Second Base Candidates

Dave · October 5, 2010 at 11:31 am · Filed Under Mariners 

As we talked about in the last post, this is probably not a position where the Mariners will invest heavily, even though they’re going to need to bring in someone who can begin the season as an everyday player. Dustin Ackley is knocking on the door, and they’re not going to want to expend resources to bring in a guy who would block his path to the majors. While you’ll probably see the team linked to guys like Kelly Johnson and Dan Uggla, both of whom would represent an offensive upgrade on a team that needs one, I doubt you’ll see the Mariners make a play for either one.

Instead, they’ll be shopping for a guy who can handle the position for at least the first few months of the season, then be able to slide into a utility role if Ackley’s performance demands that he be promoted from Tacoma in the early summer. That means they’ll want a guy who is okay with reduced playing time and can handle shortstop in a pinch. Ideally, he’d probably be a right-handed hitter that could complement Ackley, who still has a ways to go before he’s productive against LHPs.

Let’s take a look at a few different options that may be available without having to give up anything in trade – we’ll deal with those options in a separate post.

Ryan Theriot, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers picked him up in a deal with the Cubs this summer, hoping he would stabilize their second base problem. He didn’t, hitting just .242/.323/.283 in 228 plate appearances, a performance worse than the line that got him shipped out of Chicago in the first place. After serving as the Cubs starting shortstop the last few years, the Dodgers used him exclusively at second base, but he can handle either spot defensively. What he can’t do is hit for any power, so he’d be a hard sell to the fan base as any kind of offensive upgrade. He’s honestly pretty similar to Jack Wilson, just with less defensive value and fewer injuries. Exciting, right?

The Dodgers probably won’t want to give him the $3 to $4 million he’d earn in arbitration, so I’d expect Theriot to hit the free agent market at the beginning of December. Coming off a down year, and headed into his age 31 season, he probably won’t be able to get more than a one year deal for $2 to $3 million. He fits the description of the kind of player the M’s are probably going to be in the market for, and he’s in the right ballpark in terms of price. The question is whether the M’s want yet another slap-hitter who provides no difference in skills than what they already have, or if they’d rather find a guy who might provide a different kind of skillset. Still, expect Theriot to be a consideration.

Juan Uribe, Free Agent

Speaking of guys with different skillsets, expect to see a lot of people pushing for Uribe this winter. He’s been a productive player for the Giants over the last two years, combining good defense at three infield spots with surprising power from a middle infielder. In just over 900 plate appearances in 2009 and 2010, he’s launched 40 home runs, so he’d definitely provide some power that fans covet. There are a few problems, however – he’s a right-handed extreme pull power guy with a poor approach at the plate, and he’s going to be in demand as a free agent this winter.

Not only is Safeco about the worst possible park for his skills, he’ll have no shortage of suitors, most of whom won’t offer a home park that will turn his homers into long outs. The Mariners would have to outbid everyone else for his services with enough to spare to make him overlook Safeco, and given that he’s going to be 32 and is essentially Jose Lopez with a better glove, that doesn’t seem like a wise use of the team’s limited resources. If the market for him dried up, for whatever reason, the M’s would probably be interested, but I think he’ll probably end up pricing himself out of their range.

Jerry Hairston Jr, Free Agent

The Mariners were interested in Hairston as a utility player two years ago, when Jack Zduriencik first took over as the GM, but he ended up signing with the Reds. It is pretty likely that this front office still likes what Hairston brings to the table, and he fits the mold of what they’re looking for in a lot of ways – right-handed, a little bit of power, can play anywhere on the field, and experienced at serving as a super-sub. However, like Uribe, there won’t be much in the way of motivation for him to come play in Seattle. If he stays in San Diego, he may be able to keep playing with his brother, and the Padres want him back. The M’s could offer a little bit more money, but Hairston will be 35 next year and is reaching the end of his career – odds are good that winning is going to be the main factor, and so Seattle probably won’t be high on his list.

Jhonny Peralta, Free Agent

The poor man’s version of Juan Uribe. He has a similar build and approach, but gets a little less power out it at the plate while simultaneously managing to be worse defensively. He’s only going to be 29 next year, but he’s not aging very well and his days at shortstop are probably coming to an end. He doesn’t have any experience at second base, however, which might make him less attractive than other options, as the team already went through growing pains with Figgins at 2B this year. The Tigers have expressed interest in bringing him back, and it’s unlikely that he’d come to Seattle to play a new position, so he’s probably not going to be very high up on the list.

Felipe Lopez, Free Agent

Lopez had a pretty spectacular fall from grace after a really good 2009 season. He couldn’t find a job last winter, fired Scott Boras as his agent, eventually took $1 million from the Cardinals to serve as a part-time player, didn’t produce, and got released in the final week of the season for showing up late. He’s never had a good reputation for work ethic, but he’s got some offensive abilities and can handle second base defensively. He’s also a switch hitter and has experience around the infield, though he doesn’t have enough range to play short in anything other than an emergency.

At 31, he should have some decent baseball left in him, but his inconsistency and lack of motivation aren’t exactly the kind of thing the team will want around a bunch of young players. He’ll be cheap and would provide some upside, but I’d expect the M’s to pass due to his personality.

Clint Barmes, Colorado Rockies

The homeless man’s version of Juan Uribe. If the M’s really want that kind of player, Barmes provides the same idea in a worse package. He can play second or short without embarrassing himself, and has some power, but it’s all to left field. He doesn’t have a very good approach at the plate and had trouble keeping his OBP over .300 while playing half of his games in Coors Field. He’s an automatic non-tender for the Rockies, who won’t want to give him a raise from the $3.3 million he made this year, but he’s probably not worth more than a few million dollars, and Safeco would kill him. He’s an option, but not a great one.

Cristian Guzman, Free Agent

Felipe Lopez, but a slightly better work ethic. In retrospect, I wish I had written up Guzman instead of Lopez, and then just referred to Lopez as the the lazy version of this same skillset, but you get the idea.

There will be some other names available as well, but they’re all going to be some version of this kind of player (or they’re going to be out of the M’s price range). For $2 to $3 million on a one year deal, this is probably the group that the M’s will be looking at. I think my preference would be for Theriot, mostly due to his ability to slide over to shortstop when Jack Wilson inevitably gets hurt, but I’m not sure there’s a huge difference between most of these guys.

