General Discussion – Week of 10-15-2012

Here’s a fresh general discussion for everyone.  I know there’s not much going on other than AFL and the MLB Playoffs, so go ahead and talk about, I don’t know, apples and oranges.  Are they mentioned in the same breath so often that now they’re grouped together, perhaps devaluing the notion of “apples and oranges”.

Or you could talk about baseball.  MLB playoffs I guess.

358 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 10-15-2012

  1. Has anyone seen enough of Pagan to think he is an answer? If not, my option for centerfield would be Bourjos. If we really want to think big for the outfield, it would be nice to get Justin Upton. I am not sure what it would take to get either of them.
    RANDOM THOUGHTS:

    Still lobbying for Howard to the Red Sox.
    Happy to see the Caveman on the golf course this week.
    Is it possible the Giants or Cardinals will win a 2nd World Series during an era that the Phils come home with only 1??? Who are they paying $25 million dollars to?
    Yankees are DONE, right there with the Phils.
    Geez, Jim Leyland may get even with Chollie, the guy who got the Phils job over him.
    Would the Phils have been better with Leyland??

    1. Maybe the Cardinals may want to take a chance on home-town local Ryan Howard….if their bats fail them the rest of the way vs SF. They may want a big bat, ala Pujols, in the middle of their line-up with Matt Holliday..

        1. IMO, I don’t think Craig is their long-term answer, though he is a nice player. Going to be 29 next year and do not see the upside as a better player than Howard going forward, from a offensive standpoint..

          1. Allen Craig has already outhit Ryan Howard over the last three years. I don’t see any enticement for the Cardinals to make that move.

            1. He’s out hit him in any meaningful respect in the past two years; aside from BA and OBP, his SLG% was a lot higher, and even his ISO was higher. HR are important, but Howard’s edge there – which, on a per AB basis, is not THAT great over the past 3 years – doesn’t outweigh Craig’s edge in … everything else.

              RBIs – well, you know what us stat guys think about RBIs. If we are going there, though, two points. First of all, on a per per AB basis, the two are again closer than one might think, just focusing on the past 3 years (Craig’s entire major league career). The other point goes to the one area where ARGUABLY RBI could matter, independently of other stats – “clutch” performance. Howard, has not, contrary to reputation, been particularly “clutch” over the course of his career, but has hit very well in such situations over the past 2 years, for what that is worth. Except … Craig has been even better in such situations. With men in scoring position, he is a career .357 hitter.

            2. Ryan Howard made $20 million this year and will earn the same next year. Allen Craig hit over .300 and drove in 92 runs in 119 games this year on a salary of $495,000. He won’t be arbitration eligible until 2014 so “maybe” he’ll make about $550,000 to $600,000 next year. In a pinch he can play LF, RF, 3B and even 2B, so why would the Cardinals want to pay over $19 million more for Howard who is best suited to be a DH? The Cardinals also have a 24 year old first baseman named Matt Adams who hit .327 with 18 HR in AAA this year despite spending a good part of the year in the majors. Craig could eventually move to a corner outfield spot to make room for Adams.

            3. Average, On Base, slugging percentages. Howard obviously has more HRs and RBIs, but if you average them out per 650 plate appearances Howard averages 33 home runs and 117 RBIs. Craig averages 28 and 114.

  2. Could be worse. Look at these three managers the Marlins fired: Jim Leyland, Freddi Gonzalez and Joe Girardi. What do they all have in common this year that the Marlins do not?

    1. +1 I have posted about Marlins middle management .e.g firing Girardi supposedly because he missed a rich supporters meeting on opening day.
      It is hard to believe they will not be fired. The team is now hopeless.

      1. The two WS titles that they have really mask how terrible the franchise is. You take those two away (I know, that’s a big thing to say), and they’re probably relocating.

        In any event, everything about the team is a joke – from Reyes cashing it in and then shutting it down, to the rotating managers – heck, even the field is absolutely ridiculous.

        1. Dave Dombrowski moved after 2002 I think.. So they needed one year to screw thing up.
          I suspect baseball isn’t the only problem there.

  3. I have a question for the group. Would people rather see the Phils accept that the window has closed and move in the youth direction? This kind of course change would include some trades of older players (Lee, Rollins, Chooch, etc) for young untested prospects, some of whom will not pan out. The team would likely struggle for several years as we wait for the next batch of young players to become Rollins, Utley, and Howard types. Realize that this was the first batch since Bowa, Schmidt and Luzinski in the late 70s/early 80s to actually be good enough to win. Or do people support the patchwork job that RAJ will have to do to try and keep the team winning now? In reality, those of you that want to go young with Dom, Ruf, Asche, Galvis and the young bullpen, know that we can’t win with that, at least not now. This is a minor league player site so we’re all very familiar with these guys and want them to succeed at the major league level. The reality is that few of them will. Its the reason the Phils couldn’t let Cole leave, its so hard to find a guy like that. I think Asche can play, but he really needs a full year at LHV to learn and improve. Putting Ruf (who I do think can hit) in LF in the major leagues with little learning time could be disastrous. He also needs to go to LHV and play LF to see if he can even do it. I have my doubts unfortunately. Good teams break in one rookie at a time and unfortunately Dom still plays like a rookie but I love his potential so we should start with him and wait on the others. And please get an 8th inning set up guy with experience. I’m hoping that the Royals don’t agree to pay Soria and he becomes a FA. He’s in the same situation as Madson, he was just better when he was healthy.

    1. Murray, the Phillies will go with a patchwork approach as the team is heading toward its big payday with the television deal. A rebuilding process as much as it is appealing would result in lower attendance and hurt the teams value and payout.

    2. I think they’ll go patchwork but history tells us that the patchwork rarely results in a championship. It feels like the window is closed…..

      1. I don’t think the Window’s closed. Lee and Hamels are still at the top of their game, there’s more young pitching behind them coming up over the course of the next two years, and we have the money to fill any holes offensively.

        Not to mention, the Phillies need to be as competitive as possible as their TV contract expires. They can’t afford to sell off talent and lose ratings like they did this year.

        1. Maybe I am wrong, but the chatter and rumors from the beat writers say they are looking to strike it rich with the upcoming TV contract.

        2. The team’s resurgence coincides with the “selling off of talent”, which you decry. The truth is that the team barely missed Pence, Victorino, Blanton, and Thome. It’s hard to see how this led to a loss of ratings, since after the trades the team was again competitive for the first time this season and made a charge for the last wildcard spot.

            1. In addition, we didn’t sell out the stadium and there were a fair amount of empty seats despite the “turnaround.”

            2. A lot of that had to do with the fact that the Phillies were hopelessly out of it.

              Even with the Phillies recent success, there was going to become a time that the fans slowed down even if they were successful. Much like the Flyers have in recent years.

              I think everyone knew that the Phillies really didn’t have a legit shot at the WS, and combined with a natural slowdown, kept even more fans away. I think you guys are really selling the Phillies fans short in thinking the vast majority of them just want to see their aging homegrown former superstars play. I’d like to think Philly is smarter than that.

            3. Despite the article’s suggested explanation, I think the drop of ratings is all on the early losses putting the team in an inescapable hole and has nothing to do with the sell-off. The article gives no evidence that bad audience share became worse after the sell-off.

    3. The way I look at is if the Phillies had relative health this year they make the playoffs. So no the window hasn’t closed because I believe the same thing will be true about next year.

    4. I don’t know if the we have to make that choice, Murray. The Phils are pretty well set short and long term pitching wise. Short term, they have Hamels and Lee as an enviable 1-2 punch. Halladay is still probably the best 3rd starter in baseball and Kendrick, while maybe not quite as good his second half indicated, is still a solid back of the rotation starter. They still need to fill the 5th starter spot, but they have a slew of guys who potentially could be ready by mid season (May, Martin, Morgan, to a lesser extent Pettibone) where they probably don’t need to spend much money on a low end #5. The bullpen, behind Papelbon, also has a bunch of legitimate young and cheap in-house candidates. Not to mention the potential that they could use one of the previously mentioned minor league starters to fill a bullpen role.

      Offensively, there’s not really much of a question how we’re going to proceed with the guys currently under contract. Rollins and Howard aren’t going anywhere for the next few years. Ruiz will probably be extended. Dom Brown will be given the full year out of necessity since we have to fill all 3 OF spots, and I’m a Brown fan who thinks he’s somewhere between a 2-4 WAR player if given the everyday role. Utley’s here for at least next year. Nate Schierholtz and Mayberry will probably be used as platoon guys as both should be effective as part time players.

      That nucleus should be good enough to win 86-92 games considering they have some financial flexibility to fill the holes at 3rd base and an OF slot. I don’t see why they need to blow things up now.

      I also don’t see the young position players you mentioned as being nearly good enough to consider building around. Galvis, while young, is brutal offensively. Asche might eventually be a pleasant surprise, but he can’t be depended on as even an average ML regular for the next few years. Ruf is probably a nice platoon bat, but that’s not very valuable at his area on the defensive spectrum. I just don’t see why they would change course at this point to make room for fringe offensive prospects when they have so much invested across the roster.

      1. They should have Worley back to fill the final rotation spot. Removing loose bodies from elbow shouldn’t be a big deal and no indication at time of surgery that a serious problem was found.

      2. My point is the young guys aren’t ready or good enough to build around and most of the current core is too old and injured to win with unfortunately. I hope I’m wrong but we have to question some things. Halladay, Utley, and Howard have all peaked and are on the way down, fast. I think Howard will bounce back with a much better year but Utley just isn’t healthy enough to play 160 games the way we want to remember him and Doc may never be more than a journeyman with a dead arm. I’m hopeful that Worley will bounce back after his surgery but who knows. He probably outpeformed in his rookie year and has to improve. Chooch just had a career year, what are the odds that he can duplicate it? The same with Frandsen, who I like but who isn’t a 320 hitter. Hamels and Lee look healthy and strong and should be fine and I have confidence that our bullpen will be much better next year with an added set up guy and the young guys all being better from experience. I think Dom will take a step forward next year and I’m confident we’ll get someone to play CF that can play. Yes, I’m afraid that the window is closed.

        1. Here’s my take on the whole window closing debate .. I tend to be somewhat of a pessimist. But:

          For 2013, if the right off season moves are made, I think the core is strong enough that, if things break right, the team could make the playoffs (obviously the second WC makes this easier). And once in the playoffs, anything can happen. Now, IF the cost of being borderline contenders was high in terms of the team’s future, then maybe it wouldn’t be worth it. But I think the team can makes moves which either (a) don’t hurt the team’s long term prospects, or (b) actually help the long term prospects, AND boost the team’s short term prospects.

          For 2014 I think the prospects are a little dimmer, but even 2 years in the future the variables are so many that it is hard to say for sure. Maybe Asche hits the ground running, maybe Brown hits his stride, maybe one of the starting pitcher prospects makes a great debut … while some on this site take an overly rosy view of the team’s prospects in the upper minors, there ARE some good prospects there, they are just a little further away than some people imagine. For 2015, etc, I think it is easy to see the team back in serious contention, with a few hold over vets, young talent from the minors, and judicious trades and FA signings.

          But the flip side of all of this is that, even if the team slips out of contention for a couple of years, I’d prefer (say) 80 wins to 65 wins. And there are ancillary benefits to keeping the team at least mediocre. I think the benefits of a winning atmosphere on young players is sometimes over estimated, but it DOES exist. I think the chance of Asche, Brown, maybe Gillies (still have my doubts there), Joseph, Galis, and the young pitchers developing into solid major league regulars or better is somewhat greater if the team manages to be at least respectable over the next few seasons.

          Of course as others have said or at least implied, sinking to a 65 win team would impact attendance and viewership, which would impact the financial bottom line, which would have long term negative impact on the team’s ability to compete. Finally, an 80 win team is a more attractive destination for free agents than a 60 win team, and, contrary to what some people around here think, free agents are a necessary component of a long term winning strategy, unless you are Tampa Bay.

    5. I’m much more inclined to the patchwork approach, with the caveat that it should be done with an eye to the future – don’t give up A level prospects unless you are getting young, potentially star level talent in exchange.

      As for the reaons why:

      (1) Agree with the concerns expressed about attendance/viewship.
      (2) Many “patchwork” moves carry little or no cost to the team’s long term success.
      (3) Most of the current veterans are not going to get you a very good return on the trade market. They have value, but not a ton of valuue when their contracts are considered. And salary dumps don’t really help the team long term; a bunch of money freed up doesn’t help a youth movement.

      Ultimately, unless you take an unreasonably optimistic view of the team’s current young talent – a view that Murray rightly rejects – the reason for a rebuilding phase are mostly aesthetic – some people apparently don’t enjoy watching the older players, and would prefer starting over even if it means fewer wins. That’s an aethetic viewpoint that I do not share. Nor, I suspect, do most fans share that aethetic.

  4. Can we revisit the rumors of Chase Headley to the Phils knowing the Pads really liked T Joseph? I also like the idea of Howard to the Sox if you pull the Headley deal off first. Unlikely of course but its a better Phillies in my mind so let me dream.

    1. Why should the Padres trade Headley? Either the Gyorko kid will play 2b or they can just move Headley back to left. Other than trading high on him, Headley looks like a guy to build a team around to me, not a guy to trade.

    2. Why would the Pads trade for Joseph when they have Grandal? Grandal’s way better than Joseph at this point. Headley would probably cost Biddle, Quinn, and May/Martin.

  5. Why do people insist on talking about trading Howard. It’s not happening. It’s not realistic at all… and it’s not happening (felt the need to say it twice).

    Take a look at the Cubs. Look how hard it is for them to move Alfonso Soriano. Now. He’s a more desirable player to trade for because he can at least play passable defense in left field beyond being a DH candidate.

      1. What would the Cubs do with Anthony Rizzo who is their 1B ? Rizzo is much cheaper and had a good rookie year.

      1. Not really.

        Regardless, Soriano is a better defensive left fielder than Ryan Howard is a defensive 1st baseman.

