A Championship Offseason

Dave · October 29, 2012 at 10:32 am · Filed Under Mariners 

This post is brief, because I know that Jeff Sullivan is currently writing a version of this same idea over at Lookout Landing. His post is going to be way better than mine, because he’s a better writer than I am, so rather than try to compete with his thoughts, I’m just going to win through brevity. He sucks at brevity. But you should still read his post when it goes up, because I’m sure it’s going to be really good.

In 2011, the Giants scored 570 runs. They finished with a wRC+ of 87, the fourth worst mark in baseball. Put simply, the Giants couldn’t hit, and their best hitter — Carlos Beltran — was a free agent.

The Giants didn’t re-sign him, despite surrendering top prospect Zach Wheeler to get him at the deadline. In fact, they didn’t sign anyone of note last winter. They signed one free agent position player from another organization to a Major League contract – Ryan Theriot, who got $1.25 million to serve as their utility infielder. A team that couldn’t win because they couldn’t hit let their best hitter leave and spent no money in free agency to try and replace him.

Instead, they traded for Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera and signed Gregor Blanco to a minor league contract, essentially building an entirely new outfield from scratch with players that weren’t wanted by their previous organization. Then, they handed shortstop and first base over to rookies Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt. That was their offensive makeover. That was the plan to fix an offense that couldn’t score.

The Giants just won the World Series, beating the crap out of the team who spent $214 million to sign Prince Fielder last winter. The Giants finished 30th in the Majors in home runs this year. Their starting left fielder slugged .344. Their starting first baseman hit seven home runs. Their shortstop is essentially the NL’s version of Brendan Ryan. One of their two deadline acquistions was bringing in a 36-year-old slap-hitting contact guy who was posting his worst offensive season in years after getting traded to Colorado.

Repeat after me: There is no right way to build a baseball team. You don’t need a power hitting first baseman or a true slugger in left field. You don’t have to hit home runs. You don’t have to be the slave to any kind of traditional idea of what a team is supposed to look like.

The traditional model of ace pitchers and big time sluggers can work too. Detroit got to the World Series, after all. Hitting home runs is good. Having great pitchers is good. The Tigers defense was atrocious, and they still won the American League. You don’t have to play good defense to win either. There is no magic formula.

To win baseball games, you need to outscore your opponents. You can do that with pitching and defense. You can do that with sluggers and a great bullpen. You can do that with sluggers and defense. Runs are runs and wins are wins. It matters not how you get them. The consistently perpetuated idea that the Mariners have lost because they’re chasing some kind of mythological roster construction that doesn’t work was just destroyed by the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series. The Giants are exactly the kind of team that the Mariners have been trying to build for the last few years. It hasn’t worked, obviously, but the failure to create a winner here with this model doesn’t invalidate the model. You can win a World Series with Angel Pagan as your best hitting outfielder and Gregor Blanco starting in left field. The Giants just did.

The Giants didn’t do anything last winter to prove they wanted to win. They didn’t make any significant free agent signings to improve a dreadful offense. They took a team that couldn’t hit and they improved their defense. A year later, they’re World Champs.

Runs are runs and wins are wins. And it really doesn’t matter how you get them.

Comments

52 Responses to “A Championship Offseason”

  1. lailaihei on October 29th, 2012 10:51 am

    The Giants are the 2nd worst offensive team to win a World Series since 1969 (playoff expansion), and worst since 1970. (I looked this up and posted my results here: http://www.quora.com/MLB/What-is-the-worst-offensive-team-to-win-the-World-Series/answer/Eric-Dykstra)

    I agree that there’s no right way to win a baseball team, but offense is 50% of the game (with the other half including pitching and defense). Rarely has a team won the World Series with an offense worse than 5% worse than league average. The Mariners don’t necessarily need to get Josh Hamilton and David Ortiz to win in 2013, but they should probably target at least having an average offense if they want a realistic shot at their first WS.

  2. Dave on October 29th, 2012 10:53 am

    The Giants wRC+ of 99 this year was the 9th best in baseball, and fourth best in the National League. They weren’t a below average offense. If you go by Baseball Reference, their OPS+ was 107, best in the NL. The difference basically comes down to park factors.

