The Easiest Move Of The Winter

Dave · October 24, 2011 at 10:34 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Sign Jamie Moyer.

“It would be pretty easy negotiation. All I want it the opportunity to come to spring training with the chance to compete for a starting job. I want to pitch. I wouldn’t go to a team I didn’t have a chance to make.”

The Mariners finished the season by giving Anthony Vazquez the ball every sixth day. In terms of upper level pitching depth, they have a guy who has never pitched in the minor leagues and a guy who spent most of last year in low-A ball. The guy penciled in as their current #4 starter struck out just 10.4% of the batters he faced last year.

The Mariners have a massive, glaring hole at the back-end of their rotation. Danny Hultzen and James Paxton might be able to help at some point next year, but you certainly don’t want to come to camp needing them to make the team. The organization needs arms who can hold down the fort until the kids are ready, and won’t cost much to serve as placeholders until they’re ready.

All Moyer wants is a minor league contract with an invite to spring training and a chance to make a big league club. Yes, he’s 49 and he throws a fastball that averages 81 MPH, but Moyer has never stopped being a decent Major League pitcher. In 2010, his K/BB ratio was 3.15 – Felix Hernandez’s career mark is 2.98. He’s not anything close to a savior, but when he’s healthy, he’s still a viable starting picher, and Safeco Field would mask his one significant flaw – giving up the long ball.

He still lives in Seattle. He wants to pitch in the Major Leagues next year. The Mariners need pitching depth.

This should be the most obvious transaction of the winter. Sign Jamie Moyer.

Comments

75 Responses to “The Easiest Move Of The Winter”

  1. Ibuprofen on October 24th, 2011 10:50 am

    Yes. Easy signing, no risk move, fans love him. This makes perfect sense.

  2. raul_podzednick on October 24th, 2011 10:52 am

    Sounds good to me.

    Get him to develop a knuckleball and he can pitch until he is sixty.

    Plus he is another pitching coach even if he ends up being a long reliever

  3. ivan on October 24th, 2011 11:02 am

    If they can run Vasquez out there, they certainly can’t do worse with Moyer.

  4. The Ancient Mariner on October 24th, 2011 11:16 am

    That would be marvelous. A beloved player from the glory days who could actually help would make a very pleasant change — and heaven knows we need the depth.

  5. AssumedName on October 24th, 2011 11:23 am

    Agreed. Make it happen, Jack.

  6. robbbbbb on October 24th, 2011 11:26 am

    From your lips to God’s ears. Amen.

  7. Paul B on October 24th, 2011 11:37 am

    Minor league contract, then if healthy a one year incentive laden contract, would be low risk and agree could fill a hole at the back of the rotation.

    Moyer might be a good role model or tutor for some of the young pitchers, too. I don’t ever recommend that should be the main reason for signing a player (teaching is why they hire coaches) but might work out nice.

  8. CMC_Stags on October 24th, 2011 11:52 am

    Completely agree on signing Moyer to a minor league deal.

    When thinking about the M’s starting pitching and bringing players back, what are your thoughts on Bedard? Will he be too expensive or can the M’s afford him?

    I can see a scenario where the M’s trade Vargas for help in the field (if he has any value above his arbitration award) and get Bedard for his spot in the rotation. Fister’s success with Detroit should help the M’s with telling other teams that it’s not just our defense and home field that makes the pitchers look good.

  9. Steve Nelson on October 24th, 2011 11:59 am

    I have been advocating this for the last several months. To me it seems like a no-brainer.

  10. KaminaAyato on October 24th, 2011 12:02 pm

    I couldn’t find a way to analyze picking up Moyer, but you writing about this at least confirms that it was at least worth mentioning in my FA article. Whee! Perhaps I know something instead of nothing after all!

  11. MangoLiger on October 24th, 2011 12:20 pm

    This is Griffey Part II.

  12. nwade on October 24th, 2011 12:38 pm

    Mango – If Moyer’s arm is healthy, this is *way* better than Griffey Part 2.

    And I know I’m putting the cart before the horse, but can you imagine a 3-game series where opponents see Felix on night #1, Moyer in game #2, and Pineda (if he doesn’t get traded) in game #3?

    I started out hating Bedard but grew to like him in the incentive-laden contract at the end; would love to see a similar path for Moyer. A semi-effective curtain-call season 25 years after breaking into the bigs? A chance to mentor some of the young guys (even if just informally)? A possible segue into being a pitching-coach for the M’s organization in the future? So many possibilities… And if the guy blows out his arm, hell at least he does it at home where we can stand up, give him an O, and not be out a ton of dough.

