Interesting Comments From Yesterday

Dave · January 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners held their annual pre-season media luncheon yesterday, leading to a bunch of stories from all the usual sources. Check out Stone, Drayer, Divish, or Brock and Salk for quotes and audio.

For the most part, they said about what you’d expect them to say, though there were a few comments that stood out to me.

1. Jack basically confirms what everyone has assumed – the Mariners are going to trade for a RH OF/1B/DH power hitting type. If I was a betting man, I’d wager on Josh Willingham.

2. Wak confirms what everyone had assumed – Ichiro will lead off and Figgins will hit second.

3. Wak restates that they will give Saunders a chance to make the team in spring training. This basically rules out the team changing course and going after a guy like Damon. They could theoretically make a Saunders/Willingham job share in left work. There’s no way to make a Saunders/Damon job share work.

4. Wak states that Griffey is going to “be in there when he can.” Despite talk all winter of a reduced role for Junior, the quotes make it sound like he plans on Griffey regularly DH’ing. I don’t think the M’s are actually planning on that, however. You don’t acquire Milton Bradley and talk about still wanting another OF/DH type if you really are going to give Junior regular playing time. I’ll chalk this up to just saying nice things about the franchise icon. Remember, the M’s were willing to let Junior talk about playing the outfield last spring, but when push came to shove, he was a DH. They can talk about him as a potential regular this spring, but when push comes to shove again, he’s a bench player.

Comments

43 Responses to “Interesting Comments From Yesterday”

  1. Robo Ape on January 29th, 2010 12:23 pm

    I took “be in there when he can” to mean “be in there when he can [likely have a net positive impact on the situation]“. The idea of “regular” playing time is obviously a little weird, of course, and remember that Junior actually played in the outfield quite a bit while Ichiro was recovering at the beginning of last season.

    My guess is all that means is that they’re likely to DH him against RHP’s.

    Dave, any ideas on what a Willingham trade might look like?

  2. JoshJones on January 29th, 2010 12:29 pm

    Ive got two points

    1) Griffey is working hard this offseason and looking/feeling better than last year. (it seems like they say that every year) But lets say he shows up 20lbs lighter and looks good.

    2)Were a playoff calibur team with a great amount of depth, flexibility, and potentially even payroll. As a result, I think Griffey knows this is his last chance to win a title. So maybe, just maybe, he is more focused than he has been in a while.

    So lets play a game. It’s called, “over/under.”

    Last year Griffey had 387 ABs. Who’s got the over on 400AB’s for Griffey this year?

    Im suprisingly going to say over. Maybe its the die hard fan in me, but ive got a feeling. Maybe it’s just lunch or the fact that my boss is a dick. Who knows…

  3. Robo Ape on January 29th, 2010 12:32 pm

    Josh,

    I will take that under for any amount of money you name.

  4. Marinersmanjk on January 29th, 2010 12:42 pm

    A trade for Willingham sounds good, but we better not give up a lot for someone who doesn’t even play part time. That is, unless, Saunders doesn’t make the team and he shares left with Bradley. For some reason i don’t see Milton as that big of a DH, he played the outfield the whole year last year. And second, is there any truth to a Roberto Callaspo trade? He would be a great alternative to Lopez if we could ship him off to minnesota for Liriano. He’s thrown great in the Carribean series recently.

  5. MrDurden on January 29th, 2010 12:46 pm

    What about Pat Burrell? He would fit into the LF/1B/DH rotation. Yes, Safeco would have a negative effect on his production. Yes, he is poor defensively. Yes, he costs more than he should. There are several drawbacks to him. If there weren’t he would not be available. But, perhaps the Rays’ desire to move him and his $9M salary would be enough for them to include someone like Brignac? Lopez to the Rays would allow them to move Zobrist into RF…

  6. heychuck01 on January 29th, 2010 12:47 pm

    year. And second, is there any truth to a Roberto Callaspo trade? He would be a great alternative to Lopez if we could ship him off to minnesota for Liriano. He’s thrown great in the Carribean series recently.

    I have not seen Callaspo play alot. However, if you believe in his defensive stats, plus what “baseball people” are saying, he is a disaster in the field. He has a good bat, but he defense is potentially so bad, as to cancel that out, and more.

    Think of it this way, Kansas City is choosing to play Chris Getz over him… I know Kansas City has made some curious move, but I also do not notice alot of people are up in arms about this.

    He is young, things can change. But you can say as much about Lopez.

