General Discussion – Week of 12-23-2013

All Right You Prospects
Ready To Sing Your Song?

Christmas, Christmas Time Is Near,
Time For Giles, And Zach Collier.
Maik’s Been Good, But Can It Last?
Hurry Roman, Get Back Fast.
Want A Bat That Hits The Bomb?
Here Comes En-car-na-ci-on! (close enough)
We Can Hardly Stand The Wait!
Spring Training, Don’t Be Late!

(‘Stache Is Very Good, Kyle Simon)
(Naturally)

Perci Christmas And A Knappy new Year!

Discuss.

76 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 12-23-2013

    1. The extra MAG money is my only hope for Tanaka. Not that they haven’t spent that money elsewhere, but it’s the same kind of allocation. So maybe a chance. I shan’t be holding my breath.

      iPhone wanted to make a misspelled “breath” into “bees”. I shan’t be holding my bees, either, FTR.

    2. He is definitely worth exploring. If he pans out, he would make the phillies interesting right now and he’s young enough that he’d still be in his prime by time they’re ready to truly compete again. Because of his age, he’s the only big time ‘free agent’ that really makes sense for the phils. Obviously there are many suitors with money to spend so even if they’re willing to get in the game I’m not holding out hope

  1. it will cost a lot. but looking at it as a marketing ploy, it could increase the oriental fan base as well as help the rotation. and i think the phils will need a lot of help in the fan base situation for a while.

    1. So, you only say Oriental when referring to an object , like an Oriental rug or something of the ilk , people however are Asian,

        1. Asian works for both , but why not be specific to where it is actually from? ie , Chinese ,Thai , etc …… . I mean when referring to food there is such a vast difference in the culinary styles that your question seems a bit strange, in a modern society that gives names to sandwiches for particular neighborhoods and athletes, like Rothesburger or a mission burrito. Why would you really say Asian or Oriental when referring to food ?

  2. On Madson’s possible re-signing…..his wife’s thoughts about Philly:
    From Yardbarker.com —-
    “It’s easy to take shots at Philadelphia sports fans as being a vile and heartless group when you don’t live there. It’s a lot harder when your husband makes his living there. Which is why Sarah Madson (wife of Phillies pitcher Ryan) should get some sort of honor for having the courage to speak her mind about Phillies Fan during a recent charity event.
    “I hate the fans. It is bad enough that they bother us during the season, but they will not leave us alone in December when we go out to eat. We stayed here during the off season last year, but we will be going to California this year. There must be something particularly bad about Phillies fans because all the players leave in the off season.”
    It’s bad enough that she doesn’t even hedge her distaste for the fans, but then she tries to drag the other players under the bus as well? You’ve gotta wonder how well that’s going to go over in the locker room. With the roster the Phils run out on a daily basis, the pressure of winning a World Series is already great enough. If the fans start believing the players don’t actually like being there, well…good luck.”

    1. I’ll take that as a NO. But I greatly appreciate the woman’s lack of “PCBS’

  3. M.Tanaka posting starts tomorrow.
    Clubs that are leading candidates:
    Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers , Phillies and a few others.

  4. So, there is still a faction believing that Tanaka has a good chance to come to Philly? Doesn’t seem likely. Currently , the payroll sits at around $165 million. Even a pedestrian for the level 20 million per year contract, would place them at around $185 million which would put them over the luxury tax level, by some 6 million by my calculations. Mr. Amaro has said the payroll will remain at the current (last years level) mark. There has been no indication they will exceed the luxury tax level. And if by chance they could top the bidding and sign Tanaka, (the winning bid should by far exceed the 20 million per season level) the ownership group would then fork over an additional $20 million payment to the Rakuten Golden Eagles. It used to be an immediate payment, think it has been changed, but it still will be handed over in a relatively short period.

    1. If I had to guess the Tanaka deal will land some where near 6/$140 and that is based on the knowledge that everyone knows what it will take ($20M) to talk to him. It makes his situation very different than Dharvish. He is more of a free agent. Also interesting that he chose Casey Close for his representation. As we all know his biggest baseball clients are Jeter and Howard.

      Forget that he is not projected to be as good. I think we all know RAJ covets pitching and they are not afraid to pay for it but at the end of the day if Tanaka has a choice where to go I would bet on a West Coast team before an East Coast team.

      For the right player I am sure the Phillies are willing to go over that Luxury tax for a year or two.

      1. I would be surprised if it’s quite that high. That’s basically Cole Hamels’ deal + the posting fee for a guy who has never pitched in the MLB. Yu Darvish got $60m +52m for posting and from what I’ve read was considered a better player. I guess the system is a lot different now with more competition and insane amounts of money being spent generally so I can’t say your estimate is totally unreasonable.

