Pick One DH. Just One.

Dave · August 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Since the Mariners predictably decided to do nothing at the trade deadline, the team and the local media have repeated one primary talking point: we didn’t want to trade impending free agents because we want to re-sign them for 2014. In the post-deadline press briefing, Zduriencik said this:

“When you let a guy leave, it is harder to get him back. Once you break that marriage up and all of a sudden you want to go back and ask that player to come back? It’s harder to do. He probably feels somewhat betrayed. The guys are here, they have the right to walk but also we have the first opportunity to re-sign them if we choose to do that, and that is important to a player, especially if they like Seattle. Who knows what is going to happen? We’re going to be able to have the inside track in bringing some of these players back here. That was part of the thinking as well.”

The obvious player being talked about here is Kendrys Morales. Because of the qualifying offer system, the Mariners can essentially nuke his value as a free agent this winter and force him to either accept a two or maybe three year deal or play out 2014 on a one year contract for $14 million. The talk that the Mariners could net a first round pick for Morales is mostly incorrect; there just isn’t going to be much of a market for Morales once draft pick compensation attaches. The Mariners leverage is being able to make him a free agent with baseball’s equivalent of leprosy, forcing him to pick between a one year deal or a short term contract at a slightly lower AAV.

We covered all this ground in June, when I noted that the Mariners didn’t need to sign Morales to an extension then because of the qualifying offer. There’s a decent argument to be made for retaining Morales, though it’s probably worth noting that if he ends up accepting the qualifying offer, paying Morales $14 million for 2014 is less than ideal, given all the other holes the team has to fill this winter. He might be worth it, especially with the fact that the deal comes with no long term risk, but it’s not any kind of bargain, and keeping Morales at that price would likely prevent the team from making other necessary upgrades.

But, there is some logic and reason to not trading Morales. The qualifying offer is a real piece of leverage that they would have lost if they had traded him. Without knowing what was on the table, I don’t have much of a problem with the Mariners hanging onto Morales and using the QO to try and get him re-signed to a two or three year deal at around $10 million per year.

But here’s the problem. If you’re keeping Kendrys Morales when there’s a significant shortage of offensive pieces available in the trade market, you’re doing so for the sole purpose of re-signing him this winter. And if you re-sign Kendrys Morales, you’re re-signing him to play DH. And if you’re re-signing Kendrys Morales to DH, then you simply shouldn’t have any interest in bringing back either Raul Ibanez or Michael Morse.

I know, I know, Raul is the Golden Boy who can do no wrong. He hit a bunch of homers. He’s beloved in the clubhouse. He’s a great guy. I heard you the first 10,000 times you shoved your Raul Ibanez affection down our throats. He’s still a highly flawed player whose sole value at this point is as a part-time designated hitter. His outfield defense has never been good and has reached embarrassing levels. Whatever offensive value you think he might retain at age 42 will be given back on defense.

Since the start of the 2010 season, Ibanez has accumulated almost 2,000 plate appearances. He’s hit .254/.315/.453, which equals out to a 106 wRC+, making him a slightly above average hitter. That’s what he’s done from 38-41. Yeah, he keeps himself in great shape, yada yada yada, but he’s still getting older, and the laws of nature still apply. If you honestly expect Raul Ibanez to be a productive player in 2014, you’re believing in wishes rather than reality.

And, really, the same thing goes for Michael Morse. Like Ibanez, Morse is simply a one trick pony who is basically terrible at every part of baseball that isn’t hitting home runs. Unlike Ibanez, Morse is also injury prone and unreliable. You could make a case that Morse could be decent DH next year, and perhaps even a lower cost alternative to Morales if the team wanted to keep him around. But he also should never play the field. He might even be worse defensively than Ibanez, which is saying something, and his over-muscled body tends to break down when he forces himself to run with any kind of frequency.

If you’re re-signing Morales, then there simply is not room on the roster for Michael Morse. You could perhaps make an argument that Ibanez could fill a bench role, except we already know how that story plays out, as having him around simply means that he’s going to play more than he should. This organization is not capable of admitting that Raul Ibanez is a poor baseball player, and they won’t be able to admit it next year either.

Plain and simple, logic demands that the 2014 Mariners pick one and discard two. They can have Morales, Morse, or Ibanez, but they can’t have all three. It doesn’t work. The team tried this silly defense-doesn’t-matter strategy already and it blew up in their face. The team is last in UZR and last in DRS, and not coincidentally, they’re 25th in runs allowed. This roster construction experiment was a failure. It should not be repeated.

The fact that the Mariners didn’t trade Morse, Morales, or Ibanez doesn’t bother me all that much, simply because I doubt the offers on the table for Morse and Ibanez were particularly good. Other teams understand that these are two limited players with limited value, and Jack’s track record doesn’t suggest that he and his staff would have been able to identify players worth targeting anyway. Keeping tradable assets that other teams may have been interested in might be silly, but I doubt it hurt the Mariners that much, given the group of people that would have been in charge of making the trades.

However, keeping those tradable assets because the organization is still deluded enough to think that they’re the foundation of a winning team? That’s a serious problem. Retaining one of Morales, Morse, and Ibanez is defensible, but only one of them. The Mariners cannot run three DHs out in the field again next year. It’s time for the organization and the people that cover the team on a daily basis to just man up and admit that the plan that was put in place was a poor one and the team needs to move on and try to get players that can actually play the field again.

There simply isn’t room on a winning team for Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, and Raul Ibanez. Pick one and wish the other two good luck finding jobs with AL teams that need a DH. It might take some pride swallowing and some actual reflection on why the 2013 Mariners haven’t been very good, but if the people in charge of the team aren’t capable of that, then they shouldn’t be in charge of the team any more.

Comments

75 Responses to “Pick One DH. Just One.”

  1. Logan Davis on August 1st, 2013 11:48 pm

    How does your evaluation of Smoak factor into this decision-making? If the Mariners were to dump him, it would be pretty easy to find playing time for two of these guys by having one of them man first base. You could even rotate Morales and Morse in and out to give them each DH time and hopefully keep them healthier.

    On the other hand, Smoak’s 126 wRC+ over the last calendar year is starting to look pretty nifty relative to Morse’s declining offensive capabilities. I know you think that Smoak isn’t capable of sustaining the .300+ BABIP that has helped him to that offensive level, but given the state of next year’s free agent market, your choice to not mention 1B in this article implies to me that you think Smoak will still be around.

