The Current Roster

Dave · December 13, 2010 at 11:17 am · Filed Under Mariners 

After adding Jack Cust, Miguel Olivo, and Brendan Ryan, here’s a snapshot of what the M’s projected Opening Day roster looks like at the moment.

1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Chone Figgins, 3B
3. Jack Cust, DH
4. Justin Smoak, 1B
5. Miguel Olivo, C
6. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
7. Michael Saunders, LF
8. Jack Wilson, SS
9. Brendan Ryan, 2B

Bench: Adam Moore (C), Milton Bradley (OF/DH), Josh Wilson (INF), Matt Tuiasosopo (UT)

Pitching Staff:

1. Felix Hernandez, RHP
2. Jason Vargas, LHP
3. Doug Fister, RHP
4. Michael Pineda, RHP
5. David Pauley, RHP

Long – Chris Seddon, LHP
Long – Jose Flores, RHP
Middle – Luke French, LHP
Middle – Dan Cortes, RHP
Setup – Garrett Olson, LHP
Setup – Brandon League, RHP
Closer – David Aardsma, RHP

There are still some holes to be filled, obviously.

Having Josh Wilson as your primary reserve infielder is a problem, as he simply isn’t qualified for anything more than a 25th man/pinch-runner role. Having him move into the starting line-up whenever anyone (read: Jack Wilson) gets hurt is simply not a good idea, and even with Dustin Ackley‘s likely arrival in the summer potentially solving that problem, the team should not be willing to go with Wilson as their primary reserve infielder for two months. With Brendan Ryan around to act as a backup SS, the team can go with a reserve IF who doesn’t need to be able to play SS, allowing them to get a better bat on the bench. That would push Wilson into Tui’s role and Tui off the roster, both of which are good things. A guy like Willy Aybar would make a lot of sense for that role.

The pitching staff still needs work as well. Pauley is probably best off in a long relief/spot starter role, and moving him to the pen would allow the team to not have to push Seddon to the majors, allowing him to serve as additional depth down in Tacoma. Relying on the hope that Erik Bedard is healthy enough to hold down the #5 spot isn’t a great idea, so the M’s should still be in the market for another back-end starter. Jeff Francis is still my ideal choice, but if he’s too pricey, Kevin Millwood would be worth kicking the tires on.

Speaking of price, the bullpen is still somewhat in flux while the club decides what to do with David Aardsma. Trading him saves around $4 million in salary which could be used to sign a guy like Francis for the rotation, so it’s worth doing even if they can’t land a big return for him. However, moving him also opens up a hole in an already thin bullpen, so the M’s will have to be on the lookout for a cheap reliever or two that they could bring in to bridge the gap in the middle innings if League and Cortes were promoted after Aardsma was dealt. Alternately, they could use Josh Lueke to fill one of those spots, but whether that happens is still up in the air.

So, that leaves the shopping list for the rest of the winter looking something like this – #5 starter, corner infielder with some offensive upside, and potentially decent middle reliever, and if he’s a lefty, that’s a bonus. If they don’t trade Aardsma, they probably only have $2 or $3 million left in the budget, depending on how Olivo’s contract is structured and what Brendan Ryan, Jason Vargas, and Brandon League end up getting to avoid arbitration. If they trade Aardsma, they have a little more flexibility and could probably expand their search a bit.

My preference? Deal Aardsma, and then sign Francis, Aybar, and Mark Hendrickson. That would give the team a better back-end starter, a deeper bullpen, and a better bench, plus whatever prospect they could get in return for Aardsma. They aren’t sexy moves, but they’re the kind of low-cost acquisitions that can fill some holes and give the team a chance to be not-terrible next year. Of course, the offense is essentially predicated on Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders living up to their minor league potential, so it could go badly wrong anyway, but that’s a risk the team has to take. They can minimize problems elsewhere in the hope that, if those guys hit, the team could actually be okay.

Comments

66 Responses to “The Current Roster”

  1. Long live the King on December 13th, 2010 11:27 am

    I’m interested in what type of prospect, realistically, the M’s could expect to receive for Aardsma.

    Awhile back it seemed like the market might be pretty good. Has that changed?

  2. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on December 13th, 2010 11:33 am

    Anybody else relieved that this offseason doesn’t scream desperation? Granted that Jack doesn’t have unlimited resources to do whatever he wants, but how tempting would it be to shed an aging player with high value (and a non-traditional/misunderstood way of bringing that value) for some splashier moves, or to use up all the resources on on big bat that everybody likes, while ignoring some of the more major holes. There’s even a chance he could raid the prospect cupboard and sacrifice the future for immediate results.