    I would not want to see some sort of strait swap of Callaspo on Lopez. If there is another component to a deal… and I do not see Lopez landing Loriano… maybe… or Callaspo is your utility guy.

  7. Paul B on January 29th, 2010 12:49 pm

    The play when he can comment regarding Junior I took to mean he’ll dh until his knee starts to bother him. I also took Wak to say that if Griffey can no longer hit enough, he would sit across from him and they would come to an agreement about his release.

    If Griffey’s knee is good, and if he gets on some kind of hot streak in April, we can expect to see him at DH quite a bit.

  8. Liam on January 29th, 2010 12:53 pm

    1) Griffey is working hard this offseason and looking/feeling better than last year. (it seems like they say that every year) But lets say he shows up 20lbs lighter and looks good.

    I can see that, he’s already half way there.

    “It has been four weeks since surgery, he’s 10 or 12 pounds lighter.”

    But wait, that was from 2009. You know, after he had his knees drained during the 2008 season and then had offseason knee surgery.

  9. shortbus on January 29th, 2010 12:58 pm

    There’s been talk of Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo looking to trade Willingham for a young pitcher. Should the M’s be willing to talk about dealing any of the guys looking at jobs in the bottom of the rotation this year for “the Hammer?”

  10. Pete Livengood on January 29th, 2010 1:14 pm

    I just thought I would point to this Fangraphs post for more of Dave’s thoughts on Willingham.

    My answer to shortbus’ question (“Should the M’s be willing to talk about dealing any of the guys looking at jobs in the bottom of the rotation this year for ‘the Hammer?’”): yes.

  11. bringbackomar on January 29th, 2010 1:16 pm

    Conspicuously absent from Jack Z’s comments is any mention of bringing in a #3 SP. That and the fact that we are apparently not pursuing Damon lends credence to the theory that we don’t have anything like $8-10m left in the budget. I hope Damon doesn’t end up in Oakland. I still think Bedard is coming back, but it’d be nice to have a reliable middle of the road starter to eat up some innings until he’s ready.

  12. Marinersmanjk on January 29th, 2010 1:26 pm

    What about french for willingham? If we sign back Wash we won’t have lost anything and gained a prospect in that deal. And yeah Callaspo’s defense isn’t great but a utility guy that can hit .300 is none too shabby.

  13. el_presidente on January 29th, 2010 1:43 pm

    My money says Saunders is traded before spring training for a utility infielder (perhaps Callaspo, as Dave tweeted) and the M’s take a run at Damon…

    If Ackley can’t cut it at 2B, you can always move him back to LF in the future.

    The market for Damon just gets smaller and smaller with each passing minute.

  14. Jeff Nye on January 29th, 2010 1:57 pm

    Trading a valuable commodity like Saunders for a utility infielder would be a terrible idea.

  15. Marinersmanjk on January 29th, 2010 1:59 pm

    Saunders won’t be traded. He hit over .300 in the fall league and has great defense. he’s what GMZ is building the club around. Plus Wak said he will be given a chance to make the team. But I’d say if we got Callaspo it would be for one of our many pitchers (French, Vargas ect.)But Damon isn’t coming here, we already have Bradley who should be half in half with left so whoever we get will have to split that half with him. If we get Willingham, I’d say saunders would start in AAA though.

  16. mebpenguin on January 29th, 2010 2:00 pm

    My money says Saunders is traded before spring training for a utility infielder (perhaps Callaspo, as Dave tweeted) and the M’s take a run at Damon…
    If Ackley can’t cut it at 2B, you can always move him back to LF in the future.
    The market for Damon just gets smaller and smaller with each passing minute.

    Are you kidding me? Trading one of your best prospects for a utility infielder is just about one of the stupidest things I can possibly imagine doing as a baseball team.

  17. MrGenre on January 29th, 2010 2:10 pm

    I can see that, he’s already half way there.

    “It has been four weeks since surgery, he’s 10 or 12 pounds lighter.”

    But wait, that was from 2009. You know, after he had his knees drained during the 2008 season and then had offseason knee surgery.

    He had 10 pounds drained from his knees? That’s nasty stuff. I’d be feeling pretty good, too! :)

  18. Marinersmanjk on January 29th, 2010 2:12 pm

    Think how fast the kid will be with all that weight gone from his knees!!!! lol

  19. kentroyals5 on January 29th, 2010 2:18 pm

    Willingham’s numbers from last year would look even better if he didn’t fall off the earth at the plate for the last few weeks of the season.

