The Blow It Up Plan

Dave · October 17, 2008 at 7:16 am · Filed Under Mariners 

A few weeks ago, I presented a roster construction plan for 2009 that would allow the M’s to potentially compete for the division, going with a reloading rather than rebuilding plan. This is the exact opposite of that.

This roster construction plan is something of a potential road map to rebuilding in a hurry, blowing up the current roster and attempting to win with a whole new core of players going forward. This team will be respectable enough, but it isn’t a 2009 contender. Instead, the focus is on finding players who can help in 2010, and limiting the losing transition to just one year.

Here’s the team, and then explanations of how to get there will follow below.

(Yes, there are 14 pitchers on the roster – three of them would start the year in Triple-A or on the DL and contribute later in the season.)


Adrian Beltre, Jarrod Washburn, and J.J. Putz to Milwaukee for J.J. Hardy and Brad Nelson

Erik Bedard and Jose Lopez to Cleveland for Andy Marte, Adam Miller, and Beau Mills

$250,000 to St. Louis for Josh Phelps

Free Agents:

Sign Rocco Baldelli to a 1 year, $3 million contract
Sign Jeremy Affeldt to a 2 year, $8 million contract
Sign Ryan Langerhans to a 1 year, $800,000 contract

Two big trades bring back an all-star caliber shortstop, some interesting young talent at 3B, 1B, and RHP, and a power hitting left-handed first prospect. A couple of free agents sign with a team they know won’t compete for a chance to play a lot (Baldelli and Langerhans) and one for a chance to prove he can be a closer (Affeldt). The Mariners might not be able to offer a winning team, but they can offer opportunities that winning clubs cannot, and are able to bring in some capable talents to fill some key roles.

This roster does several things – gives real chances to talented kids who may be able to show that they can contribute to a winning team in 2009. Nelson, Marte, Baldelli, Morse, and Phelps will get to earn increased playing time with production and health, and odds are that a couple of that group will show that they’re ready to be real contributors going forward. You’re buying low on a bundle of talent and giving them a legitimate chance to show that they’re capable of a full time job in 2010.

This roster also significantly upgrades the defense, putting real athletes in the outfield, and while Marte is no Beltre, the upgrade from Lopez to Hardy is pretty significant. By getting better gloves on the field, you maximize the chances for success from the pitching staff. 2009 needs to be all about increasing the value of players in the organization, and Silva and Batista have nowhere to go but up. With better gloves behind them, you’re increasing the odds that one or both could have decent enough seasons. You’re never going to get them to be good enough to unload their contracts, but you might be able to get to the point where you don’t have to eat nearly as much money. If Silva’s pitch to contact style is backed up with good defense and he can run a 4.25 ERA, you could potentially be able to dump him next winter without having to eat more than $5 million or so. That would be a huge boon to the 2010 roster, and trying to coax some trade value out of Silva should be a priority for the 2009 team.

In Adam Miller, you get a potential closer replacement for Putz if he can stay healthy. The arm is electric, but he needs to stay healthy. A rebuilding team can take a shot at a guy like that, and with Affeldt around establishing himself as a proven closer (and then getting flipped at the deadline for prospects), there’s no need to rush one of the young kids into the 9th inning role.

On paper, this is probably a 75 win team, but it’s a 75 win team with some real upside, and one that will be building towards success in 2010. Just by sheer volume, you’d expect that the team will find a first baseman and a couple of outfielders who establish themselves in 2010, and you allow the kids like Valbuena, Tuiasosopo, Saunders, Halman, and Moore to get more experience in the minors rather than trying to rush them to usher in a youth movement.

The team spends about $75 million on it’s 2009 payroll, and hopefully the new GM can convince the management to take some of those savings and invest them directly into the farm system, both in the draft and through additional international signings.

It’s a rebuild with a purpose, and one that could set the team up for real contention in 2010. The new GM doesn’t need a five year plan – this rebuild can be done in one season, with a goal of winning again in just his second year here.


57 Responses to “The Blow It Up Plan”

  1. Pedro on October 17th, 2008 8:00 am

    I have some doubts about the Milwaukee trade, but honestly can’t see why Cleveland would go for its trade. Maybe you’re seeing something I’m not, Dave. Could you explain briefly how you see it improving the Indians’ club?

