Win Now? Do This.

Dave · December 5, 2007 at 9:31 am · Filed Under Mariners 

As I mentioned in this morning’s post, the Mariners are in win now mode – coming off an 88 win season and with jobs still on the line, building for 2009 is not an option. However, as the Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, and Indians continue to set the bar for just what a legitimate contender looks like, the M’s have some serious ground to cover if they’re going to actually try to win it all next year. Johan Santana wouldn’t have been enough. Erik Bedard won’t be enough. This team needs to make some significant improvements at multiple positions if they’re actually going to make a run for the pennant. (Note – I don’t support this philosophy, but realize that the organization won’t do what I want them to, so at least we can try to help them do the best while pursuing a suboptimal roster building approach).

So, here’s a totally made up series of moves (please don’t call these rumors or email beat writers asking how likely these moves are – they’re fictional creations from Dave Land) that could potentially help the Mariners accomplish their goal of having to be taken at least semi-seriously in the A.L. next year.

1. Trade Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow and Jose Lopez to Baltimore for Erik Bedard and Brian Roberts.

The M’s aren’t going to get Bedard without surrendering Adam Jones, but it doesn’t make any sense to just make that move and not fix the rest of the roster. By going from Lopez to Roberts, the team takes a significant step forward at second base; Roberts is one of those ridiculously underappreciated players in the game, because his contributions (lots of doubles, walks, and good defense) are generally undervalued among talent evaluators. Like Bedard, Roberts is under contract through 2009 at a below market salary, and is just 29 years old. While the team would be trading a lot of future value, they’d be getting two guys in their primes, both under club control for two more years.

If you’re going to trade Adam Jones, this is the kind of package you have to get back.

2. Sign Geoff Jenkins to a multiyear deal.

If Jones is traded, this is almost non-negotiable; the team would have to replace him with a quality defensive outfielder or we’ll just see a repeat of last year’s debacle in the outfield.

3. Sign Bartolo Colon to a one year deal.

We’ve talked about this – it’s a good idea, and if he goes into the season as your #5 starter behind Bedard, Felix, Batista, and Washburn, the downside if he gets hurt is limited (Rowland-Smith and Baek are still around), and the upside is still there for him to move into the upper half of the rotation, removing the team’s need to potentially throw Washburn to the wolves in a playoff series.

Ideally, they’d go beyond even these moves, dealing either Sexson or Vidro and replacing Ibanez with a real outfielder as well, but that might be asking for too much. If they’re going to get serious in a deal for Bedard, however, this is the path they need to commit to going down. Bedard and Kuroda is just not enough to make them real contenders. This team needs more than that.

Adding Roberts and Jenkins to the offense would add two more bats that can swing from the left side and are a good fit for Safeco Field, while also hopefully keeping the defense at least passable, rather than the disaster it was last year.

I’d still rather the team not trade Jones in some far fetched attempt to grasp at glory, but if they’re going to do so, at least we can hope that they’ll do something like this. Don’t settle for just adding a pitcher or two – either get serious, make the team good, or hold your cards.

Comments

142 Responses to “Win Now? Do This.”

  1. Mike Snow on December 5th, 2007 9:36 am

    I don’t think that package gets you both Bedard and Roberts. You’d probably have to throw in Balentien as well.

  2. SDRE on December 5th, 2007 9:52 am

    I like the last line Dave. “either get serious, make the team good, or hold your cards.”

  3. TaylorD7 on December 5th, 2007 9:58 am

    The Baltimore trade seems pretty unrealistic, especially given Peter Angelos’ love for Brian Roberts…..from what I can gather from media reports, that package probably doesn’t even net Bedard alone.

  4. tdierkes on December 5th, 2007 10:00 am

    I think the Orioles would require that for just Bedard, or else not trade him to the Ms.

    Plus Colon has said he wants a multiyear deal.

  5. bermanator on December 5th, 2007 10:08 am

    If Baltimore deals Roberts, you know that Andy McPhail really has total authority and Angelos has washed his hands of interfering with baseball ops.

    I agree with the premise that you need to get a lot back if you trade Jones, but Baltimore doesn’t take this offer. It can do better from other systems, who have more elite prospects to deal and/or don’t value the ones they have properly.

  6. Dave on December 5th, 2007 10:11 am

    You guys believe way too much of what you read on mlbtraderumors or other useless sites of that ilk. Just because the rumors say that the Orioles can get three blue chip prospects for Bedard doesn’t mean its true.

  7. bermanator on December 5th, 2007 10:14 am

    Dave-

    Then the Orioles will keep him. He’s still under contract for two years, so they can try again during the mid-season trade deadline, or next offseason. There’s no rush.

    Besides, there is no way that any team will get Roberts without an overwhelming offer. He’s the owner’s favorite player.

  8. hub on December 5th, 2007 10:18 am

    “You guys believe way too much of what you read on mlbtraderumors or other useless sites of that ilk. Just because the rumors say that the Orioles can get three blue chip prospects for Bedard doesn’t mean its true.”

    Agreed. However, what evidence is there that Jones/Morrow/Lopez gets both Bedard AND Roberts?

  9. huhwhat on December 5th, 2007 10:26 am

    Hey this suggestion sounds slightly similat to the one Jason Churchill posted earlier at PI.

    Anyways, even with the suggested moves, the M’s still don’t look like contenders when compared to Cle, NY, Bos and Det. At least in my opinion.

  10. bakomariner on December 5th, 2007 10:28 am

    I will admit to reading mlbtraderumors.com daily for entertainment purposes only…they just report every rumor they can find…you can’t take it as actually going to happen…

  11. Dave on December 5th, 2007 10:29 am

    Look at how premium prospects are being handled in trade negotiations. For Johan Santana, the Yankees would part with Philip Hughes, but then no other supremely talented players – it was Hughes and role players.

    Same with the Red Sox – they’d give up one of the guys they’re high on, and then a bunch of okay guys, but won’t budge and include two of their “star” prospects.

    The Marlins got two star prospects and a few interesting guys, but it cost them one of the five best players in the game and a guy who still has a reputation as a good young pitcher. Say what you will about Bedard and Roberts, but they’re not Cabrera and Willis.

    And the Marlins took that deal after the Angels agreed to give up either Kendrick or Adenhart, but not both, in return for Cabrera.

