Miguel Olivo to Rejoin Mariners

Dave · May 24, 2012 at 9:17 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Per Mike Curto on Twitter, Miguel Olivo is not with the Rainiers for their game this morning, and Tacoma will be playing with just one rostered catcher. This means that Olivo’s rehab assignment is over, and he’ll be rejoining the Mariners before their game against the Angels tonight.

That also means that a roster move will need to be made to open a spot for him. As we talked about last week, there are essentially two options: the team can send Casper Wells down to Tacoma and let Alex Liddi take his place as the right-handed hitting part-time outfielder, or they can release Chone Figgins.

Sending Wells down won’t do the team much good. He’s 27 and he’s not going to improve much down in Triple-A, so there’s no real benefit to him to go back to the minors. Liddi’s a work in progress (at best) as an outfielder, and Wells is still the better option to play left field against left-handers, and despite his continuing struggles making contact, he has enough power to be a useful part-time player.

Wells isn’t anything special, but he’s a decent contributor who can help the team. Figgins is, well, not. The only reason he’s still here is his contract, and after a third attempt to try to justify the money he’s making, the reality is that he’s never going to amount to anything in Seattle. The organization isn’t actually gaining any benefit from paying him to sit on the bench, so they might as well use that roster spot to try and extract some value – they’re going to be paying Figgins the same amount regardless.

It’s the only logical move. They could justify sending Wells down, I guess, but by all rights, this should be the end of the Chone Figgins era in Seattle. It was a decent idea that flopped, and now its just time to move on. The M’s need a roster spot and Chone Figgins doesn’t deserve one. This should be the end of the road for him in Seattle.


25 Responses to “Miguel Olivo to Rejoin Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on May 24th, 2012 9:22 am

    I guess this will be a good indicator of how well Jack Z handles failure.

    I’m not saying this was his fault, since there was no way to see Figgins’ utter collapse coming – but it was a major move that failed spectacularly. And it was all his, unlike the Silva for Bradley bad contract swap.

  2. iHam on May 24th, 2012 9:31 am

    With apologies to Don McClean:

    “We should be singing:
    Bye-Bye to that Chone Figgins Guy
    We needed power hitting,
    All we got was pop-flys
    With Olivo coming back we’re a roster-spot shy
    so give the boot to that Chone Figgins guy,
    give the boot to that Chone Figgins guy…”

  3. Johnny Slick on May 24th, 2012 9:37 am

    Yeah, when even Official Seattle Moron Steve Kelley says that it’s time to cut bait on Figgy, it’s truly time to cut bait.

    I saw someone on another website proposing we trade Figgy to the Cubs for Alfonso Soriano and half of his contract. I think I’d rather take nothing than Soriano at this point; in addition to the fact that he sucks and that he’s an extreme RH pull-hitter who would be playing half his games at the Safe, I’ve always hated the guy due to his close name connection with Dewey Soriano.

  4. Mariners35 on May 24th, 2012 9:38 am

    Hm, perhaps the M’s could punt on this problem for a little while longer by sending Iwakuma down to stretch him out as a starter. The M’s starters have been getting deep into games. Kelley and Wilhelmsen have been able to handle an inning each previously. There’s been plenty of jokes about how Wedge has forgotten Iwakuma exists in the first place. Then Figgins can go when Guti comes back….

    …nah, never mind. The moment the bullpen is short one person is precisely when the pitching will go all pear-shaped.

    And if Figgins was redundant before, he certainly is now; if there’s room in the outfield for guys with no ML experience in left field like Liddi, or near-Ibanez-range fielders like Carp, any kind of outfield versatility Figgins brings as a backup is gone. For infield utility, offensively and defensively, he brings nothing that Kawasaki hasn’t already shown, and there’d be a minor riot in the clubhouse and among some fans if Kawasaki were let go.

    Westside – Not sure what Z needs to say or do here to ‘handle failure’ any better than he has. Unless the interest-from-the-Braves rumors from a while back were true, and Z missed a window to try to salvage the deal somewhat then. You’re right, no credible person could have seen this collapse coming. Even if say Wells or Liddi are sent to AAA instead of DFA’ing dead weight, I wouldn’t howl about it too much.

  5. Sports on a Schtick on May 24th, 2012 10:20 am

    Honestly I’d rather have Figgins than Olivo on this roster but whatever.

    Sucks things didn’t work with Chone but not much has worked out the past 2.5 years for the M’s.

  6. eponymous coward on May 24th, 2012 10:28 am

    Honestly I’d rather have Figgins than Olivo on this roster but whatever.

    They’re both not very good players, but Olivo’s a reasonable backup catcher (who shouldn’t be starting more than once or twice a week, but a couple hundred PAs from a ~1 WAR player is fine). Figgins isn’t even a backup.

  7. Snuffleupagus on May 24th, 2012 10:33 am

    I’d also rather have Figgins than Olivo at this point.

    I could claim that it’s because Figgins is at least a utility player who can fill in at any position (except catcher).

    But in reality it’s probably due to my fear that Wedge will go right back to playing Olivo 5 games a week.

  8. Westside guy on May 24th, 2012 10:44 am

    But in reality it’s probably due to my fear that Wedge will go right back to playing Olivo 5 games a week.

    That’s my fear as well – but, one way or the other, we’ll have the answer to that pretty soon.

  9. maqman on May 24th, 2012 10:50 am

    Addition by subtraction applies, getting rid of Figgins opens a spot for some player with a potential future, that’s a good thing.

  10. eponymous coward on May 24th, 2012 11:05 am

    I could claim that it’s because Figgins is at least a utility player who can fill in at any position (except catcher).

