316 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 12-8-2013 – Winter Meetings Edition

    1. Ugh. Okay, so then we will have to pay Price $25 million a year and have no young prospects. If we do that, the team will be in last place by 2016 with no way out. What????

    2. anon…..no way…..no more quick fixes……do it the Cardinal way….just suck up the next few years.

  1. I wonder if Roy Halladay might be back after all. Word is Johan Santana is in line for a minor league deal, so Roy could possibly be had for very cheap.

    I might even consider Johan Santana if it’s only a minor league deal.

    1. Not that I’m advocating for Roy to come back, I think he’s better off somewhere else. Pittsburgh is the best situation for him in my mind: they train in Florida, pitcher friendly ball park, and a coaching staff that’s helped turn the careers of AJ Burnett and Fransisco Liriano.

    1. SEA:
      Lee
      Howard
      Brown
      Revere
      Aumont/Martin

      PHI:
      T. Walker
      Jabari Blash
      Chris Taylor
      Tom Wilhelmson
      Ji-Man Choi

  2. Ubaldo Jimenez…4 years, 55 mil…it’s more than what I would expect him to be worth, but this offseason has redefined “market” “value” and “overpay” in my opinion. He will get a contract close to that from one team or another, and between him, Garza, and Santana in the top-tier of pitchers this year, I think Jimenez is the most reliable. His really bad stretch during his first months with Cleveland are not as bad as the inconsistencies that Garza and Santana have had. With the position players pretty much aligned, and with Ruben unlikely to go wild for Tanaka, I think Jimenez is the best bet to solidify the rotation.

      1. That may be at Brown + another top prospect – but if Phils eat his salary (Kemp) then maybe a lesser amount in prospects.

        1. the point of the Dodgers trading an OF is that they have one too many starters…. what’s the point in trading Kemp for Brown? They just end up with 4 OF starters again?

  3. Word is that Roy Halladay is retiring. Signing a one day contract with the Blue Jays (which is as it should be) and saying goodbye. Unbelievably great pitcher with the absolutely fastest crash of any player I can ever remember who didn’t have personal problems or suffer a truly catastrophic injury. Halladay was positively dominating in his last performance of 2011, then showed up in ST in 2012 and was a completely different pitcher; a shadow of the player he was only 5 months earlier. It just shows how delicate and unpredictable pitching is.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. As you highlighted, Halladay went from being one of the dominant pitchers in the game to a pitcher who struggled seemingly overnight. I blame the anaconda that he encountered in the Amazon for this struggles.

      I was trying to think of others who have fallen this quickly. I think Schmidt had a similar dropoff. In 1987, at the age of 37, he hit .293 with 35HR’s and a .936 OPS. One and a half years later, at the age of 39, he retired. Now, the difference here is that Schmidt was 39 when he retired. Halladay hit the wall at 34.

      My amazing stat of the day (this is as of 2011 data – I think it is still true though):
      It’s the worst ERA ever for a pitcher who made at least 10 starts in a season.

      1. Brian Matusz (Bal, 2011): 10.69 ERA in 49 2/3 IP
      2. Roy Halladay (Tor, 2000): 10.64 ERA in 67 2/3 IP
      3. Micah Bowie (Atl/ChC, 1999): 10.24 ERA in 51 IP
      4. Aaron Myette (Tex, 2002): 10.06 ERA in 48 1/3 IP
      5. Steve Blass (Pit, 1973): 9.85 ERA in 88 2/3 IP
      6. Sean Bergmann (Min, 2000): 9.66 ERA in 68 IP
      7. Andy Larkin (Fla, 1998): 9.64 ERA in 74 2/3 IP
      8. Edgar Gonzalez (Ari, 2004): 9.32 ERA in 46 1/3 IP
      9. Todd Van Poppel (Oak/Det, 1996): 9.06 ERA in 99 1/3 IP
      10. Bryan Rekar (Col, 1996): 8.95 ERA in 58 1/3 IP

    2. I still blame Charlie and Dubee for completely mishandling the end of Doc’s career. He was constantly left in games way too long, I understand part of it was mistrust of the bullpen. But I remember numerous times over the years where Roy was left in for 8 or 9 innings when the game was clearly out of hand. If his workload had been decreased a bit as he aged, I think he would have atleast been a productive pitcher the last 2 years of the contract and may even still be pitching.

      1. What teams do that? I realize that it sounds like a good idea to take someone our when it’s the 8th of a game that is in hand but it doesn’t really happen often. Also I can’t stand when people say how many innings someone has thrown. The reason I say that is because a pitcher could throw a CG and have thrown less pitches then a pitcher who has struggled through 5. Its better to look at the amount of pitches over the amount of innings. One pitchers 230 innings a year could have less pitches then a pitchers 190 innings a year.

        1. Also, Doc came to Philly toward the end of his career and well-established as a guy who didn’t leave games willingly. It might have prolonged his career somewhat had everyone agreed that he should be used more conservatively. At the same time, his two great years here, his perfect game, no hitter, complete games, etc. were incredible to watch and are the kind of thing that make it fun to be a fan. Those two seasons are right up there for me with the 2008 championship season. I doubt he has any regrets so why should I?

      2. Couldn’t agree more! Roy was given or demanded the opportunity to add to his record of complete games. He might have used his status to “overwhelm” Cholly and Dubee about that; or they were desperate not to turn the game over to the pen although the pen was pretty good at first after Halladay came on board.

        Missing from all of this has been a failure to consider the long term effects of pitching soo many innings on his arm and overall physical capabilities while he got nearer his mid-thirties. If anything, the work load should have eased during these last 2 seasons when hints were beginning to appear. No man is invulnerable…age demands its price no matter how much you train.

        The writer here echoes what I’d beeb stating to fellow fans for some time…and I might have expressed that a time or two here.

        They bad, Phillies.

    3. Actually he was close to vintage Halladay at the start of 2012. In his first eight starts he went at least 7 innings in seven of them with a 3.22 ERA and a decent SO to BB ratio. Then he had two poor starts in late May and went on the DL. That’s when it really ended for him.

  4. a real class act who was terrific for us in 2010 and 2011. I will never forget that no-hitter against Reds in Playoffs and that great game 7 when the offense let him down vs. Cards

    1. Well at least he never has to work and his family, is set for life, his kids wont have to worry about money, that is a big thing. It would have been nice to see this guy win a championship, but he does have something good out of his talent, knowing he can provide a good life for his family and there familys,

  5. That’s a shame. I really wish a guy like him could’ve finished on top or at least with a good season.

    1. I have the same wish, because he deserved to go out in style, but you can count on one hand the number who go out on top. Most of them hang on for dear life until the end is inevitable.

      1. I was kind of surprised when he said the drop off began a lot earlier than 2012, you’d never know it by the way he pitched.

  6. The Phillies are reportedly shopping Domonic Brown aggressively looking for young, controllable starting pitching (which makes sense… they can get an outfielder on the market still).

    I floated this way back when the offseason began but I still see Arizona as the best fit. They have a very deep rotation and to me, they would match up the best given their inventory of young starters.

    1. if its an abomination of a trade that doesnt net 2 top 100 arms ready to pitch now. All I can say its been real guys. Ill be following the Astros since I live there now and the GM isnt mentally handicapped.

      1. Dom Brown is a good but not great player. If he gets back a similarly good, similarly aged and controllable pitcher, how is that an abomination? I would wait to see the return before judging.

      1. I don’t know Arizona is on record as looking for a left handed power bat to compliment with Goldschmidt. They’re in for Trumbo, Brown’s certainly a better player than he is.

        1. Pittsburgh is also looking for a LH bat, and an outfield of Marte, Cutch, and Brown sounds pretty darn good. They certainly have some prospects I would love the Phillies to get their hands on.

          I am against trading Brown, unless the deal also includes Pap, Howard, or Jroll somehow. Brown is young, cheap and he produces he is the type of guy you want to keep around. Would much rather they dealt Cliff Lee.

          1. The Pirates top prospect is Polanco, an OF who bats left. Polanco should hit the majors some time in ’14. He is a superior defensive CF who will move to RF because of McCutchen.

            The Pirates won’t trade for Brown.

    2. I find it hard to believe he would trade Dom but I think RAJ is considering all angles to see what improves the team the most. If they trade Dom, do they put Ruf in LF? maybe Do they trade for Kemp in a separate deal? unlikely but this is at least fun to think about. They could get the pitcher they need through the Dom trade and then absorb more money in a Kemp trade.

    3. All this makes some sense. We know he wants a SP and has money budgeted for it, but the market is ridiculous. Why not trade Brown for a low cost starter and use the money to improve the OF. The fact that he is trying to clear some salary by dealing Papalebon might point to this as well. He could be in for Cruz.

      1. I don’t even begin to understand this. Unless the team nets good young pitching AND good young hitting from the trade, all this does is make their pitching better and cause them to lose the only young, developing hitter they have on the team with some track record. Classic dumb ass Amaro. I’ll wait to see what happens, but I’m flabbergasted at this development. Good teams don’t do stuff like this.

        1. You’re clearly higher on Brown than I am, or the club probably is for that matter.

          Obviously it depends on the return but I’m not against trading him in right deal.

            1. It’s fair enough. I think it makes complete sense to trade him considering how hard it is to find and develop controllable starting pitching.

              I think the biggest question is: can Ruben pull this off?

            2. I think we’ve all been overvaluing brown a bit because he’s pretty much been this team’s only young bright spot over the past couple years.

            3. That’s my sentiment exactly…At first hearings of Brown trade rumors, I get angry because he (although not an elite player) has enough upside in my mind to justify keeping him around. Additionally, I over-react because Amaro makes me nervous on the trade frontier…His FA signing tendencies are not exactly reassuring either, but its much easier to stomach a bad contract financially than it is to stomach a huge loss of young talent. Brown is the only piece of this team that give us a window into the next core of players, but that very same reason why he has the most value in a trade. I think Aces35′s compatibility theory with Arizona could work well, and I guess I wouldn’t be upset if Amaro deals Brown and gets a good return…wait and see I suppose… But I would think Arizona would have to include two pitching prospects–one from their top tier and one lower–for Brown, especially when you look at LAA’s probability of getting 3 prospects in return for Trumbo (my guess).

        2. I agree completely. Their pitching is stronger then their offense having 2 aces in the starting 5. It make NO SENSE to more one of your ONLY good bats in the line up.

        3. If you play for te Phillies all you have to do is hit , you don’t have to play defense , that’s why the phillies wil never win. Defense means nothing to the phillies.

          1. Yeah defense means nothing to the phillies except for the stretch where they were one of the better defensive teams. Silly me I thought Dom Brown got held back extra to work on his defense (still not good). Defense means something to the Phillies. You realize they made the Revere move right? He’s not a hitter, he’s a speed and defense guy. The Phillies value defense especially up the middle of the field. The fact that the people at the corners aren’t very good at defense isn’t shocking (happens a lot of places around the leage) The problem is those players haven’t been good enough offensively to offset their bad defense and that’s a result of the Phillies not knowing how to evaluate offensive talent because they severely devalue walks.

