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In God we trust. Everybody else needs data. - Rick Peterson

Monday, November 01, 2004

 

Keep Your Thinking Caps On, Please

Grazing through all of the sites speculating about Mariner moves this off-season, I have two principal reactions:
  1. Many fans are focusing too heavily on the free agent market. The Mariners have money to spend, and money is at least as valuable in trades as in the free agent market.

    I expect that the Mariners will make a strong and early push for the free agents they most want. If the Mariners are not successful with their primary free agent targets, I expect they will next move to the trade market instead of going after the free agents in which they have less interest.

    I encourage readers to also think about players on other teams that might fill the Mariners needs, especially where the Mariners can parlay their ability to assume salary. And if you want to think rationally about trades, be sure to include in the trade players that it will hurt to lose. For another team to trade a front-line player, they must also get back decent value, as well as shedding salary. Remember that the other team still needs to sell tickets, and to do so it still needs to sell hope to its fans.

  2. Where there are fans discussing trades, we are seeing the usual abundance of postings where fans seem to think that other teams will trade their jewels for our junk. If a Mariners player is marginally productive or is overpaid, every other team in baseball will likely view him the same way. That means the only players other teams are willing to offer in return would be similar marginal and overpaid players.

    And when a team packages those marginally productive or overpaid players with other players of value (such as prospects) tbe team gets less in return.

    This means that:
    • Bret Boone has negative trade value unless the Mariners are willing to assume salary

    • As long as Gil Meche qualifies for arbitration, he has no trade value.

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