Reset the counter

DMZ · January 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Fortunately it’s not a Jones trade. The M’s signed HoRam to a one-year, $2.75m deal to avoid arbitration.

Pick your reason why it’s a bad deal:
- Taking a historically bad pitcher to arbitration after seeing him suck all year.
- The deal itself
- The fact that they’re in this situation at all after bringing HoRam in believing he was potentially a top-of-the-rotation guy despite there being no reason to think that was true

Ugh.

Comments

89 Responses to “Reset the counter”

  1. Grizz on January 18th, 2008 2:29 pm

    So for correctly picking this as the next bad move, do I get a prize, like an autographed copy of The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball (book not included)?

  2. Swungonandbelted on January 18th, 2008 2:31 pm

    Awful, but I can live with this deal much more easily than I could if we set the farm system back 5 years or more to get Bedard.

    If worst comes to worst, DFA him and you’re out 2.75 mil.

  3. xxtinynickxx on January 18th, 2008 2:35 pm

    I don’t see this has that horrible. For the main reason, Mariners don’t risk paying more, and Ho-ram could be pretty decent out of the pen. Just do not let him start. It’s only for 1 season and if worst comes to worst put him on waivers and let KC deal with him.

  4. PositivePaul on January 18th, 2008 2:36 pm

    Hmmm.

    So, when exactly was it that they agreed to offer him arbitration? I’d lump this move into that date, and keep the counter spinning…

  5. Gilgameche on January 18th, 2008 2:40 pm

    How could HoRam be decent out of the pen?
    Late in a game that is out of reach, to tire the other team’s legs from running around the bases?

  6. xxtinynickxx on January 18th, 2008 2:42 pm

    Please notice I used the word “Could”. Anything “could” happen. I think waivers “could” be where he will be headed by June.

  7. Taylor H on January 18th, 2008 2:46 pm

    OK, if he wins 20 games this year, I’ll forgive HoRam for last year… maybe.

  8. currcoug on January 18th, 2008 2:48 pm

    Only in Marinerland would a mediocrity like Horramible get a raise from last year’s debacle.

  9. cgmonk on January 18th, 2008 2:49 pm

    This is a good deal if it means they are out of the Bedard sweepstakes. Lesser of two evils.

  10. DMZ on January 18th, 2008 2:54 pm

    This isn’t a good deal under any circumstances.

    If nothing else, the decision to offer him arbitration that led to this debacle indicates that the team sees something in HoRam that makes him more attractive than what’s available on the minor league free agent market, and that’s just indefensible. Now he costs ~$2.5m more than one of those guys. That’s crazy.

  11. ArtfulDodger on January 18th, 2008 2:57 pm

    Mark Hendrickson (4-8, 122ip, 92K, 5.21era, 1.39 whip) just signed with Floriday for 1.5 million. Compare that with HoRam’s (8-7, 98ip, 40k, 7.16era, 1.85whip) and you gotta wonder if better deals weren’t out there.

  12. Jeff Nye on January 18th, 2008 3:01 pm

    I must still be asleep from my nap and this is just a mildly unpleasant dream.

    I’m going back to sleep, and this will be gone when I wake back up.

  13. gwangung on January 18th, 2008 3:01 pm

    Most of us aren’t wondering…

  14. PositivePaul on January 18th, 2008 3:01 pm

    Trading for him in the first place was indefensible. Fool me twice, and shame on me!

  15. saltydawg05 on January 18th, 2008 3:02 pm

    i wish i could suck at my job like he did last year and still get a raise.

  16. Evan on January 18th, 2008 3:06 pm

    Didn’t Josh Towers just sign an affordable deal with the Rockies?

  17. bellacaramella on January 18th, 2008 3:09 pm

    Imagine working in the promotions or accounting department at the Mariners and *sweating* about asking for a raise from $47,000 to $48,500. Or being a scout and getting grilled over a $70 lunch expense. What an alternate universe that must be.

  18. Carson on January 18th, 2008 3:14 pm

    7 – I can pretty much assure you that you won’t be faced with that dilemma.

  19. BrianV on January 18th, 2008 3:17 pm

    I can’t get too worked up over this. He sucks, it’s a bad deal, but it’s not a massive amount of money and it’s only one year.

