M's Accused of Desperation

And Jay-Z releases some chill tracks


Jemanji:  Zduriencik looks kind of shrill this winter.  And who could blame him.  If he has decided it's time to stop playing for two years from now, it's okay by me.

Buster Olney, quoted by Grizzly:  Olney says that "industry rivals" view the M's as desperate this winter. That's a little frightening - we saw what happened the last time the M's had a front office in "desperation" mode.  Safe to say those "industry rivals" know a lot more about Jack's mindset and how frantic the club is than we netizens do.

Silentpadna:  Grizzly, I don't think it's safe to say that at all. Industry rivals are known to say things specifically for public consumption. If I'm GM of the Rangers and I sense the M's are about to make any serious in-roads, I might plant a suggestion like that into the rumor mill. That's a big part of the game these days.

Jemanji:  That's part of the game for sure, but I wonder whether savvy GM's aren't looking at Zunino, the Napoli visit, the calls the M's are making to everybody up to and including Randy Johnson, and seriously wondering whether Zduriencik's under the gun.

Zduriencik:  quoted by Baker, trying (um, desperately) to defuse the situation.

“We have some money available, but we’ve also spent some money already,” Zduriencik said. “Some of our arbitration cases are going to take some of that away, the recent signing of (Hisashi) Iwakuma is going to take a little bit away, as well as Oliver Perez. And the other thing that ties into this, in a lot of these sigings that you do, somethimes there are incentives attached. So, you have to budget for the incentives that players could make as well. But just to do a singing to do a singing, I don’t think would be the right thing to do. If it makes sense and it’s what you’re looking for then certainly you have to entertain that and certainly go down every avenue that you can.

The Mariners are obligated to around $2M in potential incentives for 2013.  The Mariners only have five veterans total who are owed anything whatsoever beyond arbitration awards.  Felix can earn $350,000 if he wins EVERYTHING including Cy Young, Gold Glove, and playoff MVP.  Gutierrez can win $50,000 for a Gold Glove.  Ryan can earn $0.75M for 600 plate appearances.  And Ackley's got some incentives.  So yeah, maybe that $2M means that the budget is real cramped, despite what the team president just said about how he wants Josh Hamilton pretty bad.

The line about incentives blows the cover for my man Z.  He's definitely doing damage control here.


But I do think we’re kind of in a really unique spot here because I think that for the last several years we’ve been trying to put this whole thing together where we’re very young at the big league level, as you guys know. We’re now going to be sittig with — if some of these players don’t make our big league club — we’re going to be sitting with a lot of players on the AAA club a phone call away. And my guess would be several of them, if they don’t make the club out of spring training, we’re going to see another nice group of kids get to the big leagues.

Yeah, we like our kids.  Don't assume we need your player over there in Kansas City or Miami.

Right.  After four years of watching the current kids come up and struggle, Zduriencik's now going to want to re-rack with another set of kids who will come in with 0 AB's and 0 IP's?

Dr. D has nothing against damage control.  He just doesn't expect rival GM's to have a lot of problems seeing through the protests.  They are evidently taken aback by the full-court press that is being applied by a team that does not usually play full court.

Deal with it.  A lot of teams are aggressive in the offseason.  It's weird only in Seattle.


Dr D

Klat Categories: 


Since all young, able prospects must NOT go at any price. I mean, there are some WEIRD value ideas out there. At this blog, for instance, there are the following quotes by the writer and commenters about a deal between KC and Seattle:

Paxton:  "It’s no doubt a project but he might be a throw in with a later name mentioned as he’s probably a season or two from being MLB ready."

Maurer: " Another throw in candidate..."

Grab bag: "Gets down to how you value prospects relative to established major leaguers. I think Gordon should return at least Hultzen, Ramirez, Walker, and a couple of A-ball lottery picks." 


I would rather trade a bowl of artichoke dip for Mark Reynolds than trade Hultzen, Walker, E-Ram AND a couple of low minors guys for the right to employ Alex Gordon.  He's not Miguel Cabrera, sheesh. 

If we're trying to win now and we're gonna do it all with young pitching, then Walker is probably the most expendable of the Big Three.  If we can't sign a bat in FA and use some money on another pitcher, then maybe it's Paxton or Hultzen.

But pieces held too long lose value, especially pitchers.  Jack has to maximize the value of the young kids to us while actually WINNING SOMETHING.  Anything, really, but preferrably bringing us at least a Wild Card chase.  And I'm sure he's under pressure/orders to do just that.

