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Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The Pudge Bandwagon 

The Pudge Rodriguez bandwagon continues to grow in the M's blogosphere. I hopped onto it and stepped on the gas last Friday. At that time, we did not have $9.5M extra to spend. Also at that time, Pudge had not received a 4yr/$40M offer from the Detroit Tigers.

I'm assuming that since Pudge seems to be pulling a Juan Gonzalez by not immediately accepting this extremely generous offer, that he must be hoping that a team with World Series aspirations may come a calling. So maybe it will not take such an extreme offer. The Marlins reportedly offered him 1yr, $10M but now can't sign him until May, and the Orioles tried 3yr/$21M. So something in between, should conceivably work.

Catcher is a position where we easily can get a significant offensive boost. Centerfield is the most likely other one. Deal Ben Davis or Dan Wilson Offer Pudge 3yr/$21M with Plate Appearance clauses (say, $1M for each 50PAs over 400 over 3yrs) that could move him to say 3yr/$30M or even 4yr/$40M (add a 1yr/$10M player option if over 450 PAs all 3 years) if he stays healthy. Get creative. Give him an opportunity to return to the AL West to have his revenge on the Rangers. And avoid Detroit.

At least give him the opportunity to say "No."

Okay, I know Dan is a 10-and-5 guy with many fans, but Lou might persuade him to be a Devil Ray. In the truly wishful thinking department, we trade Dan to Lou for Tino.

Pudge is not the hitter that Magglio Ordonez or Jim Edmonds is. But his upgrade over DanBen is at least as substantial as either of those would be over Randy Winn. If we don't make the move in the offseason, the pressure will be on the M's front office, and I don't think they want it. Cries of "Beltran or Bust" will be echoing through the blogosphere. M's management does not pull off trades well when they HAVE to.

Make the splash now.

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