David · August 10, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

Also, as a note, I know people are simply stating that the Mariners can decline Guardado’s option and let him become a free agent. This isn’t true, unfortunately. His contract is rather unique, but the essence is that he was guaranteed $13 million over 3 years unless he chose to opt-out. The Star Tribune had the breakdown last winter.

2004: $1.5 million signing bonus, $2.5 million in base pay.

2005: Team option at $6 million. If declined, player option for $4.5 million.

2006: Team option at $7 million. If declined, player option at $4.5 million

There are incentives in the deal that made him more money this year since he inherited the closer role as well. Obviously, the M’s will decline their option, and then Guardado will exercise his, keeping him under contract to the M’s next year for $4.5 million. Odds are he’ll be picking up his own option for 2006 as well, as he won’t have enough time to prove that he’s worth more than $4.5 million on the open market after next season.

The M’s guaranteed Guardado a lot of money and it blew up in their face. This signing was Bill Bavasi’s pride and joy, the only defendable move you can make from last offseason. And its now a giant lemon that’s going to suck $9 million out of the budget the next two years and give us minimal return on that investment.

David · August 10, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

Just in case the season wasn’t bad enough, here’s a giant freaking nail in the coffin.

Rafael Soriano is likely going to have Tommy John surgery on his elbow and is out for 12-18 months. He probably won’t see a big league mound again until spring training of 2006.

But wait, there’s more.

Eddie Guardado has a torn rotator cuff that will require surgery and is expected to keep him out for 8-12 months. That would put his return somewhere in the middle of next year. And yes, I’m fairly certain he’ll be exercising his option to return next year.

At this point, I’d say the M’s might want to reconsider my proposal that they can contend next year. This is just about as bad of news as the team could get right now.

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David · August 10, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

Cha Seung Baek’s tenure in the majors didn’t last long. Hiram Bocachica has been recalled and Baek sent back to Tacoma. This move gives the M’s a 4th outfielder and Tacoma another badly needed arm. Since Baek’s stay with the big club was less than 20 days, this will not count as an option year for him.

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JMB · August 9, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

Check out the batting order Cleveland used today, along with each hitter’s 2004 OBP…

RF Lawton (.361)

SS Vizquel (.364)

DH Hafner (.413)

C Martinez (.368)

3B Blake (.362)

1B Broussard (.381)

2B Belliard (.370)

CF Sizemore (.400)

LF Crisp (.316)

Sigh.

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David · August 9, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

ESPN is wrong. Edgar will retire at the end of the year. Hooray.

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David · August 9, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

ESPN is reporting that the retirement is effective immediately. While this saddens me, it fits right in with Edgar’s personality, avoiding the entire farewell tour that other stars have dragged out over their last seasons. I would like to see the fans given at least one more chance to give him a standing ovation in uniform, but this is his call, and I trust him to make the one he’s most comfortable with.

Personally, I’m blaming the freakish looking bear.

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David · August 9, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

The Mariners have called a press conference for 2:30 pm pacific time, reportedly to announce the retirement of Edgar Martinez. I cannot get specifics at this time, but I would be surprised if the retirement was effective immediately. I’d imagine he’ll get a pretty big going-out party during the next homestand, at least.

The end of an era has come. Rather than attempt to write my own tribute to Edgar, I’ll simply point you to the best one you’ll ever read. It’s Derek’s finest piece of writing, and perhaps the best writing about baseball you’ll read this year.

So Long, Edgar.

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David · August 9, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

I can finally answer the most asked question of the year; “Where’s Rett Johnson?”

The answer, as of today, is San Bernardino. He left Arizona yesterday and is going to be making his season debut for Inland Empire tomorrow night. Hopefully the issues that sidelined his career are behind him and he can resume throwing the way we all know he’s capable of. Welcome back Rett.

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JMB · August 8, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

A few thoughts I’ve been bouncing around about Bob Melvin and his future with the M’s.

The Blue Jays fired Carlos Tosca today in the midst of a very disappointing season. I only mention that because Melvin is leading the M’s through an equally disappointing season and there don’t appear to be any signs he’ll be fired before the season is up. And honestly, no matter how you feel about him as a manager in general and whether or not you think he’s done a poor job this season, would it do much good to fire him at this point? Probably not.

That said, I’m sure they’ll evaluate things this winter. I don’t really trust Bill Bavasi to evaluate much at all, but I’m sure they’ll at least make an effort. My point, though, is this — when Bob Melvin was hired, it was said he was a good fit for the M’s because he was generally hands-off and would let the veteran players on a veteran-laden team go about their business. It was what he knew from his time in Arizona under Bob Brenly, and for the most part it worked well there.

Managing the M’s is no longer the same job as it was when Melvin was hired, however. The veterans — those who aren’t already gone — are on their way out. They’ve been replaced by players who, while not young in a baseball sense are still inexperienced as far as MLB goes. The M’s currently have ten rookies on the roster and could easily break camp with a few more next spring, figuring in guys like Travis Blackley and Jeremy Reed not currently on the big league roster.

So you have to ask — is Bob Melvin still the right man for the job? Whether or not he was in the first place is irrelevant, because the job has changed. The M’s now need a manager who can mentor to, teach and be patient with younger and less experienced players. And if you’re iffy on the manager, you’d better surround him with a coaching staff who can fill in the gaps.

I honestly don’t know if Melvin is that guy. Just as when he was hired, we really don’t have all that much information to go on, do we? I hope the M’s have some sort of idea and are willing to consider the possibility that he’s not the right guy, because I think this team could get back to contending for a division title in 2006 if they play their cards right.

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JMB · August 8, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners

Matt Tuiasosopo off to a heck of a start at Everett… .700/.667/1.200 in 10 at-bats.

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