Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Don't Get Ruben Amaro Jr.

The Philadelphia Phillies signed Cliff Lee to a reported five year $120 million contract with a potential sixth season. Lee is an awesome pitcher and is comparable to Phillies ace Roy Halladay.

Amaro took over the general manager position with the Phillies after the 2008 World Series. Since then, he has made the following moves:

-He signed Raul Ibanez to a three year $30 million contract

-He signed Jamie Moyer to a two year $13 million contract

-He traded for and then signed Joe Blanton to a three year $24 million contract

-He signed Ryan Howard to a five year $125 million contract extension years before free agency

-He traded for Cliff Lee in 2009, who was amazing in the post season and then traded him after the season

-He traded for and signed Roy Halladay to a guaranteed three year $60 million contract

-He signed Placido Polanco to a three year contract

-He traded for Roy Oswalt

-And he signed Cliff Lee again

The contracts, except Halladay but including Lee, are ridiculous. He gave too many years and too many dollars for players who were a bit long in the tooth. I don't get how he can just sign players to these ridiculous contracts that will take them into their late 30s (or in Moyer's case late 40s), but for the very short term, the Phillies have one amazing team that are deserving World Series contenders in 2011 and 2012 for sure.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Don't Get Jack Z

Since I compared Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Z, and San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean in February, Sabean and the Giants won a World Series while Z and the Mariners lost 101 games. Figures, right?

Sabean is definitely not a genius and he has made some horrible signings, but for all the criticism, he deserves praise for assembling a team and coaching staff that won a World Series. That said, this post is more about Z.

In my post, I concluded with this:

Z brings in the same type of players that Sabean brings in. Z pays them much less than Sabean. Z does not throw all of his dice at said players. Instead, he creates depth and competition. Z is brilliant, Sabean is not.

Maybe Z isn't brilliant. He traded Brandon Morrow. He was erratic as indicated by his walk rate, but he could strike batters out. He's not Nolan Ryan, but he could be a Jonathan Sanchez and is certainly a good mid rotation starting pitcher.

He signed Ken Griffey Jr. Junior's farewell tour was last season. He was serviceable last season, and it was a fitting way to leave the game. While Junior may have wanted to play, his 2009 year wasn't good enough to warrant another farewell year. Predictably, Junior retired before the all-star break.

He signed Mike Sweeney. Junior's slightly younger clone did okay in his brief time with the Mariners, but it was still a wasted roster spot.

And it is being reported, that he just signed Miguel Olivo to a two year contract. It's hard finding catchers with a .283 career on base percentage...

Z is a general manager who is capable of stealing a Cliff Lee from a horrible general manager in Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. But he certainly is not an elite general manager. In my conclusion, I missed the point in the first sentence:

"Z brings in the same type of players that Sabean brings in."

Maybe he pays them less, but he is still filling his roster with bad players. Perhaps like Sabean, he might get a strong rotation (already has the ace) and luck into a few signings and grab a World Series trophy, but he is no genius that I thought he was after his first season with the Mariners.