Combatting Emotion With Facts, Part III

Dave · December 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

(Here is part one and part two)

Fact Number Three:

In 1998, the Mariners decided not to re-sign Randy Johnson, trading him mid-summer for three prospects. They were criticized for not doing what it takes to keep star players in Seattle.

In 1999, Ken Griffey Jr asked for a trade. He was tired of losing and decided he’d rather finish his career in Cincinnati. The Mariners were criticized for not doing what it takes to keep star players in Seattle.

In 2000, Alex Rodriguez became a free agent, and chose to sign with the division rival Texas Rangers. The Mariners were criticized for not doing what it takes to keep star players in Seattle.

The 1998 Mariners won 76 games with Johnson, Griffey, and Rodriguez. The 1999 Mariners won 79 games with Griffey and Rodriguez. The 2000 Mariners won 91 games with Rodriguez. The 2001 Mariners won 116 games without any of them.

This is what that pattern looks like in column form.

Comments

134 Responses to “Combatting Emotion With Facts, Part III”

  1. thurston24 on December 13th, 2012 5:16 pm

    Yes, that’s why I’m not freaking out this season.

  2. IHaveALittleProject on December 13th, 2012 5:18 pm

    But how did they do that?

    They GOT BETTER PLAYERS at other positions.

    I agree that skipping Josh Hamilton is not a big deal.

    But sitting on a 75 win roster and hoping it can magically gain 20 doesn’t have spectacular odds of success either.

  3. Dave on December 13th, 2012 5:19 pm

    Hint: no one is suggesting that they do that.

  4. IHaveALittleProject on December 13th, 2012 5:22 pm

    I hope you’re right.

    Whether through trade or signings, they need to add a lot of wins for the available salary in budget.

    However, if they enter this season without doing anything, that’s where many of us will lose the faith.

  5. 9inningknowitall on December 13th, 2012 5:28 pm

    I completely agree, I’m just wondering where the team goes from here to improve. Swisher doesn’t seem interested and I’m not sure there are many trade partners out there at this point.

    Any rumors or ideas going around?

  6. MyOhMy on December 13th, 2012 5:30 pm

    And ZERO World Series appearances let alone titles

  7. jared_kopp on December 13th, 2012 5:35 pm

    Dave, this is probably the best writing you’ve ever done – and I really like your writing.

  8. spokaneman on December 13th, 2012 5:35 pm

    I think highlighting statistical anomolies, or in the case of fact number 3; telling half truths that fit the agenda, to combat or rationalize what is happening this offseason is in its own right, emotional.

    Everytime the M’s don’t make a move and that ‘glass half full guy’ says “yeabut, 2012 Orioles!!!” a baby angel loses its wings.

    Love 99% of your work, but this is one of those times I kinda get lost.

  9. rsrobinson on December 13th, 2012 5:41 pm

    I don’t think that people are freaking out about losing Hamilton specifically. It’s just that this offseason is beginning to have the stench of last year’s offseason when little was done to upgrade the historically bad offense beyond the Montero trade. And the apparent lack of interest by top free agents in playing in Seattle may be tying Jack Z’s hands even if they are willing to spend more money.

  10. Rick L on December 13th, 2012 5:49 pm

    Brilliant series of posts.

  11. asuray on December 13th, 2012 5:50 pm

    I’m still amazed that any rational fans actually wanted Hamilton. I’m hoping that he just represented an idea; a hope for the direction the club would move in rather than a specific transaction that was desired. He has “franchise-crippling money pit” written all over him. If you’re the Angels and are netting ~$147 million per year in local TV revenue, then you can absorb that contract and move on. If you’re the Mariners and are making ~$45 million per year in local TV revenue, then you are stuck until the contract expires.

  12. charliebrown on December 13th, 2012 5:52 pm

    Dave, we all know you’re not suggesting that the Mariners not spend money or prospects to upgrade the roster.

    The problem is that nothing that the Mariners have done over the past year or so suggests that they will either.

  13. asuray on December 13th, 2012 5:54 pm

    If we get a new TV deal similar to that of Texas/LA (both of them)/Houston/etc. in 2015 and still refuse to issue big money deals, assuming those deals make sense (unlike the Hamilton/Fielder deals, IMO), then you can complain. I don’t get the sense that the FO doesn’t want to spend. It’s just hard to get anything resembling a decent ROI through free agency. Teams like the Dodgers are so flush with revenue now that they could care less about ROI. It’s all about marginal increases in on-field performance. Fiscally limited clubs like us, and almost every other team, still have to be responsible with our spending.

  14. greentunic on December 13th, 2012 6:03 pm

    If we do not get Swisher or Bourne, I will be very upset.

    At some point, salary/WAR doesn’t mean anything if you have small WAR, just as no one should get more excited for $2 million to a 1-WAR player (good ratio) than $18 million to a 6-WAR player (not as good a ratio, better situation).

    If you keep making small but quality purchases, but leave a bunch of money on the table that year, you may as well count the wasted money as a part of the investment.

    $20 million to a set of players with $30 million left over may as well be $50 million spent on those same players (at least in baseball terms, assuming savings do not carry over, as many–including Dave–suggest).

    I’m not upset about Hamilton, but to those who advocate going for a big free agent, I can certainly empathize.

  15. casey on December 13th, 2012 6:07 pm

    Going back a year plus Jack Z has said when the time is right we will spend money and acquire the key pieces that will make the M’s more competitive in the AL West. With Ichiro traded in August the roster and budget seemed to be right to add 2 or 3 key pieces during the off season that combined with maturing young players would move the M’s from 75 wins to 80+ in 2013.

    So far the only piece added has been Jason – so far over the hill you need a telescope to see him – Bay. Not what we were expecting. Good news is the top 3 minor league system is still intact, bad news is that this major league roster will do well to win 70 games in 2013.

  16. shadow_watch on December 13th, 2012 6:09 pm

    There’s one very big difference between the M’s then and now. They traded Randy Johnson for three very good players. They traded Griffey for quality players. They let A-Rod go and used the money to sign another hall-of-famer from Japan, and two pros pros in Olerud and Boone. Sorry, but I do not see how this team has the wherewithall to get significantly better in the current market.

  17. shadow_watch on December 13th, 2012 6:11 pm

    I do agree with your assertion of making a big play for Dickey though. Picking up a 4 win pitcher helps tremendously, especially if you can coax Bourne or Swisher to sign…

  18. henryv on December 13th, 2012 6:34 pm

    In 5 years the Angels are going to be sitting on some MASSIVE contracts for players in their late 30s.

  19. PackBob on December 13th, 2012 6:59 pm

    The people complaining loudest now about not landing a big star are the ones who would be complaining loudest 5 years from now when the big, old stars signed to long contracts can’t play any longer.

  20. ManifestDestiny on December 13th, 2012 7:01 pm

    In the 2008 offseason, the Yankees spent $423.5mil on CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira. They won the World Series the following year and have been in the playoffs ever since

  21. ireportyoudecide on December 13th, 2012 7:11 pm

    What’s your point, the goal is to win a World Series, those teams failed. That’s obvioiusly a model that didn’t work.

  22. ireportyoudecide on December 13th, 2012 7:14 pm

    Also there is no way Swisher is going to sign with a team that doesn’t look like it cares about winning. NO CHANCE

  23. shadow_watch on December 13th, 2012 7:17 pm

    So henry, your answer is to wait another 5 years to contend. What will you say in 5 years?
    It’s not about adding stars. We’ve have done nothing at all to improve the team. The Giants won their second world series in three years. The only starter that was common to those teams was Posey. Brian Sabean has been able to completely turn over that line-up and win. What veterans has Z brought in in the last 3 years that have improved the club? Where are the Scutaro, Pagan, or Cabrera’s? There are two outfielders that could have helped the M’s.

  24. Mariners35 on December 13th, 2012 7:19 pm

    Can’t wait to see the “facts” you’re going to cherry-pick to “counter emotion” when Swisher, Bourn and Dickey all go to other teams and the M’s spend another offseason picking up castoffs like Bay. Again. Still.

    Oh, hey, what’s that I hear? “It’s still early, there’s still several weeks left to the offseason”? Yeah, people said that around this time the last 2 offseasons too.

    At what point does the “rebuilding” stop and the “winning” start? When do people stop making excuses for Z, Chuck and Howie? When do people start recognizing the stench of failure that clings to this franchise, that scares off most of the significant free agents?

  25. henryv on December 13th, 2012 7:19 pm

    Ireport: See Part II.

  26. shadow_watch on December 13th, 2012 7:24 pm

    “What’s your point, the goal is to win a World Series, those teams failed. That’s obviously a model that didn’t work.”

    That is one more world series than the M’s have won. And they have put themselves in a position to win more. I guess I don;t understand your point. I am sure that you would prefer that your owner spend that kind of money if you had the choice.
    I agree with Ireportyoudecide. The M’s have not demonstrated that they are serious about winning. Quite the opposite.

  27. MissouriMariner on December 13th, 2012 7:30 pm

    Not getting Hamilton is not the end of the world….I think the Angels will be hurting bad in a couple of years….why break the bank for aging superstars….we do need more offense and hopefully something gets done but you can’t make a guy take a contract. I’m hoping Z gets something done again and hopefully with the growth of our young guys, we will see some decent improvement….

  28. henryv on December 13th, 2012 7:33 pm

    Of course you wouldn’t wait 5 years to contend. But in 5 years the Angels are going to be sitting on some serious dead weight and paying $50M for two players who will be in their late 50s.

    In fact, as point 2 pointed out, money guarantees exactly jack squat.

    Smart signings, good drafts and trades are what a middle-market team needs. That is how they won 116 games. That is how they can get back into contention. We’re not the Angels, and we can’t spend like them. We can’t have pay $50M a year for two players that are likely to be 2-3 win players (at best) by then.

  29. henryv on December 13th, 2012 7:33 pm

    I feel like USS Mariner’s comment section became Geoff Baker’s blog.