    Jack Z isn’t doing that. He appears to be a realist, and, while he gets the PR piece of things, he’s pushing that angle toward the accountability/performance front, and not using the roster moves as a billboard for why he should stick around.

    It may not work, in the end. Things may implode and Jack may be gone. The next GM would reap the benefits of his work, however. I respect him a great deal for not changing his fundamental approach in order to save his job. He’s tweaking it, to be sure, but he he’s not willing to buy a year of life at the expense of the long-term stability of the club. We should be happy about that, and I am glad he’s in the driver’s seat at the moment.

  3. niterunner on December 13th, 2010 11:34 am

    Not that it makes a big difference, but Seddon is no longer on the 40 man.

  4. shortbus on December 13th, 2010 11:38 am

    I figured Pineda for the #5 starter spot, since his innings are going to be limited anyway. Not that the difference between #4 and #5 is all that meaningful, but it means you’ll need to find another starter by season’s end if you have someone else as your #5 all season.

  5. l2ider on December 13th, 2010 11:49 am

    Considering how much the closers are getting in FA, DA can serve as the 8th inning guy for some of these teams.

    Let’s deal DA and keep adding the pieces. Only ? has been signing Oliveoil. Surely we could’ve done better than that but otherwise.

  6. Dave on December 13th, 2010 11:56 am

    There’s no one on the 40 man that makes sense for the long relief spot, given the current roster. Right now, the leading candidates would be Seddon, Fabio Castro, and Charlie Haeger, who were all signed to minor league deals this winter.

    There’s a chance the team could turn to Mauricio Robles as a bullpen option if he has a great spring, maybe pushing Luke French back into the long relief spot, but I’d consider that a longshot.

  7. niterunner on December 13th, 2010 12:03 pm

    The Mariners would have to drop someone off the 40 man to make room for Seddon. I’d pencil in Bedard for now.

  8. Dave on December 13th, 2010 12:03 pm

    Once spring training begins, they’ll be able to move Shawn Kelley to the 60 day DL to open a spot on the 40 man. No one will need to be dropped.

  9. niterunner on December 13th, 2010 12:08 pm

    It’s not a big deal. How is Kelley doing?

  10. vertigoman on December 13th, 2010 12:13 pm

    Aybar would be a good addition and he’s not a total mess at 2B either. Of coarse if we got Aybar I’d find myself hoping that they could move Jack Wilson, slide Ryan in as SS and just start Aybar at 2B till Ackley came up.
    Of coarse that leaves Tui and josh Wilson on the bench which defeats the purpose of adding of Aybar to begin with.

    I’ll call that the Aybar paradox.

  11. lowrig on December 13th, 2010 12:16 pm

    I would rather take a chance on Rich Harden or Chris Young that Jeff Francis. Way more upside. I like the Aybar idea. Still a gaping hole in the middle of the lineup.

  12. vertigoman on December 13th, 2010 12:18 pm

    That lineup btw, has got to be one of the best defensive units (at least on paper) ever. We’d have fielding bibles and gold gloves thrown all over the field. If Smoak actually does turn into a plus defender at 1B we could be an elite run prevention team.

    At the very least it’d inflate our pitchers value for the D. Moores and Sabeans of the League.

  13. Shanfan on December 13th, 2010 12:19 pm

    The M’s could still use another catcher for Tacoma. Do you see Bard or Quiroz coming back on a minor league deal?

    Aybar would be great but does he want to come to Seattle?

    Does Eric Chavez intrigue anybody as a Large Item Pickup? He’s making noise that he wants to continue playing. Is he shot as a fielder now or could he still back-up third and first? How about Branyan?

    And does Wedge have any old favorites out there?

    Mike Sweeney is still unsigned isn’t he? Maybe he’ll go for the trifecta this year on making the club out of spring. :-)

  14. vertigoman on December 13th, 2010 12:20 pm

    I would rather take a chance on Rich Harden or Chris Young that Jeff Francis. Way more upside.

    I think they already made their “upside ” play with EB.

    I like the Aybar idea. Still a gaping hole in the middle of the lineup.

    That’s just the way it’s going to be. Smoak and Saunders can change that like Dave said and that seems to be the gamble.

  15. IwearMsHats on December 13th, 2010 12:29 pm

    Will Bill Hall be too expensive? Would he be a fit on this roster?