      1. Wells put up a .847 ops in his last year with the Blue Jays.

        Howard’s ops in 2012 was .718.

        The Blue Jays lucked out. If Ryan Howard comes back and has a big 2012 it’d make trading him a lot easier that off season. Right now he has no value and people just keep ignoring that because of their homer bias and their lack of understanding how baseball works.

        1. It’s really hard to come up with trades including Ryan Howard that could be made and that do anything for the Phils. I thought of perhaps Howard and Vance Worley to the Mets for Ike Davis and Jason Bay. Phils might even have to add more to this because, while Bay’s contract is awful, it just has one more year to run. Can’t see the Red Sox springing for Howard. They could get Davis and his modest salary for a reasonable return. Or they could go large for free agent David Wright and move Middlebrooks across the diamond to first. For just about any move involving Howard, you can think up a better option for the other team.

          1. What about a Howard for Arod trade. This I actually think has some merit. Can you imagine Howard in Yankee stadium with that short left field porch as a DH. Arod needs a change of scenery and can help the phils fill 3rd base. The both have close to same dollars left on their contracts. If you really believe that Ruf is ready to be an everyday 1b, and I am not saying he is, just you have to think that he is to make this trade, this actually make a good deal of sense.

            1. The reason’s I think the yanks do it are: 1) It does save them a few million a yr and they are trying to get below the salary cap. 2) after this years playoffs I think they are ready to cut bait and 3) I think that it would help with PR for the team because of see #2 4) They would really like a hitter like howard in that ball park i.e a pull home run hitter shooting for the short right field porch. Either way it does seem like at least a possible solution if you think outside the box

            2. According talk-radio NY…WFAN…ARod’s days in the pinstripes will probably end this week. They consider it to be too much damage their relationship over these last three games. And now the flirtations with the gals from the dugout during the playoff game is a bit too much. But he would look good in Philly at third. How about Trevor May or Jon Pettibone one-up for him and Yanks pick up 45% of his remaining contract.

            3. I think this is more likely than trading him for Howard – I just don’t see any reason why the Yankees would want Howard. But even setting aside the fact that the cost in prospects would probably be more, maybe a lot more, especially with the Yankees paying almost half of his salary, I somewhat question whether the Phillies would want to constrain their payroll that badly (even paying “only” 55% of his contract) with a 35 plus year old player with the teams’ current age profile.

              At the same time, A Rod is an all time great, and the Phillies certainly should at least kick the tires if he is indeed on the market.

            4. Note too that the current trend is for AL teams to not really have a DH, but to instead have a rotation of position players that keeps players fresh. Very few teams had a player used exclusively as a DH this season so the “Dave Kingman Model” just is not in vogue any more.

  6. On a separate note: I think the Phillies (if they can’t get Youkilis on a 1-2 year deal) should really look at Eric Chavez as a guy to platoon with Kevin Fransden. He kills right handed pitching, is good defensively, and has been very valuable for the Yankees in a limited role.

    I’m not sure if he is willing to leave New York but he could be a nice piece to add. (Again though, I’d rather have Youkilis).

  7. I am frequently involved in arguments anytime the name Domonic Brown is raised. I continue to believe that he can develop into an above avg. bat and be at least serviceable in the field; and therefore deserves to get the majority of the playing time at one of the corners. If I suggest this on most Phillies message boards I am generally attacked unmercifully.

    So at the risk of further abuse, I am curious to know what everyone here thinks. I am especially interested to get an opinion on why his BAbip is .269 given a 20% LD rate and 46% GB rate (in 492 ML PAs). Can that be chalked up to bad luck?

    What are the odds that he develops into a 20 / 20 type player with say a .280 / .350 / .450 line?

    1. From time to time, Brown displays very quick hands and the ability to punish fastballs. He has a pretty good sense of the strike zone. I feel that while Mayberry has shown us exactly what his topside is, that Brown still has untapped potential that some team will discover. The Phils have tried seasoning Brown in the minors and handing him a position on the big team. I would like to see him have to compete for a starting job with the idea that if he doesn’t succeed, the Phils will use him only in a platoon situation. He definitiely needs a fire lit..

  8. I have never seen brown, look good on fastballs. are y talking minor league?? I believe of his 5 homreruns i saw this year 3 were on breaking balls. one on a fastball about 90. he looks like he is late on fastballs. and that’s one of the reason. now that I believe at his age and inability to hit fastballs. he will never be that star player. he will be a mayberry type or less. because he doesnt field as well as mayberry,

    1. He didn’t look at good this year- but in early 2011 he turned on the ball a bit quicker and he punished some good fastballs. Maybe affects from his knee injury. He’s shown enough in the past with his batspeed and hand-eye coordination at the plate that I’m still a believer he’s a 40 double 20 homer guy down the line.

    2. Just based on his minor league record, it is hard to believe that Brown can’t hit a fastball. The one pitch that almost every minor league pitcher has is a fastball and many of them throw pretty hard, even in low A.

  9. Trade Utley to an AL team as a DH…which extends his career. We need two OFers including a CFer one of which needs to have some potential right handed power. Several CONTENDING (or believed so) AL teams teams–I believe–would be more than happy to take him in exchange for help in these kinds of “ready”-“almost ready” status. Galvis would bring his superior defense and likely growth in offense which in meantime could be provided by a tradee. All that would relieve the FO of much of Utley’s $15 mil salary. More $ for worldwide scouting and spending.

    The controversy about Asche will likely be resolved by mid-season. Hoping that Gillies will present a challenge in CF also by mid-season.

    This team has GOT to get infused with some young hungry talented people or it will age away.

    Question is: does RAJ have the cajones to do it…??

    P.S. I’d also suggest trading Lee one season too early rather than one season too late. More good prospects! See the Oakland A’s.

    1. Right on Art D……..”Fortune sides with him who dares.” ― Virgil…….unfortunately Ruben is a fence-sitter and seldom dares.

      1. It is hard for me to think you can be serious is calling a GM a non-daring fence sitter, when he has made deadline deals for guys like Blanton, Oswalt, Pence and has traded for Lee, then basically swapped Lee for Halladay and some prospects, then snatched Lee back as a FA when he was thought in the bag for the Yankees, then signed Papelbon as a FA, and then this year gotten good prospects for Pence and guys not likely to be back next season after the Phillies have fallen out of contention. I’d call RA one of the more daring GMs in baseball.

    2. Let’s see … we trade away a guy who is still, when healthy, one of the top 2 or three second basemen in the game (and who is still a plus defender) to replace him with a guy who, at this point of his career anyway, has zero value as a hitter, albeit would likely be a small upgrade defensively … but, in terms of net value, is probably 3 to 4 wins a year worse than a healthy Utley. In return for … what, exactly? Do you honestly think that Utley – a guy who is still enormously valuble as a second baseman, but who would lose most of that value as a DH, who has health concerns, and who has only one year left of team control – at a salary that represents a good value for a second baseman of his skills but a poor value for a DH – is going to get us an A level prospect, or even a B level prospect?

      Sorry, i just don’t see the logic. If the team was in full scale rebuilding mode – that is, if we were willing to tear the whole thing down and suffer through a few 90 loss seasons – then … well, it still wouldn’t make sense.

      A Lee deal, OTOH, at least might make sense IF the team is ready to go into full fledged rebuilding mode, since it’s possible, despite his contract, that he might bring us a decent prospect in return. I wouldn’t do it, because I don’t think we should go into full fledged rebuilding mode. And Lee is really the only veteran who, considering contract and age, could possibly get us an A level prospect. Well except for Hamels, of coruse, but trading him at this point makes zero sense on any level.

      1. Art D has some very tangibe points, perhaps not trading Utley, but I think the philosophy and tactical moves Ruben has made over the last 3/4 years, has for the most part been unsuccessful. The club’s ultimate finish has regressed, each year from 2008. Many reason, injuries being one. But thats part of the game affecting all teams. Whether its called ‘retool’ or ‘rebuild’, Ruben needs to be a little more riskier in his decision-making. Trading farm prospects for veteran players does not seem all that risky. Of course, Cliff Lee’s trade to Seattle was a risk….but he had Roy Halladay in his pocket a week earlier before the trade. Just my opinion.

        1. I was Amaro’s most vocal critic on the Pence trade and the Howard contract. Those moves aside, while some could quibble with some of Reuben’s specific moves, I think the philosophy was the right one for a team in the Phillies’ position at the time. My feeling is that, once in the playoffs, post season success is mostly random; if the team had won another WS or two, Reuben would be hailed as a genius.

          Now, the two big exceptions – the Pence trade and Howard contract – loom pretty large, so I’m not saying that Amaro is beyond criticism. But before we give Art TOO much credit, let’s not ignore his two specific suggestions – one of which, the Utely trade, is a very bad one, and the other of which, a Lee trade, is at least questionable.

          1. Re-reading this I think my main point was somewhat obscured – specific moves aside, I think that, until now, a cautious approach was justified. Circumstances have changed, and Amaro should change with them. Yes he should probably take some more risks given t he current state of the team.

            But taking risks does not mean taking stupid and or reckless risks, and some of the suggestions being made on these forums fall into that category. For example, the “risk” of tearing the team down and going into full fledged rebuilding mode would, in my opinion, for the reasons I’ve set forth at some length, be a stupid/reckless “risk.”

            If some of the commenters around here were general managers, the team would lose 950 games over the next decade. Amaro, for all of his faults, is unlikely to produce that sort of results.

          2. I also think that it makes sense to distinguish between TYPES of risks. The Pence move, for example, could be characterized as a risky move – a bad risk. Even more so the Howard contract. Up until now, the types of “risks” the team has taken have been win-now risks – but that’s still a risk.

            So maybe “risks” isn’t the right lens to view this through. I agree that the team’s moves need to be a little more future oriented now than in the past, but again that’s more a function of the changing situation of the franchise than an indictment of the prior approach.

            To put it another way, I think your analysis of the past 3-4 years is flawed. Saying that the team’s ultimate result regressed each year from 2008 is literally true but deceptive as heck. I’d argue that the team was BETTER in 2009-211 than it was in 2008, partly as result of moves made by Amaro, but the post season is a crap shoot & the team just didn’t get lucky. They did win over 100 games in 2011. Obviously the team was worse in 2012, and I’d agree that you can’t JUST blame the injuries, but it’s hard for me to see what Amaro could have done differently to change that result. Given the team’s decline, the Howard and Pence moves, criticized at the time, seem even worse in retrospect – but IMO that’s a failure of those particular moves, rather than a failure of approach.

        2. The team’s ‘ultimate finish’ season by season is really not the issue when it comes to evaluating RA’s performance as GM. The 2011 team won 102 games, and could have one another game or two if the pedal kept to the metal at end of season. That was a great team, one of the absolute strongest Phillies teams ever. The playoffs are a crapshoot, with the hot team progressing. I do fault Cholly a bit for the 2011 post-season. He doesn’t do a good job of keeping his pitching staff fresh for the post-season. Prior to that, allowing a starter to go for a post-season no-hitter, while wearing down enough that his next key playoff start is less than stellar is not conducive to winning a WC. Team has to take precedence over individual honors in the post-season. The handling of the Polanco and Ibanez recuperations from injury also struck me as questionable at the time. The failure to get to WS in 2010 and 2011 are not on RA. He built strong clubs those years.

          1. ‘The team’s ‘ultimate finish’ season by season is really not the issue when it comes to evaluating RA’s performance as GM’…then what do you use to determine performance?
            Attendance records? Profit margin?

            1. Regular season wins is a good place to start. If Lee pitched better and won his start against St Louis after he had the large lead who knows how the post season might have turned out. It truly is a separate season.

            2. As I said, if the GM assembles a team which wins 102 games, then he has built a very strong team. That’s what I judge him on. The playoffs are part luck, part hot hand, a larger than normal part managerial strategy and getting the team positioned in peak form going into post-season. Once you have a team put together that is capable of winning that many games, and you’ve added a significant extra piece for the post-season, such as Pence, then any failure to progress in post-season is on the manager and his players. The conventional wisdom is that what gives a team an advantage in the post-season, compared to regular season success, is a very strong 1-2-3 in the starting rotation, since the 4th and 5th starters become largely irrelevant. Many would say a strong closer is also key. So… you need a very talented team (this one won 102 games — check), you need a great 1-2-3 (Hamels, Halladay, Lee — check), and you need a solid closer (check), Some (not I) would say that the GM also needs to show at the trade deadline that he has the team’s back and is all in by adding an extra key guy to fill any perceived hole and to inspire the players (should a major league player really need this sort of inspiration to perform his best in the exciting venue of playoff baseball?), but anyway (Pence — check). So, you tell me, how is the first round exit from the 2011 playoffs any indictment of Amaro’s performance as GM? And if it isn’t, then you’ve just agreed with me that how far the team advances in the playoffs year to year is not a good measure of the GM’s performance.

              And, your sarcasm aside, attendance records and profit margin are indeed a key way of measuring a GM’s performance. He is, after all, running an entertainment business. Attendance is a measure of customer satisfaction. Profit margin matters big time to his bosses.

            3. Bottom line—without any long discertations…each year, under his watch, the team has progressively regressed in their final position. If you are happy with the utimate declination, so be it.

