November 2017

The mighty SSI think tank swats the news feed into the 2nd deck
Posted by jemanji on 11/30/17
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. NICE CALL DAWG The Mariners' website has a random GM opinion that Eric Filia has become a top big-league prospect.  Well, by "top" we mean not Otani-Harper galactic class, but by "top" meaning "Class A player with a great chance to become a big leaguer."  You only say that about a few low-minors prospects a year.   And DiPoto sez that Moe Dawg has the right idea about why: . "He understands how to manage an at-bat as well as anybody in our organization," Dipoto said. "It's not a huge power bat, more of a contact, gaps bat. He has a .422 on-base percentage [in two years in the Minors]. Guys... Read More
Ohtani And Stanton Affecting Things Big Time
Posted by DaddyO on 11/30/17
10 Comments

This is not an article but a stub for people to comment on the pace (or lack thereof) of the 2017 offseason, presumably because the Ohtani and Stanton situations must be resolved before teams can make pretty much any move at all.  I'm sure there are precedents, but I don't remember anything quite this quiet before. Of course, I don't remember what I thought five minutes ago. So have at it, people. Open computer, insert text here. Le's help the good Doctor out!
A wild Cuban suggestion
Posted by moethedog on 11/26/17
3 Comments

OK, the Mariners seem to continue exploring a Jon Jay signing.  2 years/$14M M seems to be the MLBT-R Over/Under contract amount.  I wouldn't be surprised if it is less than that.   Jay is a classic 4th OF, without much platoon split, (Career .289-.354-.392 vR/.288-.359-.353 vL).  He can go play CF, although last season the Cubs saw fit to only give him 16 starts there.  He's been a negative dWAR guy the past two seasons, so he doesn't really stand up to the glovey reputation he has.   He's hit 8 HR's in his last 1500 PA's.  All in all, he's a fine, but popless, MLB'er.  He would be sort of a... Read More
Hey, let's just go grab 'em all. ....
Posted by jemanji on 11/22/17
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. BRAVES POLE-AXED BY MLB G-Money points out a bizarre development that gives Jerry Dipoto a chance to Band-Aid his minor league system a bit: . NEWS: Major League Baseball will hammer the Atlanta Braves for significant international and domestic rules violations and declare 12 minor league players free agents, including highly touted 17-year-old Kevin Maitan. Story at Yahoo Sports: https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb-hammers-atlanta-braves-declaring-12-minor-l... ---------------------- Maitan would be THE get, but Abrahan Gutierrez is a good baby-catching-prospect, and there will be others.  The... Read More
of stars, scrubs and Andrew Albers, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/22/17
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. Super-NPB-fan IceX sez that USSM found an interesting philosophical question: . http://www.ussmariner.com/2017/11/18/ms-acquire-ex-yankee-rp-nick-rumbel... First material I've read from there in a while... The [short summary] on it is... Is DiP's rostern churn causing more problems with the bullpen (and the long end of the roster) than actually fixing it? . Reading it over ... It's an interesting take indeed.  If you unpack the logic, USSM is arguing this: .... 1.  Teams that have any upper-minors pitching talent at all would not be doing what Dipoto does, which is also largely what the... Read More
or churn, baby, churn - take yer pick
Posted by jemanji on 11/19/17
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. 1.  We'd just now shed two important 2018 bullpen arms.  Gave a lot, but: we upped our ante on Shoehei Ohtani and filled in 1B for peanuts, advertising marquee moves to come.  So the idea with Nick Rumbelow is to replenish our '18 depth.  Speaking loosely, Dr. D sees our current position as more dynamic than a couple weeks ago.  Not to say that our position is better, but - Dr. D is a big fan of dynamism. Kate Preusser sees Rumbelow as an impact add for 2018.  Dr. D is not co-signing this necessarily -- insufficient data, Mr. Spock -- but that seems to be the goal here.  The 3rd comment... Read More
and if you have something to say to me, take it up with... my security team
Posted by jemanji on 11/19/17
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. 1) This is a Seattle Times article on Shohei Ohtani which is (a) perhaps less versed in the subject than you are, but (b) has several vivid quips and quotes, including the image of Jerry Dipoto grimacing as his Cy Young starter tries to go 1B-to-3B on a single.  :- ) The remark is made that the under-25 Nippon star's negotiating position is 'just like a 16-year-old Venezuelan,' which is true but not accurate.  Leverage, bro.  If ML teams think a teenager from Venezuela is too big for his britches, they laugh and walk away.  The teens don't get arb years waived. . 2) Scott Boras stares at... Read More
Do the M's 'need' Ohtani-san or Darvish?
