Reload: The Offseason Plan To Win in 2009

Dave · September 30, 2008 at 10:35 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

For years, I’ve been posting suggested offseason plans for the M’s, laying out potential moves they could make to improve the roster and try to build a winning team. This year, however, it’s a little different – the organization doesn’t really know what they’re going to do, since they don’t have a GM, and they seem to be leaning towards a rebuild. So, until we know what the decision on the GM is and what he feels like the team should do with this roster, there needs to be two sets of suggestions. Double the work for me, but hopefully, twice as much fun for you guys.

So, here’s part one – a step by step outline of how the organization could retool this winter and attempt to come back as a contender in 2009. There’s a ton of talent hitting free agency this winter and the M’s already have some pieces in place, so it’s possible, even coming off a disastrous season. Here’s one potential roster that could legitimately contend in the A.L. West next year.

And here are the moves that would create said roster:

Trade Jose Lopez, Wladimir Balentien, and Jarrod Washburn to the Brewers for Corey Hart and Brad Nelson

Sign Rafael Furcal to a 3 year, $40 million contract

Sign Milton Bradley to a 3 year, $36 million contract with a vesting option for a 4th season based on PA

Sign Reed Johnson to a 1 year, $3 million contract.

Sign Jeremy Affeldt to a 1 year, $4 million contract

Fairly simple – one trade, four free agent contracts, and a position change for Betancourt. I have a hard time seeing the Brewers turning down that offer (especially with how badly Hart finished 2008, and the fact that he’s arb. eligible this winter), and the contracts for Furcal and Bradley are calculated risks, offering guaranteed years and significant cash to guys with health questions. As far as make believe rosters, I think this one’s quite a bit more realistic than most of the ones I’ve proffered in the past. It requires the M’s to keep their payroll essentially even with what it was in 2008, but wouldn’t require the new GM to come in and demand to be able to trade prospects off for a win-now fix or for a budget increase to spend on veterans. This roster can be built with the resources readily available from day one.

Why would this team win?

Rough calculations put the offense at about +10 runs above average over the full season. Those projections assume a minimal rebound from Betancourt and Hart’s poor seasons, a slight uptick by Beltre and Ichiro, slightly below average production from Clement and Nelson, and Bradley only being a good hitter, not a great one. There’s certainly room for more in the offense – Hart turns 27 next year, and his power is legitimate, so a slightly better approach could lead to a big step forward. Clement could be quite a bit better than the projection, and Bradley might not regress nearly as far as this suggests.

The defense is also remarkably better. Lopez is essentially replaced by Furcal, a pretty huge upgrade with the glove. Ibanez is replaced by Hart, which is like driving by McDonalds and ending up at Mortons. Betancourt’s less of a problem at second base than at shortstop, and while Nelson/Clement won’t be very good over at first, Morse offers some potential as a solid glove there. Overall, this should be an above average defense, probably by the margin of +10 to +15 runs or so.

The pitching staff benefits from a potentially healthy Bedard, the importation of Affeldt to be the bullpen’s primary lefty, and a better back-end of the rotation with RRS, Morrow, and a version of Carlos Silva that can’t possibly be that bad again. Batista, Dickey, and Feierabend provide rotation depth to make up for the innings gap that the starting five will certainly leave, so there’s eight in house starting pitchers already around. Overall, this pitching staff is, much like the rest of the team, slightly above average. Depending on Bedard’s heatlh and the progression of Morrow and Rowland-Smith, I’ve got them at +10 runs above average, but it could jump to +30 if Bedard can pitch the whole season at peak level.

Put it all together, and you’ve got a team that looks like an 85-87 win team based on talent level. Good enough to be the favorite? No, certainly not, but a huge step back to respectability while simultaneously building to the future. No major prospects are sacrificed – Balentien is essentially replaced by Hart, a better version of the same skillset, and while Lopez is shipped off in favor of the older Furcal, Luis Valbuena gets to hang out in Tacoma and push Betancourt for the 2B job if he doesn’t improve.

The guys around which the franchise should be building are still here, and the new talented veterans give the team time to let their prospects develop while also keeping the fan base on board. The team gets younger and significantly more exciting, and the new additions create an opportunity for a playoff berth if enough things go right – Felix breaks out, Bedard stays healthy, Beltre has another monster contract year, whatever. They’re not the favorites, but they’re within striking distance, and there’s real upside on the roster.

