September 29, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager (15, left) is congratulated by designated hitter John Jaso (27) for hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

JJ’s Offseason Plan

September 28, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics designated hitter Jonny Gomes (31) reacts to a called third strike during the seventh inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Recently, Dave Cameron at U.S.S Mariner wrote up his offseason plan for 2013. And while I have mentioned some options in past articles, I haven’t really put them together in one piece yet. I am going to use a similar format, as I think it works well at displaying the information.

You may also see some similarities between the plan’s, as I did agree on a few things that he proposed.

Here are the moves I would like to see made:

Trade LHP James Paxton and 3B/OF Vinnie Catricala to the Indians for RF Shin-Soo Choo, and re-sign him for 3 years/$34 million (on top of the arbitration year he has in 2013)

Sign OF Jonny Gomes for 2 years/$9 million.

Sign Travis Hafner for 1 year/$3 million

Re-Sign Hishashi Iwakuma for 2 years/$8 million

Sign Carlos Villanueva for 2 year/$7 million

Trade  Mike Carp and Trayvon Robinson for IF Sean Rodriguez and C Chris Gimenez.

As you can see, a few were very similar to Dave’s. However, there were some key differences as well.

Here is the opening day roster according to my plan (credit to Dave for the original table):


Position Player Salary Position Player Salary
C John Jaso $1,000,000 SP Felix Hernandez $20,700,000
1B Justin Smoak $550,000 SP Hisashi Iwakuma $4,000,000
2B Dustin Ackley $1,500,000 SP Jason Vargas $6,000,000
SS Brendan Ryan $3,000,000 SP Erasmo Ramirez $500,000
3B Kyle Seager $500,000 SP Carlos Villanueva $3,500,000
LF Jonny Gomes $6,000,000
CF Michael Saunders $1,000,000 CL Tom Wilhelmsen $500,000
RF Shin-Soo Choo $7,500,000 RH Carter Capps $500,000
DH Travis Hafner $3,000,000 LH Charlie Furbush $500,000
RH Stephen Pryor $500,000
C Chris Gimenez $500,000 LH Lucas Luetge $500,000
IF Sean Rodriguez $1,000,000 RH Shawn Kelley $1,000,000
OF Franklin Gutierrez $7,500,000 RH Blake Beavan $500,000
OF Casper Wells $500,000
Total $70,750,000


Vs RHB Player Bats Position Vs LHB Player Bats Position
1 Dustin Ackley L 2B 1 Dustin Ackley L 2B
Michael Saunders L CF 2 Franklin Gutierrez R CF
3 Shin-Soo Choo L RF 3 Shin-Soo Choo L RF
4 Jonny Gomes R LF 4 Jonny Gomes R DH
5 John Jaso L C 5 Kyle Seager L 3B
6 Kyle Seager L 3B 6 Michael Saunders L LF
7 Justin Smoak S 1B 7 Justin Smoak S 1B
8 Travis Hafner L DH 8 John Jaso L C
9 Brendan Ryan R SS 9 Brendan Ryan R SS
Bench Chris Gimenez R C Bench Chris Giminez R C
Bench Sean Rodriguez R IF Bench Sean Rodriguez R IF
Bench Franklin Gutierrez R OF Bench Casper Wells R OF
Bench Casper Wells R OF Bench Travis Hafner L DH

As you may have noticed, there are many similarities to Dave’s plan. I like the Villanueva, Hafner and Rodriguez/Giminez moves that Dave proposed. They all fill needs very well, without having to give up too much money, or players via trade.

Villanueva gives us a back end starter instead of Beaven or Noesi, who don’t really do much for us. The difference was that I proposed that we sign him for 2 years, and let Vargas go, whereas Dave wanted a one year deal, and to bring back Vargas. It’s not that I like Villanueva more than Vargas, I just think think we get more bang for the buck.

Bringing in Hafner gives us a lefty bat with some power who doesn’t require a ton of money, or playing time. If Montero plays well in AAA (I’ll get to that in a second), then Hafner can easily be moved to a part time/bench role. He will most likely get injured at some point anyway, but he is a very solid hitter when healthy.

The trade with Tampa Bay is a need for need type deal. We need some infield depth (Rodriguez), and a backup catcher (Giminez, who can also play the corners), and the Rays could use a young 1B option, and some outfield depth. R0driguez can play anywhere in the infield, and has a good bat for a backup.

