Josh Hamilton and Not Wanting to Play in Seattle

Dave · February 1, 2013 at 10:32 am · Filed Under Mariners 

A common refrain over the last few months is that it is clear that no good hitters want to play in Seattle. The Mariners went after Josh Hamilton, but he signed with the Angels. They traded for Justin Upton, and he used his no-trade clause to block the deal. That’s enough for people to decide that the team simply can’t get a big time hitter to come here when they have a say in the matter.

Here’s the problem – that entire argument rests on the idea that the Mariners outbid the Angels for Hamilton’s services. From what has been publicly reported, that’s just not true.

The Angels guaranteed Hamilton $125 million over five years. According to Ryan Divish, the Mariners guaranteed Hamilton $100 million over four years, with two vesting options that could have eventually pushed it as high as $150 million over six years.

The Mariners spin is that, including the vesting options, their offer was stronger than the Angels offer. But, in reality, the Angels offer was almost certainly the better one for Hamilton from a strictly financial decision. According to Divish, the options for years five and six vested at around 400 to 450 plate appearances, so the Mariners were simply hedging against the risk of Hamilton suffering a debilitating injury that might prematurely end his career, or at least end his time as a full-time player.

Let’s just say that Hamilton believes he has a 20% chance of sustaining a major problematic injury — a torn ACL, major hip surgery, a debilitating concussion, whatever — at some point in the next four years. In those cases, he would clearly be better off with the Angels offer, since he’d have an extra guaranteed year at $25 million.

Now, let’s deal with the other 80%, where Hamilton stays healthy and is reasonably productive over the next few seasons, so that he plays enough to have both options vest and earns the full $150 million that the Mariners reportedly put on the table. In that scenario, he’s better off with the Mariners offer, but how much better off?

The fact that both options vested means that he’s remained fairly healthy and productive in his mid-30s. Let’s assume that he’s still an above average player, because he’s average or worse, the Mariners would be incentivized to make sure that a $25 million option for his age 37 season didn’t end up getting triggered. What do we think an above average player, even a 37-year-old, would going to get in free agency in five years?

Right now, we know that the market price of a win is around $5 to $6 million apiece, and is steadily going up as new television money flows into Major League Baseball. Factoring in even 5% inflation — and it very well may be higher than that, depending on how long this TV contract bubble persists — over the next few years would push the average price of win to close to $7 million apiece by the time Hamilton’s deal expires with the Angels. If we’re assuming Hamilton’s an above average player, that puts him in the +2 to +3 win range, meaning that he’d be looking at a salary in the range of $14 to $21 million per year, and probably for more than one year.

Need an example? Look at Torii Hunter. He’s been a consistently above average player through his mid-30s, and at age 36, just had a very nice season for the Angels. He landed a two year, $26 million deal for his age 37/38 seasons with the Tigers. Do some annual 5% inflation adjustments on that contract, and you get something closer to 2/33 in another five years. In other words, if Hamilton plays well enough to get the 2018 option to vest, he’d probably have played well enough to land a larger contract in free agency than the option was worth to begin with.

In reality, just for the Mariners offer to be considered equal to the Angels, we have to take as a given that the 2017 option would have vested, and then both sides were offering 5/125. The only thing that pushes the Mariners offer ahead is the value of the 2018 option, and the only way that option vests is if Hamilton has played well enough during his first five years that 1/25 isn’t a huge discount over what his market value would be as a free agent.

Essentially, Hamilton would have been risking $25 million in guaranteed money for the right to have an extra year at a slightly higher AAV — by this back-of-the-envelope calculation, maybe something like an extra $8.5 million in 2018 — on a shorter deal than he likely could have gotten as a free agent.

And, realistically, even if had a Lance Berkman style health crisis towards his mid-30s, did you see what Lance Berkman just signed for this winter? Coming off a season where he got 97 plate appearances, headed into his age 37, as a strictly DH-only player, the Rangers gave Berkman $11 million in guaranteed money. If Hamilton plays well for the first four years (a requirement to get the 2017 option to vest and equalize the two offers), a significant injury in year five still wouldn’t eliminate his chance of earning a pretty decent paycheck in 2018. The Mariners getting a vesting option for that sixth season simply can’t be viewed as an additional $25 million benefit for Hamilton, because if he played well enough for even the first option to vest, he would have established a pretty high base for his 2018 salary anyway.