  7. if they trade domonic i will no longer care about this team.
    how delusional is ownership to employ the dumbest general manager in the game.
    rip phillies.

      1. for years we have starved for a young cost controlled offensive weapon in this mundane lineup. we finally got one in brown. he had a .222 ISO in his first year as a starter; has plus-plus power, plus-plus arm, shows flashes of brilliant plate discipline, is still a work in progress on defense but that should improve as he logs innings.
        as a raw talent, he made the all-star team last year. ideally, he should be manning right field for the foreseeable future. however, given how idiotic amaro and his perception of “production” is, we’ll get a mediocre starter, an “experienced” bullpen arm, and a bag of baseballs, while we’ll watch brown club home run after home run for a team with a front office living in the 21st century.
        one would not be “selling high” on brown as brown has yet to reach his full potential.
        if amaro trades brown, he’s an idiot.
        but, amaro is an idiot in general.

        1. The guy had a good month and a half at the plate and is atrocious defensively. He has potential, granted, but this idea that he is untouchable in the right deal makes no sense to me.

          1. He shows plate discipline on an every day basis . . he constantly works the count, you wouldnt know this by looking at his May where he didn’t walk but he actually is a patient hitter.

  8. How much you think dom brown is worth,Only one good year, sorry he wont bring you back a stud pitcher,

  9. Here is why shopping Brown makes sense….Utley, Howard and he is lefthanded. So he is going to hit 6th for the next two years with no shot at hitting any higher since Utley and Howard will always hit 3 and 4. Sell high now. You can always find someone to hit 6th. (I rather see Byrd 6th than 5th)

    1. No, no, no. You don’t trade a guy like Dom Brown for line-up balance. It’s ridiculous. Dom Brown is the future of this team. When Dom Brown is in Tampa hitting 30 home runs a year and putting up an .875 OPS, Howard, utley and Byrd will be playing golf on Saturdays. This is so #$^@$%&% stupid. Get ready for another fleecing. UghgR$@#$T$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. I’m sorry. There are potentially viable trades for Dom Brown. But packaging up Brown with other assets in order to acquire an expensive pitcher, would not make sense with this team – this team absolutely cannot afford trades where it surrenders young talent. It would send the Phillies farther along toward oblivion – improving them for a season and leaving them high and dry in 2015 or 2016. I just envision a complete fleecing by Tampa or the Cubs and I’m not happy about it. Amaro is a full-fledged disaster and I don’t trust him – not even a little bit.

        1. Trading Brown for hitting is a possibility, but that’s not what it sound like Amaro is doing. It sounds like he’s doing one of his famous “round up the young players and trade them for an established veteran” routines.

          1. Brown is so attractive…26-years old, controlled thru 2017, power and good speed.
            Of course the drawback is his fielding and his somewhat liability against lefties.
            Nevertheless, he could bring back a nice return.

      2. totally agree you dont trade a guy to balance a lineup, Amaro is becoming the new andy reid, he is doing what people say is wrong , reid why dont you run more, he tries it, amaro why so lefthanded okay trade brown, clueless gm

    2. Ryne is writing the line-up cards now not Charlie so I’ll give him the respect a HOF should get and say he won’t cater to veterans that are not producing…

  10. I heard Halladay wanted to sign a one day contract with the Phillies but Amaro would only give him 3 years.

  11. MattWinks……do you have the list of the eligible Rule 5 guys who could be taken by the Phillies on Thursday?

      1. I have seen that article and it appears to me it is not based on exhaustive research, but rather impressions from the writer, who says to start is not an expert, on players he has seen and liked. I have found very little on this subject, but yet to look today. I hate to give credit to either of these, but the best I have seen is from :The Good Phight” and someone who posts on here from time to time, Cormorant.

        1. While there are certainly exceptions (Victorino being a somewhat recent example), the reality is that the ‘upside’ of most recent rule-5 picks is that of a David Herndon or, gulp., Michael Martinez. Again, there are notable exceptions – I had forgotten that Josh Hamilton was once a rule 5 pick by the Cubs). Below is the list of rule 5 picks over the last 15 or so years.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_5_draft_results

        2. Exactly where on the Good Phight is the Rule V Preview by Cormican?
          I cannot find it at all….just the 2013 Draft Previews.

          1. might have been on another blog, I just read it again yesterday, doesn’t really look like a preview usually looks , looks more like an article, going over the plans for rule 5, the Michael Martinez plan, the David Herndon plan, the Joakim Soria plan, the Jose Bautista plan, etc.

            Another good Rule 5 thing is from one of the Houston Astros blogs, with their Part 2 of their review.

  12. Kemp is the kind of guy that RAJ would pursue. A healthy Kemp (is there such a thing?) would be a game changer. The Dodgers need a young 3B and the Phils have two of them. The Phils can’t afford a Garza and a Kemp and they would have an extra OF if they got Kemp.
    Just a theory……

  13. There is a RHP from the Cubs, who is about 6″5″, and a Lefty from Cuba with the Yanks, names Luis. Those are 2 of the top Rule V guys mentioned.

    1. The Cuban guy Omar Luis is a weird case – he was a rookie ball guy this year, but had signed two contracts in his career because of a health-related contract void by the Yankees. He resigned, and is thus Rule 5 eligible since he has signed 2 pro contracts. I had never heard of that, but it’s happened a handful of times: http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/surprise-player-available-in-rule-5-draft/

      Anyway, sitting him in your pen and hoping to develop him there then giving him three option years to get back is a possibility, since 2014 he may have spent in extended then short season and not pitching a ton anyway. I really don’t see Ruben going that route, however he does have two picks early, so if no one grabs Luis by pick 7, it’s an option as his second choice. And if he comes to camp and you just can’t see fit to waste a roster spot on him, it only costs you $25k. That’s probably what you spend on scouting a 7 figure Int’l guy anyway, so it’s maybe not that big a deal. We shall see.

  14. Howard will be traded with Brown to Seattle for a package of prospects. Then the Phils with trade Kendrick for Trumbo to play 1st and add Garza to the rotation. So the rotation will be Lee, Hammels, Garza, Taijuan Walker, Gonzalez.

    1. Seattle suddenly becomes lefty loaded in the middle of their lineup….Cano, Howard and Brown. Do you think they will go that route?

    2. Despite what RAJ has done thus far this winter, the hope for big spending apparently is still alive, just as it was last year, until the last big name was gone. I want Garza, but really don’t expect the Phillies to commit the necessary $$$ to sign him. The media have already reported on RAJ’s $15/2 offer to a not very good starting pitcher — said offer turning out to be short, by half. That is the tale of this winter. The Phils aren’t going to contend in 2014 and management/owners don’t intend to try all that hard. Our budget will come in well below the lux tax cap. Monty promised the nostalgia express with recognizable names in 2014. Ruiz has been resigned. What is left of the core will be together, at least up to the trade deadline. Was it really realistic to expect more than that?

      1. I expected a big FA pitcher signing, a la Jimenez, who I prefer to Garza. Reports indicate that Jimenez won’t cost as much as Garza will long-term, Jimenez has made at least 30 starts in each of the past 6 seasons, and I like Jimenez’s higher K rate and lower HR/9 rate (attractive stats for a guy pitching half his games at CBP). I would be very surprised if Amaro shakes up the core, particularly with regard to Howard’s big contract and Brown’s position as a cheap, up-and-coming hitter that we can get excited about (most of us, to some degree anyway).

  15. This is what I would try if I were RAJ and wanted to trade Brown. I’d Package Brown, Kyle Kendrick, Biddle for Ryan Braun and Gallardo (They may have to add another piece to that depending on how the Brewers see Gallardo). Phillies would get an MVP outfielder who I think the Brewers would be ok with losing due to everything that has happened with him and you’d get a pitcher who is in his prime (coming off of a down year). It wouldn’t free up money in the long run bc you’d have to pay for Braun but trading Kendrick give you a little leverage money wise for this year. For all of Brauns faults he still rakes and I don’t think PED have anything to do with him production.

    1. How can you be sure what Braun is without the juice? Obviously, he felt a need to take the stuff. Isn’t there at least a chance that he’s only a 280 hitter with 20 homers without it? Its just impossible to know and he’s got that huge contract so I don’t think anyone will trade for him. And Gallardo is a shell of what he used to be. His fastball is way slower than it was.

    2. The year following the news about his PED use he put up numbers that could be seen as better then his MVP year. He was tested a number of times that year and passed all the tests. That is good enough for me to think that he can produce with PEDs. His contract also isn’t as bad as some of the other contracts ESP the next 2 years.

      1. He past the tests, but I think all the guys caught in the net of the Miami lab bust passed the tests. They were nailed based upon the lab’s client records. The tests couldn’t catch what that lab was providing. Presumably, now they can.

    3. Braun is probably the only player currently in baseball whom I would less like to root for than D. Young. Braun would probably claim it’s because I’m anti-semetic. He got someone fired when he knew he was lying, his initial non-apology was awful and his latest is a day late and a dollar short in my book.

  16. Can someone explain this to me: “Having just acquired a subsequent Rule 5 draft pick from the Cubs last week (The draft to be held Thursday), the Phillies have the 4th and 7th selections.”

    For whom did we acquire this pick?

    Is there someone we’re targeting that won’t be there at 7, that should be there at 4?

    Or is this RAJ just being more “creative?”

    1. It was a settlement of a dispute with the Cubs who had drafted Lendy Castillo from the Phillies in the rule 5 draft. He hadn’t spent the requisite time on the 25 man roster because of injury and then was sent to the minors.

  17. The prevailing rumor is Trumbo to the DBacks for Cahill and Skaggs. Since Brown should be more valuable than Trumbo, would you part with Brown for that pair plus a smaller part (maybe the Phils will want Inciarte coming back) I would.

  18. the claim on here is that Brown is much better than Trumbo. If both are imminently traded , I say, it will be shown that Trumbo will fetch more in a trade. Time will tell.

      1. Yeah, I understand it. It doesn’t matter per se to me. If a player is not of championship quality what does it matter if they can control them till Hull freezes over? I believe that applies to Domonic Brown, nor does he seem To be a potentially integral part of the collective recipe for same. If all they want is young controllable guys they got about 200 of ‘em in the organization. Nor do I believe that Trumbo and Brown are equivalent in the field, as Trumbo is steady and Brown is erratic. Also , as to what was above, Trumbo has fetched 2 promising young pitchers (and I think that was known when you put that) so I suppose you think Domonic Brown could fetch more.

        1. You honestly think that Trumbo is more valuable then Brown (I dont care what the trade was with Trumbo). Trumbo is someone who is really only a 1B but will be forced to play LF, he’s a player with one tool. He doesn’t do anything else outside of hitting HRs. He doesn’t get on base over a .300 obp and is a strikeout machine. If you were completely honest you’d prob admit that Darin Ruff is the same if not maybe slightly better then Trumbo (however hasn’t had the chance to show it). Brown ISN’T going to be traded so the conversation is pointless but he can do more then Trumbo can for a team, period.

