With news that Silva is heading to the Mariners and the rumors of Jenkins to the Phillies, it only seems appropriate to discuss the consequences of failure. These signings cannot be viewed without looking at the recent histories of both franchises.
Seattle has not made the playoffs since 2001 and they haven’t made a big deadline deal to improve the team since 1997. All of this comes while being one of the most profitable franchises in all of baseball. Seattle won’t become a destination for players hoping to make the playoffs until they start making the playoffs. Seattle is a remote outpost and when the club isn’t winning things like the lack of national attention and
Philadelphia has only made the playoffs twice since 1993 but one of those two appearances was last year. Making the playoffs in recent history is very attractive to players at the end of their careers hoping to help a contender. Philly is an east coast market and
So what comes first: solid free agent signings or the playoffs? Success leads to more success and failure leads to more failure. For every player who is only concerned with getting every last dollar out of the free agent market, there are more players who are concerned with other things than money. Let’s examine these two contracts.
Carlos Silva probably signed with the team that offered him the most money (as Washburn did). Occasionally teams make players offers that are so good financially that they cannot refuse them. The Yankees, for example, use money of overcome most objections that players have to wearing the pinstripes.
But money doesn’t grow on trees and can’t buy you everything. $1 of Philly money has more value than $1 of Mariner money. Don’t believe for a second that a 2 year 13 million would have gotten it done with Jenkins. He’s never made the playoffs and two years with Philly gives him a chance at making it to the World Series before he retires. Father time isn’t going to be kind to Geoff so this is his last shot at being a starter on a playoff caliber team. Is Seattle making the playoffs in the next two years?
The blog-o-sphere can’t demand that the Mariners build for the future while at the same time insisting they sign players to bargain contracts. The sales pitch for teams trying to acquire players like Geoff Jenkins takes place in the months of September and October. Win and these players will be happy to come to Seattle. Lose and they will go somewhere else.