    Either way, the reality is the same – this Giants team could hit. Skewing it any other way is wrong.

  3. Westside guy on October 29th, 2012 10:56 am

    “Runs are runs and wins are wins. And it really doesn’t matter how you get them.”

    Well said, sir.

  4. lailaihei on October 29th, 2012 10:59 am

    For some reason I misread the wRC+ you posted as their last year offense and inserted it into my previous research. My mistake. If they had won last year, it would have been the 2nd worst in history.

    There are a large number of teams that have won with an average or slightly below-average offense. I guess I’m saying that it’s definitely possible to win with a wRC+ of 95 or so. If the Mariners are to win in 2013, they’re probably be pitching and defense heavy, with an offense pushing average, if not quite being there.

  5. shemberry on October 29th, 2012 11:15 am

    I agree with this post completely. The only question I have is this: While there is no right way to build a winner, do the Mariners need to do something in the area of player acquisition to avoid completely losing a fan base that is fed up with losing, frustrated by the ownerships’ opposition to a new NBA Arena, and angry about increased season ticket prices?

    I know that winning will bring fans, but I fear that many people have simply had enough. The Giants didn’t have to do anything because they could point to a World Series title in 2010, the M’s don’t have that luxury.

    I’m not going anywhere, I trust Jack and I know that this thing will get turned around, and I am sure most of the people on this blog aren’t going anywhere either, but a MLB club can’t survive on people like us alone, they need the casual fans also.

    Again, not a disagreement with the post at all, I agree completely, just wondering about the current state of the M’s.

  6. The_Waco_Kid on October 29th, 2012 11:17 am

    Amen, Dave. It’s also worth noting the Giants had lots of doubles and triples. If you’re hung up on dingers, you’d assume the Giants had a bad offense. If you looked at all the numbers, you’d see they had a mediocre offense. You gotta look at the big picture.

  7. eponymous coward on October 29th, 2012 11:20 am

    Buster Posey’s WAR by year:

    2010: 3.7
    2011: 1.3 (in 45 games, broke a leg)
    2012: 7.2

    Buster Posey is 25 years old, approximately the same playing age as Justin Smoak. He was 23 in 2010, approximately the same playing age as Jesus Montero will be in 2013.

    I think that kind of deserves a mention as to why the Giants won a World Series in 2010 and 2012, and not so much in 2011.

    (Fun additional fact: the Giants were in first place when Posey got injured in 2011.)

  8. eponymous coward on October 29th, 2012 11:31 am

    Oh, and something else:

    The Giants are exactly the kind of team that the Mariners have been trying to build for the last few years.

    The Giants have a $130 million dollar payroll. Yeah, they didn’t shovel money at Prince Fielder, but they have 3 guys making King Felix money in their rotation- one of them being Barry “OMG, what a stupid signing” Zito.

    So there’s even more moral to the story here: FA signings that should supposedly cripple your franchise? They don’t have to; it’s a conscious decision to go “well, we blew it when we signed Figgins, now let’s just wait for the kids to show up.”

  9. maqman on October 29th, 2012 11:40 am

    I totally agree with Dave, a win is a win and it doesn’t matter how you do it. A decent payroll and management that doesn’t aggravate their own fans would be a help too,

  10. Ben Ramm on October 29th, 2012 11:45 am

    Dave, I think you posted before typing what was obviously the last line of your thoughts:

    “So take that Geoff Baker!”

  11. roosevelt on October 29th, 2012 12:17 pm

    The Giants must do some sort of psychological testing of prospective players. They seem to find the players that can perform in clutch situations and on a world-wide stage. This is the exact opposite of the M’s personal over the last decade.

  12. Westside guy on October 29th, 2012 12:55 pm

    Maybe the Giants are bored, having won the World Series twice now in recent years. If they’re looking for further tests of this “win with a sub-standard offense” theory – perhaps they’d like to add Chone Figgins to their roster as a further challenge!

