251 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of November 19. Holiday Edition

  1. Its nice to see that the Phils won’t be signing very many, if any, minor league free agents this off season because their LHV team is finally set with mostly prospects. There are a few already signed (Orr, a SS whose name I can’t remember, and Lerud) but its a short list compared with previous years and I don’t expect to see any starting pitchers (although maybe one) and possibly no pitchers of any kind, which is certainly unique for them. A rotation of Cloyd, Pettibone, Martin, May, and maybe Hyatt would be great to see. I wouldn’t mind seeing them sign a guy like Raburn (or Stewart if he gets released) to a non guaranteed deal that brings them to spring training for a try out in essence.

  2. I don’t see how they would retain Hyatt with any real expectations. Without May putting it together (finally), his valuie as a starter could be finished. They just may put him in the pen to see if he thrives.

    The two best possibles for a summer call-up seem to be Pettibine and Martin. Should Martin continue his improved command, he seems to be the best of this bunch (maybe as good as a #2) followed by Pettibone (a #3 or 4).

    Pls trade Lee to help fill our holes in the OF. Galvis and DeFratus will do until Asche is ready (mid-season?).

    1. There’s no chance that May wont be a starter this year. The player and the team feel as though he improved significantly near year end and they’ll let him start to see how he does. I agree that Hyatt is just a body, no different that a journeyman signee. The wildcard is that RAJ loves Morgan and has spoken glowingly about him several times. It’s not out of the question that they would move him right to LHV if they think he’s close. I’m sure we’ll see Cloyd and Pettibone in Philly during the season, barring a trade of course. I just watched another RAJ interview and he continues to say he could sign a guy or trade for a guy to play CF.

    2. Trading Lee just shifts our problem from OF depth (which is relatively easy to fill on the open market), to needing a top-end starter (which is basically impossible to fill ever). I don’t see everyone’s fascination with trading away an ace.

    3. Art D…’Pls trade Lee to help fill our holes in the OF’.
      I wish Matt or Brad would run a survey poll of all the commenters on this site and see:
      1. Should the Phillies trade Cliff Lee or
      2. Should the Phillies Not Trade Cliff Lee.
      It would interest me to see what the general popular vote would be.

      1. I want to run that poll on all of the Phillies sites and see what the results are at each (there is a good chance the lowest number is here). I trust most posters here to have to right thought about this, which is you have to fill Lee’s hole in the rotation otherwise you are either making a linear move or a step backwards. #1 starters don’t grow on trees and the only reason you trade one is that you will lose them anyway. By most measurements Lee is a Top 10 pitcher in all of baseball, the only other pitcher of that caliber even remotely near the market is David Price and the Rays would want most of an offense for him (two major league middle of the line up studs under cost control) they just aren’t traded

        1. That and I don’t think the Phillies would get a great return on Lee due to his salary (if a team were to take it on).

          1. I am not sure about that. If Lee was a free agent right now he would be paid way more than what is essentially a 3 yr 75 million contract with a 4th year vesting option, especially when it comes to the years

            1. Part of it comes down to what you consider a “great return.” I think it’s possible that he gets you a player who can fill one of the Phillies holes, but not multiple holes, and not a guy who is going to be as valuable as Lee is. Say Lee is likely to be worth 12-15 WAR over the next 3 years. No one is going to trade a cost controlled outfield prospect of similar likely value.

              I mean I can see the logic at one level – the minor league system, at the upper levels, is probably stronger in starting pitching than in position regulars. The problems with that are (1) the starting pitchers are all at least a year away, and (2) none of them have the upside of a Lee.

              So (a) as others have stated, you just shift the hole, entirely for 2013, partly thereafter, and (b) you end up with less total value, because of the contract situation. Yeah, you also have some more money to spend in free agency, but the irony here is that the few people pushing for the Lee trade are mostly the same people claiming (with some justice) that the FA market is so weak.

              My suspicion is that the underlying reason people are calling for Lee to be traded is an unwarranted emphasis on the 6-9 record. If you don’t realize that Lee is one of the top ten pitchers in baseball, then yeah, you can make a case for trading him. Or if you think that somehow he is going to get you 2 or 3 A level prospects. Which he won’t.

      2. I find such polls pointless because it really depends upon the Return.
        ANY player is tradable for the right offer.

  3. FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, mentioned 37-year old veteran righthander Koji Uehara as a reliever who interests the Phillies. Oh no!

    1. I guarantee you the Phils didn’t tell anyone if they were interested in him. As I spoke about yesterday, agents talk up their players to the press..

      1. let’s be completely clear on this Aces..you are right on. This pitcher is without a doubt the best K to Walk pitcher in baseball for the last 3 to 4 years. His nos. are absolutely unbelievable. He is the ultimate stud 8th inning pitcher – there is no one better period – albeit, he does not pitch in 85 games every year – try 45 to 60 innings.

  4. I like the idea of Uehara. Wouldn’t be my first choice but it can be worse.

    Also, wasn’t on Thankgiving of 1993 or 94 that the Phillies signed Greg Jeffries to a pricey multi year deal?

  5. Also, on Martin. Saw his start in the playoffs vs Trenton and he was flat out awesome. Striking guys out with heat and off speed pitches as well as freezing guys. Really mixed it up and got stronger as the game went on. (Asche error killed him) If he can pitch like that consistently, he will be the best of the bunch. He was nasty.

    1. They have been kicking it around for awhile, remember they know a lot more about his shoulder than we do. If it is a reasonable cost, why wouldn’t you explore it.

    2. The article CLEARLY said the talks got shelved when Halladay’s shoulder started acting up. If he was healthy and pitching like he did in 2010 and 2011 why wouldn’t they extend him another year or two?

    3. Until 2012 and for several years, many baseball people considered Halladay the best pitcher in baseball. 2012 may have been just a bump in the road. If so, if it looks as though Doc will return to good health, the Phils may want to keep him around for a few more seasons. The great should get special treatment.

  6. I will be thankful when the expression “kicking the tires on ….” goes away. And when Amaro is no longer GM, do I ever have to hear the word “druthers” again….just wondering.

    1. Personally, I like aggressive GMs and he is certainly that. It beats the ‘does this team have a pulse’ approach from management that went on way too long.

      1. C, Ruben is sometimes too aggressive but he is active and wants to improve the team. His big issue to me will be to be creative with his contracts or trades so he can fill the three main holes the Phillies have(CF=RH or SH; 8th Inning Setup Relievers and a corner outfielder with power). Frandsen was a surprise at 3B and can be more valuable than any Free Agents and I can live with Frandsen..

  7. On Lee: with ALL 3 outfield spots bare and 3rd base not likely to be filled by a high priced player, without trades of significantly valuable players you have little chance of making headway into the future when this aging team now offers little there, do you believe it would be best to, once again, trade away our better minor lg prospects to fill the holes?? Just asking.

    Lee is a blue ribbon pitcher not yet out of his prime and best able to draw a fine return from amongst our roster. He is still likely worth his large salary considering today’s market. I do not now view the Phils as contenders with three main key players highly questionable as to their injury plagued status now and seemingly next season…and thereafter.

    RAJ needs to re-tool this team. Teams do that by using their best players in trades to get younger and acquire better promising prospects.. Once again, see the Oakland A’s.

    Otherwise, we’re kidding ourselves about the near and farther future of this franchise.

    1. That is the trade model of a team looking for a window in the future, the A’s weren’t supposed to be good this year, You make the Lee trade if you are a small market team and you are looking for the future, but if you are going to do that you move all of the old guys.

      1. I sure would like to move Howard and, pardon me, Utley, too. But Howard’s trade value has severely declined due to his declining numbers and the virus of continuing injury problems. Utley’s decline is probably attributable to his continuing string of injuries which make any prediction of his playing a substantial number of games in the field in his final contract year of ’13 highly questionable and even unlikely no matter his grit. Utley’s ability to hit the ball has been tempered by his leg/hip injuries but would likely be best cured by his not having to play in the field.

        IMO, the chase should be on to get some serious OF prospects now to supplement the remaining members of this team (Rollins, Howard, Ruiz,Galvis)) and our own prospects (Martin, Pettibone, Morgan, and May, Gillies, Asche) along with prospects acquired.

        Makeover needed. Now. Reality is here for this franchise.

        1. Who are these outfielders?

          At this point you just want to blow it all up and rebuild. That works in fantasy and video games, but a franchise in the Phillies position can’t just rebuild on that scale without taking a major hit financially from the loss of fan interest and the impending new TV deal.

    2. Art, what the heck were you thinking about when you made this post? All three outfield positions are not bare, they need an upgrade in CF and a corner outfield position. The 3B job was handled adequately by Frandsen but someone else probably will be signed. If we trade Lee and Halladay does not return to form then we are in trouble. Lastly, your point comparing the Phillies and the A’s is not valid due to the attendance issue. Oakland could not even sell out a deciding game 5 against Detroit and we led MLB baseball in attendance. The TV deal coming up will force the Phillies to fill some slots by FA or trades.

    3. Agree but there isn’t a great history of picking the right prospect. The first Lee trade is essentially down to one pitching prospect with a questionable future. The fall trade SEEM much better ….

