Should the Mariners and Yankees talk Felix Hernandez?

Aside from Ichiro and Felix Hernandez, there’s not much to see when it comes to the Seattle Mariners. They’re in a real bind because even in a wide-open division, they don’t have enough to compete in the AL West but they also don’t want to trade away their best talent and not have anything to attract fans to the ballpark this season.

But at this point, it might not be a bad idea for GM Jack Zduriencik to get Brian Cashman on the phone.

After missing out on Cliff Lee this winter, the Yankees still need pitching. If A.J. Burnett comes around and Phil Hughes gives the club another quality season, then the Bombers could make do. But this is the Yankees: They don’t want to “make do,” they want to win championships. That’s why they might be willing to sell the farm in order to acquire a piece like King Felix.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports talked about this very topic in one of his latest columns. He writes that Zduriencik might be able to acquire farm names such as Jesus Montero (who was the centerpiece of the Yankees’ offer to the Mariners last summer before Seattle sent him to Texas), Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova, Hector Noesi and Eduardo Nunez. As Rosenthal points out, the M’s wouldn’t be able to acquire all of those players, but considering Hernandez is coming off a Cy Young-winning season, is only 25 and is under team control through 2014, there’s not much Zduriencik couldn’t at least ask for.

But again, would the M’s be willing to part with a player such as Hernandez when it’ll make them weaker now and the Yankees stronger? King Felix may wind up spending the next 10 years beating them in New York and then what was this all for? To acquire some prospects that may or may not turn out?

That said, the M’s need a lot of players and New York could certainly help them in that area. If Seattle were able to acquire five great to very good prospects, they might be able to compete for a championship themselves in the near future. Nothing is guaranteed of course, but what if in one phone call Zduriencik could make his club a serious contender in two or three years? All he has to do is sacrifice a lot right now to possibly acquire a lot more down the road.

If you’re Zduriencik, do you make the call?

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

We Got Game: The MLB All-35+ Draft

If you’re anything like me, I hate it when my favorite team signs an aging veteran free agent. I’ve uttered the phrase, “Please God don’t let them sign that crusty old vet,” too many times to count.

But those “crusty old vets” hold a ton of importance to a team’s success, especially in baseball where World Series-winning rosters usually have a mixture of both youth and veteran experience. Take the World Champion Giants for example. They won because of their young pitching, but it wasn’t Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain or Madison Bumgarner who wound up holding the World Series MVP Trophy at the end. It was 35-year-old Edgar Renteria, who was cursed by the SF faithful for being yet another horrible Brian Sabean signing, but wound up being a Fall Classic hero.

Today’s media doesn’t pay enough homage to the older MLB players. In fact, when fellow TSR contributor David Medsker and I were brainstorming ideas for a new feature, the first thing I brought up was that we should do an all 24-and-younger MLB team comprised of…well the idea is pretty self explanatory.

It wasn’t until David and I exhausted that idea before he sent me an e-mail that simply read: “Has anyone done an all 35-and-over team?”

Perfect. The moment I read it I burst into laughter. Could you imagine compiling a team of players that were only 35 years or older when present day teams usually build around youth? I love it.

Unfortunately, the guys over at Off Base Percentage beat us to the punch by compiling their own 35-plus year old team, so David and I decided to actually hold a live draft in order to make two teams. (Take that OBP.)

Below is a round-by-round breakdown of our all 35-and-older MLB draft. We selected a player for every infield position, plus three outfield positions, four starting pitchers (we only had eight to choose from), three relievers, one DH and two bench spots. Once the draft started, David and I quickly developed different strategies for building our rosters, so it was interesting to see how the draft played out. Take a look and let us know if you would have gone a different route.

Read the rest of this entry »

The St. Louis Cardinals, your cursed team for 2011

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter delivers a pitch to the San Francisco Giants in the second inning at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on August 21, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Could things get any worse for the St. Louis Cardinals? The season hasn’t even started yet and already one of their aces is out for the year and the other left a spring training game due to a hamstring injury.

The good news is that Chris Carpenter should be fine after leaving Tuesday’s outing with what is being called a strained hamstring. The bad news is that the Cardinals are clearly cursed and I wouldn’t be surprised if red ants invaded the infield grass at Busch Stadium and started attacking the grounds crew.