    Adam Jones is viewed in the same light as Hughes, Ellsbury (despite the fact that he’s way, way better than the overrated Boston CF), Maybin, and Kendrick. That’s the kind of trade value he has. And the market has very clearly been established that one of those premium type young players, plus a few other not-premium guys, is the going rate for an all-star caliber player.

    The Orioles are just absolutely not getting multiple premium players back for Bedard. If they got that kind of offer, they’d have traded him already. Jones and minor stuff is the going rate for Bedard – if the Orioles don’t like that, they can keep him.

    So, if the Orioles want Jones and Morrow, they’re going to have to give up Bedard and something. Forget what you read in the papers – that’s all crap. Look at what’s really going on in baseball.

  12. Brooklyn on December 5th, 2007 10:39 am

    I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’ve read that the Orioles would prefer to not trade Bedard in the division to the Yankees or the Red Sox – that would seem to me to reduce some of their leverage.

    Dave, what is your opinion of MacPhail as a GM? I don’t really know enough about him. Is he a smart GM or is he a candidate to get fleeced?

  13. bermanator on December 5th, 2007 10:39 am

    Dave -

    That may be true — but Roberts isn’t going to be that “something.” Angelos views him with at least as much love as Seattle does Ibanez, and unlike Ibanez, Roberts is young and fairly priced.

  14. SDRE on December 5th, 2007 10:40 am

    Sherrill’s name has come up. Is it because the M’s are afraid he’s closer to declining and are at a sell high point for him? With RR Smith and O’Flaherty, we look to have depth there.

    How high does the FO view Green? He’s made big strides this year and looks to be the 8th inning guy. Is he pretty much untouchable? (in relative terms)

  15. ArtfulDodger on December 5th, 2007 10:41 am

    It seems to me that the M’s will have to give up Jones and Morrow for Bedard, so that makes me wonder why the Orioles give up a guy who batted .290 with 50 stolen bases last year for lopez? I, for one, would love it if the O’s took that trade you proposed, we would far and away be getting the upper end. So hey, maybe they make that proposal, why not. I heard they offered Loretta peanuts to come and be our utility man. Of course he said no.

  16. Mike Snow on December 5th, 2007 10:41 am

    Ibanez is fairly priced, too, just not that young anymore.

  17. ballgamejr on December 5th, 2007 10:41 am

    I would have to agree that the deal you have laid out would be pretty fair for both clubs and one that I wouldn’t mind seeing. I wonder though waht makes you so high Geoff Jenkins? Do you value his bat more than say Shawn Green who had an OPS in Sept over 1.000? or perhaps the Left handed Outfield from Japan who’s name I can’t recall right now.

  18. Chris Miller on December 5th, 2007 10:42 am

    I was gonna say, Ibanez is fairly priced.

  19. Sklyansky on December 5th, 2007 10:49 am

    Robert’s isn’t that young, unless there’s some other source of info that says he wasn’t born in ’77. By my calculations, he’ll be 30, going on 31 next season. And Bedard is so injury prone, he’s basically an east coast version of Rich Harden.

    I don’t see their value being that high, and Dave’s suggestion would be hard for the Orioles to turn down. And if they were to turn that trade down, big deal…we’re better off with Jones anyway. But if the M’s are hellbent on being competitive, then its a great suggestion.

    Given Bavasi’s track record, I’d be amazed if he pulled something like that off. I assume he’d be more likely to trade Jones/Morrow/Clement/Balentin for Mike Hampton, because having missed the past two seasons, he is definitely due for a huge comeback, and he is left-handed, and that’d be a huge plus in Safeco Field. In his mind, he’d be stupid not to make that move.

  20. Matt from Tacoma on December 5th, 2007 10:54 am

    I don’t agree on a multi-year deal for Jenkins. He’s in decline, he’s been fragile at times, he’s a platoon player only, and he’d be way expensive for what he brings. Baseball Prospectus had him valued at about $10M over the next three years (total) before his crappy season last year. To me, signing mid-level free agents for multi-year deals is risking becoming the Orioles.

    What about Milton Bradley? He’s younger, more versatile, hits from both sides of the plate, and he gets on base. Yeah, he’s fragile, and more than a bit nuts, but he’s got good upside, too. Bavasi has already shown us with Guillen and Carl Everett Washington that he’s not afraid to bring in a guy with a reputation.

  21. toshi on December 5th, 2007 10:54 am

    Dave,

    So which of the following options you prefer, and which one you think the M’s will do?

    1. Give up Jones and a few for Bedard.
    2. Sign Kuroda for 4 yrs ~11 mil / yr.
    3. Neither of the above.

  22. km4_1999 on December 5th, 2007 10:57 am

    Dave, if we pass on Bedard, would you be in favor of signing Kuroda and Colon to hopefully a 3 year deal and 1-2 on Colon if possible? Management could continue to field a respectable team that will not win titles but not finish in last place. By doing this we don’t trade our young players and in 2 years we have guys coming off the books as well as some veteran pitchers to go with all the young studs. Decent team on the field with young core still growing. Maybe we sign a couple stars over the next 2 years and add them to the young guys and we have a good team that can compete for something. You could always trade the veterans away at the trade deadline or offseason?

  23. thefin190 on December 5th, 2007 10:59 am

    I actually like Dave’s idea of trading for Bedard and Roberts. I mean like most people here I think we should hang on to Jones, but at this point, he is viewed more as the prized prospect in a package of prospects for players. I am thinking that including Lopez is good since we want to get rid of him so bad, and that would give the O’s an immediate replacement at 2nd, and maybe his numbers would recover playing in the humid hitter’s park in Baltimore. I don’t like the idea of trading our best young players away, but I see what Dave is doing. He is trying make scenerio while having to work with the Mariners’ franchise philosophy. Dave, you’re a genius.

    And I am all for signing Colon as long as they add an incentive in his contract to lose atleast 50 pounds.

  24. thefin190 on December 5th, 2007 11:02 am

    * make the best scenario

  25. TheEmrys on December 5th, 2007 11:03 am

    There’s a Dave Land? Can I move in? It seems like a happier place then where I currently reside….

