Angels Getting Close to Signing Josh Hamilton

Dave · December 13, 2012 at 11:13 am · Filed Under Mariners 

The Angels should just rename themselves the Anaheim Mystery Team. It seems like every winter, they sign a guy who they weren’t rumored to have any interest in prior to the deal being basically done. This winter, it looks like they might be playing that role with Josh Hamilton. Multiple reports suggest that the two are in deep negotiations and that a deal is pretty close to being done. Pretty close isn’t done, of course, but when rumblings get this loud from this many different sources, it usually ends up happening.

The dominoes here should be interesting. The Angels OF is already full, so Hamilton would displace either Peter Bourjos or Mark Trumbo, meaning that they could then put either on the trade block. The Mets are in desperate need of outfielders, and have been linked to Bourjos in previous rumors in the past. A Bourjos-for-R.A. Dickey trade could make sense for both teams, and adding both Hamilton and Dickey would vault the Angels right back into contender status in the AL, and probably move them ahead of Texas in the AL West pecking order.

And, of course, that would take two potential upgrades off the table for the Mariners. I fully expect that if the Angels sign Hamilton, there’s going to be a city wide freakout from despondent Mariner fans who are convinced that the team will never spend and never win. Do not be one of those fans.

Hamilton has played on an AL West rival for basically his entire career. Having him move from Texas to Anaheim makes the Mariners competition different, but not harder. Adding Dickey would improve the Angels, certainly, but it’s not like they’d get him for free, and would further deplete a team that is already low on young talent for the future. It would make the Angels better in the short term, and probably a bit worse in the long term. Anyone who tells you that they can just keep spending money with no end in sight clearly hasn’t been paying attention, as they jettisoned both Dan Haren and Ervin Santana and replaced them with Joe Blanton in order to keep their payroll under control.

If the Angels want to commit their future to the mid-30s years of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, more power to them. They’ll contend for a while, then the whole thing will fall apart. It’s not necessarily a bad idea to take the Phillies path, given what they have in place, but keep in mind what the Phillies look like right now. Loading up on older, expensive players eventually catches up with you.

Or, heck, look at last year, when the Angels were the off-season’s big winners and then still missed the playoffs. People love to overreact to off-season acquisitions, and forget that there’s more to roster building than splashy free agent moves. I’d have happily taken Josh Hamilton at a good price. I’d still like Nick Swisher, and I’d try to beat them to R.A. Dickey if the Mets are interested in Paxton and Franklin. I’m not suggesting the Mariners should just sit back and do nothing. I am suggesting, however, that those who continue to yell from the rooftops that off-season spending determines future on field outcomes don’t know what they’re talking about.

Don’t be one of the mouth-breathers that overreacts to every free agent acquisition by the Angels or Rangers. Let them yell and scream about how the world is ending. They weren’t right about this last year, and they’re not right about it now.

Comments

126 Responses to “Angels Getting Close to Signing Josh Hamilton”

  1. TumwaterMike on December 13th, 2012 11:24 am

    I thought the rumored $20-$25m a year was too much on a player of Hamilton’s questionable background. He could implode at any time and be worth nothing. I’m glad the M’s are off of him.

  2. WalterNeff on December 13th, 2012 11:25 am

    He just signed with the Angels – done deal.

  3. riversurge24 on December 13th, 2012 11:26 am

    Hi Dave-

    I think ultimately it is probably a good thing the Mariners didnt tie themselves up with Hamilton. Swisher would probably be a better fit for the M’s the way things stand now.

    As for pitching could you see the M’s making a bid for Edwin Jackson to help out rotation wise?

    They may not be able to have both but wanted to get your thoughts anyway.

  4. tranebc on December 13th, 2012 11:28 am

    Dave

    a) Would you be for making a move for Mark Trumbo
    b) What would it take to get him?

  5. WalterNeff on December 13th, 2012 11:28 am

    We’re the KC Royals and we’d better start getting used to it.

  6. ireportyoudecide on December 13th, 2012 11:31 am

    Yep, let them overreact and let’s continue on our path of 4th place for the next 5 years! The current plan is working great, we are so close to winning a championship. Jack Z has proven the draft is the best path, Zunino, Hultzen, Walker, Franklin, Ackley. Those damn fools spending money with no salary cap, sucks to be those owners. Our owners are going to make a nice profit this year! PROFIT! YES!

  7. BillyJive on December 13th, 2012 11:32 am

    I’m okay with this, I’d love to have Hamilton’s bat but I’d much prefer Swisher. Better all-around player and less issues. Probably just a pipe dream though. Yay!! We got Jason Bay!!! *sigh*

  8. Zeke on December 13th, 2012 11:33 am

    It would be great if at the end of the off-season management would lay out all the plans they had and which ones worked out and which ones did not. They can court FA players all they want, but if none have an interest to come and play here, it kind of shoots some pretty big holes in the best laid plans. All the talk about Swisher is nice and all, but he has several teams interested.

  9. ireportyoudecide on December 13th, 2012 11:33 am

    Also Swisher is not coming to Seattle, it’s just not going to happen.

  10. charliebrown on December 13th, 2012 11:34 am

    5 years $125 mil per ESPN

  11. ndevale on December 13th, 2012 11:35 am

    I want this to be a Mexican, not Brazilian, telenovela. You and Goeff have to have masks.

  12. msfanmike on December 13th, 2012 11:36 am

    Hamilton and Pujols hitting back-to-back in the lineup.

    Yep, that’s formidable!

  13. UofWAlum on December 13th, 2012 11:36 am

    “Don’t be one of the mouth-breathers that overreacts to every free agent acquisition by the Angels or Rangers. Let them yell and scream about how the world is ending. They weren’t right about this last year, and they’re not right about it now.” I love that quote and helps keep this in perspective.

    I hope that JZ and crew have something planned–I have no reason to think that they don’t–will likely see more pieces fall into place now. I have watched and supported this team since day one and have no plan to jump ship (pun intended) at this time. But would sure feel more excited entering spring training with a couple of other pieces to complement the young crew.

  14. ndevale on December 13th, 2012 11:36 am

    I just dont see how to cast the women.

  15. johndango on December 13th, 2012 11:37 am

    Thank you, Dave, for helping me see the error of my ways. I started to freak out, now I realize that there is no reason to. I just hope we get SOMEONE that’ll help make this offense more watchable.

  16. bat guano on December 13th, 2012 11:38 am

    Well then. Maybe now some things will start to break a bit. I never thought there was a realistic chance that Hamilton would come here. Swisher and/or Bourn always seemed more realistic and probably a better gamble for the long haul. We need two of Montero, Zunino and Smoak to pan out as middle of the order hitters for things to be looking up in 2014.

  17. msfanmike on December 13th, 2012 11:38 am

    I presume the Rangers will have a much bigger interest in Swisher, now.

  18. ndevale on December 13th, 2012 11:38 am

    Ok, Mr. Pun Intended, maybe it’s a shipwreck in Tahiti with a time machine that takes them back to Gaugain

  19. charliebrown on December 13th, 2012 11:40 am

    I presume the Rangers will have a much bigger interest in Swisher, now

    Yep, and I’m betting that the Mariners won’t be willing to out bid the Rangers for him. This move by the Angels might just put Swisher out of reach for the Mariners too.

  20. RaoulDuke37 on December 13th, 2012 11:41 am

    I’m not saying I want the risk associated with a Josh Hamilton 5/125 deal. But my first reaction is still ‘aw, crap.’

  21. wsm on December 13th, 2012 11:44 am

    Yeah, I don’t see Swisher coming here either at this point. It’s hard to imagine Texas not getting involved with him. We can compete with Cleveland, but not with Texas.

    Honestly, I don’t know why Texas wouldn’t sign Swisher and Bourn. They have the money for it.

    Get ready for a Mike Morse reunion everyone.

  22. ireportyoudecide on December 13th, 2012 11:46 am

    Assuming it’s 5 years 125, how much more would the Mariners have to spent to get him? I’m guessing 5/140 might not have done it. It’s sad because for a short time players wanted to come to Seattle, now not only do we have to match the offer we probably have to beat it to have any reasonable chance.

  23. dirk on December 13th, 2012 11:49 am

    We are now Toronto or Baltimore whilst we sit back and watch New York and Boston (LAA and Texas)have an arms race.

