The Question

Dave · April 28, 2008 at 8:27 am · Filed Under Mariners 

With an off day to think about what’s happened during the first month of the season, the Mariners front office has one question that looms above everything else they do.

How long do we give _________ until we decide that we should get someone else?

It’s unavoidable. The question is everywhere.

The team isn’t getting anything from the right field position. How long do they give Brad Wilkerson until they decide they should get someone else?

The team isn’t getting anything out of the designated hitter position. How long do they give Jose Vidro until they decide they should get someone else.

The team isn’t getting anything out of the first base position. How long do they give Richie Sexson until they decide they should get someone else?

Through the first 26 games, the Mariners are getting a .198/.315/.407 mark from their 1Bs, a .200/.326/.263 mark from their RFs, and a .227/.276/.340 mark from their DHs. Those are three of the easiest positions in baseball to find guys who can hit, and they’re getting absolutely nothing.

No, you don’t want to make rash decisions on the basis of one month’s worth of baseball, but there were legitimate concerns about all three of those positions heading into the season. While the degree may be, these players’ struggles aren’t unexpected. Going in another direction isn’t justifiable just based on April, but when you factor in what we already knew about these guys going into the season, it’s simply correcting the mistakes of the past and recognizing what the organization should have figured out over the winter.

The team has options. The Reds and Cubs both have too many outfielders, so call about Corey Patterson, Ryan Freel, and Matt Murton. See what the Nationals want for Nick Johnson. Call up Jeff Clement. If you get two or three of those five guys, you can revitalize the entire offense. It won’t take an arm and a leg to pick up some useful role players and make some upgrades. With three trades and a callup, you could have the following line-ups:

Vs RHP:

1. Ichiro – CF
2. Johnson – 1B
3. Beltre – 3B
4. Ibanez – RF
5. Patterson – LF
6. Lopez – 2B
7. Clement – DH
8. Johjima – C
9. Betancout – SS

Vs LHP:

1. Ichiro – CF
2. Lopez – 2B
3. Johnson – 1B
4. Beltre – 3B
5. Sexson – DH
6. Murton – LF
7. Ibanez – RF (really, I’d prefer this to be Patterson, but I know they won’t platoon Raul…)
8. Johjima – C
9. Betancourt – SS

Seriously, you’re not going to have to mortgage the future to get Corey Patterson, Matt Murton, or Nick Johnson. Yes, you’ll have to give up some talent, but you’ve already decided to go for broke this year when you made the ridiculous Bedard deal, so no point in just going half way. If you’re going to try to win in 2008, try to win in 2008.

The offense needs help. The defense needs help. The team needs help.

How long the team is willing to give players who shouldn’t have had jobs to begin with will determine whether this team has a chance or not. As constructed, this isn’t a playoff team. It’s just not. Admit your mistakes, show some humility, and make the team better.

Comments

228 Responses to “The Question”

  1. msb on April 28th, 2008 8:43 am

    It’s unavoidable. The question is everywhere.

    it is– just this morning locally we get McGrath, Hickey, twice, and of couse, Kelley, who flat out admits that his is “another in the long-running series of Bring Back Junior columns”

    not surprisingly, your idea makes more sense ….

  2. Sports on a Schtick on April 28th, 2008 8:44 am

    If the M’s go out and try everything they can to win this year… I hate to think about the repercussions. Seattle probably needs another reliever as well.

  3. AuburnM on April 28th, 2008 8:45 am

    Agree with every word. It is time.

  4. scraps on April 28th, 2008 8:46 am

    Since someone’s going to ask it anyway:

    Is it worth giving Balentien a shot in right field?

  5. Dave on April 28th, 2008 8:52 am

    I haven’t seen anything to convince me that he’s any more ready for the majors now than he was a month ago. He still looks like a .240/.300/.400 guy to me this year, and that’s just not enough of an upgrade.

  6. doug on April 28th, 2008 8:58 am

    This is one case where I respectfully disagree with you Dave. I hope they stick by these mistakes and get fired.

  7. Jay R. on April 28th, 2008 9:06 am

    Not even May yet and these guys have made me lose interest. If/when they make some moves to improve the team, I may start watching again.

    Any thoughts on improving the bullpen? I know it may sound strange, but I think that trading away the 2nd best pitcher in the bullpen two consecutive years may have impacted the overall quality and depth out there. Call me crazy.

  8. pensive on April 28th, 2008 9:09 am

    Wow. Those simple moves create quite a positive change in both offense and defense. At least it add some much needed speed to the lineup.

    As USSM advocated earlier prior to Wilkerson, Patterson was the best choice for outfield. He has out preformed Wilkerson in all aspects.

    Certainly it isn’t too early for needed change. The A’s added two new starters to their lineup from the last time M’s played them in Oakland. M’s hopefully will be more fluid with their lineup. Give fans some reason for hope.

    Felix Day is still wonderful. Bedard days easy to watch as well. Other than that, USSM gane threads are always entertaining and informative.

    Here’s to change,soon.

  9. petec on April 28th, 2008 9:12 am

    But, but, but…Steve Kelley said this morning that the Bedard trade was “Absolutely, the right thing to do”.

    Count me in as another who is actively rooting against the M’s. I hope this season is such a trainwreck as to precede a total front office housecleaning. The season is unfolding exactly as many of us thought it would.

  10. TheEmrys on April 28th, 2008 9:18 am

    So what could be given up to get either Corey Patterson, Ryan Freel, or Matt Murton? I don’t see anyone on the major league roster who would tempt them. If we coud dump either Cairo or Vidro, I’d be estatic, but I don’t see that as plausible. Austin Bibens-Dirkx? Juan Ramirez? Michael Saunders? Any combination of these having a chance to work?

    I’d hate to see anything happen to Halman. Truinfel should be untouchable.

  11. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 9:20 am

    It’ll be interesting to see if Steve Kelley still says the same thing in June when the Mariners are eight games out of first and still are getting no offense from, like Dave says, three of the easiest positions to get offensive production from.

    Seriously, though. If you wanted to give Sexson, Turbo, and Wilkerson a chance, that’s water under the bridge; but if you give them until June to try to unsuck, it could very well be too late to salvage the season in a very tight division.

  12. pensive on April 28th, 2008 9:20 am

    Dave-Quick thoughts on what players it may require to acquire Murton or Patterson or Johnson?

    Is there any other surplus outfielders from other organizations that leap out to you as being a good fit?

    Thank you.

  13. bakomariner on April 28th, 2008 9:23 am

    Bavasi isn’t stupid, but he seems to be very stubborn and proud…

    How about Reed? He’s not as good as some of the guys that we could trade for, but his defense is better than anyone’s except ICHIRO! and he could probably his as well or better than Wilk or Vidro…we wouldn’t have to lose any minor league talent with the call-up…

  14. msb on April 28th, 2008 9:24 am

    and as we all recall, the A’s traditionally get stronger as the season goes on …

  15. Jon on April 28th, 2008 9:24 am

    You are right. It is time.

    I was unhappy with the (rumored and executed) Bedard trade, not because it wasn’t necessary, but because of all the horrible earlier decisions that made it necessary.

    Once the Bedard deal went down, the M’s need to be “all in” for this year. The M’s did not address their DH, 1B, RF (and LF) problems in the off-season, hoping that pitching would be enough or that Father Time would somehow go in reverse. The folly of that plan is undeniable now.

  16. msb on April 28th, 2008 9:26 am

    Bavasi isn’t stupid, but he seems to be very stubborn and proud…

    well, he has been willing to DFA his signees in the past

  17. north on April 28th, 2008 9:26 am

    Hey, at least the Angels are continuing to concede the occasional game by playing Garret Anderson every day. And they have better options on their bench.

    I can see all the proposed moves improving the team. The most significant impact would come from Nick Johnson, and he may be quite expensive to get. Wouldn’t they prefer to move Young? Without Johnson, the rest of the moves don’t do enough.

    Enjoyed the ponies though.

  18. jspektor on April 28th, 2008 9:27 am

    Bavasi isn’t stupid, but he seems to be very stubborn and proud…

    I’m pretty sure I disagree with that statement whole heartedly. Show me at least a couple things from his track record that makes him seem like a smart GM. Maybe the Eric Bedard trade … MAYBE.

    I am so sick and tired of our team underperforming so badly … and I’m sick and tired of us wasting such a beautiful ball park in SafeCo. Get a grip, get rid of Bavasi.

  19. Vortex on April 28th, 2008 9:27 am

    Yes, you’ll have to give up some talent

    Why does this phrase scare me so?

  20. cheapseats on April 28th, 2008 9:28 am

    How do you spell AAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!(guess that’ll do).

    My question, in preseason, was: How long will it be before someone gets around to seriously asking the question: how long do we give the M’s before we’re questioning their sanity in holding onto Richie & Co. (and without seeming like a party pooper)? My guess was mid-April. Wow, how incredibly prescient of me….!!!!!

    Yet Another Awful April.

    I swear… I’m convinced: for decision-making the Front Office must rely on Tarot Cards.

    Dave, please, do you honestly think they were going all out for the win this year? At best, their moves this winter looked exactly like the jazzy-wazzy sort of noise they always make right around the time season tickets go on sale. Some teams throw money away based solely on bad decision-making. The Mariners have made an art out of throwing money away (if you want to call it that) based solely on PR. From a business sense, of course, they are really really smart. From a baseball sense….

    Make that a double scoop of AAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  21. joser on April 28th, 2008 9:29 am

    It won’t take an arm and a leg to pick up some useful role players

    For a GM who regularly gets fair value in trades, that would be true. Bavasi has repeatedly demonstrated he’s no such GM. He’ll manage to cough up Morrow or more to get less than those guys. Or it will be some “blockbuster” PR-oriented deal where he trades a starter and most of bullpen to get Griffey, or something.

    I don’t know that Patterson is that much of an upgrade over Wilkerson, offensively. He’s better, sure, and younger. But not that much better (particularly considering what Bavasi would trade away to get him). And he went 19 ABs (8 games) without a hit just last week.

  22. jlc on April 28th, 2008 9:30 am

    If you’re going to try to win in 2008, try to win in 2008.

    That’s the key for me. The FO set the goal, so that’s what we get to judge them on. I understand players and teams can start slowly, but as Dave says, we’re looking at trends continuing from last year.

    I keep coming back to this quote from Baker:

    Some of you don’t think clubhouse chemistry exists. We wasted days debating this late last season. And yet, when I spoke to Frank Thomas yesterday, one of the first things he mentioned was not wanting to cause a clubhouse problem by coming here and bumping Jose Vidro from his job. Yes, it exists. Yes, it may exist more here than in other cities, but that’s still a real world issue that has to be dealt with.

    People who focus on it talk about chemistry like it’s inherently a good thing. I think in Seattle it’s become just another reason not to make major changes. Veterans know how to play, grittiness uber alles, and we’ve got chemistry.

    I know Mac has tinkered, but that isn’t going to do it when your roster construction is fatally flawed to start with.

  23. bakomariner on April 28th, 2008 9:32 am

    18- Actually, the Bedard trade was one of his worst moves…

    Good moves? How about locking up ICHIRO? Signing Beltre? Locking up Yuni and Lopez on the cheap.

    And the farm system (until he just shipped away the best pieces) is in better shape now than when Bavasi got here.

    The guy has made some blunders, and I’ll be happy when he is gone, but he’s not stupid.