          1. It may be correct about Brown not being traded. It seems to me it may have been that at that point in the Winter Meetings, where there was simultaneously a lull in the action and a level of expectation by some in the Philly fan base that the Front Office should do something, the Front Office orchestrated a couple of false trade rumors to whip up a little excitement , because they weren’t going to do anything of significance during the Meetings anyhow. Maybe not, or maybe same deal till opening day. As to you not caring what Trumbo fetched in the trade, that was supposed to be the issue at hand, who would fetch more in trade, Trumbo or Brown. Though people on here will beat around defensive stats on players they rate lowly, the fact that Brown was rated 58th out of 62 MLB Outfielders in Ultimate Zone Rating among those with 900 innings in the field, seems to be of no consequence to them.
            I believe that Brown is also offensively inconsistent and unreliable . So, I say that Trumbo would fetch more. Trumbo is more steady in the field, and has a longer and more extensive record of power production. The claim that Trumbo is really only a first baseman etc, etc, etc, is based more upon the type of defensive stats projections coming from less than knowledgeable hirelings who tend to base assumptions on height and weight and if someone exceeds a certain weight or level of muscular development
            they are automatically dopick and slower than a traffic cone.

  19. Does PhuturePhillies have a direct line to the North Pole? If so, my Christmas wish for Santa.
    John Middleton, miraculously takes over as majority owner, and bid adeu to Giles, Monty and Ruben.
    Now that would be some gift.

    1. My Christmas wish would include the following:
      1) a year in which our top prospects actually stay healthy
      2) A draft, similar to 2013, that actually leaves you with some optimism
      3) A year in which we see significant progression in recent signees / draftees (i.e. Tocci, Sandberg, etc)
      4) When it comes time for the 2014 winter meetings, we are generally optimistic about the immediate future, as opposed to be pessimistic

      The above sounded more like a New Years Wish – but close enough.

    2. Doesn’t the Phillies cabal cannabilize the shares once a current partial owner passes? All he has to do is outlive everyone else.

    3. Yes yes totally agree, what a christmas gift to the city that would be, a miracle on tenth street, a new movie.

  20. As to the “if Brown is traded I will look for tall place to jump from, or perhaps switch to other team” theory, there is this. A recent Hardball Talk article states that Brown is ranked 58th of 62 Outfielders with 900 innings last season. I , somehow, agree with this and, All I know is that he looks shaky to me in the OF, and I believe a lot of those who wish to overlook this, are basing this on the mere numbers of timed foot speed and mph of measured throws. And a lot of the “Brown at any cost” support seems to come from those who portray themselves as the stats oriented of the stats oriented. Also believe that Brown is somewhat unreliable offensively.

  21. From MLBTradeRumors:

    8:18am: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports also hears that both Philadelphia aces are in play, but the Phillies won’t eat any of the remaining money on either contract (Twitter link).

    8:13am: The Phillies have indicated to other teams that they’re willing to discuss Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee in trades, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney (on Twitter).
    ——————–
    who knows how much truth lies behind the rumors that are being floated. For me, I would certainly shop Lee. I still believe he is one of the better pitchers in the game. He is, however, 35 years old, and is owed $25MM for the next 2 years, and then has a 27.5MM option for 2016. This team is not going anywhere this year, and I think there are serious concerns over the next year as well. My point is that the Phillies can finish in 4th with him, or in 4th without him. Given his contract, I am not sure what level of prospects could be returned, but I would certainly be open to listening.

    1. This just shows how directionless the organization really is. If you want to trade Lee, fine, but then why go out and sign a guy like Marlon Byrd?

      1. I can live with a 2 yr deal for Byrd since someone has to play RF and he’s a good stopgap guy but why sign Chooch to 3 years?

        1. I’m sorry, the “someone has to play arguement” for Byrd is irrational… if that’s the case Ruf should absolutely be the one getting the innings. Alternatively any prospect that has any shot at being an atleast average major leaguer who is currently at AA or above would be a much better choice then Byrd.

          1. Geez, did you watch Ruf play RF? He can’t play RF on a winning team. Byrd is a very solid player who has had a decent career. I’m perfectly fine with the Byrd signing and I expect a very complimentary 260 with 15-18 homers and good defense. Not a star of course but he won’t hurt us either. Ruf is a 1B, that’s what he is. And we have no OF prospects that can play in the major leagues at this time. They’ve all failed to reach the ability level necessary (Gillies, James, Hewitt, Collier, Castro, and Mitchell to name a few). Will they reach that level? Maybe, maybe not. Dugan, Altherr and Perkins will get their shot at AA this year to show what they can do.

            1. When your strategic plan is a parade of short-term fixes like the Youngs and Byrd, you can expect quite a few humps to get over. The farm is at best middle of the pack, more accurately I think around #20. There isn’t a surge of help just waiting to mature, and as it lands, Lee, Utley, Rollins age out and you don’t have enough for a new core.

            2. The phillies never give there players a fair shot, are you kidding they develop players to fail its sad, they almost did it to Brown, they have had a lot of very good outfielders but the head dog screwed it all up.

      2. Because someone needs to play right field. Every team signs free agents regardless of contention. The Twins signed Josh Willingham a few years ago, they’re certainly non contenders

        1. The point being that any trade of Hamels or Lee frees up salary to sign a better player to a longer term deal and/or gets you a younger OF could start for you sooner rather than later. In other words, if you had planed to make either Hamels or Lee available you look to deal them first and then address whatever holes are left via FA

          1. I doubt it allows them to sign a better player than Hamels to a longer term deal. Trading Lee would allow signing a lesser pitcher to a longer term deal, and that may be a help, but Hamels still hopefully has a lot of future mileage on his arm and is relatively young. In terms of building a new nucleus to contend in 2016/17, trading Hamels and Brown makes no sense, it pushes the time for contention farther into the future, as well as hurting the present. Trading guys like Lee, Papelbon, Utley, Rollins would hurt the present, but could help in 2016/17. If you want to free up money to sign better players to contend in 2016/17, then you don’t sign Ruiz and Byrd. Somebody has to play the position, but it can be a kid or a cheap AAAA guy, if the team is not going to contend soon, which is really what trading Hamels would be saying.

            1. I meant sign a player beter than Byrd, not better than Hamels.

              I could see them trading Lee by the way, but trading Hamesls really wouldn’t make sense on any level.

          2. I don’t really see the point if you’re rebuilding. Byrd is a placeholder until Altherr or Dugen shows if he can be a MLB player or if the team needs to get someone else.

            1. They aren’t going to go through a full scale rebuild.

              I also don’t think they are counting on either Altherr or Dugan to be furture starters. Nor should they.

            2. I’m not saying that but I don’t think it makes any sense to lock Choo up when you’ve got guys on the farm who could potentially break out ala Cody Asche in 2012.

            3. But Choo is a sure thing- at least for a couple of years, and far better than any OF on the team. You’re talking about two guys that don’t even really project to major league starters, or at least above average ones. Now if you are saying don’t sign a 3B to a long term deal because of Franco, that would make some sense considering his projection is much higher than the other two.

            4. I think you believe the Phillies are willing to spend a lot more money this winter than they are actually willing to spend. RAJ is saying spending isn’t going up over last season, which means we will be in the neighborhood of $20 mill below the cap.

            5. They think both guys are players, or they would have not protected them from the Rule 5 draft. Both guys have the tools to start and have shown real progress towards the big leagues.

              Assuming they will be big league average or better starters, no, but not every position on a club is always going to be filled by a big league average guy. Just look at the 2013-2014 Phillies.

              Forgive me if I’m too carefully parsing your statement.

            6. Of course such players are vauable, but my point is that having those two in AA should in no way influence your willingness to obtain a quality corner outfielder if one becomes available (either through FA or trade).

            7. mds13 do you know for a fact what their projection is or are you just repeating things you read on the internet. Nobody knows how the Phillies see them. The Byrd signing tells me that they indeed think that 1 or both will be competing for the job if not this year then in 2015. Amaro said about Altherr that he is an above average defender at all 3 outfield spots. Dugan has above average power and is atleast an average defender in the corner outfield.

            8. What a condescending and uninformed post.

              Projections are pure opinion based on a variety of things including stats and reports and comparisons to what other effective major leaguers did at similar levels and similar ages. It’s not an exact science obviously but I offered my opinion that I think both might be become average major leaguers (altherr has the better shot to become that IMO). If the Phillies view them different, fair enough, but I just don’t see it. Such players are valuable but should in no way prevent you from obtaining a good OF if one becuase available in the right deal. Making major league roster decisions based on two players that have a half season of AA between them is ludicrous. The Byrd singing gives you absoltely ZERO inclination in how the club values those two.

              As an aside, being an above average defender or having above average power by themselves does not equal a projection of an average major leaguer.

            9. The Phils are not in re-build mode. The team is also not in win-now mode. “Win now” are just words that Amaro uses to deceive. The Phils seem to be in grasping-at-straws mode.

  22. My boy Rajai signed with the Tigers, cross him off the list of possible 4th outfielders.
    All this RAJ, and now Sandberg, talk of wanting to get more athletic in the OF has me scratching my head. It sure makes me think they’re prepared to trade Dom and replace him with a more athletic defensive outfielder. I don’t know who that would be or how that makes the club better. The rumor about Hamels and Lee both being available makes no sense to me. I can see Lee being traded and I even support the idea. If we’re not going to win this year, and I don’t see signs that we are, Lee is really just a wasting asset and should be traded now while he has value. Hamels on the other hand needs to be kept and built around. However, if they trade Lee, they should try and trade Utley too and they shouldn’t have signed Chooch. I don’t have confidence that RAJ has a plan that he can put into action. RAJ’s approval rating is pretty low……

  23. How does it make sense to trade Lee or Hamels if they are supposed to try to win? And if they want to rebuild, it should have started with not re-signing Rollins and trading Utley to the Dodgers last trade deadline. I am not saying they can win, but I would like to pretend they have a clue.

    1. That’s my question. I guess it would only make sense if you trade one of them for major legaue position players and major league-ready players and then use the money saved to sign a starter or two.

    2. If they’re doing it with the intent to blow it up then it makes the least of sense. The people the Phillies would rebuild with aren’t ready yet

  24. Doesn’t Utley now have a no-trade clause in the new contract? And who do you trust to get any better in return than the 1st Lee trade? They should be tying to add a #3 starter not trying to trade their #1 and #2. This is an organization with no real plan.

    1. Let me ask – Say the Phillies go out and sign Ervin Santana or Garza (or insert another higher-end available starter). Do you think that team – void any other significant changes – is a lock to be competitive? If you do, you are more optimistic than I.

      1. No, not a lock to be competitive, but I think is the most logical thing to do if you’re not going to trade away pieces, i.e. Howard, Rollins, Brown, Lee, whoever. If Ruben and Co. are going to keep the core guys together for another year (and I am apparently more optimistic than most that this core can still compete), then improving the pitching staff is what needs to be done. It wont hamstring the franchise financially this year to sign another pitcher, and if it looks as though a long-term pitching contract will hurt after the season, then the Phillies do what the can to get out from under the Howard deal. Having a nice 1-2-3 punch will be a dramatic change from what we saw last year, and MAG, even if he doesn’t perform as expected, is still operating on a very team-friendly deal right now. I’d be fine with concluding the offseason with Jimenez or Tanaka, giving Brown and Howard a chance to both solidify and rebuild value, respectively, if they are going to be traded.

