I’ve enjoyed watching Johan and Erik revitalize the blogosphere in the last few days. It’s nice to see the Mariners on the move and seeing them, if only in theory, get carried away in an attempt to bring one of baseball’s best pitchers to Seattle.
The (potential) Kuroda signing is a relatively safe move for the Mariners. In the 30 year history of Mariners baseball, the Mariners have had 20-30 pitchers on the level of Kuroda or better. I’d take him, but the fact of the matter is that pitchers of his caliber are availible on the market almost every year. All a team needs to do to acquire such a pitcher is to be willing to fork out the cash to sign him. Kuroda can help a team wins but he isn’t a piece that you build a playoff team around. Still he would improve the ballclub considerably and it opens up the possibility of trading Washburn or Batista next season, in the final year of their deals. It’s not like these two guys are impossible to deal.
Edwin Jackson, Bartolo Colon and every other pitcher who has been sold to the fanbase by the blogosphere falls into the category. They are guys who fill holes. Teams acquire a Bartolo Colon to plug a hole that could prevent them from winning a championship. Ditto almost everyone else. Except two.
Johan Santana and Erik Bedard are pitchers that create a window to win a championship.
In the Mariners 30 year history the Mariners have had exactly one pitcher on the level of Johan’s preformance. Players like Johan are rare and the opportunites to acquire such a player are few and far between.
If you want to argue that Erik Bedard has only had one good season, I will conceed that. Even if you bump Bedard down a notch the M’s have maybe had 3 pitchers at, or above, his level in 30 years . Randy Johnson and maybe Mark Langston or Jamie Moyer (during his better years with the club). I’m projecting Bedard to be an all star pitcher for the next few years. Given the way Bedard dominated his opponents last year, the biggest risk associated with Bedard is injury. I’ll take it.
Adding Bedard or Santana to Felix would leave the Mariners in the position of finding someone who isn’t horrible to be the 5th starter. Now you can add Bartolo Colon or JP Howell and magically the rotation is awesome.
Right now the Mariners have no window to win the division. Gripping about the “mortgaging the future” would make sense if the Mariners had the prospects in place to make a serious run in a couple of years. Unfortunately, we have a front office that has said it won’t rebuild so that means we won’t see an extreme youth movement. We also lack the prospects for such a youth movement.