A Suggestion For Dumping Chone Figgins

Dave · September 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Like Jeff Cirillo, Carlos Silva, and many others before him, Chone Figgins came to Seattle with some fanfare and a pretty decent sized contract… and promptly fell flat on his face. To say that he’s been bad would be the understatement of the year, and at this point, it’s hard to see Figgins having any significant role on this team going forward. The team could keep him around as a super-utility guy, but he can’t really play SS/CF, so he’d be a reserve 3B/2B/LF, which just isn’t all that valuable or all that hard to find.

So, despite being owed another $17 million in salary for 2012 and 2013, Figgins probably needs to go away this winter. The team could just release him and eat the cost of his salary, but teams are often reluctant to make that kind of maneuver and essentially admit that a move was a total failure. More often, they look for some other team’s overpriced underachiever and try to make a “change of scenery” swap, hoping both players will do better in a new location with a fresh start.

My guess is that’s exactly what the M’s will try to do with Figgins this winter, and in that vein, I’d like to offer up a suggestion on one particular team to call – the San Francisco Giants. They are the unfortunate rights-holders to one Barry Zito, who has two years left on the $126 million contract he signed as a free agent in the winter of 2006. That contract was one of the biggest disasters in baseball history, and because they misjudged his talents, the Giants are still on the hook for a whopping $46 million over the next two years (including the obvious buyout of the 2014 option). That money is essentially going to be wasted, however, as the Giants crowded rotation has pushed Zito out and Bruce Bochy wouldn’t even commit to him as a starting pitcher next year. Best case scenario for the Giants, they’d have the world’s most expensive left-handed specialist on their hands.

That’s not a good situation for anyone, and if they can convince Zito to waive his no-trade clause (which shouldn’t be that hard if he’s staring at a relief role for the next two years), shipping him to a team that would give him a chance to start would probably be best for everyone. Enter the Mariners.

Right now, the M’s have three decent Major League starting pitchers in the organization – Felix, Pineda, and Vargas. Blake Beavan doesn’t miss enough bats to be more than a replacement level placeholder, while Charlie Furbush belongs in the bullpen, where he can be used situationally to match-up against left-handed batters. Yes, there are some good arms in the farm system, but counting on Danny Hultzen or James Paxton to make the rotation out of spring training is asking too much of them, and the organization is best served by not rushing its best prospects to the majors too quickly.

Zito isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of an ace anymore, but he is a left-handed fly ball guy whose skills are fairly well suited to Safeco Field, and before this season, he’d been one of the game’s most durable pitchers. Having a guy who can soak up innings at the back of the rotation, even if they aren’t the highest quality innings around, has some usefulness for a team with as little high level pitching depth as the Mariners.

If nothing else, the M’s have the ability to find out if Zito is finished as a Major League starter or not. They could give him 10-15 starts next year to see if he’s got anything left, and if not, replace him come summertime with a guy like Paxton or Hultzen. If he manages a career rejuvenation, you might even be able to move him at the trading deadline and get the buying team to pick up some of the salary the Mariners are on the hook for, thus defraying some of the cost of the original Figgins signing.

There’s basically no chance that Figgins undergoes that kind of career revitalization in Seattle. It’s unclear how he’d even manage to get on the field regularly enough to get his career going again. However, the M’s would have a use for a veteran back-end lefty who could fill a rotation spot for the first few months of 2012 at the least.

For a National League team like the Giants, Figgins’s versatility would be more significant, and they have enough question marks on the position player side of things to give him a look at various spots on the field. At the least, he’d provide more value to their team than keeping Zito around in a relief role would.

With the $29 million difference in salaries over the next two years, the Giants would have to eat a lot of cash to make an even one-for-one swap, but they’re not going to be able to move Zito without picking up nearly all of the money he’s due anyway. At least in a Figgins for Zito swap, both teams can give themselves a chance to salvage something from a free agent signing gone wrong.

Comments

65 Responses to “A Suggestion For Dumping Chone Figgins”

  1. Auggeydog on September 15th, 2011 1:17 pm

    I like this move if they eat most of the difference, it is a no lose situation. Get rid of Figgins and maybe get a guy who is useful. The only problem is there will be the short minded fans that liked the Silva Bradley trade, then when Milton went even crazier, it was a stupid move. Hopefully Jack can work something out so we have a chance that another player can come in and give us some chance to get production out of the money.

