Four years and forty-eight million

DMZ · December 20, 2007 at 2:27 pm · Filed Under Mariners 


(this from Rosenthal, who nailed the negotiation rumors, but still officially unannounced)


79 Responses to “Four years and forty-eight million”

  1. Jon on December 20th, 2007 5:49 pm

    The M’s continue to pile bad decisions on top of bad decisions, which will no doubt lead to…more bad decisions. I really fear their next move, so much so that standing pat from this point forward actually sounds good.

  2. et_blankenship on December 20th, 2007 5:50 pm

    You have to hand it to the guy. Bavasi continues to explore new and expensive ways to save his job with moves that should actually get him fired. I don’t know how he does it.

  3. DMZ on December 20th, 2007 5:51 pm

    Virdo got a 2009 vesting option as part of his trade deal. So look forward to that.
    Washburn’s signed through 2009.

    You could look this stuff up before you comment. It’s not hard.

  4. Alaskan on December 20th, 2007 5:59 pm


    My apologies. My understanding of Vidro was that he wouldn’t have the option if he didn’t get enough AB’s, and I was optimistic that he wouldn’t.

    I had a conversation about Washburn with someone just today, and I trusted their knowledge on the end of his contract.

    I’ll do better next time.

  5. et_blankenship on December 20th, 2007 6:05 pm

    And why, by the beard of Zeus, did the Mariners keep Horacio if they knew they were going to sign even ONE free agent starting pitcher? Surely a mix of Baek, Rowland-Smith and the guy who rakes around 2nd base would do less damage in the 5-spot. Is there any sane reason why they chose not to non-tender him?

  6. Sec 108 on December 20th, 2007 6:11 pm

    45 JJD – No, I actually meant it the way you read it. I was trying a very dry stab at humor and apparently failed miserably, sorry. It was either that or say something mean to someone who is happy with this team and their organizational direction. I’m just worn out complaining about what Bavasi does. I am now willing to sit back and see how ugly he can make this before he is cut loose and replaced by a clone.

  7. joser on December 20th, 2007 6:18 pm

    The small comfort that some of I take (not DMZ, but a few of us) is that, compared to lots of teams, we can afford to make this mistake without crippling our team

    That’s debatable. The mistakes add up. They overlap. And together they prevent the team from getting qualitatively better than it is. Sure, Sexson is gone after next year, and more guys are gone after that. But in ’09, we’ll be having this exact same conversation about whatever guy they spent too much on, and looking forward to the day Silva is off the books so “we should have reasonable money to spend.” It just never ends. Spending money stupidly on long term contracts now just means there isn’t money to be spent smartly in the future. Repeatedly spending money stupidly, even if “you can afford it” is just a good way to spend a lot of money without having anything like postseason success to show for it.

    It would be one thing if the M’s were far and away richer than every other team in the league, but they’re not. Or at least far and away richer than every other team in the division. But the Angels aren’t getting poorer. And if you throw a bunch of money away on long-term contracts “because you can afford it” pretty soon you’re left with having to act like a small-market team because that’s all the payroll you have left. At that point your only option is to be a smart — but if you were smart, you wouldn’t have got yourself into that predicament in the first place. Yeah, it’s nice rich like the Yankees. But it’s better to be rich and smart, like the Red Sox.

  8. Snuffy on December 20th, 2007 6:22 pm

    “joser Says:

    Oh well, it’s only money. And it’s not even my money. (Nor will it be: I went to a century-low one game last year — to see Santana pitch — and I doubt I’ll exceed that in ‘08).
    December 20th, 2007 at 2:29 pm”

    Not true joser… as long as the taxpayers fund the ballparks so billionaires don’t have to… it is our money.

    I’ve not gone to a Mariner game or any ML game since the last strike. I still love the game but I’m not giving them any of my money voluntarily. Screw ’em.

  9. Alaskan on December 20th, 2007 6:25 pm

    And why, by the beard of Zeus, did the Mariners keep Horacio if they knew they were going to sign even ONE free agent starting pitcher?

    THAT is an excellent question. But wait, isn’t Stottlemyre going to fix HoRam? IIRC, he said he had some ideas, right? So he’s our best option for #5. Maybe we don’t need Bedard or Santana after all – we’ve got HoRam and Mel.