  2. vin on October 17th, 2008 8:03 am

    You proposed trades with the Brewers in each of your rebuilding plans, but never mentioned Bill Hall. I don’t see the Brewers wanting to get rid of Hardy and Bill Hall has more value as a shortstop than he does at third or center. Doesn’t inserting him in the Beltre trade make more sense for both teams?

  3. bermanator on October 17th, 2008 8:07 am

    The deal with the Brewers definitely works, and I think they agree to that (seems like a good haul for Milwaukee, especially given Putz and the state of their bullpen, if they are comfortable giving the SS job to Escobar). But why do you make that deal if you’re Cleveland? In particular, unless the medicals on Bedard were fantastic, why would you toss in Mills?

    Also, if they take Lopez they would probably try to ship Barfield to Seattle instead of one of the other players (especially since they just picked up Carroll’s option).

    Is $800K the veterans minimum for someone of Langerhans service time? I think he would be pleased to not have to sign a minor league deal at this point.

    It’s a thought-provoking plan. I would also love to see Seattle bring in every player with a pulse who’s been labeled as a Four-A talent to compete for jobs in camp.

  4. Dave on October 17th, 2008 8:07 am

    Acquiring Lopez allows them to shift Cabrera to SS and Peralta to 3B, relaigning their infield in a better fashion and picking up a legitimate hitter in Lopez. Bedard gives them a high reward starter who could bolster the front of their rotation if he’s healthy.

    In reality, they’re not giving up all that much. Marte’s out of options and isn’t going to play for them next year. Neither Miller nor Mills is likely to be a significant contributor in ’09, and they fill two holes (maybe 1 1/2, considering Bedard’s health) without moving any talent off their ’09 roster.

  5. Dave on October 17th, 2008 8:10 am

    You proposed trades with the Brewers in each of your rebuilding plans, but never mentioned Bill Hall. I don’t see the Brewers wanting to get rid of Hardy and Bill Hall has more value as a shortstop than he does at third or center. Doesn’t inserting him in the Beltre trade make more sense for both teams?

    Bill Hall isn’t very good and costs a lot of money. They might want to trade him, but the Mariners have no need for him. They do want to trade Hardy, because they have this kid named Alcides Escobar who they’re pretty close to handing their SS job too, and Hardy’s about to get very expensive.

  6. Mike Snow on October 17th, 2008 8:10 am

    75 wins? I don’t see it. This offense would be even worse than we just finished enduring. Looking at rough equivalents, at best Hardy can hit like Beltre (assuming Safeco doesn’t kill his power too much), and a recovered Baldelli might hit as well as Lopez did. That leaves you to replace Ibanez’s production with – Marte? Brad Nelson? Granted we could look for defensive improvement with this outfield, but even if Clement/Balentien develop quickly and Johjima bounces back, I think the best-case scenario for this offense is to equal its 2008 output, and that’s not good.

  7. Mean Dean on October 17th, 2008 8:21 am

    Getting Bill Hall instead of J.J. Hardy certainly would not make more sense for the Mariners, no.

    I suspect that you make Baldelli a platoon player because you don’t think he would be capable of playing 150+ games. That assumption is IMO very likely correct, but I also think he’s too talented to platoon. I would rather make him a regular DH. If all he has to do is come up to bat four times a game, I think he can hold up all year. That said, I do really like the idea of acquiring him, at least for a team that, as you say, might as well gamble on upside.

    Similarly, I like the idea of Marte. I could actually see him turning out to be a similar player to Beltre — disappointing when young (although Marte lacks a season like Beltre’s 2000), but straightening out at his peak to provide good defense and pop at 3B, despite subpar OBP.

    You may even be overpaying in that deal. I don’t think Cleveland values Marte very highly at all. But since this is all hypothetical, it’s better to propose deals that the other side would clearly make than ones where it’s less clear. I think the realism of the Milwaukee trade depends entirely on how much they think they need a closer. Hardy is a really good player. But they had some serious bullpen problems, and probably believe in the Proven Closer like most teams do, so I could see it.