  24. Some Dude on April 28th, 2008 9:35 am

    As much of a negative pessimist as I am, I surely don’t want them to blow the season so we can hope for a clean sweep of the FO. You all know that will happen when pigs fly, so we might as well go for broke on this “win now” thing since we’ll surely be stuck with the same FO next year.

  25. Dave on April 28th, 2008 9:37 am

    I don’t know that Patterson is that much of an upgrade over Wilkerson, offensively.

    Someone hasn’t been reading fangraphs.

  26. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 9:38 am

    I have no sympathy for people who pout when their own poor performance gets them benched, which is what Baker is using “clubhouse chemistry” as a code word for there.

    If you don’t want to get benched? Stop sucking. If you’re not capable of that, accept that you shouldn’t have a starting job.

  27. bermanator on April 28th, 2008 9:40 am

    I would probably cross off Nick Johnson — Bowden’s going to want an arm and a leg for him, and generally wants to get a lot more than he gives away in trades. You’re not going to get him as a value play, and he will cost enough that it won’t be worth it unless he’s your 1B of the future.

    My first call would be to the Reds, since they have both a new GM and a thousand OFs.

  28. scraps on April 28th, 2008 9:41 am

    Nobody says clubhouse chemistry doesn’t exist. That’s a straw man. The question is how much to take it into account when building your team. It’s clear to most of us that the Mariners overrate chemistry to the severe impairment of their lineup construction, bringing in guys like Carl Everett because he’s supposed to help the team chemistry, not making sensible decisions like platooning and DHing Raul Ibanez because they’re afraid of upsetting him, deferring to the veterans whether they’re performing or not, etc. Of course it’s a “real-world issue that has to be dealt with”. But the Mariners don’t deal with it; they let it push them around.

  29. Some Dude on April 28th, 2008 9:42 am

    And for the love of God can we just pretend Griffey never made that comment about wanting to come back to Seattle? Unless he comes cheap, he’s not worth it. We’ll end up paying through the nose for someone who’ll go straight to the DL after we print up a bunch of posters and make a commercial with Niehaus screaming “welcome (back) to Seattle, Ken Griffey.”

    Sound familiar?

  30. scraps on April 28th, 2008 9:46 am

    At least Frank Thomas is consistent in his veteran entitlement: he thought it was wrong for someone to take his job when he was sucking, and he didn’t want to take away the job of another veteran who was sucking. He’d fit in well with the Dodgers.

  31. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 9:48 am

    The “let’s trade for Griffey!” idea won’t go away until he retires, and it might stick around for a couple years after that, honestly.

  32. giuseppe on April 28th, 2008 9:49 am

    Sorry Dave, I have at least two problems with this post. First, “Seriously, you’re not going to have to mortgage the future…” Who is the “you” in this sentence? Because if it’s Bill Bavasi we all know he may not have to, but he will mortgage the future.

    Also, “…players who shouldn’t have had jobs to begin with…” just isn’t fair. Sexson, Vidro and Wilkerson are very employable. They deserve to work just like anyone else, even for the Mariners organization. I could see Richie really excelling at selling and tossing hot peanuts in the stands. Wilkerson looks like he would be a great bartender at the Bullpen Pub. Jose/Pepe could, I dunno, take tickets?

  33. JMHawkins on April 28th, 2008 9:52 am

    While I think the M’s are wondering about Vidro and Wilkerson, Sexson may not be on their watch list yet. Sure, his OPS is .100 below where it ought to be, but he’s tied for the team lead in HRs and tied for 4th in RBIs. He’s on pace for 30+ HRs and 99 RBIs. Yes, bogus number to make decisions on, but those are the stats the M’s signed Sexson for. I suspect he has some extra rope still.

    Moving Raul to RF – would they do that? Last year, on those rare occasions when Jones started, they left Raul in LF and put Jones in RF. Was that just a “don’t mess around with a veteran by moving him around the field”, or do they think Raul is suited to LF more than RF?

    But clearly they need to do something. The offense is killing them. If nothing else, the number of IBBs should wake them up – they don’t have a Vladdy, Bonds or Mark McGwire in the lineup, so those IBBs aren’t to avoid a great hitter. They’re to get to weak ones. Their lineup has so many holes in it, the opposing team can usually just walk one of the non-holes in a tight situation and get to an easy out.

    And I’m torn on what I hope they do. The last time they traded in-season to shore up the DH spot was pretty costly and badly done anyway (one good prospect and one decent prospect for a DFA candidate and another guy they just never used).

  34. JMHawkins on April 28th, 2008 9:56 am

    The “let’s trade for Griffey!” idea won’t go away until he retires, and it might stick around for a couple years after that, honestly.

    And then after that, we can always bring him back as a hitting coach.

  35. msb on April 28th, 2008 9:58 am

    bringing in guys like Carl Everett because he’s supposed to help the team chemistry

    um, I think Everett was in spite of chemistry.

    and, fwiw, Griffey is also not going to be available until he hits those last few homers that put him up over 600.

  36. Rick L on April 28th, 2008 9:59 am

    They haven’t got much from the catcher position either. The last I looked, Clement had an OPS of over 1.0 at Tacoma.

  37. Spanky on April 28th, 2008 10:00 am

    What drives me BONKERS is that Bavasi gave Turbo an EXTRA year. Can anyone explain what legitimate reason that seemed to be required at the time? It would be a whole lot easier to dump Turbo if his contract was done at the end of this year. All of the other guys you mention, Sexson and Wilkerson, have contracts up at the end of the year.

  38. irish on April 28th, 2008 10:02 am

    I immediately read this as:

    How long do we give Bill Bavasi until we decide that we should get someone else?

  39. coasty141 on April 28th, 2008 10:03 am

    When you first brought up the idea of bringing in Murton or Reed Johnson I disagreed with you Dave. But I never imagined Willie would be part of a platoon in RF. Aside from the fact Willie can’t hit, playing him in the field complete negates any value he has coming off the bench. This is a horribly constructed team.

  40. RealRhino on April 28th, 2008 10:03 am

    The funny/frustrating thing to me was that the question being asked on the M’s postgame (pregame? my sense of time was distorted) show wasn’t “How long do we give ______?” but rather, “What moves should the M’s make with the batting order to get these guys going?”

    Seriously, the discussion centered not around getting new pieces, but just moving Sexson, Vidro, Johjima and Wilkerson around to different spots in the batting order to make it all better.

    All I could think of was Bill Murray’s refrain from Meatballs: “It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!”

    This offense is depressing.

  41. smb on April 28th, 2008 10:06 am

    I would love for Jeff Baker to explain how and why the M’s clubhouse would be so upset if Turbo was no longer given the chance to ground into a double play every night. If bringing in Thomas/bumping Turbo would have caused such a problem, then I’d argue the clubhouse must already have stage three terminal cancer and should probably be euthanized ASAP. Anyone on that team who genuinely and badly wants to win has to see Turbo as the monumental anchor that he is, let alone Big Sexs-y and Wilkerson.

  42. slescotts on April 28th, 2008 10:06 am

    AMEN!!! Thanks for this post.

  43. jspektor on April 28th, 2008 10:08 am

    There is hands down nothing more exciting than the prospect of bringing Junior back to Seattle … however a few games back I went to the beer garden near the bullpen – knocked a few down – then flat out asked Norm Charlton if Junior is coming back … he kept shaking his head and said absolutely not. I asked him if he was sure, he kept shaking his head and said ‘no chance.’

    I guess take that for what it is worth (why would he tell me anyways)- although there is nothing more exciting to think about then bringing back the ‘kid’ – I just don’t see it happening.

  44. smb on April 28th, 2008 10:08 am

    33,

    No offense to any ladies lurking about, but Ibanez throws like a girl. Putting him in RF only makes the situation worse in that sense.

  45. DAMellen on April 28th, 2008 10:09 am

    I always liked Nick Johnson. Sure, he’s injury prone, but when he’s healthy, he’s a heck of a hitter. I’ve heard he’s a good fielder, but is that just reputation or is it for real? And what do you think he’d cost us? Would it be someone at Balentien’s level or would it be lower down guys? Hopefully it wouldn’t be higher up guys. I don’t want to trade Clement, Aumont, or Triunfel.

  46. joser on April 28th, 2008 10:10 am

    I did read your fangraphs blog. I just don’t think, at this point, trading away more talent to get the player they should’ve gotten in the offseason doesn’t makes a lot of sense. The tradeoff isn’t worth it.

    This team is turning out to be exactly what I expected it to be — a .500 team that can do better when everything is clicking and considerably worse for long stretches when everything isn’t. Giving away more future talent to turn it into something more than that seems to be a fool’s errand. We chase a mirage this year and in the process put ourselves into exactly the same position next year.

    And the Griffey comment was made out of cynicism. I’ve never been one of the “bring back Griffey” people — I wasn’t a huge fan when he was here, and I feel no particularly affection for the guy now. He’s a talented hitter, and could reach some milestones, but he’s also a bag of glass in the outfield, one step away from his next stint on the DL. But going out and getting him (and throwing away a lot of talent in the process instead of waiting to pick him out of free agency) seems like precisely the kind of thing the M’s would do: fill seats rather than win pennants. And who can argue with that? It’s a business, and while winning games makes them money it’s not the only way to turn a profit. They only need to sell hope, and nostalgia; winning is just a nice bonus.

  47. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 10:11 am

    Here’s the thing that makes me furious about the “clubhouse chemistry” thing whenever it’s brought up, too.

    Aren’t these guys elite athletes? Don’t they want to win?

    I fence competitively (albeit as an amateur) and I get frustrated when I don’t win; I haven’t put NEARLY the amount of time and effort into my training that even a mediocre MLB player has.

    Shouldn’t the other guys in the clubhouse, friends or not, be clamoring for Turbo, Wilkerson, et al to ride the pine, when they’re clearly costing the team games?

  48. Carson on April 28th, 2008 10:11 am

    Admit your mistakes, show some humility, and make the team better.

    So, seriously. Not meant as a sarcastic comment. What are the odds any of those three things happen? Should we really hold out hope that Bavasi will make a trade for anything other than a grizzled veteran who will give the same performance?

  49. Rick L on April 28th, 2008 10:12 am

    Right now, the M’s (with Vidro playing) have four batters in a row hovering around the Mendoza line. Jeremy Reed is hitting .324 in Tacoma with a 3.93 OBP. Maybe this doesn’t mean much since Jimmerson is also batting .324 (with a .924 OPS) but at this point I am willing to try anything.

    In even more depressing news, the Angels AAA team just set a minor league record for wins to start the season going 21-1.

  50. The Ghost of Spike Owen on April 28th, 2008 10:15 am

    How long do we give _________ until we decide that we should get someone else?

    With the Mariners, the answer to this question is consistently, “Too long.”

  51. irish on April 28th, 2008 10:16 am

    What drives me BONKERS is that Bavasi gave Turbo an EXTRA year. Can anyone explain what legitimate reason that seemed to be required at the time?

    This was done so Vidro would agree to partially waive his no-trade clause when he joined the team. As if that was in any way necessary. In what world could we possibly find a trading partner for Jose Vidro?

  52. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 10:21 am

    I agree completely with Jeff’s sentiment, but lets face it: ballplayers are even more removed from objectivity than managers and GMs. It isn’t their job to construct the roster or manage the pinch hitters. Those guys are like, ‘Hey, Vidro was a .300 hitter he’ll come around’. Listen to Joe Morgan. Not all ballplayers are like that, but a good chunk of them are. To acknowledge another player’s lack of production makes them ‘not a team player’ or a ‘whiny bitch’ or whatever.

