On Mike Napoli and Wil Myers

Dave · November 23, 2012 at 11:16 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Over the last few days, a couple of rumors have kicked up in regards to the Mariners. Not surprisingly, both involve the team acquiring a hitter, because, well, you know. It’s no secret the M’s want to improve their offense this winter, and every other team, agent, and writer in America knows that too. Teams with hitters available are going to call the Mariners. Agents with hitters available are going to call the Mariners. The Mariners are going to call them all back. Rumors are inevitable, which is why you shouldn’t take most of them too seriously.

These two, though, maybe you should take a little more seriously than others.

Let’s start with the Mike Napoli rumors, which have a little more teeth. On Thursday, Jim Bowden reported that Napoli was holding out for a four year contract from the Red Sox, and he might be able to get it from the Mariners. On Friday, Ryan Divish noted that Napoli has indeed already met with the Mariners, which goes beyond just the “hey, don’t sign without checking in with us” phone call that they made to every free agent hitter with a pulse. A meeting means that there’s enough mutual interest there that something could happen.

There are a few potential problems with a Napoli/Mariners get together, however. While Napoli’s calling card is his power, his primary position is still catcher — he’s caught 500+ innings every year since his rookie season of 2006 — and reports suggest that Napoli is looking for a team who will continue to deploy him behind the plate with regularity. The Mariners could use a 2013 part-time right-handed catcher who can mash if they’re ready to give up on Jesus Montero behind the plate — as I think they should be — but no one is suggesting that Napoli is interested in coming to Seattle on a one year deal. If Boston is willing to go three years, then the Mariners probably aren’t getting him for less than four, and if Napoli views himself as a catcher beyond 2013, that could create some problems in Seattle.

Obviously, Mike Zunino made a lot of noise this summer, and while you could justify giving him a full year in Tacoma, you don’t really want to block your best prospects path to the big leagues by giving out a long term deal to a 31-year-old who is already showing signs of decline. If Napoli is interested in coming to Seattle, it would have to be pretty clear that he’d be looking at a 1B/DH job for most of his time here, and his days at catcher would be winding down after this season. That’s not a great sales pitch, though, especially when the other team reportedly bidding for his services can point to The Green Monster and a much better history of winning. Napoli knows he’s going to spend a decent amount of his time at 1B/DH no matter where signs, but if he’s serious about staying behind the plate as more than a backup beyond this coming season, the M’s could run into a problem when Zunino is ready for the Majors.

And, realistically, even if he’s totally on board for 2013 being his last season as a catcher, there’s still a roster issue if you bring him as a 1B/DH. With John Jaso and Jesus Montero, the team already has a couple of their better offensive performers locked into C/1B/DH positions. If you sign Napoli, one of them is out of a job as soon as Zunino is ready. Yeah, Jaso’s probably a platoon player coming off a career year, and Montero’s still got a ways to go before he’s an impact big league hitter, but there’s a difference between upgrading on a glaring weakness like the team has in the outfield and upgrading on a position where the team already has viable alternatives. The cost of doing the latter is simply higher.

If the Mariners could turn around and flip Montero for something interesting at another position, maybe it’s worth doing. It’s no secret that I’m not as high on him as a lot of others are, so I’m not dead set against replacing him, but the overall series of moves would have to make sense. They’d either have to have a deal in place that isn’t selling low on him coming off a bad rookie season, or make it a shorter term move that allowed him to go back to Tacoma, learn how to play first base, and rejoin the team in 2014 as a better player. On a one year deal, that situation is kind of interesting. On a longer term contract, though, you’re punting one of your best offensive talents, which makes the improvement less of an upgrade.

And Napoli’s not exactly a sure thing himself. The massive spike in his strikeout rate should scare you. The fact that he only hit nine doubles last year should scare you. The fact that he’s a catcher on the wrong side of 30 should scare you. Maybe he goes Josh Willingham on the league and shows everyone that the strikeout rate wasn’t a trend, but there’s some legitimate downside to giving him a long term deal. Given his age, his body type, his skillset, and the fact that he’s already logged 4,000+ big league innings behind the plate, counting on him to be a productive player in 2014 and beyond is a gamble. At the right price, it might be a gamble worth making, but if you’re outbidding the Red Sox, it’s probably not the right price anymore.

Given the Mariners already have a bunch of C/1B/DH types, I don’t think I’m all that interested in Napoli beyond a one year deal. Texas saw him up close and personal the last two years and wouldn’t even extend him a qualifying offer for 2013. There are too many red flags here for me to be that excited about a three or four year deal for Napoli. One with a vesting option and a bunch of incentives? Okay. Maybe even two guaranteed if the price is cheap enough. But once we start talking about the age 33 or 34 season of a catcher with old player skills, I’m not real interested in paying a high price for those years.

