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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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August 15, 2008 5:12 PM

Thoughts from Pelekoudas

Posted by Larry Stone

Just got off the phone with Lee Pelekoudas, who is not in Minnesota. I reached him in Jackson, Tenn., where he is visiting the Mariners' Class AA West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx minor-league affiliate.

Pelekoudas will flat out not discuss trade rumors or waiver dealings. He wouldn't talk any specifics of the Washburn situation, or even confirm that Washburn was placed on waivers. So it was impossible to get some of the answers I want to get, and I know you do, too.

But he did want to get the point across, again, that the Mariners are not looking for salary dumps, but, rather, talent. That would be their explanation for the hard line they are reputed to be taking in trade negotiations. Obviously, there is a significant portion of fans who believe that the Mariners would be well-served just to get Washburn's $10 million off the books for next year, regardless of the return. The Mariners clearly disagree, because they just had a golden opportunity to do just that.

Pelekoudas also hinted that there could be a larger trade down the road, one in which the Mariners might even take on salary to get a better player .

One last thing: I clarified the rule regarding putting a player back on waivers after he has been pulled back. That can't be done for 30 days, it turns out. So in the case of Washburn and Raul Ibanez, the 30 days would put them beyond the Aug. 31 deadline for postseason eligibility. That makes it extremely unlikely either of them will be dealt prior to the offseason.

At any rate, here's what Pelekoudas said:

"In general, on the issue of dumping salaries, our goal here is to get better. Even back to the trade deadline, and moving forward, we want to get players back that will make us better now and in the future. Money can give you flexibility, but there's no guarantee you can turn that flexibility into anything.

"I've said all along, with players under our control that people are assuming we want to move, we'd like to get value back for them. We want to get the best deal we can get for them, now or later. Other deals may come along and develop into something larger, and even involve us eating some money to get players that make us better.''

So there you have it, straight from the GM's mouth. Now I'm going to get back to watching Francisco Liriano mow down the Mariners. I'd say he has a pretty good sinker working -- nine ground balls outs out of the first 11 outs.

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Posted by Jonathan

6:08 PM, Aug 15, 2008

I really hope LP is not the new GM. If you move Washburn's salary the worst case scenario is that you sign someone as mediocre as he was for 10 million. I'd take my chances.

Posted by jimbob

6:11 PM, Aug 15, 2008

how about saving 10 or 15 million dollars over a year and a half---sounds like value to me, Lee, and the statement, 'Money can give you flexibility, but there is no guarantee...' there is certainly no guarantee with knuckle-heads like armstrong, lincoln and pelekoudas doing the dirty... and why the secrets, are you auditioning for an appt. in the Bush admin.?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

6:17 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Pelekoudas also hinted that there could be a larger trade down the road, one in which the Mariners might even take on salary to get a better player .

Do I smell a trade? This has been by contention from the start. We aren't the Pirates with a limited budget that we have to dump salary for the survival of the franchise. People need to stop being brainwashed by that other blog.

While I agrree we should look to package players (a Beltre and Washburn) for a better player in return. I have no confidence Lee Pelekoudas will send proper scouts to evaluate that talent in exchange. I would love to be pleasantly surprised.

Posted by desertbronze

6:30 PM, Aug 15, 2008

LP's comments prove again that the M's have no idea how to evaluate talent. If they couldn't take Washburn' salary and turn that into some better players, they are not competent to manage a major league baseball team. I'm done watching this team.

Posted by amanda

6:38 PM, Aug 15, 2008

are we getting A-ROD ???? :)))))))))))

Posted by BoofM

6:39 PM, Aug 15, 2008

If scottM is really Brett J Miller (or is that Brent J Miller), then who is Brett J Miller (or is that Brent J Miller)?

Posted by Jeff (Not be confused with Gee-off)

6:45 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Pelekoudas is clearly an idiot.

Dumping Washburn's salary and using that $10 million to get someone (or multiple someones) more talented in the off-season does add talent to the Mariners.

However, Pelekoudas is merely trying to win himself a job by doing something flashy, meanwhile handcuffing the Mariners for the future.


Posted by boofM

6:55 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Does Brett or Brent equal CS?

Posted by boofM

6:59 PM, Aug 15, 2008

scottM = Boone Brothers

Posted by Silva's_got_no_game

7:00 PM, Aug 15, 2008

I'm glad Silva brought his "A" game.

Posted by Ned

7:11 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Argh! If you want talent back, go sign someone talented with the $10 million saved from Washburn salary!!!

Posted by ricofoy

7:24 PM, Aug 15, 2008

I heard after Silva was pulled, Yuni followed him into the clubhouse, grabbed him by the neck, and smashed him repeatedly into the wall.

