Winter Meetings, Day Three
48 hours into the winter meetings and the news continues to come out of cities besides Seattle. As mentioned below, the Tigers just launched themselves right back into the discussion in terms of AL Contenders with their trade yesterday. While the Mariners won’t think this way (after all, jobs are on the line), it’s really quite clear that the 2008 Mariners just have no chance of being in the top tier of American League clubs.
The Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, and Tigers have essentially locked themselves into fighting over position as the four best teams in baseball. The dropoff between those clubs and the fifth best team in the game is pretty staggering. They have, for all intents and purposes, taken any chance the AL West had of winning the wild card and thrown it in a wood chipper. The only way for the Mariners to make the playoffs next year is to win the division, and even if they can do that, they’re looking at having to beat two beheamoths just to even get to the World Series.
In an ideal world, where the franchise wasn’t being run on a win-or-lose-your-job mandate, and the front office could make decisions based on what is best for the franchise, the M’s would just fold up their 2008 tents and become sellers. They are three or four all-star type players away from competing with the big boys in the A.L., and they simply don’t have the resources to make the type of upgrades necessary to get themselves in a legitimate position to win postseason games.
But, that isn’t the reality of the situation. The front office doesn’t have the ability to make that kind of decision – the minute they start selling, they’re writing their own pink slips. This franchise is in win now mode – unfortunately, so are five other American League teams, and they’re all far better at it than the M’s.
So, today, we’ll see talk shift to Erik Bedard, as the M’s try to make a splash and impress some people. After yesterday’s trade, I’m now just hoping that we get through the rest of this winter without destroying the future, because the idea of winning it all in ’08 seems about as likely as Steve Kelley writing an entire paragraph.