What the Seattle Mariners Should Do

Overview

While the rest of the AL West has played out just about as we predicted it would, the Seattle Mariners have not even come close to living up to their promise for 2010. The Mariners were always a high-risk, high-reward team this season, and the coin landed on risk. A combination that seems equal parts underperformance and poor luck has essentially sunk their playoff hopes for the season. They’re obvious candidates to be selling, but the question is: what is there to sell?

Buy or Sell?

Cliff Lee is the obvious piece but trading him is slightly complicated by the guaranteed draft pick compensation due the Mariners should GM Jack Zduriencik hold onto Lee for the entire season. As Dave pointed out earlier, those draft picks carry meaningful value and require a bigger trade return to make it worthwhile.

Aside from Cliff Lee, David Aardsma is the next most likely pitching trade chip thanks to his closer status and success last year. His crummy 2010, however, will put a damper on any mid-season trade. Everyone else on the Seattle staff is either young and cost-controlled or bad.

The hitting side isn’t any more fruitful. There would be a market for Ichiro Suzuki, but the team would never trade him unless he asked them to and there’s been no indication of anything close to that. Jose Lopez has made great strides defensively and adapted well to his new position at third base, which would have made him a great trade piece if his hitting hadn’t completely deserted him. Chone Figgins might net some interest from teams, but it is excessively premature for the Mariners to consider him a busted signing, especially when he looks slotted to slide back to third base in the near future.

On the Farm

Like most high-profile players associated with the Mariners, Dustin Ackley got off to a tough start with just a .244 wOBA. His 15 walks to 14 strikeouts was a good indicator as was the unlucky looking .180 BABIP, but it was still a disappointment for some. Since May 1, however, Ackley has really picked things up with a .415 wOBA and a remarkable 33 walks to 15 strikeouts. He might get a short look in Seattle come September and will be pushing for a starting job as early as next season.

Michael Saunders appears set to take over left field full time later this season and into 2011 as the Mariners should shift more DH time to Milton Bradley. Another OFer, Greg Halman, has taken a big stride forward at Triple-A.

On the pitching side, Michael Pineda is the big name, currently cruising at Double-A with 73 strikeouts in 70 innings and only 16 walks. What the Mariners lack in big name prospects outside of Ackley, they are boasting increased depth at all levels from what’s shaping up to be a very productive minor league season.

Budget

The Mariners are not going to be able to wade wily-nily into the free agent market this winter, but there’s not a whole lot to be excited about regardless. Current estimates of around $10-20 million in payroll space for free agents and a whole host of positions that need improvement. I would expect Jack Zduriencik to once again be active on the trade front.



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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


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Tripon
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Tripon
6 years 1 month ago

Can we get a midseason organizational ranking?

airlifting
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airlifting
6 years 1 month ago

#6org

Dirty Water
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Dirty Water
6 years 1 month ago

Yo, where’s Dave?

Kevin S.
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Kevin S.
6 years 1 month ago

Sigh. Is it going to be possible to even discuss the actual post with all the crowing that’s going to be taking place here?

Oh, and for people who are so ready to destroy Dave and Company for a call that looked bad in one year, how’s that Kubel v. Hinske thing working out in 2010?

Omar
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Omar
6 years 1 month ago

Yeah, the Mariners have some good things going for them…but the number six ranking was mainly based on , IMO, three things:

1.) Jack Z, who yes, has had a great career as a scouting director and has an eye for talent.

2.) An extremely lopsided trade where he took advantage of Ruben Amaro, who did the GM equivalent of cumming before you get your dick out of your pants in getting rid of Cliff Lee for practically nothing.

3.) Felix Hernandez

There were other nice little moves that Jack Z made too, such as acquiring Milton Bradley (even though it didn’t work out, everyone loved it) and getting Franklin Gutierrez…however, none of those moves really justified placing them that high on the list. Zduriencik, needed more than just a year to justify such a high ranking and the Mariners needed to add other franchise type players or at least have a top three farm in baseball to justify such a high ranking.

