4th, 2007 12:26 pm

    It very well could be that an arbitrator might decide that a player can’t be released just because the club didn’t win it’s arbitration award.

    But the M’s wouldn’t be releasing Guillen because he won; they’d be releasing him because he accepted.

  65. Evan on December 4th, 2007 12:28 pm

    Except that a front office with brains and balls would offer arbitration and then get him to KC before the report came out.

    This would lend credence to the theory that the ownership is in Bud’s pocket.

  66. giuseppe on December 4th, 2007 12:32 pm

    Thanks for the explanation Dave. I wasn’t aware baseball teams could hedge contracts like that. Maybe I can get a job in the front office now, ’cause it seems the M’s are unaware of that too!

  67. tim_davis_fan_club on December 4th, 2007 12:36 pm

    I think the only reason for not offering the arbitration to Guillen is that the M’s front office is cripplingly risk-averse. Pansies, like Dave said.

    This isn’t the first time they’ve failed to offer arbitration to somebody, just on the small chance they get stuck with him. They signed Sexson because they didn’t want to wait on Delgado’s decision, and then be left empty. They signed Washburn because they didn’t want to wait on Millwood’s decision, same reason.

    And now, in their stampede to be sure not be “stuck” with Broussard next year, they’ve made it too obvious he’s going to be non-tendered if not traded, and thus reduced his trade value.

    Pansies.

  68. DMZ on December 4th, 2007 12:38 pm

    So unless Dave knows for sure that the union filed and lost its case it would be a very real possibility that if the M’s offered arbitration they could get stuck with the whole contract. Arbitrators over the years have tended to favor the players in these kind of work rule disputes.

    This isn’t true, and threatening to file a grievance is a long way from filing or winning one.

    To cite an M’s example, the M’s did this with Brian Hunter – he won arbitration, they didn’t want to pay him his arbitration award, and they did exactly this, dumping him and eating the money.

  69. pensive on December 4th, 2007 12:42 pm

    Evan #64– That is truly a frightening thought. One that I hadn’t even imagined. Now, wonder if Bud let leak a list and suggested teams stay away from certain players.

    No that is just too paranoid.

  70. Wood Dog on December 4th, 2007 12:43 pm

    I think it’s more likely that MLB teams actually just “self insure” against such scenarios as with Guillen. Thye don’t actually buy an insurance policy, but they just do the math an realize the risk-weighed value of the loss is about $400K, but could live with the entire $2M if they had to. Unless anyone has a real example of a team buying “arbitration loss” insurance or something. I just have never heard of that.

  71. Mo Vaughn Is My Hero on December 4th, 2007 12:44 pm

    Are you sure the Mariners are still the favorites to land Kuroda, Dave? According to the P.I, his advisers which include our old friend Shiggy, are reportedly pushing him towards Southern California and Jim Street has said they might have not really offered him the 4/$44 deal.

  72. Jar on December 4th, 2007 12:47 pm

    I am in KC, and they have been talking about Guillen since the story about the doping broke, because he has been one of their top targets for that long.

  73. Sec 108 on December 4th, 2007 12:49 pm

    “You’re either rebuilding for something special, or you’re on the verge of something special. To be caught in between is foolish,” Beane said this week.

    Where exactly are the Mariners? On the verge of continued mediocrity is where.

  74. lailaihei on December 4th, 2007 12:58 pm

    #71 – That’s exactly why I’m so against any trade for Bedard or a similar player. We simply do not need an ace pitcher right now, as that is not enough to win us a division.

  75. Nintendo Marios on December 4th, 2007 12:58 pm

    #2 – That’s the right question.

    As DMZ points out (#66), the Ms know how to calculate the $400K.

    Apparently, at least to the M’s FO, the present value of a supplemental first round pick is less than $400K.

  76. eponymous coward on December 4th, 2007 1:00 pm

    Cake and grief counseling will be available at the conclusion of the winter meetings.

  77. msb on December 4th, 2007 1:03 pm

    could we please read the previous posts before posting “new” news?

  78. Jeff Sullivan on December 4th, 2007 1:03 pm

    To add to #66, the Padres dumped Todd Walker after he won arbitration just last winter. The union filed a grievance but to the best of my knowledge, nothing came of it.

  79. Jeff Sullivan on December 4th, 2007 1:05 pm

    I don’t know why I didn’t read #56. Uh.

  80. joser on December 4th, 2007 1:05 pm

    Are you sure the Mariners are still the favorites to land Kuroda, Dave? According to the P.I, his advisers which include our old friend Shiggy, are reportedly pushing him towards Southern California and Jim Street has said they might have not really offered him the 4/$44 deal.

