Saturday, January 03, 2004

The Tigers will be spending more than $10m in 2004 on Jason Johnson, Mike DiFelice, Rondell White, and Fernando Vina. We'll be paying $10m in 2004 to Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Raul Ibanez, Quinton McCracken, and Scott Spiezio. I wonder who is worse off?

Anyway, I thought I'd compile a list of players we could have acquired for that $10m:

Matt Stairs ($1m)
Eduardo Perez ($0.85m)
Ben Grieve ($0.7m)
Scott Sullivan ($2.5m)
Jeromy Burnitz ($1.5m)
Pokey Reese ($1m)
Billy McMillon (unknown; <$1m)

Oh, and you'd still have about $2m left over. Just think about it; we could have Stairs, Perez, Grieve, and Burnitz for how much we're paying Ibanez. I'm not suggesting that we should have gone out and acquired all four of those guys, but any would have been a better option, given the price tags, and that still makes me a little queasy. We've all read more than enough about our terrible offseason, but as more time passes, everything comes into focus: We have completely thrown away Sheffield/Guerrero money on easily replaceable commodities.

Problem: Raul Ibanez for $3.25m, with a $2m bonus
Solution: Stairs/Perez for $1.85m.

Problem: Scott Spiezio for $2.5m, with a $0.2m bonus
Solution: Justin Leone for $0.3m, or Mark Bellhorn (acquired by Boston from Colorado for a PTBNL) for $0.5m

Problem: Freddy Garcia for $6.875m
Solution: Rafael Soriano for $0.3m

Problem: Quinton McCracken for $1.75m
Solution: Smallpox outbreak, with vaccinations available for the rest of the roster, for $428m

Problem: Ryan Franklin for $1.7m, with a $0.2m bonus
Solution: Rett Johnson/Clint Nageotte/Travis Blackley/JJ Putz/Bobby Madritsch for $0.3m

Problem: Shigetoshi Hasegawa for $2.5m
Solution: Aaron Taylor/Brian Sweeney/Aaron Looper/some fungible minor league FA for $0.3m

Problem: Ichiro for $5m, with a $6m bonus
Solution: Sheffield or Guerrero for $13-15m. You're still saving a minimum of $1.5m in 2004 payroll, not to mention $8.4m in bonus money that doesn't get paid out. I know that losing Ichiro would jilt approximately 132% of our fan base, but it's pretty well documented that winning, not individual players, brings people to the games, so a much improved 2004 Mariners team wouldn't cause Lincoln any financial distress. You might be able to make a case that replacing Ibanez, Hasegawa, Franklin, Garcia, and Spiezio with the suggested players would turn out to be a slight downgrade (though I'd argue that in none of those cases would we actually lose production), but putting somebody like Gary Sheffield or Vladimir Guerrero in right field would more than make up for whatever downgrade you want to believe in at another position.

If you really don't want to lose Ichiro, then you keep him, ditch Winn (trade him for position prospects, or something), and re-sign Cameron for about $6.5m. Hey look, we still have about $13.825m in 2004 payroll to play with, again nevermind the $2.4m in bonus money we'd save by not signing Spiezio, Franklin, or Ibanez. That leftover money could go to, say, Miguel Tejada or Ivan Rodriguez, or possibly some pitching insurance like Miguel Batista, Arthur Rhodes, or Paul Quantrill.

It's maddening to think about this offseason, and how the potential for so much good soured as rapidly as it did. It's indefensible to the point of warranting a public execution for Bavasi, Gillick, and whoever else may have put in their two cents these last few months. Given the blogs I've read, there's no shortage of Mariners fans willing to drop the axe. Your leading source of redundant news.

At this point, I consider Rich Aurilia and some PTBNL members of the Seattle organization, and Carlos Guillen a Tiger. Lateral move at shortstop aside, this all hinges on who that PTBNL turns out to be; I'm guessing Jamie Walker, because he's 32 years old and left-handed.
According to Clint Hurdle, the Rockies look to begin 2004 with a lineup led off by Aaron Miles/Damian Jackson, with Royce Clayton in the #2 slot.