        1. ‘I would be surprised if it’s quite that high…….so I can’t say your estimate is totally unreasonable’….don’t fall off the fence!

          1. I guess I’m on the fence then. I think 6/140 is high but not unreasonable and I would be surprised if that’s the number, but not hugely so. Is that bad? I didn’t know we were supposed to take a firm stance on this one.

            1. You might be right! maybe I should deduct the $20M posting fee from the $140M and say it would be something like 6/$120. I think that might make more sense.

            2. I heard Olney say that he should get between 60-100 million. Also, said that he projects as a 2 or 3. Doesn’t seem worth what he will get.

            3. And how often are any of these guys worth what they get?

              It’s one area where I actually think Scott Boras is dead on. Our home grown American baseball players don’t get a fair shake with the current system.

              If Rodon was an open market free agent what do you think he would get?

            4. It’s really hard to say. He’s viewed as the cream of this year’s crop, so I’m sure he’d do quite well. On the other hand, I think the average major league FA and HS/college draftee gets more than he otherwise would, because the existing draft and FA systems create an artificial scarcity by limiting the number of players with whom a team may negotiate. Baseball operated for a very long time without an amateur draft. Although the teams complained about the cost to sign the best teams, way back then, those costs on an inflation-adjusted basis were really cheap. The inflation rate for draft pick bonuses under the draft has been very high.

            5. I could be wrong but I think the fair way to do it is an international draft and it shouldn’t matter if you played pro ball in Japan or some other league. They should be subject to the same signing bonus restrictions and depending on their age and league prior a set number of years under the arbitration guidelines until true FA.

              If a Japanese player comes with a posting fee so be it. Our guys pay their dues in the minors and then must wait out the Arb years to cash in while guys like Tanaka, Puig, Soler Cespedes and others get to hand pick their situation.

              Mike Trout for instance an outlier I know but his case is perfect to contrast against signed for $1.25 Million and made $510,000 last year. Drafted by the Angels that was his only choice (not only choice but you know what I mean) to negotiate with. He cannot become an unrestricted FA until 2018 and worse he cannot go to Arb until 2015 that’s 9 years and 6 years respectively. We all know he will cash in and cash in big but that is not the point.

              If he was a FA next year do you think teams would be lining up to give him Cano money, Pujols money?

              If I am Tony Clark I am starting to lay the ground work for a faster path to fair market value if the owners are going to insist on allowing foreign players into the league basically unrestricted to score larger paydays then the best US players. And the service time clock nonsense has to go. If you call me up anytime before Sept I get credit for that year period.

            6. If you think Money is crazy in baseball now imagine what it would be like if this actually happened? Then again it could also drive money down to the older players. You figure one of the reasons why good vets get paid so well is because there are younger players who are low cost and controlled. If the younger guys are getting bigger bucks then will the older guys get less money? Would crazy contracts still be handled out to average players?

  5. The MLB network had an interesting stat on him that only Bob Feller (and one other guy) had thrown more innings by their age 24 season than Tanaka. If he maintains his productivity (say through his age 30 season), it would be a historic period of success for a guy used to heavily so young (I believe they said he started pitching the Japan league at 18).

    1. This would be a red flag for me. Putting so many innings on that right arm, at such a young age, could (and I say could) impact the longevity of his career. I’m not saying don’t sign him but run the red flag up the flag pole and see if it salutes. The Phillies would be insane not to be in the discussion. For a $20M posting fee, every club should be kicking the tires.

      The Bob Feller reference is interesting because he spent 3 years in military service after his 22nd year. His 1st full year back he pitched 371 innings in 48 games with 36 CGs. Yikes, what a workhorse and a truly class act through his playing career and long after it.

      1. Mitch Williams is a bit of a goofball but he knows pitching and I think he made a very poignant observation last night. If you are going to take one of these guys don’t mess with the routine they are accustomed to.

        Obviously the 1 start every 6 days isn’t doable all the time but where ever possible with off days make it work. If you’ve trained your body to throw 130 pitches an outing and you are mechanically sound then your body is not going to breakdown.

    2. Had Ruth not slowed down to also be a hitter ,he would of been in the running.
      On the other hand Feller lost 1942 to the war. You would have to ask is Tanaka a (SPECIAL HUMAN BEING) like Ruth and Feller who greatly exceeded the physicality of their period

  6. The Phils would have had a better chance, slight as it would have been, under the previous posting system, in which the player did not have a choice of which team to play for.

    In the new system, probably the only lure that would draw Tanaka to Philly is money. I don’t think the Phils can spend enough to offset the Yankees’ and Dodgers’ brand advantage, nor the Dodgers’ geographic advantage for a player whose home is Japan. We don’t know how motivated the Dodgers will be to sign Tanaka, given their current and pending financial commitments, but we do know the Yanks are so motivated. And there are several other teams that will participate.