    When you’re SO MUCH better at something than 99.99% of the population you’re not going to use the same rules the rest of us do. It’s like Nietzsche in a practical application- Ubermensch and all that.

  53. jlc on April 28th, 2008 10:22 am

    Shouldn’t the other guys in the clubhouse, friends or not, be clamoring for Turbo, Wilkerson, et al to ride the pine, when they’re clearly costing the team games?

    I always figure the “chemistry” in the Mariners clubhouse applies to a select group of players. I find it hard to believe the pitchers wouldn’t want more offense and defense and they’re almost half the team. No one in an MLB clubhouse particularly cares about how bench players feel. I don’t know why Yuni and Jose L. would be upset about new blood, though that’s based on sheer speculation. Ichiro is on record at least a couple of times this season saying the losses have been a problem. Does the “chemistry” issue actually come down to the players having problems?

    I’m with Jeff Nye on this one: “If you don’t want to get benched? Stop sucking. If you’re not capable of that, accept that you shouldn’t have a starting job.”

  54. jlc on April 28th, 2008 10:25 am

    No offense to any ladies lurking about, but Ibanez throws like a girl.

    Well, I’m over 14, so the girl thing doesn’t really apply to me. Though you could rephrase it to something like, he throws like an eight-year-old and be a little less sexist.

    I don’t think Raul’s arm is the problem, though.

  55. F-Rod on April 28th, 2008 10:25 am

    This team should be much better, the Pitching is good enough to compete for anything. But these three holes are killing us. Even Kenny Lofton would be an upgrade at this point. They need to upgrade at least two of these positions to have a chance.

  56. TheEmrys on April 28th, 2008 10:28 am

    Team Chemistry is a bit of a joke. Does anyone who has ever been on an athletic team of any type ever been upset when someone who is deadweight was benched? How frustrating does an athlete find it when the bases are loaded and Turbo hits another GIDP? There are two sides to every coin. Yeah, a player’s silly little feelings matter, but for every interpersonal relationship, there is good and bad. There comes a point where the bad outweighs the good.

    Another context is that if (I have doubts about some who comment) you work, you see the signs when someone isn’t performing. When they are fired/let go, it isn’t a suprise. They put themselves in that position.

    So be it.

  57. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 10:30 am

    Well, sure, I think MLB players are somewhat insulated from reality.

    But at some point, even they have to see the numbers in the won-loss column and get irritated, don’t they?

  58. beckya57 on April 28th, 2008 10:31 am

    Frankly, I’d prefer a Dave Dombroski-style tear the team apart and rebuild. Of course, that assumes Bavasi is as savvy as Dombroski, which is an obvious counterfactual. I never saw the team competing this year, which is why I was always opposed to the Bedard trade. I agree with your ideas, Dave, but Bavasi isn’t as smart as you either. As several others commenters have also noted, he’s much more likely to bring in more over-the-hill veterans; Rick White, anyone? Nothing’s ever going to change until ownership recognizes that its philosophy is fatally flawed and a stats-oriented, competent FO needs to be brought in to replace the current crew. As I’ve said here for several years now, the only chance of that happening is if the attendance really craters, which might actually happen this year. These guys are about money, not baseball. This is why I’ve refused to go to any games for several years.

  59. BigB on April 28th, 2008 10:35 am

    Those are three of the easiest positions in baseball to find guys who can hit, and they’re getting absolutely nothing.

    And, quite frankly, they are arguably 3 of the top 4 positions on the field where you want to get the most pop in your lineup (along with 3B)

  60. currcoug on April 28th, 2008 10:36 am

    If the goal is to win this year at all costs, the changes Dave outlines make sense.

    I am with those, however, who want the whole regime tossed and the team rebuilt. That means Sexson, Wilkerson, Vidro, Burke, Norton and Ibanez stay for now. If we are out of the race by July, deal the aforementioned players for whatever we can get. Ibanez has trade value, and is probably going to balk at being moved to DH.

    We keep our top prospects. We call up Clement to DH and platoon with Johjima. Balentien could use half a season getting to know AL pitching. I am immensely impressed with Saunders, who is off to a good start at AA.

    I would rebuild the 2009 positional team as follows: Ichiro (CF), Balentien (RF), Saunders (LF), Beltre (3B), Lopez (2B), Betancourt (SS), Tuiasosopo/free agent veteran (1B), and Clement/Johjima (C). Unfortunately, we are stuck with Johjima for three years.

    I was impressed with Tuiasosopo in spring training, and the club has a tough call coming on whether to extend Beltre (I would do it). Tui hasn’t played 1B, but he certainly has the tools to do so. It wouldn’t be hard to find a veteran 1B in the interim.

    I would sign Ken Griffey, Jr., after the 2008 season (if the Reds don’t exercise their option). Junior would be a nice fit at DH for a rebuilt, youthful Mariner club. From an attendance point of view, it is a no-brainer, and it buys additional time for the team to rebuild.

  61. beckya57 on April 28th, 2008 10:37 am

    The “team chemistry” idea needs to be put in the same wastebasket as the “experienced veterans always outperform young players” idea. These are two of the most fundamental mistakes this FO makes over and over and over again. Many of the successful Yankees teams of the 80′s had awful chemistry, as did the A’s team of the 70′s that won three World Series in a row. I work in a social science profession, and one of the things we’re all taught is not to assume causality from a correlation. Some winning teams do have good chemistry, but people forget that winning can produce good chemistry; it’s not necessarily the other way around. All together now, people: Talent wins championships, not chemistry.

  62. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 10:40 am

    But at some point, even they have to see the numbers in the won-loss column and get irritated, don’t they?

    Well, yeah, I’d assume so to. But who’s gonna call who out at this point? Ibanez knows he’s not 28 and has lost a step in the outfield so is he gonna start calling people out? Jim Bouton said baseball players don’t pick leaders based on IQ, but on batting average. Who does that leave at this point? We have yet to see a dominant personality from the hitters. Sure, JJ could lead but how often are pitchers “clubhouse leaders”?

  63. VaughnStreet on April 28th, 2008 10:41 am

    I think Bavasi honestly has no idea what to do. He’d like to trade Soriano for Horacio Ra…. nope, can’t do that. Scott Spezio, yup he can do that.

    Seriously if Bavasi was worried about right field, he never would have traded adam jones. This is the team he wanted, and it is doing no better than he had any right to expect. This is the team many mariner fans on other blogs wanted. They are getting what they deserve. A pretender, and no contender.

    Which is why I predict he calls up Aumont.

  64. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 10:41 am

    People bring up the “regime change” bit all the time, but it’s simply not going to happen.

    Bavasi might get canned at some point during or after the season, but he’ll be replaced with a clone, in all likelihood. The Mariners aren’t forward-thinking enough yet to break the mold on a new GM candidate, so it’ll be another person from the old boys network that dominates the MLB GM landscape.

    Lincoln and company aren’t going anywhere, and I’ve never really seen anything to convince me they have enough influence on day-to-day baseball operations for them to be the ultimate evil they’re often cast to be. It seems like Bavasi is given a pretty free hand, except maybe with Ichiro.

    So, while it’d be nice to see the entire front office blown up and replaced with progressive baseball thinkers, it’s not going to happen anytime soon, so it’s much more productive to focus on what’s realistic within the organizational context.

    As far as “this team is about making money, not winning”; every MLB team is in the business of making money. There are lots of different approaches; while the M’s are frustrating at times, yes, at least they’re not following the Florida model of putting the cheapest team possible on the field and making their profits off of revenue sharing.

    But winning and making money aren’t mutually exclusive, and I don’t think the Mariners organization really doesn’t care about winning games; I just don’t think they have any idea how to do it.

  65. smb on April 28th, 2008 10:44 am

    54,

    I understand Raul’s lack of range is the main issue, but you say “Raul’s arm isn’t a problem?” You’ve never watched him attempt to throw someone out at third from left field, I take it? Putting him in right only exacerbates that issue, and though his lack of range is the main reason why he shouldn’t even be in the field, pretending he has even a decent throwing arm is laughable.

  66. Dave on April 28th, 2008 10:47 am

    Throwing arms just don’t matter very much.

  67. MILS on April 28th, 2008 10:49 am

    CurrCoug,

    I am with those, however, who want the whole regime tossed and the team rebuilt.
    I would rebuild the 2009 positional team as follows: Ichiro (CF), Balentien (RF), Saunders (LF), Beltre (3B), Lopez (2B), Betancourt (SS), Tuiasosopo/free agent veteran (1B), and Clement/Johjima (C). Unfortunately, we are stuck with Johjima for three years.

    um… I’m afraid you just Couged that one. It’s too late for this sort of rebuilding. The M’s traded away the centerpeice of any potential re-build. The path is already set. They’ve got huge commitments in contracts (Silva, Ichiro, Bedard, Beltre) and by virtue of players they have traded, they can’t “re-build” now.

  68. jlc on April 28th, 2008 10:50 am

    smb, I didn’t say Raul’s wasn’t a problem, I said it wasn’t the problem. You only need an arm when you get to a ball.

  69. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 10:51 am

    (mod hat on for a moment)
    It’s generally best to refer to prior posts by poster name or blockquoting, rather than post number, as post numbers often change as posts are moderated.
    (mod hat off)

    I think Raul in RF is something designed to limit the possible damage if you HAVE to keep him in the field rather than at DH; the amount of times his slow footspeed will be detrimental to making a play exceeds the amount of times his poor throwing will be detrimental to making a play. So the potential impact is overall reduced by sticking him in RF.

  70. gwangung on April 28th, 2008 10:52 am

    The “team chemistry” idea needs to be put in the same wastebasket as the “experienced veterans always outperform young players” idea. These are two of the most fundamental mistakes this FO makes over and over and over again. Many of the successful Yankees teams of the 80’s had awful chemistry, as did the A’s team of the 70’s that won three World Series in a row. I work in a social science profession, and one of the things we’re all taught is not to assume causality from a correlation. Some winning teams do have good chemistry, but people forget that winning can produce good chemistry; it’s not necessarily the other way around. All together now, people: Talent wins championships, not chemistry.

    QFT

    Bavasi might get canned at some point during or after the season, but he’ll be replaced with a clone, in all likelihood. The Mariners aren’t forward-thinking enough yet to break the mold on a new GM candidate, so it’ll be another person from the old boys network that dominates the MLB GM landscape.

    QFT

    But winning and making money aren’t mutually exclusive, and I don’t think the Mariners organization really doesn’t care about winning games; I just don’t think they have any idea how to do it.

    QFT

    Lincoln and company aren’t going anywhere, and I’ve never really seen anything to convince me they have enough influence on day-to-day baseball operations for them to be the ultimate evil they’re often cast to be.

    Quoted to somewhat dispute…getting them out of the way would pave the way to reset the organizational philosophy so that the next general manager would NOT be a Bavasi clone.

  71. beckya57 on April 28th, 2008 10:53 am

    #64–Of course all MLB teams are about making money. My point was that as long as the current model makes money (even while putting bad teams on the field) there’s no motivation to question the model and make changes. I agree that the current FO has no idea how to win games; that’s precisely why they all need to go away (with the possible exception of Jongewaard). I also agree that Bavasi is being given a free hand; the problem with ownership is that they’re giving a free hand to a guy who’s so clearly out of his depth. These guys are all businessmen, and I can’t believe they would tolerate this incompetence if it was costing them money. It’s not that the ownership is the “ultimate evil” or has lots of influence on day to day operations (I also doubt this); the issue is the continued acceptance of incompetence. Businessmen tend to be practical people, and I want to believe that the M’s ownership would respond to a severe loss of revenues.

