AL West Notes: Lowe, Young, A’s Facilities

A few items of note coming out of the AL West …

  • The Mariners may miss Mark Lowe, whom they dealt to the Rangers in the Cliff Lee swap, what with David Aardsma likely to miss the start of the regular season as he mends from offseason hip surgery, writes John Hickey of SportsPressNW.com. Lowe, who was sidelined after back surgery at the time of the Lee deal, was considered then as something of a footnote to the big-name Lee. But the Rangers insisted on acquiring Lowe, according to Hickey, and had Seattle not included the right-hander, it would not have gotten prized first-base prospect Justin Smoak in return. Now, Lowe is the leading candidate to claim closing duties in Texas while Neftali Feliz tries his hand at starting.
  • The Rangers either signed Adrian Beltre simply to prevent him from going to the Angels, or there is a serious personality conflict between certain members of Texas' front office and Michael Young, writes Mitch Williams of the MLB Network. These are the only scenarios that could possibly explain the Rangers' curious handling of Young, according to Williams, because Young is a good player who does things the right way.
  • Athletics managing partner Lew Wolff held court with a few reporters, writes Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com. Wolff is pleased with the on-field direction of his team, but he is still seeking a resolution to the Athletics' stadium situation, which has been under MLB review since 2008. The A's looked into moving to San Jose then, but the Giants have remained opposed to that because of the city's proximity to San Francisco. As well, the A's are seeking to improve their Spring Training facility at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, but funding is tough to come by in these hard economic times. In all, Wolff is frustrated but understands that he must be patient, although, as he quipped, at 75, patience is something of a luxury.


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66 Responses to AL West Notes: Lowe, Young, A’s Facilities Leave a Reply

  1. Portland needs a team.

    • Maybe move another of the failing cities (preferably from the nl central) there. It bugs me to death to see only 4 teams in that division. why have 30 teams and 6 divisions if we’re not going to evenly divide them up.

      Edit: or another Idea, Move Cleveland (worst attendance in MLB) and switch a nl central team to Al central.

      • Dylan 4 years ago

        Cleveland to Puerto Rico

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        Cleveland is not a team I’d consider moving. They only have poor attendance because they’re a bad team right now. The nineties squads proved that Cleveland can sustain an MLB team. Heck, Cleveland had the MLB consecutive sellout streak until just a couple of years ago. Better to move someone like the Marlins and/or Rays, neither of whom can seem to get attendance up, even when competing.

        • unbiasedhomer 4 years ago

          The Marlins are going nowhere except that new ballpark they’re building in Miami.

          (Of course, they’ll probably still draw under 10 grand a game, but they have a ton of money invested.)

  2. Oakland is 15 miles away from San Francisco, while San Jose is 50 miles away from San Francisco. Something does not compute.

    • The Giants have a minor league affiliate in San Jose.

    • woadude 4 years ago

      California has 5 teams while some states have none, Share the wealth California!!!

      • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Because a team in Idaho would rake in the profits?

        • woadude 4 years ago

          Way to throw Idaho under the bus there pal, I was talking more along the lines of Nevada, Las Vegas to be precise.

      • Pete 4 years ago

        Theres more people.

    • alxn 4 years ago

      It is unlikely the Giants would gain many fans from Oakland (at least in the short term), while they would probably lose a significant amount from San Jose if the city had its own team.

      • Pete 4 years ago

        Their stadium is located easily from a massive downtown tourist hub, not to mention the millions of local residents. They don’t need San Jose, Oakland does. When the shoe was on the other foot in the early 90s the A’s did the right thing by the Giants. Today, the Giants are not returning the favor.

        • RepOak 4 years ago

          And they wonder why giants and their fans are hatted by A’s fans in the bay area

  3. woadude 4 years ago

    The Cliff Lee to Texas remains to be seen on who the real winner was, the main prize is in Philly and now it seems it is between Justin Smoak and Mark Lowe to see who came out on top, meanwhile the prospects Philly received from Seattle in the first trade is cemented on being failures, even Jason Werth saw that.

