Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Is it worth it?

The offseason has barely gotten going, but we've already seen some craziness. We already know about the insane deals for Wagner and Ryan, and today Paul Konerko signed back with the White Sox for at the hometown discount price of 5 years, $60 million. (Although, Steve Phillips thinks Konerko was the best free agent available this offseason. Maybe that's why Phillips is on TV instead of running a team. What the hell was with those mock press conferences by the way?)

We all know the Mariners have several holes to fill before they are going to contend for anything besides a top 5 draft pick. Pitching is the obvious concern. But should the M's get in on this market? No one out there is that exciting and it seems like everyone is going to be severly overpaid. I'd like to see Kevin Millwood or AJ Burnett in the Teal and Blue (hehe-teal), but at what cost?

If things keep going the way they have, I think the M's need to find some other, creative ways of improving the team. Johjima was a good start, but the best way to improve the team may end up being through trades and finding some hidden talent. Any good ideas? I know Snave is good for a trade proposal or two.


  1. i dont know about this pitching market. if loazia (who i think will end up being a very good pitcher for the a's) can get $7 million a year based on the underwhleming season he had for the nats this year - just think what a.j. burnett's nasty stuff, or millwood's era title will get him. teams are overpaying this winter in free agency. the best deals have come via trade, but i dont know that the m's should sell away the farm system (which i thought was packed with arms) for anything short term. at this point, i think id rather the m's be on the marlins end of a deal than the mets or red sox. even if a 25 year-old ted williams walks out of a cornfield in iowa tomorrow and signs with the m's, they still probably aren't going to be a world series caliber team next year. (but, that would sure solve alot of problems - from the m's long-time lf void and need for a lefty slugger, to the whole debate about ted's frozen head.) so, i say build with 2-3 years down the road in mind. trying to come up with immediate fixes often comes back to bite you in the ass (see, aurillia, rich; cirillo, jeff; mitchell, kevin; mcilvaine, jim - wait wrong team, sorry.)

  2. I think we should trade Ichiro and Sexson to whichever team has the rights to Carrot Top.

    Just kidding!

    As for free-agent signings, I actually wouldn't mind seeing us get Millwood. He's only 30 or 31, and he was the AL ERA leader last year, after all. Having him pitch in Safeco could be pretty danged cool. I think the same might work for A.J. Getting the two of them would be a major coup of sorts, but we did get Beltre and Sexson last winter, and apparently Bavasi has a good working relationship with Sauron, er, Scott Boras... and the Evil One does happen to represent some starters who have not yet been snapped up. I'd be a little leery of Morris, Rogers, Weaver... but if our organization has good reason to believe any of the guys I mentioned above would be better than Meche, Pineiro or Franklin, I say get in on those negotiations and do what it takes.

    Thus, I wouldn't feel too bad about addressing at least one spot in the rotation through signing someone.

    As for hitters, I think there are guys out there who would be much better for our team than some of the FA folks like Jacque Jones and Jeromy Burnitz. I would rather work out a trade for Bobby Abreu than overpay for Jones or Burnitz. What would it take to get Abreu from the Phillies? Some writers seem to think the Phils would give him up for prospects, and some think the Red Sox might get straight-up for Manny. Hmmm... Guardado has never been more tradable, according to some articles, because of the humongous contracts given to Ryan, Howry, Eyre, Wagner, etc. How about Reed, Guardado and one from Meche/Pineiro/Franklin for Abreu? Wagner left Philly and they man need to replace him... heh! Obviously, I have alway been a big Abreu fan... he's a LH hitter, he steals bases, he has some power, he could play in RF and Ichiro could move to CF. But I guess that might leave us without a decent closer...

    Again, I think Arizona's Chad Tracy would be a nice add. Atlanta has a couple of young OFs who hit LH, Kelly Johnson and Ryan Langerhans. Trot Nixon has tailed off during the last couple of years... The Cubs have Corey Patterson... The Reds' Adam Dunn hits LH but we know they would want a king's ransom in return. That's the kind of deal for which I might put Beltre on the table, though. I'm not interested in bringing back a 36-year-old injury-prone Griffey despite his comeback season last year... The Indians wouldn't want to trade Grady Sizemore, and they probably wouldn't want to deal Travis Hafner either. Colorado's LH OFs Larry Bigbie, Brad Hawpe and Corey Sullivan are not particularly awe-inspiring, but Jorge Piedra might be worth a look. Think the Tigers would take a pitcher or two for OF Curtis Granderson? Probably not... I know he is highly-rated, but I don't know if he has any power. How about Ichiro for Lance Berkman? Neither Aaron Guiel or David DeJesus from KC seem to have much power. I wouldn't care to take on Anaheim's Steve Finley... same with the Dodgers' Milton Bradley. I always kind of thought Geoff Jenkins would look good in a Mariner uniform. Cliff Floyd might not be bad as a DH. The Phils not only have Abreu, but Chase Utley and Ryan Howard also bat LH. I don't care if Jason Bay bats LH or not, I'd love to see the Pirates trade him to us! The Padres might not mind getting rid of Ryan Klesko, but I don't find him that thrilling as a player. S.F. has a guy named Winn who is pretty decent. And hey, the Cards have Rick Ankiel listed as a LH-hitting OF on their roster! T.B. has Aubrey Huff, Texas has Adrian Gonzalez and David Delucci, and the Nationals have Brad Wilkerson. Having made that list of LH hitters on other teams' rosters, I'll have to think about it for a bit before coming up with some trade ideas. But hey, isn't Hot Stove time a blast?

