September 28, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Casper Wells (33) during the sixth inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Ms should find Casper a platoon partner

It is looking less likely as time goes along that the Mariners will make a huge splash this offseason. They very well still could, but with Josh Hamilton off the market and an increased interest in Nick Swisher from multiple teams, a big time move does not seem very likely.

I said last week that at this point, the Ms have two options: go all out, or sit tight and reevaluate next year after the young guys have shown a little more. I still believe that those are two good options, but I would like to add to that.

I think the Mariners need to find a platoon for Casper Wells. Platoons are very undervalued, despite the ability to be very effective when implemented correctly. People tend to assume that platoons are only good for teams that don’t have anything else, but that is not the case.

Casper Wells absolutely dominated left handed pitching last year, to the tune of .891 OPS, .382 wOBA and 150 wRC+. There is no reason that the Ms should not be playing him against lefties. If he can hit like that, along with above average defense and speed, he is the ideal 4th outfielder and one half of a platoon.

Now, some of you may have a bad taste in your mouth from the Eric Thames/Wells platoon that was sub-par last season, but that is precisely why the Ms need to find him a suitable platoon partner. His production coupled with a similar left handed batter, could make for a very valuable player.

Here are some examples of guys who would be a good “other half” for the friendly ghost.

Garrett Jones

The Ms were actually linked to the 31 year old outfielder/1st baseman during the winter meetings, but talks cooled down, presumably when the Pirates offered Jones for Taijuan Walker. There were also reports that there were talks of a John Jaso, Justin Smoak and Hector Noesi for Jones and pitcher Joel Hanrahan. Obviously both of those trade are awful, but if the price were to come down to Jason Vargas+ or something like that, then it would be a great move.

Last year, Jones hit .274/.317/.516 overall, but we want to focus on him as a platoon player. In 2012 he put up an .888 OPS, .374 wOBA and 138 wRC+ against right handed pitchers. That is very similar t0 Wells against lefties, and would make for some great production in right field.

In fact, lets examine how great the production would be.

If you take Jones vs. RHP and Wells vs. LHP, you get a .276/.348/.541/.889 — .378 wOBA — 144 wRC+ line from your right fielder(s). That kind of production would be welcomed in Seattle, and would only cost the trade return for Jones, and $5-6M a year.

Jones isn’t worth what the rumors suggested, but if he can had without giving up any current offensive starters or the top specs, then he makes a lot of sense.

David DeJesus

The journeyman outfielder doesn’t have quite as much pop as Jones, but he certainly knows how to hit right handed pitching. He would also most likely come cheaper than Jones judging by the rumors.

Last year, DeJesus hit .263/.350/.403 for the Cubs, but the splits that we are focusing on look even better. DeJesus put up a .358 wOBA and 122 wRC+ versus righties last year, compared to an embarrassing .225/33 against lefties. I think its safe to say he would be a platoon only guy.

If he were buddied up with Wells last year, the duo would have made for a .278/.364/.494 — .370 wOBA — 136 wRC+ line last year. Like Jones, his services could be very valuable to this team if he comes at the right price. Jones makes a little more sense because he brings more power potential, but DeJesus makes up for it with his on-base ability, and would be fine with me.

Those are just a couple options available. As seen above, both guys could have a huge impact on the offense without giving up too much. As I write this, I am seeing that Jason Vargas was traded for Kendrys Morales, but that doesn’t really change anything in my opinion. Morales and a left handed platoon could make for a decent offseason as the young guys develop.

Bottom line is, platoons work, and they make a ton of sense for this current team. Let the young guys grow, and bring in some help around them. At this point, it makes more sense that going over the top for a free agent.

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Tags: Casper Wells David DeJesus Garrett Jones Platoon Seattle Mariners

  • mat

    If all jack can do is shore up weaknesses with the right platoons-go for it. Well JJ-Jack got rid of Vargas for ya. Not the best win-win for both teams, but Morales will add aome pop. Vargas could have a career year there with that offense backing him up. Boras is Morales’s agent-crap; forget trying to get an ext.

