Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave somewhere I’m sure you all saw that Josh Hamilton signed a 5 year contract worth $125 million. Look I wasn’t surprised by the amount he got because it’s what I thought he would receive all along. The team sure surprised me. At first glance when you see the Angels you think they need starting pitching. But the more I thought about it, they lost Hunter to the Tigers and only have Trout as a sure thing in their outfield, so it works and makes sense. In the immediate future it’s a good move, in the long run we’ll see which Hamilton the Angels get.
My twitter timeline exploded when the news broke, I wish I knew how to post pictures of tweets, I will try and edit this post and show you some of the more hilarious ones. But long story short and to summarize there were a lot of angry Mariner’s fans because the Mariners didn’t sign him. I’m not upset that the Mariners didn’t get him. If you’ve read my blog posts, you know that I wasn’t big on signing him for more than 3-4 years due to all the risk. He was never gonna sign with the Mariners anyway, or else he would have done so a lot sooner.
If you just checked twitter in the last few minutes, word came about that Hamilton never said that he was gonna give Texas a chance to match any offer. Could he have been doing this for leverage? I’ll leave it at that.
A lot of fans were acting like it’s the end of the world. It’s not. Grant it I understand the anger and frustration because this is a franchise that has a history of missing out on signing the big names. It’s another big free agent that the Mariners missed out on this offseason. But it’s still early the Mariners could look at alternatives.
We can probably cross off Justin Upton because the D’Backs got their SS, and maybe inclined to hold onto him. Only chance the D’Backs trade him is if the Rangers are willing to trade Elvis Andrus and put Profar in as the starting SS in 2013. But I know you all are asking, what are the alternatives? I think Swisher easily has to be the biggest FA left in the market right now. There are issues however. For one thing we don’t know just how interested he would be in coming to Seattle, and apparently he will be meeting with many teams this next week, so we should get a better indication then. Do you want to commit to the guy for 4-5 years? Do you want to commit 15+ million a year to the guy? These are the problems you are going to have to ponder when guys like Victorino get 3 years/39 million for example.
Michael Bourn is the next name on the list. I have compared him to Figgins, but in all honesty the guy is an upgrade over Figgins. The guy can field and steal bases, and would give you certainty in CF especially with all the risk that comes with Franklin Gutierrez. I really like the comment made on the internet today saying that Safeco works well with the style of a player like Ichiro, who is similar to Bourn. It’s not gonna come cheap, the guy is probably gonna end up costing you what the Braves paid for BJ Upton, so it’s all gonna depend on how much of a commitment you want to give to the guy.
The last name I want to mention is Adam LaRoche. If you are a frequent reader of the blog, you know my thoughts on the guy. He like Teixeira always starts the year slow, but really picks it up in the second half. The guy has the power, and would force Smoak to step his game up. He would bring certainty to 1st base for sure. How long has it been since the Mariners have had a guy who hit 33 home runs and 100 rbis. Here in lies the problem, the guy is 33, and it’s already been stated clearly that it’s gonna take a 3 year commitment to get him. The Mariners won’t be without competition for his services. Texas may feel the pressure to give the 3 years to get LaRoche, who knows?
I guess the conclusion we can take from today, is that there is no real clear answer, the free agent class was relatively weak, and still sort of is. The answer may still be a trade of some sort. Like I’ve said countless times, it’s hard to gauge what Jack Z, is thinking. He may be working on a trade right now and we just don’t know it. I’ll leave you with this, it wouldn’t surprise me if we hear the name of Alfonso Soriano more in the coming weeks..