  24. kinickers77 on December 13th, 2012 11:52 am

    I won’t be an over-reacter but you should also stop being an under-reacter. Hamilton staying in the AL West and not being a Mariner is obviously bad for us. Plus, if they trade for Dickey, who cares what they did with Haren and Santana. I’d take Blanton and Dickey over Haren and Santana any day. They just keep getting better. I now hate the Angels.

    And it makes it less likely we get Swisher or Bourn too. Our off-season is looking bleak.

    You are right that signings like this will hurrt the Angels later but that just means we have to continue waiting to be relevant in the AL West again. Most of us are tired of waiting, and that’s a valid perspective.

    Word is Hamilton signed 5 years for 25 a year. I think the Ms should have made that offer weeks ago, personally.

  25. ireportyoudecide on December 13th, 2012 11:53 am

    dirk on December 13th, 2012 11:49 am We are now Toronto or Baltimore whilst we sit back and watch New York and Boston (LAA and Texas)have an arms race.

    And it sucks, win or lose next year the Angels fans for the second year in a row have something to be excited about. We have a new scoreboard that MLB won’t allow them to show replays of great/close plays become of the umpires union.

  26. Thirteen on December 13th, 2012 11:55 am

    Swisher to Texas seems almost inevitable now that Hamilton and Upton are both off the table. This is bad news for the Mariners.

  27. riversurge24 on December 13th, 2012 11:58 am

    yeah.. 5 years and 125 million.. Thanks but no thanks for me.. If he stays even remotely healthy for 3 of those years I will be impressed.

  28. 9inningknowitall on December 13th, 2012 12:00 pm

    I thought the M’s front office was pretty tight lipped but the Angels are even better at it. I don’t think I ever saw the Angels mentioned anywhere with Hamilton.

  29. Bremerton guy on December 13th, 2012 12:01 pm

    “If the Angels want to commit their future to the mid-30s years of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, more power to them.”

    I don’t know if you meant that as a pun or not, but no kidding. “More power” than the M’s have seen in several years.

  30. Jay R. on December 13th, 2012 12:07 pm

    I am relieved the Ms didn’t sign a 5 year deal with Hamilton. I am a bit dismayed that he went to the Angels, mostly due to what that will do to the FA market. It would sure be nice to see some sort of positive move at some point, however.

  31. GarForever on December 13th, 2012 12:07 pm

    If the Angels were willing to go 5/125 for Hamilton, the Ms would have had to at least matched it. Paying $25MM each of the next five seasons for a 32YO OF with a history of fragility, off-field issues, and a terrible plate approach would have meant the following things:

    * You could forget the team re-signing Felix. That may not happen anyway, but Greinke’s deal means you can count on Felix making north of 25 million per in his next deal, and this team is not going to put more than 50MM per year on two players, one of whom is a 32 YO OF with a history of…well, you get the idea. Who would you rather have on the team three years from now: a stud pitcher and franchise institution still short of 30 years old, or a guy about to fall off the edge of the earth if he hasn’t already? You can’t have both. You may not like it, but that’s how it is.
    * Is this frustrating and a little disappointing: yes, of course it is. But ask yourself: when Hamilton’s bat speed goes, what kind of hitter will he be? His approach is awful, but he makes up for it with preternaturally fast reflexes. Those will decline, probably sooner than later, and when they do he’ll be such an albatross that signing Pujols (who has a phenomenal approach) will look wise by comparison
    * Even if, for the sake of argument, the Ms had signed Hamilton at this price AND they kept Felix, and some of the kids (Zunino, Smoak, Ackley, Montero, Saunders, Franklin, Hultzen, Walker) turn into studs: which ones are you willing to say goodbye to because the team couldn’t afford to buy out some of their arbitration and FA years because they were overcommitted to Hamilton and Felix?

    I do hope the Ms are able to pull off some moves before this is all over. We’re probably back to over-paying Swisher if we want him, but it still shouldn’t be as much of an overpay as this, and I think Swisher is a less glamorous but much safer bet long term.

  32. Beniitec on December 13th, 2012 12:15 pm

    I disagree with you Dave. You can’t tell me that seeing that lineup doesn’t put a little trepidation in you. Much less someone like Felix. I’m sure he’s up for the challenge but facing them so many times is going to be difficult for him, his teammates, and his ERA. If I were him, and I’m not, I’d ask to be traded out of the AL West. Outside of Felix our pitching will struggle even more against them. I like how Jack is building the club from the inside, but you have to add good pieces to be competitive. I sure hope I’m wrong…but what pitcher will want to come here now? Really?

  33. bwisdom on December 13th, 2012 12:19 pm

    The issue isn’t about not signing Hamilton. The issue is that Jack Z and the M’s are not giving us hope for the organization. The Mariners have lost more fans at the gates over the past 10 yrs, than any other professional sports franchise regardless of sport!

    We cannot compete by being cheap every off season. It’s time to step up and take a risk and open the pocketbook to sign a bat that the fans can look forward to watching. Right now all we have is Felix and that’s it. Jack Z will not have a job much longer if he doesn’t make a splash. I love Jack Z and want him here for years to come. I hope he can pull off a miracle trade to spark some interest in this organization once again. We can’t continue on the same path. We are the KC Royals West right now.

  34. GarForever on December 13th, 2012 12:25 pm

    Beniitec: I appreciate where you’re coming from, but at most — and even this would require one hell of a coincidence in the schedule — a starter is going to see a single opponent no more than six or seven times a season. Yes, that’s a lot, but the number will often be lower and still constitutes no more than around a fifth of a pitcher’s starts over the course of a season. It would be reasonable to expect that on average half of the starts against a given opponent will be in Safeco, and for an extreme fly ball pitcher the fences coming in a little there might be cause for some concern. But until everyone sees evidence to the contrary, I think it’s safe to assume that Safeco will probably still play more to the pitchers’ than the hitters’ advantage.

    Plus, while I don’t think it is 100% predictive of the future, Hamilton’s second half was awful, and the Ms play just as many games against the Rangers as the Angels, the former of which had a pretty fricking scary lineup the last few years, too. This is just transferring a problem from one opponent to another

  35. GarForever on December 13th, 2012 12:28 pm

    OK, bwisdom, but if you’re going to take a risk (and you and I agree about that — and so does Dave: no free agent comes without warts), you’re not just risking the money on THAT player: you’re risking other moves the franchise might also make in the future. My point was, if you’re going to roll the dice on Hamilton, then it will be awfully tough holding on to Felix. Taking a risk that makes some sense is smart; taking a risk for the sake of taking a risk is not.

  36. JasonJ on December 13th, 2012 12:28 pm

    Well, looks like the big boys put us in our place again.

    Overall, not too dissapointed we didn’t get Hamilton but I can’t pretend that it means nothing. This may end up backfiring on the Angels but it’s not going to happen immediately and I’m getting a bit tired of waiting for other teams to get worse.

    That being said, I will continue to wait patiently for the outcome of JZ’s plan, assuming it consists of something other than waiting for the kids to develop and signing another Jack Cust.

  37. raul_podzednick on December 13th, 2012 12:30 pm

    I like Swisher (more then Hamilton) I would like our young hitters to learn from his approach. I do understand the urgency to win it all in “The Felix Window”. I am a Mariners fan for life though and I am not willing to give up that draft pick. I am not sure Jack is either.

  38. MrZDevotee on December 13th, 2012 12:31 pm

    Those of us who grew up playing video games have the same knee jerk reaction to every transaction: “Why don’t the M’s just spend what it takes to get a bunch of really good players here?”

    It’s just not that simple. Not coming from the whole we’ve dug ourselves. We need a couple of prospects to break, to resign Felix, then have an uncommonly good season (by our standards) to realistically be able to strike at the free agent market.

    There is literally NO incentive for the best players to come here currently (re: the field, the level of the team, and non-overspenders).

    And who could honestly blame them.

    We need to develop a Posey (Zunino?), a Longoria, a Mauer, etc. Have some of our youth mature, start winning games, have that TV deal kick in…

    We’re obviously TRYING– there’s not a top free agent out there that doesn’t know he can come to Seattle if he wants.

    Getting back to a championship caliber team is not just a flick of the switch away, or an open checkbook away.

    Sadly.