    • JJ Allen Keller

      It was a great trade. Morales>Vargas

      • mat

        As a Vargas fan; eventho I’m in the minority, He will greatly benifit with that offense behind him. Seattle gets a good, strong bat and he has hit good+ at safeco. The only bad thing attatched to Morales is-BORAS. NO ext possible, no way, no how. Now where is jack going to get 200 solid innings? Really don’t want 3 SP spots going to youngerling to cut their teeth-and see who’s go it. A nice vet would be good like Villanova-opps he signed with cubs. You know, another millwood type vet-experience-leadership-lightning in a bottle would be nice. As it right now-that gives m’s 4 with 20+ hr potential. Not including Montero if he takes it up a notch.
        -so 1 more bat and a vet pitcher to go. Be nice to add some speed-i’m talking bazing speed. Dyson would make a great designated pinch runner.

        • JJ Allen Keller

          You are the kind of person that makes it so the Ms can never win. You want offense, but complain when we get it. Vargas would have been hurt by the fences, and is only on a one year deal also. Its not like we gave up tons of control.
          They can still go sign Liriano or Jurrjens to fill out the rotation.

          • mat

            Let me spell this in English for you, I said: “Seattle gets a good, strong bat and he has hit good+ at safeco”. WHERE DID I COMPLAIN??????? PS: Boras almost NEVER extends his clients. Translation is: chances are Seattle will not be able to extend Morales-without him testing free agency. When was the last time Boras get an extention vs becoming a FA for his client?? Hm?
            -and can you give some hard facts that the fences moving in would hurt vargas?!? Not that crap you spew of giving 2 or 3 hr in a game. Cuz going from 9HR at safeco in ’12 to 2 to3 a game shows your thought process or lack of it. AND the fences moving in would affect EVERY pitcher to some degree, NOT just HR allowed.
            -Luriano or Jurrjens would be good choices.
            -isn’t it time for your mom to call you out of the basement for lunch?

            -How to win at safeco field:
            Strong SP and a nasty bullpen. This shortens the game for the other team. If Seattle has the lead after 6(or7,8) then the BP slams the door!
            With a big field of play-defense and speed are more important. speed as in can cover alot of ground AND steal bases. To try and power the ball over the fences can lead to hitter frustration-as we have seen. Some power is needed but with balance. You have to be more focused on hitting it between the lines and not as much-over the fence. Defense-run saved is a run earned.
            2011-SP: felix,pineda,vargas, fister, bedard
            2012-felix, vargas, millwood, beaven, Erasmo , NO Noesi-then Iwakuma 2nd half
            2013-felix, Iwakuma, beaven, Erasmo, ?
            Prospect are unfproven untill they prove themselves. Chances are maybe 2 of those pitchers will be solid contributors at the ML level. Anyone who is thinking of a rotation of: felix, Iwakuma, hultzen, walker, paxson in 2014 is clueless.

          • JJ Allen Keller

            I didnt read half of it because you starting acting like a little baby.

            1st, judging by what i read, you are a typical complainer Ms fan. Whatever they do isnt good enough, and you find something wrong with it, and dont understand how building a team works.

            Second, “Its not Boras’s contract to sign. He can push a player all he wants,
            but if a guy wants to play here, he’ll play here (if the offer is on the
            table). Besides, we currently have a good rapport with Boras… Ackley
            is a Boras client, Millwood was, then Nick Franklin and James Paxton.
            Plus we were heavily in on the talks with Fielder… GMZ has been
            dealing with Boras enough over the last three years that I don’t think
            Kendrys being a Boras client is going to be a huge negative or anything.
            It means Kendry will get what he’s worth, but it surely doesn’t mean
            he’s 100% walking away from the Mariners once he’s a FA.”

