Five Moves to Make Now

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, its time to clear some space for what most of us hope will be incoming talent when (if) the Phils rid themselves of pieces that can be used by other teams.  A couple of these are no brainers, others not so much…

1. Grady SIzemore to Phils–Absolutely no reason that Sizemore should spend any more time at AAA. He is a major league player and can certainly help the abysmal production from the Phillies OF.  The release of Tony Gwynn, Jr is the likely corresponding move.

2.  Lee Ridenhour to Reading–Ridenhour has pitched very well as the Threshers closer over the last two months.  As a soon to be 25 year old, its time to move him up.

3.  Willians Astudillo to CLearwater–What more do we really need to see of Astudillo at Lakewood?  He mashes Low A pitching. With Knapp catching every day now, the only position at which Astudillo has a legitimate major league shot is filled.  Let him move on and share AB’s with Lino and DH in CLearwater.

4.  Jiandido Tromp to Lakewood–There is talent that needs consistent challenge.  Plenty of Cutters outfielders need AB’s and Tromp has the immediate ability to play above the level of short season ball.

5.  Jason Marquis to the Phils–Coming off Tommy John surgery, Marquis has allowed 1ER in 3 starts spanning 18 innings for Lehigh Valley.  He has struck out 18 in those 18 innings.  Believe it or not, I hear that teams think that Kyle Kendrick could be a useful part down the stretch for a contending team.  Jason Marquis and Kyle Kendrick will provide major league results that are very similar.  Take what you can get for Kendrick (who will be a free agent at seasons end), plug Marquis into the rotation for a team going nowhere and smile that you got a warm body for Kendrick.

Commence the debate and criticism.

115 thoughts on “Five Moves to Make Now

  1. I Don’t think you can get anything for kenricks. love to see if Campbell can handle Clearwater .

    1. I agree Tomscha needs to be moved but Williamsport doesnt make sense with Hoskins there, Green is playing 1B at Lakewood and the Phils seems committed to Charles for at least this year at Clearwater. My hope would be for Tomscha to start next year at Lakewood.

      1. Tomscha plays 3B. Ironically, he went 0-4 with 3K’s right after I clamored for him to be promoted (I still think he should be). I agree with promoting Sizemore, and Astudillo.

    1. Whitehead has pitched very well however I would give him another start or two at Williamsport to keep his confidence level high before really pushing his TJ recovering arm up a level.

    2. yes get him to Lakewood along with Imhoff. Lakewood needs starters since Drew Anderson is out. All the good hitters are there, but no pitching. Doesn’t make sense

      1. Nothing wrong with guys playing at one level and having success. Too quick to move them. Tromp needs ab’s everyday, he is in the port because that is where he can get them. It is a little congested in lakewood. Right or wrong those are the facts and he is young enough to stay there.

  2. There’s plenty of guys here at Williamsport who would be served well from a bump to be tested. Realistically, I think the only one which might be moved is Whitehead. He’s pitched very well. Throws bowling balls to the plate and gets consistent soft contact and ground ball outs. He’s never going to strike out a ton of batters, just not his game and doesn’t have a true swing and miss pitch. But he should be in Lakewood. If he’s still here in 2 weeks, I’d be surprised, especially with Imhof and Oliver here.

  3. Before robertos start tonight i suggested moving out kk, roberto, mayberry, gwynn, hitting coach and replacing with marquis, lincoln, sizemore, castro and Charlie Manuel!

    1. We have to be able to get something decent for Papelbon as long as we eat some $. His stats this season have been tremendous, and he has a strong track record as a closer.

  4. Another good hitting day Pullin, Pointer hit homes. A lot of doubles Franco on fire the ball explores of his bat . Cozens, Green had good days. Lee had his start he’s feels good.

  5. did anyone catch Amaro interview with Mike M. on 97.5. I missed it but heard Amaro was behaving like guy on his way out.

    1. He was basically just telling Mike that he can’t make any observations on how the team was being run bc he was misinformed.

      Hamels and 20m

      For

      Aaron Judge OF
      Luis Severino RHP
      Gosuke Katoh 2B

      Is that asking too much?

        1. I agree. Hamels needs to be traded to a team like the Dodgers or Cardinals. In my opinion, especially if we’re including money, we would need at least Pederson, Lee, and 1 or 2 other pieces from the Dodgers. I’m asking the Cardinals for Carlos Martinez/Shelby Miller, Piscotty, Marco Gonzalez, and maybe even Wong. I’m on board with trading everyone, but Hamels needs to net a big return if he goes. Gotta hope someone gets really desperate or someone gets injured.

      1. The Yankees are not the right team for a Hamels’ trade. They lack the high-quality prospects the Phils can get for Hamels.

      2. It’s not asking enough. I am regularly over-critical of Cole Hamels, but if you don’t get something like a top 20 MLB (not team) prospect, or 2 top 50 prospects, all depending on the trading partner, you basically redid the Cliff Lee trade. Cole is a horse. A horse with a WS MVP, and extremely consistent numbers. He may get over shadowed by Kershaw and Price as a lefty, but he is easily worth a pile of prospects without eating any money. If Carlos Beltran netted Zach Wheeler, Hamels should net a Pederson, Bundy, Walker, Harvey type as a conversation starter. The Yankees farm system stinks. They don’t have the impact to even get their foot in the door. They can’t sell Hamels for peanuts, it would be better to keep him around and hope he is still dominant when the roster turns over.

    1. He’s hitting .174. Yes, it’s tragic that his father passed, but I don’t think anybody is going to fault management for DFA’ing him.