      1. My son and I spent a while discussing this the other night and, without the benefit of any insider or media information the team we came up with was the Cubs – it’s the most logical choice for numerous reasons.

        1. The Cubs seem to be on the verge of coming out of their century long doldrums, similar to the Bosox under Theo 10 years ago.
          Now…where did Theo Epstein play ball? Did he play during Ruben’s time?

          1. Epstein never played above High School in Brooklyn but he did go to Yale and did hold the post of Sports Editor for the Yale Daily news. Not much different from the rest of us I imagine minus the Ivy League degree.

            1. So apparently a metric type guy soared and did fairly well in the land of socks and jocks.
              What a unique conception!
              Fortunately for Philadelphia phans, we were blessed with Ruben to keep us firmly grounded in reality.

            2. Let’s Juxtapose him with Sabean who has just as many WS rings and is polar opposite in terms of background. Sabean in case you didn’t know as a scout is credited as the guy that signed Jeter, Rivera, Petitte and Posada before moving to the Giants front office.

              Metrics cannot help you recognize young talent that’s not to say RAJ is much better but if you had to rely on one or the other I prefer a guy who can walk out to a HS game and know what he is looking at.

            3. You’ve defined what you want in a scout. What you need in a GM isn’t an ability to scout – it’s the ability to identify the right people for your organization, and to understand the combinations of skills you need to be organizationally successful. Sabean appears to have this ability, as does Epstein. But it’s not because Sabean was a good scout, or because Epstein didn’t play above the HS level. It’s a different kind of ability, and a “baseball background” is probably pretty much irrelevant to it.

            4. But DMAR, it’s not either/or. Increasingly, it’s both. On an organizational level, anyway. As for the guy at the top, I’m not sure background is the most important thing – you need a smart guy who can synthesize information from a variety of sources. Mozeliak is IMO the prototype, and of course he does have a scouting background, but he is hardly an “old school” traditional baseball guy; he and the Cardinals rely heavily on both publicly available and their own internal analytics. http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/32471/how-the-cardinals-use-sabermetrics

              Now, that said, even as a metrics guy I do think that the lack of an emphasis on metrics is far from the Phillies organizations’ worst problem. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s poor talent evaluation and development.

              In the long run, though, organizations that understand and use the most sophisticated metrics – the proprietary stuff that isn’t available to the public – along with traditional scouting – are going to have a huge edge over organizations that don’t.

            5. You are eventually going to come around to my view that the talent development problem is largely a problem of being unwilling to spend sufficiently on amateur bonuses. I agree that the other big problem is some startling gaps in talent evaluation, an inability to wean themselves away from a slavish addiction to the Hewitt/Hudson/Greene sort of toolsy HS prospect, who simply cannot hit. They’ve hit as much in the ‘scouts are turned loose’ later rounds as in the primo rounds, where the top brass have to bless spending $700K to $2 mill on a guy. Those brass have shown themselves to be not nearly as good as the run-of-the-mill scouts in the organization in identifying worthwhile talent. It’s a shame. One wonders where the organization would be today, if the scouts who found talent like Howard, Brown, Kendrick, Asche, Ruf in later rounds had the authority to pick the guy they really wanted in the early rounds and if so many of those early round picks hadn’t been given away to sign reliever FA. A ‘Phillies-type’ first or second rounder HS prospect has become a joke with BA — the sort of guy the Phillies drool over and give $1 million, but whom nobody else rates highly and everyone else is quite certain will never make it.

            6. ‘largely a problem of being unwilling to spend sufficiently on amateur bonuses’….exactly.
              Except for the brief meteoric rise of Carlos Ruiz, it has given us the likes of average players like Hernandez, Galvis, and the rest.
              No real ‘super-star’ coming in at say 22/23-years old and being entrenched in the lineup for a decade.
              Maybe that changes in 3/4 years with Tocci, Grullon, Pujols and Encarnacion.

    1. yes , the cartoons and the write in comments, I dont even read them anymore , try not to look even

  7. Phillies and Tanaka:
    The NY Post lists the Phillies among the top contenders for Tanaka most likely to steal him away from the Yankees:
    “There are many Yankee-esque qualities here – notably the presence of an older/declining core and worry about holding the attention of a Northeast fan base that has come to expect stars and winning. There are many failings around the diamond, but a rotation headed by Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Tanaka would make up for a lot of sins while possibly re-energizing that fan base.”