  16. vertigoman on December 13th, 2010 12:32 pm

    Bill hall would be a good addition I think. But it looks like he’ll get more ABs from someone looking for a starter.

  17. Westside guy on December 13th, 2010 12:34 pm

    Ugh. I’d happily navigated this off-season thus far without Tui coming to mind at all. Thanks for mentioning his name and ruining it. ;-)

  18. vertigoman on December 13th, 2010 12:36 pm

    His name even sounds like a pig call.

  19. JH on December 13th, 2010 12:41 pm

    Won’t Luis Rodriguez get a legitimate opportunity to compete with Jo. Wilson for the utility infielder job this spring?

  20. eponymous coward on December 13th, 2010 12:47 pm

    Miguel Olivo as a 5 hitter? Good God, we just got through seeing Jose Lopez as a 3/4.

    Other than that, I mostly concur, though the names are less important than the roles: a veteran innings-eater, a spot of bullpen depth if you trade Aardsma, and more infield depth.

  21. Paul B on December 13th, 2010 1:00 pm

    Miguel Olivo as a 5 hitter?

    That was the first thing that caught my eye, too.

    I know lineups don’t matter all that much, but still I’d be against setting it up to give more ABs to Olivo/Moore than to Guti or Saunders.

  22. Duncan Idaho on December 13th, 2010 1:00 pm

    Already this offense is improved enough to be in a lot more games than last year. Add that to the performance of the second worst bullpen in baseball last year and I see trading Aardsma for anything other than an elite return for a closer as potentially disastrous. When this team looked the way it did at the end of the World Series I was all for trading Aardsma. Now Aardsma and League are needed to save the chances for victory the Mariners will have.

    Also I just don’t see your lineup as having any big chance of happening. Right now I see Mangini with a 50% chance of making the roster, Carp with a 49% chance of making the roster and Tui with a 1% chance of making the roster.

    Here is the lineup vs. rhp;
    1.RF Ichiro
    2.2B Figgins
    3.1B Smoak
    4.DH Cust
    5.CF Gutierrez
    6.3B Mangini
    7.LF Saunders
    8.SS Wilson/Ryan
    9.C Olivo

    Vs. lhp;
    1.RF Ichiro
    2.3B Figgins
    3.1B Smoak
    4.DH Cust
    5.LF Bradley
    6.CF Gutierrez
    7.C Olivo
    8.SS Wilson
    9.2B Ryan

    Both of those lineups would look a great deal better if Ackley is starting from day one. I feal the aquisition of another legitimate shortstop makes that more likely and I see the trade of Wilson as a great deal more probable than a trade of Aardsma. Unless of course someone offers a legitimate return for a proven closer with two years of club control.

  23. ivan on December 13th, 2010 1:03 pm

    The M’s could use Jorge Cantu, but his salary is too high. Aybar would be great here, but at what cost in players? I also like Ryan Ludwick as a RH OF with some pop (he throws left and bats right — we don’t see many of those), IF injuries have not sapped his power.

    But I don’t expect Jack to make these moves, just because there’s no reason to buy high for bench strength.

    But Saunders, Piñeda, and Franklin for Zack Greinke? Yes, in a heartbeat. Then they can sign Nix, and bring in Halman, Wilson, and even Chavez, who knows, to compete for the LF job. Plus they can use Bradley against left-handers. Ryan is only 28, and Triunfel, Littlewood, and Peguero are in the pipeline, so I don’t worry about moving Franklin.

    There’s a lot riding on Saunders making better contact, and if that remains iffy, and there’s any chance that he could help them get Greinke, I’d be for it.

  24. nwade on December 13th, 2010 1:06 pm

    Dave – any reason why you prefer Francis over Millwood, other than age? I’ll admit I only took a cursory look at their career numbers – but Millwood certainly seems to have better career FIP, xFIP, and FB/HR numbers. He also has consistently pitched more innings per season than Francis (around 200/year, not bad).

    From just 10 minutes of Fangraphs research, it seems like Millwood’s a solid-if-unspectacular pitcher who might fit well at Safeco… ESPECIALLY if he can cut down on the Slider pitches that seem (at first glance) to be contributing to a rising FB% in the last couple of years.

    OTOH, Francis’ FB% is coming down over the years and he’s been increasing his Fastball/Changeup mix – but doesn’t appear to throw much that bends (abandoned his Slider altogether it looks like). Is that a concern? Other than age, I don’t see Francis’ upside… Care to clue me in?

