Blanton to the DL, Vance Worley Called Up

The parade to the disabled list continues in Philadelphia, with Joe Blanton being placed on the 15 day disabled list with a “right elbow impingement”. On the bright side, tomorrow which was Blanton’s day to pitch, is also Vance Worley’s day in Lehigh Valley.  Worley has been called up to make the start against the Mets tomorrow.  Worley,23,  has been impressive for the ‘Pigs in his four starts this year, going 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA.  In 22.2 innings, Worley has allowed 19 hits, walked 6 and struck out 25, and holds a WHIP of 1.10.  The Phils are not losing a whole heck of a lot with Worley in the rotation rather than Blanton, however the myriad of injuries and resulting lack of depth now becomes quite a concern.

108 thoughts on “Blanton to the DL, Vance Worley Called Up

  1. Utley, Lidge, Contreras, Romero, and Blanton on the DL. Oswalt on team leave. Chooch hurting his back. Raul ending his career before our eyes. The gods are against us this year.

    1. Common thread is players over 30. This is what happens when a roster gets old unfortunately. Good news is none of the injuries appears season-ending at this point.

      But it does speak to NOT wanting to trade our next layer of prospects because age and salary-wise our roster does need to get a little younger in the mid-term future.

      1. That is just about guaranteed to be a common thread since most of the phillies regulars are over 30.

      2. It is only a common thread for the players Mark happened to mention. Brown, Bocock are on the Garcia and are all under 3, injured, and on the MLB roster. Colvin, Singleton, Bozied, Naylor, Gillies, and Nick Hernandez are some key minor leaguers who are injured. Brown is a key loss for the Phillies. He could have competed for rookie of the year. He still can but it will be more of a long shot now. Injuries may be a little more likely as players age, but there are plenty of injuries at every age and level.

        1. Mark it down folks:

          This is the first and last time anyone will ever call Tagg Bozied a key minor leaguer.

            1. A career minor leaguer, almost 32 years old first baseman is probably the easiest position out of any to fill on a minor league depth chart. You know how many guys just like him are floating around the independent leagues?

        2. I should have said “notable” rather than “key”, but after major knee problems 2004 & 2005 Bozied became another good example of a young player’s career being derailed by injury. But I am a Bozied fan. He had an OBP over 1.000 last year playing first, third, left, and right. If healthy it is not a stretch for me to picture him playing some first, third, left, or right for the Phillies if one of those 4 starters or Mayberry were to get hurt. If Utley were to come back strong, he could be a better bench option for the Phillies than Martinez or Orr. At his best, I see Bozied as a right-handed Greg Dobbs type player who could fill an important bench role for the Phillies. If healthy, I’d rather have him on my team than some MLB players like Wes Helms.

      3. “Speaks to not wanting to trade our next layer of prospects.”
        Guys here never want to trade any prospects. If some here had any input into how the Phillies do business, they would have a middle infield of Adrian Cardenas and Jason Donald, no Roy Halladay and NO World Series appearances.

        1. You don’t want to blindly trust your prospects. But you have to exercise some restraint. We don’t want this team to end up like the mid-80s Phillies who traded away Ryne Sandberg, Julio Franco and half of the eventual ’84 Cubs in an attempt to prop up this run. Luckily the Phillies’ staff has been extremely successful at identifying expendable prospects and keeping the good ones.

        2. I am happy to trade prospects in the right situation. Problem when you have an older roster is that you get a roster that accumulates more injuries while is also on the downside of career performances. Add in that the team is also severely salary limited now and in the future, and the need to start populating the roster with younger contributors is pretty clear.

          Getting younger players is about winning more World Series. We won a few years ago because we had a core that was in their prime. We are now trying to win with an older core which is much harder. Players peak around their age 27-28 years. Therefore it is a logical conclusion that a World Series roster would have a bunch of players in that age range.

          Not trading the next layer of prospects is all about developing the Browns, Singletons, Cosarts, and Colvins to be part of the next core (while also keeping the salary level affordable so we can go out and get a Halladay or Ibanez if we need to fill a hole).

  2. Silver linings: none of these injuries are season ending. So we get to see what the young guys are made of with plenty of time before the trade deadline. The Phils are still in first place. We’ll know by July 31st if any of these guys are as good as we hope so they can either help us or show enough to improve their trade value to get veteran help for the playoff run.

      1. Okay, I’ll violate my own policy and engage you. Sure, the Phillies could use “A young well under 30 years old veteran hitter who’s really good.” The problem is that such players are fairly rare, are infrequently traded, and, when they are traded, cost a king’s ransom in prospects.

        Of course it DOES happen sometimes, and could be worth the cost in prospects (think 3 of our top 5, including Singleton). But (a) it’s absurd to argue that depending upon that unlikely scenario is a strategy for success. Frankly you’re as bad as the people who think that Galvis is going to be a quality major league regular. The chance of each scenario is under 5%, and (b) it’s absurd to suggest, as you have, that the failure to pull off such a coup would be some sort of indictment of management.

