Fun Thought Of The Day

Dave · July 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

In thinking about what the M’s should do at the trade deadline, I had a thought that hasn’t been discussed anywhere else that I know of. Given the saturation of coverage the buy or sell decision has gotten, that’s pretty rare indeed, so I figured I’d share this outside-the-box* piece of thinking with you all.

On July 29th, the M’s are scheduled to play the Blue Jays at 1:40 pm at Safeco Field. The tentative pitching match-up: Erik Bedard vs Roy Halladay.

If those pitchers take the hill that afternoon, you have to think the M’s are something like 25% to win, 75% to lose. Halladay is that good. Take Halladay out of the picture, and our win probability probably rises to 50%, maybe higher depending on who replaces him. So, having Roy Halladay get traded before he starts against the Mariners next Wednesday would be worth something like 1/4 of a win to the M’s.

Given the team’s current place in the standings, wins are extremely valuable. Teams pay $4 to $5 million per win in free agency, but the marginal value of a win is significantly higher once teams have figured out that they’re in contention by the summer. In reality, the marginal value of a win to the Mariners is probably more like $6-$8 million right now. You could potentially argue that it’s worth up to $10 million, depending on how much revenue you think the team could generate from a playoff series at Safeco this fall.

So, 25% of one win is worth somewhere between $1.5 and $2.5 million to the M’s. Split the difference, and we’ll just call it $2 million. If the M’s want to really think outside the box as the deadline approaches, they’ll figure out which team is the leading contender to acquire Halladay, call that GM up, and offer him $2 million in cash to get the deal done on July 28th. Call it the We-Don’t-Want-To-Have-To-Face-Him bounty.

Perhaps the most important trade the M’s could be involved with is one where no players from their organization move at all. Don’t worry about improving the roster – bribe Ruben Amaro to improve his!

*I’m 95% kidding. But man, it would be fun to see Selig’s reaction if he found out that one GM was trying to bribe another into making a deal that didn’t involve his team.

Comments

40 Responses to “Fun Thought Of The Day”

  1. lokiforever on July 21st, 2009 1:21 pm

    A variant of this might pass scrutiny. Find out the GM most likely to get Roy Halladay, and send a player with money for minor league fodder, contingent upon the other deal getting done.

  2. sodomojo2459 on July 21st, 2009 1:22 pm

    Haha, awesome post! Missing Jackson and Verlander against the Tigers also probably adds another half a win in there.

  3. joser on July 21st, 2009 1:25 pm

    That’s pretty funny. I’m sure this post is gong to get passed around the M’s FO.

    Realizing this is almost certainly hypothetical anyway….
    Would the league, or the player’s union, or somebody freak out over this? Are you allowed to offer cash considerations without also sending (or getting back) a player? I would think that if paying other teams to “tamper” with a 3rd team’s lineup was legal, the Yankees would’ve tried it long before this. (Not counting the years when Kansas City was their de facto farm team.)

  4. joser on July 21st, 2009 1:28 pm

    Expanding on the idea, and speaking of Kansas City and their woeful past (and present), perhaps as part of the Betancourt deal the M’s should’ve offered to loan them another player for the duration of their current series with the Angels.

  5. Dobbs on July 21st, 2009 1:29 pm

    Too bad we can’t bribe ourselves with 2 million. Of course, I’m sure the cost of Halladay in prospects is prohibitive.

    Oh and speaking of Edwin Jackson… wouldn’t it have been nice if Bavasi had taken Dave’s advice?

  6. m'schick on July 21st, 2009 1:34 pm

    I gotta say….I dig this line of thinking. And if it is indeed legal, who’s to say it hasn’t happened before?

  7. hub on July 21st, 2009 1:41 pm

    Would the acquiring team also net ~0.25 wins by getting Halladay for 1 extra start on the year? Add that to the M’s ‘Competitional Investment Grant’, and it could effectively double the win-value enticement for a club to get a deal done immediately.

  8. jld on July 21st, 2009 1:49 pm

    Is there any kind of refund if we end up losing that game anyway?

  9. wabbles on July 21st, 2009 1:51 pm

    “Would the league, or the player’s union, or somebody freak out over this?”

    Hell yes, that’s where the “95 percent kidding” comes in. I can remember Bavasi telling us he really couldn’t say a whole lot about Player X (Millwood? Don’t quite remember.) because there were tampering rules. I suspect this would fall under the same heading. But I love the reasoning.