    I’m still new to interpreting the stats, so please be kind if I’m missing something obvious!

  25. Gibbo on December 13th, 2010 1:17 pm

    I like the Aybar call, if we can trade Aardsma to free up cash I think we still need a better OF’er to cover Saunders, like Diaz, I know he has now signed elsewhere but I feel a better OF’er is also needed, that means cutting Bradley, he can’t stay healthy and neither can Jack Wilson, and when you have a team built like this you need all of your hitters healthy, having all your guys available helps with working out match ups. Last year Wak was hamstrung because he didn’t have any depth or a healthy roster so he couldn’t replace/rest Lopez, Kothcman (I know this wasn’t Waks only issues, but he was always up against it with such a terrible bench).

    Send Bradley to the Rays (they need a DH) and they have previously been linked to him, we would just need to eat 95% (maybe 100%) of his Salary. It was bad last year having 2 x DH types and with Cust and Bradley we again have 2 x DH types.

    I’ll take a bench of Moore, Jeremy Hermida, Willy Aybar, Valbuena – Upside and competition

  26. Gibbo on December 13th, 2010 1:19 pm

    >>>Aybar would be great here, but at what cost in players?

    He is a free agent so there will be no cost of players – the Rays non tendered him

  27. JH on December 13th, 2010 1:20 pm

    Aybar would be great here, but at what cost in players?

    Aybar’s a free agent. The Rays non-tendered him.

  28. PouxBear on December 13th, 2010 1:22 pm

    Francis is a lefty, which is preferable at Safeco.

  29. littlelinny6 on December 13th, 2010 1:25 pm

    Dave,
    Why do we assume Ryan would be the 2B and not Jack Wilson? Both generally play SS only. I think Ryan SS, Jack Wilson 2B is best setup until Ackley’s ready. Ryan is better defensive SS, cheaper, and under team control for 3 yrs. Then when Ackley comes up you don’t have a position switch for Ryan. I’d rather have Ryan playing everyday rather than Jack Wilson.

  30. Dave on December 13th, 2010 1:37 pm

    If your hope is to trade Jack Wilson at some point this summer, saving a bit of cash and freeing up playing time for both Ackley and Ryan, then you leave him at shortstop and let teams scout him at the position where he would have the most potential trade value.

    Move him to second and he’s here the whole year.

  31. Gibbo on December 13th, 2010 1:38 pm

    Why do we assume Ryan would be the 2B and not Jack Wilson? Both generally play SS only.

    I think if Jack Wilson is healthy you play him at SS so we have a better chance to trade him when Ackley comes up

  32. sexymarinersfan on December 13th, 2010 1:50 pm

    So if Saunders doesn’t work then that means that Guillermo Pimentel and Johermyn Chavez get the next crack at LF? Is that right? Or is Halman above them? What about Nate Tenbrink? I’ve heard that Carlos Peguero is basically the same type of player that Halman is. There’s Dennis Raben and Mike Wilson too. I wondering when if ever and who will have the best shot and is next in line for when the M’s call their name.

  33. Leroy Stanton on December 13th, 2010 2:08 pm

    I don’t want to see Wilson and Ryan in the lineup at the same time. I understand the argument that you’re trying to get rid of Wilson at some point, but I don’t think playing him is going to help. Teams know who he is. Even if we can dump him on someone, we’ll have to eat most of his salary.

  34. JH on December 13th, 2010 2:26 pm

    So if Saunders doesn’t work then that means that Guillermo Pimentel and Johermyn Chavez get the next crack at LF?

    Guillermo Pimentel is 3-4 years away at best. And nobody’s sure if he can actually play baseball yet. 2011 will be a big year for learning what Chavez is.

    Or is Halman above them? What about Nate Tenbrink? I’ve heard that Carlos Peguero is basically the same type of player that Halman is. There’s Dennis Raben and Mike Wilson too.

    With those options, you’re probably looking at someone outside the system if Saunders doesn’t work out. Tenbrink could make a case, but he hasn’t gotten much playing time in the OF as of yet. Halman and Peguero are fundamentally flawed players (Peguero’s worse) who will almost certainly never put it together to become legitimate options. Wilson’s a quad-A player, and Raben is a 1B, not an OF, and he can’t stay healthy at any position.

    A lot can change in a year, but there isn’t an in-house option behind Saunders right now that should make anyone remotely comfortable.