    4. Why is it always High Price guy’s, most of them fall flat on there faces, there’s plenty of young guys we pay money for who we never give them the Opportunity as the so call high Dollar player which most you could stick up your A–.

  8. I would consider trading lee, if the return would be a ott, and andrus. plus a outfielder it would help plug up some holes, and then i would go get geinke,I know i am dreaming, and texas could just go get geinke some would say. so first i would get geinke and then approach texas, and kick in some money if that would help, it makes us younger yet still a threat.

  9. I would trade Lee at this point, while his value is high. It will drop significantly in a year and this team needs to transition toward the future. We have plenty of holes to fill(all of them?) and Lee can fetch us an immediate starter, eventual 2nd and potentially even a 3rd. I like Pettibone more than most, so that might have something to do with it. I think he can hold his own this year and has the control and right approach to be a solid mid-rotation starter for the next decade.

    That’s not to say Pettibone would replace Lee in the rotation: we would go after a vet, mid-rotation type on a 2-3 year deal, don’t ask me who, but they’re out there. I just don’t have faith that this team can compete as constructed and Lee is just losing value. He’s really our only trade-able asset of note, and changes need to be made. Otherwise we’re just going to continue to sink into mediocrity.

    Also- I had a sudden realization the other day that we should make a BIG push for Angel Pagan, for the following reason: Pagan+the 16th overall pick + $50 million saved might be > to Upton or Bourn…and I like Upton. If Upton improves his contact in his prime years, maybe that changes the equation, but then you’re just betting on potential, and you can do the same with that 1st rounder. A pick that high has about an 80%.chance of making the major leagues.

    I don’t love Pagan, but he could give us a league avg CF for 2 years until Gillies or maybe even Collier is ready. I have to admit Collier’s emergence has also factored into my thinking. He’s always been young for his class, with delayed development due to injury.

    Also, if we’re planning on trading Lee, its possible or even probable that an outfielder will be coming back our way..I’m higher on Ruf than Brown, but think Brown might finally relax and let his ability transfer into production with the pressure off this season. Laugh if you want, but I think Ruf will hold down the LF job. I’m not betting against him until he gives me a reason to do so. .

  10. Phil’s are built on pitching so trading lee would be a disaster. Getting a solid setup man is worth around 13 wins alone to this team. Setup, cf and go from there and the team will make the playoffs.

    1. Grienke is going to get a ridiculous 6 year contract for like $144 million. I just don’t think he’s on the same level as Lee. I’d be happy with an Adams like closer, Bourne/upton/Vic and possibly another starter.

  11. ^I didn’t realize Pagan was looking for a multi-year deal. That changes things a bit, as I wouldn’t go past 3.

    How about Wil Myers for Cliff Lee? From all accounts, KC is looking for premier pitching and Myers is available. What better solution to our CF situation than a 21 year old right-handed bat with pop? Obviously we’d have to eat a lot of salary, but that’s a given in any deal, and a chance to acquire a potential cornerstone CF, we’d control long-term is worth that sort of investment. Plus we could plug our hole in center without losing that high draft pick. Getting Lee to agree to it would be the biggest obstacle.

    What other teams need premium pitching? Angels, BoSox, both of which could afford him,
    We could revisit the Justin Upton idea.

    The Red Sox seem like an idea trading partner. They have too many young outfielders and need to add a top pitcher to compete in the AL East. The Red Sox have a ton of outfielders, and just added another in Johnny Gomes. Jackie Bradley Jr looks poised to take over in CF if Ellsbury isn’t resigned. Ellsbury himself could be the centerpiece of a deal, but he only has a year left, so I’d need a lot more.

    I’d like a Boston deal looking something like this:

    Jackie Bradley Jr
    Garin Cecchini
    Rubby De La Rosa

    probably another throw in, given their depth at virtually every position. They have talent everywhere due to years of draft & free agent spending, but not a lot of actual development, which means buy low opportunities in a mega-deal like this. .

    Cecchini a 21 year old 3B, who is expendable with Middlebrooks’s emergence and #1 prospect Bogaets looking like he’ll end up moving off SS. De La Rosa is a 23 year old rhp coming off an Aug 2011 Tommy John surgery. He had some big league starts in 2011 and showed a solid change to go with a mid to high 90s fastball. Bradley lacks ideal pop but plays a good center field and has great plate discipline for a young player.

    Some possible (notable) throw-in players: (remember these guys?):we wanted them during the draft & now their value is rock bottom:
    Sean Coyle, who looks over-matched at 5’6″, but plays decent 2B and is a scrappy player with surprising pop.
    Brandon Workman- has struggled to the point where he’s likely destined for middle relief. Not sure I’d even want him.
    Kolbrin Vitek – former 1st rounder lacks pop for 3rd, so his future is uncertain
    Anthony Ranaudo- 7 something ERA, who knows
    there are plenty of more plausible throw-in options, but its interesting to see what those guys are up to..

    .This will sound silly, but the Red Sox are a possibility ( maybe the only possibility) for a Ryan Howard trade. Their options at 1B are pathetic and desperately need offense in general. Then in a few years he could take over for Ortiz at DH.

    It wouldn’t be completely out of the question.for the Red Sox to see what it would take for BOTH Lee and Howard during these hypothetical discussions…with the Phillies eating a big chunk of salary.

    1. everybodyhits…whoa , slowdown a bit. Many good wishful thoughts, but other MLB GMs are not naive. They want more in return if the Phillies want something that bad. Also, many changes in one year can really put Charlie Manuel in a funk. He likes to stay the course with his tried and trusted veterans. But then again Ryne Sandberg takes over in 2014, so thats a moot point for the future. In any event, everyone wants to dump Ryan Howard’s salary it seems, and all the other GMs know that also, especially Cherington. Of note, latest reports from RAJ have Howard working his tail off, losing the belly weight and ready to bust out in 2013.

    2. Myers is not a CF, he is a natural RF. while he is young he can fake CF like Harper did. The problem is greinke is a step below lee as a pitcher, additionally it is unknown how he will handle the market. In each lee trade scenario you are making a huge gamble that a player will develop into a good player.

      The other thing why would anyone trade us something for lee so that we can sign greinke when they could sign greinke

        1. Not really, that was his position coming up but his defense was not good and it would have taken at least 2 more years of developmental time to make it so he could stick there defensively

    3. Why would the Red Sox take on Howard’s contract after shedding a similar big money contract for a superior 1B (Adrian Gonzalez)?

  12. I was thinking whoever doesn’t get Greinke might feel pressured into trading for an ace. I wouldn’t sign Greinke anyway…his stuff is second to none, but watching his fragile psyche in Philly would be painful to watch. I’m not looking to replace Lee; as far as i’m concerned, re-signing Hamels is Lee’s replacement.

    If we’re selling, I’m not sure we really want anything that bad. We certainly don’t have to trade Lee and can walk away from the table at any time. Sure, trading Lee would allow us to fill a need, but it’d fill a bigger need for them. If Lee were made available, we’d have plenty of offers.

    The three players in my Boston proposal are all extremely expendable, given their franchise’s depth at those positions. They’re valuable assets, but they’re not part of the team and don’t necessarily even factor into their long term plans. Sure, Bradley might, but they have plenty of other options. Brentz would be another nice option for us, but we’re looking for a center fielder.
    The problem with Bradley is that we need someone to play in April, not July…still, his defense and plate discipline might be enough to warrant an everyday job, even if the bat takes time to develop.

    I wasn’t really looking to deal Howard…I love the guy…but when I looked at Boston’s depth chart, I was shocked by their first base situation.

    Plausibility aside, I don’t see Lee for Bradley, Cecchini and De La Rosa to be that far off, value-wise. It depends whether you consider their usefulness to the team to have any bearing to their trade value. The centerpiece of the deal, Bradley, is barely ranked in the top 50. De La Rosa is coming off an injury. Boston has two better 3rd base prospects than Cecchini, who lacks power for the position. They’d do the deal in a second and I’m not even sure its enough, honestly. We should be looking for at least one roster player. Middlebrooks would be ideal, but he seems entrenched at 3rd…then again, Boston could surprise.

    As far as Myers- not being a natural CF changes things…
    its certainly not ridiculous to request a top prospect, even up, for a cy young caliber pitcher, but again, its probably not enough… but we’re looking for a pure CF. Maybe Upton really is the answer…. .

    1. Some people don’t realize how much worse we’d be off without Cliff Lee. He was BETTER than Cole Hamels last year.

  13. If we had better bats Cliff Lee would be expendable. In fact he is. Cole Hamels is just as good. Here is our pitching without Lee, 1. Hamels 2. Halladay 3. Worley 4. Kendrick 5. One of our talented pitching prospects. Wil Myers, BJ Upton, and Youk is enough of an addition to have this team in the playoffs next year and beyond.

    1. That is not a good pitching staff, you have a #1, a pitcher who is really good but has injury questions, two #4s who have small sample sizes of good performance, and a completely unknown rookie. If you have one injury that would doom that team to mediocrity. I also guarantee at mid-season RAJ trades the remaining prospects for a pitcher.

      1. Sorry Layy…the way our national debt keeps rising, a billion years is miniscule, maybe a trillion years.

      2. Larry M where have you been ???? getting ready for turkey ? After reading a number of the zany ridiculous posts before the last several….trade Lee for all kinds of minor leaguers; slide out of Howard’s contract easily ; install Darin Ruf in Cooperstown etc. I am simply amazed that people – and this is your job often I think – would think other GM’s are in business to make RAJ look really really good ???? It belies reality !