            Vargas would have been hurt by the fences. That is pretty much a fact. You even agreed with it later by saying all pitcher would, but act like he wont? Being a massive fly ball pitcher, it will hurt him more.

            It doesnt make sense to build a team around pitching in a pitchers park. When Jason Vargas can be a #2, its obvious you dont need great pitching. It becomes redundant. We dont need great pitchers to have great pitching in Safeco. But we need great hitters to have great hitting.

            Its fine to have good pitching, but you cant ignore offense. You need a balance. Cant be top 10 in pitching and last in offense or vice versa.

            The thing is, we didnt give up good pitching for good hitting. We have up average pitching for very good hitting. We can add Liriano or something, then let the kids come.

            I dont think that 2014 is ridiculous at all. This organization knows how to develop pitching. Just because we have been unlucky with some hitting prospects doesnt mean that only 2 of the pitchers will succeed. I think there is a good chance 2 become mid-upper starters, and 2 become mid-late.

            You completely ignored Erasmo and Maurer too, so that increases the chances even more. Do you not know what you are saying, or are you just conveniently forgetting about them We will have no problems filling out a rotation. We do however have problems finding offense.

            Just calm down a little, and think about these things before overreacting.

          • mat

            1. I have no abiliy to influence the M’s to win or not. So Im not the kind of person that can make them neverr win; with my thoughts or player suggestion-like you said I do.
            2.What have they done that I complained about? I didnt complain about the trade-in fact I said he is a good strong bat. I compain about idiodic player trade suggstions from, well idiots. You should see the Angels fan board, now they are nuts.
            3. The fences are coming in 4 freaking ft-except for center. In right. 0 ft.
            4.Name the last player Boras exxtended before hitting FA??? READ THIS-Boras doesn’t do extentions. however, I will say it could happen.
            5. didn’t say Morales would walk away, I said that boras would have him test the market-thereby, Seattle would be vying for his services with everyone else. An extention would be a miricle for jack to pull off. And Jacks relationship with other Boras clients would have Nothing to do with working something out with morales. Working an extention is NOT the same as negotiating a contract with one of his FA clients.
            6. You do NEED good pitching; in a pitchers park, in a hitters park, in the play offs, in the WS.
            7. I agree that Morales is a good+ hitter. Now I hope we get more than 134 game out of him. He’s only played more than that twice.
            8. got me on forgetting Erasmo-my bad-he did very well in his starts and he kinda came out of no where and suprised. Maurer-almost no one mentions him. I see him in the mix, but cant cram 5 young guys into 3 spots. My point: can’t expect all of them to strike it rich and anchor thenselves in the rotation. Can’t expect it-can hope or wish. And Im not say as fact that only 2 will succeed, maybe 3 of them do-reality is: some will, some won’t.
            9. Yes its been frustating not finding some offense-and i do think Morales will be a good solid hitter-close to his 09 production would be nice.
            Side note//comment-what is going on with these GM’s and the money they are throwing at avg hitters.

            calm down, overreacting? does my typing sound like Im yelling -like yours does to me. plz laugh at that comment.

          • JJ Allen Keller

            You completely misinterpreted most of what I said.

            I didnt mean you make them win. I said that no matter what they do, you arent happy.

            The distance from home plate to the wall down the left-field line will remain at 331 feet.

            The distance at left-center will go from 390 feet to 378 feet.

            The deepest point will fall from 409 feet to 405 feet.

            Straightaway center will be reduced from 405 feet to 401 feet.

            The right-center field fence will go from 385 feet to 381 feet.

            The right-field fence down the foul line remains at 326 feet.

            Vargas is not a talented pitcher. He benefits from safeco, and would have been hurt by the fences.

            Of course you need pitching. But you are acting like because we are in a pitchers park we need to build around pitching, and thats not the case. In Safeco, you dont need great pitchers in order to have good pitching. When Vargas looks like a #2, you dont need to build around great pitchers. You need to find hitters who can succeed here, because it isnt easy to do.