At the opposite end of that spectrum is the never-ending rumors of a Mariners-Royals trade. No, not that weird “trade the farm for Billy Butler” idea that apparently took hold last week, which never made any sense to begin with. Instead, in the wake of the Royals signing Jeremy Gutrhie, Jerry Crasnick and others have suggested that the team is interested in swapping a minor league hitter for a “young pitcher”, as they attempt to fill out their rotation without giving up any pieces from their big league roster to do it.

The Royals have exactly one minor league hitter interesting enough to land a premium young arm, and his name is Wil Myers. In fact, Myers is a top-5 prospect in the entire sport, ranking up there with the likes of Dylan Bundy, Jurickson Profar, and Oscar Taveras. He’s a 21-year-old outfield with some serious power who held his own in Triple-A for nearly an entire season after pounding Double-A last year. He’s not a perfect prospect — he still has some contact issues, primarily — but he looks a lot like a right-handed Jay Bruce, and he could develop into an above average right fielder within a year or two, with some real star potential down the line.

Myers, of course, is exactly the kind of player the Mariners need. As an outfielder who hasn’t even made his big league debut yet, he could fill a hole on the roster without being a short term fix, and could grow with the rest of the kids already here. Unlike Zunino or the rest of the bats on the farm, he doesn’t need any more time in Triple-A. He’s ready to step in and play big league ball on Opening Day next year. He’s a prospect in the sense that he’s never made the majors, but this isn’t a kid that you need to wait for him to develop. He’s a long term asset who can also offer 2013 production. The best of both worlds.

Which is why he’s not going to be easy to get. While we talk about Walker, Hultzen, and Paxton a lot, the reality is that none of them are particularly close to being big league ready. You could dream on a guy like Paxton or Hultzen helping out in the second half if their command improves, but in reality, they’re probably more 2014 pieces. And there are teams who would be just as interested in Myers as the Mariners that have big league arms they could offer up instead of the wait-and-see kids that Jack Z can dangle.

The Rays are the obvious competition here. They’re losing B.J. Upton, so they have a hole in their outfield. They don’t have the payroll to replace him with a premium free agent, and have to rely on continually restocking the team with pre-arbitration players who can produce while making the league minimum. And they have Major League youngsters like Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore that they could offer up, both of whom already have legitimate big league experience and could step right into the Royals rotation without missing a beat.

Taijaun Walker’s a nice prospect, but he’s not Matt Moore. James Paxton isn’t Jeremy Hellickson. Danny Hultzen isn’t Jon Niese, if the Mets decided to get involved in things. And, whenever you’re talking about the Royals, you can’t count out the Braves, who are loaded with pitching talent and are Dayton Moore’s favorite trade partners, given his history with the organization. There are a bunch of teams that would want Wil Myers and can simply offer up better young pitchers than the Mariners have.

If the Mariners want Myers, the hope would have to be that the Royals also loved Nick Franklin. Putting Franklin in a deal with one of the Big Three probably keeps you in the race for Myers, even if other teams are willing to give up an arm that is a little closer to big league ready. The M’s pitch would basically be quantity over quality, or at least, enough quantity to justify the drop-off in quality.

Is Jack ready to pay that kind of price for a kid who hasn’t even seen the big leagues yet? After all, even if you just look at the prospects as wild cards whose futures can’t be predicted, they’re still essentially the only trade chips Jack really has. Regardless of whether or not you’re interested in waiting for the kids to develop, they at least have value as currency, and the organization will have to decide if Myers is the right kid to give up their only real currency in trade for.

Because if it’s not Myers, a pick two of Walker/Hultzen/Paxton/Franklin opens a lot of other doors, and if you trade two of those guys to get Myers, you’re not left with a ton of chips to make other deals. At that point, you have to be pretty confident you’re signing a decent hitting free agent, or else we could be left with a winter like last year where the only real improvement is supposed to come from a kid who just spent the year in Triple-A. Myers could be a nice addition to the team, but he’d be a nice addition that would go along with the signing of a guy like Nick Swisher, not a move that replaces that kind of upgrade.

So, in both instances, I’d suggest not holding your breath. It’s possible that the Mariners could sign Napoli and trade for Myers. Or it’s possible that Napoli could choose Boston and the Rays could simply ace the Mariners out of a deal with KC by putting Matt Moore on the table. I’m sure the Mariners are exploring their options with both Napoli and the Royals. Maybe it will lead to something. Maybe it won’t. In both cases, whether we even want it to happen depends on the price. Napoli on a one year deal? Sold. Paxton and Franklin for Myers? Sold. But, at those prices, other teams are going to be saying the same thing.


