May 27, 2007
Okay I’m posting this in response to Churchill’s call to make an in season plan to make the Mariners a contender. I’ll detail all the moves, even the small ones, that I’d make as GM. I know they aren’t the one’s the organization would make, but screw them and there horrible decision making. Here goes…
Low Impact Moves
1. Release Rene Rivera
He’s downright terrible. The Mariners have 3 good catching prospects (if you count Clement), so Rivera has no future here. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but it clears up a spot on the 40-man roster in case we need it. It makes NO sense having Rivera on the 40-man roster. None. Zero. Bye bye.
2. Release Jeff Weaver
He’s the worst M’s pitcher ever. If you have to have this explained than you’re damn near hopeless.
3. Get Jason Ellison of the major league roster
Either send him down, trade him to some other team for basically nothing, or if it comes to it, just release him. There’s no point in wasting a spot on the roster for a guy who is a rarely used defensive sub. This is so that you can…
4. Deal Horacio Ramirez to an NL team
While he’s proved he can’t pitch in the AL, I’m sure there some NL team out there willing to give up a player to be named later for him. So do it.
High Impact Moves
5. Call up Adam Jones
The kid is ready to play on a major league level. Put him on a platoon with Ibanez immediately. He’d be a huge defensive upgrade. (Side note: I’d trade Ibanez for more pitching help, but it won’t happen so I’ll end the discussion there.)
6. Make Morrow a starter
Look, he’s fantastic as a set-up guy, but you don’t draft a set-up man with a top 10 draft pick. Move him to the rotation where he can make a significant impact. When Reitsma comes back he can handle the set up spot. I’m sure Morrow would get knocked around a bit in his first couple outings trying to rediscover his off-speed stuff, but I think he knows he can get big league hitters out and the bullpen guys support him, so I think he’d get through it. If this team wants to make the playoffs they’re gonna have to make a few gambles. This would be one of those.
7. Trade for Mark Buehrle
Sure I’d rather deal for Dontrell Willis or Carlos Zambrano, but the M’s don’t have the chips to make a deal like that. So here’s the deal I’d make. Ship Wlad, Sean White, and Ryan Rowland-Smith. Buehrle isn’t an ace by any stretch, but he’d be a HUGE improvement at the #3 spot. I think we could get him at that relatively cheap price because he and the Chicago front office aren’t friends to say the least. Plus they’re dying for an outfielder. I’d be willing to give up a bit more (maybe Feierabend?), but why if you don’t have to?
1. Felix Hernandez
2. Jarrod Washburn
3. Mark Buehrle
4. Brandon Morrow
5. Miguel Batista
Closer: J.J. Putz
Set-up: Chris Reitsma
Lefty Specialist: George Sherrill
Other RP: Jason Davis, Sean Green, Cha Seung Baek, Eric O’Flaherty
Starting Lineup Vs LHP:
LF- Adam Jones
Starting Lineup Vs RHP:
Plus either Jones or Ibanez depending on the day.
December 5, 2006
So ya, I kind of threw this together but here’s my ideas on what the Mariners should do. I’m not saying they’d be able to do all this, but they should try.
1. Manny Trade
I think the first thing you have to do is refuse to blink. The Sox want to get rid of Manny and will eventually have to give in and get less in return to get him. So here’s my package for the slugger…
I think that if the M’s hold out that package might be enough to get Manny. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s worth trying.
2. Brousard Trade
Flip Ben over to the O’s for Jared Wright. Sure Wright isn’t amazing, but the M’s have no place for Ben and Wright would be a good #5 starter.
3. Free Agents
First off finish the John Thomson deal. He’d be a bargain that has possible high upside. Next you need one of the ace pitchers, Schmidt, Zito, or possibly DiceK. All pitchers are overpriced, that’s a trend that won’t change soon. But we need someone to frontline our staff along with Felix. If you get a shot at DiceK take it. If not try to get Schmidt for a 2 year deal with an option for the third. Zito would be my last resort, but if it comes to that we need him.