  13. everett on October 24th, 2011 12:49 pm

    Additionally, everything I’ve ever heard about Moyer has him as an extremely high character guy. Highly unlikely to have the same types of problems as Griffey had, plus, he’ll start on a minor league deal, so what’s the risk?

  14. dingla on October 24th, 2011 1:00 pm

    This is unbelievable :D

  15. TumwaterMike on October 24th, 2011 1:06 pm

    I like it. Moyer is always a smart pitcher and you can’t take that away from him. If not a starter then he may still be able to help in a bullpen spot starter role. Pitching is all about feel, control and brains. If he still has it he will help.

  16. Westside guy on October 24th, 2011 1:21 pm

    Seems like sheer genius from a marketing standpoint as well.

  17. eponymous coward on October 24th, 2011 1:22 pm

    This is Griffey Part II.

    Except for the part where you only have to give Moyer a spring training invite, as opposed to a guaranteed contract.

    So, basically, no, it’s not.

  18. Chris_From_Bothell on October 24th, 2011 1:45 pm

    Oooh la la! He’s definitely an exception to the “no blue light special shopping” wish for this offseason.

    Cheap, known quantity, high character guy, fan favorite, skillset that ages well, veteran presence among a likely young and shifting pitching staff, hardly would be stealing a 40-man or 25-man roster spot from anyone.

    I’d be behind this. Convert King’s Court to Section 50 for a day and let’s do this thing…

  19. nwade on October 24th, 2011 2:21 pm

    “Section 50″… I love it! But is that for his age or his velocity?? ;-) Alternatively, because he’s left-handed, you could do it with Section 112 (opposite King’s Court) and call it “Changeup Corner”! (‘cuz “Moyer’s Foyer” just doesn’t have the same ring)

  20. Valenica on October 24th, 2011 2:47 pm

    He could be a decent back-up if Beavan or Furbush fail to impress. If he wants to start he’s better off somewhere else though (like Houston *cough*), but he might like coming back home.

  21. The_Waco_Kid on October 24th, 2011 3:23 pm

    As far as the Griffey comparison, I have no regrets about Griffey 09. Griffey 2010 is different. Regardless, giving Griffey the DH spot is not the same as giving Moyer the 5th starter slot. He wouldn’t really block anyone. He can always ease back to long relief if we wanna bring someone up.

    Cheap. Wants to play here. Fan favorite. He might actually be good and if not, he’d be easy to cut. There’s no reason not to. I really hope we invite him and he makes the team.

  22. ripperlv on October 24th, 2011 3:44 pm

    I was thinking about Moyer last night. He brings a career xFIP of 4.65. Vargas 4.77. Washburn 4.86. Wakefield 4.77.
    Why not? Well, if he were to get cut in say July, might make things a little sticky unless handled carefully. Did anyone get the feeling Boston was running Wakefield out there just to get #200. I don’t either, but it’s sad when you have to depend on a knuckleballer having a bad year. Almost like throwing Vazquez out there every six days.

    And then there is shades of Gaylord Perry – After being released by the Braves, Perry was unable to find interest from any clubs, and missed his first spring training in 23 years. He eventually signed with the Seattle Mariners, where he acquired the nickname “Ancient Mariner”, and won his 300th game on May 6, 1982. After starting the 1983 season 3–10, Perry was designated for assignment (sic).

    I have always been a Moyer fan. I just hope the Mariners stick to their rebuilding plan and don’t let this (no brainer) be a distraction. But I say no to Raul Ibanez.

  23. TumwaterMike on October 24th, 2011 4:06 pm

    Moyer! Moyer! Moyyyyyeeeeer!

  24. Jordan on October 24th, 2011 4:20 pm

    I fail to see the downside as long as it’s just a spring invite and incentive-laden when he makes the club.

  25. spankystout on October 24th, 2011 5:03 pm

    I would love to see Moyer pitch in an M’s uniform again.

  26. MangoLiger on October 24th, 2011 5:11 pm

    This team used to be good. Now it is bad. You don’t get back to being good by re-signing all the players that were on your good team 10-15 years ago.

    This is a rebuilding team. The way to get better is to accumulate and develop young talent. Go ahead and bring on the swan song veterans once the team is mostly built and just a few pieces away, not now.

