50 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 1-13-2014 – Ronny Cedeno Edition

  1. who here would be happy if by the all-star break we are ten or more games out we just blow up this whole thing meaning Lee,Pap(if we can),jimmy,cole,brown and anyone else

    1. I don’t understand why people are so eager for this to happen. We’ll be left with a much worse team that wouldn’t even be able to win 60 games for like the next 5 years. Maybe it’s the way to go with the TV deal agreed to but I can’t see how anyone could be eager for us to pull the trigger on this plan.

      1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s not about the best way to rebuild (at least not primarily – confirmation bias leads proponents of this approach to also believe that the team can get better this way). It’s about aesthetics – some people really would prefer to see a bunch of AAA talent lose 100 games than a bunch of older talent lose 85 to 90 games. (Though I do think the team has a chance to be a .500 team this season.)

        That said, the one interesting player at the trade deadline will be Lee. Maybe he gets you a top 50 (not top 25) prospect at the trade deadline. If so, the team really needs to consider doing that.

        1. I’d say that the confirmation bias goes the other way. We’ve seen what holding onto the pieces does, over quite a prolonged period of time, after the 1993 team. We saw in in the late 60s and the 70s. It leads to many, many years of quite poor teams, even if it avoids a year (or two) of truly awful teams. We’re seeing it again now, as holding onto the pieces and patching with vets gave us a very uncompetitive 2013, which was worse than 2012. There simply isn’t nearly enough talent on the farm for a just muddle through and wait for it to mature approach to have any chance of working. As you say, next season’s team, as it stands today, is very unlikely to reach .500. Potentially, it may well be significantly worse than that. A lot needs to go right to reach .500. The odds will go down for 2015 as the core is yet another year older.

        2. Allentown,

          Look, I’m certainly not saying that the muddle through strategy is going to “work.” There’s NO strategy that will “work” in the short or medium run for this team, even if management and ownership was not howlingly incompetent. All of this is fiddling while Rome burns.

          And I’ll admit the aesthetics argument goes both ways. Id rather seeing good if aging players win 70 or 75 or 80 games than watch AAA kids win 60. The few older players I don’t want to watch any longer – Howard, because it is painful to see what he has become, Papelbon because he is a jerk and is about to fall off a cliff performance wise – are untradeable players with negative value. You can’t give those guys away. Literally.

          That’s an aesthetic judgment too. I’m not kidding myself that not blowing the team up will make the team better down the road (before the TV contract was finalized you could make that argument for financial reasons, but no longer, though there are competitive reasons not to trade away young or youngish guys like Brown and Hamels).

          But the “tear it down” people ARE kidding themselves. There’s no bonanza of prospects to be had for our aging stars, and the “major league ready” talent in the organization now mostly stinks (and the few exceptions will get their chance regardless). I am regarded as negative around here, but the reality is, as a fan, I have consistently been guilty of being too optimistic, about the team and individual players. The notion that Hernandez, Galvis, and Ruf are anything better than second division regulars AT BEST is an illusion of fandom. Hernandez in particular is a guy who I have wanted to buy into, partly as a fan, partly because he’s a guy who has gotten some love from knowledgeable people on the site. The basic problem is that he’s a AAA guy, replacement level at best.;

          Even our best prospects are mostly guys who, if things break right for them, might be decent regulars. Our BEST prospects. Franco is a guy who people thought I was down on lasr year. I wasn’t; I merely thought he might be a star in a couple years, whereas a bunch of people thought he was SURE to be a star, right away. In retrospect, I was too optimistic, as it has become increasingly clear that he won’t stick at third base. Oh, he’ll hit, he’ll be an upgrade on Howard – if they can somehow find a way to get rid of Howard – that is, if they have the guts to waive him and eat the rest of the contract. But Franco isn’t going to be a star as a first baseman. And he’s their best position prospect, aside maybe from Crawford. Who I fully expect the Phillies’ development guys will ruin.

          Sorry, I refuse to distract myself from the joke of a team and joke of an organization by engaging in magical think about prospects or potential trades. And if I want to watch AAA baseball, I’ll travel to watch Lehigh Valley. I don’t want to watch AAA baseball in Philadelphia.

          Rant over.

        3. But I will say this – there seems to be a perception that the guys who don’t want to tear the team down are too optimistic about the team as it is currently constructed. There are a couple of guys like that, but I’m not one of them. The only thing stopping this team from losing 1,000 games over the next decade is their financial resources. The truth is that this organization, top to bottom, is far far worse than even the most pessimistic of us realized. But let’s at least enjoy the swan songs of Utley, Rollins, Lee, Ruiz, etc., and a few more more wins, before the deluge.

    2. Maybe Pap Lee, for salary relief and maybe a couple of prospects. But not the others. I prefer a gradual attrition process.

      1. I really believe at Allstar break, the only untouchable will be Hamels. I really cant see this team contending. not with that outfield and aging infield and lack of pitching after lee and hamels. Everyone on here has seen martin, why even try to stretch him out. all of a sudden he will gain velocity after three innings, sorry not going to happen. the guy is a perfect, for now 7th or eighth inning guy who could turn, into a closer.

