The winter meetings begin tomorrow down in Florida, but already there has been a lot of action around the league including the stunning signing of Jason Werth by the Washington Nationals for 7 seven years and $126 million! Yes I know we are in a never-ending recession but apparently the Nationals like the rest of the folks in Washington DC must figure the only way to win is by dumping cartloads of cash into the economy.
Now don’t get me wrong I like Jason Werth as a player, but he turns 32 in May this year….yikes no wonder Derek Jeter thought he should get more than a three-year deal so he could play till he is in his 40’s. Actually Jeter did get an option for 2014 to go along with a three-year deal totaling $51 million and the Yankee kingdom can now focus on trying to out bid Texas for Cliff Lee.
Meanwhile another quality veteran Lance Berkman will be wearing a Cardinals uniform next year. Also slugger Adam Dunn will join the White Sox as they add to their already potent offense. And oh ya remember a year ago when fans and media around here were jabbering about Padres star Adrian Gonzalez? Well he is off to the Red Sox to further fortify another potent offense, and won’t be up here learning to pronounce geoduck or Puyallup any time in the near future.
Bare in mind all of this is happening before the actual start of the winter meetings, with Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford still looming in the background as well as Royals Ace Zach Greinke letting the world know he wants out of Kansas City so he can go play on a contender next year.
Which of course brings us back to our Mariners who last year stole the show at the winter meetings leading Mariners nation to swoon over Jack Zduriencik all last winter and spring until the melt-down started once the season got going.
As you can see by the early trades thus far with the exception of the Jason Werth anomaly, the good teams are getting better and the small-fry like Seattle are well….rebuilding if that is what you call it. It makes things even more embarrassing when you hear about owners like Arte Moreno boasting about how they are ready to do what it takes to improve, and our absentee-owner Hiroshi Yamauchi probably does not even know the winter meeting are even happening. I suppose Yamauchi or one of his aides is in touch with the great baseball mind Howard Lincoln giving the Mariners their marching orders on how much money is available to spend this year. I have a hunch it won’t be much, and we will be lucky to grab a couple of mediocre scraps left over after the big boys get what they want.
I hope I am wrong and Jack Z. has a miracle left up his sleeve to give a weary Mariners fan base something to put under the Christmas tree this year besides hand-me-downs. Maybe someone can have a translation of the Dickens movie” A Christmas Carol” in Japanese sent over so Mr. Yamauchi can change his ways before he gets visited by the ghost of the Mariners future this holiday season. Barring that we may just have to hope he at least gets a copy of the “Grinch’” and decides to step-up and give Jack Z. another 10-20 million to work with. I guess I am dreaming but what the heck it is the season! http://jeffsmariners.com