I really don’t get this one. If Rich Harden is trying to re-establish his value this year, why would he choose to go to a bandbox like the ballpark in Arlington, over the pitcher-friendly Safeco Field? The most troubling part, is that the price was completely reasonable. I just can’t imagine that the Mariners weren’t willing to give him $7.5 million.
This is a pretty tough blow, too, as Harden was basically a perfect fit for the M’s. His stuff is outstanding, and the injury risk wouldn’t have been as big of an issue for us as we have plenty of starting pitching depth. However, we lack a real #2, and Harden would have provided us with one.
As it stands now, there really isn’t really anything else that’s attractive on the FA market when it comes to starting pitching. So, unless we want to dish out a ton of money for Lackey, which seems like a bad idea, we’re either going to have to hit the trade market, or focus exclusively on improving our offense. That is, unless Ben Sheets lowers his asking price from where it currently stands, which is apparently around $12MM a year.
Taylor’s Edit: Seriously, Rich Harden is trying to ruin his future career. But on the bright side, I would love a Sheets deal. I’ve heard different stuff about Sheets than Griffin has, apparently. More of the 2 year, 18 million variety. I have confidence that Z will find a nice shiny number 2 starter, but I’m not exactly confident that it will come in the form of Ben Sheets. In other news, Adrian Gonzalez doesn’t seem to be available anymore. Sitting and waiting, uncomfortable as it may be, is likely the best plan of (in)action for M’s fans at the moment.