  30. kazuc on December 13th, 2012 7:42 pm

    Better title would be “Combating Emotion with highly highly selective facts that I pick out to make my point.” Or maybe I’m missing parts IV and V where you mention that Texas in fact made the World Series in 2010 and 2011, the 2009 WS Champions were the NY Yankees, the 2008 WS Champions were the Philadelphia Phillies, the 2007 WS champions were the Boston Red Sox. Also, please continue with a bar graph on the Mariners success from 2004-2011.

    Bottom line: You can find selective “facts” to prove ANYTHING if you look hard enough. But chances are Ackley will not turn into 2001 Brett Boone, chances are that we won’t get another Ichiro next year, chances are much more likely that a big spender will win then not, and chances are that LAA will be better than Seattle next year, and better than they were in 2012.

  31. dantheman on December 13th, 2012 7:44 pm

    “At what point does the “rebuilding” stop and the “winning” start? When do people stop making excuses for Z, Chuck and Howie? When do people start recognizing the stench of failure that clings to this franchise, that scares off most of the significant free agents?”

    The excuses, presumably purchased at a discount from fans in Pittsburgh and Kansas City, never stop – “Jack inherited a bad farm system”; “we’re building a team the ‘right way’” (why does the “right way” consist of coming in last place 3 years in a row and 4 out of 5 years?) etc. It’s becoming more and more obvious there is no “plan” and we are back to: Pat Putnam is the answer…no, wait it’s Gary Gray…no, wait it’s Richie Sexson…..no, it’s Milton Bradley…no, no, it’s Chone Figgins….oops, I meant Jason Bay.

    The Mariners, at least before they drove attendance down to half of what it was, had high revenue. They obviously aren’t spending it. You don’t necessarily have to if you know what you’re doing (hello Billy) but the Mariners don’t.

  32. shadow_watch on December 13th, 2012 8:02 pm

    Don’t know where I said anything about spending $125M on Hamilton. My point is, current management does not seem to be able to make deals for the non-superstars either. They have gotten nothing accomplished, in a year where they really needed to do something, to keep from alienating their fan-base even further. Improving a last place team by 0 WAR, and relying on the “kids” to arrive or improve probably won’t move the pendulum quite enough I’m afraid.

  33. bookbook on December 13th, 2012 8:14 pm

    Wow. Whine, moan, complain. Y’all sound more like my six-year-old son than adult fans of baseball.

    If the M’s don’t make some improvements this offseason, you have grounds to criticize. I absolutely agree. But egads the whinging is getting over the top, especially at this point in the winter.

    Ultimately, if you don’t like what the M’s are building, go root for the Dodgers, already. Life’s too short to spend it railing against the management of a sports franchise that has nothing in common with you other than it’s city of domicile.

  34. shadow_watch on December 13th, 2012 8:35 pm

    Yes, there is so much quality left out there…

  35. refusetolose on December 13th, 2012 8:39 pm

    You can win games with all kinds of players, the Mariners certainly had the pitching a year ago to compete–and they will again this year. With a “new” ballpark there pitching will get a little worse and there hitting will get a little bit better.

    What Dave fails to mention–is that we don’t have an Angel Pagan, we didn’t have a Marco Scutaro. Figgins never got on, and then never played. Ichiro got traded.

    The Giants hit singles and stole bases and then had Pablo hit a few homers and doubles to bring guys in.

    We can’t even guys to hit singles. Nevertheless get three hits to hit singles in the SAME INNING.

    I couldn’t care less about Hamilton. I’m more just frustrated the guys on this roster are incapable of getting on base and driving in runs in the same inning.

    So yeah, the Mariners can win any way. But lets get some guys that can win either way.

  36. dantheman on December 13th, 2012 8:52 pm

    “Ultimately, if you don’t like what the M’s are building, go root for the Dodgers, already” = “I really can’t figure out how to articulate any reasonable justification for how this terrible franchise is run so please go away.” Clearly a high level job in the Mariners marketing department is waiting for you. If you can’t stand the heat….

  37. gwangung on December 13th, 2012 9:03 pm

    I think highlighting statistical anomolies, or in the case of fact number 3; telling half truths that fit the agenda, to combat or rationalize what is happening this offseason is in its own right, emotional.

    Given that Dave has been saying this consistently over the last seven years I’ve been reading this blog, I don’t think this is quite accurate.

    Thought it MIGHT be accurate that he’s trolling the more emotional readers of the blog…

  38. asuray on December 13th, 2012 9:04 pm

    “Not getting Hamilton is not the end of the world….I think the Angels will be hurting bad in a couple of years”

    Probably not. That’s what people keep glossing over. There seems to be some misconception here that teams like the Yankees/Dodgers/Angels/Rangers are “committed to winning,” whereas the Mariners are not. In reality, those teams are sitting on piles of money to the point where spending $25 million per year for five years on a guy that could be washed up in three isn’t a big risk. The Dodgers, for example, could have signed every big name free agent on the market this year and still turn a profit. That’s what $240 million per year in local TV revenue gets you. For us, signing someone like Hamilton and having them be an albatross in a few years would be an enormous concern that would severely limit our financial flexibility. I hope that we sign an enormous TV deal after we opt out of our current contract after the 2015 season so that I won’t have to listen to the “pay millions of dollars for a player just so we can say we spent millions of dollars” crowd.

  39. bookbook on December 13th, 2012 9:09 pm

    Nope, the Mariners wouldn’t like what I’m saying, at all.

    I actually think the M’s are nearly a .500 team next year by virtue of no more Olivo and Figgins and – I hope and believe – Peguero, Liddi, Noesi, et al, at the major league level.

    (I also expect more out of Ackley and Montero’s bats, plus more PAs for Jaso and Gutierrez.)

    Whic is why, for me, a Swisher plus Edwin Jackson or equivalent feels important.

  40. carbidedrill on December 13th, 2012 9:10 pm

    I love reading this site because it’s often Dave Cameron vs. Geoff Baker. Baker insists that the team must throw hundreds of millions at players to win. I prefer smart baseball people running the team. They’ve rebuilt the farm system and that’s good enough for me to trust what they’re doing or not doing.

  41. californiamariner on December 13th, 2012 9:13 pm

    I would hope everybody understands winning a championship in Major League Baseball is virtually unpredictable. There is no model to follow. Every team that wins can find their own formula, so how about we just give the Mariners a chance before we freak out? I think sometimes we get confused with the NBA or the NFL where superior teams often win. In MLB, we really don’t know what is going to happen. Hence, we should give the Mariners a chance to make it happen, before freaking out.

  42. bookbook on December 13th, 2012 9:17 pm

    Liddi could improve enough to help, just not in LF. Noesi probably needs to return to the bullpen to turn it around, I’m guessing.

  43. ireportyoudecide on December 13th, 2012 9:23 pm

    ? carbidedrill on December 13th, 2012 9:10 pm

    I love reading this site because it’s often Dave Cameron vs. Geoff Baker. Baker insists that the team must throw hundreds of millions at players to win. I prefer smart baseball people running the team. They’ve rebuilt the farm system and that’s good enough for me to trust what they’re doing or not doing.

    Although we haven’t even got close to making the playoffs so far with Jack Z. So if 4 years from now they still haven’t made the playoffs will you say Baker was right and Cameron was wrong?

  44. refusetolose on December 13th, 2012 9:27 pm

    The Mariners have rebuilt the farm system well. That is true. But isn’t everyone tired of hearing the “Let’s just wait for the young guys to develop…” argument.

    I love young players. I love young talent. But there needs to be someone proven in there to help. And not just your 38-year-old used to be good guy, ala Kevin Millwood. This team needs one solid, proven player, at a position that needs an upgrade. Preferably 3rd base or a corner OF spot.

    Then we could feel okay about the total youth movement.

    The Rays got to the series with a virtual influx of homegrown talent. Took them 10 years of futility to get there. That’s where the Mariners are at now.

    The Reds are doing pretty well with a lot of homegrown talent, or young talent they developed after trades, like Brandon Phillips.

    The Nats are doing it in large, aside from Jayson Werth and Gio Gonzalez, with a lot of homegrown talent. Took them 10 years to be relevant.

    The Mariners lost when they played the big money game. The Mariners lose with the total youth movement. They need an established player, who can actually perform, to come and actually establish a middle of the lineup presence, to give those young guys a chance to see fastballs.

    It’s tough. Being a Mariners fan has never been easy. And you people that say “just go root for the Dodgers” can’t be serious.

    The fanbase is just tired of losing. For a city that lost an NBA team and has had a football team be disappointing most of the team, it’s understandable.

  45. Doug1060 on December 13th, 2012 10:06 pm

    At some point they need to win. No matter what philosophy they follow, this is real, professional baseball. Many of the comments of this section sound like what I hear from other parents on my kid’s Little League team. At the MLB level, it’s just not good enough to field a team and play. After all, get to go to the Little League games for free. That’s not the case for the Mariners; we should expect more from them.

  46. goalieump413 on December 13th, 2012 10:22 pm

    Dave’s post, while historically correct, is a misrepresentation of how facts skew results. Yes, the fact is that Randy, Junior, and $-Rod DID all leave the team in 3 consecutive seasons, which DID result in a greater winning percentage for each year, BUT what is not mentioned, is that the team HAD talent in each of those years to supplement the loss of these key players.

    In other words, Randy Johnson’s slot in the starting rotation, filled arguably by Freddy Garcia, was an improved rotation in ’99. Randy’s W-L in 1998 was a measly 9-10 in 160 innings for the M’s, while Garcia’s record was 17-8 in 201.1 innings in ’99.

    So to argue, based on a players name credibility, that the Mariners removed a star player one year, then got better, is specious at best. The Mariners improved their W-L record in ’99 for other reasons than the removal of one player.

    In fact, the 1998 Mariners were a better pitching club, albeit an older pitching staff, giving up 53 fewer earned runs in 1998. They batted better in ’98 also, leaving one to believe that their record was only an indication of matchups, where opponents were also less likely to score runs and win games.