    Whatever. I’d have rather they did something smart like take a flier on Towers, but at least they haven’t traded Jones yet.

  20. Mike Snow on January 18th, 2008 3:32 pm

    As Geoff Baker points out, the silver lining is that they can give him the Brian Hunter treatment. In that case he’d barely cost more than a minimum-salary player. I don’t have much confidence they will do that, though, even if spring training shows he was still a mistake.

  21. Matthew Carruth on January 18th, 2008 3:49 pm

    I don’t think this counts. It was a bad decision when they tendered him, but once they did that; they were forced to pay HoRam something around this number. He wasn’t going to get a paycut in arbitration.

    Keeping HoRam is stupid, but signing him to a $2.75M deal GIVEN that he was tendered isn’t.

  22. Mousse on January 18th, 2008 3:51 pm

    I’m having a hard time seeing this as anything but a last ditch hope to justify a horrible trade. “Maybe THIS year is the year he’ll prove we weren’t stupid in giving up Soriano for him…”

  23. robbbbbb on January 18th, 2008 3:53 pm

    Hey, $2.75 million here, $2.75 million there, and sooner or later you’re talking real money.

  24. wsm on January 18th, 2008 4:07 pm

    They can still release him at the end of Spring Training and only owe him 45 days severance pay, right?

  25. Sports on a Schtick on January 18th, 2008 4:15 pm

    If this is the worst move all offseason I’ll be happy.

  26. lailaihei on January 18th, 2008 4:23 pm

    Maybe it’s a sign that they’d rather have HoRam competing with Morrow, RRS, Baek, and company than signing Bedard. Maybe.

  27. Evan on January 18th, 2008 4:40 pm

    They can still release him at the end of Spring Training and only owe him 45 days severance pay, right?

    Yes. And if they release him before March 15 they only owe him 30 days pay.

  28. Zero Gravitas on January 18th, 2008 4:44 pm

    If the M’s are so convinced there is some untapped reserve of great talent there with HoRam, why the heck weren’t they able to exploit it all last year when they kept running him out there? What kind of Jedi mind tricks do they think they are going to be able to pull to get this guy ready to play in the majors? At first I thought they were just unwilling to admit what a bad idea it was to bring him here in the first place, but now I’m starting to think they really believe he’s a good pitcher, which is quite scary.

  29. Taylor H on January 18th, 2008 5:10 pm

    What worries me about this move is that it may mean that instead of a somewhat revamped Brandon Morrow pitching every fifth day and being moderately successful, we’ll get a not-at-all revamped HoRam pitching every fifth day and getting lit up like a Christmas tree covered in gasoline during a meteor shower.

  30. et_blankenship on January 18th, 2008 5:16 pm

    To repeat what’s already been said, this outcome was inevitable when Seattle tendered him.

    Before you make the decision to go to arbitration against a player, and in addition to preparing your own case, you should have already a) assembled a convincing set of comparables in favor of the player to justify the worst case scenario and b) be prepared to pay that amount and be OK with it.

    It takes 10 seconds to guess a dollar amount that would probably be close and about 30 minutes of research to confirm your guess. Once you have that information, you assess the risk and investigate other options. “Would it be cheaper to sign so-and-so instead? Should we call up so-and-so? I bet we could acquire so-and-so.”

    The whole process is not that difficult. No team blindly tenders a player without considering the full scope of possible costs, risks, and alternatives. Seattle did their homework. They knew approximately how much it would cost to keep Horacio if they lost the hearing . . . and that’s the problem. They were more or less OK with paying Horacio $2.75 million before they even tendered him.

  31. Taylor H on January 18th, 2008 5:18 pm

    To add on to my last comment, this move makes absolutely no sense with Sean White, Brandon Morrow, and Cesar Jimenez all coming off excellent winter ball performances. I think I can speak for most Mariner fans in that we would definately prefer one of those three on the 25-man roster than you-know-who.

  32. msb on January 18th, 2008 5:20 pm

    Brian Hunter has a lot to answer for.

    What kind of Jedi mind tricks do they think they are going to be able to pull to get this guy ready to play in the majors?

    well, duh. Miracle Mel.

