September 14, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton (32) hits a double driving in a run against the Seattle Mariners in the eighth inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers won 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE Oct 13, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher hits a double against the Detroit Tigers in the 8th inning during game one of the 2012 ALCS at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

JJ's Other Offseason Plan


Last week, I wrote about what moves I think the Mariners should make over the winter. And I still like that plan and think it is a viable option to improve the offense. But the more I think about it, the more I want us to spend some more money and get a legit power bat. Nothing against Choo as he is a fantastic hitter, but he isn’t a big time homer guy, hitting just 16 this year, with his career high being 22.

When I think about legit power bats that are available, I automatically think Josh Hamilton, for obvious reasons. But there are other options such as Nick Swisher. So in this edition, I will base my plan around players like them.

Sign Josh Hamilton to a 6 year, $115 million dollar contract. OR Sign Nick Swisher to a 6 year, $ 100 million contract.

Sign Grady Sizemore to a 1 year, $2 million (plus incentives) contract.

Trade Mike Carp and Trayvon Robinson to Tampa Bay for Sean Rodriguez and Chris Gimenez.

Re-sign Hisashi Iwakuma for 2 years/$9.5 million.

Sign Jeff Francis for 1 year/$1 million OR Carlos Villanueva for 1 year/$3 million

Consider trading Vargas if an opportunity arises to get another bat, but do not try to look for a trade.

The obvious change here is the big move. Signing Hamilton or Swisher rather than trading for Choo. While all three are good hitters, Hamilton is the best, followed by Swisher, then Choo. Hamilton is one of the best players in the game, and probably won’t be AS expensive as you would expect.

Here is a comparison of Swisher and Hamilton for 2012:

Player

wOBA

wRC+

HR

WAR

Hamilton

.387

140

43

4.4

Swisher

.363

128

24

3.9

Obviously, Hamilton was the better player, but it was closer than you might have expected. Hamilton was amazing for a couple months, then fairly average for the rest. One thing Swish does have on him is being a switch hitter, and consistency. Hamilton has some injury history, and can be streaky at times, whereas you pretty much know what Swisher is going to give you year in and year out.

Defense is a little harder to measure, but I’d say Swisher is a little better. His average UZR for his career is about 2.4, whereas Hamilton’s is -1.35. This is another instance where Swisher is more consistent, as his highest UZR is 6.9, lowest is -2.2, whereas Hamilton’s range is between 9.8 and -14.6.

On top of that, Swisher has the flexibility to move from the corner outfield to 1st base, which could be very beneficial to the team. If Smoak looks like he has figured it out, Swisher can play right field. If not, and Casper Wells or someone like that plays well, then Swisher can move in to 1st.

When deciding between the two, money will be the biggest factor. Does the $15 million you save on Swisher outweigh the obvious gai.n in upside and star-power that Hamilton brings? Does Swisher’s flexibility and consistency give him some edge over the somewhat unpredictable Hamilton? I think it does, and part of me prefers Swisher to Hamilton. But the other part loves Hamilton, and wants his MVP caliber play in Seattle. Either way is a win in it’s own right.

Now to the lesser moves. Signing Grady Sizemore to a small, incentive based deal makes a lot of sense to me. His career has been derailed by injuries and may be looking for a fresh start. He hasn’t played more than 100 games since 2009, and a full season since 2008. In 2008 he put up All Star caliber numbers with a .376 wOBA and 131 wRC+ to go along with 33 home runs. He missed all of 2010 and this year, and only played 71 games in 2011. Grady is a local kid, and if he can stay healthy he is a really good player. He might be interested in coming home and trying to revive his career. We could use a part time bat in case Guti gets hurt again. Who knows, maybe he even outplays Guti and wins the job. These are the kind of guys we should be targeting along with the big bat I talked about before.

I talked about the Iwakuma deal and Tampa trade in the other article, so I will just briefly outline it. Iwakuma was solid this year (although not as good as his ERA and Safeco made him look), and it makes sense to bring him back for a couple years to hold down the fort until the Big 3 are ready. The trade with Tampa trades from a position of depth in order to acquire a position of need. Rodriguez can play anywhere in the infield, and hits fairly well for a backup. Gimenez gives us a backup catcher than can also play in the corners, so we don’t feel like we are wasting a spot on a 2.5th catcher.