  27. nwade on October 24th, 2011 5:18 pm

    Mango – I’d totally agree with you if we had a full rotation or we had some guys we knew were ready to start in the bigs… But we don’t. Beavan, Furbush, Vasquez – are those really guys you’d pick over Moyer? Did they really look like they were blossoming in the bigs and ready to become above-average pitchers? This is not a situation where bringing in a veteran stops us from developing young talent. We have some starting pitching talent coming up right now, but none appear to be “ready” for The Show next year. 1 additional season in AA or AAA is likely to be more of a help than a hindrance for those devleoping guys and for the guys we toyed with at the end of this year. And unless Moyer’s pitching lights-out after the All-Star break next year we can always shift him to the ‘pen or release him and give those young pitchers a cup of coffee late in the season. Moyer has proven many times that he’s the exception to the rule when it comes to player aging, and its hard to imagine a scenario where signing him to an incentive-laden contract hurts the club.

  28. spankystout on October 24th, 2011 5:27 pm

    Mango: Moyer is just another cheap servicable arm to throw in the mix. You don’t need to assume Jack Z would sign “all the players” from “10-15 years ago.” The article was about ONE player–please keep things in perspective.

  29. Valenica on October 24th, 2011 5:37 pm

    Actually I would pick Beavan and Furbush over Moyer because they have higher upside with similar floors…still you never know, someone might blow out an arm, lose all control, lose mph, etc. If he’s willing to sign here for ST that would be great but he shouldn’t be a primary candidate to steal the #5 spot. He hasn’t pitched since 2010 after all.

  30. Jethawkhorizon on October 24th, 2011 5:45 pm

    I don’t see how bringing Moyer back would help the team win any more games or build for the future. If a player doesn’t contribute to either of those things, the Mariners shouldn’t be interested.

    Moyer would simply be yet another ploy used by the FO to sell more tickets and diminish winning baseball.

    A 50 year old Moyer wouldn’t pitch any better than Beavan or Furbush, and even at that there there are better options for a 5th starter on the market.

    This team needs to get younger and build for the future, not bring back 50 year old has-beens who don’t advance the team further toward a World Series.

    Wouldn’t be a terrible move, but it also wouldn’t be a beneficial one.

    Use the 5th spot in the rotation to test young pitchers, even if they don’t seem like much right now.

  31. nwade on October 24th, 2011 6:02 pm

    Seriously, people are comparing Moyer to Furbush and Beavan? Have you looked at the statistics, or even read what ripperlv stated above about Moyer’s xFIP? Did you ever watch Moyer pitch?

    Look, I didn’t like either Griffey signing (even though it worked out OK in 2009); and I certainly have hated how much the Marketing team hangs on to the two good years this franchise had. But can people not see how different of a situation this is? We’re not talking about a Griffey contract (or a Sexson contract, or a Silva contract, or a Figgins contract). We’re talking about a short-term no-risk minor-league deal that lets us get a potentially-great player for the same price as a scrub! If Moyer sucks, we either don’t sign him beyond ST or we release him and we’re done. No need to keep him in the clubhouse (to placate the fans like with Griffey), no need to try to extract value from his contract or swap his contract with another “bad player” contract. This is as close to a zero-commitment move as you can possibly get, and yet it comes with a free lotto ticket that might win you a legit above-average major-league starter. How can you lose?

    Let me put this another way: If you don’t sign Moyer, you’re going to have to do something to fill in Starting Pitching. We have holes there. What did you see that makes you confident that your chances are better with Furbush or Beavan? Don’t just tell me they’re younger – give me evidence that they’re a stronger bet than Moyer. Or, what if we get a great opportunity to move Pineda this off-season for a valuable player or lots of talent? Do you bring back Vasquez? Take a huge chance of Hultzen-Paxton-etc?

    One more way to look at this: Why not keep Beavan, Furbush, etc in the minors and ready to step up if they have to – but still in a developmental environment? Is an MLB clubhouse really the best place to develop talent, or is it better to give them minor-league surroundings with minor-league coaching (who are arguably better for developing players than the coaches you find at the MLB level), and -last but not least – minor league salaries?

  32. Valenica on October 24th, 2011 7:19 pm

    Seriously, people are comparing Moyer to Furbush and Beavan? Have you looked at the statistics, or even read what ripperlv stated above about Moyer’s xFIP? Did you ever watch Moyer pitch?