        Get rid of Howard contract – talk to the tooth fairy on that one

        Trade Lee – good luck getting any kind of value whatsoever – and he is a No. ! period and simply irreplaceable in the free agent market or trade market – Phils don’t have enough $$$$ to sign Greinke who the Dodgers would gladly pay 28 mil per year….

        Ruf is a young untried immobile slugger with fly ball hitting ability. For my $$$ I would sooner trade him to one of these other “rube” GM’s for their no. one prospect etc. how about selling one of the second division up and coming teams that “here’s your new first baseman” and we want Manny Machado etc. Right….. ?

        We need a reality check, LarryM….

    2. The question is, which rotation would you rather have in a playoff series?

      A: Hamels, Lee, Halladay, (Worley);
      B: Hamels, Halladay, Worley, (Kendrick).

      Pitchers are the most sought-after asset at the trade deadline for a reason … they are the difference-makers in the postseason. Trading Lee in the offseason would be a colossal blunder. Now, if they’re out of it in July (I do not expect they will be), then it might be something worth considering for the right package.

  14. This is a team that has a Billion dollar cable contract coming up. They have to be a Playoff team! So spending this year is a priority, not praying that mid-level prospects work out. There is a big signing/trade coming and no chance Lee gets dealt. He remains a #1 pitcher and would require huge return, far more than Mike Olt

  15. Wishing all of you a great Thanksgiving! Thanks to the guys who make this a great avenue for Phil’s fans!

  16. I read it on baseball america why would i wish they would sign a guy that hasnt played in the states for years

      1. I was thinking the same thing, many folks on here pined for this guy a few years ago. At this point, I think he’s a good depth signing for 3b. I was asking about Raburn or Stewart for the same reason. He played AAA last year so I assume he’s willing to stick around if he doesn’t crack the Phillies roster. I guess it also gives the Phils the chance to start Asche at AA which I hope hey don’t.

    1. Interesting low risk pickup. Not much to like in almost 800 major league PA (despite a 7th place ROY finish), but his AAA numbers really jump out at you – and in almost 3000 PA. Was once a well regarded prospect and of course a first round pick. Is he at all likely to be the answer, even temporarily, at third? No. But look at Frandsen – prior to 2012, he was a guy who fell into the same general category – once well regarded, but never quite made it. So who knows?

    1. Well he’s a third baseman who can play left field in a pinch. I don’t think he’s very good defensivelyin either position but I also don’t think hes a Ty wiggington. The exciting part is that he’s a rh bat who murders lefties.looks like some competion in spring training for 3b

    1. I was hoping the Phillies would sign the ‘best’ 3B who would accept a minor league deal. At this point the Phillies have one of the easiest paths to the majors for a young guy fighting to revive a career. Kouzmanoff was one of my early candidates but he quickly resigned with Oak.

      Fields seems like a reasonable upside choice. I’d like to have a ‘good’ alternative in AAA for the majors since I doubt whatever solution Phillies have will be a 162 game starter. (Youlilis and Chavez are old, Frandsen, Galvis, etc or poor hitters).
      I’d like to see Asche stay in AA to give him some time to develop. There is nobody really ready to take the AA 3B job anyway.

  17. Tim Dierkes of MLBTR on Angel Pagan: ‘Rival agents may attempt to take Pagan down a peg for a relatively short resume, but only one of his last four seasons was subpar (2011). Pagan is above-average in all aspects of the game, from offense to defense to baserunning.’

  18. can’t believe the suggestions to trade Lee. With a healthy and solid year from Halladay, Hamels, and Lee, it doesn’t matter how potent the offense is— you’re going to be in the playoff mix, and a scary team in the playoffs. You don’t trade an ace pitcher under your control for multiple years unless the return is ridiculous.

    1. Thank you. Let’s just block copy and paste your reply any time somebody mentions the ridiculous idea of trading Cliff Lee, a superb pitcher who also happens to be supremely entertaining.

  19. agree with A-mous. the talk of trading cliff lee is dumb. no disrespect here, although it makes for a lot of good baseball conversation. the mention of any trade starting with Olt might be correct. he hasn’t proven much yet in the bigs. but if it starts with him then a heck of a lot has to be added to make it work. i wouldn’t trade lee. the phils need the pitching.

    1. Everyone needs pitching. That’s why you don’t trade pitchers unless someone is willing to VASTLY overpay. If the Rangers wanna give us Olt, Profar, and Martin, then we’ll talk. (I am not saying they would, or should, offer that package for Lee, or even Hamels, but that is what I would ask for). Aces are among the hardest commodities to find in baseball, if you have one (or more), you hold onto them.

      1. i think profar being as unbelevable as he is would be a game changer to this whole discussion, but i get what you mean.

  20. From mlbtraderumors it seems like RAJ is actually waiting the market out. I think he like Upton for a certain price and if Upton doesn’t come to that he is willing to spend the money on multiple pieces. It seems that he (and every other GM) checked in on Stanton and it mentions other players in the Miami/Toronto trade so I am guessing he checked in on Escobar as a 3B option.

    I am encouraged that it does look like RAJ is doing his due diligence knowing that the Phils have multiple holes and that going out and getting one guy isn’t going to solve it.

    1. I personally think he checked in on Josh Johnson. Given his obsession with pitching and the fact that it would make Worley expendable in a trade for a Center Fielder.

    2. Stanton would look kinda nice in the cleanup hole next year – Galvis, Worley, DeFratus, Ruf, and Valle. Let’s do it

        1. 1 Bourn CF
          2 Rollins SS
          3 Utley 2B
          4 Stanton RF
          5 Howard 1B
          6 Ruiz C
          7 Brown LF
          8 Frandsen / Galvis 3B
          9 Hamels P

          Make it happen RAJ

      1. We could open the whole system to the Marlins, say pick 5, and we still couldn’t get this deal done. Not with Biddle, May, Joseph, Larry Green and Quinn. When your top prospect is rated #75 you do not have anything to make this trade happen.

  21. ^^^I think the marlins may consider that trade….if you add in Dominic Brown and Trevor May but even with them I would think they would hold out for Biddle and/or Roman Quinn

        1. I really don’t think the league has as high of an opinion of the Phillies system as the people here do. For Stanton we are talking at least a top 10 and multiple top 25 prospects to start and we don’t have anyone in the top 50.

        2. Are you serious? There’s not 1 top 50 prospect in that list of yours. At the minimum, the Marlins need to get at least 2 top 25 prospects for Stanton and a front line starter/position player.

  22. With an abundance of Minor League pitching plus the addition of a late inning ML reliever, how do the Minor League bullpen’s pan out?

    My predictions:
    MLB: Papelbon, Bastardo, Horst, Lindblom, Aumont, Stutes, _______
    AAA: Rosenberg, Valdes, J-Rod, Friend, Diekman, Schwimer, J.C. Ramirez
    AA: Morillo, Murray, Knigge, Simon, Bonilla, Johnson, Duke
    This is all assuming, Cisco, Savery, Kennelly, Rosin, O’Sullivan, Giles, and Shreve are either released or in Single-A. I mean it is not a bad problem to have, I just can’t find room in the org. for all of these guys.

    1. The Phils FO views Rosenberg as a starter – if he is in the minors, he’ll be starting in 2013. He will have a shot in spring training to win the 5th starters job if there is an injury or Worley or KK struggle.

      1. I have neither heard nor seen this, they had him start to work on his slider command and to stretch him out to multiple innings. He doesn’t have the third pitch to be a starter, especially since he has a flat fastball. If there is a competition it is going to include Cloyd and Pettibone to go with the established guys.

        1. I think the Phillies view Rosenberg as found money – an asset they really never expected to have. Because they were never relying on him, I think that will make them more flexible about how they use him. It is true that Rosenberg needs to work on mastering a third pitch (he actually already has the pitch, it’s a curve, but his command of it is not very good right now), but he otherwise does have starter’s stuff, including a mid to high 90s fastball with velocity that he can maintain for at least five or six innings. He is a very intiguing sixth starter for this team and I, for one, would love to see him get some spot starts becaue if he does master that third pitch, his upside is surprisingly high.

          1. Catch is on the money here where winks is missing the boat. When a guy needs to get better at a third pitch, he needs innings to do so, hence starting. I’m fairly confident BJ will start the year as a starter in LV from what I’ve heard in Clearwater.

          2. If Rosenberg were a few years younger I would agree here. But as a 27 year old, the chance he can develop a 3rd major league pitch are probably not that high. And if he does it could take years, in which case he’d probably be with another organization anyway. Imo the only way you try him as a starter is if you see something in his breaking ball right now. It’s too late to be starting from scratch.

    2. On that AA roster I would but Giles and Kennelly above Johnson and Duke as well as Murray, they are two very talented arms. I would suspect that DeFratus would start up with Lindblom in AAA based on their performances so far. JC Ramirez has to be on the big league club or DFA’d he does not have any minor league options to be sent down without being put on waivers.

