Mariners Talking With Hamilton, Deal Apparently Not Close

Dave · December 6, 2012 at 8:28 am · Filed Under Mariners 

After the late night rumor mill got lit on fire with reports that the Mariners were “very close” to signing Josh Hamilton, this morning brought buckets of water, as Chuck Armstrong told Ryan Divish that the two sides hadn’t discussed terms or numbers. Of course, that means that they are talking, and they could have essentially agreed that they’d have significant mutual interest once Texas was out of the picture. Clearly, the Mariners declarations from a few weeks ago that they wouldn’t be involved weren’t true, and given that there aren’t a lot of obvious other destinations for Hamilton, it makes sense for him to engage Seattle if they are willing to make a significant offer.

It sounds like this whole thing hinges on what Texas decides to do with regards to Zack Greinke and Justin Upton, so all these moves will probably happen in fairly close proximity to each other. It’s the domino effect, essentially. Once Greinke picks a team, everything else can start to happen. Whether that goes down today, tomorrow, or next week, it sounds like these teams got to a point where they have a general feeling of where everyone fits, and now they just have to wait for the lynchpin to get pulled.

I’m sure people will be disappointed that the organization didn’t do anything here, but give it a week or so – this stuff will break free pretty soon. And it’s certainly possible that Hamilton ends up in Seattle. It seems clear that the Mariners are looking to land either Hamilton or Swisher, and given the teams left in the OF market, they’ll probably get one of the two.

Comments

96 Responses to “Mariners Talking With Hamilton, Deal Apparently Not Close”

  1. MrZDevotee on December 6th, 2012 8:35 am

    Thanks for the update, Dave.

    Somewhat related… Have you heard anything about the supposed 4-team talks with Cleveland, Arizona, Texas and Seattle…? Any traction to those tires?

    Texas wants Upton, supposedly Seattle could get Derek Holland, and we’re players in it supposedly because if the Rangers get Upton, Hamilton is more likely to end up in Seattle.

    I know there are TONS of swirling rumors, just curious, since you’re there, if you’ve heard anything on that one?

  2. deadmanonleave on December 6th, 2012 8:42 am

    I’d say that the way things sit right now, the Winter Meetings have been pretty successful for the M’s. The biggest pieces that represented improvement are still on the board, and there are less buyers out there than a few days ago.

  3. kinickers77 on December 6th, 2012 8:46 am

    The new law making marijuana legal in WA state went into effect today. They should use that to lure Hamilton this way. :P

  4. ndevale on December 6th, 2012 8:46 am

    Yeah, same question. IF the Mariners get involved in getting Upton to Texas, we get some say Derek Holland, and sign Hamilton, what would be the finishing touch? Enough left to sign Swisher? Will the price on both come down enough, especially if we can unload Vargas?

  5. MrZDevotee on December 6th, 2012 8:51 am

    DeadMan-
    I agree. It’s a bit of poker going on, and we’ve “called” our way through the first two rounds, without the bids getting too high yet. The guys we wanted are still there, and the teams still at the table are shrinking.

    Now it becomes a little more critical though. Reminds me of goose hunting on Hudson Bay. You have to wait for the birds to get in range, flying in to shore to feed, but there are so many other hunters lined up along the shore, you have to be sure to shoot before the guy next to you does… There’s a critical range where you have to act, or you miss out.

    Nervous fingers on the trigger.

  6. deadmanonleave on December 6th, 2012 8:53 am

    MrZ – never been hunting but played a lot of cards…. I think you have my feelings summed up just right!

  7. Rboyle0628 on December 6th, 2012 8:58 am

    From what I’ve read this crazy complex trade doesn’t seem to be that worth it for us. For Derek Holland? Basically to me it seems like we would be giving up a premium prospect for Holland and ensuring Texas has no reason to be interested in Hamilton anymore. Maybe my opinion on Holland is incorrect. Just seems like we should not really be involved in this trade.

  8. rth1986 on December 6th, 2012 8:59 am

    Could the Mariners possibly land Choo in addition to Holland in the four-team swap?

  9. 9inningknowitall on December 6th, 2012 9:00 am

    Is there a chance the M’s land both Hamilton and Swisher? That could be interesting.

  10. amnizu on December 6th, 2012 9:16 am

    The Mariners are doing the right thing by letting the market come to them here. If they can be in on Upton to drive up his price then it benefits them.

    I think they’re trying to force Texas into overpaying for their off season outfield choice be that through a bigger contract to Hamilton or better prospects for Upton. I also think they’re trying to influence Texas to make that move first before Grienke in hopes that they wont be able to afford both.

    I still think the M’s play here is for Swisher. They want to drive them market to settle out leaving them as the only real attractive longer term contract option. It will then be up to Swisher if he wants multi-year or would consider 1 year from NY.