    Is that because you’d rather have Smoak than Morse or Ibanez, because you think the team is unwilling to admit the Smoak mistake and will hand him the 1B job again next year, or because you simply don’t think Morales and Morse are capable of holding down first base between them?

  2. PackBob on August 1st, 2013 11:59 pm

    And any of the three are lousy on the bases. When I think of an outfielder, it brings to mind someone who can run. Someone who can run should not be a liability running the bases. Ibanez and Morse are not outfielders in more ways than one.

    At least Morales can play first and not totally embarrass himself, and he’s a better hitter. I have no problem with Ibanez for this year, but please let’s not have another Griffey debacle.

    The Mariners wanted home runs this year, they got home runs. Now hopefully they will concentrate on good baseball players rather than players that can hit dingers, and Ibanez and Morse will hit the trail for better pastures.

  3. Bill on August 2nd, 2013 12:02 am

    I agree Dave, pick one. If Montero is ever going to be on the big league roster – and that’s a big “if”, he, too, can only be considered a DH. I’d love to see a roster constructed that didn’t lock one particularly big, slow, no defense player in to the role. But that seems to be unthinkable to this organization.

  4. Gormogon on August 2nd, 2013 12:12 am

    Given that I live in the Bay Area, I really just need to become an A’s fan already.

  5. Adam S on August 2nd, 2013 12:18 am

    If you honestly expect Raul Ibanez to be a productive player in 2013…
    I’m guessing you mean 2014 here.

    They’re in a bind with Ibanez. If they don’t trade him, there’s going to be hard pressed to say “thanks, now time to retire” and the casual fans will be upset if they let their “best hitter” go.

    Morales on a qualifying offer is OK, but I hate the idea of locking up DH in a multi-year deal because of the lack of flexibility. You could get Ibanez (or an Ibanez light) plus a guy who mashes lefties to DH for less than what Morales costs.

  6. The_Waco_Kid on August 2nd, 2013 12:20 am

    They better not be counting on Montero in any way. I expect, unless Raul finishes very strong, that he’ll bow out. He’s so old. Go out on a high note. Learn from Griffey’s mistake.

    I’m glad we didn’t trade Morse or Morales. It would have been selling low (especially with the qualifying offer for Morales). They shouldn’t bring both back unless Smoak keeps slumping. Z seems hell-bent on playing Morse in the OF though. I fear that’s the plan for next year.

    Also we need to play Ackley and Smoak every day from here on out and fish or cut bait with them. They shouldn’t lose much playing time to veterans.

  7. Westside guy on August 2nd, 2013 12:29 am

    On a plus side… the team has one fewer of this type of player than it did a few days ago! Three is still too many – but it’s better than four.

    One thought about Morse. I have been wondering if, given the team’s experience with Gutierrez, Z might be a little gun shy regarding signing another injury prone player to a multi-year contract. Morse has been hurt most of this year, and excepting the first week and a half of the season has not performed particularly well – that’s what I hope Z has been noticing. But odds are this is just wishful thinking on my part.

  8. DarkKnight1680 on August 2nd, 2013 12:38 am

    I would hope that anyone/everyone would rather have Smoak than Morse or Ibanez, at the very least based on age, cost, and defense. The 126 wRC+ is just icing. You could make a case for Morales over Smoak based on his consistent hitting, but at 14 million vs the 2 million or so that Smoak would get in arbitration, it’s hard to see where the Ms would be better with Morales vs Smoak+12 million dollar FA (Ellsbury, Choo, whatever).

  9. GhostofMarinersPast on August 2nd, 2013 12:43 am

    We should really focus on Ellsbury on the FA market. His high slash line and speed with a dash of grit would profile nicely here. And that leather would anchor the OF. This has to happen, right? No other FA profiles close to him this offseason. I’m not counting cano because he plays a position that we apparently have covered (nevermind he’s the number one, offensively, at it). And he is probably destined to re-sign with the wanks or one of the LA teams. Ellsbury should be the number one priority this winter.

  10. GhostofMarinersPast on August 2nd, 2013 12:49 am

    And he’ll cost more than 12 a year…but guess what. We can afford it

  11. tmac9311 on August 2nd, 2013 1:39 am

    I can see the value in keeping all three as they arent going to net you much, and if they love Seattle maybe they are smart enough to realize they should of been traded and weren’t. Morales is the only player the M’s should have intent of bringing back, but it also doesnt hurt being loyal to guys like Morse and Ibanez in case there’s absolutely no market for them (which seems highly possible given the facts Dave gave) and bringing either or both of them back at league minimum for spring training isnt a bad idea at all.

    Of course bringing all three back for the regular season next year even if those 2 have veteran minimum contracts would still be a huge mistake. So basically best case scenario one or two of them should of still been traded for D level prospects, but hey, what else do you expect out of this front office at this point?

  12. vj on August 2nd, 2013 2:17 am

    1. I bet the front office is aware that our outfield defense sucks.
    2. In my recollection of the offseason, all of these outfield stopgaps (Bay, Ibanez, Morse, later Chavez) were signed after the team’s primary outfield target Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels. Thank god we didn’t get Hamilton. I think, if we want to critizise the front office, than not for so much for the stopgaps but for not pursuing Swisher and Bourn.
    3. I’d be very surprised if we outbid the Red Sox for Ellsbury.
    4. Fun fact: Shin-Soo Choo has a higher career OBP than Ichiro had at the same age. Thanks Bavasi.

  13. maqman on August 2nd, 2013 2:20 am

    The Ms can afford to pay to keep Morales and for Choo and Ellsbury if they choose to, plus a decent arm for the back end of the rotation. The new regional TV deal not only gives them majority ownership of it, it also increases the income from $45MM to $115MM a year (per Wendy Thurm of Fangraphs, Forbes said it was $117MM), additionally they along with all other teams will receive an increase of income from the national media deal of $26MM a year in 2014. With the money coming off the books for Guti, Figgins, Joe Saunders, Morse and other odds and sods, roughly about $20MM or more on top of the new money they can to afford to spend big time. Of course they need to spend smart, like the Indians and unlike the Angels if they wish to avoid a flock of Albatross contracts, like the Angels.

  14. leftfield limey on August 2nd, 2013 2:40 am

    It is going to be a thin free agent hitter market this winter and so I am optimisitically taking these words as the front office simply currying favour with the individuals concerned in case they find their options are reduced rather than an indication that they really want all of them back (although sometimes you have to wonder). It has not cost them anything.

