|By Jason A. Churchill||By 01-24-2012|
|1. By: Saltydawg05 on 01-24-2012 21:36:01|
I know I'm in the minority, but I really like the trade. Jack is building some impressive young talent. Hopefully Franklin takes the next step and is soon ready to be the SS and Catricala or Martinez develop into the 3B answer... adding to the talent and forming a formidable lineup. The future looks bright and isn't too far out
|2. By: short on 01-24-2012 21:51:14|
My frustration is that there were a couple of trades I thought we could have made. I wanted the package San Diego got from Cinci for Latos. Ok, so maybe Jack wasn't high on Alonso...I really trust his judgement on prospects. But I really though either McGehee or Lowrie could have helped out at third base, and only cost a reliever a piece basically.
But overall I agree that the major vector toward success for the team lies along the path of developing our young players. We'll live or die by their success or failure. That's what Jack is banking on and he's shown remarkably good judgement about young talent thus far.
|3. By: Saltydawg05 on 01-24-2012 21:56:03|
No way Toronto was trading Lawrie. McGahee could have been useful as a platoon partner for Seager, but it's nothing to be upset about. Smoak to me is the key in 2012, he needs to take the next step. The team won't be competitive until 2013
|4. By: rocketdawg31 on 01-24-2012 21:56:30|
Myself, I'm going to be patient for as long as it takes.
I really think this season will be much like 2011- hopefully minus the 17-game losing streak: some promise shown, and not a full dose of suckitude like 2010 was.
This'll be the year when we start seeing more and more evidence of the fruit that's being planted. Either 2012 or 2013, the baseball world will be buzzing about what's being built here.
In the meantime, I'm wiling away a long winter trying to formulate ways how the Mariners could conceivably win the division title THIS year.
(I'm a realist, don't worry...it would take a ginormous confluence of things going right for us, a decade's worth of organization serendipity and a whole lot going wrong for both the Rangers and Angels.)
But I'm a lifelong-fan of a realist who's ready for some optimism to see. And barring something unforeseen, I'll be here- smiling like a Cheshire cat, too- when the team's happy days are here again.
|5. By: short on 01-24-2012 22:09:42|
Saltydawg: I was referring to Boston's trade of Jed Lowrie, the switch-hitting SS/3B. His bat is probably not as good as I had remembered it, though, and he's older than I thought.
|6. By: Saltydawg05 on 01-24-2012 22:16:30|
Oh I see short. That makes more sense. Not sure what it would take to get him, but I doubt Jack wants to give up too much if he thinks Franklin can be the guy in 2013.
|7. By: valencia on 01-24-2012 22:19:01|
We didn't have any relievers to trade for Lowrie or McGehee to be honest. We already traded Lueke for Jaso, and either Lowire/McGehee would have cost a Wilhelmsen/Kelley/Ruffin type arm. I know people like to say relief arms grow on trees, but the ones being traded (8-9+ K/9 with 3-5 years of control) actually don't.
|8. By: gwangung on 01-24-2012 22:33:33|
"Myself, I'm going to be patient for as long as it takes. "
Well, actually, you have to be, either under Zduriencik or the next GM, because you need a productive farm system even with free agents. And the only way to build that productive farm system is to take time. Can't stock a farm system with only one or two years of drafting...
|9. By: seizethecarp on 01-24-2012 22:35:03|
I'm not upset in the least the Mariners missed out on Fielder. The money and years are ridiculous. And I don't advocate giving up on Smoak just yet.
What I am a bit curious about is why M's brass let the fanbase get so worked up about a potential Fielder signing? The Mariners were always linked to Fielder some way or another. Jack should have set the record straight or at least managed expectations better than he did. It would have been easy to pull on his GM-speak jacket and tell the radio stations that Justin Smoak is our first baseman and will be super duper great in 2012. We don't have room for another first baseman on this team - etc. Maybe then fans would have been less likely to jump off their roofs when the Fielder/Tigers news hit.
Whatever.. I'm over it.
As far as the 'where do we go from here' line -- I would like to see a deal like Cameron is advocating. See if we could dump Figgins+$$+filler on Baltimore and bring back Mark Reynolds. That would be a nice offseason capper, in my opinion.
|10. By: Saltydawg05 on 01-24-2012 22:56:50|
What good does it do to deny interest in a player? (and for the record Jack never said they were in on Fielder) As frustrating as it can be at times as a fan, I think it's great that the front office keeps everything in house. No reason to let other teams know what you doing or not doing
|11. By: mjkleko on 01-25-2012 00:17:25|
Here's the way I look at it.
