’09 40-man Preview Extravaganza

Jay Yencich · November 18, 2009 at 7:05 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

We’re heavy into the award season now, but in the midst of that we also have a Nov. 20th deadline by which players must be added to the roster or risk being picked in the Rule 5 draft. The rules relate to the age a player was when they signed and what season their first contract was for. This year, we’re looking at HS draftees and the younger (eighteen or below) international players that were signed to 2005 contracts or college-aged or older players that were signed to 2006 contracts. The Mariners already brought on the big names like Moore and Saunders over the course of the season, so there really aren’t that many players left. Even so, they might hold off on bringing too many on board as next year looks to be a big one, with prospects like Triunfel, Liddi, Pineda, J.C. Ramirez (these last three signing contracts in ’05, but for the ’06 season) Gillies, Hill, Robles, and others needing to come aboard. Here is an inexhaustive list of who we might be looking at in the way of additions:

CF Ezequiel Carrera, L/L, 6/11/1987
2009 (AA) : 91 G, 329 AB, 68 R, 111 H, 12 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 38 RBI, 27 SB, 13 CS, 62/59 K/BB, .337/.441/.416
Pros: High batting average, competent defense, great batting eye, speed
Cons: Not elite defender, offers nothing in the way of power, likely fourth OF
Summary: Carrera was a nice piece that came over in the Putz trade, but in the overall scheme of things, Gillies is faster, stronger, and a better defender, and so Carrera is probably just a chip now.

RHP Dan Cortes, 3/4/1987
2009 (AA): 10 GS, 1-5, 4.94 ERA in 54.2 IP, 51 H (4 HR), 33 R (30 ER), 55/35 K/BB
Pros: Solid velocity on fastball (91-93, touching higher) complemented by plus curve, improved after trade
Cons: Change-up is not good, command is awful
Summary: Cortes has the best ceiling of the high minors pitching prospects, but his not-good walk rate has gotten a lot worse as he’s moved up. He’s still in boom or bust territory, and the prospect of him becoming a reliever is real.

RHP Ricky Orta, 11/6/1984
2009 (AA): 24 G (3 GS), 3-2, 1.94 ERA in 41.2 IP, 29 H (HR), 14 R (9 ER), 41/18 K/BB
Pros: Live fastball (93-94), workable secondary offerings, dominant for the past year
Cons: Attempts to get him to start have resulted in disaster, struggles with left-handers
Summary: Orta was the also ran in a pitching-loaded ’06 draft for years, but trades and progress on his own part push him to near the top of the list now. He could develop into something similar to what Mark Lowe is now.

LHP Edward Paredes, 9/30/1986
2009 Stats (A+): 42 G (3 GS), 8-4, 4.69 ERA in 71.0 IP, 74 H (6 HR), 45 R (37 ER), 64/22 K/BB
Pros: Kills LHB (.231 avg, 2.31 BB/9, 12.73 K/9), has stuff that would allow him to keep doing that (avg. to plus FB, killer slider)
Cons: Can’t start either, about half as good versus right-handers due to lack of change-up
Summary: Paredes is as pure a left-on-left reliever as the organization really has at this point. Player development likes him too. Even lacking experience, he might get on because no one else can do what he does.

OF Carlos Peguero, L/L, 2/22/1987
2009 (A+): 126 G, 491 AB, 92 R, 133 H, 21 2B, 14 3B, 31 HR, 3 SB, 4 CS, 172/42 K/BB, .271/.335/.560
Pros: Future RF with power LH bat, walks more than Halman
Cons: Has only played more than 100 games, and hit more than 12 HR, once, strikes out as much as Halman, California League
Summary: Juan Silverstre, mk. II? Silvestre had a better eye at the plate, which is laughable, but Peggy is potentially more competent on the field, and actually had better power numbers. Whether he is remotely valuable after three option years is another matter.

