Dave’s 2014 Off-Season Plan

Dave · November 5, 2013 at 8:35 am · Filed Under Mariners 

This was, by far, the hardest off-season plan post I’ve ever done. For one, you’ve probably noticed that I’m not writing here nearly as often as I used to. Part of that is that my life has gotten busier, and I’ve committed to spending more time with my friends and family since getting leukemia — side note: clean checkup on Friday, now 25 months in remission, huzzah — but part of that is also that my interest in this franchise is waning. It’s not gone, and it never will be gone, I’m sure, but the Mariners have made themselves far less likable, and far less interesting, and in general, I just don’t get the same satisfaction in writing about the Mariners as I used to. For the first time, this post feels like an obligation. I’m basically putting it out there because I know a lot of you want to read it, not because I particularly wanted to write it.

And I think part of that reality comes from a place of just knowing that the actual decisions being made this winter are being made in an awkward situation, where the front office almost certainly has a mandate to put a winning team on the field in 2014 even though they don’t have a roster that resembles anything close to a winning team. This feels like the Mariners are headed into the off-season that the Royals had last year, sacrificing the long term future for a short term run at mediocrity because everyone’s tired of losing. Maybe I’m reading this all wrong, and maybe they’re going to make good decisions and add a bunch of quality players at reasonable prices, but that’s not at all what I’m expecting them to do, and my guess is that it’s not what their marching orders are either.

So, I’m basically making a bunch of suggestions to try and reach an end goal — a winning Mariners team in 2014 — that I’m not even sure is reasonably likely. This team is far away from being good, and it’s going to take a lot of good outcomes to make them into even a winning club, much less a legitimate contender. But I don’t think saying that my off-season plan is to keep making smart moves until the team is ready to win actually helps anyone, because that probably wouldn’t fly for the front office this winter, so instead, I’m going to make a bunch of suggestions that I think could maybe get them as close as possible to a winning team without totally burning the future to the ground.

It requires some risks, and yes, it requires an increase in payroll, but with the national TV money getting disbursed to each franchise, not raising payroll this year would be akin to slashing it in prior years. Just to keep up with the rest of the league, payroll should go up. I’m not asking for any more than that, because an off-season plan that assumes a $125 million payroll doesn’t help anyone either. So, I’m going for a $95 million payroll, not including random 40 man guys, incentives, and all the extras the Mariners include in their calculations to boost the number and make it sound better. They would probably calculate that this team cost over $100 million when all is said and done. But if they want to win next year, they have to spend more money, because they’re so far away from being good that there’s no real way to get from where they are to where they want to be without buying some free agents. And free agents are expensive, so if they’re going to tell the front office to put a winning team on the field, they have to allow the front office to spend more money.

Again, I don’t think any of this is necessarily the right plan for the organization right now. I think that would have involved an organizational overhaul, a realistic assessment of where the team’s talent base currently is, and a solid plan to get the team to a sustained level of success. But that’s not what the Mariners are doing. So, with the caveat that this is an attempt to build a plan that works within what the Mariners are doing, here’s my 2014 Off-Season Plan.

Sign C Brian McCann to a six year, $90 million contract.

Trade James Paxton, Nick Franklin, and Yoervis Medina to Colorado for OF Dexter Fowler, MI Josh Rutledge, and RP Matt Belisle.

Sign OF Chris Young to a two year, $14 million contract.

Sign DH Corey Hart to a one year, $6 million contract with a bunch of incentives.

Sign SP Chris Capuano to a two year, $8 million contract.

Sign SP Roberto Hernandez to a one year, $3.5 million contract.

Sign RP Jose Veras to a one year, $3 million contract.

Sign MI Ryan Roberts to a one year, $1.7 million contract.

Analysis of these moves below, but for a second, here is what the imagined opening day roster might look like, along with projected batting orders against both righties and lefties.

Position Player Salary   Position Player Salary
C Brian McCann $15,000,000   SP Felix Hernandez $23,000,000
1B Justin Smoak $2,800,000   SP Hisashi Iwakuma $6,500,000
2B Dustin Ackley $500,000   SP Chris Capuano $4,000,000
SS Brad Miller $500,000   SP Taijuan Walker $500,000
3B Kyle Seager $600,000   SP Roberto Hernandez $3,500,000
LF Dexter Fowler $7,350,000        
CF Chris Young $7,000,000   CL Danny Farquhar $500,000
RF Michael Saunders $2,000,000   RH Matt Belisle $4,250,000
DH Corey Hart $6,000,000   LH Charlie Furbush $600,000
        RH Jose Veras $3,000,000
C Mike Zunino $500,000   RH Stephen Pryor $500,000
IF Josh Rutledge $500,000   LH Brian Moran $500,000
IF Ryan Roberts $1,700,000   RH Erasmo Ramirez $500,000
OF Abraham Almonte $500,000        
        Declined Saunders/Gutierrez $1,000,000
        DL Danny Hultzen $1,700,000
Total   $95,000,000        
Vs RHB Player Bats Position   Vs LHB Player Bats Position
1 Brad Miller L SS   1 Dexter Fowler S LF
2 Kyle Seager L 3B   2 Ryan Roberts R 2B
3 Corey Hart R DH   3 Corey Hart R DH
4 Brian McCann L C   4 Brian McCann L 1B
5 Dexter Fowler S LF   5 Chris Young R CF
6 Michael Saunders L RF   6 Kyle Seager L 3B
7 Chris Young R CF   7 Mike Zunino R C
8 Justin Smoak S 1B   8 Brad Miller L SS
9 Dustin Ackley L 2B   9 Abraham Almonte S RF
Bench Mike Zunino R C   Bench Justin Smoak S 1B
Bench Josh Rutledge R IF   Bench Dustin Ackley L IF
Bench Abraham Almonte S OF   Bench Michael Saunders L OF
Bench Ryan Roberts R IF   Bench Josh Rutledge R IF

Okay, now the explanations.

The Overview

This plan is weird. It calls for the team to commit big money on a long term deal for an aging catcher when they have invested a lot into Mike Zunino and anointed him the catcher of the present and future. It spends $7.5 million on two starting pitchers after trading away a starting pitcher who would make $500K next year. It spends another $7.5 million on two relievers, even though relievers are fickle and spending money on bullpen pieces often works out poorly. It calls for Justin Smoak to remain a regular, even though I don’t think Justin Smoak is worthy of a regular starting gig on a team trying to win in 2014. I imagine your first read over this will be “this is nuts”. It kind of is.