  11. shadow_watch on December 6th, 2012 9:35 am

    “At the end, if you cant get the offensive piece that you would like to have, or it doesn’t fit, or the cost is too high, then you still try to do things to make the club better,” Zduriencik said. “And if settling on a pitcher this year is the thing to do, then that’s not the wrong thing. It maybe doesn’t fit exactly like you want, but we still have a young staff. So, a piece to this staff would be good. And we’re very open to that.” Z
    Sounds like a familiar refrain to me. The old song: we tried but we couldn’t do it, we tried …

  12. Mariners35 on December 6th, 2012 9:35 am

    So, hang on – if “Clearly, the Mariners declarations from a few weeks ago that they wouldn’t be involved weren’t true”, then why are Chuck’s statements being taken at face value today? They may have everything primed and ready to go the instant the ink dries on a Greinke contract, and/or the instant one of the Mariner-related 4-team deals is actually the right one.

  13. _Hutch_ on December 6th, 2012 10:06 am

    Why aren’t we the ones making the play for Upton? Three years of control (more or less the Felix Plan for Contention) entering the prime of his career, right-handed power, not an obscene yearly value. Most of Hamilton’s upside without any of the risk.

  14. MrZDevotee on December 6th, 2012 10:14 am

    Hutch-
    A curious thing about Upton… His career numbers away from his home park are .250 avg. (versus .307 at home) with an OPS .200 pts lower (.730 vs .930).

    That probably translates well to a move to Arlington, but not so much to Safeco.

    I’m just not sure he’s the stud he appears to be as a Diamondback, if you move him somewhere else.

  15. JasonJ on December 6th, 2012 10:19 am

    Considering that we’re currently around $65 M in payroll, it would seem unlikely that there would be any other big signings since Hamilton alone would get us roughly to the $90 million budget.

    My admittedely conservative calculations based on WAR would get the M’s to around a 78-82 win team with Hamilton on board (estimated 4.3 WAR for him). Not great, but there is a .500 foundation and if any of the youngsters break out it could be an interesting season.

    We could probably get to the same WAR (or higher)with a combination of Swisher/Bourn and another SP, so who knows which method is the best. I tend to lean towards spreading the risk around on a couple of different players rather than one 32 year-old with a history of injuries and other problems but there’s no question that Hamilton would bring more buzz.

  16. shortbus on December 6th, 2012 10:21 am

    _Hutch_-

    For his career Justin Upton has a wRC+ of 90 away from the Diamondbacks’ home stadium. Last year it was 79. The difference in ISO between home and away is stunning: .221 at home, .092 at home.

    It’s true that Upton brings baserunning and defense to the table as well, but it looks like as a hitter his home park has been a critical factor in making him a star. As a right-handed hitter the risk of bringing him to Safeco to play half his games is too high given the likely cost to the Mariners, in my opinion.

    I like the focus on Hamilton, though I’m hesitant to see the team lose a draft pick this season, since even with Hamilton it doesn’t look like a contention year.

  17. currcoug on December 6th, 2012 10:50 am

    Well said, shortbus.

    I am disappointed the M’s are not making a play for Asdrubal Cabrera, who would seem to be a nice fit, and fill some of the M’s needs. He would be under club control for the next two seasons. He provides gold glove defense, switch hits, has some pop, and could hit lead off. Are the Indians just asking too much, for Zduriencik not to be interested?

  18. eponymous coward on December 6th, 2012 11:04 am

    It would be nice if Jack’s comments on things getting expensive in the FA market for OFers made to Baker were just public posturing, not actual “Lincoln and Armstrong just told me my salary budget for 2013 was $75 million, another 10 million cut, time to back up the van for everyone’s rejects or whatever creative things I can do on a limited salary”.

  19. Westside guy on December 6th, 2012 11:05 am

    Between the two, I am really REALLY hoping for Swisher. I think, given his approach, Hamilton’s going to completely fall apart in 2-3 years.

  20. currcoug on December 6th, 2012 11:11 am

    Baker is not backing down from his original source, and Armstrong admitted the M’s are “still interested”…

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/mariners/2012/12/06/mariners-still-interested-in-josh-hamilton-waiting-to-see-what-happens-with-free-agent-logjam/

  21. Alec on December 6th, 2012 11:47 am

    “Asdrubal Cabrera provides gold glove defense”

    Ummm, no he does not. He is one of the worst defenders at the position in the sport. Most teams see him as a 2B/3B playing out of position.

  22. stevemotivateir on December 6th, 2012 11:50 am

    I’m with ya, Westy. I think Swisher’s a better fit and a safer bet. I remember discussing that in the game threads many months ago!

