The text message I received from Mike this morning:
The M's are killing me with these moves
But, before I address the Mariners directly, allow me to comment again on Daisuke Matsuzaka. When I saw that he signed for six years and $52 million (and yes, as far as I can tell, that was the front page, above-the-fold story in the Boston Globe this morning), I did some quick calculations. Now, I used to teach third graders about estimating, so I am pretty well versed in the art of mental math, and it comes out to less than $9 million per season for Matsuzaka. Of course, the Red Sox will have shelled out around $103 million total for Matsuzaka, or an average of over $17 million per season, but he will see just over half of that. (When I opened the paper this morning, I saw that Thomas Boswell came to the same conclusion: Scott Boros might actually be in the right this time.)
This made me immediately think: Wait a second, didn't the Mariners just sign Miguel Batista for 3 years and $27 million? And doesn't that come out to an even $9 million per year? And doesn't that mean that after all of the hype around Matsuzaka that Miguel Batista will be cashing bigger paychecks for the next three years? And isn't Batista 36? At least he doesn't pitch with his birth certificate.
And, then: Wait a second, didn't Gil freaking Meche just sign with the Kansas City freaking Royals for more money and fewer years? So, five years from now, Gil Meche will have made more money than Daisuke Matsuzaka and have the freedom to sign with any team he wants to the following year?
Something is obviously wrong with this whole posting system when the Seibu Lions just got a check for more than triple their entire payroll. Workers of the world unite!
Anyway, back to the Mariners. Welcome Jose Vidro. I actually heard about this trade last night on the local news here in D.C. George Michael reported on a trade that the Nationals had just completed with the Seattle Mariners, and did not at any point during the report identify the two minor leaguers that the Nationals had obtained. He closed his report thusly:
So, the Nationals have traded Jose Vidro (with an inflection that indicated that he equated Vidro's worth as somewhere in the range of Honus Wagner - a living Honus Wagner that is) for two minor leaguers that you will never hear of . . .
At this point in his sentence, it seemed to dawn on Mr. Michael that these two guys were going to play for the baseball team that his network covers on a regular basis, so he added:
until they become huge stars in the major leagues. And it will happen, but it won't happen in my lifetime.
It reminded me of my mother complaining about George Michael's anti-west coast bias in his national "Sports Machine" broadcasts when I was young. (But, if you are ever in the DC viewing area, don't miss the local NBC news on George's account - though, to be fair, I actually think he is pretty good most of the time - because Jim Vance of NBC 4 is probably among the top five news disseminators of all time. He is really that good.)
So I checked this morning, and it turns out that the Nats will be getting Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto. I guess getting rid of Snelling could be justified: he can't stay healthy, and the M's have a glut in the outfield. And, it's not like the M's just gave away an electric bullpen arm. Why would they want to hold on to a pitcher like Fruto and his 55/21 K/BB ratio at AAA last year and his 9.9 K/9 IP combined between AAA and the show who is only 22 and now has some major league experience under his belt and has improved in his second year at each level through the minors? Dime a dozen.
Well, at least they got something good in return. What did they get? I guess that depends on who you ask. ESPN.com suggests that they got a 2B and that Jose Lopez would move to 3B, allowing the M's to trade away Adrian Beltre. The P-I notes that Vidro played some at 1B last year. So, are they implying that Sexson gets traded? Finally, the Seattle Times lets us know that the only reason that Vidro waived his no-trade clause is because he was promised to be able to DH so he could rest his oft-injured legs. Nothing ironic there? You traded for a guy by convincing him that he will have a chance to rest the chronic injuries that have put his career in decline? And you agreed to take on the bulk of his salary to get it done too? Bavasi should be a hostage negotiator.
At least Jose is excited about his new team. Here is what he had to say in today's Washington Post:
I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to go to the American League and play for a team that has a pretty good shot. They have a legitimate lineup, and they're going to sign some pitchers. It's looking very good.
I wonder if he thinks the M's have a really great sense of humor too. "Pretty good shot" at what? Do you think by "legitimate" he meant that they had a good chance of finding nine players to fill each of the spots in the lineup?
You think he got a promise that Miguel Batista and Horacio Ramirez weren't the end of the road? Or, maybe he just forgot that the M's had already signed a pitcher. I wish I could.