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Time To Play "Count The Meaningful Statements" With Buster Olney

In this post, Olney introduces the idea of John Lackey joining the Mariners. Exciting! Lackey is great and would help restore some of the team smelliness we lost with the departure of Justin Thomas. Here is the phrasing Olney used in delivering his point:

  • Seattle could land Lackey
  • potential sleeper team
  • timing is right
  • Lackey might find the Mariners attractive
  • Mariners...appear to have the financial room

Per usual, there's no actual tie in there, and not even any anonymous sourcing. Olney just wrote about a couple reasons why the Mariners may choose to get involved, which is a post you could write about any team in baseball. "A's may seek veteran workhorse to lead stable of talented ponies." "Rays could make splash in effort to keep up with beasts of the East." "Marlins considering uncharacteristic acquistion of Major League pitcher." It's a post that takes time to say nothing, and while I get that this is part of Olney's job, and while nothing he says is actually incorrect, it's important to realize that Olney's post didn't tell us anything we didn't already know.

Honestly, the Mariners probably will get involved in the Lackey talks. It will last all of one phone call.

Mariners: We would like to offer your client $X.
Lackey's Agent: My client would like $Y.
Mariners: Your client smells.
Lackey's Agent: You smell.

It would be irresponsible of the M's not to at least find out Lackey's asking price, but as the prize of the free agent market, Lackey's going to command a lot of money, money that should be going to another, better starting pitcher the Mariners already have. In the event that Zduriencik and Nero can't agree to anything and Felix gets traded, I could see Z displaying more interest, but even then, Lackey's a 31 year old who's probably looking at a big five- or six-year contract, and I don't see the Mariners trying to compete with that kind of offer.

John Lackey is a neat idea. But he's a neat idea for every team in baseball, some of whom have more money, a more aggressive general manager, or more money and a more aggressive general manager. Don't get your hopes up.