Process and Results

Dave · May 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

One of the main tenets of the blog is that, since we can’t predict the future, the best you can ask from someone is to make wise decisions based on probability and hope for the best. Good plans don’t always work, but the best path to success is to make decisions that have proven to work more often than not, and over the long haul, you will end up successful. So, we judge organizations on the process of their decisions, not on the outcomes they couldn’t have predicted to begin with.

So, let’s break the current problems the Mariners face into two categories – good process/bad outcome and bad process/bad outcome. I have no real interest in criticizing the organization for the former, as there’s nothing you can do about good decisions that don’t work. But the latter, those are the ones that we’re more than willing to lay at the feet of the people who put this team together, and those are the problems that they need to fix, because for the most part, those are decisions that can be corrected. Those are the ones to get upset about.

Good Process, Bad Outcome To Date

Signing Chone Figgins. Practically everyone was in favor of this move, because he was a good player who improved the team at a position where they needed improvement. He hasn’t hit, but he will eventually, and the investment was a sound one.

Putting Ryan Rowland-Smith in the rotation. He’s been downright terrible, but that wasn’t what anyone expected going into the season. As a strike-throwing flyball lefty, he profiled as a guy who was a good fit for the team and park. He just forgot how to throw strikes, and that’s a big problem for guys with fringe stuff.

Trading for Casey Kotchman. This one may be a little more controversial, but I’ll still put this in the good process column. He projected as an average-ish player, especially if he was platooned against lefties. Given the team’s payroll constraints, there weren’t many better options in his price range, and he offered enough upside to make the gamble worth it. You can’t predict anyone to post a .190 BABIP, which has derailed Kotchman’s season so far.

Trading for Milton Bradley. In the grand scheme of things, the M’s paid $3 million per year for two years of Milton Bradley. The risks were well known, but given the price, it was a risk worth taking. Forget the people who say Bradley has been the problem – they don’t know what they are talking about. The Mariners are 10-10 when Milton Bradley starts, yet 4-14 when he doesn’t. He has his issues, but every $3 million acquisition has warts. Bradley can still help this team, even if the first six weeks of his Mariner career haven’t gone so well.

Bad Process, Bad Outcomes

Signing Ken Griffey Jr. Self-explanatory.

Settling on Jack Wilson as your starting shortstop, then going without a capable backup. His durability problems were no secret, and the Mariners decided to screw themselves over when he ended up getting hurt.

Choosing catchers based on personality, not skill. They like Rob Johnson for his work ethic, so the fact that he has no major league skills doesn’t matter.

Screwing the bench over by carrying Mike Sweeney. Once they had committed themselves to Griffey, there was no reasonable way to have another player on this team who couldn’t play the field. They chose to keep Sweeney anyway, and in the process, completely destroyed the bench. This directly led to Eric Brynes playing LF against RHPs, an inability to pinch hit or pinch run in high leverage situations, and not being able to give struggling hitters a day off, as there was no one capable of playing their position on the bench.

Believing that Matt Tuiasosopo can play. Two years in a row, Tui has had a huge spring training, and his performances in March have convinced Wak that he’s a major league player. He’s not. He might be an okay platoon player in a year or two, but he’s a defensive zero who has the bat of a good glove shortstop. He belongs in Tacoma. He’s always belonged in Tacoma.

Not carrying a left-handed reliever. I get that some right-handed relievers don’t have big platoon splits and can get guys out from both sides of the plate. I understand the value in having relievers pitch full innings in order to save their arms and keep everyone fresh. That said, the Mariners are carrying a pair of replacement level arms in Jesus Colome and Sean White, neither of whom are good against lefties, that could easily be replaced by a generic lefty that would give the team the platoon advantage in critical situations when its called for. If they had six or seven good right-handed relievers, fine, don’t carry a lefty. But not carrying a lefty so that you can have Sean White’s useless arm on the team? That’s not good baseball.