    3. Interesting discussion, one I’ve been playing on my own. I think Rosenberg will be the long man in the majors and I suspect Stutes will start slowly at LHV. I also think Defratus will start the year in Philly while Aumont will be the closer in LHV. I expect Cisco to be in LHV also with Giles in Reading. Morillo will be in LHV rather than JRod. Lastly, I expect a trade that could bring a corner OF or a 3b. The Phils have valuable young relievers and an extra young catcher in Valle that could provide some low level of value. What would Defratus, Valle, and Schwimer be worth in a package? It could certainly be Lindblom instead of Defratus. It would be a smallish deal obviously

      1. I really liked the way Aumont pitched when he was called up. A couple bad outing here and there but at the same one some really dominate ones as well. I’ll live with that in the 6th and 7th innings. Here is what my bullpen would look like. (and I agree, I think some guys are moved to help in other areas)

        9th – Papplebon
        8th- veteran reliever
        7th- Bastardo
        7th- Aumont
        6th- Lindblom
        Second lefty – Horst
        Long Man – Rosenberg

        Then in LHV
        Friend – close
        DeFratus – close
        Stutes – Set Up
        Diekman – lefty
        Valdez – lefty
        Cisco
        Schwimmer – long man

        This is pretty deep (young though) Glad some of these guys got some experience last year this way if needed they won’t be so green.

          1. What more does Aumont have to prove in AAA. He got the job done in the 8th inning last year(with some hiccups) Charlie seemed to have confidence in him. I see him in a less pressure 7th inning role. De Fratus (who may be better down the line) hasn’t proven anything yet. He starts the year at AAA and is the first righty called up.

  23. Lmao biddle , worley, brown, quinn for stanton”” what a joke, the marlins would not be able to respond,they would be laughing too much, you could go to texas and get ott and profar or andrus plus for stanton, without a doubt. why take our junk.

    1. If i’m the Marlins, I don’t laugh and probably take that package. it’s a lot more than the Phillies gave up for Roy Halladay. You are talking about the team’s top pitching prospect, top position prosprct, a young outfielder witha lot of potentail and a solid mid/back rotation starter with number three upside.

      1. That package is not close to what they gave up for Halladay. They gave up the #25, #29, and #81 (#17 last year and on his way to being higher this year) prospect in the nation. The Phillies system is depleted.These guys don’t rate nearly as high. Brown is all but a bust of a prospect, Worley is coming off a below average year and has a ceiling of a back-end starter. Biddle projects as a #3 with the outside shot of being a #2. Quinn has the most to dream on but he projects as what? At best a Jose Reyes type. Not bad at all but not A-Rod either.

        1. Oh and Roy Halladay was an over 30 starter entering his walk year versus Stanton who is a 23 year old everyday player who is cost controlled for three more years. It is going to take a lot more to pry him away even from the unpredictable Lorie.

        2. The point about Stanton being young and controllable is valid, but, at the time, Roy Halladay was a mid-career perennial Cy Young candidate who did, in fact, deliver two consecutive Cy Young caliber seasons before having an off year AND he was giving the Phillies an incredibly favorable deal in terms of salary and years which made him all the more valuable. As for the package – thanks but I still disagree on the value being paid for Halladay being more than what is proposed above. Worley is a young, controllable, proven major league starter with mid-rotation upside and likely downside of a #4. Brown still has great value – not as much as he once did, but far, far more than you are allowing. Biddle projects as a top of the rotation starter but not quite an ace – this is exactly how Drabek projected at the time, except Biddle is a lefty, which makes him inherently more valuable. d’Arnaud had a ton of upside, but was still unproven, at a key defensive position – similar to Quinn. No, I still think there’s more value in this package than the Halladay package, although I agree Stanton is definitely worth more than Halladay due to his age and team control. Still, if I’m the Marlins and I get offered that package, I take it really seriously. It’s not a joke.

          1. This has got to be a joke. If Loria put Stanton on the open market, you would freak at the package that Stanton would get. I have no doubts that Texas would give Profar, Olt, Perez, Mariners would give Hultzen and Walker, Cardinals would give Miller and Tavares, the list goes on and on.

      2. If that’s the case, its a no-brainer on our end. We keep Ruf/Mayberry in left, put Stanton in RF and could still afford Upton if we want, but his power would no longer be the priority it once was, but I’d still prefer him to Bourn. Could also get Pagan and keep our pick… :

        Rollins
        Utley
        Stanton
        Howard
        Upton
        Ruiz
        Ruf
        Frandsen

        Very balanced, potentially devastating lineup…putting faith in Ruf, you might even be able to get away with Mayberry in CF and using that money elsewhere. Stanton would love playing for a club so clearly dedicated to winning after escaping Miami, and could be an MVP candidate for the next decade. I’d be tempted to hit Ruiz #5, for his contact, OBP and to avoid having three consecutive 140-150K guys 3-4-5. but he’ll see a ton of strikes after the guys ahead of him and has the power to hit 35hr in that spot.

        On the other hand, if Henderson again gets him to chase fewer pitches out of the zone, it might not matter. Plus, it would get his OBP back up to the point where his speed becomes a greater asset. Upton is weird hitter for a lot of reasons: he’s better against RHP than LHP, and hits breaking pitches better than fastballs, which I’m sure is related to his high leg/slow load. He still has great bat speed once he gets going, but doesn’t adjust to good FB placement as well as the off-speed stuff. Since Upton’s a good junk ball hitter and tremendous base stealer who strikes out a lot, maybe you DON’T want him in RBI situations, despite his power. He’d lead off a lot of innings hitting behind Howard though, so that’s another consideration. If he can get his OBP up near .340, Upton would be best suited hitting 1/2, but otherwise his ideal spot is 6/7.

        Of course, if Ruf emerges as a legit power threat, he’s a solid #5 option behind Howard, and Frandsen if hits like he did last year, he could be tried in the #2 hole again. We’d have more RH bats than LH bats, so given Charlie’s traditional proclivities, the flexibility offered by this additional balance could lead to drastically different lineups vs RHP and LHP. You could see lineups like this by mid-season:

        Upton Rollins Rollins
        Utley Frandsen Upton
        Stanton Utley Utley
        Howard Stanton Stanton
        Ruf Howard Howard
        Rollins Ruiz Ruf
        Ruiz Upton Ruiz
        Frandsen Ruf Frandsen

        Ruf-Upton-Stanton would be together for the next 5 years, at least. I’m obviously very bullish on Ruf (Charlie recently said he had a 50/50 chance of becoming a starting caliber player) but Mayberry offers tremendous defense (relative to most starting LF), and would hit about.255 with 17hr. playing everyday…which would be pretty darned attractive in CF at his salary, but we’ve been down that road.

        then with this rotation…

        Halladay
        Hamels
        Lee
        Kendrick
        Pettibone/Rosenberg/?

        That’s a much-improved club that can compete.

        1. Honestly didn’t read your entire post, but something that struck me was putting Stanton in the 3 spot. If it were me, after acquiring Stanton I’d get Pagan for center. line up would be:

          Rollins (because Manuel won’t move him out of leadoff, Pagan if it were my decision)
          Pagan
          Utley
          Stanton
          Howard
          Ruiz
          Brown/Ruf/Mayberry (Brown if he somehow isn’t in the package)
          3B (presumably Frandsen)
          P

          Now that’s a mix of what I would do and what I think Charlie would realistically do. If it were completely my decision, Pagan would lead off, Brown #2 (if still in Philly), Rollins #6, Ruiz #7 (best #7 hitter in baseball?),

    2. The Marlins aren’t trading Stanton to the Phils because there’s no package that could be good enough. If Stanton were to be traded, only Tampa and Texas have the players to make it happen. Tampa has Moore and Hellickson and Texas has Profar. Those are the kind of players it will take and we don’t have them.

  24. Excerpts from CSN’s Jim Salisbury’s holiday week interview with Amaro:
    • On centerfield being a priority: “We just need to improve in the middle of the field again,” Amaro said. “That’s where we’ve been successful. We had Chooch (Ruiz) behind the plate, Jimmy (Rollins) and Chase (Utley) in the middle of the infield. We had a solid centerfield situation in Shane (Victorino) for several years. That’s important. We have to continue to try to shore that up.”
    • Amaro mentioned Upton, Angel Pagan, Michael Bourn and Victorino, all free agents, as centerfield candidates. “It’s just a matter of which guy stands out for us and which one helps us put all the pieces together,” he said. “We can’t put all our resources in one area and not address others. We don’t have unlimited resources. I would say it’s more likely that we go out and acquire an outfielder or two in the free-agent market, but it’s also possible to do trades. There’s been some things, some dialogue that we had, not just for centerfielders but also for corner outfielders. We’re trying to improve as much as we can.”………Upton hit .246 with a .298 on-base percentage, 28 homers and 78 RBIs in 2012. His 169 strikeouts were fourth-most in the American League. Amaro was asked if the strikeouts were a concern. He used his answer to comment a bit on Ryan Howard.
    “To me, it’s all about production,” Amaro said. “If a guy strikes out, as long as he produces runs. I’m about run production — scoring runs, driving in runs, as long as we have players that can do that and do that consistently, then I’m fine with the strikeouts. I don’t like the strikeouts, but I can live with them if people are continuing to be productive.