  72. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 10:56 am

    Yeah, and THT ranks Raul’s as about neutral it seams.

  73. beckya57 on April 28th, 2008 11:01 am

    Re Raul’s arm: Watching great throws from the outfield a la Ichiro is fun, like watching Ozzie Smith-style fancy shortstop plays, but I agree with Dave that they don’t impact game outcomes all that much. Being able to execute the basics reasonably consistently is what wins. The fundamental problem with Raul is that he’s too slow to run down a lot of routine fly balls, a problem that is exacerbated by a huge outfield and a pitching staff that gives up a lot of fly balls. A big key to the success of the team in the early 2000′s was the presence of 3 centerfielders (Wynn, Cameron and Ichiro) in the huge Safeco outfield, which allowed for success with another fly-ball oriented pitching staff. Safeco is pretty unforgiving territory for slow outfielders.

  74. currcoug on April 28th, 2008 11:07 am

    MILS,

    My “rebuild” as quoted was in regard to positional players, so I don’t know how that qualifies as “couging” it. Jones is gone, but Balentien and Saunders are nearly ready and quite talented. The beauty of Clement, Balentien, Saunders and Tui is that they make around $ 1 million combined?

    The 2009 rotation is set, unless we trade Washburn or Batista. Both will be gone after 2009. If only we had drafted Lincecum.

    One of the biggest questions to resolve is whether to extend Bedard. I haven’t made up my mind on that one yet. Has anyone yet? I would love to hear the pros and cons.

    Jeff is right about Lincoln hiring a Bavasi clone. We can dream, however, of the day when Lincoln and company are finally gone.

  75. Mat on April 28th, 2008 11:11 am

    Looking at everyone’s PrOPS, Sexson and Vidro have been a bit unlucky–given their batted ball types–to have the OPS they currently sport, but Wilkerson has had essentially neutral luck in posting a .606 OPS. I would say that he seems the most done.

    It’s still worth replacing Vidro and Sexson, because even with neutral luck a .735 and .839 OPS out of your DH and defensively-challenged 1B isn’t getting it done–but Wilkerson has shown no signs of value.

  76. b_rider on April 28th, 2008 11:14 am

    In hockey, when a player is sucking (at offense _or_ defense), the coach demotes him to the fourth line or benches him, or, in some cases, makes him watch the game from the press box. Coaches do this to all sorts of players, even the stars sometimes. They are praised for doing it, and it doesn’t hurt the chemistry.

    That’s not to say that players don’t complain sometimes, but it is recognized that it is the job of the coaches and team leadership to deal with that when it happens.

    Baseball players are such whiners sometimes. Whatever happened to the idea of taking one for the team?

  77. Dave on April 28th, 2008 11:27 am

    Most teams don’t coddle their veterans like the M’s do. It’s not baseball players that are the problems – it’s the people running this team.

  78. BaltimoreDave on April 28th, 2008 11:38 am

    Wilkerson should have the shortest leash – he’s due just $3M this year and has bonuses tied to plate appearances, which definitely won’t be worth it if they’re going to go like this.

    Vidro and especially Sexson will be tougher to swallow based on the size of their contracts. But the Pirates just tossed Matt Morris and his $11MM overboard, so there may be some hope…

    Another interesting target – Scott Hatteberg has been made irrelevant in Cincy now that Votto is starting. He makes $1.85MM this year.

  79. Jay R. on April 28th, 2008 11:40 am

    I don’t understand the obsession with contracts in relating to playing time. The contract is a sunk cost- they are going to have to pay it regardless of what happens. Forget about it, and go forward trying to make the team better.

  80. stoyboy on April 28th, 2008 11:47 am

    Just move Raul to 1st, trade for Patterson for left and bring up Clement for DH.

  81. arbeck on April 28th, 2008 11:52 am

    I don’t know that moving Raul to 1st is a good idea to attempt mid year. And as bad as he is in the field, Wilkerson needs to be replaced out there more than Raul does.

  82. msb on April 28th, 2008 11:57 am

    Scott Hatteberg has been made irrelevant in Cincy now that Votto is starting. He makes $1.85MM this year.

    not to mention Home Town Appeal.

    And then after that, we can always bring him back as a hitting coach.

    heh heh. speaking of which, I had to laugh– the ‘Moyer as Pitching Coach?’ has already surfaced on the Phillies official Q&A column…

  83. themedia on April 28th, 2008 12:03 pm

    Here’s a question:

    How long do we give Bavasi until we decide that we should get someone else?

  84. themedia on April 28th, 2008 12:08 pm

    Yeah i didn’t see irish’s post at No. 38. Don’t mean to be unoriginal, I guess it’s just a common thought when reading the initial question. The top level is so stupid they would just bring in another guy to run the team further into the ground. Maybe Mark Cuban will buy the team and try to turn them into a winner…

  85. BaltimoreDave on April 28th, 2008 12:10 pm

    I don’t understand the obsession with contracts in relating to playing time. The contract is a sunk cost- they are going to have to pay it regardless of what happens. Forget about it, and go forward trying to make the team better.

    I agree, it shouldn’t matter at all. But I’m sure it does to the front office, if for no other reason than cutting a player making $14MM (in Sexson’s case) looks bad to the masses. The larger the contract, the more time a team will give to a player to provide value on it.

    And if you’re going to release a player making that much – forgoing any production (or lack thereof) from that money – I suppose you’d want to replace him as inexpensively as possible.

  86. seattlenative86 on April 28th, 2008 12:16 pm

    I would love Nick Johnson, that man is a player. At the risk of sounding like Billy Beane, just look at his on base percentage. I wish this could somehow be pulled off.

  87. philosofool on April 28th, 2008 12:19 pm

    I keep pushing this stuff, here and at fangraphs. There’s a quick summary of this here. And here’s the pretty involved article that’s being summarized, the point at which a random sampling of a batter’s activity during a season reliably correlates (r-squared > .49) with another random sampling during that year batters
    and for pitching:
    pitchers

    To summarize, data for the present season is too limited to draw significant conclusions.

  88. eponymous coward on April 28th, 2008 12:22 pm

    How long do we give Bavasi until we decide that we should get someone else?

    December 2006?

  89. Rick L on April 28th, 2008 12:27 pm

    Dave, if you were the GM of the aforementioned teams, what would you ask for in return for the players for whom you advocate trading?

  90. smb on April 28th, 2008 12:30 pm

    Thanks for the explanation, Jeff. It’s easy to confuse because after he’s lumbered over to the ball for what seems like forever, his rainbow throw looks worse than it actually is. He never seems to throw anyone out, even when he does have ball in hand and what seems like a play on the runner. It’s still splitting hairs to talk about which OF position to put him in. He obviously shouldn’t be out there at all. I need to stop thinking about this team, it’s too frustrating.

  91. fetish on April 28th, 2008 12:33 pm

    Even though ‘everyone’ hates Sexson, a 700+ OPS isn’t “nothing”; that’s more than Ichiro, more than Lopez, and more than Johjima.

  92. Sports on a Schtick on April 28th, 2008 12:35 pm

    If the M’s want a first baseman who swings from the left side that’s decent and cheap Hee Seop Choi is floating around Korea somewhere.

  93. Lorenzo on April 28th, 2008 12:38 pm

    While I entirely agree, I don’t think the Mariners will ever give up on Sexson. Too much money involved, I guess. Personally I think they should have cut him before the season and kept Broussard to play first base. Cut their losses.
    My concern is more with the bullpen. How many games have we lost now in the late innings? In my mind the Bedard trade was ridiculous for one reason only: the inclusion of George Sherill. If the Orioles are rebuilding, why do they need a closer? If the Mariners are trying to win now, why would they give up their most valuable setup man?

  94. lailaihei on April 28th, 2008 12:40 pm

    Even though ‘everyone’ hates Sexson, a 700+ OPS isn’t “nothing”; that’s more than Ichiro, more than Lopez, and more than Johjima.

    It’s “nothing” for a “first baseman” who “can’t even play that simple position very well.”

  95. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 12:47 pm

    Looking at OPS in a position-neutral vacuum is a bad idea.

    700+ OPS no-glove first basemen are freely available; 700+ OPS CF and C are not.

  96. AkimboRdr5 on April 28th, 2008 12:52 pm

    [off-topic, but I moved it to the Felix thread for you because I think you had a valid question]

  97. Jack Howland on April 28th, 2008 1:00 pm

    Lincoln and company aren’t going anywhere, and I’ve never really seen anything to convince me they have enough influence on day-to-day baseball operations for them to be the ultimate evil they’re often cast to be.

    I respectfully disagree with you here Jeff. Lincoln and Armstrong hired Bavasi based upon common philosophies. Lincoln and Armstrong LOVE productive outs, manufactured runs, and players who don’t strike out. Lincoln has also come public in saying that if the team doesn’t start performing, then he and Armstrong are on the “hot seat”. I agree that it’s up for debate whether he actually meant that or not. I think that fans have every right to be optimistic that that day might come. Futhermore, Lincoln and Armstrong have complete influence on day to day operations considering that they employed the people who have got us into this situation. Giving those two a pardon for any of this is completely wrong in my opinion.

  98. msb on April 28th, 2008 1:06 pm

    But I’m sure it does to the front office, if for no other reason than cutting a player making $14MM (in Sexson’s case) looks bad to the masses.

    Olerud $7.7M in 2004 money
    Boone $8M in 2004 money

  99. jspektor on April 28th, 2008 1:15 pm

    But I’m sure it does to the front office, if for no other reason than cutting a player making $14MM (in Sexson’s case) looks bad to the masses.

    Sorry but Richie is making 15.5 million dollars this year, not 14.

  100. BaltimoreDave on April 28th, 2008 1:16 pm

    msb –

    Olerud was released July 27 that year.

    And Boone was on the M’s all of ’04, right? I thought he was cut in ’05.

  101. Breadbaker on April 28th, 2008 1:19 pm

    Wilkerson also can’t point to “hey, I did something you [last year: Vidro] [two years ago: Sexson].” He’s more like Carl Everett and a couple of other minor signings the M’s did in fact just release at various points. All that’s saving him now is that the options for right field out of the organization aren’t that good. But the number of weak ground balls to second this man is producing is atrocious. With men in scoring position.

  102. BaltimoreDave on April 28th, 2008 1:23 pm

    Sorry but Richie is making 15.5 million dollars this year, not 14.

    And the relative difference is…? He’s not producing value equal to a fraction of $14MM.

    Cot’s says $14MM, BTW – I guess you get to $15.5MM if you distribute his signing bonus across all contract years.

  103. eponymous coward on April 28th, 2008 1:28 pm

    But I’m sure it does to the front office, if for no other reason than cutting a player making $14MM (in Sexson’s case) looks bad to the masses.

    You mean the masses that booed Richie Sexson lthe last two years?

    I don’t think it will be a problem. The problem is the Mariners are likely to keep flogging the corpses of Vidro/Sexson/Wilkerson way down into the toilet into May and June- signing Johjima longterm isn’t particularly positive in that light. The Mariners like their veterans a lot.

