Ranting and Raving
Paul invited me to stop by periodically in December and leave my two cents on certain issues and I'm finally getting around to throwing something together. Seven months later. It's been a little while since I've written anything of substance for a blog so bear with me as I'm dusting off the cob webs. I'm hoping this will be a series of short rants over the next week that address certain issues with the Mariners that I think need to be addressed.
I've got to start off with Jose Guillen. Guillen was signed off the free agent scrapheap this offseason and has exceeded expectations on and off the field. That's where the happy warm feelings end. For lack of a better descriptive word, Jose Guillen is an asshole. He's been run out of several teams not for a lack of talent but because of his abrasive personality. Yes, he has been a model citizen this year. Now ask yourself, why? Could it be that after a decade of being run out of a variety of organizations he has finally grown up and changed? Or is it because his body is breaking down, he's getting older and knows that this could be the last chance he has to cash in on a multi-year contract?
While I can't guarantee it, I think the Jose Guillen from the past four months will slowly disappear once he is rewarded with an extension and has a guaranteed paycheck.
Not convinced? Still believe that Guillen's grown up and has now become a model citizen and more than the average to above-average ML right fielder he is? Fine. My above diatribe probably fell on deaf ears. So let me approach this from a different angle. The M's have two of the best OF prospects in major league baseball currently in AAA in Adam Jones and Wladimir Balentin. Wlad will have to be carried on the 25 man roster next season or be exposed to the Rule 5 draft, where he will easily be the first guy drafted (as long as he's not traded for some mediocre addition in the coming week). Wlad will be 24 years old next season, will cost the league minimum, and has the potential to put up some serious power numbers (he's drawn comparisons to Carlos Lee). Would using two young players in the OF corners be a stretch for the M's? It shouldn't matter but it probably wouldn't be something they'd do. If a guy can produce, why does it matter how old he is? And more importantly, why pay a guy $10 million per season if you can get similar production out of a guy making the league minimum?
Still not convinced? How about 10 more reasons? Jose Cruz Jr., Milton Bradley, Bobby Kielty, Rondell White, Reggie Sanders, Richard Hildago, Trot Nixon, Cliff Floyd, Corey Patterson, and Luis Gonzalez. All ten of these guys figure to be free agents at the end of this year. All ten of these guys are as risky a signing as Jose Guillen was last offseason. Wouldn't rational thought processes suggest that if you were able to catch lightning in a bottle by signing a scrapheap guy cheaply, you might be able to do it again and avoid committing to a guy long-term? Wouldn't letting Guillen walk at the end of the year, offering him arbitration and then collecting the picks while signing a guy like Reggie Sanders or Luis Gonzalez to a one year deal to platoon with Wlad and possibly Adam Jones make a ton of sense?
Hello? Bill? Is this thing on?