        1. the offense was quite horrendous last year, don’t get me wrong, and my lead culprit here is an ever-increasingly lackadaisical Jimmy Rollins. Paps may have expressed his frustration using cry-baby rhetoric, but Rollins, a one-time team leader, showed it on the field in a much more detrimental way that Papelbon. But, Utley’s back, Howard will be back (not that I’m expecting career-years here or anything, but still…if Ruben’s keeping ‘em, there’s no sense bitching about it)…Halladay’s decline and subsequent retirement was the saddest thing to happen to the Phillies since Kalas (RIP) in my opinion, and that effect on the team and the pitching staff was deeper than just Halladay’s wins and losses. You cannot replace Roy Halladay, but you have to move forward, identify the biggest current weakness, and address it as best you can–SP

    2. They can’t contend next year, maybe they’ve realized that.

      I think they’re just gauging the market for a possibly July 31st deal. No way Hamels is going anywhere this off season. People way overreact to these rumors.

      I’m just glad they haven’t done anything stupid this offseason and overbid on major free agents. Say what you want about Ruiz/Byrd, those deals aren’t going to hamstring the team going forward.

  25. the only concern I have with putting Hamels and Lee “on the block” is what it might potentially do to their psyche. However, they won’t be moving because I’m sure Rube is asking for a haul. Eat all of their contracts plus big time prospects. Essentially, they are open to trade them if they get absolutely blown away, which is what I want my GM to say

    1. If the Yankees are willing to give up Sanchez, done deal. —.but my guess it would be Murphy ilo of Sancez as the offering.

    2. This is a pretty good proposal. The only sticking point I see is the pitcher in the trade. Banuelos may not be enough. Nova may be too much. Maybe another position player instead of a pitcher.

      1. On second thought, the proposal is weak. Gardner hits free agency after 2014, and Sanchez is a couple of years away from the majors.

        I’d probably rather not deal Lee to the Yanks because their farm is poor, poorer than the Phillies’.

        If I were to do a deal with the Yanks, I’d send them Lee and no money in exchange for Sanchez, Gardner, Nova and Abiatal Avelino, an 18-year-old SS with a good glove and leadoff-hitter skills. Avelino was ranked second behind Crawford among SS in the GCL.

  26. How would a deal with the Rays sound for Dom Brown?
    Brown for Taylor Guerrieri OR Jake Odorizzi, AND 3b/OF Richie Shaeffer.

    1. Is Domonic Brown himself anything more than either a good young player or an OK young player? A return of 2-3 good young players is unrealistic. A return of 2-3 young players who can put up a .5 -.8 WAR is more like it, i.e., 2-3 bench players.

      Rather than shooting for a package in exchange for Brown, the Phils should shoot for one good young player. If they want somebody better than Brown, they should add a prospect.

      I’d like to see Brown + a prospect traded for Desmond Jennings, who is a well-rounded player who is young, right-handed, plays defense and steals bases. The Rays could use a left-handed bat to slot between Longoria and Myers.

  27. I know exactly what I want from the Phillies this year for xmas…

    1. The ownership group gets bought out by an extremely analytical mind.
    2. The new owner hires a heavily science and statistics oriented GM
    3. The new GM, together with Ryan Sandberg and the scouting staff implement a long term plan to turn the franchise around, and gain competitive advantages over other baseball franchises. This would include the use of advanced video monitoring at all Phillies minor and major league ballparks, the implementation of strict diet and sleeping regimes throughout the organization, the development of more accurate measurements with which they can evaluate a players likely future performance both at the major and minor league levels. A more probability/value oriented draft process and an understanding of the value associated with a proper international budget.

    The more I think about it, the more I realize the Phillies probably just lucked into the 2008 WS and subsequent years by just throwing money at the situation. The odds that the Phillies ever contend for a WS again baring luck once every 15 years or so (baring a change in ownership) are probably slim to none. If any of the above is hard for you to understand, may a suggest a study on the value of a walk as a good place to start?

    I still love this god damn team, I just wish they would get their act together.

    Truly Yours,
    ~ Disgruntled Fan

    PS… in case you didn’t notice, two other teams in this town seem to have followed all or some of my above advice… maybe you could talk to Sam “Mr. Excel Spreadsheetttzzzz” Hinkie or Chip “Machine Gun” Kelly… I’m sure they’d be happy to have a discussion with you.

    1. We can never be the Rays or another small market analytical team, when you are a big market team you can’t just trade a homegrown player like David Price away because he might end up costing too much money. The fans would not put up with that, just like they would have lost a lot of fans if they decided to not retain Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Hamels…. sometimes you need to make business moves that don’t always align with baseball moves because of the fact that we have some of the most passionate fans in all of baseball.

      1. Who said anything about selling on young high performing talent? And I think you’re mistaken if you think the fans care about anything but winning.

        1. If there was a random pitcher out there that is fractionally better than Cole Hamels, I’d still rather the Phillies have Cole because he is more enjoyable to watch. Just because he may slightly decrease your chances of winning, fans associate with these players since they have had so many great memories associated with them.

          At the end of the day winning is the most important thing, but to say it is the only thing that matters is ignorant. Baseball is a pastime, and people still want to have memories and a connection with the team they are rooting for.

          1. This is a solid point and I mostly agree with it. the exception would be the Big Game James deal to bring back Wil Myers. I think if you move home grown talent you better get a young super star back.

            The Fans will bond with the new kid quickly if he can play and is a good citizen!

            1. I’d totally agree with that, I sometimes just think that the risk may outweigh the reward in a deal like that. Even “can’t miss” prospects miss, and as a large market team you better be damn sure he won’t miss or else the fans will have a field day. My one example I can think of with regards to not bringing back a hometown favorite is Victorino… fans might have been fine with the move at the time since we thought we weren’t going to be able to give him the money he wanted in FA, but then he wins a WS and the fans were sort of upset that our guy wasn’t still on our team.

              If we had a player like Price in Philly and we traded him for even a prospect that can be an everyday starter but Price goes on to win 2 Cy Young Awards… Obviously there will be backlash since, as a large market team, money should be less of an issue in retaining players. If that were to happen in Tampa, fans would be more understanding due to the small market nature of the team.

            2. But then again, maybe that’s just a narrow-minded Phillies fan that doesn’t expect us to ever get prospects back that can turn into something since we haven’t proven we can yet.

  28. Phillies are interested in Scott Baker according to Jayson Stark (on the Mike Missanelli Show). Personally, I think that would be a great high risk/high reward signing. He was a solid pitcher for the Twins when healthy.

  29. Anyone else interested in Colby Rasmus? I know he had a very high BABIP this year but I think his power would play great at CBP.

  30. Amazing watching Amaro and Wade working together again. Can I go back to Peru again and watch the pelicans dive for fish. It would be much more entertaining than this team minus Brown, Lee and Hames.

  31. Watching all of the coverage last got me to thinking of the Dodgers and Joc Pederson, Zach Lee for starters and would Lee bring those two to Philly with some cash going the other way?

    I’m guessing the Dodgers are more interested in Walker and a deal with Seattle for Kemp. It doesn’t make much sense they would want another lefty for their rotation but what they hay.

  32. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr.: “We’re built to win. I like our lineup. I’d like to add some pitching to it. I think we’ve got a pretty good lineup as it stands today. If we can improve on it, we’ll try. But I like our lineup. We’ve been sitting here and discussing it internally. I like the balance in it.’

    ….as the Egyptian engineer in the Geico commercial says when looking at the blue-print of the design of the pyramids….aaaaaah!

  33. I admire people who still will pay to see this team, imo as long as they get people to go,there is no need for them to be anything but average, if they cared,really cared, they would sign garza and choo today, and screw the cap, with the tv money and fan support they wont lose, why do they have to get better?? for what, if people are going to fill the seats there is no reason to go the extra mile. I still believe ruben is here for a lot more years if people dont stop going, just my opinion. I will watch on tv, and see the crowd from outside my house, looking down tenth street, How people spend there money is there business, but hard for me to put my money out to see this team, rather go to a little league game and watch that,then watch the new version of the golden girls, howard rollins, utley, lee, adams, choo,byrd, papalebon,

    1. I wouldn’t give Choo a $140 million contract, we’re just looking at another albatross in 5 years.

  34. Here I thought the Dom Brown trade talk was conjecture and only done for great return package, but now starting to think the Phillies’ FO thought process had his agent Scott Boras in mind, especially after next year:
    Boras’s take on the Brown trade talk:
    “When you have breakout young players that teams have control over long term, I think it’s pretty customary teams are gonna to be interested in them,” Boras said Wednesday afternoon at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin Resort. “Anybody with 20-plus home run power these days – there are like 40 players in the league. That’s a little more than one a team. If you hit 27 home runs like Domonic did, clubs are going to pay attention and try to acquire those assets.”

  35. The Phillies have reached an agreement with right-hander Roberto Hernandez, pending a physical, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly (on Twitter). GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said earlier this morning that he had an agreement in place with a starter but didn’t wish to disclose the pitcher’s name until a deal was finalized.

    Formerly known as Fausto Carmona, the 33-year-old Hernandez pitched to a 4.89 ERA with 6.7 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a healthy 53.2 percent ground-ball rate in his first full season since 2011.

    1. Well this means the WS is ours now! Not a bad sign actually. Has the potential to perform well enough and found in the trash heap

      1. Well after doing some research I found out what Ruben apparently is up to, and part of that is that Ethan Martin appears to become tried as a starter again in the spring.

        “I don’t know if we’ll be adding another guy,” Amaro said. “We’ve talked a lot internally about some of our options. Pettibone and Ethan Martin will be stretched out in spring training. Hopefully that will create enough depth for us. We’re going to try to continue to look for more depth there. The likely signings we would have are probably going to be free-agent invites to create depth in triple A.”

        1. Interesting. Honestly, if they are done shopping, then everything else they’ve done over the last year or so makes very little sense. Why sign Carlos Ruiz and Marlon Byrd to contracts if you’re not going to put sufficient assets in the rotation to compete for a playoff spot? If you’re trying to save and looking in the longer term, someone like Salty or Navarro would have been a better choice at catcher and the team should have put Brown in right and obtained a left platoon partner for Ruf. Perhaps they think we’ll just keep going to watch a 70 win team because of nostalgia. If they are done with their moves, wow, it’s pretty pathetic.

          1. I think they’re hopefully trying to look toward the future by not taking on any additional big contracts right now, but I don’t think they’re necessarily trying to save every penny. If that’s the thought process, they signed Byrd and Ruiz because they think they can be decent players and won’t tie up the team long term. I think they’re willing to spend a little more for the guy they like and fan favorite Ruiz over Salty or Navarro as long as the difference in contract length isn’t huge, which it isn’t in this case.