    I don’t think Dave has so much as suggested,/i> the Mariners are the “favorites” to land Kuroda, much less being sure of it. Also, there are reports that Shigetoshi has been talking up the Diamonbacks because he has positive opinions of Melvin and Price. Kuroda is said to prefer warm climates, so Arizona works as well as SoCal. There’s probably more marketing opportunities in the LA area, of course.

  81. wallywwu on December 4th, 2007 1:07 pm

    So assuming worst case scenario and Guillen did accept arbitration. If the M’s wanted him gone so bad, couldn’t they have just immediatly traded him and his salary for some low level prospect with no value? Or is there something else I’m not aware of?

  82. Ace on December 4th, 2007 1:07 pm

    DMZ,
    Of course filing a grievance is a long way from winning one, but it is a long way from losing one too. Dave’s point is that the worst case risk to the M’s was 2m, and that was wrong. The worst case risk to the M’s was the entire amount of the arbitration award which could have been as much as $12-13m.

    Towers was real careful when he released Walker to say that it wasn’t about the money:

    General manager Kevin Towers indicated on Monday the decision was “absolutely not” financially related. He said Walker wasn’t a “good fit” in the team’s short- or long-term plans —- that he was deep on the depth chart and that Marcus Giles would have taken up most of the playing time at second base.

    The M’s wouldn’t be able to say that. I don’t know what the circumstances of Hunter’s release were, but I see he played left field and hit .231 for them in a partial season. Perhaps that and a bad spring were enough for them to say it was a baseball decision not a money thing.

  83. joser on December 4th, 2007 1:07 pm

    Oops, busted tag, sorry.

    “You’re either rebuilding for something special, or you’re on the verge of something special. To be caught in between is foolish,” Beane said this week.

    And the M’s haven’t been able to be smarter than the rich teams, but with all the money flying around they’re finding it increasingly difficult to be richer than the smart teams. So they’re caught in between that, as well.

  84. eponymous coward on December 4th, 2007 1:11 pm

    The M’s wouldn’t be able to say that.

    Uh, the Mariners have Ichiro, Raul, Vidro, Jones, Sexson, and Broussard under contract to play outfield, 1B and DH.

    Last I checked, that’s 5 positions, 6 players. Guillen makes 7. So yes, they COULD say Guillen “isn’t a good fit in the team’s short- or long-term plans” after spring training.

  85. Dave on December 4th, 2007 1:13 pm

    The M’s wouldn’t be able to say that.

    Sure they would – they could go to the mediator and say that they were intent on trading Richie Sexson at the winter meetings, but overestimated the market for him and had to keep him around, which took the spot that they were going to give to Guillen. Or they could say that they offered him arbitration assuming that they’d trade Adam Jones for Johan Santana or Erik Bedard, but surprisingly got shut out of the bidding. Or they could claim to have discovered a new defensive metric (like, say, UZR) that revealed to them that Guillen’s defense was a problem that they hadn’t anticipated, and that because of this new information, they weren’t prepared to give him an everyday job in right field anymore.

    There are all kinds of things the team could point to that would pass as legitimate reasons for releasing Guillen that wasn’t simply because he won an arbitration case.

    And yes, the Todd Walker grievance never went anywhere, just like a grievance from Guillen wouldn’t have gone anywhere.

  86. D Truth on December 4th, 2007 1:15 pm

    So with Guillen and Meche together, will the Royal win more games than the Mariners in 2008?

  87. shortbus on December 4th, 2007 1:20 pm

    If the M’s can’t land some pitching without giving up all three top prospects (IMO Jones, Clement, Morrow) then they should reverse course and just start rebuilding. Shed the dead-weight, high salary older players (Vidro, Sexson, Ibanez, Washburn) for whatever they can get for them and replace them with younger talent. Unless the team can add solid outfield defense and pitching through free agency or trades without giving up the farm…they have a simple choice. They can be last year’s Sonics (old, expensive, mediocre) or this year’s Sonics (young, talented, exciting, terrible-but-with-a-future). Except for the whole leaving town thing…I know which one I’d rather watch.

    If they decide to rebuild, the question is what to do with Ichiro. He might be pretty ticked off about having re-signed…and might need to be traded.

  88. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 1:23 pm

    What is the present value of a supplemental first round pick?

    That’s the right question.

    Apparently, at least to the M’s FO, the present value of a supplemental first round pick is less than $400K.

    Boston is potentially on the verge of trading two of their supplemental picks (Ellsbury, Lowrie) plus a second-rounder for Johan Santana.

    I’d say Ellsbury all by himself is worth more than 400K.

    As is Lowrie.

    Two together for Santana … probably worth more than 800K.

  89. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 1:25 pm

    Of course this is cherry-picking, but a sandwich pick has got to be worth a great dealmore than 400K.