    Morales should be worth bringing back (even at $14m) given what the alternatives are in house and free agent. That may seem a lot for a 1B/DH but (i) given how little the rest of the roster is being paid; and (ii) the total inability of the organisation to find a consistent DH since Martinez I would not be upset at “overpaying”. If Morales has a decent second half I would not be surprised to see several teams take Morales notwithstanding the draft pick anyway.

    All indications from the “who lost out at the trde deadline” articles are that the other teams expected the Mariners to trade for D level prospects but we have enough of these anyway so why make the team any worse? Bad and/or misused as they are, it is not as if Mariners have players available to replace Morse/Ibanez/Morales. I think any implication that the front office would have been worse at choosing from among the lottery tickets on offer is slightly unfair.

  15. Marinerman1979 on August 2nd, 2013 2:41 am

    I can’t wait until Morse is gone. What a terrible approach he has at the plate.

  16. seattleslew on August 2nd, 2013 2:56 am

    There’s no way that Jack would re-sign Raul or Morse. Unless, of course, he relies on Bavasi for advice. Raul is a streaky hit or miss platoon flailing senior citizen. Seabiscuit is a hit or miss muscle bound, injury riddled liability. It’s so weird that Jack has trouble correctly evaluating talent on the trade market yet has managed to draft fairly well. I don’t trust his judgement. However, I don’t think he’s dumb enough to resign Seamonster and Benny Hill. I have a feeling that this deadline might’ve been an indication that he’s learned his lesson from past failings and, aside from keeping his job, recognizes the longterm value that Morales provides and that Morse and Ibanez aren’t reliable or reasonable alternatives.

  17. Sports on a Shtick on August 2nd, 2013 6:32 am

    Let’s hope Zduriencik doesn’t get a chance to sign Morales in the offseason because let’s hope he is fired by then.

  18. greentunic on August 2nd, 2013 7:29 am

    I want Z to stay. Drafting is what I value most. And I don’t think JZs FA record indicates all FA signing will be shit going forward. Especially now that we have more wiggle room.

  19. ctdawg on August 2nd, 2013 7:43 am

    I’d be happy to have a slow lumbering DH……as long as the guy can hit! For the last ten years of his career, Edgar Martinez fit that exact description and that worked out pretty well for the Ms.

    For those advocating cutting bait on Ackley, Smoak and Montero, you are crazy. Montero is only 23 and I’m guessing he knows how awful he’s been. Let him build back up his confidence in the minors and then maybe he’ll be ready once Morales is finished (assuming they keep Morales around for another couple years). Ackley seems too good for AAA but he’s probably headed back there once/if Guti comes back this year. He needs to learn how to play OF better though so keep him in Tacoma for half a season and hopefully that’ll build him back up. With his performance this year, Smoak has asbolutely proved he deserves to stay. He’s definitely the 1B answer for 2014 with the chance to prove he’s the long-term answer too.

  20. eponymous coward on August 2nd, 2013 8:12 am

    There’s no way that Jack would re-sign Raul or Morse.

    Except he already did re-sign them (remember, they’re ex-Mariners as well as Mariners).

    Every bit of evidence shows us that he thinks that the clubhouse chemistry he has come up with is a winner, and that all he needs to do is add kids and it will all be glorious.

    I want Z to stay. Drafting is what I value most. And I don’t think JZs FA record indicates all FA signing will be shit going forward. Especially now that we have more wiggle room.

    OK, so how long a leash are you prepared to extend? We’re already in Year Five of the Glorious Mariner Rebuilding Plan, and this team isn’t particularly close to being good. It has terrible defense, and despite having two solid pitchers in the rotation and playing in a ballpark that’s a pitcher’s park, it’s allowing a ton of runs. There’s nobody in the organization under 30 who looks like a lock to be a quality MLB OF’er, FIVE YEARS after the guy showed up. Don’t you think that a supergenius drafter might be able to come up with ONE legit OF’er in five years? How many more years do you give him?

    Let’s be clear: Zduriencik is clearly an improvement on Bavasi. But “better than a terrible GM” isn’t high bar to clear, and Fontaine (Bavasi’s guy for drafting) wasn’t a terrible drafter either.

    With his performance this year, Smoak has asbolutely proved he deserves to stay. He’s definitely the 1B answer for 2014 with the chance to prove he’s the long-term answer too.

    Fangraphs and B-R say that if you project Smoak’s 2013 WAR over the full season, he’s a 1.5 WAR player. He has injury problems (hasn’t been able to stay healthy in MLB), is slow and not good on defense, and is probably going to be streaky.

    That’s actually not out of line with what he appears to be; a below-average 1B ala Mike Carp. So could you play him in 2014? Sure (remember, slightly less than 50% of MLB players are below average). Should you be irrationally attached to him? Not so much. Is it crazy to think you can have a better player? Not really. Smoak’s minor league record is well in the Casey Kotchman/Mike Carp realm of “guy who can play some ball but isn’t very good” territory, and his 2013 is a lot of reversion to the mean after bad luck and some injury problems, plus the not-atypical struggles some players go through.

  21. Westside guy on August 2nd, 2013 8:33 am

    I get tired of the “he’s good at drafting” argument. Dayton Moore has proven he’s good at building a farm system too. But he sucks at everything else, and the Royals haven’t been competitive during his eight year tenure. This year has been a high point for them… and they’re just barely over .500, even after a nine game winning streak!

  22. ripperlv on August 2nd, 2013 8:44 am

    I agree with the one DH and he should be Morales. An infield of Seager/Miller/Franklin/Smoak and DH Morales sounds like a starting point. After that, I disagree with “……and keeping Morales at that price would likely prevent the team from making other necessary upgrades.”
    I just don’t think money is a valid excuse for the M’s anymore unless we are talking going over the tax limit. I think a playoff team is overdue and because we are Seattle, we have to pay for it and we and everyone else in the world knows it. The M’s owe the fans a team not based on value much like the signing of suds Harang and Saunders. Give us a team already.

  23. GhostofMarinersPast on August 2nd, 2013 8:50 am

    Also, I fully expect them to sign Seager to an extension this winter as well. That’s a no brainer. Take a chapter from Rizzo, Longoria, and Goldschmidt. Lock up your young stars

  24. jak924 on August 2nd, 2013 9:21 am

    Does anyone know why Wilhelmsen hasn’t been DFA after last night?

