Per Geoff Baker, the M’s have told Adrian Beltre that he won’t be allowed to participate in the World Baseball Classic. Teams have the right to deny players who are coming off surgeries from the previous year the option of playing, and the M’s invoked that right to keep Beltre out of the tournament.
On one hand, I feel a bit bad for Beltre – they’d told him it was up to him, and he probably feels like he had the rug pulled out from under him here. He obviously wanted to play. However, the M’s do have to act in the best interests of the organization, and keeping Beltre healthy is definitely in their best interests. The team can’t win without him, and he’s a trade asset even if they aren’t winning. So, there’s definitely two sides here, neither one wrong, but I have to wonder if maybe there was a better way to handle this than telling him no at the last minute.
LaRue has a humorous anecdote about this – Beltre apparently gave up his apartment, because he had decided he was leaving Peoria tomorrow to join the Dominican team. Now that he’s not going, he doesn’t have a place to live.
And I donâ€™t have anywhere to live, either. Where ever Jack (Zduriencik) is staying, Iâ€™m going to show up at his door and ask for a room.â€
Zduriencik said that would be fine.
“I’ll be glad to give him my bed – my wife and I will move to the other room,” he said. “Adrian and his whole family can come stay with us.
Sounds like they’re all keeping a sense of humor, at least.
In case you want to talk about the game. Just as meaningless as any other spring game, other than figuring out whether Beltre will play for his country.
Or maybe two.
It’s Felix. Go Felix.
Preach it, Larry!
As we all know, the Mariners brought a ton of guys to camp this year, loading up on organizational depth and creating a lot of competition at various positions. However, that depth is being tested, as come Monday, they’re gonna be fairly low on outfielders.
Wladimir Balentien is still not in camp. Freddy Guzman just broke his hamate bone. Endy Chavez and Greg Halman are leaving next week to go play in the WBC, where they’ll join Ichiro on leave to their countries. That leaves the outfielders on the 40 man roster actually in camp at Franklin Gutierrez, Mike Morse, and Ken Griffey Jr. And calling Morse and Griffey outfielders is pretty generous. Morse was expected to fight for the RH 1B bench job, while Griffey should be DH’ing whenever possible.
Prentice Redman and Mike Wilson are the two NRI outfielders in camp, but even with those two, you’re only looking at three real outfielders plus Griffey and Morse. Balentien needs to bribe someone to get back into the country pronto, because he’s wasting a massive opportunity to get some real playing time. With the roster the way it is, the M’s might need to bring some minor league OFs to camp early, because right now, they’re running short on bodies out there.
This keeps coming up in comments and emails, and now that he’s officially free and not just disgruntled, it’s worth touching on. Odalis Perez is left-handed and a pitcher. He’s not particularly old, he doesn’t have great stuff but it’s not wretched… on the other hand, what are we hoping the potential is? 100-150 innings of slightly above-average pitching? You’re probably going to do better than that from Ryan Rowland-Smith. Or Jarrod Washburn, for that matter. And that still leaves the new, slimmer Carlos Silva and Miguel Batista.
Given that Perez just refused to play for a $850k contract where he’d have to make the club, I’d guess he wants at least a guaranteed major league deal, and the M’s don’t have a slot to give up, and not a lot of reason to if they did.
I know, for someone who regularly debates the relative merits of backup corner infielders for hundreds of words, that’s weird to say, but I don’t see where he’s worth it. The M’s already have a couple of these guys in hand already. There’s no need for another unless you want to see the Tacoma rotation gain some veteran presence.
The M’s site claims that you can listen to the game here but you can’t, sooooo.
Per Larry LaRue – Ryan Feierabend is going to have surgery on a ligament in his left elbow and is probably done for the year.
While he’s not a top prospect, this is a bit of a blow to the M’s pitching depth. Zduriencik did a good job of stockpiling LH starters this winter, but with both Bedard and Washburn as potential trade bait this summer, Feierabend was still looking at a possible end-of-season rotation spot if he pitched well in Tacoma. This was probably going to be his best chance to show the team that he could be a decent starter in the majors. With his ’09 season gone, his window is closing very fast. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him removed from the 40 man roster next winter.
If you were afraid that the A’s would move to Fremont and a new, posh stadium where they’d start to rake in the dough and compete with the M’s, Rangers, and Angels in raw revenue dollars, shudder no more: deal’s dead. It’d been increasingly troubled, with delays putting its date way out, but the admission of defeat is still surprising, as it puts them back in the Al Davis Reconfigurable Hole indefinitely, and that place suuuuuuuuuucks, they don’t draw there, and MLB’s nonsensical territory system and particularly their guardianship of San Jose for the Giants means they’re screwed for a long while yet unless they move to Kyoto or something crazy.
And there’s a serious chance this will be the event that finally pushes Beane to go pursue soccer.
The M’s didn’t want Beltre to play, but it looks like he might have. But maybe not. Meanwhile, Ichiro! will play for Japan along with Johjima, Greg Halman plays for the Netherlands (wooo! Netherlands!) and Phillipe Aumont’s pitching for Canada (I’m definitely going to see if I can watch that). But the Venezuela contingent is huge: Felix will pitch, the new, slimmer Carlos Silva will attempt to pitch, and Jose Lopez and Endy Chavez will play.
But the question on everyone’s mind: WHAT EFFECT WILL THIS HAVE ON CLUBHOUSE CHEMISTRY!!!!!???????
From the same PI piece:
“What we’re trying to do here in bringing these guys together a little bit and create the work ethic, obviously not having those guys here … you always like to control your own destiny, and with them not here they’re a little bit removed from that,” Wakamatsu said.
Feel free to interpret that as you will.