In God we trust. Everybody else needs data. - Rick Peterson

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Is there a small animal expert out there who can tell whether these pics are of the fronts or rears of these animals?

I also found this hilarious (and highly irreverent): Embarrassed God Jumps Off Notre Dame Bandwagon.


I figured I might try out this blogging stuff and see what happens - or if anybody evens comes by!!

I figure I'll start by doing my little bit to dispel the popular notion in Mariner fandom that Freddy Garcia actually has some trade value. Let me repeat what I have said in several other forums. Freddy has ZERO trade value.

To make sure everyone is clear, let's establish Freddy's current situation. He's a five year player eligible for arbitration, and made $6.8 million last year. As of now, he'a a free agent after the 2004 season. In arbitration this year, the maximum his salary could be cut is 20%, and there is a good possibility he would match this year's salary or maybe even get a raise. For discussion purposes, I'm going to assume he gets $6.5 million this year. He is coming off two years in which his effectiveness has been going down, and he has established a reputation as immature, undisciplined, and with bad work ethics.

Now let's play General Manager. In this game, you are the GM of a club, and Freddy is a free agent. You see Freddy's agent in the lobby at the Winter Meetings. He says to you:

My boy Freddy, he's available to join your club. He'd really pick up your rotation, don't you think?. But here's the deal, we'll only accept a one-year contract, $6.5 million with no deferrals. Take it or leave it. If Freddy likes playing for your team, we can talk about a longer deal during the year, but right now we will only take a one-year deal, $6.5 million.

So, would you as a GM, sign Freddy to a one-year contract for 2004 at $6.5 million??? And if you wouldn't, why would you consider accepting that same contractual obligation in a trade from the Mariners, and then throw in some valuable prospects or players as well??

So, as an overpaid arb eligible one-year away from free agency, he isn't worth anything in trade. If he were on a three year deal with a $3 million base and incentives to get him to $7 million, then you could probably trade him and get something of value in return. But right now, no way!!

I'm not saying Freddy doesn't have potential, and that he might not someday be an elite starter. But that is not likely to happen in 2004, and whoever gets him only has him for 2004. The most likely outcome for Freddy next year is about 180 - 200 innings, a 12-12 record, and an ERA about 4.50 - 5.00. Most GMs are going to look around at what else they can do with their pitching rotation for $6.5 million, and conclude that they can get a lot more than that for $6.5 million.

Some people (including some who should know better, like Bob Finigan at the Seattle Times) have suggested packaging Freddy with Cirillo to get someone to take Cirillo. That merely changes the impractical to the absurd. If Cam Bonifay and Randy Smith were still GMs maybe they could be suckered on that, but I don't see any GM's out there now who would even seriously consider a deal like that.

Realistically, what the Mariners can expect to get in exchange for Freddy is someone else's Freddy, an overpaid underperforming player, probably arbitration eligible, or nearing the end of contract. (If Ben Grieve weren't a free agent, he would be the first one I would think of who might be a comparison.)

So let's talk about Cirillo a bit. If you want to move Cirillo, you need to take on someone else's god-awful contract. I think a deal might be possible with Pittsburgh involving Jason Kendall. Kendall has a lot more years left, and is a much bigger overall salary commitment, but at lease he is a productive player. He would give us another decent bat off the bench, and can help out catching. It's time for him to start to learn another position anyway. Pittsburgh might go for it because the overall commitment to Cirillo is less money than Kendall, and it would be over for them in two years. Plus, they need a short term third base solution after trading Ramirez.

So who could we trade that has value, beside the various young pitchers in the minors? One name that pops out at me is Ryan Franklin. He is 31 years old, so this is as good as he's gonna get. I think he had a string of good luck this year, particularly in only giving up solo home runs. As a flyball pitcher, Safeco Field helps him greatly, which means his numbers tend to be overinflated. That gives him more trade value. (In fact, that is a good strategy for the Mariners - bring in cheap, flyball pitchers, let them get better numbers pitching in Safeco and improving their trade value, then trade them while they are overvalued!) So Franklin is a decent #3 - #4 starter for most teams, he's still cheap, he is at the peak of his value, and he's not going to get better, and there is talent coming up that should be able to replace him. . Seems to me to be the perfect person and time to trade him.

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