Francis is in a similar situation to Sizemore. He has been good in the past, but hasn’t been able to put it all together for a while. He is a good option to fill out the back end, or to battle with Beavan for the 5th starter role. Villanueva  has bounced between the rotation and bullpen for his career, and has done a good job in that role the last couple seasons. He would most likely take the 5th spot outright, but might cost a little more.

As for Vargas; I think we have to consider a package with him if presented to us. I don’t think we should shop him for C-level prospects, but if a package included him in order to acquire Ike Davis or something like that, then we should consider it.

Here is what the team would look like with these moves:

 

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 $4,750,000
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/

Jeff Francis

$3,500,000/

$1,000,000

LF Michael Saunders $1,000,000
CF Franklin Gutierrez $7,500,000 CL Tom Wilhelmsen $500,000
RF Nick Swisher/

Josh Hamilton

$14,000,000/

$16,500,000

RH Carter Capps $500,000
DH Jesus Montero $500,000 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/IF Grady Sizemore $2,000,000 RH Blake Beavan $500,000
OF Casper Wells $500,000
Total $72,750,000 (Swisher)

or

$75,250,000 (Hamilton)

 

 

Vs RHB Player Bats Position Vs LHB Player Bats Position
1 Dustin Ackley L 2B 1 Dustin Ackley L 2B
 2 John Jaso L C 2 Franklin Gutierrez R CF
3 Jesus Montero R DH 3 Jesus Montero R DH
4 Nick Swisher/Josh Hamilton S/L RF 4 Nick Swisher/Josh Hamilton S/L RF
5 Kyle Seager L 3B 5 Kyle Seager L 3B
6 Michael Saunders L CF 6 Michael Saunders L LF
7 Justin Smoak S 1B 7 Justin Smoak S 1B
8 Franklin Gutierrez R CF 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 Grady Sizemore L OF Bench Casper Wells R OF
Bench Casper Wells R OF Bench Grady Sizemore L OF

That lineup looks pretty solid, and we still cut pay-roll from last year. The added offense from Swisher/Hamilton, the improved depth and expected improvement from the young guys should make for a very solid team. If you estimate each players WAR, which is very tough to do, you might get something like this (Keep in mind this is just a biased, yet educated guess):

Position

Player

WAR

C

John Jaso

3.0

1B

Justin Smoak

2.0

2B

Dustin Ackley

3.0

SS

Brendan Ryan

2.0

3B

Kyle Seager

3.5

LF

Michael Saunders

3.0

CF

Franklin Gutierrez

2.5

RF

Swisher/Hamilton

4.0/5.0

Bench

Grady Sizemore

1.5

Bench

Sean Rodriguez

1.0

Bench

Casper Wells

0.5

Bench

Chris Gimenez

0.5

SP

Felix Hernandez

6.0

SP

Jason Vargas

2.0

SP

Hisashi Iwakuma

1.5

SP

Erasmo Ramirez

1.5

SP

Francis/Villanueva

1.0

RP

Blake Beavan

0.5

RP

Lucas Luetge

0.5

RP

Carter Capps

0.5

RP

Sean Kelley

0.5

RP

Stephen Pryor

0.5

RP

Charlie Furbush

1.0

RP

Tom Wilhelmsen

2.0

-

Total

44/45

It is widely believed that a replacement level team (0 WAR) would win about 45 games. So if you take my projected team WAR of 44-45, then you could predict this team to win about 89-90 games. Obviously it is very difficult to predict these kinds of things as there are so many other factors. People get hurt. People slump. People breakout. Personally I think the 89 win prediction is a little high (I know, it was my prediction in the first place). It definitely isn’t out of the question, but I think 85-87 is more realistic, and would be a great improvement.

Winning 86 games in the first year after the exit of the rebuilding stage is a great step forward. There are still players that are developing, and some who will begin to do so, which will keep improving the team. With these changes, I could see 90 wins in 2015 for sure, and maybe even 2014 as well. We are in a tough division that keeps getting tougher, but we are a lot younger than them. As our rivals start to age and regress, we will be at our strongest point, ready to take over.

It’s only a matter of time.

Tags: Grady Sizemore Josh Hamilton Nick Swisher Seattle Mariners

  • Joe

    IMHO I do agree that the payroll must go up. However, I would rather trade than sign FA considering our pick is unprotected and our farm system is load.
    Trades that JZ should pursue:
    First, trade acquiring Victor Martinez from the Tigers if he can pass a physical. The Tigers are a win now team and trading Martinez makes sense for both teams. Trading Jason Vargas and the Bartender should help the Tigers fill some holes while the Ms get an all star catcher that can play until Zunino is ready.
    Second, trade acquiring Justin Upton for Nick Franklin and Victor Sanchez. AZ is looking for a future SS or 2B and Franklin is a nice piece to have. While the Ms get a power bat in the OF whos in there prime.