  39. Jon on December 13th, 2012 12:37 pm

    I guess I’m a mouth-breather, even though I haven’t overreacted to every signing. The Angels struggled last year, but the ownership is doubling down, not walking away. It helps to have resources, of course, yet the Angels are clearly motivated to excite their fan base and to prevent and reverse further erosion in attendance. Meanwhile the M’s, who have experienced the worst decline in attendance in all of major sports, continue to pinch pennies. The Angels seized their opportunity when the Dodgers were struggling (ownership problems, divorce, bankruptcy, etc.) and, now that the Dodgers are back, the Angels are not going to cede the region to the Dodgers. Are the Angels now too old or will they be soon? Maybe, but they’ll deal with problem if and when it occurs. But for now the Angels will sell tickets and create the perception they will do what it takes to win games, which sell even more tickets.

  40. Beniitec on December 13th, 2012 12:38 pm

    GarForever: Agreed. But Trout/Pujols/Hamilton is pretty freaking crazy if you ask me. That’s the 3 scariest hitters in MLB in the last few years combined. This is like having the Yankees in our division. I’m hoping that with all the great kids we have and Felix, that we can at least beat them 50% of the time. Yes, they are one team… but we were supposed to make the big splash. The big splash that was going to bring some fans back into the stands… part of growing the fan base back up to support the team is making a bit of a splash when you actually have the money to do it. But at this point it just feels pretty hopeless. I’m hoping for the best, but it has to feel daunting to the current M’s roster/staff. And I know the majority of the M’s fan base feels that way.

  41. charliebrown on December 13th, 2012 12:40 pm

    You can make a very good argument for the Mariners not to sign Hamilton at that price. You can make a very good argument not to sign Albert Pujols for the money he got. You can make a very good argument not to sign Prince Fielder for the money he got. You can make a very good argument not to make a trade of prospects like the Royals made.

    What you cannot do is make any kind of reasonable argument for the Mariners to do nothing. So far this offseason, that’s exactly what the Mariners have done.

    Fans aren’t necessarily frustrated at not getting Hamilton. They’re frustrated by the Mariners doing nothing.

  42. LMF on December 13th, 2012 12:44 pm

    What is over-reacting anyways? We’re fans of a baseball team, it’s all pretty irrational isn’t it? Over-reacting might involve hurting oneself, or maybe burning a custom-made “In Z We Trust” t-shirt, but bitching about never getting the big fish in free-agency and sucking year after year is certainly not overreacting. It’s just reacting the way sports fans do.
    Now, I think it’s fine that we didn’t overspend on Hamilton, but I’m bummed we didn’t get him because it would have been exciting. We can spend our money wisely elsewhere, maybe.
    So, overall I agree with Dave’s point, what I disagree with is this quote: “They’ll contend for a while, then the whole thing will fall apart.” The Yankees seem to prove the opposite of this statement. They’ve missed the playoffs in one of the past 17 years with some terrible contracts. I suppose it could all fall apart, or they could just keep spending and it will never fall apart.

    What it comes down to eventually for me is that it is less and less fun to be a Mariners fan, and that’s the point, isn’t it, fun? One in five days we get to watch the King pitch, but even that experience is clouded with the anxiety that our offense will not give him any support, again.

    I don’t think the common fan is a mouth-breather because they bitch about not signing Josh Hamilton, or over-react in whatever way they choose. Did the Angels overspend for Pujols, and Hamilton? Sure. Maybe. But they also got a hell of a TV contract. The fans though, they get to buy Hamilton jerseys and Pujols jerseys and have fun at games. Our fans get to speculate about which of our prospects may pan out some day and hope that Z can pull a rabbit out of his hat.
    Sometimes it just seems like the grass is greener…

  43. Beniitec on December 13th, 2012 12:47 pm

    Well said Charliebrown. And Jason Bay, well just isn’t a splash.

  44. IllinoisMsFan on December 13th, 2012 12:47 pm

    LMF’s comment is spot on.

  45. Alec on December 13th, 2012 12:50 pm

    “We need to develop a Posey (Zunino?), a Longoria, a Mauer, etc. Have some of our youth mature, start winning games, have that TV deal kick in…”

    Don’t know if you’ve heard, there’s a guy, I think his name is Felix…

  46. terryoftacoma on December 13th, 2012 12:51 pm

    This is a signing that didn’t surprise me one bit. After the Dodgers signed Greinke you knew Art was going to respond by signing someone big. He basically replaced Hunter with Hamilton. Unless they go after Dickey or someone on that level I wouldn’t count on Trumbo or Bourjos being traded, either. After all, they kept both last year.

    My one hope is that we don’t have a knee jerk reaction and way overpay for someone after this.We don’t need to do that. I don’t think we will.

    Wins can be added in many ways. Most not as flashy as adding a big FA but equally effective.

    Jack and Wedge are on their last year under contract. I’d be surpised if they stand pat. I look for as I have from the end of the season for them to add talent, probably through a trade or two rather than for a big signing.

  47. BLYKMYK44 on December 13th, 2012 12:55 pm

    “I’m guessing 5/140 might not have done it. It’s sad because for a short time players wanted to come to Seattle, now not only do we have to match the offer we probably have to beat it to have any reasonable chance”

    - I enjoy that there was a world in this person’s eyes where the Mariners wouldn’t have had to overpay Hamilton compared to Anaheim…

  48. thaduck30 on December 13th, 2012 12:56 pm

    I have to admit I’m depressed… It’s not necessarily that we didn’t get Hamilton (which I would have done at 5/125, as long as it also came with another good addition as well), it’s the way we are being utterly dismissed by top free agents.

    This is no new thing, but it’s getting harder to stand. Fortunately you can’t dwell on it for long. Perhaps we can sign Swisher to a nice deal and perhaps add Bourn to boot, albeit less likely. Add those guys in and possibly a deal for a solid back of the rotation starter like Edwin Jackson, or top of the rotation talent in Dickey, and you have the makings of something solid.

    One of the key things I take from this is that after watching some of these things happen to us, we may really have to jump out of the top free agent market altogether, and keep focusing on the draft, player development, and trades. If we do this successfully, perhaps then (after a few years) is when we become more attractive to top free agents, after we’ve built a great organization from the ground up, having the healthy mix of young, controllable talent with some productive veterans with still a solid stockpile of prospects to entertain further trades. Essentially building a winning atmosphere that people want to be a part of.

    At this point, keep trying for Swisher, Bourn, etc., if it makes sense in conjunction with other linear moves. Otherwise, keep the focus on player development and the draft, making savvy/creative trades when possible and build this thing along the lines of the Washington Nationals.

  49. BLYKMYK44 on December 13th, 2012 12:58 pm

    “The fans though, they get to buy Hamilton jerseys and Pujols jerseys and have fun at games. Our fans get to speculate about which of our prospects may pan out some day and hope that Z can pull a rabbit out of his hat.”

    - Why are there people in this town that STILL think that if the Mariners just make one big signing that it will drive attendance if the Mariners continue to not be very good?

    No one is going to buy tickets just because we happened to sign a guy for $25 million a year…

  50. charliebrown on December 13th, 2012 1:00 pm

    BLYKMYK44 on December 13th, 2012 12:58 pm
    No one is going to buy tickets just because we happened to sign a guy for $25 million a year…

    No one is going to buy tickets if the Mariners do nothing either.

  51. RaoulDuke37 on December 13th, 2012 1:00 pm

    charliebrown and LMF did a great job of translating what I meant with ‘aw, crap.’

  52. Alec on December 13th, 2012 1:01 pm

    “BLYKMYK44 on December 13th, 2012 12:58 pm
    No one is going to buy tickets just because we happened to sign a guy for $25 million a year…
    No one is going to buy tickets if the Mariners do nothing either.”

    Your argument isn’t as compelling as you think it is…

  53. eponymous coward on December 13th, 2012 1:01 pm

    That being said, I will continue to wait patiently for the outcome of JZ’s plan, assuming it consists of something other than waiting for the kids to develop and signing another Jack CustJason Bay.

    Fixed that for you.

    Seriously, if the offseason is dumping Chone Figgins for another team’s Chone Figgins, when we were told “oh, there’s some money to spend this offseason”… we’ll have been played for suckers.

    Except, well, the last laugh’s on management watching this team’s attendance wither a little bit more while they spend time fending off the Astros for fourth place.

