The first two months, comparatively
With light commentary
Bill Bavasi was hired 11/7/2003
11/18/2003 – Raul Ibanez signed as a free agent, a move all but done on his arrival. We didn’t like the signing, and spend the next five years saying “Pat Gillick was right about his swing and we were wrong”. The timing still stunk, costing the M’s a first-round pick.
12/7 – Hasegawa signed. Lucky season rewarded with two-year deal, Hasegawa didn’t maintain those results. Also, Mike Cameron officially non-tendered to make room for Ibanez in the outfield.
12/15 – Borders signed, Colbrunn dumped for McCracken
12/16 – Guardado signed. Provides a “proven closer” after Sasaki’s injury year and retirement. Contract works out great and then not as well.
12/19 – Spiezio signed to provide proven clubhouse leadership and grittiness. We know what happened.
1/6 – Cirillo dumped to the Padres.
1/8 – Aurilia signed to provide proven clubhouse leadership and grittiness. We know what happened.
Carlos Guillen traded to the Tigers. As Bavasi said, the organization was tired of him. Still, it’s the GM’s job to weigh the potential headache against benefit and get value. We know what happened.
What’s clear in two months of the new GM: huge value on roles like closer, on veteran leadership and proven ability. Some of those moves work out, some don’t matter, and a lot are terrible.
Jack Zduriencik was hired 10/22
…nothing happens for a while
12/3 signed Russ Branyan in a nice value pickup
12/9 signed Chris Shelton in a nice value pickup
12/10 traded JJ Putz, proven closer, in a 12-player, three-team deal that brought in a lot of outfield defense, an interesting pitching gamble in Heilman, and prospects.
12/11 picked up Reegie Corona in the Rule 5, bought Jose Lugo from the Royals
(and didn’t give new contracts to Raul Ibanez and Willie Bloomquist but offered Ibanez arbitration so he could reap the draft pick)
What’s clear in two months of the new GM: little value on roles like closer, on veteran leadership, and proven ability. Premium on defense, willingness to take on limited low-profile players.