Rumors, Inaction, And This Crazy Market

Dave · December 5, 2010 at 6:51 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Today, we saw Adrian Gonzalez officially get traded to Boston, Jayson Werth shock the world by taking a massive deal from the Nationals, and the Blue Jays ship Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee. And the winter meetings don’t even officially start until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Mariners have done very little so far this winter, and there have been next to no rumors involving the organization kicking around. This can lead to a sense that the front office is sitting on their hands, and I know some of you are getting frustrated by the lack of movement so far. I will say, however, that the lack of rumors don’t mean anything at all. While many organizations routinely leak stories to local media for various reasons, the Mariners simply don’t play the same game. They don’t share information with local press in the same way as many other clubs, and this directly leads to fewer rumors surrounding the club.

In fact, since Jack Z took over, most of the moves the Mariners have made have been broken by members of the national media or by local writers in the cities of the organization that the team is dealing with. And many of them have seemingly come out of left field, as deals that were never rumored before they happened. It’s just the nature of how the organization handles themselves now.

So, don’t get frustrated if you don’t hear a lot of talk about what the M’s are working on. We never do, and they’re usually still doing stuff.

Also, given the prices we’re seeing teams pay for free agents this winter (spectacularly evidenced by the Werth contract), the M’s are almost certainly best served by staying out of these early bidding wars and waiting for the market to calm down, or simply pursuing other avenues to acquire talent. The organization simply isn’t in a position where it makes sense to be bidding against some of these crazy offers. It might not be much fun to sit on the sidelines and watch other teams add premium players, but given the costs, most of these deals are going to go south, and we’ll be really happy that we don’t have those long term, big money commitments in 12 months.

Patience is going to be a very important virtue this winter.


16 Responses to “Rumors, Inaction, And This Crazy Market”

  1. Brooks on December 5th, 2010 7:23 pm

    It seems that the FO isn’t doing anything, since there isn’t any rumors at the national stage – wouldn’t a team that the M’s are neog. with would leak info to their local media? which is insane since the market has dictated a high price for closers. I understand not buying in a pricey market, but the Mariners still have a high value chip (David Aardsma) to sell, and we are hearing nothing: which is somewhat frustrating to say the least.

  2. msb on December 5th, 2010 7:39 pm

    Based on what Z said during the conference call on tender/non-tender day, he talked to teams during the owners meetings, he is on the phone all the time talking to teams, and intends to continue those discussions as the winter meetings get officially underway.

    Quoting from Baker’s Sunday article:

    “I’ve always believed that you just have to acquire talent,” Zduriencik said before leaving for the meetings, which begin Monday and conclude Thursday morning with the Rule 5 draft. “As you move forward, you win with good players. You may go in to the meetings with a game plan thinking that X, Y and Z is the thing you need to do, but then, as it unfolds, I think you need to adjust.

    “You realize, ‘Maybe I can’t go down this path to do this, but this helps me.’ ”

    Zduriencik lost out in bidding on free-agent pitcher Rich Harden at the winter meetings in Indianapolis a year ago. But then, during an airport conversation on the way home with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., groundwork was laid that resulted in a deal for star pitcher Cliff Lee just a week later.

  3. Westside guy on December 5th, 2010 8:49 pm

    Good grief, some of these early contracts just seem ridiculous – in dollars, in years, or in both. Unless most of the other GMs are also infected with some form of mass hysteria, I wouldn’t be surprised if these early offers don’t result in it taking longer for the more intelligently-run teams to sign their desired players. I’d think a lot of the still-free agents may be licking their chops and setting unreasonable targets for their own contracts, based on what’s happened so far.

  4. juneau_fan on December 5th, 2010 9:52 pm

    At this point, I’m just so glad to see Adrian Gonzalez off the market so I no longer have to see his name show up here whenever the topic turns to needing a bat. It was just never going to happen and the rosterbation was so irritating.

  5. shortbus on December 5th, 2010 10:01 pm

    Does the end of the CBA after 2011 have anything to do with the rush to sign players for way too much money? Are teams concerned that something will change making even these expensive contracts a better deal than they could get next offseason?

  6. HubofPNW on December 5th, 2010 10:29 pm

    Does Boras have a history of taking care of franchises that take care of him? Is it likely we’ll see the Nats seeing some better deals for the team involving players from his stable?

  7. Westside guy on December 5th, 2010 11:10 pm

    Re: Boras – it seems to me more along the lines of this: Once he identifies a particular GM as being a sucker, he goes back to that well as often as possible, draining it completely if he can. I’m specifically thinking of the Texas Rangers 5-10 years ago… A-Rod, Chan Ho Park, et. al.

