156 thoughts on “Justin De Fratus promoted to Lehigh Valley

  1. On the Phillies pregame, the Phillies stated this was coming soon and expect him to make it to the majors this year. Yes, would love to see him or Schwim take the place of Baez.

    1. Maybe it’s the 19 inning game but I have a soft spot for Baez now and I heard he’s a good mentor. Now if they were to take Romero’s spot I could not argue that.

      1. I’m in favor of one of them beating out Baez, because the Phillies really don’t use Baez. If you’re not going to trust that spot in the bullpen, might as well be a young kid with some talent who should get better, not someone that’s never going to be playing for the Phillies in 2012.

  2. Defratus more 91-93 Keep his ball low and works fast.
    Have seen him 4 or 5 times. Matheson moved to the rotation apparently.

    1. Is this on the Reading gun? I saw DeFratus earlier in the year and he was hitting 92 on the Reading gun which is probably 94 or 95.

  3. If Worley really starts Saturday and does well and one or two of the young relievers comes up, then suddenly we have the basis of a future young pitching staff. With Bastardo and Stutes teaming up so well Conteras and Baez are immaterial.

    1. You’re pretty much saying “we will have enough pitching.” Shall I haul out the cliche here? 🙂

      1. Personally I like pitchers who can actually pitch.

  4. One thing is conteras still is a valuable veteran for the bullpen imo. but would love to see us replace romero,still say it what good is a loogy who cant get out lefthanders out and just keeps walking batters. and baez must go too.

  5. Robert, where did you here Mathieson going to the rotation? Doesn’t make sense as he has been closing for them, he is really not stretched out, and his injury history.

    1. All of these moves, with the possible exception of Aumont appear to be well-timed (I’m not saying the Aumont move is a mistake, only that I’m not too sure it’s the right thing at this point – if it were me, I might have given it another couple of months but, admittedly, I’m not the person watching what he does every day).

      As for Overbeck, by bringing him up to AAA right now, the Phillies will have a legitimate opportunity to determine, prior to the July 31 trade deadline if he can be a late season call-up to provide an extra right-handed bat off the bench. And, if he does well, they can also showcase him for a trade (by the way, I think part, but certainly not all, of the motivation for timing of at least some of these promotions is to showcase players for trade deadline deals). I still have not made up my mind about Overbeck. His age makes him a bit of a mystery. He is on the older side, does not hit for the best batting average and does not appear to have great plate discipline. But his power is becoming prodigious and appears to be burgeoning. Also, it’s true that he just turned 25, but, you know, if he had born only a few months later, he’d be in his age 24 year and we might not be fixated quite as much on this issue. It is also noteworthy that his first full season was marred by a nagging injury, so that delayed him as well. On the whole, the statistical and age factors would suggest that he won’t amount to much more than a power bat off the bench in the big leagues, but there’s still a chance that he could become something better than that.

  6. Having DeFratus and Aumont in AAA is insurance against Madson leaving this offseason for big bucks. I think DeFratus will be up once rosters expand in September.

    1. I’m not sure what you mean – you think DeFratus or Aumont could be our closer next year? I would hope the Phils pay Madson the big bucks to ensure that does not happen. I could *maybe* buy the argument that the Phils think Stutes or Bastardo could handle the closer role and DeFratus and Aumont are being groomed to step into their set up roles. But even then the Phils are taking a fairly big risk that Stutes/Bastardo can be a championship-quality closer. It is conceivable; it just seems like we are the team that would be paying big bucks for a closer while the Pirates/Marlins/Royals of the world would be the ones trying out young guys in that role.

      1. He is implying that Bastardo becomes the closer. Stutes becomes the set up guy. Gazurski (haha) becomes the loogy. Defratus, Aumont, Schwim, Carpenter, etc fill out the bullpen. Its not exactly outrageous considering how unhittable Bastardo has become.

        1. Also, Jayson Stark thinks they are gonna get hamels done for like 20 million a year at 5 years. Im not sure that leaves any money left for Madsen or Rollins.

