Roster Almost Set

Dave · December 18, 2009 at 1:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Today’s dual moves of trading for Milton Bradley and re-signing Ryan Langerhans to a major league contract seem to go together. And, they would apparently point to Michael Saunders probably beginning 2010 somewhere besides Seattle – likely Tacoma, but Jack is known to be pursuing a trade involving some big pieces, and this could be the precursor to that kind of deal. Here’s why this leads me down that path.

The M’s did not acquire Bradley to just DH. He’s an average-ish defensive left fielder, which is part of the appeal to the team. They had no interest in another DH-only type of player with Griffey on the roster. And, whether he deserves it or not, Griffey is going to play more than once a month – I’ve got him penciled in for 200 to 250 at-bats at DH, which is basically playing every couple of days or so. By acquiring a guy who can play both LF and DH, the M’s have essentially created a rotating LF/DH platoon between Bradley, Griffey, Langerhans, and Hall.

On some days, we’ll see Bradley in left and Griffey at DH. On other days, it will be Langerhans in left and Bradley at DH. Against a LH pitcher, I think you’ll see Hall in left and Bradley at DH on most days. None of the four will be counted on to be full-time players, which they are not capable of being, but they will be allowed to share two jobs when the match-ups are in their favor.

Saunders just isn’t as good of a fit for this kind of role as Langerhans is. He needs to play regularly, not spend half his days sitting on the bench and coming in a as a late inning defensive replacement. The portion of the LF job share that he would be up for is probably only in line for 250-300 at-bats, which is not enough for a kid who still has stuff to work on. But it’s perfect for Langerhans, who is a quality role player but not good enough to play everyday.

Given Bradley’s role here, I think Saunders probably begins the year in Tacoma. And that’s fine – Bradley is a good enough player where that kind of move makes sense, given the team’s go-for-it approach to 2010. Whether he ends up joining the team at some point in the summer or gets shipped off at the deadline as a piece in a blockbuster trade remains to be seen. The nice thing about today’s moves is that it gives the Mariners the option to do either.


112 Responses to “Roster Almost Set”

  1. Coug1990 on December 18th, 2009 8:21 pm

    I have a hard time believing we’re paying out all of our payroll flexibility for a shot at a good season…

    What do you mean?

  2. Mariners2620 on December 18th, 2009 8:24 pm

    I think he is referring to the comment that a guy above us made, that said that Shannon Drayer is stating that the Mariners are giving the Cubs 15 million instead of 9 million. there is no way in hell that this would happen.

  3. amnizu on December 18th, 2009 8:26 pm

    Why would Boston want to pay Beltre $13 MM per year? That looks way over market value right now.

    Kinda out of context and not to the point of my post. The original point is Boston has plenty of payroll room and flexibility to sign Beltre at his requested rate, didn’t say anything about the current market and his value compared to it. Now, that said if they sign Holladay or Bay and extend Becket they may be tapped out and just keep Lowell. Regardless, the thought that Beltre would give Seattle a sweetheart deal is just not viable at this time, maybe in February if he is still on the market, but not in December.

    So looping it all back around to being on topic. I’d much rather see the M’s go sign or trade for a 3+ WAR 1b than bring Beltre back. Mainly because doing so will cost less money and allow for future payroll flexibility if the M’s need to make a move come July.

  4. psea on December 18th, 2009 8:35 pm

    Help me please,

    So great trade today. But this notion that we’re almost done is a little frightening. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I still don’t see the offense that will allow us to be serious contenders. Where is the guy who can take C.C. Sabathia’s best pitch in the biggest game and hit it out? Where is Jason Bay? You don’t want to pay him? Where is the trade for the big bat we need for the big game. It is no longer about a season of sabermetrics… it is about winning a game against the best pitcher in the game outside Seattle. I’m not sure it’s there. If not Bay, we need someone else. Rather have him than give up the farm.

  5. Liam on December 18th, 2009 8:40 pm

    Drayer’s citing to Stark saying the Ms will be sending $15 million to Chicago and not just $6 million. Any idea which (if either) is correct?

    Do you have a link, it’s not on her blog or twitter?

  6. argh on December 18th, 2009 8:43 pm

    Notes…ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that this is not a straight player for player exchange. According to Stark the Mariners will send 9 million dollars with Silva, 3 million in 2010 to cover the salaray difference then 6 million over the next 2 years in payroll relief to the Cubs…The busy M’s made a move before the trade signing Ryan Langerhans to a one year Major League contract this morning…

    On the blog at 11:19 a.m.

  7. argh on December 18th, 2009 8:44 pm

    And now, finally, I see I read much too fast and added incorrectly.