    My perspective: Signing Swisher is now a top priority for Jack Z. You can’t make a resonable argument that not having high caliber talent actually helps your team win on a consistent basis. Signing high caliber talent, with a proven history of performance simply upgrades the potential to score more runs and win more games. Especially close games.

    Standing pat will not please a dwindling fan base, and will certainly strain the likelihood that the M’s will garner a massive TV deal to offset the cost of a high payroll.

    Spend the dough now, roll the dice, and then go back to building from the bottom up.

  47. make_dave_proud on December 13th, 2012 10:34 pm

    I think what’s bugging everyone is the probability of the team *not* improving this off-season increased today. The team didn’t significantly upgrade the offense last year, nor the year before that. (Heck, when was the last time that happened?)

    For all the mentions of everyone else still out there, that should be an ominous sign. All these players still out there, and the Mariners have only signed Jason Bay while releasing Chone Figgins and Mauricio Robles?

    This off-season has shown two things:
    1) Free agents aren’t interested in playing for the Mariners.
    2) The prospects the organization holds don’t translate into trade chips.

    One can argue about whether the team values those prospects more or whether free agents are worth their price, but the fact remains that other teams are making moves while the Mariners sit on their hands. And no team entered this off-season with greater need for offensive help than the Mariners.

    Organizationally, the Mariners just seem like boys in a man’s world, always a step behind.

  48. Dobbs on December 13th, 2012 10:50 pm

    So for those of us not freaking out that come here to read your insights, what would you do at this point?

    Dickey + Swisher was it?

    Is LaRoche + Bourn a good idea that could fit into our budget?

    Would love to know what can make us a playoff contender.

  49. TumwaterMike on December 13th, 2012 10:52 pm

    2) The prospects the organization holds don’t translate into trade chips.

    I disagree with that statement. It might be that our prospects have a lot of value and other teams are trying to rob us by asking too much. Everyone knows the M’s are desperate for offense. Just a thought.

  50. goalieump413 on December 13th, 2012 11:04 pm

    It’s quite likely the M’s will be a contender in 2-3 years growing talent on their own. But at what cost?

    Let’s say the M’s choose to, or are forced to, stand pat. Align the stars here, and you quickly recognize that the 2013 season is shaping up to be another migraine. Not because they’re going to lose more games than they win, but because they’re going to lose out on the chance to improve to a point where the trade partners return.

    What’s the famous saying: “You can’t bargain with what you don’t have”? Well, the M’s don’t have a proven winning system with the talent they have now, so why would a trading partner willingly hand over proven veterans for “maybe someday” players?

  51. SeattleNative57 on December 13th, 2012 11:10 pm

    That was then, this is now. Nothing among this incarnation of the team or their accomplishments remotely resembles the 1998, 1999 or 2000 editions. Lest we forget, this baseball team has achieved at historically low levels. Those teams were anchored by Edgar, Bone and Wilson at minimum. This team has no one even close in terms of leadership quality. Baseball is a team game and needs leadership to succeed. Those late 90s teams may not have won but they had leaders to keep the ship upright. Pinella also trumps Wedge in terms of leadership.

  52. Dobbs on December 13th, 2012 11:40 pm

    I think I’ve missed mention of possible reclamation projects. Jason Bay I guess makes the list now, but any others you’d prefer Dave?

  53. vetted_coach on December 13th, 2012 11:52 pm

    You’re justifying losing three hall of fame players in their prime with an anomaly. In 2001 the Seattle Mariners got career years from an improbable seven players. Look them up. If ever a season could be labeled a fluke, this was the season. In spite of the record setting 116 wins, there was no world series appearance, the only time a major league team has won a record setting number of games without a world series appearance.

    The ridiculous (and illogical) dismissal of those three players, however, has been the most consistent aspect of this franchise. Since the loss of Omar Vizquel and Tino Martinez, the Mariners have pooped the sheets continually on player-personnel decisions. Even the trade of Ruppert Jones in the ’70′s was a ridiculous miscalculation.

    The Seattle history of economic austerity and evaluation blunders is a franchise legacy that everyone in baseball is aware of except for local rah-rah’s who cannot acknowledge the obvious while theorizing and filibustering in spite of an embarrassing collection of historical ineptitude that is historical fact.

    Sure, site 2001 as your fundamental evidence that “debunks” what a majority of frustrated and disappointed fans have been struggling with for decades, that the Seattle Mariner franchise has compiled an illustrious resume of failure in spite of its revenue. The philosophy is consistent and wrong. No world series appearances. A string of trades, releases and mistakes rivaled by no other franchise. Four consecutive years of offensive failure. A decade with no post season activity. A list of ex-Mariner successes that would wallpaper a locker room. Financial downturn and falling attendance figures. Desirable free agents don’t want to come here, and the hot stove GM commentary is predictable as it is stale and uninspired.

    2001. That’s your story and you’re sticking to it. Very cutting edge.

  54. justinh on December 14th, 2012 12:10 am

    Dave I totally agree what your getting at, but the Mariners also found lightning in a bottle with Brett Boone, or steroids in a bottle. He went from 1 WAR in 2000 to 7+ WAR in 2001.

    By the way remember after the 2001 season, 11 yrs ago, Brett Boone signed a big 3/30 million dollar contract? Times are changing.

  55. Don Money on December 14th, 2012 12:24 am

    Do you guys really think Swisher will hit with power in Safeco? He doesn’t have Beltre’s power and we know how Adrian hit here. There is no comparison of stats from guys playing half there games in bandboxes like Yankee Stadium, Texas, Milwaukee, Tampa, etc. and we know it is not just the wall distances. Everyone wants a WS title tomorrow, which would be great but you have to work with reality. We have a great park that is not power hitter friendly, have a cool climate for half the season (which also suppresses power) and are geographically isolated, all unchangeable. We don’t have a winning tradition, which is changeable. This basically means we are not going to be a power hitter’s FA destination, leaving us with the grow our own or trade route (see Tampa Bay). Any FA power bat that comes here is coming only for the money, which usually is not an indicator of a real team player. Jack Z has been building the farm team intelligently by stockpiling the scarcest of commodities, power pitching arms, both as starters and relievers. These players, once they show some ability at the Major League level, will be the capital needed to bring in some young offensive talent we need.
    A previous poster mentioned the Giants winning two WS with completely turned over rosters which was true offensively but the pitching staffs (homegrown) were the constant reason they won, really no big bats in their line up. We can do what they did. The biggest mistake past Mariner GM’s have made is to give up on young talent too soon and I would hate to see that be repeated. Patient fans are put through a real trial but we are so close to being a good, competitive, young team that will create some real excitement. Hang tight!

  56. MrZDevotee on December 14th, 2012 12:49 am

    Sheesh… All the “Dave’s cherry picking” comments skip over the fact that THAT’s kinda the point of what he was saying. “It can be done any number of ways” is the message. And the message was aimed at folks who think that spending lots and hitting dingers is the best way to win a World Series.

    All Dave is saying is: you can spend lots of money and make the playoffs, or you can spend lots less money and make the playoffs… (That’s “cherry picking?”)

    Since 2000, the Yankees and SF Giants have made the World Series the same number of times (3) and won the same number of times (2). (For the THIS IS ALL ABOUT THE WORLD SERIES crowd…)

    So, say whatever you want, and there’s evidence to support what you think… And evidence to refute it. Don’t you LOVE baseball!!!?

    I mean, if you’re gonna cherry pick, why not just throw in “based off the past 2 decades, you can’t win a World Series without a bunch of guys on steroids!… Where’s OUR guys on steroids!!!?” (This is for the “Ackley is NO Brett Boone” folks.)

    And the idea that it’s Baker’s way or Cameron’s way, Jesus, that is a HUGE false dichotomy. They could BOTH be wrong, or BOTH be right, in any given year. I didn’t see anyone bravely put forth the notion “Well, both the Pirates and the Angels failed to make the playoffs in 2012, so based on what they each spent, that proves _______”. (Actually, I’d LOVE to hear some “Mad Libs” answers to that position…)

    Hell, in the past 12 years the Florida Marlins and Houston Astros have been to a World Series, too. The Marlins have WON a World Series, and been the worst run baseball team the past 2 decades, all at the same time. And for THEM, 2003 & 2012 combined show that spending lots of money can have two completely different influences on how your season finishes– Win It All, or Not Come Close.

    Hey, the Red Sox and Cubs (before 2004) OBVIOUSLY had no intention of winning, because look at how many World Series they’ve won in the 80 years before 2004! ZERO. It’s amazing any fans stuck with those teams!

    Seriously TWO teams in two huge markets, with historically some of the best players ever to play the game, went nearly 200 years (TWO CENTURIES) combined without a World Series victory.

    And the fallacy that people put forth, that the Mariners are stingy and selfish at the ownership level, is so breathtakingly hypocritical coming from the mouths of people who simultaneously say “Until you’re willing to spend hundreds of millions to add single players to a team whose addition of that player STILL WON’T contend, in able to show good faith to your fanbase, on a team that lacks the support of that fanbase, I’m spending my money elsewhere.”

    It’s SO MUCH MORE COMPLICATED than that.

    A couple of other folks summed up these past 3 comment sections the best:

    One said we’re starting to sound like the Seattle Time’s Mariner Blog commenters (ouch).

    The other said essentially the same people who say they won’t support this club unless they spend a gazillion dollars and bring in the very best free agents are the same one’s who will be up in arms a decade from now when we’re sunk to the bottom of Puget Sound with all those same no-longer-effective guys’ contracts.

    The “Veruca Salts” of the Mariner fanbase. “I want… I want… I want… And you don’t love me, Daddy, if you don’t do what I want…”

    And WE ALL KNOW you’ll all still be hardcore, diehard, Mariners fans at that time, no matter what direction this takes over the next 10 years.

    Reminds me of what my wife’s little sister wrote to her parents when she ran away from home (ie, hid in the basement) as a little girl. “I HATE you Daddy,,, Love, Anna.”