Why would this team lose?

Easy – it’s brittle as hell. Furcal gets a huge contract for sitting four months in 2008. Bradley never plays more than about 75% of the season. Bedard’s coming off shoulder surgery. Morrow and Rowland-Smith enter spring training as starters for the first time in their careers. Those five guys are all major durability question marks, and they’re all being counted on. If more than one bites it, this team isn’t going to win. They have to stay healthy.

But what do you really lose by trying this roster out? Say Bedard doesn’t come back, Furcal’s back is still a problem, Bradley misses a bunch of time due to nagging injuries… they just get replaced by the kids you were going to play if you decided to rebuild before the year started, and you can still shop around guys like Beltre and Putz at the trade deadline if you want prospects in lieu of more draft picks.

Yea, there’s some financial outlay, but none of it is guaranteed beyond where Silva and Johjima’s ugly extensions already take us, so it’s not prolonging the years of bad money on the books. If you go into a full scale rebuild, you’re not winning for 2-3 years anyway, so the money spent on Bradley and Furcal isn’t going to push back your timetable one single day. And if the team bombs while either or both of those guys stay healthy and productive, you have a couple new trade chips to hasten your rebuild.

The team has issues, but there are players available that can address those issues, and the team has the resources to get those guys in uniform. The Mariners don’t have to rebuild – with some good roster management, they can restock the major league roster without sacrificing the future. It doesn’t have to be an either/or, win now or rebuild situation. With an offseason like this, the team could win in 2009 and rebuild at the same time.


94 Responses to “Reload: The Offseason Plan To Win in 2009”

  1. TumwaterMike on October 1st, 2008 12:44 pm

    I would like to see the Mariners get Greg Dobbs back. He is left-handed, can play 3rd, 1st and DH. He has proven, with extended playing time, he can hit .280-.300 with about 10 homeruns.

    He could maybe platoon with Morse at first, DH and give Beltre some rest at 3rd. I think he would be a solid bench guy for the M’s. I don’t know if he’s a free agent but if he’s not you could proabably get him for a couple of 2nd tier minor leaguers.

  2. bakomariner on October 1st, 2008 1:12 pm

    Dave, I know how down you are on LaHair, but is Nelson any better? I don’t know anything about him besides raw stats.

  3. thekid24 on October 1st, 2008 1:22 pm

    1. If you want a volatile $12M outfielder, trade a bucket of balls to KC for Jose Guillen and have him play LF.

    2. Trade Jose Lopez and Jarrod Washburn to the White Sox for Nick Swisher (hates Ozzie Guillen). Swisher costs you just $5.3M in 2008 and solves your 1B problem. Sox will be looking for a 2B to replace Cabrera, with Ramirez moving to SS. You’ll have to eat $6M of Washburn’s $10.35 deal.

    3. Find a spot for two of the Florida Marlins’ 17 arbitration-eligible players. Offer them Balentien and get yourself an upgrade in LHP Scott Olsen and an all-purpose IF/OF Alfredo Amezega for a combined $5M.

    4. Sign Ken Griffey, Jr. to a hometown 1 yr/$8M contract.

    5. Trade Miguel Batista ($9M) and Rob Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays for the final three years of 2B Aaron Hill’s contract ($2.6M in 2009).

    6. Save the $4M you were going to spend on Affeldt. Rowland-Smith returns to the bullpen assuming Bedard is healthy, Jimenez slides into the situational lefty role.


    RF Ichiro (L) $17.0
    2B Hill (R) $2.6
    LF Guillen (R) $12.0
    DH Griffey (L) $8.0
    3B Beltre (R) $12.0
    1B Swisher (L) $5.3
    C Clement (L) $0.5
    SS Betancourt (R) $2.0
    CF Reed (L) $0.5

    Bench Johjima (R) $8.0
    Bench Amezega (R) $1.0
    Bench Hulett (L) $0.5
    Bench LaHair (L) $0.5

    SP Hernandez (R) $3.0
    SP Bedard (L) $8.0
    SP Morrow (R) $0.5
    SP Olsen (L) $4.5
    SP Silva (R) $11.0

    CL Putz (R) $5.0
    Rel Jimenez (L) $0.5
    Rel Green (R) $0.5
    Rel Rowland-Smith (L) $0.5
    Rel Lowe (R) $0.5
    Rel Corcoran (R) $0.5

    subtotal $104.4M
    plus $6M to Washburn

    TOTAL $110.4M

  4. Red Apple on October 1st, 2008 1:27 pm

    BTW, I forgot to say:

    Awesome, Dave! This is great, great stuff. If only the current management put as much passion and forward thinking into their JOB as you put into just this one of your many outside interests, the M’s would be in fantastic shape.