September 27, 2006
I’m taking initiative on this. Sure most people would wait until the season is over to preview the off-season, but why wait. I’ve been planning this article since June (when I knew the Mariners had no real chance, despite what others may have believed). I’ve actually been done for a couple week and had some outter issues that delayed the publishing. Anyway, lets go through the steps to get the Mariners into the team that will win the World Series next year.
Seth Sommerfeld, who no one has ever heard of has just been named GM of the Seattle Mariners! This comes just days after the Mariners had a complete housecleaning, firing Bill Bavasi, Howard Lincoln, Chuck Armstrong, and of course Mike Hargrove. When reached for comment Seth had this to say, “I’m sick of the atmosphere around here and will take the necessary steps to make this team the contenders they should be.”
NOTE: I will only make realistic moves (other than my becoming GM). So, for example, I’m not going to trade Adrian Beltre for Jake Peavy. That wouldn’t happen. That kind of stuff is only for the SeattleMariners.com message boards.
Well, It Couldn’t Get Any Worse (The Search For A New Manager)
Here’s how the search goes and why…
1. Lou Pinella- Has the grit and common sense that the team is lacking. Plus, I think we all miss him.
2. Bobby Valentine- He gets respect from players. Has fun without being crazy. And there’s always a chance he’ll bust out the fake mustache again.
3. Joe Girardi- Well apparently he’s going to get canned for doing a fantastic job with the Marlins this year. Makes sense…oh wait…no. He seems like he gets along great with anyone not in the front office.
4. “Fresh Meat”- There are a slew of options out there. Not great options, but options none the less.
5. Bruce Bochy- Solid manager. That’s about all there is to say.
#1 Thing NOT to do: Hire Dusty Baker- We’ve seen what he did to Prior and Wood, do we want that for Felix?
Basically, you go down the list and whatever one will take the job gets it.
Don’t Let The Door Hit You On the Way Out (Departures)
Ben Brousard (I know what your thinking, just wait)
Julio Mateo (Cut)
Gil Meche is my least favorite Mariner of all-time (slightly edging out Al Martin), so it’ll be a glorious day when he finally is gone. Pinero sucks…do you really need me to go on? Brousard doesn’t have a spot on my team, even as a DH. Plus the Mariners need all the financial freedom they can get, as you’ll soon see.
Ya You’ll Probably Be Good In the NL Again (The Trade)
It goes a little something like this…
Adrian Beltre sucks. His suck-itude is only amplified by the contract from Hell. Okay, really Chan Ho Park’s is worse, but still you get the point. I’m sick of Mariners fans holding out hope for him. I also realize that he’ll probably do a lot better once he gets shipped back to the NL. So here’s the deal a propose.
We trade Beltre to the Padres. We also pick up $2.50 million a year on his contract. I realize it sucks to still be paying him at all, but that’s what it’d take because San Diego are penny pinchers. In return we get a half-way decent AA prospect. I’m about as familiar with San Diego’s farm system as I am with the girls here at Gonzaga, so I have no clue who exactly we’d get. (Ouch, self-deprecating humor hurts.)
This will lead to people saying, “How could you just give Beltre away?” Umm…he is the anti-Safeco player and it really frees up the teams finances, that’s how.
Come Back…I Need You (Re-signings)
Putz (3 years, $12—Backloaded…$1.50, $4.50, $6.oo)
Soriano (2 years, $4.50)
It’s All About The Benjamins (Budget)
The first step that needs to be taken, is figuring out the budget. As you may know the Mariners have an unofficial payroll cap of $90 million. Now I’m no mathematician, so I’m sure they’ll be flaws and I encourage anyone to correct me on this. This is meant to get a ballpark number, not to be exact.
Player (Contract in millions)
Beltre $2.50 (Still Paying)
Snelling $0.65 (Arbi.)
Sherrill $0.5 (Arbi.)
So that comes out to about $61.34 million. Which as you will see will just be enough room.