On the other hand, in the 20% case where Hamilton was so broken that neither option vested, he’s probably dealing with the kind of debilitating injury that limits you to a very low base salary, such as the one Travis Hafner is about to sign with the Yankees for $2 million and some incentives. Even inflating that, you’re never going to see these older broken down guys getting large contracts, so Hamilton would have been risking $20 million or so for the right to maybe get a marginal gain in salary in 2018.

There’s just no real reason to think that 4/100 with a couple of vesting options should have been preferable to 5/125 for a player like Hamilton. Vesting options are simply not equal to guaranteed years, and if that was the Mariners offer, it’s disingenuous to claim that Hamilton “took less money” to play in Anaheim.

We know that Upton vetoed a trade to Seattle, and because of comments made by his agent’s brother, we can be pretty sure that he just really wasn’t interested in playing here. Maybe that was because he hates Seattle, hates Safeco, and hates traveling, or maybe it’s because he knew there was a chance vetoing the trade would cause him to end up in Atlanta — the specifics of why he vetoed the deal, we don’t know. But that’s really the only case where we can say that the Mariners were the high bidder for a player and didn’t get him. And, sorry, but one player making one decision doesn’t make a trend.

If you want to believe that no one wants to play for the Mariners, you’ll need more evidence that this off-season to prove it.


72 Responses to “Josh Hamilton and Not Wanting to Play in Seattle”

  1. make_dave_proud on February 3rd, 2013 12:17 am

    You think Hamilton had many offers north of 100 guaranteed, or any closer to the total amount Seattle was willing to pay? I wouldn’t bet on that.

    Nope. I think the Angels were the only ones offering that. Only other team that was somewhat close on the money, I suspect, was the Rangers.

    Just because LA was willing to overpay even more and take an even great risk, doesn’t mean the M’s are cheap. Not with Hamilton anyway.

    The fact they came *this* close to Hamilton with a pseudo-matching offer means nothing. The aw-shucks-well-at-least-we-made-a-respectable-offer means nothing. They didn’t get their guy, plain and simple.

    And now we get to look forward to Ibanez and Bay and Morse and Morales and the other kick-ins. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I would rather have overpaid for Hamilton than taken this group.

  2. stevemotivateir on February 3rd, 2013 6:55 am

    ^It does mean something. It means they weren’t cheap in their effort to acquire him, which was the whole argument. They fell short, yes, but you can’t say they didn’t legitimately try.

    I’m not thrilled with the Ibanez or Bay signings, or the trades for Morse and Morales. But I’m glad they didn’t shell-out 125 (or more) guaranteed for Hamilton.

  3. make_dave_proud on February 3rd, 2013 9:37 am

    ^Oh I think they (the Ms) made a legitimate attempt, at least in their minds, to sign Hamilton. I just think they’re bringing a beer budget mindset to the store to buy champagne.

    In the end, the Ms didn’t want to risk 25MM, in the form of an extra year of guaranteed money, in exchange for five years of (projected) 15-20 WAR. The Mariners made that bet, and lost.

    Being “cheap” extends beyond Hamilton, though. In the case of Bourn and/or Swisher, the common knowledge has been that the Ms don’t want to lose the 12th pick in the draft. I find that reasoning absurd. A first-round draft pick vs. established major league players, both of whom are better than anyone else in the current outfield? The chances of that 12th pick ever being more productive than Swisher or Bourn are insignificant. Again, risk aversion rules the day.

  4. Seattleken on February 3rd, 2013 10:22 am

    Why are you glad they didn’t shell out the money Hamilton would have cost to get him to Seattle 7 years at 25 million a year is what he was asking for in December.

    Its not like the Mariners are going to spend in a way now that makes the team better more fun to watch.

    The money simply wont be spent and the difference will be the ownership lines their pockets and sell you on we tried. This off season gives us laughable players (Ibanez, Bay, Morse) who not only wont make us a .500 team, but will take away chances for a prospect to surprise us plus cost 10.5 million in salary.

    We never would have had Kyle Seager hit 20 homers and show potential if Figgins played replacement level last year. So spending 10.5 million (Ibanez, Morse and Bay) on three extremely low upside veterans that can’t field and will very likely be worse that 2012 is just sad.

    Ownership has cut payroll by 30 million in five years and management just wasted 10.5 on crap.