Now, do I think the Mariners have a bright future ahead of them? Absolutely. Will the rays of Zduriencik’s work shine through over the next three years? I don’t think so, he’ll definitely have some high picks to work with and grab a top draft prospect…but provided a Strassburg/Leake/Yount type rise I don’t think the Mariners will start to be one of the elite organizations for three to five years.

On to the article at hand, it was pretty easy to tell what would happen…the cliff from Lee to the third starter is like the cliff from Rust in Peace to Countdown to Extinction…except bigger. They had no back end of the rotation and there were two players in the line up that were good bets to OPS over .800. Trading Cliff Lee and David Aradsma would help out quite a bit…but the market for Lee is a bit testy, I realize that Matt Holliday netted a big return as did CC Sabathia, but after the Sabathia trade I think teams are a bit hesitant to trade for a superstar lefty that the Yankees have their eyes on. Cliff Lee has basically said he’s taking the money, and perhaps it’d be best to go to the Yankees and ask for a package with one of the lesser prospects in the organization (anyone but Romine and Montero) and for them to include Joba Chamberlain, since I feel that it’s clear that the organization has lost faith in him. See what Cashman says…other than that places like: LA, Atlanta, Texas, Cincinnati, and perhaps Minnesota seem like viable destinations. As to Aradsma there will always be some GM that overvalues closers and might be willing to trade a good position player prospect for him.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
6 years 1 month ago

I never said I agreed with the ranking – I thought it was foolishly optimistic myself. But the gleeful wallowing in the Mariners’ failure this year is rather unbecoming of a more intelligent commentariat, which by and large I do believe we have here. Yeah, it sure looks like the ranking committee overshot on Seattle. There’s no need to turn into giant douches and throw it in Dave’s face at every perceived opening.

Bob
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Bob
6 years 1 month ago

Well this intelligent commentariat thought we had a more intelligent writing staff than the one that named the Mariners the #6 organization in baseball. Putting them there was really dumb and everyone could see it except for the staff. Even if we were to stipulate that Jack Z really was the second coming of Branch Rickey, there were obvious and huge holes in the major league roster and a severe shortage of talent in the minors. And of course this isn’t just 20/20 hindsight, lots of people pointed out these flaws at the time.

Seriously, the gist of this ‘high risk, high reward’ idea was based largely on the possibility of getting good performances from Milton Bradley and Eric freaking Bedard. Not only was that a foolish idea from the start, but the Mariners probably ruined any chance of getting production out of Bradley when they insisted on having the two-headed monster of Sweeney and Griffey at DH while they stuck Bradley in LF. So much for the next best GM in baseball.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
6 years 1 month ago

Again, I don’t have a problem with disagreeing on the ranking. I have a problem with lol#6org.

DonCoburleone
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DonCoburleone
6 years 1 month ago

I was also one of the people who killed the selection of the Mariners as the 6th best organization in baseball going forward. Like people are pointing out, this isn’t hindsight, tons of us were calling out Dave and the rest of the staff the second the ranking came out (hell even before the Mariners exact ranking was known I was calling them out for putting the Angels behind the M’s.) So again, its not hindsight. They had no business even being ranked in the Top 10 at the time and currently they don’t even belong in the Top 15, let alone #6…

Gina
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Gina
6 years 1 month ago

what who would you put in the top 15 over them? I can’t think of 10 organizations I think hold absolute arguments over them let alone 15. I think putting them #6 was a stretch but not all that egregious of one. And using things that no one, not even the people claiming they aren’t using hindsight, could have predicted as justification for your original argument is still using hindsight. No one could have predicted Lopez’s bat would suddenly disappear, or Figgins would fall off a cliff, and that’s really where their main problems have come from since they’re still preventing runs at a high rate.

Though I will say I didn’t at all understand letting Branyan walk even with his back problems for such a low price when they were clearly going to be light on offense.