  2. Steve Nelson on September 15th, 2011 1:42 pm

    Akin to Cirillo for Jarvis, except the Mariners would be getting a better pitcher than Jarvis. If the deal were revenue-neutral (i.e., the Giants pick up all of the difference in salary between Figgins and Zito), what’s not to like?

  3. Snake Hippo on September 15th, 2011 1:57 pm

    I feel like I would agree wholeheartedly with any post of this title.

  4. Chris_From_Bothell on September 15th, 2011 1:58 pm

    I know his skill set matches Safeco in theory – lefty flyball pitcher – but is there more precise info somewhere to set expectations on how well a healthy Barry Zito could do? The historical info on how he’s done at Safeco before, that I could find, is not helpful… too small a sample, spread over way too many years, etc.

    Getting the Giants to eat the salary difference doesn’t seem too crazy, I suppose, if they treat it as a sunk cost anyway.

  5. SethGrandpa on September 15th, 2011 2:02 pm

    I like this except for the part where I’ve used Zito to mercilessly made fun of all my Giants friends for years. I would dislike them being able to return the favor. (But baseball wise, sure, why not?)

  6. giuseppe on September 15th, 2011 2:18 pm

    I like this except for the part where I’ve used Zito to mercilessly made fun of all my Giants friends for years. I would dislike them being able to return the favor. (But baseball wise, sure, why not?)

    But you could just as mercilessly make fun of them for having Figgins.

    This plan has another advantage: Figgins can’t come back to bite us when he resurrects his career (until we meet the Giants in the WS).

  7. ivan on September 15th, 2011 2:33 pm

    Glad to see any post you make here, Dave. I hope you are well on the path to recovery.

    But I don’t agree about Furbush. Not at all. Potentially, he is equal to or better than Vargas. Better fastball, better breaking ball, developing change. It is possible that his velocity is not all the way back, even two years past Tommy John surgery.

    Furbush needs innings to refine the command of all his pitches. He won’t get them in the bullpen. Once he gets into the groove of painting the outside corner with his fastball against RH hitters, a la Eddie Guardado, he should be an effective mid-rotation starter, especially if the M’s have to trade Vargas to get another hitter.

  8. groundzero55 on September 15th, 2011 2:57 pm

    The only problem is there will be the short minded fans that liked the Silva Bradley trade, then when Milton went even crazier, it was a stupid move.

    Milton never got any crazier with us, in fact I think he settled down a bit with only occasional outbursts. Rather, I think it was his high level of suck that got him released.

  9. lailaihei on September 15th, 2011 3:00 pm

    If we’re going to be adding payroll to add an arm this offseason, why add one with almost no upside? There are a number of high volatility FA SPs that make more sense for a fringe-contending club like the Mariners, my favorite of which would be Harden or Vazquez.

    There’s also actually good lefties, like CJ Wilson, who fit the park and should fit the budget going forward.

  10. nwade on September 15th, 2011 3:37 pm

    There are a number of high volatility FA SPs that make more sense for a fringe-contending club like the Mariners

    Except in that scenario we’re on the hook for those volatile FA SP’s *and* Figgins’ contract. If we can get something close to a revenue-neutral deal we basically get Zito for almost no additional payroll, and no addition to the 40-man (or 25-man) roster.

  11. Westside guy on September 15th, 2011 4:28 pm

    Agreed – make it so.

  12. lailaihei on September 15th, 2011 4:50 pm

    Except in that scenario we’re on the hook for those volatile FA SP’s *and* Figgins’ contract. If we can get something close to a revenue-neutral deal we basically get Zito for almost no additional payroll, and no addition to the 40-man (or 25-man) roster.

    Yeah, but Zito is bad and on the wrong side of 30. He projects to be worth what, 0.5 WAR or something next season? Then move him to the AL and that drops to 0. Why would we want a replacement level pitcher? Since replacement level means freely available talent, I don’t see any reason to make a trade for anyone worth the league minimum unless SF picked up all the difference between Zito and Figgins salary and added a prospect or something, but that’s a pipe dream.