    Thats 40.5 million difference we could easily have gotten Hamilton and Jackson or Greinke and Swisher and kept Jaso, which is a lot better than Ibanez, Bay and Morse and 30 million in the ownership pockets.

    I agree with Make Dave proud ownership and management are cheap and/or incompetent and had little intention of paying what was needed to get Hamilton. Hamitlon asked for a 7 year deal at 25M per year in Nashville, M’s responded with…

    Mariners Prez Chuck Armstrong: We are NOT close to signing Josh Hamilton

    Jack Z on Hamilton “You have to be realistic about how you’re going to allocate your dollars.”

  5. Seattleken on February 3rd, 2013 10:53 am

    It was not unrealistic to have followed Dave’s off season plan and I love that team compared to what we are facing now.

    Swisher signed for a fraction of what Dave thought the market value would be 7/100

    Melky went for 8 million a year instead of 6. So thats not far off.

    Hafner went for 2M + incentives instead of 3M.

    I’d love Swisher/Melky/Hafner/Jaso/Vargas over Morse/Ibanez/Bay/Shoppach/Morales/ and maybe Joe Saunders.

  6. stevemotivateir on February 3rd, 2013 10:59 am

    You have to draw a line somewhere. Spending now may also influence future spending. Don’t think of it as money that will never be spent. You don’t know that. Hope that it’s allocated toward someone (or more than one) else in the not so distant future.

    We don’t know where the line with Swisher or Bourn was, or if there was even a formal offer. They may very well have low-balled both players over the draft pick, or simply because they assessed their value differently. Personally, watching Swisher sign with Cleveland for an affordable price, was far more frustrating than missing out on Hamilton. Watching Jaso traded for Morse was the icing on that BS cake.

    But the specific argument was over the Hamilton offer being cheap. It wasn’t. You can dance around that all you want, but there’s nothing cheap about an offer that could reach 150. Most teams probably would have assumed that an offer like that would get the job done.

    Just out of curiosity though, what do you two think wouldn’t have been cheap? Keep in mind the offer would have to be more than 5/125. Would you be willing to go 6/150 guaranteed? More? Keep in mind his age, his injury history, and the other needs of the team in the near future, such as re-signing or extending some of the younger guys.

  7. Seattleken on February 3rd, 2013 11:24 am


    My concern is that ownership and management who are normally tight lipped made a big PR thing about their offer. At the time when you factor in chance to win and ballpark the Mariner offer wasn’t close to interesting Hamilton and Jack Z knew that when he made the offer or is incompetent at dealing with agents. Either option sucks as a Mariner fan.

    Hamilton even said that the offer from Seattle wasn’t viewed seriously!

    – the offer just wasn’t viewed as seriously by Hamilton as the Mariners say they thought it should have been. It appears, from his statements, there’s a difference of opinion between what the Mariners viewed as a serious offer and what the player they were targetting did.”

  8. Seattleken on February 3rd, 2013 11:57 am

    I would have rather have had in the following order

    Swisher and Edwin Jackson for 6/150.

    Grienke 6/150M

    Hamilton at 6/150M (but I think 7/175 would be what was needed to beat the Angel offer of 5/125)

    Then the crap they used the money for Ibanez/Bay/Shoppach plus money in the owners pocket. Best hope now is that they get two of Saunders, Lohse and Bourn all three of which I don’t see anything more than replacement level by 2015.

    The poor strategy in the free agent market was the reason why they did the Jaso/Morse deal.

    We could have had

    2B Ackley
    RF Swisher
    1B Morales
    DH Montero
    LF Sanders
    3B Seager
    CF Franklin G
    C Jaso/Shoppach (Platoon)
    SS Ryan

    With Wells, Smoak, Shoppach and Andino on the bench

    Felix, Jackson, Iwak, Ramirez, Hultzen/Blevin

    That looks like a .500 team with a chance to be a contender in 2014.

    instead we have

    a rotation of
    Felix, Iwak, Blevin, Ramirez, Hultzen/Noesi

    2B Ackley
    LF Sanders
    1B Morales
    RF Morse
    C Montero
    DH Ibanez/Bay (Platoon)
    3B Seager
    CF Franklin G
    SS Ryan

    Smoak, Bay, Shoppach, Andino on the bench.

    That’s a 70 win team, with little hope of being more than .500 in 2014 and 2015.