  13. Beniitec on October 29th, 2012 1:18 pm

    I’m sure the formula the Giants used has something to do with having a great catcher (pitch caller and defense manager) that can handle some great pitchers, having good defense and scoring enough to win games. But I do like the way you said it. “Runs are runs and wins are wins.” I think eliminating Olivo and bringing in Zunino is going to be very interesting.

  14. Spanky on October 29th, 2012 1:31 pm

    You’re usually never wrong but this time you are Dave! You stated…

    “…because he’s a better writer than I am…”

    WRONG!! I’ve read a lot of Jeff stuff and while he’s good…he’s no Dave “Tiberius” Cameron (sorry…don’t know your middle name so had to come up with one on the fly that might capture your greatness!).

  15. furlong on October 29th, 2012 2:55 pm

    I started rooting for the Giants when they moved to San Francisco in 1958 until the Mariners were created in 1977 with one year out for the Pilots. In that stretch of time The Giants had some of the best and most famous players in baseball but only in 1962 did they ever get a sniff of the WS. Now in two of the last three years they win the whole ball of wax with a bunch of nobodies go figure.

  16. Mariners2620 on October 29th, 2012 3:39 pm

    What I would like to see happen this off season based off of the fact that you clearly don’t need to spend a ton of money on power and offense to be successful:

    1. I would like to sign either Edwin Jackson or Carlos Villanueva to a 2 or 3 year deal.

    2. Trade for your stereotypical “proven” middle of the order bat. I would love Alex Gordon however that is unlikely.

    3. Also unlikely, but I would love to see Zunino unleash his fury on the spring training games and make the club from the get go.

    4. I would like to see one of the big three make the team out of camp. Most likely Paxton, if not traded.

    5. It would be great to pick up another capable outfielder.

    That would leave us with Smoak for another start of the season as well as Brendan Ryan. I don’t freakin know why, but I want to see Smoak one last time. Erasmo Ramirez in the rotation for an entire season would be nice as well.

  17. opiate82 on October 29th, 2012 3:40 pm

    “The Giants have a $130 million dollar payroll. Yeah, they didn’t shovel money at Prince Fielder, but they have 3 guys making King Felix money in their rotation- one of them being Barry “OMG, what a stupid signing” Zito.”

    The Giants didn’t have a huge payroll in 2010. You know what winning a World Series does, it allows you to sell out 165 straight home games and bring in the revenue to have a larger payroll. Also while the 2012 ending payroll looks huge, a large part of the is because of Pence and other than his speeches, he contributed almost nothing once becoming a Giant.

    Also (as you pointed out) the majority of the Giants payroll is tied up in their pitching staff, hopefully the M’s will have a pitching staff worth tieing up a bunch of money in over the next couple of years.

  18. make_dave_proud on October 29th, 2012 3:42 pm

    Dave, I thought you were making good points until this comment:

    “The consistently perpetuated idea that the Mariners have lost because they’re chasing some kind of mythological roster construction that doesn’t work was just destroyed by the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series.”

    Is this not a strawman argument? Namely, the Giants succeeded with a similar roster building strategy (I would argue it’s not the same), therefore the Mariners can as well. While possible, the probability is an altogether different matter.

    Managing to probabilities — isn’t that the more prudent choice?

  19. opiate82 on October 29th, 2012 3:45 pm

    I think Dave is more pointing out the fact that you don’t need to spend boatloads of money on Prince Fielder, you can win a World Series while playing in a pitchers park without having to move the fences in and that M’s fans in general just under-value run prevention.

  20. wetzelcoatl on October 29th, 2012 4:19 pm

    I enjoyed the article, and I agree with your overall point. But I think you need to at least acknowledge that producing an in house MVP in Posey, who barely played last season, certainly helped the Giants get back to the World Series.

  21. Bremerton guy on October 29th, 2012 4:52 pm

    Perhaps the biggest irony: the Giants’ ballpark had the fewest home runs hit out of it this year of all major league ballparks. Move in the fences!

    http://hittrackeronline.com/stadiums.php

    (Sorry, I still haven’t figured out how to link).

