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Get the DR's opinions of what adjustments & fixes are needed to fill and patch the Mariners Gaps and Holes. Review note worthy links to articles around both leagues nearly everyday.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Arod

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/sports/baseball/8319295.htm?1c

"Alex Rodriguez insisted he felt a sense of depression last year and said there were days when he didn't want to go to the Ballpark. "I know no one is going to feel sorry for me because of the contract, but I'd never really dealt with the frustration of the first two losing seasons, and that made last year even worse," Rodriguez said. "I hit rock bottom in the middle of the season. I remember driving home with my wife, Cynthia, after a game and telling her, 'I just don't see the light. Where is the light? What am I in this for?' "I would have never gone to Texas if they had told me, 'Alex, it's going to be you and 24 kids.' Never. For no amount of money.""

All I have to say to Arod is...he's forgetting some of the power hitters he was playing with...like...Juan Gonzalez, Carl Everett, Palmeiro, etc, etc!

3 years ago I told two avid Oakland fans, at my work, that you quote me on this..."Arod will be in pinstripes in 3-4 years, because once he has all the money he won't know what to do with he'll figure out a way to go to the Yankees and getting a WS ring will be more important to him." The interesting thing about his comments above, is that Texas will have ended up paying him $46.5M/year for the 3 years he played with them. Considering the salary Texas will still need to dish out, I would encourage Arod not to open his mouth about "no amount of money" issues.

The other interesting thing about the Yanks: They have shown that they will do anything, with whatever it will cost them. The Luxury Tax & Revenue sharing will start hurting them...and I do mean "hurting". They are currently projected to pay $80M+ for 2004, meaning their 2004 salary combined with Luxury Tax & RS is around $270M for their 2004 team! Ouch! After 2004, they are really going to feel it. The players will feel it too, because if they don't win it all the way in 2004...heads will spin YES once again (YES...pun intented!)
Why do the Pirates HAVE to make this deal? MONEY!!!

They are stuck doing NOTHING until they move Kendall's contract. They know it, and we know it! The M's definitely have the upper hand on the negotiating table.

Let's analyze this in greater detail as to why:

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/teams/report/PIT/7019160

"The Pirates claim they have lost $30 million since moving into PNC Park, built primarily with public funding, at the start of the 2001 season. Owner Kevin McClatchy reportedly wants to take the payroll down to $35 million this season, which would be among the lowest in the major leagues."

"San Diego again began pursuing Kendall midway through last season, but the Padres and Pirates could not agree to financial terms on what would have been a blockbuster trade. The deal collapsed in late July when San Diego wanted the Pirates to include $25 million to defray Kendall's salary while Pittsburgh held the line at $18 million."

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/teams/report/SD/7019163

Florida and San Diego both have offered to take Kendall off of Pitts hands if Pitts pays $24M of his remaining $42M. Pitts has mentioned that they would do $19M cash...or "may" go a "little" higher but not $24M. That comes out for picking up Kendall for NO MORE than $5.75M/year for the next 4 years. I would venture to guess that they would even take Wiki's 2/yr contract off our hands if we through in a 2nd or 3rd tier pitching prospect like Putz or Taylor, since they need a closer too. Including Wiki we would actually get $3.5M back from Cirillo's salary in 2004 & 2005. We also could lose Dan Wilson's $3.5M salary in 2005, and having Kendall on hand could result in picking up Wilson for around $2M in 2005.

Jarvis looks like he's finally heating up well enough to get some serious looks. It would benefit us if we can figure a way to dish him off to Brewers/Giants/Detriot and getting WHATEVER cash we can get back! Then pickup Kendall with $19M cash, and do a Wiki/Prospect swap with Pitts. I say Wiki instead of Davis, because I'm still a FIRM believer that the Philly's would trade for Davis, and we could easily get either Michaels or Utley...or even both!
Friends we are getting close to a deal!

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/pirateslive/s_187065.html

One person conspicuous by his absence is Pete Vuckovich, who has been scouting the Cactus League this spring. Vuckovich reportedly has been shadowing the Seattle Mariners to scout players for a potential Jason Kendall trade. While the other assistants reported to Florida, Vuckovich was told to stay in Arizona, which means a deal with the Mariners could be building.

The Mariners have offered catcher Ben Davis and pitcher Kevin Jarvis, and they want the Pirates to pick up a significant portion of the $42 million remaining on Kendall's contract.
Higginson

http://www.detnews.com/2004/tigers/0403/31/e01-108782.htm

"The Detroit Tigers are shopping OF Bobby Higginson for a 5th starter."