Show Me The Money!!! (Free Agency)
I think this should be fairly simple and to the point. Here’s who we should go get…
Jason Schmidt (3 Years, $30 million)
As many have pointed out, long big contracts to aging pitchers usually turn out bad. As I point out, the Mariners need an experienced ace to lead this staff. Schmidt gives them that. He intimidates the opposing batters. Also he can mentor Felix on how to properly use his power fastball. At first I was hesitant to the idea of bringing him on, but I’ve slowly warmed to it. On top of all of that, if you’ve paid attention to the scattered articles throughout the season Schmidt has made it known that he wants to go to Seattle. This is why I think he’d sign for 3 years as opposed to a 4 year deal that everyone seems to be dreading. It’d also be spread out at $8 million the first year and $11 million the last two. But for the record I’d give him 4 years if that’s what it’d take.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (3 Years, $26 million, PLUS $24 million posting price)
He may seem like a gamble to many people out there, but really he might be the surest big time pitcher on the market. Don’t look at other Japanese pitchers failure in MLB as a sign of things to come. Those guys were all on the downward swing when they crossed the pond. Matsuzaka is in his prime pitching years. He also isn’t a one trick pony, he has an array of pitches at his disposal. Heck, I’d want him if all I knew about him was that he throws a gyroball, which might be the coolest thing ever (for those of you who don’t know the gyroball, go to Youtube.com and search “gyroball”). Matsuzaka would essential give the Mariners a third pitcher (along with Schmidt and Felix) that could be an ace.
Oh, one thing I want to comment on that damn posting price everyone is freaking out over. The real way you have to look at it is as part of the contract, especially when budgeting. Don’t see it as $24 million this year, look at it as $8 million a year over the course of the contract. It’s really a far more logical way to look at it.
Mark Loretta (1 year, $3.25 million)
With the departure of Beltre, there is a clear whole in the lineup. Since the market for third baseman this off-season is terrible, I thought it’d be best to go the other route. Get a second baseman in free agency and move Lopez to third, because he can actually play the position. In Loretta the Mariners get a player on the decline in his career and has lost his power, but still manages to get on base (see his .293 BA). The thing is that he’s really a low risk option. He’s basically a one year rental that doesn’t break the bank.
That brings the total salary to $89.26 million. Which is cutting it really close, but if you have a budget cap you might as well spend to it.
Swing Life Away (The Lineup)
I really think this lineup can do great things. Obviously, you start out with the best leadoff hitter in the game, enough said.
The 2nd hole should be filled by Lopez. Sure he’s fallen apart in the second half, but I blame some jackass named Hargrove for that. 2nd is where he is comfortable, if you need proof just look at how he played in that spot up until the all-star break. As soon as he got moved he lost his confidence and power. Put him back in there and maybe, just maybe, he can revert to the amazing form he started out with during ’06 season.
The 3 spot is open for a debate because there isn’t a “true” number three hitter on the club. So why not put the best pure hitter on the club other than Ichiro in the spot? On top of that Snelling plays with a fearless passion, so I doubt he’d get rattled like Lopez did when Hargrove put him in that spot.
The cleanup spot is an easy choice. Sexson was designed to hit 4th. Now I know he’s not perfect, but his power is undeniable (especially compared to the other Mariners). With the potent top of the lineup he will also get more of his favorite situation (bases loaded). Sure he’s overpaid…deal with it.
The next spot is the new and improved DH spot. Gone is Ben Broussard. He’d just cost too much when it makes far more sense to move Ibanez to the RHP DH spot. Look at his numbers against lefties and tell me he shouldn’t be platooning. Also moving him to DH vastly improves the outfield defense. Perez should continue to do his job and smack lefties.
Kenji fills the 6 spot. He could bat at 3, 5, or 6, but I think this spot suits him best. Isn’t everyone so glad we have him now. It’s so nice to have an offensive threat at catcher. Anyway, I got sidetracked there for a sec.
Y-Bet is next in the lineup. If he could just learn a little patience at the plate he could really be a great, yes great, hitter. He needs to be less Vlad and more Abreau. I think he’ll come around.