  26. bermanator on December 5th, 2007 11:03 am

    #18-

    I don’t see their value being that high…

    Unfortunately for Seattle in this case, Baltimore is likely to disagree.

  27. oar68 on December 5th, 2007 11:03 am

    MacPhail won two World Series in Minnesota. He must be OK.

  28. currcoug on December 5th, 2007 11:07 am

    It is too early to give up on Lopez, but lack of patience is a hallmark of the Mariners.

    I would not trade Jones, Balentien, Clement, or Morrow. The Mariners are not going anywhere in 2008, no matter what trade they make or who they sign as a free agent. It is interesting that the Yankees are now taking this approach, after years of exhausting their minor league system to aqcuire geezer superstars.

    Unfortunately, the Tigers/Marlins trade will probably put pressure on Bavasi to make another lopsided, myopic trade.

  29. shupurrs on December 5th, 2007 11:13 am

    I just wanted to say that I really hope Jones doesn’t go anywhere. On top of a lot of things, Bedard doesn’t help our bullpen which is way overrated and we’ve already lost our #3 hitter in the lineup. I love Bedard, but even with him in the rotation, I just don’t see the team contending with the other beasts of the A.L. Trading A.J. will be something we really regret if it happens. I’m cool with dealing Morrow in a deal for Bedard, but I’d much rather use Dave’s philopsohy and not give up our 2 blue-chip prospects. We’re the kind of team who needs to be acquiring prospects, not selling them off.

    What ever happened to Edwin Jackson!?

  30. bat guano on December 5th, 2007 11:22 am

    I’m with you on this one Dave. I’d prefer that the team took a long term approach and put the pieces in place for several pennant runs in the 2010-2013 time frame (when Felix and Jones should be approaching their primes and Ichiro! will still be doing his thing), but every year the FO seems to think they’re on the brink of winning and/or losing their jobs so a consolidation year in 2008 probably isn’t in the cards. At least with Bedard we’d be getting a nice piece to go with Felix (with luck, for more than 2 years), and Roberts for Lopez is obviously an upgrade. I’d even throw in a serviceable reliever to get this done and avoid my recurring nightmare that Bavasi trades Jones and other top young players for more total dross (I’m talking about you, HoRam and Eduardo Perez).

  31. Ms_in_Vancouver on December 5th, 2007 11:22 am

    Aren’t most scouts/analysts referring to Adam Jones’ ceiling as being close to Ron Gant? I don’t think that Jones is the superstar that everyone is making him out to be. He’ll probably be an above-average average five-tool player, but I doubt he’d rise to prime Griffey levels or anything. I’d have no qualms about sacrificing Jones for Bedard, but it does worry me about what our outfield would be like next season. One thing’s for sure, Ibanez can’t be there.

    I’m surprised that everyone seems so down on Balentien all of a sudden. Yes, he might have more holes in his swing and be less athletic in the field, but I still think he could match Jose Guillen’s 2007 production. Honestly, the thought of putting Balentien in LF and Jenkins in RF doesn’t really bother me. I just think it’s most troubling for Mariner fans, because Jones is the outfielder we’ve been trying to develop for years since we traded Jose Cruz to the Blue Jays. Dave, is there anything particularly troubling to you about the thought of Balentien starting in LF for the M’s in 2008?

    But bottomline, getting Bedard for Jones would be certainly worth it.

  32. JAG on December 5th, 2007 11:26 am

    If Jones does get traded and the M’s sign Jenkins or another outfielder, would this open up a spot for Wlad in the lineup? I’m guessing Ibanez would most likely stay in left under this scenario, but would the M’s consider shifting Wlad to 1B? It has been mentioned before that defense is not one of his strengths, so I’m wondering how feasible this kind of shift is.

  33. scraps on December 5th, 2007 11:30 am

    Dave has repeatedly said he doesn’t think Balentien is ready to start for Seattle.

  34. lailaihei on December 5th, 2007 11:33 am

    If the trade for Bedard happens along with those other trades, I’ll be fine with it. Ruining our future for one or two decent years? Ehhh not the best choice ever, but you know, I wouldn’t mind it if the Ms went all-out like this. Of course I’d rather them hold on to all the talent and maybe try to sell instead of buy…

  35. Matthew Carruth on December 5th, 2007 11:34 am

    I don’t think it’s possible to get Colon on a 1 year deal unless you go 1Y/12M or something. He seems to be holding out for a multi-year deal and he’ll probably get it.

    In lieu of Colon, what are your thoughts on David Wells?

  36. lailaihei on December 5th, 2007 11:37 am

    My thoughts on Balentien… He still has a lot to learn in AAA, and another half season or season there won’t hurt his future at all. On the other hand, if we become sellers this offseason, I wouldn’t mind seeing him start in the OF to get some major league experience. Sure he may be about replacement level right now, but he has promise.

  37. F-Rod on December 5th, 2007 11:39 am

    B.Roberts would be a great addition to the team. He is one of my favorite players and would be an excellent 2 hitter behind Ichiro. Why wouldn’t Baltimore add him to the deal and get a younger Lopez, since they are already rebuilding.

  38. bat guano on December 5th, 2007 11:39 am

    My thoughts on David Wells: He is really old and really big. Oh yeah, and last year he wasn’t very good.

  39. gwangung on December 5th, 2007 11:40 am

    Aren’t most scouts/analysts referring to Adam Jones’ ceiling as being close to Ron Gant?

    I don’t think so. That’s a FLOOR (or maybe a mid-range at worst).

    But it’s a relevant factor to think about who would replace Jones if he were to be dealt. The farm system is still thin enough that I mistrust solutions that would require the team to fill in with veteran free agents (and that’s not even going into the arena of that being massively inefficient, in economic terms).

  40. bat guano on December 5th, 2007 11:41 am

    P.S. Which means McLaren would probably love to have him…….

  41. Tek Jansen on December 5th, 2007 11:47 am

    Working within the scenario provided by Dave, would there be any chance the O’s would prefer to unload Tejada and his larger salary instead of Roberts? Or is he a “face of the franchise,” which will henceforth be referred to, by me at least, with the acronym FOTF.

  42. revbill on December 5th, 2007 11:50 am

    …who would replace Jones if he were to be dealt

    A Proven Veteran who Knows How to Win, I bet. One who’s older than 35.