            4. What, can’t you read that many words? Or are you just embarrassed that he completely dominated you in the argument?

            5. Phillychuck saved me from being the one to make a snarky comment this time. :) Anyway, what’s hilarious to me about using the lack of post season success as an indictment of Amaro isn’t so much that it’s wrong, and wrong in a pretty obvious way, but that there are plenty of better arguments that you can make if you want to bash Amaro:

              (1) You can point to specific bad moves, e.g. Howard, Pence;
              (2) You can argue that he was too conservative;
              (3) You can argue that he made too many win now deals with insufficient concern for the future.
              (4) You can argue that he exercises poor talent judgment with regard to hitters, over valuing certain traditional stats (e.g., RBIs).
              (5) You can argue that he gives insufficient weight to aging curves

              Personally I think that the first of those arguments is correct (albeit needing to be balanced against his successful moves), the second not correct, and the third, fourth and fifth are partially correct, but the point is that all of them are more sensible than the silly argument that anon and some other make regarding recent lack of post season success. Why rely on a weak argument when their are stronger ones available? It’s fair to say that he doesn’t get full credit for the team’s recent success, but to deny that the team was very successful from 2009 through 2011 is silly.

            6. Good points. I would also add the Blanton 3 year contract on RA mistake list. It limited the club financially that year when he obtained Halladay but had to trade Lee who was making the same $$ as Blanton. Then RA had to make the Oswalt trade and give up good prospects, partially so that the Astros would pay part of his salary that year.

            7. You can even fairly point to the lack of regular season success in 2012 – though even that is not clear cut, every team has down years and injuries did play a big and obvious role in the team’s decline – but it is perfectly fair to hold a general manager accountable for lack of regular seasons success. Post season, not so much.

            8. True but the now insurgent Washington team cut well into that 102 wins as well as the Braves. The Mets are still well the mets and Florida is buried for at least 5 years. The level of competion had a lot to do with past Phillies performance.

        3. You sound like someone who doesn’t believe that RA really has to operate within a budget. The Cliff Lee to Seattle trade wasn’t a risk, it was a mandatory part of acquiring Halladay and staying within budget, as was the necessity of getting Toronto to eat $6 million of Halladay’s salary that season, so that the addition of Halladay was revenue neutral that season, in which RA was already at his budget limit. The Oswalt and Pence trades were also arranged to be in-season revenue neutral, so that RA could stay within budget. This year’s Pence trade was also made for budget reasons — it got RA below the luxury tax cap for 2012.

          1. ‘The Cliff Lee to Seattle trade wasn’t a risk, it was a mandatory part of acquiring Halladay and staying within budget’…you made my point better then me….Ruben avoids risk.

            1. Or he was told by his bosses to make that move. But you don’t live in reality so I wouldn’t expect you to understand that.

      2. Totally agree. Deals like this are done to save money. The Phillies are not going to be able to turn that saved money into better players than Lee and Utley for 2013, and the Phillies most definitely have a strong chance to reach post-season in 2013.

    3. Chase Utley is the best hitter on this team even at 85%. It makes no sense to trade him especially since:

      1) We’re going to have to eat his contract or a substantial part of it.
      2) We’re not going to get real prospects back to help the team.
      3) Galvis can’t hit and this team needs offense… and there’s already a MAJOR hole in third base that needs to be plugged.

      1. Agree to some respect….but ‘1)We’re going to have to eat his contract or a substantial part of it’….he has one year left on the contract, 2013, FA in 2014. So that is not an issue..

  10. Utley to the AL could help his health issues but lets face it he has a cement head and would probably resist. If he stays I see greater value batting him second

    1. I think the larger point is that the Phils operate on the basis that the team can contend every year with the revenue/fan base that they enjoy. This means that every off season move is made on the basis of how it helps the team contend now. Only in a season when the team appears out of contention do you see the types of moves the team made at the ’12 trade deadline.

      Utley is still seen as part of that success. Only at a point where the team has his obvious successor ready to go can you imagine the Phils unloading Utley so long as he can manage 125 or more games in a season. He does not fit the profile of designated hitters currently in use and getting a designated hitter is one of the easiest ‘finds’ for a
      team meaning you get back little in return for a team that attaches less value (DH) for him than the Phils would as their best current second base option.

      Similarly, I don’t see the Phils unloading Cliff Lee now with the thought that he has reached or passed his peak. That move would be inconsistent with a team seeking to contend now. The conditions that I can see which would lead to a trade of Lee aren’t present now: (1) someone dangles a younger pitcher with tremendous upside, a Shelby Miller or Matt Harvey, or (2) young Philly pitchers develop to the point that they are blocked by Lee. Or (3) the Phils fall out of contention by the 2013 trade deadline in a way that makes a lucrative package of young players seem more attractive. When you look around, you don’t see contending teams dumping quality starting pitching a year too early in order to maximize return unless they have a replacement for the rotation in their back pocket or unless re-signing the pitcher appears to be cost prohibitive. These aren’t considerations with Lee.

      The bold salary move would be an attempt to unload Howard, simply because the contract is so bad. No matter how I see it, I am convinced that the Phils feel they have no choice but to try and rehabilitate Howard in hopes that they will get him to the point where he is an approximation of the player that they are paying for.

  11. I am surprised that anyone would consider the idea of the Phillies entering into a rebuilding mode at this time. Yes the OF is a mess and 3B is a question mark, but a championship caliber team starts with pitching. Even if you question the effectiveness of Halladay going into 2013, it appears to me that a rotation of Hamels, Lee, Halladay, Worley, and KK is championship caliber. Throw in a late inning RP to complement Paps and the young arms and I’d say we have a championship caliber pitching staff.

    So if you buy into that, then I believe it comes down to bringing in 3 pieces. A bullpen piece and 2 bats. At the top of this thread, Pagan was mentioned and further down, Youkilis. If, for example, those two could be had, then along with the BP piece you are not breaking the bank and you are not touching the farm.

    1. Folks on here propose trades and player elevations that are part of rebuilding efforts but they don’t realize it. They don’t realize that trading Utley or Howard will tear the guts out of the team and force them to start over and to win many fewer games. And Lee won’t be traded either because with Halladay down, we need Lee to compete. I like Asche and Gillies as much as anyone but they’re not ready yet and won’t be until 2014. All the starting pitching propspects we love aren’t ready yet either although Pettibone will be the first in mid 2013. It takes patience to let them develop or you get into a Dom problem where he wasn’t allowed to finish developing. That’s why there will be several trades this offseason.

  12. Hey Matt, I really love your posts man and same with this site. I am an inspiring baseball blogger probably going to major in journalism, but anyways I was wondering if you guys had any openings for bloggers! I Love the phils and know their system inside and out and if i could throw in some write ups/articles every once in a while that would be awesome.

    1. I responded to your other post so please stop posting this. I just started writing, gregg actually runs the site and is charge of the writing. The thing is this site really isn’t a blog, it is more of a discussion forum, some of us help to put out some writing that directs that discussion. I would suggest that you start by writing out some really thought provoking comments and work with the guys who have been commenting here for years to refine your craft. If you are interested in pitching in with what help is needed contact gregg via the link at the top of the page.

    2. Hey Tommy–don’t let some of the snarky replies to your comment get you discouraged. Sometimes adults forget what it’s like to be young and unsure of how you go about breaking into professions. If you really want to be a baseball journalist, I’d start off by reading some of the great ones, like Pat Jordan (there’s a collection of his sports writing that’s on Amazon), Roger Angell, Thomas Boswell (he used to be really good back in the 1980s) and Will Leitch, who started Deadspin and now writes columns for New York. Then, once you start to feel confident that you have something interesting to say, just sign up for a blogger account and start doing it. Maybe no one will read you at first, but if you’re good and you stick at it, you’ll get an audience. Don’t worry about trying to hitch on to this site. Just follow the example of the guy who started it, and do it yourself.

      1. Thanks Andrew, I have read a lot of Leitch’s and Boswell’s stuff i will check out the others! Also one more thing, where do i sign up for a blogger account?

        1. You can set up a WordPress blog for free. I would get on twitter as well. The best piece of advice I can pass on is to make connections talk to everyone who will listen, whether they are national or local, and listen to anyone who will talk baseball to you. The guys that make it pick up the phone and call people.

          Sorry for being short earlier, good luck with whatever you do.

    1. Besides gregg, you may want to get first battle-tested with a one-on-one with LarryM. This will get ready for any assault.

  13. Wells, Trumbo & Bourjos for Howard, Worley, JMJ & a prospect say some one like Valle

    Wells takes JMJ spot of 4th OF platoon bat for 2 seasons then gone
    Trumbo becomes our 1B or possibly LF
    Bourjos in CF

    Howard DH/1B LH power behind Albert
    Worley #3 or 4 Starter
    JMJ extra OF

    1. Great trade for the Phillies which automatically makes you wonder why the Angels would do it. The Angels have Pujols, Kendry Morales, Trout, Hunter (if re-signed as appears likely), Wells and Trumbo to cover first base, DH and three outfield slots. The principal piece coming to them in your proposal is Howard who doesn’t fill a need and has to be seen as a downgrade on what they have — an expensive downgrade.

      Now it’s likely that anyone approaching the Angels offering to take the Wells contract is going to be listened to but if you replace the Wells contract with the Howard contract which is longer and more expensive, than there is no selling point..

      It’s very hard to find a team that you can move Howard to with his contract and the starting point I think has to be a bad contract coming back to Philly. But I don’t see the Angels as the team.

      The big money teams, the Yanks, Red Sox, Angels, Tigers, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants and Cubs don’t match up well. The small market teams, if they had money, would find better places to put it than in a Ryan Howard contract.

      And if some other team happened to have $18-20 M lying around available for the duration of Howard’s contract, wouldn’t it be better off signing David Wright to be that big middle of the order bat and stick him at third base or even first base if the team has
      third base already covered? I think to ask that question is to answer it..

      1. Attendance in the big picture will be determined by winning and losing, not who’s playing. I can assure you if the Phillies keep Rollins, Howard, Utley, Halladay, Lee, and Hamels and are under 500 at the All Star Break next year and 10 games out, the attendance will suffer just as I am sure if they are in first place next year they will sell out every game.

  14. What do people think about Grady Sizemore and does anyone believe that he can be brought in via a minor league contract?

    1. I see the window still wide open. You seriously can’t expect a team to lose 4 relievers, their 3 & 4 hitter, their 3b, their backup 2b, an ace for a large period of time and expect them to win it. 13 or 14 blown 8th inning leads that ended in loses alone killed this team. RAJ actually got back some good pieces that should really help improve the system.

      1. Exactly correct Psujoe. This year was an aberration of sorts with the injuries. Take away half the blown leads by the bullpen and the Phillies are right there, perhaps in the playoffs. RAJ has the payroll flexibility to make some moves, maybe not huge splashes like in the past, but good solid moves that could help for next season.

  15. Cody Asche still raking. Two more hits today. Their whole team is a hitting machine. Not much pitching.

  16. I think Cameron Maybin would solve the Phillies right handed power bat, leadoff, and outfield problems. Remember he plays at PetCo Park.

    1. Not sure about Jose, but Angel Pagan would be ideal, as you probably meant. You may get him somewhere at $6/8M per year, but its the years that may be the hang up. He will want, IMO, at least 4 years.

      1. LOL. oops. The CF market is really interesting because there’s a lot of decent players available. If Phils could get him for 4/$24 I’d be very tempted. 3/$18 would be a no brainer IMO.

        1. His contract is $4.85M for this year, so I would think $6M per year is doable, but in a compettive market place I would offer $7/8M to get the deal. Plus, he also remains with Alan Nero and not decides to switch over to Scott Boras.

  17. A preliminary rumor has Yankees paying most of Arod’s contract and sending him to Florida. If they would pay most, as Ruben would you get in on this bidding and whom would you give up? would you let them pay less of his contract to steal him from Florida? That is of course if there is truth to this. Timing seems funny on this rumor as it is heat of the moment and NY is not even eliminated yet but it could be possible.

    1. If the Yankees pay most of his contract I’d take ARod. He’d be so pissed he would want to prove the world wrong.

      Define how much is?

      1. Th rumors were that the Yankees would be willing to pay up to 80% of A-Rods salary which is about 30 million so we would pay about 6 million. I think this unlikely as it would cause a huge salary cap issue and hurt the Philies in filling other areas.

        1. 6 mil a year is fine regardless of it being for another 5 years. I’d do that trade in a heart beat. There’s no way the yankees pay 80% without a semi-significant haul of prospects.

  18. What if instead of trading Utley to an AL team to prolong his career, the Phillies moved him to LF? It would definitely preserve his knees and fill an OF position while also getting younger by moving Galvis to second.

      1. 5 years ago i’d agree, but LF output has degenerated. That said, keep him at 2B. He should play it until his career as a starter ends. Whenever that is.

    1. Ludwick has a great arm exceptional bat don’t know if he has the speed to RF.. I just started getting on here so you guys have probably already talked about this but what about Dom in right with a Nate and Ruf platoon in LF? Isn’t ideal obviously but it would save money and maybe allow us to get a solid bridge at third for Cody/Franco and go out and get a CF.

  19. I want no part of ARod. Pat Gillick built a WS team by trading players like him away (Abreu). If I were the Yankees, I would trade ARod straight up for Howard in a heartbeat. People forget the importance of the clubhouse in winning. That’s all we need – the ARod energy suck coming to town.

    1. Agreed. I mean, a stoic, non-leading, 500+ career HR hitting third baseman with a reputation of often failing in the clutch. The Phillies will never win with a player like that.

    2. People forget that the importance of the clubhouse in winning is overrated. Talent > Attitude and one guy isn’t going to ruin the clubhouse.

  20. Thanks Anonymous for that insightful post. I have news for you they All get women that we dream about.

  21. Anonymous we still have Utley and Hamels lol, but back to the point i think A-Rod would be a bad move. Yes we’re not rebuilding but we need a 1-2 year solid but somewhat cheap bridge at third. Adding A-Roid would be expensive and bring drama, and not to mention he is no where near his old self obviously, and never will be. I personally think Youk would be a great fit for the team and city but I just know…

  22. Is anyone getting remotely concerned about Tommy Joseph. His power production went down from A to AA and currently he is hitting .167 in Winter Ball. I feel the Phillies like him a lot, and they seem to be holding him in a higher standard than Valle, who has been tossed around in MLB rumor trades as an added chip

    1. Not worried Tom. Too small of a sample and he may have been pressing after coming to a new team. He’s only 21; lots to like there

      1. I like Valle better… he is a better fielder and has a plus power bat as well. Valle has been the youngest at almost every level he has been at, give him a full year at Leigh and I think he will post great numbers. I think Joseph will change positions eventually honestly, 3b/1b/LF.

