Day One Rumor Roundup

Dave · December 7, 2009 at 11:45 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Here’s what I can gather, so far, mostly culled from the handy Mariner Writer twitter list.

Mike Salk says he hears the team likes Nick Johnson. Obviously, I’m a fan, as I’ve been trying to get the M’s to acquire him for years.

Geoff Baker suggests that Jason Bay would twist himself into a pretzel to play in Seattle. I suggest that the M’s offer him $10 million for one year and ask him to prove it. When he turns it down, tell him to enjoy Boston.

Buster Olney says the M’s aren’t in on Bay. Apparently Bay’s agent hasn’t given him the talking points memo yet, or Buster was smart enough to shred it.

Ken Rosenthal reported that the M’s offered Felix 4/45 as they begin negotiations for a long term deal. I hope its not true, because that’s not even a real offer. 4/45 offers to buy out Felix’s first two free agent years for about $10 million each. Unless you’re trying to offend him, there’s no point in making that offer. To even have a conversation, they need to come in at something like 4/65 and hope to settle in the 5/80 or 6/100 range.

Figgins deal should be announced late tonight or early tomorrow. Wak talks to the media at 1 pm, so expect a bunch of articles containing the words “belief system” at about 2:00.


71 Responses to “Day One Rumor Roundup”

  1. Dave on December 7th, 2009 9:46 pm

    That’s just nutty. You’re really undervaluing how much teams love Felix. There’s no hesitation about the guy. Everyone wants him.

  2. nathaniel dawson on December 7th, 2009 9:51 pm

    I want him, too, but we’re not allowed to talk about things like that here, are we?

  3. Kazinski on December 7th, 2009 10:08 pm

    The only two pitchers that would get more money than Felix on the open market are Greinke and Lincecum, and it wouldn’t be a big gap. I like them too.

    FWIW Bill James projects the FIPS for 2009:

    Sabathia 3.34
    Greinke 3.31
    Felix 3.41
    Lincecum 2.62! (NL)

    And keep in mind that Felix is the youngest of the 4 by almost 2 years.

  4. Dave on December 7th, 2009 10:18 pm

    I’d bet that Felix would get more than either of those too. Greinke’s hatred of the spotlight would cause the NY/BOS teams to favor Felix. Lincecum is still small and gangly, while teams correlate size and career longevity on the mound. Toss in that Lincecum has been an NL pitcher and Felix has succeeded in the AL, there’s enough there for teams to go with the guy who looks like what they want their ace to look like.

    I don’t think there’s a pitcher on the planet who would get a bigger deal as a free agent than Felix would right now.

  5. joser on December 7th, 2009 10:34 pm

    Am I the only one worried by Chone Figgins’ approximately .220 OBP in his last seven postseasons? Are we looking at a shrinking violet here?

    You’re the only one who thinks 135 PA gives you a reliable number for OBP. In fact it takes more than three times as many plate appearances. And if he had those, we’d expect it to converge on his regular season career OBP. People make a big deal of postseason numbers being different from their norms but it’s always small sample size: guys “excel” or “choke” in the “pressure” of the postseason until suddenly they don’t — just like they have hot and cold streaks in the regular season. Just look at ARod.

    Besides, if when the M’s get back into the postseason, we’ll find a Kate Hudson to sit in the stands for Chone.

  6. number3 on December 7th, 2009 10:36 pm

    Hi everyone! This is my first post here. Hope I don’t sound like an idiot.

    Sorry if someone already brought it up, but what about Mark DeRosa? I like what the team is doing in signing Chone Figgins, someone who can play multiple positions and get on base. Why not try to bring in DeRosa?

    I think last year’s drop in OBP was attributed to him being hurt. DeRosa is not Jason Bay but his numbers are comparable. The bulk of DeRosa’s ABs came in the number 2 and 6 spots in the lineup, so there aren’t a whole lot of RBI opportunities there. DeRosa doesn’t have as much power as Bay, but we don’t need a lot of power. We need consistent hitters who get on base. Yes, batting around and scoring four runs off of walks, singles and doubles may not be as sexy as a grand slam, but it will wear the opposing pitcher down.

    I’d take DeRosa over Bay because of salary, ability to play multiple positions and comparable numbers. DeRosa be the perfect place holder for Dustin Ackley and RH bat compliment for Michael Saunders. I doubt he’d try to break the bank and command a long term contract because of his age.

    I know other people have been saying it, but I love what the M’s are doing! We’re finally getting back to the formula that let to us winning 116 games. Defense, pitching, versatile players and guys who will get on-base with line drive hits.

  7. diderot on December 7th, 2009 11:08 pm

    Lincecum is still small and gangly

    I nominate this for a separate post sometime in the future (assuming it hasn’t been done yet).

    Do physically big pitchers tend to hold up better than the smaller ones? (e.g., Kerry Wood didn’t, Pedro did; but of course there are examples to the contrary).

  8. joser on December 7th, 2009 11:17 pm

    Fangraphs looked at DeRosa.

  9. ClaytonMiles on December 7th, 2009 11:37 pm

    I agree with Dave that Felix would be the most sought-after free agent if he was on the open market. People FAWN over him. Yeah, they do fawn. Look it up.
    Whoever reports the 4/$45 M story is nuts. My gut reaction is also that the offer would be an insult.
    If the team has $25-30 M left after Figgins – who was a good signing for so many reasons – then I think Z can address all the ‘holes’ the Ms have.
    But how awesome is it that our team and GM seem to be in the driver’s seat and have the respect of the entire MLB? These are good times, soak it up.