  33. DMZ on January 18th, 2008 5:42 pm

    If they were going to consider cutting him, they’d have taken him to arbitration and tried to win their case and cut him if they lost. They’re not going to agree to a one-year deal and then cut him.

  34. coasty141 on January 18th, 2008 5:42 pm

    Last year Ho-Ram piched 98 innnings and the opposing team scored 86 runs. And he gets 2.75 million dollars. I don’t understand baseball sometimes.

  35. jlc on January 18th, 2008 6:00 pm

    coasty – I think you understand baseball; it’s just our little bizarro form of it.

  36. Mr. Egaas on January 18th, 2008 6:07 pm

    Just another reason to teach your kids to throw left handed.

  37. snapper on January 18th, 2008 6:55 pm

    “I don’t think this counts. It was a bad decision when they tendered him, but once they did that; they were forced to pay HoRam something around this number. He wasn’t going to get a paycut in arbitration.”

    If anyone was going to take a paycut, wouldn’t it have been HoRam?

    How could he not get the max reduction? 20%? He had a 7+ ERA!

  38. Typical Idiot Fan on January 18th, 2008 7:10 pm

    Just to point out the obvious: he made 2.65 million last season; there was no way he was going to make less unless he was never offered arbitration. The CBA wouldn’t allow it.

    Kvetching about the money doesn’t make sense, so I would think the decision to retain him in the first place would have been the point of “bad decision making”. Unless you want to count every day the Mariners didn’t cut him as “bad decision days”, then I’d say you can keep the counter going.

  39. JMHawkins on January 18th, 2008 7:12 pm

    If anyone was going to take a paycut, wouldn’t it have been HoRam?

    How could he not get the max reduction? 20%? He had a 7+ ERA!

    He actually got about a 3.8% raise. Did better than COLA!

  40. DMZ on January 18th, 2008 7:31 pm

    The CBA wouldn’t allow it.

    That’s not true.

  41. terry on January 18th, 2008 7:32 pm

    If nothing else, the decision to offer him arbitration that led to this debacle indicates that the team sees something in HoRam that makes him more attractive than what’s available on the minor league free agent market, and that’s just indefensible.

    He’s breathing and he’s a pitcher with major league experience. Thats huge when you need a pitcher with major league experience who also is breathing. Huge.

  42. jlc on January 18th, 2008 7:35 pm

    But HoRam won more games than JJ. So he must be a better pitcher.

    He won eight games. That’s 9% of our total, so he should get 9% of the payroll. The dude is totally underpaid!

    /sarcasm

  43. OppositeField on January 18th, 2008 8:31 pm

    The title of this post almost gave me a heart attack

  44. scraps on January 18th, 2008 9:11 pm

    Worse than Bavasi’s run of poor decisions is his inability (or unwillingness) to learn from his mistakes.

  45. msb on January 18th, 2008 10:06 pm

    “Our Safety Record: [1] Days Since Last Accident”

  46. et_blankenship on January 18th, 2008 10:22 pm

    Jeremy Guthrie + Adam Loewen = $1.586 million.
    Horatio Ramirez = $2,750,000.

    What. Thee. Hell.

  47. skipj on January 18th, 2008 10:34 pm

    Hey all,
    Just wanted to log in and say that I’ve got two kids headed to college, and it has always made me feel a little guilty to sneak off to a game and spend all that money!
    With the HoRam signing, I won’t feel guilty at all this year!
    skipj

  48. Typical Idiot Fan on January 18th, 2008 11:14 pm

    That’s not true.

    Then what am I thinking of? Is it just the arbitrator him/herself that wont allow someone to make less money through proceeding arbitration years?

    Aside from players being cut and signing elsewhere, I haven’t seen anybody get less money as they proceed through their arbitration years, even if they suck and don’t deserve it.

  49. galaxieboi on January 18th, 2008 11:32 pm

    The title of this post almost gave me a heart attack

    Yeah, Derek. I just about had a heart attach. Jeez.