  35. BillyJive on December 13th, 2010 2:30 pm

    While we’re rosterbating here….
    Does anyone else think that the so called ‘Mystery Team’ involved in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes is the Mariners?
    It makes no sense at all..but the team is supposedly one that Lee ‘loves’…
    Stranger things have happened..like us getting him in the first place…

  36. just a fan on December 13th, 2010 2:33 pm

    I don’t want to see Wilson and Ryan in the lineup at the same time. I understand the argument that you’re trying to get rid of Wilson at some point, but I don’t think playing him is going to help.

    Somebody will want Jack Wilson if he’s healthy and playing. He’s a veteran SS, who can provide a Bavasi-schooled team with some veteran leadership, as long as he’s on the field. If he’s not playing, he can’t be traded.

    Anyway, Dave mentioned Robles earlier, and I’m really intrigued by him. I know he’s got questions about his ability to stick in the rotation, but doesn’t it seem to reason the M’s will at least let him start the year in Tacoma’s rotation, and then call him up later to fill in the bullpen (like a lot of rookies do). That way, they can at least hold the door open for him to possibly try again as a starter in 2012.

    If Robles opens in the Seattle bullpen, he’ll never return to the rotation.

  37. just a fan on December 13th, 2010 2:41 pm

    So if Saunders doesn’t work . . . .

    Halman would technically be “next in line.” I’d guess that if he’s still in the organization, and it’s July, and the M’s are 33-56, then Halman might get a shot to show off what he does — take big fucking swings that occasionally result in dingers. At least he plays defense, eh?

    But Johermyn Chavez would be the closest of left fielders with a reasonable potential of being good, and he starts 2011 with a promotion to AA.

  38. BillyJive on December 13th, 2010 2:42 pm

    Mike Morse has been a decent bench guy for the Nationals. We could use a guy like him…

  39. Leroy Stanton on December 13th, 2010 2:57 pm

    Somebody will want Jack Wilson if he’s healthy and playing. He’s a veteran SS, who can provide a Bavasi-schooled team with some veteran leadership, as long as he’s on the field. If he’s not playing, he can’t be traded.

    You could split time between Ryan and Wilson or you could just play Wilson. The team just can’t afford to start them both.

    This is an historically bad offense and every .001 wOBA is worth fewer runs than it is for other teams. We can hope that players rebound enough to get us close to league average, but we probably should count on it. Starting two all-glove types is not wise.

  40. Boy9988 on December 13th, 2010 2:57 pm

    Speaking of a corner infielder with power upside, how does Garrett Atkins sound? Minor league deal with an invite to spring training? I know he has been terrible for the last two years, but how does a guy that averaged .301/.364/.482 with 20HR+ and more than a 100 RBI for 4 years suddenly forget how to hit? His average HR distance is over 400ft, regardless of what ballpark he was in. He wouldn’t cost almost anything and if he stunk it up in spring, then its no skin off our backs.

  41. just a fan on December 13th, 2010 3:15 pm

    You could split time between Ryan and Wilson or you could just play Wilson. The team just can’t afford to start them both.

    Well, when Dave listed options for 2B/SS, the top option was Ryan Theriot. If you want to suggest a better option than Brendan Ryan, feel free. But it’s not like we can platoon Wilson and Ryan at SS, while we run Utley out at 2nd until Ackley’s ready.

    Of course I’d rather we have a better hitting middle infield combo. Everybody would. And I’d love to be a United States Senator, too.

  42. Leroy Stanton on December 13th, 2010 3:32 pm

    If you want to suggest a better option than Brendan Ryan, feel free. But it’s not like we can platoon Wilson and Ryan at SS, while we run Utley out at 2nd until Ackley’s ready.

    Dave mentioned Willy Aybar. That works for me.

  43. just a fan on December 13th, 2010 3:50 pm

    Dave mentioned Willy Aybar. That works for me.

    Yeah, and according to Fangraphs, in almost the same amount of playing time, Ryan has 5.0 career WAR, Aybar has 3.5 career WAR.

  44. Duncan Idaho on December 13th, 2010 4:01 pm

    Just a fan why on earth would you want to be a Senator? Maybe a congressman.

  45. Leroy Stanton on December 13th, 2010 4:01 pm

    Yeah, and according to Fangraphs, in almost the same amount of playing time, Ryan has 5.0 career WAR, Aybar has 3.5 career WAR.

    Of course, that was with Ryan playing SS.

    Fangraphs also says that Aybar has a .326 wOBA versus .294 for Ryan.

    Don’t get me wrong – I like Ryan and am glad he’ll probably be the starting SS before too long.

