Amigos reply to my Morales and Morse question with the counter, "That's what they're HERE for. To help develop the kids. Pressure's off them, they can benefit from the example, etc."
Amigos reply to my Morales and Morse question with the counter, "That's what they're HERE for. To help develop the kids. Pressure's off them, they can benefit from the example, etc."
I disagree with the premise that we're sacrificing a LOT of playing time. Bay isn't going to make the club, and if he does, he'll only be stealing time from Casper Wells, who the front office has decided it doesn't like. Ibanez is a fifth outfielder...he might get 300 ABs strategically against tough right handed pitchers that would give guys like Morse the most trouble and in the late innings and such.
And the fact that Morales and Morse are here on one-year deals says that they're not in anyone's way...if the club doesn't stay in contention, they get traded and here come the kiddies! If they do stay in contention...did you want your kiddies in there at line-up slots 2-7?
Frankly, I think the only guys that adding Morse and Morales impacted for playing time are lame prospects that don't merit playing time if you're serious about winning anyway. Guys like Liddi, Smoak if he doesn't hit, Carp (who is gone now, sadly) Thames, Wells, etc. What they DO do...is positively influence the prospects that MATTER. We need Ackley, Montero and Smoak to hit. We paid premium jack to get those guys...and they are a collective total failure thus far. They have got to hit. Period. And forcing them to do it as the center of an inexperienced and undermanned offense is asking a lot. There's nothing wrong with bulking up the MOTO to give the prospects you're actually planning to win your next pennant with a better chance to succeed and sacrificing your lesser prospects as a result.
. . . they're here to buy a year so Z doesn't lose his job before the young guns arrive.
Quoth, "You've added 10c worth of positive influence and taken away 25c worth of actual game-time experience for them.'
Perhaps the kids had $22 worth of game-time experience and $0.37 worth of positive influence. Perhaps that 10c of the one thing would result in a greater positive net impact even after sacrificing the 25c worth of the other thing. Perhaps the kids are just...that....close to the tipping point and bringing in:
1) Positive veteran leadership to show them how it's supposed to be done and
2) An external offensive presence to take the load off
were identified as the necessary components to move the kids over the tipping point.
Wish I had the answer.
Adding the Z-axis to these variables is convincing.
Not sure I agree :- ) but the counter-point is hard to refute.
Yeah, the acquisition of Morales doesn't really fit. Production is important every year though. We have tried Griffey-Sweeney types in the past and it wasn't enough without a consistent MOTO.
I mostly think that developmentally the acquisitions of the M named M's is in moving expectations away from younger players. There's not as much pressure now for any of them to produce beyond what normally would be for any player of their age, experience and skills. Maybe still Ackley as he will still be leading off, but using rookies like Saunders, Seager, Smoak and Monteroat #3/4 won't be the case this year. Not that any were rookies going into this year but all of them spent time in the MOTO in their rookie years. I'm not saying it does necessarily impact their production in a negative way, but it takes the excuse away.
I do think there is an imperative every year to improve as much a you can without losing sight of long term goals. No transaction that was completed gave up long term for short term specifically, aside from playing time for some questionable outfielders. None of the core is affected by the acquisitions in playing time except for possibly Montero at DH, unless you consider Wells a core player. Saunders, Seager, Ackley, Smoak and Montero should all expect to be unaffected in playing time for as long as their respective leashes seem reasonable.
The attempted trade for Upton was definitely a trading long term for short term move regardless of the players that were involved. As bad as the offense has been doing everything possible to make it better in peak and depth seemed a huge need to me going into the offseason. I think they've done very well.
I understand the idea if going for it vs waiting but I think Zduriencik sees it as an either way season. If things go well the end of July will likely see acquisitions, if not we'll probably see selling. Zduriencik has always cautioned against saying what the team should be on that level before the games are played and the acquisitions seem to fit an undecided attitude. All except Joe Saunders, that is. Saunders is the only acquisition I really see as taking time away from young players development.
The additional offense creates a much more nurturing environment into which to introduce a bushel of brilliant young arms. Not unlike the Seahawks being willing to hand the keys to a rookie QB because their defense and running game would not require said QB to carry the team.