Comments

102 Responses to “Second Base Candidates”

  1. Liam on October 5th, 2010 12:01 pm

    No chance they end up resigning Jose Lopez to play second? (at a lower salary than his club option)

  2. dallin on October 5th, 2010 12:05 pm

    What about Jeter? :D

  3. coasty141 on October 5th, 2010 12:08 pm

    Well thats depressing. How many more wins are any of those guys worth than Jose Lopez? I guess our only hope is that Ackley is legit.

  4. charliebrown on October 5th, 2010 12:10 pm

    Ugh…those options look about as appealing as a seafood platter thas was left out overnight.

    I guess I’d take Theriot too, but not happily.

  5. Tek Jansen on October 5th, 2010 12:12 pm

    Those are some slim pickings. I suppose that Theriot might be the best value at a price the M’s are willing to pay.

  6. Paul B on October 5th, 2010 12:17 pm

    Yeah, none of these guys sound any better than Jose Lopez.

  7. charliebrown on October 5th, 2010 12:19 pm

    If Theriot does end up being the guy then whoever the M’s go after for a DH had better be a significant upgrade at the plate.

    Otherwise 2011 will be second verse, same as the first.

  8. coasty141 on October 5th, 2010 12:20 pm

    I don’t want to watch any of those guys play. Is Matt Lawson possibility?

  9. gwangung on October 5th, 2010 12:28 pm

    Folks may not to watch any of these guys, but remember–patience, at the right time. And this is a situation that requires patience.

  10. snepp on October 5th, 2010 12:29 pm

    How about Nick Punto?

    [/Twins fan that wants to see Punto gone]

  11. coasty141 on October 5th, 2010 12:33 pm

    “Folks may not to watch any of these guys, but remember–patience, at the right time. And this is a situation that requires patience”

    Have you been selling season tickets for the Pittsburgh Pirates for the last 18 years? I think thats what they say when they get someone on the phone.

  12. gwangung on October 5th, 2010 12:40 pm

    Have you been selling season tickets for the Pittsburgh Pirates for the last 18 years?

    No, but I’m pretty suspicious of get-it-done-now scenarios. That’s what Armstrong and Lincoln have been pushing for the past eight or nine years. I think a change in approach might be beneficial.

  13. Shanfan on October 5th, 2010 12:41 pm

    It’s a sad, sad situation we’re in, I’m actually contemplating a 44 year old Omar Vizquel as a reasonable addition to this roster. Maybe we should hire Ryne Sandberg as player/manager.

  14. IdahoFan on October 5th, 2010 12:42 pm

    Perhaps this illustrates why it’s so difficult to become a contending team. This list makes me sick. I find it very difficult to accept any scenario for not improving every position from 2010. There’s no guarantee that the kids will pan out. If this is the path that the M’s choose, I’ll watch something else.

  15. dgood on October 5th, 2010 12:42 pm

    How about Omar Visquel? I mean I think Chicago wants him back, but I feel like that is the perfect fit for what we need. An older guy with range that can still play in the infield. Who is willing to play a part time role.

  16. Klatz on October 5th, 2010 12:44 pm

    Isn’t Andy Laroche entering arbitration? With Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez showing that they should be given long looks, Laroche looks like the odd-man out.

    One question mark is his defense at 2b. He’s a good defender at 3b but there’s not enough sample size to quantify his defense at 2b.

    Of course, since he’s was top prospect not too long ago and he was big part of the Bay trade, I’m not sure if he’d be available cheaply in terms of a trade. The Pirates might just keep him as a utility player until they get a good offer.

  17. charliebrown on October 5th, 2010 12:46 pm

    No, but I’m pretty suspicious of get-it-done-now scenarios

    I understand the suspiscion, but people aren’t clamoring for a get it done now scenario. Next season will be year 3 after a 100 loss campaign. One year may not be enough, but I don’t think it’s too much to expect some progress (say 70-75 wins?) in the third year of a rebuilding process.

    This crop of possible 2nd base acquisitions doesn’t make me think 70 or so wins is possible.

  18. CMC_Stags on October 5th, 2010 12:51 pm

    Next season will be year 3 after a 100 loss campaign.

    Actually, it will be the first season after a 100 loss campaign. If your argument is that the team should have been building gradually since the 2008 disaster, you apparently missed the last offseason when the team cashed in a few chips to try to win now.

  19. gwangung on October 5th, 2010 12:56 pm

    . I find it very difficult to accept any scenario for not improving every position from 2010. There’s no guarantee that the kids will pan out.

    You want “proven vets.” Then you’ll NEVER get better.

    Doesn’t anyone here have nerves and patience?

  20. charliebrown on October 5th, 2010 1:04 pm

    Ahh, I see.

    As long as the Mariners “cash in a few chips to try to win now”, you’re willing to hit the reset button on the rebuilding process and accept more losing seasons.

    I’m having a hard time swallowing more “rebuilding” from a team that has lost 100 games 2 out of the last 3 years.

  21. Steve Nelson on October 5th, 2010 1:04 pm

    No love for Willie Bloomquist???

  22. gwangung on October 5th, 2010 1:12 pm

    I’m having a hard time swallowing more “rebuilding” from a team that has lost 100 games 2 out of the last 3 years.

    Given that the upper management was purposely NOT rebuilding over the past eight or years, I just think it’d be better to be patient and actually aim to rebuild. That just might turn out better.

  23. KaminaAyato on October 5th, 2010 1:13 pm

    Doesn’t anyone here have nerves and patience?

    The casual fan doesn’t and that’s the problem.

  24. charliebrown on October 5th, 2010 1:17 pm

    Given that the upper management was purposely NOT rebuilding over the eight years, I just think it’d be better to be patient and actually rebuild. That just might turn out better

    I think you’re right. The problem isn’t that they’re going to rebuild again. Given the situation it’s the only prudent choice.

    The problem is how did the M’s get themselves into a situation where they need to rebuild again? Just two years after losing 100 games and we’re on a second rebuilding process?

    It’s starting to feel almost like M’s fans are accepting rebuilding as the norm, and these 2nd base prospects highlight that to me.

  25. CMC_Stags on October 5th, 2010 1:19 pm

    So Theriot is 4 years older than Lopez but broke into the majors a year later.

    Theriot has a career wOBA of .319 verus Lopez’s .301. Theriot also has a career UZR/150 of 1.4 at SS and 4.3 at 2B versus -0.6 at 2B and 8.2 at 3B for Lopez.

    Basically he’s better with the bat and better with the glove but older than what we had in Lopez. Based on the Hit Chart for Theriot at TexasLeaguers.com, it also looks like he knows that there is something other than left field and had a large portion of his hits to right in 2010.

