Monday, December 22, 2003

Basic stream of consciousness entry today....

Firstly, thanks Mike for updating the template. It's much easier to read now. Secondly Merry Christmas, happy New Year and the generic "Happy Holidays" to everyone. I'll be sporadically writing until after the 1st of the year. Now on to the M's.

Various people are slapping themselves on the back about Freddy's one year deal for the same salary as last year. Frankly I'm not that enthused about it. Paying a guy worth $3 to $4 million a year, $6.875 million doesn't seem to be an act worthy of congratulations. Various scribes have mentioned that several other teams would have bid up his price if he was allowed to enter the free agent market and he would have "earned" an increase if he'd gone to arbitration. They also mention that he's more "tradable" now. Frankly I dispute all the above. I don't think the bidding would have gone over $4 million a year for his services, I don't think he stood a chance in winning an arbitration contest and I don't see why over paying him by 100% makes him more tradable. About the only argument I can't dispute is that the M's wouldn't have done anything better with the money so they may as well give it to Freddy instead of getting Derek Bell.

There are also kudos going around for the Ichiro signing. Reading between the lines leads me to believe that this was entirely a Yamauchi deal. He dictated that Ichiro was going to get a long term deal, not go to arbitration and get higher than market value. Hey, it's his money just don't throw the whole "budget" thing at the fans during the year when we know there is flexibility.

The continued efforts to trade Guillen perplex me. He must have really pissed someone off in the organization. The names being thrown about (Visquel, Aurilla, Valentin) just don't seem to amount to anything resembling a significant upgrade.

Having locked up most of the starting 25 the M's have very few areas left to upgrade. I don't see them being savvy enough to package some of their excess and turn it into upgrades.

Regarding Cirillo nixing the Mets trade. The guy wants to get released so he can go pick his next team. My question is, can he be sent to the minor leagues? My thinking is, if you're going to pay the guy, you may as well have him in reserve in case of injury. He does have value as a late inning defensive replacement. My guess is that if they tried to send him to the minors he could demand his release instead and they'd still owe him the money. Cirillo is right about one thing. It's not about the contract. It's the fact that he's no longer a MLB hitter. The contract just makes him untradable unless the M's get as big a boat anchor in return.

A parting word about the A-Rod shenanigans. First of all part of me is reveling in the delicious irony that, the contract he so proudly signed 3 short years ago is the reason he may get stuck on the Rangers for another 4 years. His ego and agent demanded that he get a contract that included every bonus clause possibly available (even some that don't exist), a price that was beyond reason and a length that was beyond sanity. Being forced by the union to honor that deal makes me giddy at some primordial level.
That being said I think that whenever both sides want to get out of a binding contract with no coercion evident, that they be allowed to do so. A-rod is under no pressure from the Rangers to renegotiate the deal, Alex has also made it quite clear that he would not pull a Randy Johnson and tank his performance if he is not traded. It is mutually beneficial to both sides to renegotiate the deal. The union should not have stepped in and squashed the renegotiation.


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