Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wise Money: Mariners sign 3B Figgins to 4-year Deal

Around this time last year, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik pulled off his first big move when he pulled the trigger on a three team, 12 player deal which sent closer JJ Putz to the Mets and OF Franklin Gutierrez, Endy Chavez, Mike Carp and four others to Mariners.

With that move, his nickname became "trader Jack". Now this off season is an entirely new ball game.

Last off season Zduriencik didn't have a lot of money and flexibility to work with and plus he was just taking over. Now Zduriencik has around $50 million free to spend this off season, the most by any club.

Now Jack Zduriencik won't go mad with the amount of money he has available to him but he will use more than half of that on free agents and arbitration raises. Then there is also Felix Hernandez, who has been talking with Zduriencik about a long term contract.

Hernandez's agent, Alan Nero, has said there is no immediate hurry to sign Felix long term. S.I's Jon Heyman said Felix will most likely seek a contract in the neighborhood of six years and around $100 million.

If there is an off season when the Mariners should sign Hernandez long term it would be this off season. They just came off an incredible 21 game swing, Felix was a few games from winning the Cy Young and the Mariners have the money to spend.

Back on subject with the announcement that the Seattle Mariners have officially signed former LA Angles third baseman Chone Figgins to a four year, $36 million dollar contract. The contract also reportedly includes a vesting option in 2014 which could push the grand total to $45 million.

Right away this is a win-win signing for the Seattle Mariners and just keeps adding to the great resume of Jack Zduriencik.

Win one: The Mariners filled their hole a third base with an outstanding defensive player who also fits the offensive mold of speed and hitting without great power.

Win two: The Mariners strengthen their club while weakening division rival LA Angles. Figgings has been a great leadoff hitter for the Angles for two years straight. The only in-house replacement would be long time prospect Brandon Wood who is the anti Chone Figgins.

High strikeout total, below average defense and hits for power but not consistently.

Here is a Figgins-Wood comparison. (Wood's numbers are AAA).

Brandon Wood: 99 games, 113 hits, 22 HR, 65 runs, 72 RBI's, 36 BB and 80 SO. Indepth stats : BB% 8.5, SO% 20.7, .353 OBP and 4.0 speed.

Chone Figgins: 158 games, .298 BA, 183 hits, 5 HR, 114 runs, 54 RBI's, 101 BB and 114 SO. In-depth stats: BB% 14.1, SO% 18.5, .395 OBP and 6.7 speed.

The clear winner would be Chone Figgings.

Those stats, along with the personality of Figgings fits the Jack Zduriencik to a T. The price is just right at $36 million and he will fit great either in front of or behind right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in the Mariners lineup.

Look for Seattle's next move to be for either a starting pitcher like John Lackey or Rich Harden or a first baseman like Nick Johnson, Jason Bay or possibly Jermaine Dye if he goes low price.

Seahawks Options at GM

On December 2nd Seahawks President of Football Operations and General Manager Tim Ruskell resigned with only three months left on a five year contract.

There had been reports that the Seahawks wouldn't retain Ruskell after seasons end so Ruskell decided to do the fair thing and not let it drag out any longer.

At the press conference where Ruskell, and Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke talked about the fact that it came down to not winning enough games and that the team wanted and needed to go in a new direction.

Ruskell replaced former Seahawks GM Bob Whitsitt after he was fired in 2005.

Now Tod Leiweke and Paul Allen will have to start their search to find the next man to build the Seahawks and take then to places that they should be, the Super Bowl.

Now as per NFL policy the Seahawks must interview one minority option and others before hiring their official GM. One reason why Mike Holmgren won't just be handed the job.

It's known as the "Rooney Rule".

With that being said here is a list of possible GM's for the Seattle Seahawks.

1) Mike Holmgren- Pretty obvious he would be the first choice in anyone's book, but even more obvious in Seattle. Mike still has a house, family and his own radio show in Seattle on 950 KJR with Dave Maller.

Holmgren was the GM of the Seahawks from 1999-2002 where he created the core of their great Super Bowl team of 2005. Names like Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander, Darryl Jackson, Steve Hutchinson, Rocky Bernard and others that weren’t around for the Super Bowl but were still great players.