    Does Milwaukee have a SP prospect they could part with rather than Nelson? I have no particular problem with Nelson, but I also think you can find guys like him.

    I like the idea of making Affeldt the closer and then flipping him. It seems like baseball people have always liked him to begin with, so it’d probably work.

    Like I said, I’d DH Baldelli, which means Wlad in LF. But Langerhans would still be a good bench player (Endy Chavez, a similar guy, is also a FA — might be a little more expensive though.) I do have to admit that an OF of Langerhans/Reed/Ichiro would be fun to watch on D.

  8. Dave on October 17th, 2008 8:23 am

    Certainly, the offense is the weak link here. Barring big steps forward from Clement and Balentien, there just isn’t enough thump in the middle of the order to sustain big rallies. This is a team that would struggle to score 700 runs.

    But the improved defense, regression to the mean from Silva, and better performances from the bullpen (remember, Putz was pretty lame this year, so replacing his ’08 performance is very easy) push the runs allowed down to the 750-775 range.

    700 RS/750 RA = 75 pythag wins
    675 RS/775 RA – 70 pythag wins

    Thus, my statement that this is a 70-75 win team.

  9. Dave on October 17th, 2008 8:25 am

    Don’t worry so much about the listed roles or the line-ups – those are just overviews. Look at the PA totals. Baldelli’s slated to get 400 PA, which is about as many as you could possibly expect from him, I think. The idea is to get a bunch of guys to play most of the time, rather than trying to find one guy to play all of the time.

  10. bermanator on October 17th, 2008 8:28 am

    You may even be overpaying in that deal. I don’t think Cleveland values Marte very highly at all.

    I agree with that — you could probably get Marte for practically free, and Barfield too if you wanted. It doesn’t look like either is in their plans, either short-term or long-term.

    But they’d be selling very low on Miller, and Mills is going to have value at the trade deadline this summer if the Tribe is in the race. Unless Seattle can make the Indians fall in love with Bedard — maybe they can hit up Andy McPhail for tips on how to do that — I don’t see them making the trade. But I do think that it’s worthwhile to call about a smaller deal to get Marte, just in case he’s just a late bloomer.

  11. the other benno on October 17th, 2008 8:38 am

    The articles I’ve been reading about Baldelli in the last few days indicate that even if you’re platooning him, he can’t go a full nine innings in a game when he does play. (From the New York Times yesterday – “After returning to the major leagues this August, he still cannot practice normally or play a full nine innings without debilitating exhaustion”.) Unless Langerhans can platoon and be a late inning replacement in the games he doesn’t start, then another OF would probably be necessary. Or can Morse cover that as well?

  12. bermanator on October 17th, 2008 8:42 am

    Langerhans is supposedly a good fielder — Washington used him as a defensive replacement this season. So that part of the PT equation would work.

  13. TomG on October 17th, 2008 8:42 am

    With Sabathia and Sheets heading out of town, the Brewers are in desperate need for a front-end starter and Hardy (or Fielder, depending on the rumors) is their most tradable asset to accomplish this. I think the Brewers could get a better return (need-wise) than a year of Beltre and Putz and a middling starter in Washburn.

  14. SDRE on October 17th, 2008 8:44 am

    In both post you have Clement at catcher. With the continued knee problems and defensive weakness, now’s the time to move him.

    I like both the Langerhans and Phelphs posts and ideas. Cheap talent.

    However, Marte a bust and Tui is better. The Indians trade seems a reach.

    I think Balentien improving his CF defense so I keep him there.

    Baldelli a risk. Almost a waste of money.

    Included Lopez in the Milwaukee deal so they can move Weeks to CF. M’s take Cameron back and then Balentien/Reed/Langerhans can settle in at LF.

  15. eponymous coward on October 17th, 2008 8:44 am

    I find it interesting that Betancourt is kept under both roster plans, despite being a) the worst player between Lopez and Betancourt and b) arguably the player on the M’s roster that might have “phantom” trade value based on defensive reputation.