Depending on Milton Bradley to play the outfield everyday. This is another consequence of carrying Sweeney, but instead of the original off-season plan of having Bradley split time between LF and DH, he was made the everyday LF when Sweeney made the team and Langerhans was jettisoned to get back to a 12 man pitching staff, giving the team no LH left fielder besides Bradley. The team should have known that asking him to play the outfield, and interact with fans all game long, was a recipe for disaster, and realized that everyone was best served having him spend his days at DH.

Comments

61 Responses to “Process and Results”

  1. CCW on May 18th, 2010 12:40 pm

    I think it’s worth pointing out that the bad process stuff has had far less of an impact on the M’s fortunes than the good process / bad results stuff. If good process / bad results had instead been good process / good results, we’d be pretty close to first place right now and we wouldn’t be so focused on the bad process / bad results.

    Also, Griffey in the last 28 days: .151 / .233 / .170. Talk about bad results…

  2. robbbbbb on May 18th, 2010 12:41 pm

    The thing is, most of this stuff is eminently fixable, even at this late date. First base and catcher are the two problems that would take resources to fix in-season. The other problems can all be fixed with guys who are already in the system.

    And let’s be fair about the catcher problem: Who was available to the Mariners this offseason, relatively cheaply, who’d be an improvement on the Moore/Johnson tandem?

    If they’d stick Bradley at DH, dump Sweeney, and shuffle the bullpen and bench, you’d have most of these problems fixed.

    You might add one more good process/bad result decision: Jose Lopez at third base. Lopez has played pretty good defense, but his hitting has imploded. That’s BABIP-driven, but his ISO has taken a tumble, too. We all expected Lopez to be a decent player this year, and he hasn’t been.

  3. Dave Spiwak on May 18th, 2010 12:42 pm

    May I add batting Saunders ninth to protect his fragile psyche. Under this logic, we’d need five nine-hole hitters!

  4. mlathrop3 on May 18th, 2010 12:42 pm

    I just read that Figgins has already grounded into eight double plays in less than one-quarter of the season. He grounded into eight all of last year with the Angels.

    Is that just crappy luck, or is that because Ichiro is on base in front of him? Either way, no one would have foreseen that Figgins would be a DP machine.

  5. pgreyy on May 18th, 2010 12:43 pm

    Excellent post, Dave!

    I hope there’s a “part two” that deals with batting order construction, base-running and bullpen use.

  6. Flowin on May 18th, 2010 12:44 pm

    It’s one thing to keep Griffey on the bench, so the team can make money with promotional stuff. I understand the business aspect of it, even if I completely disagree with it. But to have him regularly in the starting lineup, against any pitcher (righties or lefties) is unacceptable.
    AND… to have him hit 5th. It is like having a pitcher in the NL in the middle of the lineup.

    Dave,

    Should we be worried about Chone? I mean, I understand regression to the mean. Knowing what you know now to date, would you still have signed Chone back in Decemeber (obviously this is hypothetical, but I’m wondering when we should start worrying that we are never going to see the speedy .400 OBP Figgins). If you could get rid of Figgins right now and free up the money, would you do it?

  7. codybond31 on May 18th, 2010 12:52 pm

    Someone made the point earlier, There are really over 50 Triple-A hitters or MLB bench players that could easily be acquired and also really help this line-up…

    My example is Toronto. They really needed a leadoff hitter, and have for years. So what did they do? They traded for Fred Lewis for *future considerations*. Now, is Fred Lewis, Ricky Henderson? Of course not. But, Has he stabilized their lineup and filled a huge need? YES! It’s not that hard to do.

    There is no way guys like Josh Wilson, Tui, Kotchman, Langerhans, Jr., Sweeney or every catcher that’s been behind the plate should be on a MLB roster at their stage of their careers. Some too early (Tui, Moore, etc.) some too old (Jr. and 4-6-3). But either way this is ridiculous.

