September 28, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics designated hitter Jonny Gomes (31) reacts to a called third strike during the seventh inning at O.co 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):
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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.