  46. sexymarinersfan on December 13th, 2010 4:19 pm

    Thanks for the input. Sad that we do not have any secondary options down on the farm ready, or close to ready for that matter, that we could possibly try out in the OF.

    In next year’s draft, the number one pick will almost assuredly be 3B Anthony Rendon, maybe not, since Pitt needs pitching, BADLY! But if they do, then we’re up next. Now the next guy in line that I’ve been talking about over and over for the past year has been Gerrit Cole. There are a ton of arm’s coming out next year that could be taken in the 2nd spot next year. But one player who I feel that has got lost in the shuffle happens to be an OF, who also projects to have the most power in the draft of all the prospects coming out next year, and that’s OF George Springer. I’ve seen him from anywhere in the top 3 to the top 10. He would be a very very nice option to have down on the farm. Then again, so would another power arm coming up through the system, to pair with Felix and Pineda. Hard call. I’m either way on Cole or Springer. We need offense, but an Ace like Cole doesn’t land in our laps like he could next year very often. He’s projected to most likely be the next Justin Verlander. Ohhhhh Nelly! Imagine that with Felix and Pineda in 2014!

  47. just a fan on December 13th, 2010 4:35 pm

    Duncan – Simple. The power, sex and money. Who could turn it down?

    Leroy – I would like to see the M’s add Aybar, too. So I guess we’re in agreement.

  48. Leroy Stanton on December 13th, 2010 4:41 pm

    The M’s team wOBA was so low last year that it had a disproportionate effect on runs scored. In effect, the Mariners are rewriting the rules on run expectancies, linear weights, etc. for their offense. The numbers below show (in percentage terms) how many runs each team scored more than the M’s and how much better their team wOBA was. In every case, the run differential was far greater than the wOBA differential.

    Yankees, 67.1% more runs, 21.3% better wOBA
    Twins 51.5%, 16.8%
    Rays 57.2%, 14.7%
    Red Sox 60.4%, 20.6%
    Tigers 47.3%, 15.0%
    Blue Jays 46.5%, 16.4%
    Rangers 53.6%, 16.4%
    Athletics 30.0%, 10.1%
    White Sox 45.0%, 15.7%
    Royals 31.0%, 12.6%
    Angels 32.9%, 8.0%
    Orioles 19.5%, 8.0%
    Indians 27.0%, 8.7%

    This is why it doesn’t make much sense to play a .294 career wOBA hitter at a less defensively valuable position (2B) when you have an historically bad offense.

  49. hbobrien on December 13th, 2010 5:51 pm

    “(W)hy on earth would you want to be a Senator? Maybe a congressman.”

    * Assuming one doesn’t want to put in the work to run for re-election, a 6 year guaranteed job beats a 2 year guaranteed job.

    * Even 1-term former Senators get some media tracking.

    * Much more likely reporters remember your name. With 435 members, most congresscritters get, “Who?” Yes, there are notable exceptions, but still. The club of 100 (I’ve been in choirs that are larger) is pretty good for name recognition.

    * The whole treaty ratification thing means you get to have substantive impact on foreign policy. This, in turn, means more easily justifiable foreign travel on the taxpayer’s dime.

    * Season tickets to the Supreme Court. (Seriously. There are reserved seats for Senators.)

    * A la Fred Thompson, you might be able to finagle a way onto Law & Order after retirement.

    * The reading room at the Library of Congress. Which is “your” library. Though, admittedly, congresscritters get access to that, too.

    * And, um… Oh, I dunno, preferential seating at The Prime Rib on K Street? (Yes, I’m reaching, but it’s a great restaurant.)

  50. Chris_From_Bothell on December 13th, 2010 6:35 pm

    Miguel Olivo as a 5 hitter? Good God, we just got through seeing Jose Lopez as a 3/4.

    I’d be more concerned about batting Smoak 3rd or 4th. Shades of rushing Clement/Balentien up too quickly as the saviors of the offense.

    The team’s best hitter should bat 3rd. Bat Smoak 5th or so, so that he can adjust to a full season without pressure to be driving in runs from day 1.

    Olivo batting 5th is probably a match for his supposed power but not his overall ability. With the current roster, I’d expect the bottom of the order to look like catcher-shortstop-2b, whoever happens to be playing those positions at the time.

    To the actual point of the post – yeah, the bench and rotation need some tweaking, and it’s about all the Ms can afford anyway.

    The Red Sox have been making noise about needing to improve their bullpen. I wonder what’s left in their system that trading Aardsma and/or Lueke could get. Even if what comes back doesn’t solve any 2011 problems.