    My suggestion: try to get catcher Ryan Doumit from Pittsburgh. He’s a young, switch-hitter catcher, who happens to also be from the area. He has a lot of talent but is not as hot in their org. due to injuries in the past slowing his progress.

    Also here’s a list of other good bats that either are on the bench of other teams, or are splitting playing time that could be easier to get:

    OF-Corey Hart, Mil., Matt Diaz, Atl., Luke Scott, Bal., Jeremy Hermida, Bos., Xavier Nady, Chi., Austin Kearns, Cle., Seth Smith, Col., Delmon Young or Jason Kuebel, Min., Marcus Thames, NYY, Jack Cust, Oak., Ryan Church, Pit., Matt Stairs, SD, Jermaine Dye, FA,

    INF-Mike Lowell, Bos., Mike Jacobs, NYM., Jim Thome, Min., Willie Aybar or Hank Blalock, TB,

    What a list huh?

  8. _David_ on May 18th, 2010 12:57 pm

    Has Sweeney’s recent power surge doomed us for another month or two?

  9. Shanfan on May 18th, 2010 1:00 pm

    Who is Brad Process? It might be a matter of perception on bad process concerning the catchers and Tui. If you’re trying to win now, then it was bad process. If you’re building for the future it might be worth the risk to let them sink or swim and see what you truly have. A season of Zahn and Bard (or whomever) wouldn’t have helped us for 2011. Same with some of the arms. Z has shown a willingness to let guys go who don’t figure in the long run, you just need to be sure what you have. I’d rather keep a prospect around a few months too long (especially when you have few alternatives) than let them go too early like we’ve done for most of our history.

  10. CarpCarter on May 18th, 2010 1:02 pm

    Has Sweeney’s recent power surge doomed us for another month or two?

    14-24

    BELIEF SYSTEM

  11. NorthofWrigleyField on May 18th, 2010 1:04 pm

    Good Process, Good Outcome to date

    Trading three prospects for Cliff Lee. Gives the fans at least something to look forward to every five days when Felix isn’t on the mound. Sure, he might have a 1-10 record with an 11 to 1 K ratio and a 1.59 ERA by the time they get around to trading him, but at least this is something we know Jack Z can get right. I can’t wait to see the “next Cliff Lee” he brings in.

  12. z24lax on May 18th, 2010 1:05 pm

    I disagree with the Casey Kotchman one, but the reason isn’t really Casey Kotchman. The reason is based off of one of this teams most obvious shortcomings this season, and that is the bench. In trading for Kotchman we traded for a replacement level first baseman with a little bit of upside, and we traded our super- utility man to do so. Hall could play average at most positions on the field and while he wouldn’t have been the whole solution for this team he could have been a huge part of it, and sadly he is actually hitting a bit better than Kotchman right now. In my opinion there were a few decent options on the free agent market, and there are guys in tacoma that could hit as badly as Kotchman without losing anybody. I agree with everything else in the post, but I never imagined Casey Kotchman as even being a league average first baseman so his failing is no shock here and I think this team could really use a player like Bill Hall right now.

  13. Dave on May 18th, 2010 1:08 pm

    Kotchman’s preseason ZIPS projection: .270/.341/.406. Toss in good defense at first base, and that’s an average-ish player.

    You cannot seriously argue that this is what anyone should have expected from Kotchman.

  14. Spanky on May 18th, 2010 1:09 pm

    But Dave, realizing that decisions are probably not made in a vacuum by any single individual in the organization, who is responsible for these terrible moves? We knew that this season was either going to be a playoff run or a disaster waiting to happen. Many could have anticipated the at least some of the team’s problems were going to happen with Griffey and Sweeney and others. Does Z man up and say they were his decisions and he’ll take the blame or does it go to Wak? Who do I focus my frustration on?

  15. PackBob on May 18th, 2010 1:10 pm

    The poor hitting really shows up the weaknesses. If the players were hitting close to expected (other than Griffey, who IS hitting as expected) the bad process/bad result categories would be masked. Still there, but if the team were succeeding, they would be more in the “no team is perfect” category.

