04/30/08 4:05 PM PDT
|Seattle Mariners||Cleveland Indians|
|Ichiro Suzuki - CF||Grady Sizemore - CF|
|Jose Lopez - 2B||Jamey Carroll - 2B|
|Raul Ibanez - "LF"||Victor Martinez - 1B|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||Ryan Garko - DH|
|Jose Vidro - "DH"||Casey Blake - 3B|
|Richie Sexson - 1B||Franklin Gutierrez - RF|
|Wladimir Balentien - RF||Kelly Shoppach - C|
|Kenji Johjima - C||Jason Michaels - LF|
|Yuniesky Betancourt - SS||Asdrubal Cabrera - SS|
|2008 - Jarrod Washburn||1-3||5||5||0||0||0||0||29.0||34||13||13||4||5||15||4.03||1.34|
|2008 - Cliff Lee||4-0||4||4||1||1||0||0||31.2||11||2||1||0||2||29||0.28||.41|
I'm not real good at service time stuff. I don't really care one way or the other if these new guys become Super Twos, but if we really did just sacrifice a year of club control for an extra ten days or so of playing time now, that's stupid. That would be a stupid decision, and I'll yell at Bill about that another time.
However, for right now - holy crap. Maybe Wlad isn't ready to hit Major League pitching. Maybe Clement isn't, either. But the Mariners - the Seattle Mariners - just cleared two spots in the lineup for their top young talent by cutting one veteran and diminishing the playing time of another. Yeah, both Wilkerson and Vidro are pretty obviously finished as decent players, but the fact that this is happening now, while we're still in the first month of the season, just blows me away. This is how you win now. You identify your problems and stock your Major League roster with the best players in the system as quickly as you can. As an ardent cynic, I have to admit that the front office just took me by surprise. I didn't think this would happen until at least the middle of June. If ever.
Bill Bavasi decided during the winter that he wanted to win in 2008, and while I don't necessarily agree that this was the right time to strike, at least he's sticking to the plan. A proper win-now mentality doesn't allow much time for struggling veterans to right the ship. A proper win-now mentality leads to moves like this. It's a broader decision with which I disagree, but a decision I respect. Bill Bavasi wants to win. And if you want to win, you need to put as much talent on the roster as you possibly can.
If it works, that's awesome. If it doesn't, we gave it our best shot. But either way, the here and now just got that much more interesting. There will be no Adam Jones situations in 2008. Jeff Clement and Wladimir Balentien have been freed. I guess there's only one thing left to say.
LET'S GO MARINERS!!