    2. I think the PR hit thing might have come into consideration when they originally signed Sizemore (right after his father’s death) but at this point I think most people (including Gwynn himself) would look at the stat line and understand. Baseball is a harsh business.

      The alternate possibility would be a trade to San Diego, which is going nowhere, for “cash considerations” or something like that, but I have no idea if they want/need a 5th OF.

    3. Can send him down and play him everyday to get stroke back…i agree waiving him after dad die would be bad

    1. Dave Kingman or Frank Howard type hitter….a masher who will give you a 265/335 BA/OBP line with 30/35 HRs and 150 plus Ks…but can play the corner OFs well.

      1. So the point is there are tall guys that can hit in the MLB, maybe it is that not many tall athletes in that height range choose to play baseball…

  6. For Hamels? No. That might be a little light. The Yankees prospects are overrated. Sanchez is blocked and we need a young catcher so he should be included. They love Sevarino but i’d accept Clarkin instead. Sanchez – Judge – Clarkin is a fair offer, but I’m not sure another team wouldn’t beat it.

    FWIW Bowden said Hamels to LAD for Pederson, Urias, Guerrero on ESPN…which is more than I’m suggesting.

    Cliff Lee to the Yankees would make sense. You could get a similar package minus a player or involving lesser names…I think the Yankees value Severino higher than Sanchez, since they have McCann for 5 years. I don’t know if Sanchez is underrated or overrated; depends on his catching.

  7. Jim Bowden on ESPN wrote an article about 5 trades he thinks should happen. One of them was Cole Hamels for Joc Pederson, Alex Guerrero, and Julio Arias.

    If you were to trade Hamels (and I’m not totally on board with that unless the return is too tough to turn down) this would be a no-brainer I think. Pederson and Guerrero are both ready to step in and play at the majors. Guerreros 27 I believe (Cuban, in his first year state side) but has killed the ball in SSS in AAA and according to article he can play 2B and SS. Could be a everyday player if Utley goes. Pederson steps right in and is our best OF, especially if Byrd is traded. Urias is a 17 year old lefty who I djnt know much about, but Bowden says he would immediately be our top pitching prospect.

    All of that being said, who knows if the Phillies wil even trade Hamels, if LA even wants him badly enough, or if that return is even realistic.

    Interesting article though. And if that’s the kind if deal you get for Hamels I think I would def do it

    1. Not a bad package, and Hamels’ career would benefit the most by pitching for the Dodgers. From the Phillies’ standpoint, I’d prefer Hamels and cash to the Pirates for Glasnow, Meadows and McGuire – a pitcher, an outfielder and a catcher, each of whom is probably three years from the majors. The Phils won’t be good again for several years, so they don’t really need prospects to reach the majors before then, although there is a greater risk factor with players in the low minors.

      1. Why would you want guys that are farther away from the majors? There’s more risk involved te farther away they are. And then there’s just the time factor in general. Why would you want to wait 3 years for guys when you could have guys that can contribute now. And are any of those pirates guys Thought if as highly as Pederson?

        Also I wish I could’ve bet money that LarryM would’ve said this deal isn’t possible. Like I said in my post, it may not be, but the certainty with which LarryM speaks is comical. What would he have said 2 weeks ago if I suggested that addison Russell and 2 other decent prospect would be traded for samarzdia and hammel?

        I know what he will say now; that was one specific circumstance and it doesn’t make it any more likely that the phillies get a big haul for Hamels

    2. Wow, we can see why Bowden is an EX GM.

      Putting the snark aside, I can see how this gives some people hope of a huge haul for Hamels. Maybe another old school GM like Bowden decides to massively overpay for Hamels. That would be probably one of the top five best packages of prospects in baseball history (at least from the perspective of what was known at the time of the deal).

      But there aren’t many deep pocket teams out there, and they tend to be well run for the most part. Then there’s Colletti, who isn’t an idiot, but who is a bit old school and has overpaid for expensive veterans in the past. But I don’t see even him making a blunder this extreme. Obviously if I’m wrong … my goodness, of course you do it. Absurd. Heck, if I was GM and they offered Pederson alone straight up for Hamels I’d take it in a heartbeat.

      The mistake people are making are assuming that his contract is a plus rather than a minus. Even a smart guy like DMAR makes that mistake. It’s not a bad contract, but not below market. The cost for a team to sign a guy like Hamels to a market rate contract is a first round pick. Yes, there’s a scarcity factor which can increase that, which is why a good return (as opposed to the absurd returns people are expecting) for him is possible. But 30 year old starting pitchers with massive contracts, even when they are as good as Hamels (and as good as he is, he is not quite in the very top tier of starting pitchers, albeit just below that), don’t get a huge package of prospects.

      1. Seriously Larry you do not mean it, that you would take Pederson for Hamels straight-up?
        Pederson could be the next Dom Brown for all we know and Hamels is a sure thing.
        My point…prospects always look better until they are in the MLB for a few years then we see their warts.

        1. Romus he said the same thing about other prospects who stink, larry really overvalues prospects, and maybe I am wrong, but doent Pederson play in the light air California league, where guys put up monster numbers??

          1. Correct, Pederson does benefit from the Cali atmosphere, but he still is rated highly by all the scouts and he could be a very nice player…but think Hamels should deserve to get more return value in the exchange..
            What would the fans and media think of Ruben if he traded Hamels straight up for an AAA prospect? Surely Colletti would make the deal. Even if Hamels gives you just 3/4 more years of quality pitching on his contract, it is well worth it fro the LAD to do that fantasy deal

      2. So Larry…is it possible..i know a slight possibility..but at least possible, that they have a better sense of the true market then you? nah..what am i thinking..you are much smarter than them, which is why you comment on blogs.

