I will be your solo host for the next few weeks as Larry takes some time off. Lately when Larry takes time off, the Mariners tend to make a move. It happened with the Cliff Lee trade, the Carlos Silva trade and the Brandon Morrow trade.
So I guess I should be prepared for Jack Zduriencik to make some sort of move.
Just a quick note, Tuesday, Jan. 19, is the first day when salary arbitration figures can be exchanged by teams with their players that are arb-eligible. Arbitration hearings start on Feb. 1 and run through Feb. 20. Usually teams and players representatives agree to terms before getting to a hearing.
The Mariners have four players that are arbitration eligible (salary from last season)
- David Aardsma, RHP ($419,000)
- Felix Hernandez, RHP ($3.8 million)
- Casey Kotchman, 1B ($2.85 million)
- Brandon League, RHP ($640,000)
- Mark Lowe, RHP ($418,000)
Obviously, the one name that sticks out is Felix Hernandez. As far as we know, talks about a contract extension for Felix and the Mariners are in the works. We aren't sure of the level of seriousness, but preliminary talks have happened.
Larry mentioned the other day that Josh Johnson's 4-year, $39-million contract with the Marlins is a good yardstick to start with. I'd call it more of a short yardstick. Look, Felix is not going to settle for $10 million a season. He'll likely get close to $8 million this year.
It's time to think in Sabathia, Lackey, Halladay terms. I'd say 15 to 20 million a year is what Felix is looking for and expecting. I think I said some time ago that a 5-year, $100 million extension would be a rough guideline. Matthew Carruth over at Lookout Landing does a hypothetical look at an extension and comes up with 6-years at $94 million.
So six years at $100 million? Does that seem fair?
Speaking of Lookout Landing ... the guys over there - Matthew, Jeff Sullivan and Graham Macaree - are absolutely killing it with posts. It's always tough for me to come up with blog posts in the offseason, especially at this slow time, well not for these guys. Want projections of Franklin Gutierrez? How about thoughts on Michael Saunders? Maybe some line-up projections or an extension for Cliff Lee? They've been writing about it ... and making me look very, very bad. But at least they are giving me plenty to read about.
Another thing that came up over the weekend was a report that Jarrod Washburn was close to signing a free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners. I'm not going to postal on the Internet, fan bloggers or this specific post. But sometimes you need to have a buyer beware mentality. And any time, I see the words: "Bleacher Report" ... I view the post with a high level of skepticism. Bleacher Report is a fan blogging service on its simplest of levels - meaning it's fans writing about teams.
How different are they than USS Mariner or Lookout Landing? It's not even comparable. The guys at USS Mariner and Lookout post with a level of responsibility and understanding. Anyone who has read those sites would agree. It's the same for Proball NW (Formerly Bleeding Blue and Teal). Jon Shields over at Proball actually does a nice job of looking at this Washburn rumor and showing how the Bleacher Report post pushed this rumor into something more.
If you look on the left side of the blog, I'm trying to update the blog roll. And sites like the three mentioned above are on there for a reason. If you notice, Bleacher Report is not.
Ok, on to other things ....
Apparently Milton Bradley is being sued by a former landlord in Chicago.
The other person in that trade - El Buffalo, Carlos Silva - is looking for a fresh start with the Cubs.
''That's the way I think,'' said Silva, 30, as he arrived in Chicago and met many new teammates for the first time. ''For me, when I get to spring training, I forget about everything. When you're in Seattle, in the clubhouse, around the coaches, the only thing they've got in their mind is the two bad years that I've had. But walking in here right now the only thing you hear is, 'Welcome to the Cubs' and 'Good luck for the season.' Nothing negative.
''This is going to be a new start.''Well, Carlos not only were the coaches thinking about your two bad years, they were thinking about paying you another $24 million for two more years.
Dave Cameron at USS Mariner writes his "obligatory" Eric Byrnes post.