Trade Worth Exploring #3

There are a couple versions of this deal. I am not sure if either are realistic, but they are worth exploring.

Brewers trade SS J.J. Hardy to the Mariners for SS Yuniesky Betancourt, SP Jarrod Washburn, RP J.J. Putz, and RP Mark Lowe

Why it makes sense for the Mariners: The Mariners need offense and defense, and they have a logjam in their pitching staff. While the loss of Putz would be noticed, Washburn and Lowe's combined 2008 production is replaceable from within, and Hardy would be a major upgrade over Betancourt.

Why it makes sense for the Brewers: With Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia hitting the free agent market (and Salomon Torres unexpectedly retiring), Milwaukee has all sorts of pitching holes. Washburn and Putz would fill a couple of them. Betancourt would be a downgrade at shortstop, but Milwaukee thinks top prospect Alcides Escobar is nearly ready for the majors anyway. If he is ready now, Betancourt could slide over to second, and Milwaukee's infield defense would be better than last year's. All of those are fairly short-term fixes though, so Mark Lowe is a piece that can stay in the organization for years to come, given that they are giving up a young shortstop that could be a Mariner for years to come.

Problems with the deal: The legitimacy of this deal is contingent on what the Brewers think of Betancourt and Lowe. Do they still think Yuni is a great fielder, and could be a decent hitter? Do they think Mark Lowe can re-gain the dominance he flashed when he first came up? If they say yes to both, this deal should be tempting. If they say no to both (as I would), they will probably look for better deals.

I'm not sure how Milwaukee would react to trade posed above. If they rejected it, I would make the follwing offer:

Brewers trade 2B Rickie Weeks and SS J.J. Hardy to the Mariners for SS Yuniesky Betancourt, SP Erik Bedard, RP J.J. Putz, OF Jeremy Reed, and RP Mark Lowe.

Why it makes sense for the Mariners: It's pretty much the same as above. The Mariners need offense and defense. Rickie Weeks could be the DH (as the M's try to move him to the outfield), and J.J. Hardy becomes the every-day shortstop. They M's also alleviate their pitching logjam with this deal.

Why it makes sense for the Brewers: If Bedard and Putz return to All-Star form, they more than offset the loss of J.J. Hardy, especially if Alcides Escobar is ready for the majors. Even if Escobar isn't ready though, Betancourt can play shortstop and utility man Bill Hall could take over at second. The bench would not be left bare thanks to Jeremy Reed, who is a decent pinch-hitting option and solid fourth outfielder.

Problems with the deal: How healthy do the Brewers think Putz and Bedard are, and how much are the Brewers thinking only about next year? This would be a risky trade with the possibility for big immediate returns. If they like Betancourt and Lowe enough as long-term options, this deal would look more attractive to them.

The Mariners should aggressively pursue a J.J. Hardy trade. If the Brewers are intrigued by J.J. Putz, Erik Bedard, and Jarrod Washburn, there may be a deal to be made. Hardy would be an upgrade offensively and defensively, and he is also under team control for a few years before he is even eligible for free agency. Beltre and Hardy would be oen of the best left diamond combos in all of baseball.

More Minor League Free Agents

Not everyone has to have been around the minors for six years to become a free agent. Here are some more players that I did not look at when I put together the first list. Once again, there probably are not any stars in this group, but the Mariners could use a bunch more talent.

9. Edgar Gonzalez, RHP - Gonzalez has spent most of the past three years in the majors with the Diamondbacks, though he has not found much success. His control has grown steadily worse over the past couple years as it appears he has grown accustomed to nibbling around the strike zone. On opening day Gonzalez will be 26 years old, so he is still rather young, and perhaps a change of scenery would help him regain some confidence.

8. Laynce Nix, OF - At this point, I think the general perception of Nix is that of a fallen prospect. However, he actually was brought up way too early. Nix has continued to steadily progress, and at this point he is a left-handed bat with power at a position the M's could use a few players. Still, his plate discipline is not all that great, he strikes out a ton, and he is yet to prove he can carry his minor league success into the majors. He is only worth the risk with a small contract - but that is all it will take to sign him.

7. Kevin Mench, OF - Mench was always underrated when he played in Texas, and he got lost in the shuffle in Milwaukee. His production definitely dropped off last year, but he is young enough to think that he may bounce back and be a decent starting option. The M's don't have an abundance of bona fide major-league ready outfield talent right now (though it looks like they've got a couple guys pretty close), so a guy like Mench is worth taking a chance on.