        There’s one or two names that I can think of who the Phillies should probably look at, but even if it happens, there will be dissent here and justifiably so. Absolutely the package would have to include Singleton and probably 2 of their top 4 starting pitcher prospects.

        1. Matt Kemp was a good grab at the winter meetings. I would have swapped Brown straight up and posted that at ESPN. Now Kemp’s not going anywhere as McCourt is in a public relations war.

          The only guys I see as coming onto the market by the deadline are Pence in Houston and possibly David Wright.

          I would not do a Singleton trade for Pence. I’d do three of the Clearwater five pitchers though, and throw in Savery and Rizzotti to make Wade’s sack of crap fat.

          For Wright I would do both Singleton and Brown. Polanco can play LF as well as 2B.

          Who did you have in mind?

          1. There are a number of problems with the suggested Wright for Singleton and Brown:
            1. Wright is a $15 million player, whereas Brown and Singleton will be cheap for a few years; the Phils need to prepare for extensions to Hamels, Oswalt, Madson and Rollins, and they need to find salary relief at other positions; they can find that relief in RF, LF and eventually 3B;
            2. adding Wright and moving Polanco to LF don’t make the team significantly younger overall; Brown and Singleton will;
            3. Polanco is a much better defensive player than Wright; and
            4. although he is still good, Wright has regressed noticeably since he was beaned in 2009.

            1. Also can’t see the Mets trying to help the Phillies even if they would probably benefit more from some of those mentioned trades.

            2. Did Halladay, Lee and Oswalt sign on here to wait three years (minimum) for Brown and Singleton to be on the corners in Philly? Will these three pitchers be younger and closer to their prime in three years?

              Are you John S. Middleton? If so, what happened to the four billion dollars in CASH that you had before this season began? Then there are the billions that the other owners have.

              The Phillies are not Microsoft or Apple. They cannot control year-to-year for payroll expenditure and still be “all in” for the World Series. The Phillies no doubt do not want their payroll to go to $200 million next year, but it can go that high without losing money. They just may not see much profit.

              If the Phillies are going to cap the payroll as Atlanta did, spend most of their money on the starting rotation so they almost can’t miss the playoffs, while waiting for years for offense to come from the farm system at no cost, then the Phillies will suffer the same fate as Atlanta. They will become a team without buzz. A team that is a foil, a straw dummy for the team or teams that do have buzz – teams that can hit – and the passion and energy that exists around the franchise now will fade away as it did in Atlanta.

          2. Well Pence is an obvious name. Frankly I am not sure he is good enough to warrant Singleton. Tough call in that IMO Singleton has WAY more likely long term value, but Pence would help during the rapidly closing window. Maybe not help as much as you might think.

            Wright would be a much better pick up based upon talent, but more expensive financially which would limit other options, and cost even more in prospects. A high risk/high reward strategy that would increase the chance that 3 years from now the team is sub .500 – but increase the chance of a championship in the short term. And your Singleton/Brown proposal COULD be the worst of both worlds, as Brown may still be a star in the short term (looks like he may have beaten the odds w/r/t full recovery time from his injury).

            And neither deal is going to be easy, and perhaps neither deal possible, Can’t knock Amaro if he can’t pull one of those off. MAybe neither player is available. I especially doubt that the Mess will trade Wright.

            1. Singletons name should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as Pence or Wright.

              If you are going to make a move you tap into your pitching depth not the one sole position player you have in your system that still has star potential.

            2. Pence I agree, if my post wasn’t clear. Wright is a tougher call, but I won’t repeat what I wrote elsewhere on that.

            3. And just to be clear here, I specifically said that I would not trade Singleton for Pence.

              The real question though is why have the Phillies created this situation? Nothing that has occurred this year is a surprise. Utley has been seriously hurt the past two seasons and no one can be shocked that something else has arisen. Ibanez is doing nothing unexpected. And we can continue on down the lineup. Even Charlie Manuel flagged the lineup during a post-game press conference during the playoffs last year.

              So why has nothing been done to improve the lineup? Why was Jayson Werth systematically pushed out of town beginning in November 2009 when he was insulted with a paltry three year contract offer? Werth clearly should have been guaranteed five years and $75mil following the 2009 Series, and he would have taken that. It’s just like Scott Rolen, they created the situation yet did nothing to solve the problem. In the Rolen era the solution was gift wrapped for them in 3B Mark Teixeira, but the Phillies would not – and still will not to this day – end their boycott of Scott Boras advised draftees.

              The Phillies needed another bat to replace Ibanez, but instead subtracted Werth.

              Brown may still be a star in the short term

              So Rizzotti hitting big in Reading at 25 in a much larger sample size means nothing, but Brown in a few games in extended spring training hitting off sub-Lakewood pitching and then at Clearwater means that last September, winter ball, and spring training this year is erased?

              Brown has the tool box including a hit tool, but that hit tool is slow to arrive. No reason at all not to believe he’ll need a full season to a season and a half to get it going good. And Brown profiles as an 18 HR – 25 HR guy who hits .280 – .300 when he’s going good. He may have a couple of peak years that are significantly better, years which are probably past the Halladay, Oswalt, Lee window.

