Thinking 3 moves ahead?

I've known that I had to eat crow on this for about a month, it's time I finally said it.  You were completely correct about Casey Kotchman Taro, he's the same player he's ever been and I was rather drastically wrong about his potential.  He's been worth -0.6 wins so far on fangraphs, despite a decent bump from UZR. 

Tui, Carp, Sweeney, Ryan Langerhans and Josh Wilson have also combined for about 90 PA at first base, and in their time have managed to OPS about .016 points better, without the UZR bump.  It's ridiculous, 1st Base has been our 2nd worst offensive position after...DH.  Well, we've mended DH to some extent when Griffey retired, removing one of the worst OPS on the team,  Bradley should theoretically do better, but so far has managed to be worse than Griffey(as a DH he's posted a .366 OPS compared to an .801 OPS in left) but there's at least a decent amount of hope that he'll work it out.  Yesterday, we fixed First Base, installing a player that should OPS well above .800 with a lot of homeruns as long as his back holds up.  I don't guess that would save the season, but you never know, that, combined with Bradley, Figgins, and Lopez hitting more like they did last season, could give the M's enough offense to jumpstart a miracle season where they rip off 20 wins in a row and jump back in the race...or at least limp along staying enough ahead of mathematical elimination to keep Cliff until the trade deadline.

But what if that's just what Z wants everyone to think?  What if this is just another move in the chess game that is the Cliff Lee sweepstakes?  The conclusions have already been drawn in the blogosphere and on ESPN, so of course the same conclusions are being made in the GM offices of those desperate to snag Cliff Lee.  If the Mariners make a push to stay relevant, they'll almost certainly fail, and then Cliff Lee will be available in late July.  But will that be too late for some teams?  Before yesterday, it was being said that Lee would be in another city by the end of next week, today, we're looking at next month, and every start that Cliff makes for the Mariners is a start he doesn't win for somebody else.  There are close 3 and even 4 team races in every division outside the AL West, and NL Central. 

He's said it for a week, and now he's put his money where his mouth is.  The Mariners are in a position to hang on to Cliff Lee for another few weeks, that is unless someone makes an offer they can't refuse.  Maybe Jack Zduriencik didn't just trade a couple of future reservists for Russell Branyan, but for someone else's future stars.


Taro's picture

Its cool man..I was also tremendously wrong about Doug Fister (thought he was a 5 ERA type, but looking like a 4 ERA). I thought RRS would be better. Etc..Its all Hits and misses.

Taro's picture

Including GIDP+baserunning Kotchman has been around 9 runs below RL.
Hes been VERY unluckly though. I think he can give you a RL performance or slightly above if you stick him in the lineup the rest of the year.


But clearly Wak has all but completely lost faith in him.  Either they're going the route they went with Saunders last year (sitting him to try and retool his swing with the coaches and Dr. Elliot) or they just want to keep him around for pinch defense.  My greater point still stands, that Branyan is useful for making the M's at least look like they're going to hang onto Lee for a while and prompt clubs to up the ante to try and get him early.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.