DonCoburleone
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DonCoburleone
6 years 1 month ago

Organizations with a brighter future than the Mariners (in my opinion): Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Rays, Rangers, Twins, Angels, Phillies, Blue Jays, Nationals, Cardinals, Reds, Rockies, Dodgers and Giants. I’d probably slide Seattle into the next spot, although I’d be tempted to put the Marlins or even Padres ahead of them also…

Again, looking at current players as well as minor leaguers, thats where the Mariners belong – just outside the top 15. The whole justification for this site putting them at #6 was the perceived “Genius” of Jack Zdrunzick. Everyone thinks that his “run prevention” strategy was this ingenious new way to win baseball games that had never been done before. HELLO! Tampa Bay Rays 2 freaking years prior had already accomplished that (moved BJ Upton to CF, traded for Jason Bartlett, kept Crawford in LF and figured out that 2nd base defense doesn’t matter nearly as much as people thought it did – Zorilla full time 2b?!?) Andrew Friedman is the real genius GM at the moment, BECAUSE HE’S ACTUALLY WON SOMETHING.

ThundaPC
Member
6 years 1 month ago

“Though I will say I didn’t at all understand letting Branyan walk even with his back problems for such a low price when they were clearly going to be light on offense.”

Branyan’s asking price was not low until Spring Training, and that’s after the Mariners had already acquired Casey Kotchman. There’s a reason why he didn’t sign with any team until late in the offseason. He was holding out for a multi-year deal that he was never going to get.

Steve
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Steve
6 years 1 month ago

So, you dump Kotchman on someone. “Because we already have Casey Kotchman” is not a good reason to pass on an upgrade.

Steve
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Steve
6 years 1 month ago

No one could have predicted Lopez’s bat would suddenly disappear, or Figgins would fall off a cliff, and that’s really where their main problems have come from since they’re still preventing runs at a high rate.

Again, they are preventing runs at a high rate largely because of Vargas and Fister, which “no one could have predicted”.

Some guys overperform, some underperform, the goal is to have enough quality on your roster where one or two underperformers don’t submarine your season. That means you don’t start the season with offensive ?’s at the easiest positions to find offense, 1B and DH.

Also, maybe it wasn’t worth taking Figgins and Lopez out of their comfort zones by asking them to switch positions in Spring Training, just to save a handful of runs?? I can’t say this is the cause for sure (obviously), but it wouldn’t be the first time a ballplayer has struggled because of something like this.

Jason Vargas
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Jason Vargas
6 years 1 month ago

Don’t forget about me!

drew
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drew
6 years 1 month ago

What improvement has Halman shown? Isn’t he still striking out in 30+% of his AB’s?

Adam
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Adam
6 years 1 month ago

Look at his ops. It’s way up.

Alex
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Alex
6 years 1 month ago

He’s a power hitter playing in the PCL, I would hope his numbers would improve. He still doesn’t look like a ML player with that egregious strikeout rate (43.8% of his AB) and the BB rate is still pretty terrible for a guy with his power playing in such a hitter friendly league.

Rally
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Rally
6 years 1 month ago

He’s got some power, but his strikeout rate is so bad he makes Brandon Wood look like Tony Gwynn. Good defense and some speed to go with the pop. It’s possible he turns into a Glenallen Hill type player, but most prospects who fit this profile never amount to anything.

Kenny Ocker
Member
6 years 1 month ago

Alex, his walk rate is about 12 percent right now. That’s nothing to sneeze at, especially given his previous performances in the category (not so good).

Alex
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Alex
6 years 1 month ago

Its nothing to sneeze at, but its still not that good for a power hitter in the PCL. When you’re playing in bandboxes and you have power, pitchers will completely pitch around you at times. That’s not something that will transfer over to the majors, so I’m skeptical that he would actually walk a reasonable percentage of the time without showing a whole lot more improvement.

mariajim
Member
6 years 1 month ago

Can we get a mid season secretarial position?
Thanks

Maria Jim
Motorcycle Leather Suit Manufacturers

frank
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frank
6 years 1 month ago

Exactly what promise has Seattle failed to live up to? Everyone knew this team would be massively offensively challenged, they had too many DH’s and the back of the rotation was a question mark. Sure there was a lot of media hype and they were the chic pick as a darkhorse, but are people really surprised? (Yeah, the team won 85 games last year but they had a -52 run delta)

The starters have been pretty good on the whole (ERA is 3rd in AL… yes I know ERA is not the best indicator). The hitting has been poor but was expected to be poor.