  3. last year even with all the injuries we still finished with the best record in baseball, also Dom went yard AGAIN already in FL and Utley will be back within a month IMO….help is on the way.

  4. A lot falls on Worley’s shoulders. Ruiz is the worse since he can not be fully replaced even by a reasonable trade.
    NEW NEWS??? Ruf playing 3rd base?

  5. Not bad news to see Worley get a shot. Kendrick (not a big fan) but looks like he really could be a serviceable middle relief guy this year although he will quickly become too expensive for that next year, if not already this year.

    As for Dom Brown, everyone always said that after this type of surgery it would take a year to get the power back, yet every day it seems he is hitting a HR in XST or now at A+. Should we be reasonably excited at this point that he is hitting these HR’s this quickly after surgery or am I missing something, i.e., it’s just that easy in Clearwater to hit HR’s, etc.

    1. I just posted on Youtube(TheGkita channel) Dom Brown’s 3 ABs from tonight’s game. Hand looks fine to me.

    2. There are different types of hamate injuries. I think I saw Ross Gload quoted that he had the injury that Brown had and it involved removing a portion of a bone that hindered power. So theoretically his injury should not affect his power like some others had.

    3. Just to answer one part of your question directly, it is not easy to hit homers in CLW. Brown’s performance so far has been very encouraging…two games in…

    4. Tulowitzki came back with power right away.

      It’s hard to imagine Brown hitting worse than Ibanez currently is.

      1. The problem with Ibanez is that the outs are not good outs. I remember a time last year when he was slumping but he was hitting some balls hard, and just missing on some pitches fouling them straight back, etc. This year he looks late on fastballs, is swinging and missing alot, and seems to be getting fooled alot on breaking pitches. He flat out looks OLD.

  6. I wonder. If the Phillies don’t DL Ruiz, might they send down John Mayberry or Pete Orr to carry a third catcher in case of emergency?

  7. i never want to see anyone get hurt (well maybe my father in law) but I am happy to see Worley get a shot…I wanted him to start as the 5th with a trade of Blanton in beginning…Kendrick pitching well out of pen better not to mess with it…my bet is Kratz if chooch goes down…Blanton injury mave keep herndon in Philly a little longer…but i would consider grilli, perez maybe carpenter…also i think Martinez may be out soon…go phils!

    1. Kendrick in the pen is a good thing. He can be hidden from left handed bats and top of the order hitters. If he is used wisely he could be used as a trade piece at the deadline. Teams always overpay for relief pitching at the deadline.

  8. Might we see an all-LV battery with Worley and either Kratz or Sardinha tomorrow? Kratz has caught him in 4 out of 5 starts.

    1. Sounds like you’re getting Sardinha and we (ironpigs) are getting Naughton. I guess they don’t trust Kratz defensively?? Interested to see how Worley does, and if he’ll be sent back down. Or, if a Reading pitcher is on the way or if Naylor is well enough to come off the DL? I hear Savery’s still throwing on the side (kidding, I think).

  9. Fear not – Worley will be more than a capable replacement for Blanton and, if he stays for a couple of months, he will end up surpassing Blanton. Worley can deal!

    1. I did not see the game . Great result but I am disappointed that his velocity was only around 90. Any thoughts from those who saw the game?

  10. There are 130 plus games yet to play before season’s end. Many of the issues mentioned will work themselves out over that time. With the team at the top of the east NL people should be pleased.

    I DO see irony in the DL-ing of Blanton. It is immediately following two good games pitched by him…7 inns w 2 runs allowed in each. No need to rush him back since Worley can do the job over the 15 days of Blanton being on the DL. Like some say, Worley has been mentioned here as the most likely to be our #5 sooner or later. From last season’s audition it seems he is comfortable on a MLB mound.

    Utley MAYBE by June 30. Brown within two weeks. Ruiz not long.

    Enjoy.

  11. The difference between this year and last is that the core players started out intact.
    Anyone who thinks Ruiz plays in two weeks has never had a back injury. I stated before the season that Cholly had to change his ways and manage differently which has not happened.

    1. I agree– with the aging crew he has Charlie needs to begin resting his guys more. It’s a logical trade off- a backup playing once a week with the starter uninjured or a backup playing every game for a month because the starter is on the DL. I just wish we had more talented position players in the high minors to take those reps rather than AAAA guys. That should change in the coming years, but the injury to Garcia and Valle’s struggles haven’t helped that outlook.

    2. The only core players who started this year injured are Utley and Lidge.

      If memory serves, last year Joe Blanton, Lidge, Romero all started on the DL and Rollins was out by April 14th.

      Guys go on the DL all the time and it has nothing to do with how they are being used. Look around baseball and see how many key players teams have lost already.

    3. I am pretty comfortable with the injury based on what he described I get the same thing. Sciatica is a weird thing and someone else described it yesterday. You know you have it when you get a tingling sensation down the back of either of your legs.