  5. bakomariner on October 1st, 2008 1:29 pm


    Guillen in LF would be as bad as Ibanez. No thanks.

    Griffey is done. It would be a nice feel-good story, but again, no thanks.

    RRS is a starter now. Period. If you want to replace a starter, send Silva to the pen.

    The rest sounds good. I would REALLY be okay with Swisher. Always loved that guy. Even when he was an A.

  6. thekid24 on October 1st, 2008 1:38 pm

    Why does everyone think Guillen is such a bad OF? He’s still got his legs and he’s got a RF’s arm.

    Griffey is done, yes, but is Mike Morse better? I want to at least enjoy watching the games if we’re going to lose.

    I agree RRS should remain a starter, but I also love Scott Olsen. Silva to the pen would be fine with me, but we would then need to sacrifice Corcoran for a lefty. Maybe Rhodes would sign another 1-year deal.

  7. msb on October 1st, 2008 1:49 pm

    Weeks is brutal defensively at second base – he needs to move to the OF, which this would allow him to do.

    well, he’s tried to show them in today’s game …

  8. horatiosanzserif on October 1st, 2008 1:58 pm

    Interesting write-up. It’d be nice to see the M’s land Hart.

    Thoughts on Swisher, since someone brought him up:

    2008 splits:
    Home – .247/.361/.517 (19 HR)
    Road – .189/.301/.294 (5 HR)

    Might as well re-sign Sexson for that kind of line.

  9. scraps on October 1st, 2008 2:19 pm

    Not all volatile outfielders are built equal. The difference between Guillen and Bradley is that Guillen is a mediocre hitter and Bradley is a superb hitter.

  10. Jeff Nye on October 1st, 2008 2:56 pm

    Hey, we got much further into this post than I thought we would before someone advocated getting Griffey.

  11. Bender on October 1st, 2008 3:09 pm

    Thanks for answering our questions in this thread.

  12. scraps on October 1st, 2008 3:20 pm

    And even the Griffey-advocator admitted he’s toast.

  13. mariners2009 on October 1st, 2008 3:28 pm

    Is it really worth it to pick up Bradley for 3/$36 when Raul could cost less? Maybe it’s just me, but I would really rather have Raul at DH just for the lack of issues and durability.

    Raul 2008 .293/.358/.479
    Milton 2008 .321/.436/.563

    Those are big numbers, but can he do it again? I doubt it.

  14. msb on October 1st, 2008 3:34 pm

    but I would really rather have Raul at DH just for the lack of issues and durability.

    you’d have to convince Raul to DH for a rebuilding team.

  15. mariners2009 on October 1st, 2008 3:40 pm

    True. I was at a Rangers/M’s game in April and sat 4 rows up from the Ranger’s dugout. In the 2nd or 3rd inning, Milton came walking back to the dugout after a weak pop up. One of the fans gave a shout to him along the lines of “nice hit.” Nothing dirty. Milton’s reply was a very loud and threatning “SHUTUP!” It was funny and pathetic at the same time. I can respect the skills, but I can’t respect the guy and could never be a fan of his. I would rather have Bonds.

  16. eponymous coward on October 1st, 2008 4:35 pm

    If the M’s are going after Furcal, they aren’t rebuilding and throwing away 2008, like whaty Beane did to 2007, circa July 2007; they are making a legitimate try at things.

    600 PAs of Raul might be better than 450 PAs of Bradley + 150 PAs of replacement-level (someone like, say, LaHair), I guess, especially since Bradley’s only pulled off a 450 PA season twice in his career- you’re more likely to get 300 PAs. Bradley’s a monster bat, but the M’s don’t have the kind of depth where they can plug in a decent bat somewhere in the lineup as a backup DH when Bradley has his 8 week stint on the DL. That’s probably the biggest problem with Dave’s plan, as he acknowledged- the Mariners would be pushing their luck to get 120 games out of that roster- and the depth behind Bradley’s not there.