  43. Steve T on December 5th, 2007 11:55 am

    Ron Gant was a good player. I’d be happy with that from Adam Jones.

  44. SoulofaCitizen on December 5th, 2007 12:01 pm

    Question to Dave–Did you give up on doing your ideal scenario for the winter (as opposed to the one you did within the current Bavasi parameters), or would it still be worthwhile to do? Assuming some of the folks in the M’s front office read the blog, which it sounds like they do, it still seems useful to give them (and use) your best shot.

  45. wsm on December 5th, 2007 12:02 pm

    I think that the Orioles might do a trade like the one proposed, but I bet they’d insist on Seattle picking up one of their bad contracts like Baez, Gibbons, or maybe Huff.

    Adding Colon, Jenkins, Bedard, and Roberts pushes the payroll up over $120 million too, so something’s gotta give for that to happen. Perhaps the Orioles would take on Sexson if Seattle agreed to take on Baez and Gibbons. That’d make Baltimore responsible for $14m and Seattle responsible for $22m over two years (I think). Baltimore would have a clean slate going into 2009 that way, which would help them in their rebuilding plan.

  46. Evan on December 5th, 2007 12:04 pm

    I love David Wells. How often do you see a professional athlete with gout?

  47. Sklyansky on December 5th, 2007 12:04 pm

    Ron Gant type numbers at the plate, with Jones ability in the field? If Hunter fetches $90 million, what type of money would a Gant type with fielding ability fetch? And we’d have him for next to nothing for the next few years.

    Short term, Bedard and Roberts would quench people’s hopes for a competitive team (assuming Bedard doesn’t miss either half or all of the season due to injuries). And if they could somehow pull that off without having to give up Jones, I’d completely reassess my opinion of Bavasi. But I still think there’s a huge Woody Woodward-esque blunder on the horizon, involving Jones, and some crap player on the wrong side of 30. If the M’s somehow emerge from the offseason without taking too huge of a step back, I’d be happy.

  48. Jar on December 5th, 2007 12:05 pm

    I pick “hold your cards”

  49. galaxieboi on December 5th, 2007 12:05 pm

    I agree. I’d be happier if he turns out to be Carlos Beltran for the M’s, but if he’s ‘only’ Ron Gant, that’d be ok too.

    I, too would like the M’s to **** or get off the pot in regards to really competing the next year or so. Wanna win now? Act like it and do it smart.

    Question. If the M’s inked Bavasi to a 3 or 4 year deal, but made a REAL effort to build towards 2-3 years down the road would everyone be cool with keeping BB? And I mean an honest effort. He wouldn’t be fighting for his GM life all year. Thoughts?

  50. Evan on December 5th, 2007 12:07 pm

    Worst case, I think, is us trading a good package for AJ Burnett. The Bavasi regime has a tendency to come up with a plan and then follow it through as best they can regardless of what else happens. If they’re set on acquring a pitcher, and all the other pitchers are gone, we could find ourselves with AJ Burnett.

  51. eponymous coward on December 5th, 2007 12:10 pm

    That would probably work, I guess, though it’s surrendering an awful lot of future value.

  52. Jack Howland on December 5th, 2007 12:10 pm

    Jeff Passan says we have gone up to 4/$44M on Kuroda. That seems a bit scary.

  53. Matt from Tacoma on December 5th, 2007 12:13 pm

    Adam Jones = Chet Lemon? A solid contributor to a pennant winning team. Not a superstar, and not untouchable.

  54. Dave on December 5th, 2007 12:23 pm

    Chet Lemon, for his career, was worth 200 runs more than an average hitter. In his prime, he was worth 25-35 runs a year more than an average hitter.

    When you combine that kind of offense with above average defense in center field, you absolutely have a superstar. If you think Adam Jones is going to hit like Chet Lemon, then you’re projecting him to be a borderline hall of famer.

  55. Borat4President on December 5th, 2007 12:25 pm

    Toronto and SF are considering a Lincecum for Rios swap. What would it take for the M’s to land Lincecum?

  56. Dave on December 5th, 2007 12:32 pm

    No, they’re not. Stop believing everything you read.

  57. revbill on December 5th, 2007 12:33 pm

    Does it seem strange to anybody else that SF seems so willing to trade Lincecum?

  58. Pete Livengood on December 5th, 2007 12:37 pm

    Who says they are “so willing”?

    Willing, in the right deal, maybe. You seem to be implying that they are anxious to do so.

    I’d be interested to know what Dave thinks the necessary M’s package for Lincecum would be, but just by guessing what his answer would be, I’m not sure I’d want to pull the trigger on that deal (unless it involved also getting rid of Richie).

  59. Tom on December 5th, 2007 12:37 pm

    The question you’re going to have to ask yourself too is whether or not Bedard is the kind of ace pitcher you would give up an Adam Jones for.

    I don’t know why, but Bedard seems slightly suspect to me. Maybe it’s that stigma attached to that Orioles uniform these days or something. . .

  60. rsrobinson on December 5th, 2007 12:39 pm

    How bad is that Cabrera for Perez trade looking now that Jose Lopez is in the doghouse? I have no faith whatsoever in Bavasi’s trading abilities so I’d rather hold our cards and let our young players develop even if it means a .500 season. It won’t happen, though. I have a feeling that Jones and Morrow will be dealt for God knows what.

  61. Tom on December 5th, 2007 12:39 pm

    #56: In a way yes, because last time I checked, aren’t good teams built on pitching basically? And Lincecum seems like he has the potential to be pretty darn good in this league for a while as long as he stays healthy.

    Of course, they wouldn’t trade him for nothing but a hill of beans.

  62. Dave on December 5th, 2007 12:39 pm

    The question you’re going to have to ask yourself too is whether or not Bedard is the kind of ace pitcher you would give up an Adam Jones for.

    No, it’s not – the question is whether or not the M’s are better off, in the short term and the long term, with Adam Jones or Erik Bedard. Screw these useless labels that everyone throws around – they don’t need an “ace”. They just need a better team, and there are a few hundred ways to make the team better.

    In a way yes, because last time I checked, aren’t good teams built on pitching basically?

    No, no, a thousand times no. How many times do we have to debunk this?