      For me its always the left leg. A little Chiro and some Advil and within a week or two its like it was never there.

    4. That might be true in general but I don’t think it applies to Ruiz. He’s never caught 1000 innings in a season. Last season was the first year he’s been in the top 15 in MLB in innings caught.

  12. Good news is that I’ll be at the Phillies game tonight and will get the chance to see Worley pitch vs. Blanton..

    1. I did not hear about Blanton making a miraculous recovery and being traded to Mets. Good trade. Who’d we get? :-)

  13. Some of you guys are crazy if you wouldn’t trade Singleton for Wright. Wright is a top 3 3B in baseball. He hits for power, draws walks, can run, and plays good defense. And he’s in his prime. And hes righthanded. I love Singleton. I was pumping him up before last season when the mainstream press started fawning all over him. But I’d drive him to New York myself if it meant we we’re getting David Wright.

    I think the “they won’t trade him in the division” thing is overblown. Alderson at least seems a realist, and understands that team has a long way to go. Unless Wright is sending signals that he’d take a below market value deal to stay, I think they have to consider trading him, because hes going to command a 6/120+ deal when he hits the market. He has a bit more time before free agency, so the price would be high, but he’s a blue chip player at a key position. Its a no brainer.

      1. Well sure, But Zimmerman is absolutely not being traded, and I don’t even what to think the price would be in terms of prospects. It would START with Brown AND Singleton, plus probably 2 other top 6 prospects.

    1. For the record, I’d trade Singleton for Wright, but AEC was suggesting Singleton AND Brown, which IMO is absurd.

      Maybe you’re right that the Mets will be willing to trade him – they should IMO. But I still think a deal would be very hard to get done – the salary is a problem from the Phillies perspective, and you can be sure that the price would be higher than just Singleton. Would you be willing to trade Singleton AND two of the top 4 pitching prospects, and maybe one other top 15 guy – I think that’s probably what it would take. Maybe so – but that wouldn’t be a no brainer. Maybe you could get away with Singleton, one top pitcher, another top 15 prospect and a top 20-25. That still not a no brainer, but probably justified – IF the ownership is willing to take on the salary. So, something to be explored, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      But AEC, as appalling as he is, probably did correctly identify two of the top possible targets.

      1. Let’s say that the Phils could pick up Wright at a cost in prospects they considered reasonable. What about the payroll implications?

        The Phils can extend Hamels, Madson, Rollins and Oswalt without hitting the luxury tax level if they are frugal in other areas. Wright is a $15 million player under his current contract. If the Phils add Wright’s salary, one or more of these four players will have to go. I would be unwilling to let go any of the four.

        Just to be clear, I don’t think the Big Four just should be a one-year phenomenon. I don’t want the Phils just to pick up Oswalt’s 2012 option. I want them to extend Oswalt through 2014. He’s still an outstanding pitcher; he’s not terribly old; and he should be more valuable to the Phillies over the next four years than Wright would be.

        1. There’s a lot of permutations in terms of salary. I think they may have a little more flexibility than you think, with some contracts coming off the books in 2012. And who knows what the long term salary limits will be – will the payroll keep increasing at the rate it has been? Probably not, IMO, but it will increase some.

          Of the names you mention, I think Madson is probably gone regardless – the Phillies won’t and shouldn’t pay him the monster contract he will get (and this comes from someone who likes Madson a lot). Could they keep Rollins and Wright? Depends upon what Rollins is asking for and how they fill the closer hole.

          But bottom line for me, in considering the salary implications, is value. If he performs at his 2009-2011 value, he is basically worth his salary through 2011-2013. If he returns to his 2007-2008 value, he will be a huge bargain. But a player of his caliber, even if you have to pay him his full value, is good to have – especially for a high payroll team like the Phillies. (OTOH, I DON’T want to be the team that signs him past 2013, when he likely will be a classic case of a player being overpaid for his decline years.)

          All that, though, doesn’t consider what you have to give up. I’d be more reluctant than PP to give up (say) Singleton, Cosart and May. I might do it, but it would hurt.

          1. The Phils currently have 9 players under contract next year at a combined salary of $108 million or so. That’s before you deal with Hamels, Madson, Rollins, Oswalt, Wright and the 11 other players on the roster. There’s not as much flexibility as you may think, even though the salaries of Lidge and Ibanez will be gone.

            (We may have a difference of opinion about how to handle Madson, Rollins, etc.)

            1. I don’t think we have a difference of opinion so much as a different expectation of what kind of contracts it will take. Rollins I’m hopeful will sign a reasonably team friendly deal (FAR lower than the 5/75 deal mentioned as an (undesirable) possibility by PP below). But Madson is going to require AT LEAST a 4/48 contract, and I think there is only one closer in the history of the game worth that.

            2. I’d be surprised if Madson got that. Soriano was paid 3/$36 million, and he has a better track record. (And I don’t think Soriano took less money to be a set-up man. He’s being paid closer money.) What makes you think Madson is getting more?

              I can see four years at something like $6-7 million a year.