  13. auldguy on September 15th, 2011 5:06 pm

    I wouldn’t give up so quickly on Beavan. “Blake Beavan doesn’t miss enough bats to be more than a replacement level placeholder” is pretty much what many if not most thought of Fister, and Detroit seems pretty happy with him. Not that I’m predicting BB to be a star, but he is still on a steep learning curve and the possibility certainly exists for him to be successful as a starter.

  14. Marinerjeff on September 15th, 2011 5:58 pm

    That is so funny that you wrote this. I was reading something today or yesterday that talked about Zito and I was thinking the same thing. Between Liddi, Seager, Ryan, Rodriguez, and Ackley they got that whole side of the infield covered. Based on the drop-off we’ve seen in the pitching in the second half, it could make sense. I think Beaven and Furbush could fight for the 5th spot. If Vargas’ recent mechanical change holds up he could be a solid #3 going forward. Even Zito of ’09/’10 could be a manageable #4 in Safeco.

    It’s a shame that the Figgins deal hasn’t worked out. I can’t believe he’s washed up but his time in Seattle just needs to end. And I like shipping him off to the NL so it’s harder for him to come back and haunt us in games.

    And Dave, as others have mentioned, glad to see you posting. Have lifted you up in prayer and will continue to do so as you continue your battle.

  15. greentunic on September 15th, 2011 6:00 pm

    I’d need the Giants to eat up almost all of the difference. I don’t want to do another Silva trade where we trade an awful player for another awful player AND lose a little cash in the deal.

    If they wouldn’t pay 80-90% of the difference, I say give Figgins a very limited role next year and see if the bench-warming session hasn’t lit a fire under his kaboose. Maybe he’s learned a lesson deep down that he isn’t as entitled as he’s seemed to act.

  16. greentunic on September 15th, 2011 6:03 pm

    And I like shipping him off to the NL so it’s harder for him to come back and haunt us in games.

    God I can totally see him doing that too. Going back to his pre-Mariner days a la Beltre.

    P.S. Welcome Back Dave!

  17. SonOfZavaras on September 15th, 2011 6:08 pm

    First off, glad to see you post another well-thought-out post, Dave. I’ve missed them, and hope things are going as good as can be for you, ATC.

    I think this is in an intriguing idea. I’d be all for it. Both camps- Figgins and the Mariners- know this is bad juju that needs the plug pulled.

    It’d be funny to see Zito in a Mariner jersey with “75″ on it- we drafted him once, years ago- out of high school, if I remember right. He didn’t sign, and the rest is history.

    I disagree a little bit about Beavan- one thing I want to say in that guy’s defense is that I *do* see him thinking and actually pitching out there. I’ve seen him add, subtract from his fastball and thinking right along with a batter. I’ve seen this the majority of the time I’ve seen Beavan pitch.

    I think Beavan’s future- if he keeps showing the brains for pitching that I think he is- could be brighter than what is generally thought right now.

  18. henryv on September 15th, 2011 6:12 pm

    I’d give them Figgins and Pineda, and my first born for Posey, and even take the entire Zito contract.

  19. Auggeydog on September 15th, 2011 6:50 pm

    groundzero55 my thinking on the crazier comment was the ear plugs and the scowl on his face every minute he played. He never looked like he was having fun, and I thought the guys might have been afraid of him. I agree about how much he sucked, and that had a lot to do with it. I think it will be very interesting what Z does this off season.

  20. VivaAyala on September 15th, 2011 7:27 pm

    Considering that Figgins is essentially a sunk cost at this point, I don’t have any problems with this idea so long as the Giants eat enough salary so that the team’s financial burden is not increased.

    However, I take exception to the premise that Zito is a better pitcher than either Beavan or Furbush.

    Consider 2011 stats:

    Zito: 5.07 K/9, 3.62 BB/9, 5.46 FIP, 4.60 xFIP

    Beavan:
    MLB: 3.62 K/9, 1.52 BB/9, 4.69 FIP, 4.58 xFIP
    MiLB: 6.19 K/9, 1.94 BB/9, 3.90 FIP

    Furbush:
    MLB(srt): 6.48 K/9, 2.88 BB/9, 4.86 FIP, 4.42 xFIP
    MiLB: 10.17 K/9, 2.67 BB/9, 3.57 FIP

    Both Beavan and Furbush have better overall numbers than Zito this year, as starters, in the American League. Furthermore, their xFIPs are just as good or better, so I don’t think you can expect Zito to outpitch them going forward either.