But hopefully the result of a lot of nutty decisions would be a team that had very few just glaring, unsolvable problems. This team, as constructed, would run three platoons, leaving only the backup shortstop without a defined role in the line-up on a regular basis. It would restore the outfield defense that has historically roamed around Safeco Field, giving the team’s pitching staff a chance to actually have their fly balls turned into outs once in a while. It adds a couple of guys who thump left-handed pitching, plus a slugging lefty who should enjoy pulling balls down the right field line at Safeco, and a 28-year-old switch hitting outfielder who could actually be a productive piece to both improve the team and build around going forward. It creates a pretty deep bullpen, and gives the team six Major League starting pitchers, so they’re not totally screwed if and when one of the original starting five get hurt or end up being terrible.

It’s not a great team. It might not even be a good team. But it has a chance to be a good team, and it doesn’t kill the team’s future. It’s the best balance I could figure out how to strike. It might be too balanced, producing neither a winner next year nor in the future, but if the mandate is to put a good team on the field without punting the farm system in a desperate hail mary, then I think this at least heads that direction.

The Specifics

Let’s start with the two big pieces that are likely to draw 95% of the reaction; throwing a ton of money at a catcher and trading Paxton and Franklin for an okay hitter at altitude with bad road numbers. McCann first.

First off, note that this is not a situation where McCann is displacing Zunino entirely. By having him split his time between catching and first base, it would essentially create a three way job share between McCann, Zunino, and Smoak. McCann would get the opportunity to be an everyday player and not have to DH — a thing that some players really dislike doing, so keeping him away from DH would be a nice carrot in negotiations — while Zunino and Smoak essentially fight over one job. If Zunino improves dramatically and proves to be ready for regular catching duty, he could essentially split time behind the plate with McCann, keeping both fresh and well rested.

But there’s also the reality that Zunino may very well not be ready to be a big leaguer yet. He was not very good in Seattle and particularly terrible in Tacoma last year, and the team should at least be prepared for the fact that he might need more time in Triple-A. If they go into the season with Zunino and some random backup behind the plate, and Zunino proves overmatched, then they have a glaring hole that could essentially sink their season. Signing McCann as your “big bat” provides a top flight option behind the plate while also giving you the flexibility to have him play a decent amount of first base if Zunino proves ready to play more regularly.

And yes, I know that McCann is a lot less valuable at first base than he is at catcher, and paying $90 million to a catcher only to have him spend a decent chunk of his time not catching sounds stupid. But you shouldn’t look at McCann’s offensive numbers as a catcher and then just assume they’ll stay the same at first base. There’s a decent amount of historical precedent for guys improving their offensive production when they move out from behind the plate, and McCann should be expected to hit a little bit better when he’s playing first base than when he’s catching. And if the job share works correctly, you’re not so much as shifting games caught to games played at first base as you are taking days off and moving those to games played.

An “everyday” catcher in the big leagues starts about 110 games per year behind the plate. Matt Wieters was the league leader in games started catcher last year with 134, but most of the regulars were around 100 to 120. The rest of the time, most of them sit and watch. That’s 40 to 50 off days a year, where they’re not playing because of the physical demands of their job. By having McCann share catching duties with Zunino, you could aim for something closer to a 90/70 split, and then McCann could start another 50-60 games at first base, and all of the sudden you have his bat in the line-up 140 or 150 times instead of 110.

Depending on how quickly Zunino develops over the next few years, McCann would eventually move into more of a starting first baseman/reserve catcher role, but the Mariners could keep using him behind the plate for 40-50 times per year in order even as he gets older as long as he’s healthy enough to keep catching. Rather than phasing him out of catching entirely, they could offer him a path to an everyday job that still allows him to catch about 1/3 of the time, even as he gets older. This would likely be a more appealing sales pitch than having him start at catcher and move to DH in a few years, and it would be a better use of his skills, since he is a good defensive catcher and would only be changing positions to keep his body healthy.

So, instead of pursuing a defensively challenged 1B only and then trying to find a player good enough to share time with Zunino but not too good to want to catch everyday, McCann offers a nifty combination of depth at both catcher and first base, without forcing the team to use two roster spots to plug these holes. He gives the team a power hitting left-hander, but also gives them the flexibility to not have to depend on both Zunino and Smoak as everyday players in 2014, and can be positioned for the future depending on who develops and who doesn’t.

Now, to the trade. I imagine that the first response to trading James Paxton and Nick Franklin to acquire Dexter Fowler (and stuff) is going to be pretty negative. I know that a lot of people like these two guys more than I do, and are going to see this as giving up on a hard throwing lefty and a power hitting second baseman way too early in their careers, especially given that Fowler only has two years of team control remaining and would be something of an unknown quantity getting transported from Coors Field to Safeco Field.

However, if the Mariners want to win sooner than later, this is the kind of move they have to make. They have to exchange some upside and long term potential for a short term upgrade somewhere, and by targeting a guy like Fowler — who is going into his age-28 season next year — you’re not totally punting the future as much as betting on a different looking future. Fowler’s a switch-hitter in his theoretical prime who hasn’t really lived up to offensive expectations of when he was a prospect yet, but has still developed into a pretty solid player in spite of maybe being a bit of a disappointment. In some ways, he’s Colorado’s Michael Saunders.

I know that probably isn’t a reassuring comment, especially for people who got very excited by Paxton’s final start of the season. But I think the idea of James Paxton is likely going to be better than the reality of James Paxton for quite a while, as his command problems are still very real and unlikely to go away any time soon. The Rockies play in a park where walks and groundballs are actually a pretty good combination relative to letting opposing batters make contact, and flipping Fowler for Paxton and Franklin would give them a power arm for their rotation and shed some payroll that they could use to go sign the “power bat” they’re craving this winter. I know that often times the trades suggested in these posts get scoffed at by the fans of the opposing team, but I’d guess the Rockies would love this kind of package, as it sets them up to have exactly the kind of off-season they’re hoping for.

But it also solves a bunch of problems for the Mariners. Paxton can be replaced in the rotation at a lower cost than a new outfielder can be imported via free agency, and the pieces coming along with Fowler would provide some value as well. Matt Belisle is one of the game’s most underrated relievers, and could step in nicely to an 8th inning setup role or move into the closer’s job if Danny Farquhar falters. Josh Rutledge would provide a right-handed hitting infielder who could serve as a reserve for the three left-handers, and has some offensive upside in his own right. But Fowler is, of course, the key to this deal.

