Roundtable on Sandy's 2010 Roster, I

FLIP:  Me?  I'm hoping that Griffey gives a nod to the organization that he'd like to come back in a non-playing capacity.  Make him a hitting coach...

CHOP:  Precious few inner-circle HOF'ers will condescend to make the kind of money that ML coaches make ... and in addition, Griffey has to talk his wifey into being gone for one more year in the sun... a much easier sell if it is from the standpoint of finishing a glorious career at 650 homers...

That said, John Wetteland's heroic cameo in the bullpen has paved the way for this one.

IFF Ken Griffey Jr. feels like he's disappointing himself at the plate, and he himself decides to retire, then this might be less far-fetched than we'd think.

Would love to ask Junior the question.  After he'd retired, that is.

This pepper-chop serves for the appetizer in a Sandy-Raleigh roster plan that revolves around the question of, "Do you spend 2010 giving 300+ AB's to a number of your blue-chippers, to see what you've got?"



FLIP:  Sweeney, IMO, is the smarter returnee, because he showed he can handle the righty-killing aspects of Safeco and it's proven to be much harder to find right-hand bats who can produce in Safeco.

CHOP:  From a performance standpoint, there's not much argument against Sweeney at all.  He justifies the coach-on-the-bench locker by doubling as the M's best hitter, next to Ichiro, in the second half.

Griffey's a sentimental, intangibles, returnee, who probably won't hurt the club.  But Sweeney is a sensible bench player even without the leadership.

2-for-2 from NC :- )



FLIP:  Hopefully, if Z makes any trades this off-season, I'm hoping he adds some MI prospects so the club can hopefully avoid the string of disasters it had at short in 2009.

CHOP:  Ya, this is the 'invisible' part of the GM's job that fans overlook when kibitzing roster moves -- the stoploss.

When GM's get into back alleys with sucking chest wounds at tough positions -- 3b, SS, #5 SP -- sometimes they can't even get a decent minor leaguer in there.  It's humiliating.   Many GM's moves, such as Chris Shelton, have to be viewed in this light.

Zduriencik stretched quite a ways to deal with the SS embarrassment -- but Jack Wilson may be stretching too far.

Am sure Sandy is 3-for-3 again.  Capt Jack has got to be wide-eyed and panicky over the SS situation that he inherited (I certainly would be).   Paying $8M for a 65 OPS+ shortstop would be an awfully lazy 'solution' to this plan, if you ask me.



FLIP:  The Ms stand at perhaps the hardest point on the rebuilding timeline.  You're a .500 team that "feels" close enough to compete immediately. 

But, you have prospects that are poised to slide into open roster slots.  Do you resist the urge to go for the quick fix and kill your development program via trade or free agency, or do you roll the dice that the talent you're developing is ultimately going to be worth the growing pains.

You've gotta make that choice KNOWING that it is likely that the growing pains may well cost you a shot at the post-season in 2009 that you might be able to achieve with a quick-fix veteran.

CHOP:  This is the third-order thinking for which San-Man gets the we're-not-worthy bows.  He's looking at the second derivative of speed here, change in acceleration.  At what point in the climb do you dump fuel and trade rocket boosters for maneuverability?  :- )   Armed with the awareness that this is your decision point, you can make a delicate judgment as to where you think you are -- 40% chance, 60% chance, whatever, of challenging.


But I would take the other side on two minor points here:  I think that the Mariners could attempt to contend even if they went with the 'rebuild' mode above.

Suppose that Morrow pulls a Kerry Wood? 

Or, as we've heard :- ) isn't Ian "best stuff of the last 5 years" Snell even more likely to do so?   Can't we ask Jack to come up with a 110-OPS+ Scutaro or Hatteberg-type or two on the open market?   Billy Beane does this every year.  Suppose Zduriencik finds two Scrubs who actually hit?


Reversing the dilemma, if you do play for 2009 -- if you flip (say) Tui and Carp for immediate help, to me that doesn't flush any kind of influx later.  You've got Ackley, you've got Triunfel, you've got a bunch of guys.  No two or three minor leaguers 'are your future' -- not that Sandy's claiming that they are.


Part II



Why interrupt the conversation by randomly stopping the previous thread and starting up again here, Doc?
As to your question regarding Wilson taking a paycut...I doubt he'll be THRILLED about it...but he's not going to get an offer any better on the open market...he just won't...not in his economic environment.