  22. Celadus on October 29th, 2012 5:31 pm

    I don’t need to see a 9-8 game every day, but I get tired of a succession of 2-1, 3-1, 3-2, 4-3 games. It helps some when my team is winning those games, granted.

    Has anyone done a study of attendance for bad teams that score a lot of runs as opposed to those that don’t?

    If high scoring teams, good and bad, get better attendance than comparable teams that don’t, then arguably scoring more runs is important, just not to the won lost record.

  23. eponymous coward on October 29th, 2012 6:36 pm

    The Giants didn’t have a huge payroll in 2010.

    It was still $100 million.

    The big difference between the Giants and the Mariners in terms of payroll over the last few years is they didn’t start taking a meataxe to payroll- the M’s are down a third from 2008 (and the league as a whole is up).

  24. bavasisabum on October 29th, 2012 7:20 pm

    Good Article. Think playing in the NL and cold weather in the playoffs plays up a team like that’s strengths. Not sure that roster makes the playoffs in the AL (that might be a little harsh don’t see a division title tho).

    I must be the idiot because I have always thought of Sabean as one of the worst GM’s in baseball but the results speak for themselves. Guess it’s possible these teams could have won in spite of him. I just don’t know, nothing makes sense anymore. Is it possible Sabean is actually a good GM(did hell freeze over)?

  25. befara on October 29th, 2012 7:24 pm

    “Their starting left fielder slugged .344″

    What about their other starting left fielder? You know, the one that was on the roster for 110 games.

  26. 9inningknowitall on October 29th, 2012 7:25 pm

    I don’t care how the Mariners assemble there team as long as they make the playoffs and contend for a World Series title I’m okay with any format of a roster. The Giants have Posey and Panda but the rest of the team isn’t stand out offensive players. They play solid defense and get enough hits to win. The Mariners could do that because both teams are built around solid pitching and the Mariners have even more pitching coming up the pipeline.

  27. PackBob on October 29th, 2012 8:13 pm

    From 2005-2008, the Giants drafted very well and the Mariners drafted horribly, at least in terms of the drafted players developing. (Overall pick number)

    2005 Giants – Ben Copeland (132)
    2005 Mariners – Jeff Clement (3)

    2006 Giants – Tim lincecum (10)
    2006 Mariners – Brandon Morrow (5)

    2007 Giants – Madison Bumgarner (10)
    2007 Mariners – Phillipe Aumont (11)

    2008 Giants – Buster Posey (5)
    2008 Mariners – Josh Fields (20)

    The Mariners recent drafts include Ackley, Seager, Franklin, Hultzen, Walker, and Paxton. There is the potential to build a good team around these picks, if they develop, just as the Giants did around theirs. And having King Felix doesn’t hurt.

  28. _Hutch_ on October 29th, 2012 10:16 pm

    I don’t disagree with Dave’s underlying premise, but it’s worth taking a moment to ponder the fact that this year’s World Series winner ran out Ryan Theriot as its DH in a clinching game. Sabean gets credit for his share of shrewd moves here, but let’s not pretend there wasn’t a good share of luck at play here (as there always is in this game – part of what makes it so wonderful.)

  29. Kazinski on October 30th, 2012 12:07 am

    The Giants must do some sort of psychological testing of prospective players. They seem to find the players that can perform in clutch situations and on a world-wide stage.

    They’ve got a team full of kids and nutcases. Buster Posey looks to be the only stable personality on the team, besides the Latin’s and the kids.

    You can’t look into Hunter Pence’s eyes without saying “WTF is going on there?” Ask Aubrey Huff to show you his red rally thong and he will. Timmy is high as kite on non-game days. I hope you saw the clip of Brian Wilson spraying champagne in the locker room, and then take a look at Wilson’s neighbor The Machine coming over for some “sugar”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS04AQFDqiE

    Whoever is doing the Giants psychological testing should be fired.

