Monday, May 24, 2004

The M's PR department (Bob Finnigan) floats the trial balloon on the M's impending rebuilding. As always Bob fails to apply any independent analysis to the text he's been asked to reprint in the Times, therefore I'll do it for him.

Here's a list of the things the M's should start doing immediately.

1) Shop all middle relievers currently on the 24 man roster not named Soriano. Villone, Myers, Shiggy, Mateo all should be offered up for trade. Cut bait on Myers and Villone if no offers come in. Bring up a few of the young arms most ready for the bigs. Break them in as long relief until July.

2) Target contending clubs short on pitching and offer up Franklin and Garcia. You aren't going to keep Freddy past this year and Franklin's value will never get any higher. Wait until early July before engaging in discussion. Strike the final deal days before the trading deadline. Don't get caught up in an EBay frenzy trying to get the ultimate deal for Freddy. You (M's management) aren't smart enough to pull it off. Take a good deal and be happy with it.

3) Approach the deconstruction of the team with some intelligence and realization of who on the team has value. Players with value include Boone and Boone. Bret is the only player on the team signed to a reasonable contract with a history of production. All other moves will be salary dumps.

4) Approach all teams with salary dump ideas. All trades should be thought of as reducing cost, not value for value. Bavasi's off season deals eliminated any potential to play the veteran for prospect game. Our veterans are overpriced and not valued enough to take the high road. The objective is to free up cash for next year, not take on equivalent bad contracts that run for several more years (ie Jason Kendall).

5) The following players should be offered up in any salary dump deals. Ben Davis, Randy Winn, Rich Aurilia, Scott Spezio, John Olerud, Raul Ibanez, Quinton, Cabrera, Dan Wilson, Willie Bloomquist.

6) Do not negotiate or leak any deals involving Moyer or Edgar to the press until you have everything signed, sealed and delivered. If Jamie or Edgar is willing to take up a trade to a contender, negotiate the 10-5 waivers in private.

7) Don't release a player that has a short term contract that plays a position where you don't have anyone in the minor leagues ready to make the jump. Starting the service time clock on players several years away from contributing at the big league level is stupid. If Jose Lopez isn't close to being ready to play in the show don't release Aurilla just because he isn't the ultimate SS solution for the M's or even in the picture beyond next year. However, do take the opportunity to reward the AAAA player if you can. If you get an offer on Aurilla that will save some $$$ take it and use the opportunity to bring a guy like Mickey Lopez into the big leagues for his one experience in the show.


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