    Furbush: xFIP: 4.25, K/9: 7.07 BB/9: 3.16
    Beavan: xFIP: 4.45 K/9: 3.91 BB/9: 1.39
    Moyer (career): xFIP: 4.65 K/9: 5.38 BB/9: 2.55

    Let’s keep in mind Furbush and Beavan will likely improve, Moyer will likely be worse

    Look, I didn’t like either Griffey signing (even though it worked out OK in 2009); and I certainly have hated how much the Marketing team hangs on to the two good years this franchise had. But can people not see how different of a situation this is? We’re not talking about a Griffey contract (or a Sexson contract, or a Silva contract, or a Figgins contract). We’re talking about a short-term no-risk minor-league deal that lets us get a potentially-great player for the same price as a scrub! If Moyer sucks, we either don’t sign him beyond ST or we release him and we’re done. No need to keep him in the clubhouse (to placate the fans like with Griffey), no need to try to extract value from his contract or swap his contract with another “bad player” contract. This is as close to a zero-commitment move as you can possibly get, and yet it comes with a free lotto ticket that might win you a legit above-average major-league starter. How can you lose?

    1. He’s not potentially great
    2. He’s been above average twice since 2004, last time was 2008.
    3. We lose ST time on a pitcher who’s not an upgrade over trying out a pitcher who could be an upgrade.

    Let me put this another way: If you don’t sign Moyer, you’re going to have to do something to fill in Starting Pitching. We have holes there. What did you see that makes you confident that your chances are better with Furbush or Beavan? Don’t just tell me they’re younger – give me evidence that they’re a stronger bet than Moyer. Or, what if we get a great opportunity to move Pineda this off-season for a valuable player or lots of talent? Do you bring back Vasquez? Take a huge chance of Hultzen-Paxton-etc?

    Furbush has good AA/AAA numbers, Beavan is a younger Jamie Moyer who could pitch more IP in a season (Moyer, 19G 111 IP 2009, 30G 162IP 2010). And if we move Pineda in the off-season we need to find a pitcher that’s better than Moyer.

    One more way to look at this: Why not keep Beavan, Furbush, etc in the minors and ready to step up if they have to – but still in a developmental environment? Is an MLB clubhouse really the best place to develop talent, or is it better to give them minor-league surroundings with minor-league coaching (who are arguably better for developing players than the coaches you find at the MLB level), and -last but not least – minor league salaries?

    They’ve already pitched 100+ IP in AAA, they won’t develop in the minors anymore. They need to be in the MLB. Yes, the MLB is the best place to develop talent that’s done with the AAA. More time in the minors doesn’t foster talent, otherwise why not just keep Pineda/Paxton/Hultzen in the minors until our MLB team is ready to contend?

    Jamie Moyer is a replacement level pitcher with average level upside. We have 2 guys like that, with better upside. We could use a 3rd to hedge our bets but he’s not better than Furbush/Beavan, not by a long shot.

  33. nwade on October 24th, 2011 7:37 pm

    Valencia – Thank you. Well-written and well-argued points! I am still wondering what the harm is in giving him a try; but you definitely have put out a very convincing counter-argument.

  34. kmsandrbs on October 24th, 2011 7:41 pm

    I would be all for it, but I admit to being one of those for whom Moyer is a fan favorite. Honestly, I’d be hopeful that he does well enough to take a slot in the rotation for a year or so, doing decently, and, when it is clear he is not decent, bowing out of playing and moving into coaching.

  35. adamsymonds on October 24th, 2011 7:56 pm

    A thousand times, yes. He would also be a great mentor for the young starters.

  36. gag harbor on October 24th, 2011 8:01 pm

    It’s way better than “Griffey part II”. Moyer is still competitive.

  37. lalo on October 24th, 2011 9:22 pm

    Yes!!! I love the idea, Moyer would be a great mentor for the kids, and he is a great clubhouse guy, make it happen Jack!!! Please!

  38. Dave on October 24th, 2011 9:22 pm

    Repeating last week’s headline:

    It’s not either/or.

    It isn’t Furbush or Moyer. It’s Furbush or Furbush AND Moyer. You can have both. You can have depth. You don’t have to rely on one guy.

    This isn’t a hard concept.

  39. jjracoon on October 24th, 2011 9:49 pm

    I cant believe there is this argument over a player with next to zero down side.

    Where all these people are finding 25 MLB ready players to play for the Mariners next year thus eliminating Moyer as a possible option is beyond me. Far as I can see, we may have five guaranteed pitchers for next year (if there arent any trades): Felix, Pineda, Vargas, League, Wilhelmson
    with Rincon & Kelley probable. Everything else is up for who EARNS it. Wedge has laid down the law “come in ready to earn your slot”. He is not just going to give those slots to Beaven and/or Furbush because they have a probable good upside.
    If they cant beat out Moyer in ST, then maybe they shouldnt be on the MLB!!

