PTI: Third Base for 1H-2012 (Intro)

... and pardon the thread re-boot.  But chat threads can get fishing-reel-snargled with you guys.  All y'all's "comments" are more like Articles of the Week and by the time they interweave back and forth about 200 times, Jonah Hill his ownself would be confused...

Also please pardon the fact that statements are re-phrased as questions.  If you think I'm barging in here, check me in the line at an Old Country sometime.


Q Malcontent:  Is that a reasonable scenario, the 1H 2012 in which Zduriencik has imported a 3B?!  Can you see it happen?

PTI Jemanji:  Yes.

Game Theory dictates that you (1) proliferate your options, and then (2) exploit the most profitable option.

In Monopoly, you don't roll the first 9, buy Connecticut, and then set your fangs for the light blues come Texas or high water.  You try to set yourself up to score any of four different monopolies, and then you start a bidding war.

In chess, you don't push your Queen Pawn and then set for a minority attack on the left three files.  You occupy the center and then look around for the softest target (which targets are constantly morphing).

Pardon The Illustration, but Game Theory is especially relevant in the winter.  It's all about variations and calculations, and the practical lessons from Poker / Chess / Whatever definitely help clarify.


In other words, kiddies, when Alex Liddi bats .089 next March, when Kyle Seager is gone for a catcher, and Chone Figgins does what he's been doing, you are indeed back to Malcontent's question.   Sorry 'bout dat.

Right now we look like 3B is piled 5 deep.  But there are 30 GM's in baseball who have been through Zero Is The New Five spring trainings.

If the trade opportunities, or whatever, provide an opportunity at 3B, then yeah.  Good post Mal.



RockiesJeff's picture

You mean you don't just wait until you hit "Free Parking"? No wonder I am terrible at Monopoly! Great illustrations!!!!!
Elsewhere it was said that 3rd base is a real issue for so many clubs. Here the Rockies have had a revolving door at 3rd base. They hope Ian Stewart grows up soon. Baseball has a true way of exposing weaknesses in a hurry.
Best the playoffs are not here anyway, too much snow today!

ghost's picture

You know what is possibly the best sign that the Mariners are on the right track after a decade of futility?  I can't roster the team mentally and know with any certainty that I'm right about who will go where. LOL  Remember all those posts of mine in 2008 and 2006 where I tried to find the team's big-board weaknesses and suggest ways to fix them without making another green name on the board disappear?  Remember how many times I hit a wall because the non-green guys were tied to long-term deals or you couldn't trade them because they had no value and the minors had nothing to offer to help?  And most of all...remember how many roster spots we knew about six months before the next season even started?  It was often as high as 18 or even 20!
Now...what is our depth chart like?  Can you really (with any confidence) say for sure who will start in LF, CF, 3B, SS, 1B, C, DH, SP3-5, RP3-7?
I can give you approximate depth charts...but they'll just be guesses as to what the Mariners are currently thinking.  And, if you read the reporting on the Mariners of late, you become aware that a lot of cash is freeing up to acquire players and that they are more likely to increase payroll than decrease it (because Zduriencik has done exactly what they wanted him to do and is now owed the reward of more resources if he so requests them).
Here are the contracts we know about with certainty...and it's sad that most of the money is going to players that suck (other than Felix).
SP1 - Felix Hernandez: $19 M (and $20 and $20.5 M the next two years)
RF - Ichiro Suzuki: $12 M (up front...$5 M into a trust fund for Ichiro's later use)
IF - Chone Figgins: $9 M (and $9 M more in 2013, they will make sure his vesting option does not vest)
CF - Franklin Gutierrez: $5.5 M (and $7 M after that, after which his 500K buyout will certainly be exercised)
C - Miguel Olivo: $3.5 M (with a $3 M club option for 2013)
2B - Dustin Ackley: $0.8 M (0.3 from his contract and a 0.5 M raise since he made the majors)
SS - Brendan Ryan: $1.75 M
That's $51.5 M in guaranteed contracts (if you want to count Ichiro's deferred money, it would be $56.5 M).  This year's payroll was aroud $80 M.  So there is $25 M at least to spend even if they don't raise payroll.
Some of that will go into our two (that's 2) expensive arbitration eligible players. Jason Vargas and Brandon League.  Who I think we can safely assume the club will retain if only to be traded for goodies when the opportunity arises.
SP3 - Jason Vargas: Arb 2 (~$5 M)
CL - Brandon League: Arb 4 (~4.5 M)
OK so now we've spent $66 M including Ichiro's deferments.  Tack on about 20 more league minimum paychecks (some going to vets on cheap MLB deals for org insurances, some going to the scrubs from our own prospect pool who stick or have already stuck) and you're up to ~75 M.
So that's most of the available money.  This, BTW, is a strong argument against the assumption made by some that payroll will be cut again due to Larson's financial troubles.  Cut down to what?  I just spent $75 M...there's no room for it to go down any further unless you give away your arb eligible talent (which is such bad baseball that I can't see it happening).
You could, obviously, go the route of spending your $75 M, adding a couple of cheap middling FAs (Bedard, Reynolds, one of the CFs, another veteran C?, LOOGY?) and calling this development year #2 at about the same cost as development year #1, payroll wise.
I think that is not how they will go, but it is possible.
Realistically, though, I named 7 guys that will actually fill roster positions for the club in the known contracts pool (and two that probably won't...Guti and Figgins...though both will get long looks in ST for obvious reasons).  Meaning there are 18 (!!) unknown spots on my roster card and lots of interesting players vying for those 18 spots.
A best guess might be:
Catchers (2):
Miguel Olivo
Adam Moore (one more try, kid...don't hurt yourself sneezing)
Infielders (6)
Dustin Ackley (2B)
Justin Smoak (1B)
Alex Liddi (3B)
Kyle Seager (IF)
Brendan Ryan (SS)
Chone Figgins or veteran insurance grab is Figgins faceplants again (IF)
Outfielders (5)
Ichiro Suzuki (RF)
Mike Carp (LF)
Casper Wells (CF)
Trayvon Robinson (OF)
Pick a prospect from Halman, Chiang, etc (OF)
Rotation (5)
Felix Hernandez
Jason Vargas
Michael Pineda
James Paxton
Erik Bedard (and when gets hurt, Danny Hultzen, Charlie Furbush or Erasmo Ramirez)
Bullpen (7)
Brandon League
Tom Wilhelmson
Steve Delabar
Shawn Kelley
Josh Lueke
Chance Ruffin
Charlie Furbush or Cesar Jimenez
But there's a lot of play-room there...and if they decide to spend some money, and you go and get a marquee free agent, you're not adding a guy who will block other guys becuase there are so many spots open that the combinations will work themselves out.

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