    Thing is, even with the bad process elements so clear with the bad performance, I have my doubts that they will be resolved. Mariners management seems prone to these types of decisions and loathe to resolve them.

  16. bermanator on May 18th, 2010 1:11 pm

    Where would you put the Morrow-League deal?

  17. z24lax on May 18th, 2010 1:15 pm

    Definately right Dave, and I did completely neglect his defensive value in that post. I do think he can still end up having a season around .700-.750 ops, my thing is I think we’d have been better off having Bill Hall and signing somebody else or looking internally for options would have given us equally or marginally better results. Of course this is all a moot point if we weren’t carrying 7 relievers, 2 guys who can’t play the field and Matt tuiasasopo, and had a bench. But our bench is so bad I’m begging for Bill Hall back, and that is kind of scary.

  18. Gomez on May 18th, 2010 1:16 pm

    Casey Kotchman has an 18.9% LD rate, right around average, and a lowish 12.5% K rate. Kotchman’s batting average on line drives is a mere .391, well below the AL average of .736, and line drive BAs tend not to fluctuate too far between players.

    Some BABIP fluctuations are more luck-based than others, but Casey has truly been a victim of bad luck. If more of Kotchman’s line drives had fallen, in line with the league average BA on line drives, we’d be talking about a 260/340/440 hitter.

  19. Hud67 on May 18th, 2010 1:17 pm

    This team definitely has the feel of stop gap planning. I believe Z is attempting to put forth an okay product but moving towards the future. He has gotten rid of a number of players that were drafted by Bavasi and is replacing them with his type of players.
    Does anyone know if the Mariners lost their first round pick to the Angels for Figgins?

  20. Sutiyo on May 18th, 2010 1:22 pm

    Does anyone know if the Mariners lost their first round pick to the Angels for Figgins?

    Yes indeed. The Angels have 3 picks in the first I believe. Losing Lackey, Chone, and their own pick.

  21. spankystout on May 18th, 2010 1:30 pm

    Z has done pretty much the best he can do with what he was given. I wish he could’ve got a legit bat instead of Cliff Lee. But Lee is awesome to watch in an M’s uniform.

  22. Hud67 on May 18th, 2010 1:39 pm

    Depending on where the Mariners end up, that could be a very good pick.

  23. bellacaramella on May 18th, 2010 1:40 pm

    Dave:

    On the Process/Outcome scale, where would you put the decision to carry a Rule 5 guy in Texeira? I figured the team could afford one inflexible roster spot (Griffey). But coming out of spring training, I was surprised they would commit to two.

  24. Westside guy on May 18th, 2010 1:41 pm

    I think it’s worth pointing out that the bad process stuff has had far less of an impact on the M’s fortunes than the good process / bad results stuff. If good process / bad results had instead been good process / good results, we’d be pretty close to first place right now and we wouldn’t be so focused on the bad process / bad results.

    I’m not sure I believe this, because I think (as Dave pointed out) the “bad process / bad outcomes” moves have had obvious repercussions that have exacerbated the effect of the “good process / bad outcomes” moves. Not being able to let Figgins have a day or two off without seriously affecting the teams fielding, for example. Plus the specific example Dave pointed to – Bradley having to play the field.

    I’m not saying the GPBO moves haven’t had a significant deleterious effect on the team’s fortunes; I’m just saying I’m not sure we can really isolate what that effect is.

  25. erikec on May 18th, 2010 1:42 pm

    Doesn’t bad results mean there was bad process involved? It’s not like there has been a bunch of injuries to this team. The team that knows Figgins the best wasn’t willing to pay him $9 million for 4 years. Doesn’t that say something? Just because the majority thought it was a good deal, doesn’t mean that it was, it’s not a popularity contest. Plus at 1st and 2nd base the mariners gave up 44 homeruns in building their 2010 team. Branyon-31, Lopez-25 in 2009, Figgins-5, Kotchman-7 in 2009. How is this “good process”?