        1. We can get rid of everyone but Hamels and we’re still not going to be good for another 4-5 years regardless. We’re not going to get good prospects in those deals. We’re still going to have to wait for our guys in the system to emerge and also hope our top prospects don’t keep getting injured. We’re not in a fun position. I’d just as well see some of these guys contracts play out or at least not trade anyone until true viable replacements from within are possible.

          1. Christopher you probaley right. only hope is someone overpaids, for a lee, or rollins or some one else at trade deadline. I believe if certain teams are one starter away like a texas, or toronto, yankess, they will overpaid to get that guy, not all teams will,but some might. I might be wrong, just a feeling especially if its texas, they are hungary for a title and have prospects and money.

    3. Jack Martelli:
      ‘Look at the most recent managerial changes for each team in baseball and you’ll find that 20 of the 30 improved in win totals the next season, including five by more than 20 games. Five of the 10 managers who did not show improvement in their first seasons – Ron Washington with Texas, Joe Girardi with the Yankees, Joe Maddon with Tampa Bay, Mike Matheny with St. Louis, and Bruce Bochy with San Francisco – have since led their teams to the World Series. Three of the last five managers to take over a team in the middle of the previous season, as Sandberg did last year, have gotten immediate results the following year. Kirk Gibson led Arizona to the playoffs with a 29-win improvement in 2011, Bob Melvin had a 20-win improvement with Oakland in 2012, and Washington’s Davey Johnson won the National League East with an 18-game improvement in 2012″……….Bob Brookover, philly.com
      …so it could occur that the Phillies may be in an upswing for this season.

      1. And if they are in reasonable contention for the playoffs, then we go for the playoffs and the trades to get younger don’t occur.

      2. The 2012 Nats got Strasburg back from injury, Jordan Zimmermann continued to emerge as a front line starter, and the team traded for Gio Gonzalez the prior off-season. Ian Desmond added 2 WAR from his previous year as he started to look like a real player, Ryan Zimmerman returned from a down/injury year to add 2 WAR from 2011, and a rookie named Bryce Harper put up 5.2 WAR in about 80% of a season.

        So, my point is, I guess – if you can show me who on the Phillies has the capability to make improvements like that, I’ll buy the premise that Ryne Sandberg might make a huge difference.

        1. Let’s see…Howard returns from injury, ala ZIm, to put productive numbers, maybe not a WAR like ZIm’s but reasonale for Howard. MAG and Pettibone appear to have their arm woes behind them and become viable mid to back-end rotation guys.
          Revere realizes his post-April potential and continues the pace. Dom Brown increases his power numbers by a smidgen and maintains an acceptable OPS and learns to run correct routes. Ruiz has a legitmate AMA physician prescripton for his Adderall this time.
          You got me on Harper however, other then Asche coming out of the shoot with a respectable OBP.

    4. Id be Ok with pap leaving and maybe if we could say get something for Howard then he could go to but the rest Id like to keep

    5. Nope. Cole and Domonic are young enough to build the next core around. I have no problems dealing Lee, Paps, Jimmy, Byrd, Ruiz, Utley under your scenario, but why start a rebuild from zilch. I keep Domonic, Cole, Revere, Asche, Ruf, Galvis, Pettibone (assuming health), the kid relievers. Unless he brings a very good return, I keep Bastardo.

    6. This is not a good idea. Do it bit by bit. I don’t want them to lose forever like Pittsburgh did.

    7. No offense but the Phillies management would give Rollins and Papelbon away right now if anyone would take them, no need to out of it.

  2. Cedeno is another depth signing although I doubt they keep him. Reid Brignac might be better, we’ll see, and he’ll play at AAA until needed due to an injury.

        1. I don’t have any problem taking him here in the Lehigh Valley, but I doubt he gets this far. He’ll either challenge for the 25-man or, as said above, he’ll be released a la Yuni Betancourt. SS with IronPigs now: Brignac, Blanco….and Galvis has options.

            1. Certainly. Although I’m not sure Sandberg has the same loyalty to Galvis that Charlie did. The fact is, I have a difficult time imagining a scenario where Cedeno makes it to the IronPigs. He hasn’t spent any significant time in the minors since 2007. He’ll likely make the Phillies in the case of injuries, or opt out if all are healthy. I suppose there are other injury scenarios where Cedeno starts with the ‘Pigs–you can’t discount anything when Andres Blanco is involved.

  3. I know its insurance, but is a poor defensive shortstop, who doesnt hit, a good policy. there has to be better alternatives out there.

  4. I would like to acknowledge how the firing of Chris Wheeler has somehow made this offseason seem much better than it did a week ago. A very good move by comcast.

  5. Who likes to have Ryan Madson or Chad Gaudin for the bullpen? Will either be beneficial at this stage of their careers?

    1. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t seen Madson on the hill in the last couple months would be able to judge his potential. He’s just a total unknown right now.

