Friday, November 12, 2004

M's Offseason Plans 

A few bloggers have given their opinions on what they would do in the offseason, and they are entertaining reads. I was going to do a full-blown analysis in the same vein, but I have decided NOT to take this approach, as investing hope in some sort of dream plan that won't happen inevitably leads to pessimism, and I'm not going there. But, I will scattershot my thoughts about the plans out there. I think the key is flexibility, because no matter how many blogs want Adrian Beltre, it is quite possible some team will give him the 10-year package that Scott Boras wants, and we should be prepared to move on.

Dave at U.S.S. Mariner centers his offseason on signing Adrian Beltre, Matt Clement and J.D. Drew, and then pulling off a trade to land Austin Kearns. With every team seemingly having an Austin Kearns trade rumor, it would appear he is truly on the market, and if so, the M's should pursue aggressively, as he could be a superstar at a bargain price.

Trent at Leone for Third is also on the Beltre, Clement and Drew bandwagon. But his trades get a little more unrealistic with us dealing Meche, Choo, Strong, Winn, Nageotte, Mateo, Franklin, Bloomquist and Taylor in three deals that land us Expos 1B Brad Wilkerson, Padres starter Brian Lawrence, Padres OF Xavier Nady, and DBacks utilityman Alex Cintron.

My thoughts on a general M's approach would be:

Big bat 3B - Beltre or Glaus. Easiest position to upgrade, and we should go hard after Beltre, but 10 years is nonsense.

Big bat 1B - Sexson or Delgado. Big hole here, though Ibanez could move from OF if we sign an outfielder instead. The blogosphere loves J.D. Drew, but I'd rather take my chances with 3 years of Delgado or Sexson, then putting the injury-prone Drew into CF. Delgado would be choice #1 as he seems well suited to the ballpark.

Big bat SS - Nomar, Renteria or Cabrera - Lopez can take over 2B next year. Not many are talking about upgrading shortstop, but this is a place for great improvement. And this becomes more important if we can't sign Beltre at 3B.

Keep Lopez & Reed in minors unless they are playing everyday, and out of Spring Training they should not be playing every day if we make impact signings.

Starting pitcher - I'm with the blogosphere on this one - Clement all the way.

Relievers - Adding a top-flight setup man like Antonio Osuna would fortify bullpen and provide Guardado insurance.

Catcher - keep Olivo and buy low on Wilson as a backup. If other team wants Wilson, and he wants the money more than to stay in Seattle, let him go. Right now, the White Sox are rumored to be pursuing Wilson.

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