    Look, I’m all for pitching depth, and I’d rather have Zito as our sixth or seventh starter than Chris Seddon or Anthony Vasquez. Plus, ridding ourselves of Figlet is its own glorious reward. Still, overall I’d prefer the younger guys in the rotation for the future.

  21. Breadbaker on September 15th, 2011 7:31 pm

    Of course, we do play the Giants next season . . . .

  22. heychuck01 on September 15th, 2011 7:33 pm

    Will never happen, makes too much sense.

  23. dantheman on September 15th, 2011 7:33 pm

    “The only problem is there will be the short minded fans that liked the Silva Bradley trade, then when Milton went even crazier, it was a stupid move.”

    No, there were plenty of fans who thought it was a stupid move from the start. By the way, how is that new GM working out? Three years in and the Mariners are about 1 1/2 to 2 games better than the two worst teams in the AL and have a better record than only Houston in the NL.

    Interesting fact: Bavasi’s Mariners in first 3 years were 210-276 (.432). Z’s Mariners in first 3 years (projecting same win percentage – .416 – for rest of this season, which is highly unlikely given the schedule): 213-273 (.438). A THREE game improvement over THREE YEARS. This will be our 6th last place finish in 8 years. Which raises the obvious question: Is anyone accountable?

    By the way, Bavasi’s Mariners won 88 games in his fourth year.

  24. dantheman on September 15th, 2011 7:43 pm

    One more interesting fact: In their previous 27 year team history before 2004, the expansion Seattle Mariners finished in last place a total of 6 times. It’s taken them only 8 years since 2004 to match that record.

  25. firova2 on September 15th, 2011 7:59 pm

    Dan, there is a difference between finishing last in a seven team division and last in a four team one. On the gm, read Churchill at pi and see what you think.

  26. KiWiNiNjA on September 15th, 2011 8:12 pm

    Dantheman, seriously?

    Bavasi inherited a winning team and traded away the farm. Z inherited Bavasi’s mistakes and depleted farm system and is making significant progress.

  27. gerrythek on September 15th, 2011 8:44 pm

    Saw an article today on Yahoo sports concerning teams with declining attendance from 2001 to 2010. The Mariners had the third larget drop in attendance for ALL TEAMS IN ALL SPORTS. The M’s attendance dropped over 40% in that time period.

    This has got to be affecting the value of this franchise. Even ownership as clueless as ours has got to realize they need to add salary now before its too late.

  28. Breadbaker on September 15th, 2011 9:00 pm

    <blockquoteEven ownership as clueless as ours has got to realize they need to add salary talent now before its too late.>

    /fixed

  29. Marinerjeff on September 15th, 2011 9:02 pm

    Sorry dantheman, but you need to work on your logic. In the 7-team AL West they never placed better than 4th and they never had a winning season until 1991. I think within a couple more years we’ll see that the draft picks of Jack Z have fared a lot better than most of Bavasi’s draft picks.

  30. dantheman on September 15th, 2011 9:37 pm

    “I think within a couple more years we’ll see that the draft picks of Jack Z have fared a lot better than most of Bavasi’s draft picks.”

    Wait ’til next year!! The facts are that as of right now, Z is no better than Bavasi after his first three years.

  31. dantheman on September 15th, 2011 9:45 pm

    “Bavasi inherited a winning team and traded away the farm. Z inherited Bavasi’s mistakes and depleted farm system and is making significant progress.”

    That overlooks the fact that Bavasi inherited a VERY OLD winning team that needed to be re-tooled. Look at the average age of the team after the 2003 season (around 32 for position players and 30 for pitchers).

    Bavasi inherited such greats as Jeff Cirillo, a 34 year old Dan Wilson, a 34 year old John Olerud, and a starting rotation that included Franklin, Meche and Piniero (fan favorites all).

    You can make excuses but exactly how many years before you start to wonder why Z is no better than Bavasi?