    • ThirteenOfTwo

      Too bad Justin Upton is a right-handed bat who has never hit even league average outside of his bandbox of a home park and would be moving to the worst park for right-handed hitters in all of baseball.

      Seriously, guys, Justin Upton is not that good. His 2011 was fueled by a park effect at Chase Field as extreme and anomalous as Safeco’s was this year… but in the opposite direction. Outside of that year, he’s never been worth even as much as Seager was worth in 2012. The fact that everyone overvalues him probably means it would take way too much to acquire him. Franklin and Sanchez is what I feel is roughly reasonable value for Upton, but the market will demand much higher, which is why I feel he’s a no-go.

      • maqman

        Absolutely agree, Justin Upton had a Fangraphs WAR of 2.5 this past season. Hamilton was 4.4 WAR, while Angel Pagan was worth 4.8 WAR. The Uptons are overrated, Hamilton is overpriced.

        • JJ Allen Keller

          Pagan got value from his D, and isnt a power bat like we need.

          WAR is being used as a be all stat, and thats not what it is.

    • Matthias_Kullowatz

      “Trading Jason Vargas and the Bartender should help the Tigers fill some holes…”

      Like Miguel Cabrera’s own personal bartender ;-)

  • SeattleSteve

    This is Dave’s post with a slight tweak here and there… Personally I think both Swisher and Hamilton present more potential risk than potential reward. Hamilton has a significant plate discipline problem and although his free swinging ways have translated into some incredibly productive years as of late, he is past his prime and will have to make adjustments going forward to maintain some semblance of his current production. Swisher has been a very consistent and productive player over his career but he isn’t a star and will get overpaid this offseason.

    In regards to defensive value.. a player’s primary position needs to be taken into account. Hamilton has been predominately a CF since his arrival in the bigs (although he is better suited for a corner outfield spot). Breaking down UZR by position paints a different picture. In CF (where neither should play) Hamilton has the slight edge and bigger sample size: JH -9.6 in 3150 innings vs. NS -14.2 in 1020 innings. Both Hamilton and Swisher have been average or slightly above in the corner outfield spots over their careers. I think it could be argued that Hamilton has more positional flexibility because he can play a passable CF if need be whereas Swisher’s flexibility is much easier commodity to find (1B/OF type).

    The general idea is good but committing 100+ million to outfielders, each on the wrong side of 30 and with their own set of issues, is a risky business/baseball decision. I think the M’s should sign the King to an extension and pick up a stop gap type (2 year contract with option) to shore up the outfield… moving in the fences allows us to consider a number of players that the Safe would have previously destroyed.

    Joe – No way Franklin/Sanchez gets Upton… his value is slightly depressed after another inconsistent season but the value swap is nowhere close

    • JJ Allen Keller

      I followed the same format as Daves post. See my first one..
      Hamilton being able to play CF doesnt help us. We have Guti, Saunders and Wells who are all better defensively than him. Having the ability to play 1st and OF isnt as common as you seem to think, and it is much more valuable to us if Smoak craps out.
      We need more than a stop gap. Who is he stopping the gap for? We dont have a star OF waiting in the wings. We need a proven MOTO bat. We will not win with what we have, and we can still have a lower payroll than last year if we bring in Hamilton or Swisher. Money isnt a problem, or at least it doesnt have to be

      • SeattleSteve

        Following the same format as Dave’s post isn’t the same thing as using his ideas…

        Hamilton being able to play CF does help us (and any team for that matter). Additional depth up the middle is something every team needs.. especially when it is a premium bat. 1B/OF isn’t as common as I think? What defensive versatility is more common? A fundamental of roster construction is glove/bat players up the middle. Although the M’s haven’t had any, the corner positions are much more commonly bat first. I never said anything about payroll by the way. I do believe payroll should go up but that doesn’t mean we need an albatross to be contenders or “serious” about winning. Building a roster is about maximizing value across the board. Using a stop gap isn’t about what we have in the pipeline right now.. its about the added value of roster flexibility in future periods. I was trying to impart how detrimental significant contracts can be to roster construction. We don’t need a Werth 2.0. There isn’t just one road to contention…

        “We will not win with what we have”

        - We don’t even know what we have.. most of these kids don’t have enough time at the show for us to evaluate their true talent level. If Guit stays healthy for a year, Saunders takes another step forward, Ackely decides to play like his pedigree would suggest, Smoak is more like Sept Smoak than other Smoak, etc… Do you think that team couldn’t win? Obviously that is a completely unrealistic scenario but the point is we don’t have to go out and throw money at the free agent market to win.