    1. RAJ knows he needs power. If he can’t sign Upton and has to go after one of the other CFs who don’t supply power (Bourn, Pagan, Shane) he’ll try to make a deal for power at a corner OF (or at 3b). I do think RAJ likes Ruf though and may not want to block him. I think they’re going hard for Upton but I’m guessing the years being requested at this point are 7 and no one is agreeing to it. RAJ can live with 5 but the agent is starting high especially knowing what Boras will try to do for Bourn.

  25. I agree with the strike outs BUT you need guys on base in order for those high strike out guys to produce. Unfortunitly Rollins will be batting lead off again. A good number two hitter who gets on base is so important to the production of Utley Howard and whoever hits 5th. I would love to see Pagan in the two hole (or another high OBP guy via trade)

  26. I don’t want to encourage the absurd trade scraps for a superstar comments (the Stanton proposals are particularly amusing), but David Schoenfield at ESPN seems to think Lee could get a pretty hefty return:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/30979/five-blockbuster-trade-suggestions

    Granted, he is just throwing ideas against the wall. I don’t think the Rangers would do that, and I’m also inclined to think that it wouldn’t make the Phillies better in 2013 unless they converted the payroll savings into Greinke.

    I still think the the likely real world return for Lee would not be nearly enough to justify trading him.

    1. I really don’t think any of these trade proposals are worth discussing, they’re not well thought out (in my opinion).

    2. Actually Dave Schoenfield is being generous with the return for Lee. Cody Buckel alone in a 2/3 years will be a gem of a prospect, and he has him almost as a throw-in.

    3. LOL his Lee trade has significantly more coming our way than any heavily ridiculed proposal I posted here.No- I think its actually the exact trade I first proposed at the deadline, before learning my lesson about how he’s worth less than most team’s 3rd best prospect.

      1. Careful with wording. Lee is worth significantly more than just about any prospect in baseball in a vacuum. It’s the contract and age that make him less valuable to other teams, although his value to us is unaffected since he’s already on the team.

  27. Some of you guys are thinking prospects only – marlins want prospects or cost controllable major leaguers. Guys like Bastardo, Worley, Galvis, Brown, Mayberry, Diekman, Aumont, Schwimer, etc are of value to them also. Could be a mixture of major leaguers and prospects. In the end though, I think other teams have more than we do in these categories and have a better chance of getting something done.

    1. Not jumping on you, because your final sentence shows you are realistic. But the one thing that those manes have in common with most of the prospect names being floated on this site is that they are not the kind of players that would be needed to headline the trade. They are guys that would be the 3rd/4th/5th pieces in a deal headlined by any players.

      I simply don’t think the Phillies have prospects (or cost controlled younger player)s of the level to headline a Stanton deal. Even guys like Biddle and Quinn IMO won’t get it done.

  28. TOTALLY AGREE . the people on here think you can get a top talent, like stanton for unproven, not highly rated prospects, no way.like I said before the marlins or any team would want good prospects they can control. for salary reasons. like i mention before a profar, ott, combination or guy with high side potential. non of the prospects the phillies have right now are, in that catagory.quinn is in low a and we really dont have a feel on what kind of player he projects to be.. the others like worley, biddle are second tier players. brown was a prospect,now a question mark. imo opinon a big question mark. even a hamels wouldnt interest them because of his salary imo.that owner is bleeding the small market thing to fill his pockets.

    1. To the dismay of Bud Selig and MLB, Jeffrey Loria listens to offers that loudly ring out to the tune of ‘cha-ching’.

    2. 162 Game AVG G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS RBI SO AVG OBP SLG OPS OPS+
      Player A 162 453 415 55 105 24 1 19 58 5 2 34 103 .254 .313 .448 .760 103
      Player B 162 681 598 90 153 34 3 20 75 39 12 72 171 .255 .336 .422 .758 105

      Player A John Mayberry Jr
      Player B BJ Upton

      Upton offers better defense and a lot more speed, but Rube is looking for an offensive upgrade in CF; particularly, more power. Realistically, Upton just doesn’t offer enough of that to justify an $80 million commitment. Upton has amazing potential as a former 2nd overall pick, but Mayberry was drafted twice in the 1st round, .

      They’re both 28 years old. Upton has much more experience, but that’s not necessarily a good thing, since he’s largely disappointed and developed a bad reputation off the field. Both have shown flashes of brilliance but have eventually proven to be frustratingly unreliable. .Mayberry at least seems to be a good teammate.

      Too bad there isn’t a FA 3rd baseman worth the offer we have extended to Upton…I guess one could say its better to have both Mayberry and Upton, but not really – their bats play much better in CF;and aren’t impressive for the corners. In fact, with Brown and Ruf also in the mix, having both Mayberry and Upton seems redundant. Not to mention Gillies and Collier, our best OF prospects, also play CF and lack the power for the corners. Mayberry’s probably just a 4th OF, but if Upton is worth $80 million dollars,there has to be some second division team out there willing to take Mayberry’s production in CF.

      How about the Marlins? Like someone said above, affordable roster players like Mayberry appeal to the Marlins..They could use both Mayberry and Dom Brown if they dealt Stanton. Ruggiano would be the only legit outfielder left on that roster and his 2012 season could’ve been a fluke.

      Trading for Ruggiano could make more sense for both clubs. We get a cheap decent bat in CF and Marisneck can take his spot in CF. It couldn’t take much- maybe offer a guy like Bastardo. That would be a smart move IMO.

      But, while everyone is doing it, I’ll throw out a Stanton offer of my own: Brown, Mayberry, Worley, DeFratus, Biddle, Galvis. I think that gets it done. No other team offers them 5 young roster players.and a top prospect.

      Worley could be their opening day starter, or no worse than #2(behind Nolasco). They get three immediate starters in Brown,(replacing Stanton in RF) Mayberry(CF, LF or 1B, which would make Morrison trade bait) and Galvis(who either plays SS with Hetchevarria shifting or 2B with Solano at 3B, which lets them trade Escobar).
      DeFratus immediately goes to the Miami bullpen, possibly closing or pitching set up before long. Biddle is the overkill that puts the offer beyond the reach of any other clubs’.

  29. I have made as much fun of these fanciful trades as anyone, but then again if you suggested trading a reigning cy young winner in the prime of his career with a year and a half of control for the #52, 66, 69 prospects and an unranked 18 year old A ball pitcher we would say you were nuts. We would also say you were nuts if you traded that same pitcher half a year later with the addition of a sterling post season record for the #93 prospect, and two unranked 20 year old high a ballers.

    1. I agree- Rube’s boldness is the wildcard. He’s willing to pull the trigger and overpay with offers that would make other GMs blush. It hasn’t been a positive trait overall in my opinion, but when trading for a star player, it gives him an edge over other GMs. Sure he’s already mortgaged the future, but he’ll aggressively sell you that mortgage.

  30. marlins would take this trade for stanton, i really believe, chooch, you pay his salary, worley, lee you pay all his salary for two years, galvis,and biddle for him, cost them nothing for two allstart players.

    1. and…. who catches? Chooch is our most VALUABLE player he does so much for this team, plus Kendrick should never be our #3

    2. Wow! i think you found a trade that makes both teams worse. Chooch and Lee do not help a team that is rebuilding. A team with Kratz/Valle/Joseph catching and a rotation of Halladay, Hamels, Kendrick, Cloyd, Pettibone is not finishing over .500 much less making the playoffs. You don’t even get payroll flexibility since you are covering Lee’s salary.

    1. Not as crazy as you make it sound – brown, Ruf, Worley, and Biddle for Stanton and $13M of salary relief by taking Dobbs and Nolasco. I don’t think that gets it done but taking on Nolasco helps, but would prob have to add in Joseph or Valle and Aumont or DeFratus.

      1. If doing what you said got the deal done, every team in baseball would pull the trigger INSTANTLY. I don’t think people understand: multiple C prospects DO NOT EQUAL AN A PROSPECT. I see where the argument would be made. If we use WAR, multiple slightly above-average players will produce more WAR than a single superstar would. However, remember, there are a finite number of players on a team. Put another way, you are not trading, say, 8 WAR (four 2 WAR players) for 6 WAR (one Utley). You are tradining 8 WAR for ~9 WAR assuming it’s Utley and the other players replace players that produce only 1 WAR. But it’s even more likely they’d be “replacing” players that put up a similar WAR to the players they received, so it’s actually 2 WAR for 6 WAR. Why would anyone do that? They wouldn’t.

  31. This guy has Cliff Lee going to the Rangers for Olt, Tanner Scheppers and Barrett Loux. Not the worst proposal, especially compared to that ridiculous one on ESPN. I like Scheppers and Loux, but they’re kinda redundant to us. You should never really say that about young pitching, but Scheppers just gives us another hard-throwing right-handed reliever who can’t throw strikes and Loux is another potential #4/5 starter. Still, additional young pitching is always welcome and we’d get the right-handed, power-hitting 3B who gets on base in Olt. It would worsen our club for sure, unless Lee was replaced with a FA. My pick would be McCarthy.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cliff-lee-texas-rangers-makes-perfect-sense-philadelphia-224700264–mlb.html

  32. Why aren’t we “in on Hamilton” anymore? We want a middle of the order bat and he’s one of the best hitters in baseball. If Upton is generating a lot of interest, he’ll probably get a minimum of 5 years at no less than 16 million per, with 6/100 a distinct possibility. Those numbers almost make Werth’s 7/127 seem reasonable, considering his vastly superior contact and walk rate. Werth’s age makes the length of his deal ridiculous, but he’s a much better #5 hitter than Upton. The difference is paying for Upton prime vs Werth’s decline.

