Jeff Francis Signs With The Royals

Dave · January 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

We were pretty sure the M’s were out on Jeff Francis once David Aardsma became untradeable, but now it’s official, as Francis landed in Kansas City today for a whopping $2 million base with incentives that could push the total to $4 million. This is exactly the kind of deal I was hoping the Mariners could offer him, but it seems like they’re just out of money, so instead of getting a pretty decent left-handed strike-thrower for the back-end of the rotation, they had to watch him take a job with the Royals instead.

With the M’s failing to come up with marginal amounts of money for the likes of Francis and Capuano, it’s probably safe to assume they’re out on anyone who will get a seven figure deal. They may still add another pitcher or a right-handed bat who could handle some left field if they end up jettisoning Milton Bradley, but the guys they’ll be targeting will probably have to accept non-guaranteed minor league deals. Unless Jack Z has a trick up his sleeve, the M’s are probably done doing anything significant this winter.

Comments

52 Responses to “Jeff Francis Signs With The Royals”

  1. MrZDevotee on January 14th, 2011 3:38 pm

    Conversation I wanna hear:

    Jack Z: “Milton- you’re not gonna play much for us this year. What say we cut you, you can go home and take all the anger-management classes you want, maybe sign on with someone else… But let us keep $2 million of your salary. Otherwise, your locker the entire year is next to Wedgie’s, and you guys are roommates on the road… Whatcha say?”

    Problem solved.

  2. Shanfan on January 14th, 2011 3:46 pm

    Bavasi strikes one more time.

  3. Jordan on January 14th, 2011 3:53 pm

    Conversation I wanna hear:

    Thanks for the laugh, unfortunately we’re moderately disappointed when the Mariners lose out on players like Capuano and Francis; reality is we wouldn’t care and would have $ to spend if Bavasi’s ghost was done taunting us.

  4. shortbus on January 14th, 2011 4:01 pm

    Are we paying anyone besides Bradley/Silva and Yuniesky Betancourt from the Bavasi era? Since we managed to offload Lopez I kind of feel like the Yuni money is a wash. It would be fun/horrifying to quantify in dollars the damage Bavasi did to this organization in terms of wasted money in contracts, talent given away that wasn’t replaced in talent or dollars, predictably crappy draft decisions, etc…

    My conservative estimate is $1.4 trillion. Give or take.

  5. Chris_From_Bothell on January 14th, 2011 4:03 pm

    Any odds-on favorites for who the 5th starter is, in-house, at the moment? Or is it a crapshoot of whoever has a decent spring training?

    I assume Bedard just needs to show he’s healthy and he is 3rd or 4th starter right away. And that Pineda doesn’t come up until later in the season.

  6. JH on January 14th, 2011 4:12 pm

    David Pauley was significantly more effective than Luke French in the rotation last year. If Pineda starts the year in the minors and Bedard is healthy enough to play, I’d bet Pauley probably has a leg up in the race for #5SP.

    I think the team’s thin enough in the rotation that it’s more likely Pineda breaks camp with them, though. He’s got a ways to go, but I still think he’s the team’s best option at the back end.

  7. Dixoner on January 14th, 2011 4:55 pm

    Jeremy Bonderman is still out there, but if the M’s can’t land Capuano or Francis, there is little hope for the likes of Bonderman. However, a Freddy Garcia reunion would be fun. Any chance he takes a deal similar to money he made in 2010? 1YR/1M with up to 2M in incentives.

  8. NorthofWrigleyField on January 14th, 2011 5:07 pm

    Does it matter how good Pineda is? If the team can’t find $2million to pay Jeff Francis, why even bother wasting Pineda’s service time? When the Royals are coming over the top of you, your season is toast unless miracles happen.

  9. argh on January 14th, 2011 5:42 pm

    2011: the year of expect nothing and get less.

