The Mariners have spent much of the offseason making trades to aggressively reshape their roster, but they announced on Wednesday what figures to be one of the largest pitching signings of the offseason: a four-year contract for free-agent left-hander Yusei Kikuchi. The Scott Boras client, who had been posted for MLB clubs by the Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball, will reportedly receive a guaranteed $56MM on a uniquely structured contract.
The first three years of Kikuchi’s contract will reportedly pay him $43MM, and at that point he’ll have a player option for the 2022 season that is valued at $13MM. However, the Mariners can also preemptively exercise a four-year club option on Kikuchi that would promise him an additional $66MM. In doing so, they’d effectively be extending his contract to a seven-year, $109MM deal. Conceptually, the deal is similar to the contract that Boras brokered between the Phillies and Jake Arrieta last year, though the overall length of the two pacts differs (as one would expect give the age discrepancy between the two).
Kikuchi, 27, was one of the more intriguing players available on this year’s free-agent market. He was free to sign with any team that he wanted after being posted by the Lions, but he had until early January to come to terms with a new team after being posted in early December, as the current posting agreement between Major League Baseball and NPB gives MLB clubs a 30-day window from the onset of the posting period. As part of that agreement, the Mariners will pay the Lions a release fee equal to 20 percent of the contract’s first $25MM, 17.5 percent of the next $25MM and 15 percent of anything on top of that. In other words, the Mariners are effectively agreeing to pay the Lions as much as $10.275MM on top of Kikuchi’s guarantee. If the four-year option/extension is picked up in 2022, they’d pay the Lions a total of $19.725MM in addition to the full $109MM guaranteed to Kikuchi.
The connection between Kikuchi and the M’s has long been obvious, particularly since the organization has made no secret of its interest. Though the Seattle club has made clear it’s taking a step back from competitiveness, it hopes to bounce back to contention by 2020 or 2021. That has been a driving factor in Seattle’s acquisition of young, controllable players such as Mallex Smith, Omar Narvaez, Domingo Santana, J.P. Crawford and Justus Sheffield.
The still-youthful Kikuchi seems to fit that timeline. It’s also hard to ignore the simple geographical match. Seattle and other west coast clubs are more convenient locales for Japanese players; the M’s have previously enjoyed positive stints from players such as Ichiro Suzuki and Hisashi Iwakuma and were selected as a finalist for Shohei Ohtani’s services last winter as well.
The addition of Kikuchi will give the Mariners’ rotation some upside to line up alongside young southpaw Marco Gonzales and veteran hurlers Felix Hernandez, Mike Leake and Wade LeBlanc. Bringing Kikuchi into the fold will give the Mariners the luxury of being able to ease Sheffield and/or righty Erik Swanson (acquired alongside Sheffield in the James Paxton swap with the Yankees) into the mix rather than forcing one or both into the rotation out of necessity. Of course, that complexion could still change over the course of the offseason; the Mariners are reportedly still exploring the market for Leake and other veterans.
Over the past four seasons, Kikuchi has worked to a pristine 2.58 ERA with averages of 8.9 strikeouts, 3.1 walks and 0.68 home runs per nine innings pitched. He’s said to have a fastball in the low to mid 90s and multiple average-or-better secondary offerings to pair with that heater. Though the M’s are committing a fairly substantial sum to a pitcher who is largely a wildcard, if Kikuchi is able to find success at the MLB level, that contract could quickly become a bargain. And while that $56MM guarantee is fairly hefty for a player who has yet to throw a pitch in the Majors, it’s more along the lines of the contract a mid-rotation starter would expect to receive on the open market here. If Kikuchi can prove himself as a quality big league arm, it’s quite possible that there’ll even be surplus value on the deal.
The Kikuchi signing is somewhat of a rarity among non-contending clubs these days: a move designed to improve the team for the upcoming season even as it looks to retool/rebuild its organization for the long haul. In an era of tanking teams that are motivated by a collective bargaining agreement that heavily incentivizes losing, few teams make this type of investment early in the rebuilding (or, to use GM Jerry Dipoto’s term, “re-imagining”) process. But the acquisition of Kikuchi and the focus on MLB-ready or near-MLB assets in the majority of the growing web of trades Dipoto has made this winter do all speak to the fact that, as opposed to the arduous multi-year rebuilds on which so many other organizations have embarked, the Mariners hope to be competitive far sooner than later.
Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal (Twitter link). Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweeted that the two sides had reached an agreement. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported the length of the contract (via Twitter), and Heyman added further details on the contract structure (also via Twitter).
Is he a lock for the opening day start in Japan? I would think so.
Yusei Kikuchi’s novel deal with the Mariners, source tells ESPN: three years and $43M, at which point the Mariners can trigger a four-year, $66M extension. If they don’t, Kikuchi can either opt into free agency or accept fourth-year option at $13M. @JonHeyman had details first.
Seems a overpay… just under 19 million a year for the first 3 years with the buyout …
Guess I read it wrong, not to bad at 11 million per year for first 3 years … but 7 years at 109 million seems steep … hope he works out
That’s brutally bad math. 3/43 is a tick over 14 per. Not sure why you’d include the opt in and still consider it a 3 year deal. It’d then be a 4/56 in the worst case scenario.
Beat me to it, couldn’t get logged in.
14mil/yr on the 3 & 4yr options or 15.5 for 7, similar yearly numbers.
Should go to the Angels
I was really hoping we could land him.
If only for the hilarity of Dipoto missing out again to his old employer.
That would sting. But probably not as much as the Angels’ 2018 stung after “winning” the offseason.
I mean we have Shohei for the next 5 years at league minimum. Even if we didn’t make the playoffs, that’s a HUGE win.
Uh, no. LA has Shohei for two more years at league minimum and three years after that of arbitration-eligibility.
And that absolutely was a huge win for LA.
He will be your de facto “breakup ice cream bucket” once your 10-WAR player is gone in two years.
C. A. Hevia
Will anything sting more than not even reaching the world series in 2001?
Yes, not reaching it in ’95!!!!!
’86 was kinda nasty as well.
Seattle went into 2001 without high expectations and fans believed it was the start of something special.
So, the answer to your question is “yes”. I would even argue that 2018 stung more for Mariner fans than 2001. Fans believed they had a shot, and after the first half, everyone had their hopes up.
But, at least Seattle fans got a half season of hope. The Angels crushed their fans’ hope by May.
Personally, 2018 stung me more than 01’. Gonzales was flying high Haniger was raking making Jerry look like a genius. DeBlanc was Jamie Moyer 2.0, each win had a different ‘hero’, we had Paxton’s no-hitter and an unusual amount of come from behind and 1 Run wins that were so ‘un-Mariner’ like. Take that Angels game at home where Upton hits a bomb off Eddie to tie it up. We lost the lead in the 9th, 10th and 11th inn only to come back in each inning eventually winning on a Ryon Healy dbl down the 3rd baseline. The Mariners just didn’t win games like that! And to add insult to injury Diaz, my favorite homegrown Mariner gets kicked out of town in the offseason! Still hurts- but I’ll just stuff those feelings waaay back in my brain box next to the Malcom Butler INT. Locked away…..
Laugh your way to another loosing season.
I want my team to lose this season. That’s how rebuilding works.
Don't hate the player hate the game
I didn’t know they are rebuilding thought they were reimaging or something. So many bitter and but hurt fans so unattractive. I think the mariners can be better next year maybe one of the pitchers from NY hits has a good year and their system is stacked with relief options not worried there,outfield is way better n w smith and Sant,Gordon switched leagues and positions should be able to rebound and fangrahs whos always down on mariners ( look at Cruz and cano projections last 3 years) predicts seager to be much better. I think it was may mariners starters had best era in majors or close to it leak LeBlanc gonzo had a lot to do with that. Crawford was injured a good amount last year think fangraphs has him a 2war next year. And like any other sport mlb always has surprises ex a’s have made how many playoffs when projected to be terrible if not last in division. So if experts can constantly be wrong pretty sure the people leaving comments on mlbtraderumors can be too if not more
They didn’t like being reminded that Trout is swimming away. Maybe the best player in the history of the game and the Angels couldn’t win with him (like my Mariners with Ichiro or Felix or Griffey or Arod).
I want my Mariners to serve him up a bunch of middle-middle meat balls this season. I want him to hit 65 home runs and become so expensive that the Angels either have to let him go or pay $50 mill a year for twelve years.
Figgins and Ohtani have only intensified my disdain for the Angels. I want the Angels to lose about as much as I want my Mariners to win. These are the hopes and dreams that fuel me as a fan, since I’ve forgotten what playoffs feel like, and the childlike innocence in my fandom has given way to resentment and loathing for the one team that most personifies the failure of my own.