  10. flashbeak on July 21st, 2009 1:53 pm

    Good thinking, Dave.

    [off-topic]

  11. TranquilPsychosis on July 21st, 2009 1:56 pm

    I gotta say….I dig this line of thinking. And if it is indeed legal, who’s to say it hasn’t happened before?

    I would think that it’s far from legal. Deals like this would affect revenue sharing, wouldn’t they? Also the richer teams (read Yankees, Bosox, Dodgers etc) might use this tactic to leverage themselves wins that poorer teams cannot afford to, thereby giving the poorer teams a competetive disadvantage.

    Anyhow, one way to find out for sure is to try it. Any deal involving cash more than $1m going between teams must be reviewed by Selig & co. If it’s not legal, they’ll let everyone know.

  12. joser on July 21st, 2009 2:13 pm

    Is there any kind of refund if we end up losing that game anyway?

    No, you’d have to buy insurance on that. I’m sure AIG would be happy to sell it to you.

  13. henryv on July 21st, 2009 2:14 pm

    Another (slightly more legal and “ethical”) way to think about is that the M’s might consider being a team involved with a 3 team trade that involves moving Halladay. If the Jays are looking for someone in the M’s organization, or the M’s can toss is someone for cash considerations or the always player to be named later (blah blah blach), we might be inclinded to help out a little bit, by making a “bad trade” of a lower-valued free agent to help push it through.

  14. henryv on July 21st, 2009 2:16 pm

    Sorry, I meant to throw in a lower-valued minor leaguer… Just took a test in Language Acquisition Methods, and I’m a little braindead.

  15. Lauren, token chick on July 21st, 2009 2:25 pm

    Of course, we’d have to make sure that he got traded to the NL. Although I guess that’s far more likely anyway.

  16. joser on July 21st, 2009 2:32 pm

    Of course, we’d have to make sure that he got traded to the NL. Although I guess that’s far more likely anyway.

    Yeah, it probably is, but as long as he wasn’t traded to an AL West team (god, there’s a nightmare) it probably wouldn’t be any worse than leaving him with Toronto.

  17. Mike Snow on July 21st, 2009 2:32 pm

    Even better would be to get him traded to a team that we’re done playing, but that the Angels still have on their schedule. That’s Baltimore or Boston, so basically it would need to be the Red Sox.

  18. Snake Hippo on July 21st, 2009 2:37 pm

    Expanding on the idea, and speaking of Kansas City and their woeful past (and present), perhaps as part of the Betancourt deal the M’s should’ve offered to loan them another player for the duration of their current series with the Angels.

    We should send them someone like Mike Carp for a player to be named later, with the understanding that the PTBNL will be Carp (or whomever it is) upon the conclusion of the Angels series.

  19. egreenlaw9 on July 21st, 2009 2:40 pm

    I was hoping this post was eventually going to make a case for us trying to acquire Halladay….

    Is that crazy?

  20. nadingo on July 21st, 2009 2:41 pm

    The only problem I see with this plan is that the Red Sox and Yankees would be free riders on the Mariners’ investment. What we should do is figure out the likely marginal benefit to each contending A.L. team of moving Halladay to the N.L. and then get each team to contribute that amount to a pool used to subsidize the trade. Then again, all of the contending N.L. teams besides Philly (or whoever the front runner may be) would have to be able to contribute to a trade prevention fund, so it might all balance out.

  21. Breadbaker on July 21st, 2009 2:53 pm

    What if we had a gentlemen’s agreement that we will trade Bedard and they will trade Halliday before the deadline, only we don’t keep up our end of the bargain?

  22. joser on July 21st, 2009 2:57 pm

    Not to mention the AL teams with post-season aspirations certainly don’t want to face Halladay in the World Series, so they won’t be eager to see him sent to a contending NL team, which of course are the only NL teams looking to acquire him. So the only AL contributers with a dog in this fight are Oakland, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Baltimore… none of which have excess cash to throw around. Though you’d think Angelos at least could dig up some pennies from between his seat cushions to get Roy out of the AL East, considering Halladay’s lifetime 19-4 record against the O’s.

  23. TranquilPsychosis on July 21st, 2009 3:00 pm

    I was hoping this post was eventually going to make a case for us trying to acquire Halladay….