60 Responses to “On Mike Napoli and Wil Myers”

  1. the tourist on November 23rd, 2012 11:24 pm

    What do you think of Erasmo Ramirez and Taijuan Walker for Wil Myers? That would give the Royals something major league ready to step into the rotation with 6 years of team control as well as something that could possibly be amazing in a couple years.

  2. Westside guy on November 24th, 2012 1:04 am

    Not that I’d want to see this, but – if the team is serious about Napoli (and I realize that’s not a given), any chance they’d decide to sell high on Jaso (assuming they perceive that last year was a career year for him)?

  3. Thirteen on November 24th, 2012 1:25 am

    Hate to be “that guy” but I’m gonna bring up the elephant in the room–the Marlins.

    Look, the Royals rumors make sense superficially but when you think about it it’s not a great fit. Mostly the M’s keep getting tossed around in KC rumors because of the Safeco-induced misconception that they’ve got good MLB pitching. They don’t. I think it’s foolish for Moore to gun it this year, but if he’s doing it, the M’s don’t really have all that much to offer them. Erasmo and Seager are the only interesting MLB pieces the Mariners have that the Royals roster needs, and the Mariners have no good depth behind Seager and likely won’t deal him. The Rays can basically trump the Mariners at will by offering Moore or even Hellickson. And if it were me, I wouldn’t even deal Myers. Personally, I’d bet on the Royals just keeping him and using their lesser prospects to get a guy from the Indians or Cubs.

    I know we’re not supposed to talk about Stanton, since the owners have said they won’t trade him this winter, but when he does become available (late this offseason, trade deadline, next offseason, whatever) the Marlins are the perfect match for the Mariners. They’ve shown that they’ll deal MLB players for minor leaguers, they need pitching and catching and middle infield prospects, and when it comes down to it pretty much no other farm stacks up with Seattle’s in those respects. Texas is the only other club that needs an outfielder and has the minor league wealth that the Mariners could offer, and even then neither team can obviously trump the other. That’s what a fit looks like–not this Kansas City stuff.

  4. maqman on November 24th, 2012 2:36 am

    Napoli has never made sense to me and I think KC would want too much for Meyers. Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports is of the opinion that Miami should trade Stanton now while his value is highest. That has some common sense going for it as the M’s could put together a really attractive package for Miami that would go a long way to getting them back to being a significant team. Stanton has more value than any player other than Trout or Harper and he has been public in his negative opinion of Miami’s gutting the team. JZ has the cojones to do a big deal and this one could be historic.

  5. justinh on November 24th, 2012 4:48 am

    There are many scouts, including some in the Mariners system whom believe Myers is very close to Trout and Harper in terms of talent. Acquiring Myers would definitely be different than obtaining other young prospects. In 2012 Myers would have been on many rosters in May and he is seasoned to the point where you would expect him to hit .260/.330/.450 or better right away. Every now and again you have to be willing to go all in on a guy, and Wil Myers is that special player. I find myself rosterbating thinking about Myers in a M’s uniform quite a lot lately. I would be willing to deal Vargas, Hultzen, and Franklin for Myers and Colon. It would be nice to trade from our plethora of bullpen arms, but KC is probably the only team in baseball who don’t need bullpen help. We would have to eat some of the Vargas money, but to obtain a player who has a legit shot to give you 6+ WAR per over the next 6? I’m all in. As Dave said Tampa is the wild card with any Myers deal. Obviously I don’t think KC would deal both Gordon and Myers, but I would give up the same package for Gordon.

    If Stanton is put on the market I would give the M’s about a 1% shot to land him. Every team will be offering their top 5 prospects. While we do have a rather deep system, we simply don’t have the impact bat that will be needed. The Rangers and Cards maybe the two teams with enough talent and the ++ bat needed to trade for Stanton.

  6. stevemotivateir on November 24th, 2012 6:19 am

    ^Vargas doesn’t make sense for KC because he’s in his final year of arbitration and will start commanding considerably more money, even if he signs a contract that buys out next year. Sending some dough along with him only helps for a year. They’ll want somebody who potentially fits long-term at a low price, hence the talk about pre-arb players. Maybe Ramirez would fit that role, but do we really want to part with him? I don’t!

  7. stevemotivateir on November 24th, 2012 6:40 am

    Napoli doesn’t interest me the slightest bit. The idea of bringing him in on a 3 or 4 year deal is kind of a feeling of deja vu with Sexton.

    With Jaso, Montero, and Zunino on his way, we have 3 players for 3 positions -if you assume Smoak’s a bust and one of those guys can cover first. If Smoak actually does turn it around, then we’re overstocked without adding a player. Something has to give. Technically, we’re already overstocked having Carp around. And then there’s the abundance of middle infielders who will need a place. But yeah, let’s sign more C/1B/DH players who can clog things up for years to come.

