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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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July 17, 2008 11:59 AM

Sexson off to Yankees

Posted by Geoff Baker

As many of you have no doubt heard, Richie Sexson has reportedly agreed to a deal with the New York Yankees. They like his numbers against left handed pitching this season, albeit in a limited sample size. He hit .344 with a 1.046 on-base-plus-slugging percentage off lefties in 61 at-bats this season.

Yes, that's right. A total of 61 ABs. Many of them before he revamped his batting stance. Last year, his OPS was .752 off southpaws, while it was .763 the prior year. Not terrible, but perhaps not what the Yanks need. Still, this makes sense as a gamble since it's barely costing New York anything. Sexson is expected to be in-uniform by Saturday. If he tanks during the next 10 days, the Yankees can still pull off another deal for a bat. Don't forget, if they really want to go throw money around, they have until Aug. 31. The July deadline is only for dealing players without them passing through waivers first.

For the big ticket guys, some of them have a high enough salary that you can ram them through waivers without much worry that another team will snag them. Adrian Beltre could fit into this category. He's owed about $17 million between now and the end of next year. Not many teams would want to put a claim in on
that. Some might, but not a whole bunch can afford it. Raul Ibanez? By Aug. 1, he'd be owed less than $2 million for the rest of this year. Some teams might consider that a bargain. But then again, those teams might already have their needs filled by that point. You never know.

In anybody's book, Sexson is a limited gamble. In the Yankees' book, he's chump change.

To answer your questions, Sexson was a pretty stand-up guy his final two years in Seattle. I know he ducked the media a bit towards the end, but, as we wrote a few weeks ago, it's tough to blame him given the lose-lose situation he'd be in by opening his mouth. He knew he was terrible the past two seasons. Didn't make excuses for it this year. Said just about all there was to say. Was out there talking when he was a focal point in a game -- including when he started that brawl against Texas. Few of us, including most of you, had any questions left unanswered about why he was performing that way. So, no, I felt no inherent need to torture him by making him repeat everything he'd already said about being unable to produce.

His final day as a member of the team did not go over well. He pouted, made it clear to all that he was not happy on the bench -- by not staying there for at least part of the game -- and was released. But overall, I'd say he comported himself well under the circumstances of being the most loathed player in Seattle.

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Posted by Wolfie

12:14 PM, Jul 17, 2008

'If' he tanks? Don't you mean 'when' he tanks? ;)

Seriously, though, it'll be interesting to see how he fares in the harsh NY climate. If he was getting booed here, he'll get eaten alive in NY if it goes south.

Posted by bdrum

12:22 PM, Jul 17, 2008

I can't believe someone is actually going to PAY him to play

Posted by scrapiron

12:22 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Sexson to NY: Good for the game?

Posted by Amanda (44)

12:27 PM, Jul 17, 2008

SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally a team that may appreciate him!!!!! Too bad I am a die hard M's fan, or I might have to flip flop to the Yanks.

I have faith!

Go RICHIE!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Ms fan since 1984

12:33 PM, Jul 17, 2008

It is being reported in the Tacoma Tribune that Brian Lehair has been called up today to the Ms. Is this true? Who is gone?

Posted by bongo

12:41 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Better break out the earplugs Amanda....

Posted by Coop

12:41 PM, Jul 17, 2008

I look forward to seeing Big Sexy in St. Louis at the next All-Star Game. That short porch in right field will give Richie about 20 HRs before the season is over.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:57 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Couldn't the Ms have eaten Sexson's salary as part of a trade for at least some minor leaguer in the Yanks' system? The Yankees just waited it out and picked him up for free, rather than the Ms getting something, anything, even a ham sandwich. Bah!

Sexson better hope the Yankees pick up Bonds, so that he doesn't have to deal with Yankee "fans" and the NY press so much when he does just as poorly with the bat there as he did here.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:57 PM, Jul 17, 2008

...although it occurs to me that if the Ms did get a ham sandwich for Sexson, Vidro would have eaten it.