    That’s not to say trading Lopez is the wrong move- but that apparently a 24 year old middle infielder who seems to be developing into a pretty good hitter and still has considerable growth potential is a bad fit for the M’s roster, but a 26 year old middle infielder who’s basically gone sideways or backwards during his MLB career, and who has very clear indicators of where his top performance level on offense is (.290/.310/.420) should stick around, regardless of if the team wants to contend or rebuild.

    My inclination would be, all things being equal, to keep the 24 year old who might hit enough to move down the defensive spectrum, ditch the 26 year old who is a below average hitter at either 2B or SS… but all things aren’t equal when it comes to trade value, I suppose.

  16. msb on October 17th, 2008 8:53 am

    the Brewers are in desperate need for a front-end starter and Hardy (or Fielder, depending on the rumors) is their most tradable asset to accomplish this.


  17. wsm on October 17th, 2008 8:53 am

    If Beltre goes, Lopez should be moved to 3B. He’s got more potential than Marte and can hold down the job until Triunfel is ready. I can’t see Cleveland parting with Miller or Mills in that package. I think the Indians probably value them pretty highly.

    Hardy would be interesting, but he’s not a long-term solution and his bat might not play well here. If SS is an area the team wants to address they should look for a younger guy with better OBP skills and speed. Emmanuel Burris of the Giants might be an interesting fit. The Giants are known Beltre suitors.

    This isn’t the time to be shopping Bedard. At some point next year he’ll be healthy. Let’s wait til then.

    Langerhans would make sense if he was righthanded and could platoon with Reed.

  18. TheEmrys on October 17th, 2008 9:04 am

    I see that there is no mention of Ibanez. so its an offer him arbitration and and let him walk?

  19. Chris_From_Bothell on October 17th, 2008 9:10 am

    Clement as catcher? With his knee issues? Even if he improves defensively behind the plate, and stays the same or better at calling games, I don’t see him lasting the full season as anything but 1b/DH.

    Also don’t think anyone would take Bedard until he proves he’s healthy again, so we’re stuck with him for another year unless he has a Cy Young-like first half.

    On the fence about Lopez-as-value-for-club vs. Lopez-as-value-in-trade, but I don’t know enough about the folks you have coming back in trade to be sure. I can see him being tradable though.

    I’d be willing to throw Balentien into that Cleveland trade too; wasn’t impressed with him at the ML level.

  20. MarcS74 on October 17th, 2008 9:15 am

    Is Lopez’s defense so bad it can’t be worked on, he is still fairly young. You mention that offense is the weak link in this plan but you are getting rid of one of the few offensive bright spots we had last year in Lopez. Also sliding Bentancourt to 2B to replace Lopez is not going to upgrade the defense and downgrade the offense. Instead of a 2B that can’t field you get one that can’t thow, I’d rather have some one there who can throw the ball once he catches it.

    I think it is possible for the Mariners to trade Washburn and Beltre, you would know more about the prospects we could get back than I would, I’m not very familar with the minors for other teams.

    I’d love for the Mariners to somehow trade Bautista and Silva, but I’m not sure that is realistically possible.

    I’m excited to see who the new GM will be and after than who we get for Manager and coaching staff. I’m excited to see how the youngsters progress next year since what passes for management for the Mariners said they weren’t going to get FAs.

  21. HerseyChris on October 17th, 2008 9:41 am

    I like it. For some reason, I thought Baldelli and Marte both batted lefty, but I guess they’re both rightys.
    On paper, this lineup doesn’t look very intimidating (of course, it’s a blow it up roster), but it has a ton of flexibility. Baldelli is only signed to a one year contract. Our bench is an actual useful bench instead of two Willies and a 3rd catcher. If Baldelli is injured, we can use Langerhans. Johjima and Clement will split time.
    I only wish we had more lefties, and I wonder if this is truly a blow-it-up for just one year plan. How will the team get better in 2010? Unless we try to do a sign two superstars at the same time move (we all know how much good that did last time), this team will probably improve to a 75-80 win team.
    If we have any goal next year, I’d say it is to hope that Silva has a decent year, and then trade him, putting ourselves on the hook for as little money as possible. If that happens, next year will be a win in my books.