Reminds me of Kenta Maeda a lil bit. Will do good with the Japanese culture in seattle
Maeda is right handed…..
Hard to compare LH to RH.
Not when you do Chad Bradford and Mike Myers…same pitcher…different handedness
You don’t have to pitch with the same hand to similar stuff
WTF??????? RH or LH has nothing to do with “fitting in” in the Japanese culture in Seattle!!!!
If the glove doesn’t fit…acquit.
Maeda is a really good pitcher. Just hurt a lot, as most pitchers are.
Hurt a lot? Lol As a Dodger’s fan that watches 150 games a yr I wonder who I see wearing Maeda’s jersey so much then
I’m pretty sure he’s confusing Maeda for Ryu
They’ll trade him after they sign him.
Free agents can’t be traded until at least June 15 I believe
He’ll be traded June 16th.
He’ll be the player to be named later in Jerry’s trade next week.
Heard a deal was in place to send him to an unnamed team on June 16th
From who, 1988?
i love this conversation
Loved you on Columbo last night Ron Vey.
Loved you on Columbo last night Ron Cey.
Oy Vey Ron Cey, Jonas Salk, and Peter Falk.
you are cracking me up. rolling on the ground here
Making his MLB debut in Japan would be pretty awesome
Still hoping the Giants can sign him.
Adding kikuchi and Sheffield to replace Paxton is a major win for SEA
@tonydif the words major win and Seattle don’t mix try something else.
Nah the problem with the Mariners is they always get a major win, but then do nothing after it. For example, 1995 ALDS, 116 Wins, signing Ichiro and basically all the big names they’ve signed expect Cruz, and this year being on track for 100 wins the first half of the season.
Let’s get this rolling already!!
Youngest FA SP, but has injury concerns and is 6’0…
Still a coup, to whomever signs him, especially, if he gets Maeda-like incentives” for innings pitched
Kenta Maeda got 8 years $25 million, that could max out at $106.2 million from the Dodgers if he makes 32 starts and has 200 IP. Perfect contract structure for this guy lol
MLB baseball size is larger than Japanese one. Plus slippery in America’s dry air. So expected Ohtani’s TJ sergery. Kikuchi is 6′, short fingures, no doubt he will be on same path. Risky.
are you kidding me? have seen his in-shoot or his. drop ball or his glider?
Ur killing me Ron with the description of the pitches.. sound like satchel Paige and all the names he had for his pitches.. ‘slippery slider”.. ‘dead drop”.. he named everything..
We have heard enough about his personal life
those are names of pitches japanese use.
Thank you Mr Obvious for the education
It wasn’t that obvious. I appreciated his comment.
C. A. Hevia
Ohtani’s injury has no bearing on Kikuchi — none.
I think it’ more about the weight of the ball and the stitching is raised much higher on a NPB ball.
A coup? A mid rotation guy. Not a dominant starter.
A coup? Maeda is a mid rotation guy and heading into his twilight years. Kikuchi is still questionable. It is doubtful that he will be a dominant starter.
Didn’t you already comment almost the exact same thing earlier?
You should do it a third time, wait you might already have. Im not finished scrolling….
I think it’s got to be about the money if he signs with the M’s. They aren’t going to be competitive this year, and probably won’t be for 2-3 years.
No. They should be ready to contend in 2020 or 2019 if these prospects hit.
put the bong down
I forget this year is over. So I amend my post. 20/21.
Figured you meant 20 or 21.
I think you have not been paying attention. The Mariners now have a better rotation than they did in 2018, their defense has improved and even after losing Cano their projected performance on offense is improved over 2018. I don’t think they are going to be as bad as you think. Losing Diaz is going to hurt, but no reliever is going to make a difference of more than a few wins a season.
The mariners won more one run games the anyone. Losing Diaz and Colome is a seismic blow. Their rotation might be better. Kikuchi is an unknown quantity and Sheffield is a rookie. Their team isn’t any better in 2019 but it is long term. They found the correct time frame to compete after Houston potentially loses Verlander and Cole. That’s when the window opens up in this division.
Why aren’t they going to be competitive?
– Replaced Paxson with Kikuchi
– Replaced Cano with Gordon
– Replaced Cruz with Encarnacion
– Replaced Segura with Crawford
– Replaced Gamel with Domingo Santana
– Replaced Maybin with Mallex Smith
– Replaced Span with Bruce
Outfield is better, infield is a little worse offensively. When you factor in Paxson’s injury history, starting pitching isn’t much of a dropoff.
Only area where they will really regress is relief pitching.
Unfortunately I’m a Mariners fan- I’d love to see them be competitive but we have absolutely no idea what we have in Kikuchi. Gordon, Santana, Seager and Bruce are all question marks on offense. EE won’t be in the lineup on OD and Crawford will be in Tacoma till late May.
JP Crawford is not a rookie, why would he start in AAA? only if he struggles in the spring.
Who is OD?
If EE is not in the lineup then the player we aquire for him will contribute.
Crawford will likely start in AAA to manipulate his service time and to give him a chance to get comfortable again, which didn’t happen upon his return from the injury last season. He could force the issue in spring, but getting that extra year should be appealing.
The “OD” was an abbreviation for opening day.
They keep adding players like Encarnacion, Santana, and Kikuchi, they won’t be bad for very long.
These moves put us in the timeline contention window of 2020-2021.
If Jerry keeps Crawford in Tacoma till mid-May he gets one more year of team control. Since all this upheaval is about getting young controllable talent I’d be shocked if the team start him in Seattle come Opening Day.
Encarnacion will be long gone by 2020 so I don’t see how adding players like that helps….
If indeed the Mariners do sign him…I would think that he would be a lock to be the starter opening day in Japan…Another piece to the puzzle for the rebuilding M’s
It’s the Ichiro effect.
Whatever it is it’s working and I love it. He almost got us Ohtani too
Was that radio station any good?
I listen to quite a few Canadian station via the web.
Did you know a Japanese pitcher won ROY in Seattle the year before Ichiro did?
Sure. Sasaki won ROY in 2000
Wish he was a jay….
Jon is out there. Make a run at getting him.
It’s Ichiro. It’s all Ichiro.
Oh man I hope this is real for the Mariners and if he succeeds anywhere close to Kuma that would be awesome
Key igawa V2.0
Lol, Yankee fans said the same thing about Ohtani last year.
*after the Yankees were ruled out
Which is stupid considering ohtani has way more talent than igawa did lmao
While this is true, labeling Kikuchi a bust before he even pitches one pitch in MLB, makes your fellow Yankee fans look bad. —This Yankee fan is begging you; Please, stop!!
I had him going to the Yanks in FA contest, and still think he can be something special. He’s young enough, just has to stay healthy.
Hmm…You compared him to Maeda…Kikuchi is older…Maeda is nothing special.
And it looks like the M’s will pay YK half as much as Maeda earns.
Can confirm this result is 100 times better than the chase for a Japanese pitcher last year. He will remain anonymous.
But, this signing is great. If he fails, oh well. But, people watching the mariners will actually have some real things to cheer for, despite a sub .500 season.
Also, not to mention, Kikuchi is starting one of the two Japan games, while Ichiro is in the outfield.
That means Kikuchi is basically Trout times 50?
I don’t know how this is better for Seattle than getting Ohtani would have been, but it’s still a win for them.
Now if they can just find some infielders and a defensive-minded catcher for the near future….
I don’t mean this is better than Ohtani, but the result (signing with the Mariners, better than signing with the Angels).
i really hope when all is said and done he is a Halo. i know his thumb pitch is awesome. he also has a decent twister to go along with his jet pitch.
Come on Ron enough with the description of his Saturday nights
Before he throws his Twister does he have to spin the dial to see what color his landing foot plants on? Seriously, though, I am impressed with Hootchie Kikuchi Man’s arsenal of Fistball, Spinner, and Slinky (cuz everyone KNOWS it’s Slinky.)
Too much time in the training room hot tub
Padres r knocking on the door
Makes sense with his preference to play on the west coast, and playing over 100 games that are exempt from state tax.
M’s have Asian geography advantage that they don’t have in the states. It evens out.
Well the M’s are in the states…
I absolutely love this. I wish we got otani last year but kk is a great ad for the rebuilding Ms. Get him his bumps and bruises for two years while we let our prospects learn and grow …2020/21 could be something special
And now they have money available to spend when theyre ready to contend after shedding a ton of money this offseason too.
Now this is garbage! Lol! Would’ve thought the Giants would’ve took a risk on him! I hope Zaidi seen something that no one else sees. Lol! Why Seattle though out of all places? I know the Giants are stuck but they are in a better position then Seattle!