  90. David* on December 4th, 2007 1:28 pm

    $400,000 for a sandwich?

  91. eponymous coward on December 4th, 2007 1:32 pm

    They can be last year’s Sonics (old, expensive, mediocre) or this year’s Sonics (young, talented, exciting, terrible-but-with-a-future).

    Yeah, that’s worked REALLY well with the LA Clippers- rebuilding their team and dumping veterans on a regular basis. And the Atlanta Hawks, and the Chicago Bulls (exactly ONE playoff appearance since they blew up the team After Jordan, and that was last year… and they are terrible again), and…

    Using NBA teams as an example for how to rebuild your team is fraught with danger. For every San Antonio Spur team that rebuilt, there’s 2-3 teams that have been bad and stayed bad. Durant’s an exciting player, but the rest of the team is TERRIBLE, and they will never be any good without adding a lot of pieces (which they won’t do in Seattle, since that would cost money.

    Trying to bring this back to baseball, the 2007-2008 Sonics are similar to the 2004 Mariners- Ichiro was awesome, and the rest of the team was essentially complete garbage. While YOU might want to watch a 65 win team, the Mariner attendance records tend to disagree with the idea that losing is “exciting” and draws in lots of fans like you, and as Baltimore, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh illustrate, you can easily spend 10 years being terrible as a baseball franchise.

  92. smb on December 4th, 2007 1:36 pm

    400k? cheaper than cake, which is priceless

  93. msb on December 4th, 2007 1:37 pm

    Geoff updates his blog with some thoughts on Kuroda & the Mets

  94. msb on December 4th, 2007 1:41 pm

    ESPN and WFAN are reporting a possible trade of Erik Bedard to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp and Jonathan Broxton.

  95. eponymous coward on December 4th, 2007 1:45 pm

    91 …and Bedard.

    Oh yeah, that Bedard guy. Unlike the Santana derby, the M’s can make an impression on the Orioles with an offer of Adam Jones, Jeff Clement and Brandon Morrow. May even get a deal done with that. But as I mentioned last week, that’s a steep price to pay for a pitcher who hasn’t gone 200 innings in a season yet. Bedard is the team’s biggest chance to make a splash and perhaps an impact on its playoff fortunes. But the Navan, Ont. native represents quite a risk. Can he stay healthy? I was dead-set against dealing the Big Three prospects to get Bedard a week ago. Now? I’m not so sure. It was one thing when the M’s had a choice between Bedard and Santana. Now? No choice. It’s been made for them.

    Hear my thoughts on this issue right here. I’m not reversing my stance entirely, but the dynamics have obviously changed and the M’s can’t afford to come away from here without at least a shot at some pitching upgrade. No Bedard, or Kuroda, and it’s debatable whether that can be accomplished.

    Given a choice between Bedard for that package, and signing Bartolo Colon and KEEPING all those guys, it’s a no-brainer for me. Bedard’s a great guy, but an OF of Raul/Ichiro and, I guess, Wlad or Reed…. um, no.

  96. Ace on December 4th, 2007 1:52 pm

    Dave,
    I tried to find the result of the greivance and I couldn’t find it anywhere. If they went ahead with it, it would go to a labor arbitrator and there would be a formal ruling. I suspect what happened was that after the A’s picked up Walker the union dropped the greivance before it was settled.

    I think the players association would like a good test case, which Walker wasn’t, in order to establish a precedent. Guillen would make an ideal test case, as any award would be > 10m then it would be worth their time and effort. I think the union would have a legimate shot at winning, after all when a team offers arbitration they are voluntarily submitting the decision of what a player is worth to the arbitrator. Just because a contract is not guaranteed doesn’t mean it is meaningless, it is expected that both parties sign it in good faith. If the arbitrator hearing the grievance decides that the M’s submitted to salary arbitration with no intention of honoring the decision of the arbitrator, he may well decide that the M’s have to honor the full terms of the contract.

  97. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 1:59 pm

    The M’s could have operated entirely in good faith. Even if the arbitrator gave Guillen $12 Million, M’s could have then proceeded aggressively in good faith. They would then look for other options all winter, work hard at it .. and then it would come down to only two possible situations: either they would have developed something better than Guillen, or they wouldn’t have. Either way — they would go with it. If they developed something better than Guillen, they’d win the grievance. If not, they’d keep Guillen and have a better situation for $12 Million than they were otherwise able to get.

  98. msb on December 4th, 2007 2:03 pm

    Drayer says she is hearing Cliff Floyd’s name mentioned for the much-coveted role of Mariner Left-Handed Sock

  99. MarinerDan on December 4th, 2007 2:06 pm

    Drayer says she is hearing Cliff Floyd’s name mentioned for the much-coveted role of Mariner Left-Handed Sock

    That sounds about right.