Things can always get worse.
Braden Looper is a Met. Two years, $6.5m.

Less than I thought he'd get, having had "closing experience" and all.

Friday, January 02, 2004

We've got some more Cirillo news:

Former Rockies third baseman Jeff Cirillo likely is returning to the National League West. Cirillo is expected to be traded by Tuesday from the Seattle Mariners to the Padres in exchange for a package that would include another former Rockies player, pitcher Kevin Jarvis.
It's a new year (what a worthless holiday), and I'm in no condition to write.

What's your excuse?

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Here's a third article talking about Rich Aurilia becoming a Mariner. It also ends with a note about us looking to trade Cirillo to San Diego, mentioning Wiki Gonzalez and Kevin Jarvis.
It appears as if we're on the verge of signing Rich Aurilia (something in the neighborhood of $4m for a year) and dealing Carlos Guillen, potentially to Detroit. Here are two articles that mention these possibilities:



Not good news, but I don't think it's terrible news, either. That is, unless we trade Guillen for some nondescript garbage like Wil Ledezma or Ramon Santiago.
I know it's the New York Post, but it looks as if David Wells is a Padre.

The Yankee rotation is now lefty-less. That's terrible news for some of us; I'm looking at you, Raul.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Here's a question for you...

Who has had the better offseason: Seattle or Baltimore?

Leave your votes in the comments section of this post.

Monday, December 29, 2003

A rumor popped up a few minutes ago that Adam Dunn was traded (with Danny Graves) to Los Angeles for Edwin Jackson and a PTBNL. I thought the source could be considered pretty credible, but it appears as if he let me down.
Danger: Carlos Guillen has been mentioned as a trade possibility, meaning Operation Get Rid of Guillen is still going strong.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

As reassurance that this is still a baseball blog, in today's Mariner news we discover that nothing happened. This can only be considered a good thing.
What were the odds?

I've had one of those great days that only come around once in a long while, the days you need to appreciate because so rarely are they surpassed. The Seahawks are going to the playoffs, thanks to the most improbable of scenarios; at first, it looked like a tiebreaker situation in which Green Bay would get the shaft, but the miraculous Josh McCown pass made sure that everyone advanced. I've had an emotional connection with the Cardinals for a while, since being a half-fan (don't ask; I also liked the Jaguars) at a younger age. They're one of those teams you pull for because they're so utterly terrible...which, coincidentally, is how I became an Ottawa Senators fan.

The Saints won. Nevermind that the victory left open the initial possibility of a Seahawks playoff birth, but I spent my youngest years in New Orleans. Hence, another emotional connection. The Ottawa Senators won, and are playing their best hockey of the year at a time when they need to keep up with the Maple Leafs (grrrrrr). My Hattrick team is winning big. My Sim League team won its first game behind a strong Miguel Batista outing. This has been the best sports-related day in a long, long while, and it's much appreciated.

And, of course, on a slightly more personal note, I get to spend the remaining days of my winter vacation with the people I care about the most. Oh, and my family.
The folks over at Sports and Bremertonians talk about hockey on occasion, so I find it only appropriate to throw in a note about my Ottawa Senators. They're picking up steam at just the right time.

This is the year, boys. No more Jeff Friesen/Game 7 nonsense.
The one real encouraging thing about this winter is that, when they're playing well, the Seahawks can take on anybody in the league.

Let's hope they play well from here on out. We'll be facing either the Culpepper/Moss extravaganza next week (watch out, Shawn Springs), or the Stephen Davis steamroller. Not much in the way of balanced offenses on the horizon.
The Seahawks are going to the playoffs.

Via Rotoworld:

Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd admitted yesterday that his team won't be able to match the offers Rich Aurilia currently has on the table. "We know there are clubs offering more money and more security," O'Dowd said. "I think we could be creative (financially), and we would give him a chance to hit (second) in front of (Todd) Helton." Colorado appears to be a distant third in the chase for Aurilia. Seattle is the probable destination, and Toronto looks to be the primary alternative.

Dueling Banjos have a new official logo:

(Thanks to reader Devin Reilly for the artwork.)
Ivan Calderon was killed earlier.