Tuesday, January 20, 2004
The question now, I guess, is whether or not the Mariners have assumed all offseason that Kaz was going to take his ball and go home. I kind of bet they have. Obviously, Bavasi's hands haven't exactly been tied.
But using the power of imagination, we can all pretend that the Mariners just got their budget expanded by a significant amount. What do you do?
I see three options:
1) You could get involved in one of Scott Boras's imaginary twenty-team bidding wars. But the Mariners just don't need Maddux (Especially since the addition of Kevin Jarvis!). And I get the feeling they don't really want Pudge, insisting instead on giving Ben Davis another chance to prove he really is the second coming of Paul Bako.
2) You could make a flashy trade. Magglio Ordonez remains available (and, coincidently, about ten million dollars more expensive than either Randy Wynn or Raul Ibanez). Boston's got this expensive, pissed off shortstop with a little brother in the Seattle organization (Does anybody else like the idea of a Garciaparra-Garciaparra double-play combination down the road?). Colorado would love to lose the long-term commitment of Todd Helton's salary. And the word out of Saint Louis is that Pujols is feeling jerked around by management. Possibilities in this area are endless.
3) You could put that cash in your pocket and wait. I hate to say it, but this would be the smart thing to do. We all know that the best trades are made during the season. Good players become available for cash when owners get furious, and owners get furious in May, not February. The only guys available right now are the most expensive ones. You never know what'll happen during the season, though. Just look at what the Cubs accomplished before the deadline last year.