Joaquin Benoit vs Craig Kimbrel
Give it up, Jason. I'm better 'n you.


SABRMatt Shoutz:  Fun question...would you rather trade two very low end prospects for an 8 million dollar relief ace who is good but not a true master and who you only control for one season. ..or two of your top four and four of your top 30 prospects for a 12 mil per year true relief ace that you have for three seasons at that price? 

and Mo' Dawg didn’t hesitate:  Is his name M. Rivera? Otherwise, unlikely.


Fun question indeed, especially for the M’s.  Matty, you're on a roll, even if the Sox may not be ...

Not only did the Sox give up 2 of THEIR top 4 spects, they gave up 2 of the Top MLB 100.  And two more prospects who may be more valuable than the two the M’s paid for Benoit.   True, Craig Kimbrel is a suitcase full of rainbows.  Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they're going to waste him as a closer.

Kidding.  Half.  :: Aaron Eckart voic ::  Bill James (correctly) has pointed out that --- > the 9th-inning closer is an indulgence.  You know how the shotgun formation gives 15% more yards than a QB-under-center formation?, and yet they still keep taking snaps under center?  Without any question at all, the use of Craig Kimbrel with the score tied in any late inning would give you far more wins than the use of him to 'celebrate' 5-3 victories.

We ain’t winning that "Closer" battle any time soon.  But take consolation in the idea that DiPoto spent hard-earned* Mariner dollars on the concept of good relievers, rather than on the mythological concept of a Closer.

*Actually Pepsi!  90 Days Same as Cash! ain't all that hard-earned.  But.


Also true:  the Sox get 3 years of Kimbrel.  Also also true:  If the M's had got Kimbrel, Dr. D would be dancing the Futterwacken most vigorously.  But!  The M’s have a more subtle idea in mind.  Theirs is a glue-and-screw adhesion idea, in contrast to the Sox’ rusty iron railroad spike and windmill sledgehammer.  Joaquin Benoit provides you a military-grade bridge over the River 2016. This idea gives you elbow room for the global plan of *developing* your bullpen given the time you bought yourself.

It’s axiomatic that you want to build your bullpen from within, perhaps with a Wade Davis-like trade mixed in.  (By Wade Davis-like we mean, a little bit more stealth than 4 shiny prospects for a reliever who is featured on Wheaties boxes.  Everybody loathed the Wade Davis trade when it actually occurred.)

The Mariners have a dozen *interesting* relief arms.  If you go 9-to-make-3 out of there, you should be able to plan on having a KC-style fire brigade by 2017.  Or!*  if that doesn’t quite pan out, you can bridge again next winter.

*Conjunctions as gleeful sentences.  Is SSI a great place or what.


By the way, the Crowdsourcing has all these Lowe-, Sipp-, Kelley-type arms falling into our arms at a measly $4M apiece.  Methinks the concept of “bullpen stabilization” escapes the $/WAR crowd, but in the end, it did not escape Jack Zduriencik and Lloyd McClendon.  Perhaps the truth dawned on them as the darkness closed in.  But everybody believes in the end, Mr. Shepherd.



On MLB Network they are already debating James’ Zen idea to limit relief pitching changes.  (That which is in favor of the game as a whole, does not usually synch with what is in the interest of one manager as a whole.)  

MLB Network debated this version of the game:  Make every pitcher face two batters.

The objection:  until he fakes an injury every time!

The SSI overrule:  Then the second batter walks, similar to the balk rule.

I’m with James on all of it.  Right now the average ballgame sees 9, 10 pitchers. James notes, wryly that we'd probably rather watch one actor play Dumbledore than see five actors play him. The wholesale pitching changes, the parade of non-athletes cascading out to the mound every night, do not add to the coherency of the drama. 


Gratuitous Joaquin Benoit stat poached from Jeffy:  Over the last SIX years, Joaquin Benoit has allowed the #2 BABIP in all of baseball.  Also, in 2015, he allowed the #1 exit velocity.

That BABIP number is, incredibly, .232.  Davenport Translation in Safeco:  .132.  The worst BABIP over the last six years was Hector Noesi, at .366.  We'll take that pitcher-pair as emblematic of the JeDi Rebellion.


Dr D

image:  Keith Allison, flickr




The Reliever Parade has to be the worst thing that's happened to baseball in the last 15 years.
I seem to remember the M's carried 11~12 pitchers most of the time during 2001~2003, but the weight on the bullpen seems to have severely increased after the M's executed the 'only-5-pitchers-in-the-rotation-evar' feat.
And *OOGYs are the worst part.

I wonder if roster compositon limits make more sense than the two batter limit though.
For instance, if you have a hard limit of 11 pitchers on a roster, it would have an interesting impact on how teams treat #5/swing pitchers and increase the value of player flexibility.
I mean, I can't remember the last time the M's actually skipped the 5 and used them as a reliever during their lull.A
It may even lower injury incidents as power pitching that only lasts 15 pitches will be depreciated as a whole.

Unfortunately, I imagine medical or "medical" issues will keep MLB from ever trying this.


Two for one:  now you have enough hitters to get some real pinch-hitting, running, and platooning going.  It would start throwing a few buckets of water overboard, on this sinking MLB ship called Offense.

There are many ways to redirect the Parade west onto Pike Street.  This might be my fave.  You go IceX.


What was your take on Son, again?


Nobody has ever heard of the guys we traded Benoit for.  Whatever the Mariners asking price was for Kimbrel, it was going to hurt.  Like getting your Taijuan Walker amputated and sold on the black market hurt.  I'm still smarting over the Miller trade, and he was extra.  This Benoit trade is more than a lateral move, in that you keep your best guys, and you get another great baseball player. 

With Karns and Benoit in the fold, its time to go hunting for a Kuma.  Load up on guns. 


I know two guys who winced at the "half your liver" quip.  :- )

Benoit more than lateral, yeah, like about 357 degrees on the compass lateral.  Load up on guns and bring your friends babe.


Heh.  After years of drinking and riotous living, my friend needed a half a liver to live, as his liver was complete toast (Apparently livers grow back).  He was turning yellow and dying. None of his relatives, except his wife, wanted to cough up half a liver, and hers wasn't compatible.  A year ago, he got a whole liver from a car accident victim, and has been living happily and soberly (I hope) ever after.  I think that you learn who your friends are when you ask them for a half a liver.  I didn't want to offer him half my liver.  Thankfully, he didn't ask.

We went blacktail hunting.  I got two, a big one and a little one.  A week of tromping around in the woods is its own reward.  There are moose in my area, but they aren't very common as they prefer a less rainy climate.  In the Alexander Archipelago, the animal species varies from island to island.  I was hunting Prince of Wales, and it is a high blacktail, low wolf, high black bear island.  There are no mountain goats, cougars, red squirrels or brown bears on POW.  Moose are mainly a mainland critter, but there is nothing preventing them from making the swim and they do from time to time.  POW is only about 50 miles from the mainland and 12 miles from the nearest island.  Revilla, where I live, is only about a mile from the mainland, so it has most of the mainland critters, except the very poor swimmers, such as porcupines and wolverines.  Brown bears are sadly too big of a target to last on Revilla. 


Dave Cameron (chat):  You can believe closers are underrated without having to pay an extreme premium to get one. For instance, for the money that Kimbrel will be paid over the next few years, you could have signed Darren O’Day. Do you really believe the marginal difference between Kimbrel and O’Day is worth a top 25 prospect, a top 50-100 prospect, and two extras? Because I think that’s basically an indefensible position

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