Armstrong Gives Jack Z A Vote Of Confidence

Dave · September 28, 2010 at 9:01 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Sort of.

In an article written by Ken Rosenthal, Armstrong said that he’s “not thinking about changing the general manager at all.” Rosenthal’s headline, “Mariners to retain Zduriencik as GM” is more declarative, and its likely that Rosenthal has some extra information that wasn’t quotable that led him to making that kind of statement. The piece reads as confirmed news, in fact, where Rosenthal is essentially reporting that Zduriencik won’t be fired as factual. He has more sources in baseball than anyone else, and his reports are almost always correct, so we can probably expect that the team will not shake up the front office this winter.

That said, there’s a reason that Rosenthal had to write this story in the first place. Ever since the Cliff Lee trade, rumors have been swirling that Jack was on thin ice with upper management, and I know quite a few people in the game who didn’t think he’d survive this. The dreaded vote of confidence is often a two-edged sword, as it essentially means that they’re not firing him right now, but if it wasn’t a possibility, they wouldn’t have had to issue the statement in the first place.

I’m sure Jack knows that his rope is not as long as it was last winter. He won’t survive another disastrous season. If the 2011 team isn’t significantly improved, he will almost certainly lose his job. They don’t necessarily have to win the division, but they can’t be terrible again. He’ll need to be able to point to the success of some good young players and new acquisitions as evidence that the team is going in the right direction. Even if catching Texas next year may be unrealistic, putting a respectable team on the field is not. Just like in his first season, he’ll have to balance building for the future with putting out a big league product that fans will enjoy watching.

Only now, he’ll have to do it without a safety net. And we’ll have to see how that affects the decision making process this winter. Most of us think next year is a non-contending year with a focus on young players, and the team should prioritize building for the future, but Jack probably needs the team to finish around .500 or better to keep his job. That’s a factor, even if just a subconscious one. Will he be willing to take risks on guys with little or no track record, knowing that if they don’t perform, he’s out? I don’t know. We’ll find out, I guess.

Update: Larry Stone gets confirmation that Jack will return, and a few additional quotes, including this one: “In Jack we trust — isn’t that what the button says?”

Comments

49 Responses to “Armstrong Gives Jack Z A Vote Of Confidence”

  1. ivan on September 28th, 2010 9:07 am

    I have no confidence in Armstrong, and if he fires Zduriencik I see no reason to have any further interest in this team.

  2. Westside guy on September 28th, 2010 9:18 am

    Well, next year is year three of the Zduriencik era – I don’t think it’s unreasonable he be able to point to some tangible indications of progress by the end of the season.

    Whether Lincoln and Armstrong use reasonable markers is another question – we’ll see.

    But to some degree, the “short leash” is of Z’s own making. As Dave has pointed out in the past, he handled the Lueke situation badly.

  3. gwangung on September 28th, 2010 9:19 am

    I think if upper management just looks at results, it’d be a mistake. If Felix (god forbid) and Guti had injuries, they’d be hard pressed to avoid 100 losses again, even if the young kids did well.

  4. gwangung on September 28th, 2010 9:20 am

    But to some degree, the “short leash” is of Z’s own making. As Dave has pointed out in the past, he handled the Lueke situation badly.

    To a certain extent, yes. On the other hand, that, I think, is a single instance. How short should a leash be due to a single instance?

  5. Dobbs on September 28th, 2010 9:22 am

    Bavasi survived 2 90+ loss seasons after taking over a playoff contender where hopes were still high and Z might not survive another 90+ loss season after taking over the mess Bavasi left?

    I’m sure that makes sense somehow.

  6. Rick Banjo on September 28th, 2010 9:23 am

    Consistency kills, both on the good side and the bad side. The only trouble is that it takes a few years to see if things are working, which is an absolute bitch when your team:

    1. Holds the major league record for regular season wins, and-

    2. Has never been to the world series.

    I find it ever harder to take the long view on this one, mostly because I’m starting to feel like a Yawkey, and I’m only in my thirties.