    And charliebrown nailed it. Standing pat with the kids and rummaging in the veteran garbage heap isn’t going to work because the kids aren’t that good, and the veterans are on the garbage heap for a reason.

  54. charliebrown on December 13th, 2012 1:04 pm

    If my argument isn’t compelling enough, then maybe you should check out the Mariners attendance figures over the past few years.

  55. RC on December 13th, 2012 1:06 pm

    We are becoming the Washington Senators of the 1950′s and 60′s. What makes us think the M’s prospects are going to develop into anything fantastic on the major league level? What prospect over the last five or ten years has developed into a major contributor on this roster?
    The answer is one, Felix. I’m tired of this waiting for prospects to develop game. Trade your prospects and get some guys who can play now. If not, we’ll all keep watching on tv while the camera crews try to make it look like there are fans in the stands. In the meantime, I’m going to dig out my Washington Senators tee shirt.

  56. PinedaExpress on December 13th, 2012 1:08 pm

    “No one is going to buy tickets if the Mariners do nothing either.”

    But are 1M people going to spend 25 bucks more if they signed Hamilton?

    It is insanely easy to say what you would have done, with someone elses money with zero responsibility for the consequences. For example….

    “It’s not necessarily that we didn’t get Hamilton (which I would have done at 5/125, as long as it also came with another good addition as well), it’s the way we are being utterly dismissed by top free agents.”

    So not only would you have signed Hamilton for this…but you would have done it only if it came with a whole bunch of other good things.

    Get a guy like Mark Cuban owning the team and you might have a much stronger point.

  57. Westside guy on December 13th, 2012 1:13 pm

    Boy, I really don’t get this from the Angels’ point of view. They’re tying up a huge amount of money in old guys.

    I will say if Trout flashes the range he showed at times last year, it may not matter that Hamilton is in right or left – Trout can cover pretty much the whole field.

  58. LMF on December 13th, 2012 1:13 pm

    BLYKMYK44 on December 13th, 2012 12:58 pm

    - Why are there people in this town that STILL think that if the Mariners just make one big signing that it will drive attendance if the Mariners continue to not be very good?
    No one is going to buy tickets just because we happened to sign a guy for $25 million a year…

    Who said anything about ticket sales? I didn’t. My point isn’t related to attendance at all.

  59. Beniitec on December 13th, 2012 1:17 pm

    I’ll tell you who is buying tickets to the Mariners games… corporate sponsors, a small group of diehard fans, and other teams’ fans, (Yankees, Boston, Angels, Dodgers). Sad that we have one of the sweetest cathedrals, in such a beautiful part of the country and in all of baseball and it sits empty for most of the year because they can’t put together a competitive team or God forbid a winner. But hey, at least it’s a state of the art facility.

  60. eponymous coward on December 13th, 2012 1:18 pm

    It is insanely easy to say what you would have done, with someone elses money with zero responsibility for the consequences. For example….

    Here’s the thing: you actually make a decent amount of money in baseball putting a bad cheap team out there. Carl Pohlad did this for years with the Twins. The Marlins do this. Revenue sharing guarantees you don’t fall through the floor, even if your fans catch on to the scam and don’t show up any more.

    Is that the kind of future you want for the Mariners? Because it’s out there- right now, we’re looking at 5 guys on the roster in 2013 who will make more than 3 million. FIVE. Figgins (not on the roster but his cash is), Vargas, Ryan and Guti all drop off next year, leaving us with Iwakuma and Felix being the only guys under contract for 2014 who will make serious cash (and Iwakuma’s 6.5 million’s not that much… and his deal’s decent enough that if he performs reasonably in 2013 he’s tradeable).

    Oh, and the clock is ticking on Felix. I have to wonder how willing he is to stay someplace where they’ve not played ONE important game in late September during his entire career, despite what he says- especially if the team’s been spending a lot of time going cheap everywhere else on the roster.

    This team started going cheap back in the winter of 2008-2009… and hasn’t stopped paring salary since. So, at this point, I think it’s fair to ask management “show us the money”.

  61. skjes on December 13th, 2012 1:25 pm

    The management also did the “trade the kids, spend money poorly” route. That’s how we got in this mess in the first place.

    I’d rather be the Rays than the Mets.

  62. Jon on December 13th, 2012 1:25 pm

    My point was related to attendance, in that the Angels have committed to operate in a way that keeps fans excited before they lose interest and stop coming to the park. Angels fans know (and now Rangers fans do too) that the team will try to do what it takes to win and, if for some reason that doesn’t work out, they’ll figure out something else.

  63. RC on December 13th, 2012 1:26 pm

    It’s not about just making one big signing, it’s about putting a competitive team on the field. No one wants to keep paying to watch mediocrity. M’s fans have been more than patient with the “wait for the prospects to develop” approaoch. Face it, they aren’t developing into good enough players and they won’t without some talented veterans coming in to protect them a little more in the lineup and take some of the pressure off.

  64. Bryce on December 13th, 2012 1:28 pm

    Where is this assumption that these deals will in later years cripple the Angels coming from? They will do exactly what they’ve done every year, which is not worry about their sunk $, and spend huge amounts on free agents. If the M’s don’t want to play that game, fine. But it just means they’re not going to be competitive.

  65. kazuc on December 13th, 2012 1:28 pm

    Yeah, I’m so glad the Mariners are willing to spend money, as the Jason Bay and Andino signings show. And they even increased the phone bill enough to let them talk to every free agent on the market to maybe wish them happy holidays before they go to their real bidders? But don’t worry, once Swisher turns the Ms down, there’s always Brandon Boesh. As for the Angels/Phillies comparisons, maybe. But at least the Phills were a fun team that went deep into the playoffs, and even at the end are no worse than the Mariners are now. (Better to have loved and lost than to Smoak’d and never contended at all). And there’s also a chance the Angels take the NY Yankees route and keep on adding overpriced veterans until they contend. Whatever- the Angels will have a fun team to watch, and they might contend. The Mariners will be neither, their attendance will continue to fall, and they won’t be major players next year either. And then if Felix leaves, what is left to root for? Sorry, I guess that makes me a mouth breather, but at least the Angels are trying, while the Mariners are not only the worst of the four teams in the division, but they have done the least to improve themselves the last few years.

  66. woodstockbaseballer on December 13th, 2012 1:29 pm

    “What prospect over the last five or ten years has developed into a major contributor on this roster?”

    Knee jerk reaction to that: “on this roster”. It’s a little hard to have them develop on this roster if they repeatedly get traded and develop into all-stars on other rosters. Spend, trade and even overspend wisely when you have to. I’m not bailing yet on Jack’s plan.

  67. GrnKetchupMan10 on December 13th, 2012 1:31 pm

    Dave,

    This is my first time posting and I have read this site for years and I love it and 95% of the time I feel you are genius.

    I strongly disagree with giving up Nick Franklin and James Paxton for RA Dickey. I don’t see how that helps us at all. Perhaps I don’t know as much about either as I think I do but as a Mariners fan I realize we are not going to win a World Series in the next two years and sine we are probably going to also lose Felix Hernandez I would rather take the chance that our prospects develop then trade them for what is likely to be a very short term solution.

    I have always been against it but it’s becoming more obvious our best chance to win is to trade Felix Hernandez and hope that Hultzen, Paxton, Walker, Maurer, Ramirez develop into a decent rotation at worst and use the pieces we get from Felix to construct a lineup.

    But moving Paxton and Franklin for RA Dickey to me is not a smart move and I hope the Angels get Dickey so we can’t.

  68. Summertime on December 13th, 2012 1:32 pm

    No way Felix re-ups with the M’s now that they can’t even give their money to free agents to upgrade the offense. They can only do it through draft and trades. Therefore, they need to go the route of the A’s and Rays. I wonder if you could get Bundy and Machado from the Orioles or Tavares and MIller+ from the Cardinals for two years of Felix?

  69. PinedaExpress on December 13th, 2012 1:36 pm

    “Is that the kind of future you want for the Mariners?”

    I actually agree with you and no that’s not the future I want. I am however realistic in what it probably takes in terms of overspending to get what I’d want in Seattle. If your thought was Hamilton, I think it would have taken 5-140+ to get him here. I don’t think that would have been enough to make this team legit contenders for anything however.

    When I made my comment its simply looking at what people ‘want’ without having any grasp of reality. Can this team spend more? Absolutely. Do I think they should spend more? Yes. If I’m them to I haphazardly throw insane money at players to ‘do soemthing’? No.