Our troop of spectacular young guns is about to be deployed upon the American League. Much better for them to join a team that can grab them an early lead, play add-on, and put them into the proverbial rocking chair. The pressure on our pitching staff the last few years has been ridiculous - give up 3 runs and the game is lost!
Additionally, if we subscribe to the theory of "high stress innings" being more strongly correlated with pitcher arm injuries than total innings pitched, the improved offense will help avoid overtaxing those young arms while also protecting the organization's prime asset - the golden right arm of el Cartelua.
I think Jack Z. Is banking on Beaven, Garland, Bonderman, keeping the back end of the rotation warm just long enough for the young guys to arrive. I expect (and suspect Jack does too) these guys to start arriving this year. They will likely come one at a time, whenever each *shows* he is ready (and/or passes the Super 2 cutoff). Keeping them in the minor a little longer is also a strategic way to limit their total innings this year so we don't have to Strasburg them in the midst of a playoff run.
http://m.mlb.com/sea/news/article/2013022041812932/ Morse has immediately come in and been a cheerleader for the team and the city, he's been very open talking about his personal struggles in establishing his big league career, I'm just waiting at this point for the story off him taking Alex Liddi under his tutelage. It seems to me that he has immediately stepped up as team captain.
That said, I'm with you on Morales and Morse being brought in here to give the team a chance to truly compete and not just keep from embarrassing themselves. IF Z just wanted leadership, he would have got Bay and Ibanez and called it good, the Mariners won 75 games last year and the team didn't lose anyone while gaining the Astros. This team is put together so that a breakout from a couple of kids puts the Mariners in the playoffs.
First thing Zduriencik says about him. The sincerity of Morse's desire to help fellow Mariners is irresistible.
Not sure that makes him a team captain type, but the point is well taken. :daps:
The consensus seems to be -- Shine on you crazy Jack-man, bring in the legit offense and let the kids fit in much more gently. Surprising to me that this would be so popular, but kind of cool.
Question. Where were Morales and Morse last year? In 2012, the kids were swimming in the deep end all alone. Though much less prepared a year ago, they were given much more responsibility. Now, far more prepared, their dutes are cut back drastically.
What's going on NOW, that the 2013 zig should be SO oblique against the 2012 zag?
The org is correcting what was, in 2012, a strategic blunder?
The casual fan reads this article and takes away from it: "Cool. Doc thinks that Morse is going to hit 30 dingers". The finer points of macro strategy and organizational goals and inconsistent modus opperandi of upper management are as invisible in the light of 30 dingers as if I was trying to watch Venus eclipse the sun with the naked eye. You get a telescope with a shade on it and maybe you see a little speck in there somewhere.
Time to get out some shades and bask.
Is a good way to look at it, I think. Maybe last year he was to all in on Fielder and got caught without what he wanted. I don't know what options were available last year especially early in the season but I can't imagine there were many that looked good for more than last year. It was more pertinent after seeing Montero and Smoak not being ready for MOTO duties than it was before last season. I mean, now Seager might be good enough for one of those spots, but there really was need for at least one more.
Regardless of partial reasoning it's improvement to the roster. They could have said Seager and Montero look like our MOTO but then one injury and wedge is having no fun. Besides now instead of #3/4 they are #5/6 or 2/5 more often. The whole of the lineup is improved by improving the other spots over what would have been there as well.
I don't see 2012 so much as a blunder as a year to throw the offensive (pun noted) spaghetti against the wall to see who would stick. Done knowing full well that the arms were coming but were at least 1-1.5 years away.
Get some ABs under the belts of the young hitters, find out who is a keeper and who isn't, clear some payroll deadwood, aim to be a legit contender in 2014. Being a legit contender in 2014 to me means at least a couple of the young guns getting significant (~100) MLB innings in 2013.
Next offseason we add a big bat (Stanton?) to an 88 win team and its game on!
Remember, Jack was standing next to the contract signing desk with breifcases full of money ready for Prince to pull up a chair. The Tigers blowing up the Prince market *must* have been a torpedo in the entirety of the team-building battleship. Subsequent moves do not make sense otherwise.