  63. shortbus on December 5th, 2007 12:40 pm
  64. Jar on December 5th, 2007 12:42 pm

    Tthe rumor sites are just posting info as they hear it, nobody promised it to be accurate, it’s little bits of news that usually amount to nothing, but it is still exciting and gives us something to pay attention to during the winter meetings. 99% of rumors don’t end up being true, and anyone who believes everything they hear from these is an idiot, but they are still fun.

  65. Chris Miller on December 5th, 2007 12:45 pm

    Good teams are built to outscore their opponents, however possible. You could have a team that’s just a little above average across the board and win lots of games.

  66. shortbus on December 5th, 2007 12:46 pm

    I personally think a swap of Jones + Morrow for Bedard is likely to hurt the team. A year from now we might not even make the trade of Morrow for Bedard straight-up, should Morrow develop into a decent starter and Bedard’s injury troubles continue.

  67. scraps on December 5th, 2007 12:47 pm

    When you combine that kind of offense with above average defense in center field, you absolutely have a superstar.

    And I remember a lot of people at the time thought he was better than above-average in center, too.

    last time I checked, aren’t good teams built on pitching basically?

    Checked with who? It may be what old baseball men say, and sportswriters, but it isn’t what serious analysts say. Teams are basically built on hitting, pitching, and fielding, in pretty much that order.

  68. Tom on December 5th, 2007 12:48 pm

    #61: If good teams aren’t built on pitching, then explain to me how the Mariners of the mid-’90′s never went to the World Series in spite of having the best offense baseball has seen in lightyears.

    Obviously you need pitching, hitting, defense, and depth to built a championship team, but seriously, where do you think teams like the Colorado Rockies were for years without any legitimate pitching depth? And why do you think the Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001?

    Hot hitting helps you win in October, but it’s the pitching and defense that can help seperate the contenders from the also rans.

    I mean, my gosh, I didn’t mean good teams are bult SOLELY on pitching. But it’s a huge part to the equation.

  69. Dave on December 5th, 2007 12:49 pm

    You’re just wrong. Pitching is about 42% of the game – offense and defense are about 58% of the game. So, a team built around pitching will inherently be inferior to a team equally built around position players.

  70. Dayve on December 5th, 2007 12:52 pm

    Nice. Let’s hope Bavasi and Co. grow a pair and makes a move that can make a difference. I won’t be holding my breath.

  71. eponymous coward on December 5th, 2007 1:01 pm

    If good teams aren’t built on pitching, then explain to me how the Mariners of the mid-’90’s never went to the World Series in spite of having the best offense baseball has seen in lightyears.

    If good teams can’t be built without superior pitching, explain the 1970′s Cincinnati Reds (stacked with great position players, and their best pitcher was probably Gary Nolan, career record 110-70, before Tom Seaver showed up… at which point they started tanking, anyway), or the 1990′s Cleveland Indians (whose best pitchers were Orel Hershiser at the tail end of his career, and Bartolo Colon at the beginning of his- but were LOADED with position player stars).

    Quit assuming there’s one way to build a team. It’s just not so.

  72. Tom on December 5th, 2007 1:02 pm

    #68: Ya, because lord knows the Angels were inferior to us this year because they were a team built around pitching and defense aside from #27.

  73. Dave on December 5th, 2007 1:03 pm

    I’m not going to argue this with you. You’re wrong, and you can continue to be wrong if you want, but smarter people than you have resolved this issue, and the information is available to you if you want to bother to look for it.

  74. shortbus on December 5th, 2007 1:04 pm

    Now they’re talking Jones and Morrow and who-knows-what plus $20 million / 7 years for Santana. The only way this helps us catch up to the top-tier teams is by making the M’s a more attractive place for free agents to sign…but then we won’t have nearly as much money to spend on those free agents. Just in terms of on-the-field impact this trade is a clear improvement for this season…but every season after that (as Jones and Morrow become seasoned) it looks worse. And we won’t have that money to use in free agency.

    Fire Bill. Rebuild.

  75. TheEmrys on December 5th, 2007 1:04 pm

    #67 – When making claims about the M’s in the 90′s, please contrast them with the same-era Ranger’s. That team was built for slugging, but went no where. The M’s teams had very, very good offenses, stellar defense, and good pitching. Its the mix of things, not individual components.

    Also, think in terms of 90′s Braves. Pitching was not enough for them to win all the World Series they appeared in, but they sure got there (a lot!) with fairly well-rounded teams. Their pitching was amazing, but always needed some help at the plate.

  76. SDRE on December 5th, 2007 1:08 pm

    #71 Just had a flashback nightmare. #27 is so talented. I want to be a fan but I have to hate him. Mac, please, as a christmas present to all of us, don’t pitch to Vlad with runners on this year no matter what. Just don’t.

  77. rsrobinson on December 5th, 2007 1:09 pm

    Johan Santana in a Mariners uniform isn’t going to happen. I’ll run around the block naked if it does.

  78. Mike Honcho on December 5th, 2007 1:10 pm

    No, they’re not. Stop believing everything you read.

    No offense, Dave, but I think Ken Rosenthal’s sources are better than yours. I doubt a deal gets done, but I don’t doubt that there are discussions about such a deal. Especially when it’s coming from several different writers.

  79. shortbus on December 5th, 2007 1:13 pm

    The only reason I’d want this trade to happen is that my annoying Red Sox fan buddy keeps mailing me about how they might as well cancel the season and just hand the title to the Sox if they get Santana. It would be nice to rub it in his face.

    Which brings up the question…isn’t there value in keeping the other top teams from having Santana? How should that figure into the M’s calculations? If the Angels get him the M’s are just that much further behind them for the AL West pennant.

  80. Tom on December 5th, 2007 1:17 pm

    #74: The fact that the Braves needed help at the plate though should be expected with NL teams after the DH rule came about since NL teams are built around small ball. But that pitching you speak of with the Braves, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

    Sure the position players they had and the depth of that whole ball club were big reasons why they were able to do well every year, but what seperated the Braves from the rest of the pack is that in the postseason, the NL teams with the hottest hitting had to face Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, and possibly Steve Avery in an average series.

    I swear, people don’t give those guys enough credit for what they did in the ’90′s. They won their division every non-strike year from 1991-2005 and they went to the World Series five times in the ’90′s and four times from ’91-’96.