        1. Waiiittt, I don’t agree with this at all, he’s a very good defensive catcher by all reports and his CS% this year was above average. Why do you think he’ll change positions?

          Valle meanwhile has that plus power that you mentioned, but I doubt he’ll make enough contact to realize it at the major league level without increasing his walk rate to 5-6%.

          Joesph is going to get the opportunity next year to prove me wrong. He needs to be one of the top 2 or 3 catchers in the EL statistically to maintain the high profile the scouts have given him.

    2. I’m actually quite concerned about TJ… see my post a week ago about him for additional info. Succinctly, his offensive statistics and scouting reports aren’t matching up as well as I’d like.

      1. I hope that’s the case, but if it is, why aren’t they giving him some time off to recuperate and focus on recouperation and fitness instead of hard baseball skills?

    3. Yes, I’m very worried. I haven’t seen him play yet so I can’t speak to that but I’m very worried by the results. As a catcher, I think he’s fine but he forgot his bat when he got traded to us. He clearly is in need of some help.

  23. MattWinks, I see BA is coming out with the 2012 draft report cards, are you going to fill us in on that when they come out?

  24. I’ve watched TJ a few times… Seems like he is always swinging for the fences, he has a long swing and I don’t like his approach either. It is kind of like a typical Phillie player i.e. Rollins, Howard…

    1. TC, I know you mentioned you’re looking to do a formal blog for the phillies, as a polite piece of advice, back up your opinion with some sort of objective references (in this post you mention he swings for the fences, that should be illustrated by a high K rate, so post it, or how his swing is long, post a video.)

      I have an objection to your comment knocking his approach, he’s got a walk rate, which uasually indicates a good approach. What makes you say his approach needs work?

  25. To get Maybin the Phillies would probably only need to trade one good prospect. Maybe another to just throw in. Think Gillies or one of the catchers.

    1. The Padres have Quentin as well. A high OBP, right handed, power bat. I believe there was talk of the Phillies wanting him a year ago.

  26. The Phillies are in the fourth largest media market in the country (A. C. Nielsen) and unlike New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, the Phillies are the only baseball team in town. This is worth Billion$ in TV money and the Philadelphia Inquirer has endorsed this position as has Scott Boras. Also worth noting is that the Phillies TV ratings collapsed by 39 percent this year due to their abysmal performance. That has to be turned around 180 degrees this winter. Failure is not an option. The current TV deal is up in 2015.

    The Phillies can afford to sign Josh Hamilton to a $200 million contract and trade for David Wright, and sign him to a $175 million contract as well. That’s the kind of money they have. Your refusal to process this fact makes any discussion about the Phillies impossible.

    There are over seven billion people on this planet, but not more than five of them can hit like Josh Hamilton.

    1. God you are stupid, certainly far and away the most noxious, ill informed person who posts here regularly. Please stop posting here, or at least have the balls to post under at least an identifiable alias. Let’s list the stupidity of this particular comment:

      (1) The fact that the team has a good chance to gain significant new revenue means much less than you think it does. Partly because the revenue is still uncertain and somewhat speculative, but mainly because of the way the current luxury tax works. The costs of exceeding the cap for consecutive years – not just in financial terms, but in terms of lost draft picks – means that few teams are – or should – routinely exceed the cap. The fact that the New York Yankees, of all teams, are determined to avoid the tax speaks volumes. The Dodgers appear poised to be the one exception; the wisdom of that is debatable to say the least. In reality, the coming infusion of TV money, combined with the slowly increasing luxury tax, will actual erode the competitive advantage of a big market team like the Phillies. (Of course, that’s the PURPOSE of the luxury tax, or one of the purposes.)

      (2) Hamilton is not now one of the five best hitters in the game. He is probably somewhere between 10 and 20, closer to 20 than 10. If we make reasonable projections as to who will be the best hitters in baseball over the next 5 years, the 31 year old Hamilton would not make the top 25. Probably not the top 40. Add to that certain obvious other factors, including durability and, well, you know, and Hamilton is a very high risk signing. A 200 million contract for him would be .. well, maybe not worse than the Howard contract, but in the same category.

      (3) Points 1 and 2, combined with the fact that he will likely get a deal for more than 5 years at an AAV over 20 million, make Hamilton one of the LEAST attractive free agents out there. If the Phillies can get him for (say) 3/60, they probably should, but even THAT is risky.

      (4) You can make a somewhat better case for Wright, albeit he’s another guy who carries risk and will start next season on the wrong side of 30. Except, oh yeah, he won’t be a free agent, and the costs in prospects for acquiring him would be prohibitive.

      I’ve resolved to be less nasty to most posters here, but much more nasty to you personally.,

      1. Larry I agree that we shouldn’t sign josh, but by no means is he closer to 20? Name 10 guys better hitters than him.. Hamilton will be majorly over paid anywhere he goes, and I know RAJ doesn’t want anything to do with that contract.

        1. Conducting this on the ground most favorable to Hamilton (i.e., the past 3 years), using wRC+, which is IMO one of the most reliable analytical stats, he could be put as high as 9th. The one flaw of wRC+ is that it is a rate stat, not a counting stat, but that favors a guy like Hamilton who misses a lot of games. The eight guys in front of him – and my subjective observations agree with that – are: Cabrera, Votto, Bautista, Braun, Fielder, Otriz, Holliday, Pujols.

          Not making that list because of too few PA but clearly a better hitter:Trout

          That leaves him 10th, just barely in the top ten. I would put him even lower since I think the three year window unduly favors him, and there are a few players on the rise whose 3 year totals don’t accurately reflect their current level of play: Those players include:

          Stanton, McCutchen, Kemp. Maybe a couple others.

          But there is some room for argument on these guys, hence “between 10 and 20.” OTOH, there are plenty of guys under 30 years old who I would bet on to be better hitters going forward, Harper and Cespedes just to name two.

          1. ehh Cespedes isn’t a sure thing but yeah i guess you’re right even though Hamilton has more value than Ortiz right now and the phils are looking for a power bat. Not many if any hit for better power than Josh. But again i dont think we should sign him by any means

  27. Thought I would weight in on Valle vs Joseph:
    I should start all of this off with both players profile to stay at catcher and there is no reason to move either off the position, also catchers historically take much longer to be major league ready than ordinary positional prospects (there is so much going on with the position that often their bats are slowed developmentally as they spend time learning to play the position defensively)
    Defensively they are both good callers of games, Valle by scouting accounts is better at blocking pitches down in the dirt. Joseph’s arm is much stronger and he controls the running game better. I would say they are pretty even.defensively.
    At the plate their hit tools are similar grades though you could convince me that Valle’s is half a grade higher because his bat control is better. Their approaches are totally different, Valle has almost no plate discipline or pitch recognition which causes him to have a high strikeout rate with a Hewittesque walk rate (on second thought his walk rate is actually lower than Hewitt’s, so is Hewitt Vallesque?). Joseph has been increasing his plate discipline each year and profiles to draw his share of walks. When it comes to power they both have a good amount of it, I personally believe that Joseph’s raw power is greater but I don’t have anything to back it up. Valle slugged higher than Joseph this year but also played more games on the home run friendly Reading field.

    In conclusion I think Valle’s value as a prospect is destroyed by his complete lack of approach and plate discipline which will come to really hurt him against advanced pitchers. Joseph is a full year younger and still improving and I like his odds of coming close to his ceiling much better.

    1. 2 top catchers in the same organization is why I think Tommy might move one day not because of how he is denfensively.

      1. You really don’t move catcher off position unless you have to either because their bat is too special to either wait on their defense (Wil Myers – KC) or not have in the line up every day (Joe Mauer/Carlos Santana) or they just can’t play it defensively. The general rules of prospects suggest that at least one of them will fail or just profile as a back up. If they end up with two top catchers you trade one (The Reds trading Grandal because they had Mesarraco in order to bring back Matt Latos). Neither player really profiles as anything more than average offensively at any other position so you really hurt their value to move them.

        1. That is true their value would decrease significantly, I hope we keep Valle really high on him and i liked how he progressed in 2012. He was inconsistent but once he gets in a groove there is no top this man. He transitioned nicely power wise (4HR 13RBI) in only 22 games (mostly hitting out of the 8 hole) and he held his own behind the plate. Joseph struggled power wise with Reading but I think he will be fine he was probably pressing, trying to impress. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in 2013

          1. Valle won’t be a major league regular unless he can increase his BB rate significantly. Period. Not just because of the value of BBs in and of themselves, but because his lack of plate discipline will prevent him from fully exploiting his other hitting tools. Against major league pitching, even granting further development in his positive tools, a guy who combines his lack of plate discipline with mediocre to poor contact skills is going to be a sub .220 hitter. A .220 hitter who doesn’t walk, even a catcher who has some power (but not likely 30 plus HR power, and again the free swinging places some limits on that too) does not cut it as a major league regular.

            Now the good news (relatively speaking) is that (a) some players do develop better plate discipline as they develop, and (b) if Valle even gets his BB rate to 5% – that is, a free swinger who can lay off the worst offerings outside the strike zone – he could still develop into a .250 hitter with 25 HR power, and then, especially for a catcher, you might have something. But at this point I’d estimate the chances of that happening as less than 10%, and IMO that is generous.

            1. To put this in perspective, there are a few players who can manage to maintain regular major league roles with K/BB ratios in the 5 to 1 range, though not many and not indefinitely, but Valles’ ratio this past season was 8 to 1, and that is not consistent with major league success.

            2. There will be exceptions to the rule…very rare mind you, but can Seb Valle turn out to be another Manny Sanguillen, maybe, but highly unlikely. Like you mentioned, he will need to improve his plate discipline for major league success.

            3. At the risk of beating a dead horse into the ground …

              Looking at the last 20 years, major league hitters with BB rates under 3.5% on a career basis, excluding pitchers: first of all, there aren’t many. Most of them were light hitting middle infielders who were decent to good contact hitters. A contact hitter can get away with a low BB% for reasons which should be obvious. Those players (Dunston, Duncan, Betancourt, etc.) aside, the most “hopeful” name for Valle is Humberto Quintero. But hopeful only in a relative sense – he is a catcher who has carved out a long career as a reserve because of excellent defense. And his major league K/BB ratio is better than Valles’ minor league rate.

              Another name to throw out there is Miguel Olivo, but really he’s a kind of upside comp – what Valle could be if pretty much everything breaks right for him, including improved plate discipline. And he isn’t really a player that a team who expects to contend wants to plug in as their regular catcher.

          2. Joseph’s slugging was up .030 after the trade (from his earlier EL line) and it was only .015 behind Valle’s Reading slugging line, Valle’s SLG was down at LHV. (just as an aside, please don’t quote RBI as a relevant minor league stat) Overall Valle’s power numbers went up slightly but he transitioned from an extreme pitcher’s park to an hitters park, he posted the same number of walks in 50 more plate appearances. It is fine to like Valle just shape your argument better

            1. Managers often say in postgame interviews when asked why they lost “Because of timely hitting, couldn’t get that big hit.” RBIs reflect timely hitting, power, and clutchness to a certain extent, i know it is not a good stat now a days (especially in the mnors) but it still means something in the 8 hole.

            2. The studies say that timely hitting is a statistical anomaly, players hit in the clutch at the rate they hit the rest of the time. Clutchness is just a narrative created to explain randomness. In terms of power it tells you nothing not communicated by other stats. Overall the RBI is a better measure of the on base and extra base skills of the players in front of a hitter than the hitter.

            3. It reflects power due to the fact that XBH can get people around the bases and about clutchness there aren’t stats for everything, you have it or not that “it factor”. Not saying Valle has the “it” factor i just think there is so much that goes into this game that you can’t always dig into statistics ya know.

            4. But we can measure XBH directly!

              There are some things stats can’t measure – in baseball, not much, but some things. But … RBIs are a statistic!!!! A very poor statistic, but a statistic.

              My point being, even if you don’t accept Matt’s comment about clutch ability,* RBIs are still an incredibly flawed way to look at that “ability.”

              *And I have to say that while I do understand the intuitive resistance to the evidence of the lack of clutch ability, I don’t know of any statistically literate people who have looked carefully at the evidence/studies and come away without (at least) a deep skepticism to whether there is such a thing as clutch ability

            5. But they don’t really. Setting aside the debate about whether clutch ability, as opposed to clutch performance, even exists – that is, assuming for the sake of argument that clutch performance reflects a real ability, as opposed to random luck – RBIs are an incredibly poor way to measure clutch performance. RBIs MOSTLY reflect (a) opportunities to hit with runners on base, especially RISP, which vary MUCH more than most people realize from player to player, and (b) power, which of course we can and do measure directly. The very small extent to which RBIs measure clutch performance is swamped by the statistical “noise” of those other two factors.

              Now, IF we believe clutch ability is real, one could I suppose construct an argument that RBIs, imperfect as they are, are a way to get at that ability indirectly. Except for one thing … we can measure clutch performance directly – stats are available for “clutch” situations, RISP, etc. No need to measure indirectly and imperfectly what we can measure directly.

              RBI, as a tool for player evaluation, are 100% useless as long as we have other traditional stats available. If one were stranded on a desert island with only a scrap of newspaper containing RBI data and nothing else … well then I guess it would be better than nothing. But not much.

              (Gonna be honest here and admit that the one small flaw in the above is that splits for minor league batters are not generally publicly available. So I guess for someone who REALLY wants to look for clutch performance for minor leaguers, RBIs are the only place to go. Trust me, for the other reasons set forth in this post, not to mention the argument that we dismissed at the start for the sake of argument,* RBIs are entirely useless in prospect evaluation. They should be given no weight at all.)