    I do take the long view nonetheless. This organization is never going to amount to anything unless it maintain at least a cursory level of consistency in the FO and at the field manager position.

    I find it most reasonable as an M’s fan from the age of 4 to step back and set a reasonable deadline for them to just GO to the WS. I call it the “Pop Fisher” plan. They get 8 more years, and then I’ll sadly sell my shares to the judge. Everyone gets a rope here.

  7. Dobbs on September 28th, 2010 9:23 am

    “he handled the Lueke situation badly.”

    We don’t really know if he handled it badly do we? Lincoln could’ve easily made things worse on his own by lying.

  8. Tek Jansen on September 28th, 2010 9:54 am

    Hopefully Armstrong and Lincoln don’t make winning harder by forcing Zduriencik to trade Lueke for pennies on the dollar. Lueke’s presence will make it easier for the M’s bullpen to absorb the probable departure of Aardsma.

  9. Diehard on September 28th, 2010 9:58 am

    If Z is gone after next season then say goodbye to contending until 2015. This organization is a mess.

  10. AssumedName on September 28th, 2010 10:11 am

    I always feel better when the pilot of my airplane comes over the intercom at random and says “We are *not* thinking about crashing the plane.”

    Instills a lot of confidence.

  11. abcd on September 28th, 2010 10:15 am

    If Jack Z thinks he needs to win next year then I think we’ll see some short term thinking type moves with respect to the Starting Pitching. Guys like John Garland, Doug Davis, that didn’t get signed until the end of the off season–not sure I’m a huge fan of that approach, but they can work out. I would love for this team to make a run at someone like Konerko, but only if the price is right.

  12. lalo on September 28th, 2010 10:21 am

    I would love for this team to make a run at someone like Konerko, but only if the price is right.

    Safeco is death for right handed power hitters, especially for Konerko who only 11 of his homers were of more than 400 feet,for Bautista were 32

  13. groundzero55 on September 28th, 2010 10:23 am

    Well, next year is year three of the Zduriencik era – I don’t think it’s unreasonable he be able to point to some tangible indications of progress by the end of the season.

    That’s not quite fair, it’s not as if this year’s lineup was full of players Z drafted or signed. Some, to be sure, but not all.

  14. G-Man on September 28th, 2010 10:26 am

    A great way to bring on another Bavasi-type fiasco is to demand a decent result in 2011. Take a longer-term view darn it! Otherwise we’ll be seeing Nick Franklin traded for a #3 SP in his mid-30′s.

    If Howie and Chuck really want family friendliness and ticket sales, they will do better by promoting the fresh new young faces as nice boys and giving away bobbleheads and similar junk twice as often.

    I would guess that the next year’s season tickets sales suffer the most when a team does poorly, more so than the single game ticket sales to families and souvenir hounds.

  15. Zeke on September 28th, 2010 10:50 am

    Agreed, G-Man. Look at the Tampa Bay Rays. It took them quite some time to go from having the perfect prsopects (Longoria, Price, Brignac, Crawford, Upton, etc)to actually fielding a very competitive team. Building through the farm system takes time, and luck. I am OK watching Tui struggle, and Halman getting a shot (of course, that’s the dutch guy in me), and some of the other ones up right now.

  16. GoldenGutz on September 28th, 2010 10:52 am

    So pretty much Pineda, Ackley and Smoak have to show plenty of promise and Franklin has to have a nice season in AA/AAA? Let’s hope so. We need 3 wins to avoid a 100 loss season I see possibly two wins left. I dont see how we can’t have an improvement with like 4 players all in the negative in the WAR department.

