"Anonymous" wrote us a happenin' little e-book in the Shout Box. As he knows, such Shouts are always subject to echoes, so 'ave at thee, varlet. (About once every six months, SSI gets a new visitor who (1) delivers one interesting idea per sentence, (2) is easier than Amy Adams to get along with, (3) has an eerie sense of proportion and (4) is either Kevin Mather or some other b'wana who gets into Safeco on an entry badge. That's why we always encourage "anonymous" to sign is as "Guest123", so that we can herd the feisty amigos clear of him.)
We digress. Pulling the one quibble out that we could find, this was an amazing line that Guest123 tossed out to us:
The Mariner's have three prime FA to be assets they could look to move - Iwakuma, Happ and #Jackson. I don't believe the M's should trade any of them, rather I think the M's should hold on to them and extend each a Qualifying Offer. No player has ever accepted a qualifying offer, and while one of these three certainly could accept, the downside is a minimal risk 1 year deal on players who will have value to the club.
If that's true (and Dr. D assumes, based on 123's other thoughts, that it is true) then why do you HAVE the QO system? Just to shuffle post-1st-round comp picks from one club to another?
GM stuff is the kind of discussion that always bored Dr. D. But a quick 5-minute surf-and-dryoff leads him to believe:
- The current system has been in place for the 2013-14 seasons
- During that time, 0 out of 22 Qualifying Offers have been accepted
OK, that's not quite so dire as we first pictured. Still weird, though. You wouldn't have a free throw line from where teams went 0-for-22. Let's take a glance at the specific names, rather than the general principle (that being the general principle that THE QO SYSTEM BLOWS CHUNKS). Somebody says, "SSI denizens don't get WAR." You reply, "Which ones? Name a couple." This helps you understand where we're going with the general principle.
OK, before the 2013 seasons, the free agents went 0-for-12 on accepting QO's. These twelve FA's were:
So that explains a lot. Ortiz and Jackson and Kuroda and Hamilton were of course wanting 4x$15M or better, not 1x$14. Their clubs extended the QO just as a polite way to say "GIMME GIMME GIMME that #33 pick."
That's one class of player, the guy worth far more than 1 year, $14M. Clubs always give QO's and players always decline.
There's the other class of player, the guy worth far less, like Joe Beimel. Clubs never give QO's and players always "decline."
So the 0-for-22 streak may be more about ---> clubs are very canny about when they extend these offers, plus, guys like Kendrys Morales always think very highly of their market value. So if we read these tea leaves right, the 0-for-22 on accepting QO's says little about the system, but a lot about the gap between clubs' evaluations and the players' evaluations of themselves. See Russell "WHY NOT ME?!" Wilson.
Dr. D assumes that Guest123 is spot-on when it comes to Austin Jackson. He's looked funky in Safeco but retains his general reputation as a young, 2.5'ish WAR center fielder. If Dr. D were him, he'd have his slimy sights on a MELKY contract (3/$42M) at minimum.
J.A. Happ is a bit more problematic. He's making $5.4M this year, has 6.05 years service, so becomes a FA for the first time at age 33. Here's a "gray area" pitcher who might conceivably want to bank the $15.2M rather than shoot for 3/$45. But that's what we thought about Kendrys. Question for the SSI crowd here. Would you give Happ $15.2M for next year? In view of Elias, Montgomery etc?
Happ as a rent-a-gun? He's a solid guy, located fastball, no change speed game to worry about ... does a solid job but it's impossible to visualize him winning you 4 straight in September and a couple more in the playoffs. You scout him, overprep for him, stack righties and ... he's the kind of SP you skip over for somebody with better stuff. Or not, but I wouldn't expect you'd have bidders lined up.
Dr. D agrees with Guest123 that the return might not be much more than the comp pick (though 123 also pointed out what you DO get is a player closer to the bigs). We agree with Guest123 also that the Mariners will want to finish by playing well, if you don't give them a pretty sweet incentive to trade. ... easy for fans to "punt" the season on Zduriencik's behalf. But what about the place you work? You want to spend the rest of the year looking like idiots because you get a federal handout at the end? Or do you want to "push your brand" by showing people you got a uture?
That leaves Hisashi Iwakuma as the fascinating asset here. Of course you'd give Iwakuma a QO, and of course he'd push it back so fast you wouldn't even see his hand move.
As far as July 31 goes ... it's Dr. D's long observation that those grizzled (not that kind of Grizzle!) GM's are a lot more swayed by "sexy" rentals than they'd admit. Iwakuma just shut out* the Angels (!) and Yankees (!), except for one blown Strike Three call. And then he locked down the Detroit Tigers. GM's can read an xFIP chart, have watched Iwakuma pitch, and can visualize his fresh arm ripping down the stretch and then winning a couple of playoff games for them.
US use him? He's year to year, but only had 179 IP last year and will only have what, 120-140 IP this year? As Guest123 reminds, the Nelson Cruz window is about 1-2 years wide and Dr. D would be perfectly glad to see WBC-san sitting in the windowsill.
There's a fourth possiblity, and that's the Package Deal that Zduriencik favors. Maybe Texas wants to make a push? They're dying in CF with Leonis Martin's 52 OPS+, and they could use an Opening Day starter. Maybe that's the kind of place you can get back a glamor deal.
But, as Guest123 points out, the M's had just as soon play well over the last 60 games.