C Travis Scott, L/R, 4/24/1985
2009 (A+): 102 G, 351 AB, 48 R, 100 H, 28 2B, 5 3B, 15 HR, 71 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 78/41 K/BB, .285/.356/.521
Pros: Best LHH backstop in the org (de-fault!), no real platoon issues
Cons: Actually hits LHPs better which some would use to question bat speed, offensive backstop who spent three years in the Cal League because of his offense, not great at catching runners stealing
Summary: The organization has a number of youngish catchers available. Scott is around in case anything happens, but there’s not much reason to expect a great deal from him as he moves up.

RHP Anthony Varvaro, 10/31/1984
2009 (AA): 36 G, 4-3, 2.82 ERA in 54.1 IP, 30 H (HR), 23 R (17 ER), 63/44 K/BB
Pros: Decent velocity, hammer curve, probable first-round pick coming out of college
Cons: Tommy John in past (why he slipped to the 12th), has only recently stopped walking the entire world, and by recently I mean just in the Arizona Fall League
Summary: It’s a test to see whether one believes AFL stats to be legitimate or not. If his current rate of about one every six innings holds, he has a future. If not, I’ve just wasted 103 words.

There are other assorted names of that are of interest only to me in there, examples being less experienced international players like Avila, Juan Fuentes, Richard Ortiz, and Halman’s more flawed countryman Kalian Sams, as wells as organization mainstays like Jeff Dominguez, Johan Limonta, and Andy Baldwin, but none of them are all that worth talking about. The seven above seem to be the most likely to go on. The M’s currently have thirty-four spots or so available, taking off Batista, Bedard, Beltre, Branyan, Chavez, Sweeney. They could make additional moves to pull guys off around the deadline, but I don’t know that they will. Off-hand, I’d say the top five probably go on with additional moves accommodating free agents, but some maneuvering could get Scott on too. I remain skeptical about Varvaro.


15 Responses to “’09 40-man Preview Extravaganza”

  1. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on November 18th, 2009 9:21 am

    The M’s currently have thirty-four spots or so available, taking off Batista, Bedard, Beltre, Branyan, Chavez, Sweeney.

    Less optimistic we’ll get a deal done with Branyan? Just curious…
    Thanks for this look at what’s coming Dave. I hope Cortes can figure out his command enough to maintain a starter ceiling…we shall see.

  2. niterunner on November 18th, 2009 9:24 am


    Do you think Kyle Parker is worth a flyer?

  3. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on November 18th, 2009 9:29 am

    Sorry Jay…didn’t mean to call you Dave. Matter of habit. 😛

  4. Jay Yencich on November 18th, 2009 9:59 am

    Less optimistic we’ll get a deal done with Branyan? Just curious…

    I don’t have any information one way or another on Branyan. But the deal will probably go down after the Nov 20th deadline anyway, so we could just move accordingly from there.

    Do you think Kyle Parker is worth a flyer?

    Parker’s kind of interesting, but there are two strikes I have against him at the moment. One is that his Ks plummeted this year. He went from 7.2 K/9 and a 4.2 BB/9 in High Desert to 5.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in West Tenn. Double-A transitions are notoriously hard, but it’s still some cause for concern. The other thing is that even though he’s started the majority of the time, he’s never cleared 120 innings because he always manages to get dinged up somehow. He’s been a sleeper for a while. It’s hard to say if he’s going to wake up any time soon, or ever.

  5. wsm on November 18th, 2009 10:17 am

    I’d probably try to find a way to stash Varvaro. He’s a guy who would be likely to go in the Rule 5 draft with late-inning K potential. He’d be easy to hide on a 25 man roster until a team could find an excuse to 60-Day DL him (which he’s likely to provide). Not saying he’d be that big of a loss, but I’m betting we would lose him if he went unprotected.

  6. Grizz on November 18th, 2009 11:06 am

    The M’s should only add players who have a strong chance of not only being selected in the Rule 5 draft, but kept for a full year on another team’s 25-man roster (or at least 90 days plus DL time). The great majority Rule 5 picks get returned, most before spring training ends.