        1. Actully, no, there is no possibility. None.

          Who is this “they” you’re talking about? A mediocre local writer, and one national guy who has a well deserved reputation for being an idiot. There are LOTS of writers, local and national, who have been (correctly) a lot more skeptical about deals for Phillies players, Hamels included.

          Look, Bowden, despite his history, is pretty clearly – not just from this, but from his body of work – NOT plugged in to major league organizations. He’s a guy who has a good gig because of his history and is coasting on that. Pretty clear that he never talks to any of the decision makers. Whereas many writers, not having his history, have to WORK at their jobs. Which means, among other things, having sources in major league organizations. And THOSE guys, the guys who are plugged in, aren’t suggesting for a second that any of these fantasy proposals are even a remote possibility.

          1. Let me be clear on this: there are writers whom I respect, and whom, if THEY floated an idea like this, I would sit up and take notice. Bowden isn’t one of them.

            Realize also the form of the column (again typical of Bowden). He’s not passing on rumors. He basically sat down and imagined 5 deals which he thinks should be made. He’s an embarrassment, and putting any credence in anything he says is … embarrassing.

            1. Please answer these questions:
              1. Since you state elsewhere that Beane, a smart man, overpaid for Samardzija, wouldn’t you agree that, under the right circumstances, just about all GMs would overpay for the right fit? If not, which specific GMs would not overpay?
              2. Do you agree that any greater trade value that Samardzija might have over a healthy Cliff Lee could be eliminated by cash? If not, please explain.
              3. Do you agree that a healthy Cliff Lee, another Phillies’ starter other than Hamels, and cash would be more a better package than Samardzija and Hammel? If not, please explain.
              4. Do you agree that Addison Russell is an elite prospect and a better prospect than Joc Pederson?
              5. Do you agree that Billy McKinney is a very good prospect?
              6. What kind of return would you expect for David Price if he is traded?
              7. Do you think that a team trading for Price would insist on negotiating a contract extension before completing any trade?
              8. Do you agree that trade-talk concerns about Hamels’ contract, if any, can be overcome with cash?
              9. Do you think the Phillies will eat enough salary to optimize their return in a trade of Hamels or Lee?

            2. Derrick, don’t have the time for a full response, but will answer #2, which by implication partially answers some of the other questions.

              A healthy Lee, with a LOT of cash, is as valuable or even more valuable than Samardzija and Hammel. For a team like the A’s, it would require the Phillies paying most of his remaining salary. That’s not happening. But what you and a lot of people are missing: overpays happen (though not some of the silly overpays suggested here & elsewhere), but they are the exception, not the rule, and they can’t be EXPECTED. Much of what I’m arguing against is EXPECTING an overpay (or, rather, not realizing that a given trade is an overpay).

              Of course “healthy” is a key variable here. One or two or three good starts probably won’t be enough to prove good health to most teams.

              In practice, the vast majority of the overpays are for young, cost controlled players (yes, there are some exceptions. Why? I could speculate but won’t. That’s the pattern that I see. Maybe that’s partly because the kind of cash transfers to make some of the older vets as attractive as a young, cost controlled player almost never happen.

            3. Larry:

              I think that, in the right circumstances, every GM would overpay for the right fit. The “right circumstances” exist for a handful of teams every year. Thus, use of the word “overpay” is incorrect. It is more accurate to say that, every year, market conditions are different for that handful of teams than they are for the other teams. The trick is to keep abreast of the market and to have good timing. Since the Phillies are not required to trade Lee nor Hamels right now, a skilled trader would not make a move until the time is right. When the time is right, the Phils could get what you call an overpay and what I call good timing by a skilled trader. Obviously, since Amaro is neither a skilled trader nor known for his timing, the likelihood of a good deal for either Lee or Hamels is diminished, but the principle still stands.

              I doubt that Lee will re-establish his value anytime soon, so I would probably wait until at least the off-season to move him. OTOH, Hamels can be moved at any time.

              We know that these trades are possible because they happen. Shields for Myers. That trade was explained away as an example of Dayton Moore’s incompetence. Samardzija for Russell. Since Billie Beane was behind it, there’s no explaining this one. Pence for three prospects. Another example of incompetence. Holliday for CarGo. Another Billie Beane move, but he’s one of the smart guys.

              Points that you ignore are that a healthy Lee has been an ace for several years and that Hamels has been a top 10-15 pitcher in all of baseball for several years. Lee and Hamels are stars and are significantly better than Shields and Samardzija. Lee has been about 2 1/2 wins per season better than Samardzija, for example, over a much longer period.

              Your contention is that the big hang-ups for Lee and Hamels are the big contracts. My counter is that you can overcome the disadvantage of big contracts with cash.

              Lee’s contract, even with the option being picked up, has just 2 1/2 years remaining, compared to 1 1/2 years of control over Samardzija, who will be in his final year of arbitration this off-season. If the Phils sent $25 million in cash to the A’s, the A’s would be making a better deal by acquiring Lee rather than Samardzija (Remember that this subject was discussed long before Lee’s injury; so, we’re talking about what could happen if Lee were healthy.).

              Hamels’ contract has four more years to run. If the Phils send $30 million to its trade partner, that team would be paying $15 million per year for four years. Hamels’ contract would then not be a barrier to trade, but rather a catalyst to trade.