    Figgins has had something like -1 to -2 WAR value over the past two years. Miguel Olivo’s has been around 0 to 1 WAR.

    Really, the fact that Figgins can be worse than anyone the M’s could get from AAA, at many different positions on the field… doesn’t give him any value.

  11. GripS on May 24th, 2012 11:43 am

    It better be Figgins. He offers NO value at all at this point. He can’t hit. He’s not as fast as he used to be and Kawasaki is filling that pinch runner spot. He is a liability in LF whereas Wells is a solid late inning defensive replacement. I hope he can be more than that eventually. Bottom line is Figgins should be the one going away.

  12. hoiland on May 24th, 2012 11:52 am

    Wells down to Tacoma per Geoff Baker.

    Figgins survives…

  13. Snuffleupagus on May 24th, 2012 12:03 pm

    wow, just wow. Just when this team starts to get some feel good momentum going. I can’t imagine how Wells must feel . . .

  14. Westside guy on May 24th, 2012 12:19 pm

    Disagree with me all you want – but my take is Jack Z has a hard time admitting failure.

    Either that, or for some reason the org has no faith in Casper Wells. I guess there is evidence for that as well, but they sure gave up on him fast if that’s the case (and – why did they take him in trade, then?).

  15. eponymous coward on May 24th, 2012 12:22 pm

    Liddi as the RHB OF, because DINGERS!!!11!1!!11!!1, aka “Carlos Peguero 2.0, righty version”.

    It’s going to be kind of irritating if Olivo is playing most of the time on top of that. This is where we get into “Wedge is actually impeding the team’s progress” territory.

    Also, we can make an argument that Wells going down to AAA represents some failure on Zduriencik’s part, considering that he was the major piece from the Fister trade.

  16. paracorto on May 24th, 2012 12:22 pm

    Figgins and Wells are not the only failures troubling Jack Z. I think there’s a couple of highly touted young regulars who’re causing him some headache right now.

  17. eponymous coward on May 24th, 2012 12:53 pm

    Y’know, this isn’t going to convince anyone who’s a died-in-the-wool GMZ believer, but as an exercise, go add up the WAR so far for the players acquired in the Lee to Texas trade, the WAR for players acquired in the Morrow to Toronto trade, the WAR for players acquired in the Fister to Detroit trade, and compare to the value the other teams involved in the trades have derived from Lee, Morrow and Fister (so this only means Texas gets part of the 2010 season- though they did get some playoff games out of it, I think).

    And that’s before we get to Figgins and Olivo.

    The salad days of stealing the Mets blind, down to their underwear, on the JJ Putz deal are well behind us, it seems. (To be fair, there’s more time for return to happen on the Lee deal.)

  18. hoiland on May 24th, 2012 12:53 pm

    In reality, this probably buys Figgins little time. When Guti comes back, they will have to make room. Figgins will has to be the guy to go.

    There is no way the M’s get rid of Saunders since he isn’t completely lost at the plate any more and they will need his defense in CF on Guti off days (which will be a lot) and play LF during late innings of close games.

    Liddi/Carp LF platoon is going to be fun to watch.

  19. Carson on May 24th, 2012 1:02 pm

    Meh, pretty bad decision here. Is Chuck meddling? Does Wedge hate Wells? Is Jack clinging?

    Who knows. You could drive yourself mad trying to figure this one out, but it was obviously the wrong call at this stage.

  20. Jay R. on May 24th, 2012 1:14 pm

    Was there ever any doubt they would make the wrong call from this front office?

  21. jmcwalter on May 24th, 2012 2:01 pm

    Here is the WAR for all the guys we got in the Lee, Morrow and Fister trades:

    Smoak: -1.4
    Beavan: 0.8
    Lueke: -0.7 (-0.4 w/SEA)
    Wells: 0.7
    Ruffin: 0.1
    Furbush: -0.9
    League: 0.6

    Total: -0.8

    Lee: 11.0 (1.5 w/TEX)
    Fister: 3.6
    Morrow: 4.0

    Total: 18.6

    I think the Fister trade is the only one that really hurts. Lee would have left anyways and League has been serviceable. Last year Morrow’s WAR was 1.2 and League was 0.6 so in the grand scheme of things they are pretty close to a wash. Obviously starters are more valuable then relievers and that probably accounts for most of the difference between the two.

  22. Westside guy on May 24th, 2012 2:16 pm

    That’s really misleading. We didn’t have Lee to start with – we traded prospects for him.

    How are those guys doing?

  23. TherzAlwaysHope on May 24th, 2012 3:14 pm

    My prediction: Olivo will be the starting catcher. Then when his production stays low, they will point to when he was just starting to hit, and that he will surely start to do what he has never done. At that point, he will will lost starts and PAs. I say he will get traded before the deadline.

  24. r-gordon-7 on May 24th, 2012 3:33 pm

    For those who would rather have Figgins than Olivo for fear that Wedge will just revert right back to his maddening practice of starting Olivo day in and day out – isn’t the real solution to dump Wedge? (OK, I know, not gonna’ happen… but, really…)

  25. jmcwalter on May 24th, 2012 3:41 pm

    According to baseball reference, J.C. Ramirez (AA), Phillippe Aumont (AAA) and Tyson Gillies (AA) are all still in minors. I don’t know where they rank on the Phillies chart, but looking at their numbers none of them are forcing the issue to be called up. So I guess they traded ok prospects for slightly better prospects, with that being said they upgraded the farm by getting Lee and I think that was a good move. Who knows, Smoak could still return value, but it isn’t looking good at this point.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.