    Certainly all aspects of the game are important and in order to have a successful team, you need to build it around pitching, hitting, and defense. But lets put it this way, if I was starting a team tomorrow and my first pick was either an elite pitcher or an elite hitter both of the same skillset and potential, I’d pick the better player regardless (see Ken Griffey, Jr. vs. college pitcher Mike Harkey, 1987 draft) but if I was 110% convinced they both had the same potential and mindset to be great players, I’d probably take the pitcher.

  81. Dave on December 5th, 2007 1:17 pm

    I doubt a deal gets done, but I don’t doubt that there are discussions about such a deal.

    And here’s how this discussion went:

    Toronto: Hey, man, we’re shopping Rios for a starter.
    San Fran: Great, we like Rios. What do you think of Lowry?
    Toronto: He sucks. We like Lincecum.
    San Fran: Bye.

  82. Dave on December 5th, 2007 1:18 pm

    but if I was 110% convinced they both had the same potential and mindset to be great players, I’d probably take the pitcher.

    And you would be demonstrably wrong to do so.

  83. shortbus on December 5th, 2007 1:22 pm

    Put this in the mix of the calculations on offering Guillen arbitration. He’s apparently been caught up in the steriods / HGH mess. My guess is the M’s were worried that once this came out, he might end up finding no takers on the market and they’d be stuck with him.

    Of course, as Dave pointed out, they could then have released him for a small portion of the arbitration award.

  84. Matt from Tacoma on December 5th, 2007 1:39 pm

    #66 – comparing Jones to Chet Lemon was meant to be a compliment, and to include above average defense, above average power, some plate discipline, and a bit of persistent trouble with the breaking ball. That’s a much better player than Ron Gant, but not really a borderline hall-of-famer. You’d have found those by looking about 200 feet plateward from ol’ Chester.

  85. Carson on December 5th, 2007 1:41 pm

    82 – Good thing about 50 people didn’t bring that up yesterday on this very blog.

  86. joser on December 5th, 2007 2:00 pm

    No offense, Dave, but I think Ken Rosenthal’s sources are better than yours.

    We’re not comparing sources. If Rosenthal prints “Martians are invading!” does Dave need a source to write “No, they’re not”?

  87. galaxieboi on December 5th, 2007 2:02 pm

    Depends upon Rosenthal’s source. If it’s Scott Boras or Bill Bavasi, I’ll go with Dave. But if he’s got an insider at NORAD…

  88. Tuomas on December 5th, 2007 2:06 pm

    Interesting news [ot]

  89. Mike Honcho on December 5th, 2007 2:18 pm

    85 – ??? That’s a silly analogy. Are you calling Rosenthal’s Rios/Lincecum report as bogus as a “the Martians are coming!” report? Based on what?

    Further, if Rosenthal was a well-known and well-respected reporter covering NASA exploration, while Dave was a blogger who often wrote about the Big Bang, I’d want Dave to have a reliable source before I automatically dismiss what Rosenthal had to say.

    Finally, and obviously, while Dave does a fantastic job of studying and explaining player value, proper roster construction, and the like, I’m still going to believe a report from Rosenthal re: possible deals before I believe Dave. That has to do with the fact that Rosenthal is there in Nashville, and has more reliable sources.

    Likewise, I’ll come here to learn whether any rumored trade is a good one before I take Rosenthal’s word for it.

  90. CrazySuggestionGuy on December 5th, 2007 2:21 pm

    what about Andruw Jones?

    Geoff Jenkins will pan out somewhere between Jeromy Brunitz and Richie Sexson the next few years. If you’re going to give $10mil to a mediocre player, why not spend $15 and get someone who at least was great once, and Andruw Jones has a much higher ceiling (still) than Geoff Jenkins.

    and Kuroda?

    I would also go for Kuroda over any of these trades. We don’t have enough talent in the organiztaion to give away these prospects. Kuroda costs nothing in prospects, is not a walrus like Colon, and has got to at least as good as our 3rd starter (Don’t even get me started on what I think Batista will do next year).

    These moves are both relatively high risk, but also high reward. I agree with general consensus that we’re a lot closer to 3rd place than 1st in the AL (which is another reason we need to get rid of Bavasi, his need to keep his job is beginning to get the way of the M’s long term success), and we need to hit a couple home runs this offseason to even match our win total from last year.

  91. Chris Miller on December 5th, 2007 2:22 pm

    I suspect releasing Guillen was a PR move, albeit a stupid one. Of course this is the same GM that non-tendered Cameron. I just think (hope) Bavasi did it because it’s what the upper brass wanted, and not because he thought it was the best move.

  92. CrazySuggestionGuy on December 5th, 2007 2:24 pm

    besides, think how much fun it would be to have the full names on the back of ADAM JONES and ANDRUW JONES jerseys… ;)

  93. msb on December 5th, 2007 2:24 pm

    Baker’s latest entry talks a bit about Lopez, and links to Heyman’s piece today on trying to get anything done with the Os

  94. Chris Miller on December 5th, 2007 2:26 pm

    #88, Jenkins is still a top defensive LF, Burnitz and Sexson were not. IMO, Jones for Bedard is much safer than throwing Wa$$hburn+ at Kurdora. That doesn’t make both decisions the right ones.

  95. Chris Miller on December 5th, 2007 2:27 pm

    Or Kuroda, sorry.

  96. gwangung on December 5th, 2007 2:37 pm

    I suspect releasing Guillen was a PR move, albeit a stupid one. Of course this is the same GM that non-tendered Cameron. I just think (hope) Bavasi did it because it’s what the upper brass wanted, and not because he thought it was the best move.

    I thought it was the previous GM that did that.

    And to me, it’s clear that the suits above Bavasi are having too much influence over the baseball moves—many of the boneheaded moves are traceable to levels above the GM.

    YMMV, of course…

  97. CrazySuggestionGuy on December 5th, 2007 2:37 pm

    #92: Good point, but Andruw Jones is no slouch in the outfield either, though he is probably over-rated. I don’t think we’d get too many complaints about a Jones-Ichiro-Jones outfield. And offensively, Andruw did have a bad year last year, which is the only reason we might have a shot at him. an average year from Andruw is going to be a lot better than an average year from Jenkins.

