Bring Back Jamie Moyer

Dave · October 29, 2010 at 8:37 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Jamie Moyer turns 48 in a couple of weeks. He’s a free agent, and Phillies GM Ruben Amaro announced that they’re not going to re-sign him for 2011. Given his age and the fact that he ended the season on the disabled list with a sprained elbow, he’s unlikely to get many offers this winter – so the Mariners should make him one.

This isn’t a nostalgic suggestion, where they bring Moyer back for one last hurrah at Safeco Field. No, it’s because Jamie Moyer can still pitch. A quick comparison:

Jamie Moyer, 2010: 1.61 BB/9, 5.08 K/9, 44.1% GB%, 4.49 xFIP
Doug Fister, 2010: 1.68 BB/9, 4.89 K/9, 47.1% GB%, 4.27 xFIP

Yes, Moyer pitched in the National League, so you’d have to adjust his numbers accordingly, but the no-walks, pitch-to-contact, keep-hitters-off-balance skillset still works. Moyer’s been defying expectations for a couple of decades now, and there’s no real evidence that he’s any more finished as a major league pitcher now than he was a year ago. In fact, his xFIP this year was actually the lowest he’s posted in a season since 2002.

The Mariners are going to run Jason Vargas, Doug Fister, and likely Michael Pineda out in their rotation behind Felix Hernandez. They’re going to need a guy on the roster who can step into the rotation when one of them falters. Moyer, who took full advantage of Safeco Field the last time he was a Mariner, could be an effective innings sponge whose skills are perfectly suited for the park. He’ll cost next to nothing, and would offer the kind of veteran experience that the pitching staff isn’t likely to have much of, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Even in a rebuilding year, you need to have some stopgaps around to fill voids so you’re not thrusting kids into roles they’re not ready for. That is especially true on the pitching staff – you don’t want to have to rush someone up from Tacoma when a member of the rotation needs a breather, and given the guys that will follow Felix next year, you can count on needing extra starters throughout the year. Just from a baseball perspective, he provides a lot of what this team needs to acquire this winter, and he’ll do so for next to no cost.

Toss in the intangible stuff that we can’t really measure, and this should be a move supported by all sides. Bring Jamie Moyer back to Seattle.

Comments

82 Responses to “Bring Back Jamie Moyer”

  1. Tek Jansen on October 29th, 2010 9:02 am

    Should the M’s ink Moyer and another starter? (I know that you have suggested Millwood in the past.) Or should they utilize of French, Pauley, etc. to start when one of the possible five (Felix, Vargas, Fister, Moyer, Pineda) can’t go?

  2. moyerLIVES on October 29th, 2010 9:03 am

    Finally a post that makes my username totally relevant, and I don’t have much to say other than “Yes, I agree.”

  3. New England Fan on October 29th, 2010 9:05 am

    My all time favorite Mariner player. Quality pitcher, quality human being, and yes he can still contribute. That’s a go!

  4. Gritty Veteran Poster on October 29th, 2010 9:10 am

    Love that this is a USS Mariner endorsed move! And if he stomps off in a huff like He Who Shall Not Be Named *cough*Griffey*cough* he won’t have to go far to get home since I think he still lives in Magnolia.

  5. Tek Jansen on October 29th, 2010 9:16 am

    Moyer can call the team from his home land line rather than from a cell on a highway in Montana. Hell, Moyer could post a letter. Given his age, he might not be too familiar with the new fangled telephonic communications that we have nowadays.

  6. realsmack on October 29th, 2010 9:21 am

    yes yes yes!!!

    Not only that, it’s time for him to pass on his wily ways on to the next generation. He should do that here.

    Bring Jamie Home!

  7. georgmi on October 29th, 2010 9:33 am

    With Moyer on the staff, maybe certain pitchers would learn that it’s OK to use their breaking stuff sometimes.

  8. ira on October 29th, 2010 9:43 am

    Moyer can still pitch. He lives here and is still involved with the Seattle community. And he’s way too young to retire.

  9. kmsandrbs on October 29th, 2010 9:45 am

    Yep. I’m fully on board. Jamie Moyer is just a class act. The fact that he can still pitch is certainly what makes this work, but it’s everything else that makes this right. Plus, won’t it be fun for opposing teams to go from Felix on day 1 to Moyer on day 2? (Yes, I know he probably won’t be the #2 starter).

  10. ManifestDestiny on October 29th, 2010 9:46 am

    Wholeheartedly agree. How much do you think it would take to sign him? $2mil? Also, I’d love to at least make a run for Javier Vazquez

  11. terry on October 29th, 2010 9:51 am

    Here’s some important numbers to consider though:

    2008: 196
    2009: 162
    2010: 111

  12. robbbbbb on October 29th, 2010 9:54 am

    I really like Jamie Moyer, and think he was a terrific Mariner. I’d love to see the Ageless Wonder continue his career in Seattle, and maybe be the first guy to pitch past age 50 since Satchell Paige. Dave makes a good argument for why.

    However, if Moyer doesn’t sign a contract anywhere this year I hope that the M’s sign him to come in and be a color guy, even if only part-time.

