Tuesday, January 04, 2005

M's to sign Pokey Reese 

According to Larry Larue, the Mariners are on the verge of creating a whole new look at shortstop, by signing Pokey Reese, and at the same time, selling Jolbert Cabrera to a Japanese team.

The details are sketchy at this time, and Larue's article sounds speculative, but it seems like the breakdown would be:

1) The Mariners are going to sign Pokey Reese to a 1-year contract for nearly 2 million dollars.

2) Japanese team planned to offer Cabrera a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract, and since this is something that would be good for Cabrera, the M's agreed to sell the rights to Cabrera to this team.

3) The Mariners plan on Reese being their starting shortstop and having Jose Lopez start the season with AAA Tacoma. This is the one that seems like it may need some more thinking. Losing Cabrera frees up the bench spot for Pokey. Losing Lopez as well frees up a bench spot for Willie Bloomquist or Justin Leone, I guess.

4) Larue speculates that this will be the last move in free agency and that any move to bring in pitching will involve a trade of Randy Winn or Raul Ibanez.

5) Unmentioned in the article, but it sure would appear that Willie Bloomquist will be back.

I have mixed feelings about this deal. If the article just said that the Mariners had signed Pokey Reese, I would probably be pretty happy. But in the same breath to indicate that we are losing our most productive bench player from last year AND that we are not pursuing Odalis Perez is a bit of a blow (with the potential non-pursuit of Perez the one that really hurts).

This will definitely solidify the infield defense as Pokey is excellent with the glove. Pokey's offensive upside is limited to speed - he's been a terrible hitter whose highest OBP has been .330 and last year hit a paltry 221/271/303. In a perfect world, Lopez shows that he's ready (defensively) for the big leagues and reclaims the shortstop role midseason, and Reese slides into a utility infielder role.

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