  22. marc w on October 17th, 2008 11:31 am


    Isn’t Brad Nelson a free agent? Why trade when you can just sign the guy?
    Beyond that though…
    Player A was born very late in 1982, spent the last two years at AAA, plus half of 2006.
    Player B was born very late in 1982, spent the last two years at AAA, plus half of 2006.

    Player A’s MLE’s at AAA were .799, .665, .718.
    Player B’s MLE’s at AAA were .566, .685, .743.

    I’ve given up on Marte, but Miller’s an intriguing pick-up. If Cleveland really gives up Miller and Mills, that’d be a very tempting trade.

    At 1B, I love the Phelps pick-up, but if we need insurance, Chris Shelton’s available as the righty side of a platoon. I think that’s a better bet than going with Morse v. LHP. Of course, Phelps/Shelton are sort of the same, so maybe not.

    Others have said it, but I do think it’s odd that Yuni isn’t moved in this scenario (especially given the emphasis on improving the defense). Is his trade value really that low?

  23. Dave on October 17th, 2008 11:37 am

    Isn’t Brad Nelson a free agent? Why trade when you can just sign the guy?

    He has almost zero major league service time and is on the Brewers 40 man roster. Not sure why you’d think he’d be a free agent – he’s about six years away from that.

    Others have said it, but I do think it’s odd that Yuni isn’t moved in this scenario (especially given the emphasis on improving the defense). Is his trade value really that low?

    It’s lower than Lopez’s right now, yes. And despite their different ’08 seasons, it’s still pretty easy to argue that Betancourt’s the better player. Marcel has them as basically dead even in ’09 (.319 wOBA for Lopez, .313 for Betancourt), and even with Yuni’s decreased range, he’s a significantly better fielder than Lopez, probably in the +10 runs per year range.

  24. bonesbarry on October 17th, 2008 12:11 pm

    Dave, thanks for the post. I live for this stuff. Great work

  25. eponymous coward on October 17th, 2008 12:23 pm

    Marcel has them as basically dead even in ‘09 (.319 wOBA for Lopez, .313 for Betancourt)

    Is that a career line for both players, or a season line? Because if a .022 advantage in OBP, .051 in SLG and 9 less double plays means that they basically had identical seasons in 2008, wow, wOBA hates Jose Lopez- whereas looking at their CAREER lines, yeah, they are about the same.

    The thing is, though, if we’re talking career lines, we’re talking about the career line of someone brought up at age 20 (Lopez) compared to the career line of someone brought up at age 23 (Betancourt), which isn’t an apples to apples comparison, plus Betancourt is very clearly a finished product offensively (and I think you’ve said that before)- he’s your standard issue Cristian Guzman-esue Latin SS, decent average, low-400s SLG, does not walk off the island. Conversely, I think it’s pretty likely Lopez goes from a 40 2B, 15 2B hitter to a 30 2B, 25 HR player while maintaining average as he gets into his mid to late 20s (that’s a very common way players improve as they age when they hit a lot of doubles), so I’d argue he’s not really a finished product the same way Yuni is, and he still has upside that Yuni doesn’t have.

    As for fielding, Yuni looked pretty terrible at SS. I’m not sold he’ll be great at 2B just by moving him- Lopez didn’t turn into a great 2B when he got moved off of SS, and the DPs Yuni’s hit into scare me- it screams “he’s lost a step”, along with how his defense and SBs have declined, and if Yuni isn’t a superior defender at 2B, he’s unlikely to ever hit enough to be a quality starter in MLB (unlike Lopez, who I could see hitting .290/.330/.500 at his peak and playing OF or even 1B if you just can’t tolerate his defense in the infield- basically, he’s Carlos Lee in that scenario). I suppose working out with Raul and an offseason where Yuni works hard on the defense could bring him back, though.

    I dunno, I just think it’s kind of weird to trade the younger player with the higher ceiling on a rebuild project.

  26. Dave on October 17th, 2008 12:28 pm

    Marcel only uses the last three years of data, and there’s an age adjustment. Don’t worry, it’s including all of your caveats.

    And Betancourt doesn’t have to be great at second to be better than Lopez. The question is simply who is the better defender – there’s no way the answer is Lopez. The difference with the glove offsets the very small difference with the bat, and then some.

