General Discussion – Week of November 26. “That Week Between Thanksgiving and Winter Meetings” Edition

Hey, guess what, Ryan Madson didn’t come back to the Phillies.  If you are surprised he didn’t come back to the team that dangled a nice big contract in front of his face and then pulled it away like so many cartoon footballs and left him stuck with a 1 year deal in Ohio’s Armpit, then you’re a more forgiving human being than I, I suppose.

BTW – Not sure anyone calls Cincinnati “Ohio’s Armpit”, but I just did now, so there.  No offense intended, Cincy…just yackin’.

746 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of November 26. “That Week Between Thanksgiving and Winter Meetings” Edition

  1. I’ve only ever been to Columbus so I can’t claim any special knowledge, but I believe that technically speaking Cleveland is “Ohio’s Armpit”.

  2. That’s a little bit of revisionist history about Madson’s contract situation. The Phillies offered a more than fair contract. If his agent hadn’t screwed the pooch, Madson would still be a Phillie.

    1. That storyline never sat with me as anything other than spin. I always took it that Philly was negotiating, got a little peeved and jumped to Papelbon. Really, if they made an offer and Madson balked at it and Philly walked immediately, agent or no, he’s probably not feeling the love.

      1. Spin from the FO? I take it that you believe someone like Boras wouldn’t mislead reporters (Heyman) to get his client a larger contract?

        1. I never said I believed spin from Boras either. But why is one spin better than the other? You choose to believe the Phils more, fine. I choose to believe neither side was pleased with negotiations, and Philly walked precipitously when Papelbon was in their grasp. So how exactly does this make you think Madson would be happy to return to Philly?

          1. I never said he would be happy to return to Philly. I just took exception to you placing the blame solely on the Phillies. Which you kind of amended in your statement above.

      2. Brad, he also wanted to be a closer which would not happen with Papelbon here. As for Madson’s negotiations that the Phillies offered a very good contract and Madson/Boras dragged their feet. Meanwhile Papelbon was slightly more expensive but was willing to sign then not January 2012 which would leave a gap in closing.

        1. Maybe… but then what would happen in AAA? We’ve already got Valle and Joseph ticketed there. What veteran would want to come for only April?

  3. Since it seems like we’re going to lose out on BJ Upton, I wouldn’t mind Ruben making a serious run at Dexter Fowler. His home/road splits concern me but I think he’d be a good option if the price isn’t outrageous.

    If Fowler’s unobtainable, I’d probably sign Bourn.

    1. Pagan. He’s a good defender, .333 obp, .750 OPS base-stealer, who won’t cost us players or a draft choice. Seems a no-brainer to me.

      1. I don’t want to overpay for a guy who’s basically a Victorino clone coming off a career year.

        1. So, you’d rather give up our number one pick and pay more money for a guy with an obp below .300? I think Upton is a guy who is going to look a lot less good as we watch him for a whole season. Yes, he brings the HR, but less D than Pagan and a ton of outs.

    2. Fowler had a .390 BABIP, well below average D, and he doesn’t steal bases at a good clip. Like his OB numbers, but his increased power numbers last year will take a hit moving away from Coors. You’d be paying for more than you’d really get.

  4. There is no need to sign anyone. There are typically more off days and rainouts in April, so Kratz prob starts 20-22 games and a veteran backup like Quintero or Lerud plays 3-5 games. Only other possible scenario is Valle or Joseph just goes lights out in spring training and they make one of those guys the starter and Kratz a backup, or split time. Doubt that but it’s possible.

    1. Ruiz being out hurts the lineup, especially until they get another middle order bat. Without Ruiz batting third (Utley 2nd)…. Rollins, Brown, Utley, Howard, Mayberry, Schierholz, Kratz, Frandsen.

      The roster spot needed is also a problem. Why use up a roster spot on a junk backup C if not necessary. Might have to start someone of the 60day DL.

      I was expected Ruiz and Kratz to start with Valle the callup due to injury. I figured it might happen by May but at least Valle would have Spring Training and another month at AAA before part time duty in the Majors. May also throw a wrench into possible trades options with Valle.

    1. I know, never engage the trolls but … Adderall is a pretty low-grade stimulant, it’s something high school and college kids routinely take. Really, baseball’s drug testing policy, particularly the part having to do with OTC and stimulants, needs to be revised. When one guy (Victorino) is able to take the drug and another guy (Ruiz) gets slapped with a 25-game suspension for it, it’s clearly unfair. Victorino may legitimately have ADD, in fact from what I saw of him on TV he looked like a textbook case, but it’s still unfair to allow some players an advantage simply on the basis of a very nebulously defined “condition.” It’s not like either of these guys frequently have to take standardized tests.

      1. It’s not unfair. Victorino needs it. If Ruiz can prove to an MLB Certified Doctor he needs it, he’s allowed to take it just like Victorino.

        Shane Victorino does in fact have ADD or ADHD. There’s plenty of players in Major League baseball who need to take it (Fransden being another and Collier at the minor league level).

      2. Adderall is NOT a low grade stimulant. It’s a mixture of amphetamine salts and its very potent stimulant. It’s also a schedule 2 narcotic, with the exception of schedule 1 narcotics (coke and meth which aren’t for sale at pharmacies) it has the highest potential for physical and mental addiction. From your friendly neighborhood pharmacist.

      3. If a playeris tested positive then, the MLB player gets tested 6 times through the season….twice without any notice. Chooch failed for the second time, thus the ban. Just get a medical clearance! But who knows, maybe after the foot injury he dicided he needed it before returning in September.

        1. There is a terrific story by Larry Stone in Wednesday’s (11-28-2012)edition of the Seattle Times.
          In the story, Dr. Gary Wadler, a past chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List Committee, goes into great detail about why the medication used to treat ADHD — attention deficit hyperactivty disorder — is considered a performance-enhancing drug. “It masks fatigue, masks pain, increases arousal — like being in The Zone,” Wadler told Stone. “It increases alertness, aggressiveness, attention and concentration. It improves reaction time, especially when fatigued. Some think it enhances hand-eye coordination. Some believe it increases the mental aspects of performance.” Wadler, an associate professor of medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, described Adderall as “one of the quintessential performance-enhancing drugs. There’s no question it’s a performance-enhancing drug.” The doctor was also skeptical about the total number of baseball players who have been approved to use Adderall and the amphetamine Ritalin through Theraputic Use Exemptions because they were diagnosed with ADHD. That number was 105 players in 2011. “I’m an internist, and I see lots of patients,” Wadler said. “I can count on one hand the number I’ve seen over the years who had (ADHD) to such a degree that they required medicine.” Wadler added that ADHD has become “the diagnosis du jour in our society.

  5. I just read through the catcher dis. It was quite interesting. I also don’t see a problem with having a strength at a position. It will play out and is playing out as we speak. It can be a strength one moment and a weakness very quick. The most startling thing I saw through out the dicussion was almost a disdain for the defensive prowess of our catchers. You don.t make the major leagues if you can not go in the dirt and dig the ball out. Our pitchers would have a fit if the catchers inability to dig out a change or breaking ball takes away their bread and butter pitches. If you read between the lines,actually you didn’t even need to do that, the org. was so impressed with the job Rupp did with maybe our best set of pitchers in the org this year they were giddy. Rupp has always had a def. reputation, that is why he was a high draft pick. His bat has improved each year and his power is equal to joe.and Vil. Having Jordan come in and notice this has helped a player that may have slipped through the cracks. Why he was slow balled by the previous group is another discussion. He came from a major college and should not have been lost like that. That is why he is 24 now. The main thing is he has been noticed and is the equal of the top two prospect catchers in the system. It doesn’t matter how well you hit if you can’t catch and throw and have the respect of the pitchers. As I stated, dig balls out of the dirt. Especially in CBP. I have also heard more excusses for Joseph, it is almost getting comical now. Now, he was sick And I haven’t read about a plus-plus arm and I certainly didn’t see one, it was avg. at best when I saw him. A plus- plus arm is on Lino’s body. He toyed with a runner, the game we saw. I could not understand what everyone was seeing in Joseph. Then I read that someone with the Phil’s had changed his approach when he arrived. I can give him some time, but to many people are blindly buying the bull the Phil’s put out after everyone realized how little they got for Pence. I hope he becomes the next Posey, but until then, believe your eyes. No matter how many times it is said, will not make it true.

  6. Cameron Rupp has always had a good defensive reputation but has just started to hit well for a catcher. As for Tommy Joseph, he was the Giants #2 prospect and just turned 21 so we need to give him some time as a full time starter. Having too many prospects at the catching position is a good problem to have.

  7. THE draft is so funny to me. yesterday someone posted how bad the 2005 draft was. but 5 guys have played in majors from that draft. I think the 2009 draft is worse, right now only one guy projects to play in the majors. singleton. the rest are nothing to brag about. imo and i believe this wasnt a wade draft.

    1. The 2009 draft is not that bad. Of the players that the Phillies signed the only one to make the majors so far is Darin Ruf. But there is still plenty of hope and projection for Singleton, Dugan, Altherr, and Colvin to at least make the majors. Getting a player like Singleton (lets not all get sad right now) is enough to make it a good draft. Notable players drafted and not signed include AJ Griffin and Andrew Susac.

  8. On the heels of Marvin Miller’s passing the next month should be really interesting. All the propaganda is that teams have all this new money to spend yet we really haven’t seen it. Are the owners really colluding? are they pissed that the media keeps putting out these TV Revenue Deals?

    I for one would like to side with ownership if they were but then it only takes two knuckle heads like Moreno and Illitch to F up the whole market. Its us the paying fans that pay the price in the end. Bourn wants $100M give me a break….

  9. Jim Salisbury article on Kyle Simon: — “Kyle Simon, the Phillies acquired him in the June trade that sent Jim Thome to Baltimore. “He’ll be knocking on the door for the big leagues soon,” said Dusty Wathan, who managed Simon after the trade at Double A Reading and recently in the Arizona Fall League. Simon, a 22-year-old righthander, was a fourth-round pick by the Orioles out of the University of Arizona in 2011. The Orioles’ scouting director at the time was Joe Jordan, who is now the Phillies’ farm director. That’s an important bit of information. Simon, who stands 6-foot-5 and throws sidearm, was used mostly as a starter in the Orioles’ system. Armed with strong background information from Jordan, the Phillies quickly converted Simon to reliever and the results were impressive. In 20 appearances for Single A Clearwater and Double A Reading, Simon went 4-0 and allowed just six earned runs in 39 2/3 innings. He gave up just 22 hits while striking out 35 and walking six. “He’s got a sinker that hunts ground,” Jordan said. Pitchers who can get ground balls are always attractive in Citizens Bank Park. “It’s almost unbelievable how he can get a ground ball,” Wathan said. “He can sink the ball as good as I’ve seen. Guys just have trouble getting the ball in the air off him. That’s a huge asset.” Simon got starter’s innings in the Arizona Fall League because the Phillies wanted him to work on his slider. He struggled in Arizona and allowed 12 runs in 12 innings. Simon is eager to get back to the bullpen in spring training. He believes that is where his future lies. And he’s thrilled the Phillies agree with him. “I feel more comfortable with the Phillies,” he said in a recent interview in Arizona. “I feel like they have a better plan for me.” Simon also likes the mentality that comes with bullpen work. “When I started, my head wasn’t always there,” he said. “When you’re relieving, you’re coming into clutch situations and I enjoy that much better because it’s grind time. There’s no holding back.” “Joe (Jordan) saw me before and after the draft and I always thought he liked me,” Simon said. “When he moved to the Phillies, I was like, ‘Dang.’ As soon as the trade rumors started, I figured Joe had something to do with it. “I’m pretty excited to be with the Phillies and go to work for them next year. I want to go into camp healthy and strong and make a push to make the Triple A team.”

  10. If we lose on Upton, then Pagan is a no brainer. He can hit second this year and possibly lead off if Jimmy is ever dealt. However, this will put a lot of pressure on Ruf to hit 5th (until Ruiz comes back). Amaro recently was quoted somewhere saying they learned that Ruf can play and adequate left field. We’ll if that is the case then trot him out there and hit him 5th or 6th.

    Rollins
    Pagan
    Utley
    Howard
    Ruf
    Ruiz
    Brown
    thirdbasemen

    then in 2014 (get rid of a declining Rollins)
    Pagan
    Asche
    Utley?? (resigned?)
    Howard
    Ruf
    Brown
    Ruiz/Joseph
    Galvis

    See, this is where signing Upton would be nice. He is a middle of the lineup guy so even if Utley leaves in 2014, you have a guy who can move up and hit 3rd. Maybe Dom Brown can be that guy? Also, even if he is resigned, will he still be a three hole hitter? Nope. Look at this sick lineup.

    Brown
    Utley
    Upton
    Howard
    Ruf
    Asche
    Joseph
    Galvis

    1. Why do people think Rollins will be dealt? I think the Phillies see Rollins and Utley as their version of Derek Jeter — Phillies for life. JMO, but there’s no reason to believe that either of these guys will ever be traded.

      1. The scenario for Rollins getting traded involves pretty much the same probability as Mercury, Mars and Saturn coming into alignment. The Phils having a crappy season, a big budget team in contention loses its shortstop through injury at the trade deadline. That aside, Rollins much like Howard are Phils for the life of their contracts.

        1. If you are suggesting that Rollins has no trade value you are dead wrong. Rollins significantly out-performed his deal last year and will probably do so again this year. Whether the Phils want to trade him is another issue.

        2. Technically speaking, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn have aligned, at least as recently as 2002…according to wikipedia. So even though it is a rare occurance it has a 100% chance of happening since it already has. Therefore, is your argument that Rollins is 100% getting traded? I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or not…

          1. You got me on the alignment (can’t believe you looked it up). Let’s say that happens every 10 years. Maybe Rollins gets traded in 2022. catch22, you seem to take everything I post in a way other than intended. I don’t think there’s a ready market for Rollins as I look around baseball but that’s not meant as disparagemnt of his value. I think when Rollins was extended Ruben concluded he was the Phils’ best bet for the life of the contract and barring an unusual confluence of events on this planet Rollins remains in Philly and I’m ok with that.

            1. I just read this post where you say that I take everything in a way other than as it was intended. Please point out some examples to me because I think I am pretty good at meeting people’s arguments head on and, yes, I will even admit when I am wrong. Moving on to this post, you suggested that all of the stars would have to align in order for the Phillies to trade Jimmy Rolllins. I said, in essence, no, you’re dead wrong, Jimmy Rollins has a lot of trade value and I continue to believe that it’s true (you don’t think the Yankees woud take Jimmy Rollins off their hands if they just did a salary dump? Seriously?). Please explain how I misconstrued your comment or any other comment of any other poster. I think you just don’t agree with my positions, which is perfectly fine (even if I still think you’re wrong), but I don’t think I am in any way disingenous or put words in other peoples’ mouths, that’s not my style.

    2. That’s far from a “sick” lineup. It’s probably about a league average lineup, assuming Ruf, Asche, Joseph and Galvis at least approach their reasonable ceilings.

      That said, given the current state of the franchise, in the near to medium term, the key to returning to contention most likely will be a decent lineup combined with very good pitching. And in that context, this isn’t the worst possible lineup for 2014. I’d quibble with some of the choices (Galvis over Rollins, I still have reservations about Ruf, Joseph might not be ready, and at this point it doesn’t look like they are going to get Upton), and there’s some risk there, but the team could do worse.

      1. Brown must be a ‘middle lineup’ hitter for 2014 to look any good, with the current crop of player. I wonder what the record for 3 straight K’s is with Upton, Howard, Ruf. However, if they hit 120 HRs combined I doubt many people will care about the 600 strikeouts.

        I highly doubt it but 2014 lineup could be (just Rollins traded):
        Gillies, Hernandez, Brown, Howard, Ruf, Joseph, Asche, Galvis. WOW!
        with Hamels, Lee, Worely, Martin, Pettibone

  11. Ruben was on the radio last night with Jody Mac and again re-iterated that on Ruf’s defensive skills all reports from Venezuela coaches and scouts was that he ‘more then can hold his own’ in LF However he wants to see him in an extented period to judge for himself.

  12. Rosenthal says Phillies are kicking the tires on Wilton Lopez….why is my question. We have plenty of RP or we can sign any number of FA’s to fill the 8th inning void.

    1. Lopez had a great last three years, he doesn’t strike a ton out but he doesn’t walk people or give up the long ball, and has three years under team control with no risk of having to sign a long term contract. MLBtraderumors estimates that he will make about 1.2 million in his first year of arb. I think it will likely cost a guy in the back of the Top 30 as he does have years of control but he is 29 year old reliever so it won’t be a premium prospect. Gives them more flexibility than giving a long term deal to a veteran that will likely be an overpay.

  13. Phils making strong push for Wilton Lopez, I guess dealing w/ Houston hasn’t stopped since Ed Wade left, HOU wants prospects (Valle)

    1. Sounds like there’s an agreement. Near-ML ready prospect being reported. Valle perhaps? Judging by the Quintero signing yesterday. There’d be a logjam in AAA if it wasn’t Valle or Joseph.

    2. Depending on the price, I think it’s a great move. The Phillies have lots of fine young arms, but no proven, reliable bridge reliever to the closer (or to come into a late inning tie game on the road). Lopez is the perfect, under-the-radar candidate to fill this role. The Phillies are likely trading young arms (a position of strength) to get a player who is cheap, under team control for 4 more years, and solves a desperate need. Again depending on the price, it seems like a pretty astute move to me.

        1. Thanks – I looked at the BA service time, which was two years, but that was calculated before the 2012 season so, yes, it’s 3 years. Sorry about that.

    1. If its Valle, fantastic trade for the Phillies.

      Valle is likely never going to be more than a backup and there’s no room for him and Joseph in the minors to get reps.

      Lopez is a very solid reliever with 3 years of team control.

      1. Its a great deal, this guy is a perfict fit for CBP with no walks and few homers given up. I’m guessing the cost is Valle and Schwimer and possibly a lower level OF. We’ll see.

    2. Seems fair, Valle has really fallen from favoe and at this point would take a huge change to be an impact player. If it is near major league talent I could see them moving a reliever, Valle, Hernandez (who makes no sense for Houston with Altuve), or maybe a Cloyd. The impact guys there like Asche, Joseph, and Gillies would be surpreme overpay.

      1. There is zero chance it’s Joseph and I would be shocked if Aumont were included. I would guess that Asche and Gillies were also not traded, but Ruben has shocked me before (remember the Santana PTBNL disaster?). Praying for Lindblom, Valle, Cloyd, Schwimer and C. Hernandez to be among the prime guys to be moved. I know a lot of people around here really like him, but I wouldn’t lose sleep if DeFratus were traded.

          1. I echo this sentiment, but I am one of the people who WOULD “lose sleep” if JDF is in the package. I want Aumont, JDF, and Bonilla as our young, devastating relievers, with Diekman in the same role, except as a lefty specialist. There’s a lot of K’s to dream on with that group (plus Lopez and Papelbon, obviously).

            1. Seriously this. Aumont, Bonilla and Giles seem to all be guys who could be devastating bullpen guys sometime down the road.

        1. I can’t see moving Aumont, DeFratus, Diekman, or Bonilla as they all have potential to be as good as Lopez within the year. I could see a deal that is Rosenberg and Valle or something like that, could also see the Phillies moving Castro or James but those would be tough sells with them being Rule V eligible.

          1. I forgot about Rosenberg, although I think the organization is a bit enamored with him. Valle and Hernandez are high on my list of who we’d give up in this deal. If they are interested in Cloyd, I could see him there, too. The Astros were probably given their choice of Schwim, Savery, Horst, and Lindblom.

