Not much Mariner news out there, although Jon Hickey throws Freddy Garcia's name into the mix. Mind you, it's complete and utter speculation on the author's part, but given that Seattle needs starters and Chicago has one too many, I'm sure they'll talk, if they haven't already.
So the question then becomes, is it a good idea? The plus side is that Garcia's a workhorse who only has a year left on his contract, but the downside is that he wouldn't come cheap, and he's not that great of a pitcher. His strikeouts have taken a plunge and, while he doesn't walk too many hitters, he gives up his share of fly balls. There's nothing particularly unique about him - he'll pitch to his peripherals and benefit from a good defense and good park like anyone else. Getting a year out of a roughly league-average pitcher for $9m has value, but I don't know that it'd be worth giving up what he'll command.
If Kenny Williams isn't asking for much, then sure, give it a shot, but I don't think that's going to happen. Besides, Felix's idol is probably best when observed from a distance, anyway. I wouldn't want those two getting too close.
Bill Bavasi's extended to Ken Macha the opportunity to be a senior advisor, if he's interested. On the surface it doesn't really mean anything, sort of like Dan Evans' hiring two years ago, but the upside is there, since Macha has years of experience helping teams beat the A's in big games. Of course, after four seasons of carrying out Billy Beane's every command, it's entirely possible that Macha's brain has atrophied to vanilla pudding, but that still leaves you with a preferable managerial alternative to the guy currently running the show.
After becoming a new part-owner of the Mariners' AAA affiliate, Nick Lachey and flamed-out Rainier prospect Jesse Foppert now have two things in common.
The Boston Herald claims that JD Drew will become the newest injury-prone Red Sox right fielder for $56m/4yr with a 2011 option. By signing Drew, landing Matsuzaka, negotiating with Japanese lefty Hideki Okajima, and threatening to send Manny Ramirez to a non-Seattle destination, Boston is almost singlehandedly ruining my winter.
JP "Remember When I Was A Moneyball Guy?" Ricciardi took Gil Meche to a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game last night, combining one of my least favorite pitchers in the league with my most hated franchise in sports. The two deserve one another. I'm sure Gil will have a lot of fun chatting with Nik Antropov over brie and appletinis about how they're both on the cusp of greatness if only people would stop putting so much gosh darned pressure on them to perform up to their alleged abilities. (And yes, I understand that nobody here knows who Nik Antropov is. There's a reason for that.)
Finally, lots of fun over at The Book blog about batting performance at and after certain counts. Check it out. If you've ever doubted the significance of throwing first-pitch strikes, look no further than this:
After 1-0: .280/.382/.459
After 0-1: .239/.276/.372
If you miss with the first pitch, you turn hitters into Kevin Youkilis. However, if you manage to get ahead with a strike, you turn them into Adam Everett. The difference is partially negated by the success of hitters who put the first pitch in play, but it's still huge. Never underestimate the importance of a pitcher being able to use all the available area instead of only that over the plate.