  32. UnderTheClouds on September 15th, 2011 9:46 pm

    “The Panda” and the “The Giraffe.” I wonder what cute animal mascot Giants fans would pick for Figgins. Quite a scene, watching a Giants game and seeing half the park with panda hats on.

    http://www.ktre.com/story/15362009/animal-park-names-baby-giraffe-after-brandon-belt

    http://www.fancifulgift.com/eshop/deluxe-panda-hat-p-216.html

    I don’t see how Figgins would get playing time in the infield, I think he’d have to play LF. 3rd or 1st bases are covered by players under contract, and 2nd base is manned by Keppinger, who’s hitting .287 right now. He’s arbitration eligible in 2012 (FA eligible in 2013), so I’m guessing he stays at least through the end of next year. The outfield has been a problem for the Giants offensively, so maybe they’d be willing to give it a shot. If nothing else, a straight-up Zito for Figgins trade could give them more cash to use in FA to get some real outfield offense.

  33. Westside guy on September 15th, 2011 9:49 pm

    Guys, please don’t feed the troll.

  34. dantheman on September 15th, 2011 9:50 pm

    “Saw an article today on Yahoo sports concerning teams with declining attendance from 2001 to 2010. The Mariners had the third larget drop in attendance for ALL TEAMS IN ALL SPORTS. The M’s attendance dropped over 40% in that time period.”

    This is key and has the potential to be disastrous for the franchise (thanks Chuck and Howard!). Less revenue means less payroll means fewer wins means fewer fans means less revenue…..

    Look at the sad attendance figures for the Yankees games this week. I think Kansas City playing last place Minnesota outdrew the Mariners against the Yankees the other night. This has the potential to produce many years of bad teams.

  35. UnderTheClouds on September 15th, 2011 10:13 pm

    I was shocked the M’s only got low 20′s in attendance for 2 of the 3 games of the Yankees series, including Felix’s start. The other game had 18K. Yankees and Red Sox games used to routinely sell out. I guess even the bandwagon Yankees fans have had enough.

    The talk of possibly adding Zito to the rotation doesn’t fill me with hope that this team is going to be competitive next year. I think realistically it’ll be 2013 or later before this team starts to climb toward respectability.

  36. Breadbaker on September 15th, 2011 10:34 pm

    Mid-week meaningless games after school started and the weather turned: not too surprising.

  37. UnderTheClouds on September 15th, 2011 10:53 pm

    I’d agree, except it’s the Yankees. Even the Red Sox series in August didn’t sell out. If I remember correctly, they averaged around 36k each game (maybe they had 1 game over 40k). Great for this year, but nowhere near the 45k sell-outs they used to get.

    Even worse are the non-bandwagon fan games. The Royals series had about 13-16k each game. That’s Oakland Coliseum level attendance. One of the premises of building Safeco Field was that the revenue and amenities of the ballpark would allow the team to be competitive consistently and prevent such dismal attendance numbers.

    I’m not going to pile on Jack Z or anyone else for the mess he walked into, but you don’t have to be a troll to be dismayed by what’s happening to this franchise. Even worse, I think, is the prospect that things won’t improve for a few more years. I shudder to think what attendance will look like at the end of 2012 if there’s another 90+ loss season. Building for the future is great, but this team needs to look at improving NOW, this offseason, to staunch the exodus of fans, many of whom already won’t be coming back.

  38. The_Waco_Kid on September 16th, 2011 12:11 am

    I sort of agree with Westie, but I will say this this: M’s fans are frustrated, with good reason, but when has the team ever had this much young talent?

  39. tmac9311 on September 16th, 2011 7:04 am

    I wouldn’t even mind picking up like 2M a year for Zito just to sweeten the deal for the Giants if we have too. The upside isn’t huge, but I think Z has built a team that can make most pitchers look good. Taking a flyer on a former ace with this defense is at least exciting to see if he has a higher ceiling than we all think.

  40. Pete Livengood on September 16th, 2011 9:07 am

    I do not like this deal UNLESS the Giants eat the vast bulk of the difference in salary (say, all but $500K to $1M or so – whatever kind of flier salary somebody might offer Zito in 2013). Other than that, being rid of a problem after one more year is more valuable to me than saddling ourselves with a problem for two years. I like the baseball thinking behind why you might target Zito, but…methinks he is probably done.

    Good to see you back posting, Dave. I hope the latest round wasn’t too difficult. Sorry to have missed you in NC. Things went pretty well for us.

