Bring Back Jamie Moyer
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:
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.