It’s always fun to sit and just talk baseball. We’ve been doing it in my new office a lot lately and I have really enjoyed it. As per normal baseball conversation at this time of year, we talk about the World Series and the playoffs. The thing is –nobody– at this point actually has a rooting interest in the World Series. I mean the Captain in my office is a Braves fan, my boss is a Rockies fans, my P-I-C is a Tigers fan and how would any office be complete without a token Yankees fan.
The thing is, we’ve reached the point that none of us have a rooting interest in any of the teams left. Sure we root for/against those teams we despise (I’m looking at you Texas). This fact pushes the dialogue to being more in the works of hot stove/rosterbation based.
I love this topic. In fact I don’t really know of anyone who doesn’t like to talk various forms of A)rosterbation or B) off-season movement.
I’ve admittedly avoided talking about that stuff here on the blog for the better part of the month because it’s just natural to want to get into it right after the season being over. The problem with that primarily is that you have 5 months of off-season. As much as I enjoy talking trades, player movement and free-agents there is time for that after the playoffs.
Jumping headlong into — what I’m sure is going to be a month of Prince Fielder – free-agent talk is just not fair to the game we love. These playoffs have been fun and the Yankees/Tigers series was great the Phillies/Cardinals was solid and surprisingly so was the DBacks/Brewers series. The Confrence championships were fun and resulted in some late nights for all you living in America. Were already headed into Game 3 now of the World Series and as we all (Mariner fans) dread the possibility of yet another AL West team winning a World championship we also slowly start to think about November and the coming excitement over what moves the Mariners will make this off-season.
But before I or anyone else starts talking about Free-Agents or Possible Trade Suggestions we first need to start talking 40-man roster.
Shannon Drayer got us started just about two weeks ago with a solid write up.
You can see the Mariners 40-man below in the google doc.
As it stands the Mariners have 43 men on the current roster. This happened because of Franklin Gutierrez, Adam Moore and David Aardsma all being on the 60-day disabled list. That said, by Nov.18 is when teams have to submit their 40-man rosters for Rule-V protection and before then there is going to be at least a few changes.
At most that clears 6 spots. They need something closer to 33,34 prior to adding minor leaguers. Speaking of which rather than compiling a complete list of players who are available for the Rule-V draft I created a spreadsheet using the current minor league rosters and high lighting whom was vulnerable in this year’s draft.
But one individual that Shannon Drayer pointed out isn’t currently assigned to a specific team but is a really interesting prospect. That would be the flame thrower Philippe Valiquette. The former Reds lefty who touches near triple digits (albeit with little to no control) was signed this past August as a minor league free-agent.
Obviously, as Shannon pointed out, the Mariners will have to include him in their decision making process. Along with Valiquette, Mrs Drayer also mentioned Carlos Triunfel, Fransico Martinez and Chih-Hsien Chiang. Let me throw a few more names at you:
Scott Savastano – I’m a proud card carrying cult of Savastano member. Do I expect him to be added? No. But I can just see someone scooping him up and being a really good utility guy that hits for average and plays a few different positions not terribly.
Nate Tenbrink – Tenbrink is a huge question mark. He had an exciting 2010 and then since the injury he’s been a little hit or miss. He’s got speed, he looks like at least an average defender as a corner outfielder, and he’s got a bit of pop too. It’ll be interesting to see what come of Nate.
Steven Hensley – I’ve talked about him, Jon Shields has talked about him and I’ve even seen Jason Churchill mention him. He most likely has a chance to win a bullpen job in 2012, but that comes with the asterisks that he has to remain healthy and show command of his pitches. I tend to believe he’ll be added, but he’s certainly not a lock.
Bobby LaFromboise – For all the talk that Brian Moran gets, I actually like Bobby better. I don’t think LaFromboise will get added to the 40 man and he’s exactly the type of guy that gets selected in the Rule-V a guy that gets lefties out and is cheap.
Daniel Carroll – A high schooler from the 2007 draft, his speed and patience really made him one of the quiet but exciting prospects in the Mariners but he’s still far away and he swings and misses a lot. I don’t think he’s going to get added. That’s just my opinion.
Everyone can see guys that aren’t likely to stay with this team post Nov. 18th. Such as Jeff Gray, Mike Wilson, Chris Gimenez and could include Cesar Jimenez. All that said a couple of guys that aren’t talked about much are Dan Cortes and Johermyn Chavez.
Cortes, owner of a mid 90’s fastball, was looking simply electric at this time last year. His move from the rotation to the bullpen looked like it was going to be a good move. Then this season came and his control problems returned.
Despite striking out 10+ batters per 9/innings, he also averaged over 6 walks per 9/innings. He started to look better as the season went out and then came up and pitched 8 mediocre innings before hurting himself in an off-field incident.
I’m not saying he could be straight up released but it’s possible the Mariners are more than willing to make him part of any Nov deal.
Chavez is a little bit of a different story. After obliterating High Desert last year Chavez was a part of a very disappointing Jackson Generals middle-of-the-line-up.
There are some positives to take from the season, as he improved his walk rate and had the highest line drive percentage of his career (18.6%) but that said he posted a wOBA of .304 and an ISO of .144. So while he may have been getting on base more via walks his hitting was poor and what hits he did have didn’t go for extra bases. There are certainly some issues with his overall game, much as there are some positives.
That said, there is quiet an accumulation of outfielders right now in the organization and being that Chavez does have a bit more value than say Carlos Peguero or Greg Halman, it could make sense to include him in a November deal. Not saying the organization should do it but more that it could be an option.
I also have my own opinion about the likes of Yoevis Medina as well as Maurico Robles. Suffice to say one I would keep Robles and flip Medina. Probably not the popular opinion but I’ve never fit in with the cool crowd, why start at 27?
There are a lot of options with this current roster and I’m pretty sure that someone is either going to get left off the 40-man or cut that will probably disappoint me. that said, we’re at the point were tough choices need to be made and it should be interesting to see how everything shakes out.