Holy crud Fields signs

DMZ · February 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

MLB.com says so

I seriously thought we’d end up letting him go and taking the extra draft pick.


46 Responses to “Holy crud Fields signs”

  1. SeasonTix on February 13th, 2009 5:27 pm

    This is VERY surprising …

    At the USSM/LL event, all of the M’s guys kept talking about having the 21st pick in the first round as if there was no way they were going sign Fields.

    I guess they decided that they can’t get anybody better than Fields in that position.

    I just can’t see Jack Z and the boys signing Fields without thoroughly analyzing their options in the first round of this year’s draft.

  2. IdahoInvader on February 13th, 2009 5:28 pm

    Hard to believe we couldn’t “invest” in our future a wee bit more wisely. Oh well..

  3. troygrant31 on February 13th, 2009 5:30 pm

    closer of the future….that is “investing” to me…now can make sure morrow isnt a waste in the bullpen and starts where he belongs

  4. Pete on February 13th, 2009 5:36 pm

    My feeling is that they would have let Fields go and taken the pick if they had been able to sign a Type A free agent. Now that they are sure they won’t land a Type A guy (Abreu? Dunn?), they new they wouldn’t lose a pick to the Type A rule.

    That’s the logic I see.

  5. DKCecil on February 13th, 2009 5:39 pm

    Neither Dunn nor Abreu were offered arbitration, though.

  6. WestSeattle on February 13th, 2009 5:40 pm

    I know Josh Fields hasn’t played in a while, but is it that bad we signed him? Don’t we still have 4 picks outta the first 45?

  7. Bilbo on February 13th, 2009 5:40 pm

    Love it. Knowing the Mariners this probably affects last years budget somehow providing Jack with more, well, Jack to sign the guys he wants in the draft.
    Really, with the trade of JJ and no real “closer” on this team it is not a bad decision at all. And before people say “it doesn’t make sense to spend a first round pick on a closer”, teams do it all the time both thru the draft and by signing Type-A FAs. He was rated as a first round talent and it is something they need so I for one am glad they did it.

  8. Pete on February 13th, 2009 5:44 pm


    Got it. Nevermind then, my instincts were wrong.

  9. junglist215 on February 13th, 2009 5:46 pm

    While I don’t agree with drafting a RP in the first round, I do think that if you’re attempting to build a working relationship with one of the most powerful agents in baseball snubbing one of his clients as your first move with him would not be the best route.

  10. surfdiego on February 13th, 2009 5:47 pm

    Another way to go with this is that we are getting some good energy with Boras since he is Strasburg’s agent. Maybe they know some inside info about them playing hardball with Washington and In case we do end up with him this might make it a little bit easier to sign him.

  11. Mike Snow on February 13th, 2009 5:48 pm

    You mean they’ve been holding up the Griffey signing on account of this?

  12. decatur7 on February 13th, 2009 5:51 pm

    I don’t have a good feeling about Fields, at least not for 2009. His stuff is great (63 Ks in 37 innings in 2008) but he threw over 5BB/9inn both years in college. John Sickles only gives him a C+ because of command issues. He might well become a dynamite reliever, but he seems like a big risk of money and the first round draft pick. But In Z We Trust, i guess. Anyone know of any good scouting reports on Fields, particularly mechanics-wise?

  13. ThundaPC on February 13th, 2009 5:52 pm

    I’m more curious of the terms of the agreement. The entire holdup has basically been over $500,000. The question is, who caved?

  14. Tek Jansen on February 13th, 2009 5:55 pm

    I guess that the M’s laid out a take it or leave it offer and that Fields accepted. My hunch is that Fields also wanted a contract that put him on the majore league (40 man) roster). At least I remember he wanted that initially. I doubt he got it.

  15. msb on February 13th, 2009 5:56 pm

    well, we do know that Fields has been training to be ready for Spring, and is raring to go. Boras said so, after all.

  16. Gerald on February 13th, 2009 6:04 pm

    Does the Fields signing count toward the 2009 draft budget or the 2008 draft budget?

    I was never all that excited about letting Fields walk because I feared such a large number of early picks would have led the Mariners to drafting a bunch of lower upside, lower bonus players.