  30. Kazinski on October 30th, 2012 12:18 am

    I don’t disagree with Dave’s underlying premise, but it’s worth taking a moment to ponder the fact that this year’s World Series winner ran out Ryan Theriot as its DH in a clinching game.

    Lets not pretend that the Giants should spend more than 5 minutes trying to figure out who their DH should be when constructing their roster. There is what 10-15 inter league away games, and then the pipe dream of 3 or 4 away games in a world series? Of course the Giants are going to just have to throw somebody in that slot and pray, but it doesn’t prove anything for an NL team.

  31. terry on October 30th, 2012 6:21 am

    Gotta love a certain vocal voice for free agent spending’s take on the world series…

    http://seattletimes.com/html/marinersblog/2019553502_world_series_champion_giants_p.html

    Short summation: “The Giants’ win validates my position that the Ms shouldve signed Fielder. Heck they should’ve signed him twice! If you don’t agree, youre stupid.”

  32. eponymous coward on October 30th, 2012 10:09 am

    How is what Baker wrote all that different from USSM-endorsed positions of the last couple of years?

    Dave said “hey, we should go spend money on Edwin Jackson” last year. Dave just spent a good deal of time going into why signing Nick Swisher for 7 years, $105 million would be a great idea for this offseason.

    No, Dave didn’t endorse signing Prince Fielder. But Baker’s larger point is that what the M’s have settled for the last few years, reducing payroll by a third at a time where MLB average payrolls are increasing, and closing off the FA market as a significant mechanism for adding talent to a non-contending team (the team basically has given up making any significant adds after Chone Figgins went busto), is part of why this team isn’t contending.

    Keep in mind that there’s no indication that the team’s expanding payroll in 2013- in fact, they are set up pretty easily to DROP payroll 10 million. All they would have to do is pick up a platoon partner C, backup infielder and back-end rotation starter out of what’s left on the curb during Large Item Pickup Day, and give us a “the kids are improving, we’re giving them another shot to grow, and we’re adding talent from the farm” song and dance, and they are pretty much done with the roster (it would be a 75ish win roster where you basically are counting on Ackley, Smoak and Guti improving a lot for your upside, and my guess is that upside is limited to about .500). There will be some people who’d be fine with that because of the idea that “premier free agents are expensive, old and suck, so we should mostly stay out of the FA market”- which isn’t true.

  33. firecap81 on October 30th, 2012 10:20 am

    I’m thinking you’re wrong when you say that there’s no ‘right’ way to build a winner. Whether you go the buy your way to success or build from within, all of the successful teams have one thing in commen. They bring capable people in to run the orginization and DON’T MEDDLE with them. Whichever way you go, you can’t be successful without someone in charge knowing what they are doing. That’s why the Mariners are light years away from winning with any consistancy.

  34. _Hutch_ on October 30th, 2012 10:26 am

    “Lets not pretend that the Giants should spend more than 5 minutes trying to figure out who their DH should be when constructing their roster. There is what 10-15 inter league away games, and then the pipe dream of 3 or 4 away games in a world series? Of course the Giants are going to just have to throw somebody in that slot and pray, but it doesn’t prove anything for an NL team.”

    Not suggesting they keep a $15 million bat laying around for these circumstances, but lots of NL teams have at least a league average bat on their bench for pinch hitting purposes. The Giants had a bench full of defensive replacements.

  35. Xteve X on October 30th, 2012 11:01 am

    I think PackBob’s point is well taken — the M’s failed to assemble a core to build around from their high draft picks for several years running. And that 2005 draft … ugh.

  36. Dave on October 30th, 2012 11:23 am

    Those “meddlers” were in charge from 2000-2003, when the Mariners had four straight 90+ win seasons and the best record in MLB over that stretch. But, yeah, just keep on believing that no team can win with Lincoln and Armstrong at the helm. It’s not like Peter Angelos’ Orioles just made the playoffs or anything…

  37. deadball on October 30th, 2012 11:49 am

    When considering the Giants’ approach to team-building, it might be worth looking at Jeff Passan’s comments the other day. I’m not saying he’s right, I’m just saying.