  17. Statsfreak on September 28th, 2010 10:59 am

    Dave and others here have done a great job specifying the organizational changes since Jack and crew took over this mess. I would sure love to get inside the M’s executive suite and see first hand the Howie/Chuck/Jack working relationships. From the pidgeons perch, I think the worst thing Howie/Chuck could do would be to torpedo Jack and crew. Next would be Howie/Chuck following Jack around the place too closely with a fly swatter. Let Jack and crew continue to do their thing to clean up this trainwreck. Give them more than a broom and dustpan to do so. Certainly watching the process is enough to make a grown man cry and will continue to until the farm starts yielding some bounty. (Go Smoak,Saunders, Mangini,Moore, Ackley, Cortes,Robles etc!) I remain a Jack guy that cannot help but believe a few chess type moves are in the works even given the current positioning.

  18. maqman on September 28th, 2010 11:07 am

    Texas just signed a contract with Fox that will pay them 3 billion dollars over 20 years – $150MM per year. They can sign Lee and Crawford if they want. The Angels are paying Mike Scosia $50MM over ten years. If the Ms management want the team to progress they have to pay up and shut up – and leave GMZ alone. He’s got the only baseball brain among the Big Three.

  19. diderot on September 28th, 2010 11:17 am

    I think the worst thing Howie/Chuck could do would be to torpedo Jack and crew.

    Which is why that isn’t going to happen.

    If the Ms management want the team to progress they have to pay up

    This is only true in one sense. They have to continue paying for player development, particularly acquiring the right talent through the draft and international scouting.

    But I also cringe at this because it’s a prescription for disaster in the free agent market. You could count on one hand the number of free agents who could make an immediate impact. And even if we match the best offer, they’re not going to want to come here.

    As painful as it’s been to watch, Jose Lopez was doing things the right way. It just didn’t work out. Jose Vidro was doing things the wrong way.

    Money doesn’t solve everything.

  20. _David_ on September 28th, 2010 11:24 am

    Creating an unnecessary, unwarranted pressure situation for a good GM? This season just keeps on giving.

  21. Xteve X on September 28th, 2010 11:58 am

    Hmmm … isn’t that the same kind of shortsighted thinking that led to the current mess?

    I hope that putting Jack Z on the hot seat doesn’t necessarily instill a ‘win now at any cost’ mentality, eschewing building for a quick fix or run at a single .500 season.

    I understand that next year will be Year 3 of Z’s tenure but it can’t be understated just what a mess he inherited. No MLB-ready position players in the minors system and a host of overpaid underperforming players on the big league club.

    This is a franchise that has had little continuity for almost a decade now. Manager has been a revolving door, GM has been shaky since Gillick’s departure. At some point the M’s have to pick a guy and stick with a plan for at least 4 or 5 seasons. They can’t keep pressing the reset button every couple of seasons and starting anew. That’s a one way ticket to being the Oakland Raiders of MLB.

  22. gwangung on September 28th, 2010 12:00 pm

    This is only true in one sense. They have to continue paying for player development, particularly acquiring the right talent through the draft and international scouting.

    But I also cringe at this because it’s a prescription for disaster in the free agent market. You could count on one hand the number of free agents who could make an immediate impact. And even if we match the best offer, they’re not going to want to come here.

    Actually, you could argue that there are NO free agents that could make an immediate impact—on this particular team.

    If you’re missing just one piece, sure…that’s not a bad strategy. But that doesn’t describe this team…and won’t describe the Mariners for a few years yet.

  23. batura on September 28th, 2010 12:02 pm

    At this point, I’m looking past the Lueke situation and purely trying to approach this from a performance perspective. I do think that there should be some fairly positive results for the 3rd season as GM, however, I also think it is critical to note that Jack Z is still handcuffed by bad contracts from the previous regime.

    I think we would all agree that more offense without sacrificing run prevention would be a good boost to the team, but as Dave and LL have outlined, we don’t have much payroll left to play with for 2011. This is where I feel bad for Jack- right now, he’s pressured into production, but still has $19M tied up with the whole Silva/Bradley debacle. Once that comes off the books, we should have enough flexibility to upgrade multiple positions (or get one superstar, which sounds like a bad idea), but until then, Jack will have to take risks to improve the roster.