  25. amnizu on August 2nd, 2013 9:39 am

    I just don’t see the logic in extending Seager this off season. Perhaps once he hits his arbitration years but for a team that needs to add at least 3, probably 4 pieces to be competitive in the off season I don’t think it is wise to spend money where they don’t have to.

    If they really want to extend someone this off season it should be for someone they don’t have control of after next season, like Iwakuma for 2015 and perhaps 2016.

    I also agree that Z should no longer be GM. He has proven that he lacks the ability to effectively negotiate for and acquire MLB or near MLB roster level talent, be it through free agent signing, trades or waiver acquisitions.

    He is a great scout and wiz of the minor leagues so much that he has turned the minor league system around. However, his track record suggest he does not have the chops for the Major Leagues and it is hurting this franchise. Without someone that can evaluate and effectively negotiate at the Major League level the team runs the risk of turning into a AAAA club for the rest of MLB.

  26. stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2013 9:45 am

    I get tired of the “he’s good at drafting” argument.

    You and I both! Probably many others as well.

  27. dnc on August 2nd, 2013 9:46 am

    “Fontaine (Bavasi’s guy for drafting) wasn’t a terrible drafter either.”

    What? Guess we have to strongly disagree on this one. Fontaine was very bad. Not as bad as whoever drafted for Woodward, but bottom 5 of the league bad. We’ll give him a pass for 2004 because the team didn’t have a 1st or 2nd round pick, and did nab Saunders as a draft and follow in the 11th. But here’s his record from 05 to 08:

    05: Jeff Clement with the third pick overall in an absolutely stacked draft. The only other pick who made any kind of impact in the bigs was Lance Lynn in the 6th round, who they didn’t sign. Total failure of a draft. F, bordering on a zero.

    06: This one was a little better. Brandon Morrow was probably a decent draft choice who was just mismanaged. That’s not on Fontaine. Chris Tillman in the second round was a great choice, as was Fister in the 7th. They also got decent trade value for 3rd rounder Tony Butler, 22nd rounder Fabian Williamson, and 25th rounder Tyson Gillies. Pretty decent draft. B+

    07: Basically as empty as 2005, though at least Aumont brought back something of value in trade. OTOH, Fontaine had a second and third rounder in 07 unlike 05, and got nothing to show for them either. D-, thanks only to cashing in Aumont when they did.

    08: The player who has made the biggest big league impact from this draft class is… universally recognized first rounder failure Josh Fields. The only thing that keeps this from being as bad as 04 is the M’s were picking 20th instead of 3rd. F

    Yes, you can and should question McNamara on a few picks, such Baron and Hultzen, in particular, and probably Ackley.

    Still, his worst draft with the M’s has returned as much value as Fontaine’s best, and his best draft blows away anything Fontaine came close to touching. Kyle Seager alone has more value than everyone Fontaine drafted for the M’s put together. And then you have great selections like Miller, Walker, Franklin, etc.

    There’s no comparison between the two.

    I don’t understand how anyone could think Fontaine was anything but a failure running the draft.

    This isn’t to say your larger point is necessarily wrong – I’m open to firing Z and starting over. But you are way understating the differences in draft success between the last two Mariner administrations. It’s night and day.

  28. dnc on August 2nd, 2013 9:47 am

    “Does anyone know why Wilhelmsen hasn’t been DFA after last night?”

    Because it was one game?

  29. Chris on August 2nd, 2013 9:53 am

    Looking forward to a post about OF free agent market and M’s plans to spend all their cash on it.

  30. greentunic on August 2nd, 2013 10:23 am

    E. Coward,

    Cherry-picking the outfield to present as evidence that we are not drafting well does not make for a convincing argument. Infield and Pitching have turned out great so far. You expect him to work a drafting rotation or to get the best talent available? And he has had successful FA signings, albeit smaller ones. He’s signed two “big guys”, Figgins and Iwakuma, depending on your view of big.

    All I’m saying is I think his process is a good one and can’t wait to see it going forward, especially with more financial freedom. The main slew of prospects are just up or just about to be. Now’s the exact wrong time to cut him loose. If we’ve waited this long, what’s the next period of time to see them all in action? Its not like we’re suddenly in high-leverage times.

  31. DarkKnight1680 on August 2nd, 2013 10:35 am

    Zduriencik is overrated on running the draft. The WAR of Z-drafted players is very similar to the WAR of Woodward-drafted players, and no one clamours for woodward as a drafter.

  32. McExpos on August 2nd, 2013 10:42 am

    This is a non-story.

    Dave, you already granted the premise that there wasn’t much of a market for Morse or Ibanez. That much is obvious. So we hold onto them, and GMZ gives a bit of lip-service to bringing “some” of them back. It’s the resigning equivalent of saying, “We’ll listen to all offers.”

    It seems that many Mariners fans have decided that GMZ is a bad GM and they are working backwards from that conclusion, treating every rumor or bit of PR speech as further evidence of his incompetence. I’m fine with the frustration and I’m not even necessarily arguing for GMZ’s return, but I would love to see a little bit more impartial analysis around these parts.

  33. TheMightyMariner on August 2nd, 2013 10:50 am

    I will maintain the same position I had earlier this year – try and sign Morales and let Ibanez and Morse go.

    Morales can be the main DH and then play 1B from time to time. I think Smoak is a guy we keep around too.

    The main issue is OF. That is a mess. I think we have to keep the Condor and sign some decent players; ones that can play D and maybe even hit a little. It may cost a good chunk of change but oh well (easier said than done…I know).

    I am really wondering about Ackley. He may need a long stint in AAA or something. Montero may also be a guy that will need to develop in the minors. One can argue Montero was rushed up or maybe he’s going to be a bust. Who knows. At this point, Montero and Ackley are not impressing and are a concern.

  34. eponymous coward on August 2nd, 2013 10:52 am

    I don’t understand how anyone could think Fontaine was anything but a failure running the draft.

    I don’t think I’d go as far as you would, given that Fontaine (as you’ve implicitly pointed out) got crippled at times by lack of upper-round draft choices. But OK, McNamara is better than Fontaine.

    Infield and Pitching have turned out great so far.

    Which is why we picked up Harang and Saunders, because of all that vaunted farm system pitching depth.

    . The main slew of prospects are just up or just about to be. Now’s the exact wrong time to cut him loose.

    OK, great, so five years isn’t long enough for you.

    So what is long enough? Six? Seven? Eight? If the 2014 Mariners bring back a bunch of the same players and philosophy, and get much the same results, will you still be waiting for next year?