  6. So if the team shouldn’t have a fire sale, what SHOULD the strategy be? Realize two things preliminary: (1) I don’t expect the current management/ownership to fully execute this, or execute well those portions that it seems to be trying to execute; (2) it’s not a strategy that will lead to contention in the next 3 to 4 years – there IS NO strategy that will do that, absent a huge amount of luck.

    (1) No trades of young talent, or signings that cost draft choices, unless good young talent comes back to us.
    (2) To the limited extent possible, orient financial resources toward the future as opposed to the present.
    (3) Mostly avoid large long term commitments to older talent. Obvious some definitional issues here, “long, “most,” and “large.” I liked the Utley contract, was okay with the Ruiz contract, and mildly displeased with the Byrd contract.
    (4) Give young talent an opportunity to play when merited (but don’t force AAA guys into the lineup).
    (5) At the deadline, consider trading current players on a case by case basis, trading players only where good talent comes back or where there are other solid future oriented reasons for a deal.
    (6) This may be some combination of obvious or redundant, but focus on talent development at the minor league level.
    (7) Within the context of the above, make the team as competitive as possible in the short run.

    Now, it seems to me that the organization right now is TRYING to do a lot of this right now, though with arguably limited effectiveness & many poor past decisions that they are still living with.

    1. This is what I want them to do too and to their credit this is pretty much what they’ve been doing. The past, as you say, is going to prolong the time it takes for this to be successful.

  7. I would add (8) Look for “free” or cheap talent – youngish players with some upside that are more or less freely available. Obviously these players will have negatives/high risk, but that’s why they will be available. See Oakland for a good example of this.

    1. Yeah, seems like Rube picks up veterans as insurance all the time but never goes and grabs the kind of younger upside you might find on the scrapheap after non-tenders and mid-season waivers, for instance. Maybe we we’re spoiled by Jayson Werth and JC Romero, among others, during the end of the Gillick era. The only guy I can think of who’s even close to that from 2013 was Roger Bernadina (and Casper Wells to a much lesser extent). I guess you could say that’s exactly what we’re looking for – more Roger Bernadinas and Caspers’s’es Wellseses’. With the right talent evaluators in place, you’ll hit on something with that type of pick up.

      1. I can’t think of any names off hand, but, aside from maybe some bench guys, I wonder if he should have gone in this direction for the right field opening.

        1. Yeah, I can’t think of anyone right now, either. I wonder if he had been non-tendered, would some other team’s fans be griping about how their GM didn’t take a flier on “a guy like John Mayberry”. Too bad Rube’s going to likely pay him real money and not $800k plus incentives or whatever he might have commanded on the open market.

      2. Their upper level minor league and major league talent evaluation for under-the-radar types has been beyond abysmal. You know its bad when you can’t identify the good players that are playing for you like, Schierholz and Moss and Grilli. Rather, they forego those players and acquire guys like Delmon Young and Chad Qualls. And, yes, Ruben always goes with the supposed “sure thing” veteran, much as the Mets did when they started out. It was odd how the early 1960s versions of Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, Yogi Berra and Warren Spahn did not resembled their former selves. It probably surprised them as it seems to surprise Ruben.

      3. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors posted an interesting article on Tuesday where he detected a new trend emerging this offseason. Eight minor league free agents, with little or no MLB experience were signed to major league contracts, a much higher number than in previous years. It identifies another way to add young talent to a roster. It would be nice to see the Phillies try something like this for a change. I don’t want to plagerize Tim’s work, I hope it’s okay for me to paste the link here:
        http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/01/minor-league-free-agents-finding-major-league-deals.html

    2. The one area where you will find this ‘free, youngish talent’ is the Rule 5 qualifiers.
      A trade would have to be order in some instances to get any of these players not selected in the December draft. And then you take the risk.
      And another avenue is of course the players who have had a major injury setting them back a few years in their minor league development. Then again more risk.
      But as Virgil says, (not Ozzie)…’Fortune sides with him who dares’

  8. I hope ruben is on the phone today with texas, they have lost hollands until the allstar break. This is the time to put out some feelers on lee, just to see . one the interest level ,two the kind of deal they might give up, I wouldn’t do it now, unless they overpaid, but let the rangers know he can be had.

  9. Looking at a projected Lakewood roster of, hopefully, Cozens, Pullin, Zach Green, Gabe Lino, perhaps a more lean and mean Larry Greene, maybe JP Crawford., along with Tromp and Hiciano in the OFs, I wonder if this team can come close to the hitting and power of the Texas Ranger’s Hickory Sally team of 2013 . I know they had guys like Alfaro, Gallo, Guzman, Mazar and Brinson slamming balls over the walls in all directions, but some of these Lakewood guys have some power themselves like Cozens, Green and Greene and Hiciano. I am hopeful.

    1. I’m pretty sure JP Crawford will at least start there this year and, yes, the Blue Claws will be the hot “must see” team for the Phillies farm system this year – perhaps even more so if they pick a college player in the draft.

  10. Seems most experts are predicting Masa Tanaka’s contract will be at 6 years, $120M. And the Phillies are not one of the front-runners to date. Looks like the Yankees, Dodgers, D-Backs, White Sox and Cubs seem to be ones leading the pack for his services.

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