    • alxn 4 years ago

      You can’t just dismiss what Lee helped them do last year. They didn’t win it all but just going to the World Series created more revenue and fan interest. Just look at what they were able to do to their payroll this year.

      • They would have spent money either way. And Cliff Lee didn’t pitch all that great anyway. He had a 4-6 record with a 3.98 era.

        • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

          However without him it’s questionable they make it to the World Series. Ultimately the point of the trade for the Rangers was to get to and win the Series.

        • But he won his first three postseason games including game 5 against the rays and a duel against one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time.

          • He was definitely worth it. Even if Texas only won the series against the rays, it would sitll have been their first post season series win ever. I’ve never seen such interest in the Rangers EVER. They’ve always been an afterthought. You can’t tell me they would have won any series in the 2010 post season without Lee. The deal worked out for them, so what if he sucked in august he had a little injury issue. He came back in full force after.

          • MadmanTX 4 years ago

            Agreed. The trade paid off for what it accomplished. Everyone knew it might only be a half season rental–which it was. Lowe gives us a consolation prize for losing Lee. I try not to look at it as Smoak and the other prospects for just Lowe–it was for Lowe and a first ever World Series appearance. For a WS appearance, the cost was worth it.

      • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Yes, but that’s a short run effect. Long run, if Smoak turns into a superstar then Texas might regret it. I agree with you for the most part, however depending on how well the other players involved do it will allow history to determine who “won” this trade.

        • alxn 4 years ago

          Value wise the Mariners will probably get more from 6 years of Smoak. I was just trying to say that the trade doesn’t come down to Lowe vs. Smoak like the poster implied. The Rangers got a lot of value from Lee.

          • $2547887 4 years ago

            Actually the trade can’t be judged for probably another 10 years. The Rangers got the 33rd and 37th pick in next year’s draft when Cliff Lee signed with Philadelphia. What those two players end up doing for the Rangers are also factors in who won the trade. Those would have been Mariner draft picks if they had not traded Lee.

  4. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    Or maybe young just can’t play 3B anymore. Have you ever thought about that possibility Mitch?

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Anymore? He’s always been a bad fielder at third. At minimum this move is a huge infield defensive upgrade.

  5. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    For the record, the following is a list of the largest metro areas with no MLB team.

    Portland, OR
    Sacramento, CA
    San Antonio, TX
    Norfolk, VA
    Indianapolis, IN
    Orlando, FL
    Columbus, OH
    Charlotte, NC
    Las Vegas, NV

    Thoughts? Also, no Orlando, you will get no team unless it is Tampa.

    • wickedkevin 4 years ago

      Top ten largest cities w/o a team.

      San Antonio, TX
      San Jose, CA
      Indianapolis, IN
      Jacksonville, FL
      Columbus, OH
      Austin, TX
      Memphis, TN
      Charlotte, NC
      El Paso, TX
      Louisville, KY

      • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

        Charlotte, NC I would be in favor of. People down there like baseball and the two closest teams are the Braves and Nats which obviously is a good distance away.

      • MadmanTX 4 years ago

        Ladies and gentlemen, now presenting your San Antonio A’s…yeah…I could see that.

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Considering the history I serious doubt Las Vegas will ever host a major league team.

      That said, it’s a travesty that Pete Rose isn’t in the Hall of Fame.

      • johnsilver 4 years ago

        Might as well add Barry Bonds to that list then. One gambled, one drugs.. Both severe violations against MLB policies are they not? Rose still will not come out and say if he even bet against the team he MANAGED to lose?

        • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

          Honestly, I look at the number of guys in the Hall who have admitted to cheating and I’m not sure how it’s worse than anything Rose, Bonds, Clemens, etc are accused of.

          I’ve seen people on this site talk about how honesty, sportsmanship, and being a good role model are part of the national pastime, but that’s a load of bull. The Hall is full of cheaters, violent racists, and entitled jerks. What’s that compared to few guys with gambling problems and a few guys who used drugs to be better?