        The team would be better suited to make a splash on the trade market than the free agent one.

        • JJ Allen Keller

          So everyone who says to sign Swisher is just copying Dave? Once again, read the first one where I addressed this, and said some of it was Daves idea.
          For our team, we do not need depth at CF as much as we do someone who can play 1st permanantly if needed. Having a 4th, maybe even 5th option in CF is not more valuable as having a 2nd option at 1st base. With Saunders, Guti, Wells and Sizemore, Hamilton would never see any time in CF. Its very possible that Swisher would see time at 1st however.
          If you believe Swisher or Hamilton will be Werth 2.0, then you need to rethink things. Swisher would make less, and most likely play better, and Hamilton would make slightly more, yet play much better.
          If everything goes right, then we might have a shot with this current team. But like you said, that is VERY unrealistic. And we are in the best division in baseball, with teams that have much more talent than we do.
          When we have all this money to spend, I dont think giving away valuable prospects makes more sense than spending money, which we CAN afford to do. Id rather send $120 million at Hamilton than have to give up Walker, Franklin, Catricala + for an inconsistent Upton, who has some fairly poor home/road splits.
          If you look at my first post you will see where I said we should trade for Shin Soo Choo. Im not dead set against a trade, this was just another route. Hence the “other” in the title.

          • SeattleSteve

            First of all please stop referring to Wells as an option.. He is 4th OF and has too many holes to be a productive major leaguer.

            I would like to see your calculations regarding Hamilton’s future value. He has had one phenomenal year at 8.4 WAR which was aided by his UZR total for the year and playing CF. If you take out his 2010 then he has 16.6 total WAR for 604 games played. This translates to an average of 4.45 WAR/ per 162. However he hasn’t been a model of durability and as such we can’t assume he will be going forward. So if we assume his true talent is a little bit better than his WAR/162 (excluding his 2010) than we can settle of a 5 WAR/162. However, given his durability issues we can’t assume he will play 162 games a year. If we assume he can play 85% of a full season over the life of the contract (that would be 138 games a year) then we can calculate how much value he will provide given a .5 WAR per year decline. This would equate to roughly 19 WAR over a six year period. The going rate is around 5M/WAR on the free agent market but taking into account inflation this winter we can go with 5.5M/WAR. Hamilton would project to provide 105M worth of value over the course of this contract.

            Now overpaying for a free agent is not always a bad idea but I believe the above calculation presents a best case scenario for Hamilton’s skill set. I personally think he is going to fall flat on his face in a couple of years. He has fairly poor pitch recognition skills (or just doesn’t care enough to apply them which is probably worse… see olivio) and his main skill (i.e., bat speed) doesn’t age particularly well. I don’t think he will be anywhere close to the player he has been over the life of his next contract. All of this adds up to an albatross…

            I guess you missed the point of my 2nd post. I wasn’t saying there were much better options to be had (however Chris Young is a very interesting option per Seidman today) on the trade market, I was saying that we could find the same amount of value that Swisher/Hamilton would provide in multiple players. Obviously the biggest need of the team is the OF but that doesn’t mean we need to force a round peg into a square hole… As someone mentioned above Sizemore isn’t a dependable option (or Guti). Diversifying risk (instead of concentrating it in one player) would be a smarter decision for this roster as of right now.

            Your thought process is oddly reminiscent of Bavasi… Maybe if he hadn’t thought we needed a true ace we would have Jones. Or Choo, Cabrera, etc. Entire roster man, we could focus on a higher end pitcher for the #5 spot with the expectation to flip him at the deadline and come to similar roster in terms of total value as making a big signing. Think big picture, Hamilton shouldn’t be apart of it.