  26. whittier ms fan on October 5th, 2010 1:21 pm

    Sadly, Willie Bloomquist was the first player I thought of too Steve. He seems like he’d be able to fill that role; would he be out of our league financially? I couldn’t imagine Willie commanding too much dough.

  27. KaminaAyato on October 5th, 2010 1:31 pm

    The problem is how did the M’s get themselves into a situation where they need to rebuild again? Just two years after losing 100 games and we’re on a second rebuilding process?

    I think the question was whether the M’s really put themselves in a second rebuild. The Cliff Lee trade was a hedge that in the end netted us draft picks for Bavasi’s players. About the only trade that didn’t work out (using results-based analysis) is the League for Morrow trade.

    (Of course in terms of signings, there was the Figgins debacle, and the only way I can justify it was that he was a L/T stopgap or trade piece, but I really have no clue.)

    Anyways, while picks like a Strasburg or a Heyward come up quickly, the norm is that it takes at least 2 years (and really more like 3) for a draft pick to come to the majors. In that sense, we’re still in the initial rebuilding process waiting for Ackley’s class to come up.

    For instance take a look at some of the Reds’ roster:

    - Joey Votto (2002 draft, F/T starter in 2008)
    - Jay Bruce (2005 draft, F/T starter in 2008)
    - Drew Stubbs (2006 draft, F/T starter in 2010)
    - Chris Heisey (2006 draft, F/T starter in 2010)
    - Travis Wood (2005 draft, in rotation in 2010)
    - Johnny Cueto (2005 signed, in rotation in 2008)
    - Mike Leake (2009 draft, in rotation in 2010)

    It takes time for players to reach the majors, and that’s the part that people don’t understand. People also don’t understand that we can’t go and sign every darned FA out there to fill the holes we have, and that it’s not prudent to because we lock up money we could spend later when we ARE competitive.

  28. IdahoFan on October 5th, 2010 1:36 pm

    If you don’t put players like Kelly Johnson and Dan Uggla on the field in 2011, why watch? Just wait until Dustin Ackley is playing, then watch. I’d like to see the M’s spend some money on better players, then trade them when the young players are ready. I’m just not enthused about watching the 2011 placeholder team, Dave’s list of 2nd base prospects made that clear.

  29. Westside guy on October 5th, 2010 1:36 pm

    I think the folks who are saying “these guys aren’t any better than Lopez” may be missing something. Lopez would cost the team $5 million next year – any of these guys will likely cost at least a couple million less. Given the lack of payroll flexibility, that 2-3 million could make a significant difference applied elsewhere.

  30. New England Fan on October 5th, 2010 1:44 pm

    If you’re rebuilding and just wanting somebody to keep hold the spot, what about Josh Wilson – no he’s not any good, but he’d come cheap and can always play SS after Jack breaks down again.

  31. whittier ms fan on October 5th, 2010 1:45 pm

    I think the people that are suggesting Lopez as an alternative are assuming the M’s would decline his option and sign him to a cheaper deal. I would imagine that if his option is declined he would look elsewhere, though. I don’t think him switching teams would result in him putting up MVP caliber numbers ala Beltre in ’10, but I’d have to think his numbers would improve if he didn’t play his home games in Safeco. I’d imagine another team would give him a shot if Seattle did not.

  32. gwangung on October 5th, 2010 1:46 pm

    I think the question was whether the M’s really put themselves in a second rebuild.

    I think people (and possibly the front office) blinded themselves with the 2009 season, thinking they could easily match that record. Granted, if the returning players merely came within hailing distance of their 2009 season, 2010 wouldn’t have been nearly as bad, but the playoffs weren’t guarunteed.

    Generally, we’ve seen the most common blueprint for success is to have a home grown core of superior talent. There hasn’t been nearly been enough time to grow that core. The team tried to cover for that time, but, by their very nature, any such attempts to bridge the gap would be a gamble–and gambles could lose (and did in this case).

    Note that building a core of home grown talent is still on track–we haven’t lost much in youngsters in trying to compete this year (and what we did lose, we replaced). Bad as it was to lose a 100 games, the longer term strategy is still in place.

  33. Chris_From_Bothell on October 5th, 2010 1:55 pm

    Not a single one of those free agent suggestions would, on average, produce any differently than a hypothetically mediocre Ackley playing full time.

    I would very easily chalk up low numbers from Ackley as learning. I would tolerate errors and looking lost for half a season or more, with all the good info around on just how many plate appearances it takes to truly assess a new player.

    But I would very easily chalk up low numbers from anyone else brought in as “2010 all over again”. No more rentals! No more castoffs and bargain-basement shopping! Play the kids!

    There is zero benefit to keeping Ackley in the minors, in a rebuilding year. Bringing him up in 2011 from day one is about as low-pressure an introduction to the majors as he’s going to get. He’s not a headcase, doesn’t have a poor work ethic, and hardly has anything left to prove in the minors.

    Let him learn at the major league level. Let him, Smoak, Moore, Saunders, etc. bond over coming up together and supporting each other as they all go through the same growing pains.

    Leave the sifting through other teams’ castoffs for rounding out the bench. A backup corner IF, sure. A backup SS, sure. A legit, healthy DH for one year? Ok. 3 – 6 months of some random replacement-level 2b while coddling Ackley? No thanks.

  34. Dave on October 5th, 2010 2:10 pm

    There is zero benefit to keeping Ackley in the minors, in a rebuilding year.

    You mean besides the extra year of team control and the future salaries saved by avoid avoiding super-two status, right?

    As usual, you’re ranting out of ignorance. Ackley is going to start 2010 in the minors. Deal with it.

  35. ripperlv on October 5th, 2010 2:12 pm

    You left the who-lee-ooo out of the mix, the one Julio Lugo, while he had 3 homers, he did swat 13 double-baggers.
    Actually I would throw in Cristian Guzman, who lost his starting job in DC. He’s got some offense, can play both SS/2B, and I think on the M’s he could be the starting DH (or would have been in 2010). His defense is basically gone at SS, but he can fill in. I really don’t think the Rangers plan to keep him. I think it’s a better choice than what I’ve seen.

  36. eponymous coward on October 5th, 2010 2:21 pm

    I think we should look at SS/2B/backup infielder for 2011 more as a continuum of “at some point, this group of guys will accumulate 1300 plate appearances between 2B and SS, so let’s figure out who we can get to can do this without being as terrible as the Wilson non-twins and Figgins, were” than as discrete positions, given that it’s fairly likely the guys on the field in April will NOT be the guys on the field in September due to the likelihood of injury and promotion from the minors.

