It’s still early, of course, but will holding on to the current core of young Mariners get too expensive? And will it cause the next generation of prospects to wither on the vine, rot and lose value?
It’s a legitimate question raised by longtime M’s analyst SABR Matt, who is a real-life statistician and has consulted for MLB teams.
But there is a point at which a young nucleus will “get really expensive at the same time.” So here’s the chart:
I could be wrong, but I don’t think they’ll fret too much about moving on with Saunders, Morrison, Ackley and Smoak as they get more expensive. And, while there isn’t a massive bounty of outfielders in the upper reaches of the system (yet), there are plenty of guys lined up at other positions and as trade bait.
If you assume that those first few rows won’t be jamming up the pipeline, you postpone the crunch until later in the decade, but my what a crunch it is!
Miller, Zunino, Walker and Paxton all on the same arb timetable — and Franklin and Almonte, too, if they’re still around (and Hultzen would have been as well!).
That will take some careful planning, and Matt’s right that the organization will be careful about adding expensive commitments as they navigate it.
And Franklin won’t be last MLB-ready guy to find there’s no room at the inn. In that regard, the M’s will need some Billy Beane-type trading skills in order to utilize their resources to meet their needs.
- Tacoma lost to the mighty Chihuahuas again, but the story was in the bullpen, where Brandon Maurer appeared in the 5th inning, and, by the time he’d left after the 8th, his line was:
3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
Maurer, of course, missed much of the spring with back issues, and has been used solely in relief so far at Tacoma. And, considering that he’s now about the eighth or ninth option for the MLB rotation when everyone is healthy, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him stay there.
Carson Smith added two more strikeouts in the 9th, so the Rainiers had 11 in the final four and 1/3 frames.
- We’ve been big Tyler Pike fans right from the start, but the young lefty continues to give up a high level of walks. Still, he’s 2-0 with an ERA of 1.80 after Thursday’s win.
- Pike got plenty of offensive help from Jordy Lara (4-for-5, HR, double, 2 singles), Dario Pizzano (2 doubles, single) and D.J. Peterson (3 singles).
- As maqman pointed out in a comment, Deej has 6 errors at 3b already. Yowch.
- Did you just go back up to that chart to see when Justin Smoak hits free agency? I did.
- Have mentioned the surge in right-handed power? Oh, yeah, we did. How about Austin Wilson (3-for-4, HR, BB) and the Tank Tyler O’Neill (2-for-5, HR, double)?
- Have we mentioned Emilio Pagan as our “next Dominic Leone“? Did we mention that Pagan got a cameo in spring training and retired Trout-Pujols-Freese in a 1-2-3 inning? Thursday: 3.0 IP, 4 K for his second save.