As an aside, how steamed must Jack be at Detroit? Fister and Prince...man.
My opinion is that Z is buying time. If the big 5 (Erasmo, Hultzen, Walker, Paxton, and Maurer) and the other big 5 (Smoak, Ackley, Montero, Franklin, Miller) don't work out, Z is out of a job. In this regard, Jaso, Morales, and Morse are irrelevant and his strategy was set years ago and has not changed.
What has set in is his preservation instinct, a preservation instinct that has him buying time. His goal is to insure that if enough of those big 10 pay-off, HE is still around to benefit from it. Or From the perspective of your prior posts, these are tactical decisions to buy him more time to let his strategy play out, not a change in strategy.
Just my 2 cents.
I'm having a hard time buying in on the idea that Morse and Morales were acquired to let Smoak and Ackley "relax' into excellence.
Not the likely reason.
Ackley is a thoroughbred, man. Everytime the gate opens he's going hard. He's played with pressure his whole lifetime. Being 19-yr old in the ACC is a pressure-filled situation. He's used to pressure. I'll guarantee he will tell you that last year was no more filled with pressure than the year before. His performance was not pressure related. Why was there more pressure on him last year than as a rookie?
And I just don't think you can statistically show that bringing in the hired bats makes the rest of the lineup hit better. Coincidentally it might happen......but coincidentally it might not.
You bring in Mike Morse because he just might give you 30 homers, not because he might give you 30 Liddi or Smoak homers. Or 30 Carp homers!!!! Why not keep him, then? Establishing a casual relationship demands more than anecdotal evidence.
We've gone all in for serious improvement in '13. That's the point in all of Z's move. Whether I agree with them (Morse, Morales, Saunders) or don't (Raul), the theme is "Win THIS Day."
Last year Wedge intended to have grizzled vet types at C and 3B. He hoped to have siginificant experience at SS and CF. Carp and Ackley and Smoak were hardly wild bets, considering their performance the year before. Well, Smoak was probably still a bit of a long bet. Last year failed because our grizzled vets were terrible, Carp never got out of the box, Ackley found a huge slump, Smoak established himself as not very good, Guti collapsed, and Ryan hit like Mario Mendoza. Thank goodness for Seager and Saunders, guys who came out of nowhere, really.
Young guys, BTW. Why didn't a fizzling Olivo and frightful Figgy ruin their years, too?
And I don't think that Mo-Mo are just one year wonders.....I don't think Jack buys that, either. One of those guys will re-up...or both. Watch.
We're better than we were in '12. Significantly better. We will be better yet in '14.
I notice Ackley is the only one you're supremely confident it wouldn't ruin. I also notice he's the only one still slated to be in a higher pressure spot in the lineup.
It's not exactly my theory, I mention it because I've heard it so much from said players and their Manager. It's their theory. Wedge believes in the effects and more importantly the players believe in the effects. It's easier to get new players than change their beliefs.
2012 wasn't a CHOICE. 2012 was a result based on the baggage left behind from 2009-2011.
The 2012 roster started with:
Those four players had sizeable contracts, (except Ryan, but the club had no better option than Ryan).
In March, "the plan" included Guti and Carp as regulars.
Saunders and Figgins in the OF wasn't "the plan" -- it was the result of circumstances beyond Z's control - and the baggage from previous years.
Without the Carp njury, it is (IMO), likely Saunders plays most of 2012 in AAA and Seager is fighting for PT coming from a coach with a strong predisposition toward veteran entitlement.
Where were Morse and Morales in 2012? They were Jaso and the intractable roster spots for Olivo, Ichiro and Ryan.
Morse and Morales are POSSIBLE in 2013 specifically because Ichiro is gone and it is POSSIBLE to dump Carp, (and Thames and Trayvon, etc., etc., etc.)
While I hate to see Carp go, it is a vastly superior position than being forced to eat up roster space with a worse than useless veteran who had (apparently) earned the right to go out and embarass himself for ANOTHER 66 games.