    I’d rather pay Hamilton that 100 million to bat 3rd.for the next four years. He might even take 3/75, but if he sustains his level of production, he’s well worth 25m a year. Even a moderate decline would justify his contract, if he replicates his Texas numbers for two years. What Hamilton adds vs what Upton adds makes him a much better value.

    Unlike Upton, Hamilton doesn’t have to play CF,to justify his contract. If he played LF, you could get away with Mayberry in CF, and Brown in RF. With Hamilton in CF, Ruf could play LF and Mayberry/Brown in RF. …

    I’m fairly confident that a Mayberry/Brown platoon could produce offensive numbers similar to what Upton would provide, without the speed and defense that makes him so expensive.

    Rollins
    Utley
    Hamilton
    Howard
    Ruiz
    Ruf
    Mayberry/Brown
    Frandsen

    Hamilton is expensive, but he allows you to spend less on other positions. Considering what he brings offensively, its the most prudent use of that money. If we’re talking Justin Upton, or better yet, Kate, that’s another story.

    . . ..

    1. Problem is you had there is no Lee money if you are still paying his contract. And as others have stated you are only trading Lee to someone who hasn’t signed Greinke first. If the Phillies sign Greinke first other teams will trade less for Lee because they will know the Phils are over a financial barrel.

  33. Hamilton may drop into our lap at a reasonable price compared to the others. At that point, swoop in. The market will come to us. No need to set the bar unless it sets low from the start. Our GM is in a poker game. The wildcard is Hamilton in RF. Sure, Upton makes sense, but not if Hamilton can be had for a tad more. The difference should be vast. Only by waiting can they know so I think BJ Upton goes elsewhere. Another will sign quickly after the first one goes but then the market contracts, the last two get squeezed. Victorino. Bourn. Maybe even Hamilton can be had for less. Waiting is the best ploy now.

    1. To keep this related to prospects, the reason we can be patient in free agency with CF is Tyson Gillies. I expect he will show in 2013 he is ready to compete for the CF job in the spring of 2014. This makes Bourn in a multi year deal much less urgent. Upton has enough pop to slide into a corner spot once Gillies arrives, but barely. Hamilton makes most sense as a corner OF. Meanwhile Mayberry can handle CF if Hamilton is in the lineup. If possible, add Victorino on a cheap one or two year deal. The worst option would be a 3+ year deal with Bourn at top dollar. He only has value at CF, and is in decline.

      1. Disagree about Gillies. I like him when he’s on the field, but if I’m the Phillies I wouldn’t count on him in any way, shape or form. If he manages to stay healthy all year and is major league ready in 2014 that would be fantastic but at this point he wouldn’t be in my future plans at all. His hammies are just too big of a question mark.

      2. You can’t count on Gillies. If he works out great, but he’s given no indication that he’s ready for a full-time gig in the bigs.

    2. For a while I’ve wanted to introduce the Josh Hamilton Game to the cognoscenti on this site. It’s a 2-part proposition:

      1) How much do you think Hamilton will ultimately sign for this off-season and for how many years?

      2) How close to that offer 1) (above) do you think the Phils will come or explain if you think they will be the team making the winning offer.

      I’ll start by saying that I think Hamilton will end up going 6 years for $140 M. The early indications are the high rollers are prepared to overspend and that mid market teams see tv money in their near future and see Hamilton as a draw.

      I think the Phils don’t see Hamilton as a draw for a franchise filling seats currently and I think the pain it cost in offering Hamels 6 years only after protracted negotiation signals a reluctance that is probably appropriate for a guy like Hamilton. I think the Phils would tap out when the bidding got around $115 M for 5 years. I really can’t fault them if that were the case.

      Originally I thought the Rangers were in the drivers’ seat on Hamilton with Hamilton’s willingness to allow them to match — at the last minute — the best outside offer. But there are stirrings that they will not go beyond $75 M for 3 years. The Rangers may surprise the world by opting out of the Hamilton Derby and signing B.J. Upton, Nick Swisher or Adam LaRoche and confounding the pundits.

      In that scenario, I can see the Red Sox opening the checkbook for Hamilton only after a bunch of mid-market teams have opened the bidding while allowing themselves the luxury of thinking they can seal a 4-5 year deal which I don’t think they (Seattle, Baltimore, Atlanta) can pull off.

  34. Hearing rumblings that Phils and Tigers are having preliminary discussions about a Papelbon trade where Tigers would take on the majority of his salary and not give much back in return in terms of players. Phils would in turn attempt to sign two big bats – Hamilton and Upton – then go cheap at 3B and closer. Madson would be a likely target but with Salisbury’s report about Angels this am, that might not be possible.

  35. why Papelbon??? do tigers really need to overpaid for a closer?? anonymous did you make this up? to me makes no sense for phillies who struggled in eight inning, and to trust that they could number one sign madson. and two he would be back to 100 %. thats a lot to trust for a team that is suppose to win., sorry dont believe this story at all.

  36. Madson won’t be ready to start the season. I don’t see him as Plan A for any contending team’s winning strategy.

  37. Pitching and D are the key. Will not move Pap as they view closer as crucial piece. The whole notion of dumping salary is crazy. This team needs to contend irregardless of payroll. And, let’s see Gillies show any ability to stay on field before we declare him the CF for a contending team

  38. Are we really talking about Papelbon and Giancarlo Stanton trades? It really has been a very silly season in these here parts. I’m getting a distinct feeling that half the posters these days are middle school kids trying out lines of argument for duping neighbor kids into ridiculous baseball card trades. (Do kids even make those anymore?)

    Can’t we start ranking the top 30 or something? Or else do something to turn the conversation back to the subject of prospects? How about revive the “sleeper” prospect post of last year. I think that if you go back and look at the comments on there, there are some interesting arguments, and most of them turned out to be horribly wrong, including my own (Aaron Altherr). Congrats to the few people who spoke up for Adam Morgan.

    http://phuturephillies.com/2011/10/11/open-discussion-early-sleeper-prospects-for-2012/

    1. My votes for breakouts as legit prospects are Brady, Walding, Rupp, and Altherr.

      Sleepers would be Drew Anderson, JDT, and whomever stays healthy between Walter and Shull

    2. Breakout would include Gillies having one good season with 450+ AB at AA and AAA. I don’t think its a stretch. If he maintains career norms over a full season that would make him an immediate low cost CF candidate by 2014. Not handing him a job, just saying he’d be knocking on the door. By late 2015 I could see Gillies outperforming an older Bourn. That’s his ceiling. His floor is AAAA.

      If he has ongoing maturity issues, for example the bus driver incident, that’s another thing. My guess is he learned his lesson. He knows he needs to train and act like a pro, and the staff can help. I like his chances.

    3. First off it’s the General Discussion thread which is exactly where one would expect people to raise trade ideas, realistic or otherwise.

      Second, what’s so great developing a list where we argue whether the person you rank as prospect 13 I rank as prospect 19? Do you think people in front offices sit around doing that? A depth chart discussion I recognize to have value because teams promote on the basis of need.

      And third do you know why the kids in my homeroom are getting their report cards issued so late this quarter?

      1. Yeah, I realize it’s a general discussion thread, I was just lamenting the lack of threads involving anything other than general discussion. Harebrained trades are all well and good, but after a while it gets repetitive. And while I have no idea how front offices spend their offseasons–I think there’s a fair amount of fishing involved–I want to talk about prospects, and the Top 30 list is a way to do that.

        That said, my sleeper candidate is Kenny Giles. There’s a lot to like about his arm, and also about his 25 Ks (and only 6 BBs) in 14 innings after he got to Clearwater at the end of last year. The Phillies need big arms at the back of the bullpen, so I could see him moving fast. Even if his value is limited as a late inning reliever, we’re talking about sleepers here, and he’s one guy I could see conceivably making a huge jump next year.

    4. I am working on releasing a new series of discussion threads. The Reader Top 30 likely won’t start until after New Years.

      I like looking back on the Sleeper thread. I still stand by my Walding and Pointer sleeper calls, I think they both improved but didn’t breakout. I loved Morgan going into last season and I really like Milner and Brady to have similar results to Morgan and Wright.

    5. I’m looking for Colvin to finally put it together this year. I still believe.

      I also like Walding and Cozens as breakout candidates.

  39. So who do you guys expect to be in Lakewood this season? What’s a possible lineup/rotation look like?

    1. I’ll take a shot

      1B Carmona (Serritella at CLW)
      2B T Greene
      SS Quinn
      3B Walding
      LF L Greene
      CF Herlis? Olmo? (think Tocci goes to WPT)
      RF Platoon of Perkins and Tromp
      C Moore and Numata

      SP’s Walter, Brady, Milner, Musser, Warner

        1. I think they start, as with Tocci and Cozens as well, in WPT and move up mid season based on performance.

      1. Here’s my guess:

        Moore, Serritella, TGreene, Quinn, Walding, LGreene, Eldemire, Tromp.
        Brady, LMartinez, Warner, Musser, Inch
        I could see Numata, Perkins, Carmona, and Hudson on the bench. Some INF as well.