  9. make_dave_proud on February 3rd, 2013 12:06 pm

    @ stevemotivateir:

    But the specific argument was over the Hamilton offer being cheap. It wasn’t.

    I guess it’s just a difference of opinion, then. In spite of the numbers, the Hamilton offer was nothing more than market value with a few strings attached. Why they (JZ and team) thought their offer was beyond that, I’m not sure.

    Just out of curiosity though, what do you two think wouldn’t have been cheap? Keep in mind the offer would have to be more than 5/125. Would you be willing to go 6/150 guaranteed? More? Keep in mind his age, his injury history, and the other needs of the team in the near future, such as re-signing or extending some of the younger guys.

    Great question. I’m guessing that 5/125 alone wouldn’t get it done, either. If he was interested in more years, I’d look at that but possibly with a more front-loaded contract. It would depend on what was important to Hamilton. If 5/125 was under consideration, I maybe would have considered something crazy like 4/120 and two vesting options to bring the total to 160 or so. This is assuming that Hamilton is my guy, and I want him.

    There is an assumption that, in making that offer, there is no risk if he declines. I don’t know if that’s entirely true. In Hamilton’s radio interview in December, he said he didn’t think Seattle was a very serious suitor. Meanwhile, JZ is waving his hands and saying “hey, this was a real Cadillac of an offer.” In terms of dealing with top-end talent, the Mariners come out looking like the kid brother trying to play ball with the older boys.

    Left to me, I would have made either the offer that knocks his socks off, or not made it all.

  10. stevemotivateir on February 3rd, 2013 12:52 pm


    I would prefer Swisher and Jackson (McCarthy would have been more interesting, and likely cheaper) as well. I wouldn’t pay 150 for both, though. Shouldn’t be necessary to overpay to loure pitchers here. But 5/75 for Swisher? Absolutely. By the way, it’s ‘Beavan’, not “Blevin”;)

    But the offer to Hamilton wasn’t a bluff. The news of the offer came out after he signed with LA. Was that intentional? Sure. They’re trying to convince the fan base they are making an effort. But no GM is going to make an offer of that caliber if they weren’t really willing to pay that much, and run the risk of it being accepted.


    As noted earlier, the M’s offer would have put him in a tie to be the second highest player in baseball annually. Of course, the Angels offer did just that, but I think it does show that the M’s singled him out as the guy they wanted. They simply drew a line, and that was that.

  11. Hutch on February 3rd, 2013 1:11 pm

    I’m as frustrated as anyone by the FO’s inactivity with top-tier free agents this offseason, but it kind of blows my mind that anyone thinks giving Josh Hamilton six years was the right course of action.

    Passing on reasonably priced good players like Swisher, McCarthy, Melky, Marcum is the real travesty.

  12. Seattleken on February 3rd, 2013 1:11 pm

    I honestly believe Jack and the Mariners have a completely different basis for their decisions then statistics analysis us “geek” fans use. They use charts, bat speed, 60 yard times. “makeup” and scouting reports.

    Its clear we differ:
    Jack and the M’s would rather have Morse in RF and Shoppach at catcher, then Swisher in RF and Jaso at catcher. I believe they think Swisher would be a bust in Safeco while Morse with be just fine as his homerun chart is a better fit for Safeco. So not only do they get players they think will be better but will save money too.

    I do believe they would have honored their off to Hamilton and would have been happy to sign 4+2 with him. The issue is the same… either they did not know they weren’t close to a deal with Hamilton or they did know but made the offer for PR purposes.

  13. stevemotivateir on February 3rd, 2013 1:38 pm

    ^Contract offers usually go back and forth, much like an auction. It’s possible the Angels had a lower offer that the M’s topped, only to have the Angels offer even more after. We simply don’t know. But the M’s offer wasn’t made with PR being the priority. Not with that kind of money.

    Not making an offer, or enough, to Swisher doesn’t mean they see him as a bust. It simply means they didn’t value him the same. And again, if it was me, I would have been quite happy with a 1-2 punch of Swisher and Jaso. It’s worth noting Morse offers more power than Swisher, but oddly enough, he’ll go opposite field often.

  14. make_dave_proud on February 3rd, 2013 1:43 pm

    @Ken: I don’t think JZ and crew would have wasted their time with a PR-based offer. It was a bona fide offer, in their minds.