  10. GLS on January 14th, 2011 6:46 pm

    Does anyone know where the best source of information is on team payroll that includes all of their financial obligations and when those roll off the books? It would just be nice to see it all laid out in one spot.

  11. IwearMsHats on January 14th, 2011 7:02 pm

    Does it matter how good Pineda is? If the team can’t find $2million to pay Jeff Francis, why even bother wasting Pineda’s service time? When the Royals are coming over the top of you, your season is toast unless miracles happen.

    Good thing miracles happen every day.

    Fuckin’ magnets, how do they work?

  12. Sports on a Schtick on January 14th, 2011 7:16 pm

    Does anyone know where the best source of information is on team payroll

    http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/seattle-mariners.html

  13. Henry on January 14th, 2011 8:05 pm

    Is there any reason to believe that this team will win more than 65 games?

  14. GOB Bluth on January 14th, 2011 8:21 pm

    IwearMsHats, there’s enough miracles here to blow your brains.

  15. GarForever on January 14th, 2011 8:25 pm

    Is there any reason to believe that this team will win more than 65 games?

    Any GOOD ones? Not many. While we’re unlikely to see another perfect storm of career-low suckitude from virtually every player on the roster, I think for this team to be compelling and competitive on a regular basis would require (near) career-bests from virtually every player not named Ichiro or Felix. IF Smoak comes through, IF Bedard returns and is good for 150+ innings, IF Figgins flourishes back at third, IF Olivo isn’t Jose Lopez 2.0 with fewer walks and more strikeouts, IF someone steps forward to close games reliably, IF Jack Wilson goes down with an injury/retires, and Brendan Ryan and Adam Kennedy have exceptional years until Ackley comes up and tears the cover off the ball, IF Vargas and Fister reproduce last year’s success, IF Saunders establishes himself as an everyday LF…well, you get the idea.

    Are some of those likely to happen? Probably. All of them? Probably not.

  16. ayoon on January 14th, 2011 8:48 pm

    This offseason has been boring — someone please fix it!

  17. JMHawkins on January 14th, 2011 8:59 pm

    Just great.

    Go Seahawks. I guess.

  18. eponymous coward on January 14th, 2011 9:25 pm

    Is there any reason to believe that this team will win more than 65 games?

    No, Smoak will be the exact same complete disaster Kotchman was, Cust will suck like Bradley did, Figgins will have a horrible year, our middle infielders and catchers will be terrible, no young player will do anything notable, Gutierrez will never hit well again.

    The bottom line is although the Mariners did as poorly on offense as a team’s done in 40 years, and no team’s done that poorly back to back years on offense, there is no possibility for improvement, even though a lot of the roster is turned over and a number of younger players with potential have playing time. Unless the Mariners spend like the Yankees and sign every free agent under the sun, they will lose 100 games every year.

    That what you wanted to hear? Hope so. You can leave now, since obviously there’s nothing this team can do to improve without signing players to multiyear megadeals.

  19. Jordan on January 14th, 2011 9:36 pm

    GarForever pretty much summed it up now can we fast forward to the trade deadline/September call-ups? At least something might be intriguing at that point.

    Your 2011 Seattle Mariners: _______ Felix!

  20. bongo on January 14th, 2011 11:11 pm

    Is there any reason to believe that this team will win more than 65 games?

    Even if you took last year’s team (and I believe that this year’s team will be better than that in terms of talent) and were able to play simulated seasons with it, you would have won 65+ games a significant portion of the time. So yes, I think there’s a very good chance that this year’s team will win more than 65 games. More than 75 games? Maybe not.

    And even if many of our bets don’t turn out, so many of our farm teams won their divisions/leagues that there has to be some talent on their rosters somewhere. As long as we’re willing to take chances on younger players instead of just playing washed-up veterans, the chances are good we’ll at least find some new talent to give playing time to in 2012, when lots of payroll comes off the books. That’s still better than watching a bunch of players who have no chance of being on the team going forward (e.g. Kotchman, Lopez, RoJo, etc.)