The only real huge disappointment is the bullpen (and maybe the hitting to a lesser degree)

Is this really a risk/reward thing combined with bad luck or a team that was not nearly as good as its record last year performing about where it should be? Clearly the whole pitching and defense, run prevention, prisoner of the moment, media hype has been overdone as people try to be ahead of the curve and identify the next moneyball/arbitrage area.

Paul
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Paul
6 years 1 month ago

“Clearly the whole pitching and defense, run prevention, prisoner of the moment, media hype has been overdone as people try to be ahead of the curve and identify the next moneyball/arbitrage area.”

I think his is exactly what they have failed to live up to, the standard bearers for the “new” baseball (as if nobody thought to emphasis on pitching and defense before now). Jack Z is the embodiment of all that is righteous and statistically holy.

The number 6 ranking was just laughable, not even worthy of attention. But it wasn’t just the support for the “new” baseball by M’s/”new baseball fans, it was the contrast with “old” baseball fans, who because they think teams should at least try to score runs out themselves as knuckledragging heathens who stand in long lines at Sarah Palin’s book signings.

And it continues with a poster’s graphic reference to Ruben Amaro’s alleged failure in the Lee deal. With a true ace locked up for the next 3 years, and a competitive team looking to add I think Ruben is pretty pleased. We’ll see what the M’s get for Lee (if it’s less than what Amaro got will that mean Jack Z has devolved all the way a mere ejaculator?). Oh, and let’s not forget Silva vs. Bradley at least in the 1st half. Good luck with Baseball Kanye through next year.

Dave’s Disciples should just take their lumps, but we know they won’t because they are zealots. I have a hard time feeling sorry.

Gina
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Gina
6 years 1 month ago

A competitive team looking to add? You mean before the Halladay deal or now? Because right now their barely holding onto third in their own division, thanks to horribly thin and short-sighted roster building, with a maxed out payroll with no room to add pieces for the next 1-2 years, and no pieces to move in trades. Amaro is essentially out Omaring Omar.

Bronnt
Member
Bronnt
6 years 1 month ago

It’s not so much that they’re “Not giving up on Figgins,” it’s just that a trade at this point seems a bad move since his trade value is very close to a 5 year low. This is wouldn’t be a problem for the Mariners if they hadn’t signed him when his value was at an all-time high.

If he makes some kind of rebound offensively and his defensive numbers improve (seriously, it’s still too small a sample size for UZR) it might be wise of them to deal him. There’s a still a month and a half, and offensive numbers can make some serious course corrections during that stretch.

Thomas
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Thomas
6 years 1 month ago

At least they got that young talent of Ryan Rowland-Smith, Adam Moore, and the sub 30 year old bullpen. So its not ALL bad.

NUMBER 6!

Steve
Guest
Steve
6 years 1 month ago

If only they had the 25 year starter who is leading the AL in K/9. To be fair, it’s almost impossible to acquire young pitchers like that.

neuter_your_dogma
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neuter_your_dogma
6 years 1 month ago

Jamie Moyer leads the AL in K/9?

mowill
Member
mowill
6 years 1 month ago

I would expect another payroll cut before next season, so all the speculation about money available to spend is premature, in my opinion. I just hope Lee nets a C, 1B or SS that can be plugged in the rest of 2010 and be expected to really contribute in 2011 and beyond.

Sandy Kazmir
Member
Sandy Kazmir
6 years 1 month ago

Jason Bartlett would look very nice.

pft
Guest
pft
6 years 1 month ago

They could probably get Jason Bay pretty cheap for Cliff Lee, the Mets might even eat some of Bays salary. Bays power will come around, and his home is 20 minutes away from SAFECO (I bet he hates NY which can not help his bat). This is classic buy low sell high time. This run prevention stuff can’t work if you don’t score more runs than the other guy.