  41. furlong on September 16th, 2011 9:17 am

    Barry Zito of 2011 is not the Barry of the A’s a few years ago. Since no body in their right mind would make a legit. offer for Figgy just dump him, it’s called addition by subtraction.

  42. Chris_From_Bothell on September 16th, 2011 9:30 am

    dantheman: Firova’s comment above might be a little bit obscure unless you frequent specific blogs (I initially thought he meant over at the Seattle PI…).

    Here’s the article on Zduriencik that he’s on about. Go give it a read with an open mind. The short version is that Toronto and Texas are two recent examples of clubs where the GM needed 3 to 4 years before turning a club around – and in Texas’ case that turnaround led to a World Series appearance.

    All that said, I think Z is going to have to have one hell of a winter in order to right the ship. There have to be upgrades to the offense in at least 2 positions – pick your fave from LF, CF, 3b, DH, even C if you can pull off a miracle in trade) – and they have to go get a MOTR starter to backfill what they lost from trading Fister. Anything less than those 3 things, and this team won’t contend for another couple years at least.

  43. Chris_From_Bothell on September 16th, 2011 9:33 am

    Dan, there is a difference between finishing last in a seven team division and last in a four team one.

    Not when the way they finished last was to lose 100+ games.

  44. NiceThrowLupus on September 16th, 2011 9:53 am

    How about instead we all pony up to bribe a clubhouse attendant to slip some HGH into Chone’s pre or postgame meal and get him suspended so we don’t have to pay his contract? And if he doesn’t get caught he will immediately be better! WIN-WIN

  45. halibuthank on September 16th, 2011 10:38 am

    Make this happen! Now! Wait not a minute longer! Figgins is a sinkhole and Zito would be a shiny new, as-not-yet-determined to be a sinkhole!

    Win-WIn!

    Combine their names and it’s pretty fun:
    Charry Ziggins.

    Or

    Bhone Fito.

    Do this, Jack.

  46. braveplum on September 16th, 2011 1:16 pm

    Why not send him to AAA to start the season and see if he can resurrect himself like Brandon Inge has?

  47. Badbadger on September 16th, 2011 1:43 pm

    Blegh.

    I’m against it for reasons which are probably more emotional than rational. I’d rather see Furbush than Zito because he’s still nearly young and might suprise us, while Zito seems pretty low-ceiling. Even if we exchange salary for salary, I think it will take some time before the M’s would be willing to give up on him due to the money he is being paid, and we’re already to the point where they’ve given up on Figgins.

    I guess I mostly just hate to talk about adding a replacement level player while we wind up another miserable year. At least give me a chance to dream big before punting.

  48. heychuck01 on September 16th, 2011 1:49 pm

    You can’t just send MLB vets to AAA. He would refuse and become a free agent, and Seattle would still hold the tab.

  49. goat on September 16th, 2011 2:13 pm

    Like many have said, I’d agree if the Giants covered the difference in salary. I don’t know if I’d even want to cover $2M per year of it.

    Even if there is potential for both Furbush and Beavan to become reliable starting pitchers, I don’t think most people would be comfortable going into next year with the current rotation. And I don’t think a deal like this has to hurt their development any either.

  50. just a fan on September 16th, 2011 2:30 pm

    I like this idea. It’s either something like this, or release the guy.

    Zito could be a good rotation filler until Hultzen or Paxton needs to be replaced. The counter to that is that Furbush might be a better rotation filler. Also, the extra innings in the rotation could help Furbush improve for an eventual relief role.

    The idea that Furbush may be better suited long-term in the bullpen does not necessarily mean that starting the first half of next season isn’t the best thing for his development.

  51. just a fan on September 16th, 2011 2:32 pm

    Let’s just trade Figgins for Miguel Batista.

  52. TomTuttle on September 16th, 2011 2:46 pm

    I would approve of this trade.

    It would be exactly like our last garbage for garbage trade (Silva for Board Game) except the return player wouldn’t be batsh** crazy…

  53. marc w on September 16th, 2011 2:55 pm

    Oh god no.

    nooooooo. no no no.

  54. Badbadger on September 16th, 2011 3:12 pm

    Bleg.

    I’m against it for emotional reasons. At least give me a chance to dream before we start aquiring washed-up replacement level players and writing them in as our #4 starter.