Mmm. Sandwich. Lunch time.

Posted by Bill

12:57 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Good for Richie.

Posted by scottM

1:08 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Ahhhhh, nice to see a thread that moves us out of the theoretical––(Bonds and soon-to-be-cut Vidro).

I really don't see Sexson turning it around at the plate. Couldn't happen to a nicer team.

Bring on the youngbloods. Let the '09 try-outs begin!!!

Posted by The Face

1:09 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Buster Olney says the D-Backs traded for Tony Clark. Obviously not much need for Raul anymore.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3493542

Posted by Fortified Milk

1:23 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Sexson is about as worthless as a bag of diapers. I hope he gets another earful from Yanks fans. It'll be interesting to see considering he practically cried over getting booed in Seattle, where it took M's fans about 2 months to realize he is garbage.

Posted by 11Records

1:25 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Honestly -

The last 2 years, Richie has been pretty good outside of Seattle. I don't see him totally falling on his face. And, he's traditionally a 2nd half guy... So - maybe he will do well. And, with it looking more like Matsui needs knee surgery, maybe Raul will join him out there.

BTW - with how quickly Richie was picked up, is it crazy to thing the M's could have tried to get a low level prospect for him? Something? ANYTHING at all? That Tony Clark trade brought the D-Backs a minor league reliever, and Tony Clark is no worse than Sexson!

Posted by tall one

1:30 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Even though I'm going to hate seeing Richie in a Yankees uni, I wish him success.

I have a question. How many of you who booed Richie mercilessly could improve at your profession if someone behind you booed at your every step. Irregardless of the "professional athlete" argument, he is a human being. Just a question and something to think about before you pick your next target.

Posted by Mike

1:32 PM, Jul 17, 2008

I'm glad Sexson is gone. I thought he should have been dealt or released over the winter. But it is odd that he was public enemy number one here. Sure his .696 OPS was nothing to write home about, especially for a first baseman, but nine current Ms with over 100 ABs have an OPS worse than Sexson. In the case of our soon to be released (I hope) DH and our newly extended 32 year old catcher, the OPS difference is over .100 points.

Posted by msb

1:33 PM, Jul 17, 2008

trading for Tony Clark.
owed approx. $450,000.
OBP .374 SLG .307 OPS .681

trading for Richie Sexson.
owed approx. $6,120,219.
OBP .315 SLG .381 OPS .696

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

1:33 PM, Jul 17, 2008

The Yankees might be a decent fit for Sexson as a p/t player as all of the fan and media focus is directed on Alex. Alex is now being crucified for leaving the All Star game after he was pulled and flying back to Miami on his private jet - he was in the air by the 7th inning while Jeter watched the entire game from the dugout. M's are missing opportunities to trade for prospects by moving players who have some value to contenders - Rhodes, Ibanez, & Washburn esp. The entire FO is desperately trying to hold onto their jobs so they are being paralyzed by inaction- Art Thiel was right on this am and the quote from a FO rival summed it up perfectly "As long as Lincoln and Armstrong are here, whoever the GM is doesn't matter".

Posted by tasty morsel

2:01 PM, Jul 17, 2008

so sexson accepts a role with the yankees (spot starter v. lhp) that so offended him in Seattle that it got him fired.

even prima donnas have their limits apparrently

Posted by Forza M's

2:05 PM, Jul 17, 2008

"I have a question. How many of you who booed Richie mercilessly could improve at your profession if someone behind you booed at your every step"

I would have been fired within 6 months if I had performed at his level.

Posted by scrapiron

2:23 PM, Jul 17, 2008

If the second highest paid person at a company performs poorly, he gets booed at the stockholders meeting, yes.

Posted by Biten by a Monkey

2:26 PM, Jul 17, 2008

dirty sanchez

Posted by headliner

2:26 PM, Jul 17, 2008

I think a lot of the booing at Richie was in frustration at management continually running him out there. It seemed to be the only way to get Riggs attention. The same will probably happen to Vidro if he keeps getting put in.