            IMO, we should build around offense. You need a balance, but I think hitting is more important that pitching for the Ms.

  • maqman

    I agree on the platoon value JJ. DeJesus would probably be the easier get and still add value. With him and Jesus Montero they might be taken for a church team.

    The Nats, Tigers and Dodgers all need relief help. Capps and Pryor have years of team control left and have played in The Show and we could take the hit fairly easily. If LaRoche resigns with D.C. then Morse could be available. The Dodgers have too many major league arms and Capuano might be available. Victor Martinez might be surplus to requirements in Detroit. We can throw in some scraps if need be.

    Morales agent is Boras, he will become a free agent at the end of next season unless we pay the full market rate to keep him. Making him a qualifying offer will bring us a draft pick if he has a decent year and I think he will.

    It’s amazing how fast Z became a genius again. The team should be signing him to an extension.

    They might consider trying to convert The Bartender or Furbush to starters during spring training, just to see how they do. They can easily put them back in the bullpen if they don’t show promise.

    • mat

      Now if they could get a Bishop, Pastore, and a Revere(Reverend). Then check to see what the Cardinals have for trade. But they would need sundays off for church.
      In spring training last year we had a suzuki, kawasaki, and a Ford at one time.

      Now finally someone with some reasonalble comments. With Morales now aboard, Morse woudnt be the best fit-not the best OF and 1B/DH full. Capuano would be a good stop gap vet, and LAD might let him go cheap. VM would be a C/DH,-full there. He would be a good vet addition, but after the injury would be a concern. Furbush deserves a chance to earn a SPspot.
      Boras almost never gives extensions. Wants to see what market value is for player.
      Before this trade, would you have considered acquiring:
      1. Ryan Howard-and small part of remaining contract? Like 10m or so.
      2. Vernon Wells- and much smaller part of his contract? Like 5 to 7m. or what ever…
      You know Rios has rebounded in CHI. Give Wells a new team, new opportunity.

  • mat

    JJ said about me ” I said that no matter what they do, you arent happy.” If a player is suggested and I have comment of why they should not get him-that’s what you call “arent happy with what they do”? FACT-in my few post I have never said I was unhappy with what they did. In fact, the trade for Morales is the ONLY player move they’ve made since Ive been on here. And all I said was Boras was his agent and that Boras does not do extentions. There hav been others were Ive said yay or nay for one reason or another. So get OFF the Im not happy with what they do. ITs YOU that likes to criticize others who offer contary opinion to yours. Want to read some of your post?
    -This a forum for fans to chit chat, not a “make suggestions of what Jack should do”, hoping he is peaking in to get your input, cuz thats the way you sound: over and over and over.
    -Jack called, wants to know what you would offer swisher.

    -I will plead guilty to calling people names a few times. I was brought up to never call someone stupid.
    -my son had a laugh about your comment- good pitching vs great pitching and how Sea dosent need great pitching. For many years, the teams that make it to the WS have great pitching-period-fact-supported by sports writers and tv annalysis…Pretty much the 2 WS teams have 3 big guns leading thier rotation. That how it is done.
    -as far as Morales being a very good hitter-I hope so, very much.
    -Moving on- if we can get 1 more real hitter and a vet SP-this team will be better than last year.

    PS- found 28 comments by JZ regarding building the team with pitching and defense. that was just in 2010 and part of 2011. Dont read into it that he is/would disregard offense. So that means him and you are not on the same page.

    Im bored again with you, going over to the P.I. and see whats posting .

  • mat

    By the way, You said,”You are the kind of person that makes it so the Ms can never win.”

    then you come back and say, “You completely misinterpreted most of what I said, I didnt mean you make them win. I said that no matter what they do, you arent happy.”

    Nope, I understood the 1st comment. Not the edit later on.

  • Matthias_Kullowatz

    It looks like we got a platooner… IBANEZ!