  26. TomTuttle on May 18th, 2010 1:51 pm

    I’m going to take a wild guess at this one and say that Z’s goal this offseason is to get more “steroids” in our lineup since he’s probably smart enough to figure out that this crap isn’t working and never will work.

    In the interim, I would pose this question though:

    *Would it be such a bad thing to put Ichiro in the cleanup position? Or 3rd in the batting order so he could possibly get more RBIs?

    It’s just a thought (take it or leave it) because right now, he, Guti, and to a much lesser extent Saunders are the only signs of life we have right now on offense.

    Although I think Figgy can come out of this early season funk unless he’s convinced himself that he can’t play baseball anymore.

  27. bratman on May 18th, 2010 1:53 pm

    Good Post, but I think you should get back to your bashing of the fallacy “Pitching wins Championships”

  28. JMHawkins on May 18th, 2010 1:54 pm

    Where would you put the Morrow-League deal?

    Personally, I think that one kind of falls between the cracks of Good vs Bad Process. Morrow has more upside than League, but also more risk. He was certainly a frustration for us over the years, showing flashes of brilliance as a starter and then imploding. His development also seemed to be going in reverse, getting less consistent each year.

    I think you can make legitimate arguments for either side of the deal, saying either they got a useful piece for a guy unlikely to ever reach his potential, or that they gave up too early on a high-upside player. So I give Zduriencik the benefit of the doubt and call it Good Process/Result in-Progress.

  29. mironos on May 18th, 2010 1:55 pm

    To add to a Bad (or Risky, at least) Process/Good Outcome category:
    - Lopez to 3rd, Figgins to 2nd (defensively at least)
    - Fister and Vargas in the starting rotation

  30. The_Waco_Kid on May 18th, 2010 1:55 pm

    I’m mostly upset by the stubbornness. I can deal with TRYING Bradley as regular LF, Griffey as regular DH, White in key situations, etc, but it was clear after April that these things were not working.

    It’s not just that Wak has played Griffey so much, he also bats him FIFTH after weeks of epic sucking. If Griffey starts again, it should be at the bottom of the order. Lopez needs to be moved and maybe even Figgins. It’s too late in the season to keep trying these things.

    Still, it’s agonizing to see such underachievement. None of these guys should be hitting under .215, but most are (besides call-ups).

  31. erikec on May 18th, 2010 1:58 pm

    The Mariners are broken, bad decisions were made, what do you do now? Move Figgins to 9th until he starts hitting and stops striking out. Move Figgins to SS and make often injured Jack Wilson a utility player. Pick up a 2nd baseman with power or move Lopez back to 2nd base and pick up a 3rd baseman with power. Move Bradley to full time DH. Not doing anything doesn’t make the situation any better. The situation isn’t just going to fix itself.

  32. nadingo on May 18th, 2010 2:01 pm

    On the Process/Outcome scale, where would you put the decision to carry a Rule 5 guy in Texeira?

    If you were to make a list of the top 50 problems with this team, I don’t think rostering Texeira would be anywhere near the top. The guy has a 2.41 FIP, for crying out loud. I don’t think there’s really any problem with this team that would be solved by taking Texeira off of the 25-man instead of, say, White or Colome.

  33. Calabro Shut Up on May 18th, 2010 2:06 pm

    Dave, this piece is pretty deep!

    I am with you on the notion that keeping Sweeney destroyed bench. However, I’ll take it further and say they started the ruination when they brought Griffey back this year. Then keeping Sweeney was the baseball equivalent of reloading and shooting yourself in the other foot.

    Since it looks like a trade is not do-able right now. Here are some ideas.

    Since Sweeney can still hit a little, make Milton and him your two DHs. Keep Tui, Saunders, Josh W and Langerhans on the bench. That will give your manager some options and depth at every position.