  35. wsm on August 2nd, 2013 11:04 am

    Its hard to imagine Raul not coming back next year.

    Jack went out and signed him to be a (mostly) bench guy last offseason after a pretty lackluster season in NY. There’s no reason why he wouldn’t be asked back to fill the same role this year after the success he’s had.

    Maybe he decides to retire, but it doesn’t sound that way.

    The nice thing is next year the bench woun’t be as crippled as it was this year when we opened with Andino as the only true backup for 3 IF spots. Next year we’ll have another Andino type on the bench but we’ll also have Ackley running around in the OF mix to step in if an emergency arises in the IF.

    So, I can see the team keeping both Morales and Ibanez. In fact, I’d say its highly probable they keep both. Not saying its the best idea though.

  36. greentunic on August 2nd, 2013 11:09 am

    No, five isn’t enough for me if we’re evaluating a draft-first GM. Not based on what I’ve seen. There, I made it quite plain.

    And the same roster is not “the same” when you have an extremely young team. Plus I expect FA help. Looking at only the time and the results through an emotional lense is an easy but partially uninformed way to make decisions. There’s more to it and I think it supports more time. If you disagree, that’s fine.

  37. furlong on August 2nd, 2013 11:26 am

    Here’s the plan, keep Morales if Ibanez wants another year keep him and groom him to be manager. Send Morse, Ackley, Wilhelmsen and Guti. down the road kicking rocks.After one more year send Smoak & Montero with them unless they finally figure out how to hit.

  38. eponymous coward on August 2nd, 2013 11:34 am

    And the same roster is not “the same” when you have an extremely young team.

    The 2013 Mariners are not an extremely young team, unless you’re using a different definition of “young” than I am.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2013-misc.shtml

    Batter Age: 29.0
    Pitcher Age: 28.6

    Is that divorced enough from emotion for you- pointing at real numbers?

  39. amnizu on August 2nd, 2013 11:43 am

    Ahhh the flaw of averages. The few old “veteran” players are dragging down the average, specifically Ibanez and Blanco at 41.

    7 of the 8 starting positions are earmarked for players 26 or under: Seager, Miller, Franklin, Smoak, Zunino, Saunders and Ackley.

    So while the mean average is 29, there is a huge deviation in actual player age.

  40. greentunic on August 2nd, 2013 11:48 am

    E Cow,

    Relax, it was not a personal statement. And those ages are brought up by Ibanez and Harang/Saunders. The players that matter are young. You know this. They may not improve but common sense suggests they can develop. I want to see that.

  41. dnc on August 2nd, 2013 12:07 pm

    “I don’t think I’d go as far as you would, given that Fontaine (as you’ve implicitly pointed out) got crippled at times by lack of upper-round draft choices. But OK, McNamara is better than Fontaine.”

    Again, where do you get the idea that Fontaine wasn’t a terrible drafter? 1 for 4 on first round picks, 1 for 3 on second round picks, 1 for 4 on third round picks, basically nothing after the third round. Considering he was drafting high more often than not, he was very, very bad in my opinion.

    “Zduriencik is overrated on running the draft. The WAR of Z-drafted players is very similar to the WAR of Woodward-drafted players, and no one clamours for woodward as a drafter.”

    Are you referring to just Z’s time with the M’s or his overall draft record? And if just his time with the M’s, don’t you think that’s a strong argument in his favor if his guys have already caught the GM who retired 15 years ago after being in command for 12 years? This can’t possibly be a fair comparion. Given that Woody drafted ARod I don’t even know how it’s possible that Z’s caught him.

  42. eponymous coward on August 2nd, 2013 12:19 pm

    Ahhh the flaw of averages. The few old “veteran” players are dragging down the average, specifically Ibanez and Blanco at 41.

    Sure. But they are part of the 2013 Mariners. Presumably the 2014 Mariners aren’t going to totally go with kids.

    7 of the 8 starting positions are earmarked for players 26 or under: Seager, Miller, Franklin, Smoak, Zunino, Saunders and Ackley

    They’ll all be a year older on next year’s team, and we’re earmarking positions for Saunders and Ackley? They’ve been pretty terrible so far in their nearly 3000 MLB PAs, with only pretty brief stretches of not sucking. Exactly how long are you going to give them to, you know, not suck?

    Also, Smoak isn’t that good. Again, he’s somewhere in the “can play ball and not a complete disaster but not a good player” range of player. Nothing in his minor league stats suggests he’s going to be a superior hitter at 1B. This Nick Johnson-lite kind of performance may be as good as we get, given his injury history and the fact that players with his skillset (slow, bad defense, old players skills, lots of injuries) don’t age well. I don’t see him as a player you build around. I won’t freak out if he’s on next year’s roster, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting a better if you can.

    Oh, and Zunino’s obviously being/been rushed because of the complete cluster**** at C that we can’t blame Zduriencik for because he drafts SO well, plus Bill Bavasi, and oh look, is that the Hindenburg exploding?

    The players that matter are young. You know this. They may not improve but common sense suggests they can develop. I want to see that.

    So, you think a new GM is going to trade every decent player the M’s have for A-Rod and the frozen corpse of Ted Williams?

  43. scraps on August 2nd, 2013 12:26 pm

    I remember some of the people defending Bay’s signing because it was a flyer: surely Bay was not in Z’s plans.

    In my opinion, that’s the way some people who are defending Z right now; surely Z will not keep all three next year, they avow. Well, if Jack Z is still around next year, I bet he’ll keep all three; or at least two.

    Of course, I don’t know. But I’m weary. This year has been like the Kansas City Royals decision-making.

    (I’m sorry about my language today.)

  44. scraps on August 2nd, 2013 12:34 pm

    Exactly how long are you going to give them to, you know, not suck?

    EC, I’m giving Ackley a year still, because he’s good in AAA (and I don’t believe nearly so much as some people about AAAA players), he’s still young, and the Mariners are not going to the playoffs next yext. If you disagree, that’s fine.

  45. greentunic on August 2nd, 2013 12:42 pm

    I think a new GM would be smart enough to keep our good pieces, but I can’t assume they would draft well. I like the talent that JZ pulled through the armature draft. I want to see him continue to do so for years to come. Aside from what I want, I do not think he gets fired this year. If he’s around we’ll see how it goes. I think people will not be disappointed.