  10. skipj on December 20th, 2007 7:00 pm

    It’s not just the money. It’s also the roster spot. If he ‘struggles’ can he be kicked down to Tacoma to give a promising kid a shot? (Recall the “Free Adam Jones” movement of last season?).
    I know there are rules about veterans, and contracts to consider, but even without that, this kind of contract means, Silva is on the roster for the next 4 years.
    Ref: (See “Richie Sexson”.)

  11. cebo04 on December 20th, 2007 7:23 pm

    I just hate how we are crucifying this guy and our FO before he even throws a pitch. At least let him fall apart before we blow this one up. If he manages to be league average over the next 3-4 years then most likely we’ve escaped total destruction.

    By the way, I’m not a supporter of Bavasi at all but there is no evidence that this guy will be a total bust (Silva)

    HoRam has to be a little bit better than he was last year, right? He’s got to be pretty cheap and he could maybe have success in long relief and spot starting. The way pitchers are paid now a days, it doesn’t seem far fetched to feel this guy may earn his paycheck this year, (unlike last year!)

  12. terry on December 20th, 2007 7:27 pm


    Silva>>>>>>HoRam or Weaver

    Upgrading #5 by tendering a 4 yr/$48M contract seems like adopting the nuclear option to weed your garden (and in the case of the Mariners it’s like weeding your garden during a drought).

  13. Typical Idiot Fan on December 20th, 2007 7:40 pm

    The money doesn’t concern me at all, it’s the years. Though the contract essentially finishes off whatever prime Silva may have (age 32 season), because extreme groundballers have years of off / on results, it’s hard to say we’ll get even max perceived value for this guy after a year or two. However, by 2011, if our rotation looks to be any combination of Felix, Tillman/Butler/Ramirez/Aumont/Morrow, Silva, then I won’t complain too much.

    There’s also a possibility that Silva hasn’t exceeded market value and may be tradable. If Dave’s numbers on veteran pitchers are right, and that ~8 million is a typical market value for a veteran pitcher, then at ~12 a year, he’s overpaid 16 million for the life of his contract, but only 4 million a year. That’s still movable.

  14. Bandit24 on December 20th, 2007 8:01 pm

    We are paying 12 million a year for a guy that wouldn’t even make the Angel’s (our biggest competition) starting rotation. I just don’t get this move.

    And has anybody noticed that Bavasi has started an acting career? I was shocked to see him in the new Alien vs. Predator previews. (He was an alien)

  15. Dayve on December 20th, 2007 8:11 pm

    I agree. I don’t believe the issue here is money. It’s never been money. We may perceive a limit to what the M”s have to offer, but there seemingly has never been a shortage of money to spend when the M’s actually make offers. If anything, it’s the quality of player they chose to offer it to and the poor contract terms they are signed to. They chronically write bad contracts and overpay for the quality of player they receive.

  16. gwangung on December 20th, 2007 8:11 pm

    I think moving pitchers is only viable for you if you have someone younger coming up through the system to replace that pitcher. And teams trading with you aren’t going to want the veteran pitcher; they’re going to want that younger pitcher (who can see as well as you) that’s just as effective AND MUCH CHEAPER.

  17. gwangung on December 20th, 2007 8:14 pm

    More times than not, when you enter the free agent market, you are overpaying for the production you get.

    Generally, if you’re going to be overpaying…you ought to be overpaying for stuff you can can’t easily get from your farm system–i.e., superstars.

    Silva is not a superstar.

  18. HamNasty on December 20th, 2007 8:26 pm

    Can we call this the dumbest thing Mac has ever said…
    “He is a strike thrower who produces a lot of groundballs, and that is going to make our defense even better.”

    Ummm, McLaren, just cause they are ground balls doesn’t mean your players will some how become more talented defenders. If they couldn’t turn the ground balls into outs last year they still won’t be able to this year.

  19. gwangung on December 20th, 2007 9:15 pm

    Can we call this the dumbest thing Mac has ever said…

    But we have so many canddates to choose from….

  20. CCW on December 20th, 2007 10:14 pm

    How many other organizations are this dumb? Really… this is ridiculous. If Bavasi doesn’t understand the problem with paying $12,000,000/year for a player who is 5% better than a guy who’d cost $500,000/year, then he’s just an idiot.

  21. msb on December 20th, 2007 10:14 pm

    fine snark from someone at Rotoworld:

    “It’s an incredible haul for a guy who spent part of 2006 banished to the pen and has given up more than a run for every strikeout he’s recorded in each of his four seasons as a starting pitcher. To put it another way, the Mariners are spending $12 million per year on a guy who wouldn’t even crack the rotation of the team they’re trying to catch in the AL West.”

