Mariner Squalls 02/17/14: O-baldo

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== Which means No-baldo for Mariners ==

I had indicated my preference for Ubaldo Jimenez over Matt Garza or Ervin Santana, had the Mariners gone the route of acquiring free agent starter.  Well, Santana is now the last one left on the board.

Jimenez has agreed to a four-year deal with Baltimore for $50M.  That’s pretty much the same deal that Garza got from the Brewers, except that the O’s must surrender a draft pick.

The Jimenez signing seems to indicate that the bottom hasn’t fallen out of the market for all of the draft-pick-compensation free agents.

If it means that Santana will require four years and significant money, then no dice in my book.  There’s nothing to say he’s that much better than Erasmo Ramirez or healthy Scott Baker.

===

Baker got good reports on his health in his first throwing sessions, as did the much-scrutinized Taijuan Walker, whose soreness only held him back a couple of days.

Shannon Drayer says that the Hisashi Iwakuma finger incident will the only spring mishap with any meaningful consequences.  So that’s a relief.

===

The Nelson Cruz boomlet seems to have died down quickly, and, with the price of upper-mid-range pitching (as in: Jimenez) still high, it’s logical that the rumors would circle back around to Kendrys Morales.

And there you have it: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculates that Morales could end up back in teal.

It’s hard to see it making sense unless Corey Hart and Logan Morrison can see plenty of outfield time, and, with Franklin Gutierrez not around for late-inning defense, that gets harder.  Likewise, Guti’s absence creates a real need for an additional right-handed bat who can play outfield, and switch-hitting Morales doesn’t really fit that bill.

But offense is offense, and Morales certainly does bring that.

===

An interesting article on fangraphs.com as to which pitchers with the least velocity, command/control and movement nevertheless had major-league success.

It’s no big surprise that Aaron Harang made the final cut as one of the pitchers trying to make a career with the least to go on.

And Barry Zito ended up cashing in the most with the least, but his ability to throw five pitches may have compensated somewhat.

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