I would hope Seattle looks the other way if Detriot comes knocking, even for Jarvis, wanting to ditch Higginson to us. He's got $17M+ left on his contract for 2 years. I personally would prefer Griffey, if we end up dishing out $5M+ for a power LH bat! Of course, Geoff Jenkins is still out there too.

Current talk really heating up A LOT more now than ever is:

1. Sending Jarvis/Davis to Pitts for Kendall/Cash;
2. Sending Jarvis/??? to Brewers for Jenkins;
3. Sending Jarvis/Cash to Giants (but Brewers already sent a pitcher to the Giants the other day, so the Giant's are likely out of the Jarvis bidding)



Monday, March 29, 2004

GRIFFEY...being reported with minor calf strain.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1771512

Cincy was already desperate enough to move his contract, before Griffey's minor calf strain that pulled him out of the game today in the 2nd inning. whatever trade value he had left, was just dropped to the floor.

I'm really starting to wonder if all this isn't just a setup Griffey is pulling so that Cincy would end up paying the majority of his salary, and the team he would be going to will prosper over the trade and get him for really cheap!

I've never seen him in possibly "purposefully" play like he didn't care about the game, until this spring when he knew he was going to be moved. And now this "minor" calf strain?!

Makes me wonder, if he knows he's coming to Seattle for the rest of his career, and wants Cincy to eat the majority of his contract?!

Something to ponder anyways...

I just thought I'd post several articles that are hinting to a Griffey & Kendall deal for the M's:

KENDALL
Mariners assistant GM Roger Jongewaard ventured to Bradenton this week to watch Jason Kendall, adding further fuel to the deal with the Pirates. One GM who called Bucs GM Dave Littlefield said he is distracted trying to move Kendall.

GRIFFEY
http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.schmuck28mar28,0,2963178.story?coll=bal-sports-baseball

And another article:
http://tcpalm.com/tcp/baseball/article/0,1651,TCP_1057_2766760,00.html
Mariners manager Bob Melvin has a particular problem with the Griffey-to-Seattle rumors, as he tends to deal with baseball issues rooted in reality. He's handcuffed, too.

"I know nothing," Melvin said Sunday. He shrugged and sighed. He knew nothing.

"But you'll notice," the manager offered with a straight face, referring to the player always mentioned in trade scenarios involving the Reds, "that we're not starting Randy Winn in center field."

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Since I've been at it this evening, I have to throw one more scenerio out there. I truly don't feel the Brewers are seriously scouting the past 12 games JUST for Jarvis. That would be too absurd to think! I really feel its a Jenkins deal.

Something else to consider - The Brewers are VERY weak in their C position. Ben Davis would be a substantial improvement, and bats LH. They currently have 2 catchers with ZERO power. They even make Davis look really good with his current HR's thus far.

The Brewers are in a rebuilding & restructuring stage. And, 3-4 year $7.5M contracts are NOT part of that right now. They need young players with "POTENTIAL" like Davis & Franklin.

There was talk back in early December of trading Jenkins/Spivey to LA for Perez. Perez is NOT consistent, and had several bouts on the DL with shoulder soreness & a split fingernail. I think Franklin is a lot better pitcher than Perez, and has twice as many different kinds of pitches too!

We could be looking at a trade of:

Franklin/Jarvis/Davis for Jenkins/Spivey

Seattle would only have to come up with about $2.5M to get this deal done. If we include Rhett & McCracken (to replace LF), the Brewers are still coming out ahead in salary:

Franklin/Jarvis/Davis/Rhett/McCracken for Jenkins/Spivey

They get Franklin/Jarvis for SP. Rhett for long relief. Davis for C, which is hands down better than anything they got right now. And McCracken who's got incredibily AWESOME defense for every OF position w/speed.

The Brewers fill all needs, while getting smaller contract players that have a lot "potential".
Ok, so here is what I personally would like to see done:

1. Jarvis: If Brewers will pick him up, and Seattle pays ½ his salary...DO IT! If Seattle has to pay $3M...DO IT! Get this Jack Wipe from the Cirillo trade off our team!