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Can see your point there, especially involving racists and how Robinson was treated, Paige as well after reading some books. You probably have also, Like Veeck’s “Veeck as in Wreck” as well as others that names a few who are in the Hall. That was pretty standard fare in those times and not sure how one could throw out maybe 75% of every pre 1950’s HOF player for racism however.

            Not condoning it here, but it was not against leage policy either, nor was “greenies” in the 1970’s as many players used. Jerk’s? Oh yeah, the HOF is full of them also.. Just like the real world, but once again.. The league has no policy with them ,just as it did not then, nor did it with drunkards and as have the feeling you are..A reader of many of the past stories of players of a bygone era and have gotten a glimpse into some of these well known star players from both there peers, as well as from how they were viewed from ownership and how poorly they acted, as well as the sometimes terrible lifestyles they chose.

            I still fail to see how that even pales to gambling (possibility) of betting against ones own team to lose..Especially when that person placing the bet was the manager at the time.

            That (IMO) would strike him as even less worthy of HOF status below Bonds, Clemens,Palmero or anyone else that could eventually come along in this Juice scandal down the road.

          • oz10 4 years ago

            Agree with what you said but Rose always bet on his team to win, not lose. By no way am I saying that is right, but is a little better. Still should not be in the Hall for it.

            But as far as using PED’s, why isn’t creatine or protein shakes or everything else that is not consumed as natural food not considered a PED? A protein shake, for example, helps you build muscle faster than through regular food and it is created in a lab. It’s effects are less than steriods but are still there. This in turn would enhance perfoprmance. And don’t use the argument that you eat proteins in everything, this is just a higher concentration of it because we also produce steroids but athletes take it in a higher dose.

            I also disagree with keeping these guys out as it wasn’t against the rules. “But it is against the law and they have that in their rules!!!” Greenies are amphetemines and have always been illegal but were part of the game and those guys are in. Now that we have made greenies illegal should we take everybody for using a PED that is against the rules now?

      • ellisburks 4 years ago

        Rose does not deserve to be in the HoF. He gambled on baseball. He knew it was against the rules. He knew about the 1919 White Sox and the consequences if he got caught. He lied and lied and lied about it until he could make money with it. He deserves what he got.

      • woadude 4 years ago

        They are building a stadium on Las Vegas BLVD as we speak.

    • NathanielS 4 years ago

      Portland can handle it!

    • San Antonio has a minor league team.

    • woadude 4 years ago

      Las Vegas needs a team.

  6. The A’s organization needs a new owner. That’s the root of the problem. We all know Wolff hates Oakland. He may say he has tried so hard to keep A’s in Oakland but I personally think it’s BS. The City of Oakland needs to find a way to build a stadium in the waterfront. Also, make it a baseball only stadium. The reason why McAfee Coliseum is in such bad condition is because they allowed the Raiders to move in.

    • Eh that got turned down. He’s made every effort, a stadium that gets 17000 average attendance is in pretty bad shape. There were so many days with under 10k fans. Is it even worth it to operate at that point?

    • Funny, all the reasons you provide for the A’s woes have nothing to do with the owner and everything to do with the city.

  7. Am I the only one that thinks Feliz as a starter is a bad idea? The guy is electric as a closer, and while I understand that a starter is more valuable, he was lights out for them last season shutting games down. I really do hope he bombs as a starter, only because I think he’s an excellent closer. This coming from an Angel fan. I don’t want him to bomb to make it easier on my team, I just really believe he works best coming out for the 9th. He can throw his 100 mph stuff and get dudes out no problem and win the game for his team, extremely valuable if you ask me.

    • ibleedorangeandblack 4 years ago

      keep in mind david price was a pretty good closer for a little while. also, i believe this guy adam wainwright was as well. seemed like its worked out pretty well for st. louis so far

      • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Price was actually used as a set up man, not as a closer. Wainwright was used as a closer, but mostly for the 2006 postseason.