    Giving those two [Lincoln and Armstrong] a pardon for any of this is completely wrong in my opinion.

    Well, I think it’s fair to note that Lincoln and Armstrong have more division championships and playoff wins during their careers in baseball management than Bill Bavasi does. There’s a big difference between “there’s no way the Mariners could be successful while Lincoln and Armstrong are running the team” and “we should give Lincoln and Armstrong a pass for the Bavasi era”.

    Will they go into the “old boy” network for their next hire (don’t we need a joke about Cam Bonifay right now)? I’m honestly not sure… if the M’s fall on their face for 2008 (which is what a lot of sabremetric models predicted for 2008, and is what’s happening so far), they may do a fair amount of housecleaning. Once it’s rubbed in their face that Bavasi’s model of running things just doesn’t yield results, they may be open to looking at new approaches. We’ll just have to see.

  104. docmarsh on April 28th, 2008 1:37 pm

    In watching this team there are more problems than just the Ms on the field and bench. The 25-man roster isn’t being pushed by anyone down below. The only hitter in Tacoma that hasn’t looked intermittently lost against the quality arms of the major leagues is Clement. When we talk of trading those with value we mean what exactly? I maintain they should seriously look at trading Ichiro if they are no where near the front runners at the deadline…get some serious prospects for him and rebuild for 5 years from now. I’d follow the product at SafeCo if I knew that 5 years from now we might have a quality lineup with the likes of Longoria/Sizemore/Jones (sigh!!!!!)…

    There isn’t a quick fix for the Ms, here. Too many holes and no one ready to fill them.

  105. hansk on April 28th, 2008 1:44 pm

    I was rooting for Thomas the whole time. Why not? He’s free (min. wage) and at worst he takes at-bats away from Vidro. He won’t hit worse than Vidro, and most likely he’ll put up good numbers.

    BUT NOW, an even better option may be coming….

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04262008/sports/mets/delgado_on_his_way_out_at_first_108197.htm

    Carlos Delgado!!! Who we should have gotten instead of Sexson in the first place… He’s only hitting .205 this year, but what do we have to lose? He would have to DH, but he’s left handed, and he’s younger (almost 36) than Thomas.

    If he gets released, I’d be super pumped for the M’s to get him.

    Lineup:

    Ichiro (L) CF
    Lopez (R) 2B
    Ibanez (L) LF
    Beltre (R) 3B
    Delgado (L) DH
    Sexson (R) 1B
    Wilkerson (L) RF
    Johjima (R) C
    Betancourt (R) SS

    Fits perfectly. Until we replace Sexson with Clement. Or Nick Johnson.

    THoughts??

  106. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 1:54 pm

    Delgado is D-O-N-E done. Finished. Check out his HR/F ratio, something Dave pointed to on fangraphs about when a player falls off ‘the Cliff’. The ratio has dropped a lot and the IF/F has gone up too. It wouldn’t be pretty for him here.

  107. scraps on April 28th, 2008 2:01 pm

    And watching Delgado every day confirms the numbers, believe me. He’s finished.

  108. irish on April 28th, 2008 2:05 pm

    Delgado is D-O-N-E done. Finished. Check out his HR/F ratio

    Delgado did hit .288/.351/.519 with 15 HR away from Shea last year, so I’d bet his declining power was affected a lot more by his home park than one might think.

    I would be for a Delgado/Sexson platoon if Carlos is released. Sexson’s only completely worthless against righties, and Delgado can still hit them pretty well.

  109. currcoug on April 28th, 2008 2:05 pm

    Docmarsh,

    Don’t despair, the M’s have more talent than you might think. Balentien and Saunders are very promising players. Tuiasosopo isn’t likely to hit for power, but has become a patient hitter, with excellent defensive tools. Tui is murdering lefties (small sample size) at AAA. Triunfel has a high ceiling, but appears to be a long ways from MLB.

    Even with the departure of Tillman, Butler and Mickolio, the M’s still have excellent young pitching in their system.

  110. hansk on April 28th, 2008 2:08 pm

    He would still be better than Vidro. They’re batting the same, but Delgado has way more pop. At very worst he takes ABs away from Vidro so his option doesn’t kick in. That’s worse-case scenario.

    Also, this doesn’t block Clement. I still think Clement should come up and play 1B (or better yet, we trade Johjima, Clement plays C, though this is incredibly unlikely. I hear the Red Sox are looking for a catcher, maybe we can get an OF’er from them to replace Wilkerson, then we’ll have a new RF, a new C, and a new DH, oh, and use Norton at 1B over Sexson).

  111. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 2:13 pm

    Delgado did hit .288/.351/.519 with 15 HR away from Shea last year, so I’d bet his declining power was affected a lot more by his home park than one might think.

    Yeah, and where would he be playing his home games if the M’s signed him? Not High Desert, I’ll tell you that much.

    C’mon guys. Somewhere on a AAA roster is a guy who can hit and field more than well enough that first base and/or DH wouldn’t be a problem. There’s NO need to sign washedup players who were wicked good for your fantasy team 10 years ago.

  112. HamNasty on April 28th, 2008 2:14 pm

    Since we are talking about Vidro not being good this fits.
    I just googled “Vidro Sucks” and got a bunch of responses. I then tried “Vidro is good” and Google asked me if I meant “Video is good”. Even Google thinks he shouldn’t be our DH.

  113. scraps on April 28th, 2008 2:18 pm

    Delgado is a delaying action at best. He’s not a solution.

  114. hansk on April 28th, 2008 2:20 pm

    (Don’t read this if you don’t like dreaming)

    What if we did…

    1. Sign Delgado, release Cairo
    2. Trade Johjima for Jacoby Ellsbury (not sure what else we throw in)
    3. Bring up Clement, release Wilkerson
    4. Use Norton predominantly over Sexson at 1B

    New lineup:

    Ichiro (L) CF
    Lopez (R) 2B
    Ibanez (L) LF
    Beltre (R) 3B
    Delgado (L) DH -he can’t field anymore, sorry
    Norton (S) 1B
    Ellsbury (L) RF
    Clement (L) C
    Betancourt (R) SS

    Bench: Vidro (S), Bloomquist (R), Burke (R), Wilkerson/Reed (R/L)

  115. hansk on April 28th, 2008 2:22 pm

    “Yeah, and where would he be playing his home games if the M’s signed him?”

    He’d be playing them at Safeco, which is very friendly to left handed hitters. Can you say….perfect?

  116. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 2:24 pm

    You can actually envision a scenario in which the Red Sox would give up Jacoby Ellsbury for Kenji Johjima, who was just signed to a 3 year/$24 million deal that will end with him well on the wrong side of thirty, and doesn’t even address a need they have?

  117. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 2:25 pm

    Scraps is right. If he gets DFA’d then he’s a very temporary ‘solution’.

  118. Jack Howland on April 28th, 2008 2:25 pm

    Trade Johjima for Jacoby Ellsbury (not sure what else we throw in)

    The Red Sox would be all over that one I assume.

  119. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 2:27 pm

    Unless your “throw in” included Triunfel and Aumont, the only response would be Theo Epstein’s laughter.

  120. hansk on April 28th, 2008 2:27 pm

    I’m not sure the Red Sox would trade Ellsbury for Johjima (even though prior to this year Johjima has been really good), just because they’re soooo high on Jacoby. I’m not necessarily so high on Ellsbury, I just picked him because he’s major-league ready, and we need someone now.

    I’m sure they would do a Johjima for Crisp deal if we wanted that, but I don’t want that.

    Would we need to throw in something else to get Ellsbury, or do they believe [falsely] he’s a super prospect?

  121. murphy_dog on April 28th, 2008 2:27 pm

    I just googled “Vidro Sucks” and got a bunch of responses. I then tried “Vidro is good” and Google asked me if I meant “Video is good”. Even Google thinks he shouldn’t be our DH.

    Funniest thing I’ve seen in weeks…..

  122. CecilFielderRules on April 28th, 2008 2:27 pm

    2. Trade Johjima for Jacoby Ellsbury (not sure what else we throw in)

    Wow. Right here is why the mods try to deter rampant roster speculation.

  123. murphy_dog on April 28th, 2008 2:29 pm

    It’s too bad, the Sox still owe us for the Lowe and Varitek for Slocumb deal……

  124. Sports on a Schtick on April 28th, 2008 2:29 pm

    #120

    Just stop.

  125. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 2:31 pm

    He’d be playing them at Safeco, which is very friendly to left handed hitters. Can you say….perfect?

    Apparently you work for the Mariner’s front office.

    Brad Wilkerson says, ‘WTF? Why doesn’t it work for me?’. The issue here isn’t the prodigious left-handed pull power Delgado USED to have, but the player who has a ton of nagging injuries and who’s skills have eroded.

  126. hansk on April 28th, 2008 2:31 pm

    Yeah, I figured you’d say that about Ellsbury. I really don’t think he’s THAT good, I just wanted someone who’s ML ready. Having a prospect doesn’t help us.

    And yes, I heard they’re looking for a catcher with Varitek showing signs of age. Johjima isn’t young, I just thought it might work.

    Anywhere else we might be able to trade Johjima who has a good (not great) OF prospect?

  127. irish on April 28th, 2008 2:32 pm

    Delgado is a delaying action at best. He’s not a solution.

    I don’t think anybody’s arguing that Delgado’s a long-term solution. He’s a guy that would be a good fit for Safeco and the team, and can likely be acquired without giving up anything near comparable value (this is very important for a Bavasi-run team).

    Anyway, I’m firmly in the “blow it up and build a successful team” camp. I just don’t think team management is anywhere near that position, so I’ll advocate a smart and painless solution that would make us better now.

  128. lailaihei on April 28th, 2008 2:32 pm

    Any catcher-for-Ellsbury deal would include Clement.

  129. slescotts on April 28th, 2008 2:33 pm

    I think we need to make a move and like the idea of getting Crisp, though I find him frustrating to watch at the plate. He can hit from both sides of the plate, can play any position in the outfield. If we could get him to end the free-swinging, he’d hit and walk a lot more. His hack-attack aside, he is a substantial upgrade as he is. Also, I think the Sox would trade him… Perspective time, he made $3.8 million last year, Wilkerson is getting $3 million. Uh, yeah… Oh, and Coco’s only 28

  130. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 2:34 pm

    Delgado is done. He isn’t the answer to any questions you should be asking. Also…

    Wow. Right here is why the mods try to deter rampant roster speculation.

    Rosterbation is probably okay to a certain extent in this thread, but let’s try to keep it somewhat realistic. If your proposal includes Bill Bavasi managing to fleece Theo Epstein, it probably doesn’t fall into that category.

  131. murphy_dog on April 28th, 2008 2:34 pm

    Anyone can DH and be as productive as Vidro. Find you hottest hitter in AA or AAA, and bring him up. Period. When he cools off after a few weeks, bring up the next one.

  132. hansk on April 28th, 2008 2:35 pm

    CecilFielderRules- Yes, this is total roster speculation, but it’s on topic when they make a post about trading for Patterson and Johnson and Murton.