I’m waiting for the Giants to do something. I was hoping this would be it, but oh well. It’s been a boring offseason.
Yeah, I don’t think “SF is in a better position than SEA” is even a tiny bit correct.
And why Seattle? Sasaki, Ichiro, Johima, and Iwakuma have all had success in the major league for Seattle.
And Shigetoshi, though Seattle wasn’t his first stop in MLB.
Seattle also established a reputation for taking care of its Japanese players, going above and beyond.
Hahahahaha, more crazy talk!
Giants are stuck with no signs of contention in that division.
Mariners have a plan and a solid history of landing Japanese talent.
And again more crazy talk! If healthy they can contend. Seattle is in a baaaad spot for awhile. Just keep waiting for that ring and another Griffey to come around!
They have almost nothing on the books for 2021 and a slew of prospects to integrate with Haniger, Gonzales, and Santana over the next 2-3 years.
Getting another Griffey would be a stretch for any team, as he was one of a kind, much like Trout. But Kelenic and Rodriguez might be the real deal. They have MLB’s best crop of outfield prospects.
It’s not as crazy as you seem to think. What is crazy is SF’s payroll considering where they sit, banking on multiple rebounds and having glaring needs in the outfield and arguably third base with no clear answers.
The last time Seattle won anything was when>
You do know Rodriguez is 17 and hasn’t played past rookie ball right?
I think 2021 for his debut would be an optimistic one. 2022 more likely if things go well.
Why do you think I used “might” instead of a more definitive modal, such as “will”?
Rodriguez has all the tools and the right attitude. He’s far from proven, but yes, he (again) might be the real deal.
And I never said or suggested that Kelenic or Rodriguez would be ready by 2021. The point of singling them out had to do with their talent/tools, as they might have the highest ceilings of any Mariner prospects.
White, Lewis, Bishop, DTW, and Fraley should all be in the conversation in 2021. Kelenic and Rodriguez are probably more likely to debut in 2022 or 2023.
honestly the giants have a much better chance of completing in the nl west than sea does in leapfrogging the Astros, a’s, angels after tearing down.
You realize the Dodgers are in the NL West, right.?
Seattle isn’t stressing contention in 2019. They’ve made that clear. 2020 is probably a stretch, but 2021 should see the graduations of several key prospects and they have a projected rotation of Kikuchi-Gonzales-Dunn-Sheffield-LeBlanc/Swanson. And they should have a ton of financial flexibility as only Seager at 18.5 will be on the books; Haniger, Gonzales, and Santana will still be under control through arbitration.
Do you think that with a healthy Posey, Longo, Belt, Bum, and Panik that those dudes can’t contend? Three pieces shy. Add about 10 more wins with fa signings and they can complete for a wild card at least.
It’s more than just those guys. It’s also Melancon, Cueto, Samardzija and an unproven outfield with few options left via free agency.
Austin Slater should be fun to watch next season, but the Giants need a lot of things to go right to get back in the race next season.
cueto is a non player this year, Melancon was actually shaping up last year, shark really sucked- so i don’t see any of those guys moving the needle one way or another. the big thing is that if you want to play for any kind of record in 2019 you need to do something with the rotation in regards to adding someone, especially if you are set on letting Holland go which looks likely
The problem is those players are largely shelves of their former selves. If this was 2014 they’d be the favorites but those guys aren’t the same. Panik and Longo are fringe starters at 2nd and 3rd. Crawford is an okay SS at this point. There’s no one in the outfield and Belt is about an average first baseman. Posey is still above average but he’s more of a nice player than a superstar at this point. Bum is a question mark. Idk what he is anymore but I don’t think it matters with the rest of those guys.
They can leapfrog the now rebuilding D’Backs but I can’t see them beating LA or Col. As for WolfChan’s point though. Yeah, I think the Mariners finish fourth. I’d take the Giants finishing 3rd before the M’s. That’s not worth anything at all obviously because there’s 3 teams in the central that I like more than SF.
Seattle has not made it to the World Series. Given there tear down, it will take them even longer then the Giants. The Giants have a greater history with Japanese players then any other team.
what evidence makes you say that? I disagree but would like to know your reasoning behind it
I seriously doubt that. But hey! This is baseball.
At this point I am not convinced that Zaidi actually exists.
At this point the Giants have to let some contracts play out. Not a lot he can do but adjust for the future. Expect Smith, Watson, Bum at the least to be headed elsewhere come mid season if they aren’t contenders to stack up with some young talent for Bart, and Ramos.
Well, if you believe they “have to let some contracts play out” and should move Smith, Watson, and Bumgarner if they aren’t in it by mid-season, how exactly are they in a better position than Seattle?
Now that’s crazy talk.
Happy New Year!
It’s payback for double agent Ned
How is it that the San Francisco Giants whiff on everyone they are interested in?
I don’t get why free agents don’t want to go there. It’s the greatest place to live in the world.
their uniforms are ugly. thats the main reason.
I kinda like their halloween colors. lol.
it’s not even the best place to live in California. That honor goes to San Diego. San Francisco is only appealing if you are college aged living near Berkley or you live in a household that makes $500k/yr+
San Diego? SF is way more beautiful. You’re right about the cost of living though. It’s way too high. My thinking is if you are on the Giants though, you don’t really need to worry about the cost of living.
well, not every player has a guaranteed contract. Guys like Posey, Belt and Crawford should be fine, but not players that are in pre-arb or arb
san Diego is a great place to live id you are white and/or rich. also you don’t know wtf you Are talking about, saying living in sf is only good if you are living near berkely is like saying living in maine is only nice if you live in Connecticut
White and rich ???
Happen to have a cabin in Maine and you sir are horribly incorrect.
Traffic, BART, crime, homelessness, urine and feces filled streets…whats not to like about San Francisco?
You think San Francisco is the greatest place to live? If you are completed secluded from society, it’s a great place. But then so is every other place.
SF is great. Just wish there was a fail proof way to find affordable parking and a poop free sidewalk
SF is one of the most expensive places to visit here in CA. Cool place, but way too much poop on the sidewalks!
Human poop! on the sidewalks……Everywhere!!!! yuk
“Who are you calling a whiff ?” – Pat Venditte
I wanted to see him with San Francisco Giants
Meh. Going to a team in a rebuild mode—guess Seattle scores because of their Japanese connections and proximity to Japan.
25 losses first season? why go to a team just going into rebuild?
Money, location, personal preference… I’m sure there are plenty of others
Four years but at how much?
Best wishes to the guy on his career here. I know there are definite question marks, but he does have talent. I knew he liked the West Coast but should have guessed he’d pick Seattle, its a magnate for Japanese talent. Look forward to the Yankees facing him
Seattle has an Asian geography advantage that they don’t in the states. It evens out.
It looks like the Mariners have 4 members of their rotation for the 2021 “Competitive” season…Gonzales, Dunn, Kikuchi, Sheffield.
Logan Gilbert may be the 5th
Swanson who they also got from the Yankees is projected to be in the rotation at some point this season, so he could factor in.
I have read that too. He seems likes a multi-inning bullpen guy by 2021 if all goes as planned though. Then again, Dipoto will probably made 100 more trades by 2021
I don’t think Mike Leake or Encarnacion(their last trade chips as it doesn’t look like Haniger is being traded)will bring back a top pitching prospect. So either Dipoto will have to get lucky in this years draft, or sign Sale/Bumgarner/Cole etc…
Wouldn’t be surprised if Dipoto goes back after Paxton come free agency, should James put up some nice numbers in New York. They have the money to splurge when he hits free agency. All that money comes off their books the same year.
Actually Erik Swanson is on the cusp as well.
Yusei Kikuchi’s fantasy value just plummeted.
I don’t know why I’m getting down clicks. The Mariners offense is going to be putrid and their defense will be one of the worst in 2019. With minimal run support and shady defense behind him, the chances of Yusei Kikuchi succeeding in ’19 is slim to none. Sorry Mariners fans but these are just facts.
Why do you think their defense will be putrid?
If you’re seriously asking me that, you clearly don’t know baseball. Just go to the Mariners 40 man roster. They have no catchers, EE is going to be traded before Spring training, Bruce is damaged goods. Santana may have a chance to reestablish himself but he will probably never hit the way he did in ’17. Gordon is in a steep decline. Seager’s offensive output decreases each season. The only decent hitter the Mariners have are Haniger & Smith. Let’s not forget that they no longer have Cano. Like I said, the Mariners will have a PUTRID offense in 2019.
Very insightful for someone who doesn’t follow our team…..NOT!!!!
I liked you’re effort that you tried to put into it though. High five……sike! Lol
Enjoy last place for the next couple of seasons because that’s your and the Mariners immediate future. Also, as long as Jerry “Trigger Happy” Dipoto is the GM of the Mariners, they will remain irrelevant.