Also, move Figgins back to 3rd and dump that out making machine, or move him back to 2B. Changing players positions can mess with their heads and hurt their bat. At least try it before giving up on Figgins.

Felonius_Monk
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Felonius_Monk
6 years 1 month ago

Wow. Bay for Lee. Maybe if they throw in Dustin Ackley they can get Oliver Perez into that deal, too???

Josh
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Josh
6 years 1 month ago

Everyone’s power always comes around at Safeco, especially righties.

Random Guy
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Random Guy
6 years 1 month ago

The phrase “get Jason Bay pretty cheap for Cliff Lee” simply does not compute. By “buy low,” you mean “trade their best chip for someone they wouldn’t sign this past offseason though he practically begged them to.”

Felonius_Monk
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Felonius_Monk
6 years 1 month ago

This is extremely premature. We’re talking about the 6th best organisation in baseball. They can still win it all this year.

Not David
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Not David
6 years 1 month ago

It was almost funny….the first 4 times.

Felonius_Monk
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Felonius_Monk
6 years 1 month ago

I thought my delivery was stronger, tbh. I still brought something to the party goddamnit!

Schadenfreude is funny.

Sandy Kazmir
Member
Sandy Kazmir
6 years 1 month ago

Wait until they get to the playoffs though, the front of that rotation is nails.

Steve
Guest
Steve
6 years 1 month ago

A combination that seems equal parts underperformance and poor luck has essentially sunk their playoff hopes for the season

and poor roster construction. don’t forget about that. i realize that’s blasphemy around here, but the Mariners went into the season with a ton of holes in their lineup, and not surprisingly, they haven’t hit. at all.

it’s not poor luck that Casey Kotchman, Rob Johnson, Griffey, etc. sucked.

true, there are some guys who are just plain underperforming, and I know everyone wants to throw Bradley into that category, but I am not sure he belongs. He fell off the proverbial cliff last year and everyone was willing to chalk it up to the Chicago media/fans/Piniella/etc., but sometimes ballplayers just fall apart in their 30’s.

also, the Mariners’ record is exactly indicative of their pythag, isn’t that usually the barometer for how “lucky” a team has been?

the bottom line is that this was a poorly constructed offensive team. Yes, I still think their GM is smart and capable, and will eventually build a winner with his talents and Seattle’s budget, but chalking up the season to “bad luck and underperformance” seems to absolve the man who assembled the team, and I just happen to disagree with that. YMMV.

Gina
Guest
Gina
6 years 1 month ago

Kotchman, Rob Johnson and Griffey weren’t expected to have big roles. And no pythag isn’t indicative of luck. It’s a recording of basically how dominant a team has or hasn’t been. baseruns is more indicative of luck, and I’m not sure if that takes into account things like FIP or BABIP I don’t believe.

Halo
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Halo
6 years 1 month ago

I don’t agree with that, I think the Pyth W-L does capture a bit of the element of luck, saying it isn’t indicative of luck when compared to acutal W-L isn’t totaly fair. I agree it may not be the best metric though.

If Kotchman, Griffey, and Johnson weren’t going to get so much playing time, then why did they get so much playing time? Esp at 1st and C, I don’t recall who else was competing for that spot…And if those guys weren’t going to be counted on and yet played quite a bit what does that mean for the roster construction and GM vs. Coaching discussions?

Steve
Guest
Steve
6 years 1 month ago

Who was supposed to be the M’s everyday 1Bman then? Am I missing someone?

Point taken on the pythag. Just think it’s interesting that their pythag says their record is dead on.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
6 years 1 month ago

Pythag’s “luck” is in reference to runs scored/allowed v. winning of games. I think in this context “unlucky” means a bunch of guys performing below their 50th percentile projections, which does whitewash the fact that the team had serious roster-construction issues going into the season.

Steve
Guest
Steve
6 years 1 month ago

what about the guys like Fister and Vargas who are massively overperforming their projections??

