And The Moves Are…

Dave · April 10, 2013 at 11:16 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Casper Wells was claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays. So he’s gone and the M’s get nothing. I’m happy for Casper, though – Toronto is a great fit for him, as a park that really rewards right-handed pull power, and they’ve got an organization that will use him the right way. He’s probably going to top out as a good fourth outfielder who should play mostly against lefties, but he’s got value in that role, and he can help the Blue Jays. Glad to see him land in a spot where he has a chance to succeed.

Also, according to Ryan Divish, the organization is staying in-house for their pitching help today. Lucas Luetge will get optioned to Tacoma and be replaced by Bobby LaFromboise, so they’re swapping out one lefty for another. Luetge had a nice run as a LOOGY last year, but he’s not really much of a big league reliever, and he might not be back any time soon. Whether LaFromboise sticks around long term or they make another move to get a more legitimate long relief type guy on the roster — perhaps by acquiring a starter and moving Beavan back to the bullpen — remains to be seen.


29 Responses to “And The Moves Are…”

  1. maqman on April 10th, 2013 11:24 am

    I was hoping Wells would bring a bit back but like you am glad he landed in an organization that will value him and should be a winning group. Given that at this early point Bay has the highest OPS on the team (1.162) it’s hard to knock the team’s choice of who to hang on to.

  2. californiamariner on April 10th, 2013 11:25 am

    Do you see Maurer staying with the M’s or going down?

  3. thurston24 on April 10th, 2013 11:33 am

    Erasmo needs to hurry up and get healthy. Also, free Mike Zunino (I know he has to stay down for another week or so for extra control but still hurry up).

  4. Westside guy on April 10th, 2013 11:38 am

    Given that Jason Bay has 10 at bats and 3 hits, I don’t think quoting his OPS is particularly useful.

  5. z24lax on April 10th, 2013 11:56 am

    I may just be spitballin on this, but with a recent change in the service time rules I think zunino has to stay down until early July in order to gain the extra control. I think it’s really just a case of which guy (montero, morales, smoak) falls out of favor first to clear an everyday spot for him. Because if they call him up and lose the extra control, they definitely aren’t going to do it to have him play a couple days a week.

  6. GhostofMarinersPast on April 10th, 2013 12:03 pm

    April 12th is the date. Not early July. And how much longer do we have to watch Loe?! I’m going to start calling him The Waiter because he just keeps servin’ em up!!!

  7. jordan on April 10th, 2013 12:10 pm

    If a team like the Jays can find room for Casper what does that tell you?

    Good move Mariners. /sarcasm

  8. DennisP on April 10th, 2013 12:13 pm

    According to Divish’s blog referencing Fangraphs the other day it’s July sometime to avoid Super 2.

  9. marcus_andrews on April 10th, 2013 12:31 pm

    Re Zunino-

    You guys are talking about two different deadlines. April 12th is the deadline where he enters free agency a year earlier, July is the super two deadline where he reaches arbitration a year earlier and thus will cost more but still be under team control.

  10. DennisP on April 10th, 2013 12:39 pm

    How much longer does Loe stick around? Seems silly to not bring someone up because they’re not on the 40 man when they can just let him go. Maybe someone like Sweeney who can actually do long relief….

  11. z24lax on April 10th, 2013 12:43 pm

    Yes, I believe I was talking about “super 2” status and that’s why I had July stuck in my head. The key seems to be one of the 3 or 4 1b/DH/C position players falling out of favor so they have a spot where he can play everyday. That could be smoak if he keeps up his early start but who knows when they’ll pull the trigger.

  12. John W. on April 10th, 2013 12:45 pm

    I wish we’d just fire our front office and get it over with. They aren’t among the best in the league (they might be among the worst) and in order to win with our average-low payroll, we need a great front office. I know I might be ridiculed for jumping off the boat, but I just want something new. Honestly, I’m not even convinced that Z is a very good scout anymore, if all the prospects that he brings in just flame out in the majora like they seem to. I’ve lost faith that this front office can get us to where we need to be.

  13. currcoug on April 10th, 2013 1:35 pm

    The problem lies with those above Zduriencik.

