Sep 27, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton (32) on deck in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

What Hamilton to the Angels means for the Ms


I am sure all of you heard the news about Josh Hamilton agreeing to a 5 year, $125 million contract with the AL West rival Angels. This is bad news for not only the Hamilton-or-busters, but really for every Mariner fan. Even if you did not find Hamilton enticing, you cannot like seeing him sign with a rival, especially one who was already a very good team.

I, personally, was somewhere in the middle. I was not all in on Josh as some were, but I did like him for the right price. I might have even given him the deal that LA did, but I have a feeling we would have had to beat that offer by quite a bit. Playing for an 89 win team with the likes of Albert Pujols and Mike Trout is a little more attractive than coming to a young team with a lot of question marks in a pitchers park.

Now many of you may be thinking the Ms absolutely need to sign Nick Swisher or someone comparable so we can try to match what the Angels did, and I understand where you are coming from. But I strongly disagree.

In my opinion, the Mariners have two options at this point.

  • They can either sit tight and maybe make a few smaller additions such as Jason Kubel or Mike Morse to at least stay relevant, but not go after a big time free agent, or
  • They can go all out and bring in 3-4 big time players like Swisher, Justin Upton, Michael Bourn and a pitcher.

Let me explain what some people may think of as crazy.

Option one makes sense because they aren’t going to compete in this division, even if they bring in one big name bat like many hoped for. 3.5 – 4 WAR Nick Swisher does not get us anywhere but 3rd place at best. He probably never would have instantly brought the Ms to contention, but now there is almost no chance. No one or two players are going to be able to catch the Angels, at least for the next few years.

That’s why it makes sense to stay put for now, and reassess next year or the year after. Then we can bring in a bat that will still be around when the Angels are old and the Ms have a chance to win. Bringing in Swisher on a 4-5 year deal when they won’t compete until the last two years of the deal, when Swisher is most likely no more than an average player, does not help.

Wait it out, then make your big splash in 2014 or 2015.

As for option two, it is the only chance the Ms have at competing in the next year or two. They are way behind the Angels now, and it would take multiple top players to stay with them. I’m talking signing Swisher, Bourn and Edwin Jackson, no matter what it takes. Trading for Upton no matter what it takes. Doing whatever is needed to get the players that will keep you in the hunt.

Unfortunately, I think option one is much more likely for this team. Ownership has not shown a huge desire to win, and I don’t expect that to change. I see Jack trading for a 2nd or 3rd tier guy like Mike Morse or Jason Kubel, and waiting the rest out. As hard as it is to admit, that may be the best option for this current Mariner team.

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Tags: Angels Josh Hamilton Nick Swisher Offseason Seattle Mariners

  • dubinsky

    or there’s the third option. recognize that the Mariners aren’t gonna be able to compete for a three more years….and trade Hernandez for a a bunch of prospects and build slowly

    • JCondreay

      In four years from now, Felix will be just 30. He probably won’t even be on a downhill slide yet. The idea of trading Felix for prospects doesn’t make sense because in many ways, Felix still is a prospect since he may not have even realized his full potential yet. HE’S 26, thats younger than some prospects out there.
      The purpose of trading for prospects in to get better for the future. In four years, Felix will be more productive than any group of prospects we would ever get in return for him, so we would only be downgrading ourselves for when we would be making a playoff run.
      Sure we could get a handful of good youngsters, but the chances of any of them becoming the player that Felix is is just about 0%, and there is no guarantee that any of them will do anything.
      There is no way to justify taking a risk like that.

      • dubinsky

        four years from now, he may well be better, but he’s likely to be pitching for another team by then.

        • JJ Allen Keller

          Where do you even get that from? Have you payed any attention to him?
          As soon as he says he doesnt want to re-sign with us, we trade him. Otherwise he is worth more than any haul we get.

          • dubinsky

            we’ll see if he’s ready to sign with the Mariners. the organization is saying that they’re trying to negotiate an extension with him at present.

            let’s see if they reach agreement.

    • maqman

      Felix gets it. He recognizes the talent around him and their potential and I realize it’s counter intuitive but he really likes it in Seattle, it’s his home town now. I’m pretty sure all it will take is a market value, or something close to it, contract to keep him here. He ain’t going anywhere. He’s already “The Man” in Seattle.

      • dubinsky

        the talent around him is below average, …. obviously, and the Msare competing in a division where there are two teams with vastly superior talent.

        Seattle is pretty much shunned by free agents due to the lack of talent and lack of any positive results and lack of an ability to compete any time soon.

        Hernandez may wanted to pitch in a playoff game or two before he’s thirty.

        • maqman

          No doubt Felix is a better judge of talent than you are. Both Texas and LAAof A have lost more fWAR than they have signed this off season, the M’s have not. Losing Greinke probably hurt the Angels more than Hamilton can replace, not to mention Hunter, Haren and Santana. Without any further additions, except from within our system, the M’s will be a .500 or better team next season.

          • dubinsky

            really?

            Seattle had the worst offense in the American League, scoring the fewest runs, with the least power and the lowest batting average…. and of course, they finished last in the West.

            the Angels now have an elite offense and are about to acquie more pitching, maq…….. and while Greinke is a pretty good pitcher, he appeared in a total of ….13… games for the Angels….and won 6.

            you’re not thinking, you’re emoting.

            and a “.500″ team isn’t going to be in the playoffs.

          • maqman

            I’m sorry, my first sentence was too personally negative. I have heard Felix interviewed when he was going on about all the good young talent on the club was and how he feels they are only going to get better. That’s a view I share. I get that a .500 team is not going to contend in 2013, unless they get lucky. However I think they will contend in 2014 and continue to contend for some further years into the future. I believe they are better than you credit them. I guess that makes me a glass half full guy.