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
6 years 1 month ago

Like I said, that whitewashes their roster construction issues – I’m just trying to clarify what (I think) Carruth meant.

frank
Guest
frank
6 years 1 month ago

I’ll say it again….they were -52 on runs last year (4th worst in the AL) and somehow managed 87wins despite that.

Perhaps the luck was last year and not this year… sure they added Lee, but Felix had a ridiculous season and the likelihood was at best he could maintain, but most likely drop off a little. While Figgins may have been thought to theoretically add to the offense and defense, they lost Branyan’s bat (who hit 31HR’s and had the highest OPS on the team in ’09) – sure he wasn’t likely to repeat it again, but you are replacing Branyan’s 09 with Kotchman (who even if he performed as expected, would still be a significant dropoff)

This luck/underperform thing is overdone to cover for a huge misread and the ensuing bandwagon that followed. The 87 wins last year is a mirage when you get outscored by 52 runs; this roster should have been expected to be about as good as last year’s team which means sub.500 and in the 75win range

DonCoburleone
Guest
DonCoburleone
6 years 1 month ago

Agreed Frank. It was a bad roster heading into the season, PERIOD. The plan from the beginning of the season was to have Casey Kotchman full time at 1B and a Griffey/Bradley/Sweeney/Byrnes steaming pile of you know what as the LF/DH guys. Now if the idea of this was to be like a Razzball league and try to get as little offensive production as possible, then I can understand what Big “Z” was doing. But in the real baseball world you can look at that versus any other team in the AL and see its the worst 1B/LF/DH combo around…. And again, THIS WAS ALL BEING SAID BY US ANTI “#6 RANKING” COMMENTERS BACK IN APRIL!

And I know Figgins is underperforming, but the guy came into this season with a career wOBA of .336 (wRC+ of 106), so its not like he should have been expected to be an offensive force.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas
6 years 1 month ago

Just fyi, if you don’t like pythag, you might like the Beyond the Boxscore methods. They had them at about a 75 win team last year.

It’s a complex method, but another one that shows the 2009 team to have overachieved their production.

Bad Bill
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Bad Bill
6 years 1 month ago

Nowhere in this article have I seen anything about what the Mariners, quote unquote, “should” do. The summary of the article seems to be “they should be sellers but they can’t, so just wait, things will get better somehow.” I take the liberty of claiming that that isn’t a particularly insightful analysis.

For starters on doing better: Suppose that Ackley really has turned the corner and is on the way to a productive major-league career. (If this assumption is incorrect, then Seattle is screwed, so may as well assume that it’s correct.) Should the team clear space for him one year early, getting perhaps more value for whoever they trade to generate that space but risking the animus of fans who see them as prematurely blowing it up? Or should they wait patiently to make sure he’s actually useful? Addressing questions like that would make this article more interesting and less like a bunch of Cubs fans transplanted to the Pacific Northwest.

Gina
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Gina
6 years 1 month ago

this. there seems to be way too much simply restating problems or facts on this site now and not enough of the analysis that made it so good to begin with.

Lucas
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Lucas
6 years 1 month ago

I don’t and didn’t agree with Seattle’s organizational ranking, but I also don’t understand how Seattle has been this bad, and the flip side of that mojo, how Anaheim has been so good, especially now that they’ve lost their best hitter for the season. If you wiped out their current records and the seemlingly inescapeable fact that the Angels always win no matter how mediocre their team looks on paper, I’d see Seattle battling Texas and Oakland for the AL West. But with this kind of hole to dig out of, and I guess you rebuild and put that GM genius to work.

Sandy Kazmir
Member
Sandy Kazmir
6 years 1 month ago

Perhaps they could get C. Silva for M. Bradley.

