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I'm really not sure what's going on here. I hope for the best but I want to see who they hire next. The thing I worry about is that Pelekoudas is a wild card. He's been with the team forever basically, but I don't know where he stood with Bavasi. If he liked all these ideas over the years, that in itself scares the crap out of me. If he was the voice of reason that Bavasi never listened to, then maybe I'm not so scared.
Anyway, this is a team that needs a massive overhaul. If you look at the roster, there is very little in the way of players who are going to make an impact in the next era of winning Mariner teams. I think the list is essentially Felix and maybe Ichiro. I'd drop Sexson, Vidro, and Cairo today. I'd put Ibanez on the block and try to pick some prospects. He's still a good bat and would be useful for someone. I'd see if you could find a taker for Washburn, Batista, and Johjima and eat some salary if it means getting rid of them. I'd also explore the market for Putz.
As far as the rest... I'd kick the tires on extensions for Bedard and Beltre. If they're not interested in sticking around past 2009, then put them on the block. Silva has a NTC for this year but I'd put him on the market ASAP. I'd also see if someone wants Betancourt before his reputation catches up with his actual play. Morrow goes to AAA to learn to start. He was always a SP and he was drafted to start, and keeping him in the bullpen now is extremely short-sighted regardless of how good he's been lately. He can always go back to the pen if it doesn't work out. Reed gets a tryout for the rest of the year to see if he's just a late bloomer.
The problems are really compounded by not having top prospects who are close to ready. Especially with Ichiro going back to RF a couple days ago, AJ would be nice to have in CF. Tillman would be nice to have. I like Clement but I like his bat a lot less at DH or 1B. If we're stuck with Joh then I'd explore trading Clement for a prospect at another position (Joey Votto maybe?). Balentien has very real power but as a RH pull hitter I don't know how effective he'll be in Safeco. The guys who are close are pretty marginal and the better prospects are farther away.
Not to say that this thing couldn't be rebuilt in a hurry by a smart GM. Bedard and Beltre and Ibanez could net good building blocks. They've got the money to spend as well. I just have to hope they play their cards right.
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