And was already not very good offensively...not much different than Aoki.
I'm just sayin', mind you, but we're opening the '16 season with 4 principal OF'ers who might not be around in '17.
Each brings a question mark to the '16 plate, as well.
CF: Martin, we assume, will recover just fine from his hamate owey. Here's a neat article that examines recovery from hamate injuries, especially looking at ISO:
Of course, Martin has no ISO to speak of, so any bounce there doesn't really impact him as much as it might a Tulo, for example. And (also) of course, Martin was big league terrible before his hamate injury, which occured in AAA (where he was hitting more sharply/.297-.392-.541). Deciphered, that all means that Martin is likely to return to something approximating his '13 and '14 levels. At 90 OPS+, and with a sweet glove, he's flashy stuff. At 70 OPS+, things get really dicey.
3-1 he bounces back. Ah, make it 5-2. But it isn't a given, and if he doesn't, it isn't a given he's ours in '17. He may be goners.
RF: Aoki is 34 years and 11 days old, if you're counting. At 34-36, Ichiro didn't show much hitting decline, and Aoki is a sort of Ichiro-lite. I love Aoki's reverse split; he will likely hit vL liners to LF for another year or two, or forever. But any age-related decline vs. RHP gets him to a sub-.700 level. Basically he's been there 2 of the last 3 years. He was '.703 in '13, .658 in '14 and .717 in '15. His vR .828 in '12 elevates his career number. So he's been about a .690-ish vR hitter over the last 3 seasons. Bet you didn't know that. OK, he's a "tough" out and a pretty good glove, but in 70% of his AB's, he's a.265-.340 guy, without any pop. with some decline not out of the question. And his contract is a mutual option type. He may well be elswhere in '17.
LF1: Smith is 33, and some decline is expected. His career vR numbers are .274-.356-.478. Last year they were .255-.343-.458. That's a slick .801 in '15, but we might easily expect a .780 in '16. Could well happen. And he's gone gone gone in '17. If he rips, he's on the market. If he crashes, we don't want him anyway.
LF2: Guti will not, WILL NOT, smash/bash/slug like Hank Aaron in '16. He did in '15, in case you forgot. He Slugged north of .600 in '15. .615 vs. LHP Hank Aaron, arguably the greatest RH hitter in the history of the game, slugged .555 over his career, .604 vs LHP.....and had great years where he was south of .600. Guti, btw, is a brittle ballplayer. He may well snap-crackle and pop in '16. If he hits in '16, he ain't back in '17.
So there you go. Some nice guys with age and injury related risk, for sure. The best bet of the bunch, to be in a M's uni if '17 is Martin.
After those 4 guys (not counting Cruz), our next best OF'ers are Romero, Marte, Boog Powell, and Dario Pizzano, in some various order. If you throw OF'er Marte out (don't quite yet), then you throw O'Malley in.
While Kivlehan hits homers in Texas.
I quite like Pizzano, in case you somehow missed that. And Boog is pretty dang interesting, in an Eye/Glove/Dirt Dog kind of way. Romero beats up AAA throwers, but that hasn't translated to anything in Seattle, and he's not a Dipoto type of hitter. But I'll bet you dollars to donuts we're chasing two OF'ers next winter. At least two.
Which is why three years of Denard Span, rather than one of Seth Smith, might have been pretty comfy. That and he can play some.
My $.02. And today that will buy you about a mile's worth of gas.
I'm definitely taking the over on SABRMatt's 59-win estimate.
We have a convergence here, between (1) each outfielder, separately, being worrisome and (2) sitting on John Hicks as the outfield plan B. Granted you can't have everything in 6 weeks' worth of GMing. But this Boog Powell guy better be every blinkin' inch as good as DiPoto says he is...
Good read. Bumped you back up top mate.
Now just in case you were wondering what is on the farm for coming years in the OF, you may be surprised to find that Jack and his minions actually had two very distinct types of OF's he liked. Further, you may surprised at how many OF's the Mariners have in their system that are in the top 30 prospects. Per MLB-com, there are 10.
Power / low contact guys: Alex Jackson, Tyler O'Neill, Gareth Morgan, Austin Wilson, and a few others worth noting like Jabari Henry, Corey Simpson, and Jose Leal if you look real deep. Of course, Jerry has already reduced this group by getting rid of Kivlehan, Lara, Morban, and Blash. It will be interesting IF the new C the Z, contact skills, and proper plans of attack for every at bat will help this group... or will Jerry keep pruning from this list.
