Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Starter Carlos Silva Hardly a Bargain at $48 million

Sure it's just one game, and maybe starter Carlos Silva was just wasting a few innings of exhibition play to try to get his newly developing cutter to cut more like a cutter. Still, he gave up a lofty 13 hits and 10 runs in the Mariners recent 17-3 loss to the Brewers at Peoria, Ariz., and has a little explaining to do.

One cannot draw too many conclusions from one spring outing, but a cloud hangs over the head of the Mariners $48 million, No. 4 starter not only because of his more than 9.00 spring ERA, but because questions linger as to why Silva was unable to re-sign with the Twins when he practically begged them for a contract renewal at a fraction of the Mariners cost.

Silva offered the Twins a sweetheart deal because he married a Twin Cities woman and only recently completed building a multimillion-dollar home in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area. But as a finesse pitcher who all too frequently has been unable to hit his spots with his sometimes shaky sinker, the Twins said thanks, but no thanks.

The Mariners willingness to spend $52 million over five years to sign pitcher Jerrod Washburn and his now 18-29 Seattle record was one thing; Silva's four-year deal is quite another considering Silva's 24-29 mark and more than 5.00 combined ERA over the past two years.

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