  27. bakomariner on October 17th, 2008 12:38 pm

    I’d rather have almost anyone out there than Yuni and Lopez…they are both junk…

  28. SethGrandpa on October 17th, 2008 12:40 pm

    The new GM doesn’t need a five year plan – this rebuild can be done in one season, with a goal of winning again in just his second year here.

    You really shouldn’t use “his”. You know, just in case…

  29. eponymous coward on October 17th, 2008 12:49 pm

    I’m not convinced this is a good way to evaluate the value of both players going forward, then (and if you’re blowing up the team, you want going-forward value). I can see Lopez turning into a .290/.330/.500 hitter, easy (all he has to do is hit for the power he flashed in the minors again, which he started doing this year, especially in the second half), and there’s just no way this happens for Yuni- I think he is what we’ve seen at the plate the last 4 years, a below average MLB hitter: the only question is does he recover his defensive value and quit hitting into DPs.

    The way I see it, it’s a question of wanting someone comparable to Carlos Lee or Jose Guillen at age 25 (coming into their peak value years where you get the most offensive bang for buck, prior to free agency) for a couple years, relatively cheap, or Cristian Guzman or Julio Lugo at age 27 in a similar situation. I tend to think we could pick a decent-fielding, no hit 2B cheap, and we’re fresh out of decent hitters right now, but I guess if you want to be getting rid of Carlos Silva, valuing defense higher makes sense.

  30. shemberry on October 17th, 2008 1:03 pm


    There are rumors that the Twins want to deal Delmon Young. In your opinion, would he be someone we should be considering? Do we have what it takes to get him? Would it be worth it?

  31. xanthan on October 17th, 2008 1:21 pm

    Can someone explain to me Lopez vs. Betancourt in terms of defense? Lopez appears to be the better defender at his position.

    I ask because Dewan’s +/- has Lopez as a +9, +5, and +0 2B from 2006-2008. Betancourt is rated as a -3, -10, and -19 SS from 2006-2008.

    If you look at THT’s RZR Lopez is a middle of the pack 2B in ’08 with an RZR of .821 while making 51 plays out of his zone, the most in the AL for 2B. Betancourt is ranked last among AL SS by RZR with a score of .799 while making only 33 plays out of his zone. That’s the fewest plays out of zone for any AL SS except for Jeter’s 29.

    I haven’t seen the UZR’s for both players.

    Forgive me if this is a topic that’s been beaten to death here on USSM, I’m a reader/lurker more than a poster but I’ve seen Lopez’s defense talked about here a good bit but I’ve never seen any numbers.

    Betancourt should be able to field 2B better than SS because of positional difficulty but is it really enough to overcome his weaker bat and glove? Thoughts?

  32. Dave on October 17th, 2008 1:28 pm

    Shortstops are, as a group, far superior defenders to second baseman. Betancourt’s peers include the best defensive players alive. Lopez’s peers include the guys who weren’t good enough to stick at shortstop.

    Switch their peer groups, and the results would look hugely different. Lopez’s footwork and range are barely passable as a middle infielder – at this point, he’s probably more of a third baseman. Betancourt’s defense has regressed significantly, but he still has the physical skills to play up the middle.

  33. bakomariner on October 17th, 2008 1:32 pm

    They both suck…trade them both…bring in Omar V. and a cheap all defense 2B until the kids in the minors are ready…

  34. xanthan on October 17th, 2008 1:37 pm

    Thanks, Dave.

    I get that SS is much harder to play than 2B but I hadn’t exactly thought about how the +/- numbers are comparing them to their peers. Any guesstimates at how well Betancourt would defend at 2B? +5 runs above average? +10?

    Bako, I’m not sure you want Omar. I’m a Giants fan and watching him was painful at times this year. But, I guess if you’re building a ‘Blow It Up’ team he would be a great player to have.

  35. bakomariner on October 17th, 2008 1:41 pm

    If you think watchin Omar was bad, watch Yuni…he started his career on a path to gold golves and all-star nods…now he’s an overweight liability in the field…

    One of the most frustrating Ms in recent memory…

    I’d like Omar and another all defensive 2B just as stop-gaps till the prospects in the minors are ready…

    There is no chance for winning next year, so we might as well trade Lopez and Yuni while perceptions of them are high and get whatever we can in return for the future…

  36. Dave on October 17th, 2008 1:41 pm

    The best guess is that shortstops as a group are about 10 runs better than second baseman. So if you have an average SS and an average 2B, you’d think that the true difference between them is something like 10 runs defensively.