Posted by Bums

7:27 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Saw a report that Hargrove wants to manage again. Just another indication this organization is a joke and doomed as long as Chuck and Howie are running things. Since they love the fact the stadium is a "family experience" they might as well dump all their high priced, underperforming players for minimum salary players. That way they can lower prices and draw more families going just for the fun of being at the stadium. Product sucks already anyway.

Posted by Jesus

7:31 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Are you sure Yuni could move that mass?

He might need a crane for el buffalo.

Posted by Scanman

7:34 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Its 98.1 degrees, the sun is starting to set and there are six deer in the yard. Life dosenít get much better. Iíve learned that the Mís are nothing in the big scheme of things.

Posted by pbk13

7:36 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Well, now we know Lee reads your blog. He knows how vilified he is among fans.

Here's a message to you, Lee. If you think that sorry, lame excuse is going to help entice me and my friends to come to your ball park and plop down $100 apiece for tickets and beer, you are a lot stupider than I thought. And I thought you were pretty frickin stupid.

Good luck with your team, mister.

Posted by drake

7:37 PM, Aug 15, 2008

WSUx3 - I'm not an Ichiro defender, but I'll bite. If you look at the replay, it clearly wasn't an error. Bad call by the umpire... something worth getting tossed from the game for (Riggleman).

Raul's catch, the old argument goes, wouldn't have looked so spectacular with someone who plays better defense, ie, getting to the ball faster and making it look more routine.

Posted by pbk13

7:43 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Mariner fans are so jaded they are ripping the one player who IS good, Ichiro. What's up with that? Are you such a loser?

Posted by drake

7:51 PM, Aug 15, 2008

It's an old story.... when a team collapses, the fans tend to blame it's superstar(s).

Passion is often irrational.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

7:54 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Pretty depressing to think that going into the offseason, we have about $40m now tied up in dead money going to 4 players who will provide minimal contributions in 2009 - figuring Wash to be less than .500 again. (Buffet Silva, Batista, Joh, Wash). With the drop in radio revenue and season tix sales, I think the team payroll budget as set by Lincoln will be around $100m. This definitely won't leave money available for any impact FA - not that any would be interested in coming to join this mess.

Our only hope for improvement beyond 2009 is to rebuild the farm system and look at using the few trading chips to get some young talent - sorry but Lee P has not demonstrated any ability to judge player talent so his tenure with the organization will hopefully end with Armstrong also being shown the door.

Posted by noofM

7:56 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Will scottM show up tonight or is he just a cover for Geof Baker?

Maybe he even works for Pelekoudas!

Posted by scottM

8:11 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Whomever the skipper is in 2009, I hope the M's F.O. learned from the Sexson/Vidro debacle and will stop playing the entitlement game.

Specifically, if Carlos Silva can't find his game, consider him a sunk cost and stuff him in the Bullpen along with Batista.

2009 SP:
Washburn/Silva/Batista ($27 million in '09)

I'm thinking that since Pelekoudas has been consistent about the M's not being interested in salary dumping, then Larry also got the straight scoop on the hint that a bigger deal is in the works.

GEOFF/LARRY, can you find out more about the 30 day restriction on putting players on waivers a second time?

Specifically, since there won't be a salary dump, is Washburn effectively off the table for trade purposes in '08?

If so, then by deduction, unless the M's have a suitor for Beltre (or less likely, the large salaries of Ichiro/Batista/Silva/Johjima who won't be claimed by teams with poorer records than the one with whom the M's are dealing), then what deal can possibly be made before September 1st when the rosters are frozen?

What teams would be talking about trades right now for the 2009 season?

Maybe Beltre is about to be moved.

Posted by Edgar FM

8:16 PM, Aug 15, 2008

The Goal is to get Better Lee. So why don't you dump some contracts and use that to LOCK UP FELIX...god the upper managment in Seattle is a joke.

You fail Pelekoudas. You fail Lincoln. You Fail Armstrong.

Go Read USSM and Lookout Landing,. Those people have heads on their shoulders

Posted by tomtom

8:22 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Richie got fired tonight.

Posted by noofM

8:26 PM, Aug 15, 2008

scottM - Do your homework and read the post before asking a question that has been answered. Thirty days must elapse before the M's can offer waivers on Washburn and Ibanez, which means that they cannot be traded before the August 31 deadline for postseason eligibility. Larry answered this matter above.

Posted by No saber dork

8:28 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Lets hope Beltre is about to be moved!

Posted by scottM

8:34 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Nice to see you again, too, noof/boof. You've almost settled on a name of your own. The answer on the 30 day waiver requirement wasn't very definitive.