    There is a significant downside to adding a player and then bumping him off when Branyan or someone else signs — he must clear waivers before the M’s could send him back down, but unlike the Rule 5, the claiming team can send the player to the minors using an option. No team may want to carry Dan Cortes on its 25-man roster, but many would likely jump at the chance to add him to their minor league system.

    The M’s are better off exposing a borderline player to the Rule 5 draft than adding him and removing him later.

  7. Dave on November 18th, 2009 11:19 am

    That’s a good point, but is mostly applicable to teams so brimming with talent that there isn’t a marginal guy on the 40 man that you wouldn’t mind losing. The M’s carried Bryan LaHair on the 40 man all year not because they had to, but because they had no reason not to.

    I don’t sense that the M’s are yet in the position where they won’t have a spot or two on the 40 man to waste.

  8. maqman on November 18th, 2009 11:19 am

    I’m with Grizz.

  9. Jay Yencich on November 18th, 2009 11:37 am

    I’m actually with Dave on this one. If we’re talking next year, yes, there’s no room to waste as I’ve outlined above. However, for this year, there’s no harm in keeping a few guys on, just like there was no real harm in keeping Vega and Kahn on the 40-man this past season because the other minor league options were wanting. There’s no reason that this year’s additions can’t be treated as a “good faith” move, so to speak, keeping borderline guys now and then dumping them if they fail to develop.

    Even with the five that were pulled off at the start of the offseason, there’s still a bit of dead weight on the roster as is, or players that won’t likely be adding much to the next Mariners playoff run. I’d rather have maybe one or two more of the above seven added than I want to see the spot reserved for a player whom we already know is a marginal contributor at best.

  10. Grizz on November 18th, 2009 11:38 am

    I don’t sense that the M’s are yet in the position where they won’t have a spot or two on the 40 man to waste.

    The M’s are moving in that direction, though. [Pause for smile.] And it might change quickly depending on who is available in the Rule 5 draft and on waivers following the annual shuffling of 40-man rosters at the end of spring training or later in the year. I would hate to pass on the next Nelson Cruz next March because the M’s did not want to risk the 5% chance that the Padres would select Carlos Peguero and keep him on its active roster for 2010. Looking at the current 40-man roster, after subtracting the veteran free agents Jay mentioned, there are not many Josh Wilsons, Gaby Hernandezes, or Ryan Feierabends.

    This is not to say that the M’s should not add anyone to the 40-man roster, just do not add someone if there is virtually no risk that another team will take and keep him.

  11. Jay Yencich on November 18th, 2009 11:44 am

    Keep in mind that we’d be picking towards the end of the Rule 5 draft, depending on what other teams do. Also, as you yourself pointed out, most players don’t stick it out through the spring training cuts. The Mariners picked second last year and traded for an additional pick, and retained neither player.

  12. joser on November 18th, 2009 12:12 pm

    How likely is it that someone like Paredes can learn another pitch (at this point in his career) that makes him a potential starter? I know, anything is possible, but how often does something like that actually happen? I don’t pay enough attention to what goes on in the minors to have a sense of that sort of thing.

    The M’s seem to be experts at picking up pitchers that turn into passable relievers, alas.

  13. Jay Yencich on November 18th, 2009 12:24 pm

    How likely is it that someone like Paredes can learn another pitch (at this point in his career) that makes him a potential starter? I know, anything is possible, but how often does something like that actually happen?

    Paredes needs something else to work against right-handers. At present, he has a change-up, but the change-up frequently is the most extreme of the feel pitches. It’s not something that most guys can just get a grip for and let loose. He’s been relieving because he can’t get that change down even though they’ve been trying to get him to learn it for years. A cutter might work, but that would still leave him only with the slider as an off-speed pitch and that may not be enough.

  14. Sykes423 on November 19th, 2009 12:28 am

    this’ll sound kissass but it needs to be said: posts like these are why i come here every day. i would never know this stuff on my own or have any idea where to get it. great job, man, thanks.

  15. nwivoryhunter on November 20th, 2009 1:06 pm


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