    What a kick in the nuts.

  100. scraps on December 4th, 2007 2:13 pm

    It hurts to be repeatedly mentioned in these trade rumors, when no one from the organization has had the class to give me so much as a phone call. Or a text message, even.

  101. Jack Howland on December 4th, 2007 2:15 pm

    Perhaps I’m beating a dead horse here, but why didn’t they simply pick up the $9M option. Chances are very high that Guillen wouldn’t pick it up because there is no secret that he wanted a multiyear deal. If they had picked it up, another year in right field at $9M isn’t the worst thing in the world and at the very least they could have traded him to KC and saved $500K. This just seems to have been mangled in so many ways.

  102. msb on December 4th, 2007 2:16 pm

    some Gammons-ing.

    Howie Kendrick, Nick Adenhart, Jeff Mathis and a prospect for Cabrera … Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, & Ryan Kalish for Santana

  103. Jar on December 4th, 2007 2:18 pm

    “There is growing buzz that the Dodgers may get Bedard. ESPN’s Amy Nelson has a source saying a deal may be close. Matt Kemp and Jonathan Broxton would be the main pieces of a trade. Readers are reporting in that WFAN is saying the same.”

  104. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 2:19 pm

    So, the Guillen summary:

    With anything for a brain, they could have retained $500,000 AND gotten either a sandwich first-round pick or a player via trade

    Instead, they gave away $500,000 and got ZERO players in return.

    Bavasi: explain please….

  105. IdahoInvader on December 4th, 2007 2:22 pm

    102

    It ranks right up there with the ding-a-lings claiming our new pitching coach (or anyone short of God) can “help” Ramirez…sigh

  106. Sec 108 on December 4th, 2007 2:22 pm

    99- Yes the horse is dead, but it will taste better if the meat is tender, so pound away.

  107. HamNasty on December 4th, 2007 2:24 pm

    102- You forgot to add that Guillen kills his old teams, we are the new Angels for him. I see him launching a 450 foot homer on his first visit back to Safeco.

  108. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 2:34 pm

    (Guillen talked a good game about his murderous thoughts towards the Angels, but alas, actual production was pretty wimpy, sub .700 OPS — he’s just a good player whose end-game here the M’s totally mis-handled…)

  109. Ace on December 4th, 2007 3:24 pm

    The horse may be dead, but I’d like to get a few more kicks in.

    The M’s handled the Guillen situation correctly, they didn’t exercise their option because they didn’t want to bring Guillen back. They didn’t offer him arbitration because they didn’t want to bring Guillen back.

    If they offered Guillen arbitration then they are making a commitment to bring him back if he accepts. In legal language that is an “offer and an acceptance”. To make the offer with no intent to honor the result of the arbitration is unethical, and may well make the contract enforceable. And if the Mariners released him and lied to say it was not an economic decision would be unethical.

    Maybe Bavasi is just a straight shooter and not stupid, in this case.

  110. bakomariner on December 4th, 2007 3:30 pm

    109- it’s not unethical to offer him arbitration with the assumption that he would sign elsewhere and the Ms would get a pick…it’s called a strategy and good baseball business…teams do it all the time…

  111. bat guano on December 4th, 2007 3:33 pm

    Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus is reporting that Santana to the Red Sox is a done deal. The Twins get Lester, a centerfielder (not sure which one) and two good prospects. Carroll saya details will follow.

  112. Sec 108 on December 4th, 2007 3:34 pm

    110 – I agree. It is not unethical to operate within a stated framework of doing business. The Mariners would not have been setting precedent by picking up the option knowing Guillen would refuse. Nor would it have set precedent to offer arbitration knowing Guillen would refuse. Other teams do this and use it to their advantage.

  113. HighCheese on December 4th, 2007 3:38 pm

    Geez, you guys not only beat a dead horse, you remove it’s pelt and boil it in oil.

    We get it….you all see the brilliance in getting a bottom of the round draft pick for Guillen. A year ago, you didn’t even want the guy here.

    Do you really need to waste 80 posts on the subject?

  114. Sklyansky on December 4th, 2007 3:45 pm

    113-
    But now the debate is evolving into a discussion of the ethical connotations of offering/not offering him arbitration. Its just beginning to get interesting…I see no reason why this dead horse should get a respite.

    Speaking of which, that is the single most amusing defense of Bill Bavasi I have ever seen. This discussion is going places.