          2. Now, putting the shoe on the other foot, if you’re the Astros, why would you do this trade knowing you have a cost-controlled reliever who can close games? It seems you to me that you have to get back young prospects who have the ability to give you more value over the long run and over more years before they hit free agency. As such, why wouldn’t you insist on receiving at least one reliever with the same or greater upside as Lopez plus other consideration? I think you would, unless you are going for a single top 15 starting or position prospect. That’s why I think at least one pretty good relief prospect will be included in this trade or, if not, it will be another decent prospect. We’ll see soon enough. But if you told me today that it’s say, Bonilla and C. Hernandez for Lopez, while it would hurt quite a bit (I love Bonilla), I’d have to say it was a fair deal.

  14. Catchmen. did you ever see de frautus? he is imo and a lot of scouts the best relief pitching prospect we have. diekman, aumont, arent in this kids class, he would have help them last year, if he didnt get hurt. stupid move if they trade him.but who do we have who is major league ready??? maybe a schwimer or diekman, but thats a reach. cant figure who the hell they mean.

    1. Yes, yes, yes, I’ve seen DeFratus. In terms of raw stuff, he’s a good little player, but his raw stuff is not in the league of Aumont, Diekman or even Bonilla. His stuff is good, not great. He has a good (but not great) fastball in the low 90s, touching 94 or 95 and his velocity is inconsistent. His breaking pitches are good, but not outstanding. He projects as a 7th inning reliever, with the outside chance of becoming a set-up man (and a very remote chance of becoming a closer), but he is also an injury risk. His upside is probably what Lopez is right now and will likely be over the next several years. In light of that, and knowing that the team needs a cost-controlled set-up man right now and has a glut of young relievers, why would I hesitate for a minute to trade him for Lopez?

      1. I agree with everything you said. I wouldn’t love giving up DeFratus but if that was the cost, its still a good deal for us.

    1. That would be an immense overpay, the Phillies just got Joseph as the primary piece in trading Hunter Pence. If there is a catcher going it is Valle, to trade Joseph would be to really admit defeat on the Pence deals as a whole and would be bad from a PR aspect.

  15. Philly.com is suggesting it is Valle. Probably added a pitcher and who has scouted the Phillies harder over the past year than the Astros? I would say Cloyd because the Astros need starters and he is superfluous with Kendrick and Worley here and others on the way.

    1. Hopefully, it’s Valle. Valle is nothing more than a back-up right now and he is actually blocking Joseph at AAA.

    2. And if it is only that – and not one of our top 5 guys – this is a great trade for the Phillies. Colvin, Savery are all local to that area and last time we traded with them one of the kids they got was a Texan. They like the local angle.
      But Lopez is a guy I thought the Phillies would target and he is perfect (assuming health) for the Phillies and is a Hispanic which Bastardo needs – never underestimate the fact that the Latino players are in a different culture and appreciate having a fellow relief pitcher that they can hang with in the pen. I predict a big year for the Phillies pen. I also think the Phillies are thinking about getting a strong fielder in center and at third as much as a strong hitter (mostly because that animal may not exist in nature).

  16. From FG chat:

    Comment From Tomcat
    Speaking of Wilton Lopez I am betting the Phillies give up a lot less and get a much better pitcher than Boston did in the Melancon trade.

    12:18
    Dave Cameron: I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be Darin Ruf. Astros need a DH with move to AL, and Phillies have nowhere to play him.

    What do we think about that? I think I’m ok with it. Selling high on Ruf and it will give him a better chance to play.

    1. I had this thought too, but I really don’t think that’s going to happen as the Phils seem to be making a concerted effort to work him into their plans in left. We’ll know soon enough, however.

    2. I would be OK with Ruf and it does make sense with the Astros going to the AL. If it is Valle and Ruf that might be a little much. I do imagine one of our 2nd tier relievers is in the deal like Rosenberg.

      1. I agree that seems a bit much, but I fine with either of them headlining a package that includes a low leverage relief prospect (Schwimmer, Rosenberg, Horst, Savery, Ramirez).

        On a note now that I think about it, JC Ramirez seems a perfect fit for this type of trade, he has decent upside but he needs to be carried on a 25 man roster all year as he is out of options. There really isn’t any room for him in Philly and he would be a good flier for Houston.

    3. I think this is a distinct possibility. A always got a feeling that a lot of the talking up of Ruf that RAJ has been doing is to set up a trade. Unfortunately I think that iin the long term this would be a bad trade for the Phillies. I still see Ruf developing into a Pat the Bat who weas never given the respect in Philly he deserved. I was hoping more for Ruf to be involved in a OF or 3B trade rather than a reliever.

      1. The value is debatable. The problem is that if you trade Ruf, you are trading from what is already an area of weakness (power hitting outfielder) to shore up another weakness. I’d rather they trade from a area of strength (relief pitching) and, hopefully, they have done so.

  17. Thought I could stay out of the speculation but Ruf’s name brings me in. Would be astounded if Ruf were included since he is being groomed in such an obvious way to play a position of need. Valle and any one of a number of prospect relievers seems fair. The Astros apparently were concerned that Wilton would become expensive once he is arbitration eligible. Sucks to support a team like the Astros that worries about the closer on its last place team becoming unaffordable.

    1. I’m not sure how I feel about the possibility of Ruf being included. But “being groomed in such an obvious way to play a position of need” I think puts too much weight on the public statements of Phillies’ officials, Amaro especially. There are plenty of reasons why the Phillies might say that publicly when, behind the scenes their scouts are less positive about his chances to become a regular corner outfielder.

    2. They can’t, and I don’t think they will, give up Ruf. He’s the starting LF with serious power potential. You don’t give up such a player for a setup reliever.

      More likely Valle and Simon.

  18. Valle makes se se for Houston. Mexican prospect where their is a big mexican commuinity can be a fan fav.

  19. Ruf for Lopez isnt worth it. I think you guys are overvaluing a set up guy. Even Valle.. I was hoping the Phillies would use those guys for an outfielder or third baseman.

    1. Broxton just got 21 Mil for 3 years. Lopez is better and he’s locked up for 3 years too for probably something like 5-6 Mil total in arbitration. I think the Phils would be very happy with giving up Ruf for 15Mil of value.

  20. I just posted this on Crashburn Alley, but I think people are way underestimating what Lopez is going to cost. This is a pretty effective back-end reliever who was Houston’s stopgap closer who is under team control for three more years. You don’t get that back for Valle alone, and probably not for Valle and one of the surplus reliever guys, like Aumont, DeFratus, etc. I think the centerpiece of the deal is likely a starting pitcher, and my nomination is Jonathan Pettibone, though I wouldn’t be totally shocked if it were May, Martin or Morgan. Pettibone is the closest of those guys to the majors, so would fit the description of ML ready “prospects” (plural) that we’re hearing on Twitter. He’s also the lowest upside, but I could see a polished pitcher like him pitching at the back of a team like the Astro’s rotation next year. If so, it’s a pretty high price to pay for the Phillies, especially given the possibility of filling that 8th inning role internally.

      1. True, I’m not saying it’s a bad trade yet, as we don’t know what the pieces are for sure–even Valle is just speculation at this point. I’m just saying the Phillies are going to pay a high price in terms of prospects to fill that role in a trade. It’s not going to be Aumont and Valle.

    1. However I do agree that when we get the names, we’ll all cringe a little. Gotta give up something to get something.

    2. If we give up May, Martin or Morgan I will throw a tantrum. That would be an awful deal. I could live with giving up Pettibone although I wouldn’t be that happy about that either. If Aumont is a throw in part of the deal that makes it even worse.

  21. Also, with regard to Ruf filling a hole for Houston as DH, I was thinking that the plan for next year would be for Singleton to become the first baseman with Brett Wallace moving to DH?

    1. Singleton will spend another year in the minors. It is not in Houston’s interest to bring him up early and lose a year of pre-arb and control for a performance that is likely to be subpar due to rushing him to the majors. He’ll get a full year of AAA. Houston isn’t going anywhere in 2013, so it is not like they are craving his extra help in the bigs.

      1. True, but if Singleton is the 1B of the future, that makes Wallace the DH of the future, which makes Ruf not a great fit. Also, I think it’s very rare for teams to acquire minor league players specifically to play DH.

  22. sorry off subject, but why would madson turn down 11 million, to sign a one year 5 million dollar deal and the 5 million or so is not guaranted. makes no sense. take the 11 million. prove your healthy, and next year get bigger deal, but 11 million for a guy who wasnt going to start the season is nuts.

    1. Could be any number of reasons, but remember the buy-out for his option was 2.5M, so it’s actually $7.5M instead of $11M. Not that it makes much sense, fiscally speaking, still, but it matters.

    1. On second thought, those numbers the last two years are not just bad, they’re historically bad. What happened to him? Just injuries? I always thought of him as someone who had great plate discipline, I remember a lot of people positing that he was a better sign for the Phillies than Polanco because he could take a walk, but his OBP has been below .250 the last two years. That’s remarkable considering he was around .400 in his contract year.

      1. Somebody on mlbtr who watches Figgins a lot more than I says he’s lost all bat speed. Don’t know any non-pharmacological answers to that problem. Jason Bay is supposed to be the ultimate team guy. Figgins is supposedly vocal to the media about riding the pine. If it got down to the 25th roster spot, sooner Bay than Figgins for me even though Figgins is extremely versatile in terms of the positions he plays.

  23. Suspense is killing me. I also have a feeling that there will be at least one guy in the trade that we’ll be sore about giving up.

  24. Apparently some teams have been turned off by Lopez’s medical records. More of a reason not to give up too much in this deal.

    1. Apparently that’s why we don’t know yet what we’re giving up – because passing the physical is not a given.

    2. Interesting and noteworthy, but if you look on Fangraphs, you will see that, late in the year, his velocity was, on the whole, probably better than it has ever been – regularly in the mid-90s and touching 96 or so. A good sign suggesting he is healthy.

      1. He was out mid-year with an elbow problem – that’s what the medical concerns are about.

        Someone on Twitter cracked that, while Lopez is in town, he hoped that Andrew Bynum does not take him out bowling. I actually laughed out loud at that one.

  25. We all love prospects on this blog, but a lot need to realize this team isnt a small market club or even a middle of the road. It gives the team the ability to spend big else where and not on something as little value as an 8th inning guy. In the end theyre just prospects. Outside of giving up Jesse Biddle the club wins big by not investing 25 million dollars for a player pitching 75 innings.

    1. But at the same time, developing your own prospects means not having to pay big elsewhere. Just because you can spend money to cover a lack of everyday talent reaching the majors through the farm system doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to maximize value from your prospects. Making smart trades is important no matter how big your market is.

      1. +1 I’ll reserve my opinion until the deal actually happens and we see what it cost. We’re talking about at best an 8th inning guy with elbow issues.

    2. So giving up Martin, May or Morgan would be ok for you? You’re talking about guys who could be decent middle of the rotation players maybe even more. That’s got more value than a reliever and it’s not like they’re ages away from the bigs. Any of them could be up by September if they perform well. I’d also not be ok with trading away someone like Aumont. He can possibly be one of the filthiest relievers in the league and it’s not worth having him be a throw IMO.

      1. Yes a team with the ability to spend 220 million dollars when those 3 are able to produce at a high level, if they even reach their peak which is doubtful for any prospect. I would trade any of them to try and better the MLB immediately like this deal. The Philadelphia Phillies are not the Kansas City Royals.

        1. I guess my thing is I wouldn’t trade them for Wilton Lopez. I don’t mind trading guys to make the big club better but we shouldn’t just throw them away for any sort of upgrade. They’re still valuable assets and if we’re going to trade them they should be reserved for true impact players instead of relievers.

            1. Agreed. You are talking about acquiring a borderline elite, inexpensive set up man. This is a huge position of need for a team that intends to contend. Valle and any pitcher not named Biddle, May or Martin and I do it in a heartbeat.

            2. It would be a travesty. If valle or pettibone are the best piece in the deal I can live with it. Otherwise ugh.

            3. I know people grow attached to these prospects. The truth is they are not top 100 prospects and probably will never be. Id be soured if Biddle got dealt and other high ceiling players (Quinn, Franco types). but our system from AAA to high A is filled with a bunch of players who project as average regulars and middle to back of the rotation arms.

            4. That is what good prospects are, solid regulars are how you save money to acquire stars. If you can’t develop #4 starters you are forced to give the Blantons of the world 8 million a year. Yes we become overly attached to prospects but just because they are not stars does not mean you overpay.

      2. I’m thinking Valle and Pettibone if its 2 players. Phils are giving up on Valle (rightly so) and consider it a 1 for 1 trade.

  26. Aside from signing bonuses, does anyone have any estimate on how much it costs an organization to bring a player through their farm system on the the way the majors? — thanks.

    1. Not much. Also all these minor league teams make money and those roster spots would have to be filled out by someone after all.

  27. Spike Eskin…and indictment against Ruben—- PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – ‘Since the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, they have had less success in each consecutive season. From losing the World Series in 2009, to losing in the League Championship series in 2010, to losing in the Division Series in 2011, to not making the playoffs in 2012. Also during the time period, the Phillies have had more players suspended for performance enhancing drugs than any other organization. Since 2009, there have been 18 suspensions of rostered major or minor league players with major league experience, and five of those players have been in the Phillies organization, nearly 28% of all suspensions. JC Romero’s suspension in 2009 was for a violation in 2008, Freddy Galvis and Carlos Ruiz in 2012, minor leaguer Pablo Ozuna was suspended in 2009, and Kevin Frandsen was suspended in 2011. The Dodgers have had three suspensions during the same time period.’ —Hispanics seem to bethe most vulnerable to PED issues within the Philadelphia organization.

    1. I’ve only heard him a couple of time but who goes by the name Spike and gets taken seriously. What a nerd

  28. I see it rumored on the Astros website, that the return will be 2 minor leaguers who have played in the upper reaches of the Phillies farm system, in the Wilton Lopez thing. I guess from looking at the Astros rosters they might need a Catcher, Infielders- not so much, Outfielders (for sure) and lots of Pitchers.
    I guess they give Valle, do not like this but you got to give something to get something and it will wreck nothing, then they give Gillies also. I say they be generous and include Jonathon Pettibone as well. I don’t have a problem with such a trade.

    And, as an aside, Spike Eskin is right. I had something around a year back that said about 1/3 of all minor leaguers busted for drug issues by MLB were Phillies farmhands.

  29. I’ll be sick if the Phillies give up Ruf. Too much upside. He could fizzle out but why trade him coming off the year he had along with winter ball. I know, I know…sell high. I just think he has a very good baseball sense and is someone I can actually look forward to seeing in spring training and the regular season. From a phan perspective, this would be a disaster.

  30. By the way, MLBTR says Braves close with B. J. Upton.
    Also, by my count, Astros 40 man roster now at 36/

    1. I’m not sure whether or not to be disappointed by the news that Upton is likely going to the Braves. he has some qualities I like but others I don’t. I’m sure everyone feels the same. I expect the Bourn news to pick up next. It seems the Phils don’t want Victorino back and I expect Pagan to return to San Fran after he gets some team wanting him that he can use to get SF to pay him. I’d be ok with Bourn to a number but I’m not sure what the Phils will do. Dexter and Span are still possible trades. We need Laroche to resign with the Nats because that might take them out of chasing Bourn and raising the price.

    2. Let atlanta lose their pick. I’d prefer the phillies sit tight and if Bourn falls into their laps make that move at reduced price. The phillies can still make trade during middle of season if it looks like Utley and Howard are healthy and producing and it appears Phillies are only CF away.

      1. Somehow I don’t think Scott Boras is going to let that deal serve as his benchmark for Bourn. He’s willing to bide his time, always, and his friends in Washington could use a CF. The Phillies like to act fast, overpaying if necessary, in order to fill their holes early in the offseason. Call me crazy, and I didn’t think likely until Upton fell through, but I could see Amaro surprising everyone now by signing Hamilton.

        1. If the reports are true that teams are unwilling to go more than 3 or 4 years for Hamilton it’s definitely something to look into.

          1. I could see a scenario where they went to something like 4 years/$60 million with Upton, he held out for 5, and they then decide to reallocate that money to Hamilton in a 3 year/$60 million deal. Maybe add a 4th year option that triggers so long as he stays on the wagon and hits an easily attainable number of plate appearances. I’m not saying I’d love that deal, but I’m saying I could see Amaro offering it.

            1. I think I prefer it to Upton. There is a possibility of much better things with Hamilton then there is with Upton. I always felt pretty blah about Upton and what he could bring. His WAR is nice but how he gets there just doesn’t seem all that spectacular. OBP is awful and contact is bad.

            2. Agreed. The way I look at it, the Braves are paying $15 million a year in AAV–that is star-level $$$–to an outfielder who has yet to become a star. He may develop into a guy who produces like Curtis Granderson, but they’re already paying him the same amount per year that Granderson is making from the Yankees in 2013. And the indicators have been moving in the wrong direction

      2. Atlanta loses a pick on Upton but gets a sandwich pick for losing Bourn so it’s essentially a wash for them and maybe the reason they can bid slightly more on Upton than the Phils would care to go knowing they (Phils) lose a draft pick as a buried cost.

  31. Its got to be Valle plus someone else and maybe a 3rd player lower in the system. Possible names for the 2nd guy are Cloyd, Pettibone, Schwimer, Diekman, Castro, and Gillies. I’m going to guess that its not Pettibone (who I have in my top 10) and that its 2 guys not in our top 10. We’ll have to wait for Lopez to pass his physical in the next or two to find out. Its a very good deal getting a resonably priced set up guy. Theoretically, this allows them to spend more for their CF, whichever one they get (and they will get one of them).

    1. Murray, I hope you’re right, but I think you’re way undervaluing Lopez if you think we’re going to get him for Valle and two guys not in the top 10. He’s a legit 8th inning arm who could be (and was) a closer on a non-contending team. He’s probably worth something in the neighborhood of Broxton’s contract on the open market, but the Phillies are getting him for his arb years, so they’re saving a lot of money, hence they’ve got to be giving up something significant to get the Astros to part with him. It’s not just a matter of the Astros not wanting to pay him, it’s that nearly every other team in baseball wants a guy like Lopez at the back of their bullpen, so the Phillies must be offering something attractive.

      I stand by my prediction of Valle and Pettibone as best case scenario.

      1. Actually though, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it might not be something like May and Rupp. The Phillies are clearly frustrated with May, and they’ve been really talking up Rupp in a way that seems possibly designed to increase the buzz around him as a prospect. Rupp is from Texas, too. The Astros are clearly going to want a high-ceiling player back in return for their cost-controlled closer.

  32. Would be perfectly happy with Valle and any two of these…Cloyd, Schwimer, Diekman or Castro….but would be surprised if that gets it done.

    Heyman reporting that Upton has agreed with Braves. I’m not convinced the Phils land either of the other 2 marquee CFs

  33. Upton to ATL. Personally not a fan of bringing in either Hamilton or Bourn. I’ve heard Pagan and a Fowler trade as possibilities…any other options?

      1. I really like Stubbs. I know he is far from perfect but I like the way he plays and if he can ever get consistent he could be pretty good. (I see him as a young less-hyper Victorino)

        1. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs seems to think that Stubbs may be on the cusp of a bounce-back year. Cameron tabbed the 28-year old as one of three players to bounce back in 2013, and quite possibly with another team. Here’s exactly what he had to say about Stubbs: Drew Stubbs, CF — As a first-time arbitration-eligible player, Stubbs isn’t likely to be available because the Reds can’t afford to give him the $3 million or so he’ll likely be awarded. Instead, he’s likely to be available because the Reds simply want a better center fielder. He still strikes out far too often for a guy without big-time power, and his .277 OBP last year has the Reds looking for a new leadoff hitter. However, Stubbs is a quality defender and his core stats — walk rate, strikeout rate, and isolated power — were all basically identical to his 2011 marks, when Stubbs was a productive player for the Reds.
          If he bounces back even a little bit offensively, he could be a league-average player, and at 28 years old, he still has a bit of upside left. While there are a lot of free-agent center fielders available, a team looking for a lower-cost option could do a lot worse than Stubbs, who offers enough power, speed and defense to be useful for any team that can get past his problems making contact. The strikeouts aren’t going away, but a flawed player is not a useless player, and getting Stubbs out of Cincinnati might just be the second chance he needs.

