Welcome to the Mariners, your office overlooks a smoking crater
A partial list of challenges facing an incoming GM, and why whoever takes over needs be half-crazed with ambition and, preferably, backed by an equally insane staff.
As it stands right now, here’s what the team will look like in this offseason, moving around the diamond:
We have no DH.
We have a young, promising catcher and an older catcher who seems to have collapsed entirely after being given a three-year deal.
We have no first baseman.
The second baseman signed to a multi-year deal through 2010 has turned into a defensive sinkhole.
The shortstop signed to a multi-year extension through 2011 has turned into a defensive sinkhole who doesn’t hit either.
You have a year of a good third baseman in which to extend him or find the next one.
We have no left-fielder.
We potentially have a center fielder in Reed, but resolving his situation may depend on the GM’s evaluation of his play.
Then to the pitching:
The Felix dilemma.
Bedard’s around for another year, what do you do with him?
Batista’s signed through next year and stinks.
Silva’s signed through 2011 and stinks.
Washburn’s signed through next year and stinks.
Morrow: start or relieve?
Assembling the rest of the bullpen.
That’s a huge list of issues to be done in the rebuild. Feel free to assign them your own difficulty rating, but it’s clear that while some of these will have relatively easy fixes — finding a new DH may be asking Raul if he wants to hang out for another year, for instance, and first base and left — leaving a lot of that will require a lot of work, and possibly the rapid application of a lot of money.
When they interview GM candidates and ask them “What would you do with the team?” they’re going to need to schedule a lot longer than an hour to get reasonable answers.
Jeff Sullivan @ LL’s been doing some good articles on how to approach the scope of the problems. (one, two). I think any team with the current version of Betancourt/Lopez is doomed to suck horribly, so I wouldn’t rest until that’s resolved, but still– it’s good reading.