              You say that the trade proposed by Bowden would be one of the five worst prospect packages in the history of baseball. While I am not a Bowden fan either, methinks you speak in hyperbole. First of all, how long is the history of prospect trades? 10-15 years? Second, how many of those trades were for star players of the caliber of Lee or Hamels, who had that many years remaining on their contracts? Third, how much cash did the team send along with its star player? How many such trades have happened? My guess is the number is small.

              Cite, if you will, all of the trades in the “history of baseball” that meet the criteria I have identified and that have yielded underwhelming prospect packages:
              1. the trade of an established star player like Lee or Hamels, not just a good player,
              2. a high-salary contract with two to four years remaining, and
              3. a substantial amount of cash accompanying the contract that effectively converts the star’s contract into a well-below-market deal.

            4. Derek,

              More rationally presented than similar arguments, but wrong on every count. Basic magical thinking.

              First, the usual caveat. No one, least of all me, is saying that Lee (sometime in mid to late August, if he proves he is healthy) and Hamels (if placed on the market) won’t get a decent return, maybe, if things break right, a very good return. What I’m saying is that it’s absurd to take the BEST deals made over the past few years, almost all for YOUNG, LOW SALARY players, and pretend that that is the norm for older, high salary players. Not only is that statement true, it is obviously true, and, no offense, it takes some pretty tortured logic to argue otherwise.

              (1) All four players that you cite were young, low salary players. It’s easy to argue that putting cash into the deal equalizes that, but it doesn’t. Partly for obvious reason, partly because IN FACT those kind of deals aren’t made (no team is going to trade a player who is still playing well and pay 90% of his very high salary). But also because older players carry more injury and decline risk.

              (2) It does not follow that, because 3 GMS in 4 deals (yeah, I know, there were some others too, but the same principle applies) overpaid, that ALL GMs would. Basic logical fallacy. In fact, there are several organizations that I can’t imagine making that sort of deal. Boston and St. Louis spring to mind. Not saying they wouldn’t deal good prospects, they have. But judiciously, and not for veterans with huge contracts.

              And the fact that Beane made 2 of those deals hurts your case rather than helps it. First, he’s no longer in the market for a starting pitcher. Second, more than most franchises he can’t take on a big contract. Even if the Phillies throw in absurd amounts of money in a Hamels or Lee deal – say 25 or 30 million, virtually unprecedented – they would STILL be too expensive for Oakland or roughly 50% of major league franchises.

              (3) You can’t simply throw out most of the data. What about the many, many deals for star or above average veterans that didn’t yield an elite prospect in return? Are all of those GMs idiots? It is absurd to argue that.

              That’s actually the short version. But in fairness, what REALLY gets me isn’t so much the fantasies about Hamels and Lee. At least there it’s someone reasonable to hope for a big return. It’s the people imagining that our lesser veterans are going to get us elite or near elite prospects. THAT’S not happening. Even for Papelbon – who is,even on performance alone, only the third best closer on the market, and who, considering his bad reputation and contract, AT BEST the fifth best closer on the market.

            5. I thought I made my points clearly, but, since you have misinterpreted, I will provide further clarification.

              I have stated that a prospect return like those that I cited is not a certainty, but a possibility. Having Amaro doing the trading diminishes the probability of that happening. A GM like Epstein doing the trading increases the probability. I never said that the trades I cited were the norm. How on earth did you draw that conclusion?

              The amount of cash that I suggested be sent in a trade for Lee or Hamels was 30-40% of the salary owed, not 90%. How do you misinterpret numbers?

              I believe that you have said previously that the Shields-Myers trade was an exception to the norm and attributable to Dayton Moore’s incompetence. There was at least an inference that smart guys would not make such a trade. Now, Billie Beane, one of the smart guys, comes along and trades Russell for Samardzija.

              So, you were wrong. Smart guys do make such trades. What I said was that, under the right circumstances, all GMs would make such trades, even the smart ones. That was my reasoning process. It had nothing to do with an inductive leap that, if three GMs will make such a trade, all 30 will. Your arguments are not bolstered when you resort to the absurd.

              My guess is that, until the Red Sox and Cardinals are caught red-handed making such trades, your position will be that they are too smart to do so.

              My suggestion regarding the trade of Lee or Hamels is that the Phils should send cash to optimize the returns. Your response is that sending $25-30 million is an absurd amount of money, unprecedented, and simply, not done. That is not much of an argument. I argue for what the Phillies should do, not what they will do. I am not confident that the current regime will do the right thing.

              Regarding precedent, we don’t have to go very far. Need I remind you of a certain 2005 Phillies’ transaction?

              Regarding the absurdity of the money, haven’t you yourself argued elsewhere for sending cash in advocating the trade of high-salaried Phillies? Are you now taking a position inconsistent with your arguments elsewhere? My, my.

              Regarding the age of the players as an impediment, Hamels is a year older than Samardzija and a year younger than Shields when Shields was traded. The age argument applies to Lee, not to Hamels.

              I agree with you that there is a health risk associated with a 35-year-old pitcher that needs to be considered. If the pitcher were a FA, because of his age, a team probably would offer no more than a two- or three-year deal. However, since Lee has, at most, 2 1/2 years remaining on his deal, the health risk is minimal.

              (I will remind you once more that your argument about the potential return for Cliff Lee was made long before Lee’s injury. My argument is also about a healthy, 35-year-old pitcher. Furthermore, as I’ve said, a healthy Lee plus cash would have been more attractive to the A’s than Samardzija.)