  57. RaoulDuke37 on December 14th, 2012 1:03 am

    What does Seattle offer a positional player like Josh Hamilton or Nick Swisher?

    Playing in a park that has been historically terrible for offensive performance the last 3 years.

    Essentially no protection in the lineup. (Not arguing the sabrematic vs traditional view on this topic, just trying to point out that Saunders/Montero is not quite the same as a team offering Pujols/Trout).

    The pressure that comes with being essentially the entire offense for the team.

    A lack of any recent team success.

    An ever shrinking fan base.

    Ownership/Management that seems hesitant to spend a lot of money.

    Hmmm…

    I don’t think we really stand an chance. A least Ibanez and Morse are familiar with us.

  58. matthew on December 14th, 2012 2:26 am

    This is why I respect Dave more than anyone else when it comes to discussing baseball.

  59. GarForever on December 14th, 2012 3:58 am

    Do you guys really think Swisher will hit with power in Safeco? He doesn’t have Beltre’s power and we know how Adrian hit here.

    Swisher used to play in Oakland, remember: granted it was a long time ago in baseball terms, but he didn’t have too much trouble hitting homers a member of the As, who also play their home games in an offensive graveyard:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4599&position=OF#advanced

    Also, don’t forget that Beltre was banged up A LOT while he was in Seattle, whereas I believe I read (sorry can’t find the link at the moment) that Swisher is the only player about whom the following is true: 145+ games played and 22+ HR each of the past seven seasons. The guy is durable. He’s also going to get the majority of his AB from the left side, and his dingers tend to cluster to two areas: pulled to right (never a problem in Safeco) or down the left field line (now considerably closer in Safeco):

    http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2012_67&type=hitter

    Apple, meet Orange.

  60. kazuc on December 14th, 2012 4:32 am

    Obviously, you can win with money and without money. But also obviously, it ain’t 50-50, and the teams that don’t spend, have much less chance. Also obviously, there is no indication at all as of now that the current Mariner regime is anything like the ones in Oakland, Tampa Bay, or once upon a time Minnesota. So yes, poor teams can win, rich teams can win. But anyone who wants to bet on which one has the better chance can leave their money right here. No team last year was in worst shape than Boston, and Pit had a good year. Anyone want to right now bet me that the Pirates win a championship sooner than the Red Sox?

  61. GarForever on December 14th, 2012 6:28 am

    Also obviously, there is no indication at all as of now that the current Mariner regime is anything like the ones in Oakland, Tampa Bay, or once upon a time Minnesota.

    kazuc, I see your point, and I don’t think anyone here would seriously dispute that, at the very least, a higher payroll allows a front office more flexibility: if you’re the Yankees and sign a Chone Figgins-type stinker contract, you go find someone else for the same (or even more) money. If you’re the Ms, you end up trying to work around it until the situation becomes intolerable. I don’t like it, I don’t think anyone who isn’t a fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, or (now) Dodgers likes it. But there is no current universe in which the Mariners are going to have the revenue stream to even think about going toe to toe with the Angels, and given the market-size disparity, there probably never will be, at least as long as Arte Moreno owns them. The Ms will always have to spend smarter than the Angels in order to be better than them.

    To turn to your point above, then: in my opinion we are not yet in a position to *know* whether this front office is comparable to the teams you mentioned. Yes, Z and his crew have presided over four seasons, three of them huge disappointments (though with notable win-total increases every year since the cratering of 2010). But before the Rays, As, and Twins became what they did, remember that each of them suffered through multiple years of horrible or sub-par performance at the beginning of the regimes that ultimately built them into consistent winners, and the Ms current front office arguably started farther from the goal line than any of those organizations when the “good” GMs took them over.

    To wit, as has already been said but deserves repeating: The previous front office left the cupboard completely bare; they traded away the prospects that turned into good MLB players and kept the ones by and large who did not (and screwed Brandon Morrow up so bad that Zduriencik ultimately made the mistake he did in trading him). None of this is to makes excuses: I don’t honestly know if Z is the best GM going forward for the Mariners. But if we’re going to compare this FO to the FO of other, cost-effective but consistent winners, let’s make sure we set the terms fairly: none of those franchises had instant success, either. They got incrementally better for a few years while missing the playoffs as they built the farm, and then suddenly they found themselves in possession of scads of cost-controlled, young talent that could compete with teams loaded with expensive, older free agents. That may or may not happen in Seattle, but I think we’re still a little premature in assuming it won’t.

  62. omahajoe on December 14th, 2012 7:21 am

    Long time reader, first time responder here. Love the site and the intelligent insight from the readers.

    I feel that this is an important off season for the M’s (aren’t they all) and from the comments I’ve been reading over the past week I can see that many M’s fans are still very passionate and are looking forward to a winner.

    The purpose of Dave’s recent posts is to reinforce the thought process that there is more than one way to win even given the current economical inequities.

    I believe that Z and team staying the course and not over-reacting is key at this time. Losing Hamilton is not the end of the world. Yes, I’d like to see Z land a big bat, but not at all costs. Yes, I’d love to starting to reap the potential pending rewards of a new TV deal. But I don’t want to see the team spend their entire budget on a big bat now and gamble that it works out in the next two seasons — not if losing that gamble means little to no chance to resign Felix.

    I think extending Felix this offseason is still the best move the M’s can make. Extend him now before the cost of a Top 10 pitcher skyrockets any more — player salaries are only going up in the short term.

    As for the rest of the offseason, I’m not panicking. There’s still time left. The team can still make moves to improve without a “big splash”. We still can gain wins by incrementally making the back of our roster better. I’m not a huge Bourn fan, but CF could be an issue for us in 2014 and he would fill our hole in the leadoff spot. We also need some veteran insurance for Smoak — but I don’t want Swisher if it means 4 years $80M or so.

    If we do nothing, I’d be very disappointed. What I don’t want to see is another Bedard type trade just for the sake of making a move. I still have faith in Z and his process….I’m going to wait until I see how things shake out before I comment on how much we’ve improved our 2013 outlook.

    Go M’s

  63. heyoka on December 14th, 2012 7:32 am

    The lesson here is that the Mariners need to trade Felix so that they can get better. History proves stars make your team bad.

  64. vetted_coach on December 14th, 2012 7:55 am

    Some of you don’t want to know the truth. It’s not about dollers and cents. A fan who expects a front office to return our support with a little integrity and a genuine desire to succeed has nothing to do with a spoiled child running away from home. The Mariner organization is not my daddy. Stop being ridiculous and obtuse. When the M’s deliver what SF and Oakland deliver, you can then apply them to your silly analogy. Until then, a little savvy and an old fashioned desire to actually win something is not too much to expect from a baseball organization that charges upwards of $100 a person for an average night at the ball park WE paid for. To that extent, it is about financial integrity, not some whining child in the basement. You can’t have it both ways.

    The front office isn’t just cheap. It’s also stubborn, dishonest (intellectually), inept, and just plain stupid when it comes to baseball acumen. Stop pretending they’re doing us all a favor by owning a franchise. Fans deserve a solid effort comensurate with the market and industry culture they chose. Annie in the basement is not a spoiled child. It’s a community of patrons who dump miilions of economic support into their home team and its merchandise. We DESERVE a product that’s not slapped together like some cheap, shabby knock-off in the basement of a dingy warehouse.

    Grow the hell up. The Mariner organization doesn’t approach its responsibility with any pride, courage or financial respect for its own community. They chose the culture. And they are very wealthy people.

  65. BillyJive on December 14th, 2012 8:45 am

    Here’s another fact. This team isn’t any better or worse than last year’s. It’s the same. And I am not into another season of mediocre at best baseball.
    I don’t think anyone is over reacting at watching everyone else sign the decent free agents and trading for good players. I think as Mariners fans we have a right to be pissed off at the lack of effort the Mariners have put into signing anyone decent. I’m tired of excuses I wanna see results.

  66. the tourist on December 14th, 2012 8:45 am

    “a baseball organization that charges upwards of $100 a person for an average night at the ball park WE paid for.”

    What kind of tickets do you buy? :-/

    “It’s also stubborn, dishonest (intellectually), inept, and just plain stupid when it comes to baseball acumen.”

    Are you privy to information from within the organization? How do you know they’re dishonest? Prove it. The burden of proof is on you for making the claim. I’m sure guys like Beane and Friedman are stupid, too. Since they built from within, after having tons of bad years. Now imagine they hadn’t inherited pretty good systems. That’s how the Mariners started with the current iteration of the front office. Cupboard absolutely bare and devoid of talent.

    “We DESERVE a product that’s not slapped together like some cheap, shabby knock-off in the basement of a dingy warehouse.”

    We deserve nothing. Baseball is entertainment. We do not deserve to be entertained. Go watch Transformers if baseball isn’t cutting it for you.

  67. the tourist on December 14th, 2012 8:48 am

    “Here’s another fact. This team isn’t any better or worse than last year’s.”

    You’re right. Young players don’t get better. Michael Saunders didn’t have a good year in 2012 at all. Dustin Ackley has no potential to be better at all. In fact, neither does Jesus Montero. Justin Smoak didn’t fix his swing at the end of the year. Hisashi Iwakuma was terrible and will only start half the season in 2013 like 2012. Erasmo won’t get any better or pitch more. Brendan Ryan won’t get healthy at all.

    Wait a minute. You’re not right at all!

  68. vetted_coach on December 14th, 2012 8:54 am

    Adding on…try this out,

    How do you square up the conversation with Detroit in the mix? They just signed Anibal Sanchez. Detroit is easily the most economically depraved market in the country. But here’s an organization with aggression, savvy, and the willingness to pay back their fans for their support. Integrity and industry competence in a wasteland of economic drought.

    Whose lineup do you want to watch, the Tigers or Mariners? If any organization has a legitimate excuse to cry financial crisis, it’s Detroit. But, no! Their pride, desire and willingness to win keep their fan base energized and appreciative.