As for the two bigger moves, we need to improve the offense, particularly in the outfield. Shin-Soo Choo is on the trading block after refusing to re-sign with the Indians. When healthy, he is a 140 wRC+, .384 wOBA guy. And while he isn’t an amazing power hitter (or as good in that area as Swisher, who Dave wants), he is a very good hitter, and creates runs in other ways. Some people tend to get so caught up in homers and RBIs, that they forget that the name of the game is run creation. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter how you create said runs as long as you do it. He is also much more affordable than Swisher.

Jonny Gomes had a very sneaky good year, posting a.375 wOBA and 142 wRC+ in 99 games for the equally as sneaky A’s. He is usually an under the radar player, who puts together some solid seasons without recognition. He is a career 109 wRC+ guy, including a terrible year in 2008. Take away that year, and that number jumps up to ~ 114. He also averages  17 homers in about 108 games a year. If you extrapolate that out to 150 games played, he would average 23 HR/year. His power is great enough that he won’t be affected too much by Safeco, which is always a plus.

Bringing in the guys I mentioned should give us 6-8 more wins than the likes of Beaven, Wells, Thames, Noesi and Peguero would.

You may have noticed that I left Jesus Montero off the team like Dave did. Well, that is for the same reason as him. It makes sense to start him in AAA to get accustomed to 1st base, where I think he will play moving forward. He also has some things to work out offensively, and could benefit from a less stressful situation when dealing with said issues. If he looks strong to quite strong at 1st and at the plate, you bring him up and throw the Hafner/Guti platoon on the bench, or at least into a lesser role.

As for the logjam at 1B/DH that I talk about so frequently; if Mike Zunino hits his way onto the team next year, Jaso will have to move out from behind the plate. Best case scenario for me is that Smoak and Jaso begin a platoon, with Smoak playing 1st (Montero DH) against LHP, and Jaso DHing (Montero at 1st) against RHP. That group, along with Choo, Gomes and Seager should be a solid run-producing-force offensively.

To me, this team is much better than this year’s. We bring in some proven guys, as well as some low risk/high reward types in an effort to get the offense to where it needs to be. The short-ish contracts also allow for some of the prospects who are playing well in the minors to take a spot on the team in the future. The biggest needs of the team are addressed without having to overpay or take playing time away from the kids who may need a little more time before they reach their potential, such as Montero, or even Zunino who could see the bigs next year.

These are just ideas that I think make sense for the Mariners to think about in their quest to find a decent offense to go along with the stud pitching we will/should have in a couple years. That will be the focus of the offseason, and is very possible with either my or Dave’s plan. I just happen to like the inexpensive-effectiveness of mine.

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Tags: 2013 Jonny Gomes Offseason Seattle Mariners Shin-Soo Choo Travis Hafner

  • baseball024

    Im Sorry I dont like any of these.. they in no way benefit us except for the Shin-Shoo Choo. They give up our prospects for terrible players other than Choo. How does that help us in any way building a team. We need to just dip into free agency and management needs to open up the wallets.

    • baseball024

      correction the Re-Sign Hishashi Iwakuma for 2 years/$8 million is good

      • maqman

        No it isn’t, he will get more than that. This year he signed for $1.5MM and $3.4MM in performance payments based on starts and innings, a potential total of $4.9MM. He didn’t collect all of his performance pay but got a good hunk of it. His performance has been noted by other teams and a lot need starting pitchers. He can probably get 3/$20 as a free agent, maybe more. Even at that price he’s worth more than Vargas, who will get about $7.4 in his final arb year.
        Choo is a free agent after one year and Boras is his agent, he’ll only be a one year rental who we have to give up decent to very good prospects to get him from Cleveland.
        Gomes would be a good get but would be coming off the best year of his career aged 32 years old. Would you want to go from the A’s to the M’s after this past season?
        Check out the Royals and Twins, they need pitchers badly.

        • JJ Allen Keller

          If he wants to play 150 games rather than 99, he will come here. The As wont pay him for 150 games if they only need him for 100. There OF is full, and they have some young guys who could DH

    • Matthias_Kullowatz

      The prospects the plan would give away are Robinson, Carp, Paxton and Catricala. You’ve already said that Choo is a good move, so it’s hard to complain about Paxton and Catricala. After that, I would hardly consider Robinson and Carp as top prospects. They are not particularly good, and their positions are jammed up.

      It seems as if you like this plan more than you think you like this plan.

    • JJ Allen Keller

      If you have that much attachment to Carp and Robinson, then I guess. But we are trading from depth to get a position of weakness.

