WBC-san to Re-Sign for 3/$50M and an Option Year
Seattle = way too darling to resist


That's "resign with" a la Felix Hernandez, not "resign from" a la Kazuhiro Sasaki.  For those of you who have chess on the brain.  Which is, at this time of the SSI day, everyone.

And, no, the title isn't clickbait.  Not ONLY.  It's more of a necessary inference from Fangraphs' 2015 Crowdsourcing.  Prior to that article, Dr. Detecto had not yet congealed the foggiest sentiment as to whether Iwakuma would:

  • Accept the M's 1-year, $15.8M qualifying offer
  • Accept an impending 6-year, $150M offer from the Yankees (Iwakuma being as good as Cueto and Zimmerman)
  • Smile hugely, as he is wont to do, and offer to play in Seattle for free
  • Shuffle off to Buffalo
  • Other

But Fangraphs says 3 x $14M, and this figure is utterly reliable.  Well, it's reliable in the sense that a devout saberdweeb can take the Fangraphs figure, add 1-2 years and multiply by 110-125%.  This factually derives the future contract filed with the league office.  Just as a f'r instance, the Fangraphs crowd said $196M for Cano, which turned out to be $240M.  It said $153M for Scherzer, vis-a-vis $210M actual.  And so on.

The crowd's $14M valuation translates to $16-17M in American League money.  This corroborates with the QO being $16M this year; Iwakuma has the $15.8M figure in his head whether he wants it there or not, like a Paul McCartney jingle.  Top it off with a few hundred grand and you're right there.  The crowd's [3 years] becomes [3 years plus major buyout clause ($4M) on the 4th year], of course.


NPB players who come from Japan to Seattle aren't exactly in the habit of hopping ship to Oakland on a whim.  This is even more true when said Orcs have, on a previous occasion, won exclusive rights to Iwakuma's services and responded to his request of 7/$120M with the friendly "2/$12M or stay home, pal, far away from our AL West rivals."  

True, if you strained real hard, you might visualize a Left Coast rival in Anaheim, but there too.  Both Japan and Seattle feature the color green more than they feature gray and silt.  Colors tend to appeal to cultured NPB superstars.

Leaving us with a set rotation for 2016:


1 FELIX - Latest research suggests he's a good way to "control the strike zone"

1a IWAKUMA - Wants to pitch "until he's forty."  Like Moyer, is precisely the type of pitcher who could do so (velocity not very relevant).

3 NATE KARNS - By jingo!  For two coppers we'll make him a Best Bet!  (Tom Sawyer's rival promptly extends palm with two pennies on it; both are instantly in the dirt, covered in dust and glory)

4 TAIJUAN - 157:40 control ratio also a good way to "control the strike zone"

5 K-PAX - Just 'cause you've forgotten him, don't figure the M's have


Lemme pile on here.  The free agent pitchers that SSI would deploy in front of Nate Karns would be:

  • Zach Greinke
  • David Price
  • Johnny Cueto
  • Jordan Zimmerman

And after that, we'll cheerfully go with the $500k Nate Karns over all the 4/$60M to 5/$70M guys like Samardzija, Gallardo, Estrada, Kennedy, etc.  ... Well, maybe if you pushed it we could argue about Kazmir and Chen :- )

Yeah.  We're a skosh over the top, LrKrBoi29.  But underline Karns on your roto sticky note just the same.



Last year at THIS point, the 87-win M's were coming off a 3.61 (115) ERA season based on Felix, Iwakuma, Chris Young and Roenis Elias. and we (along with the MLB Network) cheerfully assumed the M's first World Series.  Last year up at the April 10 point, the Mariners were down to Felix and rain, and then pray for a flood, and maybe a hurricane to get back to Felix.  True, J.A. Happ's 4.64 ERA came along for the ride, but the 2015 M's wound up taking starts from Mike Montgomery, Vidal Nuno, Tony Zych (!) and Edgar Olmos.

So, as all clubs do, the 2016 M's will need #7 and #8 starters.  To go with Roenis Elias.  At the moment:

6 ELIAS - has a wonderful history of responding to the challenge of April in AAA.  No JeDi disturbance in the force to be seen here

6b MIKE MONTGOMERY - Whoop, forgot him first time 'round.  Shame on D.

7 DAVID ROLLINS - Just got named AFL All-Star, which is pretty much the same as AL All-Star

8 VIDAL NUNO - Going by Shandler Quality Starts last year, he was +7 -4 =2.  With a 5+ ERA and 12 gophers in 51 innin's

9 EDGAR OLMOS - Going by Dr. D Quality Index, might easily make the rotation ... in Tacoma


As Greg Johns' fine blog pointed out:

  • HE JUST WINS: LHP Vidal Nuño is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA (4 ER, 24.0 IP) in 4 starts with Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. He has limited opponents to a .225 (20×89) average, while walking 5 and striking out 15. In his last start on Nov. 5, Nuño (7.0,3,0,0,2,2) allowed only 3 hits, walked 2 and struck out 2 in 7.0 shutout innings to earn his 4th win as Aragua defeated Zulia 2-0.  Nuño did not allow an earned run (1 R) over his first 12.0 innings in first 2 starts, Oct. 17 vs. Zulia (6.0,4,0,0,1,4) and Oct. 25 at Lara (6.0,2,1,0,2,5). Nuño currently leads the VWL in wins, while ranking 4th in ERA (1.50). Also among VWL starters he ranks 3rd in fewest baserunners per 9.0 innings (9.37) and 4th in lowest walk per 9.0 inning ratio (1.50).

Nuno definitely gets outs.  Unfortunately, he also gets taken out, to the tune of 1.4 homers per game lifetime.  He just keeps slinging that sidearm meat in there, and they just keep doin' the same ol same ol.  Pass a deena.

But, as we just learned, "#5 starter" is the outer ring on the Baseball Value dartboard.  The 3 double, to be specific.  So, sign Doogie Fister to a make-good deal, smirk at Zduriencik and Wedge, and call it good?  

The M's got five starters.  That's the pernt.  From here you go with thickener; coupla Jeremy Bondermans and move on to RP/OF.  That Nate Karns thingy was a mondo cool move.

Be Afraid,

Dr D


image:  e OrimO, flickr



Sign one more (low price) #6 starter to join the heap...which frees up Elias to seize the mantle of closer?

I realize the walk rate might regurgitate those Rodney feelings...but swinging strike is already at league average...the one-inning-at-a-time role adds another 2mph to the fastball...and the curve and changeup are already fearsome.

And have you ever seen anyone born with a truer 'closer mentatlity'?  


Lessee, looking at the game logs I 'member the one on Sept 18; he fell behind the one hitter and looked nervous but came back to fan him.

Looks like he also had 1.0 inning in Oakland, three outs and a walk.  The one reservation would be how he reacts to adversity, such as when he started in Tacoma last year.  But with some adjustment he could be a real find at closer.  As we recall it took Aroldis Chapman some time to get used to his role, but once he did he enjoyed it.

Always was partial to lefty closers myself.  Since Plesac.


I think people may be shocked at the contracts doled out this off season. The potential BAM Tech money is huge, albiet 2-3 years out. Every team owns a slice of that org and it's improbably become the best live streaming platform around. Could be a very hot IPO. 


That's the first I'd heard of BAM tech $.  But, on a related issue, a Fangraphs chat just pegged the 2024 payrolls at $220M+ per team. Meaning that a single WAR would cost $12-15M.  Food for thought when a real business is considering $200M for eight years of David Price.

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