  20. amnizu on January 29th, 2010 2:24 pm

    Are you kidding me? Trading one of your best prospects for a utility infielder is just about one of the stupidest things I can possibly imagine doing as a baseball team.

    What about your best prospect for Paul Spoljaric and Mike Timlin?

  21. TomTuttle on January 29th, 2010 2:35 pm

    What about your best prospect for Paul Spoljaric and Mike Timlin?

    Or:

    Woody Woodward to Boston’s GM:

    “Hey, do you want BOTH Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe in exchange for Heathcliff Slocumb!?!”

    Ugh.

  22. TomTuttle on January 29th, 2010 2:37 pm

    4. Wak states that Griffey is going to “be in there when he can.” Despite talk all winter of a reduced role for Junior, the quotes make it sound like he plans on Griffey regularly DH’ing. I don’t think the M’s are actually planning on that, however. You don’t acquire Milton Bradley and talk about still wanting another OF/DH type if you really are going to give Junior regular playing time. I’ll chalk this up to just saying nice things about the franchise icon. Remember, the M’s were willing to let Junior talk about playing the outfield last spring, but when push came to shove, he was a DH. They can talk about him as a potential regular this spring, but when push comes to shove again, he’s a bench player.

    That’s likely Plan B at this point if they CAN’T acquire a Josh Willingham type.

  23. el_presidente on January 29th, 2010 2:41 pm

    A utility infielder doesn’t mean a bench player… Chone Figgins is a utility infielder. The M’s are carrying several LF options and there’s more available in the FA market.

    The M’s have already shown their willingness to deal Saunders in other trades.

    Right now, Hannahan in the only utility guy they have in the IF. He has played 1 game at 2B and 2 games at SS his entire career… Not exactly a utility guy. The Mariners have 4 LF/DH types, of which Saunders if the one guy Jackie Z inherited… he went out and got Griffey, Bradley and Langerhans.

    It’s obvious from the moves this offseason that the front office doesn’t value any of Bavasi’s prospects quite as much as Bavasi did. Getting a guy like Callaspo allows them to move Lopez later in the year, since it looks like we’re out of the O. Hudson sweepstakes.

    BTW, Callaspo is not yet 27 and has hit over .300 the last 2 years (although only in 74 games in 2008)Saunders is only 2 years younger.

  24. Toddk on January 29th, 2010 2:41 pm

    What about Pat Burrell? He would fit into the LF/1B/DH rotation. Yes, Safeco would have a negative effect on his production. Yes, he is poor defensively. Yes, he costs more than he should. There are several drawbacks to him.

    I would think that the 3 points you brought up would answer your question. The “costs more than he should” is probably the smallest knock though.

    Seeing all the defense the team seems to be amassing, a poor defensive player, who most likely won’t be a decent bat either, probably doesn’t fit their mold.

  25. Toddk on January 29th, 2010 2:43 pm

    Woody Woodward to Boston’s GM:

    “Hey, do you want BOTH Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe in exchange for Heathcliff Slocumb!?!”

    I might cry. Again.

  26. JeffJ254 on January 29th, 2010 2:49 pm

    The play when he can comment regarding Junior I took to mean he’ll dh until his knee starts to bother him. I also took Wak to say that if Griffey can no longer hit enough, he would sit across from him and they would come to an agreement about his release

    Griffey won’t be released. There’s too much marketing/promotion/nostalgia involved with him. If anything he’ll just take Carlos Silva’s spot on the DL.

  27. mattlock on January 29th, 2010 2:52 pm

    My money says Saunders is traded before spring training for a utility infielder (perhaps Callaspo, as Dave tweeted) and the M’s take a run at Damon…

    I’ll take you up on that bet. I could use some easy cash.

  28. amnizu on January 29th, 2010 2:54 pm

    Woody Woodward to Boston’s GM:

    “Hey, do you want BOTH Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe in exchange for Heathcliff Slocumb!?!”

    Those two trades were enough to make Baby Jesus cry.

  29. typeslowly on January 29th, 2010 2:56 pm

    Why trade value (Lopez? prospects?) for Willingham when you can sign Eric Byrnes for the league minimum?

    He wanted to play in San Francisco, but the Giants aren’t interested. The A’s say they aren’t signing anyone else.

    He’s a perfect fit for the M’s: right handed, good defender, good clubhouse guy (kidding!).

    Do it Jack.

  30. behappy on January 29th, 2010 2:57 pm

    What I don’t get is why would Jack trade for Josh Willingham. When he can get Damon for about $5 million and not trade away a prospect. I understand he is RH and Damon is a leftie but it is that worth trading away a player for? What am I not understanding? Are we not just looking for a one year player untill Saunders is ready to play? If that is the case I think Damon would be the better fit.