    Seattle has no excuse for its choice of an approach. They’re both unwilling and unable. Why make so many excuses for them?

    Tackle that one, Dave.

  69. Don Money on December 14th, 2012 9:02 am

    Swisher hit over 30 homers once in his career, despite playing in the band box known as Yankee Stadium for four years(where he’s averaged just over 21 per season). We got that from an up and down Smoak last year. I just don’t see the draw. Felix’s next contract will be staggering but doable if we don’t waste resources on baubles.

  70. vetted_coach on December 14th, 2012 9:06 am

    As for, “if baseball isn’t cutting it for you…”

    What an irrelevant, childish and stupid response!

    I love baseball, especially when it’s handled with responsibility and respect. This isn’t Hollywood. Baseball fans actively contribute with their money, their support, and their tax votes. Of course we DESERVE consideration and respect. Unless you prefer to be pushed around, insulted and lied to, don’t waste your phony, enabling and pretentious showboating on the the culture of fan supported professional athletics. This isn’t the YMCA.

  71. GarForever on December 14th, 2012 9:06 am

    Vis-a-vis Detroit: yes, Mike Ilitch has opened up his checkbook the last few years and let Dave Dombrowski go hog wild. Good for them, and because Detroit as a city has had a rough time, I’m glad it’s working out for now. But let’s get real: if they played in any other than the weakest division in the AL, they wouldn’t have made the playoffs; if they played in the NL, the last wild card spot would have come down to whatever tiebreaker applied between them and St. Louis. They haven’t built a juggernaut by any means.

    Also, these are ‘free’ agents we’re talking about: it’s not as if the Mariners can abduct them from their homes in the middle of the night and force them to sign in Seattle (well I suppose they could, but not legally, and a contract signed under duress isn’t enforceable anyway). If the Ms overpaid — by a TON — to entice FAs to come here, then as I said in a different thread you can forget a Felix extension and you can watch all the young talent walk in a few years because you have lots of money tied up in rapidly aging free agents and can’t afford to lock up the players you drafted and developed. And then you’re right back where you started…

  72. the tourist on December 14th, 2012 9:20 am

    ” Of course we DESERVE consideration and respect. Unless you prefer to be pushed around, insulted and lied to, don’t waste your phony, enabling and pretentious showboating on the the culture of fan supported professional athletics.”

    Allow me to repeat myself: Are you privy to information from within the organization? How do you know they’re dishonest? Prove it. The burden of proof is on you for making the claim.

    “What an irrelevant, childish and stupid response!”

    You’re right. I’m sorry for sinking to your level. I hear the comments section for the Seattle Times is good – maybe you’ll enjoy it better there.

  73. GarForever on December 14th, 2012 9:23 am

    Swisher hit over 30 homers once in his career, despite playing in the band box known as Yankee Stadium for four years(where he’s averaged just over 21 per season). We got that from an up and down Smoak last year.

    Yeah, because two guys who hit the same number of home runs are exactly equivalent, despite the fact that one has been worth ~4 WAR per season over the last three years, has a .359 career wOBA, and offers positional flexibility, while the other is marginal 1B defensively with a career wOBA of .301 who has leveled out a 0 WAR across the last three seasons.

    Look, I’m not saying Swisher is the answer or end all and be all, but suggesting that Beltre offers a useful parallel or that he isn’t more valuable than Smoak because they hit the same number of HRs last year is just silly.

    (and in any event you are mistaken: Smoak hit 19 last year, and while you are correct that Swisher has never hit more than 30 HR playing for the Yankees, he has hit 29 twice; that seems to be cutting it a little fine, don’t you think? Plus, I think you did your math incorrectly: he’s actually averaged 26.25 HR over 4 years with NY).

  74. Puffy on December 14th, 2012 9:29 am

    I finally understand what Jack Z. is trying to do. Shed the team of good players and they are more likely to win 116 games.

    They should definitely trade Felix Hernandez.

  75. GarForever on December 14th, 2012 9:39 am

    OK, I give up. Sorry, Dave, I tried. The reason I came here several years ago was because I was tired of people on the P-I blog who talked out of their ass, couldn’t maintain any sort of perspective, and thus emoted instead of analyzed. I was so happy to come to this refuge, where I have learned a great deal more about baseball than I even knew previously by engaging with people who knew what they were talking about; unfortunately, they’ve found me…

  76. the tourist on December 14th, 2012 10:14 am

    “OK, I give up. Sorry, Dave, I tried. The reason I came here several years ago was because I was tired of people on the P-I blog who talked out of their ass, couldn’t maintain any sort of perspective, and thus emoted instead of analyzed. I was so happy to come to this refuge, where I have learned a great deal more about baseball than I even knew previously by engaging with people who knew what they were talking about; unfortunately, they’ve found me…”

    I second all of this.

  77. Seminaryhill on December 14th, 2012 10:22 am

    Texas has been to the show 2 of the last three years. They lost out on Greinke, Hamilton, and it looks like Justin Upton. They have tons of money, and a winning culture, yet they can’t seem to get their top free agent targets either. Maybe our front office isn’t as inept as some think it is.

  78. The Dreeze on December 14th, 2012 10:50 am

    Fact #3: With the new scoreboard, the Mariners are going to put up the biggest 0′s in baseball history.

  79. Kazinski on December 14th, 2012 11:05 am

    Its not even clear that the Angels are going to be better than they were last year. They pick up Josh Hamilton and his 4.4 WAR, and but they lost Torii Hunter and his 5.4 WAR, so on paper they are one game worse than they were last year. Of course you’d project Hamilton > Hunter this year, but he’s not going to be better than Hunter was last year.

    Same with Texas, they lose Josh Hamilton, Micheal Young, and Mike Napoli who were worth a combined total of 5 WAR last year. But now they can move Jurickson Profar into their everyday lineup, with Napoli and Young gone Mike Olt has a place to play. If the two youngsters are worth an average of 2.5 WAR, then Texas is just as good without Hamilton as they were last year.

  80. MT on December 14th, 2012 11:09 am

    wow. I haven’t read USSM’s comments for a while, but when did USSM turn in to the Seattle Times’ comment section.

    I thought this site was for intelligent discussions. The current comments are… pretty bad to put it lightly.

    I think and hope that this front office is trying its hardest to make the best deals for the team. The team’s history under this current regime tends to show that this current regime is very smart and savvy. However, unfortunately, if a free agent is going to get the same money, they’d probably want to go to another team. Free agency is largely money, and trying to be smart and savvy has its limits it seems.

    Should we over pay? I think that’s stupid. Until we find the right deal, save up your money and prospects, and continue to build from within. It’s tough and painful, but that’s what happens when you completely strip the team of a farm system and any good players of value at the major league level.

    It takes time, but this front office is doing the right thing by bringing in and loading up with talent.

    If you want immediate gratification, go watch the Dodgers. If they stink, go watch another team that is throwing loads of money at players or making stupid trades to try to win now like the Royals.

    Stop commenting with your emotions, get a brain if you want to comment on this site. If you want to blurt out your emotions, go to the Seattle Times.

  81. GLS on December 14th, 2012 11:13 am

    I’m seeing on mlbtr that the Tigers are looking to trade Rick Porcello once the Anibal Sanchez deal is finalized. I don’t know much about Porcello in terms of repertoire or injury history, but he’s young enough that I’m wondering if he would be a decent buy low candidate.

  82. The Dreeze on December 14th, 2012 11:15 am

    You didn’t read them that well, MT, because someone already said the exact same thing. And not agreeing with Dave does not an idiot make. We’re the 4th best team in the division, and the Astros have 1 of the best farm systems in baseball.

  83. MrZDevotee on December 14th, 2012 11:23 am

    VettedCurmudgeon–

    You realize being emphatic and being accurate are NOT the same thing, yeah?

    And that carefully wording your false arguments “adult-y” (as opposed to childish) doesn’t make you more correct either?

    You might feel “adult-y”, but you really ARE “Annie in the basement” with your arguments, only without the “love” part at the end.

    And sad as it is to admit (which you won’t) your “acumen” doesn’t hold a candle to people who actually RUN a professional baseball team for a living. You would have us believe that ignorance, and a lack of desire to win, fuel the inner dealings of the Mariners ownership/front office? Seriously?

    They have no desire to win? Seriously?

    That’s why Jack Z sticks around, ’cause that mode of operations fits his career goals perfectly? He left Milwaukee ’cause they were starting to win too much and he wasn’t comfortable?

    I suppose Lincoln and Armstrong are afraid of compliments, which is why they are driving the franchise into the ground? Success is just too dang scary for them to deal with, so they avoid it? And winning is just too much responsibility? I mean NONE of those guys is hoping to maximize their investment here, you know, by winning, and increasing the fan enthusiasm. (Really?)

    You spout opinions as Biblical truth, and never once provide factual evidence, as if somehow your “word” is enough to validate any statement you believe.

    That doesn’t work here. (Pretty much the ENTIRE reason this site was created.)

    There is no emphatic finger pointing that gets you around the fact that currently we’re a struggling team, with low fanbase, and non-top tier funds… Those teams DO NOT get to have their choice of the top free agents, ever, at any price, and don’t get to dictate the terms of contracts they’d like with those same free agents.

    Until we’re able to lift ourselves up to .500 or better, show fruition from our now #1 farm system, and probably until the new fenceline shows offensive improvement for a season, we’re simply NOT gonna get the guys you’d like to see on this team.

    Period. Sorry, your wise beyond our years first hand baseball experience doesn’t allow you to see that. (You SERIOUSLY compared us to Detroit? The would-be 4th place team in the AL West last year?)

  84. msfanmike on December 14th, 2012 11:26 am

    Best thread, ever.

  85. BlackHaloBender on December 14th, 2012 11:58 am

    These little facts in isolation do almost nothing to sway anyone. The “I don’t care if we ever win, as long as we do it smart” crowd already agrees before they read the post and the “mouth-breathing, do something damnit!” crowd already disagrees before they read the post.

    Can’t wait till this blows over and we can start reading about baseball again.