    I’ve been speculating for a while now about how we might be able to pry Myers away from the Royals. I’m sure Jack has as well.

  8. Gritty Veteran Poster on November 24th, 2012 9:32 am

    Jack has been able to pull off the tree team trade a few times. If he were to involve a third team perhaps using Montero as a chip might help sweeten the deal with KC?

  9. ndevale on November 24th, 2012 9:40 am

    Wow, I forgot how people really disconnect over Thanksgiving back up there in the states. This post would normally have like 100 comments by now. Allright!
    Could we have a little more of “Because if it’s not Myers, a pick two of Walker/Hultzen/Paxton/Franklin opens a lot of other doors,”
    please? Stanton, Upton, I don’t know…. It makes me nostalgic for that famous JJ putz 17 player trade…

  10. _Hutch_ on November 24th, 2012 10:12 am

    Amen. The only way the Napoli thing works is if they’ve already got one of Montero/Jaso on the table in a trade. And even then it’s not a good idea. At this point you really have to look at 2011 as an outlier for Napoli as far as offense, his defense has always been suspect and his knees have seen a decade of catching.

    Thank you for the real talk on the pitching prospects. I think the amount of information available in the Internet age has led to people falling overly in love with their own prospects. Pitching prospects are a roll of the dice and there’s a broad spectrum between MLB ace and injury-adled burnout. I’ve read stuff from well-respected prospect people that see Paxton as a bullpen arm and Hultzen as a 3/4 type pitcher. You obviously hope for more but Dayton Moore knows the folly of putting faith in young pitchers as well as anyone. If the Rays or Braves are offering up young, proven MLB starters it’s going to be hard to compete.

    At this point I think the M’s should be Swisher or bust as far as free agents go. Maybe keep Ludwick as a plan B.

  11. shortbus on November 24th, 2012 10:14 am

    Man I hope the team doesn’t go long on Napoli. He just looks like another bad contract in two years. I’d just like the team to sign a backup type at catcher so as not to block Zunino for even one day. Let’s see what Jaso can do playing catcher vs. every right-handed starter. Get a backup to face the lefties.

    And I love the idea of Franklin + Hultzen, Paxton or Walker for Myers. We have a potential logjam at middle infield in the next year or two, and pitching prospects are fragile and unpredictable. I would even consider Ackley instead of Franklin in that deal at this point. Franklin is about ready to come up and Andino can fill in at second in the mean time. Or we can move Seager over and sign a third baseman. We have so many second basemen!

  12. IwearMsHats on November 24th, 2012 10:39 am

    I’m thinking Montero gets traded with one of the young pitchers for Myers. That is, if they sign Napoli.

  13. Miles on November 24th, 2012 11:22 am

    If the M’s can land Myers, he can hang in Tacoma for a couple of months and save on the arbi clock, too. On my favorite site someone did a hit chart for the M’s with the new fence dimensions. Bringing in the walls affected Casper Wells the most. He could have had another 7 to 8 homers with the new dimensions and that’s in only 316 PA’s. 18 homers in 316 AB’s? If he’s not sitting behind Chone Figgins and Ichiro, he’s a legit 30 homer guy. Exactly what this team needs.

    When Guti breaks down or is traded at the trade deadline when he’s healthy, you swap him out for a young Myers. I like it. If the M’s aren’t going to “go for it” by bringing in Hamilton and Grienke, then keep playing the kids and trade for more kids stocking up for 2014.

    Bring in pitching by offering up Ackley/Franklin/Romero, Carp and Montero to TB for a young pitcher. Three kids vs one kid in Myers should bring the M’s another young SP. What would the M’s have to add to Ackley, Franklin and Montero to get Moore or Hellickson?

    Vargas, Paxton, $5 million to KC for Myers and Ackley, Carp, Montero, plus to TB for Hellickson.

  14. Westside guy on November 24th, 2012 11:37 am

    ^^ This would amount to selling low on both Ackley and Montero while simultaneously buying high on Hellickson.

    Hellickson was worth exactly 1 WAR last year – his FIP/xFIP are significantly worse than his ERA. He was rather lucky in terms of his results versus his performance, in other words. Why on earth would you trade even just Ackley for him, let alone throw in Carp, Montero, and more? Ackley had a disappointing year offensively – defensively he was better than we’d dreamed – yet even so he was still worth more than Hellickson.

  15. the tourist on November 24th, 2012 11:59 am

    “Vargas, Paxton, $5 million to KC for Myers and Ackley, Carp, Montero, plus to TB for Hellickson.”

