Thursday, December 20, 2007

Carlos Silva

Its official. The M's first big move of the year (unless someone wants to count RA Dickey!) is to sign Carlos Silva to a 4 yr, 44 million dollar contract.

On the one hand, I think the Jackal is a helluva lot better pitcher than Jarrod Washburn, who got a similar contract 2 years ago. He has tremendous control, so he never walks anybody and he throws a lot of groundballs so a good infield defense can help him tremendously.

On the other hand, the M's don't have a great infield defense. Beltre is awesome, Yuni seems to look better than some of the more advanced metrics think he is, Lopez is poor and by Ultimate Zone Rating Sexson is the worst first baseman in all of baseball. Control pitchers do seem to degrade faster than power pitchers, though nothing in his performance record seems to indicate that Silva is about to turn into a pumpkin. And of course if the Washburn contract is the bar, then that is going to make a lot of contracts look pretty good.

I don't exactly hate the Silva signing. Its too much money for too many years, but I think he can be a useful pitcher over the life of the contract.

The whole problem is that this team is going nowhere. Carlos Silva isn't the answer. He's not going to push us any closer to a championship. Hell, Erik Bedard or even Johan Santana don't push us any closer to a championship. Okay they push us closer, but not all the way there. The whole problem is last year's brief foray into respectability and the retention of Bavasi on a win or else basis means that we're wasting money on Carlos Silva and threatening to give up the heart of the next truly good Mariner team (Jones, Clement, Morrow) for one guy. And one guy isn't going to get it done.

If I were in the Angels' position or Cleveland's I would love to trade my best minor leaguers for a true ace like Bedard or Santana. If I had a great offense and no 5th starter I would be willing to overpay for Carlos Silva.

But the M's should be taking flyers on guys and giving real shots to Baek, Feierabend and Rohrbaugh. That's where we are in the success cycle and its time we admitted it.


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