  86. BillyJive on December 14th, 2012 11:58 am

    the tourist…
    You are assuming that the players you mentioned are going to improve over last year? I am not suggesting they are going to worse, although that could happen, but you are assuming they will play better this year. Why? How do you know any of the guys you mentioned will actually be better?
    This team is exactly the same with the exception of Kawasaki being replaced by Folgers Crystals…and Chone being replaced by Bay. At least Kawasaki could dance.
    I also don’t appricate your sarcasm. Opinions are like assholes…everyone’s got one, yours is different than mine but that doesn’t make it right.

  87. carbidedrill on December 14th, 2012 12:08 pm

    Baker’s response to all this:

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/mariners/2012/12/14/busting-myths-about-how-the-mariners-dont-need-a-big-bat/

    I’d like to see Dave’s response to him, although it’s not really necessary.

  88. BlackHaloBender on December 14th, 2012 12:36 pm

    Baker is right in that he deftly covers the fan’s expectations. He could have just called everybody mouth breathers and been done with it I suppose.

  89. the tourist on December 14th, 2012 12:44 pm

    “You are assuming that the players you mentioned are going to improve over last year? I am not suggesting they are going to worse, although that could happen, but you are assuming they will play better this year. Why? How do you know any of the guys you mentioned will actually be better?”

    I’m assuming those players will be better because they’re young and not fully developed yet. And they still did well considering how the park factors into the numbers, and/or the defensive metrics. Then again, no one can predict the future. Josh Hamilton might never be worth 4 WAR again – look at his numbers difference from April and May vs. June-October (including an alarming rise in strikeouts).

    “I also don’t appricate your sarcasm. Opinions are like assholes…everyone’s got one, yours is different than mine but that doesn’t make it right.”

    I’m sorry you don’t appreciate my sarcasm. Please go ahead and tell the teacher on me.

  90. eponymous coward on December 14th, 2012 1:05 pm

    Until we’re able to lift ourselves up to .500 or better, show fruition from our now #1 farm system, and probably until the new fenceline shows offensive improvement for a season, we’re simply NOT gonna get the guys you’d like to see on this team.

    I thought we were the #6org. We’ve moved up to #1org! Cool!

    And the idea that we can’t pay money for players until we’re good is bunk, pure and simple. You can always back up an armored truck. Even Bavasi did that, and he even made good signings (Beltre). Whether it’s a good idea or not is a different discussion.

    What all the angst is about is simple and cyclical:

    - Team stealthily cuts payroll. Fans bitch.
    - comment threads go “well, this year’s FA market was too expensive, but once (insert name of bad contract) is off the team, we can sign someone! And look, (insert name of future FA) will be available! Won’t that be great? And we can spend this year building from the farm, which is the right way!”
    - Mariner season progresses and lousy offense with bad players turns out as expected, some kids develop, but some don’t because, well, kids. Fans bitch, because it was obvious that this team could use better players from the FA market.
    - Offseason hits and GM makes vague noises about “well, we can spend money and we’re looking to make deals”. Expectations get raised.
    - FAs sign during offseason for apparently more than M’s want to pay. Jack goes on some Large Item Pickup Day missions for (insert name of various veterans here, some good like Millwood, mostly bad like Cust, Kotchman or Bay).
    - Team stealthily cuts payroll. Fans bitch.

    And the cycle begins again.

    So far we’ve seen this happen for a couple of years, and there’s no sign of it stopping in 2012-2013 yet.

    The way it stops? Add some talent to the roster that isn’t off the MLB garbage heap. Until the M’s do, this is what you’re going to get.

  91. Thirteen on December 14th, 2012 1:30 pm

    http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2012/12/14/3767548/josh-hamilton-rumors-angels-mariners

    Everyone read this before you flame the Mariners again. The Mariners offered Hamilton 4/100 with two 25M vesting options for year 5 and 6 based on an easily attainable number of PAs. That’s close if not superior to the Angel’s offer. It’s not like they didn’t try. They made a serious offer, Hamilton just chose LA because it’s warmer and there are other great hitters there and they’re closer to contention.

    Would you have liked for the Mariners to deliberately vastly overpay a hitter with as many red flags as Hamilton?

  92. BillyJive on December 14th, 2012 1:30 pm

    ‘I’m sorry you don’t appreciate my sarcasm. Please go ahead and tell the teacher on me.’

    I did. She said you were always a bit of a dick. But she may have been sarcastic. I couldn’t tell.

  93. californiamariner on December 14th, 2012 1:39 pm

    1. Overpaying for a hitter, just to be able to say that you tried to sign somebody is the kind of dumb decision that sets the team back even more. I’d rather be smart with the money. Not long ago, people seemed okay with this team having a chance to peak in 2014 or 2015 and all of a sudden people want to flip out because we didn’t overpay for Josh Hamilton? I’d rather be good for a long time, by making smart decisions, than overpay for players and set yourself back again.

    2. I’m 99.9% sure Dave’s only point with these posts is to show that there is literally no proven method to follow in building a championship baseball team. So, people should let things unfold before they freak out.

  94. californiamariner on December 14th, 2012 1:46 pm

    Also, on the 30th in HR post… It is almost like you can have a decent offense if you don’t hit HRs. Weird huh.

  95. opiate82 on December 14th, 2012 3:07 pm

    Since the Giants keep getting brought up as an emulation to the M’s, lets cross compare:

    Posey – Zunino
    Belt – Montero
    Scutaro – Ackley
    Crawford – Ryan
    Sandavol – ?
    Pence – Bay (do you really even want a Pence?)
    Pegan – Gutierrez
    Blanco – Wells

    Cain – Hernandez
    Lincecum – Walker
    Vogelsong – Hultzen
    Bumgarner – Paxton
    Zito – (Shouldn’t be hard to find a Zito)
    Bullpens – More or less equal

    So in my estimation, the only thing the M’s are lacking is a Sandavol (and a DH). But they have Seager and Smoak. Otherwise you can realistically pen out a future M’s line-up that mimics the 2012 World Series Champions line-up.

    Difference, the Giants have gotten their home grown talent to the bigs, the M’s haven’t yet. The Giants went through several years of pain after Barry Bonds. Unfortunately the M’s are having to do the same after Bill Bavasi.

    Throwing around money and prospects to “win now” is what got the M’s into this mess to begin with. I know everyone is impatient, but as a Giants fan, let me tell you, the wait is worth it.

  96. Beniitec on December 14th, 2012 3:10 pm

    By your logic the Mariners should trade Felix for prospects and the Angels should trade Hamilton, Trout, and Pujols. Seriously…

  97. ivan on December 14th, 2012 3:15 pm

    Baker and his followers seem to want Seattle to overpay for talent, even though overpaying for talent (Sexson, Broussard, Perez, Bedard, Spiezio, Aurilia) is what got Seattle into this mess in the first place.

    I keep going back to the 1956 Pirates, who I saw as a kid. They won 66 games and were a pack of raw kids. But those kids were Bob Skinner, Bill Mazeroski, Dick Groat, Bill Virdon, Roberto Clemente, Bob Friend, Vernon Law, and Elroy Face.

    I can live with what the M’s are doing, and how they’re doing it.

  98. Beniitec on December 14th, 2012 3:23 pm

    You start your rebuild from the inside, I get it. But you have to add “the right” talent to complement what you have…so many of you posts on here state that. They’ve identified the needs and Hamilton fit that need. That’s why it’s upsetting. I can see this team as is winning 80 games… maybe 82. But it’s not a playoff team.

  99. Wolfman on December 14th, 2012 3:27 pm

    “Fact #3: With the new scoreboard, the Mariners are going to put up the biggest 0?s in baseball history.”

    Thanks, Dreeze. I actually laughed out loud when I read that! :D

    As a life-long Packer fan, I think I can offer a little different perspective on the M’s situation. When Ted Thompson first went to Green Bay, they were starting to slide a little. Ted’s modus operandi is to build through the draft and let the talent develop.

    Waiting for the players get up to speed was painful and seeing Ted treat FA like anathema was painful (it would have been more fun watching paint dry!). But for the last several years Green Bay has had the youngest team (or close to it) and have been an annual favorite for Super Bowl contention. It was definitely worth the wait!

    I believe Seattle has a GM in JZ that drafts very well, very intelligently. I know from experience it can be painful to wait but once these players catch on to the pro game, I believe Seattle will be a perennial contender. I hope he signs Swisher and maybe Bourn. We’ll see. The Pack did add a few FA’s here and there, but for the most part built through the draft. Seattle will be good for a while…it’s just tough getting there.

    Hang in there, folks! :)

  100. stevemotivateir on December 14th, 2012 3:54 pm

    I’m coming into this a bit late, but has anyone pointed out that looking at WAR alone, the Angels took a hit letting Hunter go? Hamilton was actually worth less last season, so it doesn’t really look like they boosted themselves with this move.

    Sure, Hamilton will probably do better defensively as a corner outfielder, but I think it’s worth noting they lost a valuable player in Hunter.

  101. stevemotivateir on December 14th, 2012 3:58 pm

    @opiate82

    Please tell me you’re joking, especially about Pence.

  102. BLYKMYK44 on December 14th, 2012 4:03 pm

    “Baker and his followers seem to want Seattle to overpay for talent, even though overpaying for talent (Sexson, Broussard, Perez, Bedard, Spiezio, Aurilia) is what got Seattle into this mess in the first place.”

    - Winner for best post of the last couple hours…it is odd how we are always just supposed to ignore that the Mariners went down the route of overspending on players because it happened sooooo long ago (over four years ago!!!)

    PS…yes I agree that this looks more and more like Geoff Baker’s blog…pretty sad.

  103. casey on December 14th, 2012 4:47 pm

    I think Baker has turned his comments off and his rabid mob got lost here on their way to run the M’s out of town / lynch the front office.

