Maurer Likely In, Erasmo Out, and M’s Scout Capuano

Dave · March 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Brandon Maurer had another good day today, and the presumption now is that he’s essentially locked himself into one of the two open rotation jobs to start the season. The Mariners go to Salt Lake City on Saturday to play an exhibition game, and Maurer is currently on track to start that exhibition, a pretty clear sign that he’s a strong favorite for the Opening Day roster.

And, while they haven’t officially declared him out of the running, you can basically cross Erasmo Ramirez’s name off the list. While the Mariners didn’t say anything about it previously, the story now is that Ramirez had some soreness after his six inning start a few weeks ago and they had to back off his workload because of it. Due to the missed time, they don’t feel he’ll be ready to start the season in the rotation, so he’ll concentrate on building up his arm strength to start the season, likely in Tacoma. But, as we saw last year, the team is willing to carry a guy as a long reliever on the big league roster who is “building up arm strength”, so maybe Ramirez breaks camp as The Guy Who Never Pitches. Someone needs to keep Jeff Gray’s memory alive.

And in related news, Ken Gurnick of reports that the M’s were one of four teams scouting Chris Capuano today. This isn’t the first we’ve heard of the team’s interest in Capuano, and it’s widely known that he’s available given LA’s rotation surplus. I’ve been a Capuano fan for a while, lobbying the M’s to sign him several times over the last few years, and he’s still an average-ish Major League starter on a team that could use more average-ish MLB starters. That said, he’s also a soft-tossing lefty with home run problems, and Safeco isn’t going to be as kind to those guys as it used to be. Depending on what the price is, acquiring him might be a real improvement, but at this point in his career, I don’t know that I’d want to give up a valuable prospect for him. Signing him as a buy low free agent was one thing; paying retail for a “proven veteran” is another.

But, hey, not Beavan is an improvement over Beavan, so at least it seems like they might be willing to break camp with someone else in the last spot in the rotation.


18 Responses to “Maurer Likely In, Erasmo Out, and M’s Scout Capuano”

  1. Westside guy on March 25th, 2013 8:45 pm

    I find myself worrying about this current administration giving up yet more good young talent in order to pick up yet another proven veteran.

  2. jephdood on March 25th, 2013 9:30 pm

    I think you’re thinking about the previous administration. Z isn’t going to give up much for the likes of Capuano, Porcello, or any other middling “tide-us-over” starter.

  3. bookbook on March 25th, 2013 9:37 pm

    Porcello’s only 25 and has some talent, so I wouldn’t lump him in with the “proven veteran” morass that seems to be always on the tip of Wedge’s mustache, or at least his tongue every time he gives interview.

  4. casey on March 25th, 2013 10:04 pm

    not sure I get this veterans are bad and young guys are good mindset – the test for me is whether a new player can improve the team we put on the field both short and longer term. Maurer does this for me but so does Kendrys Morales.

  5. shamus on March 25th, 2013 10:33 pm

    Capuano for Wells? Silly?

  6. MrZDevotee on March 25th, 2013 10:33 pm

    I’m REALLY digging on Maurer. Kid is a “pitcher”, not just a young guy with a good arm. He’s sort of Vargas and Felix put through a blender. Take the upside of a Vargas (ie, not a “super star” ceiling) but then add the craftiness of a Felix, or maybe a Moyer. He misses bats but also pitches “tidy” and with control.

    Actually, thinking about it, he’s sort of Fister 2.0.

    Gonna be fun to watch. I actually prefer getting excited about guys like Maurer versus guys like Pineda, ’cause you always have a feeling MLB hitters are gonna catch up with guys like Pineda, given enough opportunities. Whereas you have to “outthink” a Hultzen or a Maurer to get the best of them, not just swing sooner.

  7. PackBob on March 25th, 2013 10:34 pm

    I would like to think that the Mariners scouting Capuano is them doing their due diligence so that if Capuano became available at a reasonable price, the M’s would be prepared. If Maurer pitches well and Ramirez eventually replaces Beavan, it doesn’t seem like Capuano would be much of an upgrade. I would have taken Capuano over Saunders, but that opportunity is gone.

    I expect the fences being moved in to have more of a positive effect on the hitters than a negative effect on the pitchers, simply because the Mariners have had such a woeful offense for so long now that any improvement should be a confidence builder. While it doesn’t ultimately matter if the runs come from dingers or hits strung together, I think it matters to the hitters psychologically to get rewarded for a well-struck ball to left/left-center.

  8. tmac9311 on March 25th, 2013 11:50 pm

    capuano for beaven would put a smile on my face. Doubt that would be the move if a move was made though

  9. Celadus on March 26th, 2013 1:11 am

    Given the Mariners’ host of slow and/or bad defensive outfielders, combined with their extremely good defensive infield, I was hoping for Porcello.

    He’s a ground ball pitcher (52.3% lifetime in 691 innings). That would play well with this team.

  10. maqman on March 26th, 2013 3:00 am

    I liked it at the time but am not so fond of Saunders so far. Hopefully he improves when the season starts. With $6.5MM guaranteed and $1MM in incentives they no doubt will have to hang in with him even if he’s craptastic. Bonderman needs to go to AAA with Ramirez so they can build up their arm strength. Capuano represents an increase in payroll without a corresponding increase in rotation effectiveness.

  11. Rockstar on March 26th, 2013 6:43 am

    It be great if the M’s could package Wells with something from the minor league depth to get Capuano. Cap would be a significant upgrade over Beavan, assuming the M’s are planning on Beavan for the last spot in the rotation. Capuano and or Saunders may have some trade value in June or July and at that point Hultzen and/or Ramirez could likely step into the vacancy(ies). Better than getting nothing for Wells just so we can keep three LF’s that can’t play the OF. I’m glad the M’s are at least kicking the tires and seeing what is out there. Should be a fun season.

  12. ejmamariners on March 26th, 2013 8:31 am

    The Dodgers won’t want Wells (they are already in discussions as to how to free up a spot for Puig) or Beaven (they have 8 starters as it is. They want to move one). The likely move here is for Ryan, since Hanley is out 2 months and should be playing 3b anyway. So the question is, do you deal Ryan for Capuano, especially with the Dodgers willing to pick up most of the salary difference?

  13. bookbook on March 26th, 2013 9:55 am

    I wouldn’t but Franklin hopes they do.

  14. casey on March 26th, 2013 10:36 am

    Ryan for Capuano is an interesting concept. Listening to Wedge and Z all week they sound pretty smitten with Brad Miller. Would be stretch from 1/3rd season AA to majors but there are teams doing it for example the Rockies with Rutledge.

  15. RaoulDuke37 on March 26th, 2013 10:57 am

    The move is simple. Franklin Gutierrez for a new SP. Saunders & Morse are regulars in the OF, and Bay, Wells, Ibanez fill in as needed.

  16. djw on March 26th, 2013 12:50 pm

    If Maurer pitches well and Ramirez eventually replaces Beavan, it doesn’t seem like Capuano would be much of an upgrade.

    “If everything goes right we won’t need him” is a foolish reason not to upgrade one’s rotation.

  17. ejmamariners on March 26th, 2013 1:31 pm

    Well Gutierrez won’t bring Capuano (they like Kemp there and it is the same issue as with Wells. Detroit would only move Porcello for a closer (the offered him to SD for either Gregerson or Street). So Porcello would cost Wilhelmson and maybe Pryor….worth it?

  18. bookbook on March 26th, 2013 5:50 pm

    I’d do Wilhelmson’s and Pryor for Porcello. I wouldn’t do Gutierrez or Ryan for Capuano.

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