  23. Celadus on December 6th, 2012 12:12 pm

    “Asdrubal Cabrera provides gold glove defense”

    Last three years with the Indians: -7.7, -11.8, and -9.0 fielding runs (source Fangraphs). -35.6 career. Makes up for it with his hitting, but as Alec said, better at 2B/3B. Mariners have good players at both positions and have depth in the minors there.

    Good player but probably not a good fit for the Mariners because of his eventual position change.

  24. Thirteen on December 6th, 2012 12:12 pm

    Let’s not act like there’s no risk of Swisher declining, either. A lot of guys like him–walks, power, decent defense–have totally collapsed at age 32. A certain Jason Bay comes to mind. At some point these patience/power guys’ swings get slower and pitchers start exploiting the holes, and then they’re done. That risk is very much there with Swisher.

    Hamilton carries a higher injury risk and less consistency, but both carry the same risk of losing swing speed and falling off the map entirely.

  25. ThanatosK on December 6th, 2012 12:22 pm

    So basically you’re saying that older players carry a risk of getting worse as they approach middle age? Crap, someone should tell Z. Make sure he focuses on getting us Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.

  26. Westside guy on December 6th, 2012 12:24 pm

    Jason Bay was, by most accounts, a bad defender even in his prime. He just had the advantage of playing in Fenway for a few years – there’s not a lot of ground to cover there in front of the Green Monster.

    In Safeco, Wedge should say to him what Wak said to Griffey – just put away your glove.

  27. stevemotivateir on December 6th, 2012 12:56 pm

    @ThanatosK

    HA!

  28. eponymous coward on December 6th, 2012 12:56 pm

    Jason Bay was, by most accounts, a bad defender even in his prime. He just had the advantage of playing in Fenway for a few years – there’s not a lot of ground to cover there in front of the Green Monster.

    In Safeco, Wedge should say to him what Wak said to Griffey – just put away your glove.

    If Jason Bay is on the team playing regularly, let alone playing the field, something’s likely gone horribly wrong with the M’s offseason planning.

  29. currcoug on December 6th, 2012 1:38 pm

    Ya, diminished on the defense in 2012, but to say he has no value for the M’s? I would happily take him at 2B, over the 2012 version of Ackley.

  30. Slats on December 6th, 2012 1:49 pm

    Ken Rosenthal:

    M’s have discussed three year deal with Hamilton, $20-25 million per season.

  31. greentunic on December 6th, 2012 1:56 pm

    Clearly, the Mariners declarations from a few weeks ago that they wouldn’t be involved weren’t true

    I certainly remember the Mariners downplaying the chances but I do not believe they specifically said they “would not be involved” in Hamilton.

    Does anyone have a link for this?

  32. bat guano on December 6th, 2012 2:06 pm

    I’ve been leery of Hamilton for several reasons, but a three year deal sounds too good to be true.

  33. Slats on December 6th, 2012 2:10 pm
  34. Jamison_M on December 6th, 2012 2:41 pm

    Is a three year deal actually possible? I don’t believe that a three year deal is enough to keep other teams out of the race. But I will be absolutely thrilled if we land Hamilton on a short term deal, especially if it’s closer to $60MM than $70MM for three years.

    I completely agree with bat guano’s comment above. Leery, but hey, three years? OK.

  35. 9inningknowitall on December 6th, 2012 2:43 pm

    Three years may show just how afraid teams are of Hamilton declining and a lot of OF choices with only a few shoppers this off season.

  36. _Hutch_ on December 6th, 2012 3:16 pm

    I’ve got to think that the three year rumor was planted by Hamilton’s agent or someone with a vested interest in driving up the price/getting others involved. He’ll get four years at minimum, five if someone gets desperate.

  37. bookbook on December 6th, 2012 3:19 pm

    That’d be some kind of backwards strategy: Hey, look at me, no one’s willing to go more than 3 years because I’m such a high risk!

    It could work. I expect Detroit has $250 million burning a hole in their pocket.

  38. Jamison_M on December 6th, 2012 3:22 pm

    I would think the three-year rumor could possibly get teams interested in offering a four-year deal, but not much more than that.

  39. Typical Idiot Fan on December 6th, 2012 3:32 pm

    A 3 year deal would mean that the Mariners are going for it. You don’t sign someone for 3 years just to have them around for 3 years. You don’t sign a player like Hamilton for big money then let the whole thing rot. 3 years means the M’s feel like they’re going to do something these next 3 years.

  40. Mariners35 on December 6th, 2012 3:35 pm

    Hamilton for 3 years, Swisher for 5 years, 4-way for Upton or Holland. Then a Felix extension. Boom, offseason done, fringes of contention achieved without mortgaging the future.

