Potpourri and other perspectivesNovember 28th, 2012 by terrybenish
Potpourri is a great word. A bag of old, dried herbs and flowers, or a miscellaneous collection of unconnected things, thoughts and events.
Last night the Mariners were thrown into mix on Russell Martin. Another journeyman catcher that can not hit any longer.
The Mike Napoli thing is like a plane trying to take off without enough power as it nears the end of the runaway. More power is required, power in this case is cash. It seems as if Boston is where he’ll end up.
I have captured every transaction the Mariners have made since Jack’s hiring in the fall of 2008. Trades in, trades out, signings of newly drafted players, free agents in, players up, players down, players designated for assignment, free agency granted. Rough total approaches 1,400 events. A player can and did hit that list multiple times as they came in, came up, went down, came up again, released, re-signed.
Rosters be they twenty five man and forty man, movements into and out of greater organization are continuous. The first couple of years and maybe into the third year there was great churn near the top and I will try to make sense of that. Also I thought it would be interesting to see transactions by position as it might suggest internal views of organizational strengths.
The startling thing is when you scour through it the first few times is that at first blush, beyond draftees who have not panned out, just how few players coming in could be labeled as “good” major league players or even replacement level have been brought into the team by trading or signing of free agent players.
Jason Vargas, John Jaso, Franklin Gutierrez off his 2009 season, Casper Wells marginally. Jaso looks to be the cream of the crop. But as this obsession with signing another catcher plays out, it again calls into question the organization’s ability to value and understand the position.
They played Olivo for two years on the strength of his throwing. Ignoring receiving, blocking and hitting.
So inside the last twelve months the team has brought in John Jaso, Jesus Montero and Mike Zunino. The collective or group think is that going into 2013 that Zunino is not ready and needs to work on his defense or throwing and that neither Jaso nor Montero are viable as catchers. The Jackson manager suggested that Zunino was a very good catcher and worked well with staff. Last summer in Seattle, teams tried to steal more on Olivo on a per game basis, than they did on Jaso. It is an important stat. So are passed balls and wild pitches. Olivo gave up way more additional runs due to those events than he every threw out guys.
Let’s play along with this. If the Mariners sign Martin or Napoli for three or four years, it suggests they wasted last year’s first round pick in the draft on Zunino. It also suggests that the trade of Michael Pineda for an unproven player who is now regarded as a dh was not a positive event. And when confronted with a good player in Jaso, the gift horse on Josh Lueke mess, Jaso was probably the best player on the team that they know not how to take advantage and sat too much.
Mariners could have had Mike Trout, took Dustin Ackley instead. Hope that pans out.
More to come on transactions.