            3. You’re exactly right Allan. Madson won’t get anywhere near that amount. The standard for top closers has been established the last few years. Nobody has received more than 3 years and nobody has received over 12 million except Mariano Rivera. Cordero, Lidge, KRod and Soriano all received 3/36. Madson isn’t even a closer. Nobody is paying him over 3/24.

    2. I totally agree that you’d make that deal if you could, but the “they won’t trade him in the division” is tricky. Some teams do and some teams don’t. the Marlins don’t seem to care at all, they’ve dealt some of their best players to the Mets and Braves over the years. Other teams like the Blue Jays made it clear that the Yankees would have to beat anyone else’s offer by a lot during the Halladay trade talks. Then again it’s hard to know if that was just a negotiation ploy.

    3. I think its honestly debateable to call Wright a blue chip player at his position anymore. Ryan Zimmerman, I’d consider a 3 for 1 deal. David Wright, I’m going to have to respectfully decline.

      I’m also not prepared to hit the panic button on the season quite yet either.

    4. I am more concerned with the team’s overall age and payroll. I’d love to have Wright, but I also assume re-signing Hamels and then making sure we have a SS next year are priorities. Hopefully we can save money on the bullpen by developing from withing, but I just think it is imperative that our roster gets younger.

      I want more age 27 players who are in their prime. That means I would prefer to keep our best prospects or trade for younger arbitration-eligible players who would have their prime years with us. We are tied into Howard, Utley, Halladay, and Lee for a while. Thus we need to surround that older core with a younger, less expensive core to maximize our likely payroll ($170 million or so).

      1. But we already have Rick Porcello, Matt Harvey, Kyle Gibson, Andrew Susac, Daniel Palka, and Scott Frazier. That’s enough to pry loose another stud from any team. You can get King Felix with that to replace Oswalt.

        Oh wait…$$$

  14. AEC has toned his act down, so I think everyone else should tone their reactions down as well. He can contribute here like everyone else if he follows the rules, and so far, he is.

    As for Wright, I would definitely trade Singleton, Cosart and May for him without blinking an eye.

    1. Wow!?! All 3? How bout one and some B-Level prospects? The Mets aren’t in a position of strength here are they? I think the minors have been stripped a little bare the past few years and I don’t think sending 3 of our top 10 guys is the way to rectify that problem.

      That just seems a really steep price for me.

    2. Agree, if you can get a late 20’s all-star at a key position I have no problem trading away 3-4 top prospects in A-ball.

      As much as I like all of those guys, the odds say probably only one or two of them go on to become an everyday player.

      Wright’s long-term salary wouldn’t be a major issue by 2013 when you consider the contracts they will be able to clear by then.

      1. However, when you’ve already gutted your minor leagues, and those A-ball prospects are all you have left – you can’t be so quick to make a splash deal. And David Wright has seriously worrisome power numbers and plays at best adequete defensive 3rd base. Let’s wait and see what happens with D Brown and some more J Mayberry for Raul. Like I said above, I’m not ready to hit the panic button while in first place.

        1. David Wright had the 5th best iso among 3B last year. If his power numbers are “worrisome” than so are Longoria’s, Zimmerman’s, and Aramis Ramirez’s.

          He had a terrible season in 2009. All signs have been pointing towards fluke though. His power numbers last season and so far this season are in line with his career numbers.

      2. I think you may be overvaluing Wright to an extent (mainly because of defense), but more to the point I think Singleton is as close as you can get to a sure thing at this point. May and Cosart not so much, but still the long term value of having a couple of potential stars through their cost controlled years is immense.

        The bottom line, any way you look at is, is an increased chance to win in 2011 and probably 2012 (depending on the extent to which Wright’s salary prevents other signings), maybe a wash in 2013 (assuming that that by then the traded prospects may be making their debut), but from 2014 on, they would be in worse shape, maybe much worse shape.

        I probably wouldn’t do it. Maybe if the Phillies have more (negative) information than we do about Utley’s status you do it, but if Utley can come back and contribute, this is still the team most likely to win it all. I wouldn’t gild that lily at the cost of trading 3 top prospects (if that’s what it would take).

        1. I think Singleton is as close as you can get to a sure thing at this point

          Of course he is. How else would you get Wright? He’s not “available”. And look at what the Braves paid for 661 AB from Mark Teixeira.

          You just watched the balls fly out of Arizona’s ballpark and watched the Phillies look like a porn star in need of a bottle of Viagra, and you think this lineup can win the Series?

          Have you seen the Yanks, Red Sox and Rangers lineups? You don’t think they can touch -up this rotation? The Phillies can’t hit any pitching staff that’s competent.

          If you can’t hit, you can’t win. Even with the Phils front four.

    3. As I posted above, I don’t think you are considering the payroll implications if the Phils were to add Wright. Are you willing to say good-bye to one or two of Hamels, Madson, Rollins and Oswalt? I am not.