  104. MrZDevotee on December 14th, 2012 5:04 pm

    Eponymous-
    I agree with your points… I’m just voicing frustration with folks who think all we have to do is just decide to spend lots more money, and the best players show up in Mariners uniforms saying “let’s win this”. And if it doesn’t happen, somebody in the Mariner’s office is at fault.

    Not that simple. (Which I know you already know, just sayin’ it out loud)

    And just trying to “wet finger” out some fuses on the many anger bombs going off.

    Sorry.

    We all want better players. Reality just isn’t cooperating with the idea at the moment.

    And at this point, with my wife’s school flying its flag at half mast, to honor the lives lost in Connecticut today, I’m letting go of thinking this is high on the list of important things going on in life at the moment.

  105. Bremerton guy on December 14th, 2012 5:21 pm

    Did they really “overpay” for Sexson, Spiezio, and Aurilia? It was just money, right? We didn’t give up players for them. At least it seemed that when Bavasi signed Sexson the Ms were actively trying to get better, and as for the other two, well, they took flyers on guys who were past their primes and they didn’t work out. And all three of them actually earned more the year before they played for the Ms, and Sexson actually had two pretty good years before he fell of the cliff. I don’t think I’d call what the Ms did with those three overpaying.

    But for Broussard, Perez, and Bedard, absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. They gave away WAY too much. And that’s why I’m not in favor of trading away the prospects. I’m impressed with the prospects and, given the trading track record Jack Z. has sown, I’m not so sure I trust him to trade them.

    Again, looking at the pre-Z history, there’s no real historical reason not to pay for a free agent hitter like Swisher, if they could get a four-year deal done.

    And eponymous, I still prefer Swisher over Bourn.

  106. gerryinolywa on December 14th, 2012 5:37 pm

    Dave, you’re keeping me from plastering myself on the ceiling. But only by the slimmest margin. I appreciate the analysis, but it hurts to see good teams doing something (anything!) to make themselves better while our crappy team stands pat.

    I make my season ticket decisions in real time based upon the information at hand. The mean I see the currently constituted Mariners regressing toward is ugly at best. Thus my financial enthusiasm is leading me toward other entertainment investments. I wish it were otherwise. I really do.

    Help me, brother!

  107. MrZDevotee on December 14th, 2012 5:41 pm

    So yeah, I’m curious to hear what people disagree with about Z’s comments today (from the official Mariner website):

    “Could I have made a trade (already)? Of course. But taking on cost and getting a player with less years of control and giving up your very strong assets, that’s fine if it makes a lot of sense. As I’ve said all along, I’m willing to trade apple for orange if it makes us better. But I’m not willing to trade two apples for one orange, and that’s what we’ve been seeing.”

    “I know people are anxious and you can get to a point where you feel you have to do something,” he said, “but you only have to do something if it’s the right thing from a baseball standpoint. You can’t do something that just looks good in the newspaper the next morning. It has to be sound and fair value for fair value.

    “I’ll do that any time of the day,” he said. “I think we’ve shown that, but dealing with someone who wants to ‘win’ a deal with you, that’s not an avenue I want to go down. I want a deal that helps both of us and is fair. I’m not going to be held up by giving away what I’d consider strong assets when we’re in the middle of this whole building process and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. To abandon that now would be foolish.”

    He also talks about being “out in front” of the Hamilton negotiations, and surprised where he ultimately signed. He states directly that he was impressed by the front office’s support, and said that ownership stepped up and were aggressive with their offer (rumored to be, with options/incentives, up to 6 years/$150 million).

    If true, we outbid the Angels, and lost.

    And just like the Angels, we would have made him only the 3rd MLB player ever to average $25+ million a year.

    There’s our cheap, non-committed front office, for ya.

  108. MT on December 14th, 2012 6:06 pm

    >The Dreeze

    Sorry, I just browsed through the comments, and the majority of comments seemed to be disagreeing with Dave with no facts or basis, just pure emotion/hate.

  109. uoduckfan33 on December 14th, 2012 6:33 pm

    The returns from the Johnson trade were pretty epic, and the money saved helped to build the 2001 juggernaught.

    http://sodomojo.com/2012/07/29/kings-cost-a-lot/

  110. stevemotivateir on December 14th, 2012 6:39 pm

    @Don

    Ever heard of splits? Try looking at Swisher’s.

  111. BLYKMYK44 on December 14th, 2012 8:52 pm

    “Did they really “overpay” for Sexson, Spiezio, and Aurilia? It was just money, right?”

    - Ya…spending a bunch of money on players meaning they have to play instead of another player (since your resources are tied to that player) isn’t relevant at all…

    People act as if there are an unlimited amount of positions out there so it doesn’t matter if you have some filled by bad players.

  112. kazuc on December 14th, 2012 9:53 pm

    Gar wrote: “To turn to your point above, then: in my opinion we are not yet in a position to *know* whether this front office is comparable to the teams you mentioned. Yes, Z and his crew have presided over four seasons, three of them huge disappointments (though with notable win-total increases every year since the cratering of 2010). But before the Rays, As, and Twins became what they did, remember that each of them suffered through multiple years of horrible or sub-par performance at the beginning of the regimes that ultimately built them into consistent winners, and the Ms current front office arguably started farther from the goal line than any of those organizations when the “good” GMs took them over.”

    I think this is a good point. While yes, I am frustrated and am disappointed by the progress so far, and thought both Smoak and Montero were low for what we gave up, Z does deserve more of a chance than he’s had so far. It would be nice if he had some resources to work with, but point noted that yes, we don’t “know” if Z can do the job yet or not.

  113. opiate82 on December 14th, 2012 10:07 pm

    stevemotivateir: Please tell me you’re joking, especially about Pence.

    Look at what Pence did once he became a Giant. Other than some ra-ra speeches, he contributed virtually nothing to their World Series run.

  114. MrZDevotee on December 15th, 2012 6:44 am

    So, rumor has it that legalizing pot was the reason Hamilton didn’t come to Seattle– it was just too much of a temptation.

    (Of course, the rumor was started just now… by me.)

  115. Paul N on December 15th, 2012 7:14 am

    The Mariners still had Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Ichiro and Bret Boone providing plenty of offense.

    Pitching and timely hitting win a World Series title. But plenty of hitting and timely pitching are just as good.

  116. stevemotivateir on December 15th, 2012 7:30 am

    @opiate82

    If you can set-up a Bay-for-Pence swap, I’m sure you’d find no resistance from anyone here.

  117. dantheman on December 15th, 2012 9:15 am

    “The front office isn’t just cheap. It’s also stubborn, dishonest (intellectually), inept, and just plain stupid when it comes to baseball acumen. Stop pretending they’re doing us all a favor by owning a franchise.”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  118. dantheman on December 15th, 2012 9:20 am

    Posey – Zunino
    Belt – Montero
    Scutaro – Ackley
    Crawford – Ryan
    Sandavol – ?
    Pence – Bay (do you really even want a Pence?)
    Pegan – Gutierrez
    Blanco – Wells

    Cain – Hernandez
    Lincecum – Walker
    Vogelsong – Hultzen
    Bumgarner – Paxton
    Zito – (Shouldn’t be hard to find a Zito)
    Bullpens – More or less equal

    You would have to be using opiates to believe these are equal comparisons. “Bullpens – more or less equal”?? Have you ever seen any San Francisco Giants games?

  119. Bryce on December 15th, 2012 9:33 am

    “- Team stealthily cuts payroll. Fans bitch.”

    You forgot the “team stealthily increases season ticket prices while simultaneously stealthily cutting payroll” part of this equation. I’ve got co-workers who have been season ticket holders for 10+ years in a pool. I’ve never seen the level of vitriol directed at the Mariners as I have this offseason because of the way they handled their price increase combined with their seeming willingness to stand pat and do nothing. Several members of the pool have bailed, and the rest are probably out after this year.

    It’s one thing to go young, spend less, and try to build with kids. It’s another thing entirely to jack up prices and treat your best customers like shit when you do that. I don’t know what the right answer is when it comes to spending $ on free agents. But it’s pretty obvious that the M’s are burning bridges with a lot of people who have spent a lot of money on this team for a long time. That’s not a good sign, and that’s something they had better start to fix.

  120. eponymous coward on December 15th, 2012 12:32 pm

    So yeah, I’m curious to hear what people disagree with about Z’s comments today (from the official Mariner website):

    It’s not so much “disagree”, it’s “here comes the spin as to why Jason Bay is our team’s headline acquisition coming into spring training, if it ends up that way”.

    Also, it appears the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train of “your organization is such a joke other teams can lowball your bid and still sign your targeted free agents- they don’t even want your money now”, if you take the interpretation of what the front office is saying seriously.

    Saying “well, we’ll win as many games we can games the RIGHT way, with our kids and developing the team, and we’ll wait for another shot in 2011201220132014″ has gotten old with a fan base that hasn’t had a meaningful game in September for a decade- not just “no playoffs”, but “no pennant race”, either. Right now, a lot of the fanbase is in a mood similar to this about the excuses of “we’re trying and we’re doing things the right way”- they don’t care about the excuses, they just want to get it done. (I have to wonder at what point “third place is you’re fired” comes in- though in this case it’s fourth, isn’t it?)

    You forgot the “team stealthily increases season ticket prices while simultaneously stealthily cutting payroll” part of this equation. I

    Yeah, they’ve been doing that for a while, with “premium games” and so on.

  121. Johnny Slick on December 15th, 2012 12:41 pm

    Oh noes! The sky is falling! The team failed to give an aging outfielder with a crappy swinging strike rate a 5th year! Whatever shall we do! I mean besides not bemoan the fact that we have another Chone Figgins situation in 3 years! Not signing this guy is “burning bridges”! That makes 100% sense in my world, trust me on this one!

    The real point here is, while a guy like Albert Pujols can basically replace anyone, anywhere and be a plus player, the same is not necessarily the case for Hamilton, and the fact is that the Mariners are still not really at a point where they can say “okay, we have holes here, here, and here that need to be plugged”. I think we can reasonably expect to have to get a corner OF because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of that in the system and the better hitting prospects – I’m thinking of Nick Franklin and Stefen Romero in particular – don’t really project to the corner OF slots. I’d even go so far as to say that I think the team should assume it’ll need to fill both corner OF slots – the chances of Gutierrez lasting a whole season, let alone be a guy the M’s can rely on in the future, strikes me as wishful thinking.