  8. joser on December 6th, 2010 10:22 am

    Yeah, shortbus, I too have been wondering if the CBA expiration almost exactly a year from now (Dec 11, 2011) has something to do with it: by the time the next Winter Meetings roll around, the owners and the union will either already be operating under different rules or (more likely) be in the throes of an ugly and protracted negotiation that pretty much puts any new deals with individual players on ice until the new CBA is in place. (And if they can’t come to some agreement in a timely fashion, well… who wants to be paying players who won’t be playing?)

    Of course teams have to act based on what they know right now — what their needs are and what opportunities they can find to get better — not hypothetical future considerations. But presumably at least some of the GMs suspect that the nature of the next CBA era will in some way make these contracts look more sensible. They could be wrong, of course. And they may have just lost their minds in Washington DC; it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.

  9. georgmi on December 6th, 2010 10:42 am

    And they may have just lost their minds in Washington DC; it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.

    It’s the risk you run when you get your drinking water from a swamp.

  10. msfanmike on December 6th, 2010 11:24 am

    And they may have just lost their minds in Washington DC; it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.

    The Nationals have to overpay in order to attract free agents. They know it and that is what they have done. I wonder why they wouldn’t have done it with Carl Crawford instead?. Perhaps they did try on him as well as with Adam Dunn, but just weren’t able to make those deals.

    After the “big money” deals are signed, there should be some value deals available, but will those players be willing to come to a losing team, or will the Mariners have to overpay in order to attact them?

  11. n8tron3030 on December 6th, 2010 11:54 am
  12. Shanfan on December 6th, 2010 1:21 pm

    I thought the free agent market was a bit inflated, but perhaps not totally unreasonable for ‘early buyers’ until the Werth deal. I also wonder if there’s not a pool of money the owners are counting on after the new CBA. Would an international draft and slotting free up this kind of money? MLB and the Player’s Union have nothing to lose by squeezing the amateurs.

    I’ve also wanted to mention the expiring CBA concerning Ackley and this might as well be the thread. Should there be any concern about Ackley’s Super Two status, etc. with a new agreement needing to be negotiated by next season? I believe, with my faulty memory, Super Two was a compromise last time and may become “Simply Two”, or further modified, or scrapped altogether. Does anybody have any insight on this?

    Purely conjecture on my part, but it seems that baseball may address this roster/time-in-service manipulation. Talents like Posey and Strasburg (and Ackley) should be playing as soon as they’re ready from the fans’ perspective. But then again, MLB and the Player’s Union have never worried about the fans. (I like how all of the ‘constituents’ in the expansion of the playoffs decision doesn’t even mention the fans. Ahh Bud, the used car salesman.)

  13. JoshJones on December 6th, 2010 2:05 pm

    Here some rumors…….

    “The White Sox, a runner-up in the Gonzalez sweepstakes, offered Gordon Beckham and prospects to the Padres, according to Nightengale (Twitter links). Nightengale reports that the Mariners were the other finalist for the slugging first baseman.”

    “The Yankees and Mariners are interested in Matt Diaz as a possible platoon player. New York would mix Diaz in with Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse. The Mariners are interested in platooning Diaz with Michael Saunders in left field, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).”

  14. JoshJones on December 6th, 2010 2:07 pm

    And some more….

    “The Orioles, Mariners, Twins, Red Sox, Brewers, and Cardinals are interested in free agent reliever Koji Uehara, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun learned from an unnamed Japanese reporter.”

    Bob Elliott of The Toronto Sun. “The Twins, Rangers, Braves, Reds, Mariners, and Nationals have all inquired about Greinke according to Elliott

  15. JoshJones on December 6th, 2010 2:08 pm

    Adrian Gonzalez. Matt Diaz. Koji Uehara. Zack Greinke.

  16. JoshJones on December 6th, 2010 4:31 pm

    Or how about this.

    “The Mariners are interested in a number of free agents, including two players whose 2010 seasons ended prematurely because of injury. Gregg Zaun, who is on the Cardinals’ radar, has caught the Mariners’ attention. The team will meet with his agents tonight or tomorrow, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (on Twitter).

    Like Zaun, Eric Chavez spent much of the 2010 season on the disabled list. The Mariners have checked in on the longtime Athletic, according to’s Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).

    In addition to Zaun and Chavez, the Mariners are interested in Hideki Matsui and Jack Cust as DH options, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports”

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