  13. maqman on October 29th, 2010 10:01 am

    He’ll contribute more than the last Ancient Mariner they rolled out in Safeco.

  14. lalo on October 29th, 2010 10:05 am

    Yes, agree, Jamie Moyer could be the #5 starter or even the #3, I love Jamie Moyer, come on Jack, bring back this guy…

  15. diderot on October 29th, 2010 10:05 am

    Entirely agree. After watching how hyphen failed to meet expectations this year, everyone in the rotation beyond Felix gives me concern for next year.

  16. pgreyy on October 29th, 2010 10:14 am

    Add me to the chorus of those thinking that this is a great move…a no-brainer.

    It’s one of the few nostalgic “play to the casual fan” moves available that also makes some sense on the field.

    Jamie will give you what he can give and on a team like we’re projecting the M’s to be next year, that’ll be worth it.

  17. lesch2k on October 29th, 2010 10:23 am

    the innings count doesn’t bother me too much. he’s on the DL if he’s not able to play. his salary can be based on 100 innings.

  18. Pig on October 29th, 2010 10:24 am

    Provided his elbow heals I’m all for it! How can you not love Moyer?!

  19. Badbadger on October 29th, 2010 10:38 am

    Let me be the first to say “meh.” Old and upside-free, it is entirely possible that he falls off the cliff at age 48. I don’t suppose I hate the move if we absolutely can’t get anyone who has a chance of being interesting in 2012, and I agree with the “how can you not love Moyer” sentiment. But I’m also not all that sure I agree that it’s terrible to rush a young pitcher by calling him up from Tacoma and giving him the occasional fill in start.

  20. Droid Rage on October 29th, 2010 10:44 am

    I loved Jamie Moyer when he was here for the first time and he is a great human being. However, I am not looking forward to a 48 year old pitcher as part of our rebuilding effort. “He is as good as Doug Fister” is not a ringing endorsement. If we are going to be better next year we need and deserve a better addition to our pitching staff.

  21. Gritty Veteran Poster on October 29th, 2010 11:03 am

    Is Darren Bragg available as well?

  22. CMC_Stags on October 29th, 2010 11:05 am

    I guess my question is more of a Moyer vs. Pauley one… Assuming their projected performance is equal and that Pauley is younger and probably cheaper, does Moyer make sense?

    Do you bring Moyer in (and maybe Bedard on a high incentive deal again) and see what shakes out during Spring Training from the Felix, Fister, Vargas, Pineda, Moyer, Bedard, and Pauley group? That’s 7 starter candidates, of which Pineda probably should start the year in AAA for multiple reasons and Bedard may or may not be healthy. Let Pauley float between AAA and the M’s as the 6th starter if need be.

  23. joser on October 29th, 2010 11:16 am

    Just to be clear Dave — are you suggesting he be a Safeco-only starter? Because if you’re categorizing him as an “innings-sponge” then I think he has to make more than the occasional spot start while spending most of his time as the greybeard shadow pitching coach for the youngsters…. and some of those starts will be away from Safeco. And is Wedge the kind of flexible thinker who would consider such an unorthodox usage anyway?

    I mean, Moyer is clearly a stand-up guy and good clubhouse presence and a wonderful force in the community, and if RRS follows him around like a puppy until he figures out how to be a effective pitcher he’d be worth every penny. But I have to say my skepticism gets the better of me when it comes to age and non-knuckleball pitchers, so I guess I fall more into the camp defined by the last couple of posts.

    The commercials, though could be awesome. The picture in Jaimie Moyer’s house that ages while he doesn’t. Re-animated Zombie Moyer (can we get the other pitchers doing the “Thriller” dance?) “Antiques Roadshow” with an authentic 19th century baseball signed in 1890… by Jaimie Moyer. And we might even get some more of those Brown Bear or All-star autoglass ones as a bonus (I just worry we’d see Moyer’s elbow go flying across the screen separated from his body when he next tries to break a windshield with a brick).

  24. msfanmike on October 29th, 2010 11:26 am

    I am sure the rest of the AL would be very much in favor of the M’s bringing Moyer back.

    I like him. He’s a great guy. The consummate professional and over-acheiver in relation to his “stuff.” The nostalgia benefits of him wearing Teal cannot possibly be measured in PR terms either. Maybe those positives will outweigh the Lueke “negatives.” Maybe not.

    Re-acquiring him however, appears to be a resolution in search of a problem. We don’t need Jamie Moyer as a regular, reliable rotation piece on a rebulding team. The Mariners don’t need Jamie Moyer as a player. As a coach, perhaps.

    Moyer’s 5+ projected ERA next season and the whiplash the old man might receive while watching Vlad launch another bomb is something we do not need to witness.

    It must be a slow news day. Sign him to a minor league deal – reap the benefits of the PR and hope for the best. If he makes the team out of Spring Training, his ML deal should be for no more than whatever the minimum salary can be for a 25 year vet.

  25. dekdek on October 29th, 2010 11:29 am

    I dunno about this … Jamie F’in Moyer just doesn’t sound as good as Cliff F’in Lee …..