Projecting a position player leaving Colorado is always tricky, and often, people will simply look at his road numbers and treat those as something close to his “true talent level”. That’s not how it works, though. Hitting at altitude doesn’t just help you help hit better there, but there’s a decent amount of evidence that it actually hurts you when you’re not hitting at altitude. Breaking balls move in the other 29 parks in a way that they don’t move in Denver, and going on the road after two weeks of seeing flat hanging sliders can require a dramatic adjustment. You can’t just take Fowler’s road numbers and assume that’s what he would hit in Seattle. Park adjusting his offensive numbers is a better path, and shows that Fowler’s been an above average hitter the last three years even after taking Coors Field into account, but even this isn’t perfect. We really don’t know how Fowler would do at sea level. It is a risk, certainly, that his offense was boosted more than we know by his home park, and perhaps he would lose all of his power without the thin air helping his fly balls carry.

But, at the same time that we have to expect his offensive numbers to decline somewhat, we should expect his defensive performance to get better. Coors Field’s primary trait is inflating hits on balls in play, and this means that nearly every Colorado outfielder rates very poorly in defensive metrics. Metrics like UZR and DRS are park adjusted, but just like offense is different at Coors Field, so is defense, and balls that Fowler did not get to in Colorado may hang up long enough for him to run them down in Seattle. Physically, he’s got the natural skills to be a center fielder, but like Saunders, he might end up profiling better as a plus defender in a corner. Add in average offense and you’ve got a pretty good everyday player in his prime. He’s not Jacoby Ellsbury, but he’s a decent approximation of that kind of player at a much lower price, which allows the team to actually fill the rest of the holes they need to fill.

With Fowler and Saunders flanking newly signed free agent center fielder Chris Young, the team’s outfield defense would once again be among the best in the league. Young’s bat has heavily regressed since his days in Arizona, but there’s still some upside left, and even if he’s just a plus defender in center who mashes left-handers, that makes him kind of a healthier Franklin Gutierrez. Average hitting center fielders who can play defense aren’t that easy to find, and Young has the chance to get back to that level, while also providing some necessary power against left-handed pitching.

Speaking of thump against lefties, that brings us to Corey Hart. He’s coming off two knee surgeries, and spent all of 2013 on the disabled list, so while he’s said he wants to return to Milwaukee, spending a season as a DH and proving he can stay healthy is probably a better long term plan. Jack drafted Hart back in 2000 and clearly knows him well, and Hart would fit in well as a cheaper Kendrys Morales replacement. If he proves healthy enough to play the field, that gives you another option at first base in case Smoak doesn’t hit, and maybe he even gets a little time in the outfield, though I’d call that unlikely given his health issues. He’s a gamble, certainly, but the right-handed power is legitimate, and the Mariners could be a nice landing spot for Hart to prove that he’s ready to be an everyday player again.

That’s the big moves. The minor ones are essentially filling holes.

Chris Capuano replaces Paxton in the rotation, and provides a lefty who can throw strikes and get some strikeouts while giving up the occasional longball. It’s like getting Jason Vargas back, basically, except he should come cheaper because he’s older and coming off a season where the Dodgers kept bouncing him from the rotation to the bullpen.

Roberto Hernandez provides more depth for the rotation, and is another bet on peripherals instead of ERA. If he flops, then Erasmo Ramirez is ready to take his job, and he could turn into a right-handed bullpen option for when the team needs a double play. If his home run rate comes back to normal, then he’s a cheap 5th starter who keeps the team from having to turn to Blake Beavan ever again.

Ryan Roberts comes in as a utility infielder to platoon with Dustin Ackley and back up Kyle Seager. He’s always hit lefties well and has a ridiculous amount of energy, so he’s kind of perfect as your off-the-bench spark plug.

Jose Veras hits the market after a poor postseason and getting rejected by the Tigers, who didn’t exercise his $4 million option, but he’s still a solid enough right-handed reliever who can get lefties out often enough to not be a total specialist. He’d give the team some more depth and another possible closer option if Farquhar faltered. I don’t love spending money on the bullpen, and perhaps the development of Pryor and Capps would make this redundant, but the bullpen could use an upgrade and Veras is a decent value at a few million bucks.

The team can afford to plug those holes because McCann/Fowler/Young/Hart only cost about $35 million between them. If the team spends $20 million on Ellsbury and another $15 million on Morales, it’s almost impossible to see how they’re going to also find room for another outfielder along with upgrades at both catcher and first base, so I’d rather split the $35 million four ways than put it in the Ellsbury/Morales pairing.

The costs of this move are punting on the futures of Paxton and Franklin and betting on McCann to age well. However, I think Rutledge offers some of the same strengths as Franklin while also fitting better into the team’s structure since he’s right-handed, and Fowler’s future production can offset the loss of Paxton if he succeeds as an above average OF and the team re-signs him before he gets to free agency. Betting six years on McCann should be a little less scary since the Mariners wouldn’t be asking him to be a full time catcher for six years, and $15 million for a good-not-great hitter seems to be about going rate now even without including the defensive value that comes from having him catch.

Is this team good enough to win next year? Maybe, maybe not. They would need Ackley to remember how to hit, Hart to stay healthy, Walker to develop into a consistent starter, and one of Zunino or Smoak to take a big step forward, plus not have any disastrous injuries that exposed the organization’s lack of depth. There are a lot of things that could go wrong here, but it would at least give them a chance to be a winner in 2014, and it would keep the most important parts of the team’s future in place for the long term.

Best guess? I think this is probably an 80 to 85 win team, but it has a chance to outperform that, and maybe get Seattle interested in baseball again. Who knows, maybe they’d even get me interested in the team again too.


64 Responses to “Dave’s 2014 Off-Season Plan”

  1. GarForever on November 5th, 2013 9:05 am

    Dave — First things first: congratulations on the continued good news with regard to leukemia. That is terrific news, and I’m very happy for both you and your family.

    Second, thank you for all the hard work, especially since it was not this go-round a labor of love. I also have been feeling pretty alienated from the M’s after last season’s mess, so I can relate to the fact that just thinking about the team superficially is exhausting, much less to the degree you had to in putting this together.

    Third, and related, I have been looking forward to this post, however, as a way to rekindle some interest in the team. While I respect the work the guys over at LL did, it seemed to me that it hinged on two things exceptionally unlikely to happen: winning the Tanaka sweepstakes and signing Ellsbury without a gross overpay. As you say, this is far from ideal, but it is realistic, and if things went reasonably right with such a roster the team might at least be watchable.

