If memory serves, USSM has brought this up before. I don’t remember it being as serious as it sounds here, more just a passing comment on the state of our pitching at the time (a year ago? Two years?), so I didn’t pay much attention to it. I liked the idea at the time, but figured it simply wouldn’t happen. Now? I think I like it a lot more. I’d rather have Jamie Moyer than Anthony Vazquez. Nothing against Vazquez, as he’s certainly had occasion to hold his own this season, but given the choice between a healthy single A pitcher and a healthy Jamie Moyer? Moyer wins. Notice I didn’t use the phrase “healthy veteran”. I almost did, but then remembered everything about Carlos Silva. Moyer’s likely a lot more even-tempered than Silva ever has been in his life, but I believe that Moyer’s still starter-grade, and Silva never quite was. Not here in Seattle anyway.
There are two commenters in that thread, one who pins a move like this as another Ken Griffey Jr incident, and the person after them who posts a rebuttal of this argument. If I’m honest, I’d say it was a toss-up for me. On its face, a move like this really does look like a step taken to placate fans and get a little more gas out of a returning ex-Mariner. But give Moyer a contract with a ton of incentives, keep him nice and healthy, and see where it takes us? Totally worth it to me. Given my light understanding of stats, the number I most frequently look at, FIP, was 4.98 for Moyer in 2010, a season in which he was not running on all cylinders. And Moyer’s BABIP has been consistently under .300 for almost his whole career. For a guy staring 50 in the face, that’s really not bad. My understanding of this stuff is pretty rudimentary, but I don’t think that having Moyer on the hill every 5 days for 7 innings or so is the same as trotting Junior out every day to try and hit pitches that were beyond his ability anymore.
But that’s just me. I would love to see what a freshly-healed Jamie Moyer could do in SafeCo Field after Tommy John surgery. It’d be an easy move to make, and I think even people gun-shy from the Junior situation would enjoy seeing Moyer back in Mariners blue. Just give him a year, and see what happens. If nothing else, it will make for an entertaining 2012.