    In my uninformed opinion, I’m wagering that the two likely scenarios leading up to the M’s offer were:
    1) they knew where the other teams were coming in, and tried to wedge in there with the 4+2 thing, or
    2) they didn’t know where the market was and took a shot.

    I’m giving the team the benefit of the doubt and guessing that it was scenario #1. Scenario #2 is worse, because…well, isn’t that their business?

    As for the basis for their decisions, I’m dumbfounded. Huge offer to Hamilton gets rejected, trade to Upton gets bounced, and the biggest addition to the team is Morales while the pitching and defense take what appears to be a step backwards? I don’t get it.

    @Hutch: Fair enough on Hamilton. I’m with you on Swisher and Cabrera and Marcum and a host of others. It’s like we brought in the worst cars from a used car lot. This off-season showed some serious deficiencies in the FO’s ability to build a competitive team.

    @Steve: yeah, I get it. I just get the feeling what the Mariners believe is a reasonable line in the sand is significantly behind where other teams are drawing those lines.

  15. bfgboy on February 3rd, 2013 1:47 pm

    Additionally, what some folks are failing to take into account is that Arte Moreno would have paid whatever it took to get his man. Once he zeroes in on something he wants, he will go absurd to get it. Maybe you think Albert Pujols’ contract was reasonable, what about CJ Wilson? I have little doubt that he would have gone up to 30 mil/5 years if that was what it took. He is equal bits Dan Snyder and Mark Cuban, and our “ownership group” is no comparison.

    This isn’t about nobody wanting to come to Seattle, nor is it about Jack Z dropping the ball. What it is about…is time to forget about it and move on.

  16. Seattleken on February 3rd, 2013 2:20 pm

    So we fumbled the ball this off season we either punt the off season and hope ownership lets have the 25 million to spend next year (Ichiro/Figgins salary), or overpay for the crap that remains left. Neither option is good in my mind.

    Its time to hope at the end of the year the ownership fires all the baseball management and hires a new president and GM and allows the new team to have a 90-100 million dollar budget to convert this mess into a possible wild card team.

    I have no faith in Jack to evaluate major league talent, make trades or sign free agents, hes an awesome scout but an awful GM. The M’s need a GM who can evaluate major league value to decide which kids will work out, and which players to trade for and/or sign. The GM for 2013-2017 needs to convert the minor league depth into major league wins.

  17. make_dave_proud on February 3rd, 2013 2:45 pm

    I have no faith in Jack to evaluate major league talent, make trades or sign free agents, hes an awesome scout but an awful GM.

    I really want JZ to be successful, but he does appear to be overmatched at this job as of late.

  18. amnizu on February 4th, 2013 11:17 am

    >Additionally, what some folks are failing to take into account is that Arte Moreno would have paid whatever it took to get his man.

    Flawed logic, if this was the case then every other GM would know this and would drive up the price on Moreno. Everyone has a bottom valuation that they’re willing to go to and not beyond. In the case of Hamilton the Angel’s was just higher.

    >2) they didn’t know where the market was and took a shot.

    Seems very unlikely, seeing as with vesting options the M’s offer was higher in overall dollar value. The offer Dave lays is extremely close to market rate if you consider 5/125 is market. In this instance it just seems the Angles were the less risk adverse organization.

    In my opinion the M’s FO have a larger problem with risk aversion, not market or player evaluation. Its a stark difference from the successful years of the origination where they were willing to take risks on a skinny singles hitter from Japan that didn’t conform to the MLB standard and a juiced up second basemen who added 30lbs of muscle in the off season by “changing his diet and workout”

  19. MrZDevotee on February 4th, 2013 11:28 am

    I’m not sure who the imaginary GM is out there who would have “got it done” in Z’s place, by what, signing Greinke, Hamilton and the moon?

    That’s an incredible amount of speculation to hang a guy’s career failure on.

    And I just don’t buy the “we’re not any better” cries…

    We need to not look at things in a bubble (a bubble built around unrealistic expectations of who we were gonna sign this offseason). Look at who we are now, versus who our roster held on opening day last year.

    1) We’re better in LF. Morse IS better than Mike Carp. And Peguero. And Trayvon. And Thames. And Figgins… AND Wells (when you isolate Wells stats to his time in LF last season). And definitely an upgrade over the cumulation of that mess. Cumulatively you could even argue Morse out there everyday is better defensively than the overall mix of last season (which ISN’T defending Morse, it’s putting last season’s LF defense in perspective.