    As such, you want guys who a) can shift between 2B/SS without being a defensive drag (veteran utility infielder or someone with a record of being OK at both positions), b) guys who won’t bitch and moan if they are on the bench as a backup (backup infielder, a Rule Five draftee, or minor league veteran, or rookie), and c) some talent that you can send to AAA if needed (minor league veterans).

    For this reason, I’d prefer if we signed Ryan Theriot- he’s probably the guy who’d slide over best to SS (assuming that whoever the backup IF we end up signing doesn’t have the job, or Jack Wilson’s stayed healthier for longer than 5 nanoseconds and has bounced back towards his career norms).

    My guess is that what happens to Dustin Ackley is going to be predicated on two things:

    - what happens to Jack Wilson during spring training
    - how Ackley performs in spring training

    Yes, I know, spring training hitting numbers are pretty useless, but if Ackley plays himself onto the roster ala Griffey in 1989 by flashing enough defense and offensive skills to the scouts, he’ll be there- especially if Jack Wilson clearly shows he’s not really capable of holding down a starting job as a middle infielder any more, and the other options for 2B are basically Ryan Theriot-type placeholders.

  37. loveMeSomeStats on October 5th, 2010 2:22 pm

    What about accepting Jack Wilson as a sunk cost? Then you could look for a short-stop who can do 2nd for a while. When Ackley comes up, move the new guy to short and bump Jack. That lets us look slightly longer term.

  38. eponymous coward on October 5th, 2010 2:33 pm

    Also, to clarify: I don’t think it’s a safe assumption that Ackley will play himself onto the roster (which is why you should make sure you have options you’re OK going into the season with at 2B AND SS), and if I had to guess based on where we stand today, that would be “no, he won’t”… but today isn’t March 30th, 2011, so I wouldn’t discount it out of hand. Thus I have a preference for the M’s loading up on offseason options for infielders that can take over at 2B AND SS at a 1-1.5 WAR level if they were full time players (below average, but not useless). Those are useful bench players for a MLB team, and even GOOD teams can do OK if they have a guy like that at a position.

    Realistically, if we got ~2-3 WAR from the middle infield, we’d be improved (because we got basically ~0 WAR last year).

  39. Chris_From_Bothell on October 5th, 2010 2:34 pm

    You mean besides the extra year of team control and the future salaries saved by avoid avoiding super-two status, right?

    So throwing a couple million away on some barely replacement-level 2b now, and limiting the production you could get out of that position for a half or a full season, saves how much in salaries later?

    An extra year of team control isn’t all that interesting when most of that extra year isn’t spent at the level that actually matters.

    If you’re arguing that Ackley has more to learn at the AAA level and shouldn’t be let out of there until he fields his position flawlessly and shows his potential at the plate, fine. That ensures that the extra time they have him for is going to be highly productive.

    Holding him there just to squeeze an extra year or two cheaply is, well, building a team on the cheap. If he’s truly all that, lock him up early. Or just pay the man.

    As usual, you’re ranting out of ignorance. Ackley is going to start 2010 in the minors. Deal with it.

    As usual, you’re probably right. I’m only looking at it from the point of view of what I’d actually want to watch on the field in 2011. Felipe Lopez, starting second baseman for the Mariners, is not exactly going to get me out to the ballpark.

    I’m not trying to second-guess what a real GM would do, who has to actually settle for lesser talent now in order to meet a longer-term budget. Which is a rational thing to try to do. Even fun, for some fans.

    Doesn’t mean I like the end result on the field, and the apparent continued commitment to mediocrity, stop-gaps and terrible rentals.

    2 100-loss seasons in 3 years, yet you think the Ms are best served by keeping a high draft pick down, in order to save some salary down the road? Salary that’s likely equivalent to the one-year rentals they’ll be paying for in the interim anyway? Yuck.

  40. groundzero55 on October 5th, 2010 2:49 pm

    He’s not a headcase, doesn’t have a poor work ethic, and hardly has anything left to prove in the minors

    No? He’s been in the minors for how long? We aren’t talking about perennial AAAA superstar Matt Tuiasosopo.

  41. Duncan Idaho on October 5th, 2010 2:58 pm

    That list leaves me with a great hope that the TB Rays are left in a position where they have to move Jason Bartlett. Let him be the shortstop and let Jack Wilson play 2B until he gets hurt, then get Ackley.

    God that list is depressing other than Uribe and it sounds as if he’ll be too expensive and too long term.

  42. gwangung on October 5th, 2010 3:04 pm

    I think it’s clear that more than a few posters really don’t understand the strategy, but they don’t like it anyway.

  43. Duncan Idaho on October 5th, 2010 3:10 pm

    Dave said, “You mean besides the extra year of team control and the future salaries saved by avoid avoiding super-two status, right?

    As usual, you’re ranting out of ignorance. Ackley is going to start 2010 in the minors. Deal with it.”

    The Mariners would gain the extra year of team control simply by leaving Ackley in Tacoma until April 15. Avoiding super two status by leaving Ackley in Tacoma until late June/July would buy the Mariners one season of Ackley at below arbitration salaries and would see him get a significant paycut in year 3-3.5. If the Mariners want Ackley to be a long term piece of the franchise I don’t see manipulating service time to give Ackley a massive paycut in 2014 as the way to do it.

  44. Nathan on October 5th, 2010 3:26 pm

    I think Dan Uggla would be a little too expensive and there’d also be the risk of siging a NL lifer to hit in the AL and in Safeco no less so this is a hypothetical but IF the M’s did make a play for him couldn’t he play second until Ackley’s ready and then move to DH? Uggla would almost have to be an improvement as a DH over this years guys wouldn’t he? It would just be a matter of price tag because no one wants another guy on a long term expensive contract that’s just a stop-gap.

  45. niterunner on October 5th, 2010 3:30 pm

    No Orlando Hudson?

  46. bilbo27 on October 5th, 2010 3:58 pm

    ugh. If those are the best options, I’d just as soon keep Lopez around at 2-3 million on a one year deal. If Lopez resurged a bit with the bat (who knows, it could happen; he’s still pretty young at 27 and if ever he was going to be motivated to work hard in the off-season, it would be after this year), while still playing good defense at third, might get something for him at the trade deadline, at which point Figgins could be moved over to third and Ackley called up.