      2. Like Stubbs also…he has the determination and attitude to prove something to media people and alike who were doubting him this summer in Cincy.

  34. If the Phillies are serious about playing Ruf in LF (assuming he’s not traded), then they need a speedy CF that can cover ground…which is why Upton made so much sense. Don’t want Shane back. I like Pagan.

  35. I could see Aumont and Valle, as I have read make-up issues on both. Aumont’s are well documented – Valle’s less so. But one scout described him as lazy behind the plate last year. Phillies are smart about using make-up issues as trade fodder. Gose, Villar, Cosart, Drabek, and Carrasco all had them. That indicates a trend in organizational philosophy, and is beyond coincidence in my book.

    1. I don’t mind Valle because his OBP is just dreadful. Aumont I still think that he could be very good and would like to see him in the Phils bullpen this year

      1. Gotta give something valuable. Valle not enough. I seem to like Pettibone more than many. Would rather trade Aumont than him.

      2. Agree about Aumont, hope he isn’t included. We know he has control issues. Who knows about the “mental makeup” questions. However, he also has filthy stuff, the likes of which just doesn’t come around very often.

    2. If “make-up issues” are the criteria, then wouldn’t Gillies be the first to go? Methinks you suffer from confirmation bias.

  36. Great deal for atlanta. at 15 million per season, thats cheap in todays market. bourn will now want 20 million, per season I think we just wait out the market,imo none of these guys are top players, except hamilton and he has baggage, bourn has no power, and faded bad last year. upton obp was horrible, dexter flowers, cant hit on the road, pagan i really dont know enough to rate him. maybe a cheap option comes up .myers can be had from kc, for pitching. but i dont believe we have want they want.

  37. BJ Upton to Atlanta for 5 yrs / $75 isn’t going to make me cry in my soup. I would have supported a similar deal if the Phillies made it but I sure wouldn’t have loved it. I think there are other CF options now and over the next five years that will be better and cheaper than Upton. I appreciate the Philly Brain Trust for not bidding higher, because I think Atlanta would have signed him anyway and then the Phillies remaining options would have grown that much more expensive. I’ve been critical in the past of the Phillies needlessly and impatiently setting the market high but they didn’t let that happen here. Good for them, their patience will pay off.

    I hope this opens the door for a Hamilton signing. Braves fans will do a lot of hand-wringing if Hamilton signs with the Phillies, especially if it’s in the neighborhood of 4 years / $80 mil. But even if Hamilton goes elsewhere, I could see the Phillies plugging the CF hole for a lot cheaper and with much less commitment. For example, get Swisher or even Ichiro on a team-friendly one-year deal and let Mayberry platoon in center with Brown. It’s not ideal, but Mayberry isn’t that far off from Upton when it comes right down to it. Bottom line, I feel certain someone will pop free late in the offseason and the Phillies will not regret “losing” BJ Upton to the Braves.

    The more I sit with it, the better I feel.

    1. I think reports are the Phillies have taken them out of the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes.

      More likely, at this point, I think they try to trade for a Center Fielder unless the prices are too high, if so sign Bourn for something like 5 years $85 million.

      1. Bourn at 5 yrs / $85 million would be a terrible signing. If they were even considering a deal like that for Bourn, they would have just bid higher for Upton. No, I don’t see that happening at all.

        My gut says the Phillies will be in on Hamilton regardless of the initial reports. If Hamilton goes elsewhere, I still don’t think Bourn is the answer unless they get him on a one or two year deal, which they probably won’t.

        1. I don’t like Hamilton in Center. We’d still have to go get someone.

          I think that contract’s market rate. Obviously wouldn’t want to hand out but I wouldn’t be upset if that was the final number. I’d rather make a trade.

    2. I see that as a good deal for Braves on Upton.
      I doubt he becomes useless during the contract and suprised he did not get a 6th year or even an option.

  38. Jim Salisbury just mentioned Valle, Rosenberg, Schwimmer, and Cloyd as potential players the Astros are interested in for the trade.

    1. I might be in the minority but I think a combination of those players would not be bad for both teams. Schwimmer and Rosenberg get crap but they are young, cheap, and have better stuff than Lopez. Valle is a good return outside of the walks he has good power and has shown good contact in the past. He is good defensively as well, if you have good reports on him he is the type of player to take a flier on. For the Phillies it is surplus parts.

      For all those touting Lopez’s team control, he will be 30 next season and into his decline phase physically (he has the profile to hold up but you never know)

      1. Lopez is better than Schwimer and Rosenberg and pretty cheap. Schwim and Rosenberg are intriguing but they seem like fringe major league relievers to me. And Valle I can live with losing so if it’s Valle + Scwhim/Roseberg/Cloyd I think it’s a good deal for us because Lopez has good peripherals. I’m a bit worried about what his medical records are since this is taking so long but I think this was always going to be a good pick up if Valle was the best we were going to give up.

      2. Lopez should hold up long enough to hand the setup job to Aumont or Defratus. He’s a nice ‘bridge’ to the youth. I’m hoping Phils hang onto Valle, but Lopez is a quality 7th or 8th piece. I’d be very happy with Rosenberg and Schwimmer. Get a quality guy and make room on the 40 man while keeping the better young relief arms.

  39. Jim Salisbury just mention on CSN that possible names that may be involved in the trade include Schwimmer, Valle, Rosenberg, and Cloyd.

    1. Well, maybe he knows something we don’t, but I can’t imagine those kinds of names getting this deal done. Like I said, I’d be happy to be proved wrong. But Cloyd? He hardly hits 90 mph. Rosenberg? Injury history. Schwimer was injured at the end of the season and didn’t perform that well when he was healthy. Neither of those relievers has much chance of developing into what Lopez already is. I suppose if the Astros are absolutely over the moon about Valle it could happen. But I still see it far more likely this deal involves a name that’s going to cause us some pain.

      1. Lopez has elbow question marks and his physical has been under a long deliberation today. Maybe some form of a Schwim, Rosenberg, Cloyd and Valle combo does get it done.

        1. If the Phillies are really that scared about his elbow, don’t you think the deal will simply be called off? I mean the Astros aren’t going to accept lesser prospects simply because the Phillies got nervous. The Stros obviously have the position that he’s healthy, otherwise they wouldn’t be trading him, as it’s a big no-no to trade players who are damaged goods.

          1. If its his elbow, and he needs a TJ during the next 3 seasons, we’d still be getting 2 healthy years out of him… Plenty of value there.

  40. I’m am going to guess Schwimer. He has shown good stuff, but is inconsistent and has a history of popping off, which I am sure does not thrill the front office even if they play it down. Besides, he is sort of a redundant part when added to Lindbloom, Rosenberg, Aumont, DeFratus and Stutes. In a 7 man bullpen with a long man (Cloyd?), a closer and a setup guy and two lefties, there is only room for 2 of these right-handed pitchers anyway.

    1. Hamilton would be a corner, so if no other acquisitions were made it would be Ruf/Brown (platoon?), Mayberry, Hamilton.

      1. That’s still bad. Mayberry’s not a good CF. He can play there, but he’s better suited for a corner. They need a CF that can go and get it.

  41. fantastic, the braves overpaid for upton. hope he doesn’t influence the right fielder to be lazy and try to hit 25 hr’s and .240. ha-ha

    1. I think he has a rep like Rollins- he can rub people wrong with some lack of effort from time to time, but I don’t think he’s a bad guy. That said, as good a dude as Jimmy is, I don’t think you want to load up on those kind of personalities.

      1. I asked BJ Upton for an autograph 8 years ago when I was 12 when he was in the minors, he told me to f off so attitude goes farther than performance. Have fun ATL

        1. He was 20 years old. I never really believe these stories anyway, too many other factors to consider beyond what you’ve said.

  42. Read on mlbtr the Red Sox are hot on Napoli, Swisher and Ross. Hope they sign them all and then Hamilton is a Philly.

  43. Now Salisbury says the Lopez deal seems to have gone shaky, right around the time he took a physical. Maybe the deal it really was Valle and Cloyd or someone like that, and thus too good to be true?

  44. I have trouble making a short post but will try on this Lopez for Valle + reliever proposal.

    As always it depends on what one thinks of Lopez: elite setup guy, closer, consistent reliever. I see him as Peralta, maybe on the high side at the level of Adams, not Broxton, say 3/$14M. I do not see how ‘cost control’ is going to save Phillies that much if he is good: 1.5+3+5.5 = 9M. Not only ~2M per year but also so option to dump him if he stinks. I do not see that as a great savings.

    More crucial point is relievers are fickle. Trading assets for something that could be picked up fairly easily seems like a bad idea. Lopez has no upside so consistency is what is being gained. Will he be consistent at his age?

    Valle is only 22 and already in AAA. He has skills to stay at C and has power potential in the majors. I could see his upside as Olivo. And Valle has something better than cost control, roster control. He still has two option years which can be used to move him back and forth to the majors without the risk of losing him (like Quintero who could be plucked away midseason). Not really a big deal but just creates inconsistency. I still like Valle. He is a young guy with upside at a crucial position where a backup starts 40 games a year.

    I am not saying it is a ‘bad’ trade but I like Valle and do not think Lopez is any better than Peralta/Adams who could be had for just money. If Valle is a Kratz level backup for 2 partial seasons and 5 more of ‘cost control’ that could be valuable. Of course, that all depends on how easy it would be to replace Valle’s seasons as a backup.

    I figured Valle and Schwimer would get traded in a package this offseason. I just hoped it would be for a 3B or CF, as it appears that Valle is redundant and Schwimer is annoying the organization. As long as Philles hold onto Aumont, DeFratus, Diekman, and Bonilla, I’d be happy for Phillies to trade from their reliever surplus. And obviously, including Castro would be easy since Houston could just pick him up in Rule 5 for just 50K.

    1. Adams will cost more for 2 years than Lopez for 3 so how is that the same amount of $$? If Lopez gets increased salary like that then he performed great. No brainer if he’s healthy, but would prefer to keep Valle.

    2. If Amaro has in mind a big splash free agent signing, he might well wish to sign a set-up guy on the cheap. Amaro may have in mind putting all his markers on a different square, economize on the pen and third base, maybe even in center field in the quest of a corner outfielder with real pop.

    3. The difference in value for Lopez (assuming he is healthy) is age. He is closer to his prime than the 30 something relievers. And going year to year does give the team the ability to non-tender.

      Younger reliever + saving $5 million over 3 years + ability to non-tender = value of 2 mid-level prospects.

  45. make a offer for drew stubbs, lets see who would we have that they would want, i am thinking, still thinking, okay papelbon, for there closer, if we sign lopez and say joseph, so pap and joseph for stubbs, not enough add in say morgan.

      1. I like Stubbs too. Hit him 7th or 8th. (probably 8th) …now, this would mean our 3B would have to hit 2nd or 7th? Not sure I am okay with that though.

    1. How about just playing Mayberry instead? Stubbs was .213/.277/.333 with 14 HRs and 40 RBIs is 136 games. Mayberry .245/.301/.395 with 14 HRs and 46 RBIs in 146 games. If the Phils pick him up then it would be Schwim and a box of Honduran cigars. I don’t want to give up the cubans. Oh yeah, Stubbs can strike out more than a wart covered hedgehog at a Victoria Secret event.

      1. There’s still a very good chance that Mayberry will be in a platoon with one of their 3 left handed hitting corner OFs but he’s not nearly good enough defensively for CF.

        1. Mayberry profiles very well as a platoon. He mashes lefties. Can play multiple positions effectively. Has power bat and can run. Should be a good complement to Nix/Schierholtz. But he should not be the primary option in CF.
          I like Stubbs also and was hoping Phillies would trade Pierre for him last season.

          1. Schierholtz is not a good platoon partner for Mayberry, for the most part he has actually shown reverse platoon splits and hits lefties better than righties. Nix might be a good partner or Brown (if they aren’t willing to give Brown the full time job)

  46. All this love for Stubbs, you guys have checked his stats right? I would take him for nothing and give him a shot but you can’t count on him, he hasn’t shown that he’s any good.
    As for Hamilton, while the rumor of the Phils chasing him is sexy, I’m inclined its agent speak to drive up the price. I talked about that concept last week. The agents float all kinds of things and the teams aren’t saying anything. The Phils’ name gets pulled in to try to raise the price.
    Upton went for 5/$75 and I thought he would go for 5/$70-$75 so he really wasn’t over what was expected. I have a hunch the Phils didn’t think he would do well playing in Philly and stopped pursuing him. There’s something to be said for that. He’s a VERY streaky hitter and I’m not sure how that would have gone over here. Bourn is 2 yrs older and his whole game is based on speed, which looks like its already slowing down based on his steal stats for 2012 vs 2011, so he’s is probably only worth a 3 yr deal with an option for a 4th yr. I’d probably offer 3/$48 and see how that goes down. Personally, I love Bourn because of the way he plays CF. He’s as good as I’ve ever seen in the way he reads and reacts to the ball off the bat. Watch him closely some time, he’s a work of art defensively. Having said that Boras will drive the price up and drag the process out and I think he’ll end up with the Nats unless they sign Laroach. I think Pagan will end up back with the Giants and the Phils don’t seem interested in Victorino. Where’s that leave us? Span or Fowler? Of the two, Fowler has to be far more attractive to the Phils having played in the NL and having quite a bit more power. The trade price tag is reported to be high but I think this is where they’ll go. I wouldn’t even be surprised if the Lopez trade is being held up not because of Lopez’s health but because the Rockies want Valle in any Fowler deal and the Phils have said that the CF move has to happen first. Lots of moving parts……

    1. Also, a trade for Fowler could move them to pursue Adams instead of Lopez. They have assets for one trade and can absorb money for 1 FA. Which is which is still to be determined.

    2. Fowler’s “power” is a product of Coors. Doesn’t steal many bags. Lousy defense in center. Span would be a better choice IMO.

      1. I think Spans real value is in his defense. Only real issue I have with him is that if Gillies could stay healthy he profiles very similar and Span’s bat does not play elsewhere.

        Not sure why Rockies would be so ready to part with Fowler if he has such a promising future. Fowler could develop more power and maybe be a corner OF. Product of Coors is very true.

  47. Imo that bourn will never take three years for 48, more like 5 years 85 is his target, and i wouldnt give it to him. but i am not ruben. 4 years 60. and i dont like that

  48. How about going after Gardner from the Yankees? Couldn’t he be a starting CF? He’s terrific defensively and fast as all get out. They probably want to keep him and dump Granderson though. Would we take Granderson if the Yanks included lots of money? I think we might although he doesn’t thrill me. Its funny that so many of these CF guys are left handed.

  49. I’d like to know or can’t wait to see what Bourn gets now. I thought $100M for Bourn was ridiculous mongering. Upton minus his perceived make-up fit better Line-up wise. Bourn IMO is only a slight upgrade at lead off over Jimmy so I would scratch Bourn from the list unless he were much less than Uptons deal.

    I’m not sure if he’s available but again the guy I would give up a lot for is Leonys Martin. I think that kid could be a franchise player.

  50. Ken Rosenthal just tweeted:

    “Status of trade between #Phillies, #Astros unclear. One source insists deal not done and multiple teams remain in mix for Wilton Lopez…”

    “Another source says deal would be 2-for-1. RHP Tyler Cloyd could go to #Astros. Teams also have discussed #Phillies’ young catchers.”

    1. If it’s really Tyler Cloyd and a catcher, and that catcher isn’t Tommy Joseph, I will personally kick in a bag of balls to get the deal done. I’m still skeptical though that the Astros would really do a deal centered around Cloyd and Valle. More likely that the Phillies are trying to offer Cloyd and the Astros are holding out for someone like May or Pettibone. Who knows with this sort of stuff, but the Houston front office is no longer full of Ed Wade’s guys–they’re statistically oriented and they’re not going to be bewitched by Cloyd’s won-loss record and ERA like some fans are.

      1. Look, I dislike Ed Wade as a general manager as much as anyone, but, truth be told, in terms of pure value, he did perfectly fine in his trades with the Phillies and got the better end of the Pence deal (yes, I support it at the time, I’m just observing what now appears to be obvious). He had momentary flashes of competence in his dealings with the Phillies.

        1. The Lidge trade he got Bourne who was great value, the trade worked for the Phillies as Lidge anchored the bullpen, but a win for the Astros. The Oswalt deal he got Villar and Gose (who he stupidly traded for Brett Wallace), Oswalt was good to finish the season but spent most 2011 and 2012 injured. Then he flat out won the Pence deal.

            1. God, no, please . . .. When I hear about Ed Wade making a good trade I think about the tale of the blind squirrel and the chestnut. The Phillies were his trade chestnut.

          1. You are all way to early to chalk up a win for Houston on the Pence deal. So far, the Astros haven’t got anything but minor league players who are still in the minors

            1. The Phillies got 2.9 WAR out of Pence in his time here. There is no way the players traded for him don’t eclipse that. But even if we don’t talk on the field value, but rather what the value of pieces used, the Phillies could have used them (or similar pieces in the system and kept those guys) to make a serious run at Justin Upton or Stanton.

            2. Yes, it’s still possible that Ruben redeemed himself by acquiring Joseph, but it’s going to take a pretty good performance by Joseph to overcome the value that Singleton is likely to bring, let alone Santana and Cosart (I don’t see him becoming anything more than a late reliever at this point). But it’s not enitrely fair to view this trade in terms of prospect hauls. At the time the trade was made the Phillies were trying to bring balance to their line-up and give themselves the best chance possible to win a World Series – you have to give them at least some credit for that, even if you don’t think Pence was the optimal choice or that they should have given less in prospects. The shame was that the Braves, dealing with the Astros at the very same time, gave less in the way of prospects for a better player in return (Bourn).

  51. From Twitter:

    @ProspectInsider Sounds like the Philly-Hou deal for RHP Wilton Lopez will fall through due to an elbow issue with Lopez. Cloyde, Valle were headed to Hou

    I still can’t believe that was really the package. But I guess it was too good to be true.

    1. Sad that it fell through but if that was the package the Phillies must have been really concerned about the arm. The team needed Lopez for 2013 while the young guys develop so anything that would have made him more unreliable than a normal pitcher is a definite red flag.

    2. I’m not sure why this is so difficult to believe as the package. Relievers are known to be volatile, this one has a questionable elbow, and he hasn’t done a significant amount of closing. It’s a guy who has never exceeded 1.5 WAR in a year. Yeah, he’s good when he pitches, but there’s only so much value in 65 innings a year. We’d get destroyed in the deal if Valle ever became a starter, even a borderline one.

  52. We can always grab a Capps, Coffey, Farnsworth or Adams possibly if they start getting to crazy with their demands. Heck I think Rodney is still out there and he pitched last year on a 1 year $1.6M deal.

    Point being you’ll get some thing better than what we had if you excercise patience.

    1. Because the Rays may be the smartest organization in baseball they hold a club option (which they exercised) on Rodney for 2.5 million to pitch in 2013

      1. And I don’t disagree but if there are issues with his physical I’m not including Valle. Sounds to me as if he is a Tommy John waiting to happen.

    1. If the Nats sign Bourn, as Rizzo and Boras seem to be working ‘bedfellows’,and ATL already has Upton, then the Phillies have to trump them and sign Hamilton. Its the only rght thing to do to keep up with the Jones.