    Maybe Casper Wells is better, but what makes anyone think Wells would get the chance to play full time in LF? He wasn’t appreciably valuable there last year– he earned most of his value in CF in 2012.

    2) We’re better at catcher (WAIT!!! Let me put it in context)… Catcher was a huge question mark last year, with ‘reality’ glasses on, and the rusty wrench of Olivo was taking up lots of time in the rotation.

    I think Zunino, Shoppach and Montero combined are more inspiring than Jaso, Montero, Olivo (especially when taking into account the limited role Jaso was allowed— AND when taking into account Montero’s time behind the plate and how it affected his offense… In almost half of his AB’s last year he played catcher, and put up .310/.343/.498/.841… That’s easily the best overall numbers on the team last year, and OBP on par with Jaso’s career numbers.

    3) We’re better at DH/1B. In some combination that will come out of competition heading into the season, this is gonna be better. In the best case scenario, Justin Smoak retains his late season numbers and Morales plays mostly DH, with Montero playing DH sometimes and Morales playing 1B. Worst case scenario, we’ll have Morales at 1B, and some revolving mix of Ibanez/Morse/Bay/Montero at DH, which I’d still argue is better than our mess of Smoak and Montero last year (Montero’s DH numbers were an awful .226/.265/.309/.574… And we all know Smoak’s travails).

    4) We’re better in CF. If Guty simply makes it thru Spring Training in 1 piece (a big “if” granted) we’re better on opening day. We’re better with a healthy Guty in CF and Saunders in RF (or LF). We’re better at the plate with a healthy Guty (who pushes the need to play a Trayvon, Carp, Figgins or Peguero out of place).

    5) We’re better at SS. Andino is a huge upgrade over Kawasaki (as long as we don’t make it a dance contest) and there’s no reason not to believe that Ryan can’t hit over .200 again, while also arguing his defense is good enough that it still doesn’t matter, if the rest of the team does it’s job better.

    6) And there’s a good chance we’re better in RF than last season… Just Saunders in place of Ichiro offers some potentical Ichiro wasn’t offering us last season (sad to say). And it’s an easy assessment when we account for the ugliness in the outfield after Ichiro was traded.

    YES, pitching is a bit of a mess at the moment. But it was LAST year too– we had no idea what we were getting from Millwood and Iwakuma last season, if we’re honest. Or Beavan or Ramirez.

    There’s no reason to think we can’t put together a staff to rival last season’s on the mound, so unless everything goes wrong in that regards I’m not overly concerned (and assume we’ll be adding to this part of the roster in the next few weeks).

    So yeah, we had amazing dreams of building a contender with our monopoly money this offseason. But it’s just not true to say we won’t be better on opening day 2013 than we were on opening day 2012.

    It’s just not.

  20. MrZDevotee on February 4th, 2013 11:47 am

    And I left out 2nd base.

    7) We’re better at 2B… Unless you think 2012 was Dustin Ackley’s true talent level instead of 2011. And even then, we’re still better with Andino as the backup.

    So, that’s EVERY position except 3B, and we’re fine there ’cause Seager is Seager. (Which is pretty funny, because LAST season we thought 3B was the weakest position on the team. So just by perception alone, we’re better at 3B heading into 2013.

    So that’s EVERY position. Better in one regard or another. Except pitching, which again, we didn’t know was good heading into 2012, and a position this staff has shown the ability to rebuild fairly easily (even before we had the best prospects in all of baseball at THAT position).

    Hope springs eternal.

  21. Gormogon on February 4th, 2013 3:39 pm

    Indeed, Hope Springs Eternal. And, hopefully it extends past April 30 this year.

    Thanks for the breakdown MrZDevotee. That was quite optimistic.

    I think we’ll see some trading with the Dodgers for pitching. It will be interesting to see who they want back.

  22. TIFO on February 11th, 2013 3:03 pm

    Buster Olney disagrees with you on this one: “The bottom line is because of the offensive issues for free agents who have gone there, Adrian Beltre probably being the biggest example, they just can’t draw veterans to go there. I have been told this by agents time and again where they tell me, ‘yeah I will engage the M’s but essentially to create leverage for myself. My client’s not really interested in going there. That’s where the Mariners are right now in terms of trying to lure veteran free agent position players to play in their park today.”

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