  98. joser on December 5th, 2007 2:38 pm

    we’re a lot closer to 3rd place than 1st in the AL (which is another reason we need to get rid of Bavasi, his need to keep his job is beginning to get the way of the M’s long term success)

    But see, the problem there really isn’t Bavasi. Who is putting him in the position where he has to keep his job? I’m not saying he would be a brilliant GM if he had a long-term contract but to the extent that the “win immediately” mentality is harming the longer-term outlook for the team, the responsibility for that rests with the people holding the gun to his head. Getting rid of Bavasi just shifts the responsibility to someone else who will be in the exact same position, a different head for the same gun.

  99. Chris Miller on December 5th, 2007 2:39 pm

    Bavasi made the move, but it was probably at Gillick’s discretion. He also traded Carlos Guillen for AAA roster filler and a utility player, which was also probably at Gillick’s discretion. Still.

  100. galaxieboi on December 5th, 2007 2:40 pm

    Chris- Do you think that’s a possiblity? That Bavasi took marching orders from higher up re: J. Guillen? That might explain a few things.

  101. et_blankenship on December 5th, 2007 2:43 pm

    Word is, Cleveland is backpedaling on the Cliff Lee for Jason Bay deal. Makes me wonder if Bavasi gave Shapiro a call, although I’m sure a lot of teams are interested in Cliff Lee. Still just two years removed from a near-Cy Young caliber season and, better yet, he’s controllable through 2010 on the cheap:

    2008:$3.75M
    2009:$5.75M
    2010:$8M club option ($1M buyout)

  102. gwangung on December 5th, 2007 2:43 pm

    Well, I’d say that the current crew shares Gillick’s philosophy on player development and team construction without having a lick of Gillick’s eye for talent evaluation.

  103. Mike Honcho on December 5th, 2007 2:49 pm

    Lee isn’t really good right now; his FIP and xFIP were at 5.59 and 5.57, respectively. And his numbers have trended down the last two years – 2005 kind of sticks out like a sore thumb.

  104. shortbus on December 5th, 2007 2:50 pm

    Cliff Lee didn’t start a game after last July. He pitched five innings in four appearances in September and finished the year with a 6+ ERA. He looks more like a candidate for a salary swap for a Vidro or Sexson than someone you trade a prospect for.

  105. bakomariner on December 5th, 2007 2:57 pm

    espn is reporting a possible suspension (10-15 days) for new Royal Jose Guillen…

  106. msb on December 5th, 2007 2:59 pm

    re: #103, see also #87

  107. et_blankenship on December 5th, 2007 3:04 pm

    Lee kicked off his 2007 campaign with a strained oblique which may explain some things, but I agree – by no means is he sexy. Just suggesting that, perhaps, the Mariners stuck their big hairy toe in the Cliff Lee pool. I know we all want Bedard, but Seattle doesn’t have what Baltimore is allegedly looking for. Once Johan and possibly Haren are off the market, the competition for Bedard will be fierce.

  108. Chris Miller on December 5th, 2007 3:09 pm

    I bet the M’s knew about a possible suspension.

  109. galaxieboi on December 5th, 2007 3:10 pm

    Anyone think that Baltimore, Oakland and Minnesota are waiting for one of the others to make a move? I’d think that whoever is the last man standing would have some good leverage. Of course, neither Bedard or Haren are as sexy a pick as Santana. If anyone were to ask me (and, thank god, they won’t) I’d like Haren, please.

  110. gwangung on December 5th, 2007 3:15 pm

    So, 10-15 days suspension is worth punting $500K and a sandwich draft choice….

  111. DMZ on December 5th, 2007 3:16 pm

    Guillen has his own thread now, but thanks for hijacking.

  112. msb on December 5th, 2007 3:24 pm

    how about a wacky three-way Santana rumor instead?

  113. joser on December 5th, 2007 3:31 pm

    I need to start planning for next year. I can put up a site that autogenerates trade rumors, Eliza-style.

    Or, maybe I’ll put up a private Wiki so that invited contributers can write up their own rumors and rewrite others’, and then then the top-voted ones graduate to the public side of the site.

  114. Mike Snow on December 5th, 2007 3:38 pm

    I’d think that whoever is the last man standing would have some good leverage.

    Ever play musical chairs? You don’t want to be the last man standing, that means the really good prospects have already been dealt, too. Unless you think the supply is somehow unlimited (which admittedly, the prospect hype machine sometimes leads people to believe).

  115. bakomariner on December 5th, 2007 3:38 pm

    sorry DMZ…didn’t see it…

  116. galaxieboi on December 5th, 2007 4:21 pm

    Ever play musical chairs? You don’t want to be the last man standing, that means the really good prospects have already been dealt, too

    I totally see your point. Perhaps they don’t want to move to soon or to late.

  117. Thom Jimsen on December 5th, 2007 4:45 pm

    This is all funny. We’re at that twitchy point where we want the Mariners to do SOMETHING, no matter how good or bad, because we’re all just so poised to pounce. I get the feeling that we’d be happy if we dealt Ichiro for Noah Lowry just so we’d have something to talk about.

  118. HamNasty on December 5th, 2007 5:14 pm

    117- I agree. Except I would take 1 AAA fodder for a AA role player right now over getting rid of Ichiro.

  119. Thom Jimsen on December 5th, 2007 6:02 pm

    Tidbit for the transaction-starved: Cincinnati signs Tacoma innings-muncher Justin Lehr to a minor-league deal. Discuss.

  120. scottg02 on December 5th, 2007 6:53 pm

    Ken Rosenthal on foxsports.com reporting the M’s are apparently back in the Johan sweepstakes.

  121. Mike Honcho on December 5th, 2007 7:00 pm

    120 – In other news, Pearl Harbor was bombed…

  122. gwangung on December 5th, 2007 7:04 pm

    Dudes, you may get what you wished for if you’re not careful…

  123. martin026 on December 5th, 2007 7:31 pm

    #79
    “Which brings up the question…isn’t there value in keeping the other top teams from having Santana? How should that figure into the M’s calculations? If the Angels get him the M’s are just that much further behind them for the AL West pennant.”