          • dubinsky

            the full part of the glass is the minor league pitching that might, next year or the year after, help to turn the Mariners staff into a deep one…..

            but, the offense still stinks

          • JJ Allen Keller

            Losing Greinke is a big loss. I don’t care how many games he won. Wins for pitchers don’t tell you anything.
            They lost him, and Haren, and Hunter and gained Hamilton.
            The rangers lost Hamilton, Napoli, Dempster. The division could be weaker this year. Improvement from LA and us, decline from TEX and OAK.

          • dubinsky

            JJ—- they barely had him…so they’re not really worse for having not retained him…..

            my point is that their results from last season don’t reflect much of a contribution from him. a 6-2 record represents a + 2 game contribution.

            Hamilton is worth more than that even if he plays not much more than half a season for them.

  • Timelee

    What will we be in 2 or 3 years, the royals, the Astros, the Indians? The Indians sounds about right. A team always spinning there wheels never accomplishing more then 81 wins and a possible whiff of the post season while attendance continues to decline into a spiraling pit of becoming the major league farm team of the teams that can afford our good players. Maybe the Mariners should move to Oklahoma. In a few years we might make to the finals, oops I mean the World Series. Z give us something that lets us know that our future is not that.

    • JJ Allen Keller

      You act as tho Z isnt trying. Do you honestly think he is just sitting back and watching? Its not easy to get people to seattle.

      He cant win with people like you. He doesnt do anything and you say stuff like that. Or he overpays to get you what you want, and you still dont like it

      • Timelee

        First of all people like me care enough to look here and other places religiously for pertinent mariner news. I do appreciate you responding to my post. But I think you misconstrued my post, I was mostly responding to dubinsky’s post that we should trade felix and what the outcome of that would be, at the same time I was also expressing my frustration at letting Hamilton goto the angels, and finally expressing my fear that we are turning into the forever rebuilding team. Last night I also was attempting to communicate to “Z” that mariner nation needs a response or an update. He might be working but he needs to let us in on that, which he did today and for that I am very thankful. So if “Z” or one his people is reading this, thank you. I am fully aware that we would have way overpaid for a hope or a chance at a hope, but after 10 years we are getting losing blindness. So thankfully we do have “Z” for a GM. With that said, I would like to see us add something soon. I’m starting to get jealous of the royals; wait, did I just say that…

        • JJ Allen Keller

          In 1998, the Mariners decided not to re-sign Randy Johnson, trading him
          mid-summer for three prospects. They were criticized for not doing what
          it takes to keep star players in Seattle.

          In 1999, Ken Griffey Jr asked for a trade. He was tired of losing and
          decided he’d rather finish his career in Cincinnati. The Mariners were
          criticized for not doing what it takes to keep star players in Seattle.

          In 2000, Alex Rodriguez became a free agent, and chose to sign with the
          division rival Texas Rangers. The Mariners were criticized for not doing
          what it takes to keep star players in Seattle.

          The 1998 Mariners won 76 games with Johnson, Griffey, and Rodriguez. The
          1999 Mariners won 79 games with Griffey and Rodriguez. The 2000
          Mariners won 91 games with Rodriguez. The 2001 Mariners won 116 games
          without any of them.”

          -Dave Cameron, USS Mariner

          Just think about that. Also, its not his job to tell us everything he is doing. He obviously likes to keep it in house, and theres nothing wrong with that. I dont see why you think we deserve to know everything, cause we dont. Thats not how it works.
          Also, we were used as leverage in these FA’s contracts. Everyone knew we were interested, so we were used as a pawn. Information out into the public is not always a good thing.

          And overpaying for the sake of doing something is never a good idea. It will just start another losing period like this. We need to wait it out, and see what we really have. We cant assume the young guys will regress or improve, cause they are still too young to know. Is one more year of losing really not worth more certainity and quite possibly more winning in the future?

  • maqman

    The M’s would have had to have offered more years or money to entice Hamilton to Seattle, if it was even possible and he’s not worth what he is getting. If he went back to Texas we still would end up facing him every season as we have for the past five. It does weaken Texas and strengthen the Angels but both lost out to the A’s this year so they needed to improve. The Angels have, Texas hasn’t. The Angels are going down the same road as the Yankees and getting older and older every year, that will inevitably cause problems sooner or later. We are paying the cost for having a young and still developing team but I think we will be better than most of the doom and gloom prognosticators think. We don’t have the drag of Figgins, Olivo and Noesti to deal with, we have a great bullpen and Iwakuma will contribute all season next year and some of Smoak, Carp, Ackley, Montero and Zunino, Franklin and Romero will add some firepower next season. That’s not even considering what some of the Big Four pitchers might contribute. We’re going to be at least a .500 team, if not better, We are making sustainable progress. I fully support Jack’s view. He’s using the Rays template however with more money but less sunshine to offer.

    • Matthias_Kullowatz

      I like what you said about the A’s. Even if the M’s are a 75-80 win team next year on paper, like the A’s were last season, that doesn’t mean they can’t win now. If they fluke their way into a bunch of close wins (Baltimore), or if everyone simultaneously overproduces (Oakland), then this team could find itself in the playoffs. There’s no reason NOT to get Swisher on a reasonable contract to boost those chances a little bit.

      • JJ Allen Keller

        I think there is. If there is a good chance we dont compete, we could end up wasting our resources that could be used when we can compete. I am not totally against it, I just think that by the time we are ready to compete again for sure and LA is old (3-5 years) Swisher will be a “meh” player as stated in your post before.

        • Matthias_Kullowatz

          Well, the contract should not be long or huge, for sure. But I don’t think a 4/60 contract for Swisher cripples this team. Probably not even a 4/70.