The reason for signing Fielder, allegedly, was the desire to bolster a lineup of young position players with a lefty bat with a whole lotta' pop.
The problem isn't the process or philosophy- no one is going to argue that putting one, select, big FA in the middle of the order is going to be detrimental, even if he is pulling the top dollar. It's that the 25-man isn't ready.
Sure we've got a good selection of intriguing young arms and bats, but for the most part we don't know which ones are going to stick at the ML level. Of the position players who are going to be the foundation, the 'team-friendly' contracted/young/effective bunch, you've got Ackley, Smoak*, and maybe Wells and Jaso** (Gutierrez and Ryan if you wanna add the vets). You can make an argument that each of these guys has had some Big League success and will play above replacement. And 3 of those 4 I'm being generous (especially Wells who strikes out in 26% of ML PAs).
Outside of that, everyone else is a prospect. Seager, Montero, Robinson, Chih-Hsien, Triunfel, Martinez, Saunders, Franklin, Liddi, Catricala, Chavez, Moore, Hicks, Castillo, etc. are not yet Major League players. And glass half empty? None becomes a starter.
Pitching is not much different despite the success of last season. You've got Felix followed by a whole lot of...talent. Spots 2-4 will supposedly be filled by Vargas, Millwood, and Iwakuma, yet I have a sneaking suspicion that Noesi and one of the youngsters, Paxton, Hultzen et al will be in the rotation Opening Day.
So you want to add Prince Fielder to maybe 5 or 6 players who are legitimately part of your core? Nope. Uh-un. Not going to fly. It's obviously too soon.
Two years from now things may be very different in that regard. This coming season could potential have some surprise success, in which case adding that prized FA to, by that time, hopefully a core of 10-14 players. But I think the real target is 2013-2014 offseason. That's when, if all goes right, you make the 'Fielder Splash.' Not because NY and Boston aren't bidding. Not because he's a big masher.
But because he fits. And Prince, you where just too damn fat.
*Some people think Smoak is unproven, I disagree. I've seen a player that has raked against some decent pitching and was soon after beset with injuries and the tragic death of his father.
**Jaso has two important traits and one lucky circumstance that will all but ensure his value to Major League team over the next 3-4 years at least if not longer. Passable defense at a premium position, the ability to get on base and the fact the league is bereft of decent players at catcher.
|12. By: Edman on 01-25-2012 00:31:39|
I'm always amazed that people think that all trades are possible, if Jack wanted someone. It's not that simple. Two teams have to line up. Why in the world would Baltimore want Chone Figgins and money for Reynolds? What does Reynolds offer that helps the team in the long-term? I would be willing to bet Jack would rather go with Liddi and Seager. Liddi is Reynolds lite, with more cost controlled years. When I talked to the Seattle scout last year he praised Seager's drive and commitment. After his first call-up he went back to Tacoma and started hitting the weight room, because he realized that he wasn't physically ready to play at the MLB level. I'd rather go with Seattle's kids, than waste money or lose prospects to get filler material like Reynolds.
And, I'm not sold on Jed Lowrie being much if any better than Kyle Seager. He's not enough better to take time away from either Liddi or Seager. Marginal improvement is not valuable.
If Seattle is going to make a trade for a hitter, it has to be someone like Montero. A guy who is clearly a better player than what you already have.
I was hoping we could sign Fielder, but I was thinking about the 10 year, $200 million range. The money he got from Detroit is insane. He's far more valuable to the Tiger than to the Mariners. The Tigers see their time as now. If they don't win the AL Central for the next three years, then there is something critically wrong in Detroit.
And, really, deny interest in a player? You expected the Mariners to say they were out of it, when in all likelihood they didn't know? Plus, Jack has a standing policy of not talking about Free Agents, be it Kevin Millwood or Prince Fielder. It's all part of staying the course. The hysteria about Fielder was not created by the Mariners. It was created by fans. The Mariners have never given any indication that Fielder was going to be had at any cost. In fact, Jack has clearly stated that if the money and years didn't make sense, that it probably wouldn't work.
Also, keep in mind that there is probably some personal interest for Prince, since his father played for Detroit, much like Griffey Jr. had for the Reds.
