Friday, August 10, 2007

Mariners should extend Bavasi

Today the Seattle Mariners sit in the playoffs. That would seem to be enough to give General Manager Bill Bavasi a passing grade. However, for a great deal of the Mariners fans the three straight 90 loss season's are more than they can overcome.

Their is no question in my mind the Mariners should extend Bill Bavasi. The truth here is the Mariners got what they hired. The problem is they tried to turn Bavasi into something else in the first few years of his stewardship. Bavasi is a system developer not a free agent signer.

Bavasi's track record with the Angels and the Dodgers is on of the best in baseball in regards to building a franchise from the bottom up. If a major league team can add one position player and one pitcher a year from the system they are well ahead of the game. While in Anaheim, Bavasi regularly superseded that standard. He developed two to three position players a year and numerous pitchers. It was this core that became the World Champions.

This is exactly what he is doing in Seattle. Adam Jones is the newest of a collection of players and mostly pitchers that have been developed in Bavasi's system. A system that was completely dead when he took over. The drought of development in the Mariners system is what lead to the back to back to back 90 loss season not the actions of Bavasi.

Great franchises are defined by their ability to evaluate their own talent not the evaluation of the rest of the league. The ability to know what talent is going to progress and which are going to hit a wall and flounder is the basis by which all deals are made and franchises develop. In the past the Mariners have been one of the worst in baseball at this. Today they are reaching the upper echelon.

If Bavasi has a weakness he is inconsistent in the success of his free agent signings. That is as much a reality of free agency as it is a Bavasi's fault. Free agency is inconsistent. Moreover, Bavasi was forced to play the free agent market with a team that had enormous gaps and no talent coming up the system. The Mariners put Bavasi in a position to fail in an area that was not his strength.

He has now rectified that with the fantastic development of talent throughout the minor leagues. This means that in the upcoming years he will be able to deal from a position of strength when fixing the club rather than a position of weakness.

That is why Bavasi needs an extension.


Chris said...

Locke -

Come on, that was weak reasoning! I expect more out of you than that. Put some stats up to back up your claim. Perhaps, compare him to maybe the top five GM's or to Gillick...He may be good at selecting amateur players, but he's not good with free agents or trades. How many starting pitchers or dynamic offensive players has he developed? He needs to be fired immediately before he starts making this team worse with more ridiculous trades like yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Extension for Bavasi? Give me a break! Not only has he been a poor evaluator of talent in the free agent market, his trades have been horrible! He seems to love trading for injured pitchers (Jesse Floppert and Horacio Ramirez to name a couple on the tip of my tongue) and he has made some questionable choices in the draft. Jeff Clement is a total bust, and Lincecum would look real good as our #5 starter right now. The Mariners are winning despite Bavasi, the last thing they should do is give him an extension.

ccgthoms said...

To those of you who doubt Bavasi look at his track record with the Angels. He helped them win a World Series in 2002!It takes time to leave your talents on a team that was going nowhere fast.Look at the Mariners now! They are in contention for a playoff spot.Indeed the Mariners should extend his contract!


You make a real good point, David. When Bill Bavasi took over the team, they had players at the end of their careers taking up a lot of salary (Boone, Martinez, Olerud) while having no minor league system to work with.

When the Beltre and Sexson signings happened, the Mariners fans were ecstatic that we were able to obtain two of the top free agents on the market who have gold glove defense at the infield corner spots while putting up slugging numbers. Sure there have been some outcry about Beltre right away, but his MVP caliber year with the Dodgers is a career year and wont be repeated. Sexson is a poor mans Jay Buhner with big pop and RBIs, but has way too many strikeouts.

The minor league system has developed quite nicely over the last 3 years or so since Bavasi's arrival. We have acquired many young players such as Jeff Clement, Brandon Morrow, Carlos Triunfel, and Yuniesky Betancourt.

I agree Bavasi deserves another year extention on his contract. He has turned the team around, even through some ill-fated trades and signings and the team is now in the playoff hunt in the middle of August.