            Sadly, I think this is what they have to do right now. There’s just no way to add pieces to this team to make it competitive for the long term without holding on to prospects, drafting high and well and letting some young guys bubble up for a couple years.

            Unfortunately, with our farm, they probably need to do that plus be smart enough to find value in trades and free agency where other teams aren’t in order to get back in the game. At this point, I have almost no confidence in Amaro’s doing that.

    2. I guess I am okay with starting pitching inventory at this point. Phillies burned through many SP last year, even in Sept. He’s cheap and can throw innings. Would have preferred Josh Johnson or maybe Haren,Hudson,Kazmir for the upside possibility.

      Other than his two good years, he’s been a below replacement level pitcher. I do find it surprising that in today’s analytics (especially for Tamba Bay) that he continues to get so much work. (Although TB did move him to the pen.) Like Phillies, I guess teams are hoping to catch the 2007 version of this guy.

      I suppose I also think a replacement level pitcher is much worse than WAR stats guys do. I think replacement guy is Tyler Cloyd, not Michael Wacha. I guess if it means that I wish I had a replacement for Roberto then I guess that is true. :)

      1. I think everyone would agree Michael Wacha is above replacement level at this point — at least judging by the few innings he pitched last year. Tyler Cloyd, that’s a replacement.

  36. There is no justification for this approac. If you believe, erroneously, that this offes is a contender, then you need a #3 SP, not Carmona/Hernandez. If you don’t believe that, why bother with Byrd, try Ruf in left, move Brown to right. Why waste more money? And, where is the bullpen fix? This cannot be a real plan.

    1. I don’t think anyone believes this offense is a contender, but they still need to put a team on the field. If they don’t think Ruf is a starting OF, which many people don’t, then why stick him out there with no backup plan? Byrd’s deal is basically what you have to pay for someone who can play baseball at this point and won’t hamstring them in the future.

      As far as moving Brown, I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but a few good throws to third base a year are not gonna change the fact that he’s just really bad at playing outfield right now.

  37. I think this signing means offseason = DONE.

    Your 2014 Phillies:
    Revere, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Byrd, Brown, Ruiz, Asche
    Lee, Hamels, Kendrick, R.Hernandez, Pettibone (MAG)
    Papelbon, Bastardo, DeFratus, Lincoln, Diekman, Rosenberg, Munson
    Nieves, Frandsen, Mayberry, C.Hernandez, Galvis

    1. Ruf makes team, C. Hernandez back to minors where he splits time between second and CF. Have to think there will still be a big move, but who knows?

  38. Seriously, if 6 weeks ago, I had asked anyone to pick the Right Handed Bat, Starting Pitcher and Bullpen piece, that we all, including Rube, said we needed, would anyone have come up with Byrd, Lincoln and Carmona/Hernandez? In 1,000 tries?

    1. I don’t know but we should make that a game for next offseason…everyone list your top 1000 pickup combination predictions

  39. Mariners claiming Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero are on the trading block….and just 3 years ago they were two of the top prospects in the minors.

  40. A rule five pick and a Roberto Hernandez signing would leave the team needing to drop someone from the 40-man roster. Someone has to go before they add Hernandez, (assuming he passes his physical). I vote for Mike Stutes. Gillies is maybe your first position player to go, especially with Valle hitting a bit right now in Mexico, but I would guess Stutes and Savery are both “ahead” of them in the DFA queue, with Horst next. People have mentioned Garcia as an option, but I think he throws hard enough to warrant some time in AAA next year to see if they can harness his control a bit.

  41. I think the Phillies have an outside chance to contend next year if they can sign A.J. Burnett to be the #3 starter, as it stands now the starting pitching is not good enough

    1. The hitting is also not good enough, but the pitching basically comes down to Lee, Hamels, and a hope that a lot of guys are healthier and pitch better than last season. Everyone pencils MAG into the rotation, but he hadn’t thrown from the mound as of the end of FIL. Does anyone know if he has yet to throw a pitch of a mound? Pettibone needs to return to health. Morgan needs a return to health and shoulders are particularly tough. Kendrick needs health and better control. Martin needs a heck of a lot better control. Biddle needs to look a lot better than he did in his last Reading starts, where he appeared hurt, which I guess his foot was. Buchanon needs a return to health and some of the 2012 CLoyd magic. Our new guy needs something. The SP is really thin, but the hitting isn’t really all that much better with Rollins, Howard, Ruiz on severe downtrends and Asche needing to up his game and Byrd needing to show that his 2013 aberration isn’t a complete mirage, and Revere needing to consistently do what he did in his two good months, not repeat his overall season. It’s an old, ragged team all around. As of today, this is most definitely a sub-.500 team. Yeah, RAJ and the owners know that.

      1. His overall season? Revere had one bad month outta his season with 3 good ones (2 really good ones). I think the pressure of replacing Rollins at the top of the line up plus playing in Philly got to him and he was pressing. One he settled down he was one of the better hitters in the NL (minus power)

        1. As I said, the good months of Revere were fine. Coupling a .690 OPS with generally meh quality defense in CF just isn’t good enough for full year numbers. A guy with his lack of power needs to put up a .350+ OBP and he didn’t. Take away April and he had a good offensive year. Take away April and May and he had a very good month and a half, before he was injured. He needs to stay on the field for more games and at least match his May to mid-July numbers to be a plus player in 2014. It would also help if he improved his D — the arm is never going to be good, but if he runs better routes, he will be fine. His D performance in Philly fell short of the reputation he had when he arrived.

    2. I wish that I could see what you see sdcaphil. howard would have to hit again, rollins stop popping up, choo would need to hit some homeruns, asche has to hit, not a given, the outfield is terrible , brown is still unproven, byrd is a disaster waiting to happen, right field is a whos who, two starters and pray for rain, inconsistent bullpen, you have no eight inning guy, your closer is losing velocity, no speed on this team to speak of, bad outfield play, how do they contend, this team right now as constructed is a sub 500 team.

  42. is it just a coincidence that ever since the Phillies rehired Ed Wade they have become a sub 500 team?????????

    1. A number of Wade-like moves by the club is most concerning. Depressing thought DW. More than one dip-shit in the head office

    2. No, just a natural consequence of a team aging out, while rewarding some undeserving WS heroes, and spending way too little for too many years to replenish the farm. It’s the normal baseball cycle, but exaggerated because of bad management. WS teams do naturally become more expensive, although not everyone gives out the super dumb contracts the Phillies gave Howard now or Daulton/Dykstra after 1993. All consistent contenders have a tougher time keeping the farm strong, but the Phillies unwillingness to spend on bonuses and eagerness to give up draft picks for relievers and do the dumb Pence deal made the situation worse than it needed to be. The Phillies love of vets as filler has left the team with a rather extraordinary lost generation of players. Really, Hamels and Brown are the only key guys of the follow-on generation, then you jump down to Asche and Pettibone.

      1. Mmm you mean the same Ed Wade who built the Astos farm system? The same Ed Wade who took Singleton, Cosart and Santana from us? The same Ed Wade who built the Phillies team that was a force in the NL from 2007 to 2011. He built the Phillies team, not PG, Wade did. He didn’t have money to spend in his years with the Phillies and he didn’t with the Astros. I hate that people bash him yet he was a key factor in the Phillies contending for the end of the 2000′s

        1. There is certainly some truth in this. Wade takes a lot of the bad wrap due to bad actions by the owners. Whether it was due to Wade, Arby, or the scouts, there is no question that the 2008 championship was more home grown than established by FA/trade. Gillick made some bad deals, but he did find Werth, or at least his personal scout did. It was the happy coming together of the farm growth during the Wade years and the new stadium providing a budget level that Wade never had to work with, which brought us 2008. RAJ briefly built on that, bringing some top pitchers on board as a result of the stadium money machine, but since 2011 RAJ has flopped and his contributions to the farm fall short of the Wade and Gillick years — far short. The tale of the Phillies fall is in large measure the story of neglect and stripping of the farm. With RAJ’s final big trade for Pence, the cover was pretty much bare as a result of low spending, lost draft picks, and traded prospects.

        2. People tend to equate Ed Wade with two major disaster trades….Rolen and Schilling…both players who were itching to get out of Philly and voiced their concerns with the team’s direction and the organization malaise…possibly true in some respects. So Wade obliged sending them to teams that they were interested in going to. His mistake….should have taken the best offers and send them to Timbaktu if need be to get the best in return. Ed Wade was too nice. It should have been business for the most part.

          1. That schilling trade to me was one of the worst deals that I could ever remember, You send a number one starter to a contending team, for a 36 yr old 19 games loser, a former first round bust, lee and a drunk padilla, and forgot the other guy for a season changing starter like schilling. That would be to me trading kershaw now for herdanez, aumont mayberry and morgan, How did gile or montgomery not stop that deal, one of the worst in histroy,.

            1. The owners desperately wanted that deal. Schill was calling them out as not being willing to spend enough to give a chance for the team to win, despite resigning with them at a discount so there would be more $$ for a supporting cast. The owners won’t tolerate that.

            2. Plus roccom…Schiling was going to be 34-years old at the end of that season….so they assumed he would decline….he proved people wrong.

            3. I believe the Giles’ quote about Schilling went something like, “One day out of every five he’s a horse; the other four days Schilling is a horse’s ass.”

        3. The revisionist history on Wade is hilarious. If he remained GM there would be no World Series, no Ryan Howard. He did not build a WS team.

        4. The revisionist history on Wade is hilarious. He had Utley, but because David Bell was under contract, Utley and Polanco had to split time at 2nd base until they traded Polanco, not David Bell. Gillick had to end the Bell mistake. Howard doesn’t break out with the Phillies until Gillick eats part of the Thome contract. Wade built nothing, and now that he is back, the Phils operate just like they did before Gillick, decisions made on contracts rather than talent.

          1. Nobody has said anything other than that the players responsible for the 2008 championship were largely signed and developed under Wade. Yes, he clung to vets as starters, although that may also have been the owners determined to get their money’s worth out of these deals, as this trend has persisted. Yes, Gillick was responsible for pushing the team over the top and for finding Werth. That Wade was awful at some things doesn’t mean that the PHillies didn’t do some things better while he was GM than they have since. Growing their own stars was certainly one thing which was better under Wade. Wade also held onto our best minor leaguers, while RAJ has largely been willing to trade them. The big thing about Wade, which gets forgotten, is the puny budgets he had to work with. It was like he was GM of Houston or the Marlins and his successors were GM of the Yankees or Texas. That does make a huge difference. People tend to look at just the final result on the field and neglect to consider the available resources. All talk of the weaknesses and strengths of our recent GMs aside, I think the Phillies major problems have stemmed from the ownership group.