For similar reasons to the ones that having us running multiple, chunkable articles as opposed to the 3,000-word articles that we used to run at D-O-V... dispersion is valuable ...
From an admin standpoint, comments threads of 10, 10, 10, 10 are preferable to 0, 20, 0, 20... you win Cy Young awards that way too :- )
We had a couple of hundred DOV'ites paying $8-10/mo for that site ... happily, this one will be $0 as far as the eye can see ...
and SSI is without advertising, pledge solicitations, or any fundraising at all, I believe ... not even so much as a GoogleAd, at least past and present ...
With a very stable platform, and technical hiccups promptly and expertly solved ...
So hopefully any little maneuvers that we take, to optimize wordflow and traffic flow from admin points of view, will be seen as very user-friendly, in proportion against the alternatives :- )


And if you wish to support the site here no subscription, donation, Redditing or etc. is needed...
If you're feeling warm-and-fuzzy about the free, ad-free D-O-V, simply dropping in posts (one sentence or 100) are the SSI way to toke the dealer.
If you're usually quiet when reading :- ) then even so much as a post that says "c-points" is a good way to keep the shtick comin' for a while yet ...
Gracias all -


... four 3,000-word articles with an average of 50 comments each, vs. twenty 600-word threads with an average of 10 comments each .... my understanding is that the spyders and bings and random-visitors of the world have an easier time zero'ing in on the dispersed material (legitimately, considering that we don't spam keywords).
Also, I'm huge on information-chunking anyway.  Always have been.
Am in a bit of a build-the-traffic mode at the moment, and again, considering that we get elimination of fees and advertising, hopefully the maneuvers are an acceptable tradeoff :- )
There are a lot of reasons, but the above are the first ones.


...I take it then, that you would rather my big end-of-season post be a series, rather than one massive thing.

OBF's picture

So what IS [the model now as opposed to your model at]?  I have been expecting google ads or some other type of advertising for the past couple months, once site flow got consistent and could come to agreements with ad providers, but I guess not?
I also wonder about the SBNation (lookout landing) guys, because, while they do have ads on the site, I am pretty confident that no contributors actually get paid.
I am continually amazed at what level people (myself included :) ) follow sports games (after all it is just a game), to such extents that they would spend hundreds and thousands of hours watching, stewing, writing, stewing, commenting, yelling, and stewing over every move, sigh, side ward glance, statistical trend, normal activity, and strange occurrence of their favorite players and teams, usually with no actual benefit other than personal satisfaction, so people even pay very handsomely just for the right to write.  IIRC USSM loses money every year.
Very interesting psychological evals we would all make for sure ;)

OBF's picture

I liken his situation to the situation a lot of my HP friends were put into a few month ago.  Almost every single one of them took the 10% pay cut instead of the nice severance and the excitement of looking for an Engineering job in the current economic climate (for reference my VERY experienced and bright Uncle who is an EE has been jobless for almost a full year now, he has filled out / sent in resumes for something like 1000 positions).  Anyway, even DURING THE TRADE NEGOTIATIONS Jacky Z was already talking buyout and multi year extension and Jumping Jack W was frothing at the mouth looking for job security, he know just like the rest of us that THIS YEAR may be his last in the MLB, just ask Adam Everett how it felt to be unsigned to start the year (IIRC).  99 times out of 100 a guy will take a pay cut, even a big one, if he thinks he will not be able to find work else where.
Also it is not unusual in the corporate world for a guy to take considerably less money to be in a place he likes, with people he enjoys, with better benefits, etc.  Certainly I think we can assume that, given JEW's (Jack Eugene Wilson's) almost groveling gratitude to be liberated from Nazi Pittsburgh (ok this metaphor has officially crossed the line), I don;t see why his situation would not be similar.
Finally do not forget that it is JackWy taking a pay cut in one year to guarantee playing (or at least getting bought out) in a second


Well, we all need some kind of recreation bro'  ... I have a great-grandma who spent time on quilts so as to make the most hardcore sports fan boggle ... other folks fish, or read books, or cook, or garden ...
For me, there is a richness to sports tapestry that wears well over time... as well, there's an unscriptedness and unpredictability to it that challenges our imagination..
As to your other question bro', am not the right guy to ax, but can attest as to what a pleasure it's been ...  coolest amigos you'd ever run across ...   links are at very bottom of page if  inclined to know more ... the preference is towards incognito and for our community to roll along on its own terms, so can't complain about that either :- )
No apologies here for spending time on sports, though 'net addiction as such can be a problemo if it separates us from people and/or interferes with our productivity in life...
For me personally, it's not so much that, at age 46, I'm all that emotionally invested in the M's any more (hence the six months off last year without missing it much), but the evolutions and devolutions of the 25-man roster provide an intellectual challenge on a par with chess, and with a human/emotional component as well...