  21. johndango on January 15th, 2011 12:06 am

    Worst off season ever.

  22. HighBrie on January 15th, 2011 6:40 am

    While I’m bummed about Francis (who is alleged to have preferred Kansas City for the nascent run support kicking in its farm system), I’m optimistic for the remainder of the off-season. Trades could still happen (I think Jack Wilson to Milwaukee for Narveson and cash sounds like a Yuni repair kit), and I’m looking forward to the Rainiers again this year. That team is pretty solid.

  23. maqman on January 15th, 2011 10:36 am

    Jack Z is never done trying to make the team better. He’ll find some bits and bobs here and there. He’s done pretty good for a guy with not much to deal with.

  24. Henry on January 15th, 2011 10:39 am

    The Twins re-signed free agent DH Jim Thome to a 1 year, $3 million contract.”

    And wouldn’t we want Thome instead of Cust? At an extra cost of what, $1M?

  25. Henry on January 15th, 2011 10:43 am

    That what you wanted to hear? Hope so. You can leave now, since obviously there’s nothing this team can do to improve without signing players to multiyear megadeals.

    What kind of c— is this answer? Just because I am not a regular does not mean my posts are all useless. There were several others who thought this opened up a good way of looking at the issue.

  26. heychuck01 on January 15th, 2011 10:48 am

    The Twins re-signed free agent DH Jim Thome to a 1 year, $3 million contract.”

    And wouldn’t we want Thome instead of Cust? At an extra cost of what, $1M?

    You are missing a big part of the equation with free agents.

    They have a choice, and must want to play for your team.

    No way Thome would have signed with the M’s to play on a re-building team, in what may be his last season.

  27. HubofPNW on January 15th, 2011 11:23 am

    On the bright side, the wait for Spring Training doesn’t seem as long and painful as last winter.

    *sigh*

  28. John D. on January 15th, 2011 11:38 am

    …so many of our farm teams won their divisions/leagues that there has to be some talent on their rosters.

    Not necessarily. It’s possible to win a league championship with a roster full of non-prospects, while a team could finish last with two or three prospects, the rest rinky-dinks.
    In terms of providing MLB players, winning a league championship can be meaningless.

  29. eponymous coward on January 15th, 2011 11:46 am

    They have a choice, and must want to play for your team.

    Oooh, someone gets it.

    And wouldn’t we want Thome instead of Cust? At an extra cost of what, $1M?

    Jim Thome is also 9 years older than Jack Cust, and his plate appearances the past 3 years go:

    602, 434, 340

    Say, how’d the last 40 year old we signed as a DH work out? Anyone remember him? I know he was on the downside of a great career, but I can’t place the name. He stayed healthy and productive, right?

    Anyways, for the umptteenth time, Cust is fine as a fill-in DH.

    I think for this team to be compelling and competitive on a regular basis would require (near) career-bests from virtually every player not named Ichiro or Felix.

    I think a career-best from guys like Smoak, Ackley and Saunders shouldn’t be too hard, as they are just starting their careers. Even Gutierrez is 26 years old, and it seems like Mariner fandom has written him off as being a perpetual pile of suck at the plate forever, one season after a 6 WAR year.

    It’s patently obvious what Jack Z is trying to do, because Billy Beane does this every year: turns a team of “who are these guys?!?!?!” into a 75-80 win team that plays good defense, has a bad but not abysmal offense, and enough pitching. If you look at the talent and ignore last year’s W/L record as being, well, last year, the M’s have every chance of being that team. I’ll take it, especially compared to last year.

