Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Pitching on the Horizon 

From my blog to the PI, apparently the M's are now looking into Odalis Perez and Kevin Millwood. Hooray!

Millwood will come at a bargain price, and has a high ceiling, as evidenced by Cy Young quality seasons in 1999 and 2002. Last season was a "down" year for him, going 9-6 with a 4.25 ERA and spending some time on the DL with an elbow injury. The Braves are trying to bring him back to Atlanta with a 1-year, $5 million contract, well off the $11 million he made last year. A one-year contract in a great pitchers park may be a win-win for the M's and Millwood.

Odalis Perez, meanwhile, seems to have slipped off everyone's radar during the frenzied days of Carlpalooza, and the fevered signing and dealing of pitchers Ortiz. Of all the pitchers who might sign a 3-year, $21 million contract this offseason (and there seem to be dozens), he might be the one that is a bargain at that price. Perez has averaged 200 innings over the last three years, and last year put up a sparkling 3.25 ERA. He would be an excellent use of resources to go with Adrian Beltre and ONE of Delgado/Sexson.

Meanwhile, the word on Richie Sexson is still wait and see. It definitely appears that he was in Seattle and took a physical. Whether he passed, failed, or died is all rumor at this point. So is the contract, whether it is 3-year, $33 million or 4-year, $48 million. Lee Pelekoudas, the M's assistant GM, would not confirm "whether there had or had not been a physical." Fun stuff.

All these outstanding offers to top notch free agents sure has Finnigan perplexed. Finnigan's articles always irritate the Optimist. They paint the M's as short on cash, lucky to win any free agent, and shouldn't we all be grateful they are even talking. In this latest kitty-pan-liner, Finnigan explains how the M's must be resorting to a dreaded accounting device to squeeze two top free agents into their Finnigan-imposed $16 million cap... backloading. *Shudder* Oh, the horror, not backloading! And has great lines like... "with neither Beltre nor Delgado likely to sign here, Mariners officials have turned to shortstops." Whatever - they seem just as likely to sign here as anywhere else.

Stay tuned...

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