      1. After this year, the following players come off the books

        Ibanez ($11.5M)
        Lidge ($11.5M)
        Oswalt ($16M)
        Rollins ($8.5M)
        Madson ($4.5M)
        Baez ($2.75M)
        Kendrick ($2.45M)

        By my count, that’s $57.2M.

        Some considerations:

        * Hamels will be in his last year of arb and probably get a $15/1 deal, or something like it, if the Phillies can’t sign him long term. If they can work out a long term deal, I can guarantee you it will be backloaded, meaning he might make only 11 or 12M in 2012.

        * The Phillies can double Madson’s salary from 2011 on a 3 year deal and give him the option to close. That would put him at $9M per year. Still less than Lidge is making this year.

        * The Phillies will save about $4M next year on the Kendrick/Baez spots in the pen, those two spots can be filled by Stutes and Bastardo for the MLB minimum.

        * Brown will replace Ibanez for the MLB minimum, a savings of $11M.

        * The big issue is SS. Right now, Rollins isn’t playing like a guy who deserves a 5 year, 75 M contract. That may change. SS is an important position. But there will be options available this winter.

        * If Oswalt plans to continue pitching beyond 2012, I can see him signing a team friendly 3 year deal. He seems to like Philadelphia a lot, the team is an obvious contender. Again, this would be backloaded.

        Putting aside the decisions on Oswalt, Rollins, and Madson, from above.

        Ibanez ($11.5M) –> replaced by Brown ($500K)
        Lidge ($11.5M)
        Oswalt ($16M)
        Rollins ($8.5M)
        Madson ($4.5M)
        Baez ($2.75M) –> replaced by Stutes ($500K)
        Kendrick ($2.45M) –> replaced by Bastardo ($500K)

        So we had saved $57.2M and we now subtract $1.5M from that, leaving you about $55.5M to find a replacement for Lidge, either re-sign Rollins or find a replacement, and figure out Oswalt’s contract. Assuming my original premise, that Madson becomes the closer and we double his current salary.

        Ibanez ($11.5M) –> replaced by Brown ($500K)
        Lidge ($11.5M) –> replaced by Madson ($9M)
        Oswalt ($16M)
        Rollins ($8.5M)
        Madson ($4.5M)
        Baez ($2.75M) –> replaced by Stutes ($500K)
        Kendrick ($2.45M) –> replaced by Bastardo ($500K)

        $57.2M out, $10.5M in = $46.7M

        Hamels makes $9.5M this year. Assuming he gets a bump up to $14M next year in arbitration. That’s 4.5M you’d need to add to cover the increase. There is also a bump up in Cliff Lee’s salary to consider.

        Which leaves you to address Oswalt and SS. And that is assuming payroll stays exactly the same. The Phillies continue to say they are maxed out. Yet they bumped up payroll significantly this season. The luxury tax, if its part of the new CBA, will likely increase.

        The point of this exercise is, the Phillies have a lot of money coming off the books. They will have a very high payroll again next year. They could afford David Wright. Just like I argued that they could afford Jayson Werth or Cliff Lee at this time last year. As long as fans keep coming to the park, paying for ticket increases, shelling out for parking, food and merchandise, the team will continue to make money. There has also been talk of them trying to pressure Comcast into improving their tv deal, with the whispers that they’d consider their own tv network. The Phillies are exploiting any and all revenue streams, which is exactly what they should be doing. The money is there.

        Long story short, they can afford to add David Wright’s salary.

        1. I agree that they could probably afford Wright. Here are other questions however:

          Are top-level prospects worth 1 more year of Wright?

          Is Wright still worth it if acquiring him means they need to add 4 years and $80 million to the long term payroll?

          We need to balance our long term salary commitments. While the payroll exercise above does show we could add a big salary, I would prefer not risking another big salary on a player in their 30s (Wright is signed for next year only, his age 29 year). Ideally I would spend the $20 million on finding a Justin Upton or a Josh Johnson who are a little bit younger and in their prime.

        2. You left out a bunch of stuff. Most significant being Cliff Lee’s salary jumping almost 10 million next year. His contract is back loaded. Ruiz salary jumps about 2 million, due to back loading. Oswalt has at least a 2 million dollar buyout. Lidge also has a buyout. You have to subtract at minimum 12-15 million off that 25 million dollar figure you estimated.

          1. I mentioned Cliff Lee’s salary increase.

            Its a balancing act, for sure. But if it comes down to the choice between paying Wright for 6 more years, or paying Rollins for 6 more years, I’d rather find a cheaper SS (like JJ Hardy) and grab the much better player in Wright.

            It was a quick back of the envelope exercise simply to point out that the Phillies will have money to spend, they could afford him. Of course sacrifices in other areas may be required. But its tough to question the team’s financial willingness at this point, especially when 99.9% of the universe felt there was no way they’d sign Cliff Lee and that they couldn’t afford him.

            1. Bottom line is they don’t have 25 million left over for a big signing. They have closer to 10 million left, if you consider their current 172 million dollar payroll the limit.