Posted by jemanji on 11/18/17
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. Moe Dog sez, . Sorry guys, I can not buy the theory that our only way to the promised land is through Ohtani. Say we sign Darvish, but don’t get Ohtani.  Then we get a Bradley Jr. or Grichuk. Darvish, Paxton, Leake, Ramirez, Gonzo, Miranda, Moore isn’t enough rotation to grab a wild card?  Haven’t even included Felix. Get a Bradley Jr. and you’ve addressed weaknesses at 1B and CF.   Goodness knows I lust for Ohtani, but we can skin the WC cat in other ways. . Right.  And to reinforce the point.  There's no *guarantee,* exactly, that Ohtani is a Cy contender in 2018.  Real good possibility... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 11/17/17
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. Here's a typically intriguing comment from my man Zoom, who sez, . Somehow the length of the contract he would have continued with the Ham Fighters (2 years, until he is 25) has been applied to his contract with a team in MLB. No. No. No. He will get that signing bonus (probably somewhere between $2 mil and $3.5 mil from the team he selects, which is now determined, but then he becomes a regular rookie from (like most from Central America) who will only enter at League minimum, and wait for arbitration like anyone else. THE TEAM THAT SIGNS HIM GETS HIM FOR SIX YEARS, NOT TWO YEARS. So the... Read More
James decides, after 20 years, to speak up about it
Posted by jemanji on 11/17/17
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. James has an article up today - in front of the paywall, I'm pretty sure - in which he uses Judge vs Altuve to "ask the questions of a child" about sabermetrics.  You know the truth is?  That I understand micro sabermetrics a lot better than I understand the macro questions.  I might be able to tell you whether a -1 inch horizontal movement is better than a -3 inch movement, but I probably can't tell you how many more/less games you'd win because Ryon Healy played 3B instead of 1B.  In other words, I don't consider any sabe observation too basic to discuss. In this morning's piece, James... Read More
Now that's what Dr. D calls 'field rates'
Posted by jemanji on 11/16/17
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. G-Money sez, . Just traded Thyago for straight international cash https://twitter.com/RyanDivish/status/931205788428746752 Ryan Divish‏ @RyanDivish Mariners acquire international slot money from the White Sox in exchange for RHP Thyago Vieira . For $0.5M, according to this MLB article.  Vieira is worth more like what, $5-8M, would you say?  (Well, in normal money rather than in international money, true.) In wars they have this term, "FIELD RATES."  I'll give ya this K-ration for 100 rounds of .223, sure.  In 40 years of baseball I've never seen "field rates" like that.  SLAP... Read More
Stars & Scrubs, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/16/17
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. What do magicians call that dealio, where you (and your audience) look at your right hand twirling a pencil, as your left hand palms a coin or something?  6-year-olds can do that.  Also Jerry Dipoto can do that, as he just did at first base.  Pay no attention to the names listed at RF or SP. . Q.  Does the Mainframe see a 10% possibility of Ryon Healy becoming a big star? A.  The Mainframe notes that Billy Beane much preferred Matt Chapman at 3B and Matt Olsen at 1B, shedding Healy to make room for them.  Weird thing to do if you think you're looking at 40 club-controlled homers. . Q.  Does... Read More
picture's worth 1000 words, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/16/17
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. Dr. D will let you in on one of the 'frame's most guarded secrets.  Shhhhh.  Don't let it get out.  'kay?  ... here it is:  you go to Field Gulls and Lookout Landing for the Comments.  The authors are there to "cover" the story, but ... every 10th or 20th commentor tells you some little thing you did not know.  Usually the guys who timidly put question marks after. In this case my fave comment was Logan Davis', not to sign off on every word, but, very pertinent observations: . Kinda neat. Always be trading relievers! Couple initial thoughts on Healy: He demonstrated low K% in the minors... Read More
The guy says a fair bit when he's talking to the non-Seattle press
