The Best Example Of Bad Process Ever
2002: +4.9 wins, 12.8 Million Dollar Value, $4.7 Million Salary, +8.1 Million Net Value
2003: +4.7 wins, 13.3 Million Dollar Value, $7.4 Million Salary, +5.9 Million Net Value
December 8th, 2003: Mariners non-tender Mike Cameron.
Cameron had established a level of play worth something about $13 million a season in the two years leading up to his free agency. The M’s weren’t interested in giving him a raise from his $7.4 million, however, so they decided not to even bother offering him arbitration, where he might have gotten $10 million on a one year deal. Read that again – the Mariners non-tendered a guy who was coming off two +5 win seasons. They had no interest in bringing a +4.7 win player back on a one year deal at a below market rate. An interesting quote from the same linked article:
“I was really holding my breath on this one,” Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. “Re-signing Shiggy, as valuable and versatile as he is, was a priority for us.”
Re-signing the 35-year-old middle reliever coming off a season where he was exactly the same +0.75 win pitcher as always but fluked his way into a low ERA was “a priority”, but the team had no interest in bringing back the 30-year-old +4.7 win center fielder. The bullpen was important, defense was not. That bad process led to those terrible, franchise crippling decisions.
The first big move of Zduriencik’s career – to weaken the bullpen in order to strengthen the defense – shows that after five years of bad processes, we’ve finally got a GM who gets it. Huzzah for Zduriencik.