All kidding aside, I wonder if this scare with Carpenter will force the Cardinals to reconsidering adding another arm before the season starts. There was some thought that 32-year-old minor league free agent acquisition Raul Valdes would be considered a replacement for Wainwright, but the early camp impressions haven’t been good.

Kevin Millwood is still waiting for some team to call, and the Cards seem like a good fit for the 36-year-old. But St. Louis appears to be set on going with internal options at this point, which is surprising seeing as how they’re built to win now (at least they were before Wainwright was injured).

For now, it appears as though the Cards are going with what they have but the injury to Carpenter may have changed their outlook on the pitching situation.

The difference between Jayson Werth the National and Jayson Werth the Red Sox? One year.

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth bats against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 2, 2010 in Denver. The Phillies lead the NL Wild Card race. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

It’s cool, Jayson Werth. You signed with the Nationals because they offered you $126 million. Nobody will fault you for that. I’d probably smash my femur with a hammer for half that.

But don’t spit in my face and tell me it’s raining.

When Werth signed with the Nationals back in December, he concocted this speech about how he’s always “been a fan of an underdog” and how he noticed that the Nationals had a “grittiness and a will to win.”

Everyone knew he was blowing smoke but nobody cared, because how could anyone blame him for cashing in? Hey, it wasn’t his fault the Nationals paid him $127 million despite the fact that no other team was willing to offer him that much dough.

But he shows up for Nationals spring training this week and the first things out of his mouth were about how the Phillies could have had both him and Cliff Lee had they not traded Lee away last year, and how he had a “great meeting” with the Red Sox and would have signed with them had they offered six years instead of five.

For those scoring at home, he admitted that he would have signed with the Boston freaking Red Sox (a legitimate World Series contender) instead of the perennial doormats of the NL East (no offense Nationals, I think you’re beautiful on the inside) had the BoSox offered him six years instead of five. Holy mercenary, Batman.

And talk about bitter: it’s not up to Werth to play GM of the Philadelphia Phillies. Maybe they could have had both him and Lee had they not traded Lee last year, but correct me if I’m wrong, the Phillies are the favorites to win the World Series this year because of Lee and Roy Halladay. I haven’t seen any respected analyst say, “The Phils aren’t World Series contenders this year because they don’t have Jayson Werth in right field.”

Again, nobody cares that he took the money in Washington. Good for him. But considering they gave him a contract that nobody else was willing to give him, maybe he should spend more time being a National and less time sounding so greedy and bitter.

Phillies or Giants: Which rotation would you rather have if you were starting a new organization?

Philadelphia Phillies all-star pitcher Roy Oswalt delivers a pitch during first inning San Francisco Giants-Philadelphia Phillies NLCS Championship game two at Citizens Bank Park October 17, 2010. . UPI/John Anderson

So you’re the general manager of the new Las Vegas Craps team and baseball commissioner Bud Selig comes to you with the offer of all offers.

He says, since the Craps are going to struggle this year offensively with a lineup comprised of over-the-hill veterans and unproven rookies, you get your pick of stealing either the Phillies or the Giants’ starting rotation.

“Sweet mother of all that is holy,” you say to Selig. “Those are the best starting rotations in the game!”

“Yes they are, Craps owner,” Selig says. “But you have to choose one right now.”

So which rotation would you rather have? Let’s take a look at the deets first.

Philadelphia Phillies

Roy Halladay
Age: 33
Salary: $20 million in 2011; $20 million in 2012; $20 million in 2013; $20 million option in 2014.
Career Stats: 169-86, 1,714 Ks, 3.32 ERA, 58 complete games, 19 shutouts
Accolades: Two-time Cy Young winner, two-time wins champion, seven-time All-Star.

Cliff Lee
Age: 32
Salary: $11 million 2011; $21.5 million in 2012; $25 million from 2013-2015.
Career Stats: 102-61, 3.85 ERA, 1,085 Ks
Accolades: Cy Young winner, two-time All-Star, 7-2 postseason record, 2.13 postseason ERA.

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts