May I present to you...the 2014/2015 San Diego Padres makeover?
Splash trades by the bucketful. Traded bassically ALL THE THINGS to get five star players.
Didn't work out so well.
Officer thinking from Bat571:
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?) and convince Stanton that the lineup for Seattle with him as #2 will be historic and winning with the reinforced pitching; no rebuilding required. (2)
Step #3: Find somebody (suggest sending Darvish, Felix, Stanton, Cano, Cruz, Junior, and Edgar) to deliver Kate Preusser's "Open letter to Shohei Ohtani" (see Lookout Landing) personally to him. Convince him that, with him, the Mariners can be a dynasty rivaling the Yankees over these next 6-10 years. Sign him for whatever MLB allows. Promise him that he can pitch and play occasional LF with Haniger and Stanton out there with him in the first year. Promise him that, once he gets settled as a pitcher, and as Cruz ages, he'll get plenty of time at DH. Convince him the Darvish-Paxton-Felix-Leake-Ohtani rotation will be talked about by our grandchildren, as will the Segura-Stanton-Cano-Cruz/Ohtani-Seager-Haniger-Alonso-Zunino-Gamel/Ohtani (however it works) lineup. (3)
Step #4: After that, Alonso will be fine at 1B until Evan White is ready. Jerry can find a BU Catcher. (4)
Step #5: Sign Iwakuma to a split MiLB - major league "quality control" coach position (i.e., can't be in the dugout during games) contract that keeps him available as the #6-7 starter, but has him helping Darvish and Ohtani. (5)
Step #6: Sign Ichiro to a contract, make him the #5 OF and let him get a ring as a Mariner. (6)
Step #7: Explain to Gamel, Heredia, Miranda, Gonzales, Moore, et al, that they will get their chances; this will be a dynasty. (7)
(1) Zoomball took the opposite tack on Yu Darvish, figuring on a couple of decent MLB years to come, followed by a Daimajin-type return to Japan (which didn't turn out so well for Sasaki). That could very well be right. As for Dr. D, he is going to gingerly come down on the John Benson side of things: what was Darvish' WORST year in the last five? (Answer: 2.7 WAR in an injury season 2016). Yu will not turn thirty-tu until late next year, and the Mainframe has to reluctantly side with Bat: just pay the money without quibbling, as you did with Cano.
Jerry Dipoto, however, seems terribly averse to this kind of thing. siighhhhhhh And a blogger doubts very seriously that a snake-eyed Fortune 500 exec would put much credence into the Darvish-Ohtani parlay.
I like Darvish's DOWNside as well as his upside, what with the 10+ strikeouts in his sleep, and I'd make early work of the signing if it were me. If it gives (let's say) a 30% chance of Ohtani then that's all the better.
(2) Giancarlo Stanton!
There are 19 other M's blogs who will chuckle, "We don't have the talent." You, as an SSI reader, are well aware that any of the 30 MLB teams has many times more talent than needed to get any MLB player. For example, you could give Neidert, Miranda, Moore, Bishop and Lewis, and the conversation would stop on a dime and turn into the infamous 5-for-Bedard laughfest.
Stanton is whimsical as we all know, but hey, we remember Inside Pitch going berserk when the Angels swooped on Vlad Guerrero to the shock of everybody in baseball. The takeaway for us may be ....
... (2a) I never thought about it: why DOESN'T some .500 team trade away 30 players in order to collect an All-Star team?
I mean it's NEVER happened. Why wouldn't it have? Riddle me that.
If Dr. D recalls, Bill James labeled one team in ML history as a single-winter GM miracle, turning a meh team into a world beater. It seems like it was the 1960 Reds turning into the 1961 Reds.
(3) Ohtani would be arite with me.
(4) Sure. And let's not forget the possibility of Alonso being a late bloomer. AT THE MOMENT Yonder Alonso looks the best option here. I think Hanjag pointed out that Vogelbach has an option year left.
(5) (6) Pure genius. Iwakuma could probably be had cheap, the M's aren't averse to creative roles, and Ichiro as 4-5 outfielder would be more fun than Bucky "Git R Done" Jacobsen. Or Dae-Ho Lee. Or anything.