  37. Evan on October 17th, 2008 1:56 pm

    You really shouldn’t use “his”. You know, just in case…

    You want “its”?

  38. marc w on October 17th, 2008 1:58 pm

    “The best guess is that shortstops as a group are about 10 runs better than second baseman.”

    Hmm, given that the gap here seems to be 20 runs or so according to Dewan, can we really be positive that Yuni’s the better 2b defender? I’m just not ready to accept *anything* about Yuni’s defensive value anymore.

    “Not sure why you’d think [Nelson]’d be a free agent

    Silly mistake; thought he was a minor league FA signed to a one-year deal in Jan. 08. But he’s on the 40 man, so….

  39. Dave on October 17th, 2008 2:48 pm

    It would be hard for me to imagine anyone watch Lopez play second base and say “yea, he’d do better at short than Yuni”.

  40. xanthan on October 17th, 2008 4:07 pm


    Dewan’s +/- is in plays and not runs. Betancourt’s -19 for this year is closer to -15 runs. Still not very good but it’s not -20 bad.

    I admit I haven’t gotten to see many Mariner games this year so I can’t comment on watching Lopez or Betancourt with my own two eyes.

  41. thegunner on October 17th, 2008 4:36 pm

    [obvious troll is obvious]

  42. C. Cheetah on October 17th, 2008 5:25 pm

    Love the post, though I would rather do something closer to your first non-blow up version.
    I may be alone in this, but why do so many people think Clement could play even an adequate 1B?
    Clememt’s issues with his defense are that he does not re-act or move his feet fast enough to block balls in the dirt, and even when in proper position, Clement still has problems coming up with the ball cleanly after the ball has hit the dirt – either via pitch or throw for another fielder.
    All these traits are required to be a first baseman as well. Even though there is a big difference between a ground ball and a pitched ball, the acts of moving your feet quickly and picking the ball up cleanly do not change the dramatically.
    Then you put on top of this that Clement starting to have leg / knee injuries, his mobility is only going to get worse.
    Moreover, Clement has not played the position of 1B consistently ever in his life, and Jeff has said a couple times publically that he does not want to play 1B, so you are then trying to train someone from scratch how to play a position he does not want to play.
    Lastly, for you last remaining Sexson fans, Clement is not particularly big or tall, so the smaller target is not going help.
    Clement could easily be the one of the 3 worst 1B baseman the Mariner’s have ever had.

  43. trtlrock on October 17th, 2008 9:28 pm

    Over 2000 AAA plate appearances with a .928 OPS; currently a minor-lg free agent. Playable at 1B/RF with a good arm. Great name…

  44. s.bender21 on October 17th, 2008 10:15 pm

    I like the plan. I wonder if we could get Milwaukee to throw in Gwynn Jr.? He would be a good 4th outfielder with speed and defense.

  45. DAMellen on October 17th, 2008 11:34 pm

    Are you really in favor of benching Clement vs. lefties and Baldelli vs. righties? It seems like they would both be able to hack it as full time players.

  46. scott19 on October 18th, 2008 1:14 am

    bring in Omar V.

    Since he’s about 97 years old now, though, you might actually have to wheel him in at this point.

  47. thegunner on October 18th, 2008 9:34 am

    [deleted, meta. If you have a problem with moderation, email rather than whine in the comment threads]

  48. qwerty on October 18th, 2008 10:36 am

    Sounds great.
    I fear the ‘anti-blogger’ sentiment in the M’s FO: If USSMariner said it, we won’t do it. Am I too paranoid?

  49. terry on October 18th, 2008 4:29 pm

    I don’t think the M’s brain trust even reads so ya, you’re too paranoid.

  50. 300ZXNA on October 18th, 2008 4:45 pm

    So Dave, of the two plans you’ve now outlined, which one do you favor? Would punting 2009 be better of long term for us? Seems as though this plan would leave a lot more upside in the organization than attempting to compete next year, or am I off base . . .

