Remember 2010? It will forever be etched in time as the Seattle Mariners’ “Believe Big” year. Believing big didn’t really work out the way everyone hoped, but the optimism was warranted. Coming off a promising 2009 campaign in which the team posted an 85-77 win-loss mark, the ’09-’10 offseason was full of giddiness and excitement.
Neglecting the various warts in a lineup pockmarked by over-performers and aging veterans, the M’s front office pulled off two major moves that offseason. The first came on December 8th, 2009 in the form of diminutive free agent infielder Chone Figgins. The Mariners inked Figgins to a (ugh) four-year contract that day, then waited just eight more days before pulling off their next big move. On December 16th, the team acquired starting pitcher Cliff Lee from Philadelphia for a hodgepodge of middling prospects. The move was heralded as a franchise-changer, the type that would take the organization from okay to great. With Lee and Felix Hernandez, the Mariners would be unstoppable. Never mind the fact that, assuming both aces stayed healthy, the duo would appear in just 40-percent of the team’s games. This was it! This was the Mariners’ year!
Continue reading Believe in Moderation
I’m currently reading a book by ESPN baseball analyst Jayson Stark entitled The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated & Underrated Players In Baseball History. It’s a good book which I’ve known about since it hit shelves in 2007. I’ve just been too lazy (and cheap) to buy it until now. Sorry, Jayson.
Anyway, the title of the book is pretty self-explanatory. Position by position, Stark breaks down the most overrated and underrated players in baseball history, in his opinion. It’s a great read and I’d recommend it to anyone. But that’s not the point I’m trying to get at here, so let’s move on.
So there’s this one section in the book where Stark is discussing the most underrated relief pitcher of all-time, who he claims is Goose Gossage. A fair choice given that Goose isn’t as recognized for his Hall of Fame career as some other guys in his position, but again, this is not the point I’m trying to make. I digress, once again.
Continue reading Goose Gossage Would Totally Kick Casey Kotchman’s Ass
Because it’s never too early to hand out progress reports.
*Editor’s note: The following list only applies to players who have logged Major League service time thus far in 2010. Likewise, players who were re-signed to contracts (i.e. Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Sweeney, etc.) are not considered. This report card is solely designed to assess the play of new offseason acquisitions.
Player: Milton Bradley
How acquired: Via trade with the Chicago Cubs, in exchange for pitcher Carlos Silva.
2010 salary: $11,000,000
Continue reading Prematurely Grading The M’s Off-Season Acquisitions
You’re kidding me right now, right? You really mean to tell me that Casey Kotchman — yes, the Casey Kotchman — is slated to be the Mariners’ starting first baseman in 2010? Please. No.
ESPN is reporting that the M’s are on the verge of obtaining Kotchman from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for a minor league prospect. The Red Sox no longer have any use for the first baseman with yesterday’s free agent signing of third baseman Adrian Beltre, who will shift infielder Kevin Youkilis across the diamond and into a regular role at the one bag.
Depending on who the minor leaguer is that the Mariners plan to part ways with, this could end up being a good deal for Seattle. However, the problem comes in penciling in Kotchman as the starter. There is no way that Casey Kotchman should be starting for a playoff-caliber team. Absolutely no way.
Continue reading Casey Kotchman? Really?