(7) And would start a revolution in sports, with about 40% of all teams in the NBA, NFL and MLB returning to the George Allen Redskin approach. What was his term for that? "Over the Hill Gang" or whatever?
Stars & Scrubs 4evah,
May I present to you...the 2014/2015 San Diego Padres makeover?
Splash trades by the bucketful. Traded bassically ALL THE THINGS to get five star players.
Didn't work out so well.
Should I conclude from that example that the approach is busted? :- )
I suspect if you look position by position to the pre-Preller Padres v. the 2017 Ms, you'll find the Padres tried to build a team without substantial talent into a contender. Cano-Cruz-Seager-Haniger-Zunino is a talented bunch that a SINGLE additional hitter of star quality will become a behemoth. Stanton hit #2 for the Marlins this past year, quite well indeed. Putting that production in the #2 slot for the Ms with Cano-Cruz-Seager-Haniger to follow is a strategic upgrade, not a attempt to reconstruct the lineup.
Likewise, we can all hope that Paxton and Felix have healthy seasons, but adding Darvish, and Darvish only, doesn't rebuild the rotation, but reinforces it, adding 4 or so WAR to the predicted 14 or so currently rostered. A rotation of Darvich-Paxton-Felix-Leake-Gonzales/Moore would be very competitive. Now, if Ohtani can be covinced to sign with the Ms, through Darvish's help, Preusser's, or Delta Airlines, whatever.... it extends the contention time of the Ms from depending on 32 year-old Darvish and Hernandez and the Cano-Cruz pair, so that they can gently decline with some upside from Haniger/Stanton/Ohtani/Zunino/Paxton coming to the fore.
I believe the "add two and raise the flag" is more possible with the 2017 Ms that than with any team I remember. That said, sign the guys and let's play the games and see.
The 2014 Padres had, it sez here, 535 runs scored and they were probably at least that inert in terms of potential. Seth Smith (!) had their highest OPS+ by a long, long way.
I agree with Dip-a-toe (gotta love DaddyO's reference to the big-splash hesitancy) that the 2017 M's underperformed and, rather than -22 run differential, were more like a +50 runs team without breaking a sweat.
You add Darvish, that's +35 runs, Ohtani, assume the same +35, Giancarlo Stanton is actually +70 runs a year ... there are 10 other places next year's M's could add runs (like Zuumball for a full season, Paxton etc) ...
It never actually works out that way :- ) to just add up the runs by 30's but just the same, I don't see why a solid team doesn't add four stars (Stanton being worth two) and move in on the title.
COME TO THINK OF IT! In the White Rat Whitey Herzog chuckles about how he sent Simmons, Vuckovich and Fingers to the 1980 Brewers "guaranteeing them the pennant" and that's what happened; a 3rd-place team won the division the next year and the pennant the year after...
Matt's point is still interesting. Lot of things can go wrong between the talent grab and the actual 95 wins.
...I'm not saying that the Mariners shouldn't make big additions. I think they need to at least add a big pitching addition. The offense is good enough to win a world series as is IMHO as long as they retain a better first baseman than Valencia and keep everyone else together and healthy. But the pitching is in desperate need of a nuclear aircraft carrier with sixteen tomahawk missiles.
1) I am HIGHLY in favor of romancing Darvish. If we could get him for four years, wonderful. It's probably going to be five years in order to land him. This is an 'all in' move that matches the stars of this team. If it doesn't work...we move on.
2) I think I remember reading that it's not reasonable to assume that the team that signs Darvish will have a leg up on Ohtani. Because any wothwhile agent is going to extend the bidding on Darvish until the last possible moment...and if Ohtani signs, it's going to be early in the offseason. Thus, the cadence doesn't work. Does anyone else remember that?
3) I'm not crazy about Stanton. Not that he's not a stud, but that I'd rather spend the money on pitching. Let's make offers on the two guys mentioned above, and see what's left over.
4) Alonso? Yep...no brainer. A late bloomer who I think stays bloomed.
5) Am I the only guy in favor of a healthy Heredia and a (reasonably priced) Dyson? In a dugout of of Stepford Teammates run by a Stepford manager, I like the energy and character that Dyson brings.
Relaying Bob Dutton's primer: Ohtani wanted to sign by the Winter Meetings, but Darvish's agent would want to string things out. I still think that's probably the way Dipoto is thinking because guys who deal with million$ want to know what they're getting in return.
