Friday, January 30, 2009

Here's how to do it

Here's a tidbit from MLB rumors:

Yesterday Ken Rosenthal wrote that "the Mariners view Bobby Abreu as an ideal fit, major-league sources say, but it is unclear whether they can afford him."  Today,Larry Stone elaborates on Seattle's interest in Abreu.

Stone says Abreu's agent Peter Greenberg confirmed ongoing contact with the Mariners regarding Abreu.  Abreu is open to playing in Seattle or anywhere else.  However, they cannot afford him unless they make room in the payroll by moving salary.  Greenberg confirmed that Abreu is now open to a one-year deal.  Abreu told Greenberg he'd win the MVP and then go out on the market again.

Stone suggests the Ms would have to trade Jarrod Washburn ($10.35MM), Miguel Batista ($9MM), or Carlos Silva ($11MM) to clear '09 payroll space for Abreu.

Get on the phone with Jack Zduriencik, Seattle GM and say "I'll take Washburn or Batista off your hands right now if you give me a Top 5 prospect. Baseball America says these are the Top 5 Seattle prospects:

1.Greg Halman, of
2.Michael Saunders, of
3.Phillipe Aumont, rhp
4.Carlos Triunfel, ss/2b
5.Juan Ramirez, rhp

Washburn has a No trade clause so he'd probably ask for something (hint $$$$$) to waive it.  Batista doesn't.  Both are unsigned for 2010 meaning there is no long term commitment (and if somehow they had an outstanding season there is always  the chance they could luck into Type B FA status).

Mariners get the payroll help they need.  Nats get a prospect they need.  All it costs is money. OK, that prospect would cost between $9 and $10 million (or more depending on Washburn) but it's not like the Nats are dong anything with their unspent payroll. 

Alternatives could be, give us your top guy and we'll take  Carlos Silva and his $35 million off your hands.  Or, give us a lower tier guy whom we like and we'll add Austin Kearns and his $9 million (total $26 million added to Nats payroll.)

If the Mariners have to deal one of these guys to create payroll flexibility, then the team that can take the most salary on (not the one with the best players to offer) should be in the driver's seat.  And, is there another team with the ability to suck up as much salary as the Nats?  Is there ANY team right now other than the Nats that could suck up $9-$10m in 2009 payroll right now?

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