    Still, it’s not a completely gone-for thing that the team must have a Josh Hamilton quality player. If, for instance, Justin Smoak gets on track (I’m not optimistic there either but it could happen), Jesus Montero could hit well enough to justify being a full-time DH (I’m a lot more optimistic about that), and Vinnie Catricala could play into a corner OF slot. Suddenly, you’ve got one spot available, and that probably for a guy who is rangy enough afield that he could either be the starting CF or at least spell Condor a game or two a week at the position.

    Either way, when people look at the team and think “2014″ they’re not thinking “2014 unless the M’s make a REAL SPLASH in free agency”, they’re thinking “by next offseason the team really should know what it has and what it doesn’t have”. The only justification I can see for giving Hamilton all that money is that you’re paying him for what he can do now and maybe next year (even then, I don’t think he’s a 5 win player anymore, but anyway). How on Earth would this be a good move for Seattle?

  122. Pete on December 15th, 2012 1:06 pm

    Love these posts, Dave. They are an awesome reality check.

    Only disagreement — Junior did not leave because he was tired of losing. His decision was not baseball-related.

  123. ripperlv on December 15th, 2012 3:05 pm

    It’s not the amount of money the M’s spend, it’s the moves the M’s make. The A’s started 8 different guys at 1B and 5 at catcher, 3 or 4 at SS until someone won the job. We basically started Smoak with no one really pushing him. No competition at SS with the M’s. Ackley didn’t have a good year, no one on his heels. We carry nobody back-ups, making for lack of competition. I feel our lack of depth with experienced major leaguers gives the younger players too much comfort. I know the kids have to play in order to see what you got, but at the same time they need to produce. Get some experienced depth in this place. I say get the best players we can get and let the best man win the job, no matter the position. Need another good starter or two also.

  124. TheMightyMariner on December 15th, 2012 3:09 pm

    Um yeah. Nice article but it seems to miss out on key points. The Mariner team without any of them had some very good players. When the M’s tied the most-wins in a season, I believe they used a rotation that were playing above their heads and a lineup that contributed.

    Today’s Mariners are a mess. We are still feeling the hurt of the Bavasi era. Keeping him for so long only made the M’s a bigger joke.

    Sadly, the Mariners have been a nightmare over the last few years. There are signs things might get better but there is no certainty. I’ve been a fan since 1989 and I cannot remember a time where I had less interest in the team. :(

  125. eponymous coward on December 15th, 2012 6:03 pm

    Still, it’s not a completely gone-for thing that the team must have a Josh Hamilton quality player. If, for instance, Justin Smoak gets on track (I’m not optimistic there either but it could happen), Jesus Montero could hit well enough to justify being a full-time DH (I’m a lot more optimistic about that), and Vinnie Catricala could play into a corner OF slot.

    The problem is that Catricala was pretty bad last year in AAA (so promoting him is about the same as promoting Peguero, and likely to work out the same way), Montero is nowhere near a lock to be very good real soon, and Smoak has a history of failure.

    A strategy that doesn’t try and add talent when and where there’s some pretty obvious organizational holes, that tries to pass off Jason Bay as a significant signing… well, let’s just say this is why the M’s have been pathetic on offense and at the gate. People are sick of reclamation projects and kids who don’t work out.

    Either way, when people look at the team and think “2014? they’re not thinking “2014 unless the M’s make a REAL SPLASH in free agency”, they’re thinking “by next offseason the team really should know what it has and what it doesn’t have”.

    In 2014, the M’s will have Felix on the last year of his deal, unless he gets extended before then. And let’s say the M’s go through 2013 with a bad offense, OK enough pitching, some good kids, some bad kids, and 78ish wins, (so maybe a little bit of progress on last year) but nowhere near contention. In other words, it’s November-December 2013 and we are once again looking at holes at 1B/DH and corner positions and a team that made Seattle collectively yawn.

    Wouldn’t we have already known we had those problems in 2013?

    So I guess your answer is “wins by upgrading at 1B/DH in 2013 are too expensive, let’s keep plodding ahead and let the farm system produce”.

    I think you should be able to see why this isn’t a very attractive option. It may be more attractive than a dumb trade, but it’s not like Jack’s won a lot of those lately like he won the Putz deal.

  126. shadow_watch on December 15th, 2012 8:03 pm

    Since 2008 the salaries in MLB have gone up by 10%. In contrast, the Mariners payroll in 2012 decreased by 28%. Adjusted for the salary increase, this amounts to $44.5M less in payroll. In contrast, the Angels payroll has increased by 27%, the Rangers by 78.5% and the A’s by 10%.
    Over that same time attendance has decreased as the product on the field has been poor. It has lagged to the point where getting free agents to sign in Seattle is difficult, at best. Is Z trying his best? Yes, I am sure he is. The problem was not the poor signings. Every team has them. Ask the Giants about Zito. The problem is the lack of continued investment in the team, and commitment in terms of investment to be competitive. I’m sure we’ll invest next year when Figgins and Guti come off the books!

  127. shadow_watch on December 15th, 2012 8:12 pm

    The other opinion on this thread was we have great young players in our farm system. The first wave of top 10 prospects in MLB already hit the big club. Smoak has been a disaster, Ackley, disappointing, and Montero, OK. Maybe they will get better, maybe they won’t. But I doubt that any of them are going to be superstars. So to think that the next wave of prospects is going to change the face of the team is possible, but far from a sure thing. Kinda like free agency, a risk. At least Hamilton and other free agents have proven their worth over time. I especially like the comments related to age at the end of the contract. That’s kinda what it is when players hit the free agent market. They’ve gone through the years of club control and established themselves. What age group do you think you will get in free agency?

  128. Johnny Slick on December 16th, 2012 4:47 am

    I’ll also be mildly (though not hugely) disappointed if the Mariners don’t bag *someone* at outfield, just because like I said it is a pretty obvious place to upgrade. That being said, I’m very happy that someone isn’t Josh Hamilton, and I’m ecstatic that that someone who isn’t Josh Hamilton isn’t signing for 5 years and $125M. The past 2 years he’s been worth 4-4.5 WAR, which indicates that there’s a much better than even chance that you’re already overpaying for him in year 1. The way these contracts work, you expect to overpay for a guy in later years but in return when you actually sign the guy you either get a discount or at the very least you pay for his actual value.

    On the one hand, he did a horrible job in CF last year for the Rangers and the Angels aren’t going to repeat that mistake, so there’s one potential reason why he might actually be worth the first year of the contract. On the other hand, he did nothing after June and his swinging strike rates have been ballooning for a few years now and have now reached Miguel Olivo stages. Could he continue to be very productive with that trend continuing? Sure, but I don’t think you should count on it.

    That being said, I would like to see Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn come here. Actually, to the last guy I think he could be a potential steal even as the Geoff Bakers and Seattle sports talk guys whinge about the team not getting a “proven RBI guy”. If you add Bourn hoping he can man Death Valley with a healthy Gutierrez, that’s an optimistic goal but just as likely he’d wind up being the regular CF as Guti misses 3/4 of the season again, or just isn’t effective when he does play.

    But the bottom line is: in the specific case of Josh Hamilton, no thank you. This isn’t a “I don’t think the M’s should spend money this offseason” post, this is a “I don’t think the M’s should spend money on Josh Hamilton” post.

  129. eponymous coward on December 16th, 2012 7:59 am

    That being said, I would like to see Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn come here. Actually, to the last guy I think he could be a potential steal even as the Geoff Bakers and Seattle sports talk guys whinge about the team not getting a “proven RBI guy”

    Actually…

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/mariners/2012/12/13/who-who-who-whos-left-for-mariners-now-that-josh-hamilton-is-off-the-table/

    Baker is pretty positive about Bourn. I think he undersells Swisher a bit (given that Swisher could swing to 1B), but it’s clear that Baker isn’t OMG DINGERS11!!!!!!11

  130. kinickers77 on December 17th, 2012 8:58 am

    Dave, all good points. No preemptive panicking.

    But if the Mariners end up achieving nothing more than Jason Bay, legitimate frustration will be warranted.

  131. pogicory1 on December 17th, 2012 12:27 pm

    Regardless what Dave has said about keeping our motions in check, it is really difficult for me as a fan to rationalize paying increasing ticket prices (yes the ticket prices are again going up this year) for the type of product that the Mariners are running out there. If they want my money, I want their money spent.

    Z- I want Swisher and one of Bourn/Laroche/Other big bat signed by the start of spring training. Make it happen… The same lame excuses are getting old.

  132. mrakbaseball on December 17th, 2012 3:19 pm

    Swisher meeting with Cleveland today. Apparently, he and Ichiro weren’t close on the Yankees.

  133. nickwest1976 on December 17th, 2012 9:29 pm

    If the M’s were going to shell out $25 mil a year for Hamilton why not try and sign BOTH Swisher and Bourn for around that yearly figure?

    Bourn/Swisher/Saunders or Guti OF would be very good defensively. Offense goes way up with those two players in the fold.

    Maybe we then deal Guti to fill a need elsewhere. Or clear Guti’s salary to fit those two players.

    Of move Guti and sign Swisher/Bourn/Edwin Jackson. All three of those players make the M’s a ton better now and fit long-term as well.

    Goes with the idea of spreading the money around versus putting all the eggs in one basket.

  134. pogicory1 on December 18th, 2012 6:56 am

    There really seems to be no reason why the Mariners wouldn’t have the money to spend it on two big players. Like I said, I am getting sick of the same lame excuses. Us fans do not need a yes man from the GM position. We need a GM who is not afraid to step up and make the decision needed to field a competetive team. Another year of inept offense is going to drive me into Mariner fandom hiding.

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