Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pre-Hot Stove Hot Stove News

Start stokin' those embers.

The first nugget of Mariner-relevent offseason news comes today. The Florida Marlins have fired A.J. Burnett. Yep, the soon-to-be number one free agent starting pitcher was canned just hours ago. Pink slip in the locker. "Hang 'em up," they said "That's enough of you. You're not a team player."

You'll be pleased to know that I was there, dutifully reporting for Mariner Magic. I think I heard Jack McKeon mutter, "And that aqua-colored jock strap too, you toad! We paid extra for that."

Seems Burnett was given the royal foot to the hiney in classic Nellie fashion. He said too much. Spoke out against his team. "What a bunch of negative people!" he said of the organization. "Scaredy-cats!" he called the players. ...Or something to that effect.

Why does Burnett's release affect the M's you ask? For one, it eliminates one team from the competition for his services. The Marlins will not be asking him back. And for that matter, might that just eliminate the Mariners from the Burnett sweepstakes before the bidding even starts? We all know they don't like the outspoken, dissenting type.

I'm not sure they would have been big players for A.J. in the first place, but this might narrow their prospective starters list even more. One would assume they would at least give him a call...

Just something to mull...


  1. Geez, I keep having to delete random, non-Mariner commenters who are advertising there own blogs.

    I mean, I know our readership is escalating daily, but are those really necessary?

  2. I think Burnett will be overpaid. I'd be more into the M's going after Millwood. Travis likes Matt Morris too, which I can support.

  3. I think we agreed on the Millwood thing awhile back. He should come much cheaper than Burnett. I'd also like one more innings eater, maybe a lefty. USSMariner suggested Mark Redman. That would be fine with me. Millwood, Felix, Moyer, Pineiro, Redman. Not to shabby. We'll have to put together some sort of Millwood campaign. I also like Matt Morris, mostly because I find his name pleasing to say, and because I feel like he's a ground ball type.

    Needless to say, if we could get two cheaper, lesser-hyped arms to compliment Felix, it would be much better than Burnett.

  4. I'd like to say that I only leave our boy Gil off the list, because it seems his status seems so up in the air. How depressing is that? He doesn't even feel anything wrong with his arm. He just can't throw.

  5. Morris is the answer. I hate the millwood one, always have. Morris and Matsuii and id be more than happy!!!

    This pitching debate reminds me of my sets and logic math class I took in college. If not A then B is true. If not B then A is true. If not Morris then someone other than millwood is the answer. Otherwise Morris is the answer. Yeah that makes sense

  6. Neddy Ballgame8:30 AM

    ..Matsui??..is hte same Matsui who plays for the Yankees..did I miss the Yanks' disenchantment (or his own) ..or is Ichro and the Pacific Rim the possible draw? CAn you play in Seattle after having been in the Big Apple?

  7. I hope so... I think Matsui would look great in LF for the Mariners!

    Morris or Millwood? Not sure there, but I think either would make a nice addition to the rotation.

    At http://www.mlb4u.com/freeagent.html there is a list of free agents. It shows the "marquee free agent" pitchers as Millwood, Clemens, Burnett, Weaver, Kenny Rodgers, Jarrod Washburn, and Jason Schmidt (team option). I would include Morris in that list as well. Jeff Suppan and Steve Trachsel are also listed with a team option.

    LH hitting outfielders: Matsui is listed as a free agent too, with a note that says "please see his contract for details"... I haven't checked that out yet. Brian Giles is a FA, and he's 34 with possibly-diminishing skills. Still, he might be worth a look. Johnny Damon might not have lots of power, but he would be a sparkplug. Matt Lawton is a lefty hitter, but I wouldn't see him as any kind of power solution... same with Jacque Jones. Jeromy Burnitz (team option) is also available... so is Todd Hollandsworth. Moises Alou, a RH hitter (team option) is 39 and has been in about 75% of his team's games this year, but he does have some power. Preston Wilson (team option) also has power but bats right-handed... same with Carlos Lee (team option) and Jay Payton (team option). Carl Everett (team option) is a switch-hitter. Of the above, I might go for Giles, Damon or maybe Jacque Jones... but if those are the main LH hitters available in free agency, maybe we would have to look at making a trade for the LH power. Who else is out there that would be outstanding to add? Why not a player as fantastic as Bobby Abreu? Maybe the Philles would give him to us for Reed, Meche and some prospects! Hah!

    Some of the more interesting relievers include Bob Howry, Kyle Farnsworth,Jim Mecir, Mike Timlin, LaTroy Hawkins, and Julian Tavarez. FA closers include Hoffman, Dotel, Looper, Wagner, Urbina and Mantei.

    How about this? Chad Tracy may be a guy without a position next year in Arizona. The guy can play 3B, 1B and OF, and he is young (5/22/80). He bats left-handed, and his SLG this year is .548... he has an OPS of .905. AZ needs bullpen help in a major way. How about Meche and a couple of relievers to AZ for Chad Tracy and and some prospects? The D-Backs might not want to give up on a young talent, but they definitely are a ballclub with major needs.

  8. I suppose it's fun to discuss players like Matsui, and I agree with Travis that he would add a nice bat to the lineup. But I think the chances of him ending up with the Mariners next year are about as good as Burnett's - pretty much zip. Why would the Yankees not extend him an offer? And why would he want to leave? I'm not sure there's much of a discussion beyond that.

  9. Matt Lawton is intriguing....good #2 hitter. Giles is always good, but he'll be expensive.

    Thanks for the link snave, I was wondering if there was something out there that listed free agents.

    Travis you have no reason for not liking Millwood.

    And Meche-ugh. I still like him in the pen.

  10. Mark my words signing millwood would be a big mistake

  11. I think it would be fun to sign Morris, Weaver or Millwood and then make a deal for a young guy with nothing but upside who is already proving himself, like Chad Tracy.

    Whatever they do, I would expect they'll try and find a CF or a LF with power. I love Reed's glove, but he might become tradebait if the right CF became available. It wouldn't even surprise me to see the M's try and find power-hitters for BOTH LF and CF. I'm guessing Ibanez would just go to DH full time if that happened... and the Mariners could certainly do worse than Raul at DH.

    It's pretty intriguing, trying to figure out who will be in the rotation next year, and how many of those guys will still even be in the Seattle organization. I think Felix Hernandez is pretty much a lock. After that... it looks like pot luck to me.

  12. i like the chad tracy idea. agree that matsui is probably not coming our way (just like tejada, vlad, etc.), but who knows? i think that tracy could develop into a stud, and would probably come cheaper than any of the other FAs on that list, none of whom (outside of matsui and carlos lee, who isnt going anywhere) seem worth spending the money that would be necessary to sign them.

    i also agree with trav on millwood - i think that he has always been overrated. he has had a few good seasons sprinkled in here and there, but too iffy to spend a bunch of money on when the m's have so much good pitching talent to develop. morris would be great, and if burnett would sign, i would love to have him. but, i think that burnett, and probalby morris too, will be far overpaid by a team like the yankees or the red sox - so probably out of everyone's league.

    i think that the m's really need to focus on developing talent from within. it seems to me, from a distance, that was what they were doing at the end of the season. that's the braves model, and i would argue that it may be the most consistently successful model ever.

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