  46. eponymous coward on August 2nd, 2013 12:57 pm

    EC, I’m giving Ackley a year still, because he’s good in AAA (and I don’t believe nearly so much as some people about AAAA players), he’s still young, and the Mariners are not going to the playoffs next yext.

    I guess, but you’re implying we’re talking about 2015 being the first year we can actually say “playoffs or Zduriencik’s a bust”? Before then the win-loss record’s irrelevant?

    Man, that’s a pretty low bar. You could probably hand Bill Bavasi a team for 7 years and he’d luck into a 90 win team just randomly (in fact, he almost did in 2007).

    And installing a failed 2B as a CF doesn’t particularly strike me as a move that says you care about winning. At this point, what’s wrong with making Ackley hit and play his way into a lineup, and trying to add more OFers? It’s not like we’re flush with them.

    I like the talent that JZ pulled through the armature draft. I want to see him continue to do so for years to come.

    So what if he keeps botching the other aspects of the job? Is watching good young players who never congeal into much of anything ala Milwaukee good enough for you?

    I only hope Felix can stay around until he’s 40 like Bartolo Colon, because apparently putting anything resembling a consistent, contending team around him is going to take decades or geological eras, not years.

  47. terryoftacoma on August 2nd, 2013 1:01 pm

    What Jack’s statement says is simple PR. If we want some of them back we want that option open. Nothing more than that.

    At this stage we don’t even know if Jack will be around to excercise any of those options.

    I consider this one of those “red meat to the lions” articles and I’m not in to red meat.

  48. greentunic on August 2nd, 2013 1:20 pm

    E Cow,

    I don’t think he’s botched the other parts of his job, though I certainly can understand how you and others might. Its not about “good enough for me” or “long enough for me.” It’s about what I think is our best move going forward that forms my take on the matter. But I will defend it no longer today, I think he will do that on his own with his results. I may be wrong.

  49. leftfield limey on August 2nd, 2013 1:24 pm

    Keeping z or not is a tricky one. The regime is undoubtedly an upgrade from Bavasi. The draft is better. On trading the record is mixed but I feel z has been slightly hard done by on luck. Obviously the Fister and Morrow trades did not help but very few on this site questioned the process when he acquired Smoak and Montero. If either had turned into the premium power hitter promised I think attitudes on this topic would be very different. The questions are (i) is the regime good enough and (ii) would you trust the front office to pick anyone better if available?

  50. Athanasius on August 2nd, 2013 1:31 pm

    “What Jack’s statement says is simple PR. If we want some of them back we want that option open. Nothing more than that.”

    Exactly. This should be given the same amount of attention and energy as the rumors earlier in the week that Morse was “very available.” That is, not much.

    I would agree that should the whole trio of Morse, Ibanez and Morales be brought back, that would be convincing evidence to me that the FO has shifted gears considerably from the decision making process that they have demonstrated in the past. My belief in the FO is somewhat predicated on the assumption that current OF/DH roster was not Plan A or Plan B, but were moves made to try to make any sort of improvement to the major league roster, as imperfect as those moves may have been (for the obvious OF defense reasons).

    I believe the most likely scenario is that the FO knows the OF defense is bad and would like to address it this offseason in acquiring players who can hit and play defense. That remains to be seen.

  51. amnizu on August 2nd, 2013 2:30 pm

    Using Bavasi’s performance as a measurement comparison for Z is a poor way to evaluate and pretty easily lead you to a path of loss aversion. The Bavasi era would make most current GMs look good.

    In that time frame that Z has been GM the Pirates, Nationals and Orioles. All three have come from fairly similar places in the standings to solid top of the league competitors.

    This is the bar that needs to be the used for Z’s evaluation, not a comparison to Bavasi.

    There is some wiggle room considering the state Bavasi left the payroll and farm system in, but in my opinion that wiggle room is not wide enough to tolerate the teams current major league roster.

  52. eponymous coward on August 2nd, 2013 2:58 pm

    I would agree that should the whole trio of Morse, Ibanez and Morales be brought back, that would be convincing evidence to me that the FO has shifted gears considerably from the decision making process that they have demonstrated in the past. My belief in the FO is somewhat predicated on the assumption that current OF/DH roster was not Plan A or Plan B, but were moves made to try to make any sort of improvement to the major league roster, as imperfect as those moves may have been (for the obvious OF defense reasons).

    It didn’t really improve the MLB roster, though. Bay+Morse+Ibanez has netted us a grand total of .1 WAR in 800+ PAs, if you go by Fangraphs. So we’ve spent around 10 million dollars for unquantifiable clubhouse chemistry and replacement-level on the field play.

    I don’t see any way you can count that as anything other than a big fat FAIL when it comes to roster management and talent evaluation. When you combine that with Saunders regressing and Gutierrez being predictably fragile, the mess in the OF/DH position is a big reason why 2013 was a lost year- the M’s totally messed these decisions up, to the tune of 10 million dollars that could have been spent elsewhere improving the team, and losing a cost-controlled player (John Jaso) at a critical position (C) by completely muffing the evaluation on Montero to boot.

    Hey, everyone who thinks Zduriencik’s a genius: do you think this 2013 team would be a better team if we weren’t playing a random assortment of ancient veteran catchers from the waiver wire every night, instead of having 43,325 DH’s?

    This is the bar that needs to be the used for Z’s evaluation, not a comparison to Bavasi.

    Bingo. Apparently the Nationals, Pirates and Orioles didn’t get the memo that they had five+ years to build contenders through the draft, and screwed it up by actually being competent at other things too.

  53. zak24 on August 2nd, 2013 3:11 pm

    For a garden to grow you need soil, you need seeds, you need sun, and you need water. You can’t control the weather, and if you try and water the soil before you plant the seeds nothing is going to happen.

    The draft, and farm system, are like the water source, and the hose. Free Agency, and the Trade Market are the weather.

    In Mega Man, the longer you hold “Fierce Punch”, the bigger and stronger the fireball gets.

    Via Wikipedia: The Mega Man Killers are a series of robots appearing in the Game Boy series. The Mega Man Killers are robots created by Dave Cameron Doctor Wily to destroy Mega Man, who in turn defeats each one of them and eventually foils Wily’s most devious schemes.

    My point is, Jack Zduriencik is standing in your garden, dressed like Mega Man, loading up a massive fireball, and when he let’s go of it, you’re all going to be kissing his feet.