DonCoburleone
Guest
DonCoburleone
6 years 1 month ago

One of the bigger points for me is that after last season the M’s were “on their way” according to most of the writers on this site (ahem, Dave, ahem). But as has been pointed out in the comments already, they won 85 games in 2009 with a freaking -52 run delta! It reminded me of a Seattle season not too long ago, 2007 in fact. In 2007 the M’s won 88 games despite being outscored (pytag record had them at 80-82) and that was all anyone on this site would talk about leading into the 2008 season. This offseason though? Not a word about the fact that the M’s were’nt nearly as good as the 85 wins they won in 2009…

ThundaPC
Member
6 years 1 month ago

“One of the bigger points for me is that after last season the M’s were “on their way” according to most of the writers on this site (ahem, Dave, ahem). But as has been pointed out in the comments already, they won 85 games in 2009 with a freaking -52 run delta! It reminded me of a Seattle season not too long ago, 2007 in fact. In 2007 the M’s won 88 games despite being outscored (pytag record had them at 80-82) and that was all anyone on this site would talk about leading into the 2008 season. This offseason though? Not a word about the fact that the M’s were’nt nearly as good as the 85 wins they won in 2009…”

Just because this year’s Seattle team is bad doesn’t mean that last year’s pythag predicted anything. All 1st order pythag tells you is that given that the team allowed more runs than it scored it should’ve been a sub .500 team. Last year’s team performance has nothing to do with this year’s team.

Given the true talent-level of the 2010 Mariners, they were expected to win anywhere between 78-86 games this year. They’re currently not on pace to do that because a number of players have underperformed and just about everything that could go wrong HAS gone wrong.

And no one outside of the national media, certainly none of the sabermetric-themed sites, thought the 2008 team was a contender (unless every single thing broke right). Bavasi and co. were the only ones that seriously thought they have a 90+ win team. Projections for that team topped off at 83 wins (and as low as 73 wins) and none of them had the Mariners anywhere near 1st place.

DonCoburleone
Guest
DonCoburleone
6 years 1 month ago

Well bottom line is that this team freaking stinks this year, and next year shows little to no promise of getting better. They WILL NOT get an Albert Pujols for Cliff Lee when they trade him next month. That was the problem with the analysis of this organization when they got ranked #6, it was just assumed that Jack Z would make everything better because he’s such a genius. But if you did an objective analysis of their 25 man roster as well as the potential pipeline of talent CURRENTLY in the minor leagues, they had no business being #6.

I mean seriously, other than Jack Z being better than Dayton Moore and the M’s having more money to spend than KC, whats the difference between those two organizations RIGHT NOW? KC has a better farm system (moustakas & hosmer alone are both better than anything Seattle has), better young position players in the majors (Butler, Aviles, Callaspo), a better closer and an ace every bit as good as King Felix. Sure Cliff Lee and the depth of guys like Vargas and Fister make Seattle’s Starting pitching vastly superior, but my point is that using the criteria spelled out to come up with the rankings shows a very small gap between the Royals and Mariners OTHER THAN this site’s love for Jack Zdrundrncsdksiksoirhnvisahk.

Naliamegod
Guest
Naliamegod
6 years 1 month ago

Stop using B-R’s outdated Pyth run differential. Most advanced pyth equations had the Mariners about an 83-85 win team last year. They weren’t “lucky” but played to expectations. There were many problems with the team, but BR’s system is not one of them.

frank
Guest
frank
6 years 1 month ago

“stop” telling people what to do… you get outscored by 52 runs over the course of a season (.31runs/game) and still finish 85-77 you are either suffering many massive blowouts while not winning many blowouts, or you are winning a lot of close games.

If there are so many more advanced systems that had the Mariners at 83-85 wins last year, why not mention them…and don’t cherrypick 1 or 2, you said MOST advanced systems had them at 83-85, as if it was some general consensus

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
6 years 1 month ago

I cry bullshit on the high risk part. The team was built on the premise of run prevention, which is more stable than run scoring.

Let’s face it, Figgins ain’t getting on base and there’s not a power threat on the team.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
6 years 1 month ago

@Gina

This site has always just “restated the problem” instead of providing analysis or solutions.

I have said numerous times that the difference with this site is the metrics used and not the approach or higher level thinking. Wow, our analysts use dRIP and not ERA … That still doesn’t tell us whether Masterson will continue to pitch well (no one looked past the box score as to what he specifically did differently), why Bay’s power has been reduced (no one looked into outside of his HR nubers are less), etc.

