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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.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

DELGADO News:

I've been hearing for the past several months that Delgado will only go for $8-$9M in free agency, this next offseason. I've been hearing for the past 2-3 weeks that Toronto is going to do whatever they can to resign Delgado...and 'Rumbling & Grumlings' are stating that Toronto will only be offering half his current $17M salary...meaning $8.5M!!!

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=1783200

He will not be staying in Toronto. It has been my push to spend the money that is freed up in 2005 on Delgado, Beltran and possibly Nomar. We still have approximately $10M still in cash on hand to spend in 2004. I still favor picking up Jason Kendall, and paying half his salary, which will average approx $5.4M/year. Then Davis is sent packing to the Philly's for Chase Utley, saving us another $1M/year. I also am hoping the Royals fall off the face of the earth, and out of contention, so we can make a run at Beltran (as long as he signs an extension along with the deal!)...if not, then Griffey at half his salary.

Now, lets list the salaries that will be more than likely coming off the books in 2005:

Edgar $7M
Olerud $7.7M
Aurilla $3.5
Wilson $3.5
Garcia $6.9M
McCracken $2.2M (counting 1/2 diff from Colbrunn trade)
Davis $1.4M
Jarvis $4.25
Hansen $750k
Borders $500k
Mabry $250k (buyout in 2004)
Villone $1M

Total = $39M+

Positions Seattle will be serious in acquiring for 2005: DH, 1B, SS, C

Our 2003 budget was $92M, and by the end of 2003 (since we didn't make a deadline trade for Aaron Boone)...our 2003 payroll ended at $89M. Interestingly the M's came out in November and publicly stated that their 2004 payroll budget would be $95M. All they did was basically roll the 2003 savings over to 2004. But yet we currently sit at a $85M payroll so far in 2004!

So basically, if the M's don't spend any money before the trading deadline...we will have the $10M for 2004, AND the $10M extra for 2005, totally an additional $20M to be added to our budget for 2005. So along with the above salaries totaling over $39M, and this $20M cash floating out their, that gives the M's approximately $59M to possibly spend in 2005.

Now, they know they have to pull something major off this year or they will lose major fan support. So far in 2004, our offense has done a great job on moving runners around the bases, but there is no question that we continue to lack the one (1) more needed power bat in our lineup! I feel very strongly that the M's will pull off a Kendall trade (offensive slap/gap hitter upgrade over Davis), and either Griffey or Beltran. If KC is out of contention, I could see them agreeing to a Franklin/Winn/Putz (or Looper) trade for Beltran, and then moving Blackley or Nageotte to our #5 spot...but for us to make a deal like this, we would need security (an guaranteed extension from Beltran). For Beltran, I could actually see the M's going 4yrs with a 5th option year for $12M starting in 2005, especially considering the cash available in 2005.

If we used our $10M left in 2004 on Kendall & Griffey, I would see the M's resigning Wilson as our backup catcher in 2005 at approx $2M, instead of $3.5M. If we picked Griffey up in 2004, and keep Winn as our 4th OFer, then we could use $30-$39M to fill DH, 1B, SS (Delgado $9-12M, Sexson $9M, Nomar $12M).

Or, we use our $10M left in 2004 on Kendall now, and Beltran in June for his remaining 2004 salary (approx $4.5M), which would put us right at our 2004 $95M budget, and have in place a 4-5 year extension for $12M for Beltran. The difference from Beltran's 2004 and 2005 salary would be $7.5M, leaving us still nearly $32M to spend in 2005. Sign Wilson at a discount for approx $2M, as our "backup" catcher, and we have $30M still to spend for 2005, and our outfield would be in tack with Ibanez/Winn/Beltran/Ichiro. Ibanez makes several million less in 2005, which will cover the nominal pay raises for Franklin & Pineiro. Our needs would then be DH, 1B & SS. Considering the Yankees and Boston DO NOT need another DH, or 1B, this should drive the price of Delgado, Sexson, Olerud down since the Yankees & Boston won't be driving their price up! I say pay Delgado $10M, Sexson $9M, Nomar $11M (Totaling $30M). We wouldn't be able to afford Garcia, but that would be a small price to pay considering the offense we would inherit...PLUS, we have the arms to bring up (ie: Blackley, Nageotte, etc!) Nomar would bring back the Defense in the SS position, but I could live with Garcia & Aurilla in 2005 (and forget Nomar)...as long as we acquired Delgado/Beltran/Sexson!!!