There has been a lot of angst about all the 1-year contracts. But, this misses the point that "getting good" is different than "staying good". Tampa ... Texas ... Oakland ... all went from bad to good by SLASHING salary, limiting long term deals and building rosters dominated by short term and mostly low paying contracts. This isn't about stars and scrubs - it is about FLEXIBILITY. If Carp fails - go get a new body. If Figgins fails (with a 4-year contract just under 8 figures a year), you are forced to live with that mistake for at least 3 years.
The pink elephant that everyone continues to ignore is that Seattle STILL has not managed to produce an .800 bat from within in a dozen years. They certainly threw plenty of shiny propsects at that target last year - and every one failed. Smoak, Ackley, Seager, Saunders, Montero all failed to hit .800. The closest they have come in the past 12 years was the .791 in half a season from Carp.
The combo of experience (plus the park change) should end that streak this year. But, the simple truth is the slump has not ended yet. Until it does, Seattle cannot possibly become a legit contender (barring a choice to spend the $200 million a year needed to build an offense without ANY cheap-year productive talent.
I like the odds that 1 or more of the kids does break out and become an offensive star this year. But, it's no guarantee. If/when some of these kids come through, then you actually know who to reward and what slots you need to pull in multi-year talent to keep the ship moving. But, as Texas and Anaheim both demonstrated last year ... it quickly gets VERY expensive to stay on top.
I have serious doubts about any "positive" impact Ibanez might have.
He returned to Seattle in 2004. That just happened to be the season Seattle plunged from 93 to 63 wins. (not saying he is to blame, just stating the facts).
His final year was 2008, (the club won 61 games).
In the first post-Ibanez season, the club won 85. (again, not saying "causation"), but clearly not a data point that argues for "added value", considering he was easily the most productive bat for Seattle in 2008.
Some of the young guys Ibanez had the opportunity to positively influence:
I mean ... seriously ... the club finally ditches the king of veteran-who-doesn't-help-anybody-else-at-all last season, and the kids production picks up ... yet, six months later the same drumbeat of the kids needing a dose of veteran-leadership doesn't even pause.
The Os got rid of Vlad and Lee and got better.
Who brought the magic veteran leadership potion to Oakland last season?
Why is it impossible for people to accept that Longoria or Posey or Cespedes is capable of bringing the makes-others-better magic to turn a club around, even without a decade of MLB (tm) experience?
Okay .. I protest too much ... perhaps. But, honestly, if one is looking for positive influence on others shouldn't one at least take the time to look at the pattern of behavior where a veteran HAS moved around, (like Ibanez)? When your coming/going win differential is 54 games to the BAD ... how does one justify the contention that Ibanez is actually likely to have any kind of positive benefit to anyone around him?
I don't think Ibanez is there to teach the young hitters how to hit. I think he's there to serve as Wedge's liason to the clubhouse. It's more about Wedge than it is the players.
Oakland had Brandon Inge, Jonny Gomes, and Coco Crisp, all veterans that had played on successful teams.
Baltimore had Mark Reynolds, Jim Thome, and Nate McLouth.
Tampa had Jose Molina, Ben Zobrist, and Carlos Lee.
Yes, there are some amazing talents who are mature and capable of dealing with the transition to the majors with very little support, but rookies are guys in there 20s, making incredible sums of money and traveling the countries largest cities for the first time in their lives while facing the best competition the world has to offer. Having a few guys that have a method to their preparation before each game or series, who have a regimen to keeping themselves in shape and healthy through the season, who know how to process a tough loss our series of losses without carrying it through to the next game or can help keep a young guy from getting into bad habits trying to break out of a slump.
Ibanez tried with Betancourt and Lopez, but sometimes people don't learn. It's not like Lopez or Betancourt or Reed blossomed when they left, Jones was only on the same team for a couple months over 2 years. Morse blossomed the next year and might have in 2008 if not for injury.
I agree with the benefits of adding the legit MOTO hitters, leadership, examples, etc., even at the possible, minimal impact on the kid's playing time. The other side of it is that the moves cost the team nothing they weren't ready to spend on roster salaries anyway. We paid no big FA contract and kept the #12 pick. Ibanez gets his victory lap at our benefit, and Morse and Morales are walk year rentals. If they do poorly, they walk away without costing much. If they do well, they can be dealt at the deadline, as they are marketable bats for contending teams. If we keep them for the year, we can extend them if they are willing, or make a qualifying offer ($14M?) which they accept or we get a pick in return. I like the prospects of them doing well. 2013 has the team in a good position.
