Sounders Cap Issues; Re-utilizing The Cheap Alternatives

The Sounders are looking like the frugal spenders this year off-season unless changes are in order. I’m sure 99% of the fan base either saw Jeremiah Oshan tweets and/or article up at Sounder{at}Heart. As usual it’s phenomenal stuff and it nails home some great factoids about the state of the Sounders budgets.

Since putting together the numbers there of course is some discussion about how close they are to being accurate  As of now Oshan has been advised that he actually has under estimated the overages against the cap. That’s really even further disappointing.

As mentioned by a few different individuals even if the team some how “rids” itself of their best defensive piece, in Jeff Parke, the team isn’t really any better because of the move. There are obvious changes coming to the roster and while we can speculate what they might be we have to wait to see what they are.

Looking back to the day prior and the some of the re-entry draft players it seems rather interesting that the team turned down the contract of Michael Seamon who likely would have made near the league minimum anyways and is something in the way of a Brad Evans ‘lite’. A piece that would be interesting enough–as well as versatile– to make up for a few pieces that may not be available come next year.

Looking at the distribution of the finances among the roster and specifically the positions it’s obvious that the teams most fiscal changes are likely to occur among the midfield. With all the depth that is currently there, it would seem an obvious place to at least start. I imagine there are likely at least a few changes underway.

That being said I think looking at the back line it’s an obvious target to try and find specific targets for that any extra allocation dollars can go towards. Ianni and Hurtado sitting in the middle don’t make for a terrible pairing but certainly could be improved upon. There is also the small matter of both Adam Johansson and Gonzalez making a ton of money. Marc Burch, while not popular and prone to gaffs, is offensively near par with Gonzalez and only costs half as much.

I know Mike Seamon is nothing near Brad Evans and likely never will, Marc Burch isn’t anything like Leo Gonzalez, a second class left back in a league that is incredibly light on talent in that position. But when comes to cutting cost you seek out guys that can do things well and look at the bottom line budget. Guys that are versatile and play average across a couple of positions can be useful, guys that can do one or two things well in situations can be useful.

It’s kind of like trying to find moneyball guys. Someone that can come in and do what big pay guys are doing but for a fraction of the cost. Obviously you are going to lose some of the flash and really the heart of what they do well in the process. But it’s not as if you’re completely losing out in the situation. Moving guys like Evans and Leo (in association with Parke) potentially enable the Sounders to make other moves.

Evans going into 2013 isn’t likely a starter. I love the guy, but even in a super sub role Mario Martinez is better suited for the spot. It makes little sense to pay him what you are paying him and use him in a very minuscule and reduced capacity. I get that there have been quiet a bit of injuries in the past. But, considering the fewer games next year that will be played, and with the less traveling that will come along with it, I’d imagine that you can reduce some of the risk too. There are going to be 6 different guys already battling for time on the outside wing. There just isn’t going to be enough minutes to give to everyone.

A tough decision is coming and as I said about it’s anyone’s guess what decisions will be forced to be made. But holding on to pieces that are inexpensive and be shadows or “lite” versions of successful pieces that you are using are useful tactics in roster construction.



Topics: Brad Evans, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Marc Burch, Mario Martinez, Mike Seamon

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