  7. Its setting up for some very stiff competition for bullpen roles in 2012. Should be 2-3 spots open that these guys will compete for.

    Phillies should have a good, young, and cheap pen for the next few years..

  8. 2012 Bullpen

    Madson (hopefully)
    De Frautus

    That bullpen is sick. (although another lefty would be nice) That being said, I can see them letting Madson go rather than throw ridiculous money at him and let the young guys battle it out for the close role. Worst case senero is that no one steps up and they trade for a veteran reliever, July 31, 2012. Glad these guys are moving up to LV and hope they all get their feet wet in September.

    1. I would be shocked if the team did not sign Madson, although, given the depth of the bullpen talent on the club, it probably would not have a gigantic impact on the success of the team.

      If I were a betting man, I would bet that you are going to see a pretty significant trade for a position player sometime within the next year. Expect the team to include at least one and perhaps two, of these young relief pitchers in this trade, along with one of the young gun starters not named Cosart or Biddle (those guys aren’t going anywhere).

      1. 1. if you believe the Phillies won’t go over the luxary tax, there will not be a major trade this year… only scenarios where that is true is if Lidge comes back and is stellar and they trade him; Or Blanton. in either scenario, we’ll get back prospects.

        2. if one of these bullpen guys is to be used in a trade in the near term it will be for a power hitting outfielder off the bench

        3. i think Cosart, Biddle, and Singleton are not and will not be in play for a trade, a la Dom Brown.

        4. I have begun to entertain the same thought about Madson… he walks, a few compensatory picks come our way… and others fill in… Contreras, DeFratus, Bastardo etc. This would also provide more salary flexibility for the Phillies to address other needs… like. starting OF.

      2. I agree that the Phils will sign Madson, and I also agree that, once they do, the bullpen should be a strong point for some time.

        Regarding a trade for a position player, ideally, it’s a right-handed slugging third baseman. I am optimistic that the Phils will be able to handle their long-term outfield needs from within the organization. I also think that Rollins, Utley and Howard will be around for a few more years.

        The Phils have a long-term need for a 3B and a short-term need for a LF. My guess is that there is no need for a full-time replacement at SS, 2B or 1B until 2015 or so. I would like to see the team upgrade their infield bench guy. Given the health issues at SS, 3B and 2B, we need a much better bench guy than Valdez as the first option.

        I also think we can stick with Ruiz for a couple more years at C, but I think we will need his replacement before Rollins’ or Utley’s.

        Hopefully, this year’s draft will produce one or two position-player replacements.

        1. Agree 100% with everything you wrote, with the possible exception of your comment on Ruiz. I see him going until 2015, at least, like the rest of the infield.

      3. I agree. But probably not until after next season. While Polonco is awesome right now, I wouldnt be surprised to see to phils go after a guy like Evan Longoria before the 2013 season begins.

        1. Yeah, please don’t start with Longo/Zimmerman talk. They WON’T be available unless you want to give your whole farm. However, David Wright will be available. I could see that.

          1. Wright would look right (sorry, couldn’t help myself) in red pinstripes. If he were being drafted, he would be a classic Phils pick. A former stud coming off of a down year.

    2. Contretras will be in the bullpen in 2012.. If Madson doesn’t sign I’d expect the Phillies to use him as the closer.

    3. Would be nice, but I can’t see them going with five “kids”–UC likes his veteran relievers–and as someone already noted, Contreras will be back next year (signed for two years this past season). I would expect another LOOGY to be on board, so you’d be looking at Madson/Contreras/Bastardo/Stutes/Vet. LOOGY, with two spots open for kids. Of course, as we’ve already seen this season, injuries and ineffectiveness in the bullpen will ensure that anyone pitching well enough in the high minors will get at least a shot.

      1. I can Charlie doesn’t call the shots. If Madson and Boras want some ridculous number I have to believe RA will be completely comfortable letting him walk. Besides Charlie has warmed up nicely to Stutes and Bastardo.

        Most of this years money will be flowing into Cole Hamel’s pockets so they will have to save somewhere. May as well be in the bullpen.