  26. mariners2009 on October 29th, 2010 11:49 am

    Dave, great post.

    And, it’s funny because it’s true!

  27. joe simpson can hit on October 29th, 2010 12:04 pm

    I like it, as long as we still make a play for someone like Millwood as well. We can’t be counting on Moyer for every fifth day all season.

  28. Mathball on October 29th, 2010 12:14 pm

    I dunno about this … Jamie F’in Moyer just doesn’t sound as good as Cliff F’in Lee …..

    No but yelling to opposing batters “you been granpa’d” could be fun for half a season, before a trip to the DL.

    Jamie Moyer could work until we bring up Pineda, who I suspect Pineda won’t be on the starting roster, if only to keep him a Mariner for another year. But there needs to be a plan in place if Moyer doesn’t work out. Wedge deserves better than what was done to Wak. Moyer is a great guy, but he did not go quietly into the pen when Philly brought in Pedro, not that I think he would make much of a stink, but it is all about how the other players react, and the fan base.

    So sure bring in the Old Man, but be smart about it. If it works great, the intangibles could really be amazing. Have a plan if it doesn’t work.

  29. Snake Hippo on October 29th, 2010 12:38 pm

    YES YES YES YES YES

    Jamie was my favorite player as a kid, and I’ve been thinking about this possibility ever since I read that he wanted to pitch again next season. Glad to see that the move is USSM-endorsed.

  30. Westside guy on October 29th, 2010 12:45 pm

    Love that this is a USS Mariner endorsed move! And if he stomps off in a huff like He Who Shall Not Be Named *cough*Griffey*cough* he won’t have to go far to get home since I think he still lives in Magnolia.

    Given the individual we’re talking about, that’s unlikely (as you know I’m sure). But it’d make for a funny story – “Jamie just called me from 15th Avenue to say he’s retiring, effective immediately. We’ll be bringing him back in some manner, to be arranged as soon as we can drive over to his house.”

  31. dchappelle on October 29th, 2010 12:54 pm

    Nice. It does sound like a good idea and with his previous love of Seattle it might happen. I don’t see it nearly as likely, but I’d really like for the M’s to bring John Smoltz back! I can’t believe some sabermetrically inclined team didn’t try hard to sign him. But then maybe he was just ready to hang them up.

  32. spankystout on October 29th, 2010 1:12 pm

    I would love Moyer to come back! The M’s could sign Moyer and Bedard for 4 million or less in guaranteed money. Bedard only had 1.5million guaranteed this season, so he should be stay the same, or cost even less. Also Bedard’s last surgery was minor when compared to his labrum repair two years ago. His velocity was reported to be 89-93MPH in his rehab starts this year. Wakamatsu also forced him to throw his change-up more in those starts.

  33. Carson on October 29th, 2010 1:43 pm

    The nostalgia benefits of him wearing Teal cannot possibly be measured in PR terms either.

    Ahem. That’s “Northwest Green” to you, good sir.

  34. Grizz on October 29th, 2010 1:58 pm

    In fact, his xFIP this year was actually the lowest he’s posted in a season since 2002.

    Isn’t the low xFIP in 2010 due in part to the unusually low 4.08 MLB average ERA in 2010? For most of that period, the MLB average ERA was between 4.29 and 4.53.

  35. vj on October 29th, 2010 2:15 pm

    I must say I love the idea!

    Isn’t the low xFIP in 2010 due in part to the unusually low 4.08 MLB average ERA in 2010? For most of that period, the MLB average ERA was between 4.29 and 4.53.

    I am not fully into the mechanics but does the xFIP formula take the overall run environment into account? e.g. if the homerun percentage overall is decreasing, than the formula would have to adjust for that. Also, the league ERA includes relief pitchers, who as a group have a lower ERA than starters, I believe.
    Finally, I think Dave’s point is not that Moyer is an average starter but rather that he still is good enough to start, even if slightly below average.

  36. ivan on October 29th, 2010 2:28 pm

    Better they should bring back Randy.

  37. SonOfZavaras on October 29th, 2010 2:46 pm

    I really like the idea. Was thinking of it when it became clear the Phillies wouldn’t bring him back.

  38. Badbadger on October 29th, 2010 2:51 pm

    The more I think about his idea, the less I like it. I’m concerned that we would run into the same problem we had with Griffey- you can’t casually dump a popular player from days of yore without pissing off fans, and for that reason we’d keep running him out there even if he turned out to suck. And when a guy is 48 I don’t know that you can say that he can still pitch based on his last season. Who knows if that’s true or not? There haven’t been enough 48 year old pitchers to really be able to say how much decline to expect.

  39. lorca222 on October 29th, 2010 2:53 pm

    And Cliff Lee just vacated Moyer’s house….

    It seems so nicely laid out for both Moyer and the M’s that you have to wonder if the old, crafty lefty didn’t have his moves arranged in advance!

    Cliff Lee obviously made a positive impression on our young pitching staff, and then we can follow up with Moyer, who everyone knows has highly optimized work habits….

