Fake GM Conversations – Marlins Edition

Mo:  “Mike?  It’s Mo.  Saw that Volquez no-hitter the other night.  Looked like a good time.  We haven’t had one of those since Bud Smith.  Haven’t even seen one recently.  The stat nerds tell me the last one against us was some pudgy guy for the Dodgers back in 1990.  Heck, I didn’t even know Lasorda was a pitcher!”

Mike:  “Mo!  Great to hear from you.  Haven’t really had a chance to properly thank you and Neal Huntington for helping me bury that body last year.  You guys did me a solid, and I appreciate it.

The Volquez thing was great for us.  I caught the last 3 innings, and then I spent an hour that night calculating how many more he’d have to throw to justify the $9 million we’re paying him this year.  You really don’t want to know the answer to that, by the way.  Anyway, how can I be of service to you?  I know you didn’t call to talk about that Miami Vice dvd set I loaned you, so on with it.”

Mo:  “You got me.  I’m halfway through those dvd’s, and I have to say that Crockett was no match for Tubbs in a fistfight.  Anyway, I heard a rumor that you guys may be ready to float some names in trade talks.  I could use some upgrades at maybe 5 or 6 positions, and maybe 4-5 bullpen arms.  What do you have for me?”

Mike:  “Honestly, I’m not surprised that you called.  The Mets and Giants already called about some of our guys.  I may deal with the Giants, but I’m not talking to the Mets until they reinstate that Mr Met guy.  Still not sure how he tossed up a middle finger with only four fingers.”

Mo:  “Well, I’ve got our research team looking into that one.  It’s concerning.  Mascots are terrifying enough as it is, and we don’t need one going rogue.  If Fredbird was caught on video flying the bird, we’d have a lot of bible thumping peons picketing Busch.”

Mike:  “Terrifying?  You ain’t seen nothing until you’ve seen Marlins Man and Billy the Marlin at a bachelor party in Vegas.  You try watching Cirque du Soleil while snorting bath salts mixed with Pixy Sticks.  Don’t even ask me where those guys found 2000 square feet of latex and a swimming pool full of Jell-O.”

Mo:  “Thanks for that image.  Really.”

Mike:  “Sorry, Mo.  I’ve been in counseling for this, and sharing is caring or some crap.  Back to business.  At the moment, I’m listening on Ozuna, Realmuto, and Yelich, but I’m open to just about anything.  You make the call.  Just keep in mind that my listening skills tend to improve the more you offer to take salary commitments off of my hands.  So anything that includes you taking Wei-Yin Chin off my payroll gets you to the front of the line.”

Mo:  “Good to know.  I’ll give you my wish list.  I’m interested in Stanton, Ozuna, and Yelich in no particular order.  I could also use a first baseman who has actually played the position for more than 15 minutes.   Scratch Realmuto though.  No need here.  I’ve already got someone blocking Carson Kelly for the next three years. ”

Mike: “I’d love to work a deal on Stanton, but you’d have to replenish our entire minor league system, take Chin in return, and fill my soda machine for a year.”

Mo: “So you’re saying that there’s a chance.”

Mike: “I’m definitely not saying that there isn’t a chance.”

Mo:  “So you’re not saying that there’s a chance?”

Mike:  “Sure.  We’ll go with that.  We’ve got the worst minor league system in baseball.  Baseball on Mars magazine ranked us 32nd, and there are only 30 teams.  That’s how bad our talent pipeline is right now.  Heck, we’re so depleted that Randal Grichuk would slot in to a corner outfield spot at triple A.”

Mo: “I’ll keep that in mind.  We’re still high on Randal.  He just needs to reset himself a bit and make an adjustment or two.  The guys at Palm Beach are working with him on fine tuning a few things like pitch identification and plate discipline.  We think we can get him back to the point where he’s a 3-win player.  He’s doing a lot of video work, and he’s able to identify a slider in slow motion almost 15% of the time now.  If you’re interested, we can make him part of the deal.  He’s killing the clubhouse budget for hair products anyway.”