    That said: what, no Raul? :)

  2. cougs129 on November 5th, 2013 9:07 am

    If you trade Franklin and Paxton you’d sure be able to get more than dexter fowler in return

  3. Alec on November 5th, 2013 9:09 am

    Interesting plan. I agree that it’s not perfect, but it seems at least in the realm of possibility. McCann seems like exactly the kind of FA we’d be interested in (although I would be shocked if we didn’t first try to grossly overpay Ellsbury – but at least he can play). Right now, seems like Scott Boras is somehow the most important person in the Mariners offseason. If he can come through for Kendrys, we might stumble into an ok offseason.

    You noted how Ellsbury/Morales would cost $35 million combined, but with McCann getting 6/$90, Ellsbury/McCann would cost $35mm as well. How would you feel about that combo vs. the 4 player one you suggest? It would then be ~$20mm more to bring in Young/Hart. Or is the long term commitment to bring in both too reminiscent of the Sexson/Beltre offseason (Beltre is amazing, but Sexson did not pan out).

  4. spokaneman on November 5th, 2013 9:13 am

    I think anyone who’s invested way too much of their lives on this lousy Ms organization is in the exact same place you described at the beginning.

    I enjoyed the read and the effort put into this, but I have to say that best case scenario still doesn’t equate to much excitement for next season. I think your plan is very realistic, much more so than the 10,000 moves Weber made over on the zombie site. I 100% agree on moving Paxton this off-season. I think his September was a complete annomoly and it would serve well to capitalize on that in whatever way possible. I don’t know though, still think I’m going to pass on next season, just can’t muster up enough care.

  5. Spanky on November 5th, 2013 9:26 am

    Dave…praying for your continued success in your battle against Leukemia!

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one fading away from this team. What makes it even harder to accept is to see other teams like the A’s, RedSox, and Cardinals go through down years, roster make-overs, and then come back to winning again in a short period of time. It has now been over a decade since the Mariners were good. We’re quickly becoming the Pirates/Royals of the West!

    I don’t like the length of the deal for McCann. Six years on a 30 year old catcher can turn on your quickly. Seems like a better move would be to put that money into an outfielder rather than a catcher.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to spend the $35 Million and buy the KC Royals and merge the two teams and just make one out of it? We could call them the Royal Mariners!

  6. The_Waco_Kid on November 5th, 2013 9:27 am

    Thanks, Dave. I think I speak for everyone when I say I’m glad you’re well, I was eagerly awaiting this post, and I also feel dejected about the team at the moment. At least Jeff is here to cheer us all up. I think we’ll get Ellsbury tho.

  7. ChrisFB on November 5th, 2013 9:28 am

    I think the most surprising thing about this offseason plan is how much of Z’s Guys stayed in. Surprising to see Miller, Ackley, Condor, Smoak still in there, and Erasmo shifted to relief / 6th starter. Compare to e.g. the LL plan, which basically trades in almost everyone of note that Z’s acquired or brought in to create a team of Felix, Seager and a buncha guys named “who?”.

    Second most surprising is how you seem to be blending moves you’d like to see done on principle (the typical ‘here’s a name but it’s really just a class of player’) with moves that one could actually see even this front office doing, for much the reasons you’re identifying. It’s thinking along with them without being super cynical.

    But overall I’m in the same general place, malaise-wise, about the M’s as you are. Cynical beyond cynical for the first time in a while (hearing Joey Cora being a finalist for manager kind of tipped me over into that – spirit of ’95, woooo).

    Really, an offseason plan needs to include some way to fundamentally replace and upgrade the coaching staff from the mid-minors all the way through to the majors. All these highly-rated prospects, and a farm system that has theoretically been strong for years, and none of it has translated into major league talent. I have to wonder how much of it is the nature of prospects being a crapshoot, vs. Z just whiffing on so many players in a row, vs. so many analysts getting it wrong year over year… but I keep coming back to it being a fundamental failure in the coaching. SOMEthing is happening to prevent a lot of these young players from figuring it out and being productive at the major league level.

    I’ll be keeping up with the hot stove this winter as usual, but not out of any great expectation that things will change. Z’s Guys need to figure it out and/or get coached to help multiple players all take a leap forward at once… or someone needs to pull the plug on Z’s regime (including dismissing Z) and start over.

  8. Westside guy on November 5th, 2013 9:29 am

    Dave, thank you for writing this. I think I understand how you feel about the Mariners… and many of us share that feeling. It’s as if the organization is actively trying to kill the fan in us!

    I like the way your plan handles the catcher/first base position. And I REALLY like the thought of having a competent outfield again. Also, not being particularly high on Nick Franklin as second baseman nor Dustin Ackley as center fielder, getting Ackley back to second base just makes sense. This would, at least, be a watchable team – something we haven’t had in a while.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see anything like this happening because I have no confidence in this front office. I think Raul is coming back and will be starting in left field. I think Zunino is going to be mis-managed, and is going to be behind the plate most of the time with someone at Sucre’s or Blanco’s level backing him up (otherwise, it’d make Zunino – and, by extension, Zduriencik – look bad). I think they’ll go all-in after Ellsbury (who I like – but they’re going to screw this up somehow), and when he won’t come here they’ll say “what can you do?” and pray for him to go all Josh Hamilton in 2014.

    Is it too early to ask for your 2015, under new management plan?? :-D

  9. Klatz on November 5th, 2013 9:31 am

    Here’s to complete remission.

    One side benefit to McCann, no more celebrating home runs from opposing batters or ELSE.

  10. cgidari on November 5th, 2013 9:51 am

    Oh lord, I really hate this team. That’s not a criticism of you, but a criticism of the current roster and how brutally limited the options for this offseason are. There aren’t a lot of game changers out there that would get me really jazzed if we signed them.

    I’m really tired of these players like Saunders and Smoak who have spurts of looking good but ultimately are exactly who we thought they were. At least if we overpay for Ellsbury we’ll have someone exciting on the offensive side of the ball.