6. Brian Myrow, 1B - Myrow is quite old for a ballplayer that has never got a real chance in the majors (he is 32), and it is a shame that he has never got a chance. Myrow does not have prototypical power for a first baseman, but he has shown a remarkably discerning eye at the plate. Granted, the Mariners probably are not all that interested in adding an older bench player to the roster right now, but Myrow's greatest strengths are in the areas of greatest weakness on this team right now. He is a good fit for Safeco Field, and a great fit for the current roster.

5. Chad Cordero, RHP - Just a couple seasons ago, Cordero was considered one of the best closers in all of baseball. Major arm injuries have a tendency to lower a pitcher's status though. Though Cordero is still young and has a remarkable record of previous success, it is hard to say what he has to offer at this point. Cordero was already declining some before missing virtually all of this past year, and there is a good chance he is only a shadow of what he once was. However, he has never relied heavily on velocity, so maybe he can bounce back. If Cordero can prove he is healthy, teams would surely want him at the trade deadline, so a team like the Mariners might effectively pick up a free prospect by signing him, giving him a chance, and then trading him to a contender. Cordero could also be an interesting replacement for J.J. Putz, if he were to be traded.

4. Justin Germano, RHP - Germano struggled last year, both in the majors and AAA. However, he is still relatively young at 26 years old, and his past production gives reason to believe that he can bounce back. Germano would be a great guy to sign to a minor league contract as a sixth or seventh starter. If he bounces back, whoever picks him up could have a solid number four or five starter for several years.

3. Chris Shelton, 1B - Shelton made a big splash in 2006 when he got off to a torrid start with the Tigers. He had cooled off quite a bit by the all-star break that year, and nobody has paid much attention to him since. However, he still flashes good power, and the M's don't exactly have a ton of answers at first base right now anyway.

2. Wes Bankston, 1B - Bankston hasn't really posted big numbers at any point in his career. However, he has progressed somewhat steadily, and he has always flashed power potential. Since he is only 25 years old, there is reason to believe he will continue to progress. If he gets a little more discerning eye at the plate, his power will be even more noticable. Regardless, Bankston would push Bryan LaHair for the starting first base job right now, and if he progresses some he could adequately fill the position for several years.

1. Ryan Langerhans, OF - Langerhans is one of the best defensive players available in all of free agency. Also, he is patient at the plate, and brings a little power and speed to the table as well. If the Mariners signed him, they could make him the starting centerfielder, leave Ichiro right, and move Jeremy Reed to left field. All of a sudden, that outfield defensively doesn't look so bad, and it would be way better than anything they have fielded the past couple years. Langerhans is the cheapest way the Mariners ccould upgrade their entire pitching staff, which would go a long way towards replacing Raul's offensive production in a creative, extremely economic manner.

Minor league free agents do not get much publicity, but there is talent to be found. When a team is as bad as the Mariners are right now, there is no risk in taking a chance on these guys. Carlos Pena bounced around for years before things clicked for him in Tampa Bay. While Pena is the exception, there is no chance of finding a diamond in the rough unless a team goes digging.

Note on Minor League Free Agents

I'm working to double-check my list of available minor league free agents. I went off a list posted on mlb.com, but that list has changed significantly in the past week. Some of the players may have signed, but I also have the feeling that some of the players I identified are not actually free agents. I may post an updated list soon.

UPDATE: The original list I looked at is only of minor league players eligible for free agency due to six years of professional experience. They should all be free agents. However, there are other minor league free agents as well, so I will be posting an additional list shortly. Click here to see the full list of six-year minor league free agents.

Minor League Free Agents

There are plenty of big names available this off-season, but the Mariners are unlikely to make any big moves. However, there are tons of minor league free agents, and given the current state of the franchise, there are several names out there that could help out. Here are nine in particular still available that could help the Mariners out:

9. Callix Crabbe, 2B - A Rule 5 draft pick of the Padres just a year ago, Crabbe did not last long in the majors before being returned. He did not produce in 2008 the same way he did in 2007, but he still showed good patience, and the ability to make contact. Furthermore, Crabbe already has some experience playing the outfield, and could develop into a versatile bench player. Also attractive is that he is still relatively young, as he will be 26 years old on opening day 2009. Crabbe could easily replace Miguel Cairo and/or Willie Bloomquist for a fraction of the price.