    If you have a deeper pocketed ownership group, that doesn’t worry about things like ‘profitability’ then you can change how spending occurs. With this group, I don’t think you can.

  70. IdahoFan on December 13th, 2012 1:36 pm

    If the Angels and Rangers are the Yankees and Red Sox, the Ms should be Tampa Bay. Hoping to lure the top free agents to Seattle isn’t a sustainable solution when other teams can and will outspend you. The economic realities of baseball aren’t fair, oh well. Seems this makes it more likely that trading Felix in the future will be necessary.

  71. RC on December 13th, 2012 1:41 pm

    woodstockbaseballer,
    It’s not a knee jerk reaction when you are looking back over ten years of history. Knee jerk is over a couople of seasons. There are plenty of M’s prospects over the last five or ten years who weren’t traded and haven’t materialized. Prospects who would have brought more in a trade based on potential rather than what they actually ended up producing on the major league level. Remember Ryan Anderson, Wladimir Balentien, Clint Nageotte, Jeff Clement, etc. etc. What would they have brought in return that would have been proven major league players.

  72. jwgrandsalami on December 13th, 2012 1:48 pm

    I may be a mouthbreather (aren’t we all?) but I’m not focused on what the Angels and Rangers are doing. I’m focused on what the Mariners aren’t doing. They’re not making a serious effort at signing the power bat they need, they’re not willing to give up their prospects and they’re not even making mid-level moves for guys who would help them. All signs point to a further slashing of the payroll, I’m sure Howard Lincoln is telling Jack, “Hey the A’s made the playoffs with a $60 million payroll. Do that! or you’re fired!”

  73. kazuc on December 13th, 2012 1:51 pm

    Amazing how much of a free pass Jack gets just because he isn’t Bavasi. I like some of the things he’s done, but he hasn’t exactly been the second coming of Billy Beane.

  74. GrnKetchupMan10 on December 13th, 2012 1:51 pm

    RC,

    You make good points with Anderson, Balentien, Nageotte, and Clement. But the truth is it’s just poor evaluation. Had they been traded and Michael Morse, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-soo Choo, and Adam Jones been held onto we probably would have already celebrated the team’s first World Series victory. I think the lottery ticket that is Nick Franklin and James Paxton is a better gamble than RA Dickey.

  75. RC on December 13th, 2012 1:53 pm

    I miss Pat Gillick

  76. ndevale on December 13th, 2012 1:53 pm

    I cant wait to see how the tracheaotomy works into the plot.

  77. gentlemanjim on December 13th, 2012 1:54 pm

    I have followed this team from the beginning and baseball since the early 1950′s. I am appalled by how far this team has fallen in the last ten years. We had top talent, never enough to win it all, but fun anyway. This team is now made up of mostly very under performing young players who seem to have questionable futures.

    Could the Seattle natives be a bit restless with this continual onslaught of terrible teams? I think so. You and others say we need to be patient. Really! We haven’t been?

    It is time for this team to step up and do something bold. That doesn’t always work out, of course. But, how many teams have been deep into the playoffs without doing this?

    No matter how good your pitching is, you still have to drive in some runs. Look at Felix! How many wins would he have had, if we had even a decent offense?

    If this management and ownership doesn’t have the guts to make the moves that would move us forward, they need to step aside for some that would. This is not a poor team.

    Stupid moves won’t make it. But, getting someone who can actually hit the ball with some power is imperative. Even if we have to sacrifice some of our young talent to get one. What is the use of all of that young talent, when we are losing so badly and are noncompetitive?

    I understand that only one of ten of propects actually makes it to the majors and is competitive. A strong minor league organization is good, but it doesn’t win games in the majors! Productive major league players do.

  78. eponymous coward on December 13th, 2012 2:00 pm

    I’d rather be the Rays than the Mets.

    Sure, but that’s not the only outcome. Would you rather be the Indians than the Mets? Both of them have pretty much done nothing interesting since 2009.

  79. BlackHaloBender on December 13th, 2012 2:02 pm

    I didn’t really want Hamilton. I liked the Dickey + Swisher talk. But at some point the Mariners need to try and win. Iv’e been listening to Dave and friends talk about some year off in the distance where we will be competitive forever.

    I hope that our meager payroll is simply cleaning house before selling the team. I’d rather have new ownership than a new right fielder. Sell to someone who wants to move the team? I don’t care. (here is where I get real lunatic fringe on everyone) I’d rather have no Mariners than these Mariners.

    I’m seriously considering trying to shield my sons from Mariner baseball. Why let them know the pain of being a fan of a baseball team that doesn’t even try wining? It’s child abuse.

    Seattle a soccer town? I’m OK with that.

  80. ivan on December 13th, 2012 2:13 pm

    I’d rather be the A’s.

  81. Badbadger on December 13th, 2012 2:16 pm

    I don’t care that the Angels signed Hamilton; I think he’s too much of a risk to want him. But I’m bummed that the Rangers will likely be going hard after Swisher now. We seriously need some good outfielders to make the games watchable. GMZ has to get something done this off season.

  82. Rboyle0628 on December 13th, 2012 2:16 pm

    It’s not that we didn’t sign Hamilton that annoys me the most, it’s that the Angels did… I know he spent the last few years in the AL West, it’s just I hate the Angels. Anyone wanna roast the rally monkey with me?

  83. Dustinsdad on December 13th, 2012 2:16 pm

    Okay… everyone is entitled to their opinion… but I have been a Mariner fan since the first day… when I see the evolution that baseball has gone thru from the 70′s till now, and how free agency has evolved in relationship to the Mariners. Well to say you would rather have no Mariners than these Mariners is incomprehensible to me. I actually am kind of excited about the direction Jack Z and the current Mngmt group is taking us. When I see what TB is doing and that we have a budget that can really accentuate what a good minor league system can provide, well I am more than willing to wait and see. Instant gratification is and has been the bane of our society in so many ways

  84. ThanatosK on December 13th, 2012 2:22 pm

    I tend to agree with most of the posts, both angry and not. I wasn’t very interested in Hamilton, I didn’t like the risk of his health/issues/age. I also don’t need the Mariners to sign silly deals and spend a ton of money. The problem is the lack of doing anything successfully. It’s not that they’re not trying…it’s that they’re not succeeding. And in reality, that’s all the counts.

    I don’t care that you tried to get Upton, tried to get Hamilton, tried to get Prince, tried to get [fill in the blank]. I don’t care that you drafted [fill in the blank] and that at some point in the future we’ll probably be good. I’m sorry, I’ve just heard that line too many times to buy it anymore.

    I know the statistical corelation between winning and attendance. I know that power hitters and spending money does not guarantee winning. But I also know that the last time I was excited about the Mariners…was when I got opening day tickets to see our new guys, Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre. Seriously, that was the last time I was excited. That was the last time that my group of friends discussed the Mariners in any way that wasn’t a running joke or being halfway between angry/hurt.

    I continued to buy big groups of opening day tickets for a few years after that but it lost that thrilling feeling. So we all stopped going to opening day. Then I found that I was buying less regular season tickets overall. My friend from Alaska who used to fly down for games (he’s a pilot for an airline) stopped suggesting we go when he hit town. Heck, he was only here for 2 days…surely we can find something more exciting than a Mariners game.

    Then last year I had the first time ever (10+ years) where I bought ZERO tickets and went to ZERO games. And I can tell you with some certainty I won’t be buying any this year either if something doesn’t change.

    Winning in itself doesn’t sell tickets. Winning creates excitement. Excitement sells tickets. There are other ways to create excitement though. Hope creates excitement too.

    There is very little to be excited about with the Seattle Mariners. There just isn’t.

  85. rsrobinson on December 13th, 2012 2:27 pm

    Swisher isn’t going to sign here nor will any other FA of significance. Unless Jack Z pulls off a surprising trade it looks like another year of bringing in cheap stopgap veterans while building the farm and hoping the kids start hitting.

  86. the tourist on December 13th, 2012 2:32 pm

    There is so much dumb going on in these comments.

    “M’s fans have been more than patient with the “wait for the prospects to develop” approaoch.”

    No, they have not. Not even close. Not every prospect is Mike Trout.

    “Trade your prospects and get some guys who can play now.”