I didn’t ask about why you thought the offense would be bad I asked about why you thought the defense will “be one of the worst in baseball”?
I think Greg asked about the defense…
Back to the metropolitan!
Offense scored 670 runs LAST year, that was putrid….GM replaced all the guaranteed outs and loaded up on big bats in OF…thats an 800 run offense now.
Defense is a LOT better with Mallex in CF, Dee at 2b and whomever at SS. You don’t think Cano and Segura were great defenders do you?
Dude, you’re delusional. Losing Segura & Cano and replacing them Bruce, D. Santana & Smith is hysterical. Cano is a great all around hitter & Segura can be counted on for at least 10-15 HR’s with 20-30 SB’s. Bruce had an injury plagued 2018 season, is on the wrong side of 30 and playing in a more difficult home ballpark to hit homeruns. Smith is solid offensively. Maybe get like a .280 avg, 8 HR’s with 35-40 SB’s but his defense is HORRENDOUS. He had only 3 OF assists against 6 errors. His .977 fielding percentage is below average. Zunino is gone. Granted, he never hit for Avg but his 25 HR’s behind the plate are gone. How is this an improved offense??? With Cano & Segura gone, Haniger will see less pitches to hit, so his overall numbers will suffer. The Mariners are going to have a long, difficult and depressing 2019 season. All I can say to Mariners fans is hang in there. It will get better………..eventually.
I see an OF with Haniger, Mallex and Jarred Kelenic future, Evan White at 1B, Dee at 2B, an that’s not too bad a start considering how early it is. Besides we’ve got a 199 more trades to make before its finished.
Key word in your reply is “Future”. The Mariners will be bad for AT LEAST 2 seasons maybe more.
Which is by design and they admit to it for the most part. This shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone.
I know it’s by design and that’s fine but Mariners fans can’t seriously believe that a team that’s in the process of a rebuild, will be a better offensive ballclub in 2019, especially when you factor in their subtractions, additions & soon-to-be subtractions. Just embrace the rebuild and get rid of this false hope that the Mariners will actually be good in 2019.
wayneroo gets it.
Danny….don’t worry about the downvotes. It’s a sport to some.
As for your statement I do agree. I disagree with Seattle going after Kikuchi in the first place. They still need to take 1 more step back in my opinion to take the steps forward. However, if Cano and Segura are clubhouse cancers then perhaps addition by subtraction helps them? All will be revealed the first couple months of the season. All I know is a WC spot is up for grabs and Seattle opted to pass on it, at first glance.
Who here is saying that? You keep implying that some of us are. WE ALREADY KNOW THIS YANKEES FAN.
Santana-Mallex-Haniger is probably the best defensive OF in MLB, please stop.
Mallex Smith grades out terribly in CF. Look up his defensive numbers. In 2018 he had only 3 OF assists against 6 errors. The guy had a .977 fielding pct. Any true MLB fan would tell you that’s bad for CF.
Happy Nee Year from Westlake, OH where it’s 60 degrees with 30 MPH winds and no parking spaces in the motel parking lot.
lol it’s hot where you are.
Kikuchi and Dee traded to Angels for Kole, Marsh, JamJones
on june 16
How high are you?
Everyone’s high off New Years — It’s a fresh start.
Rays should have signed him….just think, Japanese TV pays the M’s for rights to broadcast his starts…….He could “open” for the Rays 50 times next year…..50 TV payments…….Stuie could buy a new condo……
Think of the incentive-heavy contracts they could sign guys to. $20MIL bonus for making 20 starts, and bring them in during the 2nd inning after the all-star break.
Let’s hope they don’t read this site…….
Congrats on landing Kikuchi. I wish he was going to the Angels.
I guess, people will learn to eait before screaming about him not being around when Seattle is ready to contend.
Actually, they won’t, but….
Why? They won’t be competitive again until after that contract expires.
New year, Seattle fans will never forget
Happy New Year!! Congrats on signing Kikuchi
The posting system was changed correct ?
Those Japanese boys sure love Seattle.
Must be the coffee and/or the Fifty Shades of Grey books.
those japanese are men, boy!
You’re right. They are men. I was just using a euphemism. Apologies if I offended you, young man.
haha, you must be quite old!
No they’re boys if they’re less than 30. I say this only because I’m 31. When I’m 40, it will be the same thing with any players who are 39.
Poor Mike Trout…TRADE TROUT…!!! HE WANTS TO PLAY IN PHILLY!!!
Every competitive team dodged a bullet, if u want to play for the Marlins. You are clearly to scared for the post season.
Says the Padres fan whose team has gone to the playoffs 5 times in 50 years.
I recommend using the correct team names when trying to be taken seriously.
There’s so much bitterness in this comment section because Kikuchi did not choose their team.
That’s a very unique contract. Three years guaranteed plus a players option or Seattle gives him four more guaranteed years..
How is this contract structure different from Arrieta’s? (Boras is also his agent)
Feel there’s similarities; Phillies can pick up option yrs?
yea, similar structure just shorter terms (which makes sense, considering age…)
I’m actually not even 100% sure on the Arrieta deal, but I think it works like this: If he has has a great 2019 and decides to opt out after this season, then the Phils can basically override his opt-out decision by giving him a guaranteed 20 million per season in 2020, 2021, and 2022. If Arrieta doesn’t opt out, then the Phils just owe him the 20 million for 2020 to finish out the 3 year/75 million deal they agreed on. Will be an interesting decision for the Phils if Arrieta has a strong enough season to consider opting-out.
That’s correct raltonga, plus 2020/2021 have incentives that can raise the value to $25M/$30M (IP and CYA incentives).
I really do believe this is the future of many contracts with opt-outs and player options but mostly opt-outs. It gives the player more $$ and allows the team to retain a good player. If I were Klentak it’s a structure I would use for Manny as I have outlined before (the one and only time I have dabbled in the prediction arena…lol)
Why would you go to a team rebuilding? Not a good decision. Should of picked the Angels
You got Ohtani! So can it!
Yes… there’s a solid move!
I don’t know if Trout wrote that, but this is a great move by the Ms. Three years, 43 Million for even a solid number four is an acceptable deal… and he could be a whole lot better than that.
This could also work out to be a seven year deal. To me, this is the win of the off-season.
I like this better than any other contract signed so far. And I don’t even like the Ms.
though there is a high chance dip dip will trade him.
Angels aren’t rebuilding and they still suck, so why would he choose them?
The Angels suck? Another ignorant fan. The last three years over 300 of their starts were made by the 7th or 8th, or 9th and so on pitcher on their staff and they were a 500 team.
If the Angels get 100 starts from their top five or even top 6 starting pitchers, they’ll be very very competitive..
if if if
Sorry dude but wins are the only thing that matters and the Angels most certainly are not good at those.
Wins are the only thing that counts? Smart baseball people disagree. There is a reason why DiPoto said this team was not close. No way a team that allowed 34 more runs than they scored has a reasonable chance of finishing 500 unless it improves.
The Ms haven’t..
Not an if, if, if Fred. A fact fact fact.
The Angels Pythagorean won loss record that last three years is more or less 500. They have done that with their projecting starting staff starting about a 3rd of their games. Not to mention Mike Trout has averaged 127 games the last two years.
There are few teams that can sustain those kinds of loses and finish 500. That team doesn’t suck… far from it. No one is saying they’ll stay healthy this year, but even if they don’t, they are a 500 team. If they do, they are much much better than that.
You can argue the Angel’s woes all day long and we all have seen the proof. They have the best player in baseball but done nothing with him. They are strapped with a terrible contract and now bad player in Pujols. There saving grace” Ohtani” will likely not pitch in 19 and will be lucky to swing a bat before June. This team is a mess and are much farther away from winning then the what if numbers. Unfortunately all teams have to deal with injury, that is where depth comes into play and Angel’s are lacking in that department.
Since Jerry Dipoto arrived in Seattle, who has the better cumulative record: the Angels or the Mariners?
If fact only four American teams have a better cumulative record than the Mariners over those years.
The Angels had a higher payroll than the Mariners in those years.
LAA is about to be screwed for a long time with way their payroll structure is setup. And I get it, you gotta stay competitive, FOR Trout, or risk losing him.
If he was any good, Oakland would have been in for him. No better than Irabu.
Oakland isnt giving $100M deals to anyone, let alone an untested JPL guy.
Actually it’s for $43. The option is for $66. But ok.
CASHMAN WTF?! the only SP left worth getting is gone
How you know he is worth it?
I mean, theres no real way to just know how successful he will be in the MLB, so if youre asking how i know that he will do good, i have no answer for you.