Posted by jemanji on 11/14/17
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. The Times posted a video, after MLB.com, with a fairly meaty 9-minute Dipoto interview.  We'll do a quasi-transcript with a bit of kibitzing - call it 80% Jedi, 20% Jemanji maybe.  You know that Dipoto would (justifiably) have objections to a few of Dr. D's phrases, so head over and watch yer ownself. . Q.  Any young players you were happy with in 2017, that made progress? A.  (truncated) Mike Zunino made a "huge step forward" last year, was always a quality defensive player, now has "finally become a force" at the plate. Mitch Haniger we think had a "breakout" year and will give us 5-6... Read More
finally something worth latching onto wrt Ohtani
Posted by jemanji on 11/14/17
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. Dr. D has ta say, too, that this dude comes off as one of those 1%'ers that is totally impossible not to ... well, like.  Sort of along the lines of an extroverted Edgar Martinez or something.  Bill James always rued the fact that MLB GM's seemed to have a "natural grace about them" that he didn't have; he was probably thinking of Theo Epstein more than he was a couple of the local guys here lately.  But Jerry Dipoto definitely has it goin' on with the people skills, don't he? . Q.  Robinson Cano one of the all-time greats.  But he does make a shipload of cash.  How do you go about spending... Read More
Dr. D takes the "over" on Ichiro in 2018
Posted by jemanji on 11/13/17
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. Assuming the "over" is about 10%, 20%, of course on HOF'er Ichiro Suzuki as a free agent to Seattle.  Maybe we could put gold piping on his shirt sleeves, or something?  Give him on onyx acupressure stick for the soles of his feet? .... Eric Filia with a big hit to raise his AFL batting average to .400 and his OBP to... wait for it ... .476.  This is against other elite talent, y'unnerstan'.  At this point even MLB.com is reduced to asking, "So, given that he can rake, what else can he do?"  He's fanned only 5 times in 82 at-bats. .... JeDi opens up / does not open up on Shohei Ohtani, and... Read More
dude plays that strike zone like a true artiste
Posted by jemanji on 11/13/17
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. Anthony Spaulding, after Jon Paul Morosi, fancies the M's chances to play Santana at 1B next year: . The Mariners are looking at free agent first baseman Carlos Santana as a possible addition, sources told Jon Morosi of MLB Network. However, Morosi says the Mariners and Santana have not had any “substantial talks” yet.  ... The 31-year-old Santana is coming off a season in which he hit 23 home runs, had 79 RBI and a 3.4 WAR while slashing .259/.363/.455. In his eight years with the Tribe, Santana has played over 143 games in seven of those seasons and has slashed .249/.365/.445.  Along with... Read More
poetic justice, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/10/17
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. A BJOL reader wanted to know, would you compare the firing of Yogi Berra in 1964 -- after the Yankee$ won 99 games but lost the Series 4-3 to the Bob Gibson Cardinals -- would you compare that to the Yankee$ firing Joe Girardi after the 2017 season? His terse answer, "I already have." ... Meanwhile it is announced that the Yankee$ are considering Eric Wedge for the head job next year.   In Dec. 2013, Wedge publicly aired the Seattle Mariners' dirty laundry in one of Geoff Baker's best and most honest baseball pieces.  Wedge didn't stop there; he fired 4-inch broadsides into Lincoln's and... Read More
All Sit, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/10/17
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. Back in July of 2012, James set up a points system for ranking all of baseball history's dynasties.  A fan wrote in today and updated the scores, so, good on him.   Definitions:  "Dynasty" is taken from royal dynasties, a series of rulers from the same family.  Practically speaking, James gives "a series of successful teams that ... have key personnel in common."  Getting any more precious about the def than that leads to trouble, and Dr. D approves of James' habit of avoiding the trap that sabes get into, that of quibbling about hair-fine distinctions. By the way, he gives the first... Read More