  11. bat guano on November 5th, 2013 9:56 am

    Thanks for doing this and your intro is right on. Tough to care a whole lot about the moves they make given the current ownership and their philosophy about team building (if you can call it that). As for your plan, I love the McCann idea as an outside the box move—he’d be a good 1B/DH type if and when Zunino is ready for a full time gig. I’d be okay with the trade for Fowler as well. The flaw for me is Chris Young as a full time player, but I understand where you’re going with the need for outfield D and I’m not sure there is anyone better out there. I guess the other way to approach it would be to stick Fowler or Saunders in center and look for a corner guy with more offense, but there aren’t a ton of those available either. Of course, it’s all pretty academic, as I fully expect the FO to try to sign Ellsbury and Morales for way too many years and too much money (and probably lose out on Ellsbury anyway), in which case we’ll be looking at a different rebuilding plan with a new GM in future years (with nothing to show for it in between).

  12. bermanator on November 5th, 2013 10:01 am

    I’d love to see Fowler in Seattle.

    I liked Dave’s comments on Paxton, because that’s an issue I always have wished I had the time to study in-depth. There’s a point in a prospect’s career when teams stop salivating at the idea of his potential and start to focus on the reality of his projected performance and shift their love to the next big thing with upside in A-ball. If a team could figure out what that point in a player’s career was, it could maximize the value in these sorts of trades.

    For me, both Paxton and Franklin are in that position – both guys are fine, and I wouldn’t give them away or sign average players at their position to block them. It’s more likely the team will keep both, and I won’t cry if that happens. But if you don’t think those guys are irreplaceable in your system — and I don’t — this offseason probably maximizes their value.

    (As an aside, has Fangraphs or anyone ever done a study on prospect trade value based on stats/age/experience/level?)

    Only other comment: If I were Morales, I’d pick up the option, which changes the equation above. If not, he’ll be sitting around a long time. Giving up the draft pick and the money for a guy like that will give a lot of teams cold feet.

  13. JasonJ on November 5th, 2013 10:05 am

    Pretty creative plan and definitely not in-line with what most would expect this team to do. I like McCann and I really like the thought of having Zunino as a back-up with McCann also playing some 1B. However, I’m very skeptical that he would come to Seattle when it’s been rumored that his market is flush with a bunch of contending teams (Red Sox and Rangers for example)interested.

    I had Chris Young on my radar as well (I also like David Murphy) and I think he’d be a great addition. Fixing the outfield is a big priority and I’m not opposed to taking some risks in order to get some athletic major league quality players out there with Saunders/Almonte. So, if you’d rather swing a trade for Fowler then try to sign another outfielder in the same mold as Young so be it.

    I’d really like to see them spend some money for a quality 3rd starter and then take a shot on a Roberto Hernandez type at 4. Then let Walker and the other youngsters battle it out for the 5th spot.

    Westside guy: I was about to post essentially the same thing you did but you beat me to it. It does seem like Ellsbury will be another Prince Fielder/Josh Hamilton (not necessarily a bad thing) and we’ll end up bringing in the usual dumpster dive special as opposed to focusing on a variety of good but not great players that are the backbone of a team.

  14. stevemotivateir on November 5th, 2013 10:08 am

    Congrats on the 25 months of remission. Very good news!

    I’ll admit, I don’t really see how this works. Hart as a DH makes sense, but I’m not high on the outfield options, or Smoak sticking around, and I wonder if Ruiz might be a better (and cheaper) option than McCann.

    It’s kind of a messy situation, I get that. But I’d be curious to know of other potential outfield options that might be possible to acquire outside of free agency.

  15. bermanator on November 5th, 2013 10:12 am

    One more one more point (for now) … the great thing about the Hart deal is that if he proves he can play but the season still spirals downward, that’s a very flippable deal at the trade deadline.

  16. IdahoFan on November 5th, 2013 10:18 am

    I’m very thankful for your continued good health and appreciate the focus on family and friends.

    As a fan, it’s difficult to feel as though one has a stronger committment to winning than the organization does. It may not be true, but it is a perception that is hard to dismiss. Ultimately, fans have limited ways to encourage organization change, especially as the team is still financially profitable.

    Thank you for your posts here, infrequent posts are no less appreciated.

  17. Jerry on November 5th, 2013 10:39 am


    Glad to hear about your good health.

    I think your plan makes a lot of sense, especially since it accounts for the bad situation with Jack et al in the “hot seat” and the need to win now.

    I know you probably don’t want to write another offseason plan, but, in a nutshell, what would you like to see if those above caveats didn’t apply, and the team had brought in a new front office group that was able to make a realistic appraisal of where this club is and what they should do to build a long-term contender.

    Focus on undervalued free agents?

    Trading some guys whose value might be inflated (e.g. Iwakuma)?


  18. vj on November 5th, 2013 10:42 am

    I share you waning interest in the Mariners. But it is good to hear that you remain cancer-free.
    Two questions:
    - You seem to have forgotten Tom Wilhelmsen.
    - I am sure you considered whether to try and bring back Guttierez. Apparently, you decided against it. Care to share your reasoning. I still think, he might turn into a useful 4th outfielder. And he probably won’t cost too much.

  19. _David_ on November 5th, 2013 10:45 am

    This is the most depressing thing I’ve ever read (except for the minor detail about cancer remission, which- what is that really compared to whether the Mariners will be good?)

  20. Snuffy on November 5th, 2013 10:47 am

    The Yankees & Red Sox will have a much better chance to sign McCann. It’s highly unlikely he comes to Seattle… but Chooch Ruiz would be a great addition and he rips LHP. I have zero faith in any plan that sees Smoak as a viable option. He’s just a platoon guy (vRHP) at best. Dexter Fowler is a nice option and could help in CF. Losing Paxton is rough but Fowler is a useful piece. Adding Rutledge & R. Roberts is a top flight idea. Roberts is especially tough on LHP and understands his role. Really like Capuano as a bridge to when Erasmo settles in as the #4 starter he can be. Belisle would be a great addition as well & he’d be much better in SafeCo. The real issue for me is 1b. Cory Hart may be that guy if he is healthy. I’d love to add Carlos Quentin as the occasional LF, mostly DH guy. Chris Young is fine vLHP but has regressed a ton vRHP. Not at all confident he could be a full time player.
    Great ideas though. Anything is better than a team built around 4 or 5 DH types.

  21. _David_ on November 5th, 2013 10:51 am

    Thanks Dave, for the time and effort you put into this piece, which must have been grueling considering the nature of it, and your justifiably waning interest. The worst part about this scenario is that it will buy the front office more time. Great to hear about the continued remission.

  22. casey on November 5th, 2013 11:08 am

    Gosh what a depressing list of comments – baseball is supposed to be a past time, fun, not sure why many even bother to post.

