Dave’s 2010 Off-Season Plan

Dave · October 20, 2009 at 7:06 am · Filed Under Mariners 

It’s back again – the annual winter tradition where I speculate on some potential moves the M’s could make and put together my own roster for next year. I try to be as realistic as possible, so I’m sticking to a $95 million budget and hopefully get in the realm of possibility with the dollars for the arbitration eligible guys and suggested free agents, as well as trying to compensate trade partners with sufficient talent. As always, the specific players are more just examples of the types of moves I’d like to see the team make. Oh, and yes, this is your thread for rosterbation. Go nuts.

2010Mariners

The Moves

Trade Brandon Morrow to Milwaukee for J.J. Hardy.
Trade Jose Lopez, Mark Lowe, and Jason Vargas to Chicago for John Danks.
Sign Nick Johnson to a one year, $9 million contract
Sign Orlando Hudson to a two year, $16 million contract
Sign Ben Sheets to a one year, $7 million contract
Sign Russell Branyan to a one year, $4 million contract

The Rationale

The Mariners are in something of a tough spot this winter, caught between rebuilding and winning, and having to make some decisions that will push the organization towards one of those directions at the expense of the other. There are some young kids who deserve a shot at real playing time, but coming off an 85 win season and with some talent on the roster, the team isn’t in a position to sell a 75-80 win team as progress again next year. So, they need to add some guys who can help the team in 2010, but are not in a position where they should be sacrificing too much of the future for the present. The best solution – target guys with upside and the ability to help for several years if all goes well.

It’s not easy, but it can be done. J.J. Hardy is a great example of the kind player the M’s should be targeting. He’s 27-years-old and under team control for two more seasons with an established ability to play shortstop in the major leagues at an all-star level. He’s coming off the worst year of his career and has already been replaced in Milwaukee, so this is as low as his value will ever be. He’s an above average player headed into the prime of his career, similar in value to the departing Adrian Beltre, though significantly cheaper in salary.

He’s not going to come for free, though. The Mariners aren’t going to be the only ones interested in acquiring Hardy this winter, which is why I think it would require giving up Brandon Morrow to get him. Giving up four years of Morrow for two years of Hardy is a risk, but it’s a risk the M’s should be willing to take. Young pitchers are full of false hope, so while Morrow may indeed put it together and become a quality starting pitcher, the M’s would be better off building around a shortstop instead. The Brewers have coveted Morrow for years, and they probably won’t get a better arm in return for Hardy. It’s a win-win trade, upgrading the M’s infield while giving the Brewers a pitcher they badly need.

Now, having written all that, perhaps you’ll think it is a little hypocritical that I then immediately suggest swapping an infielder for a pitcher by sending Lopez, Lowe, and Vargas to Chicago for Danks. However, the situations are quite a bit different. Despite his age, Lopez is simply not the kind of player the M’s want to build around for the future, and his value will be maximized in another city. His best skill, power to left field, is in direct conflict with the way Safeco plays. The M’s will get less value from Lopez than just about every other team in baseball, so moving him to an environment that doesn’t clash with his skills is an efficiency maximization decision.

Danks gives the team an above average starter to slot behind Felix, but also helps build for the future at the same time. Heading into his age-25 season, he’s already arbitration eligible, which is why the White Sox would be willing to move him in the first place. As a left-handed starter with a bit of a home run problem, Safeco would be perfect for his continued development, so both main pieces of the deal would find a better fit in the confines of their new home.

Now that you’ve turned Morrow and Lopez into Hardy and Danks, it’s time to spend a little money. The organization will have already added two good young players who don’t require huge salaries, so they’ll have some budget room to spend on quality veterans to round out the roster.

Bringing back Russ Branyan is an easy call. He’ll come relatively cheap and provide +2 to +3 win upside. He would have been in line for a bigger paycheck before the back problems, but now, he’s looking at another one year deal, and there’s no better spot for him to spend 2010 than Seattle.

However, with Branyan’s health issues, the team isn’t really in a position where they can afford to carry a no-glove DH. They’ll need to have the ability to keep Branyan’s bat in the line-up without making him play the field, so ideally, they’ll get a DH who can also play first base. Enter Nick Johnson. He’s the kind of patient hitter the organization has needed for years, and his track record of health problems will prevent him from ever cashing in on a long term contract. The M’s can offer him a nice paycheck for 2010 with the ability to split time between 1B/DH in order to keep himself healthy, and Johnson can give the M’s offense a needed boost.

Having traded Lopez, the M’s will also be in the market for a second baseman, and Hudson is the natural fit. He’ll be back on the market after finding a cold reception last winter, and the M’s should take advantage of the fact that he’s still an undervalued asset. He’s not the defender he used to be, but he’s still an above average hitter who can play the position and provide solid value for several more years. Adding a switch-hitter to the line-up is a nice bonus as well, giving Wak a little more flexibility in his line-ups.

Finally, the spending is capped off with a high risk, high reward gamble on Ben Sheets. While his health risks are certainly a concern, the M’s need to take a gamble on a player with all-star upside, and they have the pitching depth to survive the inevitable trip to the disabled list. Seattle’s the perfect spot for a strike-throwing fly ball starter to re-establish his value, and Jack can offer the comfort of knowing the management team in place. The M’s can take advantage of Safeco and their defense in giving Sheets the best possible chance to line himself up for a big payday in 2011, while reaping the rewards of a high quality arm at a middling quality price.

The Expectations

This roster isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s simultaneously good enough to try to win in 2010 while still allowing the team to build for 2011 and beyond. Johnson, Sheets, Branyan, and Hudson give the team needed present value without tying up payroll long term, while Danks and Hardy give the team two good young players to add to the foundation of the roster going forward. On paper, it’s probably an 85 win team that would need a healthy, strong season from Sheets and a breakthrough by one of Saunders, Moore, or Tuiasosopo to really contend in the AL West. But those things are certainly possible, and the reward for having the gambles pay off could be significant.

The team would still be building for 2011, but they’d have given themselves a chance to make a playoff run next year as well. Straddling the line between contending and rebuilding isn’t easy, but it can be done.

Oh, and I forgot to mention one last part of the plan.

Sign Felix Hernandez to a 6 year, $90 million extension.

Get it done, Jack. We’ll love you even more than we already do.

Comments

362 Responses to “Dave’s 2010 Off-Season Plan”

  1. shemberry on October 20th, 2009 7:25 am

    Is it really going to take $9 million to sign Nick Johnson?

  2. b__rider on October 20th, 2009 7:35 am

    I like it. Hardy, Sheets, and Johnson would be good additions, and I appreciate that you didn’t trade Felix.

  3. meloyellow15 on October 20th, 2009 7:43 am

    Hey Dave,
    Nice team. You say that the actual names aren’t that important so I was wondering your thoughts on a few other free agents.

    1. Aubrey Huff – Seemed to have been plagued by an uncharacteristically low Babip this year but his line drive rate didn’t fall off that much. Could he be a backup plan for Johnson?

    2. Iwamura – This is of course dependent on Tampa Bay not picking up his option. But he seems like he might be a decent fit at second base providing some solid defense.

    3. Ankiel – This is more a flier than anything else. His 2008 version would be a perfect fit for the park and he could come on the cheap because of 2009. I guess the real question is if there is any reason to think he might rebound?

    Thanks in advance to Dave or anyone else who might have some thoughts.

  4. Sports on a Schtick on October 20th, 2009 7:44 am

    I love every more here, though I think Branyan (iffy bad and all) can garner more than a 1/$4M contract. And I’m still a big Blake DeWitt guy. Pry him from the Dodgers for a prospect and plug him at third base.

  5. Paul B on October 20th, 2009 7:45 am

    I see Hardy would be $3 million cheaper than Wilson, that combined with Hardy being younger would make it worth giving up Morrow.

  6. aNewYorkerWhoLovesIchiro on October 20th, 2009 7:47 am

    If we aren’t able to get Nick Johnson, what do you think about going with one of the poor-fielding DH types and plugging in Carp if Branyan gets hurt? Even with the small sample warning, Carp’s stats in the majors and minors last year warrant a look in 2010.

  7. Dave on October 20th, 2009 7:58 am

    Is it really going to take $9 million to sign Nick Johnson?

    Guessing the salaries that these guys are going to sign for is the hardest part of this whole thing. $9 million for Johnson is fair, given his talents and risks. Will the market for brittle 1B/DHs crater, given how many there are available? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it. If you can get him for less, great.

    Aubrey Huff.

    Not good enough to justify playing him instead of Carp.

    Iwamura.

    Could be a decent fit, sure. I’d prefer Hudson, though, and the M’s should have the money to get him.

    Ankiel.

    I’d rather give Saunders/Langerhans the LF job.

    And I’m still a big Blake DeWitt guy.

    He’s not that different from Tui, who we already have.

    If we aren’t able to get Nick Johnson, what do you think about going with one of the poor-fielding DH types and plugging in Carp if Branyan gets hurt?

    The problem is that beyond the risk of “getting hurt”, Branyan’s back will probably be enough of a problem to where you want to limit his time on the field without DL’ing him. If Carp’s not on the roster (and he doesn’t fit on this one), then you have to make a move to bring him up from Tacoma, and that’s a pain if Branyan’s just going to miss a couple of days.

    If you re-sign Branyan, you can’t have a no-glove DH. They don’t work together.

  8. Pine Tar on October 20th, 2009 8:05 am

    Carlos Silva – so painful. Isn’t there something that can be done?

  9. jared_kopp on October 20th, 2009 8:11 am

    What are we expecting Adrian Beltre to fetch in free-agency? My thought is – how much more would he cost as compared to Orlando Hudson? (If significant then ignore the rest of this.)

    I love Hudson’s bat but have to wonder if we couldn’t give that money to Beltre and his awesome glove/okay bat at third then give a guy like Tui a significant try out at second. Especially since you’ve already penciled him in as a potential starter anyway.

    I know there has been a lot written in the comment threads regarding Tui at second, so I won’t go to far into that aside from just the suggestion, but wouldn’t it make sense to put the upside play at second and sign a proven entity at third to bolster our defense? Just curious.

  10. Mike Snow on October 20th, 2009 8:12 am

    Actually, almost that entire bullpen looks a little painful. And what happened to Sean White, is he turning back into a pumpkin? Or is his shoulder injury bad enough that we shouldn’t expect to see him next year?

  11. Dave on October 20th, 2009 8:14 am

    What are we expecting Adrian Beltre to fetch in free-agency? My thought is – how much more would he cost as compared to Orlando Hudson? (If significant then ignore the rest of this.)

    Obviously, I love Adrian, but I just don’t think he’s coming back here. Safeco is death to him, and he can re-establish his value in a more hitter friendly park (Fenway, for instance).

    And what happened to Sean White, is he turning back into a pumpkin?

    ERA aside, he wasn’t very good this year. I’d rather have have Jakubauskas and Fister.

  12. snapper on October 20th, 2009 8:15 am

    Lopez, Lowe and Vargas for Danks!?

    Really Dave? Did you leave out the part where you kidnap Kenny Williams kids first?

    I would think the odds of Chi trading a 24 yr. old SP coming off 2 195+ IP seasons with a career 115 ERA+ (I know his FIP is higher) who’s under team control for 4 more years, for an average 2B, a RP with 1 good season, and a replacement level SP are zero.

    Zero in the abstract. Not to mention the fact that Chi only has 3 SPs of any dependablilty, and the FA market is full of 2B.

    This trade sounds like a talk radio, “let’s trade our odds and end for a a star” special.

  13. dmojr on October 20th, 2009 8:17 am

    Beltre wants to play for a “winning team” maybe he see’s the m’s as heading towards that direction. I would prefer to play Tui at 3rd, with a switch hitting 2nd baseman.

    I love the finish to the post.. SIGN FELIX

  14. robbbbbb on October 20th, 2009 8:17 am

    This is a team that needs to take risks to find upside on some players. They aren’t going to make the playoffs otherwise.

    I like that you’ve committed to Tui, Moore, and Saunders. That’s the right thing to do, and a great place to find upside.

    I think you’re absolutely right about Ben Sheets: the M’s need to find a potential breakout starter to follow behind Felix, and they’ve got enough depth (and cash; thanks, Kenji!) that they can afford to take a risk on someone like that. Like you’ve said, the names themselves aren’t important, but the general thrust of the ideas. Who are some other names that fit there? (Erik Bedard, for sure, but I suspect he’s not coming back.)

  15. Mustard on October 20th, 2009 8:18 am

    Are you really willing to risk paying Sheets for a more than likely scenario of him getting hurt?
    I understand its risk/reward like Bedard, but is there a back-up plan or another guy with potentially great stuff that comes with less risk?

  16. rsrobinson on October 20th, 2009 8:19 am

    My only concern is starting three guys with very little MLB experience (Moore, Tui, and Saunders). That seem like a big roll of the dice. I’d like to see some money spent on getting more offense out of LF, at least.

  17. robbbbbb on October 20th, 2009 8:20 am

    Lopez is a valuable player, under team control. Honestly, I bet you that the Sox would “win” that trade. They’d end up with an above-average 2B and a hot middle reliever. They could easily score 4 WAR out of that deal, and leave the M’s with a single 3 WAR starter.

  18. robbbbbb on October 20th, 2009 8:22 am

    Oh, and one more comment in general. Look at that bench: That’s four bench players who are solid, fill good roles, and are cheap. That’s oustanding talent acquisition by the Mariner front office.

    While the M’s are taking chances on Tui, Saunders, and Moore, they’ve got a legitimate, above replacement backup for each one of those guys should they fail.

  19. jared_kopp on October 20th, 2009 8:26 am

    I would permanently maim an old and decrepit horse (I’m not much for blood-lust) to see a SP combo of Felix and Danks next year. 8 WAR combined would be the baseline for those two working within Safeco.

    Also a huge fan of the Sheets upside play as well. Just give him a year at a decent salary – let him run out there until he goes down then plug in anyone from the “mediocre starter with his moments” group we already have and bingo bango – you have Bedard’s 2009 part 2. Maybe even better.

  20. Dave on October 20th, 2009 8:27 am

    Zero in the abstract. Not to mention the fact that Chi only has 3 SPs of any dependablilty, and the FA market is full of 2B.

    The White Sox actually have an abundance of pitching. Their rotation currently stands as Peavy-Buehrle-Danks-Floyd-Garcia, with Dan Hudson knocking on the door and demanding a job. They’re not short on starters.

    They also don’t really have any money to pursue a free agent second baseman. The acquisitions of Rios and Peavy ate up a huge chunk of their budget, and they have to deal with arbitration raises for Bobby Jenks, Carlos Quentin, and John Danks. They simply don’t have the funds to go out and sign a guy like Hudson.

    So, beyond the fact that your analysis of their situation is incorrect, you’re also just not valuing the players correctly.

    Lopez is a +2.0 to +2.5 win player under contract for the next two years for $2.3 and $4.5 million, making him a net asset worth around $15 million.

    Danks is a +3.0 to +3.5 win pitcher who has three arbitration years remaining before free agency. If we estimate his salaries at $3 million, $7 million, and $15 million over those three seasons, the White Sox will pay $25 million for a ~$45 million player, making him a $20 million asset.

    The gap just isn’t that huge. Lowe’s got value around the league as a future closer thanks to his velocity, and the efficiencies gained by filling a hole with a place they have some depth off-sets the difference between Lopez and Danks.

    Don’t analyze by labels. Look at the numbers.

  21. aNewYorkerWhoLovesIchiro on October 20th, 2009 8:31 am

    Dave: What about picking up Kevin Gregg to (perhaps) shore up the bullpen as R.J. Anderson’s Fangraphs post from a while back suggests?

  22. Safeco Hobo on October 20th, 2009 8:31 am

    Favorite post of every offseason! (not including the post where USSMariner details Felix’s extension later this winter)

    Questions:
    -As much complaining everyone did regarding Morrow’s wasted potential by putting him straight into the bullpen, what’s the reasoning behind putting Hill into the bullpen? Wouldn’t his value be maximized by putting him in AA and allow him to continue to develop as a starter?

    -Could Bedard be a substitute for Sheets as the high risk, high reward injury gamble for the rotation or is it time to let that ship sail? Does the fact that Bedard may not be ready for opening day effect the fact he isn’t listed?

    -Do you think Jack Z is willing to move past Jack Wilson trade? At this point that trade was only 3 months ago. Hardy makes sense, but it seems like Jack Z has committed to the Wilson idea for the 2010 shortstop.

  23. snapper on October 20th, 2009 8:32 am

    Lopez is a valuable player, under team control. Honestly, I bet you that the Sox would “win” that trade. They’d end up with an above-average 2B and a hot middle reliever. They could easily score 4 WAR out of that deal, and leave the M’s with a single 3 WAR starter.

    And Danks is a very valuable player (young good SP are pretty much the gold standard of value) under team control.

    Using Fangraphs (which understates Danks value b/c he’s pitched to a better ERA than his FIP) we get:

    Danks: 2008 5.2 WAR, 2009 2.9 WAR
    Lopez: 2008 2.1 WAR, 2009 2.6 WAR
    Lowe: 2008 0.1 WAR, 2009 1.3 WAR
    Vargas is pretty much a 0 WAR every yr.

    So, let’s call Danks a 4.0 WAR, Lopez a 2.5 WAR (being generous) and Lowe a 1.0 WAR (again being generous). So, Danks is worth more WAR, plus you get the efficiency of having it concentrated in one spot, not two, plus, you have the huge relative scarcity of SP vs. 2B and RP.

    This deal would be an absolute rip-off for Seattle. As the CWS owner, I’d fire my GM for making it.

  24. Dave on October 20th, 2009 8:32 am

    Kevin Gregg isn’t any good and spending money on a right-handed reliever is a terrible idea in general.

    Don’t worry about the bullpen. I know it looks scary, but bullpens are really easy to build, and Aumont isn’t that far away.

  25. urchman on October 20th, 2009 8:33 am

    Thanks for posting this Dave — I always love your roster construction posts. Sure, it won’t be exactly what the M’s do, but as you say, it’s probably how they should approach it if they want a chance to contend in 2010 while still building for 2011+. I’d just like to highlight this portion of you post:

    Sign Felix Hernandez to a 6 year, $90 million extension.

    Get it done, Jack. We’ll love you even more than we already do.

  26. Dave on October 20th, 2009 8:34 am

    So, Danks is worth more WAR.

    You’re ignoring costs. It’s ruining your analysis (which is also wrong, but that’s a more minor problem).

  27. snapper on October 20th, 2009 8:36 am

    Don’t analyze by labels. Look at the numbers.

    So, would the M’s like to send Felix Hernandez to the Yankees for Robinson Cano, Phil Coke, and Sergio Mitre?

  28. ManifestDestiny on October 20th, 2009 8:37 am

    Re: Beltre

    Do you really think that Beltre will make more money in the free market than he would get from arbitration? I mean, since he can’t be paid less than his last contract, he’s guaranteed at least a $12.5 mil payday, if not more. He’s been ~3 win player and teams have been paying ~$3.5 mil per win, so some team will have to overpay a bit to get him. His only hope of getting more in the FA market than the guarentee through arb is basically hoping for an Angels/Giants bidding war, which is a pretty risky proposition.

    Also, is Johnson/Saunders better than Matsui/Carp as far as LF/1B go?

  29. chadam on October 20th, 2009 8:39 am

    Wow, this is my first time visiting the USS Mariner at this time of year…no wonder everybody was so excited for this post! Excellent work, Dave!

  30. Dave on October 20th, 2009 8:40 am

    what’s the reasoning behind putting Hill into the bullpen? Wouldn’t his value be maximized by putting him in AA and allow him to continue to develop as a starter?

    It’s the Ryan Rowland-Smith career path. Hill’s not a guy who needs a bunch of time in the minors to learn how to pitch, unlike Morrow. He’s a pretty polished product. His three pitch repertoire will allow him to work 1 to 2 inning stints in relief, which will let him break into the majors and keep his workload in check. If the team needs him to start in the second half of the season, they can ship him back to Tacoma to stretch him out without too many problems.

    Could Bedard be a substitute for Sheets as the high risk, high reward injury gamble for the rotation or is it time to let that ship sail?

    You could re-sign Bedard instead of going after Sheets. I’d rather have Sheets, though.

    Do you think Jack Z is willing to move past Jack Wilson trade?

    Probably not, but then again, I’d be surprised if more than one or two of these moves actually happened. It’s not really a prediction of what the team is going to do.

  31. snapper on October 20th, 2009 8:46 am

    You’re ignoring costs. It’s ruining your analysis (which is also wrong, but that’s a more minor problem).

    The costs here are trivial for 2 large market teams. I’m sure Chi will look to but out Danks arb years plus.

    I think your analysis is wrong. Your giving Lopez no chance of being a 0 or 1 WAR guy, which he’s been in the last 3 years, and giving Danks no chance of being a 5 WAR guy, which he was last year.

    I did forget about Peavy, but counting Garcia as a dependable SP is laughable. Plus, the CWS have plenty of good RP.

  32. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 8:47 am

    Instead of just giving Tui the third base job, I’d rather give Troy Glaus an incentive laden one year deal with an option. Sure he’s kind of old and injury prone, but he’s still got power and his last healthy season in ’08 he was a +5 WAR player. Noone’s even talked about him at all as a FA this offseason.

    And Dave, Sean White wasn’t that great this year, but when it comes to choosing between him and Jakubauskas, I think just about every talent evaluator in the front office would rather have him in the bullpen than Jak. I’d like to have em both in the pen,maybe subtract Olson, but you don’t just leave White off the team completely.

  33. Mustard on October 20th, 2009 8:49 am

    Just a couple of questions?
    Is Johnson a type B FA? Not sure where to check on that stuff.

    What kind of numbers do you see someone like Pavano getting this offseason?
    Brad Penny would also be more of a value guy after wrecking his value in Boston, Safeco could help that out a bit.

  34. Dave on October 20th, 2009 8:50 am

    So, would the M’s like to send Felix Hernandez to the Yankees for Robinson Cano, Phil Coke, and Sergio Mitre.

    Stop being abrasive and ridiculous.

    The costs here are trivial for 2 large market teams.

    As long as you believe costs are trivial for any team, you have no hope of analyzing anything correctly.

    I think your analysis is wrong.

    Okay, great. Think whatever you want. If you want to be taken seriously, though, you might want to start considering “trivial” things like cost and Jake Peavy.

  35. Dave on October 20th, 2009 8:52 am

    And Dave, Sean White wasn’t that great this year, but when it comes to choosing between him and Jakubauskas, I think just about every talent evaluator in the front office would rather have him in the bullpen than Jak.

    Sean White is Roy Corcoran 2.0. You’re not stuck with mediocre to bad relievers just because they post a low ERA one year.

  36. edclayton on October 20th, 2009 8:55 am

    Don’t worry about the bullpen. I know it looks scary, but bullpens are really easy to build, and Aumont isn’t that far away.

    Dave – any chance that we see Josh Fields on the big league club this year?

  37. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 8:55 am

    I’m not just looking at ERA, I don’t think any educated baseball fan does these days. He has better stuff to be a successful reliever. He has a 95 to 97 mph power sinker and a sharp slider. I don’t seem to remember corcoran having those types of pitches. Jakubauskas throws a straight 88-93 mph 4 seamer and a decent 12-6 curve. I’m looking at stuff.

  38. Sox Machine on October 20th, 2009 8:56 am

    If the Sox wanted a second baseman who could hit 20 homers with a ~.300 OBP, they could just play Jayson Nix full-time. I don’t get how it makes sense to sap their one true strength for, at best, a mild upgrade that doesn’t address their biggest deficiency: on-base percentage. They were 10th in the league in OBP, and Lopez would likely bring that number down.

    Lowe is a nice reliever, but given the recent track record, the Sox have wasted enough talent and money to try to find good relievers. They may as well raid the garbage and try to find another Thornton.

  39. cliffjohnson on October 20th, 2009 8:57 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with snapper — there is no chance the WS give up Danks, and if they did they’d be sure to get something better than Jose Lopez and Mark Lowe. They’ve got Jordan Danks, the little bro, fast approaching Chicago’s outfield, too. Big bro is going nowhere.

    If they need to dump salary, Jenks will go and they’ll make Thornton the closer. RH arms like Linebrink and Tony Pena mean there’s no need for Lowe.

    Overall, interesting plan, but everything depends on the ability to extend Hernandez. If they can’t this offseason, they’ve probably got to deal him

  40. wsm on October 20th, 2009 8:58 am

    That actually seems like a very realistic plan, If only because you’re overpaying for most of those guys.

    Milwaukee would do that trade in a heartbeat. There’s talk that Hardy may be nontendered since few teams would be willing to pay him $5m AND give up talent. To get Morrow would be a major win for Milwaukee.

    It’s really, really hard to imagine a bat like Hardy switching leagues and parks and having much of a rebound. I’d explore an Aardsma/Brignac deal first. Better than the Wilsons though.

    I’ll be stunned if Johnson and Hudson get close to that much money. I can’t see either of them walking away from those deals you proposed. But, you can probably get both for $6 million a year.

    Why do the White Sox want Lopez? They seem pretty content with Chris Getz right now.

  41. Dave on October 20th, 2009 9:04 am

    There’s talk that Hardy may be nontendered…

    Not by anyone who acutally knows what they’re talking about. There’s no chance Hardy is non-tendered.

  42. Pete Livengood on October 20th, 2009 9:05 am

    looks pretty good, Dave. I might quibble about a few specifics, but as they are more examples than anything set in stone, why bother? A couple of comments, though:

    * I understand why you bring Branyan back (some of the same risk/reward that led to signing him last year), but at 34 and with back/disc problems, I would probably pass. I do realize this means you probably need to find some power at another slot (probably DH, or in a different 1B), but I am not overly worried about that. OTOH, if you can get Branyan for $4M, it’s not a huge risk. Also, with Tui, Hall and Hanahan all capable of playing both corner INF slots, I think you *might* be able to go with a cheap no-field DH if you avoid Branyan, and that has some $$-efficiency appeal to it.

    * I am surprised, given Jack Z’s comments yesterday, that you don’t pencil in a 3rd/veteran catcher. This is a minor quibble, as I don’t think it would cost too much to get one – but it likely comes atthe expense of a roster spot for somebody on your bench, or at least the 40-man.