Inge: 86 OPS+ (just above career average)
Gomes: 140 OPS+
Crisp: 105 OPS+
Molina 80 (way better than his career average)
Pena,,,not Lee, btw, 94
Minus Pena, those guys all produced. It wasn't their veteran status...it was their bat.
Raul has to hit. Just being there isn't enough.
Definitely meant Pena, I didn't mean to get my Carloses crossed. Raul Ibanez hit for a 104 OPS+ last year. I agree that he has to hit to earn a spot, just like Bay and Morse. This is not going to be a team where a mediocre or worse bat can squeak in for lack of other options, if Ibanez isn't a useful bat, even if we let go Wells, Thames will still be stashed in AAA, with Stefen Romero and Alex Liddi likely there as well, so the veteran presence has to hit.
My comment, however, was directed at teams Sandy cited as having no veteran leadership to guide the young ones. My point was that they did have and/or acquired veteran leader types to fill holes rather than simply pushing forward a guy in AAA.
moethedog: Or 3, Gordon. :) I just expect him to break almost at any moment. I just posted in the Ackley thread that I can't be real excited about bringing Guti back. Basically he's free, but it won't be long before he tweaks something. An odd case, isn't he?40 min 30 sec ago
Gordon Gross: The right handed glove outfielder position is filled with Guti now. As a 4th OF, I like the move. He hits lefties and can run down a ball, as long as he's not playing 6 games a week. Or 5. Or 4...53 min 29 sec ago
SABR Matt: blech...Perez is not now, nor has he ever been, good.1 hour 8 min ago
Bat571: As far as BP arms go, Chris Perez is another guy worth considering, even with the baggage. The Ms will shy away, especially now that Washington has its new laws, but I'd rather the Ms sign Perez rather than Cruz, for instance, because grass, though illegal in Ohio, is not performance enhancing, so it's not cheating in baseball. I'm not trying to start an argument with anyone about it, but just think Perez is worth considering.2 hours 51 min ago
Bat571: And I wish the Ms would hire a BP specialist to work with the minor leaguers on pitch selection, sequencing, "tells", and so forth --- Wonder what Eddie Guardado is doing these days? Think he could help Leone, Colvin, Hunter, Kohlscheen, Brazis, Pagan, et al?3 hours 39 min ago
Bat571: Terry - If you get a Hanrahan or Aardsma, you would have the veteran who will talk to Farquhar, Pryor, Wilhelmsen, Furbush, and Medina about how to get better, even if they start the season on the DL (where they could be in the BP talking) or in AAA getting stronger. I'm surprised the Ms have waited this long, but there's some really good guys out there. The best that are left are recovering from TJ surgery, but the success rate these days makes it less of an issue - especially if the plan is (as with any young team) to get better as the season progresses and build a sense of momentum - which does wonders for attendance. And Eric O'Flaherty, when he gets back to form from his TJ, could be a devastating pairing with Furbush. I agree the BP needs improvement, but the KIND of guy is important with the young talent we have and that is coming (CSmith, Leone, Colvin). I hope the Ms can find a couple that are not just high-heat, but can make the BP better.4 hours 8 min ago
phxterry: Bat - To go with that top-flight rotation, the M's need a bullpen that locks down opponents for the last 3 innings. Nothing is so discouraging as giving up a lead in the last couple of innings. Too many games were lost in 2013 in the late innings due to poor defense and poor relief pitching. Good relief pitching may be 2014's "moneyball" proposition with quality starters becoming so expensive -- e.g., Billy Beane has aggressively upgraded the A's pen this off season. Lots of good relievers are already off the board as the M's seem content to wait to fill holes in the pen and at BU Catcher until there are few choices left. Would like to see the M's sign a quality RH reliever soon.4 hours 35 min ago
