If you thought the Mariners were going to be able to unload Chone Figgins or Miguel Olivo – even for less than what we received in return for Ichiro – then you’re dumber than I am!
Who wants a catcher who can’t catch? Or a hitter who can’t hit? Or a leadoff hitter who can’t get on base, and isn’t good enough to play more than once every two or three weeks? MORONS, that’s who! Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of morons in Major League Baseball (in fact, the Seattle Mariners might have that market cornered, so let’s just move on).
I think just about all of us were convinced we’d seen the last of Millwood and Vargas, so if you’re in that camp then you’re at least as smart as I am (not that that’s saying a whole helluva lot). Moreso Millwood, because you can kinda sorta justify bringing back Vargas for one more season before he becomes a free agent. Yeah, he’s going to cost anywhere from $8-10 million next year, but for what you get out of him (200 innings, an ERA between 3 and 4, approximately a .500 record) I think it’s worth it. At least, in today’s MLB it’s worth it. Felix can’t pitch ALL the innings …
Millwood, I dunno. The only reason you don’t unload Millwood is because every team low-balled you. Let’s face it, Millwood isn’t the greatest pitcher in the universe. Odds are, you’re not going to get many good prospects tossed your way for an 80 year old right hander with a 4 ERA who gets to play half his games in Safeco. Might as well hang onto him and hope to salvage SOMETHING out of this already-lost season.
If keeping Vargas and Millwood on this roster (thereby preventing guys like Noesi or Erasmo Ramirez to start before they’re ready) buys you an extra five or six wins, is it worth it? It is if those wins are the difference between being a 90-something loss team and an 80-something loss team. An overall record better than 2011’s is something you can sell to the fanbase at large. You can sell it as “Improvement”. As, “The Plan Is Working”. As, “Just Give Me One More Chance”.
The Seattle Mariners aren’t in the market to be everyone else’s farm club. If you want our expendable trade chips, you’re not going to get them for free. In that sense, good. Fuck the rest of the MLB.
The Mariners did just about everything I could have hoped for: they got rid of Brandon League, they brought in another corner outfielder with some pop from the left side of the plate, and they gracefully said goodbye to Ichiro. What more could you expect without giving up potential future all stars like Hultzen, Walker, Paxton, etc.?
Besides, I don’t hate Vargas. If you could sign him cheap enough, I wouldn’t even mind the Mariners signing him to a 3-year extension. Like they were talking about on the radio, somewhere in the range of $21-22 million over three years; I wouldn’t hate that! If he’s willing to stick around for that.
As for Millwood, hell, what can I say? He’s going to go down as a part of one of my happier Mariners moments in recent history with his work in the 6-man no hitter. I figure, for that, we can let him finish out his season and maybe catch on somewhere else next year for a little raise.