    2. My sense is that the Hamilton deal is almost entirely about years, not dollars. I think the Phillies would be happy to pay him $20-25 m per year for 4 years and might give him a reasonable buy-out option for the fifth year, but it won’t go longer than that (nor should it). Still wondering why we didn’t sign Melky Cabrera when we had the chance – that the was value deal. I also like that the Phillies refused to bite on a player with unfavorable medical records – I wish we had been so careful before we traded Gio Gonzalez away to get Freddy Garcia (one of the top 5 worst trades in Phillies history – and that’s saying something).

  53. http://www.milb.com

    Phillies organizational All-Stars are up.

    Based on best statistical seasons and such, not necessarily prospect status. Lots of good quotes on each player from Mr. Jordan, so some might want to look.

    Honorees:
    C- Cameron Rupp
    1B- Darin Ruf
    2B – Cesar Hernandez
    SS- Roman Quinn
    3B- Cody Asche
    LF- Kelly Dugan
    CF- Leandro Castro
    RF- Larry Greene
    UT/DH- Chris Duffy
    RHSP- Tyler Cloyd
    LHSP- Jesse Biddle
    RELIEF- Justin Friend

    1. No way, I don’t want another bad arm. If they think he’s an injury waiting to happen then they did the right thing. We still don’t know if that’s the reason though. Maybe they got a better offer for Valle. Who knows….

    2. The problem is if you think he is an injury risk for this year he doesn’t solve the problem because he may not be your set up guy all year. Then you have to re ask the question about whether you trust the young guys and if the answer is yes then why are you trading for Lopez, if the answer is no then you need to get yet another veteran.

  54. Pretty interesting that Nats just traded their 1st round pick pitcher from 2011 for Span. Does that leave Bourn for us?

    1. Might work in the Phillies favor. Boras doesn’t have Rizzo to turn to for Bourn, so the price might come down.

  55. Span numbers. to me arent what the phillies need. he has no power, doesnt drive in runs. has good obp. we need a power hitting right hand bat.

    1. But it doesn’t have to be at CF, it could be from a corner OF spot. I’m hoping for Bourn plus Cuddyer (for Valle). Maybe not getting Upton forced the Phils to need to trade Valle for power in a corner spot but if they had gotten Upton, they wouldn’t have had to.

      1. Bourn’s good WAR is based on his defense and his baserunning skills, which are based on his speed. How much longer is he likely to have that speed? I’d rather look elsewhere.

          1. Why not? He’s in great shape. I agree that he’ll slow down more each year but it might be a good gamble.

    1. I think there is a huge market for Hamilton waiting for the demand on the years to go down. The problem with Hamilton is he plays LF, that means your RF has to be a platoon or Brown (then the LH thing takes over) and then you still need a CF. To top it all off you are lucky if he plays 120 games.

      1. It looks as though Hamilton played 95 games in center field last year for a team that went to the World Series. So why, if he came to Philly, would he have to play exclusively left field?

        1. Because he is a negative defensively there. If you are going to pay the sticker price you want him playing a position where he is good defensively and has less of a chance of injury. You could play him in center, Ruf in LF, and Brown in RF, it would make a good run at worst OF defense ever, the pitchers would love it

  56. This pisses me off to no end – the second straight year that the Phillies have been outmaneuvered by the Nationals during the winter. Damn!!!! The Phillies could have offered more than this!!!

    Nationals Acquire Denard Span

    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [November 29 at 3:31pm CST]

    The Nationals announced that they acquired center fielder Denard Span from the Twins for minor league right-hander Alex Meyer. The Twins have confirmed the deal.

    Span, 28, provides the Nationals with an established center fielder. His presence will presumably keep Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth in outfield corners. It could also impact the Nationals’ interest in Adam LaRoche, since Michael Morse’s primary position might now be first base. Alternatively, the Nationals could move Morse to a team seeking offense and continue pursuing LaRoche.

    Span posted a .283/.342/.395 batting line in 568 plate appearances with Minnesota in 2012, numbers that compare closely to his career mark of .284/.357/.389. The five-year MLB veteran will earn $4.75MM in 2013 and $6.5MM in 2014. His contract includes a $9MM club option for 2015 with a $500K buyout.

    Meyer, the 23rd overall selection of the 2011 draft, pitched well in 2012, his lone season as a pro. He pitched at Class A, posting a 2.86 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 129 innings. The 6’9″ 22-year-old might rank sixth among Twins prospects, John Manuel of Baseball America notes (on Twitter).

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#QuJJ6tEytMHSs3lA.99

    1. After talking to people there wasn’t a good trade for the Phillies out there. The only pitcher you could plug into that trade would be Biddle. Would you give up Biddle for Span. The Twins like their control guys and there is no way they would take on Martin or May without other pieces going along.

      You can call this outmaneuvering, but it was a bad fit, there is no way Amaro didn’t check in and the price was likely too high. The Nationals have gutted their farm system (they have a young major league roster to compensate) to try and win now.

      1. Possible, but I think the Phillies have plenty the Twins need. They could have put together a nice little package that would not have set them back that far because they have a ton of prospect depth. Span would have solved a whole bunch of problems for the Phillies and allowed them to go out and get another free agent or two. Well, I guess we’ll see, but I view this as the second significant “miss” of the off-season for the Phillies, the first being Cabrera.

        1. Not to be a complete conspiracy theorist, there is more to that story especially with the fake website. It almost seemed like he took the first offer and signed as soon as he could.

        2. You’ve said this thing about Cabrera a few times. The guy has had character issues floating around him dating back to the Yankees days, he’s never been consistently good until the last couple of years, he put up career numbers in a contract year until it was revealed that he was using PEDs, in one of the most bizarre cheating incidents to date. His current team made absolutely no effort to retain him and more or less acted like they were happy to see him go (I guess winning the World Series without a guy will do that).

          What exactly about that set of facts makes you think that Melky Cabrera was a good investment for this team, at any price?

            1. I think it’s pretty clear from the context that when I wrote “at any price,” I meant that even a bargain contract with him would be too much money to pay. But $8.5 million a year, I should add, is hardly a bargain even in today’s market, especially for a guy whose production was drug aided, and thus very likely to regress quickly (unless he stays on the drugs, in which case he’s running the risk of a season-long suspension).

        3. Catch, you should read the article by Scott Miller from CBS Sports.com about Melky Cabrera and then you will understand why other team wanted to sign him. I don’t have the link but it a very recent article.

      2. I would not have traded Biddle for Span, a great fielding 260 hitter. I want more than that for Biddle. It’s supply and demand, spend money instead of players.

    2. Were you ready to part with one of Biddle, Martin, May, Morgan or Pettibone for Denard Span? Denard Span is a good player but he has his own health issues last year.

        1. So, yes, this frustrates me, but the Phils have barely started with their shopping list and I respect that they want to keep talent in house. We won’t be able to declare hot stove winners and losers until the dust settles. Ruben probably has several tricks up his sleeve, for better or worse.

        2. There are a ton of mixed opinions. Baseball Prospectus has it has a slight Washington win but a good move by the Twins acquiring the type of pitching they don’t have. Keith Law thinks it was a great move by the Twins, in his opinion while Span is a much cheaper option than Bourne he cost a pitcher who Law sees as a mid rotation starter, additionally he mentioned (and I agree with this) that Span’s offensive value is entirely tied to his BABIP, if he loses a step or is just unlucky he doesn’t have a ton of other skills to make up for it. It really comes down to what you think of Meyer and if you think Span will stay healthy.

          1. Denard Span is a slightly better version of Juan Pierre because he can play CF. His value is completely tied to his ability to hit singles at a high rate and steal bases.

            Let’s not lose our heads over every player who doesn’t sign/get traded to the Phillies.

  57. Phillies best offer to Upton was apparently 5 years 55 million. Looks like they really weren’t that high on him. Amaro definitely is looking for players at his prices.

    1. I like Upton, but at $15 m per year over 5 years, it wasn’t hard to pass by – that’s roughly his value if he doesn’t improve and doesn’t implode, but it’s a not steal by any means unless he improves substantially, which is possible but not likely.

      1. BJ Upton never seemed liked a good fit for Philadelphia with his attitude and dealing with the press. He probably is better off in Atlanta on a personal level but I don’t see him turning into a great player.

    2. Early talk was he might take 5/$60M. I guess Amaro did not even go that high.
      I still think Victorino for 3yr/$25M would be a good move, but assuming Phillies want no part of him then Span was my next favorite. I see him as Bourn with less speed and less strikeouts, a very good player and at a very good price. I’d have given up May and Valle for him for sure.

      1. I don’t know where people get the idea Victorino’s going to be a total bargain. He’s going to be cheap but there’s plenty of teams out there offering him 3 years, somebody’s going to give him a $9+ million AAV.

    3. I would have gone higher than 5/55. I would be alright had the Phillies signed him for what the Braves agreement was, but not through the roof about it. I wanted Upton over the other FA options, but definitely not for more than what he agreed on with Atlanta.

      1. I would have offered as high as 5/70, probably, but I think above that would be my “pass” point, so I’m fine with the Braves biting the bullet on this one. Granted I don’t think Upton will get any better (I believe his negative trend continues, actually), so if he proves me wrong it could be a steal.

  58. Fowler, Bourn, Pagan, or Hamilton at this point.

    I think Bourn got a lot cheaper. The Giants seem focused on Pagan and if he’s willing to take 3 years they’ll probably get that deal done. Once they’re out of play, the price tag on Bourn should fall dramatically. I can’t see the Reds being able to afford him.

    Really see his situation playing out like Ryan Madson’s did last year.

    1. Of the options left, I’d take Pagan, Vic, then Bourn in that order for CF. Hamilton I’d sign in a heartbeat if he doesn’t demand 5+ years (ideally 3 with an option). I want no part of Fowler and really dislike the idea of giving up our pick for Bourn, but could swallow the latter if we get him at a good price.

      1. Pagan wants 4 years and probably around $12-$13 million a season. I like him but I don’t like him that much. I don’t see Victorino coming back. I’m sure he wants to but I think Ruben wants to move on.

        Fowler’s off the table according to crasnick.

        Which leaves us with Bourn and Hamilton. If Ruben can get either on a fair deal, hat’s off to him. I’d prefer Bourn as I see him as a potential 6 WAR player next year and really like a potential Bourn/Rollins 1-2.

        1. The market has really come down a lot, I can’t see Pagan getting more than 3 years and no way Victorino gets more than 2. The Span trade does open up the possibility that the Twins might continue the rebuild and move Willingham which is a player that would solve the RH power problem without costing a ton and allow the team to look for a glove first CF.

          1. I think once he comes off his 4 year demand he goes straight back to the Giants, from what I’ve read that’s what been the hold up in discussions.

            As far as Victorino’s concerned: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/11/seven-teams-interested-in-victorino.html team’s are willing to give him 3.

            I’ve been a big Josh Willingham guy for awhile now, so I’d be thrilled if they could add him. They’d need to get a REALLY good defensive Center Fielder though.

  59. Does anyone have experience using the Dollars statistic given on FanGraphs? I read a Bleacher Report article recently were the author attempted to use the statistic to rank the 5 most overpaid Phillies in 2012. The article contained some typographical errors, so it motivated me to take a look at the statistic. My concern is, am I abusing the statistic in using it in the following (naive) way?

    I simply took a player’s Dollars statistic and subtract the player’s salary for a given year to use as a metric of his excess (or deficient) contributed value to the team. So, for example, is it too simplistic to say that Cliff Lee provided excess value of $400,000 in 2012 since he earned $21.5 million versus a Dollars stat of $21.9 million? Or that Papelbon was overpaid since he earned $11 million in 2012 but his Dollars stat says he contributed only $6.3 million in value? Am I abusing the statistic by using it in that fashion? — thanks.

  60. Right now and it could back fire. upton at 15 for 5 years is too much, mostly the years, would have done 3 at 15 maybe, but 12 is about right for him. you have to set some price standards, and not go crazy for one player, unless he is the one to put you over the top, and upton right now isnt that player.imo. if bourn doesnt come down with his demands, then its on to pagan, if he is too much, i go with same guys as last year, and bring in a defensive guy . there have to be some out there, and sign geinke. and a yolkis. for third if possible.i would rather pay geinke, and have a great starting pitching staff. the giants have won with not a lot of offensive stars. mostly on pitching. if we had a eight inning guy last year. as bad as the injuies and hitting was we would have not been a 500 team. with better late relief and starters. i would take my chances with these guys,,we have now and a little fine tuning nothing major except geinke.

    1. Bourn 2012: .274/.348/.391 slash with 9HR 42SB 45XBH 155K 70BB

      Pagan 2012: .288/.338/440 slash with 8HR 29SB 52XBH 97K 48BB

      Pagan is 2 years older but I like going his WS better. He will be cheaper and is also a great feilder. Known for being a good guy around the clubhouse as well this is the guy to get.

      1. I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but Pagan is not a great fielder. He isn’t even a good fielder. He is average to slightly below in CF. Bourn is an elite fielder.

      2. Pagan’s best year and Bourn crashed and burned in the second half. And Bourn is the best defensively in all of baseball. Sign Bourn and then trade for Cuddyer or Willingham and I’d be a happy guy.

  61. I prefer Pagan too. He can play center and bat second, then with the money you save go out and get Ryan Ludwick (3 years 21 mil?) to hit 5th and play rightfield. Ruf and Brown battle it out or platoon in left. (I’d trade Brown)

    1. Ryan Ludwick is a big sink hole – I wouldn’t go anywhere near him. He is old, doesn’t field well, isn’t that great of an offensive player and, with the exception of last year, his career has been on a long downward slide. Buyer beware!!!

      1. he is not great but who hits 5th in this lineup? Dom Brown? Chooch….which chooch are we getting now? There is no five hole hitter. For the money (which should be cheap) I am fine with Ludwick. (I rather have Swisher and Hamilton but not at their costs and years) Ludwick will be a stop gap. They need a five hole hitter

        1. I’d rather have Youkilis, who brings the value of playing third and adding plate discipline. If the Phillies signed Ludwick for reasonable money for a year or two, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world I suppose, but I think he’s going to be looking for a bigger and longer contract and somebody is going to give that to him – it shouldn’t be the Phillies.

    2. Pagan is an average player, nothing special, and isn’t worth why he wants. I still think he’s just trying to get the price higher for the Giants so he can resign for more money.

  62. While the outfield situation remains muddled, I think the Phils owe it to themselves to secure the right handed power bat they need in the meantime. Despite the injury history, I hope the Phils push to sign Kevin Youkilis on a two year deal, even with a slight overpay. With Youkilis in the fold, they can go for a center fielder with a good glove but without much pop and either a right handed or left handed stick for right field.

    On another note, I wonder if the Phils could obtain former (2006) number 1 pick Luke Hochevar from the Royals for Tyler Cloyd. Hochevar is borderline for retention by the Royals who have used him exclusively as a starter. I see him in the old Kyle Kendrick long man/spot starter role. Somehow I have the impression his history is being effective one time through the batting order and he has a healthy arm. We’ve seen from the Wilton Lopez kerfuffle that Cloyd is not key to the Phills’ plans but he might have value as a back of the rotation starter for the pitching hungry Royals.

    1. Luke Hochevar is probably the worst starting pitcher in baseball. I’d rather have Cloyd for that role and I’m not even that high on Cloyd.

      1. Read it again. Long man and fill in starter. The Phils started Tyson Brummett once and relief pitchers twice last year for lack of starter depth.

    2. Hochevar will get paid over 6 million in 2013 if he is traded and tendered a contract. The only interest I may have in him is as non-roster invite if he is non-tendered

  63. I’m now in favor of the following moves:

    Trade Cliff Lee for Leonys Martin and Mike Olt. Start them at CF and 3B. Shuerholtz and Frandsen are your backup plans

    Trade for Josh Willingham. Yes, I’m willing to give up some top prospects.

    Sign Grienke. Rumor is that Washington is pursuing him. If that happens, the Phils will be looking up at the Nats for at least 5 years.

    SS Rollins
    CF Martin
    2B Utley
    1B Howard
    LF Willingham
    3B Olt
    C Ruiz
    RF Brown/Ruf

    SP Hamels, Halladay, Greinke, Worley, Kendrick

    1. Here are my first thoughts:
      1. Why don’t the Rangers just sign Grienke like it looks like they are trying to do?
      2. Little chance we get that package from Texas without picking up enough money that will prohibit Grienke+Willingham.
      3. Grienke wants to come to Philly without a surpreme overpay (he has mentioned he has no interest in the East Coast before)
      4. I like trading for Willingham, but there is no way that Ruf can play RF.
      5. Without getting a Dodgersesque TV deal there is no way the Nats can keep this all together once Zimmerman (Jordan), Strasburg, and Harper hit arbitration let alone when they get to free agency.

      1. 1. Length of deal
        2. Sweeten it with some prospects or players
        3. We’ve overpaid for less talented players
        4. Ok, no RF platoon.
        5. We’ll see, especially if they start going deep into the playoffs every year. Bottom line, Amaro needs to do something big and smart or this team is gonna age badly and the mistakes of the past will lead to a return of the dark days before.

        Personally, I think the die is cast. Too many horrendous moves, Howard contract, trading away Lee, then trading for Oswalt and resigning Lee, plus the sheer idiocy of the Pence deal, which will be exacerbated if they end up signing Bourn, whom they should have pursued in the first place.

    2. I like it now we’re talking….

      Only Martin is immediately my lead off hitter and eventually profiles as a 3 hole hitter. The Rangers are going to want a ton for him though.

      Let’s also agree Ruf would not be able to play RF at all. I’m all for giving him a go in LF but he is not athletic enough for RF nor does he have the arm for it.

  64. I love the expression so I am going to use it here. We are trying to rearrange deck chairs on the Titantic with these names. No offense these guys are decent players but none of them are going to get us back to the WS so I don’t see the point.

    RAJ you need to land a star caliber young player you need to land Leonys Martin, Tulo, Hamilton possibly. Our line-up next to the Nats line-up is a joke if we roll out Utely/Howard as our 3/4 hitters. If they were the players they were 3-4 Years ago then yeah you could add a Pagan or a Ludwick and be OK.

    But they do nothing for this line-up as is except make it more mediocre…

    1. Martin is a nice little player but his ceiling is a little more than Pagan he isn’t a sure thing super star. This team will have to rely on Halladay returning to form and Lee, Halladay, Hamels being the best top of a rotation in baseball (this is not a unreasonable thing to expect). The division might be slipping away but “moving the deck chairs” might be enough to get the wild card and as we have seen in the past, once you are in the dance you just need a break or two. There is really nothing out there that doesn’t either jepordize the future or just patch the holes. The future is still low in the minors.

      The biggest thing that is forgotten, the Phillies have already signed the best player in free agency in Cole Hamels, they just did it in July and didn’t let him hit the market.

      1. You must have one heck of a crystal ball Matt. A little more than Pagan’s…really? All I’ll say is Pagan is a finished product, steady good, not dynamic. Martin on the other hand has far superior upside to hit for power and average.

        Now I don’t think he sticks in CF. I think at some point he needs to move to a corner but for the next 2-3 years he’ll play a solid CF. I guess we’ll see.

    2. I agree, except I think Hamilton might actually be the iceberg if they sign him. This team looks to be in trouble in the near future. Aging pitchers and declining hitters with limited payroll flexibility.

    1. I don’t find that smart at all on the Braves’ part. Hanson has much more value than Walden. Although Braves bullpen could be a huge nightmare for opposing teams. Moreso than it already is

      1. One of the writers on twitter referred to Hanson’s shoulder as hamburger a few days ago. It’s such a long shot for him to come back close to where he was and stay healthy, I’d say the Braves made out pretty well. Look at their bullpen now.
        Kimbrel
        Venters
        Walden
        O’Flaherty
        Moylan
        Martinez
        Avilan

        1. Agreed. Trading Hanson, who never really developed, also saved them money. Good luck scoring on that team after the 5th inning.

        2. Walden lost as much velocity the last two years as Hunter. Nice trade for the Angels buying low on Hunter. I hope all of the teams in the division start trading starters for relievers.