          • JJ Allen Keller

            How is me not wanting to give up tons of prospects when we have money reminiscent of Bavasi? You are the one who is for trading prospects who could turn into good players in the future. Im not down with trading Walker and Franklin for Upton when he is even more inconsistent than Hamilton. To me that is overpaying even more so than with Hamilton. I understand we will have to “overpay” for Hamilton, but thats what is happening now. $200 million is the new $100 million. Albert Pujols got $260 mill ($25/year). Prince got $219 (~$22/year). I think $115 ( ~$19-19.5/year) for Hamilton is what it will take, and isnt very high compared to what the norm is now.
            I understand where you are coming from, and the calculations make sense, although Im not sure the -.5 WAR a year is very fair. Do you really expect Hamilton to be a 3 WAR player in 3 years?

            I think you have a different view of what we need. We were the WORST offensive team in the league last year. Do you expect .325 wOBA, 97 wRC+ Chris Young to get us to where we need to be? You have to spend money to succeed in this league (unless you are the A’s and get lucky every 10 years), especially in the best division in baseball. We need a legit bat. We have money to spend. Why not use it rather than get a similar/lesser bat and have to give up young, valuable players? We could sign Swisher and still have a lower payroll than we did at the beginning of last year.
            If there is a logical, possible alternative through trade that doesnt involve Walker or Hultzen, then Im for it. But im not sure that exists.
            I really like Allen Craig, and want him here. But I am willing to trade Walker and Franklin+ to get him? Im not sure. Am I willing to raise payroll to $75 million to get Swisher or Hamilton? Yes.

            Please read my first plan, as it involves a trade for a bat rather than a signing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Leder/100002822126437 Ken Leder

            I’d prefer Swisher over Hamilton especially with both of them up in age. The more likely one to have a sudden decline would likely be Hamilton. Swisher on the other hand has a more prototypical skill set of a guy who would have a longer career granted towards the tail end of the contract we’d still probably get negative value, but at this point I think it’s okay. Mariners can’t just stand pat at this point plus Mariners payroll will still be cheap with all the pre-arbitration guys up, and coming up in the future.You also want to consider the new TV deal coming up which may make this deal make even more sense for the Mariners.

          • JJ Allen Keller

            Yeah, I keep changing my opinion honestly. I dont think I would be angry with a trade or signing, as long as it makes sense. We need a legit bat, not more 6-7 hitters. With the young pitching we have (assuming we dont trade it), we can succeed with an average offense.

            I just want to make sure that if we are trading away one of the Big 3, that we are getting something back that can really help the team, and brings enough value to offset the loss in pitching we take.We will still build around pitching, so to take away from that, we better get something worthwhile back.
            Hope that made sense.

          • SeattleSteve

            I don’t favor overpaying in a trade either. The reason I liked the idea of trading for Upton this winter was because his value took such a hit this year. I never advocated trading any of the big three. But I’m not necessarily against it for the right value.. especially given that pitchers are the riskiest prospects in baseball.

            Craig is an interesting option… but Walker for Craig is an overpay. Exploring options on the trade market is about searching for better value than the free agent market is providing. A Lueke for Jaso, Guthrie for Hammel, Pagan for Torres, etc is out there every winter, its about identifying it. Chris Young would add a value to the roster and probably wouldn’t be cost prohibitive. The Bavasi comment was regarding how you keep saying we need a MOTO bat to contend.. while that might be the easiest way for this team to contend it could be detrimental to remain fixated on the needing a MOTO bat and let it affect decision making process.

        • JJ Allen Keller

          Also, what guys are available through trade who would have as much impact as these guys? Remember, the team has to be willing to trade him too. In my opinion, there arent any better OF options available.

  • Joe

    @4437154a7ef36ed0111e757a7c73088b:disqus
    Yeah it will probably take another key player like James Paxton to complete the deal. Its a huge package going to AZ but with our situation in outfiled JZ needs a major upgrade and adding Upton is justifable IMO.
    The line would look like this:
    Ackley-2B
    Saunders-LF
    Upton-RF
    Martinez-C (until Zunino’s promotion). Cover off days at C/1B/DH
    Montero-DH
    Seager-3B
    Smoak-1B
    Guti-CF
    Ryan-SS.

    • JJ Allen Keller

      Martinez cannot catch every day, maybe not even at all. Plus, he doesnt bring that much more than Jaso, and we would have to trade Wilhelmsen.
      Paxton, Franklin and SAnchez probably dont get him either. Think Walker, Franklin and Catricala.

    • SeattleSteve

      I like the Upton trade idea but I don’t think AZ ships him anywhere this winter as they will likely be looking for him to re-establish some value before trading him.