    * Just to show you that you are probably dead on on Danks’ value, my first reaction was that we were giving up too much to get him, as his FIP in every year except 2008 has not screamed “#2 starter” – more like #3 or #4, of which we have plenty of candidates. I’d forgotten how young he is, though, and of course, he is left-handed and the kind of pitcher likely to be helped out by Safeco and a stellar OF defense. I am sold.

    * I like the JJ Hardy idea (I liked it even more at the deadline last July), but I am a little leery of getting guys with only a couple of years of club control – especially at the cost of a top 10 draft pick like Morrow who has 4 more years of club control. I’m willing, but really hope we can get off this SS merry-go-round sometime in the next few years.

    * I am happy to see you on the “sign Felix” side of things, but do you really think 6/90 will get it done? If it takes 6/105 to get it done, will it affect Jack’s ability to do any of these other things, or do you view that as solely a matter of the M’s backloading the contract a little more?

    Good plan – thanks, as always.

  43. mymrbig on October 20th, 2009 9:07 am

    Dave, any reason you prefer Orlando Hudson over Placido Polanco? Or Chone Figgins for that matter?

    I think Polanco is going to give a better return on his salary (coming off a down year because of BABIP, age drives down his price some). Both are Type A players, but I think the Tigers are less likely to offer Polanco arbitration than the Dodgers are to offer Hudson arbitration. Hudson is an established 2.5 to 3.0 WAR player, while Polanco is more of a 3+ WAR player. To me, the only things on Hudson’s side are age and reputation. And Hudson has shown more skill deterioration than Polanco, despite being 2 years younger.

  44. Mustard on October 20th, 2009 9:07 am

    Dave, where is a reliable list of FA that includes type a/b etc?

  45. steveospeak on October 20th, 2009 9:09 am

    Dave I liked the post but two things don’t seem to fit for me. One I think you are overestimating is Nick Johnson’s price tag. $9 million is awfully steep considering what the market for hitters was last offseason. If guys like Abreu couldn’t cash in (though i’m sure he will this year) why would Nick Johnson, who has less tools, more injury history, and lower positional value. I think Johnson will get something in the range of $4-6 million with another $1-2 million based on plate appearances. Otherwise you are just throwing your money away.

    The Danks deal doesn’t make sense to me either. Other than the fact that Kenny Williams does some crazy deals (Swisher trade). I don’t see what value Lopez is to Chicago. If they want they can move Beckham or Ramirez over to 2B and find a legit 3B. The White Sox have no pitching depth so even though they have a very good 1-4 starters, the drop off is pretty bad after that. We are talking replacement level bad. Sure Vargas could be the 5th starter, but that’s far from ideal and still leaves you a hole at the 4th spot. In terms of money Lowe is entering Arb so between that and Lopez’s salary the White Sox wouldn’t be saving any money, and would create an expensive hole in their rotation. If the White Sox fill 2b externally they could do so more cheaply than adding another starter. I just don’t see an equal value standpoint unless the Mariners tacked on a good prospect.

  46. vertigoman on October 20th, 2009 9:13 am

    I love these off-season plans. Always so tepid, leaves me and my imagination to dream of bigger things while thinking “well, at least there’s that”.
    Not really high on Orlando Hudson as this site has me sipping the kool-aid when it comes to UZR. He seems to me to be in decline. It’d be a tough sell to the fan base as you’re replacing a young “power” hitter with a switch hitter that is a plus defender by name only. And, you’re paying him 8 mil/per for something that looks lateral at best. Not that your plan is trying to please anyone and like you said, it’s not a plan based on what the M’s will likely do.
    Little surprised you didn’t go value hunting. Any thoughts on whom the next Branyan or Gutz may be?

  47. Erik E on October 20th, 2009 9:13 am
  48. wsm on October 20th, 2009 9:14 am

    Also, I’d give Langerhans’s roster spot to Griffey. We don’t need a defensive 4th outfielder, and Hall does alright in a pinch. Griff’s bat will come in handy pinch-hitting and he’ll get plenty of starts when Branyan or Johnson are hurting. Wakamatsu demonstrated this year that he’s willing to carry a no-glove guy on his bench (Sweeney). And Wak apparently values Griffey’s off the field contributions.

    I think Griffeys return next year will hinge on the fact that he will see reduced playing time. I’m betting Z and Wakamatsu will be upfront with him about the fact that he’ll primarily be a bench guy, leaving the decision up to Griffey if he can handle that or not.

  49. mymrbig on October 20th, 2009 9:15 am

    Things I like about Dave’s plan:

    (1) Giving playing time to Tui, Saunders, and Moore/Johnson. I think it is time to play them or trade them while their value is good. I’d be OK bringing in a vet to compete under the right circumstances, but I’m fine if the M’s don’t. I could see Tui at 2nd instead, depending on various market factors.

    (2) Felix exension. Yeah!

    (3) Branyan. I think he makes sense at $4M. Any more than that, and I probably cut ties. I still think there ends up being a slight glut of bad OF/1B/DH types. I could see Branyan paid more by someone else if his back is healthy, but I’d take him back as a known quantity at that price.

    (4) No Jack Wilson. Even if JJ isn’t obtained, I just don’t think Jack is the answer. He’s a good, solid player who was underrated for most of his career. But I don’t have confidence in his bat switching to the AL and he hasn’t exactly been healthy the last few years.

    (5) Ben Sheets. Yeah! Or someone like him (Bedard, Harden, etc.).

  50. Erik E on October 20th, 2009 9:15 am

    Whoops. Sorry for posting that long list of free agents. I linked it above, so feel free to delete if it takes up too much space.

  51. snapper on October 20th, 2009 9:17 am

    Stop being abrasive and ridiculous.

    I’m being neither.

    Using your logic (and $4.5M/WAR), Cano is a 4.5 WAR player signed for 4/48 (last 2 options, which makes it better). He’s a $33M asset.

    Felix is a 6 WAR pitcher under control for 2 arb years for which the M’s will pay ~$10M and $15M. He’s a $29M asset.

    As long as you believe costs are trivial for any team, you have no hope of analyzing anything correctly.

    The cost difference between Lopez and Danks for 2010-2011 (when Lopez is under contract) is $3.2M total (using your estimates). It’s trivial. I don’t know why you include the ~$15M in 2012, it’s not guaranteed. If Danks isn’t worth it, Chi doesn’t have to pay.

  52. Mustard on October 20th, 2009 9:18 am

    Thank-you!

  53. larry1sss on October 20th, 2009 9:18 am

    Dave,

    I understand we’re just tossing numbers around here but your estimation of the cost of Danks seems a bit incorrect to me. First, while we are looking a couple years into the future, a $15 million award for his 3rd season of arbitration seems far-fetched to me. I’d put it closer to $10 million. I also think it’s fairly likely that Danks wouldn’t take the risk of going year to year and instead would sign a deal at a lower dollar value but which guaranteed him a good salary. Jon Lester, for example, signed a deal at 5/$30M earlier this year. Danks probably would get more per year (and may do just 4 years) but that seems like a decent starting point for a comparable.

    At any rate, I think the gap in surplus value between Lopez and Danks would be significantly bigger than $5 million – probably $10 million, even assuming you’re just in arbitration, and likely more if you can lock him up to an undermarket deal and take a free agent year or two. Maybe there’s a discounting in there for the higher injury risk associated with a pitcher so the gap isn’t quite that big. I’ll leave that to others to figure out.

    And I see my colleague Sox Machine has already pointed out that Lopez really isn’t all that helpful to the White Sox. A platoon of Getz and Nix probably gets them close to 2 WAR at 2B already. One thing to keep in mind about the White Sox is that Kenny Williams likes to compete, or at least pretend to, every year (and one can do so in the AL Central). Not sure any upgrade Lopez may even optimistically bring balances the drop from Danks to Garcia/Hudson. And those reliever add-ins seem pretty underwhelming to me.

    At any rate, interesting food for thought.

  54. marshlands on October 20th, 2009 9:28 am

    “Trade Jose Lopez, Mark Lowe, and Jason Vargas to Chicago for John Danks.”

    This is like one of those trades in fantasy sports, where you have to respond and be like “Yeah dude, sorry, but like, three average players =/= to one good one.”

  55. Bodhizefa on October 20th, 2009 9:30 am

    Dave, any reason you prefer Orlando Hudson over Placido Polanco? Or Chone Figgins for that matter?

    I can’t speak for Dave, but I prefer Hudson over Polanco because he’s a switch-hitter and Hudson over Figgins because he’ll likely be much much cheaper. Polanco is a fine alternative to Hudson, though, if for some reason Hudson doesn’t work out.

  56. PNWbaseball on October 20th, 2009 9:31 am

    What about Ricky Nolasco? He might be undervalued by the marlins after posting an ERA in the fives this year(depsite an FIP around 3.33). Overall he’s been about a 3 to 4 win player the last two years. Any chance we can get him?

  57. rsrobinson on October 20th, 2009 9:31 am

    I don’t think Jack Wilson is going anywhere unless he won’t negotiate a multi-year extension lower than the $8 million option. I pretty sure Z brought him in to shore up the SS position for the next couple of years so he could focus on improving other areas. I think that’s still the plan.

    I also don’t think there’s any way that he’s going to plan on starting 2010 with three rookies in the lineup. He’s much more likely to make a move to bring in a veteran at 3B or LF (or both) than to make a second trade for a veteran SS in less than six months.

  58. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 9:33 am

    Why is it that when Dave has an idea criticized or something along those lines he makes it out that everyone else is an idiot who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    Instead of listening to what they’re saying, and understanding that their logic is reasonable, you just stick to your guns and won’t differ from your own logic no matter how flawed it may be.

    You could just respond with “Oh yeah, I kinda forgot about Sean White, I guess I should squeeze him and his .216 BAA against in the pen somewhere” instead you respond with basically saying he’s not a major league caliber pitcher when you’re so clearly wrong. I mean, it’s not even a big deal. He’s just a middle reliever, you could just admit leaving him out of the pen was a mistake and move on, but no.

    And snapper makes a valid point as well, but when his point differs from yours, suddenly he’s being “abrasive and ridiculous.” You’re not always right Dave. I know there’s plenty of people on here who stroke your ego and tell you how brilliant you are, but sometimes you’re not. The sooner you realize that the better this site will become.

  59. mymrbig on October 20th, 2009 9:36 am

    Things I don’t like about Dave’s plan:

    (1) Danks. I love Danks and I would jump for joy if this happened. I think Danks ends up closer to 2008 than 2009 in terms of true talent level (I think he can improve his K/9 and BB/9 ratios). I just can’t see the White Sox going for the proposed trade.

    (2) Orlando Hudson. I prefer Placido Polanco. I think he will be cheaper, is less likely to be offered arbitration, and will be at least as valuable. If Chone Figgins ends up being a Type B, I might at least talk with his agent, though I think he probably ends up costing more than it would be worth paying for where the M’s are right now.

    (3) Nick Johnson. Not at $9 M, and not if the M’s get Branyan also. I’d be happy with one of them, but I don’t want either at $9 M. I think the market will work against the 1B/DH/bad defensive OF skill set again this year.

  60. djtizzo on October 20th, 2009 9:37 am

    So whats wrong with Felipe Lopez instead of O.Hudson? Why is he never on anybodys radar? Hes a decent career hitter with decent speed, cheaper than Hudson, and an upgrade in the field over Jose!

    I think the guy should be considered in any infield talks!

    Also, given the recent freed up money, what would it take to bring back Beltre? His WAR has got to be better than Tui’s!

  61. Dave on October 20th, 2009 9:37 am

    I am surprised, given Jack Z’s comments yesterday, that you don’t pencil in a 3rd/veteran catcher.

    They’re not going to carry three catchers. They’ll bring a veteran guy to camp on an NRI, like they did with Sweeney, and he may take the spot of one of Johnson/Moore, depending on how things go in March. But it doesn’t effect the overall roster at all. They’re not going to go spend real money on a catcher.

    Dave, any reason you prefer Orlando Hudson over Placido Polanco? Or Chone Figgins for that matter?

    Polanco is 35 and right-handed. Figgins is going to be way out of the M’s price range. Hudson won’t be offered arbitration by the Dodgers.

    One I think you are overestimating is Nick Johnson’s price tag. $9 million is awfully steep considering what the market for hitters was last offseason.

    You can’t assume that this market is going to be exactly like last year’s. And keep in mind, during that same down year, Milton Bradley got 3/30 as good hitter with injury issues. You can’t just look at Abreu’s situation and assume that Johnson will settle for half of what he’s worth.

    Using your logic (and $4.5M/WAR), Cano is a 4.5 WAR player signed for 4/48 (last 2 options, which makes it better). He’s a $33M asset.

    You’re not using my logic, because you’re pretty lousy at determining a player’s actual worth.

    The cost difference between Lopez and Danks for 2010-2011 (when Lopez is under contract) is $3.2M total (using your estimates). It’s trivial. I don’t know why you include the ~$15M in 2012, it’s not guaranteed. If Danks isn’t worth it, Chi doesn’t have to pay.

    If you want to throw out 2012, then the difference in value between the two is “trivial” as well.

    Danks is not that much more valuable than Lopez. Sorry, he’s just not.

  62. Dave on October 20th, 2009 9:39 am

    Why is it that when Dave has an idea criticized or something along those lines he makes it out that everyone else is an idiot who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    We’re not having this thread again. If you want to tell me how much I suck, send me an email.

    And if you think I just forgot Sean White, then you really are an idiot. Do you think I wrote this thing in five minutes? Of course not. I spent a lot of work on it. Everything in the post was thought out and planned.

  63. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 9:44 am

    [seriously, we're not having this thread turn into a discussion on your opinion of me. Send me an email or talk about the team.]

  64. djtizzo on October 20th, 2009 9:46 am

    [deleted, ot]

  65. Paul B on October 20th, 2009 9:51 am

    Regarding the middle relievers in the bullpen, it doesn’t matter much which you pencil in. They’ll all be in spring training, some will make the team, and during the season some will get swapped out when they are ineffective.

    It isn’t worth arguing whether one of them is worth 0.2 WAR or 0.3 WAR.

    And, I wanted to add, regarding Lopez, that to trade him you are looking for a team that notices and falls in love with his road stats in 2009. That raises his value beyond what his overall numbers would show.

  66. Pete Livengood on October 20th, 2009 9:53 am

    Suggesting that trading Felix for Cano = Danks for Lopez (et al.) is, at best, argumentative and not at all designed to advance the discussion. That’s what I’d say – or you could just say it’s “abrasive and ridiculous.” Yes, Snapper has a point, but the Felix for Cano thing is over the top.

    And kwozzy, even though I agree with you that I’d rather have Sean White (3.86 FIP, 0.42 HR/9) than Jakubauskas (5.12 FIP, 1.45 HR/9), and think his inclusion as a groundballer (1.42 GB/FB career) in the ‘pen is more important if you are getting rid of a guy like Lowe, in the end it’s not that important and more than anything, I think that’s what Dave is saying. He’s less impressed with White than you and I are, so what. Your last post is just as harsh as anything you’re accusing Dave of.

  67. edclayton on October 20th, 2009 9:53 am

    Lopez really isn’t all that helpful to the White Sox. A platoon of Getz and Nix probably gets them close to 2 WAR at 2B already

    Regular readers of the site know that Dave has been preaching for months that Lopez would have significantly more value in a home park more suitable for RH hitters (like US Cellular/ Comiskey). Just because Lopez has a WAR value of 2.5 playing his home games in Seattle doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be closer to 3.0 or 3.5 in Chicago. He would be a significant upgrade over a platoon of Getz and Nix.

  68. gocougs1 on October 20th, 2009 9:53 am

    Thank you Dave for taking the time to write this post.

  69. TheEmrys on October 20th, 2009 9:55 am

    Regarding the CWS trading Jenks, it makes a decent amount of sense. The White Sox have a lot of needs. This is a very old team who prizes people who can produce HR’s. The attractiveness of Jose Lopez is he is young, has some power to left, and plays sometimes-good defense at a middle infield spot. If the White Sox want players of value, Kenny Williams understands that he will have to give up something. Williams may want a position player or two in addition to Lopez, but they would be Carp-types.

  70. olystuart on October 20th, 2009 9:57 am

    I also want to hear your thoughts on the catcher situation. I didn’t see you mention your reasoning behind sticking with Moore/Johnson. Didn’t Z just say that Kenji leaving means the search for a veteran catcher is on sooner rather than later? Assuming that’s the case, who do you put there? I think giving Moore significant playing time is a great plan, but what if Rob’s recovery doesn’t go as smoothly as it’s being reported that it will and we need somebody else in there who can be more reliable?
    Some big changes if you change a few assumptions based on the comments so far: if we can’t trade Lopez etc. for Danks, if we stick with Jack Wilson at short, if we switch RJ for a real catcher. What are some other options for trading Lopez, have any other teams showed interest or have a big hole there? I don’t recall the outcome of the discussions about Tui’s defense and where he’d fit best, but would it be another option to stick Tui at second and get a better defending third baseman?

  71. MarinerDan on October 20th, 2009 9:57 am

    I realize this is not a “predict the future post,” but does the exclusion of Griffey from your imagined roster in any way indicate your view on whether he will return to the Mariners in 2010?

  72. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 10:00 am

    Pete. Did I not say it wasn’t even a big deal? It’s the principle of the thing. But whatever, it’s all argumentative. I like the Hardy deal, though I wish we could give them someone less talented than morrow, but that probably wouldn’t fetch him. Love the Hudson deal as well. This team needs a switch hitter in a bad way. Looking at the angels lineup, it’s not an understatement to say that one of the biggest reasons they’re so good is how many switch hitters they have.

    Like Johnson too, though I would’ve liked to see him hit for more power last year, but that OBP makes up for it.

  73. olystuart on October 20th, 2009 10:02 am

    Well, you kind of answered the catcher question while I typed my comment! I just … is there really no one out there worth going after to replace Johnson? That’s sad.

  74. hansk on October 20th, 2009 10:03 am

    I like your roster construction, and by replacing a few names I can see it happening. Considering the rebuild vs contend logic I agree that 1-year risk/reward deals are the way to go (Branyan, Johnson, Sheets).

    A few changes in my version would be:

    1. Keeping Jack Wilson instead of Hudson. Perhaps this is for the worse. I like how Hudson is a switch hitter, but I don’t see JackZ giving up on Wilson yet, especially sin e he gave up Clement to get him. Then again this could save our 1st round draft pick (I think).

    2. I may go after Harden instead of Sheets here. I’ve done no analysis, but I’ve always liked Harden. I agree either is better than Bedard. Although all have awesome upside, so really whoever is deemed most likely to stay healthy.

  75. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on October 20th, 2009 10:05 am

    Dave,

    I know this is your suggested off-season plan. I preface what I am going to say by acknowledging the fact that Felix SHOULD be a part of it, if we are talking about what you (and I) would like to see happen. That said, how drastically is this blown up if the team decides they can’t resign him and are better off trading him for value now?

    You’ve said before – and I agree – that Felix is an essential piece of contention in 2010 – barring, in my view, some very unlikely trades of bad contracts and an increase to payroll. Perhaps this will be the subject of another post, but wouldn’t it make sense torpedo all but the remaining core and play the youngsters, if Felix is moved? I really wish I felt better about our prospects there, but aren’t we at even odds that Felix goes away and I weep like a small child for several weeks?

  76. Jeff Nye on October 20th, 2009 10:06 am

    No more metacommentary in this thread. First and last warning.

  77. U-God on October 20th, 2009 10:06 am

    Regarding TheEmrys,

    If the trade was for Jenks, no one would be arguing that is seems a little ridiculous for the Sox. As for the “very old team” sentiment, the Sox had the same team batting age as the Mariners last season.

  78. Paul B on October 20th, 2009 10:06 am

    Two people have brought up Griffey.

    There’s no reason I can see why the M’s would want him back next year.

    The M’s were near the bottom of the league in production from DH.

  79. mymrbig on October 20th, 2009 10:06 am

    My rosterbation plan (or why you should stop trusting Dave and start trusting mymrbig):

    (1) Call the Royals about Jose Lopez. This could be a funny joke. In fact, calling the Royals and offering them xxx has become a joke. But I am actually serious. I think they would have some interest. They don’t seem sold on Callaspo (who I would ask about, especially if the M’s feel his defense is better than he showed last year). They don’t seem sold on Kila Kai’aihue (who I think can be a 2.0 WAR DH earning the league minimum). Lopez has a lot of good selling points for a team like the Royals (affordable, established production, HR numbers are sexy for a 2B).

    (2) Placido Polanco for 2B. I think he’ll be at least a couple million cheaper than Hudson and will provide at least the same production, maybe better. League averagish bat with above-average defense. He’s a 3.0 WAR player with some upside that can probably be had for $6 M a year, maybe less. I’m honestly surprised that Dave went with Hudson over Polanco.

    (3) Akinori Iwamura. A fallback option at 2nd. Will provide similar value to Hudson, but at a fraction of the cost. Seriously, he could be a 2.5 WAR for $4 million.

    (4) Maybe I’m wrong, but I think Delgado ends up being cheaper (or similarly priced) to Branyan, while provide similar (or better) production. I’d like to see Delgado as one of the 1B/DH slots, but I’ll go with Branyan if the price is right.

    (5) Felix. The possiblities are endless. I’d sign on with 6/$90 M. But I don’t know if Felix signs on at that point. The trade partners are endless and I think all of the Big 3 AL East teams have the personnel and desire to at least have some substantive discussions. I don’t know if it quite works with Boston or NYY because they don’t have many upper-level position prospects, but buy-low opportunities exist for their young pitchers (Buchholz, Hughes, Chamberlain). I also think TB would work. Either Davis or Hellickson, maybe sprinkle in some Brignac, plus they have nice lower level arms like Moore and Barnese.

  80. dmojr on October 20th, 2009 10:07 am

    Its not dave being narrow minded.. its people who take the bits and pieces and try to call out a mistake… no one here puts together a complete offseason list like Dave does.. yet they can pry it apart and bash him without looking at the big picture.. THE WHOLE TEAM, like Dave does.

    If you change one player, the whole list changes

  81. Erik E on October 20th, 2009 10:10 am

    $9 million for Johnson is fair, given his talents and risks.

    If we agree that spending 9mm on a DH is somthing we’re willing to do, wouldn’t Milton Bradley also make a lot of sense? His salary for 2010 is also $9mm, and considering the Cubs are pretty desperate to unload him, if we throw in a decent prospect (Cortes?), who knows, maybe they’d be willing to take on a couple million from Silva’s contract.

  82. Bodhizefa on October 20th, 2009 10:10 am

    You know what the most interesting thing about this year’s version of the Off-Season Plan is? How little Dave had to tinker with our bench, back of the rotation starters, and bullpen to look like something resembling good depth. Bravo, Jack Zduriencik!

    Anyway, I agree with the masses that Nick Johnson is unlikely to nab a salary nearing nine million per year. I’d like to think he could be had for five or less, although I’d settle for six million.

    Also, I would absolutely love to acquire John Danks for Jose Lopez and change. If we can make that happen, I’m aghast in giddiness. I like Lopez and all, but Danks is exactly the kind of good lefty arm this team could use to push for a division title.

  83. JerBear on October 20th, 2009 10:25 am

    Ahhhh… I’ve been waiting for this post. Thanks Dave!

    I’ve been jonesing for Hardy at SS for quite a while now. Nick Johnson too. I really want to be sold on Orlando Hudson, but I’m afraid of his age and slipping defense… still, it’s a good move in theory. A nice example.

    And guys… chill. I know Dave puts a lot of time and thought into the big picture here – when you spend all of five minutes reading it before declaring it ridiculous and trashing it with hyperbole, what kind of response do you think you’re going to get? You should notice that people with honest, polite questions get honest, polite responses.

  84. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 10:28 am

    I can put together a whole off-season list, I just didn’t think anyone would want to hear it. But here goes. Bringing back Branyan and Wilson would cost 10-12 mil with Wilson’s contract renegotiated. Delgado 8 Mil, Glaus 5, Harden 9.

    It would all be via free agency and cost around 35 million, but they’d all be short 1 to 2 year deals,we’d have a ton more power,and we’d have a shot to go for it next year. I dunno, not too realistic, high breakdown factor, but that’d be a way better lineup and a solid,possibly dominant #2 starter when healthy. I have another plan for the trade route as well, but those get a bit more imaginative.

    1B Branyan
    2B Lopez
    3B Glaus
    SS Wilson
    DH Delgado
    LF Saunders
    CF Gutierrez
    RF Ichiro
    C Moore

    Bench
    Hall
    Hannahan
    Griffey
    Langerhans
    Johnson

    Bullpen
    Aardsma
    Lowe
    White
    Hill
    Kelley
    Silva

    Rotation
    Felix
    Harden
    Rowland-Smith
    Snell
    Morrow

  85. mikethomas22 on October 20th, 2009 10:28 am

    There are some things that I like here, and some things that I don’t particularly love. If we didn’t make any trades, here’s a potential roster:

    Moore/Johnson
    Branyan
    Lopez
    Jack Wilson
    Tui
    LF
    Gutierrez
    Ichiro
    DH

    Hall
    Hannahan
    Langerhans

    Felix
    RRS
    Snell
    Morrow
    SP

    Aardsma
    Lowe
    White
    Kelley
    2 of Hill/Vargas/Fister/French/Olson/Jakubauskas
    Silva

    You have about 71 mil committed to 22 spots. This leaves you with about 24 mil to spend on 3 spots (dh, lf, sp).

    You could go after Nick Johnson or Adam LaRoche. For left, you could go after Cameron, Winn, Abreu, someone like that.

    There are a number of high risk high reward starting pitchers you could target. (Bedard, Chapman, Harden, Sheets, Hudson, Penny, Pettitte) Or you could commit more money to Lackey or Cliff Lee.

    I’m not suggesting that we go this route, but this shows how many major league ready players we already have. I think an outfield of Cameron, Gutierrez, Ichiro might be the best defensive outfield of all time.

  86. Alex on October 20th, 2009 10:28 am

    Thanks Dave, awesome post, as usual!

    So this Mariner’s team would be around 35.5 WAR, projecting to about 85 wins, is that correct? I assume you are using a ~.300 record / 50ish wins as a replacement level baseline.