Bat571: Whether it is Lee, Price, Hamels, Garza, Jimenez, or Tanaka, the cost is going to hurt. But the Ms advantage is that they have money and an excellent situation for pitchers. A guy coming here doesn't NEED to be *THE MAN* - but if he wants to be, he can have at it. If the cost in prospects/cash/contract commitment can be kept "reasonable" - I want to see one of those guys in the Ms rotation.4 hours 45 min ago
Bat571: And what I really hope to see in 2014 is an Ms rotation that just takes the wind out of the sails of ANY opponent. Even if Walker and Paxton are inconsistent, and we have occasional starts from Maurer and Erasmo, I hope to see a rotation that on any night against any opponent, we could see a 10+K shut out from any spot in the rotation. No more "5th starters are expected to be below .500" B.S. Walker is as talented as Jose Fernandez, and has had better preparation. Let's see him and Paxton blow 'em down! And with Iwakuma and Felix we'll see consistent mastery, as well as domination. Would it really hurt, Santa, to have one more like them?4 hours 52 min ago
Bat571: Personally, if Tanaka gets much above ~$18M ($108M for 6 yrs), and Maeda is below $12M for a shorter term (e.g. << $12x5 = $60M), Maeda *looks like* a better deal. But with short RH pitchers there's a risk - and can he really outpitch Erasmo, who at this point is possibly a health risk, but not a performance risk? His NPB numbers are good - but the NPB pitchers who have done well here are the big ones - Darvish (6'5"), Sasaki (6'4"), Iwakuma (6'3"), Nomo (6'2"), Uehara (6'2"),... Granted Irabu was 6'4", but conditioning counts, too. All things considered, I hope the Ms can get Tanaka without having to go above $120M. Maeda might give the Cubs or Rangers or D'backs a bargain at 1/2 that, but I like Erasmo for a short RH, too. Tanaka gives the hope of another dominant starter; while Maeda may be successful, I doubt that he can dominate.5 hours 2 min ago
Gordon Gross: I think one of the Texas teams will likely sign him for that, but with Detroit anything is possible. Their owner isn't getting any younger.5 hours 52 min ago
moethedog: Or Choo blew it, G. Can't believe he didn't have some input. Wouldn't surprise me if Choo ends up in Detroit, for 6 years and less than 90.5 hours 58 min ago
Gordon Gross: Poor Kendrys may need us to sign and trade him. That QO is like a guillotine over his signing value.6 hours 39 min ago
Gordon Gross: Didn't Boras try to get Michael Bourn 5/100 last year, and wound up at 4/48? Boras didn't turn DOWN the 5/100 that time, though, he just wanted it. 7/140 cash-in-hand was a win - with the Yanks out of the market, I'm not sure where Boras is getting that money from. He almost always finds somewhere but maybe this is the year the seats are all taken in the game of musical chairs. If Choo lands someplace for 5/85 then Boras blew it big-time.6 hours 42 min ago
okdan: Wow, the confirmed report is that Choo turned down 7/140 from the Yankees *after* they signed Ellsbury. And that Boras countered with a deal closer to what Ells got, but the Yanks moved on to Beltran. If we weren't already, at that price, gotta think the M's are definitely out. I know I'm gonna be proven wrong, but with Choo and Morales it seems Boras might be overplaying his hand.7 hours 32 min ago
okdan: I don't see the M's going over $100M for Tanaka. I think they'll try and leverage their Japanese connections and influence to be able to bid lower than other clubs. Whether that's a strategy that will land Tanaka, I'm not so sure. I'd be more than happy to get Maede on a deal like that, Terry. At this point I think we're more in the market for a #2/3 guy than a #1 anyhow.7 hours 46 min ago
phxterry: Just looked at Maeda's stats - impressive numbers. At what dollar point does the relative value shift between Tanaka and Maeda? Suppose total cost of Tanaka is $120M for 6 years and Maeda can be had for total cost of $50M for 4 years. Does the value proposition/risk management equation then shift in favor of Maeda?7 hours 58 min ago
phxterry: Per MLBTR - Rauuuuuul to Angels.8 hours 2 min ago
Grumpy: Juicy spaghetti? Yuck!12 hours 22 min ago
M-Pops: POTD request: Tanaka vs Maeda – MLB transition (as per Taro's postulation that the two may be similarly effective)!18 hours 47 min ago