              Let’s get down to specifics. I ask once more, please, to cite all of the trades of star players, not just good players, for a weak package of prospects under the following conditions:
              1) two to four years remaining on the star’s contract plus
              2) enough cash to convert the star’s contract to a well-below-market deal.

              Because it would inform a trade for Hamels, what do you think the Rays will get for Price, if traded?

              If it is not clear still, I think that it is possible to get an excellent return of two top prospects or even three Top 100 prospects for Hamels or a healthy Lee plus substantial cash; it is not a certainty. If the Phillies had a sharp trader at the helm, I think that an excellent return would be likely. With Phils current management, not so likely.

              When we talk about trades of stars for prospects, we’re in a gray area. You have argued your position with black-and-white certainty. Consequently, you’ve painted yourself into a corner. A simple acknowledgment that this is a gray area would be a graceful way to conclude this discussion.

            6. Derek – I’ve been clear from the first that there’s a gray area. We disagree where that gray area is. Put simply, I put the gray area at one to two good to very good prospects (more likely just one), you put it at two to three top prospects. BOTH of us are pretty dogmatic about where we think the gray area is. I don’t think you’ve advanced ANY evidence or logical argument for three top prospects being a reasonable return.. Certainly your examples don’t. Even the A’s deal was one very good prospect, one good prospect, and one lesser prospect. For those counting at home, that’s two good or very good prospects.

              Three good or very good prospects (evaluated at the time the deal is made) almost never happens. That’s the price for a young star with multiple years of cheap team control. It’s not the price for a guy like Hamels, on the wrong side of 30 (if barely) and with an expensive contract. Are there ANY precedents for such a trade?

              Whether “admitting” that there is a realistic likelihood of getting three top prospects for Hamels would be “graceful” I do not know. I DO know that such an “admission” would be a surrender to fantasy and magical thinking.

              We have other disagreements but my life is too busy now to do them justice, so I’m signing off for now.

              Except for one last thing – Lee. You’re forgetting the time line a little, and forgetting what I wrote previously. Last year he was healthy, and, while I was skeptical about some of the usual fantasies about his value, I stated that he could get a good return. Earlier this year when he was healthy I was fairly bullish as to a possible return & an advocate of trading him. I felt that his value (again still less than the unrealistic scenarios proposed here) was greater than last year because the remaining contract was shorter. All that changed with the injury.

            7. What optimizes the return for Hamels or a healthy Lee is the addition of significant cash to the deal. By doing so, Lee’s contract becomes a well-below-market, 2-1/2-year contract for a 35-year-old ace pitcher. Hamels’ becomes a well-below-market, 4-1/2-year contract for a 30-year-old, top 10-15 pitcher.

              Yet, you keep referring to their expensive contracts. Other than old-fogey-sounding, indignant blustering that adding the cash would be unprecedented and is just not done, you have ignored an essential feature of my proposals. I know you are not dense, but there is no point in a reply if you don’t talk about the effect of the addition of significant cash.

              Instead of saying that the addition of cash just isn’t done (not true, BTW), please tell why it shouldn’t be done.

              Please also talk about the value of multi-year, below-market-value contracts of star players.

              You have gone off the track somewhat again in stating that what’s gray about such trades is the number of prospects involved. What makes such trades a gray area is the absence of a track record, particularly in the form I have proposed.

              My reasoning for saying that the Phils could get two top prospects or even three Top 100 prospects goes like this, comparing Samardzija and Hamels:
              1. Hamels is better than Samardzija and is only a year older;
              2. Hamels on a 4-1/2-year well-below-market deal (resulting from the cash to be transferred) is worth considerably more than Samardzija, who is under control for 1 1/2 more years and will have his final arbitration this off-season (in WAR terms, maybe more than three times more valuable, but I digress);
              3. 1 1/2 years of Samardzija yields an elite prospect (Russell) and a very good prospect, but not Top 100 (McKinney); and
              4. 4 1/2 years of Hamels on a well-below-market deal should yield considerably more, which I translate to mean two top prospects (Top 30) or even three Top 100 prospects.
              I find it necessary to repeat myself in discussions with you: the return I am suggesting for Hamels or Lee is a possibility, not a certainty, not a norm. Since we are hearing once again that the Phils won’t eat any cash on Hamels’ contract, that would reduce the likelihood of an excellent return.

          2. I guess there is some fun in speculation but IMO why bother. Until a deal gets done you just don’t know. It’s not like these writers even if they are plugged in are getting complete and accurate info.

            In most cases they are puppets for a front office so good reputation or not I never believe any of these stories until they actually happen.

            Why would any GM disclose to anyone outside the organization their true intentions. Some nuggets of truth here and there but the complete story no way.

          3. You felt that Beane (the best GM in the game) over payed and that Bowden has no sense of the market because he is “clearly NOT plugged in to major league organizations” despite knowing the current GMs well and reporting for the best sports site in the world. However, you do know the true value…because? What are your credentials?

            1. LarryM is a blowhard of legendary proportions. The certainty with which he speaks on subjects that he cannot realistically have any insight into is comical. That’s definitely te best word to describe it. Comical.

              He thinks because his points are well-thought and because they are in a 500 word messageboard post that somehow they have more credence than the rest of us. His whole “GMs don’t trade elite prospects for proven player at deadline anymore” theory has already been flipped on its head by te Addison Russell trade so now LarryM is doubling down with his obnoxious, pretentious, self-assured drivel about what good GMs do and how unlikely a good Hamels trade is.