  87. horatiosanzserif on October 20th, 2009 10:30 am

    Not to beat a dead horse, but beyond AJ, Konerko and the just-about-gone Dye, the ChiSox are a fairly young team. I could see them trying to pry loose Lopez — who’d flourish in that clubhouse and bandbox of a stadium.

    But if JZ is going to Chicago, it’d be great to see him come back with Chris Getz. After all, you can never have too many LH middle infielders.

  88. Mike Snow on October 20th, 2009 10:31 am

    Nick Johnson’s been paid $5.5 million each of the last three years, missed an entire season and the majority of another, and still come close to earning his contract. If I had to assign a salary to him, I’d probably go with $7 million, but Dave’s guess is as good as anybody’s. Bobby Abreu last offseason was pretty much the floor for players of this general type, since Abreu’s value this year blew his contract out of the water.

  89. Erik E on October 20th, 2009 10:32 am

    Since the Brewers would obviously pounce on a Morrow/Hardy offer, why not play hardball and increase the offer significantly in hopes of landing Hardy and Fielder? It obviously would be close to impossible. But giving up Morrow to save 3mm on Hardy at short over Wilson (not ignoring the fact that Hardy is more valuable in addition to being more cost-effective) seems like a tough pill to swallow.

    Anyone think that adding Triunfel, Lowe, Carp, Vargas, and Dennis Raben to the offer would be enough to land Prince? In addition to saving some money, it seems like it’d be a heck of a talent haul for Milwaukee.

  90. Utis on October 20th, 2009 10:33 am

    I would like to see the M’s try to move Silva. Any other bad contracts out there that could be swapped? Would the Cubs trade Bradley for Silva? Bradley isn’t coming back to the Cubs and Silva could be the latest AL pitcher to resurrect his career in the NL.

    Would moving Silva or Lopez make any dfference in negotiations with Felix?

  91. hansk on October 20th, 2009 10:43 am

    To continue my last post…

    3. I’m not comfortable with Tui as our starting 3B, and would rather the team take a chance on someone like Chad Tracy. I think Tracy falls into the high risk/high reward category, and at 29 he’s not done yet. Or perhaps Hank Blalock.

    4. I sincerely dislike Rob ‘passed ball’ Johnson, but I’m comfortable with Moore/Johnson at catcher. I think I foresee a Napoli/Mathis combo developing.

  92. vertigoman on October 20th, 2009 10:49 am

    I doubt GMZ would bring in Bradley. He has beat the “high character” as value thing to death. But if he could move Silva, I’d dig it.

  93. Erik E on October 20th, 2009 10:49 am

    2010 Rosterbation

    C Doumit 3.55
    1B Fielder 10.5
    2B Tuiasosopo 0.45
    3B Branyan 4
    SS Hardy 5
    LF Saunders 0.45
    CF Gutierrez 2.5
    RF Ichiro 18
    DH Bradley 9
    BN Langerhans 1
    BN Moore 0.45
    BN Hall 1.3
    BN Hannahan 0.45
    SP1 Felix 10
    SP2 RRS 0.45
    SP3 Snell 4.45
    SP4 French 0.45
    SP5 Jakubauskus 0.45
    CL Aardsma 2.5
    SU Kelley 0.45
    SU Hill 0.45
    MR White 0.45
    MR Villanueva 0.45
    MR Olson 0.45
    LR Fister 0.45
    DL Harden 10
    DL Bedard 5
    DL Sheets 7
    99.65

    Trade Receive
    Morrow Prince Fielder
    Lowe J.J. Hardy
    Triunfel Carlos Villanueva
    Vargas
    Raben
    Carp

    Trade Receive
    Silva Milton Bradley
    Cortes

    Trade Receive
    Lopez Ryan Doumit

    Sign
    Harden $10m
    Sheets $7m
    Bedard $5m

  94. Big Leagues on October 20th, 2009 10:50 am

    Hill is not going to the pen. don’t be surprised if he wins a spot in the rotation out of Spring Training.

  95. Mike Snow on October 20th, 2009 10:53 am

    Neither Chad Tracy nor Hank Blalock plays more than a token 3B anymore. And Tracy was below replacement level the last two years. Neither of them should be a bench solution, let alone a starter ahead of Tuiasosopo. Bill Hall at least offers you some versatility.

  96. Zero Gravitas on October 20th, 2009 10:53 am

    Looks like a lot of solid improvements, esp. to the rotation. But I’m wondering how much Hardy’s offense might decline in Safeco against AL pitching, and whether it could even eclipse his defensive value. I wouldn’t expect another Cirillo-level dropoff, but it always worries me with NL players coming over.

  97. Sox Machine on October 20th, 2009 10:56 am

    Not to beat a dead horse, but beyond AJ, Konerko and the just-about-gone Dye, the ChiSox are a fairly young team. I could see them trying to pry loose Lopez — who’d flourish in that clubhouse and bandbox of a stadium.

    Just like Nick Swisher did!

  98. et_blankenship on October 20th, 2009 10:56 am

    I would like to see the M’s try to move Silva.

    Moving Silva is an impossible task on several levels, which is why I would like to see Silva use a portion of his $12.75 million to open a Hi-Yo-Silva’s hamburger stand next to the bullpen. The day-to-day operations would prevent Silva from ever taking the mound again, but that’s OK because his brilliant hamburger creations should be worth at least 850 BAR (burgers above replacement) per game. 850 burgers at $10 a piece over 81 home games is about $688,500 – and that’s before you include gross revenue from fries, onion rings, deep fried bacon, beverages, t-shirts, hats, autographed jars of mayonnaise, etc.

  99. marcwolf on October 20th, 2009 11:00 am

    The M’s shifted lopez over to first base several times last year. lopez to first, hudson at second? i know he doesn’t fit the park but he does supply some power and i’d rather have him at first base where he doesn’t have to cover as much ground.

  100. joser on October 20th, 2009 11:01 am

    Griff’s bat will come in handy pinch-hitting and he’ll get plenty of starts when Branyan or Johnson are hurting. Wakamatsu demonstrated this year that he’s willing to carry a no-glove guy on his bench (Sweeney). And Wak apparently values Griffey’s off the field contributions.

    Ugh, well — splitting the 12 “playing months” of combined DH/1B between Branyan and Johnson, I guess we’re looking at 4 months for each of them and four months of somebody when one or the other is injured (plus probably a few weeks of somebody else when both of them are injured simultaneously). It probably should be Carp, since you can rotate him through Tacoma, but I guess if Griffey is willing to be pinch hitter / bench coach / designated tickler, fine. I think he’s sold all the additional jerseys he’s going to sell, however.

    My only concern is starting three guys with very little MLB experience (Moore, Tui, and Saunders). That seem like a big roll of the dice.

    Yes, but that’s how risk/reward works. It’s pretty likely the team won’t start the season with those three (Moore especially) as regulars, but it’s possible (especially if all shine in spring training); nevertheless, it’s still very possible that the team ends the season with them there. Anyway, worrying about “MLB experience” is how Bavasi seemed to spend his offseason. Like him, I think you’re overvaluing it. The entire lineup of the 2008 Rays (sans Eric Hinske) had “very little MLB experience” and they seemed to do all right.

    I think you’re absolutely right about Ben Sheets: the M’s need to find a potential breakout starter to follow behind Felix, and they’ve got enough depth (and cash; thanks, Kenji!) that they can afford to take a risk on someone like that. Like you’ve said, the names themselves aren’t important, but the general thrust of the ideas. Who are some other names that fit there?

    Harden, for one. (And he’s kind of a local boy — well, as much as Saunders is, anyway). But as a righty he doesn’t benefit as much from Safeco, so he’s not as attractive.

    But frankly, I’m already sick of the pitching discussion (and especially what Danks is/isn’t worth) so I’m moving on to the interesting (to me) stuff: the infield.

    So whats wrong with Felipe Lopez instead of O.Hudson? Why is he never on anybodys radar?

    He is on the radar but he’s almost certainly not as good as he looked this year. He’s due to come back to earth, and if the M’s picked him up I rather fear he’d be yet another in the Cirillo/Aurilia line of NL guys who “don’t translate” when playing for the M’s.

    I don’t think Jack Wilson is going anywhere unless he won’t negotiate a multi-year extension lower than the $8 million option. I pretty sure Z brought him in to shore up the SS position for the next couple of years so he could focus on improving other areas. I think that’s still the plan.

    I don’t think Jack Wilson is going anywhere either and I still don’t understand why everyone is so down on him. Last year he was, arguably, the best defensive shortstop in the majors. Now, I realize everybody is focused on improving the offense, and understandably so since that’s the obvious route to more wins, but if Beltre is gone it would be nice to not fall off a cliff defensively. Adding runs of offense only works if you’re not simultaneously subtracting runs of defense. Everyone loves Beltre for his defense, even when he was slumping at the plate, so why not love Wilson the same way? You’re going to find more incremental offensive upisde at the infield corners anyway. I’d rather just keep Wilson (even at his substantial salary) and use Morrow to purchase something else (or just keep him too).

    So that leaves the players on either side of Wilson. There’s talk the Marlins might move Coghlan to 2B, so Dan Uggla may be available. I think I’d rather have Hudson (especially since he’d only cost money, not prospects) but it’s something to consider. Also, what happened to Tui as a 2B? I realize he’s probably a better fit at 3B, and apparently that’s the position he will be playing in winter ball so that’s probably where the team wants him, but it does make for different options if the team trades Lopez. Of course then you’re looking for a 3B instead of a 2B, and we’ve already been through the options there more than once (Figgins = too much $, Beltre = probably going elsewhere). But maybe Tui at 2B and Uggla at 3B would be a better value than Hudson and Tui? Just trying to be creative here….

  101. Bodhizefa on October 20th, 2009 11:02 am

    Burgers Above Replacement — absolutely brilliant, blankenship.

  102. Taylor H on October 20th, 2009 11:04 am

    Great post, Dave.

  103. kennyb on October 20th, 2009 11:08 am

    Dave,
    Nice, well thought out post.
    I am not a huge fan of both Branyan and Johnson filling the same roll. It seems like there is a very real chance of both being hurt at the same time (say July and August), but this is the kind of risk that the M’s will have to live with for at least 2010.
    I like the high risk, high reward move for a SP like Sheets, etc.
    Any thought to trading Aardsma and going with Lowe as closer? Would you get enough back to make a difference? Aardsma would seem to have a very high value right now, of course he’s cheap to keep, also.

    I don’t like to sound like a jerk but Erik E, are you serious about Branyan at 3rd? Could he even get out of spring training without getting hurt? How much of his 4 WAR are you giving back on defense? I live the idea of Fielder at 1st, but Branyan would have to go to DH.

  104. Mike Snow on October 20th, 2009 11:08 am

    Burgers Above Replacement — absolutely brilliant, blankenship.

    Yes, the Mariners definitely need to raise the BAR for 2010.

  105. Boy9988 on October 20th, 2009 11:10 am

    Dave

    I like the roster for the most part. The Danks idea is a little out there, but I can see Kenny Williams doing it. I just think the “price” of SP these days is higher than we think. Everyone is making Lopez the star of the deal when it is likely that Lowe will be the crooks of the deal as far as Chi is concerned.

    The trade for JJ hardy is the big shocker. Morrow is a SP who at times (including his last start) has shown he can be a dominating SP. I was at his no-hit bid game against the Yanks and I think he will be a pitcher closer to what we think he could be, than what he has shown. With that, why would we give up 4 years of a SP for two years of a slightly above average SS who has stumbled in the NL and expect him to get off the mat in the AL at Safeco? If we are going to trade Morrow, (which i think we should) then I would like us to demand Escobar in return if Milwaukee is so keen on starters, or threaten to go to TB and trade him for Reid Brignac. The word around is that Brignac can be had. If you don’t like this, I would like to know why Hardy over Brignac as others have posted.

  106. djtizzo on October 20th, 2009 11:13 am

    C- Adam Moore $.45
    1B- Jose Lopez $2.75
    2B- Felipe Lopez $4.5
    SS- Jack Wilson $8.4
    3B- Matt Tuiasosopo $.45
    LF- Carl Crawford $12.0
    CF- Franklin Gutierrez $2.5
    RF- Ichiro Suzuki $18.0
    DH- Russ Branyan $4.0
    B- Rob Johnson $.45
    B- Jack Hannahan $.45
    B- Bill Hall $1.3
    B- Ryan Langerhans $1.0

    SP- Felix Hernandez $10.0
    SP- Erik Bedard $8.5
    SP- Ian Snell $4.45
    SP- Ryan Row-Smith $.45
    SP- Brandon Morrow $.45
    RP- Chris Jakabauskas $.45
    RP- Mark Lowe $.45
    RP- Jason Vargas $.45
    SU- Shawn Kelley $.45
    CP- David Aardsma $2.5
    LR- Luke French $.45
    LR- Carlos Silva $12.75

    Roughly $98 mil roster

    The only trade we gotta make is to TB for Crawford…then offer a contract extenstion!

    The only FA we gotta pick up is Felipe Lopez, everybody else returns from last year!

    MODERATE THAT!!!

  107. Graham on October 20th, 2009 11:17 am

    You are aware that last year’s team wasn’t particularly good, right?

  108. djtizzo on October 20th, 2009 11:18 am

    Id also like to get Justin Duchscherer but not sure what he’d cost?

  109. djtizzo on October 20th, 2009 11:21 am

    You are aware that last year’s team wasn’t particularly good, right?

    Good enough to win 85 games! Adding Crawford would produce a signifcant amount of more runs. Making him leadoff and moving Ichiro to 2nd or 3rd in the batting order! It could work!

  110. georgmi on October 20th, 2009 11:24 am

    Does firing Bruce Hines look to anyone else like clearing a roster spot for Junior to come back and continue his superior tickling of Ichiro without saddling 2010 with his minimal help at the plate?

  111. Graham on October 20th, 2009 11:24 am

    Remember one year where the roster was good enough to win 88 games and adding Erik Bedard would give us a true ace and vault us into the playoffs?

  112. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 11:27 am

    Anyone remember that we could’ve traded Moore, Lopez and RRS to Florida for Hermida, Coghlan and another player, nut sure who. And we turned it down from Florida. Would’ve been nice to have Coghlan at second right now and Hermida in left.

    That Coghlan kid’s a stud and we coulda had him.

  113. Liam on October 20th, 2009 11:28 am

    Does firing Bruce Hines look to anyone else like clearing a roster spot for Junior to come back and continue his superior tickling of Ichiro without saddling 2010 with his minimal help at the plate?

    I don’t think Griffey would take all the traveling and time away from his family that comes with the baseball schedule if he didn’t get to actually play.

  114. georgmi on October 20th, 2009 11:33 am

    don’t think Griffey would take all the traveling and time away from his family

    Oh, I’m sure you’re right. But if we’re dreaming, it makes more sense than prying Cano free from the Yankees. :)

  115. Jon on October 20th, 2009 11:38 am

    I like the Morrow for Hardy idea. Flipping it around, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a struggling, relatively high paid, former all-star and still relatively young everyday player who has been supplanted in the starting lineup (a la Hardy) that we could trade for some pitcher with the raw talent, youth and high ceiling of a Morrow? Perhaps that is why the Brewers ought to take that deal.

  116. djtizzo on October 20th, 2009 11:40 am

    Yes I do! Our pitching staff was good though this year, Im not sure we would have to tamper with that at all! And on my mock roster I have 2 added bats to the lineup, Crawford & F.Lopez! Wouldnt those guys make us more productive offensively than last year? Thats Ichiro, Crawford, J.Lopez, F.Gutz, and F.Lopez….5 guys that get on base….. = more runs… thats my logic, maybe Im wrong?

  117. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 11:40 am

    Time away from the family is when dudes get to do what they wanna do.
    I think a month after being home for the offseason with his family and kids, he’s gonna start gettin the urge to fly cross continental to Ichiro’s and just tickle the crap out of him. After the tickling ceases, Juniour will get up and decide “I’m playin ball next year” Ya only live once, and retirement is
    boring.

  118. Mike Snow on October 20th, 2009 11:44 am

    Anyone remember that we could’ve traded Moore, Lopez and RRS to Florida for Hermida, Coghlan and another player, nut sure who.

    You’re misremembering who was giving up the extra player. The rumor had Mariner prospect J.C. Ramirez included. And Johjima opting out is exactly why we’re happy to still have Moore.

  119. jeffs98119 on October 20th, 2009 11:44 am

    I love the Lopez-Danks trade and the signing of Hudson, but Morrow should be used as the foundation of a Prince Fielder trade if at all possible. Once the M’s decline his option, Jack Wilson should be easily signable to a one year deal, negating the need for Hardy. Fielder is the perfect player for the M’s, better, healthier, and younger than Nick Johnson.

    And let’s not forget Griffey. Whether we want to resign him or not, Z is going to have to.

  120. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 11:45 am

    Yes I do! Our pitching staff was good though this year, Im not sure we would have to tamper with that at all! And on my mock roster I have 2 added bats to the lineup, Crawford & F.Lopez! Wouldnt those guys make us more productive offensively than last year? Thats Ichiro, Crawford, J.Lopez, F.Gutz, and F.Lopez….5 guys that get on base….. = more runs… thats my logic, maybe Im wrong?

    You are not wrong, bringing in those players would help our offense, but you haven’t discussed what it would take to get crawford, F. Lopez sucks defensively. Also not nearly enought to serve all our woes.

  121. Jeff Nye on October 20th, 2009 11:46 am

    I’m not sure where people got the idea that this thread is the place to post their own ridiculous rosterbation ideas, but it’s not.

    If you want to talk about what Dave came up with, or provide semi-reasonable opinions of your own, that’s fine; but let’s try to elevate ourselves a little higher than a typical Times blog comment thread, eh? Dave put a lot of work into this post, try to put a level of thought and effort into your own comments that respects that.

    (and no, this isn’t an invitation to talk about how this site stifles free speech and is a bunch of yes men, etc etc; comments to that effect will disappear as fast as I see them)

  122. BLYKMYK44 on October 20th, 2009 11:49 am

    Its sort of amusing that at the same time people are saying that Danks is much better than Lopez, but then turning around and saying Danks will be much cheaper. Therefore, assuming that not only will Danks be “great” but also not ask to be paid very much.

    Makes it pretty easy to make arguments when you can do stuff like that.

  123. DMZ on October 20th, 2009 11:50 am

    Well, Dave did invite that:

    Oh, and yes, this is your thread for rosterbation. Go nuts.

  124. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 11:51 am

    Anyone remember that we could’ve traded Moore, Lopez and RRS to Florida for Hermida, Coghlan and another player, nut sure who.

    You’re misremembering who was giving up the extra player. The rumor had Mariner prospect J.C. Ramirez included. And Johjima opting out is exactly why we’re happy to still have Moore.

    Would you have made that trade if it was presented to you today?

  125. Jeff Nye on October 20th, 2009 11:52 am

    Rosterbation is fine, but it needs to be reasonable and well thought out, same as we expect from every comment.

    See? You guys have me so exasperated that I’m even arguing with Derek!

  126. Erik E on October 20th, 2009 11:53 am

    are you serious about Branyan at 3rd? Could he even get out of spring training without getting hurt? How much of his 4 WAR are you giving back on defense?

    kennyb-
    It’s obviously a longshot since no one’s talking about it, but I think it’s as good of a plan B as there to not bringing back Beltre. Branyan’s career UZR/150 at 3B is -6.0 so expect something between that and -15 or so. In 2008 he was on a 3.6 WAR/150 pace as a 3B. Sure, his back will flare up next year, but that’s what Hannahan/Hall will be around for.

  127. georgmi on October 20th, 2009 11:53 am

    I’m not sure where people got the idea that this thread is the place to post their own ridiculous rosterbation ideas

    Maybe it was the part where Dave said:

    Oh, and yes, this is your thread for rosterbation. Go nuts.

  128. amnizu on October 20th, 2009 11:54 am

    So that leaves the players on either side of Wilson. There’s talk the Marlins might move Coghlan to 2B, so Dan Uggla may be available. I think I’d rather have Hudson (especially since he’d only cost money, not prospects) but it’s something to consider. Also, what happened to Tui as a 2B? I realize he’s probably a better fit at 3B, and apparently that’s the position he will be playing in winter ball so that’s probably where the team wants him, but it does make for different options if the team trades Lopez. Of course then you’re looking for a 3B instead of a 2B, and we’ve already been through the options there more than once (Figgins = too much $, Beltre = probably going elsewhere). But maybe Tui at 2B and Uggla at 3B would be a better value than Hudson and Tui? Just trying to be creative here….

    Uggla can barley play second let alone moving him to the hot corner. Also he is right handed, but has proven that he has enough power to slug in a non-hitters park. Finally his average is fairly low and he only musters 800 OPS with a 30 HR season, just a HR or nothing type of player. Fun to watch on the highlight reels but really don’t think he makes sense for the M’s.

  129. JerBear on October 20th, 2009 11:54 am

    I’m not sure where people got the idea that this thread is the place to post their own ridiculous rosterbation ideas, but it’s not.

    Probably because Dave said in the post:

    Oh, and yes, this is your thread for rosterbation. Go nuts.

    I think he just wants to make your life difficult, Jeff. ;)

    That said, it is annoying to have to skip over all these long imaginary roster lists from la-la land.

    Graham, you crack me up.

    Also, last rant: we’ve established that Lopez is a valuable player – a defensively average (at best) 2B with a bit of pop. But his style of play and our spacious field greatly minimize his value for the Mariners… can people stop suggesting that we minimize it further by moving him to 1B? It makes no sense. Stop it.

  130. georgmi on October 20th, 2009 11:55 am

    …And sorry for being so late with the comment as to be “me-too”. :/

  131. Taylor H on October 20th, 2009 11:55 am

    I’m not sure where people got the idea that this thread is the place to post their own ridiculous rosterbation ideas, but it’s not.

    Er….

    “this is your thread for rosterbation”

  132. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 11:55 am

    Yes, rosterbation was invited. With the message “Go Nuts” one can only expect for that to mean for us to go rosterbate at a feverish pace. If that is now being denied, then I am a confused panda.

  133. JerBear on October 20th, 2009 11:56 am

    Yeah, same here.

    I’m at work, so it takes me a while to finish a comment due to stupid work interruptions. Gosh.

  134. ManifestDestiny on October 20th, 2009 11:58 am

    I think a lot of this rosterbation and and attempting to find one or two of the main pieces the M’s need revolves around one question: What can we get for Brandon Morrow?

    Once that get answers, a lot of things start to fall into place….

  135. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 12:03 pm

    Hopefully nothing for Morrow cuz he’s an ace in the making, and he’s figured it out, and we’ll rue the day we got rid of him. He’s got too much talent, and that talent is risin to the top. He’s got his head straight, he’s focused on just being the best major league baseball starter that he can be, and he’ll be our #2 next season.

  136. wickethewok on October 20th, 2009 12:03 pm

    The White Sox could easily get something better than Vargas/Lopez/Lowe for Danks…

  137. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 12:07 pm

    Yes, we all know. But the 2 main parts of the deal make sense. Lopez for Danks. Whatever else has to go with Lopez is the real question, cuz Vargas and Lowe won’t cut it. But the 2 key components make sense.

  138. djtizzo on October 20th, 2009 12:09 pm

    You are not wrong, bringing in those players would help our offense, but you haven’t discussed what it would take to get crawford, F. Lopez sucks defensively. Also not nearly enought to serve all our woes.

    According to Fangraphs F.Lopez WAR is 4th highest among 2B. So, even if his glove isnt the best he would still be valuable.

    Rosterbation is fine, but it needs to be reasonable and well thought out, same as we expect from every comment.

    This is a fan site where people fantasize about their favorite team! You cant get frustrated about wanting a good team! You think Yankee fans give a *&ap about WAR, WPA, OBS, etc. No chance!

  139. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 12:10 pm

    I think we may need a strict definition of what rosterbate means, because there seem to be some differing opinions.

  140. Jeff Nye on October 20th, 2009 12:11 pm

    Whatever. “Go nuts”.

    I’m done with this comment thread.

  141. Bodhizefa on October 20th, 2009 12:12 pm

    [meta]

  142. kwozzymoto on October 20th, 2009 12:15 pm

    [goodbye]

  143. Graham on October 20th, 2009 12:28 pm

    You don’t really know how to build a good team if you don’t give a crap about ways to analyse players properly.

  144. Chris_From_Bothell on October 20th, 2009 12:35 pm

    First impressions:

    - I like the “play the kids” mentality of seeing Saunders, Moore and Tui in there.
    - I really, really like the complete absence of a 3rd catcher. Just because a catcher left behind money doesn’t mean that money has to be spent on a catcher. Injury can be supplemented with a AAA callup.
    - JJ Hardy for Morrow works, but how much further than Morrow should the Ms go if a bidding war comes up? E.g. the Red Sox, Tigers or Twins try to get him?
    - Is Bill Hall really going to be healthy and productive enough, even in a bench role, to be useful? At the very least, I’d want to see some promise that he’s only allowed in the infield, and that left field is strictly verboten.
    - It’s probably unreasonable to expect Aardsma to repeat his 09 performance, so I wouldn’t give up on him at the first hint of trouble. But still: who’s next in line if he’s injured or implodes? Lowe is part of the price for Danks… Jakabauskas, maybe?

  145. TomG on October 20th, 2009 12:41 pm

    Excellent piece yet again, the only thing I probably have an issue with is this:

    The Brewers have coveted Morrow for years, and they probably won’t get a better arm in return for Hardy

    I hate playing this card but the Red Sox have a pressing need for a shortstop (and have reportedly been after Hardy specifically as well), an overstuffed rotation, and a cadre of prospect that, while might not match Morrow in upside, could easily trump the Mariners in terms of volume/depth.

    Admittedly, maybe I’m undervaluing Morrow here, but I’d imagine the Brewers have enough leverage to maximize their return to something a bit more than Morrow.

  146. Mike Snow on October 20th, 2009 12:48 pm

    Is Bill Hall really going to be healthy and productive enough, even in a bench role, to be useful? At the very least, I’d want to see some promise that he’s only allowed in the infield, and that left field is strictly verboten.

    Hall would have been fine in left field if he hadn’t been hurt.