  3. Neddy Ballgame9:13 PM the Phillies go with Flash Gordon--are they serious??..Abreu fro Guardado gets done in a heartbeat as far as I'm concerned even if ol' Bobby may have totally shot his big league career in teh Home Run Derby ( Ichiro is no foll to stay out of that contest).
    I love the idea of reincarnating Teddy Ballgame --Number 9 in Left Field--I'm getting teary eyed!!
    Chris may be right about not trying to win teh World Series next year --given what's avaialbe--will Reed blossom in '06?- Baseball Weekly has Beltre as 7th best 3B in all of baseball even after last year --they tell us to expect the REAL Adrian in 2006 !- --is Manny a legit LF possibility ( this one makes my knees shake!!) ? -will Ichiro get all messed up playing for Japan in that World game thing? - Hot Stoove Leagu eIS fun ,isn' tit

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  5. Ooooh, I hope Baseball Weekly is right about Beltre! I like his glove lots anyway, and he's still a young player. I wouldn't REALLY want to see us trading him until we have seen what he can do.

    In the P-I there was reported talk within the baseball industry that some believe Millwood will sign with Seattle. I'll reiterate that I have no problem with getting him for our rotation. I think getting both Millwood and Burnett would represent a major coup... Maybe if we can sign Millwood right away, Burnett's interest in Seattle will increase. Burnett, Millwood and Felix at the top of the rotation would give us one of the better front threes in the AL, I'd think. If there was a way to get those two and then re-sign Moyer, who might accept a reduced rate for a year or two, the fifth starter would be the best of what is left... I would love to see the Mariners have the option of choosing the fifth guy from among Meche, Pineiro, Franklin, etc. and not having to count on those three guys to fill more than one rotation slot! The odd guys out could be good trade bait.

    So if the M's blow a bunch of bucks on free agent pitching, maybe they would have to resort to trades to get hitting. There was mention in one of the Seattle papers that the Mariners and Marlins had been talking, and that Ron Villone's and Juan Pierre's names had come up. I know we need power, but I wouldn't mind seeing us acquire a bonafide leadoff hitter. I know Ichiro prefers to bat leadoff but hey... I say let him bat second and hit behind someone like Pierre.

    Villone? Fah! We've tried that a couple of times already... although he did pitch fairly well for the M's before he was traded.

    If we traded to Florida for Pierre and Villone, who would they want from us, and would it be worth it? What would become of Reed? Would he go to the Marlins in such a deal? Pierre might be o.k. to have... he is only 28 years old, and over the last 3 years he has stolen 167 bases and he has had roughly 100 runs scored, 10 triples and 24 doubles per year... and while we could use a guy like that at the top of the order, we do still need some more power-hitting. What do you guys think?

    Also, what do you think it would take to get Adam Dunn from the Reds? Cincinnati always seems to need pitching... Wouldn't Dunn look good playing LF in a Mariner uniform? How about a lineup of Pierre, Ichiro, Ibanez (DH), Sexson, Dunn, Beltre, Johjima, Betancourt and Lopez?

    I could sure live with that kind of lineup, and with a couple of new starters in the rotation. Of course I'm just dreaming, but that's what Hot Stove is all about, eh!

  6. Snave I'll tackle your ideas in order:

    1) I support bringing in Millwood or Burnett, but I worry that they may be looking for a 5-year deal. If we can bring them on for 3-4 years, I'd be willing to that. Millwood would be my preference.

    2) Pierre interests me a little. Imagine him and Ichiro at the top of the lineup. They may get 500 hits between them. Move Reed to left and that's a pretty good defensive outfield. I don't want Villone back though. Too expensive and I want to see Sherril be the top lefty out of the pen.

    3)Adam Dunn would definitely fill the left-handed sock that Bavasi is looking, but do we really want another guy to strikeout 200 times in the same lineup as Sexson?

  7. Mike: Oops! Great point about Dunn. I completely overlooked the K factor! With both Sexson and Dunn in the same lineup, we might have to try and sign Clemens to keep some other AL team from getting him, so he wouldn't be able to strike out 20 Mariners in one game (I remember that game and I will never entirely forgive Roger for doing what he did... !)

    I definitely want to see more of Sherrill in the bullpen in 06. I believe he is the best lefty reliever we have. Including Eddie. I even think Sherrill could close ballgames, should the team want to use him in that role. Any word on how Soriano is doing? Will he be ready to pitch next season? I would love to see him as the top righty and George as top lefty. Eddie might never be more tradeable than he is right now!

    Ahhh, those long contracts for starting pitchers... Maybe we will get lucky and Boras will tell Millwood and/or Burnett that Seattle is a great place to pitch, and that because of that, a 3 or 4 year deal there would be better than say, a 5 year deal somewhere like Toronto... that they would put up great stats in a pitchers' park like Safeco, and by doing that they could make even more money next time around. I'm going to think positive thoughts, anyway!

  8. Hopefully the Bavasi/Boras connection will pay off.....

  9. i'm still not too excited about millwood - but i guess he would be better than nothing. id rather have the younger burnett, but i thought that either would be a longshot at the beginning of the off-season, so the bavasi-boras connection sounds good.

    i agree that eddie would probably be a very valuable trade commodity - but he has a no-trade clause for like 10 teams, so that would probably hinder things greatly. eddie for abreu? no way the phillies do that, but sounds good to me.

    did we see the story in the seattle times? johjima turned down playing for japan in the world cup so he can learn his new pitchers!


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