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Vidro To DH

Via a number of places, the most linkable being here:

After receiving the news from his agent, Seth Levinson, Vidro spoke to Mariners manager Mike Hargrove that same day on the phone, and the skipper told him that he would be a designated hitter and a backup at third, second and first base.

I don't think I need to delve into all the reasons why this is stupid. DH, because it requires zero in the way of athleticism or fielding prowess, is the easiest position to fill on the roster. Anyone capable of holding and swinging a bat in a circular motion is more than qualified. Every year there are a number of minor league journeymen who could come up and hit .275/.330/.450 for the league minimum without batting an eye. Look, there's one. There's another. Hey, a third. These guys are incredibly easy to find if you look for them. Sometimes they fall in your lap.

And other times you might not even need to go digging. Between Chris Snelling, Ben Broussard, and Mike Morse, the Mariners already had 2-3 perfectly fine designated hitters on the roster. You could put Snelling there, or platoon him with Morse, or platoon Broussard with Morse, or do whatever, and at the end of the day you'd come out looking pretty good. Nothing fantastic, but it's production, and more than a lot of other teams are going to get from their own positionless bats. I didn't wake up this morning thinking "the Mariners need to get a DH," and I don't think anyone else did, either.

So they went out and got one anyway. For Snelling, Fruto, $12m, and a vesting option. And they didn't get a slugger with bad defense - they got a slap-hitting middle infielder with bad defense and an assload of injury problems. Yeah, RFK was a bad environment for Vidro, but Safeco's not much better, and it's not like there's any reason to expect a rejuvenation. Vidro's declined from his peak, and even if he's able to remain steady for as long as he plays in Seattle, he's a .270-.280 EqA who doesn't play the field. That puts him in Jay Gibbons territory, and Jay Gibbons was one of the worst DH's in the AL last season.

I'm running out of words to say about this, primarily because the English language isn't equipped in such a way as to describe such brazen incompetence. Bill Bavasi dealt a young, cheap, good hitter for an old, expensive, arguably worse one, tossing in a talented young arm and a vesting option for good measure. In no way, shape, or form could this ever be mistaken for a good idea. It just couldn't. There's no way.

In less than one week the Mariners have dealt away considerable young talent for a pair of useful but eminently unnecessary spare parts. It's inexcusable, and this staggering inability to understand some of the most basic tenets of proper roster management is a fireable offense. I've tried my hardest to give Bavasi the benefit of the doubt after jumping all over him way too quick back in '03/'04, but his time is up. He's hurting the organization, and the sooner he goes away, the sooner we can start working on getting this team to where it needs to be to compete for a title.