        I have Pointer in CF for CLW but could see Eldemire and Pointer swap, but figured Pointer is the better prospect so he gets first billing at CLW.
        I have Ludy/Lino at C in CLW with H.Martinez at 1B to keep him moving up the chain.
        I see Cozens (RF), Tocci(CF), Rodriquez(CF),Pullin (2B), Mora (SS) at WPT depending on the Draft.

        1. I highly doubt Pointer will go to CLW but if he does he would certainly not play CF since you got Altherr/Eldemire/Hudson which are all better in CF.

      2. Here is my guess for Lakewood:
        C Astudillo, Moore
        1B Carmona (break out)
        2B Pullin (if he can’t do it, send back in June to Wpt)
        3B Walding (if the hitting doesn’t come through put in Zach Green)
        SS Quinn
        LF L. Greene, Jr. (break out)
        CF Tromp
        RF D. Gonzalez
        Rotation: Brady, Guth, Shull, Warner, Rojas with Joaquin
        I pushed Tocci and Pullin because the new farm system guy seems to be aggressive with talent. Rojas could have a break out year.

  40. Mlb says right now three teams in on upton, phillies, braves and reds, braves have the edge right now, if upton goes to braves, phillies might turn to dexter flowers who they are asking a ton for, i dont believe that they will do fowler, but instead think they would go for bourn, and a right handed bat for less money, probaley in a trade,only my opinion, no facts to back it up.

  41. Ok heres my plan. Trade Vance Worley, Valle and Hernandez for Dexter Fowler. Dont care about about the home road splits. He would still do great in CBP and the team needs his OBP ability. I would then sign Brandon Mccarthy and a high level set up man. This allows us to hold onto the 16th pick and spend money else where in 2014.

    1. Who will drive in over 80 runs other than Howard (if healthy)? This team has a major dearth in run production.

      1. Driving in runners was not the problem this past year, it was the lack of runners being able to be driven in. I assure you if Fowler and Brown batter 1 2, Utley, Howard, Ruiz and Rollins could handle bringing them in. Uptons .300 OBP is not the answer, it just handcuffs the line up even more.

        1. I’d have Ruiz bat 3rd between Utley and Howard. Actually, I still like Youkilis (even for only 120 games) batting 3rd. I suspect Ruiz will only start about 120 games also, unless he becomes a 3B as well.
          Rollins should bat 5th or 6th, especially if Phillies get a leadoff guy for CF. I would not mind Brown batting first but not if he is going to hit .230 and not be able to steal any bases.

      1. This is the least of the Phils worries right now. The guy, who I love, has not played a full season for several years and has a chronic knee condition, and is past his prime years. If he plays 150 games this year, hits 30 HR, and knocks in 110, and we get stuck having to pay him more then than we would now, that would be a great problem to have.

      2. Nah, I think just the opposite is true. Even with a monster year, at best, he is duplicating his current salary. More than any other player, the Phillies should let things with Utley play themselves out because: (a) Utley is older (in 2014, he will be 35); (b) he has chronic injuries that, at best, can be managed, but probably not cured; (c) he has missed significant time and his performance has suffered; and (d) he wants to be a Phillie and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to think that, if he can still play, he and the Phillies will not be able to work out a reasonable deal. The last think I would do if I’m the Phillies is go out and sign Utley to a deal right now.

        1. Base on what i know about Jen and Chase Utley, and their affinity for the Phiily environ, he could do two year deals until the knees are gone and the end of his career.

  42. Good news for Utley then because Jon Heyman at CBS.com is tweeting that the Dodgers’ imminent tv deal for $6-7 B is good news for the Phils which have better tv ratings.

  43. In the end they need to come to the realization that Utley/Howard are no longer viable 3/4 hitters if they want to truly be honest with themselves and with the fans. Howard probably make for a nice 5 hole hitter and Utley a nice 2 or 6.

    No disrespect to either player but when teams try to nostalgicly hold onto the past they tend to remain there.

    1. That’s nonsense, of course Howard is a #4 hitter. I feel pretty confident that we’ll see a different Howard next year than last year when he tried to come back too soon from a terrible injury that had complications. I agree on Utley though, he’s not a #3 hitter any longer. Its hard to envision that they can get a guy who can bat 3rd though. They need someone who can score from 1st on a double and who can get on base a little too. Right now, Utley is the best they have. Chooch can’t run well and would clog the bases in front of Howard. He would be fine hitting after Howard though. Cuddyer is the only guy that comes to mind, who might be available to the Phils.

      1. Note I said viable. Look at all this past seasons playoff teams and look at their 4 hole hitters is there any that you wouldn’t take over Howard?

        1. I expect Howard will be 35 and 120 again next year and that’s a pretty good 4 hole hitter that you can win with.

  44. I can’t get excited about B.J. Upton and that’s leaving aside suggestions that his attitude is less than A-1. He’s older and more mature than he was when he was confronted by teammates in Tampa over attitude. Sticking with the Rays, I’m impressed with their 10 year extension of Evan Longoria who of course is coming off a season where he was shut down for hamstring problems.

    The Phils could and should take a flyer on 2 outfielders who are more affordable now due to recent injuries. Michael Cuddyer is now essentially a fourth outfielder in Colorado with the the development of Tyler Colvin and has 2 years at $10.5 M remaining on his contract. I would be satisfied with Cuddyer as the right handed bat hitting between Utley and Howard in the order and penciled in for RF with knowledge that he has some background at !B, 2B and 3B. He’s returning from oblique problems and in general seems obtainable for a B level prospect, perhaps 2.

    For CF, I would initiate talks over Jacoby Ellsbury who is in the final year of his contract earning just north of $8M and it seems from reports determined to test the free agent market after this season. He’s a Scott Boras client. Ellsbury at 28 to me is worth acquiring with the idea that if he bounces back to be the elite player he was in 2011 and at other times in the past, then the Phils are in a good position to resign him since they wouldn’t have hobbled themselves this off season by lavish free agent signings. And if Ellsbury departs, then the Phils will have bought some time in the development of guys like Gillies and Collier and would get a draft pick when they tendered for Ellsbury after ’13. Ellsbury would cost the Phils in trade more than Cuddyer but again should not be exorbitant.

    I’d use Ellsbury to move Rollins out of the lead off spot which to me is a plus as well. It sets up a platoon in left with Ruf and Brown if indeed Ruf makes the big team for the start of the season.

    Save free agent money for signing a late inning arm for the pen and perhaps a depth starter.

    1. In a vacuum Ellsbury would be a plus addition but I think it would effectively weaken the team long term if you didn’t know going into it you have him inked to an extension.

      1. Just remember that the market for center fielders in 2014 would reflect that Upton, Bourn and Pagan wee inked to multiyear deals in 2013 so Ellsbury would be arriving on an active market a year late.

  45. Baseball America released their Astro’s Top 10 today. Two former Phillies made the list with Singleton at #2 and Cosart at #7. BA seems really down on Cosart’s ability to remain a starter, the likely projection is as a closer with his current stuff.

    1. If that’s the case with Cosart, I feel just the slightest bit better about the Pence trade. The loss of Singleton was tragic, but it’s true he was probably blocked (for better or worse). So if the trade becomes Singleton + potential late inning reliever (of which we have many) for late 2011 Pence performance + Tommy Joseph (high-value prospect at a position of need) … the whole debacle becomes a little easier to live with. Of course, this rationalization omits the possibility that Domingo Santana becomes the second coming of George Bell, haunting my dreams with a decade a tape-measure shots.

      1. Singleton is not blocked. I think it wishful thinking to believe that Howard remains capable of blocking someone for 2014 or, more likely, 2015, which is likely when Singleton is ready to emerge as a full-season starter. It would be nice to think Howard is still at least an average 1B in 2015, but I’m skeptical.

      1. Yeah really. You’ve got a 19 year old OF who was one of the eight best hitters in his hi-A league, and he’s not in the top 10 prospects? How long could his swing possibly be?

      2. His Ks aren’t that bad. 7.2K/9 for a 22-year old who reached AAA. For a ground ball pitcher who limit X-base hits, I’ll take that as a starter. His biggest problem is walk rate. 4 BB/9 is too much. His hits/IP are fine, his arm strength and pitches are fine, his ERA was fine. Other than his GCL season, 2012 was his best season. He is a seriously good pitching prospect, on a par with Martin and Biddle.

  46. Looks like Cubs and Theo Epstein are in the Stanton Sweeepstakes, offering Starlin Castro as its lead dog in their package.

    1. I personally see Castro as a 5 WAR player at his peak. A lot of people were enamored with him because of his age and having 200 hits. Hes got a terrible approach at the plate. I almost feel a Jimmy Rollins with average speed is his best comp. Stanton is a franchise. If the Marlins arent getting Baez or Soler, plus others its pathetic.

  47. MLBTRADERUMORS reporting that the phillies signed Brandon Erbe from the orioles pitched to a 6.82 ERA in 30 1/3 innings for Baltimore’s Class-A Advanced affiliate in 2012.