Speed / no power CF guys: Luis Liberato, Braden Bishop, Brayan Hernandez, Austin Cousino, and Ian Miller who are in the MLB-Com's top 30, and a couple others who are also talked about Aaron Barbosa, Leon Landry, Burt Reynolds, Estarlyn Morales, and then the new guys Boog Powell, Daniel Robertson and Mike Baxter. This group should have a leg up, as many in this group already seem to have OK K/BB ratios, but gains here could really make a big difference.
The only ones that kind of find a third type would be Stefen Romero and Dario Pizzano - guys who can hit for average and medium power. Both of these guys already seem to C the Z at the minor league level, but hopefully they can really jump a plateau this year. I would expect that JeDi will be expanding this group in future years.
Thanks Tac, I forgot about Romero didn't I?
We've had so little mention of him he plum eluded me!
Before Martin was acquired I liked the idea of acquiring Billy Hamilton for CF. Elite speed and defense that if he ever hits at all he's a perennial AllStar. I thought he was a great example of what Dipoto was seeking but have a better idea now that he's looking for more contact ability.
Ozuna sounded great too. Even better in several respects. I'd have been even happier with both. Both are potentially still available but it seems unlikely at this point.
If Martin is injured or doing so poorly he needs benched, who's starting there? Aoki having to play there more than occasionally isn't inspiring. O'Malley still has to make the team but expecting him to cover that spot well it's asking too ma l much anyway. Same with Boog although defensively I'm not as concerned. Taylor to SS, Marte expanding his 6 games of experience there? None of those answers sound right.
That's much of the reason I really liked a Span signing,
24yo Cuban CF with a glove and maybe a bat. He's said to be close to ready and it seems that's mostly in the hitting department that he could use work. Ben Badler likened him to Jackie Bradley only RH (Pre-breakout)due to exceptional fielding/arm and speed but questionable bat. The "close"to me in this case means he's probably slated for AA or AAA to start but may be ready enough when needed. If we're going to struggle through a black hole hitter at CF this one might offer more potential future production.
In the world that you go in to 2017 with Boog having locked down CF (or even Martin rebounding to look great in CF and return and Boog playing LF) who else is returning for RF or 4th? Heredia could likely fill one of those at least decently. Right now profiling as at least a useful 4th OF for 2017 may be a good % chance. Might have trouble signing him to 4th OF money though.
I'm just not too keen on most of what's available otherwise. Will Venable maybe? Span is off the board (as you surely know) but his fielding hadn't been good recently anyway. I miss the Winn, Cameron, Ichiro defensive outfield of early Safeco. Too bad we didn't trade McLendon for a CF to put in a corner.
But the suggestion and points are basically the same anyway. Nathan @ LL does a good job pointing out the uncertainty with him today as well. Looking at 2017 there's really not 1 outfielder I feel pretty confident will be a plus then. Worst case scenarios shouldn't seem so likely, but the outfield in particular has seen so much of that here lately. If they're looking for just OF and bullpen help next year that's not so bad I guess.
Anyone else have thoughts on Heredia?
While we may like Heredia, I doubt Dipoto sees Heredia as an easy player to train on the "C the Z"... and I believe we will see Dipoto only going after expensive free agents that are already showing signs of being able to "C the Z".
From Cuba is Lazarito. We like our 1 name players around here. Lazarus Armento is considered a 5 tool OF at 16 but his bonus would come from the pool. The 15u numbers are gaudy as you'd expect but of course he's raw. Possibly more pliable to teaching though. His HOF,clothing line, etc. goals do speak to him having some ego and being texting buddies with Puig isn't necessarily a good thing.
I know after adding the int'l slot money they got from the Cubs for Jackson that the M's had 2.33 million or so but I don't know what they've spent so far. I know most of the teams you'd normally expect to splurge would have to go over for him anyway so the question is probably whether the M's would in his case.
I am sure many here would like to sign Lazarito, but unfortunately he will sign for more than $3M ... Which if the Mariners did then the Mariners would not be able to sign anyone else of consequence for 2 years.
If the Mariners did want to blow through the international draft salary cap, they should do it come June so they can sign 5 or more big money prospects rather than just getting one guy
Can be found at this link. Amazing you got the post up so fast Wishhiker - you beat BA by a day :- )