Wednesday, November 30, 2005

People, DON'T PANIC!

News today that Giles has re-signed with the Padres sent lots of armchair M's GMs scrambling. Certainly Brian Giles would be a good fit at that contract with the M's. I've believed all along, though, that no matter how much dough they threw at him, he'd never become a Mariner. He's had them in his no-trade clauses, and has repeated several times that he didn't want to join Seattle.

Earlier this week, too, Esteban Loaiza crossed over to the dark side and joined our AL West archrivals, the A's. That followed the trades of Thome and Delgado, two targets the M's reportedly were looking to trade for.

The free agents and trading targets get snatched up, and the anxiety level increases for M's fans everywhere. One of my heroes once said: "Be Not Afraid!" The pickin's aren't quite day-after-Thanksgiving slim. Yet.

As I convinced myself over at Dr. Detecto's laboratory, the M's would be best served to upgrade their rotation. In this year's FA market, it'd be easier to upgrade the runs prevented total than the runs scored -- and by that I'm talking about through pitching. Both Burnett and Millwood are still available for the taking. It's not time to panic until both of these guys are off the board, and neither of them come to the M's. I'm quite confident that Bavasi's positive relationship with Boras will keep us in the running for Millwood (and the other pitchers in his portfolio, who, while not really quite in Millwood's echelon would still be upgrades over our current rotation) until the end. Although Burnett would be my first pitching target, I'm confident he'll reel in a monster salary that would be too risky for me to be comfortable with. My stretched-to-the-limit-in-a-HUGELY-over-inflated-market maximum would be 5/$70 million for Burnett. I wouldn't like it, but if that's what it takes, that's as high as I'd go.

What if we were able to land both of them? We've got some chips to trade to pull in a regular left fielder. Jacque Jones will be too expensive, and isn't a good fit. Jeromy Burnitz is my first choice, but if we are somehow able to miraculously land both Millwood and Burnett, there wouldn't be room for the $3-4 million I'd throw at him for a year or two. I'm sure Bavasi could find a match in the trade market.

Seriously though, folks -- DON'T PANIC! There's lots of time left on the clock, and lots of options yet. It's not like January 2004, when most of the free agents had already signed, and Kazu decided to go back to Japan, leaving the M's with an extra $8.5 million to spend in a nearly-empty candy store. I trust Bavasi, who knows his job is under serious scrutiny, and even, to a certain extent, Howard Lincoln, who's a shrewd businessman, and knows he needs to improve the RIS* bottom line...

Edited 10:33 a.m. 12/1/05 to add:
According to Corey Brock, the M's are interested in reacquainting with Ron Villone. Now, if that happens, it may be time to panic. The M's have shown that they're not going to let Thornton go. I know that George just absolutely dominates lefties (okay, sample size here...), but he handles righties better than his 2.06 WHIP in 17 innings shows. Now, I'm sure he's probably fine with any role, as long as he's in the majors. But, folks, I'm telling you. He's got closers' stuff. He's much more valuable to the M's as a relief ace (i.e. setup guy/closer) than merely as a LOOGY.

So, if RV comes back, I'm a little bit nervous that they'll bump George back down to Tacoma (because he's still got options) instead of carrying 4 lefties in the 'pen. If they bring back RV to replace Nelson or Shiggy (or Mateo, if he's traded), then George is probably safe in Seattle (as a LOOGY). RV is probably the pitching equivalent of Mark Maclemore or Stan Javier, and I'd definitely rather have him back than Thornton, Nelson or Shiggy. But, if it means that George is sent to Tacoma, or (less so) continues to be relegated to the LOOGY role, then I'm either completely ticked or, at least, not so thrilled.

*Rumps In Seats


At 12/02/2005 2:29 PM, Blogger Snave said...

I used to post comments as Slothcliff Hokum at the P-I forum, but after a while it seemed as if that place was getting overrun by doofii. So I'll comment a little bit here, with some reasonable people at this blog!

I think Bavasi MUST try to land both Burnett and Millwood, and should then re-sign Moyer. Those three, with Felix Hernandez, as the front four in our rotation would put the M's in a good situation where they wouldn't have to be looking at Pineiro/Meche/Franklin/etc to fill more than one rotation spot, and those three could be used as trade bait! I know we need more hitting, but hey, if we can get last year's AL ERA leader pitching at Safeco, and then add a guy who is tough and hits close to 100 on the radar, we'd be cookin'!

As I see it, that would leave the trade route as the way to acquire a LH power-hitter. The guy I wish we could get would be Adam Dunn, but I doubt we could get him without having to give up Felix or Ichiro or some of our best players. I'm not sure who else there is out there that we could get in a trade that would be worth trading for... Aubrey Huff? Maybe. I'd like to see us make a try at Bobby Abreu, but again, it might take a lot to get him. One guy I'm really impressed with is the Diamondbacks' Chad Tracy. He's young, he probably is inexpensive, and he is coming into his own as a hitter... just the kind of guy Arizona would want to keep, sure, but maybe if we helped shore up their bullpen and their rotation, they would be willing to part with him? Thoughts?

Like Positive Paul, I like to be positive and think that Bavasi's good relationship with Boras might get us another good signing or two this winter... and that Bavasi might be able to swing a good trade or two for some hitting!

I agree with you, George is great. I think he just might be able to close games for us, or be a set-up man for Soriano. Thnk about it... Guardado is a real deal, given his comparatively low contract in the new market for closers. If we had someone who could handle that job besides Eddie, I think we would be fools not to consider offers for him. He may be more tradeable than he has ever been...

At 12/02/2005 2:43 PM, Blogger Snave said...

Also, if any of you are leftists, that's what my blog is almost completely about. I am at .
I enjoyed looking at Paul's "Lame List" blog (plenty of material for that in our current stable of politicians, regardless of party affiliation!) I do diverge into humor from time to time (there is a good collection of Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts" today) or sports (Mariners, Oregon Ducks, Eastern Oregon University Mountaineers, La Grande High School Tigers). I'm in NE Oregon, in La Grande.

Citizen K, I see you are in SE Washington... Walla Walla? The Tri-Cities? Prescott? Kahlotus? Wallula?


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