  51. GripS on December 13th, 2010 7:53 pm

    How is Garret Olson still on this team? The guy is TERRIBLE. Lefty or not he sucks.

  52. Idaho M on December 13th, 2010 8:37 pm

    This roster has another 100 loss season written all over it. Awful.

  53. gwangung on December 13th, 2010 8:39 pm

    This roster has another 100 loss season written all over it.

    I don’t. What makes you think that?

  54. Idaho M on December 13th, 2010 9:03 pm

    The offense is only marginally better than 2010 and no Cliff Lee even if we only had him for half the season. Do we think that Cust, Olivo, and Ryan are going to make this offense significantly better? Besides Felix and Ichiro, this team is going to be painful to watch.

  55. gwangung on December 13th, 2010 9:50 pm

    The offense is only marginally better than 2010

    I don’t think so.

    You DO realize that was a historically bad offense, right? A .690 OPS at DH, 1B and C actually IS a significant upgrade on 2010. And that’s not really a reach here? (Good god, a really bad year from Cust would be a .720 and that’s gobs better than what we got from DH last year) (Ed: Jack Cust last year: .272/.395/.438. That’s NOT a significant upgrade????)

    Do the math. Compare and contrast.

  56. Jordan on December 13th, 2010 11:32 pm

    The offense is only marginally better than 2010

    Regression to the mean is a beautiful thing. Oh wait, did you realize Brendan Ryan’s 10′ WAR was better than Figgins, Lopez and both Wilsons combined last year? Or perhaps you don’t realize how anemic 1b, C, LF and DH were either? Or that we improved by simply cutting RoJo and Slowpez without needing any corresponding moves. Even if you don’t agree with Cust/Ryan/Olivo/Bedard etc., the process is sound (does not compromise the future while improving the team) and it is difficult to think the Mariners are not better on paper than 10′.

  57. eponymous coward on December 13th, 2010 11:57 pm

    The offense is only marginally better than 2010 and no Cliff Lee even if we only had him for half the season. Do we think that Cust, Olivo, and Ryan are going to make this offense significantly better? Besides Felix and Ichiro, this team is going to be painful to watch.

    So, basically, you’re arguing:

    - Chone Figgins will not be an effective MLB regular again in 2011 (since he sucked last year)

    - Justin Smoak will be a complete bust as a prospect (Mariner 1B hit .227/.293/.357 last year)

    - Brendan Ryan will not improve at all on last year (he hit .223/.279/.294 and Mariner shortstops hit .230/.276/.294), despite his career numbers being better than his year last year and playing part of last year injured,

    - Michael Saunders will be a complete bust as a prospect (Mariner LFers hit .218/.318/.375 last year).

    - Cust will have his worst year in MLB by FAR (Mariner DH’s hit .194/.269/.340 last year- Cust’s worst year as a MLB regular is .240/.356/.417)

    What I will say is that, yes, if a bunch of prospects turn out to be huge piles of suck and all the veterans mentioned turn into complete garbage, sure, we’ll lose 100 games. But that’s what has to happen: they can’t hit the numbers on the back of their baseball cards if they are a veteran, they can’t develop as prospects. They all have to turn into garbage.

    Last I checked, not EVERY player ever acquired by the Seattle Mariners does that.

  58. eponymous coward on December 14th, 2010 12:03 am

    Oh, and let’s not forget: Franklin Gutierrez regressed a lot as a hitter last year. He can’t get ANY of that back in 2011.

  59. jjracoon on December 14th, 2010 6:25 am

    Why not move Figgins to the catch all position thus giving the team a lot more flexibility.

    2nd Ackley/Ryan
    SS Wilson
    3rd Ryan/Mangini
    LF Saunders

    and Figgins playing every day in each of those positions as a relief. Mariners can carry a Tui for 3rd and 1st backup/right hand pinch hitter.

  60. Dylan S on December 14th, 2010 9:08 am

    Leroy Stanton:

    You’re assuming that team runs scored is supposed to be proportional to wOBA. IT IS NOT! While runs scored vs. wOBA is linear it has a constant offset.

    If you plot runs scored vs. wOBA for AL teams in 2010 you will see that the Mariners were right where they should have been.

  61. niterunner on December 14th, 2010 10:33 am

    I’d pencil in Bedard for the long LHP and save the Kelley to the 60 day DL move for a spring waiver pickup opportunity.