      2. I agree wholeheartedly with Rich. I think there are 3 vets in the pen next year (Madson, Contreras, vet loggy) which leaves 4 spots. I think Bastardo and Stutes are locks. I think Herndon could be the long man and maybe DeFratus or Schwimmer take the last spot.

        Unfortunately, I think Mathieson and Zagurski will be done in the Philly organization next season unless they agree to stick around as minor league free agents. Both are out of options for next season. Maybe they make it into camp on the 40 man roster next season to see if they can make the big club but it wouldn’t shock me if they were released at the end of this season to make room for new 40 man additions over the offseason.

        As an aside, I think Kendrick is an intriguing case. He’s actually pitching fairly well this season which means he could receive an increase next season if he goes to arbitration. I think he’s earning $2M this year. No way do I think the Phils pay him more than that to be in the pen next season but possibly they do if he’s the 4th or 5th starter.

        1. Kendrick has been ridiculously BABIP lucky this season, with the possible exception of yesterday’s 5K outing. He’s due for some regression in the future.

  9. And I really don’t expect Bastardo to be traded – they have no replacement for him anywhere on the horizon and, hell, he’s good!

  10. really cool to see such a strong pipeline of bullpen arms. helps the finances of the big club so much.

  11. Ideally, re-signing Madson would be the best bet. Although at this case, 3 years, $27M would likely be the minimum to get it done. Not sure if Manuel is going to hand over the closer role to Bastardo with such limited experience. I think Contreras gets first crack at it, with Bastardo as the 8th inning guy and Stutes as the 7th inning guy. If Contreras falters (or gets hurt), Bastardo gets it. As good as Bastardo has been, this is really his first year of true dominance, hopefully it will continue.

  12. Rollins to me is not going to resign for the type of money the phillies will offered. imo he goes to west coast. who takes his place is a mystery to me. But if the reports , i have seen are true he is looking for 15 million a year .if he goes to 10 for three years maybe the phillies do that but dont believe he will.

    1. JRoll wants $15M a year? Seriously? He’s my boy but nobody is going to give him that. 3 years, $30M is the max.

    2. What reports are you referring to? I have seen speculation from commenters like us and maybe some media bloggers, but that shouldn’t be taken seriously. Rollins should get a market-rate deal, but I doubt that rate is $15 million per.

      1. I’ve seen several reports from media figures north of 10 million per year, though I have no links handy. Simple fact is that there aren’t enough quality SS to go around. Take a look at the regular shortstops this year – some pretty bad ones out there. Assume he is the second best FA SS this off season – I think he will be if he tests the market – if (say) 10 teams are looking for SS – I think it will be at least that many – simple supply and demand suggests he gets a pretty hefty contract.

        I don’t think he goes for 15 million per year, but I would not be shocked to see 3/39. But keep in mind that there is another factor here – even if he doesn’t get that much, if he thanks he will get that much, he could decide to test the waters. Once he does that, all bets are off.

    3. He’s not going to get 15 million a year from any team. There’s been speculation that it would take 3 years and 39 million from various major league sources. (not mine obviously, I think Buster Olney had this story?) I think that offer is fair given the lack of talent out there at the short stop position. He still has some pop, and for my money is the best defensive shortstop in either league.

    4. Can you say “Jose Reyes” … how good would he look in a Phillies uniform. I hate him in a Met’s uniform, but he would look dashing in red and white pinstripes. If we could talk the Mets out of David Wright, we would even better yet. I am pretty sure Reyes is an unrestricted free agent.

      1. First of all, Reyes is having a crazy year, so he’ll cost some serious coin, at least $15M per year. And don’t think it’ll only be for 3 years. Second of all, he has been very injury prone in the past. You have to wonder about the coincidence of Reyes being healthy and having an MVP type season during his walk year…

      2. Unless the Phillies dramatically increase their payroll (and given that they are now bumping against the luxury tax, the rate of increase will slow), Reyes is not happening.

