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.