  65. washington is in on geinke from mlb reports. them and dodgers. with a cheap option in centerfield,think washington will sign him. and have a nice rotation with gonzalez and strasburg, plus there bullpen is already great. washington has become the new york yankees of the national league.and they still have some really good prospects too.. young and good and lots of money to spend.right now the phillies are fading with no way out, unless they go after hamilton, and bourn, they have the money, do it.

    1. Prospect wise they really only have Rendon who is a good third base prospect and Giolito who will be out until the middle of next season with Tommy John. They have spent their system (much like the Phillies did over the past 4-5 years) in order to build the major league club. They are pretty much as is now, there isn’t that much more on the way.

      1. They can probably flip Rendon at this point to re-stock with some solid prospects at the lower levels if needed. He’s ready now for any team that needs a 3B.

        To bad I don’t think they would ever make a deal with us.

    2. I’ll probably choke on my own spit if they land Greinke. I have to hand it to them. They have a nice trajectory going on. Span was the one player I thought hitting lead off for us could have made a big difference.

      You look back at the year the Phils got swept by Colorado then followed it up with a win against TB. That very well could be the Nats next year. Then we’ll have watched Burrell win a WS, Pence win a WS and Werth win a WS

      1. Exactly. Nats are peaking right now, much like the Phillies were in 2007, 2008. Players reaching their prime, with a system capable of making trades to put them over the top. They have all the pieces so why worry about the minors? It’s about winning now while the window is opening.

        Phillies can’t afford to move like that anymore. We already saw the beginning of the decline this year, so we need to keep an eye toward building a future.

  66. Yeah the phillies are probabley done for at least three years, until they can get rid of rollins utley, and maybe a howard, no paplebon , no doc and lee, if begins with this years draft, must come out with some young talent, even though it suppose to be weak draft. think phillies can be a 500 team for next couple of years. and they should really think about a new gm. shame the farm system is do weak, nothing there to help us with trades, joseph is a sub 200 hitter, no pitchers ready, valle cant walk, only hope is a biddle, martin and collier really come on and gillies, this would make it easier to rebuild. just a really sad time to be a philly sports fan, eagles stink. sixer cant do anything right, byrum is a bust, and flyers will never win under snyder.

    1. Aw c’mon its not that bad for the Phils (I don’t care about any other sport but baseball). The fat lady isn’t even on stage yet so I still have hope this brain trust has a few tricks up their sleeve.

      I know I am whining a little bit about not getting Span but things could change in a hurry.

    2. Pitching and defense has always won and it always will. This past year, their pitching was decent early but the defense fell apart after Galvis got hurt. Victorino’s defense is a shell of what it used to be and JRoll has great hands but has lost range. The Phils need Bourn’s defense big time to prevent runs and his speed to create runs. He’s the guy they’re going after and he’s still very close with Howard and JRoll.

      1. Thats Antiquated philosphy Murray. You are showing you’re age. It’s one way to win sure but if you can Pitch and Mash you can win. Only 3 teams had more errors than the Giants last season and the Tigers were only middle of the pack.

        What was the difference….well Posey was NL MVP and Cabrerea was AL MVP on his way to the triple crown. That’s not to slight either teams pitching but San Fran was league 8th and Tigers were league 9th.

        We lost to the Cardinals and we had the best defense in all of baseball. Guess where the Cardinals ranked….23rd. I get so tired of the defense mantra. You have to hit and pitch in the modern era.

        1. Seriously? You don’t think the Tigers’ pitching down the stretch plus Cabrera of course (every 45 yrs….) won it for them? And the Giants were all about pitching (starting and bullpen) plus timely hitting and decent defense. I am older I suppose but give me a healthy Holliday, Adams in the eighth, Bourn in CF and Cuddyer or Willingham (for Valle and May or Martin and Schwimer) batting 5th and I’m confident they can win. Great pitching, not average pitching, always gives you a chance to win if you can field behind them. That formula never goes out of style.

          1. You basically just ruined your own argument though. You’re advocating offensive upgrades as well. Bourn sure he is a great fielder but he’s also an offensive upgrade (at least from last year). Cuddyer and Willingham aren’t known for their D that’s for sure. So basically you just said the Phillies need to improve the offense to start winning again. Which is exactly what DMAR is saying you need to have a balance of offense and pitching.

            Now to talk about Cuddyer and Willingham. Cuddyer full package was worth 1 fWAR or
            .4 bWAR last year. So you’d take on 2 more years of $10 mill+ AAV for an aging guy who is no better than OFers we currently have. Willingham makes a little more sense as he is at 2.9 bWAR and 3.9 fWAR. But like I stated earlier he is a defensive liability so this
            is a move that is purely to upgrade the offense and detracts from your point.

            In order for your argument to work you’d be a proponent of almost no offensive upgrades instead plugging in guys like Galvis all over the diamond and also pursuing BP guys and going after Greinke. Because after all it is pitching and defense that wins.

            1. So Chris what are your solutions? You shred Murray’s proposals, put yours on the table. The one constant you will continually hear from baseball people when it comes to the three components of a winning team..pitching, defense… and in the offensive output side, is the phrase ‘timely hitting’. In Cuddyer and Willingham you have obvious deficiencies as you mention, however what do suggest as alternatives?

            2. The purpose of my post wasn’t to knock his suggestions, although I would prefer not getting involved with Cuddyer. The purpose of my post was to show how he contradicted his own argument with his suggestions.

              I liked where the Phillies’ heads were at trying to acquire someone like Wilton Lopez. Unfortunately that fell through. I think one more RELIABLE reliever would be a good thing to have. I don’t think any adjustments to the starting pitching need to be made and I do believe in trying to find offensive upgrades where we can for reasonable prices. I generally like where the Phillies are at from a pitching standpoint however I also believe they need more offense. That’s the point. It’s not just pitching and defense that get it done it’s a variety of things. One could also presume that a healthy Howard and Utley might bring the offense closer to league average so it’s debatable how much of an improvement we need in that department. However, the Phillies definitely need to find someone who can reliably play center. The problem is not many people matched up that well for years and money.

              I won’t speculate on possible trades because that’s wild speculation. I think Bourn would be a good addition if it wasn’t for the money and years he is likely to receive. Pagan seems like he might get paid too much as well. Victorino would be on my radar for a cheaper 2 or 3 year deal although I don’t know if the bridge is burned.

            3. Thank you for the reply. And agree on your take on CF… defense is a priority. I like Bourn, do not care for his agent’s tactics.

            4. Phils need to sign a couple of free agents and stay away from trades. There is potential (not likely but a chance) that by July a few of the guys like Ruf, Brown, Galvis, Diekman, Aumont, DeFratus, Stutes, Bonilla, Gillies, Pettibone, Martin, Asche, C Hernandez, and Joseph could help us either in the bigs or in a trade or two for other pieces. For now via free agency, add a RH power bat, an 8th inning reliever, and if you can find one that fits, a superstar – Greinke or Hamilton. The key with Bourn is the years – for the next 2 years he is a great player, 3-4 years out he is a good player, after that he’ll be terribly overpaid.

  67. i raised the white flag.2012 at 12:14am CST]

    Zack Greinke turned down a potential trade to the Nationals two years ago when he was a member of the Royals, but now that the Nats are the defending NL East champs and have added Denard Span as their latest upgrade, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal thinks that Greinke (or any free agent) would see Washington as a prime destination. The Nationals have been mentioned as one of Greinke’s top suitors this winter, along with the Dodgers, Angels and Rangers, so there’s a possibility the right-

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/philadelphia_phillies/#qLc4Zp0qqHi44KGP.99

  68. I hate when people want to trade Rollins like he’s awful. I want him to be a Phillie for life, or until Quinn is ready. Rollins is an above average shortstop, plain and simple there isn’t a better option.

    1. Interesting thing is that I saw an article that compared Rollin’s numbers with Upton’s and they are very similar. Obviously Upton is younger which is more valuable but some of the same people complaining about Rollins being overpaid were pushing for Upton to signed.

  69. It’s hard to see him not staying in CA for Angels or Dodgers, who can and will pay him the most and can win next year with him.

  70. Phils need to sweep in and sign Greinke, Adams, Hamilton, and Bourn. Here are the results…

    1 Hamels
    2 Halladay
    3 Lee
    4 Greinke
    5 Worley
    Bullpen – Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Aumont, Diekman, Lindblom, Kendrick

    1 Bourn CF
    2 Utley 2B
    3 Rollins SS
    4 Hamilton LF
    5 Ruiz C
    6 Howard 1B
    7 Brown RF
    8 Galvis 3B

    Bench – Kratz, Mayberry, Frandsen, Nix, Schierholtz

    1. If only it were that easy. I’ll say no shot at both Bourn and Hamilton so what if you just got Hamilton you could go

      Utley
      Rollins
      Hamilton
      Ruf
      Howard
      Ruiz/Kratz
      Brown
      Galvis/Frandsen

      Ruf could do some big time damage sitting between those two. Defense could suffer but you can always make some double switches late in games to keep everyone involved. The Rangers would move Hamilton to left and put Gentry in CF.

      1. Asking a rookie who was a non-prospect before last year, has little time above AA, and is still learning a new position to bat fourth is not a ticket to the post-season.

      1. Ruf is a joke, this is a site based on evaluating prospects yet none of you minus larrym can even decipher that Ruf is a joke

  71. I’m sure it is, but it’s not my money…and it would be fun to watch.
    Although I seem to remember another team persuing a “dream team” approach and it not working out quite so well. Maybe a few less Hamiltons and a few more Skip Schumacher/Daniel Descalsos might be a better path..

    1. You’re giving those guys to much credit. The line-up around them was fierce. We don’t anything close to Jay, Craig, Holiday, Freese then consider Beltran had .842 OPS and Yadier had a big year.

  72. Reports are that the Phillies will non-tender Schierholtz, makes sense with Nix having a guaranteed contract and all of their talk of giving Ruf and Brown legitimate shots.

      1. He wanted out of San Francisco and the Giants likely forced him into that trade and the Phillies thought they would see if he could build on some of his small sample size successes and he couldn’t

  73. we gave up the world for pence, other teams give up junk to us, amazing. span for a maybe prospect, hanson for a relief pitcher, amazing.amaro really did overplay his hands before; hope he has learned.

    1. When you look at it Walden may be a better player than Hanson. Hanson’s injuries have reached the level where he is unplayable. Meyer is rated higher than Biddle most places so ask what you would have given for him.

    2. I Have to defend the Phillies a bit here: The trade market of 2011 was an entirely different world with entirely different rules than in 2012. It was under the old CBA, and acquiring players took a higher price because of draft pick compensation. In the new CBA, acquiring teams won’t get draft picks on rentals, so they won’t give up as much. the market is more titled to buyers now. And I’m aware pence wasn’t a rental, he had 2 more years of arbitration, also a valuable commodity. did the phillies overpay? yes. But they were the #1 team in baseball trying to fill their #1 hole and win a WS. It was a calculated risk that didn’t work out, and it’s no one’s fault, just the way the cookie crumbled. We got Lee for a song in 2009, so it can break both ways. In the future when the phils are buying at the trade deadline again, chances are they will not have to give up as much. And Tommy Joseph is not ‘junk’.

    1. I think there’s a big game going on. The Phils have to go to four years to get Pagan interested because the Giants definitely won’t go four years. They have Gary Brown almost ready and won’t go four years on Pagan. Having said that, I think the Phils are pursuing Pagan to force Boras to lower his demands for Bourn who I think is their real target. Negotiating 101….

      1. Michael Bourn at 4 years and $45-50 million wouldn’t be the worst deal in the world. Boras’s game is to hold out for max dollars – sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses. If I’m the Phillies, I might do a deal similar to the one that Johnny Damon once got – 4 years, $52 million, but I’d like to get lower than that ($45-48 million). But don’t dismiss Pagan as a serious candidate because he does not cost you a very high draft pick. Also, don’t dismiss the idea of Ruben either doing a blockbuster trade that we don’t expect (who saw either Cliff trade coming, or for that matter, the subsequent Cliff Lee signing?).

        1. It will take more money than that to sign Bourn. I’m guessing four years and the same per year as Upton which would be 4/60

          1. Definitely not worth that much money – but it wouldn’t be the first time Ruben has overspent and it wouldn’t be the last.

            1. He’d be under contract through three more prime years, I don’t see him becoming that bad in years 4-5.

            2. The truth in somewhere in the middle.

              If – a huge if – Bourne repeated his last 4 seasons, 4/60 would be a huge bargain. Even with normal age related decline it likely would be a good deal. Factor in the fact that you should expect almost by definition to over pay a bit on the FA msrket and 4/60 looks like a pobssible bargain.

              “Possible” is the operative word though. As you say, players whose skill set is comperable to Bourn’s don’t always tend to age well, and there is the possibilty that he’ll just fall off a cliff. Some of the comps are sort of scary.

              That said, with Upton signed and Span traded. the center field options are getting thin. I don’t see them signing Vic, so at this point it’s pretty much down to Bourn and Pagan. I’d be fine with 4/60 for Bourn. I expect it might actually take a little more than that to sign him.

  74. As expected, the Phils non tendered Shierholtz since Nix is guaranteed for next year. A healthy Nix is actually not that bad against righties, however he was awful against lefties. A Nix/Mayberry platoon is still possible for a corner spot although I continue to hope they move to the 4th and 5th OFs after two guys get signed or traded for (Bourn and Cuddyer or Willingham….). I can dream…

    1. Nix and Mayberry as 4th and 5th OFs would be great. More than that, not so much. What’s the story on Ichiro? Is he just a LF at this point? Is his defense bad, avg, or good?

      1. Nix and Mayberry as a strict corner OF platoon would actually be pretty good. Certainly as good or better than most of the names people are floating. Back of the envelope calculation based on career numbers: .263 BA, .307 OBP and .480 SLG with 23 HR. That and plus defense from both players at either corner. That’s actually pretty comparable – slightly lower offense, but likely better defense – to what Soriano did last year. And Soriano was pretty good last year. But (a) it was a rebound year for Soriano that he might not repeat, and (b) Soriano would be more expensive in terms of salary and/or would cost us a prospect or prospects. Likely both.

        Center field is the top priority; if they have some money left over there are a few guys out their who would be a real upgrade. But the Cuddyers and Sorianos of the world – not so much.

  75. I really am against these 7-10 deals for ball players. all the money is guaranteed, like with wright. 8 more years of that money, he will be 38 years old. why do they keep doing these contracts, its ties up money to a aging player, who most of the time isnt worth the money. thats why its so important to draft well. wish the phillies believed in the draft more, and international market, and spent more money to get better prospect. like the braves they have two young sluggers, making only 600 thousand a year . have a really good team and not much money in player salaries, smart run team.

    1. That would be Jason Heyward #14 overall pick. To get the premium players you can’t be drafting at the back of the 1st round. The Phillies have drafted faily well in the late rounds and get some of the best bang for the book in Latin America and recently have been spending good money down there. If you want to complain about the minors it is the trades not the talent acquisition.

  76. Ricky Ricardo on WIP claims to have spoken with Pagan and claims Pagan would prefer to play on the East Coast where he can get direct flights to his native Puerto Rico.

  77. If the phillies have drafted well. why dont they have a centerfielder ready, or a third basemen, or a quality starter.??? gose is the only one who i can think of and he hasnt proven anything, and the propect we traded, who is tearing up the league????. where are the latin amercian players ready to help.????? they have drafted okay at best. not spending money on the top players, the day they let drew walk, after taking him so high, is the day imo they got cheaper in the draft, especially the latin market. they draft on signablilty, when you are drafting lower,its best talent, like the redsox did, and they have come up with some nice young players, and more on the way, we have what, 26 year ruf , morgan who is a big maybe, not one really cant miss prospect like profar, sorry dont buy the lower drafting not in baseball, and not before the cap restriction, that shipped sailed for me on the bull they draft well,

    1. Michael Bourn is an All-Star centerfielder drafted by the Phils. As for SP, consider that three-fifths of the Phils rotation is made from draft picks (Hamels, Worley, Kendrick) and Lee and Halladay were both acquired in part using SP drafted by the club (Drabek, Carrasco, pre-injury Knapp).

      By the way, there are not one, but two prospects drafted by the Phils at or near that “can’t miss” level right now: Travis D’Arnaud and Jonathon Singleton. They just don’t play in the system anymore.

      1. Agreed how many complaints would there be if the Top 10 looked like this:
        d’Arnaud
        Singleton
        Biddle
        Cosart
        Villar
        Santana
        Morgan
        May
        Franco
        Quinn
        (no Joseph or Martin because they were trade acquisitions). That is a Top 10 with 2 Top 50 prospects and almost 6 Top 100 guys overall. That and you have just graduated prospects Gose and Brown, with Carrasco and Drabeck coming off of Tommy John. That is a Top 5 system in all of baseball with no huge money signings and no picks above #18. The Phillies amateur scouts are some of the best in the business.

        1. Matt – perhaps tipping your hand on Morgan’s ranking in your off-season poll?

          Phillies starting to emerge as the favorite for Pagan in the neighborhood of 4-40. Get it done I say. He was no. 1 on my list since September and his non-tendering certainly didn’t hurt my cause.

          Assuming Pagan come aboard, let’s go get Youk on a 2-yr deal then sign Mike Adams and call it a day.

          1. If by saying he is Top 10 and likely Top 5 then yes, I am still debating Martin, Morgan, May and I have no clue how to really rank the position guys. I don’t know how Morgan keeps getting underrated, his fastball played up this year and his ceiling is as a mid-rotation starter and the only reason Biddle is ahead of him is that there is still projection with the younger Biddle.

            1. Based on the scouting reports, the way I view it is that Biddle is a poor man’s Clayton Kershaw while Morgan is a poor man’s Cliff Lee. But, yeah, I think Morgan is being overlooked and also think that Austin Wright is being overlooked. Of the lefty starters in the system, my sense, from reading the scouting reports and first hand reports, is that Wright throws the hardest, which doesn’t mean he’s the best pitcher or has the most upside (Josh Outman still throws 95 and he’s terrible because he has no deception and no plus pitches), but it’s noteworthy.

            2. Wright doesn’t have the change up it may generously be a 30-35 pitch right now, if he can make it a 40 pitch and improve his command he can stick as a starter, otherwise he is a good reliever.

            3. I’m not sure how good it is exactly, but Wright’s supposedly got a good breaking pitch, so at least he’s not all fastball. AA will be a good test for him though. I definitely agree about people overlooking Morgan. If he can really touch 95 with his fastball, I can’t see how he’s lower than 8th in the rankings, and I’d probably have him higher than that.

            4. Don’t disagree. Morgan is clearly a top prospect for the Phil’s at this stage and will certainly make my top 5. A full-season at Reading will be a good test for the youngster. Pettibone is another guy who will be an interesting play this year. Still think there’s some projection there though I’d already consider him a serious prospect in the likes of a 3-4. With his control prowess, 91-93 on his fastball will play well. Add another click or two and polish his secondaries, which are already serviceable, and we very well may be looking at a no. 2 starter down the road. A 2 is probably a reach at this stage, but potential is there

            5. You and I are on the same page. I also think that’s Pettibone’s upside since he’s continued to add velocity since he’s been with the Phillies and now routinely sits in the low 90s and touches the mid-90s. What’s neat about Pettibone is that he has a fantastic, cool, on-mound demeanor and excellent command. If he added a strong change-up, he could take another leap forward. He’s most likely to slot in as a #4 (Jon Garland is a comp that makes sense), but if he continues to improve, his outside upside is around a 2 – but a lot would have to go right for that to happen.

            6. I am very down on Pettibone, I think his stuff is good but he just doesn’t miss bats. I think that is a definite skill and he just doesn’t seem to have it, so until he proves that he can strike guys out or generate a large quantity of ground balls I am going to continue to be down on him.

