Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Kansas City
Casino cash: $75147
Re: the second round of King Felix talk...
The Mariners have three top-flight pitching prospects (Hultzen, whose ceiling is a No. 2 or 3 starter, Tajuan Walker, James Paxton, who both have No. 1 stuff) about to his the majors. I don't think a pitcher is going to be the major centerpiece in any deal for Hernandez. (Even though TINSTAAP should apply).
If the Royals wanted to acquire Hernandez, you're going to have to give up good, long-term controlled players.
I wouldn't do any sort of deal in which Butler and Myers are included. Premium bats are becoming more and more valuable, IMO. Butler is on pace to be a 3-4 WAR player, which is pretty amazing from a DH. They control him for 3 more seasons. If he continues to produce at the current level, that's at least 9 WAR over that period (and if he gets a little bit better as the lineup around him improves, even more).
Myers is controlled for six years and is, in many opinions, the best close-to-MLB prospect in baseball (now that Harper and Trout are established in the bigs, there's little debate here). He's potentially a legit .320/30/100/100 .380 OBP/.500 SLG once he gets his feet under him (and I think he hits early, personally). I wouldn't be surprised to see Myers post 20 WAR in his first six years.
Both of those guys are much more valuable over the life of their controlled time than Hernandez would be.
As far as acquiring Hernandez... I would be willing to throw a lot at him other than those guys. The problem is that the Royals don't match up well with the Mariner's needs (they desperately need bats). And the Royals' best bats beyond Meyers are guys that are FAR away (Jorge Bonifacio -A+, Starling, Rookie League, Cheslor Cuthbert, A+).
I think a guy like Matt Garza - who could be acquired at this year's deadline and give you 1.5 seasons rather than 2.5 - is an easier acquire for the Royals. Price is going be lower, and the matchups are easier (Cubs would likely value Odorizzi much more than the Mariners would).
Re: acquiring pitching for next season. The solution is pretty simple, if Glass is willing to open the checkbook (and he should be, considering the payroll flex they're going to have under the self-imposed ceiling) you can acquire two very valuable pieces through free agency. You might not get one of the true aces (Hamels or Greinke), but there are plenty of very good second-tier guys out there.
Bruce Chen is going to be there, and is a solid middle-rotation guy.
Jake Odorizzi, unless he's traded, is part of the rotation next season.
Beyond that, it's question marks. Paulino's TJ surgery is a big blow, because I really think he had started to put it together and harness his great stuff. Same thing with Duffy. You MIGHT - if you're lucky - get a second half contribution from one of them.
John Lamb is throwing off a mound and should start seeing game action sometime in the next 4-6 weeks, so that's a definite plus. If you get REALLY lucky, he might pitch well enough to get back to NWA this year. Which possibly puts him in position to help out of ST or early in 2013.
Mike Montgomery is an enigma.
Beyond that, all you have close in-house are filler guys like Mazzero, Will Smith, Teaford - who are a far cry above what we've seen in the past.
Honestly, I'd be beating down the door re: Matt Garza. Offer the Cubs Jason Adam+one of the bullpen trio (Crow, Holland, Herrera)+Bubba Starling or Jorge Bonifacio (I'd lean towards Bonifacio, who also is a bit more proven) + some filler (David Lough? Chris Dwyer? Justin Marks?).
That's less than what they gave up for him (marginally), but he also has 1.5 fewer years of control. The Cubs would gain a young, cheap closer they can plug in right away, along with high-upside guys at SP and OF to help begin the massive rebuilding project.
If you can trade for Garza, I'd immediately offer him an extension (4 years, $48 million).
Cut ties with Broxton, Hochevar, and Sanchez before the start of 2013. That frees up $15 million, and even with Garza's deal leaves them $30 million under the self-imposed salary ceiling.
Then sign the best FA guy you can find to a 4-5 year deal. There are a lot of guys who will be in that same range as Garza (Anibal Sanchez, Brandon McCarthy, etc)...
Roster filler (Montgomery, Smith, Mazzero, Teaford, etc.)
Paired with a good young lineup that gets an injection of production from Sal Perez and Wil Myers, that's a team that can compete next year.
Of course, none of that probably will happen. So whatever....
"You gotta love livin', cause dying is a pain in the ass."