C'mon, Howard, Don't Let THIS Happen!
You may recall that at FanFest, I was able to gab a bit with Mariners' GM Bill Bavasi, both on and off the mike. I genuinely wanted to know the reason why the M's were not pursuing Jeff Weaver. Don't get me wrong -- I don't think Weaver's the greatest thing, and he very well may be a pitcher like Gil Meche or Joel Pineiro, who's highly touted for awhile, but just doesn't seem to be able to put it together. Still, he has pitched decently and has proven himself to be mostly healthy. He can give you 200+ fairly effective innings. His peripheral stats are more along the lines of Kevin Millwood than Jarrod Washburn, and if we were going to give out an ace's contract to a non-ace, I would've given it to Jeff Weaver over Jarrod Washburn.
Typical Boras client stubbornness is one of the reasons Weaver remains unsigned so close to Spring Training. News today, though, is that Weaver is being targeted by Anaheim. According to the article, the Angels would only be willing to give him a 1+1 option deal, and that Anaheim could be the front-runner since Weaver prefers to stay in SoCal. Bavasi divulged that the M's were avoiding Weaver only for financial reasons. Not only did Weaver want too much money (uh, Washburn, anyone?), but the M's were content with the budget they'd set. Bavasi liked Weaver, and thought he'd be a good pickup, but only if Weaver dropped his asking price.
I was going to ask Bavasi another question -- if he was looking at the relatively thin crop of free agents this season, and hoping to tread water long enough to grab a few guys off next year's potentially better crop. I wish I would've been able to ask both questions, but since Deanna didn't get to ask her question, I'm glad he was able to respond to my question. Personally, though, I would look at what's available this year, especially since our cupboard's pretty empty of starting pitching. Jeff Weaver would definitely help this pitching staff. We need starting pitching help, badly.
Howard's response to my asking him for more money, really showed me that the M's are preparing for empty seats. They're raising single-game ticket prices, too. With the Seahawks diverting some attention away from the M's, it's entirely possible that the front office is preparing for some serious financial issues. While our division rivals continue to improve their teams, we sit back and pretty much maintain the status quo.
C'mon, Howard, step it up. Get in the game! Winning would do wonders with the wealth!