            1. well said Allentown, I’ll stick to this, If Wade wasn’t the GM we may not have been a WS team in 2008, He was the guy in charge when the Phillies drafted and developed most of the home grown guys from the 2008 WS team. Also look at the Astros, first they are in the same money situation that the Phillies were in, no spending therefore the only way to better the team is through the draft. So now look at their farm system which is ranked 2nd in baseball by many outlets (Baseball America being one of them). This system was produced with Ed Wade at the helm. Their top guys (besides Singleton) are all from picking close to the top in the past few drafts but after their 6th ranked prospect their farm system is filled with players who they have acquired from other teams or prospects that were taken after the 1st round (which to me shows scouting bc all of these players could have been taken by other teams prior to Houston’s pick). I like Ed Wade being in our FO, he has shown in the past that he has (or people he has hired) built strong farm systems which is exactly what the Phillies need.

              Players Drafted Under Ed Wade (Phillies)
              Assistant GM of Phillies:
              Marlon Anderson, David Coggin, Adam Eaton, Jimmy Rollins, JD Drew, Randy Wolf, Derrick Turnbow, Johnny Estrada, Ricky Williams (NFL Player, always thought this was interesting)
              As GM:
              Pat Burrell, Jason Michaels, Ryan Madson, Geoff Geary, Nick Punto. Brett Myers, Joe Saunders, Marlon Byrd. Chase Utley, Taylor Buchholz. Gavin Floyd, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Scott Mathieson, Michael Bourn, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Ziegler, Greg Golson, JA Happ, Lou Marson, Josh Outman, Mike Zagurski, Vance Worley.

              And as the GM of the Astros he’s drafted and traded for a bunch of top prospects.

            2. I agree that upper management is the “real” issue. Utley, Howard, Hamels , and Rollins all drafted when Ed Wade was the GM, I get it. Mike Arbuckle probably as much responsible for a majority of those selections as anyone. Arbuckle, Wade, Gillick all get a piece of 2008. Where’s RAJ? Another Montgomery yes man. Why is he the GM and not Arbuckle?

  43. Please, be joking! But anything is possible. Kendrick is the number 3. That is not wishing for good health, or a return to previous talent levels. That is him turning into a completely different pitcher. He is a #5 pitcher on a good team, and not more. Under best case scenarios, this is not a .500 team.

    1. I don’t think pitch slots really mean anything once you get past game 5 of the regular season. He’s going to pitch the second or third game of the season and after that it really doesn’t matter.

      I think they’re just trying to take pressure off Gonzalez. If he bombs in Spring Training they have a problem.

  44. I don’t really understand why people think the window of opportunity isn’t closed. Short of spending $200-$250+ million, what could the Phillies realistically do to go from a 96 loss team to a 90-94 win team?

    and if they did go on that spending spree they would be right where they are now. In 2-3 years Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, Jimmy Rollins, (Utley if his options don’t vest), Byrd, Ruiz, Howard, and so on will all be off the books. The team will have a TV contract. THAT is the time to spend, unless it is the right player (Clayton Kershaw next year for instance). Right now they’re treading water.

    1. This off-season the Phils could have upgraded the pitching and the defense to become a .500 ball club without losing any draft picks and without trading any of their good prospects. Anything more was probably unrealistic.

      Apparently because they don’t want to spend any more money, the Phils are following a course that ensures another poor season like the last one. They are filling their vacancies with guys who are just filler.

  45. It is just a small deal but Cubs get Ruggiano from Marlins for a guy named Bogusevic. Wouldn’t he be a better 4th OF than JMJ? Can really play all outfield positions, faster than Mayberry and better defensively. I would trade him for Mayberry even up and Mayberry has to be better than the Cubs guy.

  46. I believe these are the remaining free agents (MLBTR)
    Catchers

    Henry Blanco (42)
    John Buck (33)
    Hector Gimenez (31)
    Ramon Hernandez (38)
    Koyie Hill (35)
    Lou Marson (27)
    Michael McKenry (29)
    Miguel Olivo (35)
    Humberto Quintero (34)
    Kelly Shoppach (34)
    Kurt Suzuki (30)
    Taylor Teagarden (30)
    Yorvit Torrealba (35)

    First Basemen

    Jeff Baker (33)
    Yuniesky Betancourt (32)
    Casey Kotchman (31)
    James Loney (30)
    Casey McGehee (31)
    Kendrys Morales (30)
    Lyle Overbay (37)
    Carlos Pena (36)
    Mark Reynolds (30)
    Chad Tracy (34)
    Ty Wigginton (36)
    Kevin Youkilis (35)

    Second Basemen

    David Adams (27)
    Alexi Casilla (29)
    Jamey Carroll (40)
    Chris Getz (30)
    Alberto Gonzalez (31)
    Mark Ellis (37)
    Omar Infante (32)
    Paul Janish (31)
    Elliot Johnson (30)
    Brian Roberts (36)
    Ryan Roberts (33)
    Ramon Santiago (34)
    Jordany Valdespin (26)

    Shortstops

    Robert Andino (30)
    Clint Barmes (35)
    Jamey Carroll (40)
    Alexi Casilla (29)
    Stephen Drew (31)
    Alex Gonzalez (36)
    Nick Green (35)
    Cesar Izturis (34)
    Paul Janish (31)
    Elliot Johnson (30)
    Munenori Kawasaki (32)
    John McDonald (39)
    Jayson Nix (31)
    Omar Quintanilla (32)
    Cody Ransom (38)

    Third Basemen

    David Adams (27)
    Yuniesky Betancourt (32)
    Wilson Betemit (32)
    Jamey Carroll (40)
    Eric Chavez (36)
    Brandon Inge (37)
    Elliot Johnson (30)
    Casey McGehee (31)
    Chris Nelson (28)
    Placido Polanco (38)
    Cody Ransom (38)
    Mark Reynolds (30)
    Chad Tracy (34)
    Justin Turner (29)
    Juan Uribe (34)
    Ty Wigginton (36)
    Kevin Youkilis (35)
    Michael Young (37)

    Left Fielders

    Jeff Baker (33)
    Jason Bay (35)
    Brennan Boesch (29)
    Chris Coghlan (29)
    Trevor Crowe (30)
    Chris Dickerson (32)
    Sam Fuld (32)
    Raul Ibanez (42)
    Reed Johnson (37)
    Jason Kubel (32)
    Laynce Nix (33)
    Xavier Paul (29)
    Juan Pierre (36)
    Derrick Robinson (26)
    Jordany Valdespin (26)
    Delmon Young (28)

    Center Fielders

    Rick Ankiel (34)
    Trevor Crowe (30)
    Franklin Gutierrez (31)
    Grady Sizemore (31)
    Andres Torres (36)
    Dewayne Wise (36)

    Right Fielders

    Jeff Baker (33)
    Roger Bernadina (30)
    Brennan Boesch (29)
    Shin-Soo Choo (31)
    Tyler Colvin (28)
    Trevor Crowe (30)
    Nelson Cruz (33)
    Jeff Francoeur (30)

    Designated Hitters

    Lance Berkman (37)
    Shelley Duncan (34)
    Travis Hafner (37)
    Raul Ibanez (42)
    Kendrys Morales (30)
    Luke Scott (36)
    Delmon Young (28)
    Michael Young (37)

    Starting Pitchers

    Alfredo Aceves (31)
    Bronson Arroyo (37)
    Dylan Axelrod (28)
    Scott Baker (32)
    Erik Bedard (35)
    Travis Blackley (31)
    A.J. Burnett (37)
    Chris Capuano (35)
    Bruce Chen (37)
    Tyler Cloyd (27)
    Gavin Floyd (31)
    Jeff Francis (33)
    Freddy Garcia (37)
    Jon Garland (34)
    Matt Garza (30)
    Chad Gaudin (31)
    Jason Hammel (31)
    Tommy Hanson (27)
    Aaron Harang (36)
    Jeremy Hefner (28)
    Daniel Hudson (26)
    Ubaldo Jimenez (30)
    Jair Jurrjens (28)
    Jeff Karstens (31)
    John Lannan (29)
    Paul Maholm (32)
    Shaun Marcum (32)
    Jason Marquis (35)
    Daisuke Matsuzaka (33)
    James McDonald (29)
    Jeff Niemann (31)
    Sean O’Sullivan (26)
    Roy Oswalt (35)
    Mike Pelfrey (30)
    Greg Reynolds (28)
    Clayton Richard (30)
    Ervin Santana (31)
    Johan Santana (34)
    Joe Saunders (33)
    Kevin Slowey (30)
    Masahiro Tanaka (25) – right to sign will be acquired via posting system for Japanese players
    Tsuyoshi Wada (33)
    Jake Westbrook (36)
    Chien-Ming Wang (34)
    Jerome Williams (32)
    Suk-Min Yoon (27)
    Barry Zito (36)

    Closers

    John Axford (31)
    Andrew Bailey (30)
    Grant Balfour (36)
    Joaquin Benoit (36)
    Rafael Betancourt (39)
    Kevin Gregg (36)
    Joel Hanrahan (32)
    Ryan Madson (33)
    Chris Perez (28)
    Fernando Rodney (37)
    Jose Veras (33)

    Right-Handed Relievers

    David Aardsma (32)
    Matt Albers (31)
    Scott Atchison (38)
    Hector Ambriz (30)
    Luis Ayala (36)
    Matt Belisle (34)
    Mitchell Boggs (30)
    Michael Bowden (27)
    Jesse Crain (32)
    Octavio Dotel (40)
    Kyle Farnsworth (38)
    Frank Francisco (34)
    Matt Guerrier (35)
    J.C. Gutierrez (30)
    Phil Humber (30)
    Kameron Loe (32)
    Brandon Lyon (34)
    Carlos Marmol (31)
    Cristhian Martinez (32)
    Kyle McPherson (25)
    Zach Miner (32)
    Brett Myers (33)
    Pat Neshek (33)
    Francisco Rodriguez (31)
    Henry Rodriguez (27)
    Sandy Rosario (28)
    Jose Valverde (36)
    Jamey Wright (39)

    Left-Handed Relievers

    Travis Blackley (31)
    Scott Downs (38)
    Mike Gonzalez (36)
    Rich Hill (34)
    J.P. Howell (31)
    Boone Logan (29)
    Jose Mijares (29)
    Eric O’Flaherty (29)
    Oliver Perez (32)
    Matt Thornton (37)

    1. Guys I could see them targeting (or guys I would target)

      Franklin Gutierrez, Andrew Bailey, Ryan Madson, Jair Jurgens, Tommy Hanson, Jeff Karstens, and Reed Johnson.

      The only guys in that group I really see getting Major League deals are Gutierrez and Bailey.

        1. Agree. I’ve wanted Madson all offseason since I figure he might hope to catch his past effectiveness and could probably be had for $1M and whatever in incentives.

          Really think with current roster that maybe one more pitching spot is open:
          Rotation Locks: Lee, Hamels, Kendrick (who is their #3 now, ugh)
          Possible Rotation: “Faustino” very likely, Pettibone likely (or minors), MAG could be in pen or minors, Lincoln unlikely since Phillies might make him the setup guy
          Bullpen Locks: Papelbon, Bastardo, DeFratus out of options, Lincoln
          Likely Others: Munson (must be kept), Diekman, Rosenberg, Adams if healthy

          I think MAG is a wildcard right now. Knowing nothing of his progress, I’d plan to have him in the bullpen to start so he is with the coaches and players but does not pitch too many innings.

