Wednesday, November 18, 2009


It is the off-season, afterall. So the Seattle Mariners are predictably in the thick of the pennant race and have reason to believe that Jack Z's artful skill at the winter meetings and at the draft table will pay off.
Rumours of a John Lackey signing were given a dose of cold water by LaRue at the Times Tribune; the team's holes at third and first and catcher, along with that need for one solid veteran starter is likely the primary focus.
I wasn't crazy about resigning of the Kid, but in the whole scheme of things it isn't a kick in the teeth, either. Beltre's likely departure along with Branyan will leave a power hole the size of the Space Needle. The young guns on the mound may be able to build on last year's effort, but so much was smoke and mirrors.
So as bloggers are wont to do, I shall speculate.
Beltre won't get what he would have two years ago but should be happy in Philadelphia, LA or St. Louis (at about 4 years/$75m). Would it be such a stretch to plug Hall into that spot? While keeping Branyan would be great, logic and $ must line up. It may be better to move to plan 2, with Lopez sliding in at his more comfortable defensive position, having Carp as a capable backup. Now comes the interesting step. I would pack Brendan Morrow and his great potential to Florida for Dan Uggla, he of the mediocre defence but terrific pop. He'd just be trading one 'M' for a better one.
The Marlin infielder is due a raise and thus is also due a ticket out of Miami, but has stated that he doesn't think he should move off 2nd base. That knocks some of the more logical fits -- Baltimore, Philadelphia -- out of the mix. Of course, that requires Hall filling the bill in the corner, which could also give Seattle one of the shakier infield defences this side of Everett.
But maybe Jack's issue with defence makes the previous suggestion null and void. It could mean bidding on Pedro Feliz or Joe Crede with short term dollars, while hoping Matt T makes more progress. Orlando Hudson would be an upgrade over Lopez defensively... Tapping a partner for Moore behind the dish should be a matter of taking the more eager of Barajas, Blanco or Zaun.
If you want to make an impact pitching-wise, call up Boston and ask if Dice-K is available. Taking on his salary would be a risk and may not be attainable -- trading Silva and Morrow while getting a B-level prospect back in return would make it a decent swap IMHO. Or it could be a matter of signing a Harden or a Sheets and hoping for a non-Bedard-like health. And then, with Junior in the fold for one more hurrah, why not call up the Unit and see if he want's to relive some of his past glory?

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