    If Lopez doesn’t discover how to hit a bit again, about the same thing can happen except with releasing Lopez around the trade deadline. You lose out potentially on a good utility player to slot in, in this scenario, but in a rebuilding year, I don’t care if some Josh Wilson of the world gets called up and takes over that role. Heck, if by the end of May Lopez hasn’t shown any signs of life with his bat, he could be released then, presuming Ackley would be ready to come up at that point.

  47. bat guano on October 5th, 2010 4:04 pm

    Are there really no potential trade targets out there who would be a better fit than this rag tag bunch? How about one of the guys on Tampa? Or maybe a random Lillibridge?

  48. Bremerton guy on October 5th, 2010 4:11 pm

    Chris Woodward. Ronny Cedeno.

  49. TomC on October 5th, 2010 4:22 pm

    You want “proven vets.” Then you’ll NEVER get better.

    No, but I’m pretty suspicious of get-it-done-now scenarios. That’s what Armstrong and Lincoln have been pushing for the past eight or nine years. I think a change in approach might be beneficial.

    I agree with gwangung. The Mariners simply cannot spend their way out of the hole they are in.

    As I understand it, a replacement level team will have a .300 winning percentage or about 48 wins in a season. A year and a half or so ago, Dave calculated the value of marginal wins – the kind you can buy via free agency – at about $4.3M. Salary seems to have dropped the last few years so maybe it is now $4M per win.

    A league minimum payroll is about $16M (40 man roster x $400K per player). This team will probably win about 48 games (48 wins and 114 losses). The Mariners won 61 games this year – 13 above replacement level. They did this with a $91.5M payroll – essentially $71.5 M above the minimum. At $4M per for marginal wins their payroll should have resulted in – tada! – approximately 18 wins above replacement for a total record of 66 wins and 96 loses. Not in any meaningful way better than what we just suffered through.

    The team with the least wins that still got into the playoffs this year was the Cincinnati Reds – 91 wins. That is 43 wins above replacement. At $4M per marginal win you need a payroll of $188M. Nobody but the Yankees does that.

    Obviously, winning teams that aren’t the Yankees require cheap young talent. Period. Free agent signings can only fill in the unexpected and temporary gaps. Extra salary helps to keep your stars around (ala Felix and Ichiro).

    What Dave is describing is the ONLY way the Mariners can field a competitive team long term – fill in your gaps with relatively cheap and temporary free agents and build with your youngsters.

  50. Steve Nelson on October 5th, 2010 4:54 pm

    Are there really no potential trade targets out there who would be a better fit than this rag tag bunch? How about one of the guys on Tampa? Or maybe a random Lillibridge?

    You might want to go back to the post and read the first sentence, third paragraph; right before the discussion of Theriot.

  51. gwangung on October 5th, 2010 6:12 pm

    And, since Dave also said this:

    Instead, they’ll be shopping for a guy who can handle the position for at least the first few months of the season, then be able to slide into a utility role if Ackley’s performance demands that he be promoted from Tacoma in the early summer. That means they’ll want a guy who is okay with reduced playing time and can handle shortstop in a pinch. Ideally, he’d probably be a right-handed hitter that could complement Ackley, who still has a ways to go before he’s productive against LHPs.

    ….folks may want to think about what you’re likely to be getting (i.e., not just stop with the bat with mayyyyybe a stray thought or two on defense).

  52. sambclark on October 5th, 2010 6:14 pm

    When you look at the guys Dave mentioned, similar is the word of the day. Also crap, that is also the word of the day. In that case go for the guy with the best nickname. Welcome to Seattle, The Riot!

  53. Chris_From_Bothell on October 5th, 2010 6:17 pm

    What Dave is describing is the ONLY way the Mariners can field a competitive team long term – fill in your gaps with relatively cheap and temporary free agents and build with your youngsters.

    TomC, the quibble is about what a gap truly is.

    CF, RF – set.
    3b – paid for, assuming we’re talking about Figgins, so meh.
    SS, backup C – sucking chest wound, but can’t justify the $ or trade that would put a real everyday SS there.
    Rotation and pen – Combination of set, and youngster to build on.
    LF, 1b, 2b, C – youngster to build on.
    DH, utility OF, utility IF – gaps.

    The Mariners would gain the extra year of team control simply by leaving Ackley in Tacoma until April 15. Avoiding super two status by leaving Ackley in Tacoma until late June/July would buy the Mariners one season of Ackley at below arbitration salaries and would see him get a significant paycut in year 3-3.5. If the Mariners want Ackley to be a long term piece of the franchise I don’t see manipulating service time to give Ackley a massive paycut in 2014 as the way to do it.

    Good points Duncan. Waiting to the ASB to bring him up sounds like it wouldn’t save more than the 2 million that a stopgap would cost. And separately, one could be all clever and hold him there until 2 weeks, 1 minute into the season, or until May, to have that extra year of time… but nice message to whoever gets sent down or kicked out to take his place. “Thanks for warming the bench and soaking in the heady Opening Day atmosphere, random-reliever-on-the-bubble-out-of-Spring-Training… now make room for the shiny new guy. *boot*”

    Ackley belongs on the Opening Day roster, barring injury or significant issues found in AFL and Spring Training.

  54. refusetolose on October 5th, 2010 7:09 pm

    dave, don’t talk to us about how we don’t hit all year and then give us ryan theriot as a cheap option. remember, we did the cheap options.

  55. G-Man on October 5th, 2010 7:25 pm

    Omar Vizquel actually sounds like a reasonable idea. His wife is from Seattle, so he might consider coming here. Someone to work with young infielders and provide some of that (please forgive mean) veteran leadership wouldn’t be bad. He hit better than Theriot this season,.276 .341 .331 in 391 PA’s playing 3rd, 2nd, and short. I have no idea what his range is these days, but he looked like he still could handle the leather when I saw him in 2009.

    As I said in the previous thread. Ackley could earn up to 2.5 million in additional salary depending on when he reaches the majors – Dave said so right here when he signed. – so that could be an additional cost factor.

  56. khardy on October 5th, 2010 8:10 pm

    Mark Mclemore is only 45…

  57. Typical Idiot Fan on October 5th, 2010 8:22 pm

    Keeping Ackley down in the minors to start the season is in the Mariners best interests long term.

    But what about Kyle Seager? He profiles as a backup middle infielder and did well filling in at short and second for the Mavericks. Skipping a couple of levels would be tough, but how much development are we really expecting from him?