  31. amnizu on January 29th, 2010 2:59 pm

    Why trade value (Lopez? prospects?) for Willingham when you can sign Eric Byrnes for the league minimum?

    He wanted to play in San Francisco, but the Giants aren’t interested. The A’s say they aren’t signing anyone else.

    I like Byrnes @ the min, but SD, LAA and LAD are all going to need to pass on him before he looks outside of socal.

  32. mattlock on January 29th, 2010 3:05 pm

    The M’s are carrying several LF options

    Saunders being the only full-time outfield option projects to 3 WAR.

    The M’s have already shown their willingness to deal Saunders in other trades.

    What are you talking about??

    he went out and got Griffey, Bradley and Langerhans.

    Griffey is a DH-type, not LF/DH type. Langerhans is not, and will never be, a full-time starter. Bradley is more of a DH than a LF–not to Griffey’s extent, but if he’s going to be healthy and happy, he’ll spend more time DHing.

    The M’s might have possibly according to some
    people perhaps toyed with the idea of including Saunders in the Lee deal, but Alberto Callaspo /= Cliff Lee.

  33. Breadbaker on January 29th, 2010 3:12 pm

    Are you kidding me? Trading one of your best prospects for a utility infielder is just about one of the stupidest things I can possibly imagine doing as a baseball team.

    What it brought to mind was this exact transaction:

    September 13, 1996: Sent by the Seattle Mariners to the Minnesota Twins to complete an earlier deal made on August 29, 1996. The Seattle Mariners sent a player to be named later to the Minnesota Twins for Dave Hollins.

  34. el_presidente on January 29th, 2010 3:22 pm

    Mattlock, I mentioned in my original post taking a run at Damon… a full time LF. He’s got a track record and for a team that is built to win now, Damon is a better fit for the M’s in 2010 than Saunders is.

    They had shown a willingness to deal Saunders in the Lee deal. I never said Callaspo = Lee, but I did say the team has shown some willingness to trade him, which is true… and if you read back on that, the Phillies didn’t ask for him and then change their mind… we offered him and they wanted Gilles instead. The deal was never Saunders for Lee anyways, he was just a portion of that deal and Philly valued Gilles over Saunders, so that’s another MLB team not that high on Saunders. Go read Geoff Bakers post from Dec 24th in the Mariners Blog… I’m not the only one who thinks the M’s aren’t too high on Saunders… Not that I think Geoffs an authority on anything, he just happens to have made a point I agree with.

  35. coreyjro on January 29th, 2010 3:41 pm

    What made you think that they were willing to deal Saunders in the Lee deal? Just because they wanted Tyson Gilles more than Saunders doesn’t mean Saunders was on the table. Once Saunders gets his K rate under control, which I believe he can, he’ll be a monster. A plus fielder with offensive upside this season, in a couple years could be a 4 to 5 win player if he figures everything out.

  36. sp_da_man on January 29th, 2010 3:53 pm

    Twitter is a beautiful thing…

    shannondrayer : M’s sign Eric Byrnes to a one year deal.

  37. Marinersmanjk on January 29th, 2010 3:54 pm

    hell yeah Byrnes for 300k lol sweet deal

  38. amnizu on January 29th, 2010 3:57 pm

    Twitter is a beautiful thing…

    shannondrayer : M’s sign Eric Byrnes to a one year deal.

    What a happy friday gift, I guess I egg on my face in this thread!

  39. luckyscrubs on January 29th, 2010 4:04 pm

    (moved comment to Dave’s post)

  40. typeslowly on January 29th, 2010 4:09 pm

    Wow. Ask and ye shall receive.

  41. Toddk on January 29th, 2010 4:10 pm

    What a happy friday gift, I guess I egg on my face in this thread!

    Maybe not. It’s possible that they all passed on him?

  42. mattlock on January 29th, 2010 4:34 pm

    Damon is a better fit for the M’s in 2010 than Saunders is.

    So throw away a potential staple of the future in return for a pathetic-fielding decent-hitting utility guy, just cuz they could acheive a bit of an upgrade in the OF now.

    Terrible idea.

    That’s the kind of thinking that separates Beane and Zduriencik from Moore and Minaya

  43. amnizu on January 29th, 2010 4:40 pm

    Maybe not. It’s possible that they all passed on him?

    Okay, thats what I’ll tell myself. Really though, I dont care, super happy he signed on with the M’s.

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