  40. thurston24 on October 24th, 2011 10:33 pm

    Sign me up for more Moyer. Listen, the guy was a pretty good pitcher and is one of the smarter pitchers in the league. Even if he doesn’t end up pitching well, he would be a good mentor for the young pitchers and may be able to teach Pineda how to throw a half decent change, since that is his best pitch. He will be as cheap as they come and will only take up a roster spot if he can cut it.

  41. jjracoon on October 24th, 2011 10:44 pm

    Oops! I had a senior moment – Meant Ruffin not Rincon!!!!

  42. Riles on October 24th, 2011 10:45 pm

    This is a no-brainer for the Ms. Veteran player with high upside on a cheap contract and knows how to win? Would be a great move for Z.

    Edit: I didn’t realize that he was so close to 300 wins with a career record of 267-204. He really has a chance if he can stay healthy for a couple more years with a few average seasons.

  43. The_Waco_Kid on October 24th, 2011 10:52 pm

    Even if he looks okay, but Beavan and Furbush both look earn spots in the rotation, he can be a long reliver/spot starter. If he can still pitch, we can find a spot for him where he won’t mess up our rebuilding plan.

    This isn’t just a move to increase attendance, but frankly we better hope it has that effect.

  44. Jack Howland on October 24th, 2011 11:07 pm

    The Moyers no longer live in Seattle. They moved to Florida about a year ago. Their house is still on the market here though – in fact Cliff Lee was living there when he played for the Mariners.

  45. Valenica on October 24th, 2011 11:17 pm

    Would Moyer want to be a long reliever/spot starter though? He sounds like he’s looking for a starting job or retiring. And even if he was okay with that, do we have room on our 25-man for him if he’s not starting?

  46. ppl on October 25th, 2011 1:16 am

    Looks like a good move to me.

    He might still be good, and he allows the youth to develop for a year.

  47. Edgar4Hall on October 25th, 2011 8:00 am

    Remember, Dave is not advocating even a major league contract, just an NRI. Also, if we had room for Kennedy this past year, pretty sure we can add Moyer this year

  48. Badbadger on October 25th, 2011 9:55 am

    I agree with Valenica, I don’t see this as such a wonderful or obvious move. When we talk about his stats, we’re talking about a 49 year old who missed a year due arm surgery- that’s not likely to have made him better than he was in 2010.

    I get Dave’s point about it not being an either/or thing, but when you have two players for one spot you aren’t so much getting the best of the two but rather an average of the two because you can’t judge who’s best unless you give both players a legitimate shot. Because Moyer is a fan favorite they would be less likely to dump him immediately if he sucks. Last year Z came up with a pile of inexpensive pitchers, I don’t doubt he can find someone cheap with more upside than Moyer.

  49. gwangung on October 25th, 2011 10:10 am

    I agree with Valenica, I don’t see this as such a wonderful or obvious move.

    What part of non-roster invitee is NOT wonderful? Remember, with that, you can wait until after he starts performing before making a decision.

    If he sucks, you dump him.
    If he doesn’t…what’s the problem?

    Remember, you’re also judging for results, and not just upside. And you most probably will have to bring someone else in, and there are likely to be a slate of candidates in spring training.

    Folks are making decisions waaayyyyyy too soon.

  50. eponymous coward on October 25th, 2011 10:13 am

    I get Dave’s point about it not being an either/or thing, but when you have two players for one spot you aren’t so much getting the best of the two but rather an average of the two because you can’t judge who’s best unless you give both players a legitimate shot

    You’re assuming that Beavan and Furbush spend an entire year healthy and in the #4/#5 spots.

    Tell me, how often do you have the same 5 pitchers in the same rotation for an entire year? Not very. So why is it a bad idea to stockpile a cheap veteran arm with an NRI, especially when the guys behind our current guys are either:

    - a guy with 95 IP last year (Paxton), who didn’t make it above AA,
    - a guy with NO pro experience last year (Hultzen),
    - or a guy who spent September being pounded into the infield turf with his 80 MPH meatballs (Vazquez)?

    There really is no problem with having more than 6+ potential starting candidates going into 2012, between kids and fungible veterans. It also wouldn’t kill the M’s if Furbush was in the bullpen as a long guy/spot starter if Moyer was the guy who made the rotation out of a Moyer/Beavan/Furbush trio of candidates for 4/5.

    Last year Z came up with a pile of inexpensive pitchers, I don’t doubt he can find someone cheap with more upside than Moyer.