  40. AckAttack on October 29th, 2010 3:52 pm

    Not sure how I feel about this but it probably depends on the price

  41. nathaniel dawson on October 29th, 2010 4:05 pm

    Interesting idea. Something I never would have thought of. It would at least give us a leg up on hiring him to be a pitching coach when he retires.

  42. JH on October 29th, 2010 4:09 pm

    “He is as good as Doug Fister” is not a ringing endorsement.

    Doug Fister was worth 2.9 WAR last year. If Moyer will sign for $2million or less, it’s probably worth it.

    The team needs role players as well as wild-cards with upside. We saw what happens when those wild cards don’t pan out (see Snell, Ian; Kotchman, Casey). A guy like Moyer who can shuffle back and forth from long relief to the rotation while providing just about league average production can add stability to a team that really doesn’t want another season with one of the worst records in baseball.

  43. Duncan Idaho on October 29th, 2010 4:40 pm

    The Wakamatsu apologists really need to let it go.

    At the things we can see Wak was terrible in every way.

    Terrible bullpen manager.
    Terrible at constructing a lineup.
    Terrible interpersonal skills.

    All in all that preponderance of evidence should lead one to conclude that Wak would have a hard time getting past all the terribleness to be a good or even average manager.

    He’s gone, Brown is gone, and we will all be better off for it.

  44. EricL on October 29th, 2010 6:51 pm

    My all time favorite Mariner player. Quality pitcher, quality human being, and yes he can still contribute. That’s a go!

    I agree with all that, plus he’s the last major leaguer older than me. And I can’t be old if I’m still younger than at least one ball player.

  45. John D. on October 29th, 2010 6:53 pm

    At the things we can see Wak was terrible in every way.

    Every ?

    WAKAMATSU is generally credited with FELIX’s success.

  46. georgmi on October 29th, 2010 7:01 pm

    he’s the last major leaguer older than me. And I can’t be old if I’m still younger than at least one ball player.

    I second this, with “Mariner” in the place of “major leaguer”. It was the single item in the “plus” column for me when they brought Junior back again for 2010. : )

  47. Westside guy on October 29th, 2010 7:27 pm

    Good grief, suddenly Wak is terrible and is to blame for everything?

    It’s his fault Griffey sucked? Or that Griffey was on the team at all?

    It’s his fault a guy like Sean White was in the bullpen?

    It’s his fault Lopez’s OBP was .270?

    It’s his fault RRS apparently forgot how to pitch?

  48. Badbadger on October 29th, 2010 7:36 pm

    Doug Fister was worth 2.9 WAR last year. If Moyer will sign for $2million or less, it’s probably worth it.

    But Moyer won’t pitch as many innings and Fister is probably his ceiling, not his expected level of performance. Given how few dollars the M’s have to spend this off season do you really want to see them lay down 2 million on a 48 year old long reliever/fill in starter? Really?

    Personally I’d prefer they let Pauly do it and use the 2 million to get a better DH than they’d otherwise be getting. Bad teams with no offense are dreadful to watch.

    Good grief, suddenly Wak is terrible and is to blame for everything?

    It’s his fault Griffey sucked?

    It’s his fault guys like Sean White were in the bullpen?

    It’s his fault Lopez’s OBP was .270?

    It’s his fault RRS apparently forgot how to pitch?

    No one said everything was his fault. Duncan from Idaho pointed out several specific ways he was bad. That said, it probably was at least partially his fault that Sean White was in the bullpen, and that Lopez was batting in the middle of the order with his .270 OBP.

  49. Hefflin on October 29th, 2010 8:09 pm

    5th starter, long relief… bullpen coach.

  50. msb on October 29th, 2010 8:13 pm

    For what it’s worth, while the Moyers still have a house here (Cliff Lee rented it while in Seattle) since 2009 they have been living in Florida, as the two eldest Moyer sons were attending the IMG Baseball Academy. Dillon graduated, but Hutton is still there, so they likely aren’t going to be back here for another year.

  51. vertigoman on October 30th, 2010 1:03 am

    First stop Palmer.
    Next, Blyleven.
    Then, the HoF!
    ??

  52. Jarvis on October 30th, 2010 8:26 am

    I’ve always thought Moyer would make a terrific long/middle reliever. His lefty junk would confound hitters habituated to right-handed fastballs from the starter.

  53. Pete Livengood on October 30th, 2010 8:51 am

    While I admit to being on the fence about this one, it was the first thing I thought of when I heard Philly had granted Jamie free agency.

    On the pro side:

    “Re-acquiring [Moyer]…appears to be a resolution in search of a problem. We don’t need Jamie Moyer as a regular, reliable rotation piece on a rebulding team. The Mariners don’t need Jamie Moyer as a player. As a coach, perhaps.”

    Bringing in Jamie Moyer as “a regular, reliable rotation piece” isn’t what Dave was advocating. He was pushing the acquisition so he could be used in long relief and as a spot starter (yes, most likely only in Safeco – which makes sense not only from a baseball but from a business perspective) and as a greybeard shadow pitching coach on a rebuilding team. I don’t know how MLB treats the minimum salary for veterans with 10 (or heck, let’s make it 20) plus years of service, but assuming that isn’t much more than $1M, or that it could be structured so that any portion above that is earned only by reaching certain IP markers, then I like the idea.

