Bay/Snell value & Contest last call

Jason Churchill pens a fabulous blog called Prospect Insider where he follows the Mariner’s farm system, and he announced yesterday that the M’s aren’t going to get Bay and Snell anytime soon.

He also said that my suggested value return for Bay and Snell of Adam Jones, Jeff Clement, Brandon Morrow and Carlos Triunfel was a bit too much.

Perhaps it is.

In retrospect, I might have tagged on too much value for Bay considering he still has $13.25M left on his contract. That’s good value for a team picking him up for two years but that’s just it – it’s only for two years. On the other side of the coin, perhaps Churchill overvalues Triunfel?

So I went to ask the prospect wizard, Jim Callis at Baseball America, what he thought and he suggested:

"I don’t think the Pirates would get all four of those guys. Clement-Jones-Triunfel or Morrow-Jones-Clement is probably middle ground."

Of course, middle ground is just that – it’s what is considered win-win for both teams. The Pirates don’t need to deal Snell and, like Jason mentioned, the Mariner’s don’t exactly go over the top adding Snell. But I think even Churchill would agree Snell makes the Mariners a lot more competitive in the division than Morrow as the final starter.

Adam Jones is exactly the kind of player the Pirates need – young, cheap for several years, and toolsy. A Jones type of player is a must in any package for Snell, if he’s dealt.

However, one lingering problem is that Bavasi has declared Brandon Morrow to be untouchable. Dave over at the always wonderful U.S.S. Mariner blog broke down Morrow just after Christmas by saying:

"The Mariners can believe in Morrow’s talent all they want, and they can talk themselves into believing that his 4.00 ERA out of the pen last year means that he’s capable of pitching well in the rotation in 2008…

"The Mariners fancy themselves as a contender next year. There’s not a contender in baseball going into 2008 with a guy as woefully unprepared for a starting rotation job as Brandon Morrow."

And that’s exactly what every scout in the game I’ve talked to has said about Morrow.. he projects as a reliever or potential closer.

That leaves Clement and Triunfel with Jones, if Bavasi has his way. Is that honestly enough of a return?

Now what this series has hopefully done is open your eyes to what the realistic value for Snell and Bay is in the marketplace, whether with the Mariners or anyone else. True, Huntington will look for a club who has more demanding need for a middle order starter and/or Bay’s punch to try and get a greater return, and he very well might find it.

But don’t count on the return value being much different overall than from what has been mentioned here. The names might be different, but the combined overall upside probably won’t be. Even if Bay comes out on fire next year, this won’t change much.

Now, would you deal Snell and/or Bay knowing this? Talk about it at the discussion forum.

Monday night will be my last post for six days as I’ll be relocating for my new job next week. Alex with Baseball Interactive Media (BIM) will be in touch with me if anything goes down to get my reaction. This is my first vacation from posting since I opened the doors here so I’m looking forward to kicking back some.

Speaking of Monday, don’t forget to register at the discussion forum for your chance to win the Neil Walker limited edition bobblehead (BIM) is giving away Monday.

Elmer Dessens. Wow.. who would have thought. He misses some bats here and there but is prone to give up the long ball. I think if he’s used right he’ll throw better than his ERA suggests. If we get the Dodgers version of Dessens, we’ll be ok. But if I am any starter in the Pirates rotation, I’m already having nightmares of bequested runners scoring next year.. it could be a record-setting year.

Unfortunately, I guess this means Bullington starts in Indy now. I was looking forward to seeing him in relief and making the occasional start. Perhaps the Pirates pro scouts think he has more in his tank than I do long-term?

Why did we let Youman get away? That’s going to haunt us more ways than one – I just feel it in my bones.

Sniff.. sniff.. is that the Mets I smell looking to steal another starter from us? Go away..

Morris.. Wilson.. to the Cards? Yeah, can we then sign Sig as he walks? Ah shucks, I say unload them on the Brewers and let the bucketheads moan.

Or how about the Snell to Cubs rumors being fueled all over the web? Right.. I see that happening. Hendry knows he needs a third team.

Pirates ex-pitching rover Gary Ruby joined the Astros. I tip my hat to the Pirates for following through with the ‘culture change’ mentality by not bringing back Ruby, but I have to wonder now how bad Ruby’s personal problem really was? Maybe there is more to this story than was told under the table?

Mini-camp opens Tuesday – two hours per day for four days. One of the players has to fill me in on whether or not Huntington holds classes like how to balance your checkbook, holistic medicine, and leads the group in yoga.