    Bedard wasn’t that inexpensive because of the performance incentives, Fister and Vargas were already under contract, and Pineda pitched in Tacoma in 2010, and pitched 140 innings, which puts him well ahead of Paxton in terms of what you could expect out of him (I doubt that Paxton throws more than 150 IP in 2012, and you saw how Pineda had to be restricted in 2011, and he pitched over 170 IP). Bedard probably doesn’t come back as cheap as he was last year, given his 2011 (and even if he did, I’d still argue you could use Moyer on an NRI, given Bedard’s history).

    There’s also the problem that there’s almost no way you’re going to get an impact bat, impact starter, help at 3B/OF/C (one of those being your impact bat), probably a bullpen guy, in the Mariner salary budget (assuming no cuts from 2010) without having to be creative somewhere. Giving Myer a shot at making the rotation for cheap helps with that.

    There is just no reason to give this a shot. Almost no downside, decent upside.

  51. gwangung on October 25th, 2011 10:24 am

    There really is no problem with having more than 6+ potential starting candidates going into 2012, between kids and fungible veterans.

    Actually, isn’t it the case that you SHOULD have 6+ potential starters? Because of injuries?

  52. 300ZXNA on October 25th, 2011 10:48 am

    After Bedard’s year, what will a contract to sign him look like? I know that it wouldn’t be as cheap as Moyer, but bring back both Moyer and Bedard could be a way to fill out the rotation again. Considering that Bedard was not very good in Boston, I could see the Sox not being in a hurry to bring him back.

  53. Badbadger on October 25th, 2011 10:54 am

    What part of non-roster invitee is NOT wonderful? Remember, with that, you can wait until after he starts performing before making a decision.

    The part where he’s a 49 year old coming off a year missed due to injury. I don’t actually care if they give him a NRI, but if they’re counting on him to do anything much I’ll be disappointed.

    You’re assuming that Beavan and Furbush spend an entire year healthy and in the #4/#5 spots.

    No, I’m assuming that Z will be able to come up with more useful options than Moyer, even on the cheap.

    Almost no downside, decent upside.

    I guess the part where I disagree is with “decent upside.”

  54. eponymous coward on October 25th, 2011 10:58 am

    No, I’m assuming that Z will be able to come up with more useful options than Moyer, even on the cheap.

    So, sure, let’s assume he can bring in more potential starters for cheap (though you’d think other GMs might have a clue too, considering how many teams roll out crappy 4/5s, but whatever). And that’s bad how? Again, this is not either/or. If he has more decent back end starters than you’d expect, great, Tacoma wins the PCL. Or maybe he trades Vargas in a package for a good 3B.

  55. Kazinski on October 25th, 2011 12:33 pm

    I think its a no-brainer, he’s holds the franchise record for victories with 145, if nothing else he can retire a Mariner and help coach the kids that hopefully will beat him out of a roster spot.

  56. gwangung on October 25th, 2011 1:08 pm

    The part where he’s a 49 year old coming off a year missed due to injury. I don’t actually care if they give him a NRI, but if they’re counting on him to do anything much I’ll be disappointed.

    Ahem.

    NRI.

    Multiple options for starting pitching. (And I mean having six or more options–having just five leaves you vulnerable when injuries hit)

    Put two and two together and they’re certainly not COUNTING on him for anything.

    Think it through.

    No, I’m assuming that Z will be able to come up with more useful options than Moyer, even on the cheap.

    Yes? And?

    NRI.

    Multiple options for five slots.

    Put two and two together.

  57. The_Waco_Kid on October 25th, 2011 1:37 pm

    If skeptics are just saying, “Don’t get your hopes up,” fine, we get it. Moyer might suck. And if he makes the team but then sucks? Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. Cutting a 50 year-old Moyer should be easier than cutting a 40 year-old who many considered the very best player we ever had. I think Z can handle it.

  58. Jethawkhorizon on October 25th, 2011 1:54 pm

    “If he sucks, you dump him.
    If he doesn’t…what’s the problem?”

    Somehow I have a feeling that the FO would grant him a spot on the roster regardless just to get more fans in the seats.

    It’ll be 2010 Griffey all over again, and the Mariners would be better to not go down that road.

    Moyer left the Mariners in good spirit. It would be best to leave it that way.

  59. eponymous coward on October 25th, 2011 2:06 pm

    Somehow I have a feeling that the FO would grant him a spot on the roster regardless just to get more fans in the seats.

    As opposed to putting a better player on the roster who helps you win games?

    Here’s a news flash: the Mariners aren’t going to get fans in the seats again until they actually win games. And Moyer’s asking for an NRI. Again, non-roster invite. As in “not guaranteed to make the roster unless the team thinks he’d help”.

    It’ll be 2010 Griffey all over again

    Right, because a FREAKIN’ NRI is just the same as a guaranteed contract to someone who was known to have some pretty massive sulks.