    Return Adam Moore to Tacoma for more seasoning, keep Josh Bard and let him push Johnson to shape up. If he does not, bring Moore back up.

    Release Rowland-Smith (Duh)

    Go with 11 pitchers. Four of your 5 starters are innings eaters. Either return Snell to the rotation or bring up his Pittsburgh buddy Luke French for the 5th slot, and release Snell.

    That would leave Texeira, League, White, Kelley, Lowe, and Aardsma in the pen. With the way our staerters are going, you send them a positive message that way. “Guys we think you’re great and we trust you to go into the 7th, therefore we’re not going to further tie our hands offensively or defensibly by being too thin in the dugout because we’re carrying too many pitchers.”

    Before last night when was the last time Snell worked?

  34. mrt1212 on May 18th, 2010 2:11 pm

    I’d rather keep a prospect around a few months too long (especially when you have few alternatives) than let them go too early like we’ve done for most of our history.

    Or keeping aging albatrosses around for too long cause of 1995.

  35. Elwood P. Dowd on May 18th, 2010 2:14 pm

    I like the way this is written, because it makes it easy to see the decision to give Sweeney a roster spot resulted in more than one problem. Keep this in mind the next time someone whines “Why are you picking on Sweeney, at least he hits a little.”

  36. AdamN on May 18th, 2010 2:19 pm

    One thing I think you left off Dave this post and others is replacing Wak. This guy is making the classic mistakes that we hammered McLaren on. I think one could argue McLaren made a better decision with Vidro placement in the line up vs. Wak with Griffey. He bats Griffey and Sweeney in the middle of the lineup with little proof of power or results. He puts the wrong relief pitchers in for the situation like white consistently and carries no lefties in the pen. The GM handles this with a lot of input from WAK. He has hitters hitting for power like Bradley and Kotchman (at one point) but does not put them in the middle of the order back to back. Then we throw in the give away outs on base stealing and bunts from people who should never do either. How many more games could have been won if we had a sensible and logical coach?

  37. mrt1212 on May 18th, 2010 2:25 pm

    Wak and Brumley remind me of two seperate parts of Dusty Baker when Dusty started going senile in SF.

  38. Diehard on May 18th, 2010 2:30 pm

    GMZ went on the cheap trying to improve the offense until he had more options via trade or young guys while deciding to mostly upgrade starting pitching and defense. The cheap fixes have blown up in his face, but at least he didn’t pull a Bavasi and sign bad hitters to huge contracts. The organization is still in much better shape than it was. Plain and simpe this year has just been a disaster so far, but I still think the future is pretty bright compared to a few years ago.

  39. georgmi on May 18th, 2010 2:30 pm

    “Senile in SF” should be Tom Hanks’ next movie.

  40. Diehard on May 18th, 2010 2:33 pm

    So who wants to bet that Lopez will be hitting 4th and Griffey hitting 5th today? If so I’m gonna cry!

  41. fermorules on May 18th, 2010 2:43 pm

    Figgins could be another athlete who’s regressing after getting a big contract.

    On another note, Griffey should be coming around any day now. After all, Drayer said before Monday’s game that it was so refreshing to see Junior again clowning around in the clubhouse. Alas he finished the night with another 0-for-4, but I felt so much better knowing that Junior was closer to being his old joking self. After all, Saturday is Griffey T-shirt Night at Safeco, and I want Junior and everybody else in a good mood when, inevitably, “The Slide” is shown on the big screen.

  42. Ralph_Malph on May 18th, 2010 2:44 pm

    I’m expecting something major — perhaps a Griffey retirement — during the upcoming homestand. I’ve always heard it’s baseball tradition not to cut a guy during a road trip (something to do with having a chance to say goodbye and clean out your locker, I suppose). If the guy is Ken Griffey, Jr., you just don’t do that to him.