However, it was worth the risk to get him. He is costing SEA what, $14M a year? I think if you are team that desperately needs SP like the Yankees, they should be willing to give up $15M a year to roll the dice on a promising young pitcher.
It’s called scouting. A lot of teams were in on him. It’s never a guarantee for anything, not even a #1 overall pick. But the chances are pretty good if there’s a lot of teams in on him.
If he’d of signed with your team, you’d be saying the same.
Alfred E Neuman
@Begamin: There are, you know, teams other than the Yankees that guys want to play for.
OH REALLY WOW DEEP INSIGHT I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT HMMM
Listen, I understand that. However, it is a GMs job to acquire players. They have to convince players to play for them (whether it’d be by money/years/other persuasions) and Cashman did not get the job done even though SP should be the Yankees #1 priority. Kikuchi could possibly do very well for cheaper than a lot of good SP and they wouldnt have had to give up player capital either. Cashman didnt pony up for Corbin, which is understandable, but now he let Kikuchi slip by. It would be one thing if Cashman offered the moon for Kikuchi and he turned it down for less money to play for SEA, but I have my doubts that happened. He is a Boras agent, after all.
Kikuchi and Ohtani have a rivalry that dates back to high school. I’m sure that this played out in some factor of him signing with Seattle as well as a better geographical advantage that the M’s possess in the States.
Im not doubting the possibility of there being attractive factors for why Kikuchi would want to go to Seattle. Just saying Cashman shouldve pony’d up for this one and blew those factors out the water by presenting a much better contract. $14M a year shouldnt have been hard to beat out.
Now that Kikuchi’s gone, Imma predict that the Brewers get Keuchel and Oakland gets Gonzalez
Not an Ms or AL West follower but from what I read here, it seemed like they were dismantling and retooling for contention in few years. How does this move make sense now?
I think their goal is to reset without going full on tank-mode. Their plan is probably to put most of these new pieces on the field in 2020 with real playoff contention in 2021. With this 4-7 year deal they’ll keep him through that window if he pans out. I think it was a combination of him probably wanting to come here and fitting that window, with the bonus of fielding a not-totally-garbage this year after shipping out most of the big names, and hopefully retaining some ticket sales.
I see. That makes some sense. I thought they would want to tank some more and get better picks. But what you have written here also could work for them. Hope they bounce back soon.
Kikuchi and Ohtani have a rivalry that dates back to high school. I’m sure that this played out in some factor of him signing with Seattle as well as a better geographical advantage that the M’s possess in the States.
He fits their timeline PERFECTLY! Dipoto has stated he wants to compete in 2 years. Kikuchi’s contract is for 4. You see the math?
hope the angels sign 2 top relief pitchers. and that’ll do.
Just one top RP and one good one. As long as their top five pitchers start 100 games, they’ll be fine. Of course that hasn’t happened for several years.
no feeling for this guy or this signing but it seems like a loi of teams ree ree wanted him
More risk for M’s here than Kikuchi. But could end up a steal if he’s at least a solid No 2 starter.
Mariners will trade him in 2 years for minor league prospects
Wow a total circumvention of the posting system, and an F you to the NPB. If I’m Seibu I’m absolutely furious. And I know fans won’t care, but how long with this occur until we start seeing less and less players posted. There’s basically going to be little upside to it.
Something tells me his competitive juices and desire for a World Series ring were just not factors when deciding to sign with the Mariners.
The mariners are going to be a very young, talented and (almost)competitive team come 2020. I’d expect what we saw from the Astros. 65 wins, 79 wins, then deep playoff run in 2021.
56m is guarantied. This guy is provably a #3 or 4 starter. Best case is #2 starter. %20 is the posting fee I believe. That’s 11m plus.
#3 starter projects to 3-4 WAR
If Kikuchi is a solid #3 the mariners made a great deal.
Only 31 SPs had over 3 WAR last season. That is just false.
If anything #1 projects to 3+ WAR as there are 30 teams and therefore the best 30 pitchers would be a #1 if every team had one.
The first three years are guaranteed = $43 million. Opt out after year three is $13 million.
Good deal for the Mariners, good deal for the young man. Smart, creative contract.
This signing don’t make sense , The mariners are rebuilding. I feel like the angels should of signed him.
Dipoto never said rebuilding, the media did. He said “reimagining”.
I haven’t seen anything about a No-Trade provision. So I’m thinking M’s use him for a year, put some fannies in the seats (novelty). If he pitches to his ceiling (#2 starter) he’s a heck of a trade chip next winter. If he pitches to his floor, he’s a decent (if expensive) #4 starter.
Mariners aren’t tearing it down for financial reasons; they have lots of money. But DiPoto realizes he has to deal with Houston/A’s for the next two years, and he just doesn’t have the guns, either in the majors, or below. So he’s looking ahead some.
Not a bad idea…….and they can still be decently competitive for the next 2 years…no 100 loss seasons. Seems like a reasonable approach.
The Mariners look like they actually have a better team right now. Who knows, maybe Dipoto has a plan and a vision?
Astros are slowly coming back to earth, the A’s will always be competitive but not great. Who else is there? Eventually Trout will get some support… But really, what is stopping the Mariners from being competitive? A few more trades, a key signing and boom you have yourself a team ready to compete
Have not seen them do that with a single Japanese player yet.
Up until Ichiro, and that was upon his request after a full career with the M’s and his best years behind him.
Alfred E Neuman
I love how butthurt the entitled Yankees fans get when any free agent signs with another team.
It’s baffling. So they give up Diaz, to save some of the money they owed Cano, and then they spend more than what they saved, on a contract to Kikuchi that is likely to last the same exact 4 years they would’ve had Diaz for.
Oh well. At least they did spend that money, instead of giving it back to the owner. But they would’ve definitely been better off spending it on operation “offload Cano”, and then flipped Diaz for prospects. That would’ve contributed to the rebuild. This is highly unlikely to.
And yes, I understand that there’s a team option for 3 extra years. But it’s at $18M per year, to a then 32 year old who’s ceiling is mid rotation starter. It’s a significantly longer shot that that arrangement would provide them with value, than the probability that at least one of the prospects they could’ve gotten for Diaz would’ve ended up a productive major leaguer.
Wrong on all three.
Kelenic and Dunn are both highly ranked and expected to be very productive major leaguers within the next few years. It was actually a solid return for Diaz.
His projection is Patrick Corbin. What’d he sign for?
It was likely a west coast team was going to get him. Surprised Anaheim didn’t snag him though
Anybody know how the unusual construction of the contract affects the Mariners’ payment to the Japanese league? I’d guess that if the contract is extended, they’d have to send another payment, but I don’t know for sure.
Matthew De Lorge
What an incredibly dumb signing for a team just starting it’s rebuild. Why they choose to sign him and keep Haniger is simply ridiculous. Do they really think they can compete for a World Series in the next 3-4 years? They have basically thrown more money at a guy that will help them NOT secure a better draft position, and if he sucks will be ANOTHER bad contract they are saddled with..
I am not even a Mariners fan, but if I was, I would be pissed at the confused approach this front office is taking.
Keep in mind Dipoto never used the phrase “rebuild” he said “reimagined”. The entire basis of your post is off from the start! Seattle is NOT rebuilding.
Matthew De Lorge
They can use whatever words they want. They have stripped this team of essentially EVERY impact player except for Haniger. Not using the word rebuild was simply to keep the fans fooled, as if they are actually trying to compete quickly.
If this is a “re-imagining”, I guess they wanted to imagine this near playoff team as a bottom feeding nobody dead set on losing for the foreseeable future. They should just trade Haniger, Leake, and literally work on developing kids in hopes to being a legit contender in 5-7 years.
As is this team is bound for 90 losses.
“They have stripped this team of essentially EVERY impact player except for Haniger. ”
That is plain and simply false but also the phrase “impact player” has no set boundaries and is subjective at best.
Mallex-Haniger-Bruce-Encarnacion-Seager-Santana-Gordon-Crawford-Navarez is absolutely not as terrible as you say and Kikuchi-Gonzales-Leake-Felix-Leblanc is 5 more guys who are better chances of throwing 150+ IP than anyone on Oakland, a supposed contender.
You seem to be too mad about this. It makes so much sense and the Mariners are literally not doing what you say they are, they are doing what Dipoto says they are.
Matthew De Lorge
You obviously drink the Kool Aid and have provided ZERO evidence as to why I am wrong other than your opinions on a bunch of average to down trending players.
Oakland’s offense is legitimate, their pitching is terrible, and they got that max level I was talking about from every guy on the staff last year. Unlikely to happen two years in a row unless they shake things up with a few proven arms.