That said, the dickering over the NPB-MLB posting agreement is liable to delay Ohtani's signing, and Bat's suggestion is to move in on Darvish by giving him everything he wants - to put your best offer on the table real early, as Paul Allen likes to do.
Thanks amigo :- )
5) I think Dyson is looking to hit it big in the FA market, but doubt his tight legs and DL time are conducive to that.
5) No, it' not just you, but it should be. Dyson did nothing to move the needle for us. Soft WAR isn't going to help us outscore the other team. The only thing soft WAR does is help the other team not score as much, which doesn't help as much if we're not scoring to begin with. Our problem was getting runs across the plate.
Not only that, but Dyson's injuries were considered pretty minor and he just gave up on the season and had surgery, forget that guy. He' not a winner. He' a backup.
I had to read that comment twice to make sure I was responding to the correct thing.
No, sorry, the problem with the Mariners was not failing to score. They finished the season above average offensively and near the bottom of the league in run prevention when adjusting for park. The problem with the 2017 Mariners was the pitching. The offense was solid, if a bit streaky.
They need better pitching with a better offense. Dyson did bring something to the table, it just wasn't enough. They need an upgrade over that level. I don't even believe they need to make more than one pitching addition. They just need the guys they have to be there playing like they're capable of. Like any team asks of their players. Last year was a freak year for injuries, we understand that.
But injuries also derailed Haniger, Segura, Heredia, and Dyson, not to mention Cruz, Cano, and Seager all having balky legs here and there throughout the summer and fall. The latter three we can expect some of at their ages, but I also expect considerably more out of both Heredia and Haniger.
I think the offense is, more or less, sound. I would, of course, not kick a good hitter out of bed with the club, but my top priority is one big name confidence-infusing mega-drop into that rotation and one MLB(TM) closer.
You have Kuma’s $14M and Gallardo’s $11M. Then you have Smyly’s $7M. That’s $32M that got you zero last season. Cruz’s $14M comes from the books after next season and Felix’s $29M is done after ‘19. He is basically 190 free Acey innings. Just go get him now, or pronto. Then deal with Otani-san.
Paxton, Darvish, Leake is as good of 1-3 as you will find. Then a hobbled (but rested) Felix, plus Gonzo-Miranda-Moore-Ramirez. Trade Miranda or Ramirez if you wish.
Heck,then trade for Grichuk. You’re good to go, minus a 1B, if you don’t like Vogs.
We're all in now...can't be all in with a gamble that big (no pun intended). Get a real first baseman, please.
I agree with almost all the comments, but especially Matt's. The Ms need a top-flight pitcher. I don't think anyone really argues with that. My contribution is, hey, go get the right guy for Seattle and give him what he wants. This is a VERY successful franchise, based on their filings with the stadium folks. So, get the best guy out there; and there's some uniquely Seattle things to offer him.
Meanwhile, having another hitter to extend the lineup, while not strictly necessary THIS year, will be in the next year or two. Stanton is on the market, for sure, for probably the only time. We can dream that Kyle Lewis will be Griffey-level, and, no, I wouldn't trade HIM, but Stanton IS Griffey-level in hitting, and only a bit quieter in charisma. As a West-Coast boy, I bet he'd love this town, even if he didn't want to live here in the winter. And he WOULD bring butts in seats - the 3-million mark is there to be exceeded after all these years of disappointment. I read somewhere that 1M attendance is worth $50-60M to the bottom line. Can the Ms afford him? Why the heck not?
And, similar to the Griffey trade, Stanton has a full no-trade clause. HE will pick where he goes. The acquiring team just needs to get a decent offer (of mainly young pitching) on Jeter's table. Neidert is moving up the prospect charts -- what additional might they want? Because of the huge contract, other teams (like the Cardinals) may offer better young pitchers to get Miami to pay it down. Again, this franchise is successful and Stanton could make it more so. Take the contract; give them some nice young pitching. Neidert and Marco Gonzales* and Thyago Vieira? I can think of combinations that would be quite tempting to any club. Add Churchill-favorite Christopher Torres (who looks to be everything Jason says - but the Ms have Segura who's already there) and you might be there. But they ought to try. HARD.