              His schtick is comical and ultimately uninformed

            2. anon….no need to get nasty….LarryMs been on the site for 5/6 years now and is style is what it is.
              Most posters have had their share of argumentative discussions with him, but try to keep it respectful.
              Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

            3. Except that’s not what I’ve ever said. Some people around here just don’t seem to know how to read. Or, more likely, don’t like to read my long posts. But as a service to people who don’t like long posts, here’s what I’ve said:

              (1) Teams don’t trade elite prospects for mediocrity. Even when you package multiple mediocre players.
              (2) MOST of the time when elite prospects get traded, they get traded for young, cost controlled stars or near stars.
              (3) Sometimes elite prospects are traded for older stars with big (market rate) contracts. But usually (there are exceptions) not MULTIPLE such prospects.
              (4) The very best prospects – the elite of the elite – major league ready players who look like potential stars – are rarely traded, and when they are, generally (these days, always) for younger cost controlled players.

              Okay, a few more points for people with longer attention spans. First of all, depending upon how one defines “elite,” there are three Phillies who MIGHT get you an elite prospect. And WOULD get you at least a very good prospect (assuming you can find a trade partner). But not likely MULTIPLE elite/very good prospects. Along with some lesser prospects. One of those players will veto any trade, one of them is injured, and one is (for better or worse) unlikely to be traded. And no one else on the team is going to get you that sort of propect.

              As for my track record on predictions … I’m not one to tout it, but it’s very, very good. I admit when I’m wrong, but that hasn’t happened often (here, anyway). Part of that is that I tend to be conservative in my predictions – e.g., you don’t see many predictions from me about how minor league pitchers will fare in the majors.

              Specifically with regard to trades, if you look at what I’ve actually WRITTEN, my track record is .. pretty much perfect. The last deadline was a big bust in terms of major prospects that changed hands. As predicted. Since then, off season and this season, there have been a couple – not many – well regarded prospects changing hands. And those deals have been for the kind of players who you would expect – young and cost controlled. As I have predicted.

            4. Beane overpaid. FOr a guy who is young and cost controlled.

              But there are overpays and overpays. The silly trade that Bowden proposes is in a whole different class than the A’s trade.

      3. Larry, I’d have to disagree on the contract. 4yr/90M or 5yr/110M (if it vests) is a contract that any of the larger market teams would jump at. Hamels isn’t young, but he’s been remarkably consistent and his best pitch ages very well. He’s about as safe a bet as you can have to be good through the end of the deal.

  8. I’m not the biggest fan of Kyle Kendrick, and given that this is his free agency year, I don’t think you’d get much of anything for him as a rental. Would it make sense to hold onto him and get a compensatory draft pick? Would he warrant an extra pick rendering the point moot?

  9. To get a compensatory pick for KK you need to make him a qualifying offer of at least $14 Million. Uh no you don’t make him that offer because he probably takes it and runs right to the bank with it.

    Best you can do is take whatever someone will give you now for him because he is pretty much not worth anymore than a lottery ticket.

    As for Hamels you better get a lot more than that if the A’s gave up what they gave up for Samardzija who has 0 cost certainty.

    At least with Hamels contract there is cost certainty and years tied to it. Its actually a very good contract considering his age now and how he projects to age as a starter.

    The better chip to trade is Lee and it will only take 2 good starts before the deadline and a physical. He won’t bring you a haul but for a team right there that is panic mode over what the A’s just did a single blue chip prospect would be a good get for Lee (a la Zach Wheeler for Beltran)

    1. A team that trades for Price will want to sign him to an extension before they give up a package of prospects. Price’s new contract will be for more years and more dollars per year than Hamels’ contract. So, Hamels’ contract should be attractive to potential trade partners, especially if the Phils throw in some cash.

      Granted Price is the more attractive pitcher of the two, since he is 20 months younger than Hamels, has a CY, and has pitched against tougher competition in the AL East, but the difference would be offset by Hamels’ more attractive contract.

      If the Phils throw in $30 million, the acquiring team would be paying Hamels $15 million per year for four years. OTOH, Price’s new contract would be upwards of $25 million per year for six years.

      My bottom line is that, given the contracts involved, Hamels and Price should bring comparable returns.

    2. Derek,

      Just to further delineate where we agree and disagree, I think this is plausible. Not necessarily right (see below), but plausible. I would put Hamels a little below Price, but not much. Lee. OTOH, ranks a bit lower than either (in terms of trade value), even if healthy.

      But I can’t imagine Price getting a return as high as many around here are imagining for Hamels. The most I could see him getting is a return comparable to the A’s deal. To be fair, a lot of national writers are speculating that he will get that. He could. But it is also possible that he won’t. The “he’s more valuable that the guys the A’s got” argument doesn’t work, because that’s not how the trade market works. Beane paying such a high price (call it an overpay or not) does not mean other GMs will pay that price.

      BUT maybe someone will. IMO it would not necessarily be a mistake. And someone could pay that price for Hamels. Again no guarantees. But IMO that’s the ceiling – no one is going to give up “3 or 4 top prospects” for either one of them.

      As for the value comp – you mention yourself the age difference. What you miss is that SOME teams WON’T want to lock Price up – some teams don’t believe in long term deals for starting pitchers, no matter how good, and some teams can’t afford those kind of deals. Those teams might want Price for a year and a half , then make a qualifying offer, take the extra pick, and move on.

      What you and others are missing is that cost certainty is not necessarily an advantage when it is a high cost for multiple seasons for a starting pitcher. Starting pitchers get.injured at a high rate. MOST starting pitchers who are signed to long term deals suffer serious injuries over the course of the deal.