    You mean like Cabrera and Choo for Perez and Broussard? Or do you mean like Jones and Tillman for Bedard? Or, even further back, Cruz Jr. for Spoljaric and Timlin? Or Varitek and Lowe for Slocum? Ortiz for Hollins?

    “Remember Ryan Anderson, Wladimir Balentien, Clint Nageotte, Jeff Clement, etc. etc. ”

    Balentien was not a top prospect by any means. Anderson, Clement, and Nageotte had injuries. Way to cherry pick!

  87. Mariners2620 on December 13th, 2012 2:33 pm

    So many analysts and fans continue to make excuses for this organization. Why should we continue to have faith in Jack Z? He hasn’t done anything for the major league team. You guys continue to make up excuses year after year. It is unreal. Yay, he has “replenished” the farm system! None of those guys are proven. Chances are only one of the “big three” will pan out to be an above average starter, if that. He hasn’t had one prospect come up through the minors and wow everyone with his uncanny ability to hit. Ackley blows, Smoak get real, Montero’s pitch recognition is awful. He continues to trade for the likes of Wells, Thames, Robinson. All of these fourth outfielder type of prospects hoping that they will bail him out and turn in to all-stars. Of course I will get a reply from someone saying I am being un-realistic, I am a “mouth-breather”, and those guys are young and still have time to come around. I am not being reactionary. I am not too fond of Hamilton at those numbers either. It is the simple fact that regardless of the move, the Mariners continue to do nothing to improve this ball club. I am in the military, I move around a lot/deploy frequently. How did I choose the Mariners to be my team. I love the heck out of them ,but I don’t know why. Attack me with all of your sabermetrics, to explain how and why we will be winners sooner rather than later and why we are doing this thing “the right way” if you must. I am fed up with the mediocrity and the lack of intensity that other ball clubs have. Maybe the Angels plan didn’t work last year, but no one hear can claim that it won’t next year. Same goes for the opposite aspect of things. I have grown so frustrated and tired of this teams misery on the field. It is painful watching this team play. Part of business, is keeping the customer happy, and as a whole I don’t think that they have done a good job at all. They haven’t instilled any sort of excitement into this team. The analysts who cover/follow the Mariners are always looking for the safest moves/signings, and the in depth saber value moves. Sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith. I don’t consider the Figgins signing a leap of faith. It was 9 million a year, which isn’t much in baseball terms now and days. I am not saying that Z should have given Hamilton a 10 year contract at 40 million a year, just to excite the fans. However he has to do something, the city deserves it. There are plenty of realistic moves that this team can make, that will add some genuine talent to this lineup, but won’t hinder the future of this team. You have to give to get guys. Too many fans and analysts pride themselves on not “over reacting” and being “mouth breathers”. Most of the over reacting is due to our love of the game and desire to see this team succeed. It’s been way too long. The fans are way too patient and way too kind hearted to have to endure this stretch of ineptitude. Don’t do something just to do it, but go out there and make a deal that helps the ball club. This team has so many holes, and it’s mind boggling as to how they feel it suffices to sign Bay and trade for Andino and call it good. How can you field a team as it is now, after four years of being with this organization and claim that this is the best that you could do. I don’t want to hear about how inept Bavasi was as a GM. I know that he was down right atrocious. I know. I just want signs of life. Seager’s and Saunders both had nice seasons, but nothing to be overjoyed about. We need an identity in this lineup. Go get one for us Jack.

  88. the tourist on December 13th, 2012 2:35 pm

    Oh, and “proven” is an overrated word that needs to go away.

  89. BlackHaloBender on December 13th, 2012 2:35 pm

    The Rays are not a the model baseball team. The years of pain it takes to build that way drove so many fans away that they weren’t selling tickets to meaningful games while competing for an AL EAST title.

    The Rays have the worst winning % in baseball followed by the Padres and the Mariners. I’m sorry but that sounds less than ideal.

    I moved here after growing up an A’s/Dodgers fan and fell in love with the team right before their glory days. Am I being a “mouth breather” by asking what the point of is of this current team? Maybe. And will I ever stop being a fan? Probably not. I have really tried to go back to the teams I liked as a kid but it didn’t work. I even moved to the east coast and ended up taking the late shifts at ESPN (highlights editing) and watching 4-5 M’s games a week.

    Either way I will not be the only person who will bring their kids to far less games than I would have under a better-than-Royals ownership.

  90. the tourist on December 13th, 2012 2:41 pm

    “The years of pain it takes to build that way drove so many fans away that they weren’t selling tickets to meaningful games while competing for an AL EAST title.”

    If you really think that’s the reason that the Rays don’t have good attendance, you’re oh so very wrong.

    “Either way I will not be the only person who will bring their kids to far less games than I would have under a better-than-Royals ownership.”

    Good. More tickets available for when the team does better than you expect this year. But yeah, declining attendance is really gonna show that front office they need to lose money and spend more! You show ‘em!

  91. Mariners2620 on December 13th, 2012 2:46 pm

    the tourist- Not everyone can afford to spend 15-30 on a ticket to go watch a miserable team.

  92. Bremerton guy on December 13th, 2012 2:48 pm

    tourist-

    You just don’t get it, do you? For most people in Seattle, the Mariners have become irrelevant. That number is increasing this winter, as people see that nothing is happening. Sometimes you need to do something just to get people to notice you. That’s what the Mariners need to do, and that doesn’t mean signing Jason Bay.

    Go ahead and drool at all the good seats you’ll get to choose from in Safeco, because unless they get out of the gate very fast you’ll be there with just a few others — the ones who used to yell, “Whoop, whew” in Septembers in the Kingdome when relievers were warming up before just a few hundred fans. (Remember that?)

  93. the tourist on December 13th, 2012 2:55 pm

    “the tourist- Not everyone can afford to spend 15-30 on a ticket to go watch a miserable team.”

    A team that was gutted and has posted improving winning percentage over the last few seasons? Uh, ok. By all means don’t go. Good luck convincing the front office to spend big on a guy who’ll likely only add a few wins!

    “Go ahead and drool at all the good seats you’ll get to choose from in Safeco, because unless they get out of the gate very fast you’ll be there with just a few others — the ones who used to yell, “Whoop, whew” in Septembers in the Kingdome when relievers were warming up before just a few hundred fans. (Remember that?)”

    Yes. I remember going to loads of games back then and happily watching the young players put it together and become the mythicized “90s Mariners”. You know how they got there? It wasn’t by signing big free agents!

  94. drw on December 13th, 2012 2:57 pm

    “Why should we continue to have faith in Jack Z? He hasn’t done anything for the major league team. You guys continue to make up excuses year after year. It is unreal. Yay, he has “replenished” the farm system! None of those guys are proven.”

    IMO, the real story of why we have struggled for the last few years is in this post from FanGraphs:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/building-through-the-draft-worst-of-the-worst/

    From 2002 to 2010, DEAD LAST in developing talent through the draft. And not just last, last by a mile. To quote the author:

    “The disparity between the Boston Red Sox and the Seattle Mariners is 91.4 wins. That’s unbelievable. That’s as many wins as the Tampa Bay Rays netted last year, which ended in an AL Wild Card and a postseason berth. Heck, that paltry +8.9 WAR [what the Ms did produce] represents fewer wins than Jacoby Ellsbury was worth in 2011 alone!”

    We have had an extreme talent deficit. The current roster reflects that history — no talent developed. When you suck at the draft that long, it takes years to restock the system. And without good young price-controlled players coming up, you have to outspend (or outsmart) teams who have such players. Look at the Angels and Rangers — they are adding pricey free agents (e.g., Pujols, Hamilton) onto underpriced homegrown talent (e.g., Trout, Trumbo).

    We can’t unmake that history. We have to deal with it. We have to build the farm team and get some underpriced talent. We are apparently well on the way to doing that. That’s my perspective.

    But “mouth breather” is an unnecessary put-down to apply to everyone who does not agree with you.

  95. RC on December 13th, 2012 3:00 pm

    tourist…

    I didn’t have to cherry pick prospects that didn’t work out…Since you want to be a wise guy and call me dumb…how about you come up with that long list of prospects that have worked out in a Mariners uniform. I mentioned Felix already…who else???

    And how can you say Mariners fans haven’t been patient with this wait and see approach? Maybe you’re a Cubs fan…if so then I understand patience.