  147. egreenlaw9 on October 20th, 2009 1:05 pm

    You know what I like about posts like this now that Zduriencik is our GM?

    I can look at Dave’s roster and think, “Yeah, that could actually happen.”

    Either Dave’s plan — or something very close to it — is actually being considered and worked over by the M’s brass right now.

    It’s finally a fun time again to be a Mariners fan.

  148. Chris_From_Bothell on October 20th, 2009 1:09 pm

    So Hall’s quad problems at the end of the season were just bad timing, and not being on the bench or DL when he should have been, rather than pointing towards overall decline? I’m honestly asking, I don’t know. I know, he’s only 30.

    Plus, he was having troubles hitting for some time before he came to the Mariners. I don’t know how a bench role gets his bat close to his 2003, 2005 or 2006 numbers.

  149. mymrbig on October 20th, 2009 1:10 pm

    no one here puts together a complete offseason list like Dave does.. yet they can pry it apart and bash him without looking at the big picture.. THE WHOLE TEAM, like Dave does.

    I disagree with the generalization. I’ve spent a ton of time thinking about this, created my own spreadsheet out to 2012 (the end of Ichiro/Gutierrez), etc. I doubt I have spent as much time as Dave, but I have certainly thought out every one of my suggestions and the implication of any changes on the whole team. Please don’t generalize.

    Bobby Abreu last offseason was pretty much the floor for players of this general type, since Abreu’s value this year blew his contract out of the water.

    Agreed. I doubt someone from the Delgado/Branyan/Abreu/Johnson crowd goes below $5 M, maybe slightly lower if they can get multiple years. But I feel like 2B and DH/1B types have both been deep with veterans in recent years and there are almost always a few guys that end up being very good bargains, or guys that might be worth a shot that can’t even find a gig.

  150. ivan on October 20th, 2009 1:16 pm

    I’d trade Morrow for Hardy in a heartbeat. Ditto Lopez for Danks. I like signing either Bedard or Sheets. I like re-signing Branyan. I like signing Nick Johnson.

    I’d do my best to bring back Beltre. So many other things fall into place if this can be done. Beltre along with either Jack Wilson or Hardy shores up the left side defense. Tui could back up at 2B, 3B, 1B, LF, or RF, and provide some RH bang off the bench. IMO Hannahan is a keeper.

    But what happens to Jack Wilson if the M’s deal for Hardy. Correct me if this is wrong, but he’s under team control through 2010, yes? Does he fetch anything at all?

    People still mention Reid Brignac in this thread. He’s younger than Hardy and probably cheaper, but can he be had for what the M’s might offer? If not Brignac, then what about Willy Aybar from TB for an infield backup?

    I like Hall’s versatility in the field, but I am surprised that Seattle would have such an insane hacker on the roster after dumping Balentien and Betancourt for similar approaches at the plate.

    As for LF, I support using Langerhans and Saunders. Ackley will be here soon enough.

  151. joser on October 20th, 2009 1:17 pm

    … threaten to go to TB and trade him for Reid Brignac. The word around is that Brignac can be had. If you don’t like this, I would like to know why Hardy over Brignac as others have posted.

    Dave’s on record as being in favor of Brignac. There was also a fair bit of unsourced speculation as the trade deadline approached that Zduriencik was talking to TB about Brignac. Assuming that’s true, the fact that he went and got Wilson instead suggests the Rays were demanding more than he was willing to give up. Obviously the context now is different from then, but Zduriencik did already make a move at SS. It seems unlikely he’s going to make another one so soon for anybody, Hardy or Brignac. The SS position may not be “solved” but I have to think it’s now a lower-priority for Zduriencik than some of the others, and that means even if the price for Brignac has come down it probably still won’t be cheap enough.

    Branyan’s career UZR/150 at 3B is -6.0 so expect something between that and -15 or so. In 2008 he was on a 3.6 WAR/150 pace as a 3B. Sure, his back will flare up next year, but that’s what Hannahan/Hall will be around for.

    That’s being very generous. He was about -21 UZR/150 in both 2005 and 2006. One or more herniated disks later, which Branyan do you think you’re going to get in 2010?

    You think Yankee fans give a *&ap about WAR, WPA, OBS, etc. No chance!

    Actually, yes they do. (At least some of them, just like only some M’s fan do.)

    This is a fan site where people fantasize about their favorite team!

    There’s being a fan, and then there’s outright delusional hallucination. If you want to get laid, you can sit around at your computer fantasizing about Megan Fox ringing your doorbell in a neglige, or you can go down to Belltown wearing a good shirt and some aftershave armed with a plan and some courage. Which do you think is going to be more satisfying in the long run?

    (Or, you could take the new-age Moneyball internet stats nerd approach and go answer ads on nerve.com or the Stranger’s lustlab right from your mother’s basement, which probably is the most efficient way to go).

  152. Mike Snow on October 20th, 2009 1:17 pm

    Oh, I totally share the concern about Hall’s bat. I only meant that as far as playing the field goes, he’s been pretty consistently good everywhere. I don’t think the injury that bothered him is a harbinger of decline. I would actually be more concerned about that in somebody like Jack Wilson, who had multiple issues and has been injury-plagued the last few seasons.

  153. mw3 on October 20th, 2009 1:18 pm

    C Moore
    1B Lyle Overbay
    2B Tui
    3B Beltre
    SS Wilson
    LF Hall
    CF Gutierrez
    RF Ichiro
    DH Branyan

    Bench
    C Johnson
    IF Hannahan
    OF Langerhans
    PH Griffey

    Starters
    Felix
    Halladay
    Washburn
    Silva/Snell/Randy Johnson

    Closer
    Aardsmar

    LH Set Up
    Scott Downs

    RH Set Up
    White

    Middle Relievers
    Fister
    Vargas
    Jakubauskas

    Trade;Recieve:
    Halladay,Overbay,Downs

    Trade;Send:
    Lopez,Morrow,RRS(Hyphen),Lowe,Aumont,Saunders and another player

    Sign or Resign:
    Beltre,Wilson,Branyan,Griffey,Washburn,RJ

    This Plan represents a fifteen to twenty million dollar increase in payroll. But the Mariners are instant WS contenders and the only player who has to be signed long term to lock in is Beltre. And if Jack Z offers Beltre 4/40, that will not be turned down.

    The advantages of a one year go for it all approach are myriad if you are a fan who wants to see a championship banner raised in The Safe.

  154. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on October 20th, 2009 1:18 pm

    If you re-sign Branyan, you can’t have a no-glove DH. They don’t work together.

    Is branyan actually that no-glove DH? Would it make more sense to play Johnson (or whoever, assuming the glove is comparable) at 1B, thus also lowering the injury risk to branyan? Or is the risk insignificant since his back is just as affected by hitting?

    As always, the specific players are more just examples of the types of moves I’d like to see the team make.

    More than a few people should reread this before jumping on the “Danks?!?! You Crazy or something?!?!?!” Bandwagon.

    And BTW…

    This is a fan site where people fantasize about their favorite team! Y

    No, it’s not. From the guidelines:

    However, this is not a public street corner. While I am a rabid free speech supporter, your natural right to self expression does not require us to publish your opinion and spend bandwith and resources doing so.

    So while, in this post’s case, some of what you said is true, regarding fantasizing, the site is not ours. It’s theirs, and we’re lucky enough to benefit from it. I still can’t believe what I did all those years before WAR, etc.

  155. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on October 20th, 2009 1:29 pm

    Dave, also meant to say this: LOVE the Sheets idae. I’ve always had a soft spot for him. If only injuries….argh. In any event, great chance to rebound with him. But that also brings me to my next question. In this roster, we’re trading Lopez for a danks-esque player. Any chance we’d consider signing two of sheets/bedard/harden and using lopez as a trade token in other ways? Risk is obviously considerable in this scenario.
    Along those lines too, do you think Chris Capuano will get a big leauge deal? Would love to see us take a non-roster obligated low-risk deal on him.
    Or we could always bring HoRam back!j/k

  156. dsmiley on October 20th, 2009 1:30 pm

    Great post Dave! I agree on JJ Hardy, Danks is interesting, and I would be willing to gamble on Sheets.

    My question: Where is Endy Chavez?

  157. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on October 20th, 2009 1:34 pm

    My question: Where is Endy Chavez?

    This roster is only active players. Chavez will start at the very least the beginning of 2010 on the DL.

  158. fwbrodie on October 20th, 2009 1:36 pm

    One more thing I would like to see happen is for the M’s to sign Gabe Kapler. I think he’d be a great addition to the bench. I envision him as an upgrade to Mike Sweeney (right-handed backup DH/pinch hitter) who also happens to be an above average corner outfielder. If Saunders struggles and Bill Hall doesn’t figure it out they could platoon him in LF and when Johnson or Branyan go to the DL, they could platoon Kapler and Mike Carp at DH. I just think he’d solidify the bench quite a bit and insure a lot of scenarios for cheap. Anyone else agree?

  159. fwbrodie on October 20th, 2009 1:38 pm

    I thought Endy Chavez was a free agent.

  160. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on October 20th, 2009 1:45 pm

    I thought Endy Chavez was a free agent.

    Duh. My bad.

  161. Dave Clapper on October 20th, 2009 1:48 pm

    Maybe I’m missing something, but this doesn’t seem to correspond with “15 to 20 wins for $25 million. That’s the bottom line of what this off-season needs to produce.” Seems like the wins in this scenario are still going for about $4 million per… did the subtraction of $8 million courtesy of Kenji really change things that much?

  162. Juicer on October 20th, 2009 1:54 pm

    Dave I always enjoy these posts. I like the idea of this roster but it is sorely lacking some beef. If you look at the 01 roster that was set up for Safeco there was power at the IF positions that is not provided in your post. I like Nick Johnson and he has been a saber wet dream for a while but the injury bug and his lack of power make for a middling AL DH at best. I think Branyan makes for a good power hitter but there needs to be some other big boppers. The chances of finding another 37 hr hitter at second base like Boone is impossible, so with this iteration of the M’s we need to supply power from somewhere. With Franklin over 20 homers and Ichiro in the 10′s and the LF a ? we need that 1-2 puch that strikes fear in a pitcher. We saw it this year with Griffey. The guy could not get around on a fastball but just because of scouting and who he was he got walked almost once a game. The postings before for Degado are right on. Coming off of Hip surgery he would be cheap. A lineup with a Branyan and Delgado would make up partially for Jack Wilson at S.S, a iffy LF and the ? at 3b.

  163. Mike Snow on October 20th, 2009 1:59 pm

    Dave hasn’t claimed to add 15-20 wins in this plan, but I don’t see them going at $4 million per win. Trading for Hardy, for example. Nick Johnson, yes, but that’s in part because as a risk/reward proposition, he could end up anywhere from 0-5 wins. And in any case, he’s a free agent, and when shopping in free agency, you can’t just name your own price for wins. To pull that off, you have to correctly identify this year’s Russell Branyan.

  164. awestby51 on October 20th, 2009 2:04 pm

    Thank you, Dave, as usual the post was awesome. You should start selling USS Mariner towels, people are going to need to clean up from all of this sweet, sweet rosterbation.

  165. djtizzo on October 20th, 2009 2:09 pm

    No, it’s not. From the guidelines:

    However, this is not a public street corner. While I am a rabid free speech supporter, your natural right to self expression does not require us to publish your opinion and spend bandwith and resources doing so.

    So while, in this post’s case, some of what you said is true, regarding fantasizing, the site is not ours. It’s theirs, and we’re lucky enough to benefit from it. I still can’t believe what I did all those years before WAR, etc.

    Well played sir! Ill be honest, I didnt take that into consideration. This is still a place to talk about the M’s though, right?

    What I meant about Yankee fans not caring about stats was true though for the most part. You dont hear arguements about wether or not JJ Hardy is a worth his contract…..No! You do read things like “We need Pujols, Ramierez, and Lincicum this winter”…and their dead serious!

    So, while we dream and play with numbers and work with what we got, Yanks fans (and BoSox fans for that matter too) wish and cross their fingers and wait for the money tree to blossom in December.

  166. Mikester77 on October 20th, 2009 2:28 pm

    I like Abreu over Johnson as he gives Wak added options with his speed and is a great influence in the clubhouse.

    Can we get Ronny Cedeno back? Please???

  167. Pete Livengood on October 20th, 2009 2:28 pm

    Mr. Clapper (so as not to confuse which “Dave” I’m talking to):

    First off, of the guys Dave is suggesting we bring in by free agency, (Brnayan, Nick Johnson, Sheets, and Orlando Hudson), assuming the WAR and salary projections are correct, Dave is proposing that the M’s spend $3.5M/win. You aren’t going to do much better than this in free agency, and the fact that you can (collectively) get these guys for under $4M/win reflects some of the risk you are taking with these signees. They represent $28M, for 8.0 WAR.

    The guys being acquired in trade are coming at a much more efficient $1.33M/win (6 WAR from Hardy and Danks, together, for $8M). All told, the guys you’re bringing in are coming for an average of $2.57M/win $36M for 14.0 WAR.

    Yes, that is more money than the $25M Dave said we had to spend, but since that post we’ve added nearly $8M of Johjima’s money, and will trade away approximately $4M that was included on the books in that earlier post – meaning you now have about $37M to spend.

    Now, Dave’s plan doesn’t get us to 20 WAR, but only because his WAR projections reflect the risk you take with many (most) of these guys. There is a reward side, too, and those 10-15 WAR we’re adding (net of preojected WAR of those who go away) could pretty easily become 20 WAR if things go right. I don’t think Dave has ever said that the 2010 club can contend without some risks teetering heavily toward the reward side.

    This just demonstrates exactly how hard it will be to do what needs to be done.

  168. rmac1973 on October 20th, 2009 3:06 pm

    Here’s the really cool part…

    As savvy as some of the additions/subtractions Dave suggested could be, let’s remember that Jack Zduriencik is the professional baseball team assembler, not Dave.

    As intellligent as the guy is (and, he is intelligent… regardless of the occasional pseudo-Stalin approach to thread moderation), GMZ is smarter.

    I like some of the additions, Dave. I like the gamble on Ben Sheets, and I really like the O-Hudson acquisition. A lot. I like adding Hardy, and I like the risks taken with Moore and Saunders.

    Not being able to keep AB, though, will sting. I like Tui (yes, partly because he’s a local kid), but his upside might not be enough. Are there any defensively-good/offensively-satisfactory third basemen out there who could be added via FA or trade? Sure, you don’t replace an Adrian Beltre… but could Seattle possibly pry Ryan Zimmerman away from the Nats? Word out of D.C. is that Zimm is, you know, pretty good with the leather and can hit a little bit, too.

    I don’t think the ChiSox would bite on your suggested trade of Lopez + Lowe + Vargas = John Danks when they could probably get a better offer elsewhere, but I do think it would probably end up being very beneficial to both clubs for the reasons you mentioned – Lopez could really thrive in New Comiskey, and Danks has a lot of upside in Seattle if you can maintain defensive superiority.

    The rotation you bring forward with the additions, though, has the potential to be huge. Even if you subtract Sheets from the mix (the risk/reward thing is perhaps too risky?) and insert a guy like Doug Fister or Luke French (or, heck, why not Silva, then cross your fingers and pray to the baseball gods that Bill Bavasi pops up and asks about him?), it’s still a formidable group if Danks can be obtained.

    The one thing that really piqued my interest in terms of “WTF is he thinking?”, though, was your inclusion of Nick Hill in the MLB bullpen. Not for nothing, but I do think he (and the club) would likely be better served by letting him continue to develop as a starter in Tacoma for one more year – a September callup would, IMHO, be reasonable, but if the idea is to get a young lefty in the ‘pen, then why not use someone like Chris Seddon (obviously, not the same kind of talent as Hill) or maybe Josh Fields (who is already a reliever) instead of trying to convert another starter to relief work, a la Morrow and Aumont? It just seems like it could too easily turn into another potential case of “We’ve been down that road before”.

    As always, a very interesting take on how things could be shaken up significantly from now until February. While none or all of these changes could happen, I think everyone is in agreement that this will once again be a very interesting and active offseason for the M’s front office.

    ::: cheers :::

  169. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on October 20th, 2009 3:15 pm

    Actually, Dave, since the Danks was only meant as an example, any others you’d like to see the M’s pursue on that level? Duke perhaps?

  170. DMZ on October 20th, 2009 3:23 pm

    (and, he is intelligent… regardless of the occasional pseudo-Stalin approach to thread moderation)

    Yeah, I remember when Dave kicked off thread collectivization and we killed 30% of our commentors. Tough times.

  171. Snake Hippo on October 20th, 2009 3:31 pm

    Is there anything that can be done about Silva? That $12.75 million isn’t looking very nice up there. Any chance the M’s might be able to trade him to the Cubs for Milton Bradley, with maybe a low-level prospect thrown in? Bradley is done with Chicago, and it was only two years ago that he had an OPS of .999 and a wOBA of .423. He’s a patient switch-hitter who might do well in Seattle’s clubhouse of sunshine and happiness (especially if Griffey comes back). With some luck, he could go back to being the 4.5 win player that he was in 2008 or something close to it and help out at DH. At worst, the Mariners could get a couple million dollars off the books.

    Also, what sort of price would it take to get Prince Fielder from the Brewers? Since Jack Wilson is probably staying (I highly doubt that Zdurincek acquired him for only a few months), the front office probably won’t make a push for Hardy unless he can be had very cheaply. If the Brewers covet Morrow so much, could he be the centerpiece for a deal to net Fielder, along with a couple minor league pitching prospects?

  172. Jeff Sullivan on October 20th, 2009 3:38 pm

    Re: AyalaForLife, you really want to put a strikeout rate like Duke’s through a league switch?

  173. joser on October 20th, 2009 3:38 pm

    Dave already explained why it’s reasonable to pencil Hill into the bullpen. Pitchers make the leap from AA to the majors pretty regularly — see just about everybody in Oakland this year, for instance (most notably Bailey, Cahill, and Anderson). Hill had nice numbers in AA (2.76 FIP, 9+ K/9, 4+ K/BB, in 95 IP), so I can certainly see him invited to ST with every chance to win a bullpen job if he does well.

  174. joser on October 20th, 2009 3:41 pm

    Yeah, I remember when Dave kicked off thread collectivization and we killed 30% of our commentors. Tough times.

    The vodka helped, though.

  175. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on October 20th, 2009 3:46 pm

    That’s true Jeff. I was just thinking off of win values alone. And that would certainly change his.

  176. rmac1973 on October 20th, 2009 3:49 pm

    Thanks, joser – I tried to at least scan through all the posts, but I obviously missed the previous question about the Hill-in-the-’pen logic.

    I guess I’m just a little trigger-shy with a guy like Hill after witnessing the Brandon Morrow fiasco.

  177. Mikester77 on October 20th, 2009 3:49 pm

    The more I think about it, I do not like the Morrow for Hardy side of it. For now we have Jack Wilson and although the price is 4 mil more, it allows us to keep our eyes on a pitcher who does have an upside and that is worth the price to me. I like Danks a lot but that seems to be Christmas sugar dustings.

  178. joser on October 20th, 2009 3:52 pm

    Speaking of which, I looking forward to this winter’s party congress at the Seattle Library. Shall we bring our little green books (aka “The Cheater’s Guide”)?

    From each according to the regression to the mean, to each according to his WAR

  179. rmac1973 on October 20th, 2009 3:56 pm

    Yeah, I remember when Dave kicked off thread collectivization and we killed 30% of our commentors. Tough times.

    OK, now that is an example of a great sense of humor!

    ::: hearty chortle :::

  180. heyoka on October 20th, 2009 4:17 pm

    Doesn’t Nick Johnson bring you the same skill set as Mike Carp? For multiple times the price? That’s a spot I’d make the gamble and not spend; put that 5-10mil toward another signing.

    Though I agree Lopez would flourish in chi, his low obp and mediocre fielding takes off too much shine to pry loose that good a young starter. If Z can do it (maybe swap Snell or French for Vargas?), I’ll be overjoyed.

    Not sure Hardy’s going to improve the SS position either. Seems like a step backward to lose Morrow for that.

    I like the addition of Sheets (or that type), and Hudson, but overall this off-season plan leaves me more worried than even standing pat (which would be wrong).
    It’s easy to be a critic though – I couldn’t come up with better rosterbation right now. So I appreciate the time you put in on this one. That’s a dedicated fan.

  181. felixday on October 20th, 2009 4:20 pm

    Dave,

    The Sox aren’t going to trade Danks for Lopez and Lowe. They have Getz at 2b who they like a lot. I agree though that RRS isn’t a #2 on a 90 win team so they need to address the the rotation after Felix.

  182. marcwolf on October 20th, 2009 4:29 pm

    Lot of different pieces to put the jig-saw together. O.K. i don’t see Lopez at second. Is anybody made for safeco except single and doubles hitters? Looking at the suggested rosters i don’t see much longball threats. So once again i’m wondering why they stuck Lopez at first a bit last year…a tryout? He’s not expensive, can handle first and yes even if he doesn’t fit in with safeco he hit 25 dingers. Lopez at first. Branyan at DH to save his back and fill in at first. Two guys that can go deep. If you need to get Danks and lose Lopez as part of the deal, go for it. Just like to see a little power in the lineup. (with or without Lopez) Am i wrong? Please advise.

  183. diderot on October 20th, 2009 4:48 pm

    Great thoughts as usual.
    The element I like best is regular playing time for Saunders, Tui and Moore…and the risk of a Sheets. For us to be competitive for the next couple of years is going to require us to take some risks that turn out in our favor. And that’s not going to happen if we don’t take the risks.
    I also agree with the comment that this shouldn’t be about Danks specifically, but the issue of what it might take to get back a #2 level starter. I wouldn’t want to be assigned that job.

    Also, could we just all agree that the Brewers will take Silva straight up for Fielder…and that Griffey will return and hit 40 next year…so that those names never have to appear on this site again?

  184. Mike Snow on October 20th, 2009 4:48 pm

    Doesn’t Nick Johnson bring you the same skill set as Mike Carp? For multiple times the price?

    It’s not the skill set, it’s the skill level. For multiple times the skill, you pay multiple times the price.

  185. Mariners2620 on October 20th, 2009 4:50 pm

    The only person who knows exactly what is going to happen does not exist. Of course GMZ has an idea of what he would like to happen, but he also knows the chances of everything happening perfectly is zero. I am just as excited as you guys obviously are. I cannot wait until the winter meetings and the free agency to get going, but that is exactly what we have to do….wait. It is killing me, I check on here, google news, Seattle times, Mariners.com, MLB.com, everywhere in search for some kind of lead on who the Mariners will be pursuing everyday. We can guess and assume who Z will get but he along with the entire Mariners Organization are the only ones who know who they are interested in pursuing and who they are capable of getting. He probably has a list of players who he would love to get and how he could possibly get them. Let’s just wait and see. I can’t believe I don’t know this, but when do the winter meetings begin?

  186. mark s on October 20th, 2009 5:17 pm

    Dave,

    Love the trade idea of Lopez for Danks. Seems like a great fit for both teams!

    Question:
    Jack Z really seems to like Jack Wilson and wants to go forward with him for the next year or two. Is there any chance that the team does pick up a SS like JJ Harding and just moves one over to second base?

  187. Wilder83 on October 20th, 2009 5:22 pm

    The winter meetings are usually held the first or second week in December.

  188. goat on October 20th, 2009 5:22 pm

    I like the basic premise of the Lopez for Danks move. I’d actually been pondering what it would take in addition to Lopez to get that kind of a deal done. Seems to me like it might take more, but I’m probably understimating the importance of Lowe in the deal. I think the only real snag in this would be that the White Sox already have two young second basemen and two thirdbasemen. They might want to include either Nix or Getz in the deal and get a bit more back. Maybe including Morrow in the deal and reworking Wilson’s contract would be a better option.

    The Sheets or Bedard plan sounds good also, especially when there are a lot of starting pitcher options to fallback on if they blow up.

    I like Abreu better than Johnson. They don’t look too confident in giving Saunders the LF job. Abreu gives them the flexibility of playing either LF or DH, so they can go with either Carp (with Abreu in LF and Branyan at DH) or Saunders (with Abreu at DH and Branyan at 1B). And if there’s a way to trade Silva for Bradley as some are suggesting, you could have him as your DH and maybe even include Saunders in the Danks trade (which might allow the Sox to save more money by not exercising the option on Dye). This would leave only Tui and Moore as rookies with significant playing time.

  189. eponymous coward on October 20th, 2009 5:24 pm

    Not sure Hardy’s going to improve the SS position either. Seems like a step backward to lose Morrow for that.

    JJ Hardy had two years of being a 4-5 WAR player in 2007-2008, and is 27 years old. Jack Wilson had ONE year of +4 WAR, in 2004, and is over 30.

    Sure, we’re not “sure” Hardy will improve the SS position, but it’s a slam dunk that JJ Hardy’s a better player than Jack Wilson, and Dave already went over the idea that Morrow is not a slam dunk to ever be a valuable pitcher.

  190. Breadbaker on October 20th, 2009 5:50 pm

    I’m definitely in favor of bringing back the show trials. I could never tell the difference between Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Bill Bavasi after Bavasi was exiled to the High Desert Gulags.

    On a more serious note, I would not be in favor of the Branyan/Nick Johnson idea. Thirteen million is a lot to pay for those positions to start with, but more to the point, the risk of an injury to both at the same time is too large for the investment. I’d rather be looking for the next Russell Branyan and the next Nick Johnson than taking on two injured players for the cost of another Burger Chef.

  191. SonOfZavaras on October 20th, 2009 6:16 pm

    Well, Dave. You’ve done it again. A very nice, well-thought-out post. And I’d be on board with about 90% of it. I do have some concerns to voice, though.

    Trade Brandon Morrow to Milwaukee for J.J. Hardy.

    I’m virtually certain that I’m higher on Morrow than what you are, even if I have to admit that the flashes of brilliance I’ve seen are just flashes and not “dependable performance” yet.

    Still, I’d go for this part.

    Long ago, the M’s had a guy by name of Brent Knackert…who just had an explosive fastball- and as it turned out, little else.