  8. Mariners2620 on December 18th, 2009 8:46 pm

    This is just what I would like for the Mariners to do from here. Beltre is going to have to suck it up and realize he isn’t getting the 13-15 million a year that Boras and his self think they can get. He will end up having to settle for a 3-4 year 8-9 million a year contract, unless the Red Sox pull another 12 G’s out of there asses, which I don’t see happening seeing as how they just signed Lackey/Cameron and are expected to send 9 million to the Rangers with the Lowell trade. I say that Beltre’s best option would be to come back to the Mariners for the kind of numbers I suggested up top. If you could do that, then you have Beltre, Wilson, Figgins,?, Bradley, Gutierrez, and Ichiro as your defense. Completely awesome. I would also like them to trade for Adrian Gonzalez with Saunders (seeing as how Ackley will be up here in 2011 and we already have Greg Halman as well), Morrow, Lopez, and a few others I suppose. Who doesn’t want Adrian Gonzalez, he would do amazing things to this lineup and bring a solid glove with him as well. I understand that the chances are minuscule, but with Z it may be possible. It’s just what I would love for them to do, not what I actually believe they are going to do.

  9. rightwingrick on December 18th, 2009 9:01 pm

    Could be wrong here, but I don’t think we are even close to being set. My guess is a SP signing, a 2B signing, and a huge trade involving an existing SP, existing RP, existing 2B, and top prospect(s).

  10. tmac9311 on December 18th, 2009 9:48 pm

    After thinking about it, I love this trade. I feel as if this is almost fail proof for the M’s. Bradley’s coming into a team:

    A: That had a 30 minute hugfest at the end of the season last year, because they love playing with each other so much.

    B: That has Two HoFers (Junior, ICHIRO) and two frontrunners for the Cy Young. This team is loaded with talent.

    C: A defense and pitching first team. No one is going to ride him for going 0-4, because Wilson and others will be doing that alot.

    D: If Bradley does in fact hit behind Ichiro, Figgins; he will be sitting in a situation where nearly every at bat will create a RBI situation.

    If he can’t be happy with that, his career in Seattle won’t end, his baseball career all together will. If a player finds a way to hate that situation, why would any team think he would like theirs better?

    Could be wrong here, but I don’t think we are even close to being set. My guess is a SP signing, a 2B signing, and a huge trade involving an existing SP, existing RP, existing 2B, and top prospect(s).

    I like your way of thinking, and that’s what I’m hoping for. Votto, Butler, Gonzalez, maybe another 1B not yet brought up. I’m not sure I want to give Morrow up, as right now I like the fantasy of a Felix/Lee/Sheets/RRS/Morrow five man rotation. Although I suppose a Felix/Lee/Sheets/RRS/Snell isn’t much different. If we can even afford to sign Sheets wants the other holes are filled.

    As for the hole we’d have if we lost Lopez, I’m not convinced you fill that with a 2B. Sure I’d love to have Hudson, but maybe someone like Crede would fit the team better, though I don’t think he generates the WAR we are looking for.

    All I know is I hope Jack has more up his sleeve than Russel Branyan, the team right now looks awesome, but I’ve really enjoyed waiting for the next move we make, and I don’t really want the moves to stop pouring in.

  11. MrZDevotee on December 18th, 2009 10:31 pm

    Hi guys.
    I’ve been reading awhile, but this is my first post.

    I’m not concerned about Bradley. If you look in his past, in smaller markets with less sensational journalists (Oakland, Texas) he never had problems. Piniella’s a hot head, off the cuff kinda guy (whom I love, actually) which obviously clashes with Bradley’s sensitive side, whereas Wak is very much into learning his players and finding the avenue to use their talents the best.

    I think this is a deal that came about because we were dangling Silva to anyone who would listen before we dumped him. I don’t think he would have made it to Spring Training either way.

    All I know is that if you told me at the end of last season that we would enter 2010 minus the contracts of Carlos Silva and Kenji Johjima, trade 3 prospects for a Cy Young winner, and add the American League leader in walks to the least patient lineup in baseball (who can also steal 40 bases)– I’d have laughed until my sides hurt.

    Wow. That’s all there is to it. We’re not even done yet, but if we were– I’d still be excited for 2010. (I finish every thought these days with a giggle and saying to myself “Cliff-f***ing-LEE!!!”)

  12. eponymous coward on December 19th, 2009 9:19 am

    B: That has Two HoFers (Junior, ICHIRO) and two frontrunners for the Cy Young. This team is loaded with talent.

    Junior is going to the HOF, sure, but he hasn’t been a player performing at a HOF level since last decade (2000). This is a mid-to-high 80’s team in terms of talent level, which is good, but certainly not loaded. (Compare and contrast with the Yankees if you want a team that’s “loaded”.)

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