Clearly, the deductive subtleties this implies escape you. If Washburn and Ibanez won't be traded this season for salary dumps, then what large trade might Pelekoudas pull off now?

Beltre is the only logical candidate.

Posted by he's buffalo dung

8:35 PM, Aug 15, 2008

DFA Silva!

Posted by tomtom

8:35 PM, Aug 15, 2008

How come you guys are wasting your breath on Jerrod???? It is boring blubbering.

Are you really that BIG of fans for other teams? A dozen times the phony alias here have suggested inferior trades for AAA players and an outright dump... of a player we need.

It is obvious. Your baseball mind sucks the big one, and Jerrod's arm doesn't. He is not damaged, he is not injured, and other teams know it.

Now get this straight. You can't buy a better player on the cheap at this time. Talking about dumping him outright is blatantly moronic.

So go ahead, prove you are stupid again.

Posted by NoofM

8:36 PM, Aug 15, 2008

But of course Beltre is the only logical candidate and I say good riddance.

Posted by doug

8:40 PM, Aug 15, 2008

errorCHIRO needs to go toooo

Posted by Eburg T

8:42 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Money can give you flexibility, but there's no guarantee you can turn that flexibility into anything.

Yeah, especially with a front office like this one.

Posted by tumtum

8:44 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Speaking of a phony - tomtom - reeks of a blatant phony.

Washburn is an overpaid, underachieving loser and the team will be better off without him and his bloated salary. There are young arms poised and ready to effectively take his place at a fraction of his salary. The M's can spend his money better elsewhere on offense or dealing with sunk cost such as Silva, Johijima and Batista who will all eventually have to be DFA at some point next season.

Posted by Spike Owen

8:49 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Are we the worst run franchise in pro sports?

Our farm system is empy. Our big league team is a joke. The Bedard trade will set us back 3-4 years.

Baseball America ranked Tillman as the #1 prospect of the week. Nice.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:49 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Thank you Larry. I appreciate your work.

You too Geoff!

Lee has no comment because...

Posted by yardwork

8:53 PM, Aug 15, 2008

I read this as L.P. is looking to win by stockpiling talent and moving up from inhouse as opposed to signing mediocre or on the downside players....and that shedding payroll doesn't matter to him necessarily because he'd rather float around 500 hte next two years while this comes opposed to pulling it all down and having a 45 million dollar payroll for 3-4 years while the youngsters learn how to win up here.

I can live with that as long as they don't use payroll flexibility as an excuse to sign a great F.A. next offseason.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

8:53 PM, Aug 15, 2008

This FO may be willing to dump Batista at some point next season and eat the $8m salary however we are definitely stuck with Joh at $8m/year and Buffet Silva at $12m/year as both have contracts running through 2011 - very depressing! Hopefully things get so bad for Joh sitting alone on the dugout bench game after game that he will decide to return to Japanese baseball where he can still play at a halfway functional level.

Posted by msfan

8:54 PM, Aug 15, 2008

these are dark times if you are a mariners fan, possibly the worst ever. It seems like the FO keeps making one bone head move after another.

Bonehead move list (I encourage people to add to it):

1. The Bedard Trade
2. The Johjima Contract extension

Posted by No saber dorks here

8:54 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Edgar FM - Go back to USSM and Lookout Landing, we don't need more empty headed stats geeks trolling this blog.

Posted by KennewickMan

8:58 PM, Aug 15, 2008

So we put Ibanez on waivers why...? Just in case lightning strikes as a perfect deal for a minor leaguer or PTBN??

If you're going to make a deal, do it before the deadline!

Posted by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

8:59 PM, Aug 15, 2008

3. El Buffalo signing.

4. failure to unload Washburn.

Posted by Who cares where I'm from

9:02 PM, Aug 15, 2008

REFUSE TO LOSE! Oh, wait...wrong season...

Posted by Scanman

9:04 PM, Aug 15, 2008

5. Fans showing up at ballpark

Posted by CaptainPoopy

9:11 PM, Aug 15, 2008

No Saber Dorks Here -

Funny you should say that... empty headed stat geeks. Oxymoron of sorts. And it makes you look ridiculously stupid.

Posted by iced

9:16 PM, Aug 15, 2008

I heard Silva brought his "A" game to the party thrown for the team at his place. Ichirio will need to go as others have alluded.

Posted by eat that Poop, Captain

9:16 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Poopy - You empty headed stats geeks have nothing in your heads except abstract numbers that have no meaning in the real world. So take care of the poop deck little Captain, it might be filled with baby dodo.