Posted by Mister B

2:27 PM, Jul 17, 2008

I'm trying to imagine this thought process going through Sexson's head:

"Gee, these hometown fans have been really rough on me. Where can I go where I can be treated nicer while I'm struggling with the bat....I know! Yankee Stadium!"

On the bright side, if he hits like he has been, maybe that Yankee playoff streak will finally be broken.

Posted by The Centerfield Bum

2:34 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Who wants to put a bet on Sexson being with the Yankess when they play at Safeco the weekend of September 5 - 7?

It could be interesting if Sexson does return to Safeco in September.

Posted by 11Records

2:35 PM, Jul 17, 2008

To MSB:

Right - but the M's could have DFA'd Sexson, and then traded him. In which case the M's would still have been picking up his salary. So the money element shouldn't play into it.

Wouldn't it have been nice to get some sort of living, breathing minor leaguer in return?

Posted by Citizens for a more productive team

2:39 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Amanda are you kidding me???? OMG seriously! You probably have his Brewer bobblehead don't you!

Posted by Donovan

2:48 PM, Jul 17, 2008

While this signing is zero risk for the Yanks and hardly surprising, what it really speaks to is just what desperate days these are in the Bronx. The Yankees will be home in Oct watching the playoffs this year, and I'd say there is a very good chance that Brian Cashman is looking for work around that time. I think he's likely to be at the top of the M's GM candidate list (though personally I'd favor someone more maverick like Kim Ng).

Posted by Mike

2:59 PM, Jul 17, 2008

So what time was that workout supposed to be today. It would be interesting to learn if LaHair is really there and if Vidro is not.

Posted by msb

3:02 PM, Jul 17, 2008

"Wouldn't it have been nice to get some sort of living, breathing minor leaguer in return?"

well, sure, but obviously, no one was offering one.

Posted by Faceplant

3:17 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Because why would you want this...

.273/.338/.438

When you can have this!

.239/.374/.307


In all seriousness the D-Backs still need an outfielder. There acquisition of Clark doesn't change that.

Posted by shortbus

3:48 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Come on, people! As poorly as I think this front office has performed, there was no way they were going to get value for Sexson. No team was going to give us anything for a guy that was about to be a free pickup. If they trade for him the team acquiring him pays his salary...so there's really no reason for a team not to wait and pick him up off the scrap heap for leage minimum, prorated.

Posted by John

3:59 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Brian LaHair.
So we get to watch another mediocre minor league Mariner come up and flail away for a couple months.
Somehow, though, it beats watching an overpaid major league Mariner flail away for a couple years.

Posted by Chomp

4:01 PM, Jul 17, 2008

VIDRO IS THEIR! TUG IS BACK IN TACOMA!!

He came up for 3 at bats. Wow. Get rid of stnky Jose.

Posted by fish93

4:19 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Posted by 7hourlinedrive

4:33 PM, Jul 17, 2008

"I would have been fired within 6 months if I had performed at his level."

Whatever your job is, it's nothing like Richie Sexson's was as a starting major league player, for all the obvious reasons. You do your job, whatever it is, in complete anonymity and with none of the stakes applied to his role with the Mariners.

"If the second highest paid person at a company performs poorly, he gets booed at the stockholders meeting, yes."

Yes, definitely if those "stockholders" are, to begin with, insanely jealous how much that second-highest person is paid, and if they're given to kneejerk reactions, free of perspective, because they've completely forgotten the returns that person has yielded his first two campaigns with the company, and if they can completely blend in with the other shareholders mature enough not to boo so that second-highest-paid person doesn't spot them at the shareholders' meeting and beats the living crap out of them in the parking lot afterward.

I'm sorry it didn't work out for Big Richie in Seattle, and (I hate to say it) I hope he performs well for the Yankees and proves he isn't as "worthless as a bag of diapers."