*NOTE 1: Don't forget about all of the Jenkins talk from back in December now. Back in early Nov, Brewers/Jenkins were discussing a contract extension, and THEN the Brewers halted negotiations. There was then a lot of talk that Brewers were planning to move him, and not resign him. THEN, come late December Seattle/Brewers rumors start flying. I stated back then that I didn't think Seattle would dish out ANY major potential pitching, especially someone like Franklin, unless a 3 year contract extension was guaranteed on Jenkins first...and I was estimating around $6.5-7.5M that Seattle would want himfor. All of a sudden, the Brewers start picking up MAJOR pace to get an extension done. Their initial offer was $18M for 3yrs...INTERESTING! All-Star outfielder agreed to a $23 million, three-year contract extension, a deal that includes a "team" option for 2008. If everyone has kept up with the financial problems regarding the Brewers, there was NO reason to get an extension done with Jenkins especially for that kind of money unless they had arrangements with another team. I just have a feeling the reason the Brewers scouts have been in our camp, is not only to watch Jarvis, but all our prospects (pitchers & position players). It wouldn't surprise me to see a trade that involved Franklin/Jarvis/Prospects for Jenkins! If this happened, then I see Seattle using Ibanez to backup Jenkins/Ichiro/Olerud/Speizo/Edgar & Ichiro would backup Winn in CF. Ibanez would pretty much play fulltime. We still could pull off a Winn/Griffey trade too!

*NOTE 2: If "NOTE 1" was too whacked regarding a Jenkins trade, and according to the rumors the Brewers are wanting Jarvis at a discounted price, then whatever the Brewers are "willing" to pay for his contract is gravy for us, and we get an available roster spot. Considering their scouts have seen how great Villone/Myers/Mullohand have done, it wouldn't surprise me if they negotiated someone like Mullohand & a position prospect like J. Strong...and then Brewers would pay more of Jarvis' salary.

2. Gibbons: If we don't get Jenkins, then I would seriously like the M's to make a strong run for Gibbons. If we picked up Gibbons, I would play the same scenerio with Ibanez...like I mentioned above...and whether we kept Winn or traded Winn for Griffey we'd be set in the OF. Gibbons jumped from $375k in 2003 to $2.4M in 2004, and he will NOT be a FA until after 2006...so we would have him locked up for 3 full seasons! I really think that a Franklin/Prospect would get the trade done, basically a salary wash, and Seattle would place Blackley in our rotation.

3. Kendall: Pitts has been trying to unload Kendall with $19-20M cash, without getting anything in return. Jarvis & Wiki both have a total of $8.25M left on their 2004 & 2005 contracts combined. So picking up Kendalll & $11-12M would be something that would get done. It would benefit Seattle more if the Brewers took Jarvis/prospects and paid whatever amt for Jarvis that is agreed upon. This way we would be getting "actual" cash back from the Cirillo trade. THEN, we just negotiate a Wiki/Kendall trade and Seattle gets $17M cash from Pitts. This will average out to be around $6.2M we are paying for Kendal for the next 4 years (amts vary every year though), but remember Wiki's contract is $1.25M/2004 & $2.25M/2005, and whatever we get Brewers to pay for Jarvis...lets assume $2M...that's another $5.5m. So, in essence, what we end up paying Kendall over the next 4 years is $19.5M total or on a "avg" of $4.9M. We also would move Davis' $1.4M salary annually, so that would actually avg about $3.5M for Kendall that the M's would pay...INTERESTING...isn't that what we are paying Wilson. And, I actually expect the M's would keep Wilson around, but at a reduced rate. I'm projecting the M's will sign him to another 2 year contract that is incentive laden. I'm guessing $2-2.5M w/$1M incentives.

4. Davis: Goes packing to the Philly's for Michaels & Utley.

5. Aaron Boone:
Sign Boone to a 2 year contract, and if he makes the team this year in Aug/Sept, then he gets so much. If he makes the team in 2005, then he makes a specified amount with incentives.

6. Griffey: If a Jenkins OR Gibbons trade worked out, then we could choose to keep Winn since he's a switch hitter, or pull off a Winn for Griffey/$5m cash trade. This would give Cincy a great player with a cheap 3 year contract, that can fit into the any OF position, and will free up an additional $4.5M annually immediately (remember even though Griffey has $6.5M deferred, Cincy takes that money out of their budget every year

With Gibbons/Griffey/Kendall/A-Boone our lineup would look like:

Ichiro
Kendall
B.Boone
Griffey
Edgar
Gibbons (Ibanez can play LF & RF)
Aurilla
Olerud (Ibanez can play 1B)
Speizo/A.Boone (Ibanez can play 3B)

With Jenkins/Griffey/Kendall/A-Boone our lineup would look like:

Ichiro
Kendall
B.Boone
Griffey
Edgar
Jenkins (Ibanez can play LF & RF)
Aurilla
Olerud (Ibanez can play 1B)
Speizo/A.Boone (Ibanez can play 3B)

With Jenkins/Winn/Kendall/A-Boone our lineup would look like:

Ichiro
Kendall
B.Boone
Jenkins (Ibanez can play LF & RF)
Edgar
Winn
Aurilla
Olerud (Ibanez can play 1B)
Speizo/A.Boone (Ibanez can play 3B)

Here is a little research I did this evening regarding possible trades & issues I've discuss earlier:

KENDALL

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04087/292326.stm

“NOTES -- Seattle's chief scout was at yesterday's game, fueling speculation that the Mariners are serious about pursuing Jason Kendall.”