    Could also give Tug Hulett a shot. He’s not much overall, but is the very definition of expendable.

  58. KaminaAyato on October 5th, 2010 8:42 pm

    dave, don’t talk to us about how we don’t hit all year and then give us ryan theriot as a cheap option. remember, we did the cheap options.

    When do you want to be competitive? Next year? I don’t want the team to blow its wad now on a team that is still rebuilding. Unless there is a can’t miss player that we’re like “OMG MUST HAVE NOW” AND we can get them signed long-term for when we are competitive, I would rather leave the money unused so that when we do have a contending team (which in all likelihood would be 2012 at the earliest), we can pick up that player.

    If you can’t deal with it, then you’re beyond help.

  59. ZoinksScoob on October 5th, 2010 8:50 pm

    If I had to guess, Jose Lopez will be non-tendered and won’t be back under any circumstances. Also, I doubt that the M’s could get much (if anything) for Chone Figgins in a trade this winter given his overall poor performance and perceived attitude problem. So it wouldn’t shock me to see Figgins back at 2B for the M’s this spring, with Matt Mangini and Matt Tuiasosopo platooning at 3B. Why? Because the M’s simply aren’t going to compete next year, and there’s not much on the free agent market at either 2B or 3B to get excited about. The M’s will let Dustin Ackley ripen on the vine in Tacoma (while not using up valuable major league service time) and hope that Figgins can build up his trade value for the July 31 deadline to make room for Ackley at 2B. I believe that Tuiasosopo is out of options, so he has to stick with the team somehow. Platooning him with Mangini might be the best role for him for now. Of course, they could just be keeping the hot corner warm for Alex Liddi.

    The only impact bat I could see the M’s going after would be Adam Dunn. He’s about as consistent as they get, he’s only 30, he’s left-handed, and he’s “ballpark-proof” as far as his power goes. It will probably take a 4-year, $60 mil contract to sign him, but it might be worth it. He’s the middle-of-the-order bat the team needs, regardless of their prospects in 2011. They can have him for 4 years, so that when the team SHOULD (not will or may) be ready to contend, that piece of the puzzle is already present.

  60. J-Dog on October 5th, 2010 8:56 pm

    So throwing a couple million away on some barely replacement-level 2b now, and limiting the production you could get out of that position for a half or a full season, saves how much in salaries later?

    I recall hearing Pedro Grifol state earlier this year that the M’s do not want to call up players before they are ready. Thus, they do not want to pull a Justin Smoak and have to send the player back to AAA to regain confidence. For this reason, in addition to the service time benefit, Ackley should start the season in Tacoma. Thus, I agree with Dave’s strategy.

    For those who don’t like Theriot and crew, what big bat would you recommend for 2B and M-INF? The M’s don’t need to hit a home run at this position. A single or a walk should suffice.

  61. fiftyone on October 5th, 2010 9:35 pm

    God, I am SO glad the season is over and we can finally start chatting/writing about things that matter and things that do the opposite of suck the very soul out of me.

  62. jpieper on October 5th, 2010 9:42 pm

    I’m pretty happy with this list. I don’t mind paying any of these guys 2-3 million to hold the spot for 2 months until Ackley is ready.

  63. Adam S on October 5th, 2010 10:23 pm

    Given the sheer number of players in the post plus a couple mentioned in comments, I think the Mariners may just wait and see who falls through the cracks and winds up without a job and will sign for $1.5-2M, rather than targeting a specific player.

  64. arichner on October 5th, 2010 10:37 pm

    Other non-stud names that I dont think have been thrown around yet: Alex Gonzalez, JJ Hardy, Mark Ellis (if his option is declined). Not much out there, I just want a guy that plays like he gives a damn (Lopez is a depressed human being) until Ackley is ready. These wont block anyone and hopefully with a good 1st half whomever we get can be traded at the deadline like the Jays did with Alex Gonzalez.

  65. JH on October 5th, 2010 10:43 pm

    An extra year of team control isn’t all that interesting when most of that extra year isn’t spent at the level that actually matters.

    Do you understand what club control means? It means that instead of Ackley becoming a Free Agent at the end of the 2016 season, he’d become a FA at the end of 2017. Presumably he’d spend the 2017 season in the major leagues.

  66. mike teavee on October 5th, 2010 11:26 pm

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Just wanted to add that the Red Sox will likely be shopping Scutaro to make room for Lowrie, and if they pick up some (or most) of his salary, he’s not the worst option. In terms of the trade route, I’m sure Scott Sizemore could be had for a bag of balls at this point, and I still think he has talent and seems like he could benefit from a change of scenery. I’ve also always had a soft spot for Jeff Keppinger.

  67. just a fan on October 5th, 2010 11:57 pm

    A few people seem to ignore the key point — Ackley is going to be in Seattle at some point next summer. Thus, it behooves the club to find cheap solutions of the kind of Theriot, who can double later as a utility man/Jack Wilson’s replacement.

    Anybody thinking the club should be looking for more than those mentioned above at this position is ignoring the Ackley.

    If you want a splash, argue for DH, LF, SS or C. But not 2nd!

  68. ndevale on October 6th, 2010 3:21 am

    Nick Punto anyone? I believe he is a free agent. Would Minnesota want him back, and would he want to leave? Probably yes, and no.

  69. qwerty on October 6th, 2010 7:00 am

    Adam Kennedy, Mark Ellis, David Eckstein, Marco Scutaro, Bobby Crosby (not), Ramon Santiago, Craig Counsell. These guys would fit the bill in the interim.

  70. lubin_cuban23 on October 6th, 2010 7:45 am

    Chris from Brothell,

    The main difference is that on a contending team, we can have him for cheap and spend the money elsewhere, making us a contender. I don’t get why you don’t understand this.

    Ban him Dave.

  71. smb on October 6th, 2010 7:49 am

    Could Snelling play second if we got him some sort of personal mobility device?

  72. heyoka on October 6th, 2010 7:54 am

    I thought Orlando Hudson is a free agent….

    Pull a Billy Beane, rent him, flip him.

  73. ivan on October 6th, 2010 8:08 am

    I have another idea. Look, it’s a rebuilding year and they need to go cheap. I get that. I’m still pissed that they had to let Kanekoa Texeira go, and I’m guessing that somewhere out there is some team’s unprotected Rule V 2B who could fill the position until Ackley gets here.