8. Matt Craig, 1B - Craig has split time between AA and AAA the past two seasons, but produced at a rather high level. He is also a switch-hitter, and while he does not have prototypical power for a first baseman, nobody does in the M's organization that is remotely close to ready for the majors. Craig could probably push LaHair for the starting spot right now, and he is at least as good of a prospect as LaHair heading into the future.

7. Brett Harper, 1B - Harper has one great strength: power. He also has one great weakness: strikeouts. If he had a little better plate discipline he would be higher on this list. Still, Harper produced in AAA this year, and he provides an offensive tool the M's really need (power), at a position where they desperately could use some more talent.

6. Joseph Torres, LHP - Even though the M's already have a decent bullpen, Torres is too intriguing to pass up. He has not pitched above AA, but he was simply unhittable. Torres held hitters to a .164 batting average, and struck out over a batter an inning. Though Torres is a fly ball pitcher, any problems with that would be somewhat masked by Safeco Field. Plus, his strengths have well outweighed his weaknesses so far. There is virtually no risk in signing any player to a minor-league contract, and with Torres the M's could put him in AAA and potentially end up with a quality southpaw for the bullpen for years to come.

5. Kevin Cameron, RHP - Cameron was a 2007 Rule 5 draft pick, and he did very well that year for the Padres, posting an ERA out of the bullpen under 3.00. Between a slow start and injuries this past year, his numbers don't say much either way about him. Still, Cameron's previous success and stunningly low home run rate (as in no home runs allowed the past two years) make him a bullpen arm worth signing.

4. Todd Linden, OF - A couple years ago Linden was a rather well-regarded prospect in the Giants organization. Since then, he has bounced around some, but never shown much in the majors. However, he is a switch-hitter with power, and he plays a position where the M's could use some depth. As an added bonus, he is from Edmonds, so he is local.

3. Victor Diaz, OF - The Mariners do not have to look far for a scouting report on Diaz. He spent nearly all of last season in Tacoma. He brings power to the table, though with lots of strikeouts and limited defensive ability. Still, his power has translated to the major league level in limited at-bats, and he would provide some needed offense at a needed position for the Mariners.

2. R.J. Swindle, LHP - At 25 years old, Swindle is young by minor league free agent standards. He has risen quickly through the Twins system the last couple years, but posted dominant numbers at every level. His rapid development is enticing, especially considering that he is young enough to conceivably develop even more. Swindle may be good enough now to make be a contributing member to a solid MLB bullpen, and if he continues to develop at the pace he has the last couple years, he could be quite good.

1. Jesus Guzman, 3B- Guzman is former Mariners property, but he was lost as a minor league free agent to the A's last year. He had a huge year in AA in 2008, and he is off to a fast start in the Venezualen Winter league too. Guzman has no great strength, but his skills are pretty good across the board. He will be only 24 years old at the start of the season, and he is ready for AAA. If he continues to hit the way he has the last couple years, he could develop into a starting infielder.

There rarely are any stars to be found in minor league free agency, but there are always several ballplayers who can fill out a roster just as well as a number of player who will get bigger and longer contracts. For a team looking to rebuild, they could do much worse than looking at these players for stopgaps before prospects are ready and/or more salary frees up to pursue free agents or bigger trades.

2006 15TW Update

Tim LincecumAt some point in the off-season I like to look back at the prospect lists I have made for the amateur drafts the past couple years, just to see how the players I listed are doing. Tonight I look at my first list, the one I put together in 2006. It was my first attempt to look at college baseball players, and all things considered, the list still looks okay. All of my original write-up are available here, and below are quick snapshots of how everyone is doing now:

15. Whit Robbins, 1B/OF, Twins (A) - The letter(s) in parentheses are the level the player spent the most time at in 2008. By far, Robbins' best attribute is his plate discipline, as evidenced by all his walks. However, he does not have much power, and he is a little old for the league he is in right now. Still, he repeated this league and posted an OPS about 200 points higher this year. Robbins has clearly progressed, but not enough to warrant a look in the majors any time soon.

14. Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays (MLB) - 2008 American League Rookie of the Year, and arguably the face of the Rays franchise. I would say he is on track to make an impact in the majors.

