Mariner Squalls 02/04/14: Cruz-in’?

963px-Winslow_Homer_Summer_Squall== Plus … unwinding the draft pick implications ==

Buzz is building for a Nelson Cruz signing by the Mariners.

Jon Heyman of CBS reports that things have gotten “a bit more serious” in the last few days.  That’s a continuation of the “back in business” theme that was making the rounds last week.

It seems that new President Kevin Mather really did loosen the purse strings, and that word has gotten out.  Heyman also mentions Mariner interest in Fernando Rodney, though its not clear if the M’s would sign both.

The only other team seriously linked to Cruz is Baltimore, but it’s quite possible that the Orioles are wisely waiting for either Cruz or Kendrys Morales to fall in their lap at a discount.  Hard to argue with that approach.

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As we’ve noted, a Cruz signing (assuming Willie Bloomquist is handed the 25th roster spot) means no Opening Day spot for either Dustin Ackley or Nick Franklin.

It also means whenever you want Cruz, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison in the same lineup, two of them have to play in the field.

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This is how I understand the draft pick issue:

  • The first-round pick (#6 overall) is protected.
  • A compensation pick (currently #30) would come back to Seattle if a team signs Morales before the draft, but if Morales is not signed until after the draft, then the M’s get nothing.
  • Signing Robinson Cano means the M’s forfeit the highest unprotected pick.  As of right now, that is the second-round pick (currently #46).  But, if someone signs Morales, then the compensation pick will be higher, and the M’s would forfeit #30 and keep #46.
  • Signing Cruz would mean forfeiting the next-highest pick.  As of right now, that is the Competitive Balance Pick B (extra draft picks added in the last Collective Bargaining Agreement), which is currently #75.  But, if someone signs Morales, then the next-highest pick would be the #46.

Yikes!  I have to say “currently” because the number of compensation picks will change based on who signs where.  But let’s just assume they stay static, and the compensation pick is #30, the second-round pick is #46 and the competitive balance pick is #75.  Under that assumption, here’s how it plays out:

Cano signed, Morales signs with other team, no Cruz:

M’s forfeit #30 (Cano), keep #46 and #75

Cano & Cruz sign, Morales signs with other team:

M’s forfeit #30 (Cano) and #46 (Cruz), keep #75

Cano signed, Morales does not sign until after draft, no Cruz (where things are at this moment):

M’s don’t get #30, forfeit #46 (Cano), keep #75

Cano & Cruz sign, Morales does not sign until after draft:

M’s don’t get #30, forfeit #46 (Cano) & #75 (Cruz)

So, is this complicated enough?

If it turns out that Morales does not sign until after the draft, then Heyman is right that the M’s only give up #75 for signing Cruz.  But if Morales signs, then they would give up #46.

And, of course, the actual numbers are subject to change.

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4 thoughts on “Mariner Squalls 02/04/14: Cruz-in’?

  1. Our other alternative: re-sign Morales ourselves. We lose the draftpick we would get if someone else signs him, but also don’t have to cough up a pick for Cruz.

    If we sign Cruz and someone else signs Morales, it’s a wash (we get the #30 pick for Morales, but lose it and #46 for Cano/Cruz). Like you said, if Morales does not sign then we don’t get #30 and so lose #75.

    But if we sign Morales in place of Cruz, then we “secure” #75 without waiting to see what happens. The problem is whether you want Moreno on another one year deal or if you’d rather have Cruz for 2-3.

    Who would you rather have, Jim?

    • I think I would rather have Cruz… Morales has a little more BA, Cruz has a little more SLG, but really they are fairly equivalent offensively (assuming that Cruz doesn’t suffer a huge off of PED or SafeCo induced slump).

      Bit at least Cruz can semi competently play in the field and not end up on the DL. Even though Cruz is older he feels more durable than Morales… Plus while Cruz runs like molasses, Morales runs like molasses on a winters day in Alaska…

      Also I am guessing that their contracts will end up being pretty similar. Per year amount isn’t the main concern in my view, but number of years. I would rather pay Cruz 2/28 than 3/33 or even 3/30…

    • I was thinking about the same thing, actually. What would the draft pick shakedown for that situation be, then?

      I want to guess that Morales and Cruz are equal in this regard. Am I right?

  2. I would lean Cruz, too, as a role player, on the basis of a bit more power, RH balance to LH Cano, Seager, Miller, Saunders, LoMo, Ackley, etc. (vs. Morales SH), and the ability for at least a limited role in the OF. And extra insurance for both the RH-pop and OF roles if Hart’s knees aren’t all the way back. If both Cruz and Hart are back and bopping … well, that’s not really a problem is it?

    At a reasonable salary plus a non-high draft pick I would go for that. Particularly as the “gravy” addition after you already built your “core.” I wouldn’t have wanted him to be the big-bucks main add, but as a secondary guy, sure.

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