  30. GarForever on January 15th, 2011 1:55 pm

    I think a career-best from guys like Smoak, Ackley and Saunders shouldn’t be too hard, as they are just starting their careers. Even Gutierrez is 26 years old, and it seems like Mariner fandom has written him off as being a perpetual pile of suck at the plate forever, one season after a 6 WAR year.

    eponymous, I typically appreciate your insights and we often agree, but I think you are deliberately misunderstanding what I wrote or selectively reading it. I don’t know if this is because other posters have you riled up or you’re just in a petulant mood, but whatever…

    Obviously, “career-best” applies to those players sure to be regulars AND who have track records of any length, which might have been apparent from the qualifications in my penultimate paragraph: IF Smoak comes through, IF Ackley comes up (a big if) and tears the cover off the ball (also an “if” at this point), IF Saunders establishes himself as an everyday LF, etc. I have some confidence the first will happen, less that the second will (at least not until June/July), and still less that the third will, despite my fervent hope that Saunders turns into the player I’ve always thought he could be (his game does have deficiencies, as has been pointed out here). The jury is still out on him, I think, but that’s the point.

    No, I’m thinking of guys like Olivo, Ryan, Figgins, Jack Wilson/Adam Kennedy, Cust, and Bradley (the last of whom needn’t produce his career-best, which won’t happen, but who needs to be significantly more productive than in his last two seasons): these are the guys who need to step it up if this team is to be compelling and consistently competitive. As I mentioned in my post, like you I think it is highly unlikely that the M’s offensive ineptitude will repeat itself to such profound depths, but that doesn’t mean they would be anything more than staggeringly mediocre without exceptional performances across the board from most of the veterans (granted, staggeringly mediocre would represent “progress,” but still…). And, of course, let’s remember that any backsliding by the pitching staff from what was a very good year could easily offset marginal improvements in hitting and scoring runs).

    And, no, I for one haven’t written Gutierrez off; but he needs to be better at the plate than last year if he is to contribute on offense in any meaningful way. If one can’t agree to that much, then clearly we were watching different teams last year.

  31. eponymous coward on January 15th, 2011 2:50 pm

    The pitching staff is getting a lot of defensive support- a lot more than last year, where we were bad at 2B, SS and C. Kennedy and Ryan up the middle and Figgins at 3rd, plus NOT ROB JOHNSON at C should improve things.

    And I don’t think the offense will be mediocre, even. Look at Oakland last year, or the last couple of years. I just think it won’t be “worst in 40 years” kind of bad.

    It’s important to realize that 2010 was pretty much the worst case scenario for the Mariners- almost nothing they tried to solve a problem they knew they had going in worked, even though for a lot of things they tried, there was reason to believe they’d get at least something out of the deal: Bradley, Jack Wilson, Adam Moore, Figgins at 2B, Lopez at 3B, Kotchman at 1B.

    Some things they will try in 2011 won’t work- but odds are some will. You don’t often keep rolling snake eyes at the MLB craps table, year after year- and the M’s could roll snake eyes even if they pulled out the checkbook for free agents.

    This offseason wasn’t as flashy as Bavasi whipping out the checkbook for Sexson and Beltre after the similar debacle in 2004… but I am in many ways more satisfied with it. Jack Z hasn’t done major harm to the team’s ability to add salary in 2012, he hasn’t roadblocked young players, and while I don’t agree with every move (*cough*Olivo*cough*), he, in my mind, correctly identified the problems (C, DH and middle infield) that could NOT be addressed from within and addressed them without blowing holes in the budget.

    I’m also more optimistic about Gutierrez getting straightened out and being on or over his career numbers.

    The other possible reason that we haven’t mentioned for Francis being signed… The M’s have at least some reason to believe Erik Bedard might hit some financial incentives. You’d think they’d not have bothered to bring him back if his arm was noodle-tastic…

  32. Badbadger on January 15th, 2011 3:38 pm

    The fun part of 2011 is going to be watching the young guys develop, and there’s every reason to think there will be some kids to be excited about (Pineda, Smoak, Ackely, please God Saunders and maybe maybe maybe Adam Moore).

    Jeff Francis…I have a hard time being too bummed out about not getting him. He might have been made a couple of wins difference, but next season isn’t going to be about a couple of wins difference. I probably wouldn’t have made careful plans to make sure I saw Jeff Francis pitching.