            2. I see that we can afford him, but why exactly do we want him? He isn’t the player he was a few years ago, and he doesn’t even really fill an MLB level position of need unless Utley never plays again. If we stuck Wright at third and Polanco into the outfield we would have a new outfielder with practically no power. It would benefit the team more to spend the same money on signing a free agent outfielder— and would cost us no prospects.

            1. It balloons in 2013? Something that needs to be considered when acquiring an $80 million 3rd baseman who hits for moderate power.

            2. Howard’s salary doesn’t increase until 2014.
              The raises that will eat into the Ibanez, Lidge, Baez and Kendrick savings (28 million) for next year are Cliff Lee, Ruiz, Hamels and Madson(about 21 million). Howard doesn’t get a raise. He isn’t a factor.
              The only way the Phillies have a large surplus for a player like David Wright, would be to buy out Oswalt and trade Blanton, which would clear about 24million.

          1. No it’s not. Howard is making $20M in 2011, He’ll make $20M in 2012 and 2013 and then his salary jumps to $25M for 3 years after than.

            What I find amusing is the same people talking about the Phillies need to get younger are also talking about the need to resign every player the Phillies currently have.

            By 2013, Rollins will be 34. I certainly hope the Phillies aren’t paying him $12M per season by then. Same with Ruiz who also be 34. Utley will be in the last year of his deal at 35. Want to continue paying him $15M per season moving foward?

            Point is that the Phillies do need to get younger but that doesn’t always mean getting players from the system but also trading for young players who are about to become too expensive for their current club.

            1. Completely agree with your last point. Since we have the dollars we need to look into poaching arbitration-eligible players that might be getting too expensive for small market clubs. Those players are more likely to be age 27 than free agents who will typically be over 30. They will cost us prospects, but that is a price to pay. Wright really does not fit that category because he is a little older now.

              Hamels is the one guy who is younger that we should consider going longer term if the opportunity presents. Rollins I am thinking two years max. Wish we had a plausible replacement but we don’t at this point.

        3. As I posted above, the short version of the story is that the Phils are on the hook in 2012 for $108 million payable to 9 players. If you add Wright, that’s $123 million to 10 players without considering Hamels, Madson, Rollins, Oswalt, and the 11 other players on the roster. I think these 15 other players would cost $60 million or so for a total payroll in the $180-185 million range. Would the Phils go that far?

        4. Things are actually a little worse than I thought. 2012 commitments:

          Blanton $11,500,000.00
          Howard $20,000,000.00
          Lee $21,500,000.00
          Halladay $20,000,000.00
          Polanco $6,250,000.00
          Victorino $9,500,000.00
          Utley $15,000,000.00
          Ruiz $3,700,000.00
          Contreras $2,500,000.00
          Lidge $1,500,000.00

          Total $111,450,000.00

          Add Wright and the Phils are up to $126, 450,000 for 10 players. Can we add Wright and extend all of our guys for less than $190 million?

            1. I have seen other people’s write-ups considering future phils teams and most (including me) are in agreement that just re-signing the current team comes to around the total you listed. This would leave them with virtually the same team as this year, except all players are a year older, and little payroll flexibility.

      2. What a true ass you are.

        Newsflash – the people who own the Phillies are wealthy. Wealthy people tend to support Republicans because they help them keep more of their money. They don’t need to spend any money on the Phillies… it is a business. They invest to make money and because they have an interest in it, this makes it more fun.

        Publishing their addreses is unnecessary – do you think they live in a tract house in Broomall?

        Your an ass and should be gone from this board.

        By the way, I’ve known Jim Buck and John Middleton a long, long time. They are both real good people, and yeah they got blessed with the lucky sperm ribbon. But they could be asses like you, but they are not.

    4. If the Phils could hold onto Brown the Mets can have the whole Clearwater rotation along with Singleton.

      Then this winter…Pujols for left field!

      Bangin’!

      Watch’a gonna do now Sons of George? Say hello to John S. Middleton.

      He’s your new daddy.

  15. People keep forgeting that we have players like bastardo, stutes, brown, mayberry, with the possibilities of a few others making the minimum which is around 500K as well as, people like gload, valdez, sneider not making that much either.

  16. Team have high paid players 10-20+mil, mid paid players 2-9 mil, and then there are people making the league min and in arb years. Just a guesstamate but people keep trying to point out that we owe 100+ mil to top 10 players but it’s likes say 120-130 for 20 players ( adding the cheap people we have on team).

  17. I’m actually planning to write a longer post about this topic, but just as a teaser. I think that if you look across baseball, the number of all-star level players before the age of 22-23 is very small. I shouldn’t have to explain this too much. Baseball is a game built on talent, but also experience and adjustment. When you get to the big leagues, you are facing an entirely new set of pitchers/hitters. They will have a scouting report on you. When you succeed, they will begin to exploit your weaknesses. If you fail to make adjustments, you will struggle. This happens to both hitters and pitchers.