        I see the Phillies having about 40 million, maybe a little more, to do the following:

        Pay Hamels (arb or long term contract, 10 million plus)
        Re-sign Rollins or a replacement (10 million plus for Rollins; Reyes would cost 20 million per year, at least)
        Replacement for Oswalt (could go cheap here – Worley)
        Corner outfielder (could go cheap, but could easily spend 10 million plus here)
        Re-sign Madson or another closer (10 million plus for Madson, maybe less for someone else but not much. Phillies maybe should consider a cheaper option but won’t.

        It doesn’t add up.

  13. 1) I think Madson is going to sign with us in the offseason. I know that Boras is his agent, but Madson just built a home in this area. Also, in interviews, he seems to have indicated that he likes it in Philly. Now that he has developed into a closer, the Phils should have no trouble giving him a nice contract. I don’t think it’s wise to have a bullpen full of kids. Contreras will be here and I think we should have Madson as the anchor. Let Lidge walk or trade him for prospects if other teams believe he still has any bullets left.
    2) I don’t want the Phils to make any major trades this season. First, they are in debt. Second, if someone is brought in, someone else has to go. A power-hitting third baseman would knock off Polanco, and I think Polanco is an important part of this team’s success. He is doing well, so why mess it up? The same goes for the rest of the starting eight. The only moves I would consider are trading Blanton and/or Lidge for prospects and trimming off some of the fat in the bullpen- Baez, Romero.

    1. I hope you are right about Madson. Predictions regarding his potential contract are all over the map. If the high end predictions are accurate – and I tend to think they are – then the only way the Phillies keep him is (a) a huge hometown discount, or (b) massively overpaying him (in that IMO closers with market contracts are significantly overpaid).

      But maybe I’m wrong about the market, or maybe he will give a huge hometown discount. Hope I’m wrong.

      1. With all the other needs and commitments, no way re-signing Madson is automatic. It says here that only happens with a max 3 year deal (probably less time than he wants) with a hometown discount. There are several quality closers available as UFAs and the demand to sign them will not be as great as normal due to the fact that most of the teams with the resources don’t need a closer or can’t bid on one. Witness that the Mets can’t bid on a top one and it is unclear if LAD will be able to do so either. The Red Sox, phils, LAD are the only 3 teams among the top 15 in payroll this year that need a closer next year and I count 4 quality ones available (Papelbon, broxton, bell, madson). The White sox may want an upgrade but seems doubtful. In conclusion, the Phils have a better chance at a hometown discount than normal this off-season with madson. However, you can bet the other teams will be bidding too. Don’t be surprised if we end up with another one of the top closers or none at all more likely. My preference is the latter given the needs on Offense as I still refuse to believe a closer wins more games than a decent everyday player.

  14. Don’t think any of the young guys are ready to close in 2012. Keep them in solid late inning roles, give them a chance to close once in a while. Hope Madson is signed, but if not, I fully expect Phils to get an experienced closer or setup guy with closing potential to join Contreras as the veteran core. Then fill in with the kids. Aumont being ready in 2012 is a pipe dream, IMO. Maybe a September or emergency call-up, but I don’t see him as being ready. He has turned it around, but still too soon from his troubled year and every few games he loses effectiveness.

    1. I agree, Aumont will not be in Philly in 2012. He’s still pretty young, and he needs the experience

      1. He may be in Philly in 2012, but he won’t be closing. There is NO WAY a team that wants to contend for the World Series would entrust the ninth inning to an unproven rookie. Not happening.

        1. Why not? The 2005 White Sox won with Bobby Jenks closing. The 2010 Rangers won a pennant with Neftali Feliz. K-Rod on the 2002 Angels. It’s not terribly uncommon.

          1. It is uncommon for a team that hopes to contend to start the year with a rookie as a closer. Perhaps I should’ve been more clear. 2002 Angels had Troy Percival (who still closed in the playoffs), 2005 ChiSox had Dustin Hermanson with 34 saves, and 2010 Rangers had Frank Francisco who was supposed to close but began the season on the DL. So, yes, it is terribly uncommon.