    This won’t be easy, and I think it’s unfair. I think Jack should at least get 2012, where he’ll be able to make significant roster decisions due to a large amount of payroll coming off the books.

  24. gwangung on September 28th, 2010 12:03 pm

    No MLB-ready position players in the minors system and a host of overpaid underperforming players on the big league club.

    Yeah, repeat that until the cows come home.

    Seriously, just how quickly do you expect to fix BOTH of these problems? That’s a five year program, no ifs, ands or buts.

  25. ThundaPC on September 28th, 2010 12:19 pm

    Oh, I’m quite curious as to how this will be handled. Is Jack Zduriencik really going to be on the hot-seat without the backing of increased payroll?

    I’m sure Chuck Armstrong is aware of how much money they have to spend this offseason? If the payroll stays at roughly $90 Million next year, the organization simply cannot guarantee a winning ball club next season, even if one may be possible.

    Jack Zduriencik has said numerous times, even with the season caved in like this, that there is a plan in place. I’d like to believe that the organization will stay the course in terms of talent development, only with Chuck Armstrong being a lot more involved than he has been.

    It guess it all comes down to what ownership believes is acceptable for next season. A disaster season won’t be accepted, certainly. However, what if the team wins 73-75 games while showing positive progress in establishing a strong foundation with no controversial fallouts?

    I recall one thing Armstrong said two years ago while searching for the next GM:

    “We need to have new, fresh thinking and get to the point where we’re solid year after year, not just patch it together,” Armstrong said. “We’re looking for some fresh blood, someone with a new perspective and good leadership skills.”

    Not that everything said two years ago was set in stone but in order to win next season, the team pretty much has to “patch it together.”

    I certainly don’t have enough information to determine what the organization is really thinking. It seems to me, however, that Jack Zduriencik is on a two-year probation period. He get two years to put a winning team on the field but any more nonsense like the Josh Leuke situation and he’s toast. That conclusion, unfortunately, is only me trying to put together all the pieces of the puzzle we have available.

    Sure would be nice to get rid of the cloud of uncertainty at some point.

  26. Westside guy on September 28th, 2010 12:21 pm

    Hmm… some people are responding to the first part of my comment without apparently seeing the second part about HowChuck judging by the correct metrics.

    I didn’t say they needed to get to the World Series. Heck, I didn’t even say they need to win the West. All I said was “some tangible indications of progress”. I don’t see why that’s unreasonable. Even if you think it’s a five-year process, it’s not like nothing would show up until year five. If, after three years, there’s still no light at the end of the tunnel – then Jack Z hasn’t done his job correctly.

  27. SpokaneMsFan on September 28th, 2010 12:41 pm

    I agree that if Bavasi got 5 years we should give Z that long. He’s made a couple moves I disagree with but it’s not like the Bavasi area, especially toward the end, where just seeing the words Mariners and trade in the same sentence struck fear in my heart. I think we’re moving in a positive direction overall, and as long as the on field results improve at least a few games next year I hope Jack gets to stay.

  28. Bip on September 28th, 2010 1:04 pm

    It’s also worth noting that Jack Z is being given less and less to work with and expected to improve the ballclub in a short period of time. Our 2008 payroll was $117M, 2009 was $98M and $91M in 2010. If it drops again in 2011, given all the contracts we’re stuck with (Silva/Bradley), that’s simply an unfair assessment of Jack’s efforts and the M’s progress.

  29. TheMightyMariner on September 28th, 2010 1:08 pm

    I think Jack Z would have been given far more latitude if it were not for the Lueke fiasco. Anyone thinking Jack Z didn’t know that history has their head in the sand; we all have GOOGLE and the net!

    However, Jack Z seems to be a solid baseball mind and we need that. We have that chimp Bavasi forever as the GM and he almost destroyed the franchise. I have no idea how Bavasi got another job in baseball. He should be a janitor with some team and nothing more.