  115. bakomariner on December 4th, 2007 3:45 pm

    113- actually, most people that were posting last season were very pleased with guillen, and most wanted him re-signed…

  116. bakomariner on December 4th, 2007 3:47 pm

    it’s probably safe to assume that bavasi understands that the Ms lost 500K and a sandwich pick…it’s also safe to assume that he did so to avoid the negative press that would have followed the mitchell report if guillen did accept and he was stuck with him…

  117. gwangung on December 4th, 2007 3:50 pm

    We get it….you all see the brilliance in getting a bottom of the round draft pick for Guillen. A year ago, you didn’t even want the guy here.

    Well, I don’t think you get it if you think that; most of the folks here were cautiously in favor of the idea (and it was a split on actually offering him a three year deal-I think the majority would have been pleased to bring him back for one year if we could get Raul to 1B/DH).

  118. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 3:51 pm

    It is not unethical to be smart and strategic, to play the probabilities correctly, and to have contingency plans.

    If M’s had picked up Guillen’s option, they would either (a) have saved $500 K or (b) had a productive outfielder on a below-market, one-year contract of $9 million — so either keep him (for example if you trade Jones for Bedard) or trade him (very reasonable to trade $9 Mil one-year contract). Win – win for the M’s, whichever way Guillen decides about his option.

    If M’s had offered arbitration, they would either (a) have sandwich round draft pick or (b) productive player on fair-market, one-year contract (to keep or trade, with Jones or as insurance to allow Jones to be traded), or (c) lose $ 2 Million when they cut Guillen because they ethically developed an alternative that was more than $2 million better than keeping him. Win or win or win for the M’s regardless of what Guillen does.

    Instead, Guillen is $500 K richer on the M’s dime for no reason, Guillen moves on to get multi-year contract, M’s get no RF, no trade, no draft pick.

    M’s can be/should be totally transparent about all this — no ethical violations of any sort involved.

    Just fair and above-board negotiating, smart thinking, and good baseball sense.

  119. gwangung on December 4th, 2007 3:51 pm

    Speaking of which, that is the single most amusing defense of Bill Bavasi I have ever seen. This discussion is going places.

    Well, it’s not that amusing when some of us are pointing the figure up the command chain….

  120. gwangung on December 4th, 2007 3:52 pm

    Just fair and above-board negotiating, smart thinking, and good baseball sense.

    Hm. Three things in short supply at the Ms front office?

  121. Wood Dog on December 4th, 2007 3:53 pm

    I would rather see 80 posts on this topic than one post asking if we need 80 posts on the topic. Or this post for that matter.

  122. Sec 108 on December 4th, 2007 3:56 pm

    HighCheese – I am sorry you tire of the thread, but at least we are discussing something that actually happened. That is much better than 80 posts about what might happen but never will.

    Maybe I’m wrong to do this, but I come here partly to vent to people who I feel get it. My wife doesn’t care. My customers do not care. So I vent here, and appreciate the forum very much. I also appreciate the intelligence of the posters here.

  123. bakomariner on December 4th, 2007 3:59 pm

    well said Sec 108…

  124. Jar on December 4th, 2007 4:01 pm

    “The Mariners are shopping Jose Lopez, who Jeff Passan names as a possible non-tender. However Lopez already is already all tendered up through 2010 on a long-term pact. So to ditch him the Ms would have to trade him or else cut him and eat the money, Russ Ortiz style.”

    Are they serious? If the M’s just cut Jose, I am done.

  125. bakomariner on December 4th, 2007 4:03 pm

    well, looking as how the source said that Lopez is a non-tender, you probably shouldn’t believe that rumor…

    they are probably shopping him, but there is NO WAY they just release him…

  126. msb on December 4th, 2007 4:04 pm

    LaRue weighs in on why Bavasi declined arb.

  127. Jar on December 4th, 2007 4:04 pm

    Not without me going postal.

  128. lokiforever on December 4th, 2007 4:06 pm

    I too would have liked to keep Guillen under the scenario where Raul moves to 1B/DH. But since that’s not going to happen, we can look forward to Raul in Left and Sexson at 1B, with Broussard tearing the cover off the ball for someone else.

    Remember when the RedSox were desperate for a CF, and talk of trading Reed for Lester was the rumor? 20/20 hindsight is a killer.

  129. Carson on December 4th, 2007 4:10 pm

    113 (HighCheese) – Whether or not we wanted him here does not mean we can’t hope to get a free prospect upon his departure.

    This is a blog. You discuss the topic at hand. If that is “beating a dead horse” then so be it.

    People tend to get upset when they see the team they invest time and (lots) of money in do stupid things.

  130. HamNasty on December 4th, 2007 4:11 pm

    My only problem with LaRue/Bavasi, which ever one had the idea that there was no room for Guillen, is that he would have been our 3rd best outfielder. I realize that it is crowded but that means get rid of the bottom guy. If you have two women after you, you don’t get rid of the better choice. You offer her arbitration so even if she shoots you down you can get that sandwich pick.