              *In fact, clutch “ability,” as opposed to “performance,” likely does NOT exist; that is, clutch performance is random fluctuation, and clutch performance in one year does not predict clutch performance in future years.

            6. I say clutch is real and cannot or is to difficult to measure in stat sheets. If you’ve played the game then you know. If you’ve come up to bat with the tying run on second two outs in your last at bat you know you’re heart rate climbs much more so than it would it the first few innings.

              It’s like Porn you know when you see it. RISP in my opinion doesn’t capture it either and again that’s because situations where you are up 8-1 with RISP and drive those runs in would not be considered clutch.

              And that doesn’t even get into regular season vs. post season. Some average players do better in those spots where as your supposed elite players do not. Usually because they cannot relax in the moment. Walk offs possibly would be a sign…

            7. I guess I can at least see this side of the argument, but my response to that is that players who feel more “pressure” in those types of situations probably don’t make it out of AA. There is a certain amount of mental ability to ‘not care’ about the situation and just let your physical abilities take over. Those are the players who succeed and continue up the ladder.

            8. Fangraphs do put this disclaimer in reference to WPA… ‘Cumulatively, season-long WPA is not predictive, making it an ineffective number for projections of a player’s talent.’. So making any definite conclusions is relatively still guess-work.

            9. LarryM…speaking of clutch performances…do you use ‘Dragon’ on your system when commenting/posting? Or you have the fastest finger dexteriorty east of Hong Kong.

            10. The concept of “clutchness” is probably best explained physiologically. When someone is under pressure there is an outpouring of stress type factors/hormones, including such molecules that we all recognize like adrenaline. In some people that physiologic response causes panic (“flight” in the “fight or flight” reaction). Others are able to channel this biochemical outburst into a productive response which allows them to go beyond their normal response parameters.

  28. What do you guys think about Biddle? Obviously he is a stud, but what do you think his route is? I say AA 13, AAA-MLB 14.

    1. Unless Biddle goes lights out in AA, he’ll be handled with kid gloves. MLB 2015. Don’t forget, Morgan, Pettibone, Martin are closer to the bigs than he is, so there’s no serious need for starting pitching. There’s absolutely no reason to rush Biddle.

      1. There is no reason rush him, yes, but what if he is major league ready? he will be 22 in 2014

        1. Historically, the Phillies have not rushed any pitcher, and that includes Cole Hamels who was lights out in the minors. Yes, Hamels had limited innings in the minors but he was still killing it. If we were the Braves or the Blue Jays (teams that historically fast track prospects), Biddle would likely be up by 2014 if not earlier.

            1. Who has the Phillies fast tracked this year, Morgan and Asche? Those guys were both college guys who jumped a level to begin the year which is not unusual for the Phillies to do since college guys can only stay 4 years in the minors before being put on the 40 man. And they both had lights out starts to precipitate another promotion. Now if they both start 2013 at Lehigh, then I could see the Phillies change their philosophy.

  29. Hamilton is too big a risk at the price that he’ll command. If they can add Pagan, Ludwick and Adams or like players the Phils will be fine. I like Frandsen, but if they can get a Keppinger type I’m all for it.

  30. What do you guys see TJ projecting in as a big leaguer? 250-260 15-25 is what I see looking glass half full.

    1. If he can manage that AND a good BB rate AND be an average or better defensive catcher, that would be a heck of a player.

      1. When you say peak at .260 that is disappointing to me, but I think that’s becuase I’ve become accustomed to Ruiz… But you’re probably right. :(

  31. Phillies DFA’d Tyson Brummett and he was claimed by the Blue Jays. Not a huge loss, but just wanted to acknowledge one more that Brummett made it to the big leagues and say good for him. The move was made with the reinstatement of players from the 60 day DL. The Blue Jays have claimed a ton of players so it will remain to be seen if Brummett sticks there.

    1. Was he going to be a minor league free agent after this season? Just wondering if they would’ve likely lost him anyway. Not saying this is a huge deal, just curious.

        1. OK. I was looking at it from the angle of if the team hadn’t put him on the 40-man for the last 2-3 days of the season would they still have lost him anyway, and most likely the answer is yes.

      1. Did you just answer yourself?!@

        If, and it’s a big if, the yankee’s take 50-60% of his salary I’m in.

        1. If that happened it would be the equivalent of the Yankees paying Ryan Howard close to $40 million a year. This will never happen.

          1. Yankees would not take Howard, and pick up 60% or so of his salary.Probably two top prospects, one being a pitcher, like May,Martin or Pettibone and a position prospect..

            1. 60% of the $114M of ARod’s salary that is. Of note, Girardi was carefully picking out when ARod would play vs certain righthanded pitchers, thats not a good telltale sign in the aging process.

      1. Howard struggles with lefties, ARod can’t hit righties any more. There are more righties. Advantage Howard!

  32. I have to give Larry credit, of all the many PHANTARDS online he has the highest IQ of any I’ve encountered.

    However, this just makes Larry the most ridiculous RETARD in the Phillies fan base.

    If the Phillies were to follow his advice they would have to completely trade off every big contract they have for whatever they could get and rebuild for the next eight to ten years. Within two years Citizen’s Bank Park would resemble the debacle in Cleveland. No one would ever believe in them again and the SCAMMIES – as they would be known by one and all then – would forever be operated at the level of the Milwaukee Brewers rather than the Yankees neighborhood they are in now.

    JOSH HAMILTON and DAVID WRIGHT pays the mortgage off in the neighborhood the Phillies now live.

    Phillies Home Runs

    2008__214 HR

    2009__224 HR

    2012__158 HR

    That counts the 17 Hunter Pence hit before he was dumped.

    1. We can have this discussion with out acting like kindergartners. The Phillies homerun numbers are way down as the team as transitioned from offense to pitching over the past few years. Home runs aren’t everything though it would be nice to have a power bat in one of the outfield corners going forward. The problem with Hamilton is going to be the cost. I fully expect someone to give him 6 years 140 million. You might get full value of what you are paying for the first year or two but he is already in his decline and will fall off quickly soon. By signing him to such a deal you guarantee that the 2016-2019 Phillies will be horrendous because they will have zero money to operate with. This is the problem we have gotten into right now. David Wright is not a free agent and the Mets won’t let him get to Free Agency and the cost to acquire him in a trade would destroy the farm system. Wright is a guy I would hand a 5yr 100 million dollar contract to because of the on base skills.

      The key going forward is that every move has to fall under one of two categories.
      1. The move helps the club long term (and possibly short term), something like a Justin Upton trade goes here, maybe a Headley trade but he only has two more years so not as much. Pretty much if you are going to spend a lot (in money or prospects) it has to be a part of the next core with Hamels and Lee (who I believe will be good for a while more).
      2. Short term move that doesn’t cost you the future. You can’t give up the #16 pick or prospects to acquire a band aid, Pence was a band aid, he covered up a problem short term but he isn’t a piece going forward. You also can’t lock yourself in financially with a guy who is only going to help you for two years of a long contract. I would give no contract longer than 3 years to anyone available in this free agent class, there just isn’t a star there long term.

      1. Dude.

        I don’t care what “you would do”.

        Josh Hamilton and his agent do not care “what you would do”.

        David Wright and his agent do not care “what you would do”.

        Hamilton will get at least $200 million.

        David Wright just said two weeks ago his next contract will be his last. At least seven years and $175 million. Maybe $200 million.

        Bryce Harper in winter 2018 is going to get a ten year deal for $360 – $400 million.

        Are you familiar with the Pujols contract? Not with the Cardinals, the one that’s relevant, his deal with the Angels. That’s what contracts are measured against. Not interested in any anti-Pujols rants, that’s not the subject matter.

        The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, as well as the Pirates and Giants can afford to sign Hamilton for $200 million because of their payrolls and the new national TV money that will be rolling in.

        You don’t want to pay the market prices? OK, give me one of the five or ten bats like Hamilton and tell me how the Phillies are going to get him and how they are going to get him for the fraction of the market prices that you “would be willing to pay”?

        1. God, now we’re calling people retards? I’m getting close to giving up on this site.

          1. Answer the argument or you accept that I’m right.

            Which is obvious to anyone who is not a mental defective.

            1. According to Baseball America his stuff and results were down this spring. Additionally the Phillies could only offer him 690,000 without losing a first round pick. They could not sign him earlier with the Iowa baseball season lasting into July

            2. This thread is about Josh Hamilton and David Wright.

              Why do you continue to remove my Alec Rash post and then discuss Alec Rash in this thread?

              Off your meds?

            3. The argument has been answered a number of times by a number of different people in a number of ways, all of which use logic. The very basic part of it, which you refuse to accept, is that David Wright is NOT A FREE AGENT. Therefore, it does not matter what Matt would do, or you would do, or the Braves/Giants/Phillies would do. HE ISN’T AVAILABLE!

            4. Oh yeah, Wright will be traded this winter.

              That’s a certainty.

              So you accept that the Phillies must sign Josh Hamilton?

              If not then answer.

            5. As the retarded guy with the high IQ, I answered at length and you choose to ignore my arguments. Understandable given your problems with basic logic.

              But to answer your latest question, which (converted to coherence), can be stated as “whatever the abstract “value” of these players, how can the Phillies compete if they don’t pay the market price?”, three answers:

              (1) Many of us doubt your premise, for reasons that have been stated time and time again. There’s many reasons to believe that the Pujols contract won’t set the standard, because Pujols is by far the best player in his generation, and is being paid accordingly.

              (2) Hamilton specifically is not nearly as good as you think he is.

              (3) If … a huge if … the very best players get contracts for 200 million plus, then the proper strategy is to AVOID THOSE PLAYERS, and instead build your team with players just a notch below that level, who will be had for relative bargain prices because a disproportionate amount of money will be spent on the “superstars.” Any team foolish enough to pay Hamilton 200 million … LET THEM. Not that it will happen; if Hamilton gets even 150 million it will shock me. The record on 100 million plus contracts is abysmal; not that they should always be avoided, but they are for only the most special players, and risky even then.

              (4) Dovetailing with #4, the scenario you envision comes to pass only if every big market team ROUTINELY goes over the luxury tax. And that will never happen. Reasonable minds may differ as to just HOW MUCH TV money will be out there, but the whole point of the luxury tax – well, one of the points, aside from maintaining competitive balance – was to prevent just the kind of salary inflation that you imagine will happen. Obviously it remains to be seem just how successful the luxury tax will be in avoiding salary inflation, but so far it’s looking like every team but the Dodgers intends to stay under the luxury tax.

              You’ve referenced Boras, but ignore the context of his comments – he hates the luxury tax because he knows that it will constrain salaries. Which is fine, that’s his role, but he has an agenda. But ultimately he’s not a front office person trying to build a winning team, he’s an agent trying to maximize the income of him and his clients.

              Really I feel sorry for you more than anything. It must be really, really, really hard to go through life utterly lacking in critical thinking skills.

            6. This is so funny. You’re like a Saturday Night Live parody of an angry blogger. Sure, if we don’t respond to your angry, ridiculously inane points, then we must agree with you. Yeah, that’s how it works.

  33. On trading Utley to an AL team as a DH:

    IMO, there is little or no chance the Phils will re-sign him as their 2nd baseman for ’14 and following. He will leave at ’13s end and we will get NOTHING for him then. Given his physical issues over the LAST 3 YEARS, his career would be extended by 2-4 years.

    With all his efforts concentrated as a DH, his power will (IMO) likely get a boost and as a DH could hit .280 plus with maybe 25 dingers. More than a few AL team would be very interested.

    We absolutely need a right handed outfielder with some power to fill the field and the lineup. Whoever might be available as a good one would cost the team our #16 draft choice…a value not to be dismissed…especially since it would have the potential to produce one of the best pitchers in the country. Getting such an OFer by trade of Utley gives much more value to this team’s present AND future than watching his swan song and we are still without that needed of-er.

    And, the team would save at least half of his ’13 salary which could be spent, in whole or part, on prospects south of the states.

    1. I think the difference you make up in the outfield isn’t made up with the hole you make at 2nd, Galvis plays great defense but he just doesn’t hit enough right now and Hernandez isn’t a starting level player. I think the Phils ink him to a 2 year contract with a third year vesting option at something close 12 mil a year with plenty of built in incentives based on games played. He is a productive player even in his swan song, I just don’t see his trade value coupled with the lack of bats behind him to be enough to trade him.

      I would like to see Charlie give him a some more off days to keep him fresh but that isn’t on Utley that is on the manager and GM.

      1. I can see Utley getting a 2 or 3 year contract with a vesting/player option. Similar to what the Phillies gave Rollins. I’m hopeful Utley can stay in Philly for the rest of his career.

      2. Not to mention the fact that that is an unrealistic return for one year of Utley as DH. Bascially he wants an outfielder with similar production to what he predicts for Utley. Why would a team do that? Especially given the health risk and only one year of team control.

        As to whether the Phillies will/should extend Utley, that will depend IMO on his health. But the whole concept of “losing him for nothing” makes no sense. The Phillies have one year of control of Utley. They can either trade that year away and be compensated for it (albeit at likely a very low price, probably a “B” level prospect). or have him themselves for that year. No one is going to give the Phillies value for uncontolled seasons.

      3. And Matt, in some ways you’re a better man than I, avoiding my sarcasm and … well, you know. Honestly, though, as much as I think your approach is much better than mine, IMO there are two types of posters that it is best to ignore: trolls like the anon who is in love with Hamilton, and borderline delusional posters like Art. Yeah, I know, this is kind of a do as I say rather than do as I do, but that’s my two cents.