At least he didn't go to the Rangers, though I never thought it was real. It was probably just posturing by Boras, more than anything.
|13. By: ripperlv on 01-25-2012 04:58:51|
I'm a JZ believer and have been and will be. Still there are things I'd like to see done. However, JZ has a plan and he's sticking to it, and I'm going to believe. I think Smoak, Wells, Ackley and some of the others have upside. If they preform to their potential, we have an exciting team to build on. One of the questions that need to be answered this year is if we have a legit 3B somewhere in the organization? If not, that becomes a priority. Is Gutti capable of hitting again? Who's going to play right? I'm sure these are all questions that JZ is considering in his plan. Fielder would not have answered any of those questions.
|14. By: jgstecker on 01-25-2012 07:38:39|
I think Zdurenciek is a fine GM, but that alone isn't going to get us there. Jon Daniels is a fine GM with $50 million more in payroll to play with and an excellent farm system.
I just have a very difficult time envisioning the Mariners' "course" every catching up with Texas. Thank God for the second Wild Card.
I'm not too worried about the Angels and their irresponsible spending, but what happens when Billy Beane and the A's get that new stadium windfall?They're obviously stockpiling minor league talent and gearing up for it.
|15. By: seizethecarp on 01-25-2012 07:46:09|
To deny interest tempers your fanbases' expectations. Look what Dombrowski did just last week. He said the Tigers were NOT interested in Prince Fielder because of the length of contract it would take. Then.. Bam! They signed him up for 9 years.
In my opinion, Jack let Seattle fans almost get to the point where they EXPECTED us to sign Prince. That if there was no Prince signing, it was a failed offseason. He could have tempered that expectation by pulling a Dombrowski (or something like it). Tell Brock and Salk or Softy.. Whoever... That a deal is unlikely due to asking price, years, etc. It would have relieved some of the negative backlash.
And, yes, Reynolds would be a 1 year filler here. If it gets rid of Figgins and allows Liddi and Seager to develop a bit more, it's a good move. Not to mention the 30-40 HR bat he carries. Liddi flat out isn't ready for the bigs. Seager may need more time too. Reynolds (or someone like him) give the Ms more options aside from 2 rookies.
|16. By: Hailcom on 01-25-2012 08:59:34|
While it would have been fun watching Fielder mash the ball, at least it wasn't the Rangers, and at least the $$ were so high that it should be obvious to even the casual fan that the contract represents a huge risk/burden in the last four years. In a few years, it might be nice to have the $$ to give Felix the next contract he deserves so we can reward his loyalty and performance to anchor the rotation of a team that is truly competing for a championship.
I think Jayson is exactly right that Plan B is stay the course and use 2012 to answer a whole lotta questions about the young Ms. Was Smoak's last half an aberration due to injury and the death of his dad? Will Guti's apparent return to health mean a return to decent hitting in addition to stellar D? Will Carp be passable in LF while maintaining his 2011 second half hitting? Will Ichiro figure out what went wrong in 2011 and be productive? Will Montero be the hitter he was on his call-up last year and will he be acceptable in his (limited) plate D? Will Seager be the surprise hitter he was in AA and AAA? Will Hultzen or Paxton perform so well they push themselves into the rotation like Pineda last year?
Will the Ms compete for the Division? Likely not. But they could be better than most people think and more interesting to watch. I'm ready for games to start. We'll know a lot more about the Plan by mid-season when some of the above questions have at least some tentative answers. Glass half-full! Go Ms!
|17. By: seizethecarp on 01-25-2012 09:03:27|
Meant my reply to be to #12... Not 13.
|18. By: Madison Mariner on 01-25-2012 11:42:49|
"And, yes, Reynolds would be a 1 year filler here."
Not necessarily--he technically is under contract for 2012 with an option for 2013, yes.
However--his situation wouldn't allow him to be a free agent if his 2013 option was declined at the end of the 2012 season. That's because he doesn't have enough service time currently to become a free agent at the end of 2012. Currently, he has 4 years, 138 days of service time, and he'd have about 5 years, 138 days at the end of 2012(assuming a full year of earned service time in 2012).
That means no free agency after 2012 even if he gets a full year of service time(which he will). If his 2013 option was declined--by whatever team had him--he'd remain on that team's 40-man roster and be arb-eligible 1 more time. Meaning he'd get tendered a contract and then either directly negotiate a 1-year deal or go to arbitration if he and the team can't come to terms by a certain date.