  15. saw a replay game of florida and miami. at the time martinez was hitting like 178, the announcer said the new bats, a injury he had and loseing the guys around him from previous years, was affecting him. he bunted one time to move runner, all i could see and still only on tv was he isnt very fast. but that is from tv with the naked eye. could be wrong,.

  16. If the price is right (both in prospects and salary), I am okay if they make a major trade for a right-handed power hitter who can play left field. It’s a pretty gaping hole for the team.

    1. Lance Berkman is a free agent at the end of this season. Not much defense, but his bat is still better than most. A two-year deal for Berkman would be sweet.

      1. Wow, people complain about Raul Ibanez’s production, defense, and age, and you want to give 35 year Lance Berkman a 2 year contract? And the last time he had a year like this was 2006, so you have to wonder what are the odds are he will having another good year like that.

  17. first i dont think the “reports” of rollins wanting 15 per are accurate…i have only seen that once and someone said it on here as an opinion a few weeks back…second the phils will have no problem giving madson “lidge” type money…they wont hand over closer to an inexperienced young guy when they are competing for championships…third i have a feeling kendrick goes in a trade this year…he has done real well but is a luxary here…imo i would try and trde kendrick and francisco for willingham…also i think schwimmer or carpenter get next crack at pen this year

    1. Willingham would be a ridiculous mistake. He’s hitting .235 and slugging .417 he is worse than Ibanez in the outfield. If you want that you can just recall Mayberry and at least you’ll have a better defender with speed.

    2. The Phillies will almost be forced to re-sign Rollins unless they can swing a wild trade over the winter (always possible). I’m predicting something in the 3 year, 30-36 million range with a fourth year option and buy-out. The team’s strategy, however, will probably be to have someone ready to go by year 3.

      Madson, by the way, will command a similar contract. The Phillies won’t pay Madson the money Lidge got. If Madson is more than about $10 or 11 million a year, they will offer him arbitration and let him walk but I expect cooler heads to prevail. Ryan Madson has always been a Phillie and does not want to leave – in those situations things tend to work themselves out as I expect everyone involved, including Scott Boras, to play nice.

      1. Predictions regarding what it will take to re-sign Rollins are all over the map. I’d re-sign him for 3/30, maybe even 3/36, given the lack of options. As much as I have changed my tune on Galvis, he is still no sure thing and won’t be ready next year, and possibly not until 2014.

  18. If Boras got Soriano $13 million a year as a set-up man, he’ll want Madson to get at least that much and probably more. Eric at Brotherly Glove has a good analysis of Madson, where he shows how his combination of K/9, BB/9 and GB% from 2008-2011 is equaled only by Mariano Rivera. The only thing working against Madson is the number of closers on the market, but that will also mean more teams without a closer. I just can’t see us offering another Lidge-type contract(which has been an albatross) with Rollins and Hamels unsigned.

    The Braves have done okay with a bunch of kids in their bullpen- don’t think Rube hasn’t noticed.

    1. Soriano has had a longer period of success as a closer than Madson as well. Don’t forget Madson is only 16 or so saves into his career as a full-time closer while Soriano had a couple seasons under his belt.

  19. I think they’ll have the money to keep Madson without a hometown discount. Keep in mind that he is making $4 million this year and Lidge is making $11.5. That’s $15.5 million total. Mariano Rivera makes $15 million a year, and Madson isn’t going to get Rivera money. They can buy out Lidge for $1.5 million and pay Madson what he’s looking for and it remains a cost-neutral move. I’m not sure of the wisdom of paying that kind of money for a closer, but if you’re going to invest in anyone, it seems like Madson is a safe bet, given his age and all-around nastiness. With a couple of big contracts coming off the books (Ibanez, likely Oswalt), and a younger and cheaper bullpen, the team will be able to go get a right-handed left fielder (replaced Ibanez’s salary), extend Hamels (replaces Oswalt’s). I think they’ll probably end up keeping Blanton, since he’s not coming back from his injury until late this year and they’ll need a #4 starter for 2012. He’s a perfectly serviceable #4 when healthy. As for Rollins… I could see that turning into a mess. But I think they should be able to resign him at something close to his current salary if reason prevails.