    The first part is video game unrealistic. The second part would rival the Bedard trade for worst in Mariners history. Do not want Hellickson. If the Rays offered Moore, I’d give up Ackley and Montero if the team was set on hitting. But the team is not set on hitting.

  16. diderot on November 24th, 2012 12:26 pm

    It depresses me that the M’s think of Napoli as anything other than a net negative.
    It depresses me that Dave thinks Montero had a ‘bad’ rookie season.

  17. ripperlv on November 24th, 2012 1:28 pm

    The interest in Napoli is rather curious. I would tend to believe that they have a deal for Montero in the oven. if that is the case, I would presume it’s an AL team. Why would KC be interested? maybe they have a Butler move working. Maybe the Yanks would really like him back. I wonder if the Rays see something they like? I mean Montero can be viewed as Napoli Jr. , well kinda. Other teams that might want to take a chance on Montero, Indians,White Sox, Rangers. I just refuse to believe the M’s would get Napoli without a plan, because he really is a FA we don’t need without parallel moves.

  18. 9inningknowitall on November 24th, 2012 2:02 pm

    I would like Myers alot in the Mariners outfield. If you brought him and Zunino up mid season and let them be a part of the teams foundation with Ackley, Seager and Montero the team will have a good young core. Plus Saunders and the strong pitching this team could be fairly competitive.

  19. henryv on November 24th, 2012 2:20 pm

    Napoli’s bat speed scares me. If his swing is slowing down (leading to strike outs) that could be a monumental drop off in OBP and an increase in K’s.

    Does anyone know of any available information on bat speed? Is there any metric yet for that?

  20. Celadus on November 24th, 2012 3:27 pm

    Quote from Roto World regarding Napoli on October 13th.

    “Mike Napoli will undergo Lasik eye surgery next week. It’s a minor procedure. Napoli will have a normal offseason and enter free agency for the first time this winter. Matt Harrison also had Lasik surgery on Thursday.”

    Perhaps the Mariner organization opines that eye problems led to his lack of contact, not a slow bat. If so, that could provide a reason for more interest in him than is immediately evident.

  21. Westside guy on November 24th, 2012 3:42 pm

    Wasn’t it Lasik surgery that ostensibly led to Kotchmann’s rebound after he left the Mariners?

  22. eponymous coward on November 24th, 2012 3:54 pm

    It depresses me that Dave thinks Montero had a ‘bad’ rookie season.

    Dave has good reason to think this.

  23. Typical Idiot Fan on November 24th, 2012 4:30 pm

    Napoli’s bat speed scares me. If his swing is slowing down (leading to strike outs) that could be a monumental drop off in OBP and an increase in K’s.

    When you look at his plate discipline stats vis a vis his career lines, 2012 looks closer to average for him than 2011 did. I think we can safely toss 2011 out as non-representative of Napoli’s typical results. I don’t know if 2012 is an outlier as well or if it is an indication of declining skills. Regardless, he still put up a strong overall batting line, with no clear distinction that Arlington is masking the truth. Dave mentions his 9 doubles, and if you look at it, he still got 43% of his hits to go for extra bases, which is in line with his career numbers. The only weird thing about 2012′s lack of doubles is the maintaining of flyball to home run ratio from 2011. If you normalize his doubles and home runs to career PA percentages, he has more like 17 doubles instead of 9, and 17 home runs instead of 24, and slugging% drops to about .435 (ISO .208). Thus, while there is some smoke and mirrors to his overall 2012 line, it is still respectable, and easily understandable considering the contact issues.

    Wasn’t it Lasik surgery that ostensibly led to Kotchmann’s rebound after he left the Mariners?

    You mean the rebound that lasted only one year and was driven by a much higher than average BABIP?

  24. Typical Idiot Fan on November 24th, 2012 4:58 pm

    Also, I don’t agree that the Rays could use Matt Moore as easily. Dayton Moore came out publicly and stated that any additions to the team would have to be made at the expensive of other players, because they’re up against their budget wall (source). Moore isn’t much more than league minimum, but at the expense of Myers, it is still adding to the payroll. I also don’t see why the Rays would want to get rid of Moore. Obviously getting Myers would cost them, but they locked up Moore a la Longoria, Zobrist, and Davis in order to keep them and keep their costs down. Trading Moore would contradict their typical behavior, even if it is for Myers.

  25. Westside guy on November 24th, 2012 5:40 pm

    Conversely, Kotchman’s BABIP in 2010 and 2012 were quiet low (.229 and .233, respectively) – so maybe his variable production over the last three seasons just boils down to luck of one sort or another.

  26. Typical Idiot Fan on November 24th, 2012 6:58 pm

    Which is why we look elsewhere and see that there’s no significant difference in his batted ball profile or plate discipline. He’s the same guy he always has been: a dead pull ground ball machine.