Now with the good came the bad and Holmgren missed bad on a few players like OT Chris McIntosh, WR Koren Robinson (off the field problem), TE Jeremy Stevens (off the field problems) and DE Lamar King all come to mind.

But the good definitely outweigh the bad with Holmgren from a GM stand point. Mike would definitely get rid of Mora, Knapp and everyone on the coaching staff and get the right people in like John Gruden, Jim Zorn and others.

2) Randy Mueller- Mueller, formally of the Miami Dolphins, ESPN and New Orleans Saints was with the Seahawks organization from 1983-1999 until the Seahawks hired Paul Allen, which forced Mueller out of his VP of Football Operations job.

In his time with the Seahawks Mueller drafted Joey Galloway, Walter Jones, Shawn Springs, Pete Kendall, Phillip Daniels and Ahman Green before being replaced by Holmgren.

Mueller would be a great fit with the Seahawks organization, knowing he's been here before and drafted the best player in Seahawks history, LT Walter Jones. He would be great candidate to do a full on rebuild, blow up the roster, keeping the right players here and turning this ship around.

3)Kevin Colbert- From 3-4 there will be more long shot hires but as I continue to look at the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, and especially this season. It looks like they should in a new direction both from a GM stand point and from a head coaching stand point.

Colbert has been the GM of the Steelers since 2000 and during that time they have won two Super Bowl titles (XL, XLIII).

Knowing how great the Steelers organization has been and always has been you know Colbert could do the exact same in Seattle with the Seahawks organization.

And Paul Allen has no bad blood against the Steelers or Dan Rooney or Kevin Colbert like some fans might want to think.

In his time as GM of the Steelers Colbert has drafted WR Plaxico Burress, OT Marvel Smith, DT Casey Hampton, WR Antwaan Randle El, S Troy Polamalu, QB Ben Roethlisberger, OT Max Starks, TE Heath Miller, WR Santonio Holmes, LB Lawrence Timmons and many other great picks in his 10 years in Pittsburgh.

So obviously if you're an organization like the Seahawks, looking to rebuild and have a real winning team that Kevin Colbert would be the best man for the job.

4)Tom Heckert- Heckert has the title of "GM" in Philadelphia but he does not get the final say in any of the player personnel decisions so making the move to the Seattle Seahawks organization he would have all say in all player personnel movement.

With Eagles head coach Andy Reid signing a two year contract extension this season it doesn't make sense for Heckert to stay in Philadelphia where he doesn't have much of a say in the Eagles player movement.

However learning from Reid and the moves that the Eagles have made would make him a great fit in Seattle.

Who known's maybe he could trade Kevin Kolb to the Seahawks and then join the team later this off season.

Heckert would be the final option if the Seahawks misfire on all three choices above.

Whoever does indeed wind up being named the new GM of the Seattle Seahawks organization they will inherit a good team, that needs to get rid of a ton of players, bring in the right players and use the draft picks right.

It will be interesting to see who gets the job.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Seahawks Fantasy Football: TE John Carlson

John Carlson, a second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2008 NFL draft. In his rookie season with the Seahawks, Carlson bloomed into one of the top ten tight ends in the National Football League.

In his first season, the rookie out of the University of Notre Damn compliled 627 receiving yards, five touchdown receptions and 55 receptions averaging over 11 yards per catch.

Not only did Carlson have a great statistal season, he broke two Seahawks tight end records and tied another one.

Carlson broke the Seahawks TE receptions record, previously 46. He broke the Seahawks TE receiving yards record, previously 554 yards. He tied the Seahawks TE touchdown recptions record which was held by Jeremy Stevens with five touchdown recptions.

Now Carlson had a great season with primarily a backup quarterback throwing him the ball. Ten games from Seneca Wallace, one game from Charlie Frye and six games from Matt Hasselbeck.

A few weeks ago, Seahawks current starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck came out on the radio saying that people need to pick up John Carlson in their fantasy football draft because he's going to have an even better season that he did in 2008.

Strong words coming from a guy who only played six games with Carlson but knowing Hasselbeck we will have to take his word for it. Fantasy Football rankings list Seahawks Tight End John Carlson as the 10th best available in the National Football League.

He's in great shape for the rest of his bright NFL career. Look for Carlson to have anywhere between 6-9 TD receptions and 800+ receiving yards.

That's with or without Matt Hasselbeck under center.