    The problem is I’m not sure you want to be handing Raul 3/36 contracts, either, if Bradley isn’t who you want, and Bradley has more upside than Raul.

    Oh, and Griffey’s awful. His walk rates are going up while his power is nosediving, like other HOFers did before their careers tanked (Mays, for instance), which is a “Danger, Will Robinson!” alert- basically, he’s getting walks because some pitchers and umpires still think he’s The Kid, and instead of swinging at stuff he can’t hit any more, he’s waiting counts out and trying to get something, ANYTHING he can drive (and not succeeding a lot). The next phase is when people throw him stuff straight down Broadway and he whiffs or pops it to SS, and we get to see Richie Sexson all over again. Pass.

  17. Grizz on October 1st, 2008 5:09 pm

    Why does everyone think Guillen is such a bad OF? He’s still got his legs and he’s got a RF’s arm.

    The advanced defensive metrics rate Guillen as one of the worst corner outfielders in baseball. Dewan’s +/- system has him -20 plays below average (which converts to costing his team about 16 runs). Similarly, UZR for 2007 (the 2008 results apparently have not been published yet) rated Guillen at -21 runs below average. In comparison, +/- has Ibanez at -18 plays (14.5 runs), and UZR for 2007 had Ibanez at -31 runs.

  18. Pogotoa on October 1st, 2008 5:41 pm

    I like some of the moves Dave. Not sure about Furcal, but wouldnt mind seeing the rest of the moves go down.

    Two guys I would like to see the M’s target using Lopez and Balentien as trade bait would be David DeJesus and Jeremy Hermida.

    I would also not be adverse to Orlando Hudson, although I think Triunfel is gonna be legit and our 2B starting within 2-3 yrs, therefore not sure you want to sign Hudson for the 4-5 yrs he’ll be looking for.

  19. Wishhiker on October 1st, 2008 5:55 pm

    You know…there were quite a few team records that Edgar took from Griffey after he left and I’d rather Edgar kept them at this point. Griffey wanted out and Edgar stayed, let ‘Gar keep those team records he earned by being a career Mariner. If we wanted Griffey at this point, why not just keep Ibanez? I don’t see a particular need for either…I can’t imagine Griffey being under 50 and as bad a Sexson, though…But being that he’s a type B FA the M’s would lose a pick…Why lose any this year? To be out of the cellar but less equipped to make it to the top in future years? Not worth it in my opinion. Orlando Cabrera (A), Rafael Furcal (B), Milton Bradley (B) and Jeremy Affelt (B) are not worth the pick loss (if offered arbitration by their team: by Dec. 2nd we’ll know), the way our recent 2nd round picks have looked to me. I’d rather watch young players out there at this point than lessen future opportunity by one pick in a pointless year just to improve to .520 or some such. It’s meaningless. Reed Johnson is a good example of what they should look for in an underrated FA that won’t lose your team a pick.

    Is there really any reason to sign a type A or B FA this year if they’re offered arbitration?

  20. eponymous coward on October 1st, 2008 6:34 pm

    That, Grizz, and even when Guillen was having a GOOD year, and Raul, not as much (2007), Raul was the better hitter (6 runscreated per game vs. 5.7 for Guillen).

    It’s not really close- if you want to bring back a complete stiff of an OF to be DH, Raul’s your guy over Jose.

  21. gottago on October 1st, 2008 7:37 pm

    No free agents for multi-year contracts. One year specialist if the price is right.
    Enough of the love fest over Raul. He should be not be resigned.
    Trade Ichiro. Dump Johjima.
    If Griffey comes back it should be to welcome guests to the Emerald Queen.
    Bedard — shows up to play or lose him before Memorial Day.

  22. joser on October 1st, 2008 8:05 pm

    They’re not going to trade Ichiro, and they’re not going to dump Johjima (unless he continues to suck and decides to retire back to Japan a la Sasaki). In order to wish for that, you have to first wish for a different majority owner. But this isn’t really the thread for “let’s assume you can change everything.”