Mike:  “Interesting.  Good to hear that he’s making progress.  The last time I saw him, he looked like he couldn’t tell a breaking ball from a wrecking ball.  Keep talking.”

Mo:  “I’ve put some thought into this before calling, and I think we can make this work for both of us.  I’ve got to at least create the perception that I’m making a real effort to improve this team.  To be honest, we’re thrilled being a marginal contender to make the playoffs, and that’s enough to get us 3.4 million paid every year.  We can play this one of two ways.  We can just act like we’re trying hard to make something happen and then tell everyone we couldn’t come to terms, or we can actually make a trade that screws you over.   Your choice.”

Mike: “I want to be screwed over on this one.  At the end of this, I want to look at this deal the same way the Padres look at the Gyorko trade.”

Mo: “You’ve got it.  I’ve been looking at what your roster needs are, and I realized that you probably aren’t going to be competitive this decade.  That implies to me that you want to just restock the minors and make people think you are doing the prudent financial thing and moving more expensive contracts in exchange for young, unproven talent.”

Mike:  “You had me at ‘unproven’.  Obviously, we’re trying to lower overhead costs in the event we have an ownership change.  Makes it easier to justify keeping the current management regime in place.  Keep going.”

Mo:  “Look, I know that Ozuna and Yelich can both play center, and that’s an area where we can improve.”

Mike: “Didn’t you just sign that Fowler guy?”

Mo:  “Yes, we did.  My bad.  We missed out on Heyward, and I panicked.  Still think he’ll be fine and worth the money, but he might not be everything we hoped.  He just doesn’t seem to be that great in center.  His bat will play, but he’s atrocious defensively.  Not sure how we missed that one, but I suppose he didn’t have to cover that much ground at Wrigley last year, since he just had to wave like a stranded sailor on an island anytime the ball went over his head into the ivy.  Also, I’ve been told that we probably shouldn’t do a ‘Dex and Candy’ promotional night, so I’m a little bummed about that.”

Mike:  “Understandable.  Well, my take on the free agent market at center is that it’s a little thin.  You got guys who can really go get the ball like Cain and Gomez.  If you need a power bat with a cannon for an arm, Jon Jay is probably a decent fit.  If you need a high OBP guy who puts the ball in play, that Rasmus kid is really good.  But if you want everything in one, I think we’re about the only game in town that’s open for business.”

Mo:  “I don’t disagree about any of that except for the bits about Jay and Rasmus.  I’ve seen both play a few times, and I’m not sure that your assessment is aligned with what I’ve seen.  Doesn’t matter though.  I’m talking to you about your outfield, and they aren’t in it.  What would it take for us to pry Ozuna from you?”

Mike: “Well for starters, I can’t take back anyone that has a high salary, unless you are willing to eat the bulk of that money.  For example, I’d take Cecil, but you’d have to throw in at least $40M in cash.  We blew everything we had left on bobbleheads.  We’re always looking for young pitching.  I’d also need a young outfielder to basically replace Ozuna at some point.  We can work with a rental for the rest of this soon-to-be-forgotten season, but I need a cheap long term solution after that.  Let’s talk about Alex Reyes and that Sierra kid.”

Mo: “Whoa.  That’s a pretty steep price.  Also, we only owe Cecil another $28.4 million.  Ozuna is having a career year and all, but I’m not sure he can keep it up.  Besides, we expect Reyes to be back and better than ever next year.  Sierra could be a contributor right now on the right team, so we’re talking about a big part of our future plans right there.”

Mike:  “Maybe so, but Reyes has less of a track record than Ozuna, and Sierra is all of like 14.  I was joking about Cecil.  You really couldn’t pay me to take him, but if you toss in Pham, we’re at least in the neighborhood of a deal.”

Mo:  “Hard pass on that.  Pham is our most productive outfielder, and it’s not even close.  He’s a future Hall of Famer just waiting to breakthrough in what is now his 13th season of pro ball.  We just think he’s a late bloomer who needed to stay healthy and have a chance to play every day.”

