Was watching TV with my daughter, who is 25 years old and who has been around, when she floored me with this question. "What's a BOOKIE?"
Picking himself up off the carpet next to the couch, and reaching into a bag of tart responses ... Dr. D reminded himself, there are worse questions you'd rather hear from your daughter. Trust him on that one.
Seattle Sports Insider takes it as a given that the Farquhar-Riefenhauser component to the deal was the "vigorish," the premium paid to get to the rest of it:
an excessive rate of interest on a loan, typically one from an illegal moneylender.
the percentage deducted from a gambler's winnings by the organizers of a game.
Objectively speaking, Danny Farquhar is a one-time ML "Closer" who has 209 strikeouts and only 63 walks in 179 major league innings. C.J. Riefenhauser is a smallish, dime-a-dozen, 50%-slider-throwing lefty who has just barely surfaced long enough to yield 7 BB's against 7 K's in the bigs. Hmmmmm, where have we heard that before? If you didn't have enough Vidal Nunos, Tyler Olsons, and Edgar Olmoses before the deal, why did you have to cough up a 10K major league reliever to get another one?
Because, it says here, you didn't want Farquhar on your roster at any price, anyway. Scott Servais' new culture is not going to be forwarded when the catcher has to trot out to the mound to say No, I'm not going to call an 88 cut fastball up in the zone with the bases loaded. Dr. D approves of this.
What can Dr. D tell you about C.J. Riefenhauser? Here is a YouTube video proclaiming his dominance in the title -- and then showing us a blizzard of flat, lifeless pitches telegraphed from the windup. The video does exactly zero to dispel Dr. D's suspicion that CJ is a red-shifted variant on The Player To Be Named Later. And it's just as well. It's Tyler Olson you want, if this is your thing.
Is Boog Powell a great get from Dr. D's standpoint? Naaahhh.
JeDi shopped Brad Miller around, and figured that Nate Karns was the very best he could do, and ... if it just so happened that the Tampa Rays also happened to be the team packing his #2 target, we'd be talking a mathematical miracle. Nope.
Far more likely, it went: OK, you guys win the Miller sweepstakes ... now, and can you help us get a young outfielder for one of these kludgy 1B's here?, your pick, LoMo or Trumbo (snerf snerf $9mill yeah right) ... , and .... wait, we've got to acknowledge your point now, you're giving up quite a bit here for what you're getting. Okay, we'll throw in the brain-dead reliever. If you can fix him, you got a whale of a setup guy.
:: deal ::
That said, Powell COULD be a seriously plus defender in CF. If so, and if he can defend himself with the bat -- 80 OPS+ -- then JeDi's purpose is soived. FanGraphs' WAR projection of 4.7 through age 28 is fairly decent for a player of his type, MLB.com immediately ranked Powell #7 in the system (?!), and DiPoto is fairly gushy.
Really what seems to be going on here is that Powell went to AAA and, first trip round, showed the kind of "tough AB" that we saw from Ketel Marte, an ability to deal with big-league quality pitches. There are guys like this, whose game is mehhhh against weak opposition but heyyyy! against gristly opposition. Powell may very well be getting some credit for this early on.
Then again, there was a time we were intrigued by Trayvon Robinson, so ...
But also, as you've noticed, the Mariners got 17 years of club control back -- from the RAYS! -- whereas Logan Morrison has only one year of arbitration left. $-per-WAR is "The Best Player In the Deal," when you are talking about guys like Logan Morrison and Boog Powell -- and the Rays aren't in the habit of coughing that up. Neither are ML orgs in the habit of coughing up good rookie SP's for good rookie hitters ... without V-I-G-O-R-I-S-H, that is. In the Pineda-Montero deal, for example, the vigorish was the fact that Pineda was proven and Montero was a guess.
Danny Farquhar was apparently the vigorish associated with this very cool 2-for-2 Rays swap. Dr. D will pay, and with gusto.
Most of us on SSI had long since tired of Farquhar's love affair with his worst pitch. Since that joyous, fateful day on which Brandon League was jettisoned, Danny has run a good six lengths ahead of all the other Mariner horses in the Grab It And Chuck It Derby. Dr. D wishes Danny a long, happy life -- lived a minimum of 3,000 miles from Dr. D's own favorite baseball stadium.
Very encouraging, to see Jerry DiPoto come in and INSTANTER target the three goofiest Mariners for termination. (Apologies to The Logo, who is goofy through absolutely no fault of his own.) Maybe this even moves Tony Zych forward? Well, you can't have everything at once.