GRIFFEY
http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/content/sports/reds/daily/0324reds.html

"And there was pre-game drama — more intrigue involving Ken Griffey Jr.

A pair of Seattle scouts were in the house, including senior scout Roger Jongewaard, who doesn't go out of his way to watch every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Griffey spotted them eating in the media dining room and said, "Oh, oh. You know what that means? Been nice knowin' you."

GIBBONS

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2004/03/26/theo_and_the_trio_get_high_marks_around_mlb/

Q: With Trot Nixon out for a month (or longer!) does Theo know that the O's are shopping Jay Gibbons to the Dodgers for a relief pitcher? Gibbons is a young guy who had great numbers last year and salary-wise he would be comparatively cheap. He'd be a steal!! Tell Theo to take his eyes of the waiver wire and make a deal for this kid!
-- Bill Reynolds, Dublin, Va.

A: Bill, that's a good call, and I can assure you that Theo has a good idea of everyone that might be available at this point. I think the Orioles would prefer to use Gibbons to get a starting pitcher, and the Sox don't exactly have a surplus of those around.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61335-2004Mar15.html

“For Orioles, a Deal May Be in Cards - Gibbons for a Pitcher Is a Possibility”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56241-2004Mar13.html

“Baltimore Ponders Move to Add a Starter -
Payroll Flexibility, Lack of Depth in Rotation Make a Deal Look Attractive”

Willie & Bocachica?!

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/166573_mbok27.html

NOTES: …Hiram Bocachica keeps pushing Willie Bloomquist for the top utility job.

Friday, March 19, 2004

More O's News & Rumors:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-dodrep19mar19,1,5916949.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-mlb-dodger

Baltimore Oriole outfielder Larry Bigbie apparently is high on the list of players the Dodgers are pursuing in trade talks, sources said.

In 83 games for the Orioles last season, Bigbie, 26, batted .303 with nine home runs and 31 runs batted in and had a .365 on-base percentage. He has played in 146 games in parts of the last three seasons, batting .272 with a .339 on-base percentage.

The Orioles, sources said, would prefer to trade outfielder Jay Gibbons to the Dodgers for rotation help.

This would mean they are looking for a Perez kind of a pitcher, and I think they won't consider the $9M price tag for Nomo. Perez had a horrible 2nd half in 2003, on and off the DL several times because of shoulder soreness & split fingernail.

I really think that Franklin would be a better fit for them, and basically a salary swap! I feel Franklin would of been a 20 game winner in 2003 if he would of got ANY kind of run support from our offense. The O's have the offense to make Franklin shine!. Plus Franklin has a better ERA than Perez, and more consistent, and has 5-6 different kinds of pitches.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.vecsey19mar19,0,1424783.column?coll=bal-sports-baseball

"The Orioles' good young arms of tomorrow are just that. Tomorrow...Time to find a No. 2 or 3 starter to bolster this rotation. Kris Benson, Odalis Perez, Danny Haren, Jarrod Washburn."

Franklin would be A LOT cheaper than Benson, Perez, Haren, or Washburn!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

O's Marketing Jay Gibbons

http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/bal/news/bal_news.jsp?ymd=20040316&content_id=657894&vkey=spt2004news&fext=.jsp

Rumors, rumors: A published report Tuesday said the Orioles were interested in a starting pitcher and would be willing to deal right fielder Jay Gibbons, who would be considered a bargain at $2.6 million this season.

Beattie said the club would be interested in a front-line pitcher, but none of the team's outfielders, including Larry Bigbie and Luis Matos, are on the trading block.

"We don't want to make a trade to improve ourselves in one area and hurt ourselves in another," Beattie said. "That's kind of the balancing act of where we are. We're not looking for a fifth starter.

"I read something about Gibbons saying he took back-to-back trips [to be showcased for other teams], but we never tell [manager Lee] Mazzilli who to bring."

The Dodgers, who are desperate for offense, are believed to be interested in Gibbons but likely don't have the premium starter to offer Baltimore. Kaz Ishii and Odalis Perez apparently are available, but neither is a front-line starter.

Suggestions
Franklin maybe enough to pick him up, and the salary is about a wash. But, if we have to give up Franklin & Nageotte, I'm all for it!


Davis & Philly's

I posted this back on 1/28/2004, but I'm not finding it in my archives, so I'll post it again.

Philly's Needs & Wants: Bullpen depth to replace Mesa, Williams, Adams, Plesac and Wendell.