  41. JasonJ on December 6th, 2012 3:43 pm

    No way we get both Hamilton ($20-$25M) and Swisher ($13-$15M) unless the FO is willing to go over $100 M in payroll or we somehow dump Guti’s contract. Even then that would be pushing it.

  42. thedude1987 on December 6th, 2012 4:16 pm

    Remember, Choney comes off the books after this year. That should save the M’s another 10 mil. would be really surprised/impressed if the M’s signed both Swisher and Hamilton.

  43. the tourist on December 6th, 2012 4:25 pm

    “No way we get both Hamilton ($20-$25M) and Swisher ($13-$15M) unless the FO is willing to go over $100 M in payroll or we somehow dump Guti’s contract. Even then that would be pushing it.”

    There is magic in back-loaded contracts. It’s possible the Mariners could sign both and only be paying a total of $20m combined. By the time the bigger money comes into the equation, Figgins, Gutierrez, and Vargas’ contracts would all be gone.

  44. MrZDevotee on December 6th, 2012 4:33 pm

    Perhaps a backloaded contract with Hamilton and/or Swisher would fit them both in our budget? Given the Figgy-off-the-books situation in 2014 and TV contract up in 2015?

    (Does anyone else have the feeling that Jesus Montero might be on the way out, in a trade package, if we bring in multiple bats? The fact that he’s penciling in as strictly a DH in our plans makes him fairly expendable… And he still has some “prospect” hype to him– much like Smoak when we went after him at Texas… But another ho-hum season this year and he’ll officially be, well, ho’hum… Montero + a “big three” pitcher would be a nice package).

  45. Steve Nelson on December 6th, 2012 5:12 pm

    Re Hamilton – if an offer of a 3-year deal is truly sufficient to keep discussions going, I can easily see a deal that is three years plus an automatically vesting option year based on playing. The rationale would be that if he is still productive and healthy enough in year 3 to get something like 500 PAs, having him around for a fourth year isn’t a big risk. But if he tanks by year 3 or has a major injury, the deal is over. That’s an easy way to guarantee a player money if he stays productive and healthy.

    Of course, if someone else offers four years guaranteed plus a similar option for year 5, the risk goes up substantially.

  46. tmac9311 on December 6th, 2012 5:13 pm

    To think in october I thought there was no chance at bourn swisher and hamilton, and now there’s a chance at swisher bourn AND hamilton (although its a < 1% chance). I prefer Swisher to Hamilton for the hole we also have a first. Swisher gives us the option of starting Smoak or Wells depending on who's hot, and we wouldn't be counting on Smoak, or on guti staying healthy all year. Of course I won't complain if we get Hamilton either, though I don't but the 20-25M rumors.

  47. Thirteen on December 6th, 2012 5:15 pm

    “So basically you’re saying that older players carry a risk of getting worse as they approach middle age? Crap, someone should tell Z. Make sure he focuses on getting us Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.”

    Yes, in fact, that is exactly what I am saying. It seems hilariously obvious, but I’ve seen a lot of people (including some in this very thread) treating Swisher like a sure thing and Hamilton like this huge risk, and that’s simply not the case.

    Look, both of these players are the same age. Both of them have the same chance of experiencing decline through aging–Hamilton a little less, in fact, since he’s the better athlete to start with.

    If Swisher’s chance of getting old and bad is X, Hamilton’s is X – Y + Z, where Y is his athleticism advantage and Z is his injury history disadvantage. The question is, how do you weight X, Y, and Z? I honestly think there’s not an enormous difference between the two in terms of decline risk. Is that difference worth losing the 1 extra WAR/year that Hamilton would get you?

  48. stevemotivateir on December 6th, 2012 5:36 pm

    ^Might wanna look into Hamilton’s injury history. Pretty significant difference in games played between the two. Hamilton is a higher risk. Health is a legitimate concern for a lot of fans, especially given our history with Gutierrez.

  49. JasonJ on December 6th, 2012 5:50 pm

    Good point on the back-loaded contracts. Still would be extremely surprised if they made two big moves like that.

    RE Montero: Risky move if he ends up living up to his power potential and he is so young that it’s still possible that it could happen. Also think the fences being moved in will be a boost for him. I think Jack Z would be hesitant to trade him so quickly but on the other hand, he’s probably only a DH going forward so I don’t know if he could haunt him too bad unless he turned into David Ortiz.

  50. Longgeorge1 on December 6th, 2012 7:25 pm

    Getting Hamilton on a 3 year deal might seem great, but I think it means that there are a lot of GM’s who think he is just about finished.

  51. Jamison_M on December 6th, 2012 9:08 pm

    I think getting Hamilton on a three-year deal means a lot of GMs, including the one who signs him, think he will be just about finished in three years – maybe two for those who didn’t sign him.