    “Brian Sabean, for example, never has believed in all of the principles that guide baseball’s sabermetric revolution, leaving him among a small minority of general managers whose emphasis on scouting is far greater than numbers-based analysis. Accordingly, he has been cast as a Luddite, a nincompoop, stubborn, inefficient and all sorts of other labels that even if they’re true can’t take away that he has built two World Series champions in three years, and none of his peers can say that.”

  38. Dave on October 30th, 2012 12:03 pm

    He’s not right. This whole idea of the Giants as proof that a team can win while ignoring statistics is stupid.

  39. Westside guy on October 30th, 2012 12:34 pm

    Theo Epstein – a stat-head GM if ever there was one – was the General Manager for the Boston Red Sox team that won World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.

    If Passan thinks the Giants victories in 2010 and 2012 disprove sabermetrics, he’s wearing blinders.

    To re-quote Dave: Runs are runs and wins are wins. And it really doesn’t matter how you get them. There’s more than one route to building a winner. I’ve never seen or heard any “number cruncher” say otherwise.

    Good grief. If the GM with the most World Series wins truly defines the one true path to victory – we’d better hope everybody turns into Brian Cashman.

  40. djw on October 30th, 2012 1:11 pm

    I know that winning will bring fans, but I fear that many people have simply had enough….t a MLB club can’t survive on people like us alone, they need the casual fans also.

    The team was terrible for 17 years prior to ’95, and they were supported quite well for the decade they were good. Why would the current dry spell, only half as long as the first one, produce a more permanent abandonment?

  41. jkcmason on October 30th, 2012 3:23 pm

    Ummm, The Giants had a pretty potent offense this season. They didn’t win a world series based off of defense and pitching alone.

    2011 Giants Team Ranks:
    UZR – 9th (20.7)
    Pitching WAR – 6th (21.2)
    wRC+ – 27th (87)

    2012 Giants Team Ranks:
    UZR – 10th (13)
    Pitching WAR – 18th (13)
    wRC+ – 9th (99)

    8 more wins and a World Series Championship with worse defense, worse pitching, but better hitting. I don’t fully agree with you on this one Dave, sorry.

  42. Dave on October 30th, 2012 4:15 pm

    I don’t think you understand the point of the post.

  43. 300ZXNA on October 30th, 2012 11:15 pm

    The sad thing is that back around 2005-2008 I used to console myself about Bavasi’s latest idiotic move by thinking at least Sabean was worse . . .

    On a serious note though, it does appear that he wised up to the whole frivolous spending thing and didn’t trade minor league talent for useless stopgaps, which Bavasi never learned to do.

  44. Mariners35 on October 31st, 2012 6:51 am

    jkcmason’s point was to be a counterpoint to this assertion at the end of the post:

    They took a team that couldn’t hit and they improved their defense.

    He is saying that no, the Giants didn’t improve their defense. If anything it was slightly worse. Compared to 2011, according to the stats jkcmason provided, their defense was slightly worse, their pitching was significantly worse, and the hitting was significantly better.

    None of that contradicts the main points of the post, though, which included a) the Giants made no “prove to the fans we’re serious”, “get a big bat” sort of signings, yet fielded a deep and competitive team anyway, and b) wins are wins, runs are runs, and there’s no one true and only way to build a champion.

    Also, Westside,

    If Passan thinks the Giants victories in 2010 and 2012 disprove sabermetrics, he’s wearing blinders.

    Pretty sure Passan was just straight presenting a fact that Sabean was making his choices largely through scouting, and that Sabean was expressing his decisions in old-school baseball terms. Passan wasn’t dismissing sabermetric / statistical approaches to building a team; he was marveling that an old-school philosophy and mentality could still win in this day and age.

    Besides: wins are wins, runs are runs, and it doesn’t matter how you get them. Remember? So what if Sabean made noises about grit and character and looking good; if he was still choosing a good complementary set of players and Bochy was using them to best advantage, it’s still good process and good results. The reasons for picking these guys can still be defended sabermetrically even if the stated reasons are more old-school. It doesn’t matter how you get to a good deep roster, so long as you get to one.