  54. Athanasius on August 2nd, 2013 3:20 pm

    E Coward,

    I have not written, nor I have I seen it written anywhere in this thread that Z is a genius. In fact, what I wrote was the moves he made this offseason were far from perfect and I admit that thinking they were not Plan A/B was an assumption.

    I have the view that he has demonstrated enough success/good process with moves in the past to continue on as GM. I get the frustration with the lack of results on the major league team and am also frustrated by it. It stinks. Based on the lack of results, I can see why there are those calling for a change in the FO. Hey, perhaps the team is better off with another FO. I personally don’t share that view, but if you have that opinion, ok.

  55. Steve Nelson on August 2nd, 2013 4:00 pm

    @Athanasius on August 2nd, 2013 3:20 pm

    I have the view that he has demonstrated enough success/good process with moves in the past to continue on as GM. I get the frustration with the lack of results on the major league team and am also frustrated by it. It stinks. Based on the lack of results, I can see why there are those calling for a change in the FO. Hey, perhaps the team is better off with another FO. I personally don’t share that view, but if you have that opinion, ok.

    This strikes me as a common management mistake – succumbing to the notion that someone is “good enough”. After five years on the job, the executive in charge of the show should have enough data to know if someone filling a critical slot under them is the “best” person for the job. If the goal is to be “the best”, and that person is someone about whom you cannot unequivocally say that person is “the best”, then it is time to make a change. “Good enough” might be acceptable for a receptionist; “good enough” is not tolerable for a the client manager for a key account, for example.

    When an executive decides to not take action on a key position because the person occupying the position is “good enough”, the message is that “being the best” is not a key goal of the organization. This is a case where actions speak much louder than any kind of words. And if you are an executive, and a person has been working for you for five years and you are not capable of definitively saying “yea’ or “nay” as to whether an underling filling a key role is the “best” person to fill the slot, then the problem is you, not the underling.

  56. Bryce on August 2nd, 2013 4:02 pm

    Z took over the Mariners in the fall of 2008. He’s five years in. Theo Epstein took over the Cubs in the fall of 2011. He’s two years in. The Cubs have approximately the same record as the Mariners. Epstein took over an organization that was arguably in worse shape than the M’s.

    Does anybody believe that five years into Epstein’s career with the Cubs that they will still be treading water and making dumb moves like Z has? If the answer to that question is no, then how do you justify Z keeping his job?

  57. scraps on August 2nd, 2013 4:06 pm

    EC, I don’t want Z to keep on; I want him fired. In the previous post, you’ll see I’m frustrated with Z. I don’t know why you think I’m defending Z; I was just saying I was for keep Ackley for another year. ??

  58. Steve Nelson on August 2nd, 2013 4:14 pm

    And just for a bit of pause here.

    A key part of Z’s job is, shall we say, “employee relations”. Even if he was trying to trade someone, he still can’t say to someone on the roster, “we really don’t want you any more”. So even if he doesn’t really mean it, he’s kind of obligated to come out with statement to the effect that “we like the guys we’ve got and we want to build on that”.

    Judge him by what does (ample ammunition there certainly) but not by what he serves up for public consumption.

  59. scraps on August 2nd, 2013 4:15 pm

    What Jack’s statement says is simple PR.

    Again, you say Z says is simple PR. But lots of people said what Z said about Bay’s signing was simple PR. Turned out to not be the case, and we suffered through more than half a year of Bay.

    Maybe Z says is actually true. In any case, you don’t know and I don’t know until next year (if Z is kept on).

  60. scraps on August 2nd, 2013 4:17 pm

    So even if he doesn’t really mean it, he’s kind of obligated to come out with statement to the effect that “we like the guys we’ve got and we want to build on that”.

    No. He’s not obligated to say anything. GMs are good about saying nothing if that’s what they want.

  61. Athanasius on August 2nd, 2013 4:32 pm

    Steve Nelson,

    Point taken. Player evaluation is difficult based on the variability of results in the game of baseball, hence the process vs results argument as a means for evaluation. I wasn’t trying to state that the FO’s results were “good enough” but as a whole, that the process was there in my estimation, especially considering the development (or lack thereof) of young players in trying to discern the “best.”

    Ultimately, everyone’s work is evaluated on results. If I’m not getting results for an extended period of time, neither will my job be for much longer.

  62. stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2013 4:43 pm

    The draft, and farm system, are like the water source, and the hose. Free Agency, and the Trade Market are the weather.

    Right, because there’s less risk with draft picks? Are draft picks more predictable than the weather? Any idea how many actually pan out? Any idea how long it takes to even find out if someone’s going to pan out? Time is a factor. You have that completely backwards.

    It’s important to work smart and efficiently from all angles. Jack has yet to show he can do that. Argue all you want, but if you break down every trade, free agent signing and the corresponding moves, along with promotions and the corresponding moves with those that Jack has made, it isn’t a surprise that this team has sucked, still has no outfield depth, and nothing to move forward with (in the outfield). Even if Romero makes the cut, it’s not enough. But counting on position changes to fill holes isn’t a great plan. Counting on aging veterans with no defense isn’t a great plan either. Neither is trading valuable pieces in a lateral move.

    Not all of Jacks moves have been terrible. Nobody’s arguing otherwise. But the overall record isn’t good. Why any of you feel confident that will suddenly change is beyond me. Jack hasn’t been trying to field a losing team each year.

  63. Steve Nelson on August 2nd, 2013 4:53 pm

    AAthanasius on August 2nd, 2013 4:32 pm

    Point taken.

    [snip]

    Appreciated. And I hope the point is that Jack Z. isn’t really the problem. The problem is that either:

    1. For Lincoln and Armstrong being “the best” isn’t truly their goal (public statements to the contrary notwithstanding); or

    2. They aren’t qualified for their positions because they don’t have the required to convert “being the best” into reality.

    Under their tenure, the Mariners have had four GMs, all of whom were cut from essentially the same cloth – Woodward, Gillick, Bavasi, and Zduriencik. There is certainly a range in their abilities on the job, but in their basic sensibilities they are all pretty much the same. It’s hard to conclude those are not the same sensibilities in the executive suite, since they not have close to 20 years of continuous operating experience on that basis.

    We can get rid of Jack Z, but when the winnow down the list of candidates is almost a dead certainty that the person who replaces Jack will not be fundamentally different. Perhaps he will be better (or worse) at performing within that framework, but we shouldn’t expect the team to head in a totally new direction.