  17. SonOfZavaras on February 13th, 2009 6:06 pm

    Regardless of who caved on the money, color me extremely surprised about this.

    I don’t know if either side benefits from this in the short term. Fields may be in shape, but there’s “in condition” and then there’s “ready-to-play-baseball” physical condition. I can’t think Fields is ready to pitch in the big leagues right now.

    I’ve said it on other sites, I’ll say it here…there were at least three guys who most analysts project available at #21 in this draft that I would’ve preferred to have in the system over Fields. All of them potentially impact bats.

    But I’m not a pro, so I’m just gonna have to take it that they did their homework and decided to go this route for the best of reasons. Looks like West Tennessee has their closer for this year.

  18. Mike Snow on February 13th, 2009 6:08 pm

    The only bigger surprise for me would be if Zduriencik came out and said they were planning to turn him into a starter.

  19. bakomariner on February 13th, 2009 6:11 pm

    Wow…big shocker there…

    But I’m glad…we are in need of a closer, and by 2010, he could be ready to step in…

    I hope he gets time at High Desert this year, so I can see him when they come to Bakersfield like I saw Triunfel last year…

  20. Bodhizefa on February 13th, 2009 6:12 pm


  21. DaveValleDrinkNight on February 13th, 2009 6:18 pm

    Huh, whadya know? I thought they’d let him go too.

    As weird as that is, check out the article in the Times about Silva’s diet and yoga routine.

    Imagine Tatonka in spandex?

  22. decatur7 on February 13th, 2009 6:18 pm

    I found a brief report on Fields from THT’s coverage of the 2008 draft. He looks legit but needing some time in the minors, I guess.

  23. Pete on February 13th, 2009 6:24 pm

    Another thought — we needed to sign Fields because one of the other late-inning candidates came up in trade discussions with another team… who knows.

  24. ManifestDestiny on February 13th, 2009 6:33 pm

    My guess is that Z took a look at the draft this year, which is supposed to be “light” on talent this year, and saw that at the 21st pick this year there would be noone available better than or equal to Fields’ talent level.

    I’m that confident in Jack Z

  25. joealb on February 13th, 2009 6:40 pm

    If Fields caved, that would put Z in a tough spot. Think about it, I never heard that the original offer was off the table. So Fields calls Boros and tells him he wants to take the deal. What is Z supposed to do, play hardball? I think the M’s just got screwed by Bavasi AGAIN! Fields may be a good reliever but as it has been pointed out many times, good relievers are not that hard to find.

  26. Roy Stuckey Weaver on February 13th, 2009 7:05 pm

    Baker’s blog quotes Z as saying …

    “I don’t comment on players I have an agreement in principle with who haven’t signed. The only time I would offer a comment is on a player who has signed a contract with us.”

    That was at 4:30 and Jim Streets article was posted up at the same time as well. He’ll be signed after his physical I’m sure. I am real curious to see if it is closer to the $1.5M or the $2M.

  27. joser on February 13th, 2009 7:05 pm

    But I’m glad…we are in need of a closer, and by 2010, he could be ready to step in…

    There are already several internal candidates, and there’s no guarantee Fields would be better than any of them. There’s no certainty that Fields is going to be a closer this season or in 2010. Talent is good, and more talent is better, and you can never have enough pitching, and maybe there’s nothing in the draft around the 21st pick that Zduriencik thinks he wants. Then again, Pujols went awfully late.

  28. diderot on February 13th, 2009 7:09 pm

    While I’m surprised, too, I have to think this was a good move for the Mariners because Z thought it was.
    To him, Fields’ position in the draft had to be right…the price had to be right…otherwise he wouldn’t have done it.

    As far as behind the scenes, maybe he has knowledge that the Nats will indeed take Strasburg…which gives us Grant Green…which means Z comes out of the first round with very good prospects each way.

    In any case, I’m going to implicitly keep trusting the guy’s evaluations until he shows us we shouldn’t.

  29. meloyellow15 on February 13th, 2009 8:12 pm

    If it weren’t for the tight budget that we are working with I would think that we were on the verge of signing one of the remaining type A free agents. And that Z decided to take Fields over nothing. Is that a possibility? Please say that it is.

  30. Mike Snow on February 13th, 2009 8:32 pm

    It isn’t.