  96. IdahoFan on December 13th, 2012 3:01 pm

    Rays:

    2012: 90 wins
    2011: 91 wins
    2010: 96 wins
    2009: 84 wins
    2008: 97 wins

    I’d be thrilled with those results.

  97. BlackHaloBender on December 13th, 2012 3:10 pm

    IdahoFan,

    Me too. But add in the years before. 10 straight years of sub 70 wins. Maybe we should just remove the Devil from our name? :)

  98. amnizu on December 13th, 2012 3:11 pm

    >We can’t unmake that history. We have to deal with it. We have to build the farm team and get some underpriced talent. We are apparently well on the way to doing that. That’s my perspective.

    Are we really though? Other than Adam Jones I am at a loss to come up with a better than league average position player that the Mariners have developed since, MAYBE Ackly, Smoak or Montero will hit but that looks doubtful now. You can blame that on poor drafting, but at some point you just gotta step back and say “we’re not good at developing hitters”.

  99. Bremerton guy on December 13th, 2012 3:12 pm

    “the” tourist-

    The starting unit of the “mythical” 1995 Mariners:

    C Dan Wilson (119)
    1B Tino Martinez (139)
    2B Joey Cora (112)
    3B Mike Blowers (126)
    SS Luis Sojo (80)
    LF Rich Amaral (53)
    CF Ken Griffey, Jr. (70)
    RF Jay Buhner (120)
    DH Edgar Martinez (138)

    SP Tim Belcher
    SP Chris Bosio
    SP Randy Johnson

    RP Norm Charlton
    RP Lee Guetterman
    RP Jeff Nelson
    RP Bill Risley
    RP Bob Wells
    CL Bobby Ayala

    Which of those guys were ever Mariner prospects? Tino, Griffey, Edgar, Nelson, and Guetterman. Everyone else came from somewhere else, either in trades or by free agency.

  100. the tourist on December 13th, 2012 3:15 pm

    “I didn’t have to cherry pick prospects that didn’t work out…Since you want to be a wise guy and call me dumb…how about you come up with that long list of prospects that have worked out in a Mariners uniform. I mentioned Felix already…who else???”

    Why only choose the ones that have worked out in a Mariners uniform? Why not choose the ones who have simply worked out? Is it the current front office’s problem that the previous front office was terrible?

    But I’ll bite – ones that have worked out in a Mariners uniform: Kyle Seager, Michael Saunders, Dustin Ackley, Michael Pineda, Erasmo Ramirez, the entire bullpen except for Oliver Perez. Ones who never could because Bill Bavasi traded them: Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin Soo Choo. Ones who never could because prior GMs traded them: David Ortiz, Derek Lowe, Jason Varitek, Jose Cruz Jr.

    “And how can you say Mariners fans haven’t been patient with this wait and see approach? Maybe you’re a Cubs fan…if so then I understand patience.”

    Maybe because the so-called ‘wait and see’ approach has been going on since draft day in 2009. Not before. Because before that day, the cupboard was pretty bare thanks to Bill Bavasi’s trades and excruciatingly poor drafting. So we’re looking at 3 years and change of actual rebuilding. How many years does the average player spend in the minors between draft day and being league average or above?

  101. kinickers77 on December 13th, 2012 3:15 pm

    I think it’s about PR. If the Mariners overspent to land Hamilton, two things could have happened:

    1 – He could’ve continued to be a great hitter and everyone would’ve been happy.

    2 – He could’ve rapidly declined. In this scenario, some would say the Mariners were stupid to give so much but others who were tired of a stale front office would say, “Well, at least they tried.”

    But, if we make no moves whatsoever, I only see a negative PR outburst in response: Fans are tired of the Mariners sucking and not having the balls to do anything about it. While smart fans who follow blogs like these may understand that the overspending wouldn’t have been worth it, the majority if PR is not shaped by those people. It’s mostly shaped by the casual fans who don’t pay that close attention and just want to see superstars and Ws.

    From a PR perspective, I think the Ms are close to a big off-season letdown. From a budget perspective, maybe not. But then again, maybe so because good PR sells more tickets.

  102. terryoftacoma on December 13th, 2012 3:19 pm

    The Angels sign Hamilton a 4.4 WAR RF to replace Hunter a 5.3 War RF and M fans are becoming defeatist because it. Will wonders never cease. The off season’s not over yet and I’ll reserve my opinion of how successful or unsuccessful it was when it is.

  103. PinedaExpress on December 13th, 2012 3:20 pm

    “Other than Adam Jones I am at a loss to come up with a better than league average position player that the Mariners have developed since, MAYBE Ackly, Smoak or Montero will hit but that looks doubtful now.”

    Choo.
    Cabrera.

    I’d consider them both above league average.

  104. ireportyoudecide on December 13th, 2012 3:20 pm

    Swisher and Bourn aren’t coming. 3rd place and out of the playoffs is the best we can hope for. Attendacne will be the lowest ever for Safeco Field. There is no hope. Even if they win in April and May the excitement level is so low it won’t matter. Opening week against the Astros at home they might not hit 10,000.

  105. the tourist on December 13th, 2012 3:23 pm

    “The starting unit of the “mythical” 1995 Mariners:”

    Oh me oh my, I suppose I did mention 1995 somewhere. Oh wait, I didn’t? Oh boy, that must be embarrassing.

    But yeah, the core were the guys you mentioned. Plus Risley. And Wolcott. And A-Rod. And Ameral. And a trade of the late 80s version of the current team’s Felix (Langston) brought in Randy Johnson. But I’m sure that the Mariners will refrain from trading Felix. Wilson was brought in by trade (like John Jaso!). Cora was a minor free agent signing. Buhner was acquired through the Mariners taking advantage of the Yankees and how many years did it take for him to blossom? 4? Hope for Montero yet!

  106. the tourist on December 13th, 2012 3:24 pm

    “2 – He could’ve rapidly declined. In this scenario, some would say the Mariners were stupid to give so much but others who were tired of a stale front office would say, “Well, at least they tried.””

    Yeah, that worked well with Figgins, didn’t it? And Silva.

  107. eponymous coward on December 13th, 2012 3:27 pm

    Yes. I remember going to loads of games back then and happily watching the young players put it together and become the mythicized “90s Mariners”. You know how they got there? It wasn’t by signing big free agents.

    Right.

    Nobody is arguing that a productive farm system isn’t necessary.

    But if you’re saying our way to relevancy is drafting and trading for some first-ballot HOFers (RJ, Griffey and A-Rod), plus drafting a marginal HOFer (Edgar), plus scoring some pretty good players in trades that turned out to be very lopsided (Moyer and Buhner, and add the Big Unit trade into that), you might be waiting for a while.

    Go look at how many teams have 3 first-ballot HOFers on them at the same time in MLB history. It’s not a huge list.

  108. IdahoFan on December 13th, 2012 3:27 pm

    BlackHoleBender,

    These results came after changes the owner made in 2004. He was tired too. Read Jonah Keri’s book, “The Extra 2%.” The point is to find a different path to success since you can’t compete financially.

    For example, hire a really smart manager.

  109. kinickers77 on December 13th, 2012 3:29 pm

    @ the tourist – Hamilton has a much better track record of success than Figgins and Silva ever did. If Hamilton doesn’t do well, to the casual fan, it’d be more of a surprise than an expectation. With Figgins and Silva, sure there was hope they’d do well, but they had much less history to trust.

  110. amnizu on December 13th, 2012 3:30 pm

    >Choo.
    >Cabrera.

    >I’d consider them both above league average.

    Neither one of these players left the Mariners org and went straight to the major leagues. They spent additional years in another teams minor leagues system. So one could argue that the Indians AAA organization had some impact in their success as major league players.

  111. BlackHaloBender on December 13th, 2012 3:36 pm

    To everyone thinking the Angels overpaying for someone somehow creates a defeatist attitude you haven’t been paying attention. The defeatist attitude is a product of being defeated. Over and over again. Over 10 years.

    IdahoFan,
    I will read the book thanks. But I thought managers had a very low impact on winning?

  112. rsrobinson on December 13th, 2012 3:45 pm

    If the Mariners enter the season without any major upgrades to the roster I can just about guarantee a fan revolt.

