marc w · December 8, 2017 at 12:25 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

As usual during a Mariner offseason, I can’t get through one post without huge news breaking. The M’s will not be signing Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani just annouced that he’d be signing with the Angels. I’m typing that through gritted teeth, which is not a metaphor that really works, but… seriously, damn it.

The Angels had acquired some bonus pool funds recently in a deal with the Braves, but had much less to offer than either the M’s or Rangers, the two clubs with (by far) the most. Not only do the M’s miss out, but Ohtani will suit up for the team that’s probably their biggest rival for the 2nd wild card spot, and a divisional opponent. This… this is bad, folks.

As Ryan Divish notes, the M’s can use their newly-acquired bonus pool bounty to sign players through June 15th of next year, but with the J2 crop mostly signed, and with the best players from Atlanta’s rule-breaking haul last year signed to new deals as well (it’s worth remembering that the best of them, Kevin Maitan, ALSO signed with the Angels), the pickings will be somewhat slim. The M’s best options, especially given the fact that they’ve gutted their prospect lists, may be to avoid the J2-eligible signings from Venezuela and the DR and see if there are some intriguing Cuban players looking to make the move north. Whoever they get will both 1) help a seriously depleted farm system and 2) not make this hurt any less.


18 Responses to “Uh-oh”

  1. Hernandez on December 8th, 2017 12:33 pm

    A bolt of lightning from God himself would not be a clearer sign to start the rebuild, but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Westside guy on December 8th, 2017 1:00 pm

    The Angels? Seriously?

    I mean, what the heck was his decision based on?

  3. deflated on December 8th, 2017 1:04 pm

    Bleargh. So Dipoto’s strip-mining has netted him a large stack of coupons that he now can no longer use on any impact players or prospects. I’m really trying to see any sign that the team is closer to serious post-season games than when he started but my imagination just isn’t up to the task.

    Wrap it up and move on from Dipoto. Ask Felix what he wants (trade or stay) and see if it can happen, see what they can get for the rest of the MLB vets and wake me in a few years when this stops feeling like an untreated abcess.

  4. marc w on December 8th, 2017 1:16 pm

    West side –

    Ohtani says he just felt a connection w/Angels, something echoed in Billy Eppler’s comments after the signing. After months of thinking it wasn’t really about money, it turned out that it wasn’t really about money.

  5. leftfield limey on December 8th, 2017 1:34 pm

    Pretty gutting. I am all in favour of a fire sale and playing a triple AAA side (okay double) to make sure we get the first pick for a few years. No more sweeping the As to win second to last and lose Strasburg.

    Best thing about this? We get Ichiro and still have a great Japanese player on the team.

  6. Milendriel on December 8th, 2017 1:59 pm

    It seems like part of his decision was not wanting to be in the shadow of other Japanese players like Ichiro. While I kind of understand that, if his goal is to be regarded as his team’s best player, he literally picked the worst possible team for that.

  7. LongDistance on December 8th, 2017 2:16 pm

    In Marinerland, I have almost never liked this time of year.

  8. stevemotivateir on December 8th, 2017 4:17 pm

    Finding legitimate, leftover international talent with that money will be a bigger challenge than the pursuit of Ohtani.

    Well, almost.

  9. mksh21 on December 8th, 2017 4:24 pm

    Can you stash this money for next year? I can’t even keep on how this works. Hell see if they are allowed to advance pay some of Cano’s deal with it.

  10. stevemotivateir on December 8th, 2017 4:47 pm

    ^No. I believe the deadline is June 15th, then everything gets reset.

    And IBP money is believed to be worth 3-4 times more, because of the limitations and restrictions.

  11. Westside guy on December 8th, 2017 5:15 pm

    @marc w

    Yeah, I get that it really wasn’t about money – wouldn’t he have made quite a bit more if he’d stayed in Japan?

    But to my non-expert eye… when I think about the significant problems the Mariners face, and then look at the Angels – I see most of the same problems, writ large.

  12. williebfan on December 8th, 2017 6:05 pm

    Perhaps he didn’t want to carry the team on his back with his arm.

  13. don52656 on December 8th, 2017 8:48 pm

    After taking several hours to absorb the latest gut punch….

    1. I can totally see why Ohtani would choose the Angels over the Mariners. They certainly have a better track record for success, Trout will be in his peak years. Really, other than us fans wanting him to choose Seattle, why would he? Sure, it’s a great place to live and I would never choose to live in SoCal, but as an organization, I wouldn’t think the Mariners would be very attractive. Felix has been here for 10 years and never gotten to a playoff; Ichiro made it only in his first season. I was pretty sure he’d pick an AL team and really hoped it would be the Mariners, but he made a completely understandable choice.

    2. I wonder how many of the three trades in the past few days were completely made with getting Ohtani in mind. Gordon in CF for three prospects? Maybe. Two trades for international bonus money, I tend to doubt. My problem with what’s happened is now I wonder if Jerry put all the eggs in the Ohtani basket. If he did, that alone would be enough to disqualify him from continuing as GM, to my way of thinking. I’ll assume that he has a plan B, I sure would like to hear him say it though.

    3. Barring considerable misfortune, Houston and LA are the gorillas in the west and will be for several years. Oakland has gotten younger and more talented. Texas lost Darvish but picked up some pretty high-profile young talent in return. The Mariners are combating that with aging overpriced stars and not one single major league ready player in the system. In fact, it’s hard to be confident that the M’s have anyone in the minors above rookie league ball who projects to be a MLB regular.

  14. line drive on December 8th, 2017 10:27 pm

    Biggest problem last year…starting pitching. Where are we on addressing that concern? I’m sure Dipoto will unveil plan B since plan A Ohtani blew up in our faces.

  15. leftfield limey on December 9th, 2017 12:31 pm

    The off season is usually my favourite part of the season because (i) the Mariners are not out of the running for the pennant; (ii) we can dream on JD pulling a great trade and (iii) dream on at least one of the farm’s prospects developing into something above average. This yeaar (i) seems already much more likely than usual; (ii) seems ulikely as JD does not have much left to trade and (iii) is defintiely missing as there simply are no that many prospects left on the farm.

    The trades for bonus pool looked very much like going all in for Ohtani. When you lose an all in hand the game is usually over.

  16. mrakbaseball on December 9th, 2017 3:23 pm

    You know you’re getting a older when a player you watched as a kid (Flash Tom Gordon) has a kid in the big leagues pushing 30.

  17. LongDistance on December 11th, 2017 11:10 am

    What’s Cano worth these days? (Rhetorical question, of sorts, but still …).

  18. auldguy on December 11th, 2017 11:11 am

    mrakbaseball: How about being able to remember seeing (on TV) Gus Bell, Ducky Schofield, and (vaguely recall) Ray Boone? Just noticed that Bret’s son, Jake was drafted, that makes a potential 4 generation family.

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