            7. I felt the same way, but, if that’s going to be a big issue with a pitcher, usually you see the player’s performance suffering once he gets to higher levers. That hasn’t been the case with Pettibone – he just keeps doing better and better. That having been said, he could sure work with a pitching coach like Dubee who would help him master a change and cutter – those pitches would play very well with the stuff he current has. Pettibone with a plus change could be a big time starter.

            8. Agreed. The track record on guys who don’t miss bats isn’t good. That’s why I see him as a 4 or 5. Now if he could carry that 6 K/9 to the bigs and still post very good BB rates, he could be a solid starter. My fear is the strikeout rate doesn’t even carry over.

          2. Steve – that’s pretty much the way I see it. In terms of their average WAR value over the last 4 years, Pagan and Victorino are pretty much interchangeable, but Victorino’s tenure has just run it’s course here – it would be weird and not positive to bring him back. In any event, the acquisitions you outlined would be affordable and would upgrade the team at various positions of need and it wouldn’t require the team to surrender the first round pick.

            As for Pagan, I’d project him as a 2-5 WAR player over the course of the next four years and, having seen him play, I think, as odd as it might sound with regard to a 31 year-old player, there’s more home run power in him than his output would suggest (a big part of that is his playing in home run unfriendly stadiums). In any event, if you peg him as averaging 3 WAR over the next 4 years, he’s well worth the contract you outlined, he’d add stability to the outfield, and he’d still have some residual trade value if, for example, either Gillies or Collier really turned the corner. It’s a pretty easy acquisition on the terms you outlined.

            1. Catch – I’m glad you made reference to Pagan’s power. Many would peg him for a handful of HRs a year but I would contend that he’s an annual double-digit guy and will very likely hit 15 or more at CBP.

    2. Bottom line…Latin American signees in the past years have tilted the balance of power in the farm systems. Philiies did well, not great, they were frugal in their spending. OTOH, Rangers, Braves, Yankees and a few others drop the big money, almost every year, and naturally they had their misses but odds are in the numbers, they also had their successes, more so then the Phillies. But from 2012 on in, the playing field has equalized a bit becuse of the spending restrictions and things may change in the balance of power or should I say, equal out.

      1. I agree but I don’t think the gap is huge, The Phillies actually invest quite a bit in Latin America when you consider they keep an academy going in both the Dominican and Venezuela allowing them to sign Galvis, Santana, Carrasco, Bonilla, Franco, Castro, and Bastardo all for under 250k. That is really good for teh money put out.

        1. Up to recently, quite a few clubs carried academies in both countries. Lately, DR is where most clubs decided to stay and vacate Ven, I guess due to political/ govt uncertainty and expenses. The Braves, Yankees and Rangers….would not be as strong as they are now if it were not for the fact they were the big LA bonus spenders over the last 8-10 years. Their top ten prsopects lists have invariably been littered with 5/6 LA signees, But hopefully things now even out and have the scouts’ skills and abilities in picking talent decide the future.

  78. worley isnt a world beater. kedrick stinks, and your top ten still had only one major league player, and he was promote cause they were playering for the future.brown is on his way out, nothing to brag about, what has he done? at 25 years old.carrasco plays for the clevleand indians who would pitch me if they could and he stinks. you have proven nothing. only way you could win your point is if singelton and D’arnaud become anything. villar my god he is top ten on a bad team, he cant hit,

  79. Mets looking for catching and OF in return for Dickey. Would Brown, Valle, and DeFratus or Stutes get it done?

    1. Given the current state of the Phillies, why in the world would we want to trade so much of the future for a 38-year old pitcher. Yes, he had a good year last season, but at that age collapse can be as fast as snapping your fingers. I certainly remember how fast Carlton faded. Even if he does have a decent 2013, he is not a part of our future. We have a good rotation. It doesn’t require a stopgap fix.

      1. I disagree. I think this guy is an historically unique knuckleball pitcher. He throws it so much harder than any knuckleballer I’ve ever seen before that it bodes well for his long-term success. While it’s true that, as an older pitcher, he is generally more susceptible to injury, his risk of a performance related decline is pretty low. I’d give him a three year contract in a minute. He’s not likely to repeat his Cy Young year because a lot goes into a season like that, but there’s no reason to think he won’t be a fantastic pitcher for that next 3-5 years. I’m all in with Dickey. The trade proposed is fair, but wouldn’t work for the Phillies because it leaves a gaping hold in the outfield. But it’s also flawed because I think the Mets would want much more for that for the reigning Cy Young winner, even if he is in a contract year. To get Dickey, you’d probably need to put together a much more attractive package for the Mets.

  80. Yesterday, Alfonso Soriano was apparently made available by the Cubs. He could be a short-term stopgap solution in the OF, given a CF who is decent defensively to support him, and the Phillies could likely take on enough of his salary to minimize the cost in prospects. He may not be near what he was at his peak, but he certainly can still supply some right-handed power. In addition, he may still be able to fill in at 3rd base in a pinch. Remember when he was the Phillies top target years ago?

    1. Yes, I do remember that time. He was 30 and a base stealer back then. I don’t get this obsession with adding ‘name’ antiques to an already old team. It is time to give Brown, Ruf, Mayberry — with an assist from Nix, their chance to hold down our OF corners. We are not going to solve what ails the Phillies by refusing to trust rookies and making the team more of a geriatric society than it already is.

      1. I think people called Berkman an antique when the cards signed him and he helped them win a world series

  81. I’d like to see the Phillies sign either Eric Chavez or Kevin Youkilis. Left handed batting Chavez makes sense at third in a platoon with Frandsen and as a late game defensive replacement and left-handed pinch-hitter in games that Frandsen starts against lefties or righties. Chavez figures to be a lot more economical than Youkilis.

    1. But very risky if you are relying on him to perform well. Last year was his first good year in the ladt five. Yikes!

  82. I’d like to see the Phillies sign either Pagan or Bourne to play centerfield. Both could be rested against lefties in favor of Mayberry, since both are not as good hitters against lefties. Bourne is good enough defensively to start most every game and to be worth more money than Pagan. If they get Pagan I would expect Mayberry to start more against lefties than Pagan would, unless Mayberry is needed in right, left, or 1B against a lefty.

  83. Ruf, Mayberry and Brown as your outfield would not win a AAA Pennant! I am all for platooning Ruf and Brown in Left. Mayberry had a chance and is a #5 OF Ruben missed the boat on Span. Can not bear thought of Vic back and may have no choice but Pagan who doesn’t thrill me

    1. Mayberry should do fine as half of a platoon in LF. Brown needs to get everyday at-bats, it’s time to finally give the guy a real chance. That leaves a hole in CF- there’s no one that I’ve seen suggesting starting Ruf, Mayberry and Brown in the OF.

  84. CF bat is still the priority. I was not thrilled with the choices before and am still not. I think Victorino is the best choice (destroys RHP, can play good D, fan following, likely to rebound, cheaper) but that ship may have sailed. Span would have been my next choice since he is also a good fielder with a proven track record and quite cheap with little commitment.

    Pagan will be an overpay and may go the Roward route to suckitude. I do think he could perform about a well as Victorino but will cost much more coming off a career year. I do not think Pagan is as good defensively but plays in a different home park.

    3B should be top priority as well. Regardless of CF, Phillies should be after Youkilis and Chavez. After that no options are much better and the trade market will be quite expensive.

    Due to scarcity, I’d prefer the Phillies make a move for 3B and wait out the CF market.

    1. Vic and Pagan are similar in WAR over the past three years (with Pagan having a slight advantage). It really depends on the value of the signing (how much money and how many years) as to which would be a better signing. The Phillies have needs in multiple areas. If they just needed CF to be a contender, I would agree with you. Since they have multiple needs and only so much $ to spread around, Vic may be the best option if he is the most reasonable contract-wise.

  85. What do you think the phillies will offer pagan, 4 years how much? more per year than upton?? i am lost on this guys value, not a lot of power, dont know if he is a good outfielder.really havent seen a lot of him.

    1. He shouldn’t get Upton money.

      Good hitter. Doesn’t walk too much. Has a little pop, but has played in Citi Field and AT&T Park the last few years. Decent OFer. Will steal some bags.

  86. Jon Heyman tweeted Ichiro Suzuki is reaching out to other teams, possibly including the Phillies, although there is a strong belief he wants to return to the Yankees….mlbtraderumors.com

      1. I love Ichiro, but he’s done. It would be a waste of money. If they were going to go in that direction, they would have re-signed Juan Pierre, but they didn’t.

        1. Catch…..both are great team guys..Pierre and Suzuki….but Suzuki still has a little more left in his tank. He can still ‘glove it’ in LF especially.

          1. Last year, Suzuki registered as a -1.1 dWAR for the Yankees and, while he gave the Yankees some spark on offense, his general offense over the last two years or so has been bad. But I don’t watch him play. Perhaps he was just weighed down by the mediocrity in Seattle and has a little spark left in him under the right set of circumstances. In any event, I can’t imagine dedicating more than about $1.5 million to Ichiro even if you think he still can play (which is unclear to me) – and that’s the max.

      2. While I am not against signing Ichiro to a Pierre-like bargain I don’t see him signing that cheaply. Really he is not what we need out of an everyday corner outfielder especially if you combine him with the likes of Pagan (little power, subpar defense) in Center.

  87. Here is what I would propose: Trade a young pitching prospect for Soriano at 9 mm$ per.
    Trade Worley, Valle and JDF to San Diego for 3B Gyorko and of Denorfia. Sign Bourne for 3 years 17 mm$ to cover the enormous space in the outfield between Soriano and Brown / Denofia platoon. Put Ruf down in AAA to do more outfield work and have Galvis play AAA ball to keep ready for the inevitable break down of either our ss or 2nd baseman. Major League rotation is Hamels, Halliday, Lee, Kendrick and Cloyd. Sign 3 or 4 relief pitchers cheap and go cut throat through them to find the 2 that can pitch this year.

      1. Nice sarcasm tool. Read the rest of the comments on this… the idea is that everyone has ideas and they express them. If you don’t want to consider someone elses ideas become a Republican.

        1. All of those deals are two way streets. The Phillies would do them but the other team/player wouldn’t.

        2. I think he was a little overly harsh but not every idea is created equal. Sure, Bourn would be a good sign at that price – I think he gets more years, though the 17 million AAV might be realistic. But it’s likely the Padre trade proposal that prompted the reaction – that package doesn’t get us either player let alone both. The rest is reasonable, though I think Cloyd would get exposed the second time through the league, and as I said elsewhere I am not a fan of acquiring Soriano, but that’s kind of besides the point.

          Some context here as well – this site has been inundated lately with highly unrealistic trade proposals, and some of us are getting kind of sick of it.

    1. 3B Gyorko …..if he is long-term, then might as well replace Ache or Franco in the trade to SD for Valle or JDF, since having Gyorko at 3rd prevents either of them from playing there in the near foreseeable future.

  88. The more I think about it, soriano isnt a bad idea. if we get him at say 10 per year for two years. and then go out and get a defensive centerfielder, who has good range. like a span would have been good with a soriano. but if you get soriano at 10 and can sign bourn at 15 for 4 years i would take that or a pagan at 4 years for less say 48. so you are committing 22 million for two years for two starting outfielders, not bad idea, solves your leadoff problem and power, then hopefully in two years gillies or some else steps up and becomes a replacement for soriano.

  89. There’s a few dozen 27-yr old quad-A guys in the minors who can do what Soriano can. And that’s not an exaggeration when considering all aspects of the game. I’m not sure why peeps feel he’s an option no matter how much of the $36mm on his contract that the Cubs are willing to eat. He’ll be 37 yrs old in January and in spite of a rebound last season, his best is far, far behind him. Not to mention that he is absolutely putrid in left field.

    1. Please name a AAAA of who will hit 35 hr’s and hit .265 in the majors… because that’s what Soriano did last year. Put those numbers into the 2012 Phillies and they make the 1 game playoff. And by the way, Soriano has improved as an outfielder… remember people here are used to The Bull and Pat the Bat and Inky and Rauuuullllll!!!! He is better than all of them as far as range is concerned.

      1. Right . . . . last year, Alfsono Soriano was an $18 million 1.8 WAR player. Juan Pierre was an $800,000 1.9 WAR player. Replace Pierre was Soriano and you get . . . 81 wins, but even more problems managing luxury tax issues. More wasted money.

      2. Soriano hit 32, not 35. But I’m hardly contending that Soriano would hit 32 hr’s next season. Aside from last year, you have to go back to 2007 to find a year when he hit 32 or more. Since Soriano has averaged 25 hr’s a season the past four years I would consider it quite unrealistic to predict a 40% increase (to 35 hr’s) particularly as he enters his age 37 season.

        Back to my statement; there are plenty of 27 year old 25-hr types who play poor defense. In fact, we probably already have one on our roster.

        1. And, on top of all that, he would hate it here. The fans would eat him alive. One night last summer, I was sitting in my seats in left field and the fans were just lighting into him and something happened that I’ve never seen before. Soriano foolishly began engaging them – inning after inning he turned around and shrugged his shoulders and motioned to the fans, wondering what he had done wrong to deserve their wrath (it was actually pretty pathetic). Of course, this made it much worse. You could tell he was unnerved by the whole experience. Getting Soriano would be an expensive disaster for him and the Phillies. Fortunately, I can’t see it happening anyway.

        2. Aye, at age 37 I would project a 20-25 HR season with a .240-.250 average. We have between one and three guys who can provide this on the roster right now if they were to play a full season for a lot less money,

          1. Please name the players we have that would hit like that. That was our problem last year. Guys we thought would potentially do that failed.

      3. From age-related fade, to age-induced injuries, to last year being an aberration, I don’t expect that productivity from Soriano in 2013 and any GM would be extremely foolish to expect it. What I would expect is better production out of Ruf alone or Ruf plus a platoon partner than I would get from Soriano, and at a vastly lower cost.

      4. Soriano was probably a bit better last year than some people here are acknowledging, and his defense less horrible. But when you combine the likelihood that he will regress – he was horrible in 2009 and nothing special in 2010-2011 – the fact that the Phillies would likely have to pay much or most of his absurd salary, and would have to throw prospects in as well – no thanks.

        As for “put those numbers into the 2012 Phillies and they make the 1 game playoff,” not even close. I do think he was likely somewhat better than Pierre, but they would have needed as I recall 7 more wins to get into a one game playoff. Adding Ryan Braun to the 2012 Phillies would likely not have gotten them into the playoffs. And Soriano is … not Ryan Braun.

  90. My take on soriano is if he the cubs pay half his salary, and take lesser prospect like, a cloyd, swimmer, valle for him, why not, its only two year deal, and if he has a year like last, then we have solved our power problem. all depends on money and prospects imo.

  91. I can’t sit here and say any idea is a bad idea. My opinion is that they should have a goal to rebuild a more youth oriented core. I don’t think any of these FA’s put you over the top so why waste the money when it rarely works to bring home a title.

    We keep throwing Youk’s name around. I’ll concede Frandsen isn’t going to hit 300 again but who cares if he hits 255 and has a 320-330 OBP with solid Defense between he and Galvis. Youk is no longer the player he was. He’s fine in stretches but you saw him break down at the end in Chicago do you really think he is going to get better at this stage in his career. I’ll pass, that savings can be allocated some where down the road. Let’s not under estimate what you can some times get in a trade if you have the flexibility to take on a big contract not to mention you have to give up much less when you assume the whole contract.

    IDK what the answer is but I’m pretty sure its not making this team any older especially with over valued FA’s. If you forced me to chose one it would be Hamilton I guess.

    1. DMAR,

      The problem with your approach is that I don’t think it is realistic to get the kind of young talent you want. Those guys don’t get traded often, and when they do, it’s for pieces the Phillies don’t really have. Lee is about it, and the deals being proposed for him are generally at the same time unrealistic and harmful in the short run. And it isn’t as if the prospects being discussed by fans are likely future stars either – more likely solid regulars. And no, the “trade Lee, sign Greinke” bank shot isn’t going to happen.

      So what do they do? They do what they can to compete in the short term while not mortgaging the future. And part of that is making some smart pick ups of older players. Smart being the operative word here. Many of the ideas being floated on here do indeed reek of desperation. Soriano, Youk, Cuddyer – these guys do not excite. But they need to compete in the short term while waiting/hoping for talent to come through the system, AND as a big market team they have the money to do it.

      They need a center fielder. They lost out on Span and Upton, but they almost have to sign Bourn or Pagan at this point.

      If they have money left after that, and if he signs for less time/AAV than people are predicting, Hamilton would also be a good get. Really the only available corner guy that they should IMO be kicking the tires on at this point is Nick Swisher; as with Hamilton, only sign him if they can get him for less than people are predicting.(and obviously not both).

      1. At least we agree on the desperation players but your quote that says we almost have to sign Bourn or Pagan is what you don’t want to do meaning you cannot allow yourself to be leveraged into overpaying for either of those players.

        Bourn I would say is the better of the two as he can lead off and be some what dynamic in that role at least for the next 2 maybe 3 years if healthy. I however do not sign him at the Upton deal, he would have to be much less IMO.

        Span was a real kick in the jewels because not only did we not get him as a guy in a position of need in both field and line-up we let the Nats get him at 0 damage to either their payroll or farm strength.

        1. I hear you DMAR, but what’s the team going to do if they don’t get one of those two guys? Play Mayberry in center field all year? He can’t field the position well and he can’t hit right handers basically at all. Trade for Fowler? Career road stats: .248/.331/.367 – he’s a perfect example of a hitter whose value is completely dependent upon playing in Denver. And a lousy fielder. Heck, I think I’d rather go with Mayberry. And it isn’t as if there is anyone in the system knocking on the door. (I don’t think Gillies can stay healthy, and even if he can, I see him as maybe having a one in five chance at best of being a major league regular.) No, if they have to overpay for one of those guys so be it. The best alternative might be Vic; I’d actually be okay with that, but I don’t think he would sign here.

          I tend to agree regarding Span, who I like a lot, but while I think Washington got a good deal, they did give up a solid prospect. Biddle by himself likely would not have gotten it done.

  92. For what its worth, I still think all the Phillies’ Pagan talk is being made in an attempt to get Bourn and Boras to take a 4 yr deal. I continue to think that Bourn is their target and that they’ll look for power from a corner OF. I also think Pagan wants to go back to SF but they’re not offering him 4 years. They have Gary Brown a year away and may only be offering 2 years for Pagan, who doesn’t hit enough to move to a corner next year.

    1. Also, we should all accept the fact that these FAs and trade commodities are all going for too much money and too many prospects. Upton for 5/$75 is a fortune for a guy that hits 240, and a top pitching prospect for Span, a 260 hitter who plays great defense, is too much but that’s the way supply and demand works. Bourn and Pagan will go for too much too and a trade for Cuddyer or Willingham will require more than we want to give up.

      1. What’s too much for Bourn? If he’d go four years at the same annual as Upton ($60M total), I think it’d be a good deal for both sides.

        I for one am glad RAJ didn’t overpay for Upton and Pagan, but this CF situation needs to be resolved — particularly if Ruf is going to see any time in LF this season. Someone’s got to make up that extra ground defensively.

        1. I think Bourn is looking for 6/$100M. Don’t you think that’s too much? That’s what Boras does….

  93. Before Soriano, I would look in on Michael Young who is an aging (36) vet whose value is down in Texas. I’ve heard the Phils linked with him. Young is owed $16 M with one year remaining on his contract. He was injured for much of 2012 but finished the year strong when healthy. He figures to be a part time DH with the Rangers and his power numbers are down. If the Rangers offered half his salary, then getting Young as a one year rental would be worth it. Young can play third, actually played a little SS last year as well as 1B. He might be as good a LF as Soriano and a better clubhouse guy. Would offer a “B” prospect, perhaps 2. He fits the Phils’ needs more than the Rangers.