goooooood article
Posted by jemanji on 11/08/17
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. Shannon Drayer puts up a dense, to-the-point Greg Johns-like report of the latest on Ohtani.  It is fact-based, very Seattle-favorable, and well worth the read (not that these are Johns' distinguishing characteristics). Takeaways: ... 1.  Ohtani isn't kidding around about 500 at-bats - hitting even on days he starts.  One scout says "of course" every team will promise him an everyday spot in the lineup; Drayer opines that it will come down to the team's credibility.  All NL teams then face the problem that they're asking Ohtani to play a new position. Dr. D sez, the Mariners could go with... Read More
fill the sky with arrows? then we shall fight in the SHAAAAADE
Posted by jemanji on 11/07/17
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. CRUNCH:  Jerry Dipoto is comfortable with a CF job-share between Heredia and Haniger.  MLB.com sez so.  The idea passes the chuckle test, easily, presuming that Dyson doesn't face reality sooner than later. I/O:  This does free the M's to go for lumber in a corner OF spot.  This frees the M's to target (ulp) J.D. Martinez, Jose Bautista, Jay Bruce, Lorenzo Cain, and their ilk.  The Condor if JeDi gets REALLY ambitious. . CRUNCH:  Hanjag wants to build a little altar to Giancarlo Stanton "starting with" James Paxton, Edwin Diaz, and going from there. Stanton would be a YUGE get The... Read More
we fans are only to happy to spend the million$ for yer
Posted by jemanji on 11/06/17
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.  Hanjag offers the back of his hand ...er, of his envelope here: . $ books The departing FAs (Valencia, Dyson, Ruiz) -13 million combined Gallardo declined -13 Mill Kuma performace incentives could have taken -10M to 15M declined. Smyly made 7 M this year and would have got a big raise if healthy to the -10-11 M range. so -52 M off between the 6 mentioned.  .... Seager gets a +8.5 M raise Zunino and Paxton will get several more million each but other than that there was the Leake trade.  (b-ref.com gives $3.2M for Zuumball and $5.7M for Zeus - Dr. D) Leake will make +11 M. Segura gets... Read More
Looks like John Jaso is the floor here ;- )
Posted by jemanji on 11/05/17
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. Bob Dutton's Twitter feed, which has stepped up its game since he retired (?!) directs us to Jim Callis, directing us to the scout's take on Eric Filia: . Q:  Is Eric Filia a serious prospect?  He has mashed at every level but is "old" at 25. A:   Filia currently leads the Arizona Fall League in hitting (.395) and on-base percentage (.481) after ranking third in the high Class A California League in batting (.326) and first in OBP (.407) during the regular season. He topped the Northwest League in both categories (.362, .450) and won the short-season circuit's MVP award in his 2016 pro... Read More
first discussion up: hey Yu
Posted by jemanji on 11/04/17
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. I was watching that colosseum fight between Colt and Tang Lung the other day.  My son walked in just as Norris started loosening up.  He was like, "What!  Chuck Norris used to be hard core?!" .... For sure we have our Bruce Lee fans here, and don't get Dr. D wrong - he has all but memorized "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do."  Bruce Lee was really, REALLY fast.  The pro's who worked out with him were quick to acknowledge his amazing speed.  But still.  Asking who would win a real fight between Lee and Norris, even forgetting the weight classes, is a lot like saying, "I saw this dude in Bed-Stuy who... Read More
Dr. D as Gatekeeper, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/04/17
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. Lookout Landing has a cogent description of the M's shortstop situation:  Zach Vincent, Andrew Romine, Taylor Motter and Shawn O'Malley.  Wow.  There is stoploss and then there is STOP Loss.  You realize you're talking about somebody to play BEHIND Jean Segura, who played 142-153 games per, every year till last year. We pointed out a week ago that James' new rate-a-rookie had very high marks for Taylor Motter.  He's for choice here. . LL also has the Open Letter to Shohei Ohtani that Bat571 recommended.  Remember, the first hurdle here is getting a posting agreement in place, since the... Read More
