Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mariners Offseason Assessment

Well, it looks like the Mariners are done with this offseason, as far as acquisitions go. Time to take a look at what they've done, and maybe what they could've done, or should've done.
12/20/07 Signed P Carlos Silva to four year deal worth $48M with option for 2012

Is there anything that bad with this signing? I'm not a huge fan of the $48M, but $12M a season is almost becoming the average rate for a good starter these days. He'll be 29 this season, and has put up decent numbers over the past couple seasons with the Twins. His best ability is eating up innings. Over his last four seasons with the Twins, he's averaged about 195 IP, and gone over 200 twice. His career ERA of 4.31 isn't good, but the Mariners decided that Jeff Weaver was a great oppurtunity at about the same time last year that they signed Silva. his career record of 55-46 isn't bad, considering that he's been on a iffy team over the last few years. He had a solid defence, offence and bullpen backing him up, so we may be able to see him touch 15 wins for the first time in his career. The improved defence, and spacious Safeco Field should bring down his ERA to maybe under 4, but around that. Silva won't strike out too many, but he won't walk many either. His K/9 is 3.97, while his BB/9 is 1.60. He also doesn't give up many HR's, only 20 in 202 IP last season. He should have little problem topping 30-33 starts in 2008. He isn't an ace, but a very good number 3 starter for the M's.

Grade: B+

12/6/07 Selected P RA Dickey from the Twins in Rule 5 Draft

RA Dickey was set to battle for a rotation spot, but that dream faded fast when the Mariners acquired Erik Bedard. Dickey is now in competition for the long reliever spot in the bullpen. Dickey wasn't bad with Nashville (AAA) in '07. 13-6 with a 3.72 ERA in 169.1 IP. The 33 year old hasn't had much of an MLB career. He's bounced around the Majors a bit, posting a 16-19 record with a 5.72 ERA in 266 IP. The Mariners will have to offer Dickey back to the Twins if he is not on the Opening Day roster, or 40 man roster or something. Again, Dickey would look better if their was still a rotation spot to compete for. Instead, the knuckleballer is competing for a bullpen spot.

Grade C+

1/8/08 Signed INF Miguel Cairo to a one year contract

I thought we had this guy already, but his name was Willie Bloomquist. I'm not huge on Cairo, because he was signed to a garunteed contract, pushing guys like Jeremy Reed and Mike Morse down the depth chart. The 33 year old has been with a lot of organizations over his career, including the Mariners a few years ago. A career .267/.315/.359 hitter with little power or speed, and not a knock-your-socks-off defender either. I can't imagine this guy doing a lot to help out this team, but Bavasi needs to have his mediocre or poor signing every winter. Like I said, I can't imagine that this guy will be that helpful to this team.

Grade C

1/10/08 Re-signed RHP Chris Reitsma to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training

Can't say too much about Reitsma. This will be his second stint with the Mariners. He spent most of 2007 on the DL, and wasn't anything special in the 23.2 IP he managed with the Mariners last season. Over his career, he hasn't been great, but he hasn't been that terrible either. A career ERA of 4.70 in 696 IP isn't great, but after injuries, and being in the Reds' and Braves' organizations, he doesn't look that bad. He is looking for a bullpen job, but may have to settle for Tacoma.

Grade Incomplete

1/15/08 Re-signed LHP Arthur Rhodes to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training

Same thing for Rhodes as Reitsma. He's been up and down with multiple organizations. he's had a few good years, MVP in 1997. Injuries have worn him down a bit, but does the 38 year old have anything left? He didn't pitch in 2007 because of injuries. A career ERA of 4.31 in 1011 IP looks alright. I'm just not too sure what he will be able to do for this organization.
Grade Incomplete
1/18/08 Signed LHP Horacio Ramirez to a one-year contract

Sigh. Do I really have to look at Ho-Ram? He looked okay when he was brought in last winter from the Braves for Rafeal Soriano, in a trade that can now be considered a loss. Horrd 7.61 ERA last season. He did manage an 8-7 record though. In 98 IP, he gave up a ton of hits, 139 to be exact, and walked 42 batters. just terrible numbers. He's in the race for the long relief spot, and the hope is that new pitching coach Mel Stottlemyer could help him became a decent pitcher.

Grade F

1/31/08 Signed free agent OF Brad Wilkerson to a one-year contract worth $3M

Finally an alright signing by Bavasi. Well, now that I've taken a look at his stats, he looks a tad less than alright of a signing. A career .250/.354/.451 hitter with a bit of pop in his bat, but not too much speed but some ability with the glove. Wilkerson is close but not garunteed the Mariners' starting right field job. The main factor is Wladimir Balentien, who if he can show enought his Spring, could be in a platoon role with Wilkerson. I can see this signing work out okay. Wilkerson is only 30 years old, and has only had one real injury problem with his shoulder back in 2006. If he can get his average up to about .275, and put up around 20 HR's and 60 RBI's, maybe that's wishfull thinking, this signing may be considered a win. I don't expect Wilkerson to replace Jose Guillen's 30 HR and 100 RBI for last season. Wilkerson can play all outfield positions and first base, so he may be moved around a bit.

Grade. C+

2/8/08 Acquired LHP Erik Bedard from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for OF Adam Jones, LHP George Sherrill), RHP Chris Tillman, RHP Kam Mickolio and LHP Tony Butler

The 'Big One', and maybe the determining factor in Bill Bvasi's future, was the mortgaging of the farm for lefty Erik Bedard. Bedard is coming off of a Cy Young caliber year, and looks to possibly improve on his 13-5 record with a 3.16 ERA and 221 K's in 182 IP, before being shut down for the lst couple weeks of the season with an elbow injury. Great pitcher, but they give up a lot. Adam Jones will be missed five-ten years from now, George Sherrill leaves a huge hole, and the other three could turn out alright a little while from now. Bottem line is, the Mariners want to win in 2008 and have made the push, that will put them over the hump, and get them into the playoffs. For 2008, best acquisition, but in 2013...

Grade A+++++++++++++++++++++++
2/13/08 Signed IF/DH Greg Norton to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training

Nortan adds some competition for the bench role, but will likely end up at AAA. I don;t have much to say about Nortan, but he looks like he could be a decent veteran presence in the clubhouse, or for the younger guys down in Tacoma.

Grade C

2/16/08 Claimed RHP Anderson Garcia off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies

More competition for a bullpen job, and some depth. Nothing wrong with this pickup here.
Grade C

2/19/08 Signed OF Bubba Crosby to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training

Okay... Why? Some depth I guess.

Grade C

I'll come back to this post is October, or November depending on what circumstances we face, and see how these guys impact he team.

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