    This trade is a risk, but if Doug Melvin goes for it (which I think is fairly far from a sure thing- he aggressively pursues getting as many pieces as he can in trades, and may not dig a 1-for-1 like this, even if Hardy’s value is lower than ever)…then I’m in favor of getting a SS who HAS played at an All-Star level, needs a change of scenery, and best of all is with us for TWO seasons (our own farm system situation probably dictates we’ll NEED both of those years to be able to mend the hole internally).

    People who know me know that I fiend still for Brignac at shortstop, but the simple truth is that other orgs (read: Boston, first and foremost) are in a much better position to acquire him in both “expendable young players” and depth. So, I’m putting that- along with Chris Coghlan- as “pipe dreams, won’t happen now”.

    Trade Jose Lopez, Mark Lowe, and Jason Vargas to Chicago for John Danks.

    My chief argument against this is the target: only John Danks. He’s a lefty with fine upside, probably a legit #3 starter….but does it make sense to part with THREE assets to acquire only one? Especially when that one coming back to you is that most volatile of assets- starting pitching?

    Keep in mind I haven’t lost track of the fact that Danks can perform as a 3 WAR pitcher- and we have a sore lack of those in the org right now. But Lopez is what? A 2.5 WAR guy? And Lowe and Vargas are- as it stands right now- probably leading candidates to fill important slots on the ML roster, in terms of talent.

    If you have to go ahead and find other guys to fill the roles that Lowe and Vargas would have done (with guys that you’re not sure carry the same WAR/upside/talent)- I think you have to get more from the other side.

    And I’m not so sure Kenny Williams- as aggressive and “old-school-thinking” a GM as there is left in the game- wouldn’t part with more in this scenario.

    Like, perhaps Jhonny Nunez. Or their current incumbent, Chris Getz.

    I do, however, agree that the ChiSox are an ideal organization for Lopey to move to. Lopez is an inner-half power-hitter (what we used to call in high school “a yoink hitter”). New Comiskey is built for that, he could probably hit 30 in that place.

    He’s also Venezuelan, so is Ozzie Guillen- comfort level! And Ozzie probably values what a Jose Lopez would give him as much as any skipper in the bigs. Ozzie is also just daffy enough to recognize Jose’s defensive problems and say to himself “I can (expletive) fix that (expletive)”.

    Sign Nick Johnson to a one year, $9 million contract.

    Love it. Do it. Not sure if it’ll take 9 million, but get him in here for whatever price-tag makes sense. I’m a big Nick Johnson fan, love the idea of him as a Mariner.

    Sign Orlando Hudson to a two year, $16 million contract.

    I’m even more of an Orlando Hudson fan. Again, not sure of price tag. And if you could get Getz to be thrown in the deal with the ChiSox…then Hudson isn’t as much of a screaming-bloody-murder need.

    But he’s a class guy, who every team he’s ever played for has loved in the clubhouse. He’d fit in perfectly here, and still has something to offer with the bat.

    Plus, it’d satiate my propensity for competent switch-hitters!

    Sign Ben Sheets to a one year, $7 million contract.

    Risk. R-I-S-K. In big bold letters, and a capital “R”. But I’d do it on those financial terms.

    I also wouldn’t be upset if Bedard came back, underneath the same “1-year; few mil” umbrella.

    Do you think Sheets offers more to the club than Rich Harden would? Potentially?

    Sign Russell Branyan to a one year, $4 million contract.

    If he’s healthy, so be it. I think The Muscle thoroughly enjoys Seattle, would love a second season hitting at the Safe. No qualms about that move whatsoever- provided that he’s healthy.

    And signing Felix to those terms? I think it’ll be more around $100 million, but that should be priority number one.

    We’ve groomed this guy carefully since the day he was signed, particularly after we couldn’t keep him on the farm anymore. But if we can’t sign him this off-season- he’s got to be traded.

    We can see the effect that ONE year of club control over Felix would have on a trade, as opposed to TWO. It limits trade value to a level that we can’t afford as an org.

    (You were also absolutely right, Dave, when you maintained that the chance to get a “Felix discount” has passed, and it’s NOW time if we’re going to pony up at all.)

    No way in hell can Zduriencik allow Felix to go into a walk-year unsigned, long-term. Head that train off at the pass if you have to- but I infinitely prefer that Zduriencik offers up the stagecoach to Felix first.

    I’ll try to come up with counter-ideas in a separate post- this one has become too long, and I feel the need to do more extensive homework first.

  192. bookbook on October 20th, 2009 6:40 pm

    I can’t criticize this excellent plan in any intelligent fashion.

    I would love to see Carlos Delgado in Seattle for a year or two.

    I wouldn’t mind some crafty trade for an underappreciated catcher. Ianetta, or someone of that nature.

    If they can solve the middle infield anywhere near as well as this plan does, the greatest weakness/room for improvement becomes the starting rotation. A good reason not to trade Felix.

  193. henryv on October 20th, 2009 7:24 pm

    The catching situation just seems insane. 2 roster spots for 1 win? It’s a cheap win, for sure, but it seems like.. Well… Ugh, I don’t know.

    I, like a few others, wonder if Branyan really can come at that low of a price tag. I think a couple GMs are going to see those HR numbers, and overpay for him, regardless of the back problems. If not, I’d love to get him for $4M, especially on a one year.

    I don’t quite think that Nick Johnson will get $9M, but this kind of balances out Branyan, perhaps. $13M for both of them seems reasonable, but I’d guess it will be closer to $7.5M for Johnson and $6-7M for Branyan, perhaps even over a couple years.

    I do like the idea of going after Sheets. High risk, high reward.

    I also wonder about Bedard for cheap. And I hate Bedard. I dislike him, his cat, and his face. But if we can get him for something cheap, I would go for it. Even if you only thought you’d get 80 innings from him. The 60-day DL doesn’t go onto the roster, anyways.

    Oh, and just release Silva, for god’s sake. Or trade him to Kansas City for a good plate of ribs.

    One of the biggest things for me is the upside of Saunders and Moore. We aren’t going to get the same year out of Guti that we got last year. It’s not happening. But if we can get one of them to post a 2.0 WAR year, and the other to post a 1.5 WAR year, that would be big for this team. Don’t think it’s going to happen, but I suppose it is possible.

  194. Wag on October 20th, 2009 7:42 pm

    it sounds like everyone is on the same page, that right now is the time for the Mariners to take some low risk, high reward decisions. Bedard, Sheets, Delgado, etc. However, the Mariners have a good core with Felix, Ichiro, Lopez, and Franklin. Im convinced that Franklin is going to mature into a 22-25Hr guy, 20 stolen bases, and 80-100RBI’s while playing a stellar Center field. Here’s my suggestions.
    1. Bring back Griffey, 1 year incentive based. he wants to stay and he brings in as much revenue as anyone in MLB, not to mention he is great for the team and the city. Without him our team would have been a 75 win team.
    2. Branyan 2 years $13-15M
    3. Sign a veteran starter to a incentive based one year deal. Bedard would be my choice. he dosen’t want to be here, but if hes healthy he will pitch very wellso he can get paid in the offseason, then we can spin him 1/2 way through the season for more young talent or whatever else.
    4. I would like to see us make a block buster deal for Prince Fielder. But more likely, Jason Bay 4-5 years and whatever it takes. We need a solid power hitter who can mesh will with our team.
    5. THEN STOP THERE. we can’t change the whole team and we can’t go trading everyone. Chemistry is a huge part of wining.
    If we want to at that point we would have a good core of 3-5 border line all stars and a GREAT core of young talent (Morrow, Tuiassoppo, Moore, Saunders, etc.) if we need to then mid way through season we have trade bait.

  195. SonOfZavaras on October 20th, 2009 7:49 pm

    I wouldn’t mind some crafty trade for an underappreciated catcher. Ianetta, or someone of that nature.

    How about Ryan Doumit of the Pirates?

    But, just to try and see both sides of the equation… the only problem with underappreciated catchers is that I think the vast majority of them are young. And I prefer the seasoned vet (who everybody KNOWS the value thereof)- like a Gregg Zaun- to allow Adam Moore to eventually become the man.

    Three rookies getting starter’s playing time/ABs?
    Whoo-wee. The times, they could be interesting in 2010. I just hope not like the Chinese concept of “interesting times” (which is to say, cursed).

    It’d sure be nice if one of them (Tui, The Condor, or Adam “I don’t have a cool nickname yet” Moore) could develop into a premium offensive threat.

  196. Dogham on October 20th, 2009 7:58 pm

    Excellent post, but I absolutely hate the idea that the M’s would spend $9 million per year on Nick Johnson. He’s a career .273 hitter and averages only 10 hr per year during his career. The corner infield positions are where the successful teams have their power and the M’s can’t afford to continue to be at the bottom of the league in runs scored especially if we want to rely on Tui, Moore and Saunders to be everyday starters and need to grow into their power potential. The signing of O.Hudson and trade for JJ Hardy would be positive additions, but signing Ben Sheets may be too big of a gamble for $7 million and limit the flexibility to make any needed mid-season moves. If they can work out a trade for Hardy, then they should buyout Jack Wilson and move on. If Trader Z can find a taker for Carlos Silva, then he should be named Governor of the great state of Washington immediately. P.S. bring back Griffey!

  197. henryv on October 20th, 2009 8:08 pm

    How about Ryan Doumit of the Pirates?

    I posted that thought last month. I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

  198. SonOfZavaras on October 20th, 2009 8:15 pm

    I could never tell the difference between Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Bill Bavasi after Bavasi was exiled to the High Desert Gulags.

    Solzhenitsyn’s dead. Bavasi is alive, except for the portion of the brain that handles “baseball acumen”.

    Sorry, that’ll be the end of my flippancy.

    Back to doing my rosterbation homework…

  199. nms on October 20th, 2009 8:19 pm

    [off-topic]

  200. SonOfZavaras on October 20th, 2009 9:16 pm

    Okay, I can’t resist. One more post.

    Wag-
    your ideas won’t fly, on several levels- and for several reasons. Step by step…

    1. Bring back Griffey, 1 year incentive based. he wants to stay and he brings in as much revenue as anyone in MLB….Without him our team would have been a 75 win team.

    An assumption, followed by two statements that are just wrong. No one- probably not even Griffey himself- knows what Griffey wants to do. Play? Or not? Here? Or not?

    That he “brings in as much revenue as anyone in MLB” probably isn’t provable- or even likely accurate. Yes, it could be argued legitimately that attendance felt a bump due to his presence- particularly at the end of the season. I don’t know the pure numbers, but think that could be verified easily enough that there was, indeed, a difference.

    But, think of Manny Ramirez and his effect on revenue in Los Angeles- revenue, in all of its facets. Merchandising, ticket sales, commercials, everything that makes a “ching-ching” sound.

    Are you really saying that Griffey was directly responsible for more revenue to his team than anyone? More than Ramirez? Or CC Sabathia? Hell, even Carlos Beltran?

    I’d have to see the numbers to believe it.

    And as far as the wins go, this team was expected to be at 77-78 wins. The fact that they won 85 is due to a number of factors, Griffey (when productive, which wasn’t the case the whole season)being only one of them. That chemistry jazz, a bullpen good at keeping games to within 1 run, the moon being in the right place….to assign Griffey all the credit for a 7-game positive differential in games won (and you’re giving him credit for TEN) is…well, wrong.

    2. Branyan 2 years $13-15M

    If a contract like this was actually offered, Branyan would frickin’ scorch the paper by signing it so fast.

    But if you think there’s any way on God’s green Earth that Branyan gets an offer for multiple years coming off “serious-enough-to-consider-his-career-over” back surgery?

    Don’t make me show you my bridges I have to sell.

    Yeah, 31 HRs were indeed hit…and I’m delighted that we were the beneficiary. But those were hit by a healthy veteran player. There is absolutely no guarantee he’ll come close to those power numbers ever again- injuries, age and decline of skills, regression to the mean are all factors to watch with Branyan.

    And any one or more of them would make your contract a hideous over-pay.

    A player with Branyan’s health concerns fields a one-year deal. For about 3.5-to-4 million.

    3. Sign a veteran starter to a incentive based one year deal. Bedard would be my choice. he dosen’t want to be here, but if hes healthy he will pitch very wellso he can get paid in the offseason, then we can spin him 1/2 way through the season for more young talent or whatever else.

    I have no problem with the idea of Bedard coming back, under a 1-year, few-mil deal. We could catch lightning in a bottle with him. But, the key part of your sentence is “but if he’s healthy”.

    Bedard hasn’t pitched in the second half of the season for three years running. Mighty big “if”, don’cha think? For a 31-year-old with his DL resume?

    My point is you won’t “spin” him for any “young talent”- no matter what kind of year he has. The risk/reward doesn’t tilt to a prospective trade partner enough. Plus they’d be giving up asset(s) for a guy who can walk in a few months?

    Not a GM in baseball makes a “Bedard-for-young players deal”. Sorry.

    4. I would like to see us make a block buster deal for Prince Fielder. But more likely, Jason Bay 4-5 years and whatever it takes. We need a solid power hitter who can mesh will (sic) with our team.

    Prince Fielder would come at a price tag that’d make your head spin like ‘The Exorcist’.

    Not to say it won’t happen….it could. But, I think you don’t realize the inherent cost of acquiring a 5-WAR player.

    Morrow, Aumont, Moore and Triunfel may not pull that trade off.

    And get Jason Bay out of your head. Seriously. He’s five shades of wrong for the team. Good guy, good teammate. But we’d be paying big-dog money to a guy whose skill-set screams “I won’t be a big dog for more than a year or two”.

    The decline chances are WAY too big on Bay. Let someone else overpay for him, for too many years.

    And I’m not even factoring how a signing like that would be adverse for young talent like Saunders and Ackley (that need to PLAY to become big-leaguers maximizing their potential).

    5. THEN STOP THERE. we can’t change the whole team and we can’t go trading everyone. Chemistry is a huge part of wining.

    Stop there, huh? So, keep watching Jose Lopez boot routine grounders and gain weight? And live with a Judy hitter like Jack Wilson on a roster already loaded with rookies learning to hit big-league pitching? Stop there?

    And to quote a player I overheard on the old Tacoma Tigers of 1987, many years ago…

    “Chemistry is shit. The only thing that matters is winning.”

    If we want to at that point we would have a good core of 3-5 border line all stars and a GREAT core of young talent (Morrow, Tuiassoppo (sic), Moore, Saunders, etc.) if we need to then mid way through season we have trade bait.

    Even if I thought you were right on this, “3-5 borderline All-Stars” are not enough to contend. As of right now, with the assuming of Beltre’s departure, we have Gutierrez and Ichiro as legit All-Star-caliber players.

    And pretending that we’ve signed Bay for a moment…if Bay had something like the season of his life, maybe he gets in- but there’s a ton of outfielders in the American League that would get the nod before Bay, in all likelihood.

    But that’s it as far as your All-Star scenario goes.

    These solutions just aren’t viable, IMHO.

    Improvement in 2010 hinges on making astute judgments on several under-valued players, and thereby paying smart money on offensive upgrades.

    Not putting your eggs in one basket, like Bay.

  201. Liam on October 20th, 2009 9:28 pm

    Dave’s 2010 Off-Season Plan

    Is there going to be a DMZ’s 2010 off-season plan as well?

  202. JerBear on October 20th, 2009 9:29 pm

    1. Bring back Griffey, 1 year incentive based. he wants to stay and he brings in as much revenue as anyone in MLB, not to mention he is great for the team and the city. Without him our team would have been a 75 win team.

    2. Branyan 2 years $13-15M

    …I would like to see us make a block buster deal for Prince Fielder. But more likely, Jason Bay 4-5 years and whatever it takes. We need a solid power hitter who can mesh will with our team.

    …Chemistry is a huge part of wining.

    Wow…. Wag, I’m not so sure this is the place for you, my friend.

  203. Liam on October 20th, 2009 9:36 pm

    Looks like we only got one brave soul to include Washburn on their 2010 list. Talk about crashing and burning. Dave was absolutely right in that he was Pets.com at $140 dollars a share.

  204. Snarf15 on October 20th, 2009 9:46 pm

    This is a very ignorant question, but what are the odds of us signing Carl Crawford. I’ve always enjoyed watching him play. Also, I love the offseason plan Dave.

  205. Adam B. on October 20th, 2009 9:53 pm

    Is Carl Crawfords agent posting in the forums now?

    Seriously people, He’s NOT a good investment for the Mariners.

    The Mariners are going to need every penny in order to contend next year, and blowing millions of dollars on a position the team is set at for at least the next four years is plain STUPID.

    Ackley, Saunders, Gutierrez and some Suzuki guy make him redundant.

    Just say NO to Carl Crawford. Mmmm-Kay?

  206. 300ZXNA on October 20th, 2009 9:56 pm

    I was reading today about how some believe (wish?) that Theo Epstein will try to bring Hanley Ramirez back to Boston. Now, IF Ramirez is healthy, would we have enough value to try and trade for him? I know some have already talked about Prince Fielder being available as if it were a realistic proposition, but is there any truth to Ramirez’s availability as well?

  207. diderot on October 20th, 2009 10:15 pm

    Bring back Griffey. Without him our team would have been a 75 win team.

    I realize there are still a couple months left in the year, but this has to be the leader in the clubhouse for most indefensible comment on this site in 2009.

  208. Slurve on October 20th, 2009 10:32 pm

    Is there going to be a DMZ’s 2010 off-season plan as well?

    Short summary: Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro!

  209. eponymous coward on October 20th, 2009 10:38 pm

    it sounds like everyone is on the same page

    Right, because it’s not like Dave just wrote a post on Jason Bay being a terrible signing.

    Seriously, have you considered actually reading what people write before assuming they agree with you?

  210. Dave on October 20th, 2009 10:43 pm

    Crawford’s not a free agent.

  211. seattleslew on October 20th, 2009 10:59 pm

    What are the chances that Jack Wilson is our SS next season?

  212. djtizzo on October 20th, 2009 11:08 pm

    I suggested Crawford earlier today and got slammed for it dude, I would be careful with that one. I guess its a sensitive subject!
    Hes not officially a FA anyway as he has a $10mil option for 2010 that TB will almost certainly pay out as well.
    If JZ made a move it would cost us a Saunders and more I would imagine….

  213. Breadbaker on October 20th, 2009 11:10 pm

    What are the chances that Jack Wilson is our SS next season?

    Probably better than 50/50. Z made it clear he did the deal for a two year solution at SS, not a two month one. Obviously, he can change his mind, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Jumpin’ Jack Flash played a lot at Safeco next year.

    I’ll miss hearing Hey Joe (because I love the song and Hendrix is part of the city’s heritage).

  214. Adam B. on October 20th, 2009 11:28 pm

    Crawford’s not a free agent.

    I understand this.

    Go look at any website that permits rosterbation (including this thread), and tell that to the ardent misguided individuals who are all clamoring for him to be a Mariner.

    Also, he costs money regardless of whether the Rays declined his option (Why? Beats me.) or the Mariners are somehow supposed to trade for him.

  215. GarForever on October 20th, 2009 11:41 pm

    As much as I would love to engage in lengthy commentary, I simply can’t. Under the gun trying to finish revisions to my book, and I have finally exhausted my publisher’s infinite patience. But, in the meantime:

    1. Dave: Awesome post. As someone who tries to do a little research on an isolated topic before I spout off here, I think I can appreciate how hard you worked to put this together, trying to control for all the various factors. Kudos!

    2. As an M’s fan living in the Chicago area, two thoughts:

    a. Kenny Williams has never met a deal he didn’t like if he thought it would significantly improve the team, and he’s smart enough to appreciate certain inefficiencies in the market. Not all of his gambles work out, but moving Danks for Lopez and others is a deal I could see him going for: Lopez will be more valuable in The Cell than he’ll ever be playing half his games at Safeco. Further, while the point is well taken that the M’s weren’t functionally any younger than the Sox, Chicago’s right handed power is getting a bit long in the tooth (e.g., Konerko) and there’s no guarantee some it will be around next year (Dye). If September was any indication, Rios may not have been a good idea, so there are a number of reasons (aside from the fact that without Danks, Chicago is arguably seven men deep in starting pitching) Williams might make that deal, not the least of which is the flip side of the inefficiency I just mentioned: Danks will be a more valuable player pitching half his games in Safeco than he’ll ever be in a White Sox uniform, in all likelihood.

    b. I know we don’t put much stock around here in “good chemistry” producing extra wins, but having had a daily dose of what Bradley’s presence did to the atmosphere around the Cubs, I can’t help but wonder if there is something to be said about “bad chemistry” having an effect. Bradley is not an edgy guy who will give the M’s a killer instinct: he is a prima donna who never thinks anything is his fault, as nearly as I can tell. So even if the Cubs were willing to swap him for Silva (achieving their goal of unloading one guy with an attitude problem by trading him for…another guy with an attitude problem, and who costs more), I’m not sure we’d want him.

    For what it’s worth, bleary and exhausted here in the Central Time Zone…

  216. felixday on October 20th, 2009 11:52 pm

    Dave,

    What do you think of Fausto Carmona? He’s available. not a top of rotation guy, but decent buy low option.

  217. felixday on October 20th, 2009 11:58 pm

    obviously Indians would need to eat most of his salary, but he could turn it around ( even though the Silva peripherals are a little scary).

  218. Tim B. on October 21st, 2009 2:54 am

    Dave, I love the post, but I would like to see several others from you, under different scenarios.

    Regarding Felix, is six years at $90 million the best and final offer, with no signing bonus, and heavily backloaded? If Felix declines the organization’s best offer, and he is traded for a mix of prospects, what is Plan B for 2010?

    What will change if Zduriencik’s budget is much lower, say, $80 million? (Besides the wild card from ownership, this could occur if Felix obtains a larger contract extension with a large signing bonus.)

    What will change if Zduriencik’s budget is higher, say, $100 million?

  219. heyoka on October 21st, 2009 6:38 am

    National League deduction:

    How does a 31 yo Nick Johnson’s performance transfer from the NL to the AL (at the safe) with his whopping 8 HRs last year, and 13 in the past 3? His baseball-reference similarity scores don’t scream production. The guy can walk, be injured, and otherwise be average. He’d have to come cheap.

    Similarly, how would JJ Hardy’s NL production transfer to the AL, at the safe? And do you assume that last year was just a “down year”, and that he’s established his previous performance based on the prior two? (remarkably similar to Bill Hall’s career path shifted by a year)

    It just looks to me like the NL transfer effect makes acquiring these assets less appealing.

  220. Paul B on October 21st, 2009 6:55 am

    i didn’t see anyone else jump on this:

    Dogham on October 20th, 2009 7:58 pm
    Excellent post, but I absolutely hate the idea that the M’s would spend $9 million per year on Nick Johnson. He’s a career .273 hitter and averages only 10 hr per year during his career. The corner infield positions are where the successful teams have their power

    Basically, the point is to score runs. Power is not required to do that. Nick Johnson’s career OPS+ is 124. For comparison, Russell Branyan’s OPS+ this year was 128.

    Johnson’s WAR over the last 4 seasons has ranged from +5.3 to +1.0. Branyan’s this year was 2.8.

    If you are saying that Johnson isn’t a good enough hitter to be on the M’s, then you are also saying that Branyan isn’t a good enough hitter to be on the M’s. And you better have some really really good hitters lined up to take their place.

    Don’t get hung up on the counting stats. Look at the total value.

  221. stoyboy on October 21st, 2009 7:54 am

    Move Silva for Bradley(Mariners pay diff. in Salary
    Move Morrow,Lowe, Carp and Trunifel for Hardy and Fielder(Milw won’t sign Fielder as FA anyway)
    Buy out clause for Jack Wilson
    Sign Sheets,or Harden or Bedard
    Sign Arthur Rhodes
    Sign Nick Johnson
    Sign Hernandez 6/96M
    Sign Griffey

    Lineup 2010
    1-Ichiro RF
    2-Gut CF
    3-Nick Johnson 1B/DH
    4-Fielder 1B
    5-Bradley LF/DH
    6-Lopez 2B
    7-Hardy SS
    8-Tui 3B
    9-Moore C

    SP 1 Hernandez, 2 Sheets or Harden or Bedard 3 Smith 4 Snell 5 Fister
    BP White, Vargas, Jac, Rhodes, Aardsma, Fields, Hill

    Bench Johnson C, Hall, OF,IF, Hanahan, IF, Langerhans, OF and Griffey LF,RF,1B/DH
    All for Approx. 97M 2010 Budget

  222. heyoka on October 21st, 2009 8:17 am

    Johnson is a good enough hitter to be on the M’s.

    It’s not that he sucks, it’s how much do you pay for him when he’s probably not going to post something close to his career OPS jumping from the NL, in his age 31 season, with significant injury history (his WAR in 07 would be zero).

  223. lunchboxlabchef on October 21st, 2009 8:25 am

    Nick Johnson has a sweet swing when he is not toiling on the DL. How about instead of hudson and the 8 million we roll that up and get Figgins. That guy would reek so much havoc in Safeco as a full timer. As for Lopez he has been one of the few constants. His fielding sucks but his bat is golden. Finally, Beltre is one of Felix buds. I really believe that plays a factor.

  224. Bodhizefa on October 21st, 2009 9:19 am

    Sign me up for the Randy Wolf fan club this off-season. I wouldn’t mind Wolf on this team on a one or two-year deal if you could net him for $6-7 mil per year. He may have some schlub GM go to three years, though, which would be a no go. His ship may have sailed since he did so well with the Dodgers this year (I’ve been a proponent of signing him for years now, so don’t let his solid campaign this season make you think I’m a fair-weather Wolf follower.) Still, he’s the kind of guy I’d be interested in for the right price and if we can’t get a guy like Danks.

  225. Graham on October 21st, 2009 9:40 am

    That guy would reek so much havoc in Safeco as a full timer.

    Just because his parents can’t spell does not mean that Chone Figgins smells awful. Please take your bigotry elsewhere.