    “But Moyer won’t pitch as many innings and Fister is probably his ceiling, not his expected level of performance. Given how few dollars the M’s have to spend this off season do you really want to see them lay down 2 million on a 48 year old long reliever/fill in starter? Really?”

    To me, this is the best argument against signing Moyer – though the first answer is “not for $2M, but for $1M + incentives, maybe.” I guess the other answer is, it depends on what ownership does with the budget. They’re facing dissatisfaction and apathy unprecedented since at least the very early years of their ownership; you might even have to go back further than that. I would not be surprised to see them step up to the plate a little more financially than they did last year – even in the face of further reduced attendance and revenues – if for no other reason than needing to appear aware of the disaster that resulted from not doing so last year (at least in fans’ eyes). And Jamie would be the kind of feel-good story that might put a few butts in the seats. But yeah, this is a good point: with reduced dollars, do you really want to spend *any* significant portion on a guy with no upside?

    The other comment that I agree with to some extent(can’t find it right now) is the one that suggested we don’t need to repeat the Griffey story – revered veteran in steep decline who the organization can’t afford to cut ties to for non-baseball reasons. However, I don’t think Jamie is in the same boat as Junior on any number of fronts – he wasn’t as good, or revered, he’s much older, and the conversation about what might happen would be much more frank and a condition (I’d suspect) of being even offered a contract. It could be managed…but I agree it is a concern.

  54. msb on October 30th, 2010 9:05 am

    (hi Pete, hope the Edgar/fundraiser was wildly successful)

    Moyer has always said ‘I won’t have to ask anyone to tell me when I’m done. The hitters will tell me’ and I think he might be more clear-eyed than Griffey about recognizing what being pummeled outing after outing would tell him.

  55. Badbadger on October 30th, 2010 11:31 am

    And Jamie would be the kind of feel-good story that might put a few butts in the seats.

    Jamie could be such a story, but there is a real chance that he sucks. Do we really want a repeat of the Griffey debacle? Do we want the fan’s perception of the M’s be that they’re trying to bring back ’95 and they have no plans for the future?

  56. *logos* on October 30th, 2010 1:46 pm

    Y’all are crazy! I’m the first one to represent for Moyer – he’s one of the all-time best Mariners and a stand-up guy. I really hope he gets a shot at 300 wins somewhere, and is considered for the HOF in a Mariner uniform, but let’s be realistic, people. Moyer is NOT coming back, especially not after what happened last year with Griffey; hopefully Jack has learned from that mistake. We are rebuilding. Best to give the innings to someone who could possibly have a future here. The only way I can see Moyer as a Mariner is if he is still unemployed by the middle of spring training and the M’s have a gaping hole in their rotation that they either neglected to fill or that was created by injuries.

    I love the guy. But even after 101 losses, believe it or not the M’s can and should do better. If not we’re in trouble.

    That said, you wont hear me complaining if they do sign him, because like all of you I’m a sappy sucker. God help us…

  57. Pete Livengood on October 30th, 2010 3:32 pm

    “(hi Pete, hope the Edgar/fundraiser was wildly successful)…”

    Thanks, msb. It was – we had a really good turnout. I’m still waiting to see what the numbers are, but I know that the Foundation raised over $7000 gross just from autograph & raffle sales. I think everybody had a good time.

    If anybody is at any Elysian location over the next month, you can still support the Foundation by either (a) buying an El Zacatecano drink, (b) providing a donation to the Foundation when you pay your check, or (c) both.

  58. cjones on October 30th, 2010 3:32 pm

    Do we want the fan’s perception of the M’s be that they’re trying to bring back ‘95 and they have no plans for the future?

    I get your point, but Moyer was not a Mariner in 1995.

    I think it’s a great idea, in part because I think Jamie’s success is based on intelligence and preparation – traits that we need him to drum into some of the rest of the staff.

  59. Pete Livengood on October 30th, 2010 3:38 pm

    badbadger – I agree, and said that was a concern of mine as well, BUT don’t think the Mariners aren’t (or shouldn’t be) concerned about putting butts in the seats, either. If they don’t there is a real risk to future seasons where there are more legitimate chances for contention.

    I’m reasonably sure that management has learned a lesson or two from the Griffey experience, and if they *do* sign Moyer, I am comfortable there will have been a conversation going in that makes a repeat very unlikely. To me, the risk here is more financial than anything, and it isn’t so much money to be too worried, IMO.

  60. Badbadger on October 30th, 2010 4:02 pm

    D’oh! Yeah, I saw later you’d addressed my point. Bad idea to post with a toddler climbing on you.

    I guess I’m just against a nostalgia move at this point. We’re supposed to be rebuilding and the excitement should be from watching the kids. Going for nostalgia makes it look like you’re not focused on the future. I don’t think a 48 year old guy is a good bet even if he was mildly OK last year. I would MUCH rather see a better DH than Moyer.