Seattle is garbage. I am hardly upset, just noting how dumb this move is. If you want to drink the Kool Aid, by all means go ahead.
If you are not a fan, how did you get so bitter over this move?
Matthew De Lorge
Not bitter at all. Just think this is a dumb move, and cannot see how ANY fan could see it otherwise, The team signing this guy should have been a team that wanted him to come in as a back end guy and could eat the signing if it were a bad one.
The Mariners already have Felix to force feed their fan base, If this guy sucks, which he very well could, it will multiply an already bad rotation.
This reeks of bitterness though “Why did this supposed non-contender buy a FA that a contender (aka MY fave team) could have” is what every single sentence you wrote reeks of. Sour grapes of the day award goes to you!
Matthew De Lorge
No, this reeks of “why would a garbage team overpay for a guy that won’t be around when they MIGHT contend”. The comment section is here for opinions. Didn’t know if you weren’t a Mariners fan you had to applaud even the most absurd additions or else labeled bitter.
It’s a bad baseball move IMO, sorry you have a hard time looking at it through anything but your jaded POV.
Did anyone pick this guy getting a deal that maxes out at over $100M?
While they have no depth and a terrible bullpen, the Mariners have a sneaky good team right now. Would be interesting if they went after Kimbrel.
Another good move by Dipoto!
Seriously though….. Trader Jerry got creative and came through for his team on this one
Matthew De Lorge
Signing a guy with a “middle of the rotation” outlook as his ceiling according to scouts? Kei Igawa had a similar outlook…
For a team that will be throwing Peasant Felix out there as a starter, the only way they are “sneaky” good will be if EVERY one of these under performing and young players rebounds and hits their ceiling, AND they make more moves.
This team is sneaky bad right now, with no pitcher better than a #4 on any roster, no closer, no impact reliever, and after Haniger, no impact power hitter.
Team sucks and Di Poto is highly overrated,literally using the GM technique of throwing crap against a wall hoping things will stick.
Are you a Yankees fan mad they took Kikuchi off the market?
Dont disrespect me by saying “sneaky bad” – literally every dumb fan is saying theyre going to lose 100 games next year, I’m not biased by anything so I can see things clearly and I can clearly see you are just being a sour grapes hater “Waaaahhh I wwaaannnted hiimmmm” lol bye now have a nice year.
Why would he be mad ? We have 4 pitchers better than him already
Sounds like Red Sox syndrome again. I’d be sad too if I had to watch my team trade the farm and spend all that money to lose to the Red Sox each season. Enjoy 120in of Paxton in that softball park
A couple of things…
Nobody here thinks highly of Jerry Dipoto.
Some teams have their outlook stretched beyond the 2019 season.
We only traded Sheffield …..
Why do people think the M’s are done making moves. I mean we’ve made 27,654 more moves than anyone else. Do they think we’re done?
Why are they sneaky good? They came into the year with a Pythagorean record of 77-85 last year and have gotten rid of most of their best players.
I’m not sure how they are sneaky good, but I’m listening. I see them as much worse. I see them as a 90 loss team.
Mallex-Haniger-Bruce-Encarnacion-Seager-Santana-Gordon-Crawford-Navarez and Kikuchi-Gonzales-Leake-Felix-Leblanc are not as terrible as you think and might sniff .500, that is sneaky good COMPARED to the haters like you saying they’re going to lose 90, capiche?
Other than Hanniger, which one of those playes is actually good? Seagar can be good if they ban the shift. But if they don’t, he’s not.
Gonzales is OK, if he’s your number 5. Leblanc? LOL. Felix is done? Leak?
You can have those three.
If EE is on your team, he’s a solid DH, But his OPS+ was 115 and Cruz’s was 135. The Ms are not sneaky good. I’ll be shocked if they only allow 34 more runs than they scored next year. And that’s where they are starting.
You are a moron if you think Gonzales is a #5
Please remember your comments a year from now. He’s OK if he’s your number four. Is that better?
A 4.00 ERA from a pitcher who doesn’t miss bats is not my idea of a good middle of the rotation pitcher. He does throw strikes, He’s the kind of guy you want at the back end of your rotation.
I didn’t think Matt Shoemaker was a middle of the rotation starter when he did much better than that in 2014. You like guys like that at the back end, not the front end.
Today, there are not very many good pitchers who can be good with a less than 8 K rate. If he does it again with that K Rate, I’ll change my mind, but I wouldn’t want to go into the season with him as my number 3.
Last year Marco Gonzales ranked 23rd among starters in fWAR, just ahead of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Regression may be in store for Gonzales, a former first-round pick who peaked at No. 50 on Baseball America’s prospect lists before Tommy John surgery delayed his development. But I doubt that the left hander will end up a backend starter.
I get your point. Perfectly valid. We can disagree on the guy. I like disagreement. I like rational arguments.
I’d be surprised if he’s anything other than a back end of the rotation starter.
But I don’t know. I know I didn’t like Shoemaker in spite of his rookie season. .I know I don’t like Barria in spite of his 3.41 ERA.
There are not a lot of pitchers with below average K rates who turn out to be top of the rotation starters. He may be one of them.
But he’s LH, and 7.8 per nine is respectable. But there also not a lot of wiggle room.
Time will tell if I’m a Moron or not.
You can’t have a PT record before having data. Get a clue
Macstruts- Do you think this years Mariners are going to be as bad as the “Smoak years”?
I think they are going to be better than the Casey Kotchman, Chone Figgins year.
I think DiPoto is a good GM and I think he’s right not to fall for the Ms record last year.
They don’t have Trout. They don’t HAVE to go for that one game “play in” game. They are in a good position, just not in the next year or two.
Having a 150 million dollar payroll hoping your team beats out 3 to 5 other teams for that one game playoff is pure desperation. The Angels have to do it, the Ms don’t. And they are smart not to try.
And of course there is usually one or two teams that defy all logic and reason and compete even though it seems impossible. It’s baseball.
They keep adding players like Encarnacion, Santana, and Kikuchi, they won’t be bad for very long.
Compared to 2018 Their offense is worse, their bullpen is worse and their rotation is meh. How are they sneaky good ??? There are at least 6 teams in the AL better than them too
Mallex-Haniger-Bruce-Encarnacion-Seager-Santana-Gordon-Crawford-Navarez and Kikuchi-Gonzales-Leake-Felix-Leblanc are not as terrible and might sniff .500, that is sneaky good COMPARED to the haters like you saying they’re going to lose 90, capiche?
How is speaking reality hating. You aren’t even certain they are a 500 team. Felix is done, Leblanc has been mediocre his whole career, Leake is ok, gonzales is just ok and kikuchi is a complete unknown. That rotation isn’t really good at all
I use to live in the Pacific Northwest. He’s a great example of the lunacy of Ms Fans. They are in abundance.
Well, there are only 5 spots available in the post-season. If there are only 6 teams clearly better……The possibility that they “sneak” into the playoffs is actually pretty good
edit – i’m a dummy, but the logic still works with 5 teams too :0)
There are five spots available in the post season. Typical Ms fan.
They have no chance of sneaking in unless they do a much better job of out scoring their opponents, and there is very little chance of that.
good call. i’ll go away now
definitely not an M’s fan, just a fan of reason
You are clearly a pads fan due to your avatar ^_^
I’m so sorry, I confused you with strike four. As far as sneaking in, the Yankees, Red Sox and Astros are vastly superior to all the other teams in this league. Someone has to come out of the AL Central, that leaves the rest.
Not that this is a bold prediction, that leaves about three to five teams vying for that last spot. My prediction is the healthiest team will get that spot.
As for the Ms, they are not one of the three to five team.
Matthew De Lorge
The Mariners “are sneaky good” among the worst teams in baseball. So what strikefour is saying, is they will finish with the best record of all the last place teams in baseball. Sorry sir, if that’s what you meant, I stand corrected. 😉
BTW, there is no guarantee Leake and Encarnacion will be on this roster opening day due to the re-imagining hahahaha
My guess is by “sneaky” he meant “they are not as bad as these comments are suggesting”
I’m willing to give him sneaky here.. All those trades sounded like losses by themselves. But checking them out on paper now….they actually look like they are retooling or “reimaging” or whatever. They are better than I expected so I’ll give him sneaky ;0)
Matthew is probably correct in that, at best, they are just merely the best of the rest right now
Strike Four, I suggested 6/60 (with Seattle) and I couldn’t get much support for that. The structuring of this is unique and benefits both player and team (rewarding good performance; limiting damage), but I certainly didn’t think 109 million was likely.
I don’t think Seattle goes after Kimbrel, but Treinen will be a free agent in 2021, right when Seattle has a ton of money freed up and should be poised for contention.