  131. HighCheese on December 4th, 2007 4:14 pm

    loki……never believe rumors…..they are more wrong, than right. If you REALLY think the Sox were willing to part with Lester for Reed, I have a bridge for sale.

  132. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 4:15 pm

    If you have two women after you

    Now that’s a $400K sandwich….

  133. Doc Baseball on December 4th, 2007 4:18 pm

    Larue’s thinking is idiotic…

    There is NO way Guillen is going to turn down $36 Million in order to take $8 Million just because he likes McLaren and wants to get some jollies by surprising Bavasi….

    And even if in some absurdo-world, he does, M’s still can trade him — or use him as 3rd best outfielder.

  134. hansk on December 4th, 2007 4:20 pm

    With every team hoping to score big on prospects by offering their ace pitcher (see: Santana, Sheets, Haren, Blanton, Bedard, Burnett(?)) do you think that Dontrelle Willis has lost value?

    Willis was one of the first “aces” rumored to be on the trading block, but now that other/better pitchers have been forgotten Willis has gotten a lot less attention. Now pitchers are available who were good last year, unlike Willis.

    Before we were talking about Jones+ for Willis, wouldn’t it be dramatically less now? Maybe Balentien and Morrow for Willis?

  135. msb on December 4th, 2007 4:22 pm

    “Tony Reagins just told reporters that there was no truth to Angels being involved in Johan Santana negotiations.”

    and

    “MLB.com is reporting that the Tigers are set to acquire Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from the Marlins for Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and four more prospects.”

    #131. IIRC, it was the Sox offering Clement for Reed, with the M’s asking for Arroyo instead. This was followed by some East Coast rumoring of Meche/Reed for Lester or Papelbon, which doesn’t appear to have ever happened.

  136. MyOhMy on December 4th, 2007 4:25 pm

    D-Train AND Cabrera to the Tigers! WOW!! Well, the Tigers aren’t “Pansies”

  137. Sammy on December 4th, 2007 4:30 pm

    Maybe Balentien and Morrow for Willis?

    I’d want to shoot somebody if that trade was made. Willis is not a good pitcher. I’d put money on Morrow having a more successful career from here on out than Dontrelle.

  138. HamNasty on December 4th, 2007 4:34 pm

    Depending who the other four prospects are that is a lot to give up for Cabrera and the shell of Willis. Maybin and Miller are studs.

  139. dlb on December 4th, 2007 4:37 pm

    That would be an awesome deal for Florida. For as good as Cabrera is now you have to be concerned about a young player who already has motivation and weight issues.

  140. Sklyansky on December 4th, 2007 4:37 pm

    The ongoing Bill Bavasi saga reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George tries to get fired, and fails miserably at it…but instead of 22mins, this episode has lasted for four years, and may continue indefinitely. He can’t possibly be this incompetent by accident.

    If anything, him outright releasing Lopez would be preferable to the alternative, as I suspect he’d like to trade Lopez for some other team’s albatross of a contract, to pair with Vidro and Sexson.

  141. HamNasty on December 4th, 2007 4:42 pm

    Also have to assume that Cabrera is the new Tigers 1st baseman. One less place to try and pawn off Sexson on.

  142. Wood Dog on December 4th, 2007 4:52 pm

    Man, Cabrera is one of the best young hitters in the game. Along with Sheffield, assuming he recovers from his off-season surgery, this lineup just got VERY good.

  143. B_Con on December 4th, 2007 4:56 pm

    I don’t think I would trade Andrew Miller for Dontrelle Willis straight up. Florida is fantastic at getting value for their stars. Imagine what Hanley Ramirez will fetch a few years from now!

  144. msb on December 4th, 2007 4:59 pm

    so, if Cabrera does go to Detroit, and the Angels are still looking for that elusive power hitter to “protect” Vlad, where do they go next? Tejada?

  145. msb on December 4th, 2007 5:03 pm

    oh, Groz. he thinks Detroit aced the deal, because the deal was for “three minor leaguers, and two guys off their 25-man roster, so they didn’t really give up anyone”

  146. Mike Snow on December 4th, 2007 5:10 pm

    Also have to assume that Cabrera is the new Tigers 1st baseman.

    No, Carlos Guillen is the new Tigers first baseman, that’s why they traded for Renteria. My thought would be that they may try to put Cabrera back out in left field, especially if he’s been getting himself in better physical condition, as the latest reports would have us believe.

  147. Carson on December 4th, 2007 5:13 pm

    msb – You’re not surprised, I hope.