  226. John S. on October 21st, 2009 9:57 am

    Dave hit on two critical things:
    No. 1) This team MUST HAVE a legitimate No. 2 starter behind Felix to have any shot at Texas and L.A. Hoping a guy like RRS over-performs, or hoping that Morrow magically transforms is hoping way too much. Danks is young, proven and left-handed. I have no idea if Z could actually make that trade happen, but without a real No. 2, this team isn’t going to improve on 2009. Signing Sheets or Bedard would be a low-cost, high-risk, high-reward bonus.
    No. 2) This team is still building. It is critical not to engage in any monster long-term contracts (other than signing Felix – a big-time must). To that end, bringing in someone like Hardy as your shortstop of the future, giving second base to a pro like Hudson (short-term) and letting youngsters like Tui and Saunders have one more year to develop is critical.
    Other possibilities would include moving Tui to second and signing someone like Figgins to play third, but it’s all pretty much the same: Build the young talent, bring in a young No. 2, sign Felix and prepare to make serious, serious run in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  227. Adam B. on October 21st, 2009 10:17 am

    I don’t think the M’s get Danks for that package.
    If he’s available for Lopez, Lowe and Vargas, another team will offer something better.

    I also don’t like the idea of the M’s putting so much money into 2B with someone like Orlando Hudson. If I recall correctly, someone here brought up the Cubs’ Mike Fontenot. After a down season and the Cubs looking to clear some payroll, the Mariners might get him on the cheap?

    I think the other moves are tight in line with expectations. There’s plenty of DH/1B types milling around this off-season so the Mariners should be able to do better then $9M for Nick Johnson.

    All in all it’s a good plan and right in line with what most of the blogosphere expects, I just wouldn’t be surprised if Zduriencik pulls off something that no one sees coming.

  228. pmbaseball7 on October 21st, 2009 10:48 am

    Hello, Dustin Ackley for LF?? He is MLB ready. Mark DeRosa could be a big sign too to play 3B.

  229. John S. on October 21st, 2009 10:49 am

    I agree about Zduriencik, Adam.
    I think it will be something no one sees coming. But I still think he has a to get a No. 2 starter and improving the defense at second base wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

  230. mymrbig on October 21st, 2009 10:52 am

    Dave, since you identified the Felix decision (extend or trade) as really the crux of the M’s offseason plans, do you intend to put out an alternate offseason plan with the assumption that Felix is trade? Or is this just too much work? Any future posts on the trade market for Felix in case that is the route the club either chooses to move or is forced to move?

  231. mymrbig on October 21st, 2009 11:13 am

    Building off all these offseason plans, my 2010/2011 hopes:

    (1) Whomever the M’s gamble on as a #2 starter stays relatively healthy and allows the M’s to at least be playoff relevant when September rolls around.

    (2) Michael Saunders takes a step forward, adjusting to major league pitching and establishing his future as an above-average regular in LF. “Establishing his future” doesn’t necessarily mean he is above-average this year, just that he shows good growth and adjustments.

    (3) Adam Moore does what I hope for Saunders above.

    (4) Franklin Gutierrez has a monster season, particularly with the bat. Then gets traded next winter to make way for Ackley. Thanks for the good times!

    (5) Ichiro!

    (6) Felix!

    (7) Spend money on the draft! Be more aggressive than last year’s draft! Take chances on some good arms in the first 5 rounds!

    (8) Adrian signs with a team that has a short porch in LF (Astros or Red Sox) and pops 30+ HR. So I can read all the misinformed “why couldn’t he do this with the Mariners” stories from beat writers and analysts across the country. I have too much hair and this would be a good reason to tear some of it out.

    (9) The Royals make some more crazy-stupid trades. Doesn’t have to be with the M’s and doesn’t have to be M’s related. It is just too fun. There just aren’t enough hideous GM’s right now after Bavasi, Littlefield, and Purpura (among others) have been shown the door over the last 3 years.

  232. fiftyone on October 21st, 2009 11:32 am

    What I like most about what Dave has concocted here is the idea that Ian Snell is our fifth starter. Any offseason that results in that outcome (without sacrificing the superior defense that makes the whole pitching staff better) is cause for excitement.
    If Snell is still the No. 5 guy in our rotation come September, the M’s are in the division race.

  233. John S. on October 21st, 2009 11:43 am

    Found this article interesting. It mentions how little any of us know about what’s going to happen. It also mentions guys like Hardy and Gutierrez. Enjoy.

  234. clemed on October 21st, 2009 12:11 pm

    This will never happen but sometimes I dream about the 2010 Mariners having Prince Fielder at first and Ryan Braun in Left. The perfect 3 and 4 hitters we have been missing since the late 90s.

  235. Adam B. on October 21st, 2009 12:34 pm

    I have to agree that speculation about trades is utterly futile.
    Certainly credence is to be given to educated guesses, but with so many variables at play, even the most educated guesses are usually well off the mark.

    After all, a year ago about this time intelligent people knew that J.J. Putz was a good bet to be on another team, but no one had a clue which team that would be, and even those who would’ve guessed the Mets wouldn’t have listed Franklyn Gutierrez as the central componant for our return package.

  236. rmac1973 on October 21st, 2009 12:48 pm

    (8) Adrian signs with a team that has a short porch in LF (Astros or Red Sox) and pops 30+ HR. So I can read all the misinformed “why couldn’t he do this with the Mariners” stories from beat writers and analysts across the country. I have too much hair and this would be a good reason to tear some of it out.

    IMHO… Instant classic!

  237. djtizzo on October 21st, 2009 12:50 pm

    (4) Franklin Gutierrez has a monster season, particularly with the bat. Then gets traded next winter to make way for Ackley. Thanks for the good times!

    Doubtful I think, Ichiro is gonna get old man legs in a couple years…..Gutz will be a round for a while! Unless the M’s are sold on Carp or LaHair at 1B for the future, they might try Ackley there to get PT in the bigs since hes played there in college…but who know?

  238. vj on October 21st, 2009 12:51 pm

    That guy would reek so much havoc in Safeco as a full timer.

    Just because his parents can’t spell does not mean that Chone Figgins smells awful. Please take your bigotry elsewhere.

    Graham, I think he meant to write “wreak havoc”, as an endorsement of Figgins’ as a player.

  239. scotje on October 21st, 2009 1:04 pm

    Graham, I think he meant to write “wreak havoc”, as an endorsement of Figgins’ as a player.

    Swing and a miss.

  240. joser on October 21st, 2009 1:41 pm

    This will never happen but sometimes I dream about the 2010 Mariners having Prince Fielder at first and Ryan Braun in Left.

    Of course, Braun was taken a couple of spots behind Jeff Clement in the 2005 draft (in between Ryan Zimmerman and Troy Tulowitzki, either one of which I also wouldn’t mind having on the M’s right now.) Ah well, coulda-beens. (In a lot of ways that draft turned out to be a bigger missed opportunity than the endlessly-harped-upon Morrow one the following year, just because there were so many other good choices).

  241. rmac1973 on October 21st, 2009 1:54 pm

    joser,

    Considering the Mariners’ long and well-documented history for player development issues, I wouldn’t automatically assume that Ryan Braun would have been a ~12 WAR player since 2007 (or that Zimmerman and/or Tulowitzki would have been as good/valuable), especially considering his right-handedness and the troubles righties routinely encounter at The Safe.

    It’s all speculation, though, and hindsight is always conveniently 20/20.

  242. Wag on October 21st, 2009 3:11 pm

    Defense! haha
    Alright, alright let me defend myself. I might have been a little over my head with the griffey comment. Im just a firm believer in team unity and a fun clubhouse. It creats a better atmosphere. I played college baseball at Oregon State, and it really does make a huge difference. And yes, i do think he competes with the revenue generated by Manny. Have you been to any mariners games this year? people still give standing ovations in the 7th inning when he’s 0-3 And were winning 7-0.

    - Jason bay? yeah i do believe hes a great choice. I like his realitive consistency and hes still at a descent age that 4-5 year deal would work well.

    - Jose Lopez has been a great part of this organization and a great offensive contributor. Not to mention he’s a cluch bat. This isn’t football or basketball, defense dosen’t really win championships. For example, let me through manny ramirez back in your face.

    3) You can spin bedard for a lot if he’s playing at his level at the trade deadline. Every player in baseball these days is an injury prone player.

    4) Branyan $13-15M. Might be a little over, maybe 2yrs/$12M. Yeah, i think hes worth it and often in sports when you reward a honest ball player they play much better. Not to mention everyone here seems so think Nick Johnson at $9M? I’d take Branyan anyday.

    Last, everyone has there own thought on how to GM a team. I can see why you wouldn’t make a blockbuster deal for Fielder? But I would argue its worth it. Were one of the higher spending teams in baseball and were up against the Yankees and Red Sox every year. Spending money isn’t always a bad things especially if the organization is willing.

  243. gsquared on October 21st, 2009 3:34 pm

    Im just a firm believer in team unity and a fun clubhouse. It creats a better atmosphere.

    Great, but team unity/fun clubhouse/better atmosphere has no measurable impact on team performance. This has been gone over before on this site

  244. JerBear on October 21st, 2009 3:49 pm

    (4) Franklin Gutierrez has a monster season, particularly with the bat. Then gets traded next winter to make way for Ackley. Thanks for the good times!

    Why would you rather have Saunders over Gutierrez?

    And Wag, this is brutal. You’re killing me. (Hey, notice the apostrophe that just I used? They’re really neat.)

    Please read this,

    this,

    this,

    and this.

  245. Mike Snow on October 21st, 2009 4:06 pm

    We seem to have relaxed our vigilance on proper spelling and capitalization as part of the recent glasnost for fantasy roster construction. As part of our continuing historical dialectic, the moderation oligarchs will soon re-assert the proper level of authoritarian control. In the meantime, you can observe the correlation between the grip some commenters have on reality and their linguistic skills.

  246. rmac1973 on October 21st, 2009 4:08 pm

    I might have been a little over my head with the griffey comment. Im just a firm believer in team unity and a fun clubhouse. It creats a better atmosphere. I played college baseball at Oregon State, and it really does make a huge difference

    .

    Well said, and although there is no known metric or stat measurement system which takes intangible effects into consideration, they do exist. The debate rages on about how much of an impact things like clubhouse trickery and ice cream pies make. Personally, I tend to lean toward the light-impact side, but that’s just one fellow’s opinion.

    And yes, i do think he competes with the revenue generated by Manny. Have you been to any mariners games this year? people still give standing ovations in the 7th inning when he’s 0-3 And were winning 7-0.

    Another good point. Unfortunately, Dave lives on the east coast and cannot regularly attend M’s games, although I’m certain he watches every one that he can on television. That Junior got standing O’s so often was great, but that didn’t necessarily translate into X-number of tickets, jerseys or hats sold. He’s a good merchandising tool, but he probably doesn’t rake in the kind of money guys like Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, or Albert Pujols generates.

    Jason bay? yeah i do believe hes a great choice. I like his realitive consistency and hes still at a descent age that 4-5 year deal would work well.

    Being a mostly-pull RH hitter, Bay would more than likely struggle in The Safe similarly to the way Adrian Beltre struggled at home. That stadium is murder on dead-pull righties, and although Bay has had a few very good seasons at the dish, he’s just not a very good fit for the team when you consider home stadium effects. His defense, though, is what absolutely kills his value to the Mariners – he figured out a way to post negative UZR and UZR/150 rates while playing his home games in Fenway, which is a thimble compared to Safeco Field. In essence, he is Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez and Raul Ibanez all rolled into one in defensive terms.

    Jose Lopez has been a great part of this organization and a great offensive contributor. Not to mention he’s a cluch bat. This isn’t football or basketball, defense dosen’t really win championships. For example, let me through manny ramirez back in your face.

    Jose Lopez has not been “great” at anything. That fact, however, doesn’t take away from the fact that he plays his home games in a stadium designed specifically to neutralize all of his offensive benefits. Defensively, he’s an average second baseman with medium range and a semi-accurate arm. He could be great… somewhere else. As for Manny Ramirez, his offensive value more than makes up for his defensive liabilities, but the fact remains – a run saved has the same value as a run scored.

    You can spin bedard for a lot if he’s playing at his level at the trade deadline. Every player in baseball these days is an injury prone player.

    I tend to disagree with the “a lot” suggestion, but he could be decent trade bait at the deadline to obtain a good, young player for the future. The question is, though, why put your money in Bedard when he has failed to finish three seasons in a row? You know he’s going to get hurt, so why not try something different; someone different?

    Branyan $13-15M. Might be a little over, maybe 2yrs/$12M. Yeah, i think hes worth it and often in sports when you reward a honest ball player they play much better. Not to mention everyone here seems so think Nick Johnson at $9M? I’d take Branyan anyday.

    The issue most folks will have with the idea of Branyan for two years @ $6M per isn’t just the value, it’s the contract longevity. He showed last season why he cannot be trusted to be a full-time 1B due to the injuries and is coming off what was thought to be potentially career-ending back surgery. Just because Nick Johnson isn’t worth $9M for one season doesn’t mean you have to somehow overpay for Branyan, who will probably command upwards of $4M on a single-season contract. Furthermore, if Branyan is worth $6M to you, then why not go hard after Carlos Delgado and get at least similar results, if not improved due to the switch back to the AL?

    Last, everyone has there own thought on how to GM a team. I can see why you wouldn’t make a blockbuster deal for Fielder? But I would argue its worth it. Were one of the higher spending teams in baseball and were up against the Yankees and Red Sox every year. Spending money isn’t always a bad things especially if the organization is willing

    Giving up a great deal of young talent for one guy almost always results in a net negative. It only makes sense that everyone in Seattle is a bit trigger shy on acquiring someone else’s stud for a big package when you consider the Bedard fiasco. However, a lot of folks would argue with your assertion that the M’s are competing against the Yankees and Sox every year. While this is true to a lesser extent, the M’s are actually in competition with the Angels, Rangers and Athletics every year – once the playoffs begin, goofy shit starts to happen (as evidenced by the atrocious umpiring in the playoffs thus far).

    I’m not trying to say you’re wrong or right or yadda yadda yadda. I’m only suggesting that, while you make some valid points on a few topics, there is definitely more that one perspective and multiple ways to interpret each one.

    ::: cheers :::

  247. Wag on October 21st, 2009 5:08 pm

    Very well said, I can’t really argue any of the main points there. However,
    Griffey does generate a lot of revenue. There are specifically 6 booths stationed throughout the stadium with mostly only Griffey paraphanalia. He generated $1.15M in incentives mostly based on attendance and sales. So he must have had a pretty goods affect. I’d argue that he’s one of the top 3 guys that brings in fans. For at least the 2009-2010 season that is.
    Russel Branyan’s pay is arguable. I would give him 2yrs/12M because there are a few different teams interested in him who are willing to throw money around. And its not that I think we should go throwing money around, but hes obviously comfortable in Seattle and can play here. I’d argue Delgado might have that oh so typical adjustment period that most players have in Seattle.
    You could go Nick Johnson to if you preffer. But again i firmly believe in team chemistry and loyalty to players who deserve it.
    Lopez has had fairly consistent batting stats. And our team ranked #1 in defense last year so he isn’t hurting us much.

  248. Gabe on October 21st, 2009 5:16 pm

    In general, I like the plan. I really like the idea of making a move for a shortstop, whether it turns out to be Hardy or Brignac or even Stephen Drew. If the cost to get one is Morrow, so be it. Based on the way Jack talked in August though, I’d be pretty surprised if anyone other than Jack Wilson was out there on opening day.

    I am also a fan of bringing back Branyan if the price is right, as well as adding a guy like Nick Johnson to DH and occasionally play first. I also wouldn’t be opposed to swapping out either of those with a guy like Carlos Delgado.

    I really like the idea of swapping out Lopez for a different 2B. I’d be happy with Hudson, or Polanco, or Iwamura. I like the idea of a switch-hitter in the lineup and might even prefer Iwamura to Polanco as there might be more bang for the buck there (plus the lefty thing would be nice).

    I’ve always had a huge mancrush on Sheets, so that’s music to my ears. I know the idea isn’t specifically Sheets, but one of the high-risk, high-reward pitchers is almost a necessity if we’re going to try to find some wins on the cheap.

    I like the idea of adding Danks and assume that this is at least a possibility. Another guy I’d have to kick the tires on in Wandy Rodriguez. It seems that he’d be a fit and the Astros could be a team that might go for a guy like Lopez. If the Astros are willing to discuss him, he might be cheaper to land in talent (so maybe we get to keep Lowe and Vargas) as well considering that (compared to Danks) he’s older, more expensive (presumably), and under team control for less time.

    As much as I hear about Milton Bradley potentially being a cancer, it seems like he alternates between “this guy is awful get him out of here” and “this guy is happy and a great teammate.” And it’s not as if Silva has always been an exemplary teammate… So, if they could make it work within the clubhouse, I would love to swap those two (even if the M’s made up the salary difference). Turning a $12M long reliever into a switch-hitting DH that would be an asset and fill a spot that we actually need filling would be quite the trick. That might even give us enough money to entice Beltre to stick around (pipe dream probably, but oh well).

    If you managed to keep Lowe and Vargas then it’s a couple more above replacement arms for the pen, and you’d still have Morrow. If Milwaukee really covets Morrow, I have to at least wonder what else it would take to pry Fielder away. I wouldn’t want to get the system but I’d definitely be curious.

    So I guess my plan would be:
    -Sign Branyan, Sheets, Hudson as mentioned
    -Trade Lopez for Wandy Rodriguez
    -Re-sign Jack Wilson
    -Turn Silva into Milton Bradley
    -Entice Beltre to stay
    -Move Snell for prospects (mostly to free up the $4.45M) and slide Morrow in at #5

    You might push 40 WAR with that roster for close to the same payroll as Dave’s. But alas, Beltre probably won’t stay and Bradley will not be considered. But a guy can dream…

    Sorry for the long post.

  249. Wag on October 21st, 2009 5:20 pm

    Sorry about the typo’s. Just get into writting and discussing it all.
    And how am I killing anyone? You could manage one way, and I could manage another. And both of us could be right or both of us could be wrong.
    Team atmosphere does translate to wins, and there should be loyalty in sports. Take the Yankees for example. There team has had the highest payroll for a long time now and the past couple years haven’t been easy on them, yet we have seen teams like the Phillies, Rays, or Marlins have, as a team, great individual seasons. Not because of money, and not just because of talent. But because of team chemistry.

  250. JerBear on October 21st, 2009 5:46 pm

    Not because of money, and not just because of talent. But because of team chemistry.

    Nope. It’s because of talent.

    Talent breeds winning breeds chemistry. Not the other way around. I don’t think anyone here really wants to re-hash this argument for the thousandth time.

  251. diderot on October 21st, 2009 6:11 pm

    Wag, here’s the thing. You’ve got to be able to sort of defend your arguments to get any respect here.

    So, let me just throw two things out there. First, the chemistry/winning thing. You said you played at Oregon State and realized the value of good chemistry. So, although I don’t know what years you were there, I think your experience has to fall into one of three categories:
    1- You won a lot of games
    2- You won about as many as you lost
    3- You didn’t win very many
    Now, if it’s option #1, how do you know that chemistry had any impact on your record? As has been stated here many times, it’s just as likely (and probably more likely) that winning makes for good chemistry, not the opposite.
    If option 2 or 3 is correct, how come that great chemistry didn’t translate to the wins column?

    Then, on the issue of Griffey, speculating about his marketing pull is a diversion. The biggest draw for fans is a winning team, not an individual component. Oakland went out and got Matt Holliday…lost a lot of games…and wound up last in the majors in attendance. That holds for any sport.

    So let’s talk instead about the fact that Griffey was the absolutely worst regular DH (400+AB) in baseball last year. And then please explain about how that makes us a better team. He was done before this year…and last year…and the year before that. Talk to fans in Chicago and Cincinnati…without the emotional attachment to what he was ten years ago…and they will give you a better read.

    If you’ve still got your Griffey rookie card, that should suffice.

  252. Wag on October 21st, 2009 6:13 pm

    Just became a member of this site the other day. Im not sure who settled on that belief. But its not correct. Winning makes everything better, thats true. However, talent does not equal winning. Some of the most talented people to every play sports never won a championship. Chemistry and attitude are attributes you can not put a price tag on. They are undeniable intangibles. The entire team and organization made it clear this year that players and coaches had so much fun this season that players were more motivated to be a part of the team. THAT + Talent + Sometimes Money = Winning

  253. Wag on October 21st, 2009 6:17 pm

    Everyone here can say what they want about Griffey [as long as they say it with correct spelling and punctuation]

  254. gsquared on October 21st, 2009 6:23 pm

    By the way- I know I’m a little late to the party, but I really like the Danks trade idea. One question I had is this: I was looking into his tRA, and his 2009 tRA as given by StatCorner is different (4.29) than his tRA as seen on Fangraphs (4.80). Do StatCorner and Fangraphs use different batted ball classifications? Or is there another reason I haven’t seen yet? Thanks to anyone who can answer.

  255. diderot on October 21st, 2009 6:42 pm

    Everyone here can say what they want about Griffey

    Yes, everyone can say what they want until the moderators decide otherwise.

    But you’re still not answering the question of how resigning Griffey makes us a better baseball team.

  256. rmac1973 on October 21st, 2009 6:43 pm

    g2,

    Uhhhh…. good question on the tRA thing.

    Another Example: Felix’s tRA on statcorner is 3.28 on the team page and 3.79 on his player page; on fangraphs it’s 3.31. That’s a pretty extreme variation.

  257. rmac1973 on October 21st, 2009 6:46 pm

    But you’re still not answering the question of how resigning Griffey makes us a better baseball team.

    Perhaps he’s thinking of the well-documented “tickle factor”, by which players of Junior’s advanced age and severely declining value, skillset and production ought to be judged.

  258. gsquared on October 21st, 2009 6:50 pm

    Felix’s tRA on statcorner is 3.28 on the team page and 3.79 on his player page;

    In that case, you’re looking at two different numbers. 3.28 was Felix’s tRA for this season, while 3.79 is his tRA this season but with component factors regressed toward the mean. That’s what is represented under the “tRA*” column.

  259. EricL on October 21st, 2009 6:53 pm

    > THAT + Talent + Sometimes Money = Winning

    Tell that to the 70′s A’s dynasty. Or the late 70′s Yankees. (Or for that matter any winning ballclub Billy Martin was involved with.)

    Having played years of city-league softball, I’ll tell you that chemistry can win out over talent. One of the guys I played with played at UW and ended up in the minors for a couple years. He confirmed what I’ve always suspected:

    The higher the level of competition, the less chemistry matters.

    To make it that far one of two things are true: You’ve either figured out how to exist in a team environment, or your talent level is high enough that it doesn’t matter.

    When someone can figure out how to measure “chemistry” and can demonstrate that what is called “chemistry” is _causing_ the improved results where talent isn’t, then I’ll believe it has an effect.

    Until then, it’s something for the pundits. 162 games is far too long for lesser talent to prevail all because of “chemistry.”

  260. diderot on October 21st, 2009 6:56 pm

    Perhaps he’s thinking of the well-documented “tickle factor”, by which players of Junior’s advanced age and severely declining value, skillset and production ought to be judged.

    Fair point. And I’m still wondering how exactly clubhouse protocol moved from shaving cream pies to ice cream pies. Obviously they’ve got to be more tasty. But exactly how long does the ice cream have to melt until it’s the perfect consistency? Too hard–it bounces off. Too soft–it falls off the tin before you can render it airborne. Somehow, I think microwave technology has to play a part in this. Because you really can’t predict the exact moment when the winning hit will occur, right?

  261. rmac1973 on October 21st, 2009 7:02 pm

    Fair point. And I’m still wondering how exactly clubhouse protocol moved from shaving cream pies to ice cream pies. Obviously they’ve got to be

    more tasty. But exactly how long does the ice cream have to melt until it’s the perfect consistency? Too hard–it bounces off. Too soft–it falls off the tin before you can render it airborne. Somehow, I think microwave technology has to play a part in this. Because you really can’t predict the exact moment when the winning hit will occur, right?

    Ohhh, sweet Jesus… I think I just laughed so hard I pooped a little bit…

  262. NBarnes on October 21st, 2009 7:03 pm

    Wag; there is no objective research that suggests that there is a strong ‘chemistry’ factor that correlates to winning.

    However, it’s been found that runs scored / runs allowed does correlate very strongly to winning, without paying attention to chemistry. Which suggests that chemistry is significantly less important to winning baseball games than scoring runs and preventing runs.

  263. Snarf15 on October 21st, 2009 7:08 pm

    About Orlando Hudson, why is he barely getting playing time for the Dodgers? Wasn’t he an all-star? I just saw him hit a pinch hit home run and Dave has him on the off season plan so I was just wondering why the Dodgers aren’t playing him very much.

  264. EricL on October 21st, 2009 7:10 pm

    I was just wondering why the Dodgers aren’t playing him very much.

    Torre uses the doghouse system of management, I believe.

    That and Belliard managed to play his way into the starting lineup after they got him.

  265. rmac1973 on October 21st, 2009 7:22 pm

    EricL,

    I don’t recall… was he that much of an iron fist for the Pinkstripes?

  266. Adam B. on October 21st, 2009 7:28 pm

    An exorcise in educational mad-libs:

    “Talent does not equal winning. Some of the most talented people to ever play sports never won a championship. [Tickling] and [Ice Cream Pies] are attributes you can not put a price tag on. They are undeniable intangibles. The entire team and organization made it clear this year that players and coaches had so much fun this season that players were more motivated to be a part of the team. [Tickling] + Talent + [Ice Cream Pies] = Winning”

    Certainly talent isn’t all it takes to win, I will readily admit that talent is probably only 99.999% of what it takes to win.

    The rest can be attributed to Ice Cream pies, Prevailing winds, Black cats and the whims of ill-natured fairies.

  267. Adam B. on October 21st, 2009 7:31 pm

    Whoops, grammatically playing to the level of competition here.

    That should be “exercise” and not “exorcise”.
    …Unless there really are ill-natured fairies.

  268. EricL on October 21st, 2009 7:32 pm

    I don’t recall… was he that much of an iron fist for the Pinkstripes?

    Not really. But then, given the lineups he was usually throwing out there he didn’t need to be. His most important skill in NY was funneling the media away from the players.

  269. rmac1973 on October 21st, 2009 7:59 pm

    EricL,

    Ahhh, kind of like K.C. Jones for the Celtics in the mid-80′s?

  270. juneau_fan on October 21st, 2009 8:13 pm

    That and Belliard managed to play his way into the starting lineup after they got him.

    It’s taken me this long in the playoffs to realize that Manny and Little Manny were finally united on the same team?

    Great thread, BTW.