    Do you know of a team that could use Johjima who has a decent extra OF’er?

    forget the whole Ellsbury thing…sorry, I didn’t realize he’s so amazing

  133. Zero Gravitas on April 28th, 2008 2:36 pm

    Jack Howland-
    I’m not sure the ownership loves productive outs, etc. That might be giving them too much credit for actually driving the strategy of the team. I think they’re from the business arena and rely on ‘baseball men’ to give them a strategy. They have the money to bring in brand-name ‘baseball men’, so they do that. And we end up with the Hargroves and Bavasis of the world because they’re old-school ‘good baseball guys’. The ownership feels comfortable that they’ve spent a lot of money and relied on advice from people who should know what they’re talking about. And that’s how we get stuck with a well-funded team with all the trappings of a successful franchise- great tv/radio contracts, great stadium, veteran players with a sense of entitlement – and yet we have no championships to brag about. How do you even attract the right kind of talent to an environment like that? It was frustrating to read Adam Jones’ comments recently about how he felt like everyone walked on eggshells in the M’s clubhouse last year, and he was so much more relaxed in Baltimore. The M’s should have been happy as hell that he was called up, but they weren’t – and then he never played anyway. That’s just…totally inappropriate on a lot of levels. I think it’s just the kind of weirdness this system generates- and it’s a self-perpetuating recipe for failure.

  134. murphy_dog on April 28th, 2008 2:36 pm

    Ellsbury isn’t that great, but no one is going to trade for a 30+ year old catcher like Johjima. Piazza was the exception, and that was because he could rope the ball.

  135. currcoug on April 28th, 2008 2:41 pm

    Murphy,

    The M’s did get 145 wins out of the Moyer for Bragg trade, but ya, the Red Sox are still ahead on the Slocum for Varitek/Lowe trade.

  136. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 2:41 pm

    In addition, while Johjima’s contract certainly isn’t Zito-esque, the Mariners could certainly end up regretting it in a year or two.

    So, it has to be factored into determining Kenji’s trade value. He’s just not going to be a very motivating trade piece for any team, so you’ll need to select a different centerpiece if you want anyone to listen to your offers.

  137. Sports on a Schtick on April 28th, 2008 2:41 pm

    #132

    I don’t think anyone here thinks Ellsbury is awesome either but Epstein would use leverage (M’s need an outfielder, Jacoby is a fan favorite, he was awesome in the playoffs, etc.) to rob the M’s.

    Coco would look great in a Mariners uniform but he did get run over the Moose and he’d cost quite a bit. It’s not like Boston has to move Crisp.

  138. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 2:42 pm

    Anyone can DH and be as productive as Vidro. Find you hottest hitter in AA or AAA, and bring him up. Period. When he cools off after a few weeks, bring up the next one.

    That’s a terrible way to run a baseball team. You can’t yank guys up and down the system based upon ‘who’s hot’. You need a plan (preferably a good one) first off. The M’s gambled on Wilkerson being healthy and having a bounceback year, they gambled on Sexson (he can’t be any WORSE, can he?) and they turned a blind eye to Vidro’s secondary stats.

  139. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 2:43 pm

    Oh, and Russell Branyon is playing in AAA. Hint, hint.

  140. scraps on April 28th, 2008 2:44 pm

    Find you hottest hitter in AA or AAA, and bring him up. Period. When he cools off after a few weeks, bring up the next one.

    Even a major-league hitter is statistically no likelier to hit well after a hot streak than his average. (I know that many people are reluctant to believe this, because it contradicts how we perceive the game, but it’s a fact.) When you add to this that you’re talking about players coming up from the minors rather than major leaguers…. well, as roster management, it’s a complete non-starter.

    Now, bringing up your best AAA hitter, regardless of whether he’s hot — that’s different.

  141. hansk on April 28th, 2008 2:45 pm

    According to Buster Olney, the Red Sox are looking for catching help:
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/04/olney-red-sox-l.html

    I’m not soo thrilled about trading Johjima for Crisp, though Crisp is young and may have an upside, while moving Johjima saves money and makes room for Clement. With Ichiro and Lopez 1/2, we really don’t need Crisp though, and he doesn’t really fit into our line up.

    Anyway I guess I’d be fine with it, just not as excited as getting a prospect in return.

  142. BringUpBalentien on April 28th, 2008 2:50 pm

    I wish everyone would stop talking about having Clement at first. As previously stated somewhere else on this site, Clement’s offensive value takes a huge dive after he moves to first from catcher, as good-hitting catchers are harder to find. Also, while first may not be the hardest position to field, it takes a while to learn, particularly the footwork. Until Clement learns first base, his value will only be slightly higher than Richie’s (Sexson is actually a good, not great, first baseman, despite whatever stats you throw my way.) To sum up, we should put Clement at catcher, where he at least has experience and his bat will be more valued.

  143. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 2:53 pm

    Sexson is actually a good, not great, first baseman, despite whatever stats you throw my way

    Guh. So, if you’re ignoring stats entirely regarding Richie’s ‘d’ what are you measuring it by?

  144. Xteve X on April 28th, 2008 2:56 pm

    “And watching Delgado every day confirms the numbers, believe me. He’s finished.”

    Sounds like the perfect candidate for Bavasi’s next 2 year deal with vesting option for addt’l year.

    Ol’ Delgado, he’s chock full of that savvy veteran grit.

  145. scraps on April 28th, 2008 2:56 pm

    despite whatever stats you throw my way

    Translation: I’m not listening.

  146. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 2:58 pm

    Linking to mlbtraderumors.com makes the ponies cry.

    Won’t you think of the ponies?

  147. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 3:06 pm

    Every time you link to mlbtraderumors.com another pony dies…

  148. arbeck on April 28th, 2008 3:09 pm

    I like dead ponies.

  149. eponymous coward on April 28th, 2008 3:11 pm

    I’m not soo thrilled about trading Johjima for Crisp, though Crisp is young and may have an upside, while moving Johjima saves money and makes room for Clement.

    Why would the Mariners sign someone to a 3 year deal and then trade them a few days later, and expect to get MORE value than the player had before the deal? ESPECIALLY when the person in question is a catcher who is now under contract during his age 33-35 years, years where Cs generally fall off a cliff, and who’s also spent April flirting with the Mendoza Line?

    Johjima had MORE trade value before that contract was executed (since a contender could trade for him as a stopgap and not be under commitment to him after October, and if they didn’t resign him after offering arbitration, they’d likely get a draft pick to boot). The Mariners basically obliterated that trade value once they made that signing… so you should obviously infer that he’s not going anywhere in a trade, for Coco Crisp, Jacoby Ellsbury, or anyone.

  150. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 3:15 pm

    Johjima is a Mariner, fo’ life.

  151. hansk on April 28th, 2008 3:20 pm

    well the mlbtraderumors.com link linked to Buster Olney, is he respected or not?

    I’ve tried to figure out other teams that need help at catcher, and I’ve come up with this (based on the performance of their current catcher):

    Kansas City
    John Buck .219/.311/.623
    San Diego
    Josh Bard .225/.311/.574
    Houston
    Brad Ausmus .080/.120/.200
    J.R. Towles .200/.343/.798
    Arizona
    Robby Hammock .211/.318/.581
    Miguel Montero .273/.333/.697
    Chris Snyder .214/.366/.741 <—-most of work at catcher
    Washington
    Johnny Estrada .219/.265/.483
    Colorado
    Yorvit Torrealba .235/.257/.654

  152. eponymous coward on April 28th, 2008 3:26 pm

    Johjima is a Mariner, fo’ life

    I actually think what might happen is that if Kenji has a long period of suckitude, he might ask for a release and go back to Japan before he retires… and before the end of his contract in 2011.

    But still, looking at the history of Cs after about age 32, ESPECIALLY ones who have huge amounts of mileage in their 20s (the ones who don’t like Fisk and Posada tend to do better than the Benches)… Johjima looks like a good bet to be a waste of salary, aside from the intangible veteran whateverness he has.

  153. Sports on a Schtick on April 28th, 2008 3:28 pm

    Catcher X .197/.269/.508

  154. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 3:29 pm

    I cannot understand why you’re so fixated on this idea of trying to trade Johjima.

  155. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 3:30 pm

    I was going to go down that list but then I thought better of it.

    Ask yourself, why would the M’s sign Johjima to a 3 year extension and then trade him away. Why?? That extension DOESN’T make him a more valuable chit. They blew it re: Clement @ catcher for the M’s. Just face it.

  156. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 3:34 pm

    I cannot understand why you’re so fixated on this idea of trying to trade Johjima.

    There must be a battle to be fought. First we beat down the ‘SIGN DELGADO!!11′ business and now this.

  157. hansk on April 28th, 2008 3:35 pm

    I think you’re right about Johjima’s value going down the second he signed the 3-year contract. It’s really too bad, because he’s actually been a good catcher the last 2 years, offensively and defensively.

    Forgive me for being ill-informed on how highly-toted some of these players are, but since I noted the Washington’s Estrada is struggling, is this proposal even close?:

    Lastings Milledge for Johjima

  158. eponymous coward on April 28th, 2008 3:40 pm

    I’ve tried to figure out other teams that need help at catcher

    Why do you consider a 32 year old catcher, who is hitting WORSE than most of the players you mentioned, and under a multiyear deal that will take him through his age 35 season, to fit a definition of “help”? I would bet you that the only MLB organization that considers Johjima “help” is the one he’s playing for right now.

    If the M’s really wanted to get value back in a trade that would “help” the team by trading a catcher… you’ve picked the wrong C in the organization. Clement could likely fetch a decent OF or 1B back.

  159. JI on April 28th, 2008 3:40 pm

    Sexson is actually a good, not great, first baseman, despite whatever stats you throw my way

    buh?

  160. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 3:42 pm

    No. Go look at what Washington traded to get Milledge. And that’s with the Mets undervaluing him for daring to show himself enjoying playing a game.

    Remember those days when every team would do silly things like trade Jason Varitek away? When nearly every contender at the deadline was a buyer? And they would trade premium, young talent for marginal proven veterens? Long gone. Teams are much smarter now and less willing to trade away cheap, young players for your over-priced, hanging by a thread vet.

  161. hansk on April 28th, 2008 3:50 pm

    Johjima for Milledge-type deals happen all the time. So do Johjima for Ellsbury type deals. You can’t accuse me of stupidity when these deals are not uncommon.

    However, what I neglected to acknowledge is that we’re never on the receiving Milledge/Ellsbury side. We’re always on the side getting ripped. (See Soriano, Rafael. See Bedard, Erik…)

    I was just wishing that we, for once, could do the robbing. Why can’t our GM talk someone into giving him something for nothing? It’s been done before. Josh Hamilton was acquired for almost nothing. He’s great now. Where’s the next Josh Hamilton?

    And yes, I looked. Milledge was traded for Ryan Church and Rob Schneider. Both are good, neither are great.

  162. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 3:53 pm

    Johjima for Milledge-type deals happen all the time. So do Johjima for Ellsbury type deals.

    Sorry, I’m trying to make sure it doesn’t seem like we’re piling on you…but if you want us to believe this, you’ll need to come up with some relevant recent examples, and I don’t think you’ll find any.

  163. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 3:59 pm

    Tee hee. Well, it’s Brian Schneider but that’s neither here nor there.

    The Reds decided to sell high on Hamilton. He has a long history of drug abuse and were concerned about him either being a flash in the pan or falling off the wagon. The fact that he’s hitting really well (albeit in Texas) makes for a great story but doesn’t make the Reds total idiots.

  164. Dave Clapper on April 28th, 2008 3:59 pm

    Lastings Milledge for Johjima

    Thanks, hansk. That single line, appearing where it did in the sequence of Johjima trade posts, just completely cracked me up. Laughter==good.