  64. stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2013 5:09 pm

    Under their tenure, the Mariners have had four GMs, all of whom were cut from essentially the same cloth – Woodward, Gillick, Bavasi, and Zduriencik. There is certainly a range in their abilities on the job, but in their basic sensibilities they are all pretty much the same.

    Good luck selling that.

  65. McExpos on August 2nd, 2013 6:39 pm

    For anyone who has decided that Z’s good moves mean he’s a good manager, or his bad moves mean he’s a bad manager, I strongly recommend you give this a read: http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2013/7/12/4505380/jack-zduriencik-transaction-history-lack-of-big-free-agent-moves-has

    It’s – in my opinion – a pretty well balanced piece that reminds us that Z’s moves have been pretty solid throughout.

  66. scraps on August 2nd, 2013 6:52 pm

    It’s referenced over here in the last one or two days.

    (And no, I don’t think he’s proven that Z’s moves have been solid.)

  67. stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2013 6:58 pm

    ^Stole the words right out of my mouth!

  68. MrZDevotee on August 2nd, 2013 7:36 pm

    The thing about Z is that his bad luck has been awful– and let’s face it, “quantifying” what happens with professional baseball prospects is pretty random and luck-based.

    Figgins, Ackley, Smoak and Montero were ALL heralded moves when they happened… Yet nothing good has come from them. Even those not high on the Figgins move didn’t predict the wretchedness he would become.

    If just two of those 4 panned out, “rebuilding” would have happened at a different speed and taken us in different directions, and the pieces being sought out the past two years would have been different.

    Instead, we’re where we are. I don’t apologize for Z, but I also am not willing to ignore that he took over a team that was basically at expansion level with its minor league system when he started, and now has more than a handful of guys ready to be in the big leagues, each season. If we had been a winning organization when he arrived, Ackley, Seager, and Smoak likely would have been making their MLB debuts in 2013, beginning their careers much more seasoned, and incredibly likely to have better overall numbers after the same number of seasons in the majors (if they were just NOW starting their careers).

    Someone used the “planting a garden” reference, but I think an analogy of the board game “Risk” is better… In your early moves, if the dice doesn’t roll your way, you end up taking WAY longer to build up your troops to the level of being able to take a risk and try to win it all. Even if the dice DO roll in your favor, if you try to go for it too early and fail, you leave yourself defenseless and depleted.

    I see a GM being slow and methodical. I also see a guy willing to learn, and try new ways to win. Defense first! Dingers? Veterans and kids…? We haven’t had the resources to try any other way, yet? Meanwhile, he has stocked our system as well as anyone in the league over the past 5 years (ie, with prospects).

    This all doesn’t convince me that he can be a good GM. But it also doesn’t convince me he can’t.

    So yeah, both keeping him, or letting him go, could be a success, or a failure. Toss the coin. Only time will tell.

    But hey, it’s baseball! That’s the way it works.

    Nobody was betting lots of money on either of the Giants’ two World Series winning seasons. And nobody was betting money on the A’s winning the West last season… Or would have bet on them winning it two years in a row (if it happens).

  69. Steve Nelson on August 2nd, 2013 8:32 pm

    @stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2013 5:09 pm

    Under their tenure, the Mariners have had four GMs, all of whom were cut from essentially the same cloth – Woodward, Gillick, Bavasi, and Zduriencik. There is certainly a range in their abilities on the job, but in their basic sensibilities they are all pretty much the same.

    Good luck selling that.

    I don’t need to sell it. It is what it is. In their basic approach to the job, all four of them have held forth similar values (which appears to me to be a critical element for the currrent ownership), but with differing degrees of success.

    IMHO current ownership is much more driven to find the next Gillick than they are the next Epstein. Based on past history in filling the GM spot, I doubt that the next Epstein would even make it past preliminary interviews because he or she wouldn’t be a “good fit”.

  70. stevemotivateir on August 3rd, 2013 8:14 am

    ^It’s not what you think it is. There are notable differences among those names and each had a considerably different approach. I realize you recognize that, but it sounds like you’re brushing it off. They all likely had some of the same stipulations and limitations imposed on them from Chuck and Howard, but all GM’s face that to some extend.

    There’s nothing wrong with finding another Gillick rather than an Epstein if that guy can field a winning team and restock where necessary, though Gillick didn’t do the greatest job with the lower levels.

    Point is, it’s not fair to lay all the fault on Chuck and Howard. They may deserve part of the blame, but the GM’s the guy making the key decisions. It’s hard take excuses for Jack seriously while we’ve watched Beane create very good Oakland teams for years, and other teams like the Diamond Backs and Orioles rebound/rebuild in a shorter stretch. Chuck and Howard may have criteria that you/we would consider picky. That doesn’t mean the results are guaranteed to be the same. There is a huge grey area and I’m eager to see a new face do his best to make this team better.

  71. vj on August 3rd, 2013 11:45 am

    I like the level-headed approach of the article on Lookout Landing linked by McExpos.
    But we need to look not only at the results but also at the underlying processes. And, as far as last offseason is concerned, they are a bit concerning. Letting go Jaso for Morse, chosing Bay over Wells, believing that Montero is viable as an every-day catcher are the issues, here, and they have certainly been discussed to death here and elsewhere.

  72. Westside guy on August 3rd, 2013 2:25 pm

    In 2013, John Jaso has basically the same OPS as Michael Morse (.757 vs .759) and has played in 11 more games.

  73. stevemotivateir on August 3rd, 2013 6:37 pm

    ^True, but the OBP is lopsided between the two. Jaso’s sitting at .387 and hitting at or near the top of the order, Morse is at .304. His SLG is considerably higher that Jaso’s this year, but most of his HR’s have been solo shots. And for what it’s worth, Morse has been terrible with RISP. Jaso hasn’t. K’s & BB’s favor Jaso as well.

    I know you’re not arguing Morse being a better player, just wanted to dig into the OPS thing a little because they’re very different players. RBI totals are similar, OPS is about the same, but not much else in common.

  74. Bryce on August 3rd, 2013 8:45 pm

    Jaso is also a catcher, most of whom suck offensively. If his OPS is the same as the outfielder he was traded for, that shows how valuable he is and how dumb that trade was on several levels.

  75. Jopa on August 5th, 2013 12:39 pm

    I find this harsh criticism ironic in that it comes from a guy who wanted Jack to sign Hamilton for $150,000,000 instead of bringing in short-term, less expensive veterans who have all out-performed Hamilton and put the team in a much better position going forward (with or without bringing them back).

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