Though the Athletics averaged just 22,337 fans per game in 2013 (which ranked 23rd in baseball), things could be worse in Oakland, writes Lev Facher of Athletics Nation. Oakland experienced a 10 percent increase in attendance from 2012 to 2013 despite the fact that the cross-town Giants were defending a World Series title. Another 10 percent increase would have Oakland north of 24,000 per game and shouldn't be too difficult to imagine with San Francisco's losing season in 2013 and Oakland's AL West championship. Facher notes that the A's will never top the Giants as long as they play in O.co Coliseum, but it's not hard to imagine them averaging well over 30,000 fans per night should they ever get a new park. More out of baseball's Western divisions…
- New Rockies outfielder Drew Stubbs told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he knew there was a chance he'd get traded this offseason, and he thought Colorado would be a potential landing spot once Dexter Fowler was traded. Indeed, Stubbs is now a member of the Rockies — a concept that has teammate Troy Tulowitzki excited. Tulo told Saunders: "I have high hopes for Drew. … I know they have talked about [Carlos Gonzalez] being our center fielder, but for me, I think we are a better team if Drew can grab that position and run with it. That way, we can leave Carlos in left." Tulowitzki said he will invite Stubbs to his home to work out with him prior to Spring Training.
- Jason Collette of Fangraphs examined the transformation that Astros righty Brad Peacock made after being sent down to the minors midway through the 2013 campaign. Peacock adopted a slider that made a world of difference for his repertoire, and as Collette notes, the changes were obvious to GM Jeff Luhnow, manager Bo Porter and catcher Jason Castro.
- Lookout Landing's Scott Weber looks at the case for the Mariners to push for Masahiro Tanaka and wonders if the lack of serious connection between the two sides to this point is due to Seattle's unwillingness to double down on the greatest risk in franchise history (Robinson Cano). As Weber notes, should those deals crumble, Seattle would be looking at well over $40MM of dead payroll per year. He suggests that an alternative would be to take advantage of the Tanaka buzz by jumping into a surprisingly cool market for Ubaldo Jimenez.
Of course they would draw more than 30,000 fans with a new stadium. The stadium is surrounded by a broken down area with old businesses and no place to go after the game. Revitalize the area with restaurants and shopping would bring much needed money to the city. Right now you go to the game and get back in your car and drive home. No place to hang out after the game or before a game. Poor design all around by the city.
The market for Jimenez, Garza, and Santana could be cool for another month. Seattle should take advantage and sign one to a 4 year deal at an AAV worth much less than the ludicrous numbers that have been tossed around.
I would think their agents are aware of whats going on and will have their clients wait until Tanaka is signed.
That could be close to February if Tanaka takes his time. There are very few big deals that late in the season. Teams need to have their budgets figured out and 75-80 type deals aren’t the kind that get squeezed in like Lohse’s 3/33 or Bourn’s 4/48. Sure Fielder signed late, but that was a unique circumstance. I bet 2/3 of them sign in January with at least one signing before Tanaka.
The silence by the M’s about Tanaka actually tells me they’re possibly very serious about him. Cano came out of ca-nowhere. Trader Jack is also Ninja Jack; most of his signature moves, like getting Cliff Lee a few years ago, are quiet stunners. His front office (dysfunctional as it is) is excellent at staying leak-proof.
Obviously, Occam’s Razor dictates that the lack of rumors can also mean just what Scott says it does, and the M’s are going to try to buy low on a decent MOTR starter before Tanaka’s signing signals a free-for-all on the remaining pitchers.
I see what you did there….
These FA SPs will go fast once the Tanaka signing is determined. They will do well in their $’s too. I’m just hoping after a wonderful offseason so far that Seattle doesn’t wreck what they’ve accomplished this offseason by signing Ervin Santana!
IF the Mariners were to sign Tanaka, then I think Walker becomes available. Packaging Walker, Franklin/Ackley, and Smoak I would think could get a pretty decent RH bat back.
Jose Bautista, maybe? Actually just 2 of those 3 could probably get the deal done.
Walker stays with felix, tanaka and iwakuma, the fearsome foursome
When did the Mariners sign Tanaka?
I would have to think signing Tanaka would have the opposite effect. If they signed Tanaka then they would have $40-50 million per year tied up in Felix/Tanaka. If anything that makes Walker and his league minimum contract, even more necessary to keep around.
That could be the case, but it could go the other way too. The Mariners have no big contracts, and don’t have a need for many. The fact is, the rest of their core is under control for a long time when you look at any of Walker, Paxton, Zunino, Seager, Smoak, Hultzen (depending on how he recovers), Franklin/Ackley (depending on who they keep), and their bullpen.
I agree that I’d love to hold onto Walker, Paxton, and Zunino, but if Hart or LoMo don’t pan out, we have no one to protect Cano, which will hurt us. I’d rather get one more bat to protect him, and take some pressure off of those two. Combining those two with another impact bat behind Cano makes that lineup more dangerous.
I don’t agree with the pieces necessarily, but I do agree with the sentiment. Lookout Landing had it right recently – a successful offseason really requires that we see the return of Trader Jack. I want to see one more weird 4-way trade that snags a legit OF or C before he’s finally canned.
Even his moves this year kinda came out of nowhere. You mentioned the Cano signing along with Lee, but you can add to that the signing of Hart and trade for LoMo. Usually silence with the Mariners means they are up to something. I agree, that could be the case with Tanaka too.
I don’t see why anybody thinks the Mariners would ‘double down’ on their risky investment in Cano…current owners don’t have any history of making moves to put a championship team on the field. They remind me of the Cubs under Tribune Co ownership: periodically signing an expensive marquee player to keep the media off their back, but no real incentive to cut into profits to build a full team.