  27. henryv on November 24th, 2012 7:26 pm

    Napoli’s contact rates have dropped off in both in the zone (78.4% to 75.1%) and outside the zone (61.7% to 58.7%).

    His in the zone contact rate is lower than it ever has been before.

    Just a normal decline for someone hitting their early 30s, but a concern given the thought of a 4 year contract.

  28. Typical Idiot Fan on November 24th, 2012 8:40 pm

    Napoli was never a big OOZ contact hitter until 2011. His 58.7% in 2012 is more in line with his career average. The in zone contact rate is more of a concern, though I don’t know how much concern I have with a single season dropoff of 3.3%. If this was a vision issue and the Lasik corrects it, I think we can go forward without much concern that Napoli is starting to decline rapidly.

  29. Mariners35 on November 25th, 2012 8:34 am

    It depresses me that Dave thinks Montero had a ‘bad’ rookie season.

    Meh. Dave made his mind up about Montero a while back, a la his opinions on Pineda before Pineda had an all-star season, and there will be little to change Dave’s mind on the subject until or unless Montero is a) putting up Silver Slugger numbers, b) the first baseman of his dreams or c) both.

    Which is weird, because for all that Dave is down on Montero’s catching, Zunino’s defense in the minors is looking like no great shakes either.

    Anyway, he’s right on Napoli at least – spending any more than one or two years on someone who has all the signs of becoming old-and-busted is really scary. The M’s have done worse with their stopgaps, but I’m sick of stopgaps. Napoli is only just this side of the usual blue light specials Z likes to fill the roster with.

    Paxton, Franklin and a throw-in and/or jedi mind trick to get Myers, I’d really be behind. A chance to invest in an outfielder with a slightly higher floor, and definitely a much higher ceiling, than any outfielder the M’s have in the system right now? Yes please. That’s a good use of some of the pitching depth, and Franklin is not such a beacon of hope that they need to keep him around to succeed Ryan or Ackley in the next 2 or 3 years.

  30. henryv on November 25th, 2012 9:33 am

    Dave should definitely stop using “facts” and “information” to inform his opinions.

    Since that 2011 All-Star appearance Pineda showed why you should never be particularly high on any pitching prospect.

    It is pretty hard to find anyone in the MLB who considers Montero a full-time catcher, or even an average catcher. Zunino is referred to as at least an average, if not above-average catcher. A 50-55 rating for catching defense isn’t much to shake a stick at, considering there aren’t a ton of those in the MLB as we speak.

    So, lets say Napoli is a 2.5 win player next year, and then a 1.5, and a 1 for year 3. That makes him a 5 win player over 3 years, when a win in the MLB will cost you between 5 and 6 million.

    So, 3 years $30M would be fine, I’d think. But what he’s asking for is probably a little steep.

    If you can keep Brendan Ryan around down the road for something like $5-8M a year, he could be a good value, but after next year, if someone actually values his defense, a team could actually pay him $10+M a year.

    And Dustin Ackley is likely to stick around for more than 2-3 years, unless you trade him, and won’t be a free agent until something like 2018, I think.

  31. Mariners35 on November 25th, 2012 11:45 am

    Dave should definitely stop using “facts” and “information” to inform his opinions. Since that 2011 All-Star appearance Pineda showed why you should never be particularly high on any pitching prospect.

    Yet you’re glossing over the main bit, which was Dave asserting before Pineda’s rookie season that Pineda needed to be held back to learn a secondary pitch, held back to get an extra year of service time, etc…. yet Pineda had an All-Star appearance, a 3.42 FIP over 171 innings, 3.2 WAR (more than any 2012 Mariner not named Felix or Kyle) and enough value to be flipped to the Yankees for a prime hitting prospect. What Pineda did or didn’t do as a Yankee, however he injured himself, doesn’t change that. Sounds like Pineda was just fine to me.

    Pineda’s 2011 performance happens to be “facts” and “information” too, even if it’s in conflict with your main preferences and assertions here.

    All that said, I do like your case for why 3/30 is a good gamble for Napoli. I’d hope if he’s brought to the M’s that Wedge and company use him right, and that the C/1b/DH merry-go-round doesn’t throw him, and that his value and usage peaks in the first year and then decreases acceptably in the other 2 years.

    And I hadn’t heard about Zunino’s defense being rated 50-55. Is that consensus scouting opinion or just one scout? The usual summaries I see here, at LL, etc. all keep coming back to above average amount of passed balls and no mention either way of how he does throwing out runners. This might be selective memory on my part; if there’s some recent summaries of minors info you could link to that talk about Zunino’s defense being good, pass it on…

  32. Westside guy on November 25th, 2012 1:10 pm

    Zunino’s hardly played any games at all – we drafted him this past summer. Drawing conclusions based on a couple months playing time is premature, to put it charitably.