  14. John W. on April 10th, 2013 2:14 pm

    I can’t think of anything that Zduriencik has done lately that’s all that good. His talent evaluation seems to be about average, besides the C Lee trade from Philly and the Putz/Guti trade, he hasn’t done well on the trade front either. And he can’t attract free agents at decent prices, or at all it seems. And we can add the fact that his decision making recently seems to have shifted in a very worrying direction. I’m not saying he’s terrible, but being better than Bavasi should not be the bar.

  15. GarForever on April 10th, 2013 2:17 pm

    Anyone who looks at the talent that has been accumulated in the system since Z became GM (of an organization whose previous GM left the cupboard bare) can’t be serious that he is all or even most of the problem. I do think, though, as I’ve said before, that the roster management in this case is distressing. Once Bay came out hot in spring, given Wedge’s love affair with ST results and the unrelenting desire for veterany goodness, it was pretty obvious that Wells was going to go bye-bye. The fact that they had six weeks to get something, anything , for him and now lost him for nothing, well…rats.

  16. jephdood on April 10th, 2013 2:17 pm

    A sad argument, but of Loe and Luetge, give me Luetge.

  17. Bodhizefa on April 10th, 2013 2:21 pm

    Keith Law commented on Bob and Groz how awful the a M’s young top prospect hitter development has been for a while now and noted how guys like Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Mike Morse, and Adam Jones all saw rapid improvement once leaving the org. I’d love to say its not our fault, but I have to think the re-working of Ackley’s and Smoak’s swings and the lack of progress from Montero equate into some decided blame on behalf of th organization.

    What a total clustflub if we can’t get at least one of those three to pan out into an above average regular. And honestly, one of them should be a star for goodness sake. Their pedigree was very very good.

  18. Bodhizefa on April 10th, 2013 2:24 pm

    And I agree with the above poster who lamented that a contending team like the Jays could find room for Casper and yet the M’s couldn’t. Zduriencik no longer has my support, that’s for sure. I hope like heck our farm system pans out and we can start winning, but I’d rather have a more saber friendly GM to take us to the promised land with said talent.

  19. Bodhizefa on April 10th, 2013 2:27 pm

    “Anyone who looks at the talent that has been accumulated in the system since Z became GM (of an organization whose previous GM left the cupboard bare) can’t be serious that he is all or even most of the problem.”

    The talent is there, but will our organization be able to actually turn that young talent into viable big leaguers? Most evidence says they can’t, at least as far as the hitters are concerned. Zduriencik is a part of that problem, in my opinion.

  20. PackBob on April 10th, 2013 2:43 pm

    I have to think that part of the equation here, maybe most of it, is Wedge and his managerial judgment. He has the type of players he wants on his team now, and Wells just wasn’t one of them. If Wedge likes a guy, like Beavan, the platitudes never end. If he doesn’t, he appears to have to force himself to say something good. Wedge writes on the wall a lot.

    The bullpen Wedge constructed was based on an everything goes well scenario. It didn’t go well, so now the team must scramble to fix things only a week into the season. The judgment on Loe’s capabilities doesn’t seem particularly good at this point either.

    This is Wedges’ team now, and he needs to be held accountable same as the players.

  21. jordan on April 10th, 2013 3:18 pm

    You know who would be a perfect fit? … Doug Fister


  22. Longgeorge1 on April 10th, 2013 3:47 pm

    This team has a long history of producing AAAA players and worse yet when they leave they suddenly get better. Several are named above and if we took our time we could name a bunch more. The only guy who has found “IT” while he was here as been Mike Saunders and he got an instructor from outside (Mike Bard) to straighten him out. We have plenty of talent we need to develop it. When you have talent that is fundamentally flawed you need to get to these guys in A or AA not wait until they fall on there face in AAA or the majors before you address basic swing flaws, or the need for an off speed pitch, or how to properly field their position. Why is it that the A’s keep bringing up pitchers that are ready to pitch, not just at a major league level but sometimes in to the play offs and our “can’t miss” prospects are woefully unprepared?