    2. Art D….’We absolutely need a right handed outfielder with some power to fill the field and the lineup’…….an aging guy could be had. But guys like Corey Hart, Mark Trumbo, Jsustin Upton or even Dexter Fowler et al will cost plenty in swap. but sign BJ Upton and you lose the 16th pick.

    1. And this is why I should not engage with Art. This reads almost as a parody – we can trade one year of Utley for a “right handed outfielder with some power” AND get a pitcher in the bargain!!! Maybe we should hold out for free ponies for all Phillies fans as well.

  34. I would like two things for next year, a right handed power bat and a eight inning guy, and I would go to war with howard and utley rollins chooch and the rest of this years team except please no wigginton.

  35. The Phillies led Major League Baseball in total attendance for the second straight season. They sold 3,565,718 tickets in 2012.

  36. Just spitballin’ here….but it stands to reason that the Rangers might want to move Elvis Andrus and/or Adrien Beltre with Profar and Olt coming along quick. The Rangers are getting “old” (sort of like our Phils) and might be a proactive trading partner.
    Obviously the cost would be HIGH and involve PITCHING……well, we got a ton of arms in the minors and as long as we are able to hold onto a few key arms…..it might at least make for an interesting discussion.
    I could easily forsee a scenario with Andrus at SS and Rollins at 3B…

    1. Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels want to win it now. So beside the pitching prospect, they will probably want also Cliff Lee in a deal. That could be disaster to let Lee go right now.

    2. I think Andrus is a guy that would make an interesting target – he fits the profile of a guy who could help in the long and short term. But I’m not a big proponent of Rollins to third. Even setting aside the question of how well he would manage the defensive transition, basically you are indirectly filling the thirdbase slot in the lineup with Andrus, Or, to look at it another way, you’re forcing the move of Rollins to thrid, which would decrease his relative value. (Basically the positional difference between SS and 3B is about a half of a win.)

      Again, not saying that it isn’t soemthing worth considering, but IMO Andrus’ short term value is somewhat muted by the need to switch Rollins to third. Maybe as much as a whole win when one factors in uncertainty about how well Rollins will manage the defensive shift to third.

      The other thing to consider about Andrus is that he has only 2 years of team control, limiting his long term value, so actually I am talking myself out of even my moderate interest in such a trade. :)

    3. I like the idea of adding Andrus if he were available but I’d rather add him as 3B than a SS. I just don’t think Jimmy projects as a 3B not to mention he has never been one to take one for the team.

    4. Rollins would never move to 3B so forget about that. Can Andrus play 3B? Obviously, his bat does not profile well at 3B, and with Asche coming soon, Andrus looks to be a stopgap. So trading for a stopgap with a middle infield bat? I would rather roll the dice with Frandsen/Galvis at 3B.

  37. Start of 2013
    Gilles CF-Brings a career .300 BA .390 OBP and .800+ OPS
    Rollins SS
    Utley 2B
    Ruf LF-Brings a career .305 BA .380 OBP and .900+ OPS
    Howard 1B
    Ruiz C
    Brown RF
    Frandsen/Galvis-Trade for or sign an Upgrade if you can

    Mayberry as your 4th OF defensive replacement in LF or spell Howard at 1B with Ruf and put Mayberry in LF.

    Add SP depth in maybe Haren/Sanchez/Lohse. stalk the trade market for a June/July move that puts you over the top.

      1. Not to mention that, aside from Gillies of course not being a realistic option for 2013, his defense, while reportadly good, is not of the gold glove level that you would need to even consider the possibility of going with Brown and Ruf at the corners. That might be the worst combined corner outfield defense in baseball history.

        1. I’ll use your term because I loved it. I’m going to push back on Gillies defense. It might not be gold glove but its above average and Ruf will be just fine in LF for the time being.

          And I’ll just ask you to set aside defense and look at the Tigers. Avisail Garcia etc…this is an offensive league anymore. There is more than one way to win and one of the reasons the Tigers are where they are is because Dombrowsky is not afraid to identify young players and give them a shot at the MLB level to earn a job. (Austin Jackson)

          I know you like Gillies a little bit but I think you under estimate what our FO thinks of him. For crying out loud he was part of the Lee deal. He’s going to get a shot sooner rather than later and your first clue should have been they lead him off in ST. (mishaps and injuries aside)

          1. All reasonable points, except on balance I don’t agree. :) We’ll just need to disagree about Gillies’ readiness in 2013 – to believe that the front office thinks highly of him (they may well) is not the same as thinking that the front office believes (correctly or not) that he will be ready in 2013.

            On the questions of defense, I’ll admit to mostly relying upon second hand opinions, especially as to Gillies, but the totality of the available evidence leads me to a greater degree of skepticism than you have as to both Ruf and Gillies. And I think outfield defense is, ironically, an area where the conventional wisdom and the modern statistical opinion have switched positions – to the detriment IMO of the conventional wisdom. I think OF defense matters a lot.

            Ruf of course we have debated to death. Apart from my defensive doubts, I am reasonably bullish on his hitting. That said, I give at least some credence to some of the doubters, at least to the extent of believing that there is more downside risk than his biggest fans realize. Can he hit major league breaking balls? That’s still an open question. if not, he’s not going to be the hitter some people hope.

            I’m not adverse conceptually to going with young guys. I just think that 2013, with the players we have in the upper minors, and the needs the team has, there aren’t any position players ready to contribute.

          2. Ya if you like druggies and liars then you like him, wake up he should not even be on a baseball field.

        2. I hate to even bring this up, but has anyone noticed that Tyson Gillies, hitting .467 in the Venezuelan winter league has not played since October 14th? If anyone has any information about this, it would be appreciated.

    1. Depends on the context. If it is as a potential signing, I like it, you could put him in a corner and spell him against tough lefties. He is a fraction of what he was as hitter but he is a good defensive player in a corner. If you are looking for a lower cost signing you could do much worse.

  38. I think I prefer to get younger rather than older and I think I prefer to take chances on low cost options rather than over paying an older average FA.

    let us not forget before our WS win that is exactly what happened. We gave quite a few unknowns at the time a shot. Utley for Polanco, Howard for Thome, Vic for Abreu, and if you want to say Werth for Jenkins.

    Those guys were young and hungry and looking to make their mark in the league.

    1. The chances we have an Utley, a Howard, a Vic and a Werth in our system right now and ready to debut shortly are very slim. A couple stopgaps are in order unless it’s decided that the team can stink for a few years. One guy I’d look at is Eric Chavez, if the Yankees let him go. He’d be a nice platoon option at 3B with Frandsen next year.

      1. A couple of stop-gaps are not going to make the difference between stinking and post-season. For stop-gaps to get us to post-season, the existing team has to be at least good, as in about 84-85 wins. The right stopgaps will improve the team, but unless we get good performance from the existing core of Hamels, Lee, Halladay, Worley, Papelbon, Bastardo, Ruiz, Utley, Rollins, Howard 2013 will be another year without playoff baseball in Philadelphia. I think it as likely as not that guys like Kendrick, Rosenberg, Aumont, DeFratus, Diekman, Shwimer, Brito, Brown, Mayberry, Frandsen, and Galvis make a significant contribution as that a few stopgap guys will.

        1. Well the team didn’t stink this year. Depending on what you expect to get from the incumbents you listed, a couple short term solutions could make the difference on getting into the playoffs. I agree with you about the bullpen guys mostly, although I think it would be smart to sign a couple veteran relievers just for added depth/insurance. I’m not comfortable just going with all 3 of Mayberry, Galvis and Frandsen in major roles next season, so I think it’d make sense to look for players that might help us without making long-term commitments. At least that way there’s some competition and it gives us more options when the season gets started.

  39. The latest flavor is that Amaro wants to mimmick the Cards and have a line up with 5 or 6 hitters in the .800 to .900 OPS range. No to Ichiro and Arod please both are in a consistant decline. I would not rule out Gillies.

      1. If he wants to recreate the ’07/’08 Phillies, hopefully, from the offensive side, Ruben finds the recreation production of the threesome of Utley, Rollins and Howard. Thats a huge task.

    1. Not impossible, but highly unlikely. Utley and Howard could get to .800 (if healthy). Rollins? Probably not. Brown? At this point, I would be happy with .750. Chooch? He had a crazy year but he could do it. If Ruf makes the team, he’ll likely be in a platoon with Schierholtz.. A Ruf/Schierholtz platoon could do it. Mayberry? Probably not.

      At most, I see 3 players in the .800 range. Forget about .900

  40. To switch the topic real quick….. higher ceiling Roman Quinn or Larry Green… also Tyler Colvin or Trevor May or Jesse Biddle

    1. It is hard to compare a little speedy guy with a big guy with a lot of power potential. I think both have high ceilings. In some ways, what Quinn has achieved in his first year of switch hitting is amazing. However, Greene has shown a good batting eye and has a lot of power potential. I would say Greene has the higher ceiling, only because big power is harder to find than great speed. Concerning the pitchers, you probably meant Brody Colvin. Based on his stuff (reported) he probably has the highest ceiling, although he certainly has achieved less than the other two pitchers you mentioned.

    2. Greene because generally I think power is worth more than speed and they both, reportedly, have plenty of it.

      As for pitchers I say Colvin simply on the basis of his stuff. None of the three seems to have particularly good control although it’s of the least concern for Biddle.

    3. Ceiling is most significant in the lowest levels of the minors. As the players progress, you have to strongly temper what was perceived as their ceiling, because of weaknesses they have shown on the field and a development rate slower than you perhaps anticipated when originally setting the ceiling. So… in Colvin, May, and Biddle we have performance and development records through at least high-A ball. May had a not-great year in AA and Colvin’s time in AA was a disaster. Biddle pitched well at CLW and is relatively young for that league. While May had the highest ceiling of the 3 on draft day, their adjusted ceiling reset from today on, based on tools, athleticism, plus a strong tempering of actual performance has to put Biddle on top and Colvin at the bottom. During his time at Reading, Colvin certainly lacked control/command, as did May, but Colvin’s FB velocity was also nothing to write home about.

      Quinn and Larry Greene are both so young that potential is the key. If I look just at ceiling, in which I assume that Greene is satisfactory defensively in RF and Quinn is satisfactory defensively at SS, then I give the edge to Quinn, because SS is a much more valuable position, given equivalent in value (if very different in type) offensive production. Greene’s tool is power and that develops slowly as the HS draftee matures, so it is too soon to compare them on performance. Quinn is a great SB guy, but I want to see him do it against pitchers and catchers who are more developed defensively than the guys in NYP league. That said, if I had to choose just one of them to be a future major league impact player, I’d pick Quinn. In reality, they both could be.

  41. Not that I’m giving the obnoxious anon credit for this – even a stopped clock, etc – one point among his toxic mixture of nastiness and illogic deserves further consideration. There is a trend toward handing out fairly large contracts to pre-FA players covering their years under team control and some free agent years. I do think (a) this is a positive trend from a team perspective, and (b) it will continue and accelerate. A few reasons for this:

    (1) The team that a player plays for is best able to evaluate a player to determine whether a long term contract is a good idea than is an outside team, because they have more information about the player.

    (2) The team is in a better bargaining position when it still has years of team control.

    (3) All else being equal, because of aging curves, I’d much rather give out a 5 year contract that covers 3 years of team control and buys out 2 years of free agency for a 27 year old player, than a 5 year pure free agent contract for a 30 year old.

    Weighed against this is risk of handing out a long term contract to a player who you control anyway for a significant portion of the contract anyway, but even that cuts both ways (see Utley, Chase). Put it this way: the value (production/salary) from a team perspective for players signed to those kinds of contracts is much better than the value of big free agent contracts.

    Not that this has much relevance to the current Phillies team, lacking as they are pre FA regulars. Something to consider, though, for guys like Galvis, Brown and Worley IF they have good enough seasons in 2013.

    Of course the Phillies were pioneers of a sort with this kind of contract with the amazingly team friendly Utley contract. (Even with his injury related premature decline, and a year to run on the contract, the Phillies have gained on the order of 100 million dollars in excess value over the course of the contract.) Not that Utley should complain; one would think that 85 million is plenty to live very comfortably on for the rest of his life.

  42. The thread above is too thin to continue so I’ll quote and respond here.

    Point 1) Pujols is the contract that all others are measured by just as A-Rod’s first contract was. You can apply whatever criteria about that player you wish, but the contract stands as a fact and thus a measure.

    Point 2) You claim Hamilton sucks as a big time player. Well, opinions are like rectums, everyone has one.

    ”(3) If … a huge if … the very best players get contracts for 200 million plus, then the proper strategy is to AVOID THOSE PLAYERS, and instead build your team with players just a notch below that level, who will be had for relative bargain prices because a disproportionate amount of money will be spent on the “superstars.” Any team foolish enough to pay Hamilton 200 million … LET THEM. Not that it will happen; if Hamilton gets even 150 million it will shock me. The record on 100 million plus contracts is abysmal; not that they should always be avoided, but they are for only the most special players, and risky even then.”

    In my post that you responded to I specifically told anyone responding to name the player and how he is to be obtained.

    You have not.

    You have therefore given me nothing to respond to.

    This is not an abstract debate. This is about what the Phillies must do this winter to fix their lineup. Josh Hamilton is not abstract, he is a FACT. The Phillies have the money to pay him, no matter what the price to secure his services is, the Phillies have the money. Money is all he costs. That’s important since the Phillies print money faster than the Philadelphia Mint, but their farm system resources are quite limited due to their extremely limited spending over the past decade at least.

    (4) Dovetailing with #4, the scenario you envision comes to pass only if every big market team ROUTINELY goes over the luxury tax. And that will never happen. Reasonable minds may differ as to just HOW MUCH TV money will be out there, but the whole point of the luxury tax – well, one of the points, aside from maintaining competitive balance – was to prevent just the kind of salary inflation that you imagine will happen. Obviously it remains to be seem just how successful the luxury tax will be in avoiding salary inflation, but so far it’s looking like every team but the Dodgers intends to stay under the luxury tax.
    You’ve referenced Boras, but ignore the context of his comments – he hates the luxury tax because he knows that it will constrain salaries. Which is fine, that’s his role, but he has an agenda. But ultimately he’s not a front office person trying to build a winning team, he’s an agent trying to maximize the income of him and his clients.