  60. Jethawkhorizon on October 25th, 2011 2:31 pm

    I think the FO would simply use Moyer as a marketing gimmick to get more fans to the park (Moyer bobblehead night anyone?).

    He would get to play even if he’s can’t pitch well to save his life.

    The Mariners don’t need any more distractions like that.

    They should stick with the rebuilding plan and get try to get younger every year.

    As a couch, I have no issues with Moyer. But as a player, he would be little more than a distraction that would take time away from younger players who could have a future.

  61. rsrobinson on October 25th, 2011 2:44 pm

    Providing it’s a minor league contract I’m ok with giving Moyer a shot in spring training to earn a spot in the rotation. The operative word there is “earn.” I don’t want to see him given a roster spot primarily to be a mentor to the younger pitchers. If that’s going to be his role then hire him as a coach.

  62. nwade on October 25th, 2011 3:01 pm

    They should stick with the rebuilding plan and get try to get younger every year.

    What part of “its not either/or” do you not understand??? You don’t have to abandon the rebuilding plan in order to pursue this! That’s the whole *point* of the NRI! Hell, even if he makes the club out of ST (because he’s actually thrown good games) it doesn’t mean abandoning the plan! And your comment about getting younger is full of holes – look at some of the guys we had in the Outfield this year that were young, and SUCKED. You can be bad no matter your age or experience-level. The difference with Moyer is that we have a track-record to go on. The guy missed 2010 but has not been a major injury risk during most of his career and plenty of guys come back from TJ surgery and have pitched well (isn’t one of the WS starters a guy who had TJ surgery?) Lastly, no team has won the World Series with an entire roster of rookies. It takes a blend of talent, skill, and experience – “getting younger” is not the same thing as “getting better”. Moyer gives us a *chance* at getting better, and if he sucks he doesn’t cost us anything.

    Also, for those talking about Moyer “taking away” from another player’s time: A starting pitcher is on the mound every 5 days. This is a lot fewer games & innings than a position player (a la Griffey). And if he gets bumped to the bullpen, its still not a whole lot of games or innings; since he’d probably slot into long relief or a lefty-specialist role.

    Moyer has never shown any predilection towards histrionics or egoism like Griffey. And even though he’s beloved, he doesn’t have the same magical pull with the fans. Cutting him would be easier and go far more smoothly and Griffey. And don’t forget you’re dealing with Wedge, not Wak, as well as a more-experienced Jack Z. The Griffey thing had to have been awkward as Z was a johnny-come-lately and Griff was a living legend who had a really tight relationship with Z’s bosses. Now Z’s more entrenched in the organization and has a sterner Manager as well.

    One more time: I don’t see how taking a chance on Moyer hurts the M’s ability to play the kids or develop other talent.

  63. Dave on October 25th, 2011 3:03 pm

    If you think the team would sign Jamie Moyer in an attempt to sell more tickets, you’re:

    A) ignorant about how baseball teams in general – and the Mariners in specific – operate.

    B) hilariously overestimating Jamie Moyer’s appeal at the box office.

    Stop listening to sports radio and realize that the Mariners aren’t putting together a crappy product of popular players in an attempt to swindle you out of your money.

  64. Kazinski on October 25th, 2011 4:11 pm

    Dave, I like the idea, but could we sign Randy Johnson instead?

    And I would buy a ticket to see him pitch.

  65. Westside guy on October 25th, 2011 6:26 pm

    I’m surprised. One would think anyone who’d watched this team this past August and September would understand the folly of having exactly enough starters. You lose one – for ANY reason – and you end up running a guy like Vasquez out there repeatedly because you have no real options.

  66. msb on October 25th, 2011 8:01 pm

    I believe the Moyers are actually down around San Diego these days, as Dillon is at UC Irvine. For what it is worth, from Larry Stone today:

    Moyer, a free agent, is currently throwing two bullpen sessions a week (he’s up to 60 pitches) and is about ready to showcase his stuff for interested teams. Could he wind up back in Seattle, where his career — and the family’s community outreach — flourished?

    “He’s leaving all options open,” Karen [Moyer] said. “I know there’s probably mutual interest. As I always did, I’ll stay out of that.”

  67. wabbles on October 25th, 2011 9:34 pm

    Once upon a time (1993 or 94), Lou Piniella walked out to the mound and told Randy Johnson, “You can be a dominant pitcher or you can be a winning pitcher. Your choice.” And then walked back to the dugout. King Felix seems to have figured out things but I’ve always wondered what would happen if Moyer’s smarts about pitching could be combined with King Felix’s talent. And now we have Pineda and some others. Yeah, that’s what coaches are for, I get that. But he still could be a good influence on the kids and he’d STILL have to earn a spot out of spring training. Get it done, Jack.

