Tag Archives: Mike Napoli

Mariners Off-season Update

Everything football and basketball related is too depressing to write about at the moment, so let’s talk Mariners.  It’s been a long time since the Mariners were the least depressing of the Seattle sports teams.  Helps that they haven’t played a game in two months.

So far, the off-season has been pretty uneventful.  There have been few actual moves, and most of those have been to address roster issues and limits.  That doesn’t mean they lack excitement, however, because Chone Figgins is gone!  The team waived him, meaning they’ll eat the remaining $8 million or so on his contract and he’ll be free to play with anyone who will take him.  They’ve tried to trade him literally for years and no one would bite, so this is the next best thing.  They were going to have to pay him either way, but at least now they have the roster spot to (hopefully) bring in a better player.  No offense to Figgins personally, but I’m so glad he’s gone, and he probably is too.  He had no role on the team and was sucking the air out of the fanbase to some extent.  Here’s to moving forward.

The only other move of note was a trade that sent OF Trayvon Robinson to Baltimore for infielder Robert Andino.  Andino plays a solid shortstop along with pretty much every other position and will likely be the primary back-up infielder for Seattle next year.  He doesn’t hit much, but that’s pretty standard for utility infielders.  Some people are upset to see Trayvon go, but it’s one of those unavoidable moves I wrote about here.  The Mariners were going to lose him if he didn’t make the team this spring, and that wasn’t likely to happen.  It wouldn’t shock me if Robinson turns into a solid player three or four years down the road, but the Mariners can’t keep a below-average player on the roster that long, waiting for him to blossom.  That’s just the way it goes. When there’s no guarantee he ever gets better, sometimes you have to move on. Continue reading

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2012 AL West Team & Winter Wrap-Up

Unlike NCAA sports, pro sports don’t come out with pre-season 1st and 2nd teams, but if the AL West had its pre-season team, this is how I think it would shake out. My selection process looks at last year’s performance as well as potential this upcoming year, and often I use the sabermetric WAR to break ties. Some of the picks are obvious (Pujols), and others are less obvious (DH), so of course I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

A quick analysis shows that Texas is the class of the division, with more 1st team selections than the rest of the west combined. Anaheim has good 2nd tier depth, solid pitching, and balance. Texas and Anaheim each have 8 1st or 2nd team selections of the possible 10 positional categories, and of the 14 pitching spots, a whopping 11 are Rangers (6) and Angels (5). The M’s are a distant 3rd, but a ways ahead of the re-building A’s, who are loaded with average players but no star power whatsoever.

I wanted to take this chart one step further, and visually quantify the separation between teams based on these picks. To do so, I’ve simply awarded 2 points for a 1st team selection, and 1 point for a 2nd team selection. Here’s how it shakes out on a bar graph.

Lastly, here are team by team offseason wrap ups, after the jump… Continue reading

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