    I like the plan – was a fun read and will continue to think about and a good foundation piece going into winter moves. Don’t agree with everything but it seems more practical, realistic, creative than the LL plan.

    I also think a bad team is an opportunity – sure that Pete Carroll looked at the Seahawks as an opportunity when he arrived 3-4 years ago. Would love to have a new coach who comes to the job with that kind of mindset and vision.

  23. built2crash on November 5th, 2013 11:09 am

    Hang in there Dave! Victory will be much sweeter and more appreciated by us fans when it happens.

  24. BillyJive on November 5th, 2013 11:12 am

    This is probably the most depressing Offseason Plan Dave has ever written. But it makes way more sense then throwing all their eggs in Ellsbury’s basket. It’s gonna take more than one decent hitter to fix us. And I remember the last time we got that guy that was supposed to be an amazing leadoff hitter…Chone someone or another…
    Nice to Dave is still winning though!

  25. New England Fan on November 5th, 2013 11:12 am

    Having moved to CO a while ago, and lacking the competence to change my name, it will stick, but I really, really like the concept of going after Dexter Fowler. I’ve seen a number of Rockies games, and I like the way he plays. The sad thing is that he seems to be vastly under appreciated here – last year they tried to move him for pitching, and the rumbles are starting again. For the Rockies it would be a very dumb move, but if the Ms could pick him up, I would love it.

  26. maqman on November 5th, 2013 11:37 am

    Dave, glad you are enjoying good health, it’s the thing that really matters. As for your plan let me just politely disagree with pretty much most of it.

  27. McExpos on November 5th, 2013 11:37 am

    I’m not sure how to feel about this. While I completely understand and sympathize with Dave’s waning interest in the team, I also feel vaguely turned-off by his public declaration of disinterest. A lot of bloggers seem to switch between calling what they do a “passion” and a “job” when it suits them.

    When your job is to writer about my passion, and you explicitly convey how little you care about it anymore, my immediate reaction isn’t to feel an overwhelming amount of sympathy for you. All jobs suck from time to time. Sports don’t get a pass just because they’re a game.

    I will continue to read and support Dave’s writing at Fangraphs, but his writing at USSMariner has left a bad taste in my mouth recently. Maybe one of us should take a break from the blog.

  28. raul_podzednick on November 5th, 2013 11:38 am

    Dexter Fowler is interesting, but I think you are VASTLY undervaluing Paxton. He calmly took the mound as a rookie and kept some of the highest powered offenses in the league pretty quiet.

  29. Badbadger on November 5th, 2013 11:42 am

    I guess where I disagree with you over McCann is that if we wind up with a glaring hole at catcher it sinks their season. I don’t think that a hole at catcher sinks their season any more than a glaring hole at another position, and we KNOW we have glaring holes in the outfield while it’s possible we won’t at catcher. Most teams don’t get a whole lot of production out of the catcher spot, I don’t think it’s the most vital hole the M’s have to fill. Also if you go with a McCann/Zunino/Smoak job share then you’re going to need a third catcher for when Zunino and McCann both start, which seems like kind of a waste of a roster spot unless you can find a guy who can catch and play the outfield too or something.

    I’d rather they either go big on an outfielder or sign Tanaka and trade a young pitcher for an outfielder.

  30. Dave on November 5th, 2013 12:01 pm

    When your job is to writer about my passion, and you explicitly convey how little you care about it anymore, my immediate reaction isn’t to feel an overwhelming amount of sympathy for you. All jobs suck from time to time.

    This isn’t my job. This is something I do in my spare time. I don’t get paid to run USSM. It’s a hobby, and when hobbies stop being fun, you find new hobbies.

  31. bermanator on November 5th, 2013 12:13 pm

    Why would you need a third catcher for when McCann and Zunino both start? If McCann’s at first base and Zunino leaves the game, he’ll move to catcher and Smoak will play first.

    If McCann’s DHing, he’ll have to come into catch and Seattle will lose the DH for the game. That’s kind of a shame but not worth wasting a roster spot to prevent.

  32. heyoka on November 5th, 2013 12:28 pm

    “It’s a hobby, and when hobbies stop being fun, you find new hobbies.”

    USSM got me through a really boring temp job at safeco (insurance) and also kept my mind off a really bad marriage at the time. It’s a good outlet for writers, and an easy site to submit comments on. Even with less involvement than you’ve had in the past, I think you’re doing well with it, Dave. These are the dark days for Mariner fans, and we need places to vent but stay rational.

    As for the plan!>>>
    Fowler misses about 30 games a year, and McCann may still miss a lot of games on the wrong side of 30. Not to mention Corey Hart…

    This plan is made of glass.

    …And yet it’s the best plan I’ve seen so far….sigh.

  33. sawsatch on November 5th, 2013 12:38 pm

    Wish you well.
    All of the moves you suggest are reasonable and certainly could produce results.
    will those in charge put team success on the field first and profits second?
    History tells us no.
    Until we get local ownership all suggestions are for naught.

  34. MrZDevotee on November 5th, 2013 12:44 pm

    Congrats on your health, Dave! As always…

    The Mariners should follow suit and kick their suckiness into submission.

    I think that’s what your plan actually does. It doesn’t make us a legitimate winner, but it kicks in the face the idea that winning can happen reliably with high risk retreads past their prime, surrounding unseasoned youth carrying unrealistic expectations…

    We’re all sick of that. (And carrying 6 DH’s… Or however many it ended up last year… Montero, Bay, Morales, Bay, Ibanez, and Morse?)

    If we build the baseline up to “acceptable to watch” (sad to say we’re still below that, obviously) THEN we can start making adjustments/tinkering/finding improvements that point towards winning something triangular shaped.

    So yeah, this roster suggestion is more about trying to get healthy, than trying to win a marathon. When we get our “legs” back, we can start building up our running abilities again.

    (I also admire that Dave came up with a LOT of doable moves, while staying pretty well below “wasting money”– Somehow managing both quantity AND quality! McCann is the only one who even tickles the worry part of me in all the moves, just on the basis of not being able to predict a player’s diminishing skills…)

  35. MKT on November 5th, 2013 12:55 pm

    Yeah, depressing times to be a Mariners fan, not so much due to the state of the roster but due to the mentality in the front office. As others have said, the last paragraph of Westside guy’s post sums it up well: I have no faith that the Mariners will do something like this plan, or something else that is sensible. I expect them to sign Raul to a 2-year contract, and maybe they’ll get Ellsbury, and maybe Morales, and then except for some minor pieces they’ll call their off-season good.

