Friday, December 21, 2007
Silva Signs in Seattle
Sorry there haven’t been a lot of updates lately. It is that Christmas time of year. Thankfully, we had the Pat Neshek Q&A up and many great comments were posted. The fact that Pat was willing to post responses to many of your questions was an added bonus. To be honest, I just don’t know if there will be a lot of postings in the new week. Unless there is something that is newsworthy, and that is certainly possible with the Twins, I will likely take some time off. But I do want to encourage comments, so even if there are no new postings, I would like to see the comments filled with questions. But here is on (former) Twins Note.
SILVA SIGNS WITH SEATTLE
When trying to project the Twins roster on March 23, I said this about the Twins 5th starter:
“#5 Starter - Carlos Silva - And, so many are opposed to Ponson being in the rotation, but many of the decisions surrounding Silva being in the Twins rotation have been questionable. Coming off a horrible season, the Twins picked up Silva's option for over $4 million for this year. That means, he's in the rotation. He has been horrible in spring, giving no reason to believe he has figured out any way to keep the sinker ball down. I know, spring numbers mean nothing and his contract means he starts the season in the rotation, but like Ponson, let's hope the hook comes quick if need be!”
I thought that picking up Silva’s option was dumb. I thought starting the season with him in the rotation was dumb. He went on to have a very good 2007 by going 13-14 with a 4.19 ERA in 202 innings. Sometimes it is best to just admit when you’re wrong!
On Thursday, he signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners that will pay him $48 million over the next four years. I have already heard the questions asked, “How can a guy who has gone 24-29 over the last two years get a contract averaging $12 million a year?” Those are obviously from people who think that Win-Loss record means something. But Silva still doesn’t walk anyone. He will get a lot of groundballs. He will be going to a team with a home field that is huge. He will have a very strong defense behind him. Most importantly, he has been very durable and is only going to turn 29 in mid-April. Those are some pretty important characteristics in a free agent pitcher. But as La Velle tells us, Silva is incredibly passionate about what he does. He appears to be a funny guy, a fun guy, and an all-around great teammate who will work hard.
Is Carlos Silva worth the contract that he signed? In my opinion he isn’t. To me, that kind of contract should be going to All-Star caliber pitchers. To me, Carlos Silva is a solid #3 pitcher who will likely give the Mariners a league average ERA over about 200 innings for the next four years. To me, that means something more like a three year, $25-$28 million deal, even in today’s market. But today’s market is crazy and #3 type of pitchers get $10-12 million deals. Hey Barry Zito got seven years and $126 million and he’s no more than a #3 starter. The best thing that Silva had going for him was that he was probably the best pitcher on the free agent market, so he was able to get what he wanted. Seattle needs more pitching after overpaying for Jarrod Washburn and Jeff Weaver a year ago.
And finally, Silva’s name has been mentioned most frequently with Kyle Lohse as the top two starting pitchers on the free agent market. So, when Lohse likely signs a similar deal with some overly desperate for pitching team, don’t be surprised. He had a bad 2006, and his 2007 was league average at best. He just turned 29 years old this month. The fact that he is a Scott Boras client means he will likely get paid even extra. But when you see the contract Lohse gets, got back t o the Silva traits t hat I mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, and I don’t think any of them apply to Kyle Lohse.
Had Silva been willing to sign the three year, $18 million deal that the Twins offered him, that would have been good, but not great. The Twins will likely be able to get league average starting pitching (with potential for better) from the likes of Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker, Boof Bonser, Brian Bass, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, Nick Blackburn or whichever pitchers they slot in. Those guys would all make less than $500,000 in 2008. This was a case, like with Torii Hunter, where the Twins were wise not to enter the same market as the AL West teams that signed them. That said, I really am happy for Carlos Silva. I can never blame a guy for getting what he can get.
And who knows… maybe the Silva/Santana relationship would be strong enough to get Santana to give up his no-trade clause to go to Seattle. A package of Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow and Jeff Clement would be more than enough return to make me happy. They could throw in lefty pitcher Tony Butler and I would be ecstatic. The M’s would have a rotation of Santana, Felix Hernandez, Carlos Silva, Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista and would certainly be a player in the NL West! Just more to think about!
Adam Jones becomes the Twins new CF and hopefully takes that job for the next six or more years. He is another guy that I would predict to have better offensive (and defensive) numbers than Torii Hunter over the next five years. An outfield of Jones, Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer could be incredible! I think that Jones could be a cornerstone whose upside is far more than Jacoby Ellsbury’s.
Brandon Morrow was the Mariners’ first round pick in 2006 out of California. He spent all of 2007 in the Mariners bullpen where he gave up 56 hits and 50 walks in 63 innings. So, clearly the walk numbers need to come down, but he also struck out 66 hitters. Why the Mariners decided to waste a full year of his pre-arbitration time in the bullpen is baffling to me. However, it is also important to remember that the M’s selected him ahead of Tim Lincecum in that draft, so he does have some serious upside, enough to be a #2 starter, if not an ace.
Jeff Clement was drafted by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2002, but he went to USC instead. He left his Iowa high school with the record for most career home runs. He is certainly a power threat, but he can also just be a good all-around hitter. He is a catcher, although he is far from great behind the plate. He could be a future DH and third catcher option which doesn’t sound impressive. But he would definitely be an every day player in the middle of the lineup.
Thanks again for stopping by this site. Have a great day! If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.