looking past the 'Skins, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/04/17
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. 7-2 if you count next Thursday's game against a Cardinals team that is down by one Carson Palmer.  John Clayton writes "timing is everything": . The Seahawks visited the New York Giants when they lost their top four wide receivers. On Thursday, the Seahawks play the Arizona Cardinals minus Carson Palmer and David Johnson. This Sunday, they are playing a Washington Redskins team that might be as banged up with injuries more than any team I can recently remember: Kirk Cousins comes to town minus two injured tight ends, at least three starting offensive linemen, and a banged-up receiving corps... Read More
but has anybody ever seen George Allen and Bat571 in the same room at the same time
Posted by jemanji on 11/04/17
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. Officer thinking from Bat571: . Off-season To make this off-season make up the deficiencies we've seen, without necessarily crippling the team, I see a clear #1 path: Step #1: Preemptively go after Yu Darvish. MLBTR says 6/$160M - offer it up front, no quibbles, with Uwajimaya coupons and tickets to Japan (Delta - product placement opportunity with Russell Wilson pushing Alaska Air) and whatever else he wants. Convince him the Darvish-Paxton-Felix threesome will be historic.  (1)  Step #2: Make Miami a decent offer for Stanton (Neidert - Bishop - Torres +++; Heredia - Miranda - Moore... Read More
K's or not, he can play
Posted by moethedog on 11/04/17
2 Comments

Several days ago, I suggested that Cardinals' OF Randall Grichuk would be a fine addition to the M's roster.  I remain of that opinion, even though he's going to K a lot, he isn't an OBP guy and he's coming off his worst MLB season.  Humbug, I say!  The guy can play.  And since Doc suggested that I make my argument in a thread, here I go.  Grichuk was the 24th pick in the 2009 draft, (Im)Famously, the Cards nabbed him just one pick ahead of the Angels pick of Mike Trout.  Well, darn the luck with that one.  But that isn't on Grichuk, it's on the Cards.  There were 49 players selected in the... Read More
Tanking in the NBA? Sure. In the NFL? Just maybe. Baseball? Say what?
Posted by jemanji on 11/03/17
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. Travis Sawchik with an article on "extreme rebuilds."  Dr. D finds the entire premise to be weird in baseball; it certainly works in basketball and sometimes may work in football if tanking gets you the difference between an aircraft carrier quarterback.   Sawchik writes, typically for Fangraphs, . While Houston’s title seemed inevitable for most of Wednesday night, an eventual coronation has seemed probable for some time. A smart team that bottoms out to enjoy premium picks and talent, that finds value in trades and free-agent signings, that improves players through development and... Read More
Dude? Sweeeeeet ....... if you're in NY, that is
Posted by jemanji on 11/03/17
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. B. Dutton (button?) points out that the MLBTradeRumors.com free agent list is out, and has predictions for the top 50 free agents. . PROPS:  Having one web page with the 50 most important hired guns, sweet.  Ranked 1-50, even sweeter.  Committed to terms and money, the sweetest yet.  You can't complain about anybody making a list.  Not unless you've made yer own, that is.  (Hint hint 'taters always tasty) . SLOPS:  We doubt MLBTR ever goes back and tracks their success rate.  Should some erstwhile Denizen find a place where they owned up, we're guessing that the list would nail, oh, 12 of... Read More
Ellsbury to the M's = Trick
Posted by moethedog on 11/01/17
3 Comments

Well, this has to be a spooky trick, don't you think?  3 years at $21,142,857, then a $5M buyout?  Ellsbury actually was .274-.367-.429 vs RHP last season, and was .271-.347-.397 the year prior.  He can still ding up RHP's a little bit.  He doesn't hit LHP worth beans.  As a CF he was -0.1 dWAR last season, with a +1.2 in '16. The Yankees would have to be buying down almost all of his salary.  But, to tell you the truth, were that true, we could do worse in a platoon CF gig.  If he's free, I'm sort of interested.  That about sums it up.   I still think it is a trick.  Read about it here:   ... Read More