  50. galaxieboi on January 18th, 2008 11:33 pm

    attack even

  51. DMZ on January 18th, 2008 11:39 pm

    Practically speaking, you’re right – because of the way arb works, where a player’s compared to other cases with similar service time, it’s extremely hard to win those cases. The argument against the M’s in the Brian Hunter case, which springs to mind immediately, was “if he sucked so bad, why did you play him?”

    If you take a player to arb, it’s essentially an admission that they weren’t that bad… and then you’re in trouble.

    Further, the nature of arb, the all-or-nothing pick-an-offer decisions make teams extremely reluctant to go for the cut.

    In terms of actual restrictions, though, I believe a player can lose arb and get a cut of 10 or 20% depending on circumstances that escape me right now.

    What would it take in practice? I’d say….
    - a really horrible performance
    - an extremely well-prepared arbitration case by the team

    And maybe
    - an overly optimistic ask by the player side

  52. thefin190 on January 19th, 2008 12:13 am

    I think the only thing worse at this point would be re-signing Weaver for another year, or worse, a multi-year contract.

    Ok, what I don’t understand is, both Weaver and Horammible were comparibly bad. Weaver has since been shunned by the Mariners organization, and at this point, has yet to find a new employer. Horammible, not only is kept on the team, but given a raise for his terrible year. What do they see in this guy?

    Oh yea, let’s not forget the $300,000 in performance bonuses DMZ overlooked.

  53. Tom on January 19th, 2008 1:47 am

    Is it too late to switch my allegiances to another team?

    I mean seriously, all this team does is throw money into a flame 20 feet tall, watch it burn, and then put so much spin on why they make stupid moves.

    If someone could tell me what the point of having an absentee ownership like ours is, that’d be great. Because honestly, I just don’t see it.

  54. pygmalion on January 19th, 2008 5:00 am

    52 The amazing thing is that sometimes Weaver was an interesting pitcher to watch, and when he faced a bad team, he was able to make them look bad. Ho-Ram’s starts, however, were pretty much just crap on top of crap.

    So why not keep Weaver and dump Ho-Ram? Heck, why not sign ME to a $2.75 million deal? I know how to lose baseball games too!

    53 I too wish that I was a now a fan of a different team. This is painful to watch.

  55. rea on January 19th, 2008 6:25 am

    Look on the bright side of things. Signing Ramirez is a sign that the Mariners aren’t going to trade away the farm to get Bedard. Ramirez has never pitched out of the bullpen–his career GS are only two less than his career G–so if they signed him, they must expect that he will be part of the rotation.

    As for why the Mariners would keep Ramirez and jettison Weaver, the fact that Jeff Weaver is not only a bad pitcher but also one of the most obnoxious people in baseball may have something to do with it. At least (unlike the Tigers) the Mariners got Weaver to leave town before they had to start paying to settle sexual harrassment lawsuits brought by (female) team employees.

  56. ira on January 19th, 2008 8:40 am

    [Piniella]

  57. ThePopeofChilitown on January 19th, 2008 10:11 am

    Can we look forward to a best/worst 2007 offseason free agent signing comparison? And how would HoRam’s contract look on that list?

  58. DMZ on January 19th, 2008 10:18 am

    HoRam’s signing doesn’t mean anything to the Bedard trade. HoRam was going to be on the team before they agreed to the contract, whether they won or lost arb.

  59. msb on January 19th, 2008 10:42 am

    #55– just to be accurate, the suit was brought by a flight attendant, and Weaver was not one of the players accused of harrassment. Smoking pot, yes; harrassment, no.

  60. thefin190 on January 19th, 2008 11:31 am

    59 – Is that why everyone refers to Weaver as Spicoli?

  61. rea on January 19th, 2008 11:42 am

    the suit was brought by a flight attendant, and Weaver was not one of the players accused of harrassment. Smoking pot, yes; harrassment, no.

    Yeah, part of the suit was also that Weaver was smoking marijuana on the team plane, and there were other players involved in the harrassment (Doug Brocail, Greg Jeffries, the Detroit Matt Anderson, Bobby Higginson), but the judge’s opinion makes it clear that Weaver was one of the primary harrassers. Unfortunately, I can’t link to the opinion, because I can’t find it on any public cite–I read it on Westlaw. (2002 WL 1480800)

    She was a flight attendant, but on a plane owned by Tiger ownership.