  • JJ Allen Keller

    Once again, see the part where I said we should resign Choo right away. That’s a deal breaker.
    As for Iwakuma getting 3/20, that would be a huge overpay. Safeco is just as helpful to him as It is to Vargas. At 31 after one good year in Safeco, people would be nuts to give him that much. Dave suggested 2/10, and he knows what he is talking about. I just decided to knock it down.

    • Ken Leder

      That is a fair deal for Iwakuma. Plus he is a heavy groundball pitcher tho he was working off a high homerun per flyball rate. He is far closer to Hiroki Kuroda then he is Jason Vargas in the type of pitcher he is, My biggest concern is his health though that goes for a lot of pitchers.You can also consider that most of the mariners are pre-arbitration anyways so as long as it’s a short deal it shouldn’t hinder the Mariners ability to go out and spend big when the opportunity presents itself.

  • Ken Leder

    I agree mostly with maqman, Choo trade is a bit puzzling in that it is going to be a one year rental for a season where we don’t even know if the Mariners will contend or not then he will hit open market with Mariners having to have to outbid teams. Even if he does resign, it isn’t going to be a friendly contract like the one suggested if he has a solid year. If I’m going to give up Paxton then I would need someone that is team controlled for much longer.

    As for Hisashi Iwakuma, I think it’s a priority to resign him to something like 7 million a year for 2 to 3 years. And I really like the idea of getting someone like Sean Rodriguez, Chris Giminez, and Hafner. As for Villinueva, that would be a nice cheap option b/c you can’t depend on the young guns to be ready nor do I want to see anymore Blake Beaven starts.

    • JJ Allen Keller

      If we cant re-sign Choo, then we dont make the trade. We have money too. people complain about not spending, but then they dont want to spend.
      Iwakuma is not worth 7 million a year. After one decent year, in which he was helped greatly by Safeco, he doesnt become a $7 million player. Vargas isnt even a 7 mill guy IMO. Close, but not quite.

      • Ken Leder

        Then it’s not happening. At least not for a trade that involves Paxton. My guess is Iwakuma get’s payed a little more then he did this season so maybe a 5 to 7 million a year would make absolute sense to me. If it’s a 3 year deal though I probably wouldn’t want to pay 7.

        • JJ Allen Keller

          Do you know for sure Choo wouldnt re-sign here? And you seem to be missing where I say it is contingent on us re-signing Choo

          • Ken Leder

            I’m saying that b/c he won’t do a sign and trade unless the contract is over-the-top lucrative especially a Scott Boras client. And you know sign and trades like the Roy Halladay one is not very common in baseball. Why would you want to give up prospects like Paxton to get someone like Choo anyways. Unless you are 100% sure you will get to resign him (emphases on 100%). Choo doesn’t provide much more value then someone like Swisher in the short end of the contract to begin with so upgrading to Choo won’t make the team all that much better then getting someone like (Swisher in Dave’s case) without giving up prospects for 2013. I’m not saying we hold on to all our prospects, but Choo with his contract situation isn’t someone you want to give that much prospects for. It just isn’t logical for the Mariners when you can do the same type of upgrades without giving up your possible future (or trade chip). If you really want Choo then just wait until the 2013 season ends. xD

          • Ken Leder

            Plus, I personally wouldn’t be too eager to give up prospects like a Paxton just to sign Choo to an extention.

            “And you seem to be missing where I say it is contingent on us re-signing Choo” You shouldn’t have ever added it in there in that case b/c it is something that is way too far from likely with the information at hand. You could say that about every player that there is a possibility, but it is too far from likely with what we know to even mention in a rosterbation. It’s just a waste of time.

      • mat

        Then you really don’t know Vargas.

    • mat

      Exactly what do Rodrigues, Giminez, and (wornout) Hefner bring to the table?? Avg, oba, speed, track record of producing? Nope. So what VALUE can they add over the player they replace? Nothing! Want to make a deal with TB-get Keppinger. He brings: avg, hi-OBA, versitillity.

  • randyman84

    Ill take both Upton brothers. Paxton, Franklin for Justin upton. Bj Upton for 3years/ 40 million. Healthy young 5 tool athletes.

    • Ken Leder

      no thank you. Take Upton out of Hitters Paradise in Arizona.

  • randyman84

    Hate , hate giving up carp.. hate it! He could man third, moving Seager to 2nd and ackley to LF. If Smoak/ Montero hold first

    • Ken Leder

      Your joking about Carp manning 3rd right? xD