  23. scraps on October 1st, 2008 9:18 pm

    You know…there were quite a few team records that Edgar took from Griffey after he left and I’d rather Edgar kept them at this point.


    Trade Ichiro

    We do not exist in the same Mariner-fan universe.

  24. DHRjericho on October 2nd, 2008 8:06 am

    Joser – I guess i was just trying to say that a .272 swing in OPS from Home to Road should show that Bradley wouldn’t put up numbers anything close to those he did this year if he was playing half his games in Safeco. I’m sure that’s obvious to everyone so maybe it was redundant.

    Also Bradley’s only reached 500 AB’s once in his career. That doesn’t bode well for productivity.

  25. gottago on October 2nd, 2008 8:17 am

    If the Mariners ownership wants to go with an all-Japan/Korean team–why don’t they just do that. In my Mariner universe–I’m for best all-around team and talent. The all-Japan, all-the time thing has worn thin and at best is misplaced allegiance and at-worst, its racist. I’d rather have a meddling owner who tells you how he’s going to build a great team, then a bunch of suits that say one thing and do something else.

  26. eponymous coward on October 2nd, 2008 8:55 am

    Soooooo… the fact that Ichiro’s actually a great player, and the fact that you’re trying to reload rather than rebuild (and thus you WANT to keep Hall of Fame players) has no impact on whether or not you keep him, because he’s Japanese?

  27. gottago on October 2nd, 2008 9:10 am

    Soooooo… the fact that Ichiro’s actually a great player, and the fact that you’re trying to reload rather than rebuild (and thus you WANT to keep Hall of Fame players) has no impact on whether or not you keep him, because he’s Japanese?

    I’m not against him or any other player. But if you can get value for him – like a power-hitting third baseman and a power-hitting corner outfielder, along with a left-hander at rookie or A ball, the Mariners will be a better team after the move.

    They’re not going to trade Ichiro, and they’re not going to dump Johjima (unless he continues to suck and decides to retire back to Japan a la Sasaki). In order to wish for that, you have to first wish for a different majority owner. But this isn’t really the thread for “let’s assume you can change everything.”

    My comments were in response to the “different majority ownership” remark.

  28. msb on October 2nd, 2008 9:36 am

    The all-Japan, all-the time thing has worn thin

    wouldn’t they now have Matsusaka, Igawa, Fukodome etc on the team if that was really the case? As far as I can tell, in 10+ years Mr Yamauchi has asked for three things; to try for the highest bid for Ichiro, to sign Sasaki and to extend Johjima.

  29. Wishhiker on October 2nd, 2008 10:13 am

    How about offer Raul arbitration and see if he makes the decision for you? If he’s back, he’s the DH and you’re not losing a pick to get a pretty good bat for there and if not you get 2 picks. The chances seem pretty good that he’d go elsewhere unless nobody was offering multi-year to get him and a dearth of offers is hard to perceive happening. He’s the only type A/B FA I can really see going for this year. I don’t think this 100 loss team has any reason to throw away picks on a few wins.

  30. joser on October 2nd, 2008 10:37 am

    As far as I can tell, in 10+ years Mr Yamauchi has asked for three things; to try for the highest bid for Ichiro, to sign Sasaki and to extend Johjima.

    Exactly. To exaggerate that into an “all-Japan, all-the time thing” is at best “misplaced” and at worst “racist.” No, I don’t want to go there and I’m not actually accusing you of that. Just quoting your (incendiary, hyperbolic) words back to you.

    One of the enduring themes of USSM is that undervalued players go overlooked by the M’s and get picked up by smarter teams. But one area where the team has been especially strong relative to its peers is overseas scouting. Having an overseas owner may contribute to that or it may not, but the results so far have been pretty good (you may recall that before Ichiro played his first season in the US the widespread consensus was that he was too weak to hit in the American leagues and he, and every other Japanese position player, wouldn’t make it over here). Sure, ownership is certainly aware of the collateral business benefits in the Japanese market when they’re making decisions about certain Japanese players, but prior to the Johjima extension they were also perfectly defensible baseball decisions (particularly on a team that often makes indefensible baseball decisions regarding American players).