    1. Was the Orioles #2 prospect in 2006. Was in AAA in 2010 before injuries completely derailed him. Can throw in the mid-90s and was well regarded at some point. Probably nothing but no minor league deal is a bad deal unless it blocks a prospect.

      1. He might be something again if he can get back his control. 24 walks in 30.1 innings last year in the A+ Carolina league does not impress. He did strike out 30.

  48. I just saw the Josh Fields acquisition today. Fields’ career OPS in the majors is .724. Not impressive, but Polanco last year was nearly 100 points lower than that.

    1. Fields appears to have some pop. He hits a HR every 20 at bats or so in the major leagues. That is a lot more pop than the Phillies have had at 3B a while. Unfortunately, he hits about .235 with an OBP of right around .300. Depending on whom else they acquire, he might fit in if he can field, which seems doubtful, based on his fielding percentage of around .950 at 3B.

  49. Looks like upton is leaning towards the braves, I think ruben now goes after pagan, vic isnt in the picture according to mlb. he most likely will have to trade for another outfielder. I am just trying to figure out, who we have who would bring us a good player. back to upton I really believe the phillies wont overpaid for him,and i believe that might be the sticking point ,if things are equal he will go to braves, he has friends on that team. I believe. so if its pagan, brown, mayberry or ruf.to me thats not good enough. brown, and ruff are two big question marks imo,

    1. Your concerns are valid. What it means is that the Phillies must focus more heavily on upgrading in other areas since they have multiple needs. It also makes a trade for a player like Denard Span more likely. Minnesota needs almost everything and the Phillies have plenty of pitching depth, so they could make good trade partners.

    2. Who knows…a three-way deal with the Rangers and Marlins could be in the works when it comes to Ruben’s maneuvering.

    3. I like Amaro sticking to his number, this team is not one piece away, there is no need to overpay for a guy who is merely good. I think Amaro looks at Pagan and he takes another look at what Bourne’s price is, if he goes cheap in CF then I think he looks to upgrade a corner, if that is the case I would turn to the Twins and ask about Josh Willingham who would give the team a good right handed bat, unfortunately he plays LF so it would “block” Ruf but Willingham is an upgrade on Ruf both offensively and defensively. That would then likely create a RF platoon of Brown and Mayberry (which statistically should be fairly good and cheap as well).

      It would be nice to upgrade 3B but I don’t think there is any option out there that makes sense financially or value wise (the price in prospects for trade candidates seems really high sense it is a sellers market), the one exception is if the price on Keppinger or Youkilis plummets for some reason.

    4. If the Phillies go with an OF of Ruf, Pagan, Brown, with Mayberry and Nix or Schierholtz filling-in/platooning as needed, the biggest questionmarks on the 2013 Philies will be named Utley, Howard, and Halladay. Given the state of the team, that OF is fine. Either the three other guys I listed are healthy, and the team is in fine shape at the trade deadline to fill and hole and advance in post-season, or they’re not healthy/good enough and nobody RA could realistically add this winter will be enough to save this team.

      This is a lesson we should be learning. Pence + Papelbon to boost the core = major disappointment. The Eagles super-signings to boost their core over the top = disaster. FA signings look better as you’re doing them than they generally turn out. It is very hard to buy a championship with expensive hired FA gunslingers on the downside of their careers. Even the Yankees have failed at that more than they have succeeded, while we have seen teams like SF, St.L, Colorado, TB, and previously Florida succeed going the home-grown route.

      Ruf and Brown are not too big of a question mark to go with them. The frantic, buy-your-way-out-of-your-team-problems has proven far to big and dangerous a question mark. Even a guy like Jason Werth, who eventually turns things around in year two, is too likely to have a contract-pressure-induced performance fart in year one to be counted on as quick push us over the top solution. Pagan is good enough. He costs us nothing but money, so he really doesn’t mortgage the future. He adds the D we need in CF.

      1. The biggest problem I see with this is the belief that Pagan is adequate in center field. He isn’t. He has a career UZR/150 of -0.8 in CF, which is not good. By comparison, Upton is 3.9, which is decent and Bourn is 10.7, which is elite. Almost none of the defensive metrics that exist point to Pagan being anything better than just OK in center. This isn’t likely to change.

        1. That’s average. Average is … more than adequate. Most of the time.

          The problem is, if Ruf is in left and Brown in right, we arguably need a better than average center fielder to make up for deficiencies at both corners. Especially given the nature of those deficiencies. Ruf has an adequate arm and Brown a plus arm; Brown an improved and adequate error rate and Ruf … well, sample size is small, but he seems fairly sure handed. In both cases the problem is range. Possibly correctable in Brown’s case, though it’s interesting that, despite overall improved play in the outfield in 2012 – substantially improved – his range was actually worse (more than outweighed by a lower error rate and a stronger arm (well, more effective arm, I doubt he literally increased his arm strength).

  50. Today’s random factoid comes from the dusty memories of Mike Costanzo….I was just on TheBaseballCube checkin’ out the Costanzo draft and the player IMMEDIATELY picked after Costanzo?????
    Chase Headley….I threw up in my mouth a little

    carry on

    1. It is really easy to play the what if game. Headley took a good long while to really blossom, he was just a good player until this year where he had an extreme breakout at age 28. It would have been nice to have but you can’t win it all.

      On a side note, that 2005 draft class is absolutely horrendous. The best player selected was Vance Worley in the 20th round, who they didn’t sign and redrafted in 2008 in the 2nd round. Of players signed the only one with a positive WAR is Josh Outman with a +1.3 career WAR, that is just horrible (Worley with 4.4 career WAR)

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?team_ID=PHI&year_ID=2005&draft_type=junreg&query_type=franch_year

    2. On the bright side, even though he wasn’t a main component of the deal, they were at least able to use Costanzo to get Brad Lidge here.

  51. Ruben on Ruf and Brown to Bob Brookover: ——–“We learned that he can play an adequate left field, right field, and first base,” Amaro said. “We also learned that he has quite a bit of power, but we already knew that. “Darin Ruf is not going to be handed a job in spring training, but he’s certainly going to be in the mix.” What about Domonic Brown? “I’m not saying anybody is going to be handed a job, but Brownie has more of an inside track because he has a little more experience and because of his potential,” Amaro said. “But nothing is etched in stone.”
    ……IMO undertones sound like leftfield is Ruf’s job to lose in spring training.

      1. He hit 10 homers in about 30 games. He struck out a lot, but he also got a fair share of walks while maintaining an okay batting average. Reports on his fielding were sparse but relatively positive, for whatever that’s worth. On the whole, he probably enhanced his prospect status a little and showed his desire to improve.

      2. Ruf did pitch in some blowout games in the minors.
        I would assume from that fact that he has a decent arm (probably decent arm strength and accuracy). Though I suppose it could be that the manager of the team did not want to injure the arm of a non-1B.
        Also, another commentor mentioned many posts ago that Ruf was an All American defensive player in college at 1B. I am guessing the competition was probably not that strong but it makes me wonder: if he is a good fielder with a good arm, why he was not tried as a 3B?

        I figure it would be because he has no range, but how much worse would he be than Pablo Sandoval or Miguel Cabrera? (Ty Wigginton worse?)

  52. I truly believe the Phils will make a deal after they see how the CF FA market plays out. If they don’t get one of them, the trade will be for a CF and if they do, they’ll deal for a corner OF. I think they rank them Upton, Bourn, Pagan, and Victorino and they’ll approach them in that order and move to make a trade after they know whether they get one of them or not. If they don’t get Upton, they know they need to add more power. I still expect Ruf to start in AAA but RAJ has talked about him so much, its obvious he’ll get a chance in ST to make the club. I think a deal centered around Cuddyer and Valle plus May or Martin and Schwimer or Lindblom would help both teams.

    1. I agree with many of your conclusions, but you lose me at Cuddyer, at least as it relates to the prospects you suggest we trade. Last year, Cuddyer was not really worth his contract, let alone young prospects. I could see the Phillies giving Colorado mediocre players or prospects (Valle, Lindblom, etc. . . .) since the Rockies are in rebuilding mode and should be happy if the Phillies take that contract off their hands. The real thing I hate about Cuddyer is that he adds expense and blocks younger players with very little upside. I’d rather take a flyer on a Ruf/Nix mix in left (Nix would not get all the starts against righties), and dedicate resources elsewhere.

      1. I think the Phils will offer some B+ prospects (that’s what Valle, May, and Schwimer are) and the Rockies will kick in some money. Ruf and Brown “may” be able to do well but I’m pretty certain that Cuddyer will hit, if healthy. I don’t know if they’ll do the deal if they get Upton (although I would still do it) but if not, they’ll need power from somewhere and it won’t be 3B and they just can’t depend on Ruf and Brown for it. Cuddyer also plays a little 3B, or at least he has in the past, and I like that flexibility. I won’t be upset if Nix isn’t back…. Hopefully, they can get rid of Nix and keep Schierholz, who can be a good bench guy.

        1. I forgot about Schieholz – I would have him in the mix too. In any event, I think a better plan is to skip Cuddyer and get Youkilis at third, who will be paid about what Cuddyer is making, but won’t cost prospects. Under my proposal, the team still goes out and gets a centerfielder – either by trade or FA. They almost have no choice in the matter, they need a centerfielder – Mayberry is a stop gap at most.

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