  55. Jethawkhorizon on September 16th, 2011 4:00 pm

    If the Giants eat most of the difference, I’m all for this move.

    The only reason Figgins shouldn’t be outright released however is only because I don’t want him returning to a team like the Angels and punishing the Mariners for years to come.

    If he’s traded, it should be to an NL team.

  56. terry on September 16th, 2011 6:18 pm

    Figgins for Dunn.

  57. dantheman on September 16th, 2011 7:34 pm

    “Here’s the article on Zduriencik that he’s on about. Go give it a read with an open mind. The short version is that Toronto and Texas are two recent examples of clubs where the GM needed 3 to 4 years before turning a club around – and in Texas’ case that turnaround led to a World Series appearance.”

    Chris – In some respects the article provides hope but in other ways it is not encouraging. Almost all of the examples of other GMs indicate a greater number of wins in the same period of time that Jack Z has been GM. I still have a hard time getting around his numbers which are virtually identical to Bavasi’s over his first 3 years and very likely to be worse than Bavasi’s after year number 4. No matter what strategy is employed, the bottom line is: Wins.

    Second, the idea of building the franchise through player development is a great strategy….when it works. But there is no guarantee of success as Kansas City and Pittsburgh and many other teams over the years have shown. Many people here like to get excited about all of the great minor league talent acquired but I think you have to have the long perspective and realize that so few actually pan out. For example, some people were clamoring for Saunders to be brought up. He was and you don’t hear much excitement about him anymore. So the jury is out. If we look at the record so far, we see a won-loss record almost identical to Bavasi’s and a tremendously falling fan base, as reflected in the attendance figures. It should make people nervous.

  58. dantheman on September 16th, 2011 7:40 pm

    Lastly, I’m nervous that the Mariners’ current youth program is just another chapter in Howard and Chuck’s “Talk Big and Spend Little” program. Remember, Chuck learned the “business” under George Argyros (some of us were here). All talk and no money.

  59. Badbadger on September 17th, 2011 9:57 am

    Second, the idea of building the franchise through player development is a great strategy….when it works. But there is no guarantee of success as Kansas City and Pittsburgh and many other teams over the years have shown.

    There isn’t any method that guarantees success. Other than building through player development, the only other real option is to spend money like the Yankees, and even that doesn’t always work very well. In both cases you have to get the right players.

  60. Cole on September 17th, 2011 12:39 pm

    Second, the idea of building the franchise through player development is a great strategy….when it works. But there is no guarantee of success as Kansas City and Pittsburgh and many other teams over the years have shown.

    Not only is player development is important, but player retainment is as well. And you must remember when citing the Pirates as a team that focuses on player development, they drafted Brian Bullington number one in 2002. Now every team makes a bad pick now and then but they picked him number one so they could save some money. Bottom line, you can’t be cheap in MLB and expect sustained success.

    Jack just needs a little more time, he has an excellent track record of drafting players. In the next 1-2 years we should start seeing those Jack Z players start to contribute.

  61. dantheman on September 17th, 2011 3:32 pm

    “Other than building through player development, the only other real option is to spend money like the Yankees, and even that doesn’t always work very well.”

    I think there is some middle ground that includes both player development and intelligent acquisitions. The Mariners seem increasingly less willing to spend money on the latter, not that they have ever spent a lot in the free agent market. Aside from Chone Figgins. And Carlos Silva (whose former team reportedly thought it was hilarious what we agreed to pay him). And Richie Sexson. Please note I said “intelligent acquisitions”.

  62. PositivePaul on September 20th, 2011 3:40 pm

    Sweet! I suggested this in March… I’d be all over that trade.

  63. FelixFanChris420 on September 22nd, 2011 7:09 pm

    What about the same idea but with Carlos Zambrano? He might still be able to be effective, and I think the moneys about even (though zambrano’s money is due in 1 season)

  64. FelixFanChris420 on September 22nd, 2011 7:10 pm

    Also, it might make sense for the cubs in that ramirez is opting out and they don’t seem to have a true lead off man

  65. joser on September 22nd, 2011 11:43 pm

    Well, if we’re going to throw out names of albatross contracts to swap, I believe the White Sox have a DH who is Chone-ing up the place….

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