        • ibleedorangeandblack 4 years ago

          being a giants fan mostly, i wasnt too familiar on the very beginning stages of price’s and wainwright’s careers. but my point is the transition can be beneficial. neftali feliz may be lights out as a closer, but i feel it could be more beneficial to use him as a starter. if people like david aardsma can start closing because of a loss of j.j. putz, the rangers can find someone to get the job done and they can see if feliz can start like he closes

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      felix hernandez would probably be lights out as a closer too. so what

  8. MrSativa 4 years ago

    I like Mitch Williams but some of his comments are so off base that they mimic his fastball. High and way off target.

    • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

      I think Mitch Williams made a good point. Beltre wasn’t a must have for Texas since they already have a good team with Young around. It makes one think if there is a little faction in the front office that has some sort of bias or issue with him that we don’t know about. Just my take on it.

  9. dc21892 4 years ago

    So Texas is really trying Feliz as a starter again? Uh oh. Better hope it works, and if doesn’t it’s a smooth transition back to closing duty or Texas fans are going to rip them for even trying this.

    • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

      They better pray this doesn’t go the Joba way

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      it’s really not very risky. it would be far more controversial to never give him a shot at starting. even as a middle of the rotation starter he’s worth considerably more than as a top closer

      add to that the fact that he came up as a starter and that his secondary pitches are already solid and you’ve got no reason not to try it

      • dc21892 4 years ago

        I wouldn’t say his secondary pitches are solid. Closers are not bread to throw strikes. They’re bread to get outs. By K’s, etc. He throws filthy stuff, but they’re not solid pitches.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          not sure what you mean where strikes are concerned, as feliz throws plenty – more than the league average in 2010

          his slider is a plus pitch both in terms of movement and in terms of outcomes over the past two years. he throws it comfortably

          you could make the argument (as i would) that his change has been used as infrequently as it has simply because it hasn’t been needed. it’s not a bad pitch right now; the question will be command. no doubt the change is a pitch he’d need to be able to rely on as a starter. but the stuff is already there

    • MadmanTX 4 years ago

      It’s a tryout, but the odds of it working seem high to me. As hard as Feliz throws, I have to wonder if he’ll end up like Edison Volquez and needing Tommy John surgery if he goes a whole season as a starter. I see Ogando and Kirkman as more likely to end up in the rotation.

      • oz10 4 years ago

        He actually has a very easy delivery and puts very little strain on his arm for as hard as he throws. He will probably sit in the 95-98 range as a starter.

  10. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    “Good player who does things the right way” is a euphemism for “doesn’t live up to his contract, but sure hustles.”

  11. optionn 4 years ago

    How do those 5 teams in the filthy rich state of California not have higher payrolls than New York or even teams in depressed economies like Detroit.

    • woadude 4 years ago

      Way late but um, California is broke dude, seriously broke.

  12. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    You realize, according to the 2010 census, the state has less than half the population of Puerto Rico.

  13. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    Well they’d draw more french fries.

  14. Oakland has been trying to get a new ballpark for a long time. It’s not going to happen. I’m a true A’s fan and I want them to move to San Jose so they will stay within 30 miles driving distance and not Vegas, Portland, or wherever they are looking for a new team. San Jose has everything ready to go, Oakland is barely starting a EIR. I think for any A’s fan, they just want to know their team is going to be around for 30 years. It’s easier to see that coming to frutiion in San Jose than in Oakland.

  15. fpsantangeloswingman 4 years ago

    “Wolff would have just bought the AT&T park plans”

    Care to explain this? Wolff bought the A’s in 2005. AT&T (nee Pac Bell Park) Opened in 2000. What’s the connection between Wolff and AT&T Park?

    “I guess that’s what you get when your teams owners don’t live in the state ”

    Wolff lives in Los Angeles. Last time I checked, LA was part of California.

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