The newly acquired Loretta bats 8th. With his BA, Ichiro should get more chances to hit with guys on base…yeah!
The final spot in the lineup might draw the most criticism. I say you stick Adam Jones in right field. You can’t argue that there’s a more talented player to fill this hole in the Mariners organization. Ichiro in CF makes takes some of the pressure off Jones, since he no longer has to field the toughest OF position. Some people might suggest to keep him in AAA a little longer. But do you really want Bloomquist & Reed in there over Jones? Or maybe you think that putting him in RF slows his growth and he’ll somehow forget how to play CF. No. That’s not how it works. He has done all he can in AAA, it’s time to learn on the job. Also, I love batting speedy guys in the 9 hole. If they get on it’s like having a leadoff hitter on for your actual leadoff hitter. Anyway, that’s my lineup and I’m sticking to it.
Pocket Aces (The Rotation)
1- Jason Schmidt
2- Felix Hernandez
3- Daisuke Matsuzaka
4- Jarrod Washburn
5- Mark Lowe
How killer is that rotation? That’s a rhetorical question. The new Mariners staff has three count ‘em three aces.
I put Schmidt as the technical ace because he has experience as an ace in the bigs. I have no worries about him handling pressure.
I put Felix over Matsuzaka simply to help Matsuzaka’s transition to a new league. Oh and Felix is awesome.
Washburn…I really can’t stand Washburn. I really wanted to find a way to dump him, but there isn’t really any options. We’d have to pay most of his salary in order to get rid of him. I mean Washburn isn’t a terrible pitcher, he’s just an alright one who is vastly overpaid.
The #5 spot probably has the most discussion around it. Personally I’d try Lowe there, he’s the 5th best pitcher on the team (behind Felix, Schmidt, Matsuzaka, and Putz). It’s really just something I’d like to try. I’d argue he has as good of stuff as Jared Weaver (and many would argue against me). Hey, if it doesn’t work you move him back to middle relief and put Feierabend in there. And if that doesn’t work throw Baek in there. Really we’ve got lots of options, but I think Lowe has the biggest upside.
What!? Do They Think They’re Too Cool To Sit With Us? (The Bullpen)
Closer- J.J. Putz
Set-up- Rafael Soriano
Lefty specialist- George Sherrill
Middle Relief- Jake Woods
Long Relief/Spot Starter- Cha Seung Baek
J.J. Putz is a stud. Remember when he and Mateo were on the same level? That was funny. Hopefully Soriano will be able to make a full recovery (especially mentally) from his injury and become a great set-up man again. All Sherrill ever does is go out everyday and do his job, getting the tough lefties out. Middle relief…ugh. Definitely the weak point of the bullpen. Woods is serviceable at best and Chick has some potential, but isn’t there yet. Heck maybe one of them can have a Putz like transformation into awesomeness. That would really help. Chick was the last guy on the roster for me. I picked him over Fruto, Green, O’Flaherty, and Cruceta. I did this because he is a true middle reliever and I think is closer to being a solid contributor than the rest of the crew. The long relief/spot starters are in young, but good, hands. Both Baek and Feierabend could be the #5 starter (as stated above) and both will come in handy whenever a starter has a bad outing early. This will be the underrated part of the bullpen. Again, the bullpen could be Seattle’s biggest strength.
Willie Ballgame & His Posse (The Bench)
Willie Bloomquist UTL
Ibanez/Perez PH (Whoever isn’t in the lineup)
Rene Rivera C
Jeremy Reed OF
I know it’s not the deepest bench, but with the team tight for cash it’ll do. Also, with a new manager Bloomquist will be what he should be, a reserve who occasionally starts against a LHP to give a day a guy off. Rivera sucks but until one of the guys in the minors is ready we’re stuck with him. I still really like Jeremy Reed and he would be a great defensive sub/guy to give another guy a day off.
This Is The End, My Only Friend, The End
So there it is. The next World Series champions. Too bad probably none of this will happen, but one can dream. I encourage readers to tear this to shreds. But I stick by what I write. Oh and by the way I can official start my GM duties at any time.