Although the Phils have not openly announced that they are looking to trade either Michaels or Utley, they have casually mentioned the possibility. It was even speculated that the Phils might dangle the pair in hopes of acquiring a solid young catcher to back up and someday replace the veteran Mike Lieberthal.

This was an interesting revelation, especially with word out of Seattle that the Mariners might be close to signing World Series hero, Pudge Rodgriguez, to a free agent contract. The Mariners have made no secret of their interest in Pudge, but acknowledge that they would first have to trade one of their two catchers, veteran Dan Wilson or youngster Ben Davis.

The mention of Davis might bring forth more than a passing interest among Phillie officials. Only 27 years of age, Davis is a local player, with roots to Philadelphia, and a solid lefty bat to support Lieberthal. It does not take a vivid imagination to picture the Phils potential interest in Davis, given the dirth of catching prospects in the organization, and Davis’s potential long-term future as a Phil.

Would a Jason Michaels, or Chase Utley be enough to interest the Mariners in a trade. Perhaps. Davis has a contract for 1.4 million dollars this year, and a Michaels/Utley duo might be enough to entice the Mariners to say yes. Would the Phils be interested? While difficult to say, they seem to be going out of their way to indicate that Michaels and Utley are far from guaranteed employment in Philadelphia this year.

Add to this conjecture the fact that Arbuckle said that it was “highly unlikely” that either Michaels or Utley would be sent to the minors, and a Davis for Michaels/Utley trade makes perfect sense. I don't think that Michaels & Utley are arbitration eligible for another 2 years either!

If we were able to pickup Kendall, then trading Davis to the Philly's for Michaels & Utley would save us approx. another $900k. Maybe they would even take Bloomquist, since we would get Utley back in return.
PITTS/Kendall



"The Pirates claim they have lost $30 million since moving into PNC Park, built primarily with public funding, at the start of the 2001 season. Owner Kevin McClatchy reportedly wants to take the payroll down to $35 million this season, which would be among the lowest in the major leagues."

"San Diego again began pursuing Kendall midway through last season, but the Padres and Pirates could not agree to financial terms on what would have been a blockbuster trade. The deal collapsed in late July when San Diego wanted the Pirates to include $25 million to defray Kendall's salary while Pittsburgh held the line at $18 million."

"But now, General Manager Dave Littlefield must hope that lightning can strike thrice or maybe four times once again, as he goes about the business of trying to find a third baseman, a closer, a left-handed power hitter that can contribute at first base and in right field and a starting pitcher."



During this offseason, Pitts actually agreed to send $19M with Kendall's contract. Florida and San Diego both have offered to take Kendall off of Pitts hands if Pitts pays $24-$25M of his remaining $42M. Pitts has mentioned that they would do $19M cash...or may go a "little" higher but not $24M. I think $21 would be the MAX they would go, and all that was getting nothing in return except to dump the difference in Kendall's salary.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04035/268900.stm

"No question Kendall's contract, especially the final two years of it when he's due about $24 million, is a nagging hamstring injury to their financial flexibility. Kendall will play hard for the Pirates for however long he's here, but, yes, he certainly wouldn't mind playing in San Diego or somewhere on the West Coast or with a team that has a much better opportunity to win than do the Pirates. Problem with trading him is that back end of his contract."

I haven't a doubt Pitts would take Jarvis & Wiki in a hardbeat and just take the difference off the $19-21M they can arrange with the M's (Jarvis/Wiki for Kendall & $14M cash). We could also throw in a 2nd or 3rd tier pitching prospect like Looper or Putz or Taylor. The salary difference in Kendalls 2004 $8M contract? Seattle only pays $2.5M in 2004, and arrange for the entire $14M cash from Pitts to be evenly dispursed to Kendall durring 2005-2007.

Kendall is a gap hitter that uses the "entire" field, and would do awesome at Safeco.

My 2004 Projections: Will will pickup Griffey's deferred portion of his salary, maybe pay an additional $1M with Cinny picking up $5M/yr, and pickup Kendall while sending Davis packing in a Philly's trade. Earlier this week, rumor has it that the O's are shopping Jay Gibbons and his $2.6M for a starting pitcher that would fill their #5 slot.

We have $9.9M in cash at the moment on the books. Seattle management is GREAT at down playing how much money they have to spend to the media, and I think with good reason! If teams, agents, players figure out exactly how much we have on hand, they will be asking for every penny of it. Other teams know we have "a little" money right now, but supposedly not a lot, and we are NOT desperate by any means. This will be great for the M's on the negotiating table, and will allow them to have the upper hand!