  148. Steve Nelson on December 4th, 2007 5:18 pm

    #109: It’s not an offer and acceptance because the offer and acceptance process is goverened by a labor agreement that confers specific rights to the parties involved. And one of the rights specifically negotiated into the agreement is the right of the club to terminate a standard contract at specific points during the season. (Actually, the standard contract probably integrates the relevant provisions of the CBA, which includes the right to terminate the contract in accordance with established procedures.)

    Were we to apply your logic, a team could never terminate a player contract. But that logic would then effectively negate the termination provision of the CBA, and it’s clear that the parties (MLB and the MLBPA) specifically bargained that provision into the agreement.

  149. Mr. Egaas on December 4th, 2007 5:24 pm

    Anybody think they play Guillen at 3rd and move Cabrera to 1st?

  150. dlb on December 4th, 2007 5:31 pm

    I’ve heard the Tigers are trying to ditch Inge and Thames now. I wouldn’t mind seeing Thames in the M’s outfield…or maybe put Inge at first.

  151. thr33niL on December 4th, 2007 5:38 pm

    Are you kidding? Thames IS Richie Sexson and makes Raul Ibanez look good defensively.

  152. MyOhMy on December 4th, 2007 5:57 pm

    149 – I think they just might try that. It probably depends on him actually losing the weight and not allegedly losing the weight. I surely don’t see Cabrera in Left as stated in #146. The Tigers are stacked in the OF with Ordonez, Sheffield, Granderson, and didn’t they sign or trade for Jacque Jones …

  153. thefin190 on December 4th, 2007 5:57 pm

    Wow what a trade, did not see that one coming. Marlins can never seem to ever afford to keep their vets, but when they are traded the Marlins’ GM can always seem to get good players out of the deals. I don’t know if people know this, but Willis was almost traded for a package which included Verlander before 2006. Imagine Verlander on the Marlins now, odd right?

    Also, this is good news because this pretty much ends the possibility of Jones being traded for Willis.

  154. Ron Stevens on December 4th, 2007 6:14 pm

    Everyone should realise Seattle is more than one player away from being a legitimate contender;but if you can improve your team,why not optimize that opportunity;being better is an improvement over stagnation.

  155. Mo Vaughn Is My Hero on December 4th, 2007 6:25 pm

    Come on Twins, you’re holding everything up. Just decide on Santana already.

  156. pensive on December 4th, 2007 6:28 pm

    At this point in time BB should look at Rule 5 players and players non-tendered.

    Kuroda seems to be playing typical rumor strategy unlike report over a week ago he would have answer in 4 Days. On Thanksgiving Day,

    Normally I would believe it is only money ,spend what it takes. Now have been daily reading USSM; therefore feel differently now.

    Please don’t trade our shiny top prospects. Our sloth footed, slow bat gritty vets surely will be at home with Lou or Dusty Baker.

  157. niterunner on December 4th, 2007 6:30 pm

    113 (HighCheese) The point is that we had an opportunity which we did not take. Guillen seemed to be adamant about a multiyear contract and wound up signing a multiyear deal.

  158. msb on December 4th, 2007 6:37 pm

    FWIW, Cabrera supposedly has already taken 15 lbs off with his new “I’m going to be traded” exercise regime…

    #147– well, he reads USSM, he’s talked to Dave for several months… I always hope.

  159. kennyb on December 4th, 2007 6:44 pm

    I can’t stop the cycle of laughing then getting frustrated then laughing again as I read this thread. First of all, how do we get to 400k as the cost of cutting Guillen if he accepts arbitration? If we assume that the “penalty” for cutting him after arbitration is 2mil, and the chances of this happening are 20%, the best case loss is 2mil. If I bid on something on ebay for $100 and figure I have a 20% chance of winning it, it still costs me $100 if I do win it.
    In addition, lets say the M’s offered and Guillen accepted arbitratin. Then they cut him and have to pay 2mil, this sight would go ballistic! I can hear it now -”Can you believe the M’s just threw away 2mil? Why didn’t they cut him before offering arbitration?”
    Or maybe we could claim we only owe a 400k penalty. We have the math on this thread to prove that.

  160. lailaihei on December 4th, 2007 6:47 pm

    Florida wins that deal with the Tigers. Tigers are going to decline decline decline…

  161. joser on December 4th, 2007 6:50 pm

    Drayer says she is hearing Cliff Floyd’s name mentioned for the much-coveted role of Mariner Left-Handed Sock

    You know, I had this exact suggestion, and I went on about it to anybody who would listen…in the 2002-2003 offseason. The intervening five years have not been kind to the athlete or to the idea.

  162. smb on December 4th, 2007 6:56 pm

    140

    You’re right…I bet Bavasi climbs into his office through the HVAC ducting.