Could we be actually looking at a 2005 lineup of the following that is within a $95M budget for 2005:

2005 Lineup
RF Ichiro
C Kendall
2B Boone
DH Delgado
CF Beltran (or Griffey instead)
1B Sexson
SS Nomar
LF Ibanez/Winn
3B Speizo

2005 Rotation
Pineiro
Moyer
Franklin (or Nageotte)
Meche
Blackley

OR WITHOUT NOMAR & KEEP AURILLA & GARCIA:
RF Ichiro
C Kendall
2B Boone
DH Delgado
CF Beltran (or Griffey instead)
1B Sexson
LF Ibanez/Winn
SS Aurilla
3B Speizo

2005 Rotation
Garica
Moyer
Pineiro
Franklin (Blackley or Nageotte if Franklin was traded for Beltran)
Meche

Ok Bavasi, there's the Dr's diagnosis...now just DO IT!

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

You heard it here first!

I thought I'd post something else I have a feeling on...Steinbrenner will eat the majority of Giambi's salary and move him in the next year sometimes...

We all know what happens when disgrunted players lash out. Even Sheffield almost blew it this past offseason with George! Here's the link for Giambi, and I would suspect he could be had for $8M/year...he would be an interesting DH in 2005 huh?!...

http://nypost.com/sports/yankees/22423.htm

One day after the Yankees and Major League Baseball consented to allow Jason Giambi's strength and conditioning guru on the plane, the first baseman was still uncomfortable with the way Bobby Alejo has been treated. And Giambi's comments drew a strong reaction from Yanks GM Brian Cashman, setting up the possibility that Alejo could be bounced off the plane. "I guess it's business 101, get it in writing," Giambi said. "We told them and they said, 'Fine, bring him along and it will be fine and we will work it out.' " Cashman's take on the situation is a lot different and mentioned the possibility of Alejo being banned from the flights. "I suggest he talk to his agent," an annoyed Cashman said outside the Yankees' clubhouse prior to last night's game against the Devil Rays at Tropicana Field. "Arn Tellem knows the score. It's not in the contract. If it was contractual, it would be there and it's not. It was a courtesy and that can be taken away. I suggest he gets the facts straight. Courtesies can be rescinded."
Come on Seattle, pick Aaron Boone up before it's too late. I can't believe Boone would go back to the Yanks after they released him, and got out from paying him his entire salary this year.

We can easily pull off picking this guy up, which would strength our bench this year if he returns by Aug/Sept! If he makes it back in 2004 then Speizo & Boone can split time at 3B if need be, and Speizo can backup Olerud at 1B:

http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1081318592280250.xml

The Yankees and Aaron Boone are near agreement on a two-year contract that will bring the injured playoff hero back as the team's second baseman in 2005, according to a baseball official familiar with the talks.

Boone was the Yankees' starting third baseman for the second half of last season after they acquired him from Cincinnati. His home run against Tim Wakefield beat the Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS, sending the Yankees to the World Series. But he injured his knee playing pickup basketball in January in violation of his contract, and the Yankees voided his 2004 contract and released him. The injury prompted the team to deal for Alex Rodriguez and move him to third base.

Boone's new deal would include a small salary for this season and a larger, incentive-laden deal for 2005.
More Griffey Talk...

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.nsf/Sports/Cardinals/A5EC9CA9AB8E222E86256E6F00138E63?OpenDocument&Headline=G.+Bamberger+dies%3B+managed+2+teams

Mariners: Seattle has mild interest in acquiring Ken Griffey Jr. from the Reds, a source said, but want the Reds to pay for at least half of the $66.5 million he is still owed. Also in Seattle, third baseman Scott Spiezio will miss several weeks with a soft tissue injury in the middle of his back. Doctors said he does not have a herniated disc.

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamondbacks/0407nlgame.html

Cincinnati: Ken Griffey Jr. was a surprise extraction from Monday's lineup when the medical staff told manager Dave Miley that Griffey still felt a little something in his strained right calf. "It wasn't worth the risk to have him out there with a chance to make it worse," Miley said. Will he play tonight in Game 2 against the Cubs and Maddux? Miley won't put his name on the lineup card until Griffey and the medical staff indicates there isn't even a twinge in the calf.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Considering Speizo maybe out for over a month...

I would like to pass this along as a viable option that the M's could possibly pull off: I have included some of my offseason research in this post.

Picking up Lowell, would instantly strengthen our bench, because Speizo would be moved to our bench as a 3B/1B backup!

Is Lowell even available?! Checkout the links below.

FLORIDA & Mike Lowell

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/teams/report/FLA/7235473

http://nypost.com/sports/yankees/45235.htm

"Aside from Beltre, the most intriguing name on the potential replacement list is Florida's Mike Lowell. The former Yankee just signed a four-year deal, but the catch is that the final three years are based on the Marlins' getting approval for a new stadium. The city has a referendum on March 15, and if the Marlins don't get the new park, they will listen to offers for Lowell."