  74. smb on October 6th, 2010 8:24 am

    We could tape a glove to a Roomba and it would be a defensive improvement over Lopez, wouldn’t it? Now we silly commenters are splitting hairs over whom to sign that will represent a marginal, temporary improvement over Lopez? Not worth arguing over, really, is it?

  75. heyoka on October 6th, 2010 8:47 am

    smb,

    don’t make me evaluate my life….it’s so much more depressing when you put it in perspective.

  76. Chris_From_Bothell on October 6th, 2010 11:35 am

    Very well. The majority here seem more interested in playing fantasy GM than speculating on what an entertaining 2011 team would look like. I wouldn’t pay good money to watch in person any of Dave’s suggested players at 2b.

    But there’s merit to being realistic about the realities of budgets, contracts, etc. It’s a valid way to be a fan, you guys have discussed the theory behind it to death, and have forgotten more than I’ll know about how that works. Fair enough.

    In a spirit of trying to get along here, and not take out my frustrations with this franchise and this season on anyone here, I’ll just leave it at hoping that if Ackley does spend part of next year in AAA, that whoever is covering for him is better than the options Dave listed here.

    In other words, I have just enough faith left in Zduriencik and company, to believe they could find and pull off some trade or other that is cleverer than anything people are suggesting at the moment. I’ll be curious to see Dave’s trade version of this post, to see who he thinks Z can swipe to hold down the fort.

    And finally, if 2b is one of the blue light specials listed here, that people here are alright with for half a season, I suppose that’s what rebuilding truly means. I can pin my hopes on all that saved money and extra service time and what have you translating into kickass 2012 and 2013 squads.

  77. spankystout on October 6th, 2010 11:52 am

    Just keep Josh Wilson and save the money on these stop-gaps. When Theriot is looking like an attractive FA your franchise is broken, so don’t compound that issue by reinvesting in players the team is willing to cut in two months, or whenever Ackley is ready. Josh Wilson sucks, but he is cheap, and a current AL player. I’m always apprehensive over the late NL to AL switch as well.

  78. spankystout on October 6th, 2010 12:02 pm

    I like Ivans idea about drafting a rule 5 SS/2B as a way to plug the infield on-the-cheap.

  79. n8tron3030 on October 6th, 2010 12:44 pm

    If the Mariners want Ackley to be a long term piece of the franchise I don’t see manipulating service time to give Ackley a massive paycut in 2014 as the way to do it.

    And yet that is exactly how any reasonable front office sees it. Also see exhibit A: Smoak, Justin, for an example of what happens when you rush someone up too quickly.

  80. Hopmacker on October 6th, 2010 12:55 pm

    But there’s merit to being realistic

    Wow. That is a break through.

    The majority here seem more interested in playing fantasy GM than speculating on what an entertaining 2011 team would look like.

    I think most are grounded by that reality thing. That has merit.

    If you want to go for the “entertaining team” angle, knock yourself out. Let’s trade for Pujols, Hamilton, Mauer, and sign some other FAs. That team would be very entertaining. It wouldn’t, however, be very realistic. At times, reality is a bitch. This may be one of those times.

  81. gwangung on October 6th, 2010 1:14 pm

    The majority here seem more interested in playing fantasy GM than speculating on what an entertaining 2011 team would look like.

    Well, there’s the long term thinking vs. short term thinking going on here.

    From what I’m gathering, you’re focussing solely the short term gain, and not thinking very much about the long term.

  82. nathaniel dawson on October 6th, 2010 1:34 pm

    A league minimum payroll is about $16M (40 man roster x $400K per player). This team will probably win about 48 games (48 wins and 114 losses). The Mariners won 61 games this year – 13 above replacement level. They did this with a $91.5M payroll – essentially $71.5 M above the minimum. At $4M per for marginal wins their payroll should have resulted in – tada! – approximately 18 wins above replacement for a total record of 66 wins and 96 loses. Not in any meaningful way better than what we just suffered through.

    Obviously, winning teams that aren’t the Yankees require cheap young talent. Period. Free agent signings can only fill in the unexpected and temporary gaps. Extra salary helps to keep your stars around (ala Felix and Ichiro).

    Your math is a bit wonky, but the point is well taken. If the M’s aren’t getting solid contributions from cost-controlled players, they just don’t have enough budget to field a winning team. Assembling that cost-controlled core absolutely has to be a priority for them. (and per Jack’s recent statement in the e-mail to season ticket holders, he seems to understand that)

  83. nathaniel dawson on October 6th, 2010 1:40 pm

    But what about Kyle Seager? He profiles as a backup middle infielder and did well filling in at short and second for the Mavericks. Skipping a couple of levels would be tough, but how much development are we really expecting from him?

    That would be asking for a disaster. While Seager had a good year at High Desert, that’s a huge jump to make, putting a lot of pressure on a guy with less than two years experience in pro ball. He might be the kind of guy that can fill a role like that down the line, but we really don’t know if he would be capable at the Major League level. He’s best off continuing his development in the minors for now.

  84. nathaniel dawson on October 6th, 2010 1:51 pm

    J.J. Hardy has one more year of team control left, and coming off an excellent season with a still-bargain salary next year, would be very expensive in a trade even if you could convince Minnesota to give him up. I’d love to see Hardy on the M’s next year, but with his situation and with Jack Wilson still around, that looks like close to an impossibility.

  85. gwangung on October 6th, 2010 1:53 pm

    Your math is a bit wonky, but the point is well taken. If the M’s aren’t getting solid contributions from cost-controlled players, they just don’t have enough budget to field a winning team. Assembling that cost-controlled core absolutely has to be a priority for them.

    Well, I’d say that you aren’t going to have a winning team period. Assembling a cost controlled core (and having the nerves of steel to replace them as they get older and closer to free agency) should be the primary goal. You might take steps sideways temporarily, but you have to move forward on it almost all the time.

  86. Chris_From_Bothell on October 6th, 2010 2:33 pm

    If you want to go for the “entertaining team” angle, knock yourself out. Let’s trade for Pujols, Hamilton, Mauer, and sign some other FAs. That team would be very entertaining. It wouldn’t, however, be very realistic. At times, reality is a bitch. This may be one of those times.

    *sigh* Just because I don’t like bargain basement shopping doesn’t mean I live at the other extreme either. At no point did I suggest, or would I suggest, that acquiring top talent is straightforward. Or actually even possible, given other team’s needs and priorities, and the Ms current system and payroll.

    It’s not a Playstation game. I get that. Thanks.