  31. msb on October 2nd, 2008 10:41 am

    yup. what I said. only longer & better 🙂

  32. eponymous coward on October 2nd, 2008 11:13 am

    I’m not against him or any other player. But if you can get value for him – like a power-hitting third baseman and a power-hitting corner outfielder, along with a left-hander at rookie or A ball, the Mariners will be a better team after the move.

    So, you’re saying a deal like (pulling some names of players who meet your guidelines) Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano, or Hank Blalock and Josh Hamilton, plus a young LHP, in trade for Ichiro is a realistic deal for the Mariners to pursue?

    I submit that you’re fooling yourself if you think Ichiro fetches that much in trade. You should probably realize that if you’re trading Ichiro, you’re blowing the team up and getting unproven kids back, and the Mariners probably will NOT be a better team right away after the move- perhaps in the future, but not in the here and now (which is what Dave’s post is about). That’s fine, but be honest about it.

    Or, to put this another way: Carlos Beltran, a younger player than Ichiro, netted the Royals starters in the OF and C (Teahen and Buck), plus a throwin pitcher (Wood). None of the players the Royals netted could hold a candle to Beltran, and the Royals, while better than they were in 2004, are still not a particularly good team.

    Sure, the Mariners would be a better team if their trading partners were the functional equivalent of Bill Bavasi with severe organic brain damage, and we could turn one HOF player into two superior players + a prospect- but that’s unlikely to be the case. The best case would be something like the Griffey/Cameron trade, where we get ONE undervalued player and Ichiro suddenly goes south- but Ichiro isn’t Junior.

  33. Jeff Nye on October 2nd, 2008 12:04 pm

    Your friendly neighborhood mods say:

    Implying racism on the part of M’s ownership isn’t really appropriate, and takes us down a road we’re not going to go down.

  34. gottago on October 2nd, 2008 12:29 pm

    Whoa – settle down. The point is that the Mariners continue to “fall in love and marry” their star players. Or pseudo stars in the case of Sexson. And the fans support the matrimony when the better baseball decision is to “date them and then dump them.”

    I like the fact that Beane played and uses a combination of stats and intuition when it comes to players.

    And I’m ready for the team to be blown up.

  35. eponymous coward on October 2nd, 2008 1:31 pm

    Right, but you’ve yet to make the argument that “date Ichiro and dump him” is the best solution. Dave’s entire argument here is that blowing the team up isn’t necessary, that there is a path to a decent team in 2008, and, given that there’s some evidence that the Angels aren’t really a 99 win true talent team- they are plus 12 on their Pythagorean record; last year’s M’s were plus 9- the argument that putting an 85-88 win team on the table in the West could get you lucky isn’t unreasonable.

    One might also note, for instance, that Eric Chavez is still in an A’s uniform. It’s not unreasonable to build your team around superior, talented players like Ichiro, Felix and Beltre- the problem is that the Mariners have made lousy decisions on supporting cast, not the stars. But, as Bill James pointed out, bad teams (and, I suppose, some of their fans) blame their stars.

  36. gottago on October 2nd, 2008 1:43 pm

    I don’t blame the players. I blame the management that brought them together. And the management that can’t part with a player. I acknowledge that luck and timing all play a part in building a team, but I think that the Mariners can try and build an organization that gives young players a chance, lets those who can, flourish, and then deal them and start over instead of trying to lock them up for another 3-4-5 years as they head into their 30’s.

    It seems to me you have to deal them before they have reached enough service to dictate the terms. And as ARod has shown, dictating terms (including going to a contender) and delivering a world championship are two different things.

  37. eponymous coward on October 2nd, 2008 1:53 pm

    It seems to me you have to deal them before they have reached enough service to dictate the terms.

    That’s one way of looking at it. The Twins, essentially, have that model, where Santana gets dealt, Silva, Jones and Hunter walk, and so on. Basically, there’s complete roster turnover after 6-7 years or so, among the better players.

    On the other hand, you might note the Twins don’t draw great (though a new park may help), and while they contend regularly for division titles in the mid 80-low 90 win range while turning over their talent, they don’t really build superior teams like the Red Sox do- in large part because once their players hit their peak, it’s time to send them away. So, really, there’s not one way you HAVE to build the team- and that’s Dave’s point.