    The only sense Moyer makes at all as far as I can see is if we think he’ll make the kids better. This seems like a popular view, but do we know that he does that? Just because he knows how to pitch doesn’t mean he’s a good teacher, or someone who people turn to or whatever. Has he worked miracles with young kids over the past few years? How could we tell?

  61. MrGenre on October 30th, 2010 4:35 pm

    Just a quick note to those that keep referring to this as “repeating the Griffey debacle,” I have to point out that Jamie Moyer is not Ken Griffey Jr. I love him, don’t get me wrong, but you aren’t stuck with him if this doesn’t work. If he sucks, he’s too proud to sleep on the bench: he’ll leave.

    Let’s do it. It’s great PR, and it’s potentially a nice little acquisition. The more plausible starters, the better you can shuffle kids around and give them the time they need to work out kinks. There’s a big difference between pitching badly when there are 2 or 3 other options than pitching badly when you know you can’t be cut easily. It’s about applying the right type of pressure. Jamie (and hopefully someone else, too) gives us some premium flexibility at a cheap price.

  62. Pete Livengood on October 30th, 2010 4:52 pm

    Badbadger wrote:

    ” don’t think a 48 year old guy is a good bet even if he was mildly OK last year. I would MUCH rather see a better DH than Moyer.”

    Well yeah, but that is a false dichotomy. Nobody is saying you can only have one thing, and that one thing should be Moyer. I think Dave’s point is that the cost is likely to be so low that you can have Moyer AND a better DH AND maybe another thing or two as well.

    “The only sense Moyer makes at all as far as I can see is if we think he’ll make the kids better. This seems like a popular view, but do we know that he does that? Just because he knows how to pitch doesn’t mean he’s a good teacher, or someone who people turn to or whatever.”

    I’m not going to go Googling, but there were a large number of articles over the years Moyer was here that suggested exactly that.

  63. msb on October 30th, 2010 5:18 pm

    There is also a general belief that Moyer was essentially acting as the pitching coach during the Stan Williams era; and you can also find articles with quotes from the Phillies pitching staff about his influence on them.

  64. GoldenGutz on October 30th, 2010 8:34 pm

    Just because we are rebuilding doesn’t mean we just throw out the young guys and hope they succeed. Most of them need some polishing and not only could Moyer start but he was always a nice guy and could give tips. This isn’t MLB 2K10 where throwing a young guy out there won’t hurt his development mentally of physically because he has a rating of 75 and is just as good as my LF.

    BTW, sign me up.

  65. Seattleken on October 30th, 2010 9:13 pm

    This better not be true. M’s looking at releasing Jose Lopez and signing Ty Wiggington. So for the same money 4.5M / year you get a right handed batter who is 6 years older, worse defensively and has a lower war.
    Herald article

  66. chimera on October 31st, 2010 7:14 am

    Dave brings up an interesting off the wall idea. I think if Moyer can be had on the cheap, bring him back in a limited role, and if he does well expand as far as it can go. If not, then eventually cut him.

    I’d really like to see Cliff Lee back, but realistically, that’s probably not possible — although, perhaps if he blows another WS game, he’ll be a bit cheaper. He’s still a great pitcher, and always seemed very calm and collected, but I wonder if the pressure of handing Texas a WS title isn’t getting to him a bit.

  67. Ballfour on October 31st, 2010 8:05 am

    Say it isn’s so. This is the type of move the Howie & Chuckie show have done in the past – hanging on to vets too long or bringing back guys because they were once a star in a Mariner uniform. Don’t look to the past to save the future. I may be ‘crying wolf’ here, but I don’t like this at all. But then, I’m still upset at not signing Jim Thome after the ’01 season.

  68. chimera on October 31st, 2010 8:40 am

    Well, the Mariners haven’t really had a recent problem in regards to starting pitching, and the middle and closers and such are a dime a dozen. The real problem is with the offense, to which Lopez is one problem amongst others.

    Like I said, if Moyer can be had cheap, throw him in the mix. If not, throw him in as a coach or something. He and Lee do know how to pitch, to an extreme degree, and occasionally blow up, but gotta get some offense though.

    I don’t expect much from 2011, but I do expect to not have such a bad season again.

  69. eponymous coward on October 31st, 2010 11:48 am

    I’m fine with Moyer on a low-risk, couple milion dollar contract as a fill-in. He’d be fine going into competition for the back end of the rotation with Fister, French and Pauley (if you figure Felix, Vargas and Pineda are locks for three spots).

    Regarding the Herald article mentioned above: Wigginton is the old, bad version of Jose Lopez (worse defense, same offensive skills, liable to be totally f***ed by Safeco), so I don’t take this seriously, but I could see Nick Punto, who’s also mentioned. He’s exactly the type of player the M’s could use: he’s a +defense player at 3 positions (SS, 2B, 3B), he’s used to being moved around the infield and being used as a backup, but his offense isn’t good enough that he should expect to play every day (and will help obscure his value to other teams as a 1-1.5 WAR player).