    And that’s really what we’re talking about – drawing conclusions based on a couple months – since it’s not like people had concerns about Zunino’s defense heading into the draft.

    The passed balls – just like the (somewhat) surprising offensive performance – are something to watch going forward… but it’s way too early to start worrying about it.

  33. terry on November 25th, 2012 1:22 pm

    *********At the opposite end of that spectrum is the never-ending rumors of a Mariners-Royals trade. No, not that weird “trade the farm for Billy Butler” idea that apparently took hold last week, which never made any sense to begin with.*******

    Literally the Butler saga was one of the dumber ideas of this young off season….

  34. stevemotivateir on November 25th, 2012 1:50 pm


    Drawing premature conclusions is half the fun! It allows you to disregard reason, common sense, and often makes room for ridiculous speculation!

    Worth noting I don’t think Dave had a premature conclusion made up regarding Pineda. He just believed Pineda could have benefited from more time. And he may have been right. We’ll simply never know.

  35. Typical Idiot Fan on November 25th, 2012 3:35 pm

    Dave’s criticism of Pineda was completely valid. He was / is a fastball / slider pitcher, and that’s it. While Dave might have underestimated the effectiveness of Pineda’s fastball, it doesn’t change anything that a successful major league starter should be able to throw something to opposing handed hitters or they wont have very much success. Pineda was effective in his rookie campaign, but there was no guarantee he’d continue to have such success after teams started figuring out his limited repertoire.

    Montero’s issues were obvious to anybody watching him this season. The onus is on Jesus to prove he can buck the trend, not Dave noticing that the trend exists in the first place.

  36. Steve Nelson on November 25th, 2012 7:20 pm

    Dave’s criticism of Pineda was completely valid. He was / is a fastball / slider pitcher, and that’s it. While Dave might have underestimated the effectiveness of Pineda’s fastball, it doesn’t change anything that a successful major league starter should be able to throw something to opposing handed hitters or they wont have very much success. Pineda was effective in his rookie campaign, but there was no guarantee he’d continue to have such success after teams started figuring out his limited repertoire.

    Well stated. In the end the Mariners traded their attractive but flawed prospect for the Yankees similarly attractive but flawed prospect. And because pitching prospects overall are worth less than position prospects, the Mariners needed to provide more value in the other parts of the transaction.

  37. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 10:21 pm

    The M’s(Jack should BE.),are still in the process of stocking the M’s for a TB/KC type of swap,they don’t have the depth yet Dave.Like ALL M’s Fans I want results now,But when I heard that it was a, This trade/combo,I had to look at the M’s depth per-position,The lower levels catching depth is set up for the next ten years,Pitching is Pitching=Stuff/Health,The M’s have no Trout ready for the show,and don’t even have 1 MLB ready player to trade,except 1 of there best hitter’s,MONTERO-at 22/23 years of Age,(“Cameron”) may have not gotton better after the age of 22,but I think Montero Will,at both The Plate,and Behind it also.

  38. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 10:26 pm

    Dave,What would you want,a winning team,or Linkolon/Armstrong helping “YOU” Build this team,10 years’Y'R BL,Stuff,No wonder I remember those Day’s when Bevassi was your hero.

  39. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 10:32 pm

    Matter of fact Dave,YOU Helped get Figgins to Seattle.

  40. Dave on November 25th, 2012 10:41 pm

    Ladies and gentleman, I present the inebriated portion of the lunatic fringe.

  41. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 10:50 pm

    It Would have been great,
    #1Ichiro=.315 AVG 30+ SB’s
    #2Figgins.342+OBP 30+ SB’s
    #3Gutierrez,.275+AVG,Hand eye skills to move the runner’s
    #5=Clutch OBP
    #6 .260 But the Best 2-out hitter,Seager Could.
    #7 Saunders,needs at least 2 more years to be an above average lead off hitter with a .270+ AVG,25+SB’s,almost Gold Glove D,all-while batting 7′th.
    #8,Jaso/Montero as a semi-platoon with a OBP of .340+ wouldn’t be bad.
    #9 Gold Glove,.250+ AVG,15 pitch at bat MUCH?
    Montero give’s you more love than I DO,Or You Do to hIm.

  42. Typical Idiot Fan on November 25th, 2012 11:01 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever been THIS drunk.

  43. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 11:02 pm

    What do you,and your? Think About This Batting ORDER for 2013?
    #6Smoak,Until he become’s a better Version of SeaG
    #7Saunders,Nuff-Said,.265+ AVG,25+ SB’s and a .310+OBP,Dave Should Trade Him Now,While his $ Value is HIGH for a Swisher type of player,(DAVE),THE Reason The M’s GOT LANGERHANS “WAS” because of YOU.