          Some flexibility but not much quality.

          1. Ethan Martin will be tried as a starter again Ruben said on Wednesday afternoon. They plan on stretching him out in ST. So he is another possibility.

          2. FEAR NOT. Roberto Hernandez is on the way. He is ONLY 33 which will lower the team age. BTW he can’t pitch. Dispite a 19-8 year and a 13-14 year ,he is 58-82 over eight years, The last three his ERA is well over 5xx. The real question is how much will he pay Ruben.

  47. I believe David Murphys, article on the phillies not being the spenders we thought they would become in since 08, hits the nail on the head, They just wont go the extra to sign someone that would help them, cause it puts them over there 165, or so limit, so its not win at all cost, like yankess, rangers would do. even though they have the money, with the looming tv deal they refuse to get in on beltan,or choo, garza, and others. They made mistakes, on howard, adams.pap,and others with there deals, a good business will go out and fix it and take the short term loss in revenue for a chance to win now. not them. I know that I am a broken record but really hate this ownership, especially montgomery and giles, who I still believe have little money in the team,but too much say in the operation,

    1. roccom…if you were a good boy all year and wish real hard, Santa will make John Middleton the sole owner and Giles, Monty and Ruben will all have new job descriptions.

  48. Unfortunately, the Limited Partership agreement makes it very hard to replace Montgomery when the team’s value has skyrocketed. It is not based on success of the team on the field. Any influence that Middleton has can already be used. The test will be when the ticket loss hits the Million mark.

      1. A story came out shortly after Martinez became a free agent saying he had signed with the Phillies. A couple of days later another story came out saying the first story was a phony. From that point on, did not have him in organization, by my records. I believe the first story came from some blogger hoping to fan the flames of controversy or maybe trying to make some kind of joke.

  49. Is no one even moderately outraged at what a terrible general manager the Phillies have? Not even a mention about the comment where he suggested Kendrick was better than Garza because he had more wins.

    1. Well yeah it was a dumb comment. I think RAJ being a bad GM when it comes to evaluating players is well established. But honestly look at the last two seasons. Garza isn’t an amazing must have pitcher. You’re talking about an injury prone, aging guy who’s going to sign a hefty long term deal. He’s likely going to be paid too much and doesn’t fit on the Phillies.

      1. My point was not that I wanted them to sign Garza, it’s the fact that he made such a backwards comment, and as long as people continue making excuses for him the organization is going to continue regressing.

        1. I honestly think most fans agree with you on Amaro. Frankly nothing that comes out of his mouth surprises me anymore. I really couldn’t design a worse gm philosophically

    2. Oh I’m with you in general. Its all about wins, era, rbis and avg for Amaro which I can’t disagree with strongly enough. The lack of modern thinking or creativity has mostly sapped my enthusiasm for the club this offseason.

      But I’m not a big garza fan

    1. Well stated by Gelb.

      They needed a creative offseason and haven’t had one. Frankly I don’t think he has the understanding to pull that off.

    2. Honestly I think the plan of the front office is pretty clear. They ARE rebuilding. But they don’t want to become a joke of a team in the process of it. They sign fan favorites like Utley and Chooch that isn’t much of a shock, especially when they don’t have guys ready to step in and be good replacements. They sign mid tier free agents to short term deals so that they have people to play the positions even when they don’t have worthy young guys to play in those positions.

      Basically they are letting their old core age out and they hope to have developed their low system guys to replace them by then. In the meantime they’re playing for the 2nd wild card every year hoping to get lucky and get hot. That seems to be the plan to me and I don’t think it’s a bad plan because I don’t believe in blowing teams up, especially when you don’t have worthwhile young prospects to put in place. And if they try to spend to contend or trade prospects to contend they’re either not likely to be good enough or they continue to sell the future and prolong where we’re headed.

      Whether Amaro can execute this plan well, I don’t know (probably not) but I don’t disagree with the idea of the plan.

      1. I can see that rational on the part of Ruben and his staff. And for the most part it can work if and when the young players like ….Asche, Biddle, Franco, Pettibone, Morgan, JP Crawford, Quinn, Tocci, Grullon, Pujols, et al develop and they add pieces by drafting lowewr in the first round.
        It is a gamble and a risk, plus it will take 4/5 years if it does work.

        1. What risk is there though? Without a good core in place making moves to try to contend is kind of useless. The only way the Phillies could be legit contenders this year is if they would have gone over the cap by a healthy margin and/or traded the only good prospects they had left that might be able to help any time soon.

          They could try and sell guys like Lee but I think last trade deadline made it clear that you’re not getting 2 really good young prospects that are major league ready for him. That deal isn’t out there yet. And if it’s not out there why make a lesser deal?

          1. What risk is there though?…prospects fail, just like barren wasteland from ’84 thru ’93 period and then the post ’93 era thru 2006…then you are stuck like the Marlins for awhile.

            1. But they would have money to try to spend their way out (barring new long term commitments) even if prospects didn’t pan out in 4 years

            2. The Yankees did it this year.

              A guy I am eying is Justin Upton. His contract is up the same year as Marlon Byrd. If guys like Altherr and Dugan don’t develop he could be a guy to add I don’t see any way Atlanta is able to keep him as Heyward and Freeman near free agency.

              Kershaw is on track to be a free agent next off season. I think you spend big on him. Price the year after that. Not every star player is going to be locked up.

            3. Do you truly believe Kershaw and Price will hit the open market? If the LAD and Tampa do not plan on keeping them, then they will trade them for the best prospects or MLB players then can get, and usually that is two years before they hit the open market. Under the latest CBA, the half-year rentals bring back no compensation if the player enters free agency.
              And aren’t the Rays trying to trade Price now? And the team that gets him will undoubtedly sign him to an extended contract.

            4. Let’s be honest. The market stays the same, only the calendar year and the player names change. You and RAJ may think Kershaw and Price are worth $100-$150 mill and Upton $80 mill. Somebody else will offer the twice that much and Philly won’t be viewed as a desirable destination by FA after 3 or 4 straight awful seasons. It’s like this year. Cano is a great player, a guy you’d love to have — move Utley over to 1B or LF for him, but not at nearly the $/years he got.

            5. Sadly only i he is injured or absolutely horrible does Byrd’s contract expire after two years. That is the biggest problem with the deal.

            6. The Phillies are going to have to develop a core to be contenders again (in the long run) regardless. No one is offering them core pieces for their valuable veterans and you can’t sign a young core in FA.

            7. In the space of two minutes, you have totally contradicted yourself. This second post is the realistic and accurate one. The first is a pipe dream.

            8. My other post was moreso a rebuttal to Romus. He seems to think you could win by spending in FA. I’m assuming that anyway. Because I’m not really sure what he wants the Phillies to be doing right now.

              I was saying even if you don’t think it’s the right move for the Phillies to wait to spend in 4 years they would have gotten rid of almost all their large payroll commitments and be able to spend if the prospects didn’t pan out.

            9. He seems to think you could win by spending in FA. I’m assuming that anyway….no …incorrect.
              FA will be less lucrative in the future with many clubs signing their primo Super Two players to that extended contract thriugh their late 20′s or early 30′s. Then you are left with the agin star who may only give you 2/3 years of productivity but you are forced to sign them for 3/4 years longer then their most productive period.
              GMs are evolving to go away from that existence.

            10. I think free agents are a way to find a need, maybe that one or two pieces you feel you need to win. I do feel that the last couple of years its starting to get nuts, signing guys way over in years and money. Really if you cant develop talent, you cant win with all fa, that is nuts,

        2. With Amaro’s lack of creativity and the dirth of near ready prospects with above average projection, they pretty much have to get to 2017 to have payroll flexibilty to try and get competitive again. In the meantime the club will lose a fortune on ticket sales and surely Amaro will be gone by then

          1. “We should be contending with this kind of payroll, at $165MM or $170MM, wherever it shakes out.” Does he realize how bad a gm he is? How bad his moves have been? he lives in a fantasy world.

      2. The Phillies had both a very old team and the worst run differential in the NL last season. This year they will have an even older team and little to no hope of reaching .500, with predictions of less than 70 to about 75 wins predominating. If that doesn’t qualify as a joke of a team, I doubt going young qualifies.

        1. I think if you don’t re-sign Utley and Chooch and went with all young players who are clearly worse, you’re looking at being the worst team in the league and an outright laugher. Now do that for a few years in a row. Fan interest is going to decline but it doesn’t have to fall off a cliff. That’s bad for business

          1. I have no problem with resigning Utley. He was by far our most popular player and can still play. Chooch for 3 years is too much. Even that is okay, in isolation, but with your two big signings being Byrd and Chooch, that is just slanting too old. Combine that with what was done last winter and it’s a disgrace.

            1. You’d hardly be going with all young players. Even without Chooch, we are not hurting for older players. We’ve still got Utley, Lee, Rollins and Howard. Even Brown isn’t exactly a baseball toddler. Hamels is now a vet. So is Kendrick. Paps is ancient. Adams is old. Bastardo is now a veteran. Thee is no danger of the Phillies fielding all-young players. A few young players in starting roles would be a good thing. Asche counts. Even Revere is as much vet as youth, having been a starting position player multiple seasons.

          2. I rather be worse . have another year of high draft choices, Then three more years committed to these players, and then have to start over,three years from now. anyone who thinks this team has improve 10 or more games is kidding themselves, We are only are getting deeper in the hole, with this old team. I would have not resign chooch, not byrd, rather one year deal for young, nieves would split time with one of the kids, and brown would be in right, revere in center, and ruf in left. this is because ruben has told us he cant spend anymore, so if that is the case why get older. and worse, just makes no sense to me. with really no great prospect to be ready, its a mess. I believe now with writers starting to rip ruben. the owners will be forced to fire him if the team gets off to bad start, ruben has done this to himself with his bad moves, and inability to talk this ownership and montgomery into the international market earlier.Being cheap in the draft with some choices,

  50. It is so disappointing that he is such a poor GM. I was actually excited when he got the job. Local guy, ex-player, Stanford grad, I thought we had the best of both worlds. Admits he never talked to Detroit about Fister, low-balled every free agent he spoke with, and completely disregards any modern analytics. Has just been awful.

    1. Detroit didn’t shop Fister.

      Remember when Ruben made the Cliff Lee trade? That’s exactly what Dombrowski did but he got better players.

    1. Lets not be facetious.
      I could say his work has already been evidenced by the fact they signed Hernandez to a one year deal vs Garza, Jiminez and Santana to multi year deals.
      You see you cannot prove his influence was not a factor and vice versa.
      But what we know is that Amaro’s head does not operate in a vacuum……careful now, did not say it wasn’t a vacuum…..but Amaro already said on Wednesday at the latest, he and his staff have continual ‘internal discussions’ , so have to assume that the analytical guy does get his say once they go around the table. Who knows if Ruben listens to him.