    Actually I have not “referenced Scott Boras”. Why would I? He does not represent Josh Hamilton or David Wright.

    Dave $$$ Montgomery was quoted in an article on the Phillies Web site two weeks before the trade deadline this year saying the Phillies would pay tax on the payroll next year and in years to come in order to compete.

    This is the understanding under which Cole Hamels and before him Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay signed contracts with the Phillies.

    Ruben Amaro Jr was also quoted in that article reiterating what Montgomery said.

    Are you calling Dave $$$ Montgomery and Ruben Amaro Jr liars?

    Are you aware of the fact that the Braves payroll is almost identical to that of the Brewers? Milwaukee is the smallest market in the game. Atlanta is the 9th largest market in the country(A.C. Nielsen)?

    The Braves just dropped Chippers contract too. The Braves have the money to sign Hamilton and the money and prospects to trade for Wright and sign him.

    Now, would you be so kind as to name the big bats you think the Phillies should go after and tell us how they will accomplish this?

    ,.

    1. Lets walk through this.
      1. The Pujols contract is the standard that all superstar free agents will attempt to achieve (for pitchers it is the CC contract). Around the industry it is acknowledged as a bad long term contract but it is the market value for that player. By signing a player to that type of deal you are pushing all in for 3-4 years before acknowledging that it is one of the worse contracts in baseball (look at ARod’s current deal). With the Howard, Lee, and Hamels deals the Phils have the resources to spend on Hamilton right now (it will cost the #16 pick which is a high price but not unreasonable) but in a couple of years those deals will hinder the ability to make moves later. Hamilton is a Top 25 hitter in the league (was #24 in offensive WAR) but he is a negative on defense, especially in CF which hurts his value. Additionally he is a huge injury risk and that will grow as he ages. His skill set is already declining and he doesn’t have the plate discipline to age gracefully as his athleticism declines. If you sign him it is the ultimate in thinking sacrificing the future for the sake of the present.
      2. Hamilton is very good but not great as a hitter. Most of his value is derived from power and batting average, he does not have a good approach at the plate and for a player of his caliber he really doesn’t walk. He is beginning to show large platoon splits and his speed is marginal at best.
      3. Just because you can spend money it is not necessary to spend it. Unlike you I think Wright is a Met for life so I am taking him off the table (he is the face of the franchise and it appears he wants to get a deal done to be there for his career to be the iconic Met). But if you told me I have 25million dollars and you are willing to part with the #16 pick (the price of acquiring Hamilton) I would look to obtain someone like Alex Gordon from the Royals. But barring trade I would sign a BJ Upton and Angel Pagan to man centerfield and one of the corners, with the couple million left over I would make a run at Keppinger on a 2-3 year deal to be the third baseman this year and be the super sub going forward (2B/SS/3B/OF). By doing that you add 9 WAR to the team across three players as opposed to Hamilton’s 3.4. You spread your risk and make your team deeper. None of those guys are going to have contracts to kill you long term, and while they may never individually provide the asset in the line up of Hamilton, collectively they make your team better.
      4. Atlanta is a bad example because they are owned by a corporation that gives them a set budget every year that is unrelated to their baseball income. I just don’t see the reason to pay the tax and hinder your club long term. This team will be better served making some lower profile signings (even Ichiro for 1yr 7mil would be an upgrade in LF that won’t hurt you going forward), than going all in on the next Ryan Howard contract.

      The team needs a line up overall not just a big bat, let someone else overpay Hamilton and find value elsewhere on the market.

      1. 1) You need an education about what the Phillies can afford. They really do have more resources than any other team and those resources are growing.

        2) You’re right about something! Josh Hamilton can get better! And he’s not some whack job like Hunter Pence who made Charlie Manuel simply throw up his hands. Hamilton really can improve.

        Think about that.

        3) B.J. Upton is a TURD. He would not run out ground balls in the World Series. Near the end of this season on the FOX Saturday game Upton and Jake McGhee nearly came to blows over Upton dropping a fly ball and on the very next play screwing up an easy single and throw to home. Upton looked back over his shoulder and yelled at McGhee “So what?”

        Garbage. And so is Upton’s productivity with the bat. He solves nothing.

        Pagan? Are you serious? Josh Hamilton vs. Pagan?

        I’m looking for a serious discussion. Upton and Pagan aren’t even sniffing the top fifty bats let alone top 5 – 10 bats. Same with Alex Gordon who would cost a couple of elite pitching prospects like say Pettibone and Biddle. Really stupid move when the Phillies need that for Wright.

        Wright is on the table. Story was on ESPN three weeks ago. He’s gone. Wright quoted the Scott Rolen exit script from Philadelphia.

        Josh Hamilton is the only position talent on the market that helps the Phillies. The others are no better than what they have. In fact I like Brown and even Ruf better than Upton or that god awful replacement level trash named Michael Bourn.

        Hamilton and Wright fixes the Phillies problem and allows them to seriously pursue the World Series for at least the next three years. By 2017 as you \brought up previously the Phillies are only “locked in” to Cole Hamels.

        Hamilton, Wright and Hamels leaves plenty of room for the Phillies to go get TWO of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout or Giancarlo Stanton around that time.

        1. I tried engaging you in a rational argument but it appears that you really just want someone to tell you that you are right and brilliant so I suggest tuning your radio dial to 94.1 FM and just listen and relax and occasionally call in. They will confirm everything you know to be true and you won’t have to spend your time educating us “idiots” here.

        2. “Hamilton, Wright and Hamels leaves plenty of room for the Phillies to go get TWO of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout or Giancarlo Stanton around that time.”

          What in the actual hell are you smoking? What a ludicrous statement.

        3. This clown freeaec is posting the same crap on the phillies site too. Josh Hamilton hahahahahahahahahaha.

          1. I knew it was freeaec when, for the first time in several years, we started to see the references to Dave $$$ Montgomery. His views on $$$ have evolved. Back then, $$$ money was a lying sack of excrement. Now, the mere thought of the virtuous $$$ lying to or misleading the public is unthinkable. Freeaec hasn’t changed, but $$$ is a new man!

  43. There has been a ton of speculation that the Giants might non-tender Hunter Pence this offseason rather than pay the ~15mil he will make in arbitration (makes some sense). How would people feel about Pence on a 1-2 year deal for ~10mil per to play RF? Just thought it was interesting with many names brought up as potential bargains.

    1. Pence at $10MM / yr for 2 years would be great signing – I just cannot believe he goes that cheap.

      1. Juan Samuel will need to take out more health insurance however if Pence returns, but then again, he is going over to the first base box in 2013, so maybe not!

  44. Matt. imo. no because he isnt a very good fielder. The thing that gets me is, before the trade for pence from houston,I know he was scouted, what were the scouts looking at? pence does something i haven’t seen in years, since the phillies had alex johnson, a guy who misses fly balls.I was more mad at his defense then his offense, and he doesnt hit enough for me to put up with bad defense.

  45. Well… The A’s could pick up Crisps option and deal him. Could be a 7 million dollar stop gap to maybe Gillies or another FA. Depends on Beanes asking price, we may have to part with Valle or something. Ruf could fit in Oakland as well.

    1. I think someone just released a correction that Crisp is signed for 7 mil in ’13 and has a 7 mil option for ’14. (Just double checked on Cot’s Contracts, 7 mil this year option next)

      I actually like it more with the potential two years of control. Not endorsing the deal but it is nice to have options out there.

      1. It was just announced that the free agent compensation amount is very high this year – over $ 13 million. This is very good news for the Phillies. They should have some interesting options.

  46. Picking at 16th in next years draft, hoping Phillies take a chance with big, power bat righthanded Stanford OF slugger Austin Wilson, if he is still on the board. Cross bewteen Michael Taylor and John Mayberry….all Stanford guys. Ruben has a bias to the Cardinal.

      1. From my understanding on Austin Wilson, BA and Jim Callis have him as a top ten pick, so Phillies will probably not even come close to drafting him anyways. And he is rated as a bit better skilled then Mayberry and Taylor from all scouting reports so far.

  47. Ruben Amaro to Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer: “I think patience is going to be important throughout this offseason, And the reason that I say that is none of the opportunities that present themselves, at least at first blush, are all that fantastic…… As far as the availability of all players, I think we’re going to have to be creative to try to improve. There are only a few standout guys out there that would be potential free agents.”
    ..question, do I believe Ruben or is this smoke?

    1. Ruben is a smart guy. At this point I think it’s reasonable to hope he’s learned from some of his past errors.

      1. I agree. Also, it really looks like we will have to make a trade to get what we need as the FA list isn’t that strong and probably will be overpriced. I just hope rube doesnt go to conservative in his approach.

  48. Not to tell you guys how to do your job, but Mr. Anonymous here could use an IP ban in my opinion. It was one thing to post such ridiculous statements, but now he’s spamming them.

        1. Perhaps a frontal labotomy is order to qwell the adrenal glands…the insanity though still may remain.

  49. Financially speaking, the number the Phils’ front office is most concerned about is neither the payroll nor the luxury tax; it is the size of their next TV contract.

    To ensure a max TV contract, the Phils should try to field an elite team. At the moment, the Phils are not an elite team.

    For the Phils to be an elite team again, it is not sufficient for them to make the modest moves that most posters are suggesting at 3B and the OF. In addition to these modest moves, the Phils need to smash through the luxury tax threshold and pick up at least one difference maker.

    In free agency, Hamilton and Greinke are the only difference makers. I prefer Greinke.

    1. Yeah, the Phillies need more pitching.

      That has been the problem they scrap the bottom of the game in ERA every year.

      Hamels and Lee really suck balls..

      1. At this point, i would also prefer Greinke but that has more to do with me believing that Hamilton is much more risky of a player. Greinke could fall into the three or 4 spot of the rotation and the Phour Aces is reborn and even better than with Oswalt. I don’t see either on the top of my list but if i had to choose i say Greinke.

    1. Shohei Otani is international. Will not be draft eligible in June’s North American draft, unless Japan is now part of the June draft rules. Will have to be signed as a Inter Free Agent. So, Yankees or Rangers will be the teams dishing out the dollars for him. So why mention him! Got it?

    2. For the most part the Phillies stay out of the Asian market, you can say it is for pure money reasons. I think the team as a whole is gun shy about spending enormously on a single amateur player whether it is in the draft or internationally. If you look at the history there has not been a whole lot of success out of Japan with the only guy who has lived up to the cost being Kuroda (Darvish still has a chance to be insanely good you just can’t judge that for a few more years). Until there is reason to believe that he could be a member of the Phillies minor league system there is no reason to discuss it unless you like to put up unrealistic dream scenarios.

  50. Phillies Contract Commitments for 2017

    Cole Hamels $22.5 million

    That’s it folks.

    The Phillies payroll should be in the neighborhood of $260 million by then and Hamels is the only contract on the books.

    Small market Reds have:

    Brandon Phillips at $14 million

    Jay Bruce at $13 million

    Joey Votto at $22 million

    Joey Votto’s contract runs out in 2023 when the Reds will be paying him $25 million at the age of 39.

    Lots of room for JOSH HAMILTON and DAVID WRIGHT.

  51. Trevor May recently tweeted that The Big Bang Theory was his favorite show. I will no longer be rooting for Trevor May to succeed, not that it matters what I think. Big Bang Theory fans are bullpen arms at best unless they have an EXCELLENT game calling catcher. Big Bang Theory fans are not smart enough to start in the MLB.

    1. You’re right, it doesn’t matter what you think. But since you brought it up, the BBT is probably one of the three or four best written and acted comedies in the history of television and is written to appeal to an educated audience and it succeeds in that respect. The fact that Trevor May likes this show is much to his credit.

      Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging. . . . .

      1. Devin makes a good point. I’d like to find out what every prospect’s favorite show is and rank the top 30 based on that. You know, to pass time in the offseason.

        May falls out of the top 15 with his selection.

  52. As a regular poster here for quite some time I believe the best way to deal with vile absurd posts and anonymous posters is simply to offer indifference to such posts.

    I’m a happy guy who happens to love baseball and the Phillies. I have room for alternate points of view whether they are logical or illogical. I don’t have room for vitriol or hate. First and foremost this site should be an outlet for information on Phillies prospects and debate on said prospects…I think.

    After that I enjoy discussing the big club with you guys, moves, trades, in game strategy and the like. The natural progression of a season dictates to us all when the conversation is heavier on each side.

    So having said all that I am quite intrigued by Billy Beanes move to acquire Chris Young for Cliff Pennington. Not that I am a Chris Young fan, I just wonder what that means for Crisp. Billy is on record saying Crisp means a great deal to the club but stops short of saying he is available. Hmmm!

  53. Does anyone know the quality of the winter leagues??? i would imagine that the Mexican league isn’t as quality as some of the other, but needless to say Sebastian Valle is putting up pretty good numbers though a couple games. 2 HR hitting 294 BA, compared to Tommy Josephs 2H in 16AB (125BA) 0XBH. It’s early but I mean it’s interesting to watch…

  54. The dust hasn’t quite settled in New York after the Yankees were swept out of the playoffs by the Detroit Tigers.

    One media outlet is suggesting that the Yankees make a deal with the Phillies, trading Curtis Granderson, a power hitting center fielder who would fill a need for the Phillies, for Darin Ruf, the reigning double-A MVP.

    Granderson has a $13M option for 2013, making him affordable for the Phillies, while Ruf is a 26-year-old career minor-leaguer with no real position on the Phillies. In winter ball, Ruf is hitting .276 with four home runs in eight games.