    With the limited budget there is no way the M’s are fixed in one or two years. The damage is too severe (not only from Bavasi but he sure did his part – although he did leave us a few solid prospects!) so Jack Z should be given at least 4 years.

    I can’t see the M’s compete in 2011 and 2012 may not be so great either. Let’s see how the blue chip prospects respond to the big leagues.

  30. gwangung on September 28th, 2010 1:27 pm

    As I said, if the brass only looks at W-L, they’re being foolish. If the team loses 90+, but the young guys (and I mean Smoak, Ackley, Saunders and Moore) show streaks of competence, I would think that’s progress.

  31. Carson on September 28th, 2010 1:29 pm

    Armstrong, finishing his 25th season as Mariners president in two separate stints, said he plans to return next year, as well

    .

    Lucky us.

  32. pgreyy on September 28th, 2010 2:20 pm

    Imagine the impossible for a moment.

    Would anyone mind if we just traded franchises, straight up, with Tampa Bay?

    We get their players, their front office, everything…and they get the M’s?

    This town would give the Rays the fan support they deserve…and Tampa Bay would get a team worthy of the fan support they’re currently offering the Rays.

    Yeah, we’d miss Felix and Ichiro and Guti and a some of the potential of some of the youngsters coming up…and the Rays will lose some of their star players after this year, meaning we probably wouldn’t be guaranteed a winner would be coming here…

    Would you put up a serious argument to hold onto this organization?

    (I’m not sure I would.)

  33. Jim_H on September 28th, 2010 2:23 pm

    Armstrongs’ comments sound just like what Jack was saying about Wakamatsu about 2 weeks before he fired him and his staff…

  34. TheBird on September 28th, 2010 2:26 pm

    I would say that a couple of minor league championships this year are already a measure of tangible indications of progress. Perhaps not the most important ones, but tangible nonetheless.

  35. r-gordon-7 on September 28th, 2010 2:40 pm

    Imagine the impossible for a moment.

    Would anyone mind if we just traded franchises, straight up, with Tampa Bay?

    We get their players, their front office, everything…and they get the M’s?

    This town would give the Rays the fan support they deserve…and Tampa Bay would get a team worthy of the fan support they’re currently offering the Rays.

    Yeah, we’d miss Felix and Ichiro and Guti and a some of the potential of some of the youngsters coming up…and the Rays will lose some of their star players after this year, meaning we probably wouldn’t be guaranteed a winner would be coming here…

    Would you put up a serious argument to hold onto this organization?

    (I’m not sure I would.)

    When you make the deal, just make sure they keep the “juicerdome” & we get to keep Safeco Field!
    ;-)

  36. gwangung on September 28th, 2010 2:52 pm

    I would say that a couple of minor league championships this year are already a measure of tangible indications of progress. Perhaps not the most important ones, but tangible nonetheless.

    Wouldn’t disagree. Most of them were with age appropriate players, if I’m not mistaken, so I would take it as a sign of some progress. If you don’t have the raw materials, you won’t progress, and being able to win with non-ringers (so to speak) is a small token of progress (though it won’t mean anything until they get turned into major leaguers).

  37. eponymous coward on September 28th, 2010 3:55 pm

    Bavasi survived 2 90+ loss seasons after taking over a playoff contender where hopes were still high and Z might not survive another 90+ loss season after taking over the mess Bavasi left?

    I’m sure that makes sense somehow.

    They were far too patient with Bavasi. It’s not fair that they might not be as patient with Zduriencik, but the fact that a) they hired him in the first place and b) realize that “five year plans” are as bunk as in the old USSR does represent progress.

    If it drops again in 2011, given all the contracts we’re stuck with (Silva/Bradley), that’s simply an unfair assessment of Jack’s efforts and the M’s progress.

    So your argument is that even though Zdurencik surely realized he was taking a risk trading an overpaid sack of crap for another team’s sack of crap, and knew that he was trading off more salary flexibility in 2012 for less in 2011, he doesn’t have to be accountable for his choice?

