And wouldn't those five starters play into Stars & Scrubs? You've got above average players manning CF, RF, 1B, SP, and SP. Find a couple of High Defense Civics and a couple of Scrubs, and Viola! Annual Contender.
I/O: Spec' sez in this thread,
Z and Towers had a 6-for-1 deal close to consummation for Adrian Gonzalez last July 31, but it fell through when Towers was holding out for a 7th player! Would be interesting to know who the six were, and who the 7th would have been.
CRUNCH: Caveat (1) from a distance, and caveat (2) if true ... then
(3) I take this to mean that Kevin Towers was extremely squeamish about the second-guessing that he would take on the deal. SSI reads this 7-player thing as a cover-your-backside, "Look it was a complete no-brainer" protest to the naysayers.
There is nothing more maddening than working on an important deal, and just as you're ready to close, the other party throws in more and more demands -- actively trying to either blow the deal, or at least make it so sweet that nobody can complain.
Usually it's because they are (on this particular deal) afraid and indecisive. That's just my $0.02.
That's fine, if you don't want to make a deal. But know that before, not after, our company spends all its time in prep, based on your word that you'll deal.
CRUNCH: We all like the fact that the Mariners are buyers, not liars.
My considered opinion is that the M's will pay a steep price for a player they like -- three impact prospects for Cliff Lee in his walk year proves that. (Lee, in theory, needs to go onto the trade market 70 games from now.)
So when the M's are in on a player, we are all becoming acclimated to the fact that Zduriencik pushes into the pot with bad intentions. You raise him, he reraises, and you raise that, he comes right back at you. He's got the guts of a big-money poker player.
CRUNCH: For all that, there have obviously been times when a GM has tried to take advantage of Zduriencik's enthusiasm for a player. When a Towers tries to push Capt Jack into "rash" territory, Zduriencik walks away from the deal.
This is another sine qua non for serious business negotiating. In just a few months, Zduriencik has established himself as one of the Big Dogs at the poker table. That's not just ditto-accolades; Zduriencik legitimately shows all of the earmarks of a superior negotiator.
CRUNCH: So, again, if true, we M's fans can read this as the M's being the team most likely to bid out on Adrian Gonzalez. IF and WHEN the Padres become more serious about fishing or cutting bait.
Guess here is, that won't be long. The situation is beginning to fester.
All Zduriencik can do, if the report is accurate, is wait for the Pads to go ahead with the highest bid, and then make it -- as he did on Cliff Lee, and as Bavasi did on Erik Bedard.
I/O: Spec sez also,
The article makes it clear: no hometown discount.
CRUNCH: I wouldn't worry too much about this aspect of it. Gonzalez means, no hometown discount to the Padres.
Zduriencik has proven that he will bet on his org's ability to headhunt a top resource -- to get them in, woo them, sell them on their new home and then reason with them about joining what is going to become a very fun program.
Felix, Lee, Ichiro and Gonzalez as lynchpins of Juggernaut Seattle? :- ) Would Zduriencik have it in him to work something out with Bedard as well?
With Towers fired in October and replaced by Jed Hoyer.
... if you can pack five $12 players into one $30 roto slot, you've fulfilled a Stars & Scrubs fantasy...
In most orgs, the ownership committee is definitely part of those 2009 discussions... as we all know, folks like Chuck Armstrong like to be involved in the chalk talks...
The new GM comes in and sits down, the holdover execs brief him, here's what we had from Seattle, here's what we had from Boston, etc etc...
Some GM's are secure enough to exploit the groundwork; others want to veer away from their predecessors' ideas, on principle...
But yeah. Hoyer being a new broom to sweep clean, and stepping into an org attitude that is disenchanted with Gonzalez' demands, the re-set button should work to expedite a deal... in theory at least...