    I love the idea of getting Hamilton and Swisher on back-loaded contracts so the big chunks will come out after Cho-nee and Guti are off the books. But that will never happen. I’m a big supporter of signing Swisher and trading for Wil Myers; and Hamilton signs with a National League team. That would be my dream (yet somewhat realistic) off-season. Of course, I’d also like a decent starting pitcher without helping Texas acquire Justin Upton.

  52. marcus_andrews on December 6th, 2012 9:17 pm

    So if the Mariners sign Bourn or Hamilton but miss out on Swisher what would any of you guys say to looking in to a trade for Corey Hart? I know he’s not a superstar but he provides a little bit of what Swisher does but via the trade route as opposed to free agency.

    He’s not as good of a hitter, nor does he bat from both sides, but he can play first or a corner outfield at least passably and he has had some really strong years offensively and has averaged out to 3.5 WAR the last two years.

    The problem obviously, is that Milwaukee is a team that fancies themselves a contender so they would probably want more MLB ready talent. However their bullpen was awful last year so I feel like they might value a Capps or Pryor a little more then their “market value” and could be a piece for a trade. Any thoughts?

  53. Luther on December 6th, 2012 11:53 pm

    Payroll shouldn’t be too much of a problem the next couple of years. Backloads, along with salary dump of Guti and figs next year. Now even, we may find a cheaper option over Vargas projected 7-8m(Holland 3.2m) and save some money. We could save another 3m and trade Ryan. Roll w/Andino until Franklin-Miller are ready.

    Or would it be all that crazy to sell off Guti this year for someone who will take half his 2013 deal. 3.5m for a possible if healthy elite defensive CF w/ team option for 14′ really isn’t all that inconceivable. Sizemore like deal last yr.

    M’s can def find ways to fit in 2 if not 3(choo-morse) hitters if they are creative.

  54. mssuperfan19 on December 7th, 2012 3:54 am

    I think Hamilton is great don’t get me wrong but I think for the Ms to really be competitive they need two bats. I would prefer Swisher and why not swing a trade for Granderson? Also as far as pitching and bench I would like to see Jair Jurrjens and Casey McGehee. Swisher has position flexibility,Granderson plays good d hits for power and can run,Jurrjens seems like a low risk high reward if he can come back healthy he’s been pretty steady,McGehee can play 1st,2nd, or 3rd and Jack is familiar with him could come cheap if he doesn’t perform no big deal but he could be Mark McLemore with pop

  55. ivan on December 7th, 2012 5:51 am

    Yeah, Granderson. I mean why not? How about Trout? Or McCutcheon? Or Pujols? Joey Votto, didn’t we discuss him once?

  56. Westside guy on December 7th, 2012 7:31 am

    If you trade Gutierrez for “a bat”, you’re likely giving away a lot of that increased offensive value by adding a guy with a brick for a glove in the field. Defense has value. Not to mention that, with Guti’s history, you’re selling low – other GMs know his history just as well as we do. Not much is going to come back.

    And some of these trade ideas sound… A bit far fetched. These other teams exist to win, not to provide the Mariners with talent. Ask yourself if you’d make the deal if you’re sitting at the other end of the table.

  57. Typical Idiot Fan on December 7th, 2012 7:57 am

    Getting Hamilton on a 3 year deal might seem great, but I think it means that there are a lot of GM’s who think he is just about finished.

    I don’t see it this way at all. I do think that GMs are less willing to take the risk on Hamilton long term, but that’s not the same thing as saying they think he’s “just about finished”. There’s a difference between being willing to sign a player for 5+ years with an injury and drug history like Josh’s for ~$15m a year than ~$25m a year. By demanding the big money, Hamilton has priced himself out of a lot markets for extra years.

    This is especially true when you take the annual big spenders out of the equation. The Yankees aren’t doing any major contracts over 1 year; the Red Sox got their guys early; the Phillies might make a run at him but seem interested in other directions; the Dodgers have a loaded outfield already; and the Tigers don’t seem interested. That pretty much leaves Texas, and they are trying for Greinke first and Hamilton second, and can’t afford both. Without a big market for outfielders, the quality ones that were trying to get paid have been left kind of in the cold.

    That is why Hamilton, as well as Swisher and Bourn, are all still looking for jobs. It’s also why they probably wont get quite what they want.

  58. jwgrandsalami on December 7th, 2012 8:56 am

    If rumors of the Mariners’ offer to Hamilton being 3 years at $20 mil or $25 mil are accurate and Seattle is not willing to increase it, I doubt he signs with the Mariners.