  33. Westside guy on January 15th, 2011 4:04 pm

    eponymous, you really had me going. You wrote that in perfect deadpan – I was getting closer and closer to a spit-take (WHAT!?!) the whole time until the very end. :-D

    Usually people have trouble keeping the snark out of posts like that (well, keeping it out until the end).

  34. GarForever on January 15th, 2011 5:00 pm

    eponymous, as usual I think we agree about Z vs. Bavasi (what right-minded person wouldn’t, right?). I think the M’s will be better than 65 wins, and I think Z did the best he probably could under the circumstances (while echoing your sentiments on Olivo, whose main attraction is that he is not RoJo). I for one can live with staggeringly mediocre in 2011 so long as it’s building toward a better 2012 and beyond. I think it is, but I also understand why some are frustrated.

    Remember kids: lots of money coming off the books after this season. No point in making stupid long term commitments for a few meaningless wins this year.

  35. MrZDevotee on January 15th, 2011 5:00 pm

    I’m not sure who you guys want on the roster to make it acceptable as a “competitive” team? Or make it acceptable to be a fan of your hometown team, and view them as anything other than an abyssmal failure.

    LAST YEAR’s team would finish with more than 65 wins if we played it over again… I’d bet money on it. That year’s record was every bit a fluke as the Seattle Mariners holding the all-time single season wins record, in the history of baseball, at 116. The 2001 team was NOT the best team in the history of baseball, by any stretch.

    We’ve improved at EVERY position that needed it.

    C: Olivo is better than R.Johnson
    1B: Smoak will outhit Kotchman by roughly 100pts.
    2B: Brendan Ryan adds DEF & offense (over Lopez)
    3B: Figgins adds DEF (vs Lopez) and batting (over his own horrible start last season)
    SS: Wilson(s) are same, and it’s an upgrade when Ryan takes over, and Ackley/Kennedy takes 2nd.
    LF: Saunders is same, but can reasonably be expected to improve (same for Bradley)
    CF: Guty can be reasonably expected to produce better at the plate
    RF: (no comment necessary)
    DH: Cust & Bradley is a plus over Griffey/Sweeney

    So, what’s the problem? With our budget, and our undesirableness as a destination for free agents, who would you have signed to make us amazing contenders? And I’m talking “realistically”. And don’t forget to take into account that our best trading chip (Aardsma) turned out to be untradable (wouldn’t have passed a physical).

    And let’s not give anybody any credit for moving Lopez and Rob Johnson this offseason either– you know how easy that must have been as an organization.

    This is NOT a bad team we’ve put together. Will it win the AL West? Uh, no. Yet how many teams have ever lost 100 games and won their Division the next year? So how realistic of an expectation is that?

    =================

    PS- Lest we forget, look at this juggernaut of a lineup from last year, put forth by the Giants in winning the World Series:

    C: Buster Posey .305 .505
    1B: Aubrey Huff .290 .506
    2B: Freddy Sanchez .292 .342
    3B: Pablo Sandoval .268 .409
    SS: Juan Uribe .248 .440
    LF: Pat Burrell .266 .509
    CF: Andre Torres .268 .479
    RF: Nate Shierholtz .242 .366

  36. eponymous coward on January 16th, 2011 11:05 am

    I think it is, but I also understand why some are frustrated.

    Basically, I think we as fans should be realistic, as pointed out above: you don’t go from 100 losses to division championships in one season.

    We’ve tried the “throw money at the problems” mindset in Seattle, and got nothing for it. Remember, the 2008 team took on a LOT of salary after 2007… and we got one of the worst, most expensive teams ever. And the 2005 Mariners weren’t much better than the 2004 Mariners, despite tossing a lot of cash at free agents.