    1. Oh Hamels replaces Oswalt. Look at Cot’s contracts top of the Phillies page. It states that 11 million of Oswalt’s salary is paid by Houston. Contract is 16 million per minus the 11 or 5 million per it costs the Phillies now. Then there is a buy out. which is listed as 2 million, but I say it was bumped to 3 million when Oswalt waived his no trade clause. So the 5 million it costs the Phillies now minus 3 million buyout off the books when they don’t bring back Oswalt. Think Hamels will sign for a pay cut to 2 (or 3) million dollars? If not, Oswalt’s contract will not pay for Hamels.

  20. DMAR i was basing that off a recent buster olney report…i knew willingham was putting up good power numbers (10/41) however didnt see the 231….however my main target would be pence but after hearing amaro saying they are tapped out i believe they will aim lower at a willingham or ludwick

    1. It really depends upon how Willingham would be used. His BA would be higher here – ballpark effects & regression to the mean – but if he took playing time from Brown it would be a big mistake. As a platoon partner for Ibanez, he would be great. IMO I’d even marginally prefer Francisco in that role (better befense, worse offense, but he is already on the roster), but clearly that isn’t happening.

      As for Pence, of course he would be a better option, but much much more costly in terms of prospects. I was a Pence skeptic even before Utley’s return, but with Utley back and apparently the same player he was before the injury, there is even less reason for mortgaging the future for another bat.

      1. madson will resign, rollins unless he signs a 2 year contract is gone . if so look for the phils to attempt to trade for stephen drew. as for defratis his mechanics are terrible. he shows the ball for 3 seconds. fine for the minors but not the bigs. trading for pence , the boat is long gone. the time for pence was 2 months ago. btw how can u be a pence skeptic?

        1. Because (1) he would cost a king’s ransom in prospects and (2) he isn’t quite as good as many people think.

          As for 1, people around here are highly unrealistic about what it would cost to get him, especially given the ownership situation in Houston. At least two of our top 5 prospects, and 2 more good prospects.

          As for 2, even moreso given recent perfromance, in all honesty. Classic case of a player overvalued because of high RBIs and low BB. He is a good player, but not great. Over the past 3 years, maybe the 14th best OF in the game (and with a bunch of other players right behind him of similar value). Not bad, but not worth the huge cost in prospects.

          I realize there are a bunch of people around here who think that RBIs are increadibly meaningful and BB are virtually worthless, but those people are objectively wrong. Not sure you are one of those people; depends I guess on which anon you are.

      2. phillies have no option but to resigh madson. look for phils to go after s. drew for 2012. as for defratis he shows the pitch for too long. scares me. good for minors not major league hitters. btw how could you be skeptical about pence. unfortunately his ship has sailed. houston will not deal him. willingham or ludwig.

  21. I think a lot depends on rollins,wanting to go back to west coast or not. but some team will overpay for him imo. I Really could see madson walking for a big payday, dont want the phillies to overpay him like they did for lidge, and ibanez money and length of contract must be in line,no more than three years 27 for madson.

  22. Not sure if Kemp is an or arbitration eligible, but I’d give up a couple of these guys and a big name like Cosart to get him in the OF. Kemp, Brown and Vic would be awesome and the Phils would still have enough relief depth.

  23. Madson is most likely gone, Boras will sell him to the highest bidder. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bastardo wins the closer job next year. I sure like what I see from Stutes also. Ibanez and Rollins will be gone, one will be replaced with a high priced free agent (I think they go after Jose Reyes) the other with a lower level guy (think Jeff Francor type) The rest of the bullpen will be filled out by guys like De Fratus, Swimmer, Aumont etc. They probably will sign a mid level guy.

    1. Agree on Madson-Boras scenario—-Scott does not believe in ‘home-town’ discounts. That is why he is the best at negotiations.

        1. Back in 2009, $4M per year for a setup guy was a lot of money. There was no hometown discount there.

  24. count me as one of the fools who think rbis are incredibly meaningful…i believe i am not alone…hey wait doent howard make 25 mil a year to drive in runs?….and i believe it would start with cosart to get pence and the future is now…i cant let a few prospects who may be great in 4-5 years stop me from making a move that i think will help me win now!