Posted by Capo

9:28 PM, Aug 15, 2008

And this is exactly why the Seattle Mariners are the worst franchise in sports.

Don't take my word for it....look at any baseball forum, read articles that touch on the AL Executive went so far as to call the Mariner front office a train wreck.

Good luck M's, I'm done supporting you with my time and money until you show me some kind of commitment to winning.....and by winning I don't mean throwing money at worthless piles of crap like Silva and Vidro.

Posted by Kelly

9:29 PM, Aug 15, 2008

"Money can give you flexibility, but there's no guarantee you can turn that flexibility into anything." - Lee Pelekoudas

Truer words have never been spoken. For years the Ms have had financial flexibility that the majority of the league would kill for, and we have NOTHING to show for it.

This FO is an embarrassment. Baseball fans around the country actually pity us poor fools who have to endure this crap.

At least we now know that Bavasi wasn't the only idiot in the FO. Clearly his bad decisions were reinforced by LP.

Question for Geoff: do the other sports writers buy you beers out of pity for having to cover this terrible team, or do they just laugh at your pitiful lot in life? Also, of the beat writers and reporters who cover this team, who is going to be the first to erupt and call out the FO for the idiots they are?

Posted by M's Fan

9:48 PM, Aug 15, 2008

"It's an old story.... when a team collapses, the fans tend to blame it's superstar(s).

Passion is often irrational."

drake: Well Said!

Posted by Rudolf

9:57 PM, Aug 15, 2008

The Mariner FO is afraid our rotation won't hold up in 2009 w/out Washburn or another proven vet starter, and that is why they won't give him away for salary relief.

There is a reasonable chance that Morrow will spend some or all of 2009 in AAA, as may Fierabend. RRS is no guarantee to lock down a spot in the rotation, either. Bedard may be traded in the off-season, and surely will be by July 31st. The M's want to make sure we can get 27 outs a game for 162 games, and are leery about depending on kids to get the job done.
Washburn comes with a one year committment, one more year to get Morrow, Fierabend, and RRS up to speed as 33 start pitchers. That's better than signing another mediocre pitcher to a multi-year contract, perhaps blocking one of our young starters in 2010 or beyond.

Washburn isn't that bad, and 2009 is going to be a rough year. We aren't going to buy enough free-agents to contend next year, and if for some unGodly reason we do, we'll lose anyway.

Fans need to stop bleating about how they want to be the GMs and start thinking like GMs.

Posted by Kelly

10:35 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Christ on a crutch, how many times do we need to say this.

Getting rid of Washburn has nothing to do with salary relief. The M's don't need to dump him because they need the money.

There are literally dozens of guys out there who can put up Washburn's numbers at a fraction of the price. We got RA Dickey off the scrap heap, for example.

The money we are paying Washburn could be put to more productive use.

Posted by RagArm

8:19 AM, Aug 16, 2008

It's all so ugly. And ownership remains quiet.

It's all so hopeless. And Lee sits on his hands.

It's all so laughable, and we are stuck with this core or players for a long time.

It's all so irritating, and the fans keep on attending.

It's all so maddening, and Riggleman decides to get kicked out of a game for a play he didn't even see.

It says, "Submit a comment," above this box, so I did and here it is.

Posted by Just some Twins fan

8:41 AM, Aug 16, 2008

Here's a better link to the Twins (and other teams) take on the Washburn thing

Also from Joe C at the Strib, btw. The last four paragraphs sum it up nicely, from the point of view of pretty much everyone outside of Seattle. From my point of view, we dodged a bullet, so thanks to the powers that be in SEA for being stubborn, stupid, or savvy, depending on your point of view.

Also, thanks for giving Silva that contract. The Twins offered him 3 yrs / $18M, and (because of the payroll disparity between the two teams) that would have been equally disastrous for them.

Best of luck the rest of the season and in 09.

Posted by mr. mariner

11:37 AM, Aug 16, 2008

Pelekoudas is a typical clueless Mariner executive. This is the worst team in the American League by far. It is saturated with bloated contracts of players no one will take even on waivers. Trade? Forget it. Only Conehead Bavasi saw any value in the likes of Silva, Washburn, Erika Boo Boo Bedard, Batista, and Johjima. Had to pay off Sexson and Vidro because they are worthless.

BTW, is Boo Boo Bedard planning to put down his ping pong paddle this year and actually pitch an inning or two?

Posted by downonstrikes

12:18 PM, Aug 16, 2008

If ownership does anything less than a clean sweep during the off season concerning the FO, Pelekoudas, and Riggleman he has lost many fans for a long long time.

Those on the field need to be culled leaving only the rising stars with a whole new management team to take us into 2010 and beyond.

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