    I understood Jack Z flew to Tampa to meet with Griffey. Maybe they talked that out. My scenario is, early in the homestand, Griffey starts a game in CF, plays 1 inning, bats 3rd and singles, and gets pinch-run for by Gutierrez to a standing ovation.

  43. abcd on May 18th, 2010 2:46 pm

    I’m not sure I agree that Kotchman was good process. Hoping someone that plays 1B is going to be average because of defensive value is slightly less than optimal in my opinion. That is a spot we need Offense from and are not getting it.

    I also am suprised about the Budget constraint comment, isn’t the payroll about 10mm less than last year?

    And for what its worth, after looking more over the numbers I think Figgins is hiding an injury that is limiting his abililty to swing the bat with any power.

  44. mlathrop3 on May 18th, 2010 2:49 pm

    My scenario is, early in the homestand, Griffey starts a game in CF, plays 1 inning, bats 3rd and singles, and gets pinch-run for by Gutierrez to a standing ovation.

    That would be awesome if it hadn’t pretty much already happened last year.

  45. mrt1212 on May 18th, 2010 2:53 pm

    Figgins could be another athlete who’s regressing after getting a big contract.

    On another note, Griffey should be coming around any day now. After all, Drayer said before Monday’s game that it was so refreshing to see Junior again clowning around in the clubhouse. Alas he finished the night with another 0-for-4, but I felt so much better knowing that Junior was closer to being his old joking self. After all, Saturday is Griffey T-shirt Night at Safeco, and I want Junior and everybody else in a good mood when, inevitably, “The Slide” is shown on the big screen.

    I love the satire but sometimes I wonder if that’s how some people out there really feel.

  46. GripS on May 18th, 2010 3:00 pm

    Can you somehow make your way into the M’s FO Dave? That would be excellent. It would let us know that there is at least 1 person employed by the M’s that knows what they’re doing.

  47. Marinersdude83 on May 18th, 2010 3:09 pm

    Maybe we need to hire Donald Trump to come in here an take care of busness. I’d really like to see Wak grow some balls an make the best moves to win games. Seriously how many times do we have to look at a crap line-up every day. I mean I would bet money that if Wak made the right moves to give this team the best possible chance to win that we could add at least 5 wins to our record.

    I’m sure Wak is a great guy an I think he is a good coach but he really needs to wake up an smell the roses here. This team is on life support! Do something about it!

  48. ScienceDave on May 18th, 2010 3:25 pm

    And for what its worth, after looking more over the numbers I think Figgins is hiding an injury that is limiting his abililty to swing the bat with any power.

    Career HR/150 games: 4.8

    Figgins has no power. I still thing he’ll get his OBP up and hit some doubles and triples eventually.

  49. mlathrop3 on May 18th, 2010 3:34 pm

    Can you somehow make your way into the M’s FO Dave? That would be excellent. It would let us know that there is at least 1 person employed by the M’s that knows what they’re doing.

    If George Kastanza can work for the Yankees this shouldn’t be an issue.

    Can we open a 2011 rosterbation thread soon? I want to rosterbate very badly.

  50. ppl on May 18th, 2010 3:37 pm

    That was the best assessment of the M’s situation that I have seen so far this season.

    I guess there is one big decision coming up:

    What do they do when Bradley returns?

  51. pgreyy on May 18th, 2010 4:00 pm

    What do they do when Bradley returns?

    Duck?

  52. pensive on May 18th, 2010 4:06 pm

    Dave. Regarding Bradley is Chicago paying the larger portion of his contract? Checked Cot’s first. Mariners paying on Silva’s contract, but nothing noted that Cubs are paying any portion of Bradley’s 2010 or 2011 salary (9m & 12m). Am I missing some information? Thank you.

  53. JMHawkins on May 18th, 2010 4:24 pm

    On the Process/Outcome scale, where would you put the decision to carry a Rule 5 guy in Texeira?