  45. groundzero55 on October 31st, 2012 11:48 am

    In other news, Brendan Ryan was snubbed for the GG today..

  46. SonOfZavaras on October 31st, 2012 3:50 pm

    In OTHER news, the Angels just undercut us by all but giving away Ervin Santana to the Royals. That means they won’t be too desperate for our pitching, and reduces a lot of what we could ask for in return.

    Insert…expletive…here. Arrrrrrrrgh. It isn’t even November and I’m already thinking we’re being out-maneuvered.

    (Not that I think it was the Angels’ PRIMARY motive- that’d be to keep Zack Greinke. But I’m sure it factored into their thinking as a nice little side effect.)

  47. Typical Idiot Fan on October 31st, 2012 4:02 pm

    You’re implying Erwin Santana is anything remarkable.

  48. MrZDevotee on October 31st, 2012 4:09 pm

    Just ’cause there’s no where else to ask–

    Dave (or anyone else), what would you think of Mark Reynolds as a temporary stopgap split-time 1B/3B option… The O’s just declined his option at $11 million.

    2nd half of 2012 he was pretty damned good– and fills a need as ‘wily veteran’, corner infielder with power… 107 OPS+, .335 OBP…

    Hmmm… Very interesting. They can still tender him a contract, but he’s got a foot in the free agent waters now…

    And way more doable than any Prince Fielder lunacy…

  49. Mariners35 on October 31st, 2012 5:24 pm

    SonOfZavaras – I don’t think even Moore would look at Santana and Francoeur and think to himself “welp, rotation’s set, I gots my one-two punch”. I’d like to think even he believes one could never have enough pitching.

    I would therefore hope he would be still be interested in the kind of upgrade / investment represented by the M’s peeling off one of Cerberus to go after one of the Royals’ bats.

  50. Mariners35 on October 31st, 2012 5:28 pm

    MrZDevotee – Reynolds sounds close to putting a Kyle Seager clone at 1b.

    Seager, 2012: wRC+ 108, OBP .316, 20 HR
    Reynolds, 2012 wRC+ 108, OBP .335, 23 HR

  51. MrZDevotee on October 31st, 2012 5:54 pm

    Mariners35-
    re: Reynolds

    It could be argued that was a down year– he struggled initially during the first half of 2012… Before getting back on track after the All-Star Break (hitting 15 of his HR’s in August and September)… Which makes him an ideal “Z-type” player. Buy low. From 2008 thru 2011 he averaged 35 HR’s a year, and I thought he had 27 last year, but I could be wrong.

  52. SonOfZavaras on October 31st, 2012 10:31 pm

    You’re implying Ervin Santana is anything remarkable.

    His stuff is closer to remarkable than what his results are. I’m aware of what he is, up to this point.

    But, no…not what I’m implying.

    I *am* saying that a large chunk of the value our young arms have is: how close they are to the major leagues. It’s THAT quality- plus how quality of an arm they project to have as a big leaguer- that determines what and how much we get back.

    To pry a bat away, we’re going to have to give up something. No one really disputes this. But how desperate a team like the Royals could be could have inflated the value of the arm(s) we’d be sending them- decreasing how much we’d have to part with and potentially increasing the return.

    And for every deal like this made, it reduces our chance to totally maximize those returns.

    I would therefore hope he would be still be interested in the kind of upgrade / investment represented by the M’s peeling off one of Cerberus to go after one of the Royals’ bats.

    I hope so, too. I can honestly live with the loss of a James Paxton if we can just finally see a creditable offense again at Safeco. But I just think that KC ownership and higher-ups are a little suspect in their overall ability to run a team. They could actually decide they’re set (by my reckoning, they’re not) and break off talks with us- opportunity lost.

    Not catastrophic if it happens that way…but the Royals are one of maybe 6 teams I can think of that are genuinely hurting for pitching- and the one most flush with young, market-friendly bats.

    It’s a long winter, and I plan to watch with great interest no matter what. I DO figure something roughly constituting a progressive move or two will be made.

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