    Every interview that I’ve seen or read with Ibanez suggests that he’s a smart, dedicated, hard-working athlete, the kind of player that fans can get behind. He’s still a good left-handed bat off the bench or maybe at DH. But his continual mis-use on the roster is a symbol of all that’s wrong with the Mariners’ front office, and I fear that the 28 homers or whatever he hit in the first half last season have only cemented his place on the roster.

  36. HighBrie on November 5th, 2013 12:59 pm

    Hello Dave, continued health! I know these posts take a lot of time and energy, but what is the short version of “blow it up, assess the in-house talent, and do the right thing”? If I’m going to dream, I would rather dream of lasting success.

  37. Beniitec on November 5th, 2013 1:08 pm

    Congrats on your continued health. Still praying for you. Thanks for the great read. Interesting to say the least even though you didn’t want to write it.

  38. Aussie Mariner on November 5th, 2013 1:12 pm

    Dave, congrats on your continued good health – great news.
    Thanks for doing the plan considering your thoughts and feelings on the team. I’m looking forward to a time when the team doesn’t suck and becomes a pleasure to write about again.

  39. terryoftacoma on November 5th, 2013 1:48 pm

    I have always enjoyed reading your off season plan Dave. I hope they continue and your good health continues as well. Eight years and counting with me.

    First off, those hoping for new ownership will probably have a long wait. I don’t see any local Billionaires wanting to buy this team. Let alone Nintendo America wanting to sell it.

    Second, We probably see a lot of ink spend on Z being gone after this year and he’s do crazy things to hang on to his job. I have a hunch(llike I did last year at this time) that Z has already been extended.

    Third, I see Dave’s plan as a reasonable plan for the most part. I’m not sure I go after McCann or turn the everyday center field job over to Young but I see where he’s going with the idea. Jack has a lot of faults. One of his major ones is he gets fixed on one plan and is not flexible to changes. He’ll spend so much time and energy trying to sign Ellsbury that he won’t even consider trading for Fowler or Bourjos or acquiring starters until after Ellsbury signs elsewhere. We’ve seen this happen the last couple of years. I’d like not to see that this year.

  40. Seatt101 on November 5th, 2013 2:33 pm

    I understand how Dave feels and thank him for his writing and the 2014 plan. There is little in the plan that will reflect what Jack will do – he believes in the people he has drafted and if it is his final year then he is likely to stick with what he has and hope that he was right all along and everyone else (Dave included) was wrong.

    I reflected how the current players might look at the plan; sometimes we write as if we are in a vacuum and there are no sensitive feelings to take into account. Essentially Dave would argue that not one of the drafts Jack has made is suitable to solve the current losing habit which seems ingrained in Seattle.

    I wonder if this would be the kind of fuel they may need to turn the corner; to do the very opposite of what the blog community would expect.

    I was therefore left with one simple conclusion of the plan – and its a simple message for Jack – pin it up everywhere in Peoria and at Safeco and in every hotel room the players meet and practice.

    If they cant get motivated by a plan that basically says they suck then do the decent thing Jack – trade them all for a row of beans – we will take the beanstalk option!

  41. terryoftacoma on November 5th, 2013 3:12 pm

    Lloyd McClendon come on down and be the new Mariner’s manager.

  42. californiamariner on November 5th, 2013 3:19 pm

    The Mariners are really going with another old school type manager. I’m not going to pretend to know whether he’s going to be good or bad or if it even matters. But, seriously how long do you stick with the same approach before trying some new stuff? I hope you win a World Series Lloyd McClendon. I’ll root for you and watch the games every year but my patience is wearing so thin with this franchise.

  43. Sports on a Shtick on November 5th, 2013 3:32 pm

    It took less than a day for this organization to derail Dave’s vision.

    Regarding the off-season plan… the only transaction I don’t agree with is the Fowler trade but I understand where it’s coming from.

  44. casey on November 5th, 2013 3:33 pm

    I really know very little about McClendon but what makes him old school. Not even sure what defines old school – posters of Don Zimmer on his wall, listens to Black Sabbath through vintage speakers in the office, bunts a lot (don’t think the Tigers needed to bunt much). I’d be happy to write him off already too but need more information than he was once a coach in the National League.

  45. Westside guy on November 5th, 2013 3:42 pm

    Lloyd McLendon is obviously responsible for Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera being such great hitters. Also there’s the obvious local hardware store tie-ins.

    The narrative just writes itself.

  46. thinkfull on November 5th, 2013 6:30 pm

    After taking a long break from this page, I’ve been watching for the annual Dave plan- glad to see it, and that you’re still in good health!

    I’m sure your boredom with the M’s gives you even fewer reasons than normal to actually read our comments, but I really appreciate the work you put in -unpaid- to give us thoughtful ideas and plans like this.

    I’d also like to second the motion for you to write up an offseason plan that would get you fired up about the Mariners again!

    Again, truly grateful to have the best bloggers in baseball. I’d rather see an update when you have something you want to write than a meaningless one every day.

  47. terryoftacoma on November 5th, 2013 7:41 pm

    According to LL which is quoting Baker, Jack will be extended. Let the bitching begin.

  48. zak24 on November 5th, 2013 7:59 pm

    “Maybe I’m reading this all wrong, and maybe they’re going to make good decisions and add a bunch of quality players at reasonable prices…”

    - Dave Cameron -

  49. RaoulDuke37 on November 5th, 2013 10:19 pm


    Been visiting here 10 years now. Certainly can sympathize with the lack of caring about this franchise.

    How about a wholesale transition from USS Mariner to USS [some other team] . I’ve been in the Pacific NW my whole life, and following the Mariner’s for the last 25 years. I probably can’t make that transition on my own, but I certainly would be interested in doing it as one big group. Let’s get excited about ‘our team’ (whomever they may be).

    Glad to hear about your health.

  50. borris_g on November 6th, 2013 4:34 am

    Thanks for the plan Dave and hoping something good gets done this offseason.

    According to LL, via Geoff Baker, McClendon got a multiyear deal and JackZ is going to have his contract extended. Even I don’t have more faith in Jack at least it shouldn’t be so obvious that he will punt the future for winning this year.
    I know he has to win this year to be employed in 2015 but at least he isn’t working as a lame duck GM.