Throwing all the kids overboard a la Bavasi is not likely to be his style, but you never know.

I just hope. ;-)  Chasing a pennant with the most talented kids in your arsenal is still pursuit (see: Oakland 2012).  Praying for good years with Beavan, Cust, Olivo, etc... that's not pursuit.

If we deploy Paxton, Hultzen, E-Ram, The Pen O' Death, Zunino, Montero, Franklin, etc?  I'll consider that a chase engaged, regardless of their struggles. If we trade some of them for a Gordon type and go with Napoli over/alongside Montero? Also pursuit.

But it'll be hard to convince me we're truly chasing anything meaningful if the best and brightest talents remain on the farm, and we don't have bright talents blocking their major league path.  THAT's what I'm waiting to find out from Zduriencik.





They don't care how much they lose, as long as they don't get humiliated by, heaven forbid, somebody bluffing them with a bad hand.

There are Seattleites who don't care how lousy their analysis is as long as, heaven forbid, nobody ever calls them a homer.

Paxton as a throw-in?  Without the slightest rancor, that is truly a remark that rules you outside the category of serious analyst.  That's like me commenting on hockey.


The article you quote seems to come out of KC, so I guess it's a little more excusable to call a top-20 prospect a throw-in.  But I've seen some stuff on Seattle blogs that wasn't a lot better.


We've got young, incredibly talented players at the front of the line. You can't wait for them to look like Willie Mays or Bob Gibson 2 or 3 years running at AAA. You have to roll them out onto Safeco and say, "Go get 'em kid!" Some will struggle, but they will figure it out. If they don't, then you know what you have.

I'm a bit frustrated by the common view that what we have is a bunch of young trade fodder. Getting three years of Gordon for 3 first class arms is an example of that.

"Go get 'em, kid," is indeed chasing a pennant for real. This one or the next one..

I think Z has shown a bit of desperateness, if all the rumors are true. The coomment above is the first one I've seen where he seems to buy in on going with youth, to some degree. Good for him, finally.

If we make a trade, offer up Walker (or somebody Walker-esque) and a young IF and get a bat. If we don't, then let's play the kids, Liddi included. Get Hultzen and Franklin in the rotation soon, Zunino up quick, get Romero to play LF if he's 3B blocked by Seager, get Franklin on the field....and play ball.

We have an incredible stockpile of blue chip prospects. They ain't all trade fodder. Use 'em.



I hope that Jack isn't under the LincStrong pressure to do something for the sake of doing something. He's saying the right words but his actions will be telling. With the winter meetings on the near horizon, it won't be long until we know how deperate the org really is. The desperation thing could just be agents trying to play up the M's interest in their clients.


Sounds like Z is already trying to soften the blow of another bargain-bin offseason. Bummer. However, I would think that he may be relieved not to have to sign off on a Hamilton/Swisher/Grienke add with which he is much less than comfortable.

Trades are the area in which Z is most widely regarded to excel. Trades, typically, don't cost very much cash compared to signing FA and I would expect that, if Z really is feeling the heat to improve the club, he would devote the bulk of his energies there.

It sounds like Z is having to accommodate the ownership's wish to emulate the Rays, as much as possible. Sadly, a Felix extension and a trade for a corner OF prospect is all I expect this offseason.


bsf's picture


... and a pitcher would be nice. The pitcher doesn't even need to be the top of the market . A two-year stopgap will be sufficient to make us better in the short term. The long term will be covered by the farm. Danny Haren comes to mind. Yes, please hit a grounder to the best SS in the game.

One good hitter is important. And I think Z knows that. Better FA than trade though, in my opinion. There's nobody worth risking the farm for currently available. And next year most of the kids will have even more trade value, because at least Hultzen and Little Nicky will have seen the light of the show, and everyone else is one year closer.