    1. Michael Young is a first baseman/DH at this stage of his career. As a defensive third baseman, he is somewhere between bad an incredibly horrible; most likely the latter, though it’s hard to be sure because he didn’t play there much in 2012.

      As a hitter, he’s certainly been up and down the past few years, but I don’t like the overall trajectory of his hitting career. Even a healthy Young is more likely to look more like 2012 than 2011. His superficially fine September was a product mainly of batted ball luck. (BIP luck and HR/FB luck.) 2012 looks to me more like age catching up with a player than an injury time out.

      1. Friend of mine owns an antiques shop here in Va. He doesn’t expect to make a sale with every customer but chuckles every time a customer comes in, looks around, and asks for something “newer.” Get my meaning?

        1. There are two extremes on this site when talking about older players. On the one hand, some people don’t have an understanding of aging curves. On the other hand, we seem to have a group of people who … for whatever reason – I’m inclined to think it’s more an aesthetic preference than anything else … who just prefer younger players. I’m not in either camp; you appear to be in the former camp.

          Young is a guy who was never a particularly good third baseman but has now lost a step and is awful. That’s pretty common. In fact I would say it is the rule rather than the exception. But this isn’t a projection of a decline going forward: usage patterns and what statistical evidence we have confirms that he’s not a guy who can play third base regularly any more for a winning team.

          The hitting data is is admittedly a little more ambiguous, as Young is nothing if not inconsistent. But he was just awful in 2012, he’s 36 years old, an age when most players are in steep decline. He is not a good bounce back candidate.

          I wouldn’t pick Young up if the Rangers agreed to pay his whole salary and traded him to us for a bag of used baseballs. I’m not super enthused about either Frandsen or Galvis, but either would be a better choice than Young. Heck, if he is healthy I’d rather bring Polanco back.

          1. That’s funny – when I saw that article, my first reaction (seriously) was “oh, Larry’s going to love this.”

            Anyway, does anyone have any insight as to what happened to Bourjos offensively last year. He’s a huge plus as a defensive outfielder, but, boy, his offense went off the cliff last year. It was pretty bad. If he repeated that performance in Philly, I doubt he’d last the year as a regular.

            1. I don’t have a huge insight on his offensive decline from last year. There were wrist problems but I don’t know how serious they were.

              Looking just at the numbers, his K rate held steady and his BB rate increased. What killed his season was (a) a big decline in bip performance and (b) a big decline in ISO. He doesn’t have enough of a major league track record to tell us whether those declines represent a small sample size fluke or a reversion to his “real” level of ability. I suspect more the former than the latter, but I don’t know for certain. His ISO especially I would expect to rebound. BABIP might be another matter; it wasn’t JUST bad luck in 2012, his LD% was down (and quite low), though that could very well rebound as well.

              But let’s take his career numbers as a baseline. On a career basis he is a slightly below average hitter. With his exceptional defense, and considering that he is a center fielder and a decent base runner, that’s a very good package. Even last year as a part time player having a down year offensively, fWAR grades him out as a 1.9 WAR player. I don’t quite buy that, but as a full time player and assuming a bounce back in hitting, I think he is easily a 3 WAR player. Versus Mayberry, who as a regular center fielder IMO isn’t much above replacement level (though he could shine in a bench/corner OF platoon role).

              And that’s a conservative baseline; as a 25 year old, there’s room for growth. Even a return to his 2011 level of play would make him a borderline star. The problem is that the Angels know this and plan to make him their regular center fielder. I think the price for him would be high – maybe Brown AND Biddle or Worley AND a “B” prospect.

              But he is a 25 year old center fielder with 4 more years of team control. Given his age and contractual situation, he has a lot more value that Span. Sure he’s a risk – but young players with his upside are almost never available, and when they are, it’s generally because they they come with some risk. At this point, given the alternatives, he’s the center fielder I’d most like to see the Phillies acquire. He’s the closest we are going to get to DMAR’s wish for a young player with star potential. He COULD turn into a .280/.340/.480 gold glove center fielder. And even if he is “only” a .240/.310/.380 gold glove center fielder, that would be a heck of a get.

            2. It’s interesting how all over the place opinions seem to be regarding Bourjos. Interesting but not surprising given last year’s performance. This may all be a moot point because the Angels seem to still value him highly, but if we were going to design the perfect realistic trade acquisition for the Philleis this off season we would come up with a player much like Bourjos:

              (1) Plays a position of need
              (2) Skill set that’s undervalued
              (3) Young, cost controlled
              (4) High upside
              (5) Coming off a down year (making him available, which a player otherwise matching the above criteria would not be).

              Come on Reuben, make it happen.

      1. Victorino on a 3 year deal at 9 million AAV wouldn’t be terrible I guess. He’s got to get less than Pagan right?

  94. With Pagan going to the Giants, and as more and more time passes without getting a CF, I just get a feeling we’ve got something up our sleeve. I have no idea what or for who, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was something big.

        1. I read this proposal some where and kind of like it. Trade Brown for Bourjos and sign Hamilton to play right.

    1. At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s either Vic or a trade at this point. I’m not so sure the Phils have something up their sleeve as much as they just don’t think Bourn/Pagan/Upton are worth the $ each was/is demanding. And I can’t argue with that.

      1. You guys have long criticized me for moving too fast, giving too many years, and offering too much money. I’ve listened and a I agree in some cases and I’m trying to do better. I’ve realized there are always bargains and under the radar moves that can make the biggest difference, both during the off season and at the trade deadline.

      2. I’m not sure what to think at this point. Span, Upton, Hunter, Cabrera and now Pagan are off the table. While I don’t dislike Fowler, I do dislike trading for a guy coming of a career year who is merely adequate defensively. I certainly like the idea of Bourn patrolling center and leading off but not at AAV of $18MM or more.

        What’s left? Vic is getting plenty of looks from mid-market teams and I doubt the Phil’s get into a bidding war with any of these teams. It’s looking more and more like Bourn will be our guy. Hopefully the price is right

        1. It surprised me that late last season, the Phillies did not give Brown any chance to play CF, which was supposedly his favorite position in the minors. It would have been helpful for this off season to know whether Brown could catch the ball out there. Frankly, it is beginning to look as though Amaro has no realistic plan for CF and while waiting to see how much money it is going to take to solve that problem, is delayed in solving the other problems (LF, 3B) as well.

  95. I really wonder what Scott Boras is thinking now as a landing spot for Michael Bourn. His best hope is that Texas loses out in the Hamilton sweepstakes and tries to compensate but they still have Gentry. Boras has oversold Bourn with the notion that he would ink a $90-100 M deal. I don’t see a team out there ready to offer Bourn a B.J. Upton salary. The Phils might go higher than the 5 year $55 M they apparently offered Upton. So do the Phils offer $60 M for 5 years and does anyone see another team poised to top it?

    1. They want a shortstop (Elvis Andrus and Andrelton Simmons) or an Ace level pitcher.

      The only way we could potentially get Upton is a 3 way deal with another team that has a shortstop and even then we’d probably still have to add more pieces going to Arizona.

      1. This anonymous guy is right. I’ve tried for Upton but unfortunately it takes that big time young prospect and our system is currently very strong with a high number of good prospects but we lack those 1 or 2 superstar prospects to get a deal done like this. Teams don’t want 5 good prospects, they want a great one, and 2 good ones. At least that’s what Ed Wade told me.

        1. Just watched you on Daily New Live. You did not have much to say but you think Mayberry is a viable option in CF. Very uninspiring interview today Ruben.

          1. Got it Goose, next time I will publicly state we have no confidence in him, just to be perfectly clear to agents and my peers that I have a very poor BATNA. You don’t play much poker do you?

            1. Ruben, I play Texas Hold em but think you are better suited for Indian poker. Everyone knows your track record especially after the Pence deal. Get us a center fielder and don’t settle for Ochiro.

  96. I really dont think the diamonbacks would take worley biddle, morgan valle for upton, even throw in quinn, its not enough talent to land upton.we dont have the players to get him, the braves can if they give up there shortstop and they might do it, both brothers in atlanta, and geinke joining washington already great staff, would make the phillies a also ran no matter what they do.

    1. The lionization of Andrelton Simmons by Braves’ fans gives me increased hope for the value of Freddy Galvis. I think Simmons projects as a Gold Glove quality shortstop with a .250 average, with good speed, no power. Freddy Galvis has not shown he has a true big league bat but he’s hit well in the Venezuelan winter league. Simmons came out of nowhere in 2012. I wonder if Galvis could do the same and become a piece for consideration in a trade for the likes of a Justin Upton.

      1. WIth just over 1000 PAs in the minors he did have a slash of .299/.352/.397/.749…a bit better then Freddy, however Freddy had over 2100 PAs with a line of .246/.292/.321/.613.

      2. Simmons is the only shortstop I would give an easy 80 field and 80 arm, this puts his defense a grade above Galvis. There is hope that Galvis may be a better hitter but they are not in the same class right now

        1. Yeah Simmons might be the best defensive SS in the league already. Kid is unreal with the glove. Bazooka for an arm. Not a bad hitter either. Galvis isn’t really close to his level.

        2. In what little I saw of Simmons, I was overwhlemed. I can’t believe he wasn’t a top 5 prospect coming into last year. The fielding and throwing is amazing, but he also has incredibly ability as a hitter. As much as the Phillies have improved in developing talent (and they have), they are still trailing the Braves by quite at bit. The number and depth of players develop by Atlanta – and at all positions – is staggering.

          1. Patience catch…..Braves, along with Rangers, Yanks and few other notables, threw big bonus money at FA -LA signees in past few years…not anymore. Two years ago Braves top five prospects had 4 as LA signees, now there are only three of the their top ten, and only 4 for the top twenty by MLB.com. New CBA restricts bonus money doled out to the LA signees making it more equitable. Phillies scouting will now make a difference.

            1. Braves are also going to be hampered by their hillarious TV deal. Braves are going to be the Oakland As in a few years.

  97. Ryan Howard has lost weight in his off-season workout program, but has taken a little time off to rest, in order to honeymoon in Hawaii.

  98. Ruf on Caribbean experience:
    “It was a different experience,” Ruf said when asked about his first exposure to winter ball in South America. “It was really intense. It’s a really emotional game down there. They play maybe 60 or 70 games down there as opposed to 162 over here, so every pitch, every game, every win or loss is that much more important for them to make … the Caribbean Series, which is every team’s goal down there.” Ruf’s goal for 2013 is clear: Win a job in the Phillies’ starting lineup.
    Ruf said he feels more qualified to play left field after his trip to Venezuela.
    “I hurt my foot the second game (in Venezuela) and DH’d and play some first base, but once that cleared up, I was out (in left field) almost every day, six days a week for four or five weeks,” Ruf said. “I feel a lot more comfortable in getting to balls I didn’t think I’d be able to get to and knowing maybe a little bit more what I can and can’t get to.
    “The ones I was having trouble with initially were the ones that were hit within five feet of me in either direction. Those are the ones that are hit a little harder and are tough to judge. Early on, I’d try to read it right away rather than waiting for the ball to come to me. I think that’s where I learned a little more.”

    1. They’re some basic comments but if you’ve ever played OF, Ruf’s comments are actually quite astute. I’m gaining some confidence in him. We’ll see…

      1. Yeah, to me, the closest comp in terms of fielidng is Burrell. Fortunately, Ruf is coordinated and he should be able to field balls cleanly that he gets to. The issue will be his range. The hope is that he can develop into a 3-4 WAR offensive player (more would be great, but I don’t see that happening) and only be a minus 1 to minus 1.5 defensive player, so the offense outweighs the lack of defense. It’s almost impossible to sustain a situation like Burrell in 2006 and 07 where he was a minus 2 defensive WAR.

      2. Agree with your comments and it looks like Ruf has his act together. Let’s hope he gives us the low cost power RH bat for LF but you know he will give his best effort.

  99. Okay I will take my shot at upton, would the diamonbacks think on this one, galvis. worley, joseph. aumont or de fratus???gives up a catcher shortstop, starting pitcher and relief pitcher.

  100. I think if the Dbacks see Galvis as a starting quality ss, then the answer would be yes. If not, then I think they hold out. The crowd noise this winter has been around the Dbacks acquiring Profar, Andrus or Simmons. There are rumblings of the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera being on the block. Here’s a 32-way:

    to the Diamondbacks

    Asdrubal Cabrera SS
    Vance Worley P
    Philippe Aumont P

    to the Indians:

    Jesse Biddle P
    Freddy Galvis SS
    John Mayberry OF
    Brad Ziegler P

    to the Phils:

    Justin Upton OF
    Chris Perez P

    1. Interesting. Who would that leave as the Indians closer? By his numbers Ziegler doesn’t fit the profile of a closer but I don’t know much about him. Another issue is that Perez is up for arbitration and is projected to get closer money~ $7.2 million by Baseball-reference’s estimation. That is a lot for a setup man. We would also need to sign a utility guy to replaces Galvis. I don’t know want the market for utility guys is right now but they are usually plentiful if not particularly exciting.

    2. Hell of a deal for the Phillies, Bad for the D-backs and terrible for the Indians. Why would the indians trade a starting SS and closer for a couple of bench players, a middle reliever, and a projected mid-rotation starter?

      1. You have to look at who is taking the big contracts. The Phils would add about $12.5 M in salary which isn’t bad if you’re otherwise shopping on the free agent market. Perez has ripped management/ownership in Cleveland for not spending money so he’s just about punched his ticket and is becoming unaffordable for a low budget team.with not so many wins to close out. Cabrera and Perez are 2 of the most expensive guys currently under contract in Cleveland. The Indians develop their own closers and don’t buy established closers from elsewhere. Ziegler could easily fill that role. This proposal gives the Indians young and cost controlled players filling a variety of needs. If they want studs on the free agent market, they’re better positioned to go get them after shedding salary.

        The Dbacks needs include shortstop and starting pitching. It’s hard to get both from a single source and anyone paying for Upton now and in the future has to be a contending team. Those teams are constrained in what they give back in current (vs. future) value. This deal gives the Dbacks some salary relief but not as much as the Indians trading from a position they consider to be in surplus. J. Upton rumors just don’t
        go away. This trade may not be as bad or undoable as you think.

        1. I don’t disagree that Cleveland is looking to move those players. The problem with what is proposed is that they can get much better return by trading them separately or by working with different trading partners.

          I understand Phillies fans wanting to get good players while not giving up anything major but all teams involved in the deal need to be getting something of value. Mayberry,Galvis, & Zeigler are replacement level talent and Biddle’s upside is as a mid-rotation starter. If I’m Cleveland, I’d hang up the phone laughing at that proposal.

          As for the D-backs, they are asking the Rangers for Profar or Andrus in a straight deal for Upton but you think they will instead take Worley/Cabrera while also giving up Zeigler?

        2. Just to add, there’s rumbling about Atlanta using Delgado or Teheran as part of a deal with Arizona for Upton. I’d take either one of those guys ahead of a package that includes both Worley and Cabrera and also requires that I make a hole in my bullpen that then needs filled.

        3. Ziegler has extreme splits because he throws sidearmed so he’s not a good candidate to be a closer. He’s also 6 years older than Perez.

          The argument that Cleveland would want to move Cabrera because he is expensive is insane. His next two years are a bargain. This trade makes no sense for Cleveland. They’d do a lot better than that package if they put Cabrera on the open market.

          1. To take in the 2 arguments, I believe the Braves don’t have the money to add J. Upton without a whole separate salary dump on their part. Look at their salary history.

            One of you says Cabrera is nothing special as a centerpiece in a trade, the other says he’s so good he could bring back a much better package. There are rumblings that he’s on the market (MLBTR) so it’s not my point that he’s too expensive.

            Who needs a shortstop these days and is prepared to pay heavily? (Escobar from Miami is out there). The Dbacks are the name that keeps coming up. There are non-contenders like the Padres, Mets, A’s. Which of them pays through the roof? Red Sox have a need but their top prospect Bogaerts is a year away. A player can have value in the abstract but if there’s not a ready buyer …..

            Any way, on a different topic, there may be a windfall for a team that doesn’t sign Josh Hamilton. He changes the salary picture significantly wherever he goes or even if he stays in Arlington where he was earning a shade over $15 M. I think the stirrings on the availability of Granderson and Ellsbury relate to the possibility that the Yanks and Red Sox are prospecting for Hamilton. If he stays with the Rangers, CF Leonys Martin’s value takes a hit. The Rangers’ need to dump Michael Young’s salary becomes more evident. Wherever Hamilton goes, in all likelihood there is a center fielder (and possibly a third baseman) available to a team in need of one. Sounds like a team we all know.

            1. Since when were the A’s which one the AL West with a team full of rookies a non-contender. That was not a fluke, they have some really good players out there, someone like Cabrera would make them a very dangerous team. The Padres were not that far out of it this year and had the best farm system in the majors a year ago. Others in need of a shortstop include the Dodgers (unless you think Hanley is still a short stop), Cardinals, and even the Tigers. There is always a need and value for a shortstop who can hit. Cabrera should cost a ton, he is average defensively (despite the highlight plays) but a good bit above average at the plate.

  101. i do that trade, now talk the diamondbacks and indians into it, and we will be okay, just need to get a backup outfielder and a third basemen.

  102. The Yankees are apparently shopping Granderson . . . . very interesting. If the price is right, he could solve your problem for this year while giving you flexibility for future years. His salary for 2013 is $15 million, which the Phillies could easily absorb. His fielding has been up and down, but I suspect it would be relatively average. If the price is right, this is a trade worth exploring.

    1. And, by the way, all reports are that Granderson is a super guy – he would fit in on this team. It’s odd that a guy who draws walks, hits homers and plays centerfield just fine would be underrated, but I think that’s the case with Granderson, due to his generally lower batting average. To me, however, the batting average is the reason that he is merely very good and not great, but I’d take very good right now.

          1. That is correct, but skewed down because Ryno was only there half the season, but after his return he started to ascend them up to their ‘respectability level’.
            BTW, heard Cashman interview on the Fan a few weeks ago, Granderson cameup….great guy, personally he (Granderson) felt he had a down year and wants to show more. as Cashman says.

            1. Say what you want about Howard, but the team went 45-35 after he and his K rate rejoined the lineup.

            2. All the criticism around Howard is related to his inflated contract. He was most certainly an upgrade over the guys who were replacing him in 2012.

            3. Doesn’t say much about the replacement level players does it?

              Ryan Howard came back and was a below replacement level player last year.

            4. Not “all” the criticism. He was horrendous in 2012, and the improved record was not attributable to him at all (I won’t bother with the long post showing where the improvement came from, but it is no mystery at all if one looks closely at the subject).

              The hope with Howard is that he can at least return to his pre-injury level. He is no longer special even then as an overall package, but at least he would be a positive contribution to the lineup.

            5. The K rate of Howards replacements were as bad as his so the argument that the Phillies K-rate was skewed because of Howard’s absence doesn’t hold water.

            6. Ryan Howard’s K-rate at 34% for almost 300 PAs is horrific and certainly affects the overall percentage.

            7. Simply not true. The Phillies had a ton of decent to good contact guys last year – Pierre, Ruiz, Victorino, Utley, Frandsen, Polanco all under a 12% K rate, with Rollins a decent 13.7%. They were tied for the best team K rate in the NL. If you want to criticize the team’s “approach,” look at their BB rate, which continues a several year decline and was the second worst in the NL last year.

  103. Ruben on Chooch……’it wasn’t intelligent on his part…and I am not happy with him nor are any of us happy with him….hurts the team’. Looks like Chooch’s next contract with the Phillies may not be all as expensive as envisioned. Phillies now have a chip.

    1. The drug thing will be a moot point by the time of contract negotiation. The negotiations will be determined by what Chooch does once he is back and how Valle and Joseph develop. If Chooch has a good year and Valle and Joseph stumble then Chooch will still get paid.