  38. joser on October 2nd, 2008 2:43 pm

    And the fact remains, as pointed out earlier, that Ichiro is not going to net the team anywhere near as much as you seemed to think, and that he remains uniquely valuable to the M’s. So he shouldn’t be at the top of your list to trade even if “blowing up the team” is the strategy you want to take. In any case, Dave’s said he’s going to do a rebuild post, and that would be the appropriate time and place to debate the fine details of such a strategy.

  39. loganwol on October 2nd, 2008 3:14 pm

    Can we stop all this and just reload through the draft, international signings?

    Kidding ourselves that we would be contender 3 years ago is what go us here in the first place.

    Imagine if were in the basement, we might have gotten Longoria! Sigh!! I am looking at the Rays score today and can’t help but dream. 🙂

  40. Wishhiker on October 2nd, 2008 4:57 pm

    I’m waiting for the “this team can’t win, here’s how to rebuild” post because it seems more reasonable to me. I have to concede there is a possibility that they could win enough to make it somewhat worthwhile (playoffs maybe 10%, ALCS much lower and slim to none on a WS.) I don’t think it’s worth giving up the % chance at improving a team that’s hopefully much closer in 3-5 years by losing picks now to have a slight chance at the playoffs next year. A year from now I think this situation is far more viable than it is now. If only this same argument had held Bavasi’s hand last year this could be the right year.

    No Silva, Bedard, Cairo, Wilkerson, Baek instead of Wells (WTF was that anyway, favors to other teams now and not just players?) jettisoning Reitsma and Ramirez before guaranteeing them more money and no Johjima extension.

  41. andrew23 on October 2nd, 2008 6:22 pm

    I’m sure the Twins would prefer the Boston model. Give them an extra $80M a year for salaries, and they’ll carry it out.

  42. msb on October 2nd, 2008 6:58 pm

    I don’t blame the players. I blame the management that brought them together. And the management that can’t part with a player.

    well, they seem to have parted with a lot of players the last few years– most mid-season

  43. SDRE on October 2nd, 2008 11:39 pm

    Trade Beltre, Betencourt, and Bedard for Andre Ethier and James McDonald

    Trade Clement and Washburn for Prince Fielder

    Trade Carlos Silva, Wlad Balentien and Jose Lopez for Luis Castillo and Ryan Church

    Sign Furcal

    Sign Milton Bradley

    Ichiro CF
    Furcal SS
    Fielder 1B
    Bradley DH
    Ethier LF
    Ryan Church RF
    Johjima/ Johnson C
    Tui 3B
    Luis Castillo/ Valbuena 2B

    RR Smith
    F-bend/ Dickey/ FA

  44. SonOfZavaras on October 3rd, 2008 9:43 pm

    I don’t like Dave’s reload plan, in general. I think Lopez is close to being a legit 20-HR guy, maybe more. To me, he makes more sense than Nelson at first base. Balentien might not be a bad trade- I love the guy, but I think Halman has a better ceiling and will be ready by 2010. I like Furcal, too….but he’s quite injury-prone and could block several prospects (notably Triunfel, who I think will go totally wunderkind on us all next year) if he’s there for 3 years.

    I’ve always liked Affeldt, and would welcome him very readily onto the team as a FA pick-up.

    But I DO NOT like the idea of Milton Bradley in a Mariner uniform. Not for $12 mil. Not even for 4 mil. Too much blasted baggage, too hair-trigger a temper. We may need cajones as a team, but not the borderline-psychotic kind.

    The thing that makes all this projection tough is knowing the ceilings of what young talent we’ve gotten banging on the door. Personally, I think Tuiasasopo will be in the Morgan Ensberg style of third-sacker, where he’ll give you what he’s got, but he’ll struggle to hit .250, and get enough hard swings to nail 20 into the seats- with barely-average-defense (if he works at it). Not ready ’til 2010.

    I think everyone is understimating Valbuena, and Balentien will become a .270-25-90+ RBI guy- good numbers but not a superstar. And it’ll take him ’til 2010-2011 to get there, plus you’ll always deal with at least 110 SO from him.

    Clement I have little doubt about- .290 with no leg hits, enough power for 20 every year. I even think his defense- while not Benchian- has been better than advertised.

    That’s what I think we’ll wind up with in these younger players. Will it be enough?

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