  163. msb on December 4th, 2007 6:58 pm

    speaking of Shannon, KOMO has their hot stove show tonight at 7, with Ms Drayer reporting in from Nashville

  164. NBarnes on December 4th, 2007 6:59 pm

    The Marlins have a retarded amount of cost-controlled talent.

  165. joser on December 4th, 2007 6:59 pm

    The ongoing Bill Bavasi saga reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George tries to get fired, and fails miserably at it…but instead of 22mins, this episode has lasted for four years, and may continue indefinitely. He can’t possibly be this incompetent by accident.

    My theory: he’s still secretly employed by the Angels. Either that, or Bavasi Sports Partners is some evil cabal that is scheming, opus dei-link, to take control of all of MLB. Albino monk, bald giant, what’s the difference?

  166. joser on December 4th, 2007 7:31 pm

    Marlins can never seem to ever afford to keep their vets, but when they are traded the Marlins’ GM can always seem to get good players out of the deals.

    The Marlins don’t want to keep their vets (remember, it was Marlins president David Samson who said that Ichiro’s contract was “the end of the world as we know it”). The Marlins have won the world series twice, and got the rest of MLB to pay them to play ball in between (Marlins 2006 payroll: $14.9M; Marlins 2006 revenue sharing payout: $31M; Marlins 2006 profit: $43M, best in MLB that year). It’s a bitch for their fans (however many are left in what should be a baseball hotbed, who understandably reward this contempt with indifference) but it’s a fine business strategy (especially when you can scream poverty to try to crowbar a new stadium out of the city/county/state). Meanwhile, Loria bought the Marlins in 2002 for $158M. Forbes magazine in April 2007 valued the club at $244M. Combined with profits he’s pocketed over that span, that’s a pretty decent ROI.

  167. Tom on December 4th, 2007 7:38 pm

    Thank god Miguel Cabrera won’t be in our division, but I would’ve rather had him head to the NL.

  168. naviomelo on December 4th, 2007 8:27 pm

    Drayer’s reporting that the M’s are interested in Geoff Jenkins right now on KOMO.

  169. naviomelo on December 4th, 2007 8:30 pm

    Drayer just said that the reports about a four-year offer to Hiroki Kuroda were false, and that Kuroda is looking for a four-year deal.

  170. msb on December 4th, 2007 8:37 pm

    She and others today; also re: Kuroda, she understands one of his agents has been fielding the offers, and will take them back to Japan, so nothing may happen until next week.

    re: Jenkins, she also mentioned Cliff Floyd as a name that has come up with the Ms through the years.

    She said that before going on-air she took a call from a national writer who was saying that Bedard is down to the Mets, the Jays & the Mariners, and that the M’s supposedly have 2 pitchers on the table.

  171. thr33niL on December 4th, 2007 9:05 pm

    If they are hot on Jenkins and Floyd, that must mean Jones must have a real possibility of being dealt.

    Interesting.

  172. msb on December 4th, 2007 9:05 pm

    more from KOMO. Mac cancelled his trip to Venezuela to hang around the winter meetings– whatever that might mean…

    Trey Hillman has been selling Kuroda as a #2 or 3 pitcher to anyone who asks about him; Mac said that when talking to Kuroda in Japan, Hiroki asked more questions relating to his family in the States than baseball-related questions…

    Mac says he wants more stealing from AJ & Betancourt, and they will be working on that this spring. Jose Lopez has so much talent, excellent job in the field, got some pop, he needs to stop giving away at-bats, so they’ll be working on that “and let him know we’re not pickin’ on him, just want him to be the best he can be”

  173. msb on December 4th, 2007 9:06 pm

    If they are hot on Jenkins and Floyd, that must mean Jones must have a real possibility of being dealt.

    why?

  174. thr33niL on December 4th, 2007 9:10 pm

    Losing Jones would punch a whole in RF. Since Bavasi has already declared Raul our LFer.

  175. Dobbs on December 4th, 2007 10:13 pm

    I swear this isn’t the first time they’ve seemingly purposely avoided being awarded a first round pick. Did we offer Mike Cameron arbitration?

  176. JH on December 4th, 2007 11:20 pm

    61: Joser says: “You wish. This team has always been careful to stay on Selig’s good side, and there’s zero indication that has changed.”

    Bavasi/Fontaine set a 3rd-round bonus record by signing Tui for $2.1 million in 2004. They will break slot, just not all the time.

  177. scott19 on December 5th, 2007 1:51 am

    160: Agreed on that point…Miller AND Maybin to the ‘Fish’?

    Wow…must be some juicy pics they’re blackmailing Dombrowski with!

  178. msb on December 5th, 2007 9:13 am

    #174– he has? really?

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