    1. The RBI isssue is a complex one that would take much more time than I have right now to explain, though I think the evidence that they have virtually no independant value as a statistic (i.e., their value is fully accounted for in other stats, primarily BA and SLG%) is compelling once you look at all of the evidence.

      BB and OBP are a simpler matter – it is just simply irrefutable at this point that BB and OBP (more the latter, but obviously the former contributes massively to the latter) are far more important than the casual fan realizes, OBP being probably the most important single non-analytical statistic for a player. Pence’s mediocre career OBP is probably the major reason why is not the player than you and many others think he is.

      Any trade for Pence at a realistic price (realistic in the sense of high enough to actually get the deal done) would immediately become the second worst trade in franchise history.

      1. To futher clarify, there are still plenty of people in baseball who overvalue (IMO) RBIs. Agreeing with the makes you wrong IMO, but not a fool.

        As for BB/OBP – I still wouldn’t use the word fool – but the evidence is so compelling that there are virtually no professional baseball people now who fail to appreciate the value of BB and OBP. Dusty Baker is just about the last hold out.

      2. It is clear that you don’t value RBIs, and I would agree that a statistic that accounted for RBIs as a percentage of opportunities would be useful (does it exist?), but I fail to see how BA and SLG% accounts for RBIs. I can imagine a player who bats .2800 and slugs .over .500 but doesn’t hit with men on base and doesn’t drive in any runs. In fact, for a good part of last year, that player was Jason Werth.

        1. The short answer – and I realize that this is not going to satisfy with further explanation & evidence – is that, with a sufficiently large sample size and accounting for luck, there is no such thing as a player who “doesn’t hit with men on base” (or the reverse, the semi mythical “clutch” player). Moreover, even over the short run, perfomances like Werth’s last year are unusual.

          Now, you could argue – “I don’t care about the long run & luck, I just want to credit a player for his actual performance.” I have some sympathy for that position. But you’ll still find that for the vast majority of players, even over the short term, RBI totals can be 95% (at least) explained by two factors (1) The aforementioned underlying stats, BA, SLG%, and let’s add HR to the mix; (2) number of opportunities with RISP, which vary much more than people realize.

          That said, we DO have readily available stats on performance with RISP. To take this back to the player in question, Pence’s performance with RISP is right about what you would expect for a player with his underlying stats. Nothing special.

          Bottom line – whatever your feelings about whether “clutch” performance “really” exists, the fact that there is so much noise in the data (i.e., variations in number of opportunities), combined with the fact that RBIs largely do reflect underlying BA, SLG% and HR data, makes any kind of reliance on RBI data a sure way to mis-value players.

  25. Because we are all Phillies’ fans, we want the best for the team. That means an All-Star at every position and King Felix and Timmy to replace Oswalt and Worley/Kendrick. Ruben, get it done.

    Does this do the trick?

  26. I luv the idea of a young bullpen but there has to be a leader,so Madson has to stay.
    Rollins very chancy on living up to a long term contract.
    With the Marlins sinking I would like to trade for Emilio Bonifacio. Not a big time player but very useful and could fill in at short next year.
    BTW the marlins are making the Titanic look good.

    1. the greatest measering stick in bb since 1901 has been run production. rbi,s plus runs scored minus home runs. discounting rbi,s is discounting gehrig, al simmons, joe d, tony perez. cobb, ruth. gehrig was the only player in bb history to have 1 season with a rp of .300 [.303.] batting 4th. 1 PLAYER IN 109 YEARS. if you want to see how good the players were check mays or mantles or bonds rp. not even close. as for pence i would trade the top 3 players in the system for him without batting an eye.i believe sam soap above has it exactly right.

    2. fyi – Romero designated for assignment. The future is now. Let’s get rid of Baez too!!!

    3. Bonifacio is indeed a very interesting player. Wonder what the price would be? Yes, I’d like to see him on the Phillies if the price was right. Nice back up & even possible interim solution at SS if Rollins leaves.