  23. jordan on April 10th, 2013 3:56 pm

    Montero came up in the Yankees org, however. But I can see what everyone is saying. I don’t think the hitting development in the upper minors is doing it’s job.

  24. Longgeorge1 on April 10th, 2013 4:12 pm

    Montero did come up a Yankee and the Yankees are not any better at developing talent than us. They get their players the old fashioned way – they buy ‘um. When we get a youngster out of school the first thing you need to do is to tell them if they want to play in the majors forget everything that they “know”, and then teach solid major league fundementals

  25. BackRub on April 10th, 2013 6:42 pm

    I’m with you John W. To be clear, drafting has been the bright spot of the organization over the past few years. Tom Mac essentially has complete control over that and deserves the credit. Unfortunately, Mac seems like a package deal with his boss. In an ideal world…

    Pretty amazing to think that presumably most teams passed on giving up even a C prospect for Casper. He’s nearly a 1 WAR upgrade over most teams 4th outfielders even with ~250- 300 PAs. So basically teams decided not to win an extra game this year. That can be the difference between making the playoffs and sitting at home wondering what you could have done better. Perhaps they are “happy” with their players, the timing wasn’t right, didn’t want a “platoon” player, yada, yada, yada. What this episode shows, barring Casper being a terrible person or something else going on we aren’t privy to, is that most major league teams are still not making optimal decisions. It would be nice to have a front office that is.

  26. John W. on April 11th, 2013 12:16 am

    Thanks BackRub. To me it just seems pretty clear. I want a consistent winner. Now, I’m not the smartest guy at this, but generally the only way to get a consistent winner is to have a great front office, have a huge payroll, or some combination of the two. Our payroll isn’t very big these days, but it might get bigger again eventually so we don’t need the Rays/A’s quality front office. But we do need a top 5-8 front office if we’re going to make up our lack of payroll. Now this is subjective, but I can guess that a top 8 front office doesn’t make the Casper Wells decision. Or a couple of these other decisions. I’m frustrated, and am growing impatient by repeated failures.

  27. dnc on April 11th, 2013 2:09 am

    “Keith Law commented on Bob and Groz how awful the a M’s young top prospect hitter development has been for a while now and noted how guys like Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Mike Morse, and Adam Jones all saw rapid improvement once leaving the org.”

    The larger point might be decent, but there’s no way Adam Jones belongs on that list. He had a .967 OPS at Tacoma his last season and a .700 that season in 65 at bats for Seattle (as a 21 year old). Post trade he went .711, .792, .767, .785, there’s no way that’s rapid improvement. Honestly given the friendlier offensive environs, I’d argue it was at least mildly disappointing based on what he had done here.

    Trading him was a disaster, but I don’t see how anyone can argue that Baltimore developed him as a hitter better than Seattle did.

    And of course, Jones, Cabrera and Choo were all dealt away before Jack even came around. Unless there’s really strong evidence that our development systems, coaches and processes haven’t changed post-GM transition I don’t see how they are relevant to our evaluation of Z anyway. For one thing I know the M’s stopped the ridiculous hyper-aggressive promotions that were a plague under Bavasi and almost assuredly caused the underestimation of Cabrera’s value.

  28. Westside guy on April 11th, 2013 7:43 am

    And here’s why quoting Bay’s OPS at this point is silly – after last night (just one game later) his OPS has dropped over 300 points.

  29. downwarddog on April 11th, 2013 12:40 pm

    John W., I couldn’t agree more. Jack Z – now in his fifth year – has proven to be a bust. It’s time to move on. (just as it was before last year) Yes, there’s been an influx of talent in the minors, but that’s what happens when you’re lousy. You get good draft picks. Meanwhile, this off-season was a joke. Bay, Ibanez, Morales? Seriously? As one who pays to go to 27 games a year, it’s just pitiful. By relying on the likes of Montero, Smoak and Ackley, Z’s ability to judge talent has to be seriously questioned. He’s been eating lunch off the one good trade he made when he first took the job and I guess he gets points for trading Pineda – even if it was for Montero – before he got hurt. But beyond that, the Z era has been a huge disappointment.

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