13. Chad Huffman, OF, Padres (AA) - Chad is worth watching closely right now. He spent all of last season in AA, where he hit for good average and showed good plate discipline. However, he did not have much power. If Huffman develops some power, he may get an extended look in the majors soon (especially considering San Diego's current urge to purge salaries).

12. Luke Hopkins, INF, Blue Jays - I'm assuming he is out of baseball, because he has not played in two years. He never really got a chance to a play, and I'm not sure what ever happened with him.

11. Ryan Strieby, 1B, Tigers (A) - Strieby has a big, strong frame that suggests a ton of power potential. He found his power stroke in a big way, to the tune of 29 home runs despite missing the last month of the season. Strieby got especially hot at the end of the year, posting OPSs well over 1.100 in both July and limited time in August. Next year he will prove whether he has taken a big step forward, or was simply hot for a couple months.

10. Brad Lincoln, P, Pirates (A) - It is hard to be too critical of Lincoln thus far. He missed all of 2007 with an arm injury, and he just began to work his way back last season. The upcoming year will be much more indicative of Lincoln's ability than anything he did this season.

9. Steven Wright, P, Indians (AA) - Wright made the jump from A to AA with mixed results. He maintained his strikeout and ground ball rates fairly well, but he was clearly hit harder. Wright took a huge step forward this past season though, and if he takes a similar step forward in 2009 he may get called up to the majors. It was an awfully big step forward though, and it's probably too much to expect.

8. Wade LeBlanc, P, Padres (AAA) - LeBlanc had an interesting year in AAA, and his stats do not tell the whole story. He got off to a horrific start, but steadily got better as the season wore on. He got lit up as a September call-up for the Padres, but he is probably the guy that will take Jake Peavy's rotation spot once Peavy is traded. Wade's biggest downfall is that he is a fly ball pitcher, and when he's off, he tends to give up lots of home runs. He's got great stuff though, and if/when he learns to control it better, he will be a good pitcher.

7. Jon Jay, OF, Cardinals (AA) - After having a significant portion of 2007 robbed by injuries, Jay rebounded with a quality 2008. By August, he was promoted to AAA, where he kept peforming at a very high level. I expect to see him start the year in AAA, but if he hits like he did last year, a promotion to the majors may come soon.

6. Cole Gillespie, OF, Brewers (AA) - Milwaukee is loaded with prospects right now, so it easy to overlook Gillespie. He had a real nice year in AA. Part of the reason he gets so little attention is because no one skill really stands out with him, but he also has no big weaknesses. Gillespie's power numbers dropped off significantly in the second half of the season, so it will be interesting to see whether the powerful first half or the weaker second half was the exception to the norm for Cole.

5. Max Scherzer, P, Diamondbacks (MLB) - Max split his time almost evenly between AAA and the majors last year, but that will not be the case in 2009. He is going to be on Arizona's opening day roster, and he will likely be the number four starter unless the D'Backs sign someone. He's got wicked stuff, and he should establish himself as the third starter in the rotation behind Webb and Haren by the end of the year. In fact, it would not surprise me if those three are the best starting trio in the majors next year.

4. Eddie Degerman, P, Cardinals (A) - It looks like I missed on this one. Degerman is already 25, and his numbers suggest a bad case of nibbling around the plate and not getting away with it all that well. Still, his strikeout numbers and rather low home run rates suggest that he has some good stuff. Degerman needs a big year in 2009 to have a chance at the majors.

3. Craig Cooper, OF, Padres (AA) - Cooper continues to show pretty good ability to make contact, but a little more plate discipline and some more power would go a long way towards getting him to the big leagues. Without either (especially the power), Cooper looks destined to be a bench bat at best.

2. Andrew Miller, SP, Marlins (MLB) - Miller has as good of stuff as anyone in baseball, but he lacks command of it. He should learn how to control his pitches as he matures, but how much he does will determine how good he becomes. It does not help that he was rushed to the majors, but he has the potential to develop quickly because he needs just a little more command.

1. Tim Lincecum, SP, Giants (MLB) - He is the 2008 National League Cy Young award winner; I rest my case. It's hard to say Lincecum was not the best player available in this draft, though a strong case can be made for Evan Longoria.

