Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Latest news from the Times

There is a pretty interesting article by Finnigan at the Seattle Times this morning about the Mariners current situation, as far as retaining and acquiring players, and player development. I'd just like to touch on some of the topics featured in the article.

1. M's have been "shaping proposals" to Delgado, Koskie, Jaret Wright, John Lieber, Villone and Pavano.

Delgado, fine. Koskie - only as a last resort! I'd much rather see the club sign Beltre, and failing that, Leone should get the shot. Leone has the possibility of 20-30 HR power, and good defense. He didn't show that defense last season in his limited time in the Majors, but it was his first time in the bigs, and likely would adjust better next season. Koskie would cost 500%+ over Leone; His defense is good, but his power numbers away from the Homerdome make me cringe - 2/3 of his homers came in Minnesota.

People have been saying, "Yeah, he hit 25 homers last season - that's would have led the Mariners!" Well, true, but remove last year's 25 from his career totals, and he'd average 15 HR per season, (not counting his initial 11-game year.) That, my friends, is not the power threat the Mariners need. Heck - you could expect Leone, and perhaps even Jose Lopez to even hit more than 15 next year.

Like I posted on the P-I blog this morning, if they only sign one power threat this offseason, (Delgado), they will have to sign two next year, assuming Boone leaves, and even if he is re-signed at a deep discount they may have to, as depending on a 37 year old for your power production is quite a risky proposal.

2. Negotiations with Dan Wilson are at a standstill.

I'd expect this to be a minor problem. Look for them to re-sign Wilson. He's too embedded in the community to seriously want to leave, he is a team leader, on-field pitching coach, and the longest-tenured Mariner. The sticking point may be as little as $500,000 to $1 million. Apparently the M's are talking 1 year, $1 million, but Wilson's people think that's not enough for a catcher who could start half the team's games. I agree, but only based on his peripheral benefits, as I noted above. Another backup catcher could probably do just as well as Wilson at catching the ball and calling a good game for $1 million, but Wilson knows this pitching staff quite well, has rapport with them, and, he really didn't have that bad of a year last season. Olivo was brought in mainly for his offense, so having a counterpoint catcher with limited offensive skills shouldn't be a problem.

The article mentions that the White Sox are possible suitors for Wilson's services, and that the M's might go after Sandy Alomar if Wilson leaves. That, to me, would be pretty hilarious. That would mean the M's and Sox would have exchanged catching staffs in less than one year. I'm not sure if it would benefit either team, (especially Chicago), but it would be comical. That is a little similar to the A's, when they had 2/3 of the ex-Royals outfield in Damon and Dye.

3. Olivo has been working hard on defense/catching this offseason, but - get this - still has a long way to go.

I personally think he should also work on actually making contact with the ball, but catching the ball also is an issue for him. Unfortunately, with a position of "Catcher", catching is a big part of your job description, and Olivo hasn't figured that out yet. He did show flashes of greatness with the M's - he has a strong, relatively accurate throwing arm, good speed on the basepaths, a great extra-base stroke, and some power. I'm looking for great things from him in 1-2 years.

4. New manager Hargrove has been pushing for the signing of Jaret (don't call me Jamey) Wright.

I am totally against that. He did have a great year in Atlanta in 2004, but that was his first. Many mediocre pitchers go to Atlanta and become great pitchers, but then can't duplicate that success after they leave. After Millwood, I'm quite suspicious of any pitchers coming from the Braves.

I would not mind seeing Pavano signed, but I do not think it's necessary to sign a pitcher this year. Concentrate on the offense in 2004, then the pitching in 2005.


At 11/23/2004 11:39 AM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Good post, Munch!

Koskie should NOT be an option. Period. It would totally be a step backwards if we sign him. I'd take what we have internally over Koskie, and that's not saying much! He's definitely NOT the power-at-the corners guy that we need. Beltre, maybe Glaus (after much medical scrutiny), a trade for Huff, or NO ONE AT ALL!


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