  62. n8tron3030 on December 14th, 2010 11:42 am

    Getting a better backup IF would be nice, but I’d be surprised if they did. Based on that roster, Ryan can cover SS when Wilson is hurt, Figgins moves to 2B and Tui plays 3B, so currently there aren’t any holes, just from a roster construction point of view. Knowing Ackley will be coming up later I would expect their attention is on other parts of the roster.

  63. Alec on December 14th, 2010 3:25 pm

    OK, so this roster does not look like a world beater. I liked the Ryan pickup, more because it cost nothing to get a better version of what we already have (when the mystical power hitting SS appears, I am pretty sure we can still deal with having Ryan on the roster), but he doesn’t do that much to improve our ceiling. Speaking of ceilings though, last season we saw the floor from almost everyone (Ichiro and Felix excluded. And I guess the rest of the SP to a lesser degree). And that has colored our ability to evaluate these moves. With that in mind, I decided to project what this team would do if we get the anti-2010 and everyone plays closer to their ceiling than floor. To do this, I came up with WAR values close to the ceiling of what each player can do. I kept guys who did well last year the same, but reverted Figgins back to his average with the Angels (again, ceilings), Gutierrez back to 2009, gave Smoak and Saunders bumps, regressed Ryan back towards 2009, and gave high end projections for Pineda and Ackley.

    Here we go
    Felix – 6
    Vargas – 2.5
    Fister – 2.5
    Pineda – 2
    5th Starter – 1

    Bullpen – 1 from League, .5 from Cortes & Lueke, .5 from the rest, so 2

    Ichiro – 5
    Figgins – 3
    Smoak – 2
    Cust – 2
    Olivo – 1
    Guti – 4
    Saunders – 1.5
    Ryan – 1.5
    Wilson – 1

    Then when Ackley comes up another 1

    Bench
    Moore: .5
    Langerhans: .5
    Bradley: .5
    Tui: 0
    Wilson: 0

    So 1 WAR from the bench (wild card of Bradley getting his act together, but that is so much of a wild card that I won’t even think about it).

    That adds up to 38 WAR for the team (if everything breaks right), without adding something like a 5th starter with some upside, or a legit Posey-like breakout from Ackley. So 86 wins. Not too bad, especially since that could take the AL West if it all breaks right.

    Again, this is the rosiest scenario I could realistically see. Just trying to remind people to keep in mind that just because last year saw the worst case scenario, it doesn’t preclude a best case scenario from happening and there is still a little bit of upside here.

  64. gwangung on December 14th, 2010 3:50 pm

    Again, this is the rosiest scenario I could realistically see. Just trying to remind people to keep in mind that just because last year saw the worst case scenario, it doesn’t preclude a best case scenario from happening and there is still a little bit of upside here.

    Hm. I kinda thought 2009 was the best case scenario.

    Maybe the team will settle down into the middle of projections from here on out.

  65. Rboyle0628 on December 15th, 2010 11:13 pm

    Hm. I kinda thought 2009 was the best case scenario.

    Maybe the team will settle down into the middle of projections from here on out.

    I agree. But sadly, we have seen a nasty pattern with the Mariners recently. 07′ we out performed expectations, 08′ we were garbage, 09′ we out performed again and were tricked into dreams of contention and a possible playoff berth. We cant expect this trend to continue or else fans will just watch every other year. I think it has to settle. Potentially, we could be a decent team this year and if that is the case, the rosiest scenario as alec stated, we need to keep our minds set on building. Making the playoffs would be fantastic, but I’d rather make the playoffs for multiple years in a row instead of once in a blue moon. I think the Mariners will surprise many of us this year and we will see them post a 73-77 win season. I think contention is possibly 2012, if the kids develop as planned. I’d like to expect the best outcome, but even if we are middle of expectations I don’t think we lose anywhere near 100 games.

    Side note, as much as team chemistry is debated I think its not the chemistry that helps its the familiarity. When you play with around the same bunch of guys for a few years you know what to expect. That’s the great thing about when a group comes from the minors at the same time, they’ve usually had multiple years to learn about each other in the minors. I played baseball my entire life… the best teams I played on, were the teams where we had been together for multiple years in a row, the same group of guys. I think we will see that in 2011 and 2012, the comfort becoming more obvious, a better level of trust.

  66. rmarshall on December 17th, 2010 1:26 pm

    Brendan Ryan will be our opening and everyday shortstop. Jack Wilson will be traded before the season (Twins?) assuming that he can put together a healthy spring training.

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