    Even if Texas signs Greinke and won’t match the offer, I have to think that the agent then goes around to other teams and says “Hamilton doesn’t really want to play with Seattle, please match this offer or give me a one-year deal for $30 mil.” Gotta think with the Yankees needing a RF, but trying to get under the luxury tax for 2014, would jump at the opp to land Hamilton for one year.

    If the Rangers really do have Hamilton “on hold” waiting for a Greinke deal, an increased Mariners offer of say 5/120 might entice him to sign without waiting for the Rangers to finish their other business (since it’s clear that Texas won’t go to five years). That’s a reasonable deal and the M’s need Hamilton. I wish they’d stop lowballing him and just do what it takes to get it done rather than being a fallback option in case Texas signs other players.

  59. bookbook on December 7th, 2012 9:02 am

    I wish the M’s would just sign Swisher for 5/$71 or the like. They can then make their best offer to Hamilton and let the chips fall where they may. At this point, when the M’s don’t get either Hamilton or Swisher, I’ll be disappointed. (Bourn is not a satisfying consolation prize. At all.)

  60. vertigoman on December 7th, 2012 9:11 am

    I’m definitely not opposed to Hamilton on a 4 year deal.
    A 5 year deal is getting scary.
    Being that you can probably sign both Bourne and Swisher for the same amount as Hamilton I’d rather go that direction.
    Let Saunders, Gutz, Smoak and Montero fight over the remaining ABs in LF and RF/1B and DH.

  61. Nate on December 7th, 2012 9:20 am

    Hardballtalk printed something about a 3 year deal?
    If only you could believe stuff you read on the interwebs…

    Article

  62. downwarddog on December 7th, 2012 10:05 am

    If the Rangers let Hamilton leave, that will be three teams that divested themselves in the Josh Hamilton business. The dude is a cancer everywhere he goes. He drugged his way through his years in the Rays organization. By many accounts he was not particularly liked in the Reds clubhouse and now with his late season swoon in Texas, it appears the Rangers are disenchanted with him. Why anyone would want him at a top shelf price as he begins his decline is beyond me.

  63. JasonJ on December 7th, 2012 10:16 am

    I can’t imagine Hamilton would be pleased with his agent only getting 3 years (especially with the Mariners). Moreover, his agent’s reputation could take a hit as well if he can’t get more than 3 years for a former MVP who hit 43 HR’s last year during an economic boom for the sport.

    They went into this expecting 6 or 7 at $25 M/year and I have the feeling that somebody (hopefully not the M’s) is going to lose their restraint and give it to him. Sluggers always seem to get what they want because the owners can’t resist.

  64. codybond31 on December 7th, 2012 11:14 am

    Why don’t the M’s get into the Justin Upton talks, for Upton?

    Would you rather have Upton at $8M/yr and sign Borne at $13M/yr and a Veteran SP for $4M/yr at $25M/yr total. With giving up Nick Franklin and Maybe James Paxson.

    or just Josh Hamilton at $25M/year?

  65. djtizzo on December 7th, 2012 1:03 pm

    Love Hamilton, but would much rather have the combo of Swisher and Bourn with a combined 9.5 WAR as opposed to Hammys 3.4 WAR based on last year. That leaves the M’s with way more options when it comes to trades. Z could get a guy like Dee Gordon or Asdrubal Cabrera via the trade market for their young arms.

  66. Liam on December 7th, 2012 1:25 pm

    Upton is $10M, $14M, $14M the next three years, not $8M.

    or just Josh Hamilton at $25M/year?
    You’re leaving out the part where we still have Nick Franklin and James Paxton in this scenario.

  67. TumwaterMike on December 7th, 2012 1:52 pm

    Now the Yankees in the mix…interesting!!!

  68. msfanmike on December 7th, 2012 2:17 pm

    Nick Swisher and Edwin Jackson could probably be acquired for what they might be considering paying to Hamilton. I would rather see the team spread the money out to 2 or 3 good players rather than one ‘great’ player with a lot of baggage and heading toward his own baseball related decline.

    The team needs a talent like a “top-of-his game” Hamilton has previously provided, and if they do get him I will be more happy than sad, but I would rather see the team spread the money around in a smarter/less risky way.

    For all we know, Texas could end up with both Greinke and Hamilton.

  69. MrZDevotee on December 7th, 2012 2:25 pm

    AND… Now Red Sox are in on the Hamilton thing too (per SI)… I think hearing the numbers “3 years/$20 million per”, perked up some ears, versus what we’d all been hearing he wanted initially…

    And definitely not leaked by the M’s, who we KNOW are tight lipped on this stuff. He’s got a good agent, evidently, letting the rest of the league know: “really? You guys will let Seattle have him for $20 million a year, 3 years?”