So, if the M's were going to trade for him, it would be for 2 years of Reynolds, essentially. And the O's would be asking for an appropriate return, and I personally don't think a dump trade of Figgins for Reynolds would *ever* be possible, contrary to what Dave Cameron is suggesting(i.e. I agree with Edman here).
Just my 2 cents--and I'm very relieved we missed out on Prince. Good luck with that, Detroit. ;)
|19. By: Missthosepilots on 01-25-2012 12:09:55|
Sage Jason, thank you. I hope people appreciate the direction the team is headed!
|20. By: StandinPat on 01-25-2012 12:10:22|
"What I am a bit curious about is why M's brass let the fanbase get so worked up about a potential Fielder signing?"
Are you suggesting they should have experimented with some sort of mind control? Jack did exactly what he should have, be all over Fielder at the years/price that made sense to him. Just because Prince didn't want to come here/got a shit ton more money somewhere else, that has zero to do with the front office playing some sort of media mind games.
"What does Reynolds offer that helps the team in the long-term?"
The Ms need some RH hitting help, and not every move has to be for 2-3 years down the road. You don't stop looking to improve the team just because that player might not be part of your long term plans. Exhibit A, every FA signing the Ms have made this year.
"I would be willing to bet Jack would rather go with Liddi and Seager."
Liddi isn't major league ready, so that would be a bad bet.
"I was hoping we could sign Fielder, but I was thinking about the 10 year, $200 million range. The money he got from Detroit is insane"
Really? 10/200 makes sense, but 9/214 is insane?
"Also, keep in mind that there is probably some personal interest for Prince, since his father played for Detroit, much like Griffey Jr. had for the Reds."
Um, what? Griffey loves his Father, looks up to him and had found memories of being the Cincy dugout with him. Fielder despises his Dad, and I imagine would just as soon punch him in the face. Why on earth would he be going to Detroit to follow in the footsteps of a person he won't even acknowledge the existence of in the media?
|21. By: Gilligan on 01-25-2012 17:01:20|
Great insight here Jason.. Mariners are using place holders till certain high end prospects are ready.
I feel a year of evaluation in young major league talent and high minors is where they are at .
It will be good to see what they really have, and how close their core players to add free agents to.
I expect great improvement in the middle of the order batting. The middle part of the order was the most part lacking last year.
I feel a guy in Trouts mold, a lead off person may be in order. We have had the best lead off hitter in the last ten years with Ichiro. I hope people with our moves wont scream for him to be a #3 hitter? Never understood why anyone would want that. He is a leader off man always was always will be.
|22. By: DUWORKSON on 01-25-2012 17:19:32|
Personally I think the next move should be looking to add a true leadoff hitter within the next year. A young leadoff hitter with plus plus speed, plus plus defense with a potential high OBP. And, the most logical sense is a player that can play the CF position. Which means even if Guti plays well next year it doesn't mean he's locked in for the future. Internally the oganization have options at 3B and SS with Liddi, Martinez and Franklin moving foward. So I dont think its a priorty to upgrade those two positions. The window for this player to take over the CF position is 2013. Draft or trade for the kid as long as it doesn't affect our core. If JZ is looking to trade for the future CF I would look at the Blue Jays minor league system like CF prospect Anthony Grose.
|23. By: Rudolf on 01-25-2012 19:27:36|
While some would argue Ackley for that role, I would rather he stay in the #2 or #3 slot. Personally, I think Ackley makes a fantastic #2.
Two guys come to mind, and we don't have to draft or trade for them: Victorino and Bourn. Neither is a .400 obp kind of guy, but both have good speed, find their way on base often enough, and play pretty strong defense.
Neither may be available come next year when they are supposed to become free agents, but whatever. I think they would be terrific bats in the line-up and provide decent enough defense to be worth the investment. Depends on the cost, of course.