  165. Sports on a Schtick on April 28th, 2008 4:01 pm

    Milledge was a bit of a headcase, which lowered his value. You might want to look at who Cincy got for Hamilton.

  166. eponymous coward on April 28th, 2008 4:06 pm

    Seriously, you’re not going to have to mortgage the future to get Corey Patterson, Matt Murton, or Nick Johnson. Yes, you’ll have to give up some talent, but you’ve already decided to go for broke this year when you made the ridiculous Bedard deal, so no point in just going half way.

    The problem is that this is Bill Bavasi we’re discussing here- where he keeps making trades that are pretty much indefensible on the merits. AbCab for Perez, Doyle for Vidro, Jones for Bedard, Soriano for Ramirez, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

    If I’m a GM and Bill comes a’callin’, I am FOR SURE asking for guys like Wlad and Clement. Even Bavasi’s not going to trade Truinfel, but you can’t exactly be optimistic based on the track record…

  167. Xteve X on April 28th, 2008 4:09 pm

    “Johjima for Milledge-type deals happen all the time. So do Johjima for Ellsbury type deals.”

    Really? I can’t think of one.

    Remember that the Mets would be equivalent to the Mariners in your example. I believe that the same GM who traded Milledge to the Nats also traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, probably because of his savvy veteran-ness.

  168. Sports on a Schtick on April 28th, 2008 4:09 pm

    Too bad the M’s didn’t sign Patterson when he was a FA. To be somewhat fair to Seattle… Geoff Jenkins, a guy a lot of us wanted, has been terrible in Philly.

  169. hansk on April 28th, 2008 4:12 pm

    It was mostly a joke, but there are definitely some unbalanced trades, of which I’ll mention a few. Some of which you’ll be all-too familiar with

    Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez
    Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto for Jose Vidro
    Josh Hamilton for Edison Volquez and Danny Herrera
    Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano
    Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, and Boof Bonsor for AJ Pierzinski

  170. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 4:13 pm

    You might want to look at who Cincy got for Hamilton.

    Yeah, the centerpiece of that deal has sucked this year.

  171. hansk on April 28th, 2008 4:14 pm

    Brian Bannister for Ambiorix Burgos

    I would have loved to get Bannister, esp. for just a mediocre reliever. And yes, I wanted him before he “broke out” this season.

  172. hansk on April 28th, 2008 4:17 pm

    Here’s a great one:

    Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez for Xavier Nady

  173. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 4:20 pm

    Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto for Jose Vidro

    Unbalanced for whom? Snelling is long gone from the Nats and Fruto is still in the PCL.

    Josh Hamilton for Edison Volquez and Danny Herrera Look at the link in my earlier post. Volquez is not actually sucking.

    Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, and Boof Bonsor for AJ Pierzinski

    Hurray for the Giants.

  174. Sklyansky on April 28th, 2008 4:21 pm

    I lived in DC for a while, and my impression was Nick Johnson is very well liked by the fans, and consequently would probably be over-valued by the Nats…so would come with a hefty price tag. I would look forward to Bavasi getting fleeced again if he got it into his head to acquire Nick Johnson.

    As for the trade Johjima talk, I’m pretty certain given that he just signed a contract, that the M’s are prohibited from moving him for a certain period of time.

    At this point, I’d be relieved if Bavasi could somehow resist the temptation to completely gut the farm system in a desperate attempt to salvage his job. I wouldn’t put it past him to actually trade prospects to get Carlos Delgado, instead of waiting for him to be waived. I’m half-joking about that, but a part of me thinks that isn’t completely outside the realm of possibility.

  175. hansk on April 28th, 2008 4:28 pm

    Anyway, I’m off to bed. It’s 1:25am here.

    There are some awful, awful trades, but you’re right in that they’re few and far between. And the M’s will NEVER end up on the right side. So I should just hope they don’t do anything.

    I wouldn’t trade for Delgado (unless it’s some no-name, minor league filler). He might be released soon. I also wasn’t proposing we signing him long term.

    I was only suggesting a Johjima trade because it makes us better in 2 positions (1. having Clement and catcher, and 2. whoever we get to play OF over Wilkerson), but I’ve come to agree with you that Johjima has no value, and we’re doomed to pay him $8 mil for the next 3 years. Really too bad.

    Anyway, good night.

  176. themedia on April 28th, 2008 4:32 pm

    Look, Johjima is not getting traded unless someone’s first catcher gets hurt and they’re ULTRA desperate. The only team I could see doing this would be the Yankees, and, incidentally, Posada is hurt, so go figure. But they have decent backups in Moeller and (Jose) Molina, so even they would have no reason to go after Johjima.

    He just got signed. He’s not getting traded. The deal was another huge embarrassing failure for Bavasi. The only way it comes out looking OK is if Clement is so good that Johjima is nothing more than an overpaid afterthought.

    The only solution to the M’s problems is to ditch Bavasi and undergo a philosophical overhaul. But try to keep the starting pitching…haha.

  177. Jeff Nye on April 28th, 2008 4:35 pm

    The Johjima extension wasn’t a great idea, and it was certainly weirdly timed, but “huge embarrassing failure” is a bit hyperbolic.

  178. byronebyronian on April 28th, 2008 4:37 pm

    The Media,

    I disagree. Signing Joh isn’t the worst thing this team could have done (cough…extending Princess Willie…cough). Joh does have some value even if he’s in an awful slump.

    Me thinks Bavasi didn’t do this deal. I have a hunch the Japanese element of ownership wanted this done.

  179. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 4:42 pm

    I’m gonna call it a bad move. Not a ‘huge embarrassing failure’, but worse than ‘wasn’t a great idea’. $8M isn’t a TON of money, but look at the Giants. Enough of $5M here, $8M there and it adds up to suckiness. I’m very disappointed in managements lack of plan and direction mostly.

  180. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 4:46 pm

    Me thinks Bavasi didn’t do this deal. I have a hunch the Japanese element of ownership wanted this done

    I’m not real fond of this accusation. It implies the M’s ‘ownership’, who takes very little real interest in the team, would like to stock it with Japanese ballplayers.

    This move smacks of Bill Bavasi being involved, don’t kid yourself.

  181. jlc on April 28th, 2008 5:13 pm

    We’re not the only ones with problems. ESPN says the Giants are moving Zito to the bullpen. Of course they’re saying that in a crawl marked “NBA news.”

  182. NBarnes on April 28th, 2008 5:16 pm

    I’d hardly write Johjima off yet. People are allowed to slump for a month. And a catcher who can bat as he did in 2006-2007 is quite a valuable commodity. It’s a shame that he’s blocking Clement (since Clement’s real value is at catcher; he’s not nearly as interesting at 1b or DH), but that’s a problem that a lot of teams wish they had; there are not very many catchers in MLB right now that can hit a lick, and the Ms have two.

  183. themedia on April 28th, 2008 5:17 pm

    I’m going to stick with my hyperbolic description. It was totally and completely unnecessary. I actually would have been happier if they had locked up Bloomquist (for less dough, of course), because at least he plays a role the team needs. As everyone has so clearly identified, we already have the best catcher in the minors in Clement.

    I love how every move Bavasi makes is relative. “It may not have been a good move, but he could have signed Burke to a $40M deal.” Look, the move was dumb, unnecessary and will prove costly. It’s not that Kenji is terrible. He isn’t, but the move at this time doesn’t make sense and is the icing on an old, decaying cake.

  184. themedia on April 28th, 2008 5:19 pm

    **EDIT**
    Bloomquist should play a role (utility player) the team needs. As is, he platoons in right field. Sigh.

  185. beckya57 on April 28th, 2008 5:20 pm

    Regardless of who did it, the Johjima extension made no sense. Catchers burn out early, and his awful start may be a signal that process is starting. Even if that’s not the case, it’s still highly unlikely that he’ll be a productive player throughout this contract, given his age and the demands of the position. And I’m talking as somebody who likes Johjima; I’m just cognizant of the baseball realities here. In any case, he’s not going to be traded, so we all just need to let that idea go. To me, this contract is just yet another example of how this team wildly overvalues experience at the expense of every other consideration.

  186. scott19 on April 28th, 2008 5:21 pm

    ESPN says the Giants are moving Zito to the bullpen.

    Gah, how sad have both Zito and the Giants become?

  187. scott19 on April 28th, 2008 5:37 pm

    123 & 169: Or, how ’bout that other Woody Woodpecker classic: namely, Tino/Nellie/Mecir to the Yanks for Russ “Deputy Dog” Davis and Sterling “Mr. Wonderful” Hitchcock.

  188. galaxieboi on April 28th, 2008 5:45 pm

    Gah, how sad have both Zito and the Giants become?

    I thank Brian Sabean every night before I go to sleep for signing Barry Zito.

  189. msb on April 28th, 2008 5:52 pm

    how ’bout that other Woody Woodpecker classic: namely, Tino/Nellie/Mecir to the Yanks for Russ “Deputy Dog” Davis and Sterling “Mr. Wonderful” Hitchcock.

    of course, that was in the other time, that time when they didn’t make money hand over fist, and had to choose which player(s) would get the pay raise and who they couldn’t afford to keep …

  190. eponymous coward on April 28th, 2008 5:53 pm

    I’d hardly write Johjima off yet. People are allowed to slump for a month. And a catcher who can bat as he did in 2006-2007 is quite a valuable commodity. It’s a shame that he’s blocking Clement (since Clement’s real value is at catcher; he’s not nearly as interesting at 1b or DH), but that’s a problem that a lot of teams wish they had; there are not very many catchers in MLB right now that can hit a lick, and the Ms have two.

    Writing him off for 2008 is somewhat premature, but over the life of the contract… go look at Pudge, Varitek and Kendall- ALL of them better hitters than Kenji (who’s a league-average hitter, whereas they were better than league at their peak), and all of them suffering major declines in productivity at comparable ages (the only guys I can think of who haven’t really started tanking at this age are guys like Boone, Fisk and Posada, who for various reasons spent parts of their 20′s not catching and thus had less mileage by their mid-30′s). For all we know, Johjima’s struggles in 2008 ARE the start of his decline phase, and we’re looking at 4 more years of a .255/.310/.390 hitter being a drain on the offense instead of a positive and making many, many outs- until someone (probably not Bill Bavasi) realizes he’s a backup.

  191. msb on April 28th, 2008 5:55 pm

    holymoly.

    the Angels’ AAA club is 21-1.

  192. Tom on April 28th, 2008 6:49 pm

    Since we can do any rosterbation here on this thread, I’ll just simply say that I would be in favor of having Matt Murton here, much more so over Corey Patterson just because Murton has a lot more potential in the long run than Patterson and maybe even Wlad if this weight gain he’s been on is a sign that maybe he just isn’t dedicated enough to be a Major League player. Mind you I could be completely and totally wrong about that, but you never know. Sometimes perfectly good prospects just flame out for one reason or another.

    But I definitely would be ok with a trade for Matt Murton even if it meant the highest he’d hit in our lineup would be #8, just look at his numbers with the Cubs and you can see he isn’t a superstar and he’s not going to produce a mass amount of home runs and RBIs, but he seems like someone who could be a decent day to day Major League player in the future and a guy where most games you could pencil him in to get at least 1-2 hits. That may not seem like much, but it’s more than we can say for our “seasoned veteran” Brad Wilkerson.

  193. Tom on April 28th, 2008 6:49 pm

    can’t*

    Sorry, don’t want to open Pandora’s box.