    The window of opportunity may have closed on that deal. (If only the Rangers had signed Greinke during the meetings/frenzy.)

  70. amnizu on December 7th, 2012 3:32 pm

    >The window of opportunity may have closed on that deal. (If only the Rangers had signed Greinke during the meetings/frenzy.)

    Hamilton’s agent did a great job of negotiating in the press and spurring interest from other teams by mentioning 3 years. Now they can get a couple teams in at 4 years and push one to 5 years.

  71. hoffphil on December 7th, 2012 4:24 pm

    Why aren’t we talking Michael Bourn? Younger (less contract length risk), equally good offensive skills if not a good edge over Swisher and Hamilton in year 2 and3 of the contract, can run the bases and has the position flexibility. I don’t get it. Are the Mariners playing the game of ‘please lord let me win by losing’.

  72. marcus_andrews on December 7th, 2012 4:31 pm

    Just a few thoughts here-

    One, when I mentioned trading for Corey Hart and brought up Stephen Pryor, I by no means meant a one for one swap, just meant Pryor is a guy they might value slightly higher than other teams or than we do internally (we have a lot of good bullpen arms now and on the way).

    Secondly, I don’t know that this is some miraculous play by Hamilton’s agent. While yes, it is great to get more teams interested, I don’t know that getting them interested by setting the bar extremely low is the best way to go about this. Of course everyone will be interested in him at three years, but that was always the case. Perhaps he will get more AAV on a 4 year deal because of this leak, but I think it greatly lowers the odds that he signs a longer term deal. I view that as a move of desperation, not genius on the part of his agent.

  73. Typical Idiot Fan on December 7th, 2012 4:44 pm

    The dude is a cancer everywhere he goes.

    Jesus Christ, people.

  74. ThanatosK on December 7th, 2012 7:42 pm

    Although Jesus certainly stirred the pot and riled folks up whereever he went….I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call him a cancer.

  75. greentunic on December 7th, 2012 11:35 pm

    And “cancer” doesn’t usually refer to players that produce like Hamilton. Those are reserved for the Figgins’ and Bradleys of the world.

    I’d be just fine with this “cancer” in my lineup.

    Re: ThanatosK,
    I’m guessing you meant “Josh,” and not “Jesus,” though he certainly stirred the pot riled up folks wherever he went too :)

  76. ThanatosK on December 8th, 2012 9:44 am

    No, I was referencing the post ahead of me, I meant Jesus, it was supposed to be a joke based on the wording of his post. The way he wrote it made it seem like he was introducing Jesus to an audience. It seemed funny.

  77. msfanmike on December 8th, 2012 1:10 pm

    It was both funny – and clever. I “got” it.

  78. msfanmike on December 8th, 2012 1:12 pm

    Young agreed to be traded to the Phillies – while picking up an extra 1.2M along the way for his troubles. Texas pays $10 M of overall 17.2M salary. I assume this means some other dominos will start falling, soon.

  79. Westside guy on December 8th, 2012 1:27 pm

    Part of me wants those dominoes to all fall right away; but the other part of me realizes how dreary winter’s going to be if we’ve got nothing baseball-related to talk about come New Year’s Day.

  80. Typical Idiot Fan on December 8th, 2012 3:09 pm

    The Michael Young trade probably means we wont get Hamilton now. If Texas ‘couldn’t afford’ both Greinke and Hamilton before the trade, maybe freeing up another six million or so means they can.

  81. 300ZXNA on December 8th, 2012 3:27 pm

    While it would be frustrating to see Hamilton AND Greinke go to a division rival that is already pretty darn good, that would still mean we would have a shot at Swisher and/or Bourn. With all of the risk surrounding Hamilton, I don’t think that having Swish as a ‘consolation’ prize would be that huge of a drop off from Hamilton. Of course, no guarantees that either of them would sign here if Hamilton doesn’t . . .

  82. vetted_coach on December 8th, 2012 3:47 pm

    The difference between Hamilton and Swisher is huge. I like Swisher, would love to have him, but the either/or presumption is bush. The Mariners could aquire both and still be a bat or two short.

    The kind of move that Hamilton represents is what matters, especially for a franchise bankrupt of credibility. The Mariners need to start getting serious about wanting to contend, and it wojld be nice for a prestigious headliner to demonstrate a genuine willingness to come to Seattle.

    Smart money says it won’t happen. I’d love to be wrong.

  83. sonichound on December 8th, 2012 4:19 pm

    Any thought on if Viciedo would be worth a shot? Just saw that the Sox are listening to offers and the M’s may be interested.