Posted by JP

4:43 PM, Jul 17, 2008

I guess that's the problem with having the traveling secratary as your GM. Can't make any deals with other clubs because of lack of experience. Who am i kidding Armstrong is the puppet master anyways Pelekoudas is just the mouth piece. Sucks now we are going to be stuck with Wash for another crappy year and waste of 9 mill. Sucks now we can't build our minors because our traveling secretary asks to much for Ibanez.

When does this silliness end....? Nobody wants Vidro, Cairo or Bloomquist. (By the way tell me how many teams have three platoon players as starters oh that's right just us) Ownership won't allow us to trade Ichiro or Johjima because it's bad business(tv revenues in Japan). FO won't call up AAA players too early because we are giving another try out to the sorry players that were originally on our horrible 40 man roster in spring training. GM "won't make moves just to make moves" (recently aquired Craig Wilson from the Pirates-i think this qualifies as a move just to make a move)

Is Billy Beane just making moves for the sake of making moves. No. He is making moves to improve his minor league stock pile knowing again "KNOWING" that certain NL teams need pitching.

Yes the sky is officially falling and yes the apacolypse is officially upon us. Who the hell are we going to trade Wash and Bedard to now? How can we ever allow for a player (Ibanez)who we know the market is hot for just go to free agency and we receive nothing but compesatory picks in return for.

You can say what you want Geoff but for pete's sake when do you feel that we have the right to call our FO idiots? Can we at least call them idiots if they keep the same roster for the second half of the season, don't trade anyone, aquire more washed up former major leaguers and put them in AAA, keep Vidro in the 4 hole, keep trotting out Cairo at 1st, and don't call up any AAA players under the age of 30?

Patience is running very thin.....

Posted by Nat

4:45 PM, Jul 17, 2008

My first thought- If Richie felt tortured by the booing at Safeco Field how's he gonna feel when he gets booed at Yankee Stadium in front of 50,000+ fans?!

Posted by RustyJohn

10:11 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Answer- He won't get booed much in New York because he isn't getting paid $17 million by the to be their clean-up hitter. He is getting pro rated league minimum to occasionally play first and pinch hit against lefties. That's it.

Posted by RustyJohn

10:17 PM, Jul 17, 2008

As for Cashman looking for a job at the end of the year, yes, it is his fault that Wang, Hughes, Kennedy, Posada, ARod, Matsui, and Damon are on or have been on the DL for substantial time this year. What is frightening is that Rasner and Ponson, those who are filling in for the injured starting pitchers, are still better than 3/5ths of the Mariner's rotation.

Damn, this is turning into a Yankee blog.

Posted by tomtom

11:24 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Lets face it. Sexon ruined viewing MLB at Seattle.

Sexon...A sub 200 hitter... oh, all the way up to .219 against "in the basement" teams... ruins watching a game for a true fan. When you have a half dozen sub 200s sitting on the M's bench, how are you suppose to believe in the future?

I admit it. This year I hated watching Richie bat more than anyone in baseball, even after I saw Uggla bat at the All Star game. At least Uggla didn't balance on the toe of his left foot.

It is " team protected " sacred cows like Sexon, that make the Sports Journalists more famous than its over-priced Players. What makes a Journalist famous? Mostly complaining about EVERYTHING. Judging from some of the blogging going on here, I would say someone likes reading miraculously insightful blogging like: "oh, oh, oh, Sexon is .344 against left handers."

All that tells me is: he is and has been a sacred cow in Seattle for 2 year, while at the same time being a complete failure against right handers.

In Seattle, batting at best sub 270, while hitting over 750 against left handers???? What does that pencil to: .050 against right handers? For $15M a year??? The guy needed to be smart enough to switch hit. No wonder he pounded himself in the helmet so often...."duhhhh, I knew I was gonna do dat again"