  62. rea on January 19th, 2008 12:26 pm

    HoRam’s signing doesn’t mean anything to the Bedard trade. HoRam was going to be on the team before they agreed to the contract

    DMZ, I don’t know as much about the Mariners as a lot of people here (I come here because it’s a great site, even though I’m mainly a Tiger fan), but that makes no sense to me. If he isn’t going to start, what are the Mariners going to do with him? He doesn’t look like a good candidate for conversion to relief pitching. I would have thought he’d have too much seniority to be sent down to the minors without clearing waivers . . .

  63. bigpoppa01 on January 19th, 2008 12:30 pm

    Just a question for everyone, would this all be a moot discussion if we were talking about Santana instead of Bedard?

  64. DMZ on January 19th, 2008 12:56 pm

    w/r/t HoRam, here’s my point – once they offered him arb, and spent all that time talking about their faith in his ability, you have to figure that he occupies some space in their plans, whatever it is — bullpen guy, long reliever, spot starter, 5th starter, whatever. They knew if they took him to arbitration, they’d end up paying him at least a couple million.

    So HoRam’s slotted into a particular role with a payroll figure of 2.5-3m and it might have a question mark next to it.

    Then they went out and got into the Bedard talks, with HoRam on the org charts, and the Bedard talks stalled, then HoRam signed.

    The only thing that changed there is they removed the question mark about what HoRam might make in 2008.

  65. Taylor H on January 19th, 2008 1:00 pm

    But why would they go after another starter now with four-five guys in the mix for the fifth spot? They like Morrow a lot – why ruin his development any more than they already have and keep him out of the rotation?

  66. DMZ on January 19th, 2008 2:10 pm

    Please cross-apply my previous comment.

  67. gk91 on January 19th, 2008 2:11 pm

    65 They are trying to win now and don’t care about the long term development of Morrow. They’ve already stated that Morrow will either be the 5th starter or play a role in the bullpen similar to last year.

  68. rea on January 19th, 2008 2:46 pm

    What you are telling us, DMZ, is that they made the decision to pay $2.5-3 million for a player for whom they have no ptrticular concrete plans, right? Or if they do, anyway, they are not discerable to informed outsiders.

    My goodness . . .

  69. Thom Jimsen on January 19th, 2008 3:13 pm

    Here’s more irony for you — Rafael Soriano, a better pitcher with more tenure who had a better year, is headed to arbitration with Atlanta after he asked for $3.4 million and the Braves countered with $2.4 million.

  70. milendriel on January 19th, 2008 3:20 pm

    69- What would be really funny is if he lost. But all he has to do to win is point to HoRam’s contract. His hearing shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds.

  71. Typical Idiot Fan on January 19th, 2008 3:43 pm

    A few years ago people were wondering if Bobby Ayala kept photographs of Lou Pinella in a compromising position, and that’s why Ayala was trotted out every few days to blow a save.

    Ayala, the greatest villain Seattle ever created.

  72. Thom Jimsen on January 19th, 2008 4:19 pm

    That would be a good rainy-day USS Mariner topic: Most hated ex-Mariner ever?

    Besides Ayala, you’d have Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alex Rodriguez. Heathcliff Slocumb? Bob Kearney?

  73. Celadus on January 19th, 2008 4:43 pm

    Regarding hated ex-Mariners: Sandfrog would have to be in the mix someplace. Also the C-man, another third baseman, who hit about .200 and whined about playing time and then complained more after he left.

  74. Tom on January 19th, 2008 4:50 pm

    #72: Griffey would be on that list?? I would doubt that after his return this year.

    I know Bill Bavasi will join this list when the Mariners fire him or if he resigns (if that ever happens) and Woody Woodward and Mike Hargrove would also be on this list. But if we are limiting ourselves to ex-players, I’d definitely have to say among the top canidates for most hated ex-Mariner would be Jeff Cirillo, Heathcliff Slocumb, A-Rod, Bobby Ayala, Jeff Fassero circa 1999, HoRam, Jeff Weaver, Carl Everett, and everyone who was ever in the Mariners bullpen from 1997-1999.

