Winter Meetings, Day Two
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.