The Angels signed Josh Hamilton yesterday, causing quite a stir among Mariners fans (myself included) who were hoping Seattle would land the free agent slugger.
Free agent options are now limited for outfielders at the major league level. Nick Swisher is still available, and he would be a nice piece for Seattle to add. Michael Bourn is a good player, but he doesn’t have the power that the Mariners are looking for. Delmon Young? I’m not seeing that one.
Hamilton moving to the Angels may open up more trade discussions for Jack Z and his staff. If they can’t sign Swisher, a trade will be the best way to add an impact hitter.
Another thought is to do nothing. I’m sure this would be an unpopular move, but what if Swisher signs elsewhere and you can’t work out a decent trade? Perhaps you just go into this season as is, and then revisit things at the trade deadline and look at next winter’s free agent class. It could come to that.
Lots of pieces about the Hamilton signing in the links:
- Greg Johns has reaction from Jack Z in the wake of the Josh Hamilton signing.
- Ryan Divish reports that the Mariners offer for Hamilton was very large – he has the numbers, it seems that Hamilton simply preferred the Angels.
- John McGrath of The News Tribune is happy that the Mariners did not overpay for Josh Hamilton.
- At the Seattle Times, Geoff Baker dropped a blog post listing the hitters who have changed teams this year. If you read this one, make sure you make it through the second paragraph, which had me laughing here in my office.
- Larry Stone has an excellent post on the Mariners and trading prospects. The nuts & bolts of it is this: evaluating your own minor league talent is extremely important.
- The Phillies made a waiver claim on ex-Rainiers pitcher Mauricio Robles. The left-hander was taken off the Mariners 40-man roster last week when Jason Bay was signed. Robles has been unable to throw strikes at the Triple-A level in the past.
- We have a solid Q&A with Mariners pitching prospect Taijuan Walker over at Fangraphs. I was interested to read that the Mariners have prevented him from throwing his slider – the M’s did the same thing with Felix Hernandez when he was a teenager. Felix used to cheat and throw one or two each game in Tacoma, driving pitching coach Rafael Chaves batty.
- If you have an hour to kill, this ESPN feature on Roberto Clemente and the bat used for his 3,000th hit is enjoyable on a number of levels.