      Martinez doesn’t really fill a need for us. He fits the same mold as Jaso/Montero as a C/DH/1B type. And due to his surgery I’m not sure he can be depended on to catch. Additionally he wouldn’t take as much in a trade as you think due to his contract (a good example of this is the Gonzo/ Beckett dump this summer). Although I think he will remain productive over his contract he doesn’t fit our roster very well.

  • Matthias_Kullowatz

    To: All

    I agree that Upton is a risky long-term pickup coming from very light, warm air to very heavy, often cold air. I still think he’d be a great player, but better than the prospects we have to give up? Probably not dollar-for-dollar, and maybe not even in raw value added.

    As Steve mentioned, Hamilton is quite the free-swinger. You might argue he’s had this problem forever, and still produced his 8-WAR MVP season and all that.

    But starting in 2009, here are his chase rates (outside the zone): 37.6%, 35.9% (MVP), 36.7%, 42.3%. But it wasn’t only a chasing problem in 2012…inside the zone, Hamilton swung more often–not necessarily a bad thing–but missed more often. Here are his (in the zone) contact rates since 2009: 79.5%, 82.3%, 82.7%, 77.5%.

    Could these just be blips? Of course. But do you want to risk it on a five or six-year deal? I don’t.

    If the money can’t be spent other places, then sure, get Hamilton or Swisher on a long-term deal. I’d rather the money go to a player than an owner. But FA options like Sizemore, Villanueva, and Iwakuma; trade options like Sean Rodriguez; and internal options like Zunino, Paxton, Franklin, Walker, etc. could all very well make the same splash with less commitment.

    When to pull the trigger on the free-agent marking has gotta be a tough decision. Maybe this is the year to start with the seemingly thick pool of outfielders. But I would appreciate it if JackZ went through some other options first…

  • glasshouses

    Reports circulating around Cleveland are that Sizemore will miss all of 2013 as well, having possibly recently had microfracture surgery on his right knee. (Same surgery he had on left knee in 2010 — was out 10-11 months.) So it’s probably a no-go on that one. For any team.

  • maqman

    Forget Hamilton, Swisher and either Upton, they are not worth what they will cost. The Twins are in a position to trade either Denard Span or Josh Willingham for pitching. They both put up 3.9 WAR this year and are signed at reasonable prices for the next two or three seasons. Span at $4.75MM for 2013 and $6.5MM for 2014 with at $9MM option for 2015 with a $.5MM buyout, while Willingham is signed for $7MM per season for 2013 and 2014 with no option or buyout. Neither Hamilton or Swisher or the Uptons are that cost effective per WAR.

    • JJ Allen Keller

      Half of Span’s WAR came from his defense. We dont need a CF with an average bat. We need a MOTO guy.
      Willingham makes some sense, and I have talked about that before, but he is 33, and hasnt always been this good. Plus he would lose quite a few HR in Safeco.

      I dont know if some of you realize we were the worst offenseive team last year. It will take more than a solid bat to turn this around and get us into contention in the best division in the league

    • MattyK

      I don’t think the Twins are going to part with Willingham without a big package in return. Minnesota fans have turned on Mauer and Morneau, and Willingham has replaced them as a fan-favorite slugger. Twins were certainly shopping Span around this season, but I’d prefer a power bat in one of the corner positions instead of a light hitting centerfielder.

  • MattyK

    I’m not sure if this is a case where its fair to compare Hamilton and Swisher’s defense with UZR. I’d speculate that Hamilton’s mediocre UZR is in part that he’s put in a lot of time playing out of position incenter field without real rangy teammates in the corners, when you look at Hamilton’s rating in the corners its much higher.

    Still, the safer bet might be Swisher in regards to his bat, but its hard to pass up the high ceiling that Hamilton brings.

  • mat

    JJ, don’t quit your day job to be a baseball writer/insider. Of the player first mentioned, onle the one of re-signing Iwakuma makes sense. You give NO respect to Vargas-but no one else does either. Trade him? He is the reincarnation of Orel hershieser-gamer,grinder,bulldog! Swisher-$100m+…Jack is not Bavassi! Hamilton–no-don’t do it-i don’t care if he can mash the ball. All the others you mentioned-pleeeaaaassssseeee give me a break. NONE of them will bring this team to the promised land, so why even think they can help. This team needs Felix, vargas, Iwekuma to lead the pitchers. And plug offensive hole and make the offense just average. Go with the strong pitching to lead this team. Add some speed, even if you have to move carp, smoak, thames, wells(tho i like wells). Speed is cheaper than power hitters-except for figgins.