    Look, if the M’s had just decided to cut Carlos Silva in spring training this past year, they’d have 5-6 million more to work with this year. It’s fairly likely the player they could sign would be more likely to contribute MORE in 2011 than Milton Bradley will in 2001 (we’ll be doing well if we get 2 WAR out of a healthy Bradley at DH, and that’s very much an optimistic projection given his age, injury history and past two years).

    GMZ took a chance, knowing that there was definite downside risk (that being that Bradley would be a complete albatross in 2011, soaking up 18 million+ of the 2011 budget, between what we’re paying Chicago and his salary). It didn’t work. But he’s still accountable for his decision- and saying “well, I screwed up trading for Bradley, give me $10 million more in the salary budget” isn’t how it works. You get to live with your decisions.

  38. eponymous coward on September 28th, 2010 4:09 pm

    Anyways…

    Only now, he’ll have to do it without a safety net. And we’ll have to see how that affects the decision making process this winter. Most of us think next year is a non-contending year with a focus on young players, and the team should prioritize building for the future, but Jack probably needs the team to finish around .500 or better to keep his job. That’s a factor, even if just a subconscious one. Will he be willing to take risks on guys with little or no track record, knowing that if they don’t perform, he’s out?

    Honestly? I think that if the M’s have OK luck, as opposed to completely abysmal, mind-bogglingly awful luck, where nearly every decision that has been made since about July 2009 has worked out as poorly as it possibly could have (basically rolling craps 10-15 times in a row), I see a path to a 75 win roster, give or take 5 wins to either side. Basically, the 2011 Mariners should be able to resemble the 2010 Athletics, as long as the deadweight is either let go (Lopez, Kotchman, RoJo, Wright) or just not allowed to play much (Bradley). Things like a competent IF backup for SS/2B/3B, a decent backup C, a AAAA DH bat shouldn’t be THAT hard to find, and there might be other things they could do to optimize the roster, like having Langerhans spend some time at 1B during spring training so he can back up in the OF and 1B, so if Saunders or Smoak are struggling early the M’s aren’t screwed.

    Hopefully, that and some progress from the kids makes 2012 a better target.

  39. John D. on September 28th, 2010 4:21 pm

    I would say that a couple of minor league championships this year are already a measure of tangible indications of progress. Perhaps not the most important ones, but tangible nonetheless.

    This “feat” is not a sign of progress.
    Let us say that a minor league team is composed of A (bonafide prospects), B (eventual MLB bench or platoon players, and C (organizational players).
    A team with 25 B players will probably win a league championship over a team with 5 A players and 20 C players, but the latter team is far more valuable to the organization.

  40. Evoxx on September 28th, 2010 7:01 pm

    Armstrong needs to retire. He’s not competent enough to run a hot dog stand. Anyone who doesn’t think Griffey’s roster spot this year wasn’t forced by Armstrong is dead wrong.

  41. msb on September 28th, 2010 9:50 pm

    I have one of those buttons :)

  42. MrZDevotee on September 29th, 2010 4:26 am

    Let us say that a minor league team is composed of A (bonafide prospects), B (eventual MLB bench or platoon players, and C (organizational players).
    A team with 25 B players will probably win a league championship over a team with 5 A players and 20 C players, but the latter team is far more valuable to the organization.

    John D makes some good points… Afterall, while our major leaguers were scoring a historically low number of runs, with historically awful power… Our AAA minor leaguers led the PCL in HR’s and slugging pct.

    Yet there isn’t a SINGLE guy down there that I’d call on to fix our power woes at the major league level.

    Money isn’t gonna solve the problem either, for any team that can’t spend like the Yankees and Red Sox… I’d rather spend 15 million on 10 prospects, than one Prince Fielder…

    We’d be smart to aim for being another Tampa Bay Rays than another New York Yankees… And hopefully Jack will get the time to do it.