This site is “self over-rated” in terms of analysis and solutions. It is very good in stating the problem in advanced metrics.

I love the readers comments as there’s some general solution thinking to it or the numbers can be combined with observations to try and figure out why … And all of the comments seem to keep everyone in check.

Bad Bill
Guest
Bad Bill
6 years 1 month ago

When an article has the title “What the X Should Do,” one would expect that it be about what X SHOULD DO. Most of the other “should-do” articles have managed to do that, to at least some degree. The Milwaukee and Kansas City articles, to name the two most recent, accomplish it, and I would claim that they’re no more difficult subjects for a real, insightful analysis than Seattle is.

More than once, I have noticed a tendency on this site for certain writers (wink wink nudge nudge) to exempt Seattle from sober, thoughtful thinking. This needs to be fixed.

Rondo
Guest
Rondo
6 years 1 month ago

So then it is fair to say that constructing a team (or leaving spring training…) with guys like R. Johnson, Griffey, Sweeney, Kotchman, E.Brynes on the 25 man roster is sub optimal, but it is not the GMs fault? Especially when there were cost effective alternatives at just about every one of those positions…

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
6 years 1 month ago

dRIP should be xFIP, stupid auto-fill.

Again, the big difference between FG and general fans are the metrics used, not necessarily any higher order thinking or advanced problem solving.

Not David
Guest
Not David
6 years 1 month ago

I couldn’t disagree more.

frank
Guest
frank
6 years 1 month ago

Well there is a portion that are like MIke Tyson and vocabulary…amusing but not necessarily more effective.

People tend to throw around these stats with no confidence levels or error bars… case in point the 2-2 count “analysis” of Joe Blanton. An article that started with an interesting observation (strikeout rate) and then used a ridiculously sized sample to support it.

This then gets copied to Neyer’s ESPN blog and suddenly we have the Mariners contending for 1st bandwagon type effect going.

mattlock
Guest
mattlock
6 years 1 month ago

Then leave. It’s free. Why are you bitching? Get the hell out if you have a problem with it.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
6 years 1 month ago

I asked that analysis extend past the point of “restating the problem”. I added specifics that would nudge the commentary into the direction of analysis, to be part of the solution. To me, that’s how you make a complaint/suggestion.

Like most things in life, it isn’t an “all or nothing” situation. You don’t have to love everything or leave. That’s the great part of being an adult. People can disagree and complain and yet, somehow get along just fine.

Jaybow
Guest
Jaybow
5 years 10 months ago

Mattlock you are a huge faggit.

Jahowa
Guest
Jahowa
6 years 1 month ago

The best solution for the M’s is simple:
*Move to Oklahoma City, sign Kevin Durant to play CF (Sorry Franky), and be a perennial contender for the next 10 years.

*Wait….I forgot that the most talented farm system in baseball has a AAA team there, why would they want the M’s?

*Nevermind, it doesn’t matter what you guys do, the Rangers will own you for the next 10 years.

nolan
Guest
nolan
6 years 1 month ago

Are the numbers of the organizational rankings really that important? Of course there is disagreement with the list. Everyone values players and organizations differently. I think Dave & Co. deserve to put the Mariners #6 if they feel that way. It’s their site.

Are the Mariners #6? I don’t know. Maybe it takes time to remove the stench of Bavasi.

mattlock
Guest
mattlock
6 years 1 month ago

Most sensible comment on this post.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas
6 years 1 month ago

“Are the Mariners #6?”

The answer you’re looking for is “No.”

NotDave
Guest
NotDave
6 years 1 month ago

“There’s no need to turn into giant douches and throw it in (someone who dares question you’s) face at every perceived opening.”

Yeah, doing so would turn you into…Jeff Nye.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
6 years 18 days ago

@DonCoburlone

Yeah other than starting pitching no difference between the Ms and Royals. Just like a huge part of the game no yeah other than that. Also check out Michael Pineda and Dustin Ackley when you have the chance.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
6 years 18 days ago

Oh and Jack Z is pretty awesome don’t see anyone else getting guys like Guti, Vargas and Lee for nothing

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