They aren’t expected to win this season. We are in transition. I’d agree thought that they won’t be that bad. My guess is 70wins. The lineup is decent. 2021 will be perfect the Astros will be out of money and the ms will be firing on all cylinders with a rays payroll with plenty of money in the bank.
Seventy wins is reasonable. That’s a far cry from sneaky good.
I’ll say this again, of all the off-season signings, I like this move the best. It geared for 2021 and beyond, not 2019.
It’s a good signing.
Geared for 2020, not ‘21
I wish people would stop acting like the Mariners are guaranteed last place in the next few years. They aren’t destitute. A lot of people dont like the Mariners because they can’t get on their level because they don’t play with ego like the yankees and the astro’s and the red sox. Baseball is a crazy game and there are too many variables to predict the Mariners with such certainty. Don’t be surprised if the Mariners make the playoffs this year. The Mariners are going in the right direction now and they will be rewarded as such. Sooner rather than later
“Don’t be surprised if the Mariners make the playoffs this year”
With a worse team than they had last season ? HAAAA !!!
The season hasn’t even been played yet. There’s only room for optimism. A lot of people are gonna have to eat their words if the Mariners win. You must not have been around in 95′. Anything is possible
That 95 team was stacked with 4 future Hall of famers in it !!! lmaooooooo what are you smoking ?????
Matthew De Lorge
They had Griffey Jr, Tino, Edgar, Randy. and A-rod on that team. There is not ONE player of that caliber on this current Mariners team, NOT ONE!
And that team won 79 games….79! If you want to then pull ’96 you then had Buhner, Moyer and Ibanez on that roster, who still won 85 games.
The wild card teams this year will likely need 90 wins+
Mitch Haniger isn’t close to even Ibanez as far as talent, so no…….try again!
Only room for optimism….you mean delusional thinking?
Don’t forget Jay way too intense for you Buhner!
Ibanez while not a hall of famer was so underrated. Super clutch
Buhner could have done good things as a Yankee. One of the worst trades in franchise history lol
Matthew De Lorge
Buhner seemed to always abuse the Yankees whenever they faced him too.
I agree with almost everything you say except how many wins it will take to win the wild card. My guess is 88. The second wild card team may win 90 games, but the team that finishes “sixth” will not get to 88 wins
Otherwise, I agree with everything you said. .
How do you know that we don’t have future hall-of-famers on the roster already? Yes the Mariners had a bunch of hall of famers on the team in 95′ but that’s all they had and that’s what carried the team. We didn’t have the kinds of teams that we have nowadays it’s a different era we have more balance and flexibility and the game is played differently. So you can’t use a hall-of-famer pitch that you’re using. And how do you know that teams aren’t going to have serious injuries to their star players? Teams go from worst to 1st all the time nowadays. The Mariners might not need 90 plus wins to be in the wild card. All Im saying is that anything is possible. You’re basically saying it’s impossible for the Mariners to make the post season this year. I don’t expect them to make the playoffs but I’m open to the possibility unlike some people. Narcissistic fans don’t have perception so they don’t know what the heck is going on
Matthew De Lorge, kind of amazing then that last season with not one of those guys you mentioned they were able to win 89 games. Go figure….
Matthew De Lorge
But they did win 89 games with Zunnino, Segura, Paxton, Cano, Pazos, Nicasio, DIAZ, and Gamel.
So you lost your ace, your elite closer, 2 additional solid bullpen pieces, and 2 all star hitters, and you got…roster flexibility and 2 aging sluggers who may not even be there by opening day.
No worries, keep dreaming the “anything is possible” crap all the way to 90 losses this year..
At least you aren’t the Orioles…..you have that!
Go look at the transaction list for the Mariners….it looks like my ex wife’s checkbook!
I am a Raul Ibanez fan but Ibanez never approached the 6.1 bWAR and 4.6 fWAR posted last year by Mitch Haniger.
Nevertheless I hope Haniger follows the aging curve of Ibanez, who broke out in his age 30 season but remained productive until his 40th birthday.
Matthew De Lorge
Ibanez was a solid major league talent that aged like fine wine, and was clutch. bWAR doesn’t account for clutch. Ibanez was giving you .285/22/90 his entire stay in Seattle. I will admit, the Ibanez comment was a slight exaggeration (we know Ibanez’s full career and not Haniger’s, so not fair to compare right now), but as I did say earlier, Haniger is the only impact player on that roster currently.
Encarnacion, Leake and Bruce may not even be on this team come opening day. I am thinking at least 2 of the 3 will be gone for more minor league talent. But let’s not overrate them, all 3 are middling major league talents at this point in their careers, and are very one dimensional players.
First, Ibanez was one of the worst fielders Seattle has ever seen. His bat and personality were great, but the defense was horrendous. So, you’re right that Haniger isn’t even close. He’s ahead.
Second, yes, EE, Leake and Bruce won’t be around for the long haul. Neither will Gordon, Swarzak, and Seager if they can help it. The point is to clear space and payroll.
Third, Jerry Dipoto (note the spelling) and the Mariners have been clear that they are committed to a rebuild, or “step back”, as he calls it, but it shouldn’t be hard to see how Kikuchi fits with the timeline. Worst case, all those names in point two will be off the books by 2021, with Seager being the exception. Take a look at the projected free agent class for 2021, consider the status of many of their key prospects and ask yourself if you think this is all a coincidence.
Moving along, Kikuchi has battled shoulder injuries, and though he came back touching 98 last season, he’ll be under no pressure next season which can allow him to take his time with the transition and make sure he’s 100% for 2020. That may not make sense to you, but it made sense for him, Dipoto, and most Mariner fans. Made sense for most baseball fans. They didn’t have to sacrifice a pick and if he reaches his ceiling–which is that of a number 2 starter–the Mariners will have themselves a bargain to add to their core. If he washes out, they eat the short-term commitment. There is minimal risk here.
Some Seattle fans are optimistic that they can contend next season. So what? They have 2 young talented pitchers apart from Kikuchi looking to integrate next season and they arguably upgraded their outfield, which reminds me, Santana has the impact capability that Haniger has. They aren’t likely going to win a lot of games in 2019, but there have been many interesting moves and there are more to come. It shouldn’t be hard to understand why some fans are a little excited.
Seattle will have to find more infielders, a better catcher and probably a closer (unless you think Gerber can eventually handle it). But again, they’ll have the dough to buy help if necessary when they reach that starting point, and multiple waives of key prospects coming into the picture starting in 2019.
It’s as if this signing somehow personally affected you. I assure you, you’re going to live! You will likely even make it to 2021, and with a little luck, there will be a plate of crow reserved for you.
Mathew- Did you expect Jerry Dipoto to continue with the same team as last year only to make the playoffs one year and fade into nothing? It’s not like hes putting a bunch of scrubs on the field these are promising prospects. If we win then we have something that’s sustainable for years to come. Can you imagine trying to get out from under that Cano contract while trying to save the team from going under with no prospects? Scarier thought than putting the team on the field we have now. I’ll take my chances with this team over last years team any day. As a matter of fact I’m willing to bet that this year’s Mariners would beat the crap out of the 2nd half of last year’s Mariners!
Picked that one right, I think I’m up to four.
Zero downside for the Ms on this deal. It’s only money, cost no prospects or draft picks. If hes good you have an excellent trade piece to flip if you want.
Bingo. The risk is 4 years at 14m AAV. That’s the worst case scenario. If he lives up to expectations, it’s 15.5m AAV for 7 years, in which case he’s a solid number 2 or 3 starter.
And as you suggested, the contract would probably be moveable.
Matthew De Lorge
On a team shedding payroll,I don’t see how adding it on this much of an unknown is a good thing. Yes you are right in theory, that IF he pans out they can trade him, but why trade a guy like Segura, who was on team friendly deal during that same span? And please spare me they needed to trade Segura cuz he was bad in the clubhouse or they needed to package him to get rid of Nicasio.
A good trade chip is a low cost guy you grabbed at the end of an offseason that you see bouncing back after a down year, or blossoming finally after you take him under your wing. The level of return IF Kikuchi pans out will solely depend on how good he is and what team is willing to take on his salary, which right there cuts the prospecting teams down.
Matthew De Lorge
Signing Kikuchi was a PR move solely for attendance reasons, not a baseball move.
They didn’t add that much payroll with this move though and since good pitching is valuable if he proves to be a solid durable starter he can have good trade value. Now if he is igawa version 2.0 then well …… yea
I’m with you, I don’t get some people. Adding a middle of the rotation starter, who could be better, for 14 million dollars a year is a good deal.
I wish my team would have signed him.