Oh it’s way beyond 1 expensive marquee signing and done thing. They finally have the financial resource in play to start competing with the big boys.
They are at the stage where if they don’t put up now, they are going to be ran out of town.
The structure they have in place now…they have no more excuses!
I agree! I hope they do!
Yeah because the team back in 2001 wasn’t a serious contender at all…
You’re right though. Howard Lincoln and the recently departed Chuck Armstrong, while incredibly successful business wise (profits), are completely clueless in how to run a winning franchise.
maybe one should consider “the asian gate” … the M’s are in the Tanaka sweepstakes for sure!
I agree that Tanaka could be a great pickup, but he would be very risky. The Mariners have had success in the past with it though. So, I see two options:
1.) I don’t Price is the answer for the simple fact that Zunino or Walker or Paxton would have to be involved. Because of that, they could bring Lee back, especially because they could probably come up with a package to get Lee and Papelbon without including Walker, Paxton, or Zunino. I think Papelbon presents a nice buy-low opportunity, especially since in his “down” year, he still posted a sub 3.00 ERA. At worst, he’s pitching in a pitcher’s park, and posts the same numbers. At best, he becomes his dominant self again, especially since if it was just adrenaline issues, pitching in the AL West would bring that back.
You would have a rotation of Hernandez, Lee, Kuma, Walker, Paxton.
2.) Sign Tanaka, sign Balfour, and go all out for Stanton. If they had a rotation of Hernandez, Kuma, Tanaka, Paxton/Beavan/Maurer, that’d be amazing. Then, offer a nice package for Stanton and lock him up to something like Longoria’s contract. You’d have him protecting Cano for years to come.
I still think I’d prefer option 1 for the simple fact that Lee is proven in the MLB.
I would think the M’s would be more interested in Hamels, as his larger contract would likely help the asking price, and the years work for them, since they’re committed to Cano for so long.
I’m sure they would be, but I think Philly would demand more for Hamels, and I don’t think the Mariners need to go there. You would already have Lee through 2016 when Walker, Paxton, and maybe even Hultzen would fill in for him cheaply. And, Lee dominated when he was in Seattle. I would be okay with either, but Hamels will probably cost Paxton +, but Paxton would have cheaper and longer team control. If they gave him up without any of their big names, I’d take it. But that would free up money to spend on hitting.
Haha mariners fans are living in dream land. They aren’t trading for Stanton, they aren’t signing Tanaka, and they aren’t going to win next year.
It sure is pure speculation, isn’t it?
Also, nice rotation bro. Good luck with that.
Was the “nice rotation bro. Good luck with that.” part of this in response to me? If that was, it sounds like sarcasm, and I’m not sure if the good luck is in reference to acquiring that rotation, or if it’s a good luck with that being a good rotation.
I admit that the Stanton trade is a little far fetched, but I bet he does get traded unless he decides to sign an extension, which I don’t think he would do. If that’s the case, he could be traded by the deadline this year.
As for the Mariners signing Tanaka, I think you don’t know much about Japan or the Mariners. The Mariners have been one of the most popular teams in Japan, if not the most popular, since they signed Ichiro. They also currently have Iwakuma, who was Tanaka’s teammate in Japan, and have signed big name Japanese stars in the past. If the Mariners are in on him, they could easily be one of the favorites.
Option 2 could be very good for them, I feel. Stanton’s value is at its lowest point (in my opinion). Not only would he require less prospects, but an extension would also be less absurdly lucrative. Those three players could push the Mariners into the playoffs.
The Stanton trade is a little far fetched, but I agree. His value is at his lowest, and I bet if the Marlins go in contract-extension talks with him and don’t include a no-trade clause, he will not accept which would lead to them trading him to get a nice return.
Also, on the value note, he will probably just continue losing value if the Marlins don’t get someone to protect him in that lineup since teams will just continue to pitch around him, lowering his numbers even more. That’s why I think if he doesn’t get extended this Spring, he could be traded by the deadline.
A lineup of SS Miller, 3B Seager, 2B Cano, RF Stanton, 1B Hart, LF LoMo would be great, especially if they could then swing a trade with the Yankees for Gardner and put him into the leadoff spot.
Seriously, the marlins have said that they aren’t trading Stanton, so lets speculate that 3 or 4 Mariners prospects that have yet to perform to their expectations will do the trick. Good grief.
I’ll bet they would trade him given the right package. They are holding out because they want him to sign an extension, but if he doesn’t and says he won’t, I’m sure they’d be willing. Especially given his couple of injuries, his down year, and the fact they already could have a future OF with Marisnick, Ozuna, and Yelich. His value is the lowest it’s been, and yes those prospects are unproven, but if they were offered a combination of Walker, Paxton, Zunino, Smoak, Franklin, Miller, Romero +, they would listen.
Maybe start with Paxton, Zunino, Smoak, Franklin, Romero + some fillers. Paxton could fill in nicely long term as a lefty behind Fernandez, and the others would fill spots long term for them.
Everyone lives in Japan would know Mariners is the most popular MLB team over there, thanks to Ichiro.
Other teams might feel paying 20M for unproven guy is risky, but
considering his super star mark, Mariners can easily make 10M back from marketing Tanaka/Iwakuma combo.
That’s 50% off boxing day sale, Ms will be in this bidding war for sure.
The A’s are developing a large passionate fanbase just like the Golden State Warriors and they should find a way to exploit that. Find a way to make the new stadium work near downtown and watch the revenue (and local area) flourish.