Then there is Ohtani. To make it clear, he's for future-proofing the team. Another "one-chance-only" at a significant bargain price; when (and if) he hits the market, the Ms should be all-in as Felix's and Cano's (or Cruz's) successor. Not an immediate savior (though I can see him winning 12-15 games like 'Kuma the first time through the league). But since the Farm is weak, here's the chance to get a 23-year old with upside. I suspect he wants to go to a contender so he doesn't have to be the immediate savior somewhere. And Cy Young winners need lineups that win games in most years. Signing Darvish, with or without a palship with Ohtani, gives a "contender" stamp. Getting Stanton would mean owner Stanton, Larson, Mather, et al, are REALLY serious about BOTH attendance and winning. Then Ohtani's choice is easier -- contender, wonderful town, rabid fans, but he doesn't have to carry it (Just do his best). I would think that would be more appealling than the roster on 11/1/2017.
* Yes, even him, IFF we have Darvish and to get Stanton
59 jacks is 59 jacks. :)
I just don't think we have anywhere near the sorts of packages that other clubs will without completely sacking our entire future.
And I agree with Matty here.
Goodness knows I lI’ve Stanton. I just don’t think we can pull him off. Darvish, we can.
And the road to Darvish is sort of a shortcut to another player of repute.
And the M's could definitely put together a package that would land him, as Doc is so consistent in (correctly) reminding us.
I just don't see it happening. He's a franchise hitter, no question, and is as close to Griffey/A-Rod level production we'd have had since those two departed, but he's also on an ENORMOUS contract, and the team already has one of those for Cano (with six years left, and frankly less-than-stellar performance on the front end of the $240mil deal--he's produced good value, and is outpacing the contract thus far, but it looks more and more likely that it'll end up being a problem in a few years).
All that said, yeah, I don't think anyone on this site would be mad if the M's emptied the farm COMPLETELY and ended up with Stanton, Darvish, and Ohtani.
The question is what the Marlins are going to do. If they're trading everybody off and building from the ground up, I don't think we have a package of prospects that would entice them.
However, I don't think they plan to sell off everybody, just who they can't afford. If they just traded Stanton and Dee Gordon, they still have a good core to build around and try winning while maintaining a realistic budget.
With Paxton's agent being Scott Borass, I think a package for Stanton starting with Paxton/Diaz makes a world of sense for both teams if the Mariners are truly going after Darvish and Ohtani-san. The Mariners add some dependability, the Fish get big upside at low cost.
Stanton is a mashing stud, but the Mariners' pitching situation is a frickin' car crash. Paxton can leave if you pry him from my cold, dead hands.
1) Paxton is 29. Stanton is 27. (edit to correct: HAHAHA, they were born one year and two days apart--shows you what I get for glancing at player ages on FanGraphs!)
2) Paxton has SIGNIFICANT injury history. Stanton has MODERATE injury history.
3) Pitchers are more VOLATILE than hitters, and hitters tend to age more gracefully (Albert Pujols' cliff dive notwithstanding...).
4) Scott Boras is Paxton's agent. If we keep him and he performs like we hope, we're going to be carrying a $30mil/year contract in a year or two EITHER WAY. Who would you rather be receiving that money, (then) 29 year old Stanton or (then) 30(edited to correct for previous age error) year old Paxton?
it's not like the rotation is a problem. And if you *only* get Darvish, it's not like the delta between Darvish and Paxton is all that extreme (future plateau leaps OR cliff dives notwithstanding) It might not give you the 2001 version of the Big Unit + Curt Schilling dominance, but you wouldn't need it with a lineup featuring Cruz, Cano, Seager, Stanton, Segura, Haniger, Zunino, etc.. That lineup could pace the AL in offense pretty easily.
I can see plenty of GREAT reasons to trade Paxton for Stanton. I can also see plenty of great reasons to keep Paxton and let the Angels or someone else get Stanton. I don't think it's a deal-breaker either way; Paxton has a few years' uninterrupted dominance before we can consider him the equal of King Felix earlier in Hernandez' career (when he was rightly ~untouchable). Until then, and assuming you're talking about receiving a younger player of equal talent in return, I don't see any reason Paxton should be considered untouchable.