    As nadingo said, Texeira isn’t a problem. As a matter of fact, at this point I’d probably rate him our 4th best reliever and try to get him into more games. He’s been a Good Outcome.

    But the process question is still a good one. Adding a Rule 5 guy to a rather inflexible roster is pretty bold. Since you can’t send him down without losing him, you can’t use him in an I-5 Shuffle to keep fresh arms in the pen in case of back-to-back starter meltdowns. Going into the season with Snell,RRS,Fister and Vargas in the rotation, the possibility of back-to-back starter meltdowns was certainly there.

    As it turned out, Fister, Vargas and Texeira have all been much better than expected, so it’s not a problem. But it probably goes into the Risky Process/Good Outcome category. Again, the deadwood bench complicates the issue, because a seven man pen with Texeira as a Rule 5 guy wouldn’t be a problem if the team had a bench of a backup catcher and 3 decent utility guys.

  54. georgmi on May 18th, 2010 4:28 pm

    The Mariners sent cash along with Silva to the Cubs.

  55. bermanator on May 18th, 2010 4:41 pm

    With the Texeira thing, the risk is low because if you send him back to his old team, all you lose is the cash.

    Whether it’s a good or bad Process move, for me, depends on what use you expect to get out of him (or any Rule V guy) and who you lose off the 25 and 40-man rosters. So in this situation, I would probably call it Fair Process, Fair Outcome. He’s not a huge hit like a Soria, but there aren’t many of those and he’s a cheap middle reliever and is frankly a lot more useful than I ever thought he would be.

  56. Breadbaker on May 18th, 2010 5:53 pm

    Last night, Rizzs said something that was unintentionally funny: “the Mariners are bringing in a righty from the bullpen.” I wonder if he’s noticed they don’t have anything else.

  57. nathaniel dawson on May 18th, 2010 6:16 pm

    Depending on where the Mariners end up, that could be a very good pick.

    It won’t be a very good pick. It could be a good pick, from 16 to 30 in the first round, or an okay pick, from around 40 to 60 in the second round.

  58. nepacific on May 18th, 2010 9:01 pm

    Excellent piece.

    From what I read, the Ms’ payroll is about $10m below what people were predicting. is this so? And if so, is that a big part of the problem, forcing Jack to pass on some more expensive possibilities?

    To me, the biggest problem is Figgins. His decline seems hard to explain. Is he perhaps having trouble being a #2 hitter, not able to bat freely, but always having to consider Ichiro on base? I’d be happy to hear that Ichiro had volunteered to try batting third for a couple of weeks.

  59. NorthofWrigleyField on May 18th, 2010 10:03 pm

    Re: Bradley… The Mariners are paying Bradley $6 million more to be Mariners property the next two years than they would have paid Silva to be Mariners property the next two years.

    The Cubs are paying Silva $6 million less to pitch for them the next two years than they would have paid Bradley to sit in a padded cell somewhere (he damn sure wouldn’t have saw another at bat with the Cubs).

    Bad process… good process… doesn’t matter. The only way the deal didn’t work out for the Cubs is if Silva goes out and was a -$6 million dollar value asset on the field. Unfortunately, everything to make the deal work out even worse for the Mariners than just keeping Silva has happened so far… but there’s still time.

  60. joser on May 19th, 2010 10:38 am

    The M’s didn’t need Silva. At best he would be the guy replacing RRS in the rotation instead of Snell. What the M’s needed was offense, and there was a chance of getting that from Bradley (and still is). So the M’s traded from comparative strength to try to address comparative weakness, and this trade was about the only one that would turn excess Silva into possible offense (since Silva’s contract made him unmovable otherwise). That makes it a good idea, regardless of how the two players actually perform.

  61. cfred on May 19th, 2010 9:21 pm

    As far as I can see. One thing that has been Good Process/ Good Results has been the Lopez/Figgins defensive position switch. Each player seems to have adapted well and is making plays; plays that I actually think the counterpart could not have made were their roles reversed.

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