    From what I’m gathering, you’re focussing solely the short term gain, and not thinking very much about the long term.

    2 100 loss seasons in 3 years, no postseason in 10 years… kind of hard to be patient. I agree that there needs to be longer term fixes and thinking, and there’s smart people in Ms fandom and probably in Z’s office doing that thinking. I’d just like the teams in the intervening years to be somewhat watchable more than once every 5 days.

  87. Jordan on October 6th, 2010 2:52 pm

    None of these options make sense even for 2-3 mil. In a rebuilding year where the point is development and watchability, the M’s can leave 2nd base alone. Simply by cutting the underperforming Lopez, they are better. The mere possibility of watching the potential of Smoak/Saunders etc. is enticing enough.

    But, if we must look past our pathetic internal options I like the idea of a rule 5 cubic zarconia in the rough.

    However, I also patiently wait for the next Guitierrez trade in the form of Pauley/French being sold as the next up and coming ace and Aardsma as Rivera in hiding. I mean don’t underestimate the possibility of Zduriencik acquiring a real infielder via trade. I mean we don’t know the dirt he has on other GMs.

    Finally, my favorite option as previously mentioned: Go Billy Beane style, overload 2b, flip that player. Who cares if you’ve already filled a position?

    Johnson, Hudson, Uggla come to mind.

  88. gwangung on October 6th, 2010 2:56 pm

    2 100 loss seasons in 3 years, no postseason in 10 years… kind of hard to be patient. I agree that there needs to be longer term fixes and thinking, and there’s smart people in Ms fandom and probably in Z’s office doing that thinking. I’d just like the teams in the intervening years to be somewhat watchable more than once every 5 days.

    You’re assuming that this is possible. It may not be. And what you want may preclude the execution of a long term success. (And what you’re doing is simply the extension of the same strategy that got us into this mess).

    In other words, you may be thinking just like Armstrong and Lincoln.

  89. n8tron3030 on October 6th, 2010 3:01 pm

    overload 2b, flip that player. Who cares if you’ve already filled a position? Johnson, Hudson, Uggla come to mind.

    I agree this is probably the best scenario, but what player who has any expectation of being a long-term starter would sign here knowing that we have no intention of keeping him around past next June? Maybe if it’s someone who could fill 3B after we hypothetically trade Figgins, but otherwise I have a hard time seeing anyone being convinced to come here for a job that has a guaranteed max of 3 months.

  90. Duncan Idaho on October 6th, 2010 3:02 pm

    I think many are looking at this the wrong way. The Mariners need a SS who can play 2B until Jack Wilson gets hurt or Ackley is ready, whichever comes first. Counting on Jack Wilson is more haphazzard than counting on Ackley to contribute from opening day. And please lets not count on Josh Wilson to be anything more than a pinch runner/emergency infielder as the 25th man. Doing that he is fine, anything else is a stretch.

  91. Jordan on October 6th, 2010 3:08 pm

    n8tron- I agree no FA in their right mind would sign with the M’s. So realistically the M’s use the money elsewhere and wait until Ackley’s ready.

    However, in my videogame world, I never traded Cabrera or Choo either. Oh and Bedard pitched game two of the World Series.

    But seriously, my real argument is go for a rule 5 or try our hand at a trade. Even if we have to take a loss.

    Duncan- I agree we should invest in a SS, but the pickings are just as slim as 2b.

  92. Chris_From_Bothell on October 6th, 2010 3:09 pm

    In other words, you may be thinking just like Armstrong and Lincoln.

    I know, I know. And I have no business running the Ms… which means… hm. :)

  93. Jordan on October 6th, 2010 3:10 pm

    What about leaving Figgins at 2b and hoping he raises his trade “value”? Then, going after a 1b/3b type.

  94. gwangung on October 6th, 2010 4:58 pm

    I know, I know. And I have no business running the Ms… which means… hm.

    Yeah. That’s the horror of the situation—I mean, this is really an all-options-suck situation.

    But seriously, my real argument is go for a rule 5 or try our hand at a trade. Even if we have to take a loss.

    Well, just remember, we’re not looking for miracles here, since we’re keeping the seat warm for Ackley…

  95. heyoka on October 7th, 2010 6:20 am

    Use that FA money to get a marginal starter, let Safeco work its magic on his ERA, then trade him for prospects.
    Just leave second base empty – put 8 guys out there, and just tell the ump that’s our team.
    That’s probably about as good as these replacements will be.

    Where’s Hudson? Is Orlando Hudson locked up in Minnesota, I remember him being signed to a one year deal.
    Why is every time someone (mostly me) brings up Orlando Hudson, it’s completely ignored?
    Plays second, is better than all those options. Is temporary solution.

  96. Badbadger on October 7th, 2010 8:50 am

    I think the thing with Hudson is he’s too good to be a half-season place holder. If they wanted to keep Ackley down until September he’d make sense for a one season fill in.

  97. niterunner on October 7th, 2010 9:30 am

    Do a Billy Beane sign and flip with Hudson, like he did with Orlando Cabrera.

  98. spankystout on October 7th, 2010 9:52 am

    Hudson is going to cost a lot more than 2-3M. He is a good player and the M’s would certainly be better with him. But he is out of our price range.

  99. heyoka on October 7th, 2010 10:07 am

    I’m with niterunner, sign and flip.

    But I wouldn’t be intellectually honest if I didn’t acknowledge that going into his age 33 season at 5-6M, should he fail to produce, and with few of the playoff perennials needing a 2Bman, he could potentially provide 0 return. Plus, it’s another wiffle bat in the lineup.
    However, should he end up being available for cheaper than expected, you got to put him on the table. What if he falls to 3-4M?

  100. gwangung on October 7th, 2010 12:15 pm

    However, should he end up being available for cheaper than expected, you got to put him on the table. What if he falls to 3-4M?

    That’s why you keep your ears open, neh?

  101. Badbadger on October 7th, 2010 1:16 pm

    I think that it depends. I’d rather they put the money into a thumping DH than get someone like Hudson who isn’t really an offensive force. Bad teams with offense are more watchable than bad teams without offense.

    If no good DH opportunity presents itself, by all means get Hudson.

  102. JH on October 11th, 2010 4:22 pm

    Ruben Gotay is a guy I’ve always liked who never got a real shot at MLB at-bats. He put up a .378 wOBA in AAA this year and is probably something like a -5 < x < 0 defender at 2B, so he can't move over to SS once Ackley's ready, but he could build up a little value given half a season.

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