Seattle should do the following trades in this order (remember we have $9.9M in cash):
1. Jarvis/Wiki for Kendall/$14M cash - (Throw in Looper if need be)
- Our cost will be $2.5 extra in 2004 for Kendall's 2004 salary,
- Arrange for Pitts to pay the $14M during 2005-2007 averaging $4.66M/year to,
- M's management can use this trade to down play their cash on hand even more.
2. Move Davis to Philly for Utley/Michaels
- See my 1/28/2004 post regarding why this will happen
- Saves us approximately an additional $900k
3. Move Franklin ($2M) for Jay Gibbons ($2.6M)
- See my 3/16/2004 post regarding the O's shopping Gibbons,
- This would virtually be a salary swap,
- We move Blackley into the rotation,
- Scouting report has him hitting 300BA and 35HR+ in 2004
- Gibbons not FA eligible until after 2006 season
- LH power bat that plays LF/RF/1B, and gets great jumps on balls
- Plays great defense, could be a great backup for either Winn or Griffey in CF, and Olerud at 1B
4. If we get Gibbons, then move Winn/Rhett Johnson for Griffey (+ cash)
- Cinny will pay $5M in Griffey's remaining salary
- We will be responsible for the deferred portions
- We invest the deferred portions, which will start to be distributed starting in 2013

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Kendall News

I have been mentioning this for the past several weeks on the Seattle PI Blog, but actually added it to my blog early this morning. Impecable timing! This just in this evening:

http://www.foxsports.com/content/view?contentId=2239944

Mariners eyeing Pirates' Kendall The Mariners, intensifying their efforts to land an impact hitter, have expressed an interest in Pirates catcher Jason Kendall, according to major-league sources.

Kendall, 29, has four years and $42 million remaining on his contract. To complete a deal, the Pirates likely would take back pitcher Kevin Jarvis, who is earning $4.25 million, and a catcher, either Ben Davis or Wiki Gonzalez. Pittsburgh would also assume a chunk of Kendall's remaining salary.
The Mariners, a team that stresses defense, might not be entirely comfortable with Kendall's work behind the plate, but the career .304 hitter also could serve as a designated hitter and has played outfield in the past.
Kendall has a no-trade clause, and his approval would be required to complete any deal. He consented to a proposed trade to the Padres in January, but San Diego ownership nixed the deal.
The Pirates also are trying to add a second baseman and have expressed interest in the Brewers' Keith Ginter.

http://www.foxsports.com/named/FS/MLB/player?categoryId=85757

Mar 09 2004 - The Dodgers are believed to have spoken with the Pirates about Jason Kendall. It is believed Kendall would waive his no-trade clause to go to Los Angeles. If the Dodgers acquire him, Paul LoDuca would probably move to first base, allowing Shawn Green to go back to right field. Kendall would fit nicely into the No. 2 spot in the order. The hang-up is Kendall's contract, which pays him $42 million until 2007. No word what the Pirates would get from LA, but Odalis Perez is a strong possibility.

I've been pushing this trade since December.

Pitts had actually agreed to send $19M cash just to move Kendall's $42M contract, but mentioned they could possibly do a "little" more. Both Florida & San Diego wanted him but wanted Pitts to pickup $24-25M of his remaining contract. And all of this was without Florida or San Diego giving up "anything"!

I believe Pitts will send upto $21M with Kendall. I have been saying since December, that we could send Jarvis/Wiki to Pitts for Kendall & $14M in cash. The salary difference in 2004 is ONLY $2.5M. Then we package up Davis and send him to the Phillys for Jason Michaels & Utley. They will keep Wilson around after 2004, to work & help Kendall with his defense, be Wilson a backup catcher, and take a cut in salary $2-2.5M with an incentive laden contract for another $1. By dishing Davis to Philly's for Michaels & Utley, we would be saving approximately $1M in salary difference to the Philly's in 2004. So in essence we are getting kendall for $1.5M for 2004, and improving our bench with Utley & Michaels at the same time! The $14M cash wouldn't kick in until 2005-2007 that would average $4.3M/annually that Pitts pays Kendall.

For those close games, in the 7th inning that Kendall starts, we can always throw Wilson in to finish the game for his defense!
Trade Moves I Want by April

I have broken down the Mariner contracts we currently have on our 25-man & 40-man roster. I come up with $9,912,000 in cash on hand at the present. Here is a summary of some of my ideas that could really put the M's over the top this year, and we would be within our $95M budget:

1. First of all, trade 2 of our good pitching prospects to Cinn for Griffey. Cinn has already acknowledged on several occasions last year that they were willing to pay $5M/cash annually for the remaining of Griffey's contract through 2009. We would be responsible for $1M cash & the entire $6.5M deferred salary every year through 2009, just make sure that we are responsible for the deferred portion. The M's can then turn around and invest the deferred amount of Griffey's salary and get much (if not all) of the $39M deferred salary back on interest alone by the time Griffey's last distribution is paid out. If we need to move a player for a roster spot, then give them Santiago or McCracken. I reviewed McCracken's defense in all outfield positions, and his defense is superb! If I recall, out of around 2,900 innings he has only about 9 errors. He would be a great bench player, for us to keep, that could be used to come off the bench after the 7th inning in very close games, that defense would be critical past the 7th inning! Only if the M's can pull off my next trade (Franklin for Gibbons), would I favor trading Winn/Prospect for Griffey.