It doesn’t mean the Ms are very good, but if he’s good, that gives the Ms a leg up in 2020 or 2021 to add to the team.
Matthew, see my response to your comment above.
Cue the comment from @bleacherbum about how the Padres were the runners-up to sign him.
Seems like a lot of money for a guy who’s never thrown one pitch in MLB.
The M’s can let him go in 3 years if he falters so it isn’t a long term commitment
The Yankees guaranteed Masahiro Tanaka $155 million before the righthander had thrown a pitch at the MLB level.
The $56 million guarantee to Yusei Kikuchi does not seem excessive.
Matthew De Lorge
Tanaka was rated higher by scouts, was 25, and he was signed by a team that could afford to take the hit if he sucked, The Yankees basically paid Kei Igawa 5/20 to pitch in the minors for an example.
Kikuchi is mainly a 2 pitch pitcher, just recently adding a curveball that rates average to his “arsenal”, which includes an average fastball that sits 90-94 and a slider that is his best pitch.. He also has had a checkered injury history already, and is coming off of a year where his velo is down and his ERA went up a full run.
Again, if you are expecting back end stuff and can take the hit financially if he sucks, perfect. Are the Mariners that team? No, but they have a high Asian influence in Seattle and that added Japanese player will help put buts in the seats.
The “butts in the seats” argument is salvaged from mothballs where it has remained hidden since the 1990s.
If the Yankees can afford a $155 million hit the Mariners can afford a $56 million hit.
With an AAV of $22 million, Masahiro Tanaka is guaranteed to be paid through his age 31 season. With an AAV of $14 million, Yusei Kikuchi is guaranteed to be paid through his age 31 season.
Matthew De Lorge
It’s not about affordability, it’s about making sense with their “re-imagining”. They are trading off dead contracts, trying to reduce payroll for, what they think, will be a quick reload of talent and potential playoffs pushes in 2020 and beyond.
If that was the case, they signed a guy with zero MLB experience, which means they have as much chance that this is another dead contract as they do otherwise, Does that sound like the plan? And, if this is part of their future, why not keep Segura, who was signed through the same years as Kikuchi, and was already a proven all star caliber player? Especially seeing the return for Segura was garbage?
The whole plan is moronic, and DiPoto looks more like a schizophrenic GM reeking of desperation rather than a calculated, smart minded GM with a clear vision.
Matthew De Lorge
And if the butts in the seats argument is not correct, why would any major league roster field or sign any major league players if they know they cannot compete? I guess it’s “just because” huh, and has nothing to do with attendance?
Your take that the saying is old is just another opinion that was “salvaged from mothballs”.
It’s Dipoto with a lower-case p.
Matthew De Lorge
That matters as much as the Mariners the next 4 years
Matthew, you have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re regurgitating a few random statements you found posted and are blending it with your own imagination.
Try watching video clips or past games and reading actual scouting reports. He is consistently in the mid-90’s and can hit 98, he has a dominant forkball, and an average to above average curve and changeup to go with his fastball. He’s also working on a split-finger. If you had been paying attention, you’d know that Seattle has had a knack for developing cutters, so there’s that.
But keep pretending you know better than everyone else and that this is just a PR stunt. Good luck trying to explain why virtually every single team in baseball was after him.
Matthew De Lorge
And you pretending like you know what you’re talking about is suppose to counter my opinion and what I have read?
I got info on what he throws from multiple scouting reports by……scouts.
“If you had been paying attention, you’d know that Seattle has had a knack for developing cutters, so there’s that.”
Great job SPECULATING that he will learn a cutter suddenly that will be effective against MLB hitters. The only thing funnier than your insults towards where you feel I got my info, if that you just literally did what you accused me of.
Average Fastball velo of 91.4 and experiencing arm issues, something he is not new to.
Great job Reading THE TOP article when looking for scouting reports.
Keep regurgitating wrong info, maybe you;ll get it right at some point. Also, please find where I write no team should sign him
If you had a clue, you would know that I’ve been researching and writing about Kikuchi since May. The information shared here is what you were quoting–not me–so good luck trying to sell anyone that you actually did any real research. Providing links now hardly proves anything. If you actually HAD done some real research and followed the scouting reports, you would know that he throws harder than the 91.4 you’re now claiming (which doesn’t even match what you were previously citing from this post). And seriously, you’re going to use a team blog and newspaper to try to save face?!
Regarding the cutter, it is speculation! Congratulations, you’re a genius. Now, try to understand the relation between a split-finger and take into account that he’s been working on one.
You’re entitled to your opinion, nobody is denying you that. The problem is that you’re using false facts and trying to drive your opinion as the only possible right one and you can’t seem to handle being challenged, because multiple people have offered rebuttals with evidence and explanations, yet you’ve just dismissed everything that you don’t want to hear while slinging insults at the Mariners and their fans.
You also missed the point about every team being interested.
But I’m glad your team didn’t get him. There’s some enjoyment knowing you’re so heartbroken that you’ve turned on him.
I wrote this up in late May and posted it in September regarding possible Mariner targets this offseason. Domingo Santana was also on the list.
Via International Market:
1. Yusei Kikuchi, LHSP, Japan; 6 years, 60 million +incentives.
Yusei Kikuchi has a plus fastball he throws mid to upper 90’s, complemented by a slider/forkball, curve, changeup, and he’s been tinkering with a two-seamer. He caught the attention of the Mariners’ scouting department out of high school, so he—without question—should still be on their radar and high on their wish-list as he has the make up of a front-line starting pitcher.
Yusei is expected to be posted this coming offseason and won’t be restricted to international spending limits. All of the reasoning presented over why Shohei Ohtani might have chosen Seattle applies here. There’s an argument that this is a second opportunity for Jerry, perhaps one with better odds.
For the record, I may very well be grossly underestimating his value (or overestimating it). If more dough is necessary, perhaps a back-loaded deal could get done, but Yusei should be Plan A for a starter. Tomoyuki Sugan or Takahiro Norimoto would make a nice alternative. Signing all three would be even better, but we’ll try to keep this realistic.
What’s really funny is that even Dodger’s Digest noted that he can hit 98, so some of your own evidence doesn’t even support your suggestions.
But feel free to keep whining about this.
Incorrect. He is guaranteed a 4th year with a player option.
It’s an option, how do you consider that guaranteed??
it’s money in the bank for the player unless he declines. In addition player options are concidered guaranteed for luxury tax purposes.
Sooo… can Mariners trade us Leake now?
Kikuchi: I want to be in the Major Leagues, but I want to ease my way in, not be on that competitive of a team, establish myself as a valuable free agent option in a few years. Mariners: Say no more!
Matthew De Lorge
He, like Ohtani, shows just how weak minded they are. To play for losers is easy…..
Congratulations on reaching troll status, Matthew.
Matthew De Lorge
It shows true courage to go with the “lesser” team and try to win a championship by going through the league’s juggernaut teams
kind of seems like it fits the Japanese folk legends… One man rising up against the big evil
I would also suggest it shows character as well. Guys like Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken & others only benefited from sticking with their “lesser” team. Anyone can sign with the Yankees and win. But can you carry a team and go through the Yankees on your way to a championship?
One of those two scenarios sounds like way more fun to me, a no brainer. Sounds like those dummies Ohtani & Kikuchi might agree
Don't hate the player hate the game
wow you sure are butt hurt he didn’t pick the Padres. On paper the mariners are a better team than the Padres right now and pitching in the al west don’t see how that is easing his way in. Wow people get so mad when a free agent doesnt pick the team they want taking it so personal.
You’re a parasite and leech upon the existence of humanity, and every breath you take causes me physical pain.
This website shouldn’t tolerate degenerates of your kind. Please take any shred of self respect you have, and see yourself to the exit. (of life, hopefully)
You must have missed the part about Seattle having the option to tack on another 4 years in 2022.
If they decline it, he can exercise his player option or choose to walk away. But he isn’t going to be walking away after 3 years if he’s good.
Looking at his past stats he has only hit 25+ starts once and 160+ innings twice in his 8 seasons. Since odds are high the Mariners won’t be playing for anything in 2019 do they keep him on a very short leash kind of like what they did with Marco this past season?
I feel like too many people want guaranteed instant gratification when it comes to their team. The Mariners are gonna be just fine. They are far from a disaster. I think some people are mad that Kikuchi is going to make them good enough to prove them wrong about being horrible. Having him on the team makes a huge difference in my opinion
M’s also would be on the hook for the %15-%20 NPB posting system fee on the ‘Guaranteed’ portion of the contract, not sure if the ‘options’ count towards that or not, wonder if it’s a loophole or something with that odd player/4-yr team option….LOL GO M’s!!!
I feel sorry for M fans.