    HEY!!!!! That’s what FSN should do for their next sappy Top 10 countdown show!!!!!

    “Top 10 Hated Ex-Mariners”

  75. Thom Jimsen on January 19th, 2008 6:26 pm

    Kevin Mitchell would be up there.

  76. DizzleChizzle on January 19th, 2008 6:36 pm

    Horacio signs a one year contract for 2.75 million? This is good news! This means my childhood dream of one day pitching for the Mariners is still alive.

  77. rufusgufus on January 19th, 2008 7:35 pm

    Since you asked; I am going to guess Scott Spiezio – in a landslide.

  78. Typical Idiot Fan on January 19th, 2008 7:50 pm

    Jeff Smulyan

  79. JMHawkins on January 19th, 2008 9:25 pm

    What you are telling us, DMZ, is that they made the decision to pay $2.5-3 million for a player for whom they have no ptrticular concrete plans, right? Or if they do, anyway, they are not discerable to informed outsiders.

    My goodness . . .

    Yeah, I’m having a little trouble getting my head around this. Derek’s explaination makes perfect sense, even though the thing he is explaining makes absolutely no sense at all. How can that be?

  80. Jeff Nye on January 19th, 2008 9:44 pm

    I don’t know if it qualifies as hating him or not, but if I’d had to hear about Ryan Franklin being from Spiro, Oklahoma ONE MORE TIME…

  81. Tom on January 19th, 2008 9:52 pm

    #80: hahaha, I’m not sure Oklahoma is in good graces with Western Washington these days to begin with.

    Of course Franklin could be on the list for all the home runs he gave up combined with his positive steroids test.

  82. thewyrm on January 20th, 2008 3:38 am

    I’d have to go with ARod on the hate question. If the battle of Armageddon was decided with a baseball game, we are tied with the demon team in the bottom of the ninth, A-Rod is up with two out and three on, and the salvation or eternal damnation of every soul on earth hinged on ARod getting a clutch hit, I would boo him.

  83. terry on January 20th, 2008 5:27 am

    I’d have to go with ARod on the hate question. If the battle of Armageddon was decided with a baseball game, we are tied with the demon team in the bottom of the ninth, A-Rod is up with two out and three on, and the salvation or eternal damnation of every soul on earth hinged on ARod getting a clutch hit, I would boo him.

    Way to play with other people’s souls….. BTW, that battle of good vs. evil was over a few mileniums ago.

  84. AFRanger on January 20th, 2008 8:41 am

    Why do I have the sneaking suspiscion that the whole HoRam signing is just leverage in the Bedard discussions? “Yeah Mr. Baltimore GM, we don’t need your insanely talented strikeout machine! We’ve got HoRam!” It isn’t much leverage, mind you, but if it pushes us toward a better deal, it could be worth it (at least in Bavasi’s mind). Pehaps niether one has even called the other in three weeks and they’re just waiting to see which one blinks.

  85. et_blankenship on January 20th, 2008 10:17 am

    84

    The HoRam signing is not connected to Bedard in any way, for better or for worse. See #30 and all of DMZ’s posts. The Mariners made the decision to keep/sign HoRam a long time ago and that $2.75 million was a good price.

  86. NODO Dweller on January 20th, 2008 10:28 am

    85

    I don’t think anyone in their right mind would describe that as a “good price”…

  87. et_blankenship on January 20th, 2008 10:35 am

    Which is why all of us agree that Seattle’s FO is not in their right mind.

  88. joealb on January 20th, 2008 11:42 am

    Don’t forget George L. Argyros!

  89. terry on January 20th, 2008 11:54 am

    Why do I have the sneaking suspiscion that the whole HoRam signing is just leverage in the Bedard discussions?

    As ruses go, that reminds me of a scene in Braveheart where Longshanks plans some treachery…

    Longshanks: I shall offer a truce and buy him off. But who will go to
    him? Not I, huh, if I fell under the sword of that murderer that might
    be my head in a basket. And not my gentle son. The mere sight of him
    would only encourage the enemy to take over the whole country. So
    who do I send? Whom do I send?

    hint: the Prince is like using HoRam as leverage.

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