    I think this should not factor into the decision making process too much. The goal should be to make the best team possible maximizing the resources of the organization. Not to grab players just to deny them to other teams.

  124. msb on December 5th, 2007 9:14 pm

    my favorite rotoworld line yet:

    “We’re not sure what’s happened more this week: ESPN writers contradicting each other or contradicting themselves.”

  125. Mike Honcho on December 5th, 2007 11:18 pm

    Per the LA Dodgers website, they have signed Andruw Jones.

    2 years, 36 million.

    Now Juan Pierre is the most over paid LF in baseball…

  126. abender20 on December 5th, 2007 11:38 pm

    heres a deal we need to get done, considering the dodgers have serious wood for veterans and Jeff Kent cant stand kemp… Ibanez and a mid level prospect (one that we secretly know isnt that good) for Matt Kemp.

    Seattle needs a Kemp to return to the city, preferably one that isnt a drunkard with kids all over the continental US

  127. joser on December 6th, 2007 12:03 am

    Jeff Kemp was a drunkard? That would explain those interceptions, I guess…

  128. JMHawkins on December 6th, 2007 12:06 am

    Ken Rosenthal on foxsports.com reporting the M’s are apparently back in the Johan sweepstakes

    120 – In other news, Pearl Harbor was bombed…

    Right, and Peral Harbor didn’t work out so good for mariners on either side, Japanese or American. Lots of ships sunk over the next four years. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself and this time, trans-pacific negotiations resolve the China quesiton and oil embargo. Er, I mean, the Kuroda issue.

  129. thefin190 on December 6th, 2007 12:27 am

    126 – You have to realize that would never happen because Mariners have serious wood for veterans too.

  130. niterunner on December 6th, 2007 12:36 am

    If we get Roberts then the best use for him would be the no. 2 slot. Additionally, according to seattlemariners.com the Orioles are looking for Sherrill in the deal.

    Dave, how about adding Sherrill, Tillman and Vidro to the deal? We’d have to take back Huff.

  131. mln on December 6th, 2007 2:09 am

    [no politics, please]

  132. scraps on December 6th, 2007 7:23 am

    [no politics, please]

  133. ooter on December 6th, 2007 8:12 am

    [no politics, please]

  134. galaxieboi on December 6th, 2007 10:13 am

    Just saw Andruw Jones signed with the Dodgers. Seems an odd deal though. I thought he’d do a one year to have a better walk year or just go for 5-7 years. Interesting. Dave or Derek, you guys got a take on this?

  135. fwbrodie on December 6th, 2007 3:36 pm

    I wonder if the M’s could somehow pull Bedard and Roberts without giving up Jones… something like:

    C Jeff Clement, RHP Brandon Morrow, OF Wlad Balentien, LHP George Sherrill, 2B Jose Lopez, RHP Kameron Mickolio, and 3B Matt Tuiasosopo

    Wouldn’t you think that some people out there would value Clement higher than Adam Jones based on his position premium and his left-handedness?

  136. fwbrodie on December 6th, 2007 3:57 pm

    Upon further review, although that would be a nice package for the Orioles if they were looking for a big time catching prospect, they already have a young stud in Matt Wieters. Too bad.

  137. nathaniel dawson on December 6th, 2007 9:50 pm

    “Which brings up the question…isn’t there value in keeping the other top teams from having Santana? How should that figure into the M’s calculations? If the Angels get him the M’s are just that much further behind them for the AL West pennant.”

    A lot of that would depend on who the Angels give up and how that impacts their chances of winning next year. If they are giving up players that can help them win at the major league level this year, it might actually help the M’s compete with them.

    Also, you have to consider the long-term impact as well, if the Angels are giving up prospects in the deal. If you consider yourself a long-term fan of the Mariners, then perhaps you would think it a good thing if the Angels improved their chances of winning this year at the expense of winning in future seasons.

  138. con on December 8th, 2007 10:26 am

    Bill James’ projections disagree with your statement that Ellsbury is vastly overrated. And yes it’s true clubs appear to be only offering one elite prospect in their proposals but one could argue nothing is getting done. I disagree with bringing in a platoon outfielder in Jenkins. Unless you want to see him hit .215 vs. LHP again with a hundred extra ABs from the left side.

  139. gohalos on December 9th, 2007 2:25 am

    With almost 30m sunk into Sexson and Beltre the first question is are the Ms willing to fork out any more just for a shot at winning the West?

    Seeing that the Ms are considering Colon, they must be expecting him to sign at less than Batista’s 6m. Well if Gagne got 10m, chances are that no matter how many buffet tables there are in Seattle, Colon will want more than Washburn’s 10m.

    Isn’t it time for the Ms to have a fire sale and get a new GM? Bring the payroll in line with Florida’s 15m a year and realize that they should write off Sexson?

    Why do people think the Os are willing to trade Bedard? Its up to the owner who vetoes just about everything and chances are he’ll go to the NL before going to the AL.

    As to the Angels giving up players to other teams. This is a myth. They might say give up Kotchman if they could land Morneau. Or they might give up Moseley and a prospect for a player like Josh Fields.

    Those kind of deals will happen. Other than that I would not expect much.

  140. Dobbs on December 11th, 2007 12:34 pm

    “Bill James’ projections disagree with your statement that Ellsbury is vastly overrated.”

    Ummmm, perhaps Bill James’ is overrating him too in that case? There’s hardly proof in projecting, but it’s all opinion in any case.

    “Unless you want to see him hit .215 vs. LHP again with a hundred extra ABs from the left side.”

    Perfect, that’s 100 ABs for Durham who historically has hit better from the right side of the plate assuming they pull off Dave’s suggested deal of Sexson for Durham.

  141. con on December 12th, 2007 11:34 pm

    Perfect, that’s 100 ABs for Durham who historically has hit better from the right side of the plate assuming they pull off Dave’s suggested deal of Sexson for Durham.

    My point was that Jenkins had 65 ABs vs. LHP last year and hit .215 (.697 OPS). You have to platoon Jenkins unless you want to give him a minimum of 165 ABs vs. LHP. Why is Durham getting those ABs in the OF? Durham is a second baseman or a DH.

  142. Mousse on December 14th, 2007 2:17 pm

    Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Phillies and Padres are now the favorites to sign Jenkins.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7564680

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