Okay, so the 2005 M's are officially losers, and I now officially owe my coworker 10 bucks1
. So, with that in mind, and with 16 games left, it's time to get a head start on the Hot Stove League.
I'm opening up the discussion, then, on what to do for next season. I want to first look at what we know we'll have, and what can be expected from them, before we look at what we need and where to find it.
The following list is what we have already have5
, and the likelihood each player in every category will remain with the team in 2006, and start the season on the 25-man roster. It does not include guys who are currently injured and may join the team later in the season (even if that means a few weeks later)2
Most definitely on the team next year (90-95% probability)
The other 5% -- knock on wood, stroke a lucky rabbit's foot, avoid ladders & black cats -- leaves the door open for unmentionable stuff that could happen between now and the start of next season, and because nothing is for certain in baseball. Other than that, though, these guys are definitely guaranteed roster spots, and there's virtually no chance these guys are traded.
1) Ichiro, RF
2) Sexson, 1BMost likely on the team (75-90% probability)
Guys that aren't sure locks for a roster spot, but could
be traded (however unlikely it is), non-tendered, or otherwise. It's highly unlikely they'll be traded, non-tendered, or otherwise, mind you, but it's certainly not totally unreasonable to believe there's a chance. Of course, the extra 5% from above applies here (and in all of the subsequent categories).
3) Torrealba, C
4) Adrian Beltre, 3B
5) Raul Ibanez, LF/DH
6) Jeremy Reed, CF
7) Jose Lopez, 2B
8) Yuniesky Betancourt, SSMore likely than not, they're on the team (50-75%)
These guys would be hard to get rid of: either they have a guaranteed contract, or they may have strong advocates somewhere in the front office. Doesn't mean they should
be with the team, mind you, but it's more likely than not that they will.
9) Willie Bloomquist, UTIL
10) Mike Morse, LF/DH
11) Miguel Ojeda, CPossibly on the team, depending on other moves (Below 50%)
Guys that haven't shown much, but could fill in the bench, and have strong advocates in the front office. In other words, it's not completely certain they're gone.
12) Greg Dobbs, UTIL
Most definitely on the team
1) Felix, SPMost likely on the team
2) Eddie Guardado, CL
3) Jamie Moyer, SP
4) Joel Pineiro, SP
5) George Sherrill, RP
6) JJ Putz, RP
7) Julio Mateo, RPMore likely than not on the team
8) Rafael Soriano, RP
9) Scott Atchison, RP
10) Jeff Harris, Long RP
11) Gil Meche, SPPossibly on the team
11) Matt Thornton, RP
12) Ryan Franklin, SP, Long RP
Only three guys are totally inked in for next season: Ichiro, Sexson, and King Felix. These are the only three that I would bet my house on3
starting the season next year with Seattle, and feel confident in making that bet (praying, of course, against major injury, which is always a factor for everyone).
Including all the "Definitelys" and "Most Likelys,"4
there are 15 roster spots that are either locked in, or most likely locked in. That really leaves about 10 roster spots open for serious discussion.NEXT POST:
What numbers I expect out of these guys.
1. I bet him back in May that the M's offense would pick up, and carry the team to .500; I obviously was wrong. I guess it's safe to say that Ichiro's quest for .400 this year isn't happening either...
2. I'm really not sure what to do about Bobby Madritsch and Bucky Jacobsen. Both of them, if truly healthy, would be sure-fire locks for "More Likely than Not" with the team. But since of them are nursing major owies, I cannot see them in any of these lists. Madritsch moreso than Bucky, but still, it's realistic to believe that neither of them are healthy enough to start the season in Seattle.
3. I'm not betting my house on ANYTHING! I'm just giving an example of my confidence.
4. Apostrophe-"s" ( 's ) is never
plural. In this case, I'm making an exception to the Plural y => 'ies' generality in English spelling. Sorry. One of my biggest pet peeves is using 's to denote plurality.
5. I know, I know. Footnote 2 comes after footnote 1, not footnote 5. I thought of another note to add here, and I didn't want to take the hard task of changing numbers on all the footnotes in this post in the HTML text entry box in Blogger. I may fix this eventually, but for now, deal with it!
. Oh, yeah. The note. This list comes from the current 40-man roster, including those who are on the 25-man team now who wouldn't necessarily be there if it weren't for September callups.