      That believe probably colors my analysis – but it is a belief that is shared by many (not all) major league organizations).

  10. Yeah, you’re right, no way you offer Kendrick $14M…on the other hand, do you trade him for pennies on the dollar, or try and sign him to a low cost 2 year contract? It’s not like you’ve got prospects knocking down the door to join the rotation in 2015

    1. To many moving parts to answer the question accurately and hinged on other moves. Perhaps if you were to move both Lee and Burnett who obviously bring you better players in return you offer 2/$14.

      I’d rather not even though I view him as a serviceable #5.

  11. I’d add “trade Marlon Byrd” under the Sizemore to the Phillies move. Grady can play center, move Brown to right and put Revere in left, where his noodle arm won’t be as much of an issue.

  12. Anyone else notice the GCL messed up an org sweep last night. The entire org won with the exception of those guys.

    Things are looking up

    1. Actually, the game was suspended due to rain, and I guess it resumed this morning. They won 3-2 in 12 innings, so the sweep is complete.

      1. Sweet! That is a terrific Omen Mr. Cheezle!

        If you get the reference without the help of google you win a prize!

  13. I wonder how Tanaka’s injury will effect the market. Personally I hope he is healthy enough to pitch again this year so the yankees don’t withdraw from being buyers. They are a good team to use for leverage and they certainly need SP. I know they really like Lee so hopefully they get desperate and make the Phils an offer they can’t refuse. I really don’t see the phillies trading hamels unless a team like the Dodgers throws in the prospects the phllies want. I think they would really have to be impressed to trade him away. I’d love to see some good talent come bak for hamels but at the same time if they can’t get what they want for him Hamels and Nola would be a good start to a rotation in the next 2 years. I really hope they get someone worth their while for byrd too hes a nice power bat from the right side and is still a decent defender. Also LarryM idk why you are so tense pal. While some people may be too optimistic it is better than being pessimistic. Phillies fans can only dream up ideal scenarios at this point because Ruben has handcuffed us.

    1. I think there has to be a number that we give to move Howard, to a dh in American league. I don’t care what we get back. just hard to watch him play. in the field, on the bases, and at bat. if he is owed 85 million. for three more years plus option.. then maybe 45 million gets the deal done but only hoping I would guess. Listening to the moron on wip al morganti, he made one good point. there is no cap. so if the Phillies wanted to they could add a right hand bat in off season with the same team like a nelson Cruz, for example, and add better bench players, I saw yesterday that the nets paid something like 194 million in taxes for there spending. why cant this ownership pay for there mistakes?? just thought.

      1. Why would anyone want Howard for even the league minimum at this point?

        Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Howard gets released some time next year.

      2. Yeah that number is the league minimum. He’s got replacement level value, and its going down by the day.

  14. I still think the Cardinals are the best fit for a Cole Hamels deal. There’s been talk lately that the Cardinals are considering (emphasis on considering) dealing Taveras for David Price. If they’re willing to do that they may be more willing to do it for Hamels and cash considering he’s locked up for the next 4-5 years and it would fit in perfectly with Wainwright’s contract situation.

    I don’t think the Dodgers are going to make a play for him. There may be interest but they’ve put an emphasis on developing young talent to keep their payroll in check and there’s no way they would trade the guys the Phillies would want back in a deal in multiples or in some cases at all (Gordon, Puig, Seager, Pederson, Urias) and frankly they don’t need another top of the rotation starter.

      1. And this is what I’m arguing against. It would not surprise me if Hamels or a healthy Lee got one elite prospect along with some lesser prospects (though it’s also possible that no such offer will be made, in which case they shouldn’t be dealt). But “three or four highly rated prospects?” No.

  15. Good discussions today. I agree on the 5 things to do, they’re easy to support. Which trades to make and for what is always an interesting discussion though. Personally, I wouldn’t trade Hamels unless I got back a young pitcher who could possibly replace him and a guy who could become a #3 hitter since we don’t have that. A Dodgers trade with Joc and the young pitcher would have to be one to consider. Unfortunately though, our system is so bereft of pitching that we probably need Hamels to stay and be our ace for the next 5 years. I do not see the Phillies doing a complete tear down like the Sixers and the Cubs did. I do think however we could trade Papelbon, Bastardo, Byrd, Mayberry, and KK in the next 2 weeks. each o fthese guys has value to a different degree. I also think Lee will get traded in August after he shows he’s healthy. He makes so much that I don’t think they’ll have trouble getting him through waivers. I could easily see the Orioles stepping up and going for it this year. The Tigers too. They want Pap, the best closer available, but don’t have much to offer. Byrd could actually be the best bat out there this year too while KK, Bastardo, and Mayberry could all be useful pieces for somebody. It should be an interesting 3 weeks.
    I wish I trusted RAJ more….

    1. Some real good points Murray. I think they would be better off trading burnett instead of kendrick. Burnett is simply better and has more to offer. He has more experience and although he is not the ace like he was with the pirates he has a lot to offer. He can go deep into games and would be a really good # 3 or 4 starter for a contending team. His contract is higher but Im sure we would eat as much as needed to get a decent return. I dont see getting much for kendrick but who knows maybe they could swap him for a project prospect or MLB bench player

      1. Burnett to the Orioles makes some sense if O’s do not go bigger and try to get a #2. Byrd to Royals or Mariners makes some sense as well. What you get back is anyone’s guess, and they may very well eat a ton of $ to move Pap, but after listening to Monty and Giles, I will be shocked if Utley or Rollins goes. The future star of this team is not coming from this trade deadline. Maybe, in August for Lee

        1. Yeah I’m very confident Utley isn’t going anywhere. Rollins would get traded first but hes very unlikely to go although I wouldn’t be opposed to it especially if they got anyone decent for him. It would be interesting to see galvis play everyday at ss when healthy. He is certainly not the answer but sandberg really likes him and he seems like a good kid, he could bring some of the energy this club needs.