Mike:  “That’s funny.  C’mon, Mo.  Everyone knows it’s a tossup between Pham and Jose Martinez to see which one joins AARP first.  Pham’s been around forever, and he still has less than a full season of at-bats.  What’s the real story there?”

Mo: “Okay, you got me.  Pham can turn on a fastball like nobody’s business.  He just has trouble with the curve.  And the slider.  And a decent changeup.  Also the cutter.  Struggles a bit with discipline at times.  Like all the time.  Basically every time.  But if you put him up there with runners on base and a fastball pitcher who falls behind in the count, he can drill the ball consistently.  Heck, if that happens enough this year, he could hit double digit home runs for the first time in the big leagues.”

Mike:  “Oh, so that’s ALL that’s wrong with him then.  Nice.”

Mo: “Well, that’s not quite all.  In the interest of partial disclosure passing as full disclosure, he’s also overrated as a defender.  He looked solid a few years ago, but he’s declined a bit.  I blame it on Brett Cecil somehow.  The good news is that he’s tremendous in small sample sizes, so the move would make you look like a genius for at least 2-3 weeks.”

Mike: “Well, that’s more than I’ve got going for me now.  So can we consider something involving Pham, Reyes, and Sierra for Ozuna?”

Mo:  “Uh, no.  Definitely not.  That’s about 80% of what I’d offer for Stanton.  Replace Sierra and Reyes with Carlson and Gomber, and we’re talking.”

Mike: “You know that I have no idea who those guys are, but I trust you and assume that they are actually baseball players.  I’ll have my guys look into them, and then I’ll get back to you with an outrageous counteroffer.”

Mo:  “Right.  Then I’ll pretend to be outraged, and then I’ll call you back in a few days and ask about whether you can work a better deal on Yelich.  You’ll tell me that the asking price is similar, even though you know it shouldn’t be.”

Mike: “Yes!  Then I’ll leak to the beat reporters that we’ve discussed Bour, and that will lead to rumors in St Louis that you are considering taking on Bour and dealing someone like Wong or Carpenter to make room for him.”

Mo: “Loving this plan.  Once that rumor spreads, I’ll deny it but use back channels to communicate that I actually favor this plan.  Then we’ll nudge someone to write about a 3rd team in the mix.  That mystery team may or may not materialize, but if anyone asks, then we’ll tell them that it’s the Red Sox, because they need a guy to play 3rd since they’ve tried like a dozen people there already.”

Mike:  “Perfect.  We’ll go back and forth in the media a bit, and then we’ll ultimately let the deal fall apart.  I’ll say that we couldn’t match up and that we don’t absolutely have to make any moves, because we’re bargaining from a position of strength.  You’ll tell people that you’ve decided that you aren’t willing to sacrifice the future for a short term fix or rental, and then you’ll explain about how you’ve favored the internal options all along.  That way you’ll appear to have done due diligence, and I’ll look like a genius for not getting taken by the Cardinals.”

Mo:  “Great.  So, do we have a deal to not have a deal in place?”

Mike:  “That’s my impression.”

Mo:  “That works.  I’ll have nobody draw up the nonexistent paperwork, and we’ll collude to make each other look better.  I may celebrate by getting a new pair of socks.”

Mike:  “Good call.  Be sure to have someone send me an email from a non-company account.  I need all the information about wRC+, xFIP, and everything else we’ll use to explain why we thought we could make this a win-win.  Just send it to my personal email account.  That’s yesterdaysfish @ hotmail dot com.”

Mo:  “Got it.  You’re the best, Mike.”

Mike:  “I know.”

-#dennis

DISCLAIMER:  This isn’t an actual conversation between John Mozeliak and Mike Hill, but it really should be, because that would be pretty great.

DISCLAIMER v2:  I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that this is a parody, because Mike would be the one sending stat data to Mo and not the other way around.

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