I'm really favoring a trade for Kendall, and trade for Mike Lowell if we could swing a deal.

Florida NEEDS & WANTS: Setup men; bench help, particularly catcher, first base, outfield.

If we picked up Kendall, we could possibly move Davis to Florida, and great pitching prospects we can send their way.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/sports/baseball/mlb/san_francisco_giants/7775934.htm

"Team President David Samson said Thursday his team hasn't sold even 5,000 season tickets yet. This is depressing, unfathomable, inexplicable, damning and probably without precedent in major American sports.

As a fan base, we continue to lead the league in awful. Our baseball team may be the best in the majors, but this town remains minor-league. You will not find a sports city in North America, not one, that would treat a defending baseball champion with this kind of yawn....The Tigers, coming off the second-worst season in the history of baseball, have somehow sold more season tickets than the Marlins....If a champion can't appreciably increase and sustain interest, why would a new building?"

USA Today News:

12/02/03: The four-year contract between Mike Lowell and the Marlins is actually contingent on the team getting a new stadium deal approved, according to ESPN. Absent of that, Lowell's contract becomes a one-year deal with player options beyond 2004.

11/27/03: The Palm Beach Post reports that Mike Lowell (3B) has agreed in principle on a four-year, $32 million contract with the Marlins. The deal should be announced later this week after medical tests are conducted.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Latest News & my personal comments

http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-3/10810721793640.xml

Mariners GM BILL BAVASI continues to mull a return engagement for KEN GRIFFEY JR. but is also carefully scouting Pirates catcher JASON KENDALL in his quest to add a hitter. Bavasi, not the impulsive sort, is worried about SCOTT SPIEZIO's back and also wants to get at least one long-term solution in place because EDGAR MARTINEZ and JOHN OLERUD are in the last year of contracts.

Just DO IT Bavasi!!! We still have $9.9M to work with on the books! Jarvis is looking good, and 8-9 teams have been watching him like a hawk for the past 2 weeks. The way Jarvis is pitching, we just might not have to give up any money to trade him!

http://www.sptimes.com/2004/04/04/Rays/Roster_in_no_way_set_.shtml

RAYS RUMBLINGS: .....Aaron Boone ends up on the open market, the Rays will be interested.....

I say he will sign a 2 year deal with the M's...with incentives for making the team in Aug/Sept this year!

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/rockies/article/0,1299,DRMN_19_2782857,00.html

Projected Opening Day payroll: $90 million.

WRONG: I would like to correct this guys figure...we are currently at $85.1M in payroll at this point.

http://www.tribnet.com/sports/baseball/mariners/story/4927542p-4860971c.html

Ex-Mariner Mark McLemore was released by the Baltimore Orioles, but he agreed to a one-year deal with the Oakland Athletics. ...

Wow Beane surprised me on this one. They need A LOT more offense than what McClemore can give them

http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/sea/news/sea_news.jsp?ymd=20040404&content_id=689247&vkey=spt2004news&fext=.jsp

Bavasi meanwhile would not comment on a report by a San Diego radio station that said the Mariners are talking to the Pirates about obtaining catcher Jason Kendall. The report on the Padres flagship station, XPRES, indicated the sticking point remains Kendall's guaranteed contract which will pay him $8 million this season, $10 million next year, $11 million in 2006 and $13 million in 2007. The Pirates want the Mariners to absorb some of the contract.

You Go BAVASI!!!!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Seattle picks up Cabrera, for Looper & single "A" LHP prospect

We now have our McClemore replacement. I like this move, because I think it will force Bloomquist & other potential bench players to step up to the plate...if they want to play. When Speizo comes back, look for Bloomquist to move to AAA.

Scouting Report

2003 Season
After totaling just 12 at-bats for the Dodgers in 2002, little was expected of Jolbert Cabrera at the beginning of last season. He started the year as half of a second-base platoon, but he kept hitting and Jim Tracy kept finding a spot for him. In the last two months of the season, Cabrera hit .312.


Hitting, Baserunning & Defense
Cabrera takes a big cut and has enough power to reach either gap or yank a pitch over the left-field wall. Righthanders can beat him with breaking stuff off the plate, but he handles just about everything that lefties have to offer. The 31-year-old has above-average speed and can swipe the occasional bag. Cabrera played every position but pitcher and catcher last year and held his own wherever he went.


2004 Outlook
While many utility players tend to get over-exposed with more playing time, Cabrera actually hit better as the season moved along. At times last year, he was the best righthanded hitter on the club, and now looks to have at least a part-time job locked up for this coming campaign.

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