    Building with youth isn’t as sexy as having that press conference and jersey being shown… but it’s a lot more sustainable. We haven’t had a good young 1B since Tino, Saunders is the first young OF to stay around for a while since before Jose Cruz Jr., and Jose Lopez and Yuni are our most recent young position players who came up and “contributed” to the major league team in any significant capacity for longer than a year- and that was SIX YEARS AGO. That’s a long time for your minor league system to be a dry hole for finding position players to contribute. We’ve actually done a better job of sending our kids to Baltimore and Cleveland in recent years than getting anything from them as a Mariner.

    We’re not going to consistently contend until we fix this, and pumping in a ton of FA dollars is peripheral to having a productive farm system. Even the Yankees come up with farm system talent.

  37. gwangung on January 16th, 2011 8:23 pm

    Building with youth isn’t as sexy as having that press conference and jersey being shown… but it’s a lot more sustainable.

    Hm, seriously….when was the last time the Ms committed to building from within?

    I don’t think people are used to seeing how teams do it.

  38. eponymous coward on January 16th, 2011 9:31 pm

    Hm, seriously….when was the last time the Ms committed to building from within?

    The late 80′s-early ’90′s. They did OK at it.

  39. gwangung on January 16th, 2011 9:48 pm

    Yeah…..my point, I think….

    One, alot of people have no idea around here what it means to build from within. That means sitting on your hands and seeing if your young people have the stuff….

    Two, if you commit to building a young core, you commit. You don’t screw around by finding “sure” things and not let your young people take roles if they’re close to ready.

    Since you don’t have a young core of regularly producing regulars, you need to build it. And that’s gonna take time…

  40. bongo on January 17th, 2011 4:51 pm

    That’s a long time for your minor league system to be a dry hole for finding position players to contribute.

    Our minor league system has not been a dry hole. Maybe it’s not been as good as some other systems, but the worst problem has been management unable to evaluate talent (the difference between oil and water).

    Right now as we speak, there may be a number of players within the Mariners minor league system who will get it together and make (and stay) in the majors.

    Perhaps Mauricio Robles (who has pitched well for a few innings before falling apart) develops stamina; maybe Lueke or Cortes finds the plate consistently; maybe Halman develops plate discipline or Mangini improves his fielding; maybe Triunfel starts to focus on his conditioning; maybe Mike Carp ups his game.

    Any of these things by themselves may not be very likely. But the bottom line is neither statistics nor scouting can forecast the future perfectly.

    I remember watching Shin Soo Choo run around the bases so slowly that he was almost lapped by the previous baserunner and thinking “this fellow isn’t much of an athlete.” When he looked like a deer in the headlights on a routine fly ball to left, I wrote him off. What we didn’t take into account was his desire to succeed. The man worked very hard after leaving the Mariners and today is a credible major league player.

    While Asdrubral Cabrera’s fielding ability was fairly obvious, his potential as a hitter was not. However, he was still young when the Mariners let him go, and as he grew into his body, his hitting (and power) improved.

  41. gwangung on January 17th, 2011 6:41 pm

    Our minor league system has not been a dry hole. Maybe it’s not been as good as some other systems, but the worst problem has been management unable to evaluate talent (the difference between oil and water).

    Generally, you want to average a player a year who’s challenging for a starting spot. And that includes developing and nurturing them through the farm system years and not giving up on them.

    I think the statement still stands.

  42. heychuck01 on January 17th, 2011 6:47 pm

    Humm… I like bongo’s assement. He is not disagreeing with what gwangung is saying about the amount of quality players the M’s have ‘realized’ from their system.

    He is saying the Mariners traded, or gave up on alot of guys who are/would be Major League starters on their team (many of them are starters on other teams). And, some of them, were players who the Mariners failed to evaluate correctly (Choo) and gave up on too early. Well… maybe not evaluated incorrectly, but were wrong for whatever reason.