  22. msb on December 20th, 2007 10:16 pm

    How many other organizations are this dumb?

    well, the Brewers just gave Gabe Kapler a major league contract at double the major league minimum to play outfield after Kapler spent last year managing…

  23. joser on December 21st, 2007 12:23 am

    “He is a strike thrower who produces a lot of groundballs, and that is going to make our defense even better.”

    So, let me get this straight: the defense makes the pitchers better, and the pitchers make the defense better? So… what, the first day they all walk onto the field together the feedback loop begins spinning until the entire diamond explodes in an cascade of infinite awesomeness?

  24. 300ZXNA on December 21st, 2007 3:25 am

    72: um actually, I have to seriously wonder if that is indeed what Bavasi is envisioning . . .

  25. Alaskan on December 21st, 2007 9:59 am

    Joser (57),
    First of all, let me say that Jeff at LookoutLanding just said almost exactly what I said – he even used the term ‘cripple’.

    I understand how you feel, but I’m choosing to focus on THIS move, not the inevitability of this mistake being repeated. Things change. GMs come and go. Speaking of which, I think the chances of BB being gone at the end of ’08 are better than ever, given the obvious mediocrity of this club, and the high chance the will end up at or below .500. I can see the ownership deciding it’s time to give someone else a chance.

    So, yes, eventually Bavasi could cripple the club – but I’m just saying he hasn’t done it with this move, and there’s a chance he won’t get the opportunity. That’s all. Also, it isn’t totally inevitable Bavasi will ruin us if he stays – after all, he’s been making this mistake for a number of years now (Sexson, Washburn, Vidro thru trade). Maybe it’s a sustainable string of errors. Unlikely, but I don’t know.

    Anyway, I am tempering your (and my) realism with some optimism. There is no defense of this move. There is only the consolation that if we were a team with a smaller payroll, we would be in even worse trouble than we already are.

  26. ArtfulDodger on December 21st, 2007 12:22 pm

    Here’s a link that indicates Brad Wilkerson’s name is being tossed around in the FO as a potential replacement for Jones in right field. Anyone have a clue on his defense (the commodity of choice on this site)?

  27. Colm on December 21st, 2007 1:47 pm

    msb – that may not be so dumb.

    Milwaukee only signed Kapler only signed him for $800,000. He could do nothing but work on his tan and still orders of magnitude less damage to the Brewers than Silva will do to the M’s.

  28. et_blankenship on December 21st, 2007 1:50 pm

    The author mentions that Cameron’s 150 K’s would be painful if paired with Sexson but failed to notice that Wilkerson’s 162-game average for K’s 162. Wilkerson’s OBP is 100 points over his AVG but the merit of such an accomplishment is tarnished when said AVG is .250ish. Besides, Cameron is a .250ish hitter and carries an OBP 90 points over AVG. So what’s the difference? Power? Nope, SLG is practically identical. Walks? Nope, both guys know how to take a walk. At the plate, the two guys are a wash.

    On the bases, Cammy is mildly dangerous but he also turns 35 in January so we probably shouldn’t expect much.

    And then there is defense . . .

    Due to injuries and his ability to play multiple positions, LF is the only position Wilkerson has played with any regularity over the past few seasons, so a look into his Zone Rating and Range Factor might not be accurate . . . but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look. Over the past few seasons, Wilkerson has a Range Factor in LF of about 2.00 (Hideki Matsui/Pat Burrell territory) and a Zone Rating between 8.45 and 8.10 (Adam Dunn/Carlos Lee). The value of these statistics is debatable, but being linked to those four guys is not a good thing unless we are talking offense, which we most certainly are not.

    With Ibanez in LF (only Manny Ramirez posted a lower ZR in 2007), the last thing we need is another plodder manning the other foul pole.

    I didn’t look up Cameron’s RF/ZR because it’s safe to say it makes Wilkerson look like stick in the ground.

    As for affordability, no doubt Wilkerson fits the budget . . . but just because a turd is free doesn’t mean you should take it home with you.

  29. JMHawkins on December 22nd, 2007 1:03 am

    Bah humbug. When did Scrooge start running the M’s. Oh, wait. Scrooge was a penny pincher. The last thing he would’ve done is pay a #5 starter $12 Million a year.

    I think I’ll settle down for a long winter’s nap.

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