  10. Faceplant on December 7th, 2009 11:41 pm

    “I’d bet that Felix would get more than either of those too. Greinke’s hatred of the spotlight would cause the NY/BOS teams to favor Felix.”

    I agree with you when it comes to Lincecum, but I’m not sure about Greinke.

    Why would Greinke’s preferences affect the Yankees offer? What would stop the Yankees or the Redsox from making a competitive offer? Do teams really think that he’s so emotionally fragile that, if he did decide to sign with them, he would wilt under the bright lights?

  11. nathaniel dawson on December 8th, 2009 12:42 am

    I think there’s more to it than that. He’s had emotional issues in the past, which raises the possibility that he may suffer from them again in the future. That might make teams hesitant to offer the kind of years and money the other guys might get.

  12. Ike Clanton on December 8th, 2009 6:08 am

    If Jason Bay is willing to twist himself in knots to play in Seattlye, he should take a one year contract for a salary that wouldn’t handicap the club’s ability to fill their other needs.

    I was tempted to wax philsophical about how little it would take to get me to play for Seattle, if I could play at a professional level, but that’s disrespectful to those that can and presumes that I can predict what I would do when there are real 7 digit offers in front of me.

  13. DMZ on December 8th, 2009 7:08 am

    Emotional issues? What?

  14. Paul B on December 8th, 2009 7:48 am


    Whoever reports the 4/$45 M story is nuts. My gut reaction is also that the offer would be an insult.

    I’d guess that the “philosophical dancing” didn’t start with such an exchange of numbers. I bet they started with exploring preferences and years, with the M’s saying something like they’d love to sign Felix to a 4 year deal, and Felix’ agent countering that they’d be open to consider a 6 year deal if the price was right. Something like that, anyway.


    6/100 would be buying out his first four years of free agency for ~$75 million.

    Which sounds affordable, at $18.75 million per year. Felix + Silva in 2010 will be more than that.

  15. jackson on December 8th, 2009 9:06 am

    Was discussing where to find a little more power and was thinking (and it may even make sense). Why not An Uggla for Lopez swap? Trying to come up with good reasons not to and it seems to make sense from both sides.

  16. joser on December 8th, 2009 9:32 am

    Emotional issues? What?

    I don’t know that I’d call them “emotional” per se but he’s been pretty open about it, which is a step in the right direction for the sport (maybe in another decade one of the gay players will finally be able to admit it). But with it now under control I wouldn’t assume it’s any more of a risk than a past substance abuse problem like Josh Hamilton or even a diabetes condition like Morrow. I mean, hey, let’s not foget we have Ian Snell right here too.

    However I could completely understand if Greinke wanted to not go somewhere like NY where it would get brought up in huge headlines in the Post and speculated about incessantly on WFAN whenever he had a bad outing.

  17. Toddk on December 8th, 2009 9:35 am

    Emotional issues? What?

    This is a joke, yes?

  18. Mike Snow on December 8th, 2009 9:45 am

    I think there may have been some confusion, since the comment about emotional issues failed to clearly identify whose issues it was referring to.

  19. joser on December 8th, 2009 9:58 am

    Why not An Uggla for Lopez swap?

    Uggla is older (Lopez right now is younger than Uggla was when he reached the majors four years ago) and a lot more expensive (over $5M now, perhaps as much as $9M in arbitration; Lopez is on a contract for about $2M). Uggla has far better plate discipline (but in that regard Lopez is the worst among regular 2Bs in baseball) and overall was slightly more valuable last year, but the offensive value of both is tied to BABIP which tends to be pretty variable.

    But if you’re looking for power, I’m not sure that what you get from Uggla will offset the extra millions you pay him… especially since Lopez is still at an age where more power may develop (in fact, take a look at the second graph here.) It’s certainly true that Uggla would have fewer “just barely” HRs at Safeco or McAfee right now, but Lopez is still getting stronger that may be less of an issue for him either.

    Defensively, Uggla is a full win worse than Lopez (as hard as that is to believe); in fact, he may not be considered a 2B anymore. I’d say his biggest upside is his OBP, not his power. And I don’t see that being worth his age and cost. I can see why the Marlins might make that trade, but I don’t see why the M’s do it (unless there is more coming from Florida).

    But don’t take my word for it: listen to Dave.

  20. nathaniel dawson on December 8th, 2009 12:48 pm

    I think there may have been some confusion, since the comment about emotional issues failed to clearly identify whose issues it was referring to.

    That would be my emotioanl issues he was referring to.

  21. Kazinski on December 8th, 2009 9:38 pm

    I’d bet that Felix would get more than either of those too(sic).

    I won’t argue the point, but Grinke and Lincecum both have a consistent advantage over Felix in K/9, BB/K and WHIP. Greinke has better control than either Felix or Lincecum. And in none of the other categories does Felix have an offsetting edge. In terms of innings and LOB% there isn’t much difference between the three.

    Forgive the tweak about the spelling, I struggle here with the spelling and grammar, it doesn’t come easy to me.

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