  31. TranquilPsychosis on February 13th, 2009 9:00 pm

    I am totally stunned.

    Z has made many moves that made me think that he was a serious challenger for “the Beane” seat. But frankly, this confuses me. It makes almost zero sense.


    What if he’s looking to make a trade with Fields? Or Fields+?

    Now that I think about it, it MIGHT not be as bad as my original take.

    (praying that my second thought is right)

  32. TomTuttle on February 13th, 2009 9:17 pm

    There are already several internal candidates, and there’s no guarantee Fields would be better than any of them. There’s no certainty that Fields is going to be a closer this season or in 2010. Talent is good, and more talent is better, and you can never have enough pitching, and maybe there’s nothing in the draft around the 21st pick that Zduriencik thinks he wants. Then again, Pujols went awfully late.

    MLB Draft = crapshoot

    The signing of Fields just is what it is, and quite frankly, I’m just amazed Scott Boras blinked when he did.

    Z has made many moves that made me think that he was a serious challenger for “the Beane” seat.

    Considering that Super Mario Bros. in Japan has a net worth of $800 billion or so and how much revenue Safeco Field, televisoin, et all, generates yearly for the Mariners, I somehow doubt that even in these economic times money will ever be a major problem for the Mariners (even though they will never spend Yankee-like money on payroll).

    So Z doesn’t have to be Billy Beane. He just simply can’t be Bill Bavasi and spend money frivolously. And so far he hasn’t done that.

    If anything, this signing of Fields is a victory for the M’s and Z if only because I’d be willing to bet that if Bavasi was still GM, Boras would’ve waited for Fields to be signed until June and it would’ve been a $3 million signing bonus rather than $1.5 million because of Bavasi’s attachment to the pick.

    Trust me, to make an agent that consistently makes teams overpay for free agent talent like Scott Boras blink tells me that we have a GM that will not simply throw money at the problem and call it good.

    And that to me shows Z will be (and is) a much stronger leader as GM than Bavasi ever was and has much more COMMON SENSE than Bill Bavasi ever had.

  33. SonOfZavaras on February 13th, 2009 9:24 pm

    Perhaps to paraphrase from some relatively recent pro wrestler buzzwords: “You better believe it was the right thing to do..’CUZ GMZ SAID SO!”

    I am recovered from my initial stunned feeling. Z’s been aces his first three months, I’m taking the leap of faith on this move.

    Zduriencik, after all, hasn’t shown me anything before to suggest that he doesn’t do his homework. Maybe it’s a case that I like players like Austin Maddox, Blake Smith and Bobby Borchering more than he does.

    But nix on the “Fields getting traded” angle. I don’t believe Fields can be traded until he’s had a few months in our farm system.

  34. joser on February 13th, 2009 9:36 pm

    While this is the less-optimum outcome, it’s a pretty minor matter. The M’s are already setting up for a huge draft. Fields does have some talent. And the offseason has already been a huge success.

    This isn’t some Bavasi deal where the team is obviously getting worse, where they’re getting almost nothing back for what they’re giving up, where the outcome is so obviously bad it smells as much like sabotage as simple incompetence. This front office, I trust. Perhaps something changed their minds. Maybe Wakamatsu saw Fields and liked what he saw. Maybe they didn’t want to burn bridges with Boras when Fields finally accepted the offer. Maybe they decided there likely wouldn’t be anything they wanted at that point in the draft.

    Sure, they may miss out on a Pujols without the draft pick, but then again they might’ve picked a guy who gets injured and never gets out of A ball. Fields was picked last year because he was as close to a sure bet to pitch in the majors as you can find (as a reliever at least, though maybe not as a closer). And frankly, if he has a normal bullpen career with the M’s, even if he’s never the closer, in raw wins he’ll likely contribute more in aggregate than the second coming of Griffey will. And who knows, maybe he does turn into the next Mariano Rivera.

    So yeah, this is a little unfortunate and — until we know more — somewhat inexplicable, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s not even the end of Zduriencik’s good run so far this offseason. When we sum up Zduriencik’s career as M’s GM, we may not even remember it.