If Wilson were genuinely faced with a Bobby Abreu-class make-good situation, then that is what he would take, we can all rest assured...
Memory seems to suggest that when this has been the case in the past, the player has changed teams generally in order to save face... this may not apply for the glove wizard at SS...


JW is making $7.25M this year.  The $8.4M for 10 is a club option.  He's never actually been paid more than $7.25M.
I think what we're saying is that if JW forces their hand at the $8.4M, then the club will say "see ya"  -- but we don't think that's what either side wants.
So he can either go into an uncertain market (which will happen if he's "$8.4M take it or leave it"), or he can try to get some longer-term stability with a club that he knows wants him.  And you can't view the pay cut in absolute terms when it is part of what makes a 2-3 year deal attractive to the club.
And going over to the AL and putting up a 51 OPS+, when you're a 78 OPS+ guy to start with, doesn't seem likely to result in lots of folks banging down your door to pay you $8M.


All the GMs can see that there are ZERO shortstops in the Ms pipeline until you get down to recent HS graduate Nick Franklin.
So they ALL know that Z wants to fleece them for the SS equivalent of Guti.
Guti was major-league ready in every way and filled the CF hole immediately.  That worked out because Z was willing to move his big trump card (JJP) and because Z didn't have the reputation yet for mining Guti-Aardsma-Branyan gold out of other teams' overflow.
So getting a Gutierrez equivalent at SS (that is, ready to step in and go like Milwaukee's Escobar) will cost more -- no one wants to be the next guy fleeced by Z.  And there aren't any Putz-level trade chips left anyway.
Signing Wilson for 2-3 years means that they can look for a SS (or two) at the next step down (AA or A+) where the cost will be more in line with what they can give up.  It's maybe not the optimal scenario, and they'll probably pay him more than he's worth, but it's probably their best option right now given the situation.

glmuskie's picture

And mirror's my thinking as well... 
I doubt any AL team would go over $4-$5MM for him.  The only way he's going to push th e $6-$7MM mark IMO is if he goes back to the NL.  I think this might be the best thing for him.

glmuskie's picture

Because none of the teams that did deals with Z felt like they were being fleeced at the time - they were getting what they wanted out of the deal.
But you're right that a solid MLB ready shortstop will be more costly and harder to come by than an MLB ready outfielder.  That's why Z did the Jack Wilson deal in the first place.
Guti, Aardsma, Branyan, they weren't really secrets.  Nobody expected Aardsma to gel like he did.  Most GM's knew that Guti was a defensive whiz trapped behind Sizemore, and based on his age you would expect his bat to improve a bit.
Olson, French, Vargas, Cedeno, he didn't exactly do in fleecing to acquire those guys...
Wilson as a stopgap?  you could do worse I s'pose

JH's picture

In the previous thread you asked for examples of 40% paycuts from guys re-upping with the same team.
One immediately comes to mind, although it didn't follow a buyout option: Jason Varitek took a 52% paycut to remain in Boston.  He was worth nowhere near his 2008 salary on the open market, and he admitted it and signed.
This doesn't happen all that often, but the market for expensive veterans is rapidly changing.  I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Ms take a stab at getting Wilson back a large discount.  I'm not sure how much of a leg up they'd have on other teams based on the 2-3 months he's spent in Seattle, but I'd choose that uncertainty over paying him $8 million next year.

glmuskie's picture

Free agent.  Buster Olney wrote about this.  Type-A free agents who aren't bona-fide marquee players take a beating because whoever signs them gives up a first round draft pick.  Varitek mighta been overvalued relative to his 2008 salary, but he would've likely taken much less of a pay cut if he were a type B FA. 


Varitek being willing to go back into the same clubhouse at half salary does kinda match what I was asking for, so thanks JH.
As GL alertly volleys, the market precedents that they'll argue about, add another factor - the agent jumps right in there with, "C'mon, what kind of club asks for an option rewrite to 50%"...

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