    It’s funny how the pendulum swings isn’t it… Last year we all expected to suck, and were pleasantly surprised. This year we expected to compete, and were… um… unpleasantly surprised…

    Let’s not measure our progress based on any particular year’s “rent a players” while we try to build from within.

  43. MrZDevotee on September 29th, 2010 4:37 am

    Eponymous,
    The only problem with your Carlos Silva/Milton Bradley assessment is that we’d still be on the hook for Silva’s 2011 salary… Gone or not.

    That’s $11.5 million with a $2 million buyout for a 2012 option. Or the $13 million owed to Bradley for 2011. Pretty much a push.

    So we can still just cut Bradley, and be in the same boat. But that “extra 5-6 million” this offseason doesn’t exist in either scenario, unfortunately.

  44. MrZDevotee on September 29th, 2010 4:42 am

    And I know we’ve all given Chone Figgins a fair amount of grief, and been concerned about THAT offseason move most of the season, but the man has put up a pretty solid 2nd half of the season… So much so that I don’t think anyone would be complaining if he had put up those numbers all year long. (Dave, that might be an uplifiting end of season story- the settling in of Chone Figgins… which has sort of gone unnoticed after he earned the ire of the M’s faithful…)

    And two guys at the top of the order with 40+ stolen bases each sounds pretty good just about any season it can happen.

  45. Dave on September 29th, 2010 6:56 am

    Chone Figgins, July 1st to now: .284/.344/.333, 19 SB, 11 CS

    The average is up, but the walks are down, there’s still no power, and he’s getting thrown out way too much to have the baserunning be an asset. He hasn’t really settled in. He’s had a terrible year.

  46. MrZDevotee on September 29th, 2010 7:39 am

    Dave–

    See, that’s what I mean– that first half just killed our perception of him…

    Right now he stands at 42 SB and 15 CS… While last year at LA he had 42 SB and 17 CS…

    He also has the 2nd highest walks of his career (72) this year.

    And his Fielding % this year at 2B is actually finishing higher than his 3B Fielding % for the Angels last year, too.

    Career AVG.: .287/.360/.377 48SB/16CS
    2010 AVG: .259/.340/.306 42SB/15CS

    Not far off, if you ask me, considering he was batting under the Mendoza Line as late as May 29th. And if that’s a terrible year (other than SLG%), he’s had pretty close to a terrible career.

    Just saying– “terrible” by 2010 standards is a LOT worse than that.

    Other “top” Mariners:
    .250/.309/.370 F.Gutierrez
    .315/.360/.396 Ichiro 41SB/9CS

  47. eponymous coward on September 29th, 2010 8:20 am

    But that “extra 5-6 million” this offseason doesn’t exist in either scenario, unfortunately

    You’re forgetting that we had to send cash to the Cubs with Silva for the privilege of watching Bradley suck. That’s why there’s a difference in the impact Silva would have on the 2011 budget, and the one Bradley has.

  48. eponymous coward on September 29th, 2010 8:32 am

    Just saying– “terrible” by 2010 standards is a LOT worse than that.

    Basically, Figgins is replaying his 2008 season, except instead of providing good defense at 3B, he’s playing poor defense at 2B (no, fielding percentage is not a good measure for defense). It’s his worst season since 2006 (where he spent time in CF being similarly awful).

    Hopefully switching him to 3B and installing Ackley there fixes that.

  49. MrZDevotee on September 29th, 2010 10:53 am

    Dave & Eponymous-
    Yeah, I went searching sabermetrics for defense and… uh… not pretty for Figgins at 2B this year. My bad. I suppose I was stating my own guilt about scoffing at him then seeing his fielding % was actually better than last year. But further investigation reveals:

    +18 runs saved above average at 3B last year.
    -6 this year at 2B.

    But, on the plus side (of the negative side)… He was -60 at 2B for the Angels last year. So that’s a big improvement! (Embarrassed sarcasm.)

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