Sunday, June 01, 2008

Blown Away

In case you hadn't noticed, I started a rather lame movie title theme in my last two posts. Watching the M's in May (and now to start June), I'm compelled to use another one - this one being the Jeff Bridges/Tommy Lee Jones bomb squad thriller, not the British blow-up doll animation short.

Blown Away. As in even with acknowledged preseason trepidations, we're all blown away at how bad the 2008 Mariners are. As in how this roster needs to be "blown away" and replaced with kids who actually give a rat's ass about hustling and trying to make a difference at the major league level. As in how the front office needs to be "blown away" and replaced with baseball people who have a sense for judging talent and making smart baseball decisions. As in how managers who were chosen because of decades of baseball servitude and who start players like Miguel Cairo due to superstitions and specious reasoning should be "blown away" and succeeded by men of the type and quality indicative of a team that can afford a $117M payroll.

Let's make a list of who should be "blown away" (i.e. traded, released, DFA'd, demoted, whatever):

Ritchie Sexson (duh!)
Jarrod Washburn (useless)
Miguel Batista (a slightly more interesting version of Washburn)
Jose Vidro (no speed, no power, no mas)
Miguel Cairo (a shadow puppet)
Jamie Burke (nice guys finish last)

Sexson goes for obvious reasons: his bat cannot catch up to enough pitches to overcome his weaknesses, which continue to grow as he ages. Washburn's nearly $10M salary is far too high for a player who wouldn't be a fifth starter on a contending team. Ditto with Batista. Vidro gives you line drives, but nothing else. Cairo is an even worse version of Willie Bloomquist. Burke doesn't do any harm, but he's 36 and taking a roster spot from someone who might help the next contending Mariner team.

I know - few (if any) of these guys can actually be shed from the roster. But if they all could, that would be almost $45M evaporated from the $117M payroll, just like that. That's a lot of incentive to move as many of them for bags of balls as possible.

Selective "blown away" targets (real trade value):

Raul Ibanez
Kenji Johjima
Adrian Beltre
J.J. Putz

Moving two of these four would save significantly more corn and, more importantly, shed age from an already too-old roster. Only Beltre is below 30. Putz and Ibanez would be the two I would most willingly trade, if only because they should still have trade value (Putz' struggles notwithstanding) and would be the easiest for the M's to replace.

Trade at least two of Ibanez, Putz, Johjima and Beltre, packaging guys like Sexson, Washburn and Vidro into said deals if at all possible. Take back as little long-term salary as necessary and pick up younger players and prospects.

Replace Vidro, Sexson, Washburn, Putz and Ibanez with Clement, LeHair, Feireabend, Morrow and just one serviceable player returned via trade and watch this team actually start to rebuild instead of recycle.

Again, I realize nothing of the sort will happen anytime soon. We're handcuffed by an expensive, bad roster, and management will go down with the ship deep into the summer. It's inevitable, though, that some kind of implosion will be done. I'd enjoy this season much more if it would happen sooner, rather than later.


Post a Comment

<< Home