    So what is my point? My point is, the Phillies approach seems to be to acquire experienced players who are either approaching their peak, at their peak, or right at the very top of the decline phase of their peak. Why? Because these players require zero developmental time. For a team that has intentions of winning 70 games in 2011, with an eye toward 2013, then it makes sense for them to bring up their young players, let them struggle and learn in the big leagues, write off the 2011 season, and get them ready for the future. The problem with this is, some players never develop, even with playing time. In fact, because of the difficult nature of baseball, a lot of great prospects never develop.

    The Phillies model appears to be two-pronged with regard to position players:

    A.) Let a player tear up the high minors consistently, before he forces our hand and we have to drop him in to the lineup, after which there should not be a significant learning curve, because the player has already dominated AA and AAA. This is the template used for Utley and Howard.

    B.) Trade our prospects for established players before our prospects either 1.) Get hurt or 2.) Show they are unable to make adjustments and take the next step. You can see this with guys like Michael Taylor. He may still develop, but he’s hit a wall and has had injury troubles. The Phillies seemed 100% certain that holding Brown over him was a no-brainer, even if there was disagreement from a sect of the readers on this site, many of whom saw him play in person in Reading and were sure he was the better hitter.

    Brown, in a funny way, kind of went against the Phillies plan. Because he did not have a sustained run at AAA. He came in to spring training this year with a legit chance to win the job in RF, and Charlie even said early on he’d prefer Brown with the job. He got hurt, and the rest is history. He may come back up in May or June and just destroy MLB pitching, or he may prove to not yet be ready.

    The big point is, its kind of pointless to worry about the Phillies not getting younger beyond 2011 at this point right now. Amaro is really aggressive as a GM. If a young, in their prime position player is available at a position of need, I’m sure he will look into it. That might mean Hanley Ramirez, Kemp, Upton, whoever. His focus in the last 3 years has been pitching. The starting staff is fully assembled, so he can turn his focus to the offense. Its an area he knows needs work, and an area that Charlie knows needs work. I’m confident that if a guy becomes available and he can help the Phillies lineup, Amaro will make a deal.

    1. I think this is a very perceptive analysis of the Phillies’ strategy, but it seems unlikely to me that David Wright, in particular, comes on the market. He’s the face of the Mets franchise, and although he takes a measure of abuse from the fans around here (I live in NYC) for not being “clutch”–New York fans being every bit as reactionary and shortsighted as Phillies fans can be–trading him in a salary dump would still amount to a huge humiliation for the franchise, at the moment that the Wilpons are trying to convince someone to bail them out by buying a 49 percent stake. Beltran, definitely, should be gone by the deadline if he stays healthy, and I don’t think there’s any chance they’ll be able to resign Reyes. Who knows if Santana will ever get healthy again. If they want to stave off full-scale implosion in terms of attendance, they’re going to have to hang on to someone, and Wright is definitely their best bet.

      Anyway, all of this is to say, I’d pull the trigger on any of these trades people are throwing around, but I think Sandy Alderson would have a bit of a chuckle about them. Then again, what do I know–strange things happen sometimes.

    2. I think that this accurately describes the team’s strategy and it is a strategy that’s worked for the team, obviously. But. There are limits to such a strategy. Even for a team with the Phillies’ payroll, value matters. Their success was built in large measure on getting far more value than they paid for from Rollins/Howard/Utley/Werth/Hamels.

      Who going forward are going to be the value players (in terms of value/salary) on the team? Trade all (or most of) the young guys and the answer is no one. And that could be problematic, even with a high salary, especially since there will be (there always are, plus Ryan Howard) players who are paid MORE than they are worth going forward.

      I’m not unalterably opposed to yet another trade of prospects for established players. But I think the downside risks of such a strategy are greater than you allow, and are growing.

  18. PP you mentioned Wright as a guy that the phillies could target but what about Reyes? It seems clear the Mets are not going to hang on to their players he will fill the SS position, Lead off, and has the defensive abilities of J Roll… Unless we are assuming either Wright or Polanco can move over to SS?

    1. Reyes is going to be a free agent after this year, and is in line for a $100 million payday if he puts up good numbers this season. Unless you plan on releasing Rollins, this isn’t going to happen, and it shouldn’t happen.

      1. My point is Rollins is a FA also and if were going to spend $ to go get top talent (I agree Reyes is a punk) but he fills almost every need the Phillies will have. That why go after a guy like Wright which will create other issues on the current roster and not fill any current needs other than RH Power Hitter? If we would trade for Wright it will take top talent plus we will still have a question at SS plus we would then have to move either Utley or Polanco to LF or trade someone.

        1. Well, we can argue about whether the Phillies should allocate $100 million of their limited payroll resources to signing Reyes and let Rollins go on his way. I say that money could be spent better elsewhere, but reasonable people can disagree–Reyes is definitely talented. My point, and the only point that matters with reference to Phillies prospects, is that they wouldn’t trade prospects for Reyes even if he was available.

  19. finally the herdon experment might be over. one good pitch two bad pitches, we have better relief option in the minors then this guy. as for salary no one knows what amaro can do as far as trades,maybe he can get rid of a blanton or a victorino for a cheaper option, we really have to wait and see. what worries me is rollins and what he will want.

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