While Seattle did their part to add to KC’s misery this afternoon, and the emergence of Felix Hernandez (above) offers hope for the future, the Post-Intelligencer’s David Locke has harsh words for Mariners GM Bill Bavasi.
“The Mariners franchise is one of the elite franchises in all of baseball,” Bill Bavasi said at his introductory news conference as the team’s general manager on Nov. 7, 2003. Less than two years later, he is at the helm of one the most historic slides in Major League Baseball.
When the Mariners lose their 90th game this season, they will become the first franchise to follow back-to-back 90-win seasons with back-to-back 90-loss seasons since Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s in 1916.
Outgoing GM Pat Gillick said someone else needed to take a “kick at the cat.” Bavasi has kicked the bucket.
Bavasi’s performance in signing top talent is up for debate. He has signed Eddie Guardado, Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson while allowing superior players Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez and Miguel Tejada to go to American League rivals.
However, where the best talent evaluators shine is in their ability to sift through midrange players. There, Bavasi has failed miserably.
In his two-year run, Bavasi has signed Rich Aurilia, Scott Spiezio, Quentin McCracken and Pokey Reese while re-signing Shigetoshi Hasegawa.
On his plus side, Ron Villone and Raul Ibanez were solid acquisitions. However, simultaneously he traded a future All-Star in Carlos Guillen for absolutely nothing of value.
His signature move was the acquisition of Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed and Mike Morse for Freddy Garcia. This move only looks worse as time passes.
The cornerstone piece, Olivo, was a disaster. Reed has not shown the hitting proficiency that was advertised, and Morse, who was a throw-in, may be the best of the bunch though he is still without a position.
None of these moves grants great confidence in Bavasi’s ability to orchestrate a turnaround.