I have learned a ton the past couple years that I hope has made me a much better evaluator of college prospects. However, especially for a first try, this list is not bad at all. I don't know of many people that though Lincecum was the best pitcher available in the 2006 draft, but to this point he has made an extremely convincing argument that he was. The hitters on this list have not failed, but the way I ranked them certainly has room for improvement. In the end though, a team drafting according to my list would have ended up with some solid ballplayers.

Trade Worth Exploring #2

Ryan ShealyMariners trade SS Yuniesky Betancourt to the Royals for 1B Ryan Shealy

Why it makes sense for the Mariners: Bavasi and friends were in love with Yuni, and I was too when he first came up. However, he has shown a stunning lack of plate discipline that keeps him from becoming a very solid hitter. More troublesome is how much his defense has deteriorated though. Betancourt was horribly overrated by Bavasi and friends by the end of their tenure. He could conceivably be replaced by Tug Hulett, and Shealy would be a noticeable upgrade at first base.

Why it makes sense for the Royals: There are rumors that they are interested in Yuni Betancourt, and if they acquired him they would like shift Mike Aviles over to second base. Essentially, Betancourt would be replacing Mark Grudzielanek then. With the acquisition of Mike Jacobs, the Royals have a logjam at first base, and Shealy does not seem to fit in real well at this point.

Problems with the deal: Yuni has more pure talent than Shealy, and he plays a more premium position too. There still is a part of me that believes Betancourt could blossom into a darn good player, and all it might take is a little better player development. A Jack Zduriencik front office might provide the development that Betancourt needs. Basically, the problem is that this deal could potentially look bad for the Mariners if Betancourt develops into the type of player most thought he would be.

It is still a deal worth exploring and considering though, mostly because I am no longer sold on Yuni Betancourt as a long-term solution at shortstop. Furthermore, I believe Tug is capable of replacing Yuni's contributions the last couple seasons, and I like that Tug is much more patient at the plate. If Yuni is replacable from within the organization, and he is not a long-term solution, it makes sense to use him as a trade chip to acquire other talent that will improve the team.

Trade Worth Exploring #1

Nick SwisherI do not know how many hypothetical trades I will pose this off-season, but I will do what I can to keep track of them. Here is the first that I thought of that might be somewhat realistic:

Mariners trade OF Jeremy Reed to the White Sox for OF/1B Nick Swisher

Why it makes sense for the Mariners:
Swisher would bring two things to the Mariners that they desperately need, power and patience. He also has a strong attitude that would impact the clubhouse, and he is used to winning. Neither would hurt this team right now. I see him playing first base every day for the M's, but he could also play some outfield if needed.

Why it makes sense for the White Sox: Their GM, Kenny Williams, has already publicly stated that Swisher will not play in their outfield this season. Furthermore, first base is blocked by Paul Konerko, and DH by Jim Thome. There is no spot for Swisher on Chicago's roster. Jeremy Reed, on the other hand, is a much better fit. He is better defensively than Swisher, and would make a good fourth outfielder on the bench. Williams should still be fond of Reed since he was the one who drafted him, and the White Sox would also save significant money in the trade.

Problems with the deal: Most anyone would agree that Swisher is the better player in this trade, but why I think it might happen is because Reed fits much better in Chicago's plans, and because Swisher still has 3 years and about $21 million remaining in his deal. The Mariners could easily take on that salary, and it is not that bad of a contract. On the other hand, maybe the Mariners would prefer to gain payroll flexibility, which this deal would hamper.

I could see this deal happening. It makes some sense for both sides. I never thought a guy like Nick Swisher would be available for a rather low price, and perhaps he is not. However, Chicago seems pretty interested in trading him. I would at least propose this deal to the White Sox and see how they respond.