    Is that crazy?

    I wouldn’t call it crazy per se. Unrealistic, but not crazy.

    You could probably make a case for them to try, but it would be a weak one at best. They have nothing to really trade for him that they are willing to give up and other teams want. Plus with the payroll constraints, it’s doubtful they would be able to sign him and still keep Felix without taxing other positions ala Bavasi.

  24. BLYKMYK44 on July 21st, 2009 3:02 pm

    To avoid tampering…why don’t they just offer the Blue Jays the extra money to make the deal. Help pay some of that Vernon Wells anchor contract.

  25. BLYKMYK44 on July 21st, 2009 3:04 pm

    In fact…why don’t they offer Toronto the money to entice them to keep Hallady and just not have him pitch against the Mariners (but pitch against the Angels).

    Can you imagine how freaked out people like Bob Costas and George Will would get about such a story??

  26. cbm on July 21st, 2009 3:10 pm

    Wow… From the AP

    [don't copy and paste articles]

  27. cbm on July 21st, 2009 3:17 pm

    How funny is it that as of 10 minutes ago (as google news tells me) the Bluejays have announced that the “deadline” for trading Halladay is June 28th. Apparently Z is already out in front of this one…

  28. joser on July 21st, 2009 3:19 pm

    You could probably make a case for them to try, but it would be a weak one at best. They have nothing to really trade for him that they are willing to give up and other teams want.

    Yeah, it would take, like what — Morrow + Aumont + a position prospect? Whatever, the short version is “too much.”

    Can you imagine how freaked out people like Bob Costas and George Will would get about such a story??

    All the more reason why we should plant it. (Especially if the trade deadline passes and Halladay is still with Toronto).

  29. Evan on July 21st, 2009 3:43 pm

    Just took a test in Language Acquisition Methods, and I’m a little braindead.

    Weird. I’ve been having a running argument about Language Acquisition Methods with someone on another site.

  30. 1000N on July 21st, 2009 4:04 pm

    The Blue Jays are listening. Here’s the lead sentence from the ESPN story breaking the news:

    “The Toronto Blue Jays say any trade for ace Roy Halladay needs to be completed by July 28.”

    The $2 million won’t be needed after all!

  31. G-Man on July 21st, 2009 4:07 pm

    How funny is it that as of 10 minutes ago (as google news tells me) the Bluejays have announced that the “deadline” for trading Halladay is June 28th. Apparently Z is already out in front of this one…

    I couldn’t believe this when I saw it on ESPN after reading the earlier part of this thead. I was lying on the couch and wondered if I was dreaming.

    Dave, are you moonlighting as an advisor to the Blue Jays?

  32. TranquilPsychosis on July 21st, 2009 4:42 pm

    Dave, are you moonlighting as an advisor to the Blue Jays?

    Looks more like he’s Halladay’s new agent.

  33. Go Felix on July 21st, 2009 6:01 pm

    HANNAHAND!!!!!!

  34. Go Felix on July 21st, 2009 6:01 pm

    The “hans” are doing it tonight!

  35. Go Felix on July 21st, 2009 6:03 pm

    Ugh, I suck at spelling names. Edit button!!!

  36. 07uwgrad on July 22nd, 2009 1:20 am

    Notice in the Halladay article how they want to trade him BEFORE his July 29th start AT Seattle. If the trade goes down it makes his travel plans easy.

    Just saying…

  37. Nik Aitken on July 22nd, 2009 8:03 am

    Just like the ESPN story I read in a Toronto paper that Ricciardi is very intent on getting an potential deal done before July 29.

  38. julian on July 22nd, 2009 9:49 am

    So, this premise is based on the idea that a Halladay vs. Bedard matchup gives the Blue Jays a 75% chance to win the game. Where does that number come from? And does this mean that the Blue Jays have a >80% chance of winning a game where Halladay starts against a lesser pitcher than Bedard?

  39. giuseppe on July 22nd, 2009 10:21 am

    What about having to face Halladay in the postseason?

    I’d rather the Mariners face him once in July and maybe once in September than have to face him in a postseason series (maybe more than once).

    That playoff series that theoretically makes the win in July worth $10M would be rather disappointing if Halladay beat us twice.

  40. attractive nuisance on July 22nd, 2009 12:53 pm

    Look to me like Z took your advice!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.