General trade tomfoolery thread

July 30, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 93 Comments 

I think the M’s should get in on that hot Barry Zito action. Trade Vidro for him, get Vidro back in the NL where he thrived, give up Silva, maybe…

The Move Washburn Campaign

July 30, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 60 Comments 

We’ve only gotten one place to bite on the “Jarrod Washburn is awesome and has a new splitter and it’s great” story. Get out there and keep pushing, we need this guy moved in the next day!

Can Ichiro Get 3,000 Hits in MLB?

July 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 24 Comments 

Last night, Ichiro recorded his 3000th hit as a professional, of which 1,723 of those have come since he joined MLB in the 2001 season. That’s impressive, but what are his odds of getting 3,000 as a major leaguer? A lot better than you might think.

Ichiro needs 1,277 hits to get to 3,000 for his major league career. If he hits any higher than .290 and averages 600 AB a season, he’ll get his 3,000th MLB hit sometime in 2015, his age 41 season. Think that’s impossible? Kenny Lofton hit .293 in his age 35-40 seasons. Despite the myth that holds the opposite to be true, fast players age exceedingly well.

Ichiro has never gotten fewer than 647 at-bats in a season, partly because he never walks and he is so fanatical about his stretching routine that he doesn’t get hurt. By setting an average of just 600 at-bats per season over the next seven year, we’re building in an injury decline that very well might not strike a player in this good of physical condition. But, if you think that sounds too high for a guy heading into his mid-30s, we can set the average season ABs to just 500, and he’d still be able to get to 3,000 MLB hits in 2017, his age 43 season.

Is it a stretch to think Ichiro can still be productive in his early 40s? I don’t see any reason to believe so. 43 is probably pushing it, but I’d argue that a 500 AB per season average is a far too conservative projection.

Essentially, Ichiro doesn’t have to do much besides stay healthy and play until he’s 41 or 42 and he’ll get 3,000 major league hits. I’m betting on Ichiro.

The Onion continues to mock our misfortune

July 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 18 Comments 

Mariners Improve To Eight Games Over .300

You’re a terrible pitcher, Carlos

July 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 37 Comments 

Dave adds sarcastic comment about Silva’s new grip giving him more sink here.

Game 106, Mariners at Rangers

July 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 127 Comments 


Proven Chemistry Guru Guillen Harming Chemistry

July 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 27 Comments 

I like Jose Guillen, and this isn’t in any way an attack on him, as much as it is a hilarious conclusion to the ridiculous claims that the M’s simply fell apart without his leadership.

Guillen demands trade, not speaking to manager.

But the main reason he is in “living hell in Kansas City” is a foul relationship with manager Trey Hillman.

“Guillen and Hillman are not on speaking terms, they don’t talk,” said the source. “Guillen is definitely not happy, he’s not comfortable and he would do anything he can in economic terms to ease his way out of Kansas City.”

The next time sportswriters correctly predict a player’s effect on a particular team’s clubhouse chemistry, it will be the first time. Until then, ignore them.

MLB Teams Are Learning

July 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 85 Comments 

As we head up to the trade deadline, we’re seeing a shift from what has taken place in years past. Yesterday, the Braves put all-star first baseman Mark Teixeira on the block, and the collective response from MLB was to yawn. Manny Ramirez was made available over the weekend, and no one cared. The M’s are trying to create a bidding war for Jarrod Washburn, but they can’t find anyone besides the Yankees who have much interest.

This isn’t a coincidence. Multiple GMs are being quoted publicly as saying they’ve never seen prospects being valued this highly before, and that teams simply aren’t willing to give up the kind of young talent they used to in order to acquire a veteran at the deadline. Why?

MLB GMs are getting smarter, and they’re learning from recent history. Look back at the big trades made in the last year, both in season and off season.

Arizona mortgages the farm for Dan Haren, he pitches well, their team regresses anyway.
New York acquires Johan Santana, he pitches well, their team struggles regardless
Mariners acquire Erik Bedard, season goes in the toilet
Tigers acquire Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, team underachieves
Braves acquire Mark Teixeira, are pretty much the same with him as before
Red Sox acquire Eric Gagne, he stinks

In all those deals, the team giving up significant prospects has not seen the results they were hoping for on a team wide basis. It’s not always the new acquisition’s fault (Haren’s been awesome), but one player on a 25 man roster just doesn’t make as much of a difference as most people think.

It’s taken them awhile, but the clubs themselves are finally figuring out how valuable young players are, and not buying into the “go for broke” hype anymore. Even the recent deals for C.C. Sabathia and Rich Harden were a big step back in terms of prospects received from what similar players were commanding several years ago, and more in line with what teams should be giving up for a deadline acquisition.

Slowly but surely, teams are realizing the truth – prospects aren’t some willy nilly lottery ticket that should be cashed in at the first chance to acquire a player you’ve actually heard of. Good teams build from within, and while there are trades that make sense for both teams, the crazy “my kingdom for a horse” type deals have seen their last days.

Small stat of the day: the defensive improvement

July 28, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 41 Comments 

Since the M’s made their outfield alignment change to try and regularly get two good gloves out there at the same time, and began to regularly replace Sexson at first (even with Cairo and Vidro) I’ve been watching their defensive stats drift upwards with interest. And now Riggleman’s even used defensive subs for Ibanez (!) late in games, which is great.

While earlier in the year they were in the basement, one of the worst teams in baseball, before tonight’s game they were 21st in defensive efficiency which is just balls put into play (except HRs) turned into outs.

That’s a huge, huge swing. It means the Mariners have been playing legitimately good defense overall for a while now, and we’ve seen that pay off in a lot of ways beyond just outs: for instance, it’s made some Ryan Franklin-worthy starts by Jarrod Washburn look great, and that may help the team move his salary.

This has been a large and as far as I’ve seen generally unacknowledged part of the team’s improved record lately. That putting two legitimately good defenders in the outfield and taking playing time away from a terrible defender (and at a traditionally defensively neglected position) has helped swing things to the M’s side is another demonstration of the importance of defense.

Game 105, Mariners at Rangers

July 28, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 102 Comments 

Felix vs Feldman, 5:05.

Happy Felix Day!

If Felix can shut down the Rangers tonight, it will be his most impressive performance since last year’s one hitter in Fenway. This Texas line-up is just unbelievably scary, especially at home. Their team OPS while playing in Texas is .880. Their worst hitters at home hit like our best hitters on the road. And, even better, their offense is heavily left-handed, with serious home run power from that side. Felix’s biggest problem is still getting left-handed hitters out.

It’s 100 degrees in Texas tonight, by the way. So he’s facing a monster offense full of the type of hitters that he does worst against in an environment where the ball will be flying off the bat.

The degree of difficulty for this start is off the scales. In Felix We Trust, but tonight, I have slightly tempered expectations.

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