  44. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 11:15 pm

    Let Dave Cameron Build a Team,Bypass the simple fact’s of the KC/TB FACT’s of trades and Blame Jack Z for the Lack of MLB ready ARM’s to trade for BAT’S.
    How Long have YOU,and Linkcolon/Harmstong said Sweet LOU Can’t help your bottom line?

  45. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 11:19 pm

    I Really Can see the Trade’s with You.Seager,Montero,Saunder’s,Smoak,and$ for Langerhans,He does FILL an Outfield NEED.

  46. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 11:32 pm

    I know about the down Years,look at Dave’s friends in front of the Game’s Camera’Montero Suck’s,never a MLB player,Doesn’t please me,Best of BOTH World’s,Can’t play MLB-BALL,Only hits .259+ for the M’s at the AGE of 22=Kill him.
    The M’s have other Need’s.
    Get A GRIP DAVE,YOU are 1 of the reason’s,Dang!

  47. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 11:35 pm

    Your’e buddie’s
    C’Mon,I Give you a LIKE?
    What?For being an ARD.

  48. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 11:44 pm

    M’s Fans Don’t realize That the M’s have a very LOW-Value trade deficit within the system,KC/every team know’s that,Your buddy Sea-Tac,in Jacks first year wanted him fired,because he couldn’t make the trade’s/FA Signings.

  49. dfrankster on November 25th, 2012 11:56 pm

    The M’s need a new,-GOOD Vibe,Not a Montero needs to be flushed down the camode type of vibe.
    I guess Figgins could described with his time in Seattle,Hey Dave,You and your friends saying a 20 year old is a fail,and there is NO-HOPE,for them being even,a Little-bit better,Montero,He will be a good trade later down the road,I hope it helps him,same with Carp,and I hope that Saunders can excel in-spite of you,and your Minions.

  50. ABP52380 on November 26th, 2012 1:16 am

    Haha, wtf. I never post but in lieu of the above I can’t help but wonder exactly how much booze was consumed. Must have been one hell of a thanksgiving.

  51. BackRub on November 26th, 2012 1:35 am

    HAHAHA that was awesome. Probably the hardest I’ve ever laughed in the comment section of a baseball blog. Way to pick up on the drunkenness quickly, Dave.

  52. Thirteen on November 26th, 2012 2:27 am

    @dfrankster: Can you tell me where you bought your cider? I need to get me some of that.

  53. stevemotivateir on November 26th, 2012 4:51 am

    Seriously Frank/dfrankster, what are you doing? Talk with family and/or friends. You need a better distraction from whatever it is that’s weighing on you. We all need a little help sometimes. Sometimes professional help. Even the professionals need help now and then.

    Don’t make a fool of yourself. You’re a Mariner fan. You’re better than that. Think about it.

  54. Mariners35 on November 26th, 2012 7:23 am

    As Sullivan over at LL would put it, that series of posts was ‘mittens on dick insane’.

  55. Celadus on November 26th, 2012 11:22 am

    Thanks for not immediately deleting those, Dave.

  56. MrZDevotee on November 26th, 2012 2:37 pm

    re: dfrankster

    That’s GOT to be either Miguel Olivo or Jose Lopez…!?

    Wherever the internet light poles are located, there’s one bent in half and a horn blaring… With a head through the windshield.

    Ouch. Call 911.

    (Sadly, this also reminds me of what conversations with Robot Umpires might be like… It’s hard to perfect logic to a usefully thorough level with simply 1′s and 0′s!)

  57. marc w on November 26th, 2012 4:07 pm

    I’ve got to remember to use “What?For being an ARD” in comment moderation from this point forward.

  58. Hooligan on November 26th, 2012 4:38 pm

    It’s Drunk Uncle from Saturday Night Live.

  59. MrZDevotee on November 26th, 2012 10:51 pm

    Updates seem to suggest Napoli won’t be heading to Seattle, if the new rumors are true that we’re eyeballing Russell Martin now.

    Meh, on the surface… Another offensively challenged catcher, right? Until you scratch the surface and find “.830 OPS vs lefties”?! Approaching 1000 PA’s.

    John Jaso, say hello to your (our) new best friend.

    (Although I’m pretty sure the Yankees can follow us down any contract road we’d try…)

  60. MrZDevotee on November 27th, 2012 12:10 am

    / This made me look, and oddly relevant in a partial platoon with Jaso… Napoli’s 2012 splits are counter-helpful. He hit righties significantly better than lefties (<.200 vs LHP).

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