    2. How is this a chip? Chooch will be paid what he is worth… or he will go to another team and be paid what he is worth. RA may be unhappy with the suspension, as well he should be, but if he wants to do a big deduct for that in his next contract proposal, many GMs will welcome Ruiz. There are other teams that give Ruiz a much better shot at a WS than the Phillies do.

      1. Look at it realistically. Chooch’s numbers will after to be as good or better then 2012 playing at a minimum 25 less games. Count in his days off, we will say 8 to 10 and hope for no further injuries or DL stints. So he has approx 125 games to put up the numbers. And he has to do it, to prove that the 2012 numbers were not PED influenced. Now he has to be mandatory tested more then the 6 regular samplings during the season due to his circumstances, so that means no contract extension from the Phillies until after he has completed all the testing. Top it off…Ruben is ‘unhappy with him’….when the boss is unhappy with you, well. With the stigma, it could come down to a one-year contract like Melky’s.

        1. Well, first, Melky got a two year contract, which wouldn’t surprise me at all for a catcher at Carlos’ age. Second, what do you expect Ruben to say about a drug suspension? “I’m thrilled he got suspended. Shows he’s really trying to be on the field and help the team.” I bet if you go and look at some of his quotes about Galvis when his suspension was announced they would be similar, and now RAJ is talking Galvis up as a 3B option next year and saying how much he likes him.

    1. That could be a really good signing but he has huge question marks with his back injuries. The rumors were that were a ton of teams staying away. This exact contract was exactly what the Angels with all of their pitching needs turned down (1 yr 15mil option with a 2 mil buyout they paid). I would be much more afraid if they had resigned Edwin Jackson or signed Anibal Sanchez. Haren is just a name more than a good pitcher right now.

      1. Was wrong, he recieved a 3.5 million buyout from the Angels so this gives a total value of 16.5 million, more than he would have made if the Angels kept him (remember that is the team that knows the most about his injury history)

      2. I’m glad they signed him. Lets face it, they’ll be really tough to beat if their rotation stays healthy. Haren adds a major risk. If another SP goes down or regresses (Gio), they won’t be nearly as formidable.

  104. Thats true, I understand why any team with salary constraints would take caution in signing him. I was just bemoaning the fact that the Nationals do not seem to have such constraints and can take an expensive risk like this with the potential for a big payoff.

  105. Stras/Gio/Zimmerman/Haren/Detwiler……..damn, l was hoping last year was a bit of an abberation for the Nats. Good sign, friendly deal…..puts a bit more pressure on RAJ to do something.

    also…Ian Stewart got a clean bill of health…I’d like to see the Phils grab him before the Yankess do

    1. I don’t understand how anyone could see last year as an aberration. Their team is stacked at every position.

      It’s a sign of things to come. The division belongs to them now.

    2. They are the Phillies circa 2007 right now. Until their young players start getting to arbitration and free agency they will be a force. The problem will be when Strasburg and Harper are making 20 mil in arb, and they are paying Zimmerman, Gio, and Werth, and then they will have to pay Jordan Zimmerman, Desmond, Espinosa, and a centerfielder (once Span is gone). They will be good but they are at the peak now and they may not be able to keep it all together long term.

      1. Nats are much like the Phillies were in 2007 in that they have about a 2-3 year window right now which is why they are being aggressive this off-season.

        Harper hits Arbitration in 2015, Strausburg hits arbitration next season and Desmond,J. Zimmerman, Detweiler, Clippard, and Storen are all first-year eligible this year. So by 2015, their payroll will either need to increase dramatically or they will need to start moving pieces. Part of the reason they are balking at giving Laroche the 3-4 year deal he’s asking for.

      2. Other comparison to the Phillies is that the Nats have also traded away a large amount of the high-level talent in their system the last couple of season in deals to help fill their ML roster

      3. The Nats young players are younger than the 2007 Phillies’ young players, which I think gives them an edge. It won’t make it easier to keep payroll low, but it does mean it will take longer for those players to hit their decline phase. Heck, the guy who might be the best of all of the (Harper) isn’t even getting started yet.

        1. They are a bit younger but not all that much. Harper and Strausburg are both young but rest of key members of the team are all between 27-30.

    3. The Nats are only getting better. They look championship good on paper. The Braves will be good also although losing Chipper hurts them a lot and McCann isn’t what he was (once he comes back). The jury is out on the Phils because we don’t know what RAJ will do plus the health of Utley and Halladay is such an unknown. I’m actually pretty confident that Howard will come back in much better shape. It takes a while with an achillies tear but since he was never a jumper or speed merchant, he should be perfectly fine next year after a long off season.
      I agree on Ian Stewart by the way… Also, I read that the Rockies don’t want to kick in much money on Cuddyer which is good because the Phils only need them to kick in a little. Maybe it wouldn’t cost that much in prospects once we free up their salary responsibility. I read that RAJ is now saying that Asche could be up mid season if he tears up AAA. That doesn’t sound like a guy getting ready to sign Youk for 2 years.

    4. Ian Stewart has been on my radar for a while. I would hope that the Phillies have already offered him a minor league deal with a spring training invite. If someone offers him a major league deal I doubt the Phillies can match that – not because of cost but because of roster space.

      1. I saw you suggested Bourn at 4/60 I think that is about right but I also think some goof ball GM jumps in and pays more than that. I’m in at that number half heartedly. A solid upgrade yes but on its own not a difference maker with so many other question marks.

        I’ll maintain my stance that the worse thing RAJ can do is try to appeal to the fan base. What is the goal? Just make the playoffs or actually create a product that can contend for the WS.

        I get it they are running high on attendance numbers these last 5 years and they don’t want to see that dip. If they don’t get younger, if they don’t identify the new core they are going to find themselves in the land of mediocrity.

        1. In this day and age the goal of playoff bound and world series contender are one in the same . Rarely does the “best” team win the WS. It is all about getting hot at the right time. As I have said before I like this pitching staff in any short series if the can get a few bats that are hot at the right time.

          That being said I do think that the Phillies need to identify the pieces that are part of the future rather than filling up on over the hill veterans as some on here have suggested (Michael Young, Alfonso Soriano, et. al.). I don’t know if Ruf can hack it but he should get every opportunity to prove himself. I also think it is time to stop jerking D. Brown around and let him sink or swim. I don’t see a whole lot of reasonable upgrades on the market. However, Centerfield and Third Base are holes that Phillies don’t have reasonable everyday major leaguers for right now or people who deserve a shot to prove they are everyday major leaguers.

  106. My question on the nats is this. They dont have a big market do they . With baltimore right in there back yard, how much can they spend, they dont even draw that well do they?? there average attendance in a division winner year, there first. was only 20th not too good, so how much can they afford,if they cant draw 2 million fans. and a lot of those fans were phillies and baltimore and new york fans who wanted to see. the park and harper and strasburg. that will wear off imo.

  107. sorry looked at wrong year, they drew 2,300000, and ranked 14 last year, still wondering what they can spend,dont know how big there market is, and tv deals are. or will be in future?

    1. Their tv deal is with MASN where they are the junior partner in an arrangement involving the Orioles up Rte. 95 There is an ongoing debate whether these are 2 viable baseball markets or more like 1 1/2. I think of the Nats as “Tigers East” since their ownership has the money to spend while in the red What’s new in D.C. is that the Lerners’ ownership have had a whiff of winning and like the smell. D.C. fans are notoriously fickle on every sport but football. This is all just impressions and not hard facts which are available elsewhere.

  108. What are everyone’s thoughts and expectations for Dom Brown this season? He’s had his ups and downs over the last couple seasons between injuries, swing changes, promotions/demotions. His stat line in the bigs wasn’t great, but when you consider he had a .260 BABIP he really wasn’t that bad. His power is streaky, but he had a very good K/BB ratio and displayed good contact rates. Bill James gave Brown an optimistic .274/.347/.445 projection for 2013. He previously projected Brown to be a 30/30 guy, so take it with a grain of salt, but I would be thrilled if those were his numbers over a full season.

    His fielding may never be great, but I think if his legs are fully healthy and with experience he’ll be respectable out there. Healthy legs might also allow him to steal 10 bags a year (James projects 12). I still don’t like his swing and I’d like to see him get back to a more simple approach (2009 AFL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7qD5Y_xOOc). Look how simple that swing is compared to what we have seen the past couple of years. He has the contact skills and plate discipline that you can’t teach. He just needs to iron out some things. I think when fully healthy, we might see some of that power from 2 seasons ago. That’s the big question though. Can he stay healthy?

    1. No reason he can’t stay healthy. He hasn’t been chronically injured. The Phillies mishandled him with the ups and downs and Cholly’s obvious lack of confidence and changing from RF to LF. His initial start in the bigs really wasn’t unduly bad, pretty much what most rookies do, but Cholly has no patience with rookies.

  109. Looks like the Red Sox are offering Victorino 3yrs 38 million. That seems insane to me, I can’t imagine why he is getting more per year than Pagan. I know we want Amaro to make a move but frankly these contracts have been really high, that and I don’t think the team is in a position where you can make something like the Span deal where you are giving up a player like Biddle to fill that CF hole.

    1. I’ve been mystified why people assumed Vic wouldn’t get a decent deal. Sure last season meant his hope of a 5 year contract (more realistically 4 even if he hadn’t had an off year) went out the window and decreased the likely AAV of his deal. But even if he is 2/3 the player he was from 2008-2012 he would be a bargain at an AAV of 12 million. Heck, if 2012 had looked like 2011, he would IMO have been looking at 4/60 or thereabouts.

      1. It does seem curious, however, to give him that deal as a corner outfielder. He loses signficant value there.

        Also in fairness, it does look like a lot of smart people are seeing this as an overpay. People seem to be looking at his growing platoon split as evidence that 2012 was the start of a decline phases, as opposed to a down year. I still see him as a guy who could easily earn that contract.

        And people aren’t really criticizing the AAV, but the third year.

    1. Actually, it probably helps the Phillies. It makes our bad contracts less bad, by comparison, and has other teams chewing up their budgets. I don’t think many teams will blast through the Selig ceiling, so this won’t continue forever.

      1. It doesn’t help the Phillies to see league and division rivals get measurably better while the Phillies talk of signing Scott Hairston.

  110. Looks like the old Lee for Upton trade rumor is starting up again. If you are going to move Lee this seems like the guy to go get, I just would hate to see them overpay in what they cover of Lee and in prospects and prevent the team from building around Upton at that point. That would put the team in the market for a starting pitcher if they did that.

    1. I’m not sure what to think about that. Pluses: probably makes the team better in the medium run, team gets a little younger, and, assuming that the Phillies don’t have to pay any of Upton’s salary, they get a significant amount of salary relief. Minuses – blows a pretty big hole in the rotation in the short run. Actually, straight up it would be a pretty good deal for the Phillies looking at it that way. Which means likely more pieces going to Arizona.

      One would think that they would fill in the rotation hole in the FA market. Greinke the big prize there obviously, though I remain skeptical that he would come here.

        1. Well that’s the main reason why I contrasted the short and medium term; the hole in the rotation hopefully gets filled in 2014. Though neither of those guys is likely to be as good as Lee.

          1. IMO, Lee is getting ready to fall over the physical Cliff..ha, like that. Seriously, the vast majority of 35-year old lefty starters who dominant is percentage low. How much longer do you think he has before he begins the decline?

            1. Very clever play on words. Lee is a very odd case. He keeps improving in certain ways. His velocity last year, his age 33 year, was higher than it’s ever been. How often does that happen for a starting pitcher. He also throws multiple, devastating pitches for strikes and has historically outstanding command, so even if he loses a little velocity he should be able to be effective for a good long time. You never know when he’ll show an age related decline, but he hasn’t even gotten close to showing it yet.

    2. With regards to needing to enter the market for a starting pitcher, there are reports that a “mystery team” has entered the market for Anibal Sanchez. Maybe the wheels are already in motion. The Phils have played “mystery team” before.

    1. 3:56pm: Sources tell both Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that the D-Backs and Phillies aren’t actively discussing an Upton/Lee deal (Twitter links). The report is “off base,” a D-Backs source tells Piecoro.

    2. Yeah, but unless they are engineering a trade for another top level pitcher (or about to sign Greinke, which I seriously doubt), they are getting other young pitchers in this deal or this is going to set off a series of related moves that I cannot even begin to envision, I don’t understand this move. You strengthen yourself in one area and weaken yourself, in at least a like amount, in another area. On a net basis, you really don’t get better by trading Lee straight up for Upton. And think about it, if Roy Halladay does not fully recover and becomes a number 3 (more than possible) and the Phils trade Lee, they have an ace (Hamels), a #3 (Halladay) and a whole bunch of quesiton marks. Kind of a bad situation when the team is built to depend on dominant pitching, don’t you think?

      Aside from that, I absolutely love watching Cliff Lee pitch and, for me as a fan, the entertainment value of a player is pretty significant, particularly when the player is, from a statistical basis, outstanding as Lee is.

      If Ruben were not so mercurial I would say this rumor is impossible, but he is definitely unpredictable, so I’ll just say that I hope his love of pitching wins out and he does not trade Lee for Upton.

      1. “You strengthen yourself in one area and weaken yourself…in another area.”

        Herein lies the problem I see in so many of the trades proposed on this board. People seem to fail to accept that you have to give up value to get value. You weaken yourself in an area where you either have a strength or feel there are replacements available on the market (starting pitching) to strengthen yourself in an area where you have a weakness and there is no reasonable value available in the free agent market (corner outfield).

        I am a but leery of Upton’s downturn and I love Lee, but if they could sign a Grienke, Sanchez, or Jackson, I think this would give the Phillies much of the balance that they have been lacking for the last few years. On the other hand I really don’t know if Upton (3.1) 3yr average WAR)is worth the cost of giving up Lee considering you gave up Pence (2.7) last year.

        1. That’s the problem. Weakening in one area to strengthen in another doesn’t equal out to a net plus. There were times last season where Lee seemed to lack the toughness to hold onto games he should have won, but largely he had a bad season due ot non-support. For the season as a whole, his numbers were very good, by every measure except wins. You are not going to replace that. Also, Upton of 2012 was far from being a world beater. Perhaps just the aberrational down year, but if we got a repeat of Upton 2012 in exchange for replacing Lee with a lesser starter, then it’s a net loss. And Upton is a FA next season, so you give up Lee in 2014 and beyond for what is not even a first round draft choice.

  111. They’re reporting that Boras was meeting with Seattle to discuss bourn. As expected, Boras is trying to get a 2nd team in on Bourn besides the Phillies. Supposedly, the Reds like Bourn too but they already said they won’t pay that kind of money. Plus the Reds are trying to finalize their deal with Ludwick. Victorino’s likely large deal continues to further solidify Bourn’s asking amount, if not term. I’m sure the Phils are offering 4 years while Boras probably wants 6. The Phils are probably offering between $12 and $14M per year while Boras is probably asking for $16M per year. If Boras can’t get anyone to offer more than the Phils now, he’ll wait and RAJ won’t raise his offer and we’ll just be in a waiting period. Meanwhile, I continue to think they’ll make one trade and sign who they can. Adams is still in play as are several other relievers who will cost less like Lyon and Grilli. I don’t believe the Lee/Upton talk for a second. There’s so much posturing and negotiating and leaking of false information in an attempt to effect someone else’s thinking…. Actually, it would probably be fun on the other side one time….

  112. As for the laugh out loud MLB trade rumor line of the day – it’s that the Marlins won’t entertain trading Ricky Nolasco. That’s hilarious. That’s where they draw the line in the sand? Ricky Nolasco?

    1. With what’s left on the market they could do worse. He hasn’t so far shown the loss of speed people fear from giving Bourn a multi-year contract. He’s kind of like a poor mans Vic or Pagan at a much cheaper salary. The question is what are you willing to give up for him.

      Speaking of Bourn is any of this lost a step talk based on anyone timing is first to second or first to third times or is it all because his SB’s dropped to 42 last year? Atlanta has never been as aggressive a running team as Houston and I am pretty sure Bourn had a permanent green light with the basement dwelling Astro’s. His CS% was slightly higher but has always been high for people that have gotten spoiled watching Utley. If is fear that he will decline, a four year contract will put him at the same age as Crisp will be next season.

      1. It’s not based at all on anything specific to Bourn’s performance. It’s based entirely – and IMO appropriately – on his skill set. Similar players have generally not had good aging curves, and often have absolutely fallen off a cliff at around Bourn’s age. Sure there are exceptions, but a 4 plus year contract for a guy his age is ALWAYS a risk, and for a player of his skill set, even more so. Even under a normal aging curve he will almost certainly decline during the contract, and there is at least a chance of a precipitous decline. See. e.g., Figgins, Chone.

    2. The fact that that is, under the circumstances, a reasonable suggestion, tells you a lot about how far the team has fallen.

  113. I have the impression that Pedro Gomez at ESPN read a tweet from a bogus Heyman account, not the real Jon Heyman, and thus began the Lee for J. Upton rumor which was treated seriously by some here. Lee has a no trade clause to 21 teams which is something to consider should this rumor resurface.

  114. WIP reports that _____ Wolf, Chase Utley’s agent, claims that if the season were to start in two weeks, then Utley would be ready. The agent describes Utley “as a man on a mission” in terms of preparation for 2013. Just looking for and sharing light from any source.

    1. Hmm. Posting the glowing comments of an agent on his client entering a contract year is digging pretty far for light.

      1. I think the beef last winter was that the Phils didn’t monitor his progress closely,
        Chase thought rest would do the most good. Sounds like he’s on an altogether different regimen this time. Most of these agents haven’t been to medical school so volunteering comments on conditioning when they aren’t really called for is not par for the course unless someone was on the DL at the end of the season.

    1. We’re not going to add Fowler and Hamilton, but yes, we could win, as in being a wildcard team, with that OF.

  115. I still like Dexter Fowler as a center field option and my feelings on that are well known at this point.

    I’m really hoping the trade of Denard Span makes Josh Willingham available (although the Twins front office can be delusional when it comes to rebuilding… wouldn’t even listen on him at the deadline). Worley/May + for Willingham is a deal I’d jump on. (either or for me as the other would need to be in a deal for a center fielder as well).

    I’m curious as to whether or not Domonic Brown could be a trade piece. I think he’d make plenty of sense for a team like Colorado in a deal for Dexter Fowler. He’d also make sense in a deal for Willingham since the Twins would need an outfielder.

    The presence of Laynce Nix gives them a platoon bat for Ruf in Right or Left if that’s the route they want to go.

    1. Not that I’m advocating a trade of Domonic Brown. I think he’s still got a world of potential and I’d love for him to fulfill it here.

          1. You’re not the only one Chris. I take one look at his defensive numbers and his home/road splits and become dumbfounded as to how anybody would want him in Philly.

            1. The counter argument, which I don’t buy – I’m with you – but just throwing it out there:

              (1) Playing in Denver artifically hurts road numbers because players “forget” how to hit a curve, since the ball doesn’t curve as much in the thin air. Once they leave Denver, they get used to seeing real curve balls on a regular basis again.

              (2) Playing in Coors’ huge CF makes his fielding look worse than it is.

              The former does seem to be true for some players, and there is some truth to the later, but I wouldn’t want to count on either. Maybe the two factors make him a 1.5 WAR player away from Denver, instead of a replacement level player, which is what he looks like just considering the raw defensive metrics and road split. Meh. Don’t want.

            2. I especially don’t want for the rumored cost it would take. If the cost is Cloyd and some A-ball reliever, then fine. If it is 3-4 of the Phillies better prospects, then no way in f’in h-e-double hockey sticks.

  116. the Phillies are in on Scott Hairston, along with Mets and Yankees according to Ken Rosenthal. Would love to bring this guy in on a cheap deal. Maybe make a guy like John Mayberry or Darin Ruf expendable in a trade.