Thursday, February 12, 2004

Responding to the Challenge 

I think USS Mariner called out your Mariner Optimist to find a GM who is a worse talent evaluator than Bill Bavasi. Until we see what the players do, I think the jury is out, but there is no question that Bavasi is not a sabermatrician's best friend. Still, look around and you'll find other boneheaded moves, like the signing of Jose Offerman to be a pinch-hitter that Aaron Gleeman lambastes in his latest entry.

Okay I'll bite. Lets try Pirates GM Dave Littlefield and Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd. How'd I do?

In general, the pessimism of this offseason is more noise than necessary. There was only one stellar free agent we had a shot at, and we made a run at him. If we had landed Miguel Tejada for 6yr/$75M, would everyone say this was our best offseason ever? The M's tried to grab him at 3-4 years at $9M and upped it to 5 years even, as they attempt to bring fiscal sanity to MLB. It didn't work and now "Bavasi is an idiot" and "the M's management is cheap" seems to be the prevailing hue and cry throughout Marinerland.

First, lets sum up our major moves.
Added: Ibanez, Guardado, Spiezio, Aurilia
Lost: Cameron, Sasaki, Cirillo, Guillen, Rhodes

Argue all you want about the bench, but our offense is better, our bullpen is strong, and our defense has been weakened. To be unbiased, call it an offseason of no improvement (I'd argue improvement, the pessimists would say we went backward).

Even without Tejada, other teams have done FAR less to improve themselves. Imagine being a fan of one of these teams...

Arizona replaced Lyle Overbay with Richie Sexson for a year (rendering the infamous Greg Colbrunn acquisition useless), but lost Curt Schilling and Miguel Batista. Thank goodness they added Robby Alomar & Carlos Baerga. If only it were 1997 again.

Atlanta replaces Gary Sheffield, Javy Lopez, Greg Maddux, Jason Marquis, Robert Fick and Vinny Castilla with J.D. Drew, Eli Marrero, Antonio Alfonseca and John Thomson. Ouch.

The White Sox added Marvin Benard and Robert Person! That will surely offset the loss of Bartolo Colon, Carl Everett and Tom Gordon.

Cincinatti bolsters its rotation with the impact signing of Cory Lidle while hoping to dump Junior's contract anywhere.

Cleveland loses Ellis Burks and gets Jose Jimenez. Yawn.

The Marlins lose Pudge, Derrek Lee, Juan Encarnacion, Braden Looper and Mark Redman and sign Wil Cordero and Armando Benitez. No dynasty here.

Dodgers lose Kevin Brown, Jeromy Burnitz, Brian Jordan, Daryle Ward, and Fred McGriff to get Jeff Weaver, Jose Lima and Juan Encarnacion.

The Brewers hope their youth arrives soon as they give up Richie Sexson and bring in lots o stuff. Admittedly, they may be a better team because of it, just because they have nowhere else to go.

Minnesota loses AJ Pierzynski, Dustan Mohr, Eric Milton and Eddie Guardado, but manage to keep Luis Rivas.

Les Expos lose Vlad and Vazquez and pickup Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera and Carl Everett

Oakland loses Tejada, Jose Guillen, Ramon Hernandez and of course, John Halama to pick up Mark Kotsay, Bobby Kielty, Arthur Rhodes and Mark Redman. Of but they have "The Big Three"... Well, the M's have the "Studly Six".

Pirates lose Reggie Sanders and Matt Stairs in order to pickup... Joe Table!

San Fran loses Jose Cruz, Rich Aurilia, Benito Santiago, Tim Worrell and Sidney Ponson and adds A.J. Pierzynski, Dustan Mohr, Michael Tucker and Brett Tomko. I bet Barry is thrilled.

The Devil Rays managed to turn Joe Kennedy into Mark Hendrickson and Travis Lee into Tino Martinez. Still they will probably be improved just through sheer numbers of signings of ex-Mariners (Paul Abbott, John Halama, Rey Sanchez, Jose Cruz Jr, Tino Martinez)

The Rangers eternal quest for pitching sees them lose John Thomson and get the immortal Kenny Rogers.

Finally, the Blue Jays moves are so dull that I can't tell if they are better or worse.

So, the Angels and Yankees spend and spend, the Bosox add Schilling, and the AL Central remains anyone's race. I think Spiezio, Aurilia, and Ibanez will make M's fans forget about Tejada as we win the 2004 World Series. Its a great time to be a Mariner Fan!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?