      2. The thing to remember with trading Burnett is that he’ll only play for Pitt or Baltimore (although maybe Wash also if they needed a pitcher). That doesn’t give the Phils any leverage in dealing him so we wouldn’t get back anything of value for him. I agree with the general theme that none of these deals will bring back super value but I think Pap and Byrd can both bring back decent prospects.

        Personally, I don’t want to trade JRoll or Utley. When was the last Phillie to spend his entire 10+ year career in Philly other than Schmidt? Who are the guys meeting this criteria in any of the 4 major sports in this city in the last 50 years? We are close to having 4 such guys right now (Chooch, Howard, JRoll and Utley – Hamels may make the list ultimately but who knows) and I think its to be celebrated because its so rare.

        1. Burnett and Paps could go to the O’s in a tandem package along with $$$$, of course, going south down I-95 to Baltimore.
          But IMO, cannot see the O’s giving up either Bundy or Hunter (?), their two top pitching prospects.
          I see two of the following six pitchers being available fro the Phillies choosing:
          Mike Wright
          Jon Keller
          Parker Bridwell
          Zach Davies
          Brandon Kline
          Travis Seabrooke

  16. Wow? Lets keep them and stink, but we celebrate. Sounds like something Montgomery would say. He is the one who wanted to resign these guys and now we have a cripple, in Howard, and chooch is on his way down. Rollins is a 230 hitter. but they played here long. sorry imo that makes no sense. I am not trying to argue with you but my god, I rather win this is a business.

    1. I tend to agree….different time different circumstances, but we kept many oldtimers in the 60′s and early 70′s and what did the Phillies get to show for it.

      1. Don’t people see – keeping oldtimers too long is the Phillies M.O. It happened in and after 1983 (hence the “wheeze kids” nickname), it happened after 1993 and it’s happening now. It’s what happens when business decisions are made by well-intentioned and loyal baseball people who want to hold onto the precious good times for as long as they can. I really do blame Dave Montgomery for this, almost as much as anyone else as I think he was behind a lot of it.

        1. Exactly……they will get honored at the Wall of Fame someday and have their day at the Bank after they retire…like all the long-timers have had.

        2. The 83 team was called that because they >brought in< a bunch of old guys, namely Perez and Morgan — see the SI cover that gave them the name.. And the people in charge in 1983 and 1993 are all long since gone.

          1. It wasn’t just Perez and Morgan, it was Carlton and Rose and Schmidt and McGraw and Ron Reed too – it was just an old freaking team.

            And I hate to sound like the conspiracy theorists, but it’s not entirely true that different people are calling the shots at a high level. I think that there’s a group of old guard people in the highest eschelons of the front office that, while well-intentioned, really want to keep the old players around that they love and they believe the fans love. These front office people – Giles, Montgomery, even Dallas Green – have been around for decades and you are kidding yourself if you don’t think they strongly influence outcomes on decisions like this. On top of that, Amaro appears to think like they do. So it’s the same mind set and, in fact, many of the same people, making many of the same dumb old mistakes.

  17. Good point about burnett but even if there is not a lot of leverage he good bring back something, worst case we just keep running him out there every 5th day.

    At this point we might as well let rollins and utley stay because we wont compete the next two seasons then maybe by the time rollins retires after his contract is up (I hope he doesn’t plan on staying) utley will have another couple option years and howard should be able to be released by then if not sooner. Maybe crawford, franco, nola and some others along with a pretty good bullpen could start putting a real team together around that time

    1. The more I thnk about it, the more interesting this seems. It’s not as far fetched as it might seem, but it would take more Phillies prospects (Quinn?), and probably a major leaguer (Diekman?) to get it done. The problem is the Phillies have so little farm depth at a time when they need all the young players they can get and such a trade would kill that depth.

      But if you did such a deal, it wouldn’t make sense without also entering into, say, a 4-5 year contract extension with Stanton (allowing him to hit the market again in his late 20s). That would probably cost about $25 milion a year, on average.

      I do Franco and Crawford in a heart beat, but I don’t think that gets it done.

  18. I would jump Imhof to Clearwater with Nola. The uninjured starting pitching in this system is awful. They need to be aggressive with a few guys. I think AJ, Pap, and Byrd may be able to net enough of a prospect haul to forgive the team for not selling Lee/Hamels/Rollins/Utley. I can’t stop looking at how awful the Mariners outfield is, and the team is so predominantly left handed. They want to keep their gates open at least a few extra days in October. I think they will overpay for Byrd. I also think Pap can pry a decent prospect or two from the Angels. Maybe money needs to be absorbed, but not much. AJ’s stupid Mid-Atlantic clause will hurt his value. I think the Phillies are ready to deal, but I get the feeling that the awful state of the division will keep them from trading anyone that can bring MLB ready, blue-chip talent.

  19. time to pull the plug on some players at lakewood who haven’t progressed, like l, greene and walding and move up some of the college guys on the crosscutters and gulf coast.who are clearly more advanced than their current level.

  20. Phillies now win 5 in a row knock out Zimmerman . Pap, Byrd, Kk to yanks for O’B rien. That will give Ruf and Sizemore and opening . plus Dugan can be moved up and that up a spot I Reading.

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