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 Post subject: Calibrating the early offseason free-agent market
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:47 pm
Posts: 1734
Location: Washington
One of the first tests of sort of market we'll see in the months to come is happening right now in Seattle, where a few days ago, the Mariners declined to decline closer Eddie Guardado's $6.25 million team option for 2006.

Guardado has a player option for $4.25 million that he must either pick up or decline by Thursday. If he declines, he becomes a free agent. A third option is that the two sides could negotiate before that deadline and work out a deal, presumably for money in between the two quoted figures. Those talks are reportedly under way.

What's in play here:

1. Guardado, coming off an injury-shortened 2004 in which he decided to rest and rehab a torn rotator cuff rather than have surgery, had a much better season than anyone would have expected: 36 saves (5 blown) and a 2.72 ERA over 56.1 innings, over which he walked just 15 batters and struck out 48 (a tad under his career K/IP ratio, but not alarmingly so).

2. Guardado will be 35 years old in the 2006 season, and still has the rotator cuff tear.

3. It's being widely reported that 14 of the 30 teams in baseball will be shopping for closers this offseason.

4. The Mariners have intriguing but unproven options at closer. There's J.J. Putz, who has the stuff but is gopher-ball-prone; Rafael Soriano, a young guy with electric stuff who missed almost all of the past two seasons with arm injuries; and George Sherrill, a 30-year-old lefty with great K/W numbers but little major league experience.

5. It's believed that the kind of free agents Seattle wants this offseason — a left-handed power-hitting outfielder and two starting pitchers — might be put off if the Mariners don't have an "established" closer in place.

So, keeping in mind that's it's too early to tell whether baseball executives are going to be fiscally conservative or Joe-Mays-for-$24 million ridiculous this offseason, you be the GM (or the player). What do you do?

Here in the Seattle area, we can almost hear the "Final Jeopardy" theme in the air ....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:01 am
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Location: The Empire State
It wouldn't surprise me if the Yankees pursued Guardado, shoulder tear and all, as a possible replacement for Tom Gordon (especially if B.J. Ryan signs elsewhere). Ryan supposedly has told friends he really wants to pitch for the Yanks, so the need for Guardado lessens if the Yanks sign Ryan.

A lot of teams are going to want Ryan, though, so essentially it would be a very good thing for your financial future if you could somehow become B.J. Ryan this winter.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:47 pm
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Location: Washington
Update: The Mariners flinched and picked up Guardado's $6.25 million option for 2006 ... less than 24 hours before the option would have expired.

I'm guessing this portends another offseason of insane spending. When it appeared that Guardado might slip away, the M's took a quick sniff in the direction of Trevor Hoffman — the 38-year-old closer who missed most of 2003 and 2004 with major injuries. Hoffman, a free agent, was reportedly insulted by the Padres' offer of two years and $10 million, and his agent has said they're pursuing THREE years at around $25 million.

Now, is Hoffman nuts? Or is he going to get it?


Last edited by Wabberjocky on Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:01 am
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Location: The Empire State
Wabberjocky wrote:
Update: The Mariners flinched and picked up Guardado's $6.25 million option for 2006.

I'm guessing this portends another offseason of insane spending. When it appeared that Guardado might slip away, the M's took a quick sniff in the direction of Trevor Hoffman — the 38-year-old closer who missed most of 2003 and 2004 with major injuries. Hoffman, a free agent, was reportedly insulted by the Padres' offer of two years and $10 million, and his agent has said they're pursuing THREE years at around $25 million.

Now, is Hoffman nuts? Or is he going to get it?


All it takes is one dope with a lot of money, as countless owners have proved over the years. It wouldn't surprise me if the Mets made Hoffman a competitive offer. I think they think they're not too far away if they can get a first baseman, a second baseman and one more starter. Oh, and a catcher.

My guess is that Hoffman will end up settling with the Padres at somewhere around $25 million for three years, but the third year will be structured in such a way that Hoffman has to meet incentives to get the full $25 mil. That way, the Padres are protected in case he blows out his elbow or plays pickup basketball and tears an ACL or something.


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