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Thursday, December 7, 2006

Thursday Morning Sports Report (Still Kinda on Vacation Winter Meetings Edition)

posted by on December 7 at 10:09 AM

News from the Winter Meetings…

Gil Meche has signed a five year deal with Kansas City. Freddy Garcia has been traded to the Phillies. Ted Lilly went to the Cubs. Jason Schmidt signed with the Dodgers. And the Cardinals want to chat with Barry Bonds.

Meanwhile, the Mariners have made a move of their own, trading talented-but-fragile RHP Rafael Soriano to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for LHP Horacio Ramirez. It’s a deal Dave at U.S.S. Mariner sums up this way:

Forget everything else you’re going to hear for a minute. Forget the starter vs reliever designations, years of service, groundball rates, all of it. The M’s traded a pitcher who will be 27 in two weeks for a pitcher who turned 27 two weeks ago in a straight up, one for one deal. It’s a challenge trade, essentially. The M’s chose left-handedness and a designation as a starting pitcher over talent and performance. They swapped a good pitcher for a mediocre one, and none of the issues about rotation vs bullpen can wipe that away.

And Jeff at Lookout Landing says:

The things Horacio Ramirez does well are greatly overshadowed by the things he doesn’t. His control isn’t super, he never misses bats, and his groundball rate isn’t mindblowingly extreme. He’s nowhere close to Chien-Ming Wang’s ball-in-play profile, so we can’t expect him to have close to Chien-Ming Wang’s level of success. He’s just a random guy with boring stuff who’d be out of the league if he had to spend a year or two in front of a lousy infield defense. In Seattle he’s probably good for an ERA in the 4.50-5.00 range, with a little extra upside given the park and the shortstop. But these aren’t advantages of Ramirez’s - they apply to everyone, so who cares? Anyone can get lucky. That doesn’t make them prudent acquisitions

Also: Talks between the Mariners and Red Sox for Manny Ramirez—a Ramirez who’s, you know, actually good—appear to have stalled.

Right now, it looks like it’s going to be a long season.

UPDATE: Seth has a different take on the deal over at Seattlest:

They can’t make Soriano a starter—with his history of arm trouble, you could destroy the guy’s career—so they’ve got to turn him into a starter via trade. And with the market for starting pitching what it is (1/2 the clubs in baseball have called Gil Meche’s agent for chrissakes—that’s like 1/2 the clubs in the world calling Doug E. Fresh’s agent) you’re gonna overpay to get a starter.

And that’s what the M’s have done—overpaid for a starter. In a vacuum, it’s a horrible, awful, stupid, moronic, senseless trade. But in the real world of the 2007 Mariners, it may be the best they can do.

RSS icon Comments


I don't believe the Bonds to St Louis story. You have to link to a story, cause this town would riot if Bonds came to town. Not me personally. He's a dick, but he can hit and I really don't care what a player is "like" (I'm never going to hang out with this dude). But this town A) has to like the person beind the player and B) is as racist as any town in the good ol' USA. Ain't no way Bonds is playing for St Louis.

Posted by Mike in MO | December 7, 2006 11:01 AM

Horacio is also inconsistent. Soriano was talented, but he is done, his arm will never be the same. Is too bad, he had great stuff. Pitching is cruel on the arm, and most young pitchers give out along the way, that is why theyre so pricey. Horacio is basically another Pineiro, but the Braves are not going to give anything good for Soriano in the hopes that he heals and becomes the promising superstar he was suppose to become. Man, Schmidt was the one to go after. Bring us Zito!! The Manny talks are just noise, were not going to pay Manny money.

Glad youre back Bradley, Frankly I was getting bored with the petit burgoise condescending posts on sports.

Posted by SeMe | December 7, 2006 11:06 AM

Sorry to bore you Seme, but I'd love hanging out with you guys at a ball game! The binary dialectical supposition of the dealings for players/pawns regarding their biological and racial inevitableness is so enlightening. I'm headed up to Shoreline for some ice skating later, but I'll be back for more of this fantasy play afterwards.

Posted by bonehead's girlfriend | December 7, 2006 11:21 AM

What was the name of that gorilla that used to live at the Tacoma Mall? And how in the hell did he get a job in the Mariner's front office?