    Granted, everyone will whine about GMZ signing another all-glove, no-bat player, but I like this as a move in conjunction with Moyer… and I suspect those two moves might only cost $5 million+ maybe incentives, tops, hopefully leaving enough for some additional moves.

  70. Seattleken on October 31st, 2010 11:29 pm

    I can’t support signing Punto, Wigginton, unless you can get them for under 1.5M a year and we expect they will make 4-6M.
    These guys are scrubs they will not improve at their age and will also be hurt by Safeco. You can get a guy like these making the minimum at the end of spring training when teams cut down to 25 players.
    Jack please save our money and draft picks and avoid free agents until you have a year where you are a 90 win team just needing a player to put you over the top.
    Instead use the money to build the farm by out bidding teams for star potential international free agents, pay big salary bonuses like the yanks and red sox to get hard to sign types and additional scouting to find little known gems.

    As far as Moyer goes I loved him once but like Griffey he had his time. His fastball is 2 mph slower then when he was with the Mariners, and hes had back to back 0.4 WAR years. Mariners need to get lefties with potential at 3.0 WAR not old hero’s where we hope they can stay healthy enough to be replacement level.

  71. eponymous coward on November 1st, 2010 9:20 am

    I can’t support signing Punto, Wigginton, unless you can get them for under 1.5M a year and we expect they will make 4-6M.

    Punto has a lifetime OPS of .644. This isn’t Adrian Beltre we’re talking about here. The Twins declined a 5 million dollar one year option, so I don’t see how he’s going to get a 4-6 multi-year deal on the FA market.

    Punto’s also a reasonably good bench player, contributing 5+ WAR to the Twins the last 3 years despite not being a full-time player. The M’s desperately need some decent infield depth, given that Jack Wilson is a complete question mark, Chone Figgins really needs to go back to 3B, Josh Wilson isn’t a very good backup IF, and unless Dustin Ackley blows people away in spring training he’s going to start out in Tacoma. They need a guy who can credibly play SS/2B/3B better than Josh Wilson, but is used to a bench role and sliding around the infield (think a Mark McLemore kind of player with a better glove). Punto is that guy.

    Jack please save our money and draft picks and avoid free agents until you have a year where you are a 90 win team just needing a player to put you over the top.

    There may not COME a year of “over the top” if the Mariners completely cheap out. Go look at Cleveland if you want to see what happens when you repeatedly kick a fan base in the teeth by saying “we want your money at the gate but we have no intention of competing for free agents because we’re cheap bastards”. They still haven’t come back to the ballpark from 2001.

    Mariners need to get lefties with potential at 3.0 WAR not old hero’s where we hope they can stay healthy enough to be replacement level.

    There isn’t a player like that on the open market that the M’s can afford.

    Like it or not, the difference between playing a bad player and a better (but not very good) player DOES help your team. A big problem for last year’s team was a majority of the team was at or below replacement level. Adding a better player helps, even if it doesn’t turn the 2011 Mariners into the 1927 Yankees. It would be nice to have watchable baseball even if 2011 isn’t a likely year for contention.

  72. Badbadger on November 1st, 2010 10:28 am

    Nobody is saying you can only have one thing, and that one thing should be Moyer. I think Dave’s point is that the cost is likely to be so low that you can have Moyer AND a better DH AND maybe another thing or two as well

    .

    Well I don’t know, a lot of people on here are talking about spending a couple million dollars on him. If we’ve only got ~5 million to spend this off season, I seems to me that could impact the quality of DH we can afford.

    As to Moyer’s effect on young pitchers…I dunno, maybe. I’m sure there are articles written about that, but that’s the kind of puff piece sports writers like to write. In the article above this one Marc W points out that we can’t really tell if a pitching coach has any effect on a staff; how then can we be sure Moyer will? It’s not that I doubt he has good things to say on the topic of pitching, but is having two pitching coaches really better than having one? If so, why doesn’t anyone hire two pitching coaches?

    If you plot the last 5 years of Moyer’s ERA+ and do a best fit line through it, you get a figure of ~70 for 2011. I’m sure that’s not the best way to predict how well he’ll do, but I’m not sure anyone knows how to predict 48 year old pitcher’s decay rate. It’s probably greater than linear. Just sayin’.

  73. heyoka on November 1st, 2010 12:38 pm

    his age 40+ stats make me think of Phil Neikro. Hope that doesn’t mean he’ll repeat Neikro’s age 48 season.

  74. heyoka on November 1st, 2010 12:55 pm

    (“i” before “e” on Niekro…got distracted, didn’t edit in time….)

  75. eponymous coward on November 1st, 2010 2:01 pm

    If we’ve only got ~5 million to spend this off season, I seems to me that could impact the quality of DH we can afford.

    The M’s should definitely not blow the budget on a mediocre DH for 5 million, if that’s all they’ve got. Generally, DH skillsets (power, old player) are overpriced on the FA market compared to the return you get, and Safeco is Where Home Runs Go To Die, plus the 2011 Mariners aren’t exactly looking like pennant contenders, so there’s a risk you’d have to overpay a veteran to overlook the fact that they’ll be playing on a bad team and risk spending another season without jewelry.

