Monday, June 16, 2008

AL West Rivals Shed A Tear

Bill Bavasi is fired, and a great cheer erupts from the Pacific North-West. It was well deserved too (despite Bavasi being a pretty good guy from what I've read). This Seattle club was extremely poorly constructed - they saw 88 wins last year and thought that it was the team's true talent level.

Some of the bad moves made by the team (Bavasi) include: signing Carlos Silva (5.79 ERA, first year of 4 year, $48 million deal), Jarrod Washburn (5.83 ERA, third year of 4 year, $37.5 million deal), Miguel Batista (6.18 ERA, second year of 3 year, $25 million deal), Kenji Johjima (.579 OPS, 32 year-old catcher given $24 million extension through 2011); playing Richie Sexson (.675 OPS, making $14 in last year of deal - didn't let another team claim him on waivers last year, which would have freed his salary), Jose Vidro (.600 OPS as the DH - 5 HR this year, 6 last year), Raul Ibanez in the outfield (he hits OK - .758 OPS - but is horrible in left), Miguel Cairo (.529 OPS, mostly at first-base); not playing Jeremy Reed (.339 OBP - second to Ichiro on the team - and a very good defensive outfielder), Jeff Clement (1.137 OPS in AAA this year); and failing to realize that the team didn't have 88 wins worth of talent and trading way too much for Erik Bedard (4.14 ERA).

Now I know that a lot of this stuff is on the manager too, but if the GM thinks that Ibanez should be the DH (or 1B), then he should tell the manager so. That was just some things from 2008 too - there are a whole lot more bad moves made in past years. The Mariners are basically where the Orioles were a couple of years ago - low on talent with a bunch of overpaid veterans. They have an aging Ichiro and King Felix, but that's about it. (The chances of Bedard signing an extension with the team are probably about as low as they were with the Orioles, if not lower.) No OBP, no SLG, and not much pitching when the ballpark is taken into account. They now have a chance to really turn things around by hiring a smart, progressive GM. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen - I'm leaning towards the latter.

And finally, from USSMariner, "Right now, the M’s are on track to win 57 games and pay $118m (rounded!) to do it, for a cost of $13m/marginal win. The next-highest is the Yankees at $5.6m...The average is about $3m." (The Orioles, by the way, are on pace to be pay about $2 million per marginal win. Good job, Andy.) In a similar vein, Tom Tango and David Gassko developed a rough relationship between a team's payroll and expected winning percentage: winning % = (Payroll + 2 * League Average Payroll)/(Payroll + 5 * LAP). The Mariners are an astounding 28 games below where they should be - next worst is Detroit at -14. The Orioles are 5 games better than expected, with the Rays leading the way at plus 22. Lot's of money - bad result. Maybe try another profession, Mr. Bavasi.

[As a side note, I think there is a pretty good chance that the M's try to trade Bedard now. I really can't wait to see what kind of return they get - that is, how much less it is than what they gave up just a few months ago.]

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