  51. JH on October 20th, 2008 2:07 pm


    If the Marlins make Jeremy Hermida available, would you prefer the JJ Hardy swap to one centered around bringing in Hermida + prospects?

  52. Panev on October 20th, 2008 2:40 pm

    I saw Beau Mills play for Lewis Clark State. While it was against lower level talent and with metal bats, he could really hit the ball.

    One game 3 for 3 with 3 home runs. It will be interesting to see how he does at the MLB level.

  53. wfan99 on October 20th, 2008 3:08 pm

    First of all I much perfer the blow it up plan compared to the attempt to compete plan. I used to go to school in buffalo and interned there and have other friends who worked rtheere and they said marte was a good person which is a big plus. Marte is a excellent fielder and while his bat is up and down I would love to have him I rather have sowers instead of miller but I really like the offer to the tribe. The move with the brewers I’m split on simply because I think we can get heilman and fernando martinez for putz and yuni. The mets need a closer and they hate heilman but I think we can make him a starter and since martinez is not ready and the mets are in need of a closer I think we can get him! But let’s start all over again and get armstrong out of here.

  54. felixday on October 20th, 2008 3:27 pm


  55. Wishhiker on October 20th, 2008 4:09 pm

    I see very little lower level prospects in return for a team that’s blowing it up, but you did say this was to contend sooner.

    I understand the desire to improve the defense at all costs in order to have to pay less money on the remaining pitchers contracts if they improve enough…isn’t acquiring Griffey a safer bet to improve the bottom line? I don’t see how that makes it a good move either. If they can get rid of either Batista or Silva while getting something back (still paying most of what they’b be on the hook for anyhow) this year they really should.

    They need to improve the defense and the offense for the long term and I don’t see how Betancourt can be a part of that. I would bet you that Lopez over the next 5 years is easily the better bat between him and Betancourt. Betancourt may be the better fielder up the middle, but Lopez should move out of that area and will then have different peers…

    I have been pondering the idea a friend of mine proposed which was “If you’re not planning on contending and you really think you have a special player in Triunfel why not bring him up now and deal with his learning. You’ve been dealing with similiar frustrations up the middle and you’re going nowhere now. Half the players in the Hall of Fame developed this way and I’m tired of the argument that this is a bad way to develop players.” I told him that his clock would start sooner and you’d be likely to get leaner years during that time than if you waited until he was ready but it’s an interesting idea.

    Either way I’d rather not think about Lopez or Betancourt up the middle anymore. Lopez may have a future at 3rd and I believe in his bat continuing to improve, but I don’t think him or Betancourt is the answer at 2nd. If you’re keeping Betancourt around another year in hopes to improve his stock (though nobody has said they expect improvement in his abilities) Why not do the same with Lopez at 3rd who nobody seems to be saying has hit his ceiling?

    I like the general thrust with players like Marte, Baldelli, Hardy, Nelson, Phelps, etc. and I hope that some of these options are pursued. I’d like to see a little more lower prospects with higher ceilings returned in a blow-up year than busted prospects who still have a fairly high ceiling. I understand that few players on the roster have the potential to bring back anything close to Blue-chip prospects, and Hardy is hard to say no about acquiring. I think a trade with the Brewers is as likely as any other team and seems a likely destination for Bedard as well. Not that I can discount Shapiro making that move for Bedard because it is entirely not out of character. It does seem like selling low on Bedard when with him and Lopez all you’re getting is a busted 3rd Base prospect who was never a blue-chip performance bat (Lopez could actually be better there…) a middle reliever and a decent corner IF prospect. Lopez for Marte could be straight up the way I see it (and I’d rather have Lopez) so for Bedard you get a decent prospect at a non-premium position and a reliever? I’d rather deal with the pansy on the roster until mid-season and hope he improves his status in his walk year in time for a decent trade :)

  56. haltz on October 20th, 2008 11:04 pm

    FWIW, Phelps was DFA on the 15th.

  57. afraidofedhochuli on October 23rd, 2008 11:29 am

    Dang!!! Why aren’t you the new GM!?!?!?

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