    DH is not the only hole in the roster: the M’s could use pitching depth, infield depth, a reasonable alternative to C than bringing back RoJo to be horrible. Given all of that, I’d rather see the Mariners try and address several needs than load up their money on a DH. The fact is that Jack Custs and Carlos Penas are usually out there for cheap (you just sometimes end up kissing some frogs like Casey Kotchman before you get a prince like Russ Branyan). The M’s need to keep trying to find one.

    If you plot the last 5 years of Moyer’s ERA+

    Why are we using ERA+? That’s a terrible metric (almost as bad as ERA). Dave used good ones at the beginning of the post.

  76. Badbadger on November 1st, 2010 3:07 pm

    Why are we using ERA+? That’s a terrible metric (almost as bad as ERA). Dave used good ones at the beginning of the post.

    I’m not really a sabr guy and it was easy to find.

    Dave’s stats are better than mine, but my point was more that Moyer is on a downward performance vector and quite possibly a very steep one. You can’t just look at last year’s stats and expect that level of performance again when the player is 48 years old. Am I wrong about that?

    DH is not the only hole in the roster: the M’s could use pitching depth, infield depth, a reasonable alternative to C than bringing back RoJo to be horrible. Given all of that, I’d rather see the Mariners try and address several needs

    Fair enough, but IMHO even more reason not to waste resources on Moyer. I don’t really see how Moyer adds much of anything at all.

    David Pauley GB% 49.8,K/9 5.06, xFIP 4.49

    Moyer isn’t really an improvement over Pauley, and being 48 may well be worse. Pauley is almost certainly more durable as well. I suppose you can argue that Moyer would add depth since Pauley would be in Tacoma ready to step in, but if Moyer isn’t out performing Pauley than how does that help us?

  77. eponymous coward on November 1st, 2010 3:56 pm

    Moyer isn’t really an improvement over Pauley, and being 48 may well be worse. Pauley is almost certainly more durable as well. I suppose you can argue that Moyer would add depth since Pauley would be in Tacoma ready to step in, but if Moyer isn’t out performing Pauley than how does that help us?

    Having multiple options to fill in at the back of the rotation isn’t really a downside- in fact, it’s preferable to having all your eggs in one basket (ideally, you want 7-8 viable rotation candidates, because you can swing some into the bullpen, too). I also think it pretty likely you can bring in Moyer on a non-roster invite deal ala Sweeney last year, so if he looks beyond terrible/injured in spring training, he can hang them up and there’s no real impact on the 2011 roster, and load the contract with incentives.

    I think it’s a pretty low-risk deal.

  78. Badbadger on November 2nd, 2010 5:41 am

    Moyer posted 0.4 WAR two years in a row, hurt his elbow, then turned 48. Is he low risk? I suppose, a lot depends on things we don’t know. Several posts above you suggested signing him for a couple million dollars, which IMHO would be a waste. If we could get him for the major league minimum then we would have a replacement level player for a replacement level price with a bonus of intangibles. If people want to be excited about that, I guess it would be churlish of me to talk them out of it so I will stop trying.

  79. PhillyMoyerFan50 on November 3rd, 2010 11:41 am

    Hi everyone! I just joined after I found this article and wanted to comment on it. Here in Philly, we’re very sad to see Jamie go. He has done wonders for this city, his hometown team of the Phillies, and baseball. I had the greatest honor of being at his 2 hit complete game shut out against the Braves in May and it was by far one of the most amazing Phillies games I have ever been to. I am such a die hard fan of his and I really appreciate how much he is still well loved in Seattle. This commentary is fabulous and I would love to see him go play for the Mariners one last time, if he can’t be with the Phillies anymore. You guys LOVE him and deserve to enjoy him again, and I think he could be a good asset to the team. I love every time I meet someone from Seattle, and I tell them I’m a Phillies fan, the first thing they say is “Oh my gosh, I LOVE Jamie Moyer!” Brings a smile to my face.

    I speculated when he got hurt in July that he may want to return to Seattle once more before he retires, but I guess we’ll see how things play out. I know Cliff Lee rented his house out there when he was with you guys and his foundation is based out there.

    If he does go back to Seattle, I have a friend in Portland, OR I’ve been meaning to visit. Would give me a reason to go out there. :)

  80. nohitter45 on November 5th, 2010 7:45 am

    Has there ever been a player/coach as a pitching coach? Moyer would fit perfectly in this role!!

  81. Swungonandbelted on November 6th, 2010 4:54 pm

    Bleh. According to http://www.mlbtraderumors.com, apparently Moyer was in the Dominican winter league, and ended up leaving a game early due to another injury to his pitching elbow… doesn’t sound good.

  82. countess11 on December 1st, 2010 7:10 pm

    Apparently Jamie Moyer had Tommy John surgery today 12-1-10 and will be out until the 2012 season. But I still think the Mariners could use Moyer at some level, coaching if he is not able to return to pitching would be good.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.