  51. rth1986 on November 6th, 2013 7:49 am

    Fowler, Young, and Capuano are fantastic targets. Seems like a better direction than the LL plan that sent away most of our prospects. Not sold on McCann, but I understand the logic. I’m just not sure about his value in years 4-6 as a 1B. A shorter contract would be much more appealing of course.

    One thing I hope the Mariners do is really push to sell Montero, Maurer, Beavan (yes, I said it), and maybe Erasmo Ramirez before guys like Franklin or Paxton. Those first three don’t really have a spot going forward and they’re all marketable. As much as I like Fowler, I hope we only send a combo of Franklin+Paxton in a deal for more reliable long-term talent.

  52. ripperlv on November 6th, 2013 8:08 am

    Doesn’t sound anymore innovative than what we have been doing the past few years. An aging catcher who will end up as an expensive DH. Pitch to contact pitchers who are a bit more expensive than the ones we’ve been signing. Taking chances on OF’s who have underperformed. I think Paxton and Franklin both have upside. Thats more than I can say about Capuano. Fowler I wouldn’t give up that much. Young is probably worth a shot at the right price. But this is still dreamland. Tanaka is young and could secure the rotation, at least make a play for him. I would rather try and overpay for a solid #3 for a few year than sign Capuano/Hernandez. I think a short contract for Morales and a catcher like Navarro makes more sense than McCann long term. No easy fixes here, but at least get some quality somewhere in the pitching staff in free agency. A good rotation always keeps you in the game.

  53. borris_g on November 6th, 2013 9:31 am

    “One thing I hope the Mariners do is really push to sell Montero, Maurer, Beavan (yes, I said it), and maybe Erasmo Ramirez before guys like Franklin or Paxton. Those first three don’t really have a spot going forward and they’re all marketable.”

    Those three don’t have any value at all. Beavan is useless, Maurer has what may be his lowest value ever and Montero too. They will be AAA depth and if they perform at a high level the will probable get another opportunity because of injury or bad results.
    To get value you have to give value, so you will need to trade Paxton or Franklin or someone that can tempt other team to give a valuable OF for example.

  54. eponymous coward on November 6th, 2013 9:49 am

    I know he has to win this year to be employed in 2015 but at least he isn’t working as a lame duck GM.

    Uh, that’s pretty much the definition of a lame-duck GM: win or you’re fired.

    Also, there’s no reason why the M’s couldn’t eat a couple million in GM/manager/staff contracts in 2015 if they had to, the same way they’ve eaten some cash with Guti in declining his option.

    A good rotation always keeps you in the game.

    The 2010-2012 Seattle Mariners just called and would like to have a word with you…

  55. rth1986 on November 6th, 2013 10:27 am


    I can think of quite a few teams who are looking for young starting pitchers with major league experience like Beavan and Maurer. We’re all familiar with their shortcomings, but that doesn’t mean other teams wouldn’t see value.

    Despite a trainwreck of a year, Montero definitely has value.

    I’m not saying that we could land elite players for any of these players, but they could certainly be part of a package to bring back useful parts.

  56. evolvingcaveman on November 6th, 2013 11:04 am

    I fit Tanaka and Ellsbury into your current spread sheet budget, now someone needs to make them sign here. We are stuck with 300 ab’s from a resigned Guti vs LHP instead of Fowler/Young though.
    Thanks for doing this every year, it generates tons of conversation and we Mariner fans enjoy the offseason more then the games played anyway.

  57. bookbook on November 6th, 2013 3:17 pm

    There’s no easy solutions. How about spending money on getting the best possible offseason training and coaching for our youngsters. This team still needs an improbable number of breakthroughs in the next couple years. Everything else is rearranging deck chairs, which is why it’s not much fun.

  58. californiamariner on November 6th, 2013 5:27 pm

    I’ve read these plans of Dave’s for a while and I truly look forward to them from the last game of the season until he posts them. This is the dullest one I’ve read though. Nothing personal Dave, but you can tell you weren’t too enthusiastic about this. If you find the energy I’d like to see you write the “What the Mariners SHOULD do” instead of this one about what they could do given the circumstances of needing to spend to win now.

    I feel everyone’s lack of enthusiasm about this franchise and it is really sad to see. With that said, don’t kid yourself, you wouldn’t be on this blog and posting comments if you didn’t really care and didn’t want them to produce a winner. This offseason will be interesting/crazy/scary with Z trying desperately to prove that he can build a winner.

    I was less than surprised and less than happy to see Z comment today about wanting Ibanez back. Whatever, as long as they don’t try to play him every day or put him in the outfield.

    Also, saw Rosenthal say that the Mariners are interested in getting Ellsbury or Choo, along with a starting pitcher.

    There’s been a lot of talk about Ellsbury, but what do you guys think of Choo?

  59. californiamariner on November 6th, 2013 5:30 pm

    Also, did anyone see the proposal on LL for Bourjos? Thought that was the most interesting piece of their plan. Something that seems both very realistic and potentially a nice move for the team.

  60. greentunic on November 7th, 2013 9:19 pm

    Wow Dave. Tough coming to my favorite Mariner site to find the biggest buzz kill for a Mariner fan. But I will stick by U.S.S. just like I stick with them. Teams come back. Let’s not all act like we’ll never improve. It’s rough but that’s part of being a fan. Ya I won’t spend as many hours/month invested in Ms as usual but I’ll always love them… Haha.

  61. Breadbaker on November 7th, 2013 11:19 pm

    Count me among those far more stoked about Dave’s continued success against cancer than anything about the Mariners right now.

    My love of the Mariners survived Chuck Cottier and Bill Plummer. It survived the deadline trades in 1997. It survived the Eric Bedard trade. It survived them removing Diet Dr Pepper from Safeco. It will survive this, but not because of anything ownership or management is doing.

  62. rjjunior on November 12th, 2013 7:46 pm

    Curious if you’ve ever considered evaluating yourself a year later. i.e. How did your 2013 team (Swisher/Melky/Hafner/Sean Rodriguez, etc) produce vs the actual M’s 2013 roster?

  63. Section329 on November 23rd, 2013 1:01 pm

    Tardy, but very happy to see you remain cancer free! I have been depressed about the M’s since their last off season moves.

    I still go to games because I love baseball, but it is getting harder and harder to watch this train wreck of a franchise.

    You have taught me a great deal about baseball, Dave, so keep up the good work.

  64. PhillyMariners on November 24th, 2013 7:00 am

    So, what’s the play now? McCann and Young are off the board. I still like the C. Hart idea, but do we add S-S Choo as the one to spend a little money on. We know he gets on base!

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