    Maybe Smoak, Ackley, and Montero will show improvement at the plate, and maybe Zunino and Hultzen will be up by midseason and making an impact, and maybe Gutierrez will remain relatively healthy, and maybe Saunders and Seager will continue to build on last season and the team will play above .500 ball. But that’s an awful lot of hoping and wishing to count on.

    After a decade of bad baseball the stench of mediocrity permeates this franchise. I used to watch at least 150 Mariners games a year on TV but that has been declining, especially in the dog days of summer as the team inevitably falls out of contention. My patience is wearing thin so go ahead and call me just another mouthbreather who is getting fed up with promises of a shining future if we’re only patient enough. Patience my ass.

  113. BlackHaloBender on December 13th, 2012 3:47 pm

    By the way. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m done bitching about it. The Mariners need to find a way to make this baseball team competitive.

    1.) Top free agents don’t want to come here.
    2.) The ownership will not overpay into contention
    3.) The Mariners suck at choosing and bringing up young non Pitching talent.

    1 + 2 + 3 = we need a different way to win or we should just cut payroll and live in the lap of luxury taxes.

    But seriously, wasn’t there talk of the M’s selling to a different owner?

  114. cnote on December 13th, 2012 3:48 pm

    The Phillies were always in the discussion for “best team of the decade” (2000s), so while I agree with Dave here, it’s still very true that ponying up for the 30+ guys works. I’d be okay with 10 years of great baseball and a few world series appearances, and then another 10 years of rebuilding (if it even takes that long). Who knows, Z could even be better than your average GM at unloading contracts. In Z I still trust…

  115. vetted_coach on December 13th, 2012 3:51 pm

    Regarding “mouthbreathers, etc”:

    When you resort to name-calling, you’ve lost the argument. Point to some evidence that Z and the M’s have accomplished anything to improve this club or its prospects for contending. No amount of smoke you blow creates anything formidable about this organization.

    Reacting honestly beats enabling a BS organization with denial and empty bleating. What do you know about building a successful baseball team? You know theory and speculation. And defensive name-calling.

  116. kazuc on December 13th, 2012 3:52 pm

    Zunino looks very promising, as do the young arms, but other than that, I’m not hugely impressed by the Mariners system, and some of the moves they’ve made. They had huge chips in Lee and Pineiro, and I think they should have gotten much more than Smoak and Montero for them. Ackley regressed last year. Even forgiving the lack of budget, there isn’t that much to be excited about right now…

  117. make_dave_proud on December 13th, 2012 3:52 pm

    “I’m not suggesting the Mariners should just sit back and do nothing. I am suggesting, however, that those who continue to yell from the rooftops that off-season spending determines future on field outcomes don’t know what they’re talking about.”

    Dave, I would generally agree with you but the Mariners still have done nothing. At this point (and not because of the Hamilton signing), I seriously doubt the Mariners can even overpay for talent. Players simply do not want to come play in Seattle. And who can blame them? There’s much more upside elsewhere than playing for a perennial doormat.

    Anyone who does yell, though — there’s some justification. The Mariners haven’t taken on huge contracts in years (Felix notwithstanding and Figgins was NOT a huge contract), and in that time they’re quite possibly the worst team in the major leagues. Cut the loudmouths a break for once — they’re seeing the same approach as in previous years, and they’re not crazy for expecting different results from what’s happened in the past.

  118. the tourist on December 13th, 2012 3:54 pm

    “3.) The Mariners suck at choosing and bringing up young non Pitching talent.”

    This is hilarious seeing as how of all teams on the road in 2012, the Mariners had the 8th most runs scored….

  119. Bremerton guy on December 13th, 2012 4:00 pm

    “the” tourist-

    No, not embarrassing at all. The most mythical of “the mythicized ’90s Mariners’” was the 95 team. Really, how many teams do you remember between 1995 and 2001. And Alex only played a few games at the end of the regular season in 1995.

    And speaking of 2001, the same game is fun to play with them. The only former homegrown prospects that contributed any thing to that team were Ryan Franklin, Joel Pineiro, Carlos Guillen, and Edgar. Wilson, Olerud, Boone, Bell, Buhner, Cameron, Ichiro, Javier, McLemore, Al Martin, Freddy Garcia, Norm Charlton, Paul Abbott, Jaime Moyer, John Halama, Kaz Sasaki, Aaron Sele, Arthur Rhodes, and the second time around for Jeff Nelson, they all came from somewhere else.

    I guess the point is that historically, the successful Ms teams resulted from being proactive both in player acquisition and player development. Those teams didn’t rely solely on minor league player development. I don’t disagree that prospect development is important, and it’s for that reason I hope Z doesn’t trade any of the young arms for some offense. If Swisher is in the least bit realistically interested, they should make the play, as I said in another thread a few days ago.

  120. eponymous coward on December 13th, 2012 4:06 pm

    I guess the point is that historically, the successful Ms teams resulted from being proactive both in player acquisition and player development.

    Exactly. Even Billy Beane doesn’t just sit around waiting for the farm to produce.

  121. the tourist on December 13th, 2012 4:20 pm

    “I guess the point is that historically, the successful Ms teams resulted from being proactive both in player acquisition and player development.”

    Right, and all the guys the Mariners drafted and traded in that time were simply chopped liver. I guess we have different opinions of development and whatnot. I think Montero is the Mariners to develop like Johnson and Buhner were the Mariners’ to develop. And Wilson. Oh and Boone came up with the Mariners to begin with. So did Ichiro, really. Anyway, I guess I’ll leave The Seattle Times comments section for parts west.

  122. tmac9311 on December 13th, 2012 4:23 pm

    man I didn’t realize so many M’s fans were hanging off the ledge waiting for Hamilton. There’s still a fair amount of guys available, including Swisher who is a better fit for us. Hamilton always reminded me of Peguero, just much much more successful. I hate watching that guy play, and the idea of paying that player type 25M a year terrifies me.

    bourn ross swisher laroache edwin jackson lohse liriano marcum oswalt etc. are all still available, not including good players i’m too stupid to know. The sky isn’t falling, this team can still pickup 2-3 guys that are significantly better than anything we had last year. Just because we can’t drool over the team before Christmas doesn’t mean we’re going to suck.

  123. Bremerton guy on December 13th, 2012 4:25 pm

    “I guess I’ll leave The Seattle Times comments section for parts west.”

    Wait, that’s an insult, right?

  124. Longgeorge1 on December 13th, 2012 4:31 pm

    Yea, but Billy Beane did finish in Oakland this year with an all rookie starting five and they came pretty close to making it to the series. My question is – Why can’t we teach our talent to play? Why do I have to watch Smoak, Peguero and Carp suck year after year. Why did Saunders have to hire a non -Mariner coach to teach him basic hitting fundementals? Why did Fister show up in Detroit as a struggling to stay in the show guy and become the man, not named Verlander that is. Why is it that Adam Jones was just a struggling talent – until someone in Baltimore taught him to hit. Why couldn’t R.A. Dickey become more than a journeyman with us and than become Cy Young? Yea you just can’t sit there waiting for the farm to produce. You have to know how to grow your crop or you will just have weeds. We could go down a long list and bore each other silly of Mariner prospects who failed to grow into major leaguers but other organizations some how turned them into solid major league players

  125. bluemoonking on December 13th, 2012 4:39 pm

    I am sooo glad that Jack has not done anything to break up this team… While all the other clubs spend millions on free agents and long term contracts, Jack has weathered the storm and stuck with whom got him to this point. Now it’s a matter of counting all those wins and the best part is that the Mariners will even make a profit.

  126. marcus_andrews on December 13th, 2012 9:05 pm

    I understand frustration, watching losing is no fun for anyone. I’m just confused as to why, on December 13th, everyone is losing their mind. The difference between today and yesterday in terms of available free agent hitters is 2 people: Josh Hamilton and Ichiro. The persistent sentiment seems to be “it’s not missing on Hamilton, it’s not doing anything” well we’re barely into the offseason. Just because the biggest name signed does not mean everyone has.

    This was a weak class to “make a splash” and if you were completely reliant on one free agent to be happy this offseason, I’m sorry but it was likely that you were going to be disappointed (29 teams will be every year if that’s the case). Swisher is still available. Bourn is still available. Laroche and Ross are still available. Plenty of trades are still possible. If, in March, we haven’t added anyone better than Jason Bay then maybe you can be outraged then but it is wayyy to early for me to freak out just yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.