Off-Season Dreaming 2.0

Barry BondsThe off-season has really started to heat up since my first off-season post and with the new developments, I felt like revising my plan for the Mariners. Here is what I propose now:

MOVE 1: As part of a three-way deal, Mariners send 1B Richie Sexson to the Yankees, SP Joel Pineiro and 1B Ben Broussard to the Nationals, and acquire 1B Nick Johnson from the Nationals. The Yankees send SP Sean Henn and RP T.J. Beam to the Nationals in the deal as well – The Yankees are looking for a full-time first baseman that bats right-handed. Richie Sexson is clearly better than any option the Yankees could sign in free agency, so they would have to listen if the Mariners offered him. This deal makes sense for the Nationals too because they get a serviceable replacement for Nick Johnson in Ben Broussard at a great price, and they also add three pitchers that could all make their major-league squad. As for the Mariners, they dump payroll and acquire Nick Johnson, who should be a perfect fit for Safeco.

MOVE 2: Mariners trade RP Julio Mateo, RP Emiliano Fruto, and OF Jeremy Reed to the Florida Marlins for SP Yusmeiro Petit – The Marlins are looking for veteran relief help and a centerfielder at the winter meetings, and appear poised to give up a young starting pitcher to fill their needs. So, with this deal the M’s get a young starting pitcher that can come in and compete for a spot in the rotation immediately and the Marlins fill both holes. I’m not convinced this package is enough to net Petit though. I would be willing to take Renyel Pinto instead of Petit in the trade, or add another piece (such as Michael Garciaparra, Bryan LaHair, Greg Dobbs, et al) to make this trade happen. The whole deal would hinge on how much the Marlins like Jeremy Reed.

MOVE 3: Mariners sign DH Barry Bonds, SP Tomo Ohka, C Rod Barajas, and 1B Eduardo Perez – My guess is signing all of these free agents would take roughly $20 million, which the Mariners should have available even if they pick up as much as half of Richie Sexson’s remaining contract in my proposed moves. The most controversial signing is Barry Bonds obviously, but his bat would add an incredible presence to the lineup. A less risky (and even cheaper) option would be Luis Gonzalez and I would be content with that. However, with these deals I proposed the Mariners could give Bonds the $10 million he wants and it would not blow the budget. It is something to think about.

So, with these moves the 2007 Mariners would look something like this:

STARTING LINEUP
Ichiro, CF
Chris Snelling, RF
Nick Johnson, 1B
Barry Bonds, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Raul Ibanez, LF
Kenji Johjima, C
Jose Lopez, 2B
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

BENCH
Eduardo Perez
Greg Dobbs
Mike Morse
Rod Barajas
Willie Bloomquist

STARTING ROTATION
Jarrod Washburn
Felix Hernandez
Tomo Ohka
Cha-Seung Baek
Yusmeiro Petit

BULLPEN
Jake Woods
Eric O’Flaherty
Jon Huber
George Sherrill
Rafael Soriano
J.J. Putz

Once again, the lineup looks much improved over last year’s. Just look at Raul Ibanez, the big hitter from last year, dropping to sixth in the lineup. I love the idea of three extremely patient hitters like Snelling, Johnson, and Bonds batting behind Ichiro. This proposed starting rotation is not stellar, but it is better than the one I imagined in my first “Off-Season Dreaming” especially since Beak, Petit, and of course King Felix are all young. This scenario is even less far-fetched than my first plan too since all of these moves are based on reports of what other teams are looking for. The Mariners have been losers in the off-season so far, but there is certainly still hope.