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bsrWe'd have trouble either way, whether we had Noesi pitching for us, or if he was pitching against us. He's the downfall of the M's in every scenario.50 min 46 sec ago
bsrL. O. L. rick53 min 2 sec ago
rick82We're gonna have trouble if the playoffs are a bunch of Hector Noesies1 hour 2 min ago
mojicianHear hear. Checked out the gameday today a little bit. Kluber was dealing, but the Mariners have a problem. Felix was dealing too. The lineup has to be potent enough to scrape out a couple of runs against anyone, or at least a random moon shot home run, or the Mariners will not win many important games.1 hour 7 min ago
rick82Losing to Kluber was no big surprise. But I'm glad Felix got the record. Congratulations, Your Majesty!1 hour 10 min ago
bsrThe playoffs are going to be a bunch of Klubers. If we can't do any damage to that caliber of pitcher, we won't get anywhere in the playoffs even if we get there. Add Lester AND Price...won't matter. Can't win with zero runs.1 hour 26 min ago
bsrMariners shut out again. Cano and Seager with 2 out of 3 total hits. Leadoff Dustin and #2 Endy leading the charge with a couple 0-fer's. Fat Ichiro still hitting more like minor league Ichiro. I know Kluber is a tough draw but...oy vey.1 hour 32 min ago
phxterryI understand the frustration with the M's failure to address the COF black hole, but the roster has had a glaring weakness in the OF since the spring of 2013. It's not as if this problem arose yesterday, or a month ago, or even in 2014 ST. Just because other teams make moves to shore up their rosters, by trading from strength, does not mean that the M's FO will act similarly, or act in any sort of a rational manner. I hope that my pessimism towards the M's FO is unfounded and that Lincoln/GMZ surprise us all.2 hours 7 min ago
DaddyOSo Felix sets the MLB record for consecutive ultra quality starts. He's had one of the great stretches of pitching in MLB history. Fourteen starts. The way things look he'll end up 7-2 with five, count 'em FIVE no decisions. All because the M's don't consider it essential to provide even the most basic functioning offense, year after year, while one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history toils with reduced success. I don't get it. I'm hoping this tirade will trigger an M's comeback so he ends up 7-1.2 hours 9 min ago
IcebreakerXThat said, the M's have players like Franklin, who's immensely talented, that aren't being moved to other positions or anything at all. Personally, I'd start trying Franklin in LF because THAT reinforces the fact that you value him AND raises his trade profile more than leaving him at SS. The M's actions make it seem more like salesman Jack than GM Jack.2 hours 27 min ago
Bat571This is a lousy time for Cano to go into a slump.2 hours 29 min ago
Bat571Yeah, Ice, I've been calling it rebalancing or restructuring, but it really is synchronizing to try to be good at all the different aspects in one year. But for want of a RH OF who can OPS >.800 THIS YEAR, regardless of what we have coming, the Ms will probably fall short of the playoffs. But then again, in January, the theme was how lucky the Ms would have to be just to get to .500 . Guess I just gotta put on my Hayley Mills/Pollyanna persona/avatar and try to think the good thoughts about everybody.2 hours 32 min ago
moethedogOK, I am incredibly frustrated that we are staring at the deadline and we still haven't made a COF move. This was the teams greatest weakness 40 games ago. I don not understand it. There was no "perfect" move to make but almost any move was better than sitting still.2 hours 36 min ago
IcebreakerXUnfortunately, Bat, that's not necessarily true, especially because of the MIF clog. If the M's aren't willing to trade, shape or use the talent they have, it'll just rot. I think the key axiom here is that it's hard to hit gold at every position in one organization at the same time. The reason why you trade is not necessarily to just add talent, but to have talent synchronize together to hit critical mass.2 hours 59 min ago
Bat571I wonder if Lou would consider a Tony LaRussa-like Strategic Director job with the Ms? Probably not.3 hours 44 min ago
Bat571Even if JackZ does nothing, the team will get better given the talent on the team now and coming in the minors (look through the As top 20 and the Yankees top 20 on MLB.com and then look at the Ms top 20 and focus on level and actual performance). That said, if he does nothing, I'll be sorely disappointed, and the farm system is going to get very constipated at MIF, 3B/1B, and pitching in the near term, and RH power in a year or so. Go, JackZ - get us Kemp/Rios/RH OF and put some icing on (if the cost is from where there's excess) with Lester. Make Lou proud and go for it!!!3 hours 54 min ago
Bat571From another Beatles song (looking at last years record at the same point) : Got to admit we're getting better, getting better, all the time... Now if it just can go on ...4 hours 7 min ago
Bat571ROOTSports tagline: Mariners - true to the LOU ! Not exactly.4 hours 21 min ago
rick82Everyone will be batting left handed on both teams except for the catchers.5 hours 5 min ago
DaddyO!!! BREAKING NEWS !!! --- Endy Chavez, starting in RF in Cleveland tonight, and batting second. Don't tell ME these guys aren't serious!5 hours 11 min ago