  271. JerBear on October 21st, 2009 8:24 pm

    Just became a member of this site the other day. Im not sure who settled on that belief. But its not correct.

    I linked to it before, but here it is again.

    And as a new reader/commenter, you should absolutely read the USSM Orientation, which includes this nugget:

    You should be familiar with the current state of the argument first. If we’ve discussed a topic – like the abilities of Ryan Franklin, which were debated for years – and you decide to argue that he was totally awesome and misunderstood, well, we’re going to refer you back to the body of existing evidence, and you’ll need to go refute that.

    This is a great place for intelligent baseball discussion, and you’re welcome aboard. Some topics have just been thoroughly analyzed already, and whether you agree or disagree, it does no good to start rehashing it. That’s all.

  272. JerBear on October 21st, 2009 8:26 pm

    But exactly how long does the ice cream have to melt until it’s the perfect consistency? Too hard–it bounces off. Too soft–it falls off the tin before you can render it airborne. Somehow, I think microwave technology has to play a part in this. Because you really can’t predict the exact moment when the winning hit will occur, right?

    I’m pretty sure the clubhouse just has a soft-serve machine that is consistently calibrated to serve ready-to-pie-in-the-face ice cream. Now that is a recipe for success!

  273. Wag on October 21st, 2009 8:48 pm

    I’ll just let the chemistry thing go. But I will say this, the “tickle factor” is real!
    Ill give you one last thing to think about. Griffey/Sweeney were a great inexpensive and chemistry building duo that produced 26HR’s, 91RBI’s, and 629 AB’s. Not bad for about $4M and some change. They kept the clubhouse lose and gave the players two great veterans two look up to. Say what you will, but in professional sports now days what those two brought isn’t very easy to replicate. And statistically, thats not bad either.

  274. Wag on October 21st, 2009 8:52 pm

    and no kidding. why in the hell isn’t orlando hudson the starting 2nd baseman. Wasn’t he a back up 2nd all star this year??

  275. Scottdids on October 21st, 2009 9:00 pm

    I’ll just let the chemistry thing go. But I will say this, the “tickle factor” is real!
    Ill give you one last thing to think about. Griffey/Sweeney were a great inexpensive and chemistry building duo that produced 26HR’s, 91RBI’s, and 629 AB’s. Not bad for about $4M and some change. They kept the clubhouse lose and gave the players two great veterans two look up to. Say what you will, but in professional sports now days what those two brought isn’t very easy to replicate. And statistically, thats not bad either.

    As has been pointed out numerous times on here, the Mariners DH’s ranked at or near the bottom of every hitting category. DH’s are paid to hit. And Griffey/Sweeney were very poor at that.

  276. gsquared on October 21st, 2009 9:05 pm

    Griffey/Sweeney were a great inexpensive and chemistry building duo that produced 26HR’s, 91RBI’s, and 629 AB’s. Not bad for about $4M and some change.

    As has been pointed out in the past, you can’t take the stats of a duo and call it good because they might be good stats if they came from one player. Roster spots.

    They kept the clubhouse lose

    I’d prefer a winning clubhouse.

  277. Scottdids on October 21st, 2009 9:15 pm

    As has been pointed out in the past, you can’t take the stats of a duo and call it good because they might be good stats if they came from one player. Roster spots.

    That, and even if you combine the stats and turn them into one player, you still have a player worth only 0.4 WAR.

  278. gsquared on October 21st, 2009 9:28 pm

    That, and even if you combine the stats and turn them into one player, you still have a player worth only 0.4 WAR.

    Absolutely; my argument was just saying how the performance of Griffey/Sweeney combined can’t be justified even on their defenders’ terms (the most basic offensive counting stats). Calculations of value, of course, only condemn their performance further.

  279. J-Dog on October 21st, 2009 9:36 pm

    Dave, Thanks for the Offseason plan. I have given a lot of thought to the proposed Brandon Morrow for J.J. Hardy trade. It appears to me that this can be viewed (from the Mariners’ perspective) as a Brandon Morrow and Jack Wilson for J.J. Hardy trade, because the trade would mean that we lose Jack Wilson without receiving any players. Is the trade worth it?

    Jack Wilson has a career .298 wOBA and 5.8 UZR/150. However, if you throw out his first year and 2006/2007 (where he posted below zero UZRs) as outliers, his UZR career average is 11.6. As has been pointed out in this thread several times, Jack Wilson should experience some decline due to his age. Thus, it might be reasonable to expect a .280 wOBA and a 10.0 UZR/150 (could be higher, or Wilson could get hurt and have a much lower value). Finally, the Mariners would have to exercise an $8.4M option or resign Jack to keep him.

    J.J. Hardy has a career .325 wOBA and a 10.2 UZR/150. While J.J. Hardy should probably maintain his defense after a switch to the American League, we should probably expect his hitting to decline due to the switch to the American League, and being a right-handed batter playing in Safeco Field. Thus, it is probably reasonable to expect J.J. Hardy to hit somewhere between his career average wOBA (.325) and his dismal 2009 wOBA (.292). Thus, the expected wOBA is probably around .308. Finally, J.J. Hardy’s salary is probably between $4-5M.

    Is it worth it to trade Brandon Morrow in order to upgrade Jack Wilson’s expected .280 wOBA, 10.0 UZR (with an $8.3M salary) for J.J. Hardy’s expected .308 wOBA, 10.0 UZR (and a $4-5M salary). Essentially, the Mariners would be upgrading their SS wOBA by .028 without losing any defense and freeing up about $3-$4M of salary (enough to add approximately 1 WAR) in exchange for Brandon Morrow. Altogether, it looks like J.J. Hardy is probably around a 2 WAR upgrade over Jack Wilson.

    I think that it is nearly impossible to predict Brandon Morrow’s 2010 WAR. However, if Brandon Morrow can be traded straight-up for J.J. Hardy, and if J.J. Hardy is 2-4 WAR player, I think that the Mariners would be better off exercising Jack Wilson’s option and trading Brandon Morrow for a different 2-4 WAR player.

  280. rmac1973 on October 21st, 2009 10:08 pm

    g2,

    I don’t think you’re taking all of the factors into consideration.

    When working with ICP/F (Ice Cream Pies/Face rates), Swiffey was by far the best tandem in the league in terms of both quantity of performances and quality thereof.

    You don’t replace that kind of post-game production.

  281. Wag on October 21st, 2009 10:56 pm

    [spelling, capitalization, punctuation]

  282. Scottdids on October 21st, 2009 10:57 pm

    When working with ICP/F (Ice Cream Pies/Face rates), Swiffey was by far the best tandem in the league in terms of both quantity of performances and quality thereof.

    A.J. Burnett questions your methodology.

  283. Scottdids on October 21st, 2009 11:30 pm

    Coming from someone whos played baseball my whole life and 4 years of college, i gotta tell you.

    Gotta tell us what? There is a grammar policy around here. Or do they not teach grammar over 4 years of college any more?

    All of your stat calculations dont make your opinion true.

    You’re probably at the wrong site then, as this is a sabermetrically based web site.

    Those calculations also dont determin wins and losses

    I used WAR to show how Griffey/Sweeney were pretty terrible. That stands for WINS above replacement. So yes, the calculations are used to determine wins and losses.

    All that matters is if you outscore the opponent. And you know what goes into that. More runs. You know how you get runs? you get hits.

    Actually, more runs comes from being good at not making outs. That’s much more important than getting hits. Griffey/Sweeney were worth about 4 runs more than a replacement player from the minors during 2009.

    you know how you get hits? Talent and pure will. Yeah pure will and determination. you can’t calculate that.

    I can’t calculate it, but talent is a lot more important than determination. I have a ton of determination, but I doubt I could hit a major league pitcher at an acceptable level to play in the league. And we can calculate talent pretty accurately.

  284. eponymous coward on October 21st, 2009 11:33 pm

    Coming from someone whos played baseball my whole life and 4 years of college

    I see we’ve moved into the “I played baseball and you’re all a bunch of nerds” section of your cliches.

    Oddly enough, it just MAY be possible that statistics may be somewhat related with talent.

  285. gsquared on October 21st, 2009 11:38 pm

    You know how you get runs? you get hits.

    First off, this is of course a gross oversimplification of team run-scoring. Secondly, you know who didn’t get hits this year? Griffey and April-August Sweeney.

  286. fiftyone on October 21st, 2009 11:55 pm

    BTW, Wag The Ex-Jock New Guy is very clumsily making a good point: willpower, determination, mental toughness, dedication, those factors count for something in baseball. Two guys with equal talent don’t experience equal success, and how well-adjusted each guy is between the ears undeniably matters. We’ve seen this with dudes like Meche, Greinke, Ankiel, hell, even Felix 2007 and 2008.

    But Wag, we can’t measure the mental aspect of baseball. So we don’t try. We measure the stuff we CAN measure, using metrics like wOBA and FIP and WAR and OPS+ and UZR, and we try and identify the guys who are the most valuable in those areas. If we do that, the mental part of the game takes care of itself. Good chemistry follows if you evaluate talent intelligently. Or get lucky.

    Welcome to the site, by the way. Also, a sprinkling of proofreading will save you from the moderistas.

  287. visbea on October 22nd, 2009 12:02 am

    I’ve been laughing reading through “Wags” comments. It seems to me he is just commenting to pull everyone’s chain…I mean the Oregon State baseball, overvaluing chemistry, making broad statements about how the M’s defense being #1 makes us able to take on a bad defender…it’s just too perfect. I’m just waiting for him to point out the upsides of the Bedard trade at this point.

    Thanks for the late night laughs Wag. Well played.

  288. C. Cheetah on October 22nd, 2009 12:17 am

    Just out of curiousity more than anything…
    Why not try to get Brian Roberts vs Hudson?
    Yes I know Hudson is free agent and we would have to trade for Roberts…but Roberts is alreadt in the AL, is switch hitter, and while just as old as Hudson, Roberts is putting up better offensive numbers and playing better defense.
    Please tell me that we are now afraid of dealing with Baltimore since the Bedard fiasco.
    In fact, I would think Lopez would shine in Baltimore just as bright as in Chicago…so Lopez plus a few spare parts (French, Vargas, Gillies, Hill or such) for Roberts.
    Heck, Baltimore was pushing hard for Morrow in the Bedard trade, maybe we could include Morrow and Aumont get a Matusz…doubtful but…

  289. gsquared on October 22nd, 2009 12:54 am

    I like Roberts the player, but the contract….

  290. SonOfZavaras on October 22nd, 2009 2:38 am

    I think Jack Zduriencik would eviscerate the current Orioles’ brain trust in a trade scenario.

    I wouldn’t be afraid of dealing with them. They were just the lucky one-time recipients of one of the biggest baseball acumen implosions of modern times.

    Thankfully, Bavasi’s gone (though he still haunts my dreams…”No, Bill! Nooooo! Put Morrow and Triunfel down! The .180-hitting infielder’s not worth it!!!”)

  291. SonOfZavaras on October 22nd, 2009 2:43 am

    Hudson’s cheaper, provides adequacy in both offense and defense. And we have more than one hole to fill, only so much cashola to float around.

    And Hudson will be easier to say “buh-bye” to when either Triunfel or Seager locks the 2B job down in 2011-2012.

    To me? Advantage: Hudson.

  292. Osfan on October 22nd, 2009 6:29 am

    I think Jack Zduriencik would eviscerate the current Orioles’ brain trust in a trade scenario.

    Ok, Jack Zduriencik is a very good GM, but this statement is wrong. MacPhail in Baltimore has shown himself to be every bit as good as GMJZ. In fact, this past offseason, he got the better of JZ in one instance. MacPhail traded Garett Olson to the Cubs for Felix Pie. Olson was then traded to Seattle for Heilman. Who would you rather have right now Pie, Olson, or Heilman? MacPhail clearly won this sequence of trades. Further, he turned Tejada into young pitching and an equivalent player in Scott. Yeah, the pitchers all got hurt, but that is difficult to predict. He still won this trade. He changed an optionless underachiever in Penn into a solid reserve infielder. He turned a LOOGY into a top notch third base prospect with the second Sherrill trade and his drafts have been excellent, as well. I can’t say who the better GM is, but clearly they are both very good.

  293. Paul B on October 22nd, 2009 6:54 am

    Re the M’s DH duo, here is what the M’s got from DH ranked against other AL teams’ DH production:

    OPS: 11th
    wRC: 11th
    wRAA: tied for 11th
    wOBA: tied for 11th

    I’m detecting some sort of pattern here.

  294. mymrbig on October 22nd, 2009 8:21 am

    Why would you rather have Saunders over Gutierrez?

    Saunders is almost 4 years younger than Gutierrez and is under team control for 3 more years. It isn’t really a matter of me liking Saunders more than Gutierrez, but a recognition that if Saunders and Ackley are going to be above-average regulars who cost close to the league minimum, then that leaves 1 OF spot Gutierrez and Ichiro. I’m guessing Ichiro won’t be moved, so Gutierrez is the choice. The alternative might be to move Saunders if he can establish himself next year.

    But Wag, we can’t measure the mental aspect of baseball.

    I think this is an important point to remember. We can’t measure the impact of team chemistry. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or that it doesn’t influence wins. It just means there isn’t a way to measure it. And if we could measure it, the impact is likely very small compared to the talent level of the players. So arguing about it is kind of pointless. I mean, when can you point to a home run, hit, error, or strikeout and say “that was all team chemistry!”?

  295. rmac1973 on October 22nd, 2009 8:23 am

    Paul,

    I think using OPS, wRC, wRAA and wOBA league rankings might be getting a slim view of the M’s DH tandem…

    OPS: .749 – gross
    wRC: 78 – ouch
    wRAA: -1 – BIG ouch
    wOBA: .327 – egads
    Spd: 1.6 (14th) – unhook the plow
    LD%: 17.5 (11th) – ugh
    FB%: 44.2 (12th) – sigh
    HR/FB%: 11.4 (T-12th) – weak

    The biggest thing I see (that you didn’t include) is the FB and HR/FB rates – any team with a DH or DH tandem that hits as many balls into the air as Swiffey did can ill-afford to have them generate that many out via fly ball.

    And, for those “traditionalists” out there who somehow still believe Swiffey got it done…

    BA: .242 (11th)
    HR: 24 (T-8th)
    RBI: 78 (T-12th)
    RS: 67 (13th)
    XBH: 54 (9th)
    H: 139 (T-10th)

    Not only do the metrics say they were well below league average, but the “traditional” rate and counting stats say the exactl same thing.

    It’s not even a remotely defensible position to suggest Swiffey were “good”. They weren’t. By a lot. Just because they did better in a few areas than the rest of the M’s roster by comparison doesn’t mean they rated well against the rest of the league – if you grade on a curve, Swiffey supporters, then you have to use the whole curve and not the one generated by arguably the league’s worst offense.

  296. Mike Snow on October 22nd, 2009 8:44 am

    MacPhail in Baltimore has shown himself to be every bit as good as GMJZ. In fact, this past offseason, he got the better of JZ in one instance. MacPhail traded Garett Olson to the Cubs for Felix Pie. Olson was then traded to Seattle for Heilman. Who would you rather have right now Pie, Olson, or Heilman? MacPhail clearly won this sequence of trades.

    If MacPhail won one trade, it doesn’t follow that he’s a better GM than somebody who made a later trade for the same player. This would only make sense if Zduriencik had the chance to acquire Pie at some point. Also, you forgot Ronny Cedeno. I’m guessing Zduriencik would rather have Jack Wilson than Pie right now.

  297. Adam B. on October 22nd, 2009 9:03 am

    mymrbig:

    Saunders is almost 4 years younger than Gutierrez and is under team control for 3 more years. It isn’t really a matter of me liking Saunders more than Gutierrez, but a recognition that if Saunders and Ackley are going to be above-average regulars who cost close to the league minimum,

    You have to counter the “earning league minimum” sentiment with the fact that Gutierrez could very well be a ~5WAR player at a premium position. ~5WAR centerfielders are not guys you move to make playing time for your youngsters. Players who play at Gutierrez’s 2009 level, are guys you lock up long term as the foundation for your team.

    That said, Guttierez still needs to establish that 2009 wasn’t just an outlying season and that he can continue to provide production defensively and offensively at such an elite level.

  298. mymrbig on October 22nd, 2009 9:37 am

    You have to counter the “earning league minimum” sentiment with the fact that Gutierrez could very well be a ~5WAR player at a premium position. ~5WAR centerfielders are not guys you move to make playing time for your youngsters. Players who play at Gutierrez’s 2009 level, are guys you lock up long term as the foundation for your team.

    I don’t think the M’s move Ackley or Ichiro, so this really boils down to a comparison of (post-2010):

    5 years of Saunders + what a Gutierrez trade brings back
    versus
    2 years of Gutierrez + what a Saunders trade brings back

    Gutierrez is a career .253/.303/.375 hitter against RHP. Yuniesky Betancourt is a career .275/.298/.390 hitter. Now obviously Gutierrez’s stellar defense might end up making him an average regular against RHP, but he has his weaknesses.

    I just think that if Gutierrez and Saunders both have successful 2010 seasons, it makes more sense to hold onto Saunders and move Gutierrez. But I fully acknowledge that this is pure speculation and that the idea only works if Saunders continues improving and Ackley ends up being everything we all hope.

  299. mymrbig on October 22nd, 2009 9:41 am

    And yes, I realize Saunders had poor results versus LHP in AAA this year (and in 2008). But at 23 (next month), he is more likely to improve versus LHP than Gutierrez is versus RHP at 27.

  300. msb on October 22nd, 2009 9:44 am

    OPS: 11th
    wRC: 11th
    wRAA: tied for 11th
    wOBA: tied for 11th

    I’m detecting some sort of pattern here.

    The need for a clone of Edgar?

  301. Wag on October 22nd, 2009 10:08 am

    All I am saying is chemistry and a healthy clubhouse does have a major affect on a teams win total. Any pro would tell you the same thing.

  302. Graham on October 22nd, 2009 10:17 am

    I think you have the causality wrong up there.

  303. mymrbig on October 22nd, 2009 10:53 am

    Define “major affect”. 5 wins? 10 wins? 3 wins?

    Another non-USSM article on team chemistry.

  304. Mike Snow on October 22nd, 2009 10:56 am

    Not at all, Graham, rather I think you have the difference between “affect” and “effect” mixed up. I might have used “from” instead of “on” as the subsequent preposition, though. Or am I giving Wag too much credit for stepping up his writing game?

  305. Breadbaker on October 22nd, 2009 11:09 am

    What gets me is how commenters keep conflating “clubhouse chemistry” and “bringing back Griffey (or Sweeney)” as though there were no other players who might be able to hit a baseball better and actually play in the field who were good clubhouse guys as well. They’re extreme examples, but it’s my understanding that both Mark Texeira and C.C. Sabathia have been just neato-peachy-keen in the Yankee clubhouse this year. By all accounts they’re just superb teammates, great guys to hang out with and might even tickle you if you asked nicely. They also play baseball well. I’ll take my chances with guys like that if we can get them. The 2010 versions of Griffey and Sweeney are just distractions from finding players who play like Griffey and Sweeney did in 1997.

  306. gsquared on October 22nd, 2009 11:23 am

    All I am saying is chemistry and a healthy clubhouse does have a major affect on a teams win total. Any pro would tell you the same thing.

    First of all, have you talked to every pro? If not, you can’t say they would all tell you that.

    Secondly, a lot of pros would tell you that wearing the same socks, parking in the same space, waking up at 8:17 exactly, and other possible rituals also have a major effect on their performance. Players aren’t exactly the best source for this.

  307. Adam B. on October 22nd, 2009 11:27 am

    5 years of Saunders + what a Gutierrez trade brings back
    versus
    2 years of Gutierrez + what a Saunders trade brings back
    Gutierrez is a career .253/.303/.375 hitter against RHP. Yuniesky Betancourt is a career .275/.298/.390 hitter. Now obviously Gutierrez’s stellar defense might end up making him an average regular against RHP, but he has his weaknesses.

    I agree that you have to look at potential returns in terms of prospects as well as the players individual performance, but to use Gutierrez’s historical performance at this point in his career is just as premature as using Saunders’ historical performance to calculate his future value.

    My point is that unless Saunders turns into a 2009 Gutierrez type player, or someone offers something of definitively better value for him, a smart, well-funded team (which the Mariners are) looks to keep and build around players of Gutierrez’s caliber and adapt their roster around them, not vice-versa.

  308. Paul B on October 22nd, 2009 11:47 am

    If the Mariners had 4 above average or star outfielders a year or two from now, that would be a nice problem to have.

    Focusing on discussion of which of the 4 would be traded in such an eventuality is a little premature, don’t you think?

  309. Breadbaker on October 22nd, 2009 12:07 pm

    If the Mariners had 4 above average or star outfielders a year or two from now, that would be a nice problem to have.

    Focusing on discussion of which of the 4 would be traded in such an eventuality is a little premature, don’t you think?

    Reminds me of when we allegedly had a surplus of major league ready starting pitching on the farm back in 2003 or so. Never count your prospects until they have hatched.

  310. mymrbig on October 22nd, 2009 12:18 pm

    Focusing on discussion of which of the 4 would be traded in such an eventuality is a little premature, don’t you think?

    No. If the front office doesn’t believe Saunders can hit major league LHP, now is the time to trade him to a team who does. Morrow and Saunders could be a nice trade package.

    The Mariners have quite a few quality OF prospects other than Ackley and Saunders, but they are all much further away and I only mentioned those two because they are on the cusp of the majors while Ichiro and Gutierrez are already entrenched and under team control through 2012.

    When has it even been a bad idea to think ahead?

  311. Adam B. on October 22nd, 2009 12:19 pm

    If the Mariners had 4 above average or star outfielders a year or two from now, that would be a nice problem to have.
    Focusing on discussion of which of the 4 would be traded in such an eventuality is a little premature, don’t you think?

    I agree that discussing the outfield situation in this specific context is probably premature, but it does have some immediate impact on the 2010 roster.

    And on that note, isn’t rosterbation in general premature at this point?

  312. jjracoon on October 22nd, 2009 12:22 pm

    Why in heavens name would you move Gutierrez or even think about it???? I remember in a previous blog some saying you couldnt have a team of Gutierrez’s at every position and someone saying why not?? Golden glove level defense and above average hitter at just 27 years of age with not much cost for awhile. I will cry if we let yet another top notch centerfielder go the way of Cameron. Ichiro will retire some day and it would be nice to still have a top level defensive outfielder to continue to build around.

  313. Chris_From_Bothell on October 22nd, 2009 12:36 pm

    If we run into a 4-outfielder problem – and it’d be a nice problem to have – is it blasphemy to suggest one could either a) move Ichiro to DH or b) regularly rotate among the 4 outfielders and have any one of them at DH?

  314. Scottdids on October 22nd, 2009 12:43 pm

    “Golden glove level defense and above average hitter at just 27 years of age with not much cost for awhile. I will cry if we let yet another top notch centerfielder go the way of Cameron.”

    He’s arbitration eligible so we only have control of him for a few more seasons. Plus, once players hit 30 their defensive skills usually turn. Take a look at Torii Hunter’s UZR.

    I’m not advocating what is being said above. I’m just aware of their thought process. But until Saunders and/or Ackley develop, its a moot point anyways.

  315. Mike Snow on October 22nd, 2009 12:56 pm

    is it blasphemy to suggest one could either a) move Ichiro to DH or b) regularly rotate among the 4 outfielders and have any one of them at DH?

    Well, that would depend on them not being blocked by the presence of an actual DH. Clearly, not a problem for about the last five seasons.

  316. fwbrodie on October 22nd, 2009 1:01 pm

    “It’s like now the work starts all over again,” Wakamatsu said. “Realistically, we have two returners (offensively), maybe three with (Jose) Lopez. We have to rebuild the whole damn thing all over again.”

    Sounds to me like Wak expects Lopez to be dealt.

  317. fwbrodie on October 22nd, 2009 1:03 pm

    By the way, I have the link to that quote, but I’m not sure what the rules on that are. Anyone?

  318. Mike Snow on October 22nd, 2009 1:14 pm

    Yes, in general you should provide links to outside quotes, I’d expect many people are interested in additional reading material plus seeing the full context. Use the link button to help add it so you don’t just drop in a massively long URL.

  319. fwbrodie on October 22nd, 2009 1:19 pm
  320. JMHawkins on October 22nd, 2009 1:28 pm

    Apologies for being so late to the party.

    Saunders vs Guttierrez. The object isn’t to have the lowest $/win in the league, it’s to get to the playoffs (and hopefully advance). Target 90+ wins. That means you have to average almost 3 WAR per regular. If Saunders becomes a +2 guy, he’s below average for what we need and requires a +4 or better guy (e.g. Guti) to make up for him. I’m with Adam B on this – Franklin is the type of guy you build around.

    Morrow-for-Hardy vs Wilson + Morrow for someone else: I think J-Dog makes a good point, if we can trade Morrow straight up for a +4 WAR guy, keeping Jack Wilson at SS and trading Morrow for someone else is an option, but… where do we put that +4 WAR guy and how much to we pay him? SS is one of the positions we can upgrade, so keeping Wilson not only sucks $8M out of the budget, but limits our choices for what sort of +4 guy we trade Morrow for. If we could trade Morrow for a +4 25 year old catcher, whoo hooo, hello Jack Wilson your 2010 starting SS. But that’s not easy. Plus, don’t forget that a big part of Dave’s premise is that we’re look at more than just 2010. Hardy is a piece of the future as well. A +4 C or LF becomes an impediment to Moore or Saunders/Ackley in 2011, while JJ Hardy blocks no one.

    Likewise the various up-thread proposals with Glaus or Crawford or keeping Jose Lopez. They might be on par with Dave’s 2010 plan, but they don’t have the upside and aren’t as future-friendly. Sure, it’s a risk giving Tui, Saunders and Moore starting jobs in 2010, but remember, we have to take some risks because we have effectively an average to below-average payroll team (when you factor out Silva’s contract as a sunk cost, we’re a $80-$85M payroll team).

  321. thebigp708 on October 22nd, 2009 1:31 pm

    Plan sounds good. But I, and maybe only I, still believe in Morrow… Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I think he’ll be an all star in the next few years… That said, Z could blow up this entire roster and keep nobody but Frankie and get Felix locked up for 6 years and I’ll be happy.