Zduriencik Quietly Shaping Roster

Rather clearly, Jack Zduriencik has finished evaluating the franchise and he is beginning to take action. None of his moves are big, but they could be setting the stage for more noticeable ones. Four players on the 40-man roster at the end of the season are on it no longer:
  • Yung Chi Chen, 2B: Chen was placed on waivers and claimed by the A's, so he is completely gone. He made some noise last year after hitting well in the Arizona Fall League, but most never saw him as a big prospect. He showed some ability to hit for average, but had little power potential, and he was not exceptional defensively either. I'm a little surprised Zduriencik let him go, but he likely is not a terribly big loss.
  • Joe Woerman, P: Woerman is yet to make the majors, but he had a tough year in AAA, and has mostly worked his way through the system by being solid at every level. There is a good chance he is back in Tacoma again. Woerman is exactly the kind of player that always drove me nuts with Bavasi. He is the kind of pitcher that at best is looking at being a fringe MLB player. There are plenty of pitchers like that out there, so why use a 40-man roster spot to protect him like he is a rare commoditiy?
  • Jake Woods, P: To Bavasi's credit, Woods was pretty good for one year, and he was stolen on waivers from the Angels. However, he has been pretty bad in AAA the last couple seasons, and it was clear that he had no future in this organization. He is now a minor league free agent. Once again, this was a rather obvious move, but there were times when the previous leadership did not grasp the obvious incredibly well.
  • Jared Wells, P: Wells pitched some for the Mariners last year, but he did not exactly light the world on fire in the majors, or in AAA. At best, he will bounce between the majors and minors, perhaps sticking for a few years in someone's bullpen. Like Woerman, Wells is the kind of guy that's rather easy to find in baseball, and Zduriencik understands the value of opening up roster space to potentially add guys that are not so easy to find.
These do not seem like major moves because they are not. However, these are the kind of moves that Bill Bavasi never made, and as a result we lost some guys that would help out the roster right now (Cha Seung Baek and Jorge Campillo come to mind). Bavasi's handling of the 40-man roster was atrocious, and already Zduriencik is showing better command of it. By my count, the Mariners right now have 3 open spots on their 40-man roster, which gives them plenty of flexibility. Those will likely be filled, because I am not counting the M's three free agents (Ibanez, Cairo, and Bloomquist) as part of the roster.

Flexibility is good, especially when you need to make changes. These little moves are the ones Bavasi never made. These are the ones that prevent a team from randomly cutting guys on their 25-man roster, as Bavasi had a penchant for doing. These moves show a sense of vision and thinking beyond just tomorrow. It is the kind of thinking that an effective GM does.

Front Office Takes Shape

Quietly, Jack Zduriencik has been busy at work. Amidst the big free agent and trade rumors, he has set the M's front office structure. Here are the key names and positions:
  • Carmen Fusco, Director of Pro Scouting: Fusco has been a scout for over 30 years, and most recently was working in Milwaukee as a scouting consultant (whatever that means). On Zduriencik's staff, he will be in charge of the professional scouting department. Presumably, this includes scouting of major league and minor league players, as well as perhaps the advanced scouting of upcoming opponents. This is a good fit for Fusco, and given the relative youth in the front office in many areas, it is nice to have someone with Fusco's experience.
  • Tom McNamara, Director of Amateur Scouting: McNamara is one of the two men Zduriencik was allowed to hire away from the Brewers, and this is a very logical fit for him. He has worked his way up the scouting ladder the traditional way, and this is the logical next step for him. Given McNamara's background, he will likely bring a very traditional approach to amateur scouting. That means looking at "tools" more than numbers. Even though I am a big fan of numbers, I also prefer scouting to focus on tools, because that is where a set of human eyes watching a player in person is helpful.
  • Tony Blengino, Special Assistant to the GM, Baseball Operations: This is the most interesting title of these three. Blengino was the other guy plucked from the Brewers front office, and his strength is statistical analysis. Given that, and that his title indicates that he will be a part of all baseball operations (namely draft picks, free agent signings, and trades), it seems that Blengino will essentially head up the M's sabermetric department. I am reading between the lines quite a bit here, but I hope I am right. The Mariners have never emphasized sabermetrics like this before, and the way Zduriencik has organized the front office makes a ton of sense. He has said over and over he wants to collect as much talent as possible, and to do that he wants to collect as much information as possible. By naming Blengino his special assistant, he has consolidated statistical analysis in one place organizationally, instead of spreading it out over several departments, or emphasizing it in only a few. For instance, with this set-up Zduriencik will be given both the traditional tools information about players from his scouting department, but also the statistical profile of a player from Blengino's department. With this setup, the two voices do not really compete with each other - they will both be heard clearly.
I am a fan of the way Zduriencik re-organized the front office. It is noticably different from Bavasi's set-up, and I like the changes. The structure is efficient, but also thorough. Personally are in areas where they should excel. Zduriencik did not re-invent the front office's structure, but he certainly made a system that the Mariners have never used. I much prefer this to Bavasi's structure, which seemed to me more about somehow jamming all his old baseball friends in some sort of role.