Wily Mo Pena sat down! :: crowd goes wild ::
In case you just joined us, Wily Mo laid out the standard recipe for gaining followers off the sports rumor grapevine:
for what it's worth, the origin of the MLB daily dish story appears to be this tweet from marlins beat writer clark spencer:
"And two pitchers the #Marlins could be looking at are LH Roenis Elias and RH Nate Karns, per sources. "
note the "could" there, which has become an "are" in the dish tweet
to me this looks like the usual winter talking, e.g.
1) reports emerge that the mariners and marlins are talking about ozuna;
2) pre-existing information, it is known that the marlins want a pitcher for him;
3) people go "hmm, what pitchers do the mariners have"
4) next thing you know, names everywhere
Yep. Your speculation = inside info scenario is very plausible. For years it was S.O.P. at one of the top 5 Mariner blogs, though that has diminished.
The problemo is that very often these "accessed" beat writers (which Spencer is) are indeed reacting to execs in the org, who give an "off the record" comment, or a nod, or a shake of the head and a snort, or whatever. It's a little different if a blogger tweets something or Bob Dutton does. Really even within the circle of beat writers, some are cautious and some are overeager -- the Seattle writers tend towards cautious. Dutton, Stone, Divish, Drayer, et al., are content to find out to satisfy their own curiosity, remain quiet, and avoid annoying the Mariners, than to throw tidbits to the madding crowd. The M's themselves seem to have underlined this ground rule. But Loria's beat writers in Florida, we might assume, do not function as quasi-employees of the Marlins.
Wily Mo's general point is well taken. We fans are usually 99% in the dark and 99% surprised when the (a) real trade actually occurs.
Guess here, based on decades of watching these shenanigans, is that:
(1) The back-channel signals on Taijuan Walker are clear.
(2) The M's probably do have a full-court press on Ozuna. Not only do the national writers have them in the lead -- that's probably coming from Loria or Samson -- but, logically, DiPoto badly needs a plus defensive outfield to "justify" his entire change of career scenery.
(2a) Beyond that it's hard to know, even with regard to James Paxton, who isn't really DiPoto's kind of pitcher, didn't pitch the way he did (intelligently), etc.
(3) If not Ozuna, DiPoto does have tons of options to put defense in the OF. He does, after all, already have more offense than a Run Prevention Model :- / needs. So I'd be pretty surprised to see DiPoto get hosed by the, errr, Miami Marlins.
(4) Trading Karns in an Ozuna deal ... the "sideways" move of Brad Miller for Marcell Ozuna would delight DiPoto, of that we have little doubt. Change in Zduriencik's "unusuable" roster. But! SSI would assume that DiPoto is very, VERY excited about Nate Karns - more so than Ozuna. A glove-first RF who can hit a little bit is a good "fit"; Nate Karns is a lot more than a good fit.
New reader Teeman came up with the cool idea of comparing Marcell Ozuna to Franklin Gutierrez. That's a novel paradigm, to see Ozuna as --- > (1) one of your two or three "critical defenders" and then (2) as a dangerous bat who can chip in.
In fact Dr. D would see Teeman's idea and raise it. What if you called Ozuna your RF analogue to Mike Cameron? Here are Cameron's stats when he played in Safeco:
|Glove OF||AVG||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI||R||OPS+||Remark||Runs Saved|
|Mike Cameron 2001-03||.250||.350||.450||23||90||90||112||Safeco no effect on him||+20|
|Franklin Gutierrez 2009 (best)||.280||.340||.425||18||70||85||105||Ceiling||+20|
|Marcell Ozuna 2014||.270||.320||.455||23||85||70||114||Upside left||+10 in RF|
For me that's the camera angle that is going to get me to pay the most: if you can convince me that Ozuna is a glove-first player, like Cameron and Gutierrez were. Considering that Ozuna is a capable CF who's going to play the "second CF" in Safeco, I'm willing to play cash money for 10 runs saved on defense.
Interestingly, the 2014 American League was the most UNbalanced league since 1962. So that's something, that a super-skewed AL occurred in 2014, when the M's almost made the playoffs, and a super-balanced league occurred in 2015, when the M's flopped badly.
MLB TRADE RUMORS ..
... put its chats into an appealing new format, we notice. Jeff Todd answers an Ozuna question a lot like we would, but it's interesting to see a national perspective on it:
[Ozuna] seems like a guy that Dipoto would be very interested in, but that goes for other teams as well. It appears that Miami is well aware of the interest in Ozuna, so I don't think they'll be settling for just anything. This seems like an auction scenario to me -- get your best offers in so we can decide which young pitcher we want in return.
So, will Seattle be the team? Don't know, but Dipoto put a high value on young arms in LA.
Right, but also a high value on his own ability to differentiate good ones from ones that wouldn't pan out. Let's hope that he soon issues a vote of confidence on K-Pax.
image: Stephen Piscotty