2. Swap Franklin ($2M) with Jay Gibbons ($2.6M) which would almost be a wash. Move Blackley into the rotation. We would have two LHP's Moyer/Blackley. Moyer being a soft throwing lefty, and Blackley being just the opposite, a hard throwing lefty. We also have Nageotte or Villone that would fit really nicely in the #5 spot as well.

3. If and only if we pickup both Jay Gibbons & Griffey, then trade Winn away and free up his salary. If Cinny demanded Winn in the trade, then Seattle could go aggressively at Gibbons. Also, the Cards would die to get their hands on a leadoff man that is an OFer like Winn! Would Tampa Bay do a Aubrey Huff for Winn/Prospect trade? If we only pickup Griffey, then I really would like to see us keep Winn as our 4th OFer that Platoons with Ibanez, and contributes greatly toward giving all our OFers proper rest, so we're fresh by the end of the year!

4. Pickup Aaron Boone on a minor league contract, while he's rehabing, and give him a pre-determined amount if he makes the team by Aug/Sept. Same thing for 2005, have a team option for 2005 if he makes the team, and have incentives built into the contract.

5. Trade Jarvis/Wiki to Pitts for (Kendall + $14M in cash). Kendall makes $8M in 2004...salary difference of $2.5M for 2004, remaining cash of $14M Pitts owes will go toward his salary in 2005-07!

6. If we picked up Kendall, then trade Davis to Philly's for Utley & Michaels (saving $900k). We still have Pat Borders available as well to call up if need be, if we traded Davis.

We have many prospects that we can entice teams to make the above moves. But, considering that Cinny & Pitts are both extremely desperate to move Griffey & Kendall, Seattle would be holding the best cards on the negotiating table!
Griffey reunion
I really feel strongly that a Griffey reunion would be big P/R for Seattle. And, I really think we can pull this off in a financial way that makes total financial sense.

I have heard baseball analyst state, since last July, that Cinn Reds would be willing to pay up to $5M/annually of Griffey's remaining contract just to move him! There is also the $5.5M in deferred salary in 2000, and $6.5M in deferred salary from 2001-2003 that Cinn Reds have been budgeting in, according to management, every year since the contract started (even though they don't have to pay it out until starting in 2009 and beyond). Cinn is responsible for the deferred money from FY2000-FY2003 payable in 2009-2012.

If we can arrange a trade with Cinn that would allow us to defer his $6.5M portion of his salary, and then also pay $1M of his cash salary the remaining 6 years, and Cinn Reds pay the remaining $5M in cash annually...our deferred money wouldn't have to be paid out until "after" Cinn pays there portion of deferred money through 2012. If Seattle could be responsible for Griffey's deferred money for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 then that money wouldn't be payable until 2013 and beyond! Starting in 2004 Seattle puts $6.5M/annually into "guaranteed" fixed funds of at least 6%-7.5% and after 2009 the money compounds annually until the 1st dispursment is made in 2013 for $6.5M, and then every year thereafter. Estimating a "gauranteed" 6-7.5% is very conservative with this amount of money, and there are fixed rates that actually get above 10% and that are safe haven's. I figured out detailed charts on interest money the would make on these gauranteed fixed funds at 6%, 7.5%, and also 10%.

If we agreed to pay $1M of his cash salary annually, and Cinn Reds pick up the remaining $5M in cash…It's like us paying Griffey' only $2M/year for the next 6 years when investing his annual deferral into a "gauranteed" 6% fixed fund. This is being very conservative, and for this amount of money, 7.5-10% in guaranteed funds are available and very management!

By investing in a "gauranteed" 7.5% fixed fund, we actually make more interest than Griffey's deferred $39M (including 2009) salary combined. And, we still have $7.4M extra! So, if we agreed to pay $1M of his cash salary from 2004-2009, which totals $6M, and Cinn Reds pay $5M cash from 2004-2009 for his annual salary...it's like getting Griffey for free for the next 6 years!!!