As for Anthony Gose, he might be four years away. He may never hit either. Why not invest in a bat we can presumably count on?
|24. By: DUWORKSON on 01-25-2012 21:18:02|
@Rudolf I'm thinking younger both Bourn and Victorino are almost 30 yrs. old. By the time this team is really ready to compete both players you suggested are to old for the CF. I want a player that's 22-25 yrs. of age that would fit the youth movement. I want a leadoff hitter that can play gold-glove defense and wreck havoc on base. I agree that Ackley could leadoff but he's more valuable at the three hole eventually. Ackley's body will fill in and the power will come perfect for the three hole. Maybe JZ has Flash's number...lol.
|25. By: dewey on 01-26-2012 00:07:33|
What if our prospects dont pan out and Smoak isnt any good like his 224 avg after 750 ab he has right now then what.Not being a ass just asking legit questions.We our counting on Seger i like the guy but not as a 3rdbase regular maybe a utilty guy who cant play SS very well. Im gonna get killed on this site for asking tough questions but i want the Mariners to win and right now we our hoping to fight for 3rd in a a 4 team division the smallest in baseball.And thank god for Beane and his fraud they call Moneyball if im to negative so be it but i speek the truth and fats..
|26. By: valencia on 01-26-2012 02:06:19|
If none of the prospects pan out we're screwed. That's the truth.
You can't build a contender on FA and 2 WAR trade targets. We tried that for 5 years with Bavasi remember? You need to develop your own talent, and if none of our talent ends up developing, we're screwed. If Boston didn't develop Youkilis, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, and Beckett they're screwed too. If New York didn't develop Gardner, Cano, and trade for Granderson, they miss the playoffs with a $190M payroll. Everyone needs to develop young elite talent, even the big markets.
The question is how many prospects do we need to pan out? The magical number is 5-6 all-stars and 5-6 good players. The rest are fungible. We're also going to have $70M+ to spend in 2014 off-season if we don't sign any players next off-season. That's with Felix, so we could probably buy 3 all-stars if we needed to (if available). That means we only need 1-2 all-stars and 5-6 good players to develop out of all our prospects by 2014 and we're a potential contender. The odds aren't bad - the Pirates wish they add these odds.
|27. By: Timberwolf on 01-26-2012 09:57:46|
The Scott Boras fog machine ensures that we will never know what happened, but it seems pretty clear that Prince had no real interest in coming to a young team in a pitcher's park that trained in Arizona. If any fan base should be upset, it is the Washington Nationals, who are a year or two ahead of us in the development process and can offer a more friendly park and a Florida spring training venue.
There is a time to shoot the moon and it is when you are close. The fluke season of 2009 when the Mariners so clearly overachieved was really destructive to the psyche of the fan base.
Jack Z inherited a broken old team that outside of Felix Hernandez and Ichiro looked like a first year expansion team. The problems are Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong, who have presided over a decade of failure since Piniella left.
Hultzen and Paxton should be ready for 2013 and may show up earlier to get some seasoning. 2012 is the shakedown cruise to find out which guys are going to be real players, who can be spare parts and who doesn't belong in the big leagues.
This team should be adding payroll and beefing up for 2013, either by FA or trades. I'm patient, but it doesn't last forever. I'm giving them one more year.
|28. By: StandinPat on 01-26-2012 10:30:37|
"What if our prospects dont pan out and Smoak isnt any good like his 224 avg after 750 ab he has right now then what?"
What if we lose our ability to taste cheeseburgers, then what?
"Not being a ass just asking legit questions"
That's not even close to a legit question. So of the young players will develop into reasonable facsimiles of what their ceiling should be, some will develop partially and just become useful pieces, some will flame out and be completely useless, only time will tell. That's what 2012 is for, figuring out which players can be part of the future and which can't. After that it's pretty basic Dewey, use the useful players, and replace the non-useful ones.
|29. By: cc80rm84 on 01-29-2012 17:04:48|
Is it possible for a team two deep at six positions all populated with players under 25 to simply use a season to see if 5-6 of them shake out? There is absolutely no way to know exactly what you have in projectable guys like Smoak, Ackley, Montero, much less the really tough guys to judge Carp, Wells, Peguero, Robinson, Seager, Liddi. Jack Z, Wedge, McNamara, none of them really know who will produce at anything above replacement level. Beyond Montero's 18 game stint, there is not an 800 OPS season anywhere in this list yet! 800! I think Jack is doing exactly what he should, play as many of these guys as much as possible, see who improves key skills and produces more consistent numbers, then decide where we need to invest once Ichi/Figgy are off the payroll. No need to spend big until we have a consistent base of 10-15 players we can count on. Let's see Ackley, Smoak, Montero all put up 800+ OPS seasons and then optimism will be justified and Jack will have a true sales pitch to a free agent.
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