Mariner Talk
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
If the M's are late in the game and the score is tied or the team is up by a run, who do you want on the mound? If I'm the manager, I turn to Rafael Soriano. Don't get me wrong, Shiggy and Eddie are fine pitchers. But is there any doubt that Soriano should be the closer right now? Maybe Melvin shouldn't officially anoint him the closer in the media, but he should bring in Soriano when the game matters most and let other pitchers save the 2 and 3-run leads in the 9th.
So, what do we do with our $9.5 million dollars, now that Sasaki will be gone? We've got to have more offense. The obvious answer is Pudge Rodriguez. If he's willing to sign a 2 year, $18 million deal, then the M's should make the move. A healthy Rodriguez takes the worst offensive liability the M's currently have (Wilson/Davis) and turns it into an asset. An outfielder who could replace Winn against righties and Ibanez against lefties would also be a good solution. And trading Olerud for a real 1st baseman might not be bad either. I don't really like the Winn/Garcia for premium outfielder talk from my fellow bloggers. If we do a deal like that, we still have no hitting at catcher, no bench and nobody to replace Olerud or Ibanez against lefties.
Most bloggers have said that we've improved our offense only incrementally (if that much) this offseason. I just can't agree with that. I presented these splits a month ago and now I'm updating them for the signing of Aurilia. Of all of the players on Mariner rosters over the past 4 years (2001-2004), these would be our best lineups. And out of these 13 players, we're only missing Podsednik vs. righties and Colbrunn and Cameron vs. lefties. We've made obvious, if not splashy, upgrades at shortstop and third. The only real disaster of the offseason is the Colbrunn trade.

Vs. righties

Ichiro RF - .810
Podsednik CF - .837
Ibanez LF - .887
Edgar DH - .897
Olerud 1B - .895
Boone 2B - .855
Spiezio 3B - .793
Aurilia SS - .793
Davis C - .675

Vs. lefties

Ichiro RF - .822
Winn LF - .869
Boone 2B - .973
Edgar DH - .980
Colbrunn 1B - .969
Cameron CF - .878
Aurilia SS - .860
Wilson C - .766
Spiezio 3B - .762

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