Saturday, December 15, 2007

Kuroda Official, What's Next?

Kuroda to LA; Bedard, Colon and Prior should be on Mariners radar.

New reports have made this sound more "official": Hiroki Kuroda has signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal is pending a physical. I'm going to go ahead and believe this report, maybe I'll be wrong. This is the second consecutive offseason that the Dodgers have spurned us by signing one of our "sure thing" targets (Jason Schmidt).

I had been skeptical of all the rumors and reports that Kuroda had chosen the Dodgers, simply because Seattle had much more money on the table. The Mariners were reportedly offering 3 years/$33M and Los Angeles had a supposed offer of 3 years/$30M.

It makes much more sense now, as Kuroda's contract appears to be 3 years/$36-40 million. Depending on what the final figure will be, Kuroda should make $12-13.3M annually. That is simply too much for him, and I am glad the Mariners didn't offer that much. Kuroda is too much of a gamble. Sure, he could end up the greatest Japanese starter in the major leagues, but more than likely he'll become a mediocre or flat out horrible pitcher like the ones who came before him.

This is the second time in recent years that Seattle has offered far to much money to a starter, just to be outbid anyway. Anyone remember Seattle offering a contract that would make Barry Zito the richest pitcher in MLB history, only for him to accept an even bigger contract?

This is a big whiff for the Mariners, but it was simply out of their control. You can't blame Bavasi for this one. If you think he should have offered more than $13M for this guy you are definitely in the minority. Kuroda was a big piece of the Seattle offseason puzzle, but he wasn't going to get Seattle to the playoffs alone. Who's next on the Mariner radar?

I already wrote a post like this when the original Kuroda report came out a couple of days ago, but it was basically a list of available pitchers, a post that has already been overused on this blog. I went ahead and started over:

If I was Bill Bavasi this is where I would take a risk. He's been unable to get Johan Santana and Hiroki Kuroda, so it's time to look outside of the box. The bottom line is that, despite 2007 success, we're not on the fringe this year. We need more than a Carlos Silva. We're going to either contend or not, so I think to look at the pitchers that are either going to dominate or spend the season on the DL.

First up is Erik Bedard, just because he's already been mentioned as Mariners candidate. Bavasi may be tempted to panic and offer too much after the loss of Kuroda, but if he stays patient the price will could down. Keep negotiating, Bill, and we might come out with an alright deal.

Meanwhile, Bavasi needs to be working on other deals. Bedard is enough of an injury risk, but I'd look at two other guys that may be even more of a risk: Bartolo Colon and Mark Prior. If healthy, either of these guys can put up Cy Young caliber seasons. They can also be signed to short contracts. They won't come at a discount, but the one or two year deal still drops them into the "low risk, high reward" category. Seattle hasn't been linked to Colon since mid-November and there has been no reported interest in Prior.

If the Mariners landed Bedard and Colon or Prior they would have a rotation that looked like this (plus 2008 potential):

Erik Bedard (15+ wins, ERA in low 3's if healthy)
Felix Hernandez (15+ wins, ERA around 3.50)
Bartolo Colon/Mark Prior (15+ wins, ERA between 3 and 4 if healthy)
Miguel Batista (10+ wins, ERA between 4.00 and 4.75)
Jarrod Washburn (around 10 wins, ERA in the low-t0-mid 4's)

If healthy, that is as good of a starting rotation as you'll see anywhere. I know it's a big if, but what do the Mariners have left as far as options? Bavasi could be tempted into getting guys like Matt Clement or Jason Jennings, but they are injury risks too. It's take a risk or go young. Either would be alright by me, but we won't contend with two unproven youngsters in the rotation. If we take that risk and both guys get hurt, then we go young anyway! It's a win-win, either we'll contend this season or we'll develop young pitchers. Mr. Bavasi, please get two of these three guys: Erik Bedard, Mark Prior, Bartolo Colon.

It's a better option than anything out there. Please do not bring up Livan Hernandez, because that guy will be eaten alive in the American League (think Jeff Weaver). [HI-KUR BA-COL MA-PRI ER-BED]


Rick said...

You are spot on and we need to do whatever it takes to land Bedard. What is the realistic bounty for Bedard?

Anonymous said...

It's been said to take Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow, George Sherrill and Wlad Balentien. I think Bavasi is smart enough to hold on toe Sherrill, though, and it would be hard to lose both our top 2 young outfielders. IF the Mariners get Bedard, it won't be for that deal.

Rick said...

Would Jones,Morrow,Balentien and Triunfiel get it done?

Anonymous said...

that's an even worse trade. Triunfel is our number one prospect now that Jones is in the MLB. and who plays outfield?? that could get it done, but it wouldn't end well for the Mariners. those combination of guys aren't worth 2 years of Bedard.

A.S. said...

Sad day in Marinerland. I thought that had Kuroda that one wrapped up.

Christopher Meer said...

Personnally, I think this is where we make our pitch(no pun intended), and give Prior an incentive-laden one year deal. Then let Morrow and Rohrbaugh fight it out. My thoughts, winner gets a spot in the rotation, the other goes to the pen. I think Rohrbaugh is ahead of Morrow in development as far as starting, as he has pitched 170 innings the last two years. I am still not sold on Feirabend or Rowland-Smith.

Anonymous said...

O's fan here. I don't know what is going to happen with Bedard and the M's, but if Jones, Morrow, Sherrill and Balentien was ever actually on the table I would be so pissed at Andy McPhail for not yet pulling the trigger on that.

I really do think though that Bedard would help the M's really compete in the AL West over the next couple years. And if the M's were able to snag the division or the WC, you'd have Hernandez and Bedard leading the way in a playoff series.

I know a lot has been made of Bedard's durability, or lack there of. He had TJ surgery and that is way behind him now, all the other injures have not been related to arm issues - a sprained knee and a strained oblique. When healthy his is a top 5 pitcher in all of MLB. Last year he was very much a Santana clone, their numbers were very similar.

mama said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...don't trade Jones...or Morrow...or Clement..go young if you have to...but don't let some of our best young talent get away...for 2 years of injury and a BIG maybe!!!!