  68. Westside guy on October 25th, 2011 10:33 pm

    Maybe Moyer could show Pineda how to effectively throw a changeup.

    Of course Moyer could throw a fastball and Pineda would probably think it was a changeup. :-D

  69. TheBird on October 26th, 2011 9:15 am

    I like this for another reason. Ichiro would feel like a kid again. :-)

  70. Badbadger on October 26th, 2011 12:13 pm

    So, sure, let’s assume he can bring in more potential starters for cheap (though you’d think other GMs might have a clue too, considering how many teams roll out crappy 4/5s, but whatever).

    Oh, they’ll be crappy, but hopefully less crappy than Moyer.

    And that’s bad how? Again, this is not either/or. If he has more decent back end starters than you’d expect, great, Tacoma wins the PCL. Or maybe he trades Vargas in a package for a good 3B.

    I think our disagreement is over whether or not Moyer is a decent back-end starter.

    2009, 162 innings, 0.4 WAR
    2010, 111 innings, 0.3 WAR
    2011, Arm surgery
    2012, Turns 49.

    If there’s a reason to expect Moyer to be better than 0 WAR in 2012, it’s not obvious to me and someone is going to need to point it out for me. I don’t see him as adding depth because replacement level players are by definition easy to aquire when you want one. And there isn’t no cost to aquiring Moyer, he’ll take up a spot on the 40 man roster, he’ll get some fraction of a million dollars, and there’s some chance that he’ll baffle some minor leaguers in spring training and then get hammered in a couple ML starts and lose those games for us, while I don’t see hardly any chance that he will surprise us and become valuable. If someone wants to explain to me why he might be good, I’d be glad to listen.

  71. eponymous coward on October 26th, 2011 1:04 pm

    Moyer doesn’t take up a spot on the 40 man roster until he makes the team.

    Also…

    Pitcher A, 2009-2010 xFIPs: 4.67, 4.30
    Pitcher B, 2009-2010 xFIPs: 4.60, 4.45

    Pitcher A is Moyer. Pitcher B is Vargas. There’s your arugment right there. I’m not saying Moyer = Vargas, more that when he was healthy, he pitched as well as Vargas did if you looked at independent pitching measures. His 2010 was hurt by a very poor strand rate. That makes sense, because Moyer’s not that different than Vargas: a flyball-prone LHP who lives on command and junkballing more than blowing fastballs past hitters, and Vargas, like Moyer, is helped out a lot with Safeco.

    Really, this is a very low-risk move, compared to, say, sending a few million to someone like Bedard or Rich Harden, who have much better raw stuff and arms made out of glass.

  72. Badbadger on October 26th, 2011 2:32 pm

    Pitcher A is Moyer. Pitcher B is Vargas. There’s your arugment right there. I’m not saying Moyer = Vargas, more that when he was healthy, he pitched as well as Vargas did if you looked at independent pitching measures. His 2010 was hurt by a very poor strand rate. That makes sense, because Moyer’s not that different than Vargas: a flyball-prone LHP who lives on command and junkballing more than blowing fastballs past hitters, and Vargas, like Moyer, is helped out a lot with Safeco.

    Eh. I suppose. Still, 49, arm surgery. I guess it just depresses me to be setting sights this low before the off-season even gets underway.

    Really, this is a very low-risk move, compared to, say, sending a few million to someone like Bedard or Rich Harden, who have much better raw stuff and arms made out of glass.

    Yeah, but there is a reason why Harden and Bedard will command a greater salary this year; they might be good. Moyer is very low risk, very low reward, and I don’t see that as a great fit for the M’s, who are going to need to get lucky with some guys if they’re going to do anything interesting next year.

    I don’t really see it as a big deal either way, you’re right that if he sucks they’ll just cut him. I just don’t see this as a step in the right direction.

  73. John D. on October 29th, 2011 9:43 am

    . He’s been above average twice since 2004, last time was 2008.

    In 2009 he was 12-10.

  74. Liam on October 29th, 2011 11:27 am

    Pitcher wins and losses aren’t a good measure of performance. You may remember Felix Hernandez winning the AL Cy Young Award with a 13-12 record.

  75. akampfer on October 30th, 2011 1:35 pm

    If all he wants is a chance to prove himself, why not? He’ll fill a hole they have now plus provide some veteran leadership to the younger players.

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