    Here is what John Harper of the New York Daily News wrote over the weekend:

    It’s not that Granderson can’t cut down on his strikeouts and get back to being something closer to the player that finished fourth in the 2011 MVP voting. It’s just that I don’t believe the Yankees are going to commit to a long-term, highly-expensive deal to keep him after 2013, so the time is right to trade him.

    Granderson makes a lot of sense for the Phillies, who desperately need power, as well as a center fielder, and they’re still very much in a win-now mode, trying to cash in before their high-priced starting rotation gets too old.

    At age 26, Ruf is not really a phenom, having developed his power gradually after being a 20th-round pick out of Creighton. The Phillies are converting him from first base to the outfield, and scouts believe he can play a serviceable left field.

    His bat could be valuable to the Yankees in a part-time role in 2013, if he proves ready, and eventually he could become a mainstay in the lineup.

    The Phillies might be reluctant to deal one of their few highly-touted prospects, but some scouts, pointing to his high strikeout total (102 K’s in Double-A) aren’t sold that Ruf will be able to put up big numbers against major league pitching. And Granderson could be a long-term answer in center for the Phillies if they’re willing to commit financially.

    So what do you think? Would you make the deal?

    Posted by Matt Mullin @ 10:56 AM Permalink | 20 comments

    Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/pattisonave/New-York-Daily-News-suggests-Yankees-trade-Granderson-to-Phillies-for-Ruf.html#ixzz2A2tzK6qF
    Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else

    1. It made hilarious rounds on Twitter this morning. I would do that deal without thinking. You can put Granderson in LF to decrease the defensive liability and while heavy with lefties that line up is way better, what odds you put on Ruf to hit 40 home runs in a season.

      1. You know how I feel. Grandy struck out 195 times and hit .232. And that is before we talk about his playoff performance and his avg against LH’s. Someone can reference his splits but I feel his power is a product of 318 down the lines in that stadium.

    1. Because he is not a center fielder, his defense is really bad out there. You then have your bat and get a good defensive CF without having to worry about getting your power from there.

  55. One quick thought –

    Free AEC’s antics aside, in the long run more revenue is going to be translated to higher salaries, albeit (a) not necessarily on a one for one basis, and (b) if present trends continue, relative to the status quo, big market teams will be more constrained than will small market teams because of the luxury tax.

    But there are two components to contracts – annual value and length. Average annual value will, of course, rise as the salary pool rises. But there is no reason for contract length to rise. And the trend lately has been mixed, with, on the one hand, longer contracts for stars, but shorter contracts for the average veteran free agent.

    I obviously have no inside connections, but it would surprise me if the Fielder and Pujols contracts represent a trend when it comes to length, aside perhaps – perhaps – for players who sign with their current club well before free agency kicks in (I would be offering Trout a contract comparable to the Pujols deal right now). It just makes no sense to give ANY player a 10 year contract through his age 42 year, or a 9 year contract to a player through his age 37 year (especially given the body type and genes of the latter player). I don’t care how much money you have to throw around, there will be better ways to spend it. Even an all time great like Pujols.

    The rejoinder is “you pay that if the market demands it,” but no, you don’t. Very few players will get those kind of deals (if any, going forward), and forgoing those options will leave plenty of opportunities to acquire very good players for shorter deals.

  56. I know we need a outfielder, and thirdbasemen and bench players. and eight inning guy. But geinke really interested me at the right price.

    1. Greinke at the right price! He is a $18/22M pitcher. So with Z Greinke we will then have four pitchers at $20M+ annum. Not sure that would ever fly.

      1. I suppose it could if we backloaded it to make him a ~$8M pitcher while Halladay is still here and then upped his income when Doc’s off the books. It would, essentially, just be paying him Blanton’s old salary and then upgrading him to Halladay when Halladay is gone/signed for less money.

  57. Wish that NY writer was their GM. Maybe we can get Headley for Mayberry and Ellsbury for Cloyd. Let’s make it happen

  58. aoni, i can dream on geinke cant I. I know it would never happen,but i am greedy, love to have him.

  59. I agree with you Larry, stunts like what Free AEC pulls make me want to stop coming here altogether, let alone continue to comment. My comments have (on the whole) been getting shorter and shorter because I’m just finding less and less reason to carry on a rational discussion (please note, this is not a knock on MOST of the regular posters here, I find almost all of you to be exceptionally good people with generally good insights into prospects and baseball in general. This sentiment also extends to a select few Anons who I, obviously, cannot name due to their anonymous nature).

    On a different note, some NY writer apparently suggested a Granderson for Ruf straight up trade. So a question for everyone on the board: would you take that deal, or take that deal yesterday?

    1. Note: when I posted this, I had reloaded the page and none of the posts were appearing about the proposed deal, so apologies for rehashing. Also, replies haven’t been working correctly. Is it a problem with the site or my browser?

  60. Matt Gelb reports this morning:
    The contingency plan for third base had already been activated before Ruben Amaro Jr. recently placed a call to his father in Venezuela. There are few answers through free agency and a high-priced trade market. If nothing materializes, the Phillies are left with a platoon between Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen. So Amaro was pleased to hear from his dad, a front office official for Aguilas del Zulia, that Galvis has started workouts at third during winter ball. Former Phillie and longtime major-league infielder Manny Trillo is assisting Galvis’ instruction. “They’re going to try to have him play some games there,” Amaro said. We’re going to have to be creative with our club,” Amaro said. “That might have to be one of the ways.”
    …so third base question may be answered with Galvis/Frandsen

  61. The following are other Phillies sites you need to take your power of persuasion to. Take it to them dude, let me know how you do.
    ■A Citizen’s Blog ■BackSheGoes! ■Balls, Sticks and Stuff
    ■Beerleaguer ■Chicks Dig the Long Ball ■Cole Hamels Facts
    ■LV Noise Nation ■Pedro Feliz Walks ■Phighting On
    ■Phillie Nation Blog ■Phillies Candy Striper Board ■Phillies Draft
    ■Phillies Flow ■Phillies Home Plate ■Phillies Long Drive ■Phillies Nation
    ■Phillies.tk ■Philly-Sports ■Phoul Ballz ■Swing and a Long Drive
    ■The Fightins ■The Good Phight ■The Philling Station ■The Transplanted Philly fan ■Thomes Homies ■Threshers Blog ■Underground Baseball League
    ■We Should Be GM’s ■Zoo With Roy

  62. $260M payroll? Really? Did you really just write that with a straight face? The highest payroll in baseball has never come CLOSE to that and, in fact, payrolls have been coming down the past 3 years. Do you have any idea how harsh the penalty is for teams that go over the luxury tax? And this would have to be at LEAST the second consecutive year the Phillies do that to have a payroll that ridiculous (most likely 4th or 5th, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt even though I shouldn’t). 30% for second time offenders. 30 PERCENT. Do you know what 30% of 260M is? 78M. So payroll would actually be $338M.

    Stop it. Now.

  63. I don’t expect the Phillies to seriously exceed the luxury cap, they are simply too good boy scouts for Selig to do that, regardless of how much money they may have. But your calculation is seriously wrong. You do not pay luxury tax on your salary budget, you pay it on the overage, so at $260 mill (which I agree is a ridiculous number to wish for) the penalty in 2013 would be on ($260-178 = $82 mill). Since we would be first-time offenders, the penalty is also not 30%. For 2014, the luxury tax threshold is $188 mill, so the tax would be only on the $72 mill overage. If we were second-time offenders in 2014 and had a $260 mill budget, we would pay a tax of just under $22 mill.

  64. Yes, I understand exactly what the penalty is for going over.

    Do you?

    The limit keeps rising too.

    Do you notice anything related to reality?

  65. As I said, I used 30% because you do not get that high over the luxury tax for your first offense. Most likely it would be their fourth at that number, but I acknowledge the math was wrong in using the entire payroll. But still, use 30% (40% is more likely, but even so). 281.6M is still an absolutely stupid thing to suggest.

  66. And by 2017 the limit will be at $200 million.

    And Dave $$$ Montgomery said they’re going over to win.

    Every year.

  67. Suggesting that payrolls are going down can’t be explained other than psychosis or retardation.

    Payrolls have never gone down.

    MLB revenues have been skyrocketing. The players will get their share or strike as always. That means payrolls are going to skyrocket. And those national TV contracts did not just go up so they could broadcast a World Series between Milwaukee and Kansas City. Don’t be surprised if that payroll limit goes up a lot, especially after Loria’s bullsh*t in Miami.

  68. I still don’t get what you are saying. First offense the luxury tax is 17.5%, second is 30%, the third is 40% and the fourth is 40%. We reportedly got below the threshold for 2012 with the Pence deal, so if we go over in 2013 the tax is 17.5%. For 2014, the cap goes up to $189 mill, so it’s possible we could be over by say $10 mill in 2013, pay a penalty of less than $2 mill, hold salary budget constant for 2014 and then be back below the cap again. Other than the Yankees, who appear to be backing off on their huge spending, no other team has paid significant luxury tax, with the exception of the BoSox paying $6 mill for just one season. The Yankees have routinely paid $20 mill/year in tax, making the luxury tax effectively a tax on the Yankees. In figuring how much the team can spend before going over the luxury tax limit, you have to subtract about $15 mill from the listed average salaries for the 25-man roster to account for bennies and the guys on the 40-man. So the effective cap next year is about $163 mill in published salaries. I wouldn’t expect the opening-day roster to exceed that figure. If the team does well and can get help at the trade deadline, then the budget will rise.

  69. Does anyone know the quality of the winter leagues??? i would imagine that the Mexican league isn’t as quality as some of the other, but needless to say Sebastian Valle is putting up pretty good numbers though a couple games. 2 HR hitting 294 BA, compared to Tommy Josephs 2H in 16AB (125BA) 0XBH. It’s early but I mean it’s interesting to watch…

  70. I am not going to engage any more; let my last thought on the subject be this:

    No one is saying that payrolls will go down. The question is how quickly the payrolls of the big market teams will go up. But even if the luxury tax goes away, or is dramatically increased, and even if Free AEC’s optimistic assumptions about new revenues prove to be true, and even if the big market teams generally, and the Phillies specifically, apply ALL that new money to a salary arms race, and NONE of it to increased profits, Free AEC is still full of crap.

    Why? Because until such events actually come to pass, it would be insane to offer contracts on the assumption that all of that will come to pass. If and when those things come to pass, get back to me. Signing Hamilton to a 200 million contract would still be crazy, but at that point a 200 million contract for someone who is as good as Free AEC (incorrectly) thinks Hamilton is would make sense. But we are not there yet, and ESPECIALLY a conservative organization like the Phillies won’t (and shouldn’t) spend like we are. It’s like someone charging their credit cards to max and beyond on the expectation that their salary will double. Some people do that (the Dodgers look like they are doing the equivalent), but it doesn’t make it smart.

    On the whole, though, Free AEC’s continued presence here is driving me away (real life pressures enter into that as well). Some people around her might consider this a feature, not a bug, but I suspect he is also driving away others.

  71. This is just my anecdotal opinion having watched some of those games on TV when MLB network aired them. It’s a decent place to hone your off speed hitting skills. The pitchers there because they rarely feature good FB’s throw a lot of slurves and curves.

  72. Even given that uncertainty, IF the right guy was available on the FA market, I would support a contract of 20 million per year for 4 plus years, though nothing more than 5 years, and not much more than 20 million AAV.

    But the right player isn’t available. The top guys in the class are IMO worth contracts in the 3/60 range, maybe a bit more for Greinke but he doesn’t fill a need, but they’ll get more unless the market is softer than expected. There are a bunch of guys who I’d take a flier on for 2/16 or thereabouts. Of the top guys available … I’m on record regarding Hamilton’s deficiencies, Bourn is coming of a career year, and, as a speed guy, is someone who might not age well (ironic that this is true on both extremes – big, slow, sluggers also tend to age poorly), the FA Upton is just not that good, Swisher starts next season as a 32 year old & isn’t a star, Pagan is coming off a career year and is over 30, and so on.

  73. LarrM…he will go away or adapt. His teenage mentality will realize this is too boring for him and leave or succumb to rational interchange.

  74. Dude, you gotta stay on the board. You’re one of the few guys here who keeps it real. Free AEC doesn’t know what real is, he’s living in la la land.

  75. Chill, read what interests you and ignore what doesn’t. I ignore comments that make no sense. Some comments like guys wanting us to trade two B prospects for an all star are just silly and are best ignored. I enjoy reading your stuff even if I don’t agree with all of it. This site is about healthy debate between folks, many of whom have a very good knowledge of our minor league system and baseball in general.

  76. Agreed on all counts.

    Ruben is right, it’s a weak free agent year, but, with the FA tender amount set so high (b/w $13-14 million), some good players will be non-tendered, which should make for an interesting “secondary market.” As far as I can tell, the Phillies should be focused on one to two-year rentals unless they can pull off a trade for a dynamic younger player (Justin Upton, and perhaps CarGo, each of whom had off years and should recover). Honestly, in the outfield, the two best options may be Victorino and Cabrera – each of whom would be an upgrade for the Phillies and should command below-market prices (that said, I would prefer not to see more of Victorino right now). In the infield, it might not hurt to rent Youkilis at third for a year – he can and Ruf can also cover first when Howard faces a difficult lefty or gets injured. I won’t even speculate on bullpen arms – undoubtedly, a few competent ones will be available for a reasonable price.

  77. I agree with all that you said, this is not a good year for FAs. The good news is that the money teams don’t need CFs so the Yanks and Red Sox won’t be bidding up the CFs. I expect some trades to occur but I really don’t want to lose any of our top guys. I thought we could get Chris Young for cheap and I was right but the As made the quick strike. Billy Beane really does a good job with what he has. Who is next to get moved?

  78. @allentown…he was responding to the ridiculous FreeAEC comment above that the Phillies will/should have a payroll of $260 million in 2017.

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