    Bottom line, SIGN FELIX NOW!!!

  322. JMHawkins on October 22nd, 2009 1:41 pm

    Interesting Wak quote about Lopez. Also heard today on the Brock-n-Salk show, Jason Churchill reports for the AFL that Dustin Ackley looks ready for MLB now.

    Not sure how much stock you want to put into Churchill making conclusions based on AFL playing time, but it’s a positive sign.

    Lopez and Morrow are two guys I can live with trading. Both have so much potential and I wish them well, but they’ve been pretty inconsistent and I’d rather get something for them now then lose out a la Meche (and Yuni) by holding out too long waiting for things to click.

  323. fwbrodie on October 22nd, 2009 1:43 pm

    Saunders vs Guttierrez. The object isn’t to have the lowest $/win in the league, it’s to get to the playoffs (and hopefully advance). Target 90+ wins. That means you have to average almost 3 WAR per regular. If Saunders becomes a +2 guy, he’s below average for what we need and requires a +4 or better guy (e.g. Guti) to make up for him. I’m with Adam B on this – Franklin is the type of guy you build around.

    So if Saunders turns into a +3 player in two years and Guti’s range closes in a bit as he turns 30 and he comes down to a +3 while his price goes way up Saunders is still cheap and under team control, is it still a good decision to stick with Guti over Saunders? Like others have mentioned, Saunders’ and Ackley’s development remains to be seen, but you have to admit that there are feasible scenarios where trading Gutierrez and going with Saunders and Ackley could make more sense.

  324. Scottdids on October 22nd, 2009 2:00 pm

    So if Saunders turns into a +3 player in two years and Guti’s range closes in a bit as he turns 30 and he comes down to a +3 while his price goes way up Saunders is still cheap and under team control, is it still a good decision to stick with Guti over Saunders? Like others have mentioned, Saunders’ and Ackley’s development remains to be seen, but you have to admit that there are feasible scenarios where trading Gutierrez and going with Saunders and Ackley could make more sense.

    I’d say there are more than enough questions regarding 2010 to start worrying about what might happen in 2011-12.

  325. mymrbig on October 22nd, 2009 2:16 pm

    But until Saunders and/or Ackley develop, its a moot point anyways.

    Ackley is regarded by everyone, everywhere to be extremely polished and near-ready. Maybe slight hyperbole, but when Goldstein, Law, Sickels, etc. all have glowing reports of him that read the same, saying it is a moot point until he develops is just wrong. News flash … he’s developed!

    And Saunders hit .310/.378/.544 (.400 wOBA) as a 22-year-old in AAA. He struggled some against LHP, but if he isn’t developed, then he is as close to developed as a player can be without being developed.

    Both might be ready now and can be expected to be ready by the end of 2010. Again, the Mariners have other solid OF prospects further away that aren’t worth discussing in reference to the M’s immediate plans because they are not developed (Gillies, Peguero, Halman). But Saunders and Ackley are developed, or are extremely close.

    The potential logjam should be discussed. If you think Saunders and Ackley are both ready for fulltime play in 2011, then you have all 4 guys under team control for 2 years. And I think its a waste of their athletic ability to talk about rotating one of them through DH for 2 years (though that is a good short-term solution if the crunch starts in 2010).

  326. JMHawkins on October 22nd, 2009 2:29 pm

    So if Saunders turns into a +3 player in two years and Guti’s range closes in a bit as he turns 30 and he comes down to a +3 while his price goes way up…you have to admit that there are feasible scenarios where trading Gutierrez and going with Saunders and Ackley could make more sense.

    “You have to admit” is a very impolite phrase to use, especially when you are talking about hypothetical scenarios. You have to admit that if an asteroid wiped out all life on Earth next year it wouldn’t matter whether the M’s traded Gutierrez, so there.

    But to address your point rather than your debate technique, certainly by 2012 the relative value proposition of Guti-vs-Saunders could be significatnly different than it is now, but that “could be” cuts both ways. Saunders could be a complete bust, for instance.

    So we’re left making projections and estimating odds. It’s something of a fools game trying to be too precise about what’s going to happen two years from now with player development, but my opinion (take it for what you wish) is that Gutierrez has as much chance of playing a HoF calibre CF in 2012 as Saunders has of playing an above-league average LF in 2012. If Gutierrez is that guy, you want him on the team and you have to pay for it. And if Saunders or Ackley is giving you league average LF for league minimum salary, that’s how you pay for it.

    Trading elite talent as they become expensive is not the path to championships. Billy Beane tried that in Oakland and it didn’t work. Honestly I think people have drawn the wrong conclusions from Moneyball. Beane’s playoff run didn’t come from trading expensive guys for undervalued cheap guys – he did that because that’s what he had to do with the cheap-ass budget he had to work with, and he did great with it.

    But his playoff run came about because he was able to couple assembling good value cheaply with getting at least a little lucky with player development (how many teams have had three prospects like Mulder/Zito/Hudson who all made it several years into their MLB career without suffering serious injury?). Once Beane stopped paying protection money to the injury fairy (Crosby, Harden, Chavez, etc.), his team crashed pretty hard.

    Cheap, average guys are valuable because they free up money to pay for expensive great guys. Sure, maybe Gutierrez will become an expensive average guy in two years and not worth the roster spot, it’s possible. But if we trade him now, who do we trade him for? Do you really think we’d be able to trade him for someone else more likely to be an all-star caliber player in two years? If not, then let’s hang onto him and worry about his 2012 salary when it’s time to negotiate that contract.

  327. mymrbig on October 22nd, 2009 2:30 pm

    The object isn’t to have the lowest $/win in the league, it’s to get to the playoffs (and hopefully advance).

    You seem to be confusing means and ends. The end is getting to the playoffs. The means is to maximize $/win within the given budget. Obviously you don’t leave wins on the table just to maximize $/win. But if you have a $90 million budget (or whatever), you want to maximize $/win within that budget. Whether that means having Gutierrez and/or Saunders on the team or trading either/both, then so be it.

  328. Adam B. on October 22nd, 2009 4:13 pm

    There is a tendency within the statistician baseball community to get caught up in the method rather then looking at the results.

    $/Win efficiency is great because it correlates with winning strategies and a flexible team able to adapt to the cards that fate deals them, but blunt knives still cut when you apply enough leverage.

    I don’t want to become the figurehead for the conventional wisdom baseball strategy here–Lord knows I’m not equipped to fight that battle even if I had any desire to do so, but I will say that most teams that win championships aren’t the most efficient, they’re simply the most lucky and/or talented.

  329. gsquared on October 22nd, 2009 5:50 pm

    I will say that most teams that win championships aren’t the most efficient, they’re simply the most lucky and/or talented.

    I agree with this insofar as talent and luck are obviously the driving factors behind the successful teams we see. My caveat, however, is that most teams winning championships have the resources to cover over a certain degree of inefficiency. As we all know, the Yankees can absorb a Carl Pavano and the Red Sox can absorb a Daisuke Matsuzaka. Their payrolls enable success despite not always being the “most efficient.” The question is what that says about the overall importance of efficiency in winning championships. The answer: it depends. Clearly, there is an inverse correlation between team resources and importance of efficiency. The Rays/A’s/Indians won’t get anywhere without being hyper-efficient. On the other hand, the teams with the most resources naturally stand a better chance of winning every year, and this can create a correlation between “not-as-efficient” and winning. However, this correlation cannot be seen as discounting the importance of efficiency for baseball’s “middle” and “lower” classes.

  330. Pete Livengood on October 22nd, 2009 6:25 pm

    “…but I will say that most teams that win championships aren’t the most efficient, they’re simply the most lucky and/or talented.”

    I can see where you are going with this Adam, but that argument only goes so far. G2 stole my thunder a bit, but what’s clear to me is that when teams win because they have just a ton of talent, they also have a LOT more resources relative to 80-90% of the rest of the league. When a team wins because it is “lucky,” it is usually also a team that has been pretty efficiently assembled, thereby allowing “luck” to carry them over very high payroll, talent-laden teams (who perhaps experienced a bit of unluckiness along the way).

    If a team is part of the vast majority which does not have seemingly unlimited resources, being efficient in spending $$/win is very important.

  331. msb on October 22nd, 2009 6:55 pm

    Re: the earlier discussion that ballplayers may not always be the best judge of what is going on around them? Here.

  332. gsquared on October 22nd, 2009 7:41 pm

    Re: the earlier discussion that ballplayers may not always be the best judge of what is going on around them? Here.

    Wow. The players sure don’t have a finger on the pulse of reality.

    In addition to the dissing of Felix (Sabathia? c’mon), there is the nomination of Kendry Morales for AL Player of the Year. He had a nice season and all, but seriously, 4.4. WAR as PoY? J.D. Drew was better this year; where are his props? Not to mention guys like Zobrist (highest position player WAR in the AL), Longoria, and Guti.

  333. Pete Livengood on October 22nd, 2009 9:33 pm

    Two words: Popularity Contest.

  334. Pete Livengood on October 22nd, 2009 9:37 pm

    Two more words: which/that. Aaargh.

  335. nathaniel dawson on October 22nd, 2009 10:57 pm

    Do you really think that Beltre will make more money in the free market than he would get from arbitration? I mean, since he can’t be paid less than his last contract, he’s guaranteed at least a $12.5 mil payday, if not more.

    Beltre is not guaranteed to get any certain amount in arbitration — if the M’s offer him arbitration, they can offer him whatever amount they deem him to be worth, whether that’s $1 million or 30.

    Figgins is going to be way out of the M’s price range.

    No idea why you would think that. The M’s have a bunch of money free this offseason and a need at third base. Unless they find another solution that can approach what Figgins can offer them, they should absolutely look into acquiring him.

    (speaking of Bill Hall):

    Plus, he was having troubles hitting for some time before he came to the Mariners. I don’t know how a bench role gets his bat close to his 2003, 2005 or 2006 numbers.

    If his bat could be close to his earlier numbers, he would be good enough to start. Since it’s not likely to, he becomes a bench player. And a bench player that can give you at least something with his bat and can play competently at six spots in the field is very valuable to a team.

    blockquote>That guy would reek so much havoc in Safeco as a full timer.

    Just because his parents can’t spell does not mean that Chone Figgins smells awful. Please take your bigotry elsewhere.

    Graham, I think he meant to write “wreak havoc”, as an endorsement of Figgins’ as a player.

    He knew that.

  336. joser on October 23rd, 2009 4:08 am

    Figgins is a ~3 WAR player who happens to be having a 6 WAR year and now has “clutch postseason experience.” He won’t be paid like a 6 WAR player, but he’ll certainly be paid a lot, and probably more than 3 WAR worth. I bet he gets something like $15M per year for three or more years. Whatever it is, it’s more than the M’s should pay to plug the hole at 3rd.

  337. Pete Livengood on October 23rd, 2009 8:10 am

    nataniel dawson wrote:

    “Beltre is not guaranteed to get any certain amount in arbitration — if the M’s offer him arbitration, they can offer him whatever amount they deem him to be worth, whether that’s $1 million or 30.”

    I am pretty sure that is not true. Remember, the arbitration process is a restriction on free agency that has been specifically, collectively bargained. There are rules, and I believe one of them is that an offer cannot be less than 80% of the previous year’s salary, or 70% of salary from two years previous.

    And of course, most of the time teams and players split the difference between the team’s offer and the player’s demand, and it would be a rare player who proposes a cut for himself in arbitration. Therefore, the practical reality is that players rarely, if ever, receive a pay cut in arbitration.

    I highly doubt in this market that Adrian Beltre will get more for 2010 in free agency than he would in arbitration. This is why the Mariners are unlikely to offer him arbitration, and why if they did Beltre would probably take it even if he really prefers to move on to a more suitable hitter’s park.

  338. Adam B. on October 23rd, 2009 11:43 am

    I highly doubt in this market that Adrian Beltre will get more for 2010 in free agency than he would in arbitration. This is why the Mariners are unlikely to offer him arbitration, and why if they did Beltre would probably take it even if he really prefers to move on to a more suitable hitter’s park.

    I would argue that this is exactly why the Mariners should offer Beltre arbitration. He may not receive much less then the ~13M he earned last year; But he’s always been WORTH about that much as a ~4WAR player and the very real prospect of getting the best available free agent 3B at a injury-bargain rate is something a smart GM jumps on.

    Worst case scenario is he bolts anyway and you get a nice sandwich pick.

  339. nathaniel dawson on October 23rd, 2009 12:18 pm

    I am pretty sure that is not true. Remember, the arbitration process is a restriction on free agency that has been specifically, collectively bargained. There are rules, and I believe one of them is that an offer cannot be less than 80% of the previous year’s salary, or 70% of salary from two years previous.

    From the CBA under effect until 2011:

    If the Player accepts the offer to arbitrate, he shall be a signed
    player for the next season and the parties will conduct a salary arbitration
    proceeding under Article VI; provided, however, that the
    rules concerning maximum salary reduction set forth in Article VI
    shall be inapplicable

    Beltre has no guarantee of any minimum amount that he receives next season other than the league minimum.

    The whole CBA is here
    and the applicable passage is under:
    ARTICLE XX—Reserve System

    Speaking of Figgins:

    He won’t be paid like a 6 WAR player, but he’ll certainly be paid a lot, and probably more than 3 WAR worth. I bet he gets something like $15M per year for three or more years. Whatever it is, it’s more than the M’s should pay to plug the hole at 3rd.

    Perhaps it would be more than they would be willing to pay — or maybe it isn’t. It certainly isn’t out of their price range. Ichiro currently makes more money than that. No matter what he eventually gets, it seems that the M’s should absolutely talk to him and see if it’s a good fit. Barring a trade that we can’t foresee right now or a Beltre re-signing, there doesn’t appear to be a better player available for that position besides Figgins.

  340. joser on October 23rd, 2009 1:01 pm

    But is that money best spent on Figgins, or on somebody at another position while Tui (say) holds down 3B?

  341. Adam B. on October 23rd, 2009 4:18 pm

    2B Jose Lopez for LHP Jonathan Sanchez.

    Anyone else think this works out well for both teams?

    Mariners get a young, cheap left-handed starter, while San Francisco receives another cheap offensive player to accompany Pablo Sandoval while replacing the over-priced Freddy Sanchez.

  342. nathaniel dawson on October 23rd, 2009 4:19 pm

    Regular readers of the site know that Dave has been preaching for months that Lopez would have significantly more value in a home park more suitable for RH hitters (like US Cellular/ Comiskey). Just because Lopez has a WAR value of 2.5 playing his home games in Seattle doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be closer to 3.0 or 3.5 in Chicago. He would be a significant upgrade over a platoon of Getz and Nix.

    I may be wrong, but it’s my understanding that Rally’s WAR is adjusted for league and ballpark. If that’s the case, then if Jose Lopez is a 2.5 WAR player, that means he’s a 2.5 WAR player whether he’s playing in Seattle or Chicago or Florida or St. Louis or wherever.

    But is that money best spent on Figgins, or on somebody at another position while Tui (say) holds down 3B?

    I would sincerely hope that the M’s don’t go into the season with Tuiasosopo as their thirdbaseman. We would be giving away too many wins to playoff teams at that position.

  343. Adam B. on October 23rd, 2009 5:04 pm

    I may be wrong, but it’s my understanding that Rally’s WAR is adjusted for league and ballpark. If that’s the case, then if Jose Lopez is a 2.5 WAR player, that means he’s a 2.5 WAR player whether he’s playing in Seattle or Chicago or Florida or St. Louis or wherever.

    Question: How does WAR take into account things like home-runs versus fly outs as a stadium effect? If 25HRs at Safeco turn into 30HRs at US Cell simply because of astrological effects and park dimension, wouldn’t that effect Lopez’s WAR for the better?

    Of course those arguing that Lopez is a 3WAR player for Chicago, need to realize that that’s a double-edged argument. Wouldn’t we also surmise that John Danks would be a more valuable pitcher at Safeco by that logic as well?

  344. Damn Yankees on October 23rd, 2009 5:07 pm

    Dave, what are your thoughts on Xavier Nady? In 2008 he posted a huge 4.0 WAR after only once before posting a WAR over 1. His UZR in left seems to be in the -5 to +5 range and his life time wOBA of .342 is not awful. The two major concerns I have are his injury history and how he projects offensively in right handed killing Safeco.

    Essentially, was Nady a one year wonder who projects as the barely above replacement player he has been or was 2008 a break through of sorts and we could be looking at a potentially undervalued asset in LF until Ackley is ready? Thanks for your time.

  345. gsquared on October 23rd, 2009 9:04 pm

    Question: How does WAR take into account things like home-runs versus fly outs as a stadium effect? If 25HRs at Safeco turn into 30HRs at US Cell simply because of astrological effects and park dimension, wouldn’t that effect Lopez’s WAR for the better?

    For position players, the WAR used on Fangraphs includes a park adjusted wRAA which they call the Batting Value. For example, Jose Lopez‘s wRAA this year was -2.2, but his net park-adjusted Batting Value was +0.1.

    Pitcher win values (as based on FIP) also include a park adjustment.

  346. TranquilPsychosis on October 23rd, 2009 10:29 pm

    I would sincerely hope that the M’s don’t go into the season with Tuiasosopo as their thirdbaseman. We would be giving away too many wins to playoff teams at that position

    By position, yes, that argument makes some sense. But what if they get a 5 WAR SS while they are at it? Now how does it look?

    Let’s not sell Z short before he has a chance to do his work. Relax. The team is in good hands.

  347. rightwingrick on October 24th, 2009 10:28 am

    1. Brandon Morrow has way too much upside (and Hardy way too many questions) for such a trade. Nowhere close to a trade I would make. A lesser pitcher, maybe, but not Morrow, or RR Smith, for that matter.

    2. Lopez is coming into his prime and will be a consistent .290-.310 BA, 25 HR, 100 RBI guy; Jason Vargas is now one full year back from injury, and should outperform last year with more consistency; Mark Lowe is inches from harnessing some tremendous talent, with a 100 mph fastball. Danks is good, but I’m not sure he’s worth that big a risk. I have to get some very good minor league talent back in that deal, because if Danks got hurt (he IS a pitcher), you just gave away the farm for one guy.

    3. Ben Sheets? His arm is attached to his body with bailing wire! OK, the dollars you suggest is cheap by today’s standard and it might be worth a flyer…but it’s definitely a shot in the dark.

    This is the first year I can remember in ages that one or two moves were NOT just plain obvious. Jack Z is also an unpredictable genius, as far as I can tell. So this is going to be a very interesting off-season.

  348. rightwingrick on October 24th, 2009 10:28 am

    1. Brandon Morrow has way too much upside (and Hardy way too many questions) for such a trade. Nowhere close to a trade I would make. A lesser pitcher, maybe, but not Morrow, or RR Smith, for that matter.

    2. Lopez is coming into his prime and will be a consistent .290-.310 BA, 25 HR, 100 RBI guy; Jason Vargas is now one full year back from injury, and should outperform last year with more consistency; Mark Lowe is inches from harnessing some tremendous talent, with a 100 mph fastball. Danks is good, but I’m not sure he’s worth that big a risk. I have to get some very good minor league talent back in that deal, because if Danks got hurt (he IS a pitcher), you just gave away the farm for one guy.

    3. Ben Sheets? His arm is attached to his body with bailing wire! OK, the dollars you suggest is cheap by today’s standard and it might be worth a flyer…but it’s definitely a shot in the dark.

    This is the first year I can remember in ages that one or two moves were NOT just plain obvious. Jack Z is also an unpredictable genius, as far as I can tell. So this is going to be a very interesting off-season.

  349. TranquilPsychosis on October 24th, 2009 10:09 pm

    1. Brandon Morrow has way too much upside (and Hardy way too many questions) for such a trade. Nowhere close to a trade I would make. A lesser pitcher, maybe, but not Morrow, or RR Smith, for that matter.

    Morrow is unproven and, frankly, rather raw at this point. Will he turn into a good starter? Maybe. Is it likely? Toss a coin.

    2. Lopez is coming into his prime and will be a consistent .290-.310 BA, 25 HR, 100 RBI guy; Jason Vargas is now one full year back from injury, and should outperform last year with more consistency; Mark Lowe is inches from harnessing some tremendous talent, with a 100 mph fastball. Danks is good, but I’m not sure he’s worth that big a risk. I have to get some very good minor league talent back in that deal, because if Danks got hurt (he IS a pitcher), you just gave away the farm for one guy.

    Lopez’ trade value is higher than his value as a mariner. Safeco eats his bat much more than other parks (Fenway comes to mind) will.

    3. Ben Sheets? His arm is attached to his body with bailing wire! OK, the dollars you suggest is cheap by today’s standard and it might be worth a flyer…but it’s definitely a shot in the dark.

    Yes, definitely high risk/reward signing. But taking a chance on him with a short contract isn’t going to rip the guts out of the teams budget. And the upside is what you’re looking at in this case.

    This is the first year I can remember in ages that one or two moves were NOT just plain obvious. Jack Z is also an unpredictable genius, as far as I can tell. So this is going to be a very interesting off-season.

    I agree. This is actually the first time that I can recall being excited about the offseason.

  350. littlesongs on October 24th, 2009 11:44 pm

    Dave, thank you for firing up the hot stove season. This had to have been a really hard post to make going into this off-season. I really appreciate the perspective and I love the idea of a Morrow for Hardy trade.

    I only have a few things to add to this lively discussion beyond a hearty, “Go Jack!”

    First, to those who proposed it, I absolutely positively hate the idea of swapping Carlos Silva for Milton Bradley. The clubhouse is finally friendly and you want to do what?! Besides, Silva can cook all sorts of things, but Bradley only knows grouse and whine.

    Second, the “X-Man” — as he was dubbed by Rich Burke — should be looked at in the same way as his far better Portland Beaver teammate, Jason Bay. While I liked them both, neither Bay nor Xavier Nady are a good fit for the Mariners or Safeco.

    Third, my very significant other and I were watching the last NLCS game when Orlando Hudson stepped to the plate. We casually talked about this post — and that post — while he hit a homer. I thought that was a good sign.

    Finally, please sign Felix. Or rather, please sign, Felix.

  351. Typical Idiot Fan on October 26th, 2009 12:25 am

    Swiffey

    It good us way too long to come up with that.

  352. Typical Idiot Fan on October 26th, 2009 12:26 am

    “Took” dammit. It “took” us way too long. Posting in the middle of the night is dumb.

  353. joser on October 26th, 2009 5:27 pm

    Well, the way they both were for much of the season, “whiff-ey” would be even more accurate.

  354. mymrbig on October 28th, 2009 11:43 am

    Since I was off-topiced on the thread people are actually still reading, does anyone know whether $4 million of Ichiro’s salary is deferred until after he retires? I read that somewhere and, if true, it would open up $4 million more for this year’s budget.

  355. TranquilPsychosis on October 28th, 2009 1:11 pm

    mymrbig,

    look here for the specifics.

  356. mymrbig on October 28th, 2009 3:10 pm

    Thanks. I’ve been to Cot’s a million times and have no idea why I didn’t bother reading the line beneath his actual salary numbers!

    So while Dave had Ichiro’s 2010 salary at $18 M, the M’s are really only paying him $12 M according to Cot’s ($17 M annual salary minus $5 M deferred). I assume Dave realized this, but just preferred to include the money in the 2010 budget, rather than the 2013 (or whenever budget) for simplicity.

  357. TranquilPsychosis on October 28th, 2009 6:07 pm

    I’m not going to pretend that I understand the convoluted infrastructure of their contracts. To me it’s rather fun watching folks pretend that they understand them.

    Call me simple…

  358. TranquilPsychosis on October 28th, 2009 6:19 pm

    Also, mymrbig, what makes you think that we don’t look at previous threads? We just may care about the old as much as the new.

    something to consider…

    Thanks for caring about the team/game enough to check in. Most folks only check in when they have something to bitch about.

  359. Mike Snow on October 28th, 2009 6:50 pm

    So while Dave had Ichiro’s 2010 salary at $18 M, the M’s are really only paying him $12 M according to Cot’s ($17 M annual salary minus $5 M deferred). I assume Dave realized this, but just preferred to include the money in the 2010 budget, rather than the 2013 (or whenever budget) for simplicity.

    $18 million is the average annual value of the contract when you include the signing bonus, and without any reduction for the deferred money. Since we don’t actually know what rules the team is using to match payroll up against budget, simplicity has its virtues. Also, some systems would definitely require you to account for the deferred money now, since it’s an existing liability, not to mention that it does carry a not insubstantial interest rate. But I’ll leave the stupid accounting tricks for the Mariners’ annual report to the PFD.

  360. Eric M. Van on October 30th, 2009 7:53 am

    I’m trying to conceive of the most desirable possible FA.

    Obviously, to start with, he should be tremendously undervalued, so that you can get him for way less money than he’s worth. So he’s going to be a defensive wizard but ideally not one with a huge reputation as such. Baserunning value, which is almost never measured by anyone, would be nice, so let’s just make him the best baserunner (SB / CS excluded) in all of MLB, OK? So you’ve got a guy who projects to be a 5.0 WARP player next year (using Marcel on his EqA and splitting the diff between UZR and Plus / Minus and regressing them, too), but almost nobody realizes he’s anywhere that good.

    Just to be silly, let’s say that he’s coming off a terrible post-season, which might depress his value a tick even though we all know it actually has no predictive value at all.

    How far can we push this? If he’s going to play half his games in Safeco, how about if he gets absolutely no value at all from power, so that he has more value to you than almost anybody else?

    Now I’m downright hallucinating, so let’s just say that he is also the best player on the team that won your division.

    And just to be entirely ludicrous, thanks to the idiocy of Elias, he’s not even a type A!

    Some joke, eh boss?

    If the Mariners don’t make every effort to get this done, then I don’t see why anyone would ever sign a FA, period. It’s the biggest no-brainer in the world.

  361. Notor on October 31st, 2009 7:42 am

    All the love for Robinson Cano in this thread is kind of silly. Not that he is a terrible player but if you’re seriously suggesting he should be the centerpiece of a Felix trade you are batshit crazy.

  362. coreyjro on November 6th, 2009 1:05 pm

    Theoretically Adam Dunn would have been a 3 or 4 win player as a DH, just thought I’d put that out there.

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