Posted by MrGenre

1:22 AM, Jul 18, 2008

When did Mariner fans become such stuck up jerks? Obviously you folks weren't around for the 80's and early 90's when we watched Mariner baseball truly (and I mean TRULY with how bad we were) for the sake of the game. Did Sexson play like an inebriated bear the last season and a half? Yes.
But does he deserve the mockery and dissent of his fans? Maybe in NY. Maybe in Chicago. But I had always thought that Seattle fans were different. Why else would our heroes be the players that gave back to the community? It has never had anything to do with stats or slumps or hall of fame nominees. Do names like Dan Wilson and Jay Buhner ring a bell? Not exactly hall of famers, but men who loved this city and its fans.
Now, I admit that Richie's salary probably garnered more results, but if he had come to this team in a different way, I'm certain he would have been a Mariner for life.
I grew up rooting for the M's as a team, not for solo results. And if names like Alvin Davis, Jim Presley and Harold Reynolds don't ring a bell, maybe you've forgotten what's truly important about Seattle baseball. We weren't born in '95.
Many of you will disagree with me, and that's fine. We all have a different definition of what's important to us as fans. I just submit that maybe we're asking too much of a team that gives us a chance to watch a ballgame 81 times every summer. Isn't that enough?

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

4:47 AM, Jul 18, 2008

"I look forward to seeing Big Sexy in St. Louis at the next All-Star Game. "

Richie's looking forward to his next phase in life too: Peanuts! Cracker Jacks! Ice Cold Beer!

Posted by jeff928

6:36 AM, Jul 18, 2008

I am not happy with my work. I think I will refuse to sit at my desk. I will spend my time at the coffee shop downstairs. My boss will certainly then give me my full pay for the rest of the year and excuse me from showing up altogether. Thank you Richie for showing the way for us underappreciated workers!

Posted by Amanda (44)

7:33 AM, Jul 18, 2008

Citizens for a more productive team - Is that all you got?

As a matter of fact, I Do not have a Brewers Bobblehead of Richie... know where I can get one? Can I buy yours off you?

Posted by Eburg T

9:20 AM, Jul 18, 2008

I can't speak for others, but I loathe Vidro and Washburn WAY more than I do Richie.

Bedard, too, actually, but I can't really justify that one. He just comes off as a D-bag.

Posted by byebye

9:29 AM, Jul 18, 2008

Mike posted

1:32 PM, Jul 17, 2008

"...but nine current Ms with over 100 ABs have an OPS worse than Sexson."

Mike, don't compare Richie with nine current Ms, compare him with a good (not great) productive first baseman.

byebye

Posted by Amanda (44)

10:03 AM, Jul 18, 2008

I love the "band wagon" syndrom. Our 1st baseman is gone, and NOW, ya'll are seeing that compared to others on the Roster, he wasnt so bad after all. I'm not saying he wasn't bad, ok horrible at times, but compared to some others...

Who is the next Whipping boy? I say Bedard or Batista!

I can't wait till September, when Richie returns to Safeco.

Posted by teddd

11:30 AM, Jul 18, 2008

ive known him since hs. hes never been anything more than a stuck up pos. im glad hes gettin what he deserves, its been a long time comin. hes never been anything but a jerk his whole life!

Posted by teddds

11:36 AM, Jul 18, 2008

u know what MrGenre...
its attitudes like yours that let this team turn to crap. if the fans would stand up and quit goin to safeco until we are successful or at least on the way, the team wouldnt allow idiots like mcclaren and bavasi to run the team as long as they did. those joker owners still MADE money the last 3 yrs even tho weve stunk b/c idiot robot fans lk you keep throwin your money away to see an iferior product!

Posted by Viking Nomad

3:23 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Perfect! Richie will either excel and prove he just needed a fresh start or tank (that's where my money is) amidst the high pressure environment that is the New York media. If he makes it, good for him. If he doesn't, well... Why a guy who couldn't handle the "pressure" here thinks he can do so in NY is a head-scratcher tome. Good luck and good riddance, Richie. Can't wait to see you back for that series here in August.

Posted by WhyohWhy

5:08 PM, Jul 18, 2008

LOL, and he hit an RBI single in his first at bat with the Yankees. Can we keep pretending the problem is the players?

Posted by Bork

9:27 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Weren't people saying that a lot of the problem was the media attention he was getting? Is that really going to improve with the Yankees?

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