  51. But, in those same internal discussions, they concluded that Kendrick’s wins are up there with the free agents, so we get a Hernandez when he said he needed a #3 pitcher. But the worse internal discussion concluded with the, if healthy, the core is a contending team. Even if 100% healthy, Rollins, Utley and Howard are no longer more than 75% of what they used to be. Rollins and Howard even less. Regardless of how much they make. This team has needed their next star player for 3 years, and have failed.

    1. I think he is trying to justify Kendrick, which he shouldn’t, Kendrick is worth whatever he’s going to make next year given the market.

  52. My recommendations for improving the Phils this off-season would have required their increasing the payroll. I think it’s accurate to say the recommendations of most others also would have increased payroll.

    If Montgomery has issued the edict that payroll will not increase in 2014, then Amaro and we armchair GMs are kind of stuck, aren’t we?

    Included in my recommendations was signing two SPs who fit in the low-risk-high-reward category, guys like Josh Johnson, Haren, Hudson, and Kazmir. I had blinders on, though, and was just looking at these signings from the Phils’ standpoint. These pitchers wouldn’t sign with the Phillies, however, because it was wise for them to try to resurrect or prolong their careers in the safety of the West Coast ballparks. So, again, I am stuck.

    Like most, I don’t want the Phils to trade any of their top prospects nor lose any draft picks. Amaro seems to be adhering to this position as well.

    The last of my recommendations was to upgrade the outfield defense substantially. My targets would have been guys like Bourjos, Gutierrez, and Chris Young. I also would have traded Dom Brown and a mid-level prospect for a Desmond Jennings. These are moves that could be made without increasing payroll. The actual moves the Phils have made so far should improve outfield defense, just not a lot.

    Like the rest of baseball, I’m in on signing Tanaka. With Montgomery’s edict on payroll, that’s not going to happen either.

    I think what we are left with is a team that will not do much, other than re-stock the farm, until the big contracts expire after 2016.

    1. The problem is, the Phillies don’t have a lot of bad contracts to get out from under, which means they aren’t going to have enough $ to buy enough talent for a championship. The free $ to add FA talent only boosts the team if you can buy more talent than the value of the expiring contract. In the case of Howard, yes that contract is an albatross, and you can spend the money more wisely. That is balanced by the unfortunate fact that you’d have to be very lucky to buy WAR that Utley and Lee provided last season for the $ freed up when they leave. Both gave us excellent value for the money, and yet we won 15-16 fewer game than needed even to be the second wild card. Even Rollins and Paps weren’t awful value last year. The Halladay deal was bad in 2013, but that money is already off the books, and we saw what little was done this winter.

      No, the Phillies big, over-riding problem is not bad contracts. A lot of teams have the equivalent of a Howard contract. The big problem is the lack of good, young, star, homegrown talent. We also don’t have a wealth of that in the pipeline. This is an age of you have to grow your own stars and buy to fill remaining holes, not an era when you can buy several stars to build your new core. If several of Brown, Asche, Biddle, Franco, Joseph, Crawford, Quinn can be stars, then we can turn this ship around. If not, it’s going to be a long haul until the farm is built back to what it needs to be. The injuries to Morgan, Watson, Joseph, and Quinn really hurt.

  53. Following their current course, I can’t see the Phils’ being a top team again before 2017-2018 at the earliest. That means that, optimistically, we are in the middle of five or six years of failure.

    What makes or breaks a team are the 13 regulars at the top of the 25-man roster, the eight starting position players and the five starting pitchers. By my count, the Phils currently have maybe three players, either on the current 25-man roster or about to be promoted to AAA, who will be regulars on a good 2017 team: a 33-year-old Hamels and maybe two from the group of Brown, Revere, Franco, and Biddle. That means that the Phillies will need to find about ten more regulars for the 2017-2018 teams, including three or four stars and the rest solid complementary players, if they are to be a top team again. A couple of these players may already be in the system and toiling in the low minors. A couple more of these regulars may be drafted in ’14 and ’15. Maybe three or four regulars, including a star or two, can be signed as free agents after the ’16 and ’17 off-seasons. That would still leave the team two or three good players short of being a top contender. To make up this shortfall, the Phillies will need to a) trade prospects from what should be a re-stocked farm by ’17 and b) be much more aggressive in the international markets beginning now.

    1. I honestly don’t believe we can project when the phillies will be a top team again. Given the current ownership group, and their history selected GMs, the only way they end up championship contenders is by lucking into it… which definately happens, just not all that often. Realistically, we’re talking once every 20 years… that’s not to say they won’t luck into one before then, but the odds are probably 1 in 20 in any given future year (discounting for being able to say with 100% certainty that they won’t be next year).

    2. The fundamental issues going forward are talent evaluation and development. That’s why I end up disagreeing with the many posts decrying the team’s alleged reluctance to spend money, whether internationally or otherwise. It’s not that there’s no truth at all to those complaints – albeit IMO the extent of the problem is much exaggerated (though their priorities in terms of spending are somewhat open to criticism) – but that more spending, whether internationally or in free agency or whatever – is not either a necessary or sufficient condition for the team’s recovery. (I know that wasn’t the focus of your comment, I’m more going off on a tangent than disagreeing with you.)

      Of course it’s much easier to say “better talent evaluation and development,” harder to execute. I’m not optimistic.

      1. I for one believe with sal as there scout in the international market it would have helped. I believe if they gave him more money to work with. That being said, someday i would love to hear about the guys sal agostelli wanted and they wouldnt spend. maybe more money wouldnt have help. You cant for sure say without inside info, imo

      2. I agree with your points about talent evaluation and development. It all starts at the top, however, and, so, I think the Phils’ problems start with ownership and the GM and trickle down throughout the rest of the organization. Since a change in ownership is an unlikely event anytime soon, I am not optimistic either.

        I cringe whenever I think of Amaro, with Montgomery pulling the strings, making the important decisions upon which the Phillies’ future rests. For teams to become good and remain good, they need smart people making the decisions. The Phils simply do not have smart baseball people in the front office.

  54. As a fan, I have to try and convince myself that in a perfect world this team can compete. Without rose colored glasses, this will be tough to do. What would realistic, but very optimistic, results look like? Revere showed me after his slow start that he could hit 315 with 40 steals. If he does this, he could score 100 runs and I think that would be huge. Rollins, with Bowa pushing him daily, could have a revival season. He did look much better in Sept. Could he hit 270 with 15 homers and 25 doubles and 30 steals? Could he also score close to 100 runs this way? Utley looked surprisingly good last year but I can see him doing it again if he found a way to deal with his knee pain. No one will work harder than Chase and I’m happy they resigned him. Is 290 with 20 homers and 90 rbis possible? His style of play is still a pleasure to watch. I don’t know if his defense can rebound though. Howard of course is the lightening rod and truly is the t 290most important piece. We all know he’s in much better health and I’m sure he’s working very hard this winter. I believe that Howard can bounce back with a good year. I think 30 and 110 is not impossible. This would be huge. I also think Ruf playing against tough lefties and getting 10 more bombs is realistic. I expect Byrd to be at about 260 with 20 homers and 80 rbis. I think Dom could be a 290 and 20 homer, 70 rbis kind of player. I want him hitting doubles to left center and not trying to pull everything. This will up his average but reduce his homers. Chooch and Nieves could combine for 260 and 10 homers. Everyone knows I think Asche will hit and needed the first year to get adjusted. I expected he’ll hit close to 300 with 15 homers and will force Ryne to move him higher in the order. Good health will be critical. Galvis will be fine and Frandsen will too. I’m not a JMJ fan at this point and I hope they upgrade him with a better fielding OF. These offensive numbers would produce enough runs if Ryne continues to push small ball concepts, something Charlie didn’t, like hitting behind runners, squeeze plays, and such. Everyone in the lineup except Howard and the catchers will have the ability to be a good base runner and take the extra base. This will be huge also. Turning to the pitching is tougher. Hamels and Lee will be fine. KK, MAG, and former Fausto is tough to get behind though. Pettibone will get starts and Biddle will too in the second half. I still think they’ll sign someone to a minor league deal and let’s hope… Where it’s easier to be optimistic is in the pen. If they get good health and Adams bounces back and Pap regains some of his fastball (might be unlikely to achieve all of this but it’s a hope not a prediction), the pen can be a real strength. I’m actually of the opinion that one way to deal with weak starters is to add another good reliever so I hope they sign one more good one. With these results, could this team somehow win 90 games? 86 games? It feels like a stretch to me that these older players will all stay healthy to reach these levels but if they do, I think 86 wins is still tough with this starting staff. This feels like a team that will stretch to win 81 unless they get one more good pitcher. Oh well, tough to get excited about that.

    1. I’m going to entertain the notion that this entire team could potentially return value at the trade deadline. You never know who it could be. It might be Chooch, it might be Howard, it might be Adams or Byrd.

      If the team is struggling which I suspect it will there are a number of guys that could be having great individual seasons despite where they are in the standings that could be moved to acquire more youthful assets. Some better packages than others of course.

      What has to improve is the scouting. As I stated before whoever advised on the packages for Lee and Pence needs to be banned from the discussions on future trades for young players.

  55. Latest on Masa Tanaka from George King of the New York Post: …..”According to a person with knowledge of the Rakuten Golden Eagles’ …., the earliest Tanaka will be posted is following the 2014 season, which would be his eighth in Nippon Professional Baseball. Players in Japan usually aren’t eligible for free agency until after their ninth year. Because of the new posting process, Rakuten’s ownership will likely hold onto Japan’s best pitcher for another year. Under the old process, a team could bid unlimited dollars to secure the negotiating rights to a posted Japanese player.”

    1. If that is true then I do not understand Rakuten Golden Eagles’ risk-reward analysis. They cannot receive more than $20MM so what is the incentive to wait a year? If Tanaka puts up another great season, they benefit of course, but they will still receive at most a $20MM posting fee they could have had a year earlier. Is milking another year out of Tanaka worth the risk of injury, which if serious would potentially destroy his market value (and their posting fee)?

  56. Jason Knapp attempting a come back and reports are that his fastball is into the 90′s. I’m sure hes not throwing as had as he once way but then again he’s prob still not 100% into baseball condition so seeing he’s into the 90′s is a good thing. RAJ should check him out, good low risk guy and he’s still only 23.

  57. From RUMORS
    “Salisbury’s colleague, Corey Seidman, opines that the Phillies are stuck with Jimmy Rollins, much like they are with Jonathan Papelbon. Though there are a few contenders in need of a shortstop upgrade, but Rollins’ $11MM salary plus his 10-and-5 rights make it nearly impossible to move him.”
    Abe Lincoln could not explain the situation any better

    1. The time to trade players like Rollins and Papelbon would be closer to the trade deadline not in the off season. Both players need rebounds of sort as a best case scenario.

      I would disagree that they are stuck with them. A move can always be made with two willing parties and in the case of Rollins 3 (himself)

  58. I keep reading comments quoting RAJ in which he cautions that MAG has not pitched competitively in awhile. Does this imply that MAG starts the season in Lehigh Valley unless he really impresses in spring training?

    1. I think this is Amaro trying to lower expectations and taking some pressure off of MAG. That being said, I think the Phils are depending and need him in their starting staff. At least the way it’s set up now.

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