  194. doug on April 28th, 2008 7:31 pm

    The Yankees are looking for a catcher. How about Joh?

  195. marinersintheblood on April 28th, 2008 7:32 pm

    Hey, Ryan Freel. We should get him. He kicked my ass in the World Series on my Playstation 2. Batted, like, .842 or something.

    (I wonder if that’s how Bavasi makes his roster decisions? Brad Wilkerson’s All-Star caliber, according to MLB ’06: The Show.)

  196. currcoug on April 28th, 2008 7:41 pm

    Even the Yankees would balk at paying Johjima’s new contract.

  197. John D. on April 28th, 2008 7:53 pm

    Re: # 192 -

    …and a guy where most games you could pencil him in to get at least 1-2 hits.

    What does that mean?
    162-324 hits ?
    Sign him up–yesterday.

  198. Breadbaker on April 28th, 2008 7:59 pm

    189: That’s true, but it’s instructive to look at that trade and the Omar trade, too, because both make more sense than what we do today. We traded Omar, even though we didn’t get squat for him, because A-Rod was coming. Now we re-sign Kenji even knowing we have Clement, who may be the best non-pitching prospect we’ve had since, almost ready. And we got ride of Tino because we couldn’t pay him, knowing that first base is one of the positions we can easily replace for cheap. Now we overpay for Richie AND Vidro, as though we absolutely have to have a high-priced player on the left side of the defensive spectrum. Makes you almost miss Woody Woodward. Almost.

  199. Tom on April 28th, 2008 8:29 pm

    #197:

    I mean that there would be some pitchers he probably couldn’t handle and therefore would go 0 for everything in a game. But most nights he is capable of getting around 1-2 hits a game (at least).

    So he would probably rack up anywhere from 150-180 hits in a season if he got to play full time if I had to guess.

  200. Tom on April 28th, 2008 8:31 pm

    #195:

    AH-HA!!! Bill Bavasi’s strategies are revealed!!! MLB (whatever year it is minus 2 to 3) The Show for PS2!

    Who would’ve thought?

  201. paulkersey on April 28th, 2008 9:27 pm

    The White Sox got Carlos Quentin for one prospect (albeit a good one) and Nick Swisher for three. Either one of those guys would have been tremendously helpful to the Ms. As far as GMs who mistakenly think their teams are going to contend this year, Ken Williams really put Bavasi to shame during the off-season.

  202. Full Count on April 28th, 2008 10:14 pm

    What teams does Bavasi have working contacts with? It always seem the Mariners are out on an island nobody wants to deal with Bavasi., not to mention players don’t always want to come to Seattle.

    Diamondbacks were loaded with young talent and traded Carlos Quentin to the Sox. I just don’t see anybody wanting anything we have expect what we want to keep.

    Mariners are in a tight spot if the current gang can’t start smacking the ball…..

  203. Tuomas on April 28th, 2008 10:15 pm

    On the plus side, Matt Morris is available!

  204. terry on April 28th, 2008 10:19 pm

    Corey Patterson isn’t going to revitalize anything offensively. He might be able to catch enough to justify his putrid wood in center but the Ms already have that covered.

  205. Tuomas on April 28th, 2008 10:29 pm

    Corey Patterson in left with Ibanez at DH or Corey Patterson in right is a bit better than any of the in-house options.

  206. Tom on April 28th, 2008 11:48 pm

    #203: Heck yes, Matt Morris!!! Franchise savior, baby!

  207. scott19 on April 28th, 2008 11:59 pm

    198: Although that Tino trade might still have been a little easier to swallow had we gotten a real third-base prospect as opposed to Davis.

  208. scott19 on April 29th, 2008 12:22 am

    From the looks of it, I think Jack Morris may be able to throw with more velocity than Matt these days — and he’s twenty years older and been retired since 1994!

    In other words, it’s pretty bad when even the Buccos give up on ya.

  209. terry on April 29th, 2008 3:51 am

    Eduardo Perez was a better option than Carl Everett too…just not really enough to make a difference and certainly not worth what the Ms gave up….

  210. galaxieboi on April 29th, 2008 8:19 am

    Hey, everyone head over to fangraphs.com. Dave has a great article on Nick Johnson and PrOPS. There’s also an awesome stat they put up that tracks how often players swing and make contact in AND outside the strikezone. Very rad.

  211. strong silence on April 29th, 2008 9:16 am

    Would Shapiro listen if Bavasi called?

    “Travis is looking a little peaked. He turns 30 this year!”

    “So?”, says Shapiro.

    “How about Sexson + Putz + $$ for Hafner?”

    ____________________, replies Shapiro.

  212. currcoug on April 29th, 2008 9:35 am

    Bread,

    Part of the reason Vizquel was dealt was his anemic hitting. In hindsight, the M’s should have retained Omar, and moved him to second base. You have to hand it to Cleveland, however, where Omar became a fixture in the number 2 slot behind Roberto Alomar, not to mention becoming half of one of the best middle infields of all time.

    The Indians would have done it to us again with Carlos Guillen, but for Omar failing the physical.

  213. currcoug on April 29th, 2008 9:39 am

    I should have said behind Lofton and Alomar.

  214. disturb189 on April 29th, 2008 9:54 am

    Wouldn’t it just be better to promote from within? If we made a trade for any of those guys, Bavasi would probably give up way too much. Also, some of our options from within are just as good if not better. Why not bring up Reed and Balentien to play RF and LF, move Ibanez to DH, and bring up Clement to play 1B? While I know Mariners management wouldn’t ever want to do that with Sexson’s contract and the fear of moving Ibanez, the team’s offense and defense would improve dramatically without trading for anyone.

    Also, even though this is a little off the subject, didn’t Safeco Corp. get sold recently. Wouldn’t that mean that Safeco Field would have to be renamed for next year?
    Sorry if I don’t know all the details, but I live in Upstate New York, not in Seattle, and it is a little harder to get information about the Mariners here.

  215. Jack Howland on April 29th, 2008 10:22 am

    Part of the reason Vizquel was dealt was his anemic hitting.

    Vizquel’s offense had nothing to do with the trade. It was all a money issue.

    The Indians would have done it to us again with Carlos Guillen, but for Omar failing the physical.

    Carlos Guillen had nothing to do with the attempted signing of Vizquel in 2005. Guillen was traded in 2004.

  216. Jeff Nye on April 29th, 2008 10:33 am

    Also, even though this is a little off the subject, didn’t Safeco Corp. get sold recently. Wouldn’t that mean that Safeco Field would have to be renamed for next year?

    I think what they’re saying is that the stadium name MAY change, but the merger only happened about a week ago. It’s too early to tell.

    I would be surprised if the stadium name changes, honestly; Safeco has a long history in the area.

    We probably won’t have a solid answer until the offseason about the naming issue.

  217. currcoug on April 29th, 2008 11:05 am

    Jack,

    The Mariners and Indians agreed to trade Guillen for Vizquel straightup in December, 2003. Omar failed the physical, which negated the trade. Guillen was then given away to Detroit for Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez.

  218. msb on April 29th, 2008 11:08 am

    Carlos Guillen had nothing to do with the attempted signing of Vizquel in 2005. Guillen was traded in 2004.

    from ESPN, December 17, 2003: “Cleveland Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel failed a physical in Seattle on Tuesday, putting in jeopardy a trade that would have sent him to the Mariners for Carlos Guillen. The teams had agreed on a deal to swap the shortstops contingent on Vizquel passing medical tests.”

    and Jan. 9, 2004: “The Seattle Mariners replaced shortstop Carlos Guillen with Rich Aurilia on Thursday. The Mariners confirmed signing Aurilia to a one-year, free-agent contract reportedly worth $3.5 million US, well below the $6.25 million US he pocketed in 2003. Upon securing Aurilia’s service, the Mariners traded Guillen to the Detroit Tigers for, ironically, two more shortstops: Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez.”

    I think what they’re saying is that the stadium name MAY change, but the merger only happened about a week ago. It’s too early to tell.

    Larry Stone on the subject.

  219. Jack Howland on April 29th, 2008 11:10 am

    currcoug – I stand corrected on that. That occurred just before the signed Spiezio. Not a good month for Bavasi.

  220. Tom on April 29th, 2008 11:15 am

    211: Oh boy! I love Mad Libs!

  221. msb on April 29th, 2008 11:18 am

    Dec 15, 2003: Tejada accepts O’s deal, M’s re-sign Guillen.

    Dec 16-17, attempt to trade for Vizquel, he fails physical, Indians make pissy remarks about keeping him. They are pleasantly surprised when his knee is ok, and he plays
    well. They still dump him at end of year. Sign Spiezio at winter meetings; unfortunately he passes his physical.

    Jan 9, 2004 sign Aurillia to a one-year deal, trade Guillen to Detroit (who’d tried to get Aurillia, but he wouldn’t talk to them, just like Tejada)

  222. currcoug on April 29th, 2008 11:46 am

    …Mariners subsequently release Santiago and Gonzalez. Santiago returns to Tigers as a bench player.

  223. scott19 on April 29th, 2008 1:02 pm

    …And the moral of the Carlos Guillen saga is: Never pop a DUI when going thru Medina on 520 at 2 AM (especially if you’re on a work visa)!

    However, if you’re down in Clark County, that apparently doesn’t get you traded.

  224. _David_ on April 29th, 2008 1:41 pm

    Botts designated…he’d be an upgrade at DH…

  225. msb on April 29th, 2008 3:04 pm

    …And the moral of the Carlos Guillen saga is: Never pop a DUI when going thru Medina on 520 at 2 AM (especially if you’re on a work visa)! However, if you’re down in Clark County, that apparently doesn’t get you traded.

    especially if it isn’t a DUI.

    Guillen was stopped for driving at excessive speed across 520, blew over the limit when stopped, and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service, speaking requirements, fines and fees amounting to about $1,000. Sexson, after accelerating through an intersection in Vancouver was charged with negligent driving & fined after the officer involved consulted the Washington State Toxicology Lab about alcohol burn-off rates & determined he likely wasn’t over the limit when stopped.

  226. currcoug on April 29th, 2008 3:49 pm

    Guillen did not plead guilty to DUI.

  227. BigJared on April 29th, 2008 4:35 pm

    The most obvious solution was removed from the table by our esteemed Corporate Lawyer Chairman……. ’cause he wants to win!

    Acquiring a certain not to be named free agent is free except for the $$$. Trading for any of the far lesser hitters mentioned will necessarily cost us prospects they aren’t really worth. Varitek and Lowe for Slocumb anyone? If that is really are only choice, we might as well start calling up the young ones and play for next year.

    Guys like Corey Patterson, Ryan Freel, and Matt Murton may be an ‘upgrade’ but they aren’t impact bats. They aren’t enough to change the feeble nature of this offense. We need an impact.

    Our pitching staff (when healthy) is too good to not support with at least an adequate big league offense.

  228. scott19 on April 29th, 2008 5:05 pm

    225/26: Msb & Currcoug: Sorry for the brainfart and thanks for the clary. I guess what I was really getting at with that rant was: (1) if that run-in that CG had with the cops on 520 was a “determining factor” as to whether or not he figured into the club’s plans going forward, I’ve seen guys be forgiven in the past by different clubs for things which were far more aggregious; & (2) even if that were Carlos’ proverbial “last straw” with the club, it does seem like Bavasi, at the very least, could’ve at least gotten something of value in exchange for driving him to the airport.

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