  84. lalo on December 8th, 2012 5:25 pm

    Forget about Hamilton. The Dodgers signed Greinke and now the Rangers have a lot of money to pay Josh Hamilton… Maybe we´ll end with Bourn or Cody Ross
    :(

  85. ireportyoudecide on December 8th, 2012 6:49 pm

    Hamilton wasn’t coming anyways. People just use the Mariners for leverage. I am expecting a 75 million dollar payroll for opening day.

  86. greentunic on December 8th, 2012 6:57 pm

    It behooves JZ (and ownership) not to enter the season with a $75 million payroll. The media, and the fans (and I think in this case, the casual AND the hardcore) will all be upset.

    I’ll be upset.

    “Patience” is a plan that only works so long, because “patience” implies waiting for something, not just perpetually waiting.

  87. lalo on December 8th, 2012 7:46 pm

    If the Rangers sign Hamilton, I think the M´s should consider trading for Nelson Cruz…

  88. Slippery Elmer on December 8th, 2012 9:44 pm

    Pretty sure the M’s have already considered trading for Nelson Cruz, as well as Trout, Verlander, Cano and Votto.

    Difficult to get a deal done with only one side interested.

  89. ireportyoudecide on December 8th, 2012 11:03 pm

    I was curious just how much spending does make a difference in the win column. Thanks to my friends at USA Today and Wikipedia I can tell you the following.

    Over the last ten years, teams in the top 5 of salaries made the playoffs 23 times, that would be 46% of the time for those of you who are math challenged. Those in the bottom 5 made the playoffs 5 times, that would be 10%.

    46% to 10%, that’s a big difference. You don’t have to spend to win, but it sure does help.

    Spend Mariners, as my Dad used to say, you can’t take it with you.

  90. stevemotivateir on December 9th, 2012 6:26 am

    ^And how about all the teams in between? I’ve done the math for you… You covered 10 teams, that leaves 20 teams unaccounted for;)

    Seriously, the issue of payroll vs. results have been discussed here many times over. Probably a good idea to lose the arrogance.

  91. Typical Idiot Fan on December 9th, 2012 7:19 am

    Why don’t we wait until the offseason is over to overreact to stuff instead of doing it now and overreacting to phantoms and paranoia?

    Oh wait, we’re M’s fans. Silly me!

  92. greentunic on December 9th, 2012 10:07 am

    And because it’s boring not to react.

    This is how I fill my MLB needs in the offseason too.

    Follow every rumor, weigh the validity of its truth, hypothesize about the potential implications around baseball if it were true.

    It’s no fun not to discuss it!

    In the words of Tyrion Lannister “But it’s fun! Look at all the FUN we’re having!”

  93. Typical Idiot Fan on December 9th, 2012 10:37 am

    Fun is fun, but it does tend to get annoying after a while reading it.

  94. ireportyoudecide on December 9th, 2012 1:53 pm

    stevemotivateir on December 9th, 2012 6:26 am

    ^And how about all the teams in between? I’ve done the math for you… You covered 10 teams, that leaves 20 teams unaccounted for;)

    You would see a diminishing % of teams making the playoffs at each level. I love how some just pretend spending doesn’t matter.

  95. MrZDevotee on December 9th, 2012 2:01 pm

    IReport-
    I don’t get your point (as it relates to reality). Should the Mariners just quit, and not be a baseball team anymore? Because they’re NOT realistically going to be a top spending team (you could argue “they COULD” but that’s pointless too, because they’re NOT going to be).

    So you can either keep writing your “you have to spend, because it matters” points, and being sarcastic to anyone who doesn’t care, or you could join the rest of us in contemplating the ways the Mariners can be competitive without being one of the teams that spends the most money.

    I mean, sure, it would be fun to take an Xbox approach and just pay whatever you want and force through whatever trades you want– but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

  96. stevemotivateir on December 9th, 2012 4:00 pm

    @ireport

    You completely missed the point, though MrZD laid it out even more clearly. It’s not as easy as just ‘spending’ money.

    Not every team has the same payroll flexibility, so spending isn’t always an option, BUT…. that doesn’t mean you can’t be competitive with less money. The Braves, Cardinals, Orioles, Nationals, and Athletics, all made the playoffs last season. And guess what… they’re all in the bottom have of team payrolls.

    Let’s take this a little further, though. Of the top five spending teams this year, only the first and fifth made the playoffs. Most of the teams came from that grey area you ignored.

    And that’s important moving forward. If teams know they can be competitive without spending tons, why would they? Even the Yankees are recognizing that. Smart moves aren’t always the most obvious or popular. Having the dough to blow doesn’t guarantee you anything either. Look how well that worked for the Marlins and Angels.

    Having said that, I’m not suggesting the Mariners shouldn’t spend a little. Nobody is. I simply want them to be smart about it. We don’t need a repeat of the Bavasi era.

    Again, good idea to lose the arrogance.

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