The Calm Before the Storm

December 12, 2007

Things have been deathly quiet on the news front but given todays news I think all-you-know-what is about to break loose.

 Hiroki Kuroda may or may not be heading to the Dodgers (depending on who you believe)- This is the big rumor for the Mariners front office. Kuroda signing with the Dodgers throws the offseason into chaos. The M’s need upgrade the rotation and Kuroda would have allowed the Mariners a position of strength in negotiating for Erik Bedard. Even the threat of signing Kuroda gives/gave the Mariners the leverage that it took to avoid being fleeced.

Tad Iguchi signs a one year deal with the Padres- If the Mariners were to package Jose Lopez in a trade, Tad Iguchi would have made an interesting stopgap for the club in 2008.

Fukudome is a Cub- If the Mariners need an outfielder after all the offseason wheeling and dealing, Fukudome would have been nice to have in the outfield.

The Real Story: Three Japanese players in potential positions of need for the 2008 Mariners are going elsewhere- Mariner fans are fond of the notion that Japanese players want to play in Seattle and that the ballclub can choose what Japanese players it wants. We have told ourselves that the exceptions are the players that want to go elsewhere. Maybe I was the only person to have this thought but I am re-evaluating this position: Ichiro and Kenji are the exceptions. The Mariners need to find new advantages because the Japanese pipeline appears to be drying up.

I expect dominos to begin falling (in Seattle anyway) sooner rather than later, because much of the Mariners offseason plan is wrapped up in Kuroda. His decision will force the Mariners to react. Reacting to the actions of others is not something this front office does well. They are good at drawing up a plan A, but they aren’t very good at Plan B’s.

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Welcome Aboard- I’d like to take the opportunity to welcome Matthew Carruth to the site. After several months of emailing back and forth (consisting of 4 total emails), Matthew decided to join the site and is a welcome addition. Great article on Bedard yesterday.