  43. GarForever on January 17th, 2011 7:49 pm

    The point about management and the farm system is a good one, I think. I have many bones to pick with how Bavasi ran the team, but aside from Silva and Batista his record on free agents was, to be fair, a mixed bag, not a disaster. Sexson was exactly what we thought we were getting for the first two years, and his total disappearance at the plate after that is foreseeable only with the benefit of hindsight. Unless you expected Beltre to reproduce 2004 (and you shouldn’t have), that was a good signing, and as Dave has pointed out, the Ms actually got their money’s worth out of Beltre vis-a-vis WAR, which is unusual on the free agent market. Otherwise, most of the commitments he made didn’t cost the team a ton in years or money, if I recall correctly.

    No, my beef with Bavasi will forever be his ineptitude at evaluating talent in the system or surrounding himself with people who could. Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin Soo Choo, and Adam Jones — to name only a few — were sacrificed on the altar of marginal wins now, while Bavasi made an all-in bet on Lopez and Betancourt. Add to that the general inability to capitalize on high draft picks, and, well, you know the rest.

    I really do believe that things are getting better, because Z and his people have a proven track record of sniffing out guys who will stick and contribute at the major league level. Just to be clear: when I said I wasn’t optimistic about 2011, that didn’t mean I wasn’t sanguine about the longer term. I just think anyone expecting this team to compete for a playoff spot this season is kidding themselves, but I also think it should be a lot easier to watch than last year’s version while we wait for the future to arrive.

  44. eponymous coward on January 17th, 2011 8:40 pm

    Our minor league system has not been a dry hole. Maybe it’s not been as good as some other systems, but the worst problem has been management unable to evaluate talent (the difference between oil and water).

    If only I had written:

    “We’ve actually done a better job of sending our kids to Baltimore and Cleveland in recent years than getting anything from them as a Mariner.”

    in the very next sentence. Oh. I did, didn’t I?

    My point wasn’t that the farm system isn’t producing. It’s that it spent most of the decade of the 2000′s (and a lot of the 1990′s) not producing for the Mariners, outside of the pitching staff, and Lopez and Betancourt. That’s a terrible record.

    Sexson was exactly what we thought we were getting for the first two years, and his total disappearance at the plate after that is foreseeable only with the benefit of hindsight.

    Oh, look, someone foresaw this deal sucked on this very blog, years and years ago. How about that.

    Otherwise, most of the commitments he made didn’t cost the team a ton in years or money, if I recall correctly.

    Jarrod Washburn? Scott Spiezio? Eddie Guardado for 18 million? Carlos Silva?

    You are seriously whitewashing how awful Bavasi was- and that’s aside from the Carl Everetts he’d sign every year, wasting a good few million. Admittedly, he figured out you could build a bullpen without signing Chris Reistma and Eddie Guardado, eventually, and he did get Beltre, but, no, most of his free agents were cringe-inducing, which was why he was quite justifiably fired.

    Saying Bavasi’s record was OK on FAs because of Beltre is like saying that his record on the farm system was OK because of King sFelix.

  45. Chris_From_Bothell on January 17th, 2011 8:40 pm

    Are the recent examples like Cabrera, Choo, etc. not just a failure of evaluation but a failure of coaching and development? If Morrow had not only been treated consistently (the whole starter-reliever-starter-reliever thing), but also the right horse whisperer was in-house to get him to fine-tune and apply his skills correctly, he might still be a Mariner.

    It’s not enough for Z to be a good evaluator / scout, or to have same on staff. Is the right coaching and development taking place in the minor and major league clubs?

  46. Henry on January 18th, 2011 12:09 am

    >>

    Credible isn’t the word I would use–.880 career OPS, .391 OBP (have Mariners had anyone with that high an OBP since Edgar retired?). He has even stolen 52 bases… this is one of the worst mistakes they have made in the last 5 years, trading him for nothing.

