M's Accused of Desperation
And Jay-Z releases some chill tracks

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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.

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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.

BABVA,

Dr D

Comments

1

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." 

o.O
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.
~G
 
 

2

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.
moe

3

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.

4

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.

5
M-Pops's picture

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.

7
wily mo's picture

they also said beavan might be a future star

8
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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Shoutbox

Chat: 8/28/15 1:16pm
Interests: Environment Money Technology (212680)
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-08-28 18:55

Baker weighs in. Wow. http://www.seattleti...

2015-08-28 16:52

Ah, thanks for clarifying, okdan. I understand what you're saying.

My take? Doc has his reasons for going this route. We just don't know what those reasons are. Perhaps if we DID know we would understand, perhaps we would even understand that it's best we don't know.

And there are real people behind the creation and maintenance of this site who you've gotta figure are doing the best they can. Admittedly they face some challenges.

2015-08-28 15:52

That was me - okdan.

2015-08-28 15:52

I am as big of a supporter / fan / devotee / reader of Doc as anyone. SSI has been one of my top 5 websites for nearly a decade. It makes me sad to see how the site has deteriorated. The frustrating part is that the quality of the #Technology and infrastructure doesn't do justice to the effort and quality content that Doc churns out. If anything, my frustrations with this site are *because* I respect Doc so much. There is no shortage of free website templates out there, that with simple configuration would be light years better than this one. And when you're talking about a simple blog, the hosting costs per month are not significant. I bet just between the frequent posters here we could easily cover it.

2015-08-28 14:48

And we both recognize that Doc is not following the dominant model. It's part of what makes Doc...Doc.

I agree with you that the new Klat site has brought some frustrations and unexpected complications. But to me (and to many, I hope) those hiccups are worth enduring because of the unique offering that is SSI. Of course, everyone has to decide that for themselves, and it's reasonable for someone to make a different choice.

I'm not trying to pick on you, just sticking up for a friend who I've never met but much appreciate.

2015-08-28 14:40

DaddyO, when I say "free" I mean free to users. That's the dominant model. Even if ads are part of the financial side and pay for the operating cost of the service, users mostly don't pay on the internet. There are some exceptions here and there, but mostly that's how it works.

2015-08-28 14:36

And they have a big Netflix banner ad at the top. My "notice things" skills are definitely deteriorating!

2015-08-28 14:35

Well now that I scroll further down on SB pages they do have ads buried down there.

2015-08-28 14:34

Well, now that I look at SB Nation it looks like they do provide ad-free service. More power to 'em. More power to Doc too.

2015-08-28 14:32

All I'm sayin' is, Doc pays good #Money out of his own pocket to provide this place. No ads to offset his costs, or his labor. He provides his insightful and unique commentary for free. And it's a good thing he does, because I couldn't afford it if he did! I can't imagine anything appropriately called a "social media service" doing that.

2015-08-28 14:15

Almost all social media services are free. I don't think SBNation would just delete people's comments at random.

2015-08-28 14:11

HEY! Some really high class commentary by superior minds like us (heh heh!). Just GONE!

'Tis the WORLD's loss! 'Tis a cruel fate! 'Tis...'Tis...(DaddyO composes himself)...Aw, it's just some stuff we wrote off the top of our head that will be forgotten tomorrow anyway.

We have a RIGHT to demand more from a site where ... where ...umm ...uhh ...we don't pay ... a nickel...for so much...enjoyment. Hard to complain bout that!

Last evening in the sixth inning of a crucial game in the LLWS our cable went out for a few hours. And we pay a BUNCH for that service.

It's all good! Thanks Doc for the #Environment you provide for all us. For nuttin'.

2015-08-28 14:04

SSI used to be my first stop every morning, even before checking my email. Now, well... this site has made me not want to visit nearly as much as before. And that is saying a lot, considering how much I love Jeff's writing. I thought the initial clunkiness might be resolved, but apparently I was mistaken. Sorry to be so negative, and I realize that it is a free site and I am not entitled to anything, but seeing so many of today's shouts vanish sort of pushed me over the edge.

Reply - Richard - 8/28/15 3:52pm
Thank you for letting us know about the issue(s). We are working hard to improve performance and remove the clunkiness... I hope that you'll continue to let us know how we are doing.
2015-08-28 13:16

You can bet things will speed up.from here now that he is gone

2015-08-28 13:16

Yeah right today's shouts vanished.. was excited to see reaction to the Jack farewell tour

Reply - Richard - 8/28/15 5:32pm
The "lost" shouts are in the previous conversation - they were accidentally moved to last year. Sorry sports writers - we will try to not have this happen again!

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