The question is: How can we entice Cinn Reds to pay the $5M cash annually, and let us defer the $6.5M & pay the additional $1M? Give them a couple of our top pitching prospects, and I don't know what the recent issue in spring training regarding Rhett Johnson's attitude is, but I would say Rhett & possible Nageotte.

PLEASE NOTE: I really think we need to keep Winn as our backup 4th OFer for security reasons. But, if we make a strong move for Jay Gibbons, then I would move Winn/prospect for Griffey. This way if Griffey does go down this year we have an awesome player to fillin, either Winn or Gibbons. Also, if Edgar goes down then Griffey or Gibbons can step into Edgar's lineup spot! Also, Gibbons is another LH bat that can play well at 1B. We would have Speizo/Ibanez/Gibbons to backup Olerud as well.

Gibbons salary in 2004 is $2.6M, and they are marketing him for another pitcher. Move Franklin for Gibbons, and then we can move Blackley in the rotation.

INVESTMENT RESOURCES & RESEARCH TO CONSIDER
FDIC - CD's - http://www.fisn.com/rates.htm
CD Alternative Investments - http://www.fisn.com/CDalternatives.htm
CD Tips - http://www.bankrate.com/overkeyword/news/sav/20000918a.asp
Playing CD's - http://www.bankrate.com/overkeyword/news/sav/20000609.asp

Another issue would be annual taxes for the M's on the interest earned. But, there are many ways to "defer" this money, that would be similiar to 457 Plans that the M's can setup for this purpose!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Jay Gibbons is noted to be on the trading block, with LA interested.

This guy plays GREAT defense, and is a LH power bat, made $375,000 in 2003, will make $2.6M in 2004. Plays LF/RF/1B, but "could" do very well in CF also, because he's known to have great jumps on the ball, and charges agressively at base hits. Orioles are shopping him for a pitcher. How about Franklin, and move Blackley into the rotation?

I've been wanting us to go after Griffey & keep Winn as our 4th OFer, but if we were able to pickup Gibbons & Griffey I wouldn't hesitate on moving Winn in the Griffey deal. Ibanez/Gibbons/Speizo could backup Olerud giving Olerud 70-80% playing time, and ample rest during the season. Gibbons would give Ibanez/Griffey/Ichiro proper rest. Griffey/Gibbons can give Edgar proper rest, and backup Edgar just in case of an injury. All OFers could easily get 80% playing time, making sure that everyone is well rested by Aug/Sept! If all OFers knew that the intent was to play them all equally, and under the best situational hitting, then you wouldn't have to worry about "Mondesi" kind of egos to tend with.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?statsId=6635&context=batting

Mar. 16 The Orioles have made it known that would trade Jay Gibbons for the right deal and it's believed that the Dodgers would be willing to part with a starting pitcher to land him, according to the Washington Post.

Mar. 14 The Dodgers are reportedly interested in acquiring Jay Gibbons from the Orioles, according to the LA Times.

SCOUTING REPORT
2003 Season

This former Rule 5 draftee continued to pay dividends for the Orioles. Jay Gibbons posted career highs in at-bats, doubles, RBI and batting average. It's likely his .245 batting average in September was due to a lack of stamina after two years of injuries. He made terrific strides in driving in runs as the Orioles' No. 5 hitter. Gibbons finally avoided the wrist ailments that plagued him the prior two seasons.

Hitting
Gibbons generates a lot of his power from mistake fastballs, especially ones thrown on the inside part of the plate. His plate discipline has improved, and he doesn't chase high fastballs as often as he did in the past. Gibbons' compact swing allows him to inside-out pitches and drive them to the left-center gap. This approach helps him hold his own against southpaws. He does a good job of studying pitchers and is very effective the third and fourth time around the batting order.

Baserunning & Defense
Gibbons began his career as an above-average first baseman. Over the last two seasons, he's spent most of his time in right field. He works hard on his defense and has made good progress. He aggressively charges balls hit in front of him, making spectacular catches at times. He's improved his range to nearly average, so he's no longer a liability in right. His throws are accurate, and he'll throw out runners who test his arm. He struggles at times getting to balls hit into the right-center gap because he lacks foot speed. He remains a station-to-station runner who can clog up the bases. Gibbons can go from first to third only when the ball is driven into the gap and to the wall. He rarely attempts to steal a base.

2004 Outlook
Gibbons is in the prime of his career and continues to make solid progress. This should be the year he reaches the 35-homer plateau and records a batting average better than .300. If the Orioles improve at the top of the order, his run production will improve as well.

Ariticles on Jay Gibbons
Here is the Washington Post Link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17287-2004Feb29.html

You have to register to get access to the LA Times, but here is the link:
http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-dodgers14mar14,1,5443255.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-mlb-dodger

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