Not like this trade was particularly bad, but Jesus, I'd like to see the M's make a move that somehow made them a better team. That's kind of the idea.

Posted by The_Pope_Of_Chili_Town | December 7, 2006 11:26 AM

I guess we can add pretentious to SeMe's list.

Posted by gillsans | December 7, 2006 12:01 PM

$55 million for Gil Meche?! What a ridiculous contract. And from KANSAS CITY no less.

This is precisely the reason why it's impossible to listen to a baseball game on the radio anymore. Broadcasts have become nothing more that a series of paid ads occasionally interrupted by play-by-play.

Posted by DOUG. | December 7, 2006 12:33 PM

Bonds isn't going to St Louis. Honestly, where can they put him? You'd have to bench Juan Encarnacion or Chris Duncan.

As for the trade, what a terrible trade. With teams overpaying for relief pitchers, this was a perfect opportunity to get a good return for someone like Soriano, and instead we get a piece of trash like Horatio Ramirez.

And also, I hear the Mariners have re-opened discussions with... Joel Pineiro. Yeah. Given he was only the worst starting pitcher in MLB, I can't imagine there will be a lot of competition for his services. He is the Mariners pitching equivalent of herpes: he's about as enjoyable to watch, and he will never really go away.

Imagine this rotation on opening day: Felix Hernandez, Jarrod Washburn, Horatio Ramirez, Jake Woods and Joel Pineiro. The New York Yankees couldn't score enough runs to outpace all the runs that rotation would allow. That's a team that loses 90 games on paper. Bavasi just signed his own pink slip with this trade.

Posted by Gomez | December 7, 2006 12:34 PM

DOUG Wrote:
"$55 million for Gil Meche?! What a ridiculous contract. And from KANSAS CITY no less."

Let's not forget that baseball contracts are guaranteed..$55 Mil for an exceptionally average pitcher?

I wish I was hungover just so it would make it easier for me to puke.

That's the last straw. Screw pro ball. I'll never watch another game again.


Posted by Jensen Interceptor | December 7, 2006 1:18 PM

Jensen's got the right idea. I've read how the economics of the game have lead to enormous contracts for mediocre players, but the only way baseball will come back to earth is if we start staying away - from the ballpark and the TV.

Probably won't happen for a while, but honest to god, how much higher do ticket prices need to be before people just stop going to the games?

Posted by Matt from Denver | December 7, 2006 1:31 PM

I'm with Jensen and Doug -- I'm tired of all this crap too. Baseball is the sporting peep's Wall Street now. Just give me the game and save all the board room stuff for yourselves. I don't give one fucking christ about it.

Also, there needs to be a rule about the same six commericals on the KOMO not running a fucking million times. Over multiple seasons, no less.

I guess I'm saying that I want a riot.

And, it used to be that you hated a new signing after the season started. Rich Aurilia pushed that to the extreme when he made an error on his frist try at shortstop on opening day. But now, Seattle hates Horacio even before he even leaves Atlanta. M's need someone up there who's an actual fan and not just a dumb bullshit business douche.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | December 7, 2006 1:37 PM

Well, Matt from Denver, I think they aspire to the NBA model, where salaries get so out of whack, they have to build huge, free, profit-making stadiums financed by the citizens. That goes on for several years until the citizens wizen up and say "screw you" (ala Sonics).

A couple days ago, it sounded like they'd spend the money to get Zito. Now it looks to be another year of nothing.

Posted by him | December 7, 2006 1:38 PM

Him @ 11 - But baseball was where the profit-making stadium trend began, 15 or so years ago. The Mariners have their stadium, so do most baseball teams. (Dodger Stadium, from the early 60's, is the fourth oldest ballpark in MLB, after Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, and I wouldn't be surprised if Shea Stadium was number 5.) I think the super-mega contract trend began after most of those stadiums were up and running.

It just sounds like baseball owners are lousy businessmen. I'd like to see the bottom lines of some of these teams. Maybe there's a method to the madness, and maybe that method is that fans are suckers.

Posted by Matt from Denver | December 7, 2006 2:24 PM

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