  35. joealb on February 13th, 2009 10:01 pm

    Joser, I agree with your premise, but lets not forget my point. If Fields caved then Z was stuck. I’m sure Z didn’t want to tell Fields, “Tough beans kid, your a Bavasi kid so hit the road”. I really think that Z was stuck. What was Z supposed to do, Tell Boros to go away at any price? Of course, if we find out that the M’s upped the original offer, then all bets are off.

  36. eday on February 13th, 2009 10:02 pm

    OK. I understand the logic behind passing on Fields. McNamara and Z could probably find a higher-potential pick this summer by letting Fields go. But Fields could be a useful player. I just don’t see why we should be freaking out. It’s not that unfortunate, and it certainly isn’t inexplicable.

  37. joealb on February 13th, 2009 10:24 pm

    Good point eday, a useful young arm is never a bad thing. I would like to have that extra draft pick because it represents a player that COULD have more upside then Fields. Of course the 21st pick in the upcoming draft could flame out and never play a MLB game. I just think that Z had his hands tied by Fields accepting the original offer. If that is what happened, What was Z supposed to do?

  38. Ralph_Malph on February 14th, 2009 8:13 am

    It’s clear that he signed because he’s excited about playing with Griffey.

  39. rsrobinson on February 14th, 2009 9:48 am

    I read somewhere last year that Fields was considered the closest to major league ready of the high draft picks. Is that accurate? Any chance we’ll see him in the M’s bullpen at some point this year?

  40. gwangung on February 14th, 2009 10:31 am

    I read somewhere last year that Fields was considered the closest to major league ready of the high draft picks. Is that accurate? Any chance we’ll see him in the M’s bullpen at some point this year?

    Anything’s possible. But I don’t think anyone should think it’s probable.

    Somebody pointed out there might be a problem in this year’s budget giving out so many high level bonuses, particularly in a fairly weak draft year. Dunno if that’s the case, but it seems to me that there were a number of different factors that piled up into what we saw–change any one of them and Fields wouldn’t be signed.

  41. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on February 14th, 2009 11:20 am

    With our plethora of bullpen arms, think this increases the likelihood of a potential move?

  42. bakomariner on February 14th, 2009 11:42 am

    I wonder if Z is unhappy about this…I mean, once the offer from the Ms was on the table, could they take it back? That offer was made long before Z came along…

    I just think that Boras called and said, “Josh wants to play; we’ll take the offer.”

    Z hangs up the phone in disgust at losing the pick…

  43. Mike Snow on February 14th, 2009 12:08 pm

    Yes, you can withdraw an offer. You certainly don’t leave it open forever. And at any rate, Zduriencik acknowledged having discussions with Boras, and I’m sure he wouldn’t negotiate without at least the basic mental exercise, “Would I rather have Fields at this price or a draft pick?”

  44. CMC_Stags on February 14th, 2009 12:48 pm

    Griffey + Fields = some doubt in Z?

    I’ve never understood the drafting a RP in the early rounds of the amateur draft. For all my 90’s nostalgia, I don’t understand what Griffey does this year other than maybe bringing extra fans out to see a team that probably won’t be in contention.

    So far this off-season, Z has:
    – made what looks to be a schrewd trade w/ the Mets and Indians
    – signed a number of players who project to be between Replacement Level and Average (Shelton, Branyan, a grip of relievers, etc.)
    – traded Heilman to the Cubs for another young player with some upside
    – signed Griffey for what may be too much money for what he’ll bring to the team (playing ability and fan draw both)
    – signed a first round draft pick reliever when he could have recouped the pick and taken a prospect with more long term value

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

  45. joser on February 14th, 2009 2:29 pm

    You also have to factor in the things Zduriencik has not done, which is the endless list of mis-evaluations, crappy trades, and obsession with (and overpaying for) “veterans” and “roles” that characterized the Bavasi era. Granted that’s setting the bar about as low as possible, but there are lots of other examples of bad GMs around and Zduriencik doesn’t appear to be in the bottom half of the class — and that’s more than half the battle.

  46. Marinerfan4life on February 14th, 2009 4:49 pm

    Too bad Fields got caught up with a scumbag agent like Boras. He has a ton of upside and well, considering all of the low cost deals Z has been pulling off, dropping 2 mil for Fields isn’t too bad in my mind. I’m not going to anoint him a the closer, he has to prove it, but he could become one heck of a pitcher.

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