  8. I think if by a miracle they signed Tanaka it would be the sports story of the decade. I just dont see them going over there set payroll, the kid would most likely want to pitch for a west coast team. This team stinks, adding him doesnt make this bad offense any better, amaro is a moron, why pitch in a hitters ball park? when you have your choice of where to go. amaro is a moron, giles would take a stoke if he had to pay a luxury tax, amaro is a moron, do we have a pitching coach?? does he speak japanese? amaro is a moron. now if they added this kid and a hitter like cruz with power, we might get third in the division.,

      1. Roccom does make some subtle points in the multi-moronic descriptive verse.
        For one, Tanaka may want a more pitcher’s friendly park to toil in, of course he will not get Petco, but then again mucho yen may change his thinking on that subject.
        Secondly, do we have a pitching coach? I cannot recall if one has been selected.
        Third, Cruz may have been a better altenative then Byrd, but not now. Seemingly, Ruben is rolling the dice with Marlon Byrd with Revere and Brown in the OF..

        1. As much as I dislike the Byrd contract (mainly the option year) Cruz would have been a poor choice. For much more money you are losing a draft pick and without the PED’s he feels like an unknown product.

          1. Well if you’re Tanaka what you see with the Phillies is an old aging team, run by the king of idiots, a team that is doomed to mediocre performances for the next few years, and no real hope to an actual contender. Now why would he want to go here? From his perspective we’re probably a team that would throw a lot of money his way, if he wanted to waste some of his years going nowhere.

  9. Head-sratcher?…….From MLBTR:
    MLB will make sure M.Tanaka’s Japanese team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, does not receive more than its $20MM posting fee, Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times report. That means that Tanaka CANNOT donate money to Rakuten. Rakuten’s president, Yozo Tachibana, had previously said that Tanaka intended to give money to Rakuten to improve its stadium. Rakuten has reportedly investigated adding a dome. Tanaka would, according to Tachibana, “cooperate and donate . . . starting with improving the environment for the players and to make sure it’s the kind of stadium that can be loved by [local] fans.” Such a donation would violate the agreement between MLB and NPB, which forbids NPB teams from receiving any money beyond a player’s posting fee. “We are intent on enforcing all the provisions of the agreement,” says MLB spokesperson Pat Courtney.
    …I ask…how does MLB have the authority to prevent a donation from a non-US citizen to an entity in their homeland, especially if it was monies he may have earned in Japan prior to 2014?

    1. I can’t speak to the above, but I did hear another rumor about a method in which a team could exceed the $20MM. Tanaka would post for $20, and then the team would also post the worst player on their team. Tanaka would in essence become part of a package. So, you could post $20 for Tanaka, and another 15 or 20 for some scrub, with the intentions of the second player being cut or sent to the minors.

      This of course will not happen, but creative minds can find ways to work around the $20MM max.

      1. What incentive would Tanaka have to sign with the team which also posted for the scrub? The benefit is solely to his owner. Any team who posted for Tanaka can negotiate with him on an equal basis. If anything, the money posted for the scrub comes out of Tanaka’s contract.

        1. I actually just came across an article – link below. But, Tanaka’s team still seems to have control over whom they will post him to:

          In a screnario highlighted in teh article: “Rakuten then could have told Tanaka that it would post him only if he signed with its major league “partner” — otherwise, no deal”

          http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/masahiro-tanaka-posting-process-guarding-against-shenanigans-nippon-professional-baseball-rakuten-golden-eagles-122713

  10. I agree that Tanaka is unlikely to land in Philly but I’m more curious as to what kind of offer the front office will make? 6yrs/90mil would fall short of what it would take to sign Tanaka, but it would stil be a respectable offer. I suspect they offer somewhere in the neighborhood of 4yrs/60mil or less

    1. If the Yankees and Cubs ‘will not be denied’ as rumors have it….then raise the bar with an extravgant offer, and call their bluff and then back out.

  11. Phils might be better off going for Kenta Maeda. He MAY get posted from Hiroshima this winter and has MLB ready stuff. Lotta good sink on his pitches. Profiles as a #3/4 starter. Only 25.

  12. Looks like Puig is fitting in with the American lifestyle….charged with reckless driving in Naples, Fla….110 mph in a 70 mph zone.
    This guy could have more off-the-field issues to deal with at some point.

    1. The Dodgers have told outfielder Yasiel Puig the organization is ”very disappointed” with his behavior in the wake of his second arrest this year for reckless driving. The team issued a statement Sunday that said Puig’s behavior ”is a very serious issue to us.” The Dodgers said they would continue to educate the 23-year-old Cuban defector and strive to further develop his growth off the field. Puig was arrested Saturday in Naples, Fla., after the Florida Highway Patrol clocked him going 110 mph in a 70-mph zone.
      In April, when he was still in the minors, Puig was charged with reckless driving and speeding after Chattanooga, Tenn., police clocked him going 97 mph in a 50-mph zone. The charges were dismissed in Nov after Puig completed community service in LA.

      If Puig cannot reverse this latest behavior tendency, the Dodgers have threatened to trade him to the Philadelphia Phillies and then be subject to the wrath of the Philadelphia fan!

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