  47. jjracoon on January 18th, 2011 6:16 am

    Now that it is obvious that the Mariners wont be going after much in the way of a starting pitcher, how close is Blake Beaven to competing for an end of rotation spot??? It would sure make the trade of Cliff Lee seem awesome if he is a viable option, Lueke makes the bullpen, and Smoak finds his stroke (poetry in action!!).

  48. GarForever on January 18th, 2011 9:43 am

    eponymous, as you yourself said in this thread, free agents have to want to play for Seattle. You were in fact quite strident about it.

    Did Bavasi suck? Yes, overall, he did (as I have stated myself many times), and no one is whitewashing anything. Is Z leaps and bounds better? Yes, I think so, but the proof will be in the pudding over the next couple of years, whether the M’s evolve into a relevant franchise again or they don’t. But I agree with you that he’s going about the right away, despite the frustrations of some who want to win now.

    Everything’s relative: Bavasi made some very bad FA signings, but he never did anything so stupid as to bid up for the Barry Zitos and Jason Schmidts of the word, nor did he commit the team to nine-figure contracts or more than four years, the one excpetion being Beltre. He left a mess, no doubt, but from the standpoint of the team’s long-standing commitments, a surmountable one. Within three years of taking over, Z will be free from the last of Bavasi’s commitments, and what’s left, while not insignificant, is hardly Mike Hampton or Kevin Brown money.

    My main point, in agreement with you, is that Bavasi did far more damage to the farm than anything else, and for this he should never be forgiven. But it has become apparent that you are less interested in reading the whole of what people write on this blog than looking for the nugget that you can latch on to like a rabid dog for the sake of picking a fight. That’s your prerogative, of course, but at this end, let me tell you it gets really tiresome.

  49. eponymous coward on January 18th, 2011 11:31 am

    Bavasi’s problem was a predisposition to spend money in a large budget, for players who did not represent any substantial premium on far lower-priced talent, and outside of the bullpen, not getting the concept of “replacement value”.

    Remember, the Mariners lost 100 games with $117 million in payroll. I don’t see it as a mixed bag, more as an overall failing grade despite the occasional good sign- especially since an extra $30 million in payroll space would come in handy right about now.

    The problem is if you want to be “fair” about Bavasi, he got more out of the farm system than Gillick did. I have no doubt who I’d want as a GM, though (even though yes, Gillick’s record is problematic in places).

    Also, I’m sorry if I’m coming across as unduly nasty by my arguing style. That’s not what I want.

  50. GarForever on January 18th, 2011 11:37 am

    Also, I’m sorry if I’m coming across as unduly nasty by my arguing style. That’s not what I want.

    No worries, eponymous: the problem as we all know with this conversational format is that all the cues we convey in personal communication are lost. I’m sure I’ve been guilty from time to time of letting my passion for the team get the better of me and letting my prose scream above all the things I do in person to convey that I’m actually a pretty reasonable guy :) well, most of the time.

    Anyway, as always, I do appreciate your insights about the organization.

  51. TomC on January 18th, 2011 11:41 am

    My main point, in agreement with you, is that Bavasi did far more damage to the farm than anything else, and for this he should never be forgiven

    I think that sums up my disappointment this offseason. I know we cannot spend ourselves back into contention. The lack of sufficient help from the farm system is infuriating. Where is our internal DH replacement? Why can’t we produce a catcher worthy of big league time? Why do we have to use an aging, injury-prone, shortstop?

    Within three years of taking over, Z will be free from the last of Bavasi’s commitments,

    I would not completely give Zduriencik a pass, however. I believe the Chone Figgins signing was a mistake. We signed him after an atypical ‘career’ year. He will be paid $9 Million — approximately 10% of our total salary this year. He is 33 years old. He has demonstrated poor professionalism (fighting with the Manager) and a tendency to sulk – indicators for future problems. We are stuck with him through 2014. This is not Carlos Silva bad but overall it hurts rather than helps the team.

  52. stantak on January 20th, 2011 6:03 pm

    On the bright side, Ichiro becomes a 10 & 5 guy this year.

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