      Nowheels, you constantly surprise me lately. In a good way.

    4. Bonifacio? Are you kidding? That guy has one decent year and you want the Phillies to trade for him? He’s only slightly better than Wilson Valdez, and the last time he had 500+ at bats, he had an OPS of .611. The Marlins would laugh their ass off if they got something for Bonifacio.

      1. First of all, you have to realize that the Phillies are really going to be scraping to replace Rollins if they have to do so. (Which is why I’ve said all along that they should do everything they can to re-sign him unless his demands are truly absurd.)Given the likely alternatives, I’d prefer a young guy with maybe a little upside to some 35 year old on the downside of his career.

        Secondly, he IS at least an upgrade over Valdez, I would argue a significant upgrade. If they re-sign Rollins or sign someone better than Bonifacio, he can stay in a reserve role.

        Thirdly, it is his second straight decent year, not his first.

        Fourthly, given his age and career progression, it seems possible, at least, that we are seeing a real career progression.

        Fifthly, he’s cheap.

        Finally, I obviously wouldn’t want them to give up a top prospect. But if they can get him for a B or C prospect, absolutely a good move, if only to get a cheap upgrade over Valdez.

        1. One of my buddies who is a hardcore Marlins fan absolutely hates Bonafacio. Straight from his mouth, he’s an undisciplined hitter who has no pop and doesn’t take walks. As a bench player, he’s ok, but as a full-time player, he’ll get exposed. After a hot start, Bonafacio’s stat’s are going down.

          1. Not sure how much weight I put on a fan opinion. That said, I’m not saying he is a great option for a regular – just a good reserve and a better fill in option for SS than we have now if Rollins leaves, and the replacement options for Rollins are pretty thin.

            His plate discipline is not a strong point, but it has been improving and I’ve certainly seen worse – 9% BB% this year is not horrible. Rollins this year is at 9.3% & his career rate is lower. He does have a little pop for a SS (yeah, I know, he’s played more in the OF this year, but he does seem to be at least an adequate SS and maybe a little better than adequate), and he has always been a guy who hits a lot of line drives. I think he could surprise a bit. He was not bad last year either. Not great, no one is saying that, but decent numbers for a guy who can play SS, and who most likely would just be in a reserve role.

      2. Ok keep MM then. No one said anything about Valdez. Bonifacio is two years younger than MM. He has upped his average every year with the Marlins and is entering his prime years. Two error last year playing 6 positions. The Marlins will give him up because he is going to get money. Trade MM + something (not much)(money). I believe in the best TWENTY FIVE players you can get.

        1. You are seriously deluded, who is going to trade for MM? He went in the rule 5 draft where 30+ teams passed on selecting him and giving up $50K. This ain’t fantasy baseball.

  27. It is very interesting to me that many seem fine with paying Ryan Madson more than 3 years, 30 million, but are not willing to pay Jimmy Rollins the same money. If it is a choice of either or, there is no other choice but Rollins.
    Does everyone understand position importance/scarcity? On Rollins worst years, he’s a 2 WAR player. He will probably be a 4 WAR player this year. Madson is a relief pitcher. He would have to turn into an all-time great closer to approach Rollins average WAR. For reference, Lidge was a 2 WAR player in 2008.
    Paying Madson 10 million per, at the expense of losing Rollins is ridiculous. I’d rater replace Madson with Bastardo or Contreras, than have to replace Rollins with Valdez or Galvis.

    1. Just posted above wrt to closer situation and completely agree with you here. I would have no problem with Contreras as closer next year as he is a damn fine pitcher when healthy (clearly a dicey proposition). But with all of the other power arms they should have next year in the pen, I am not too worried. The worst closer blows about 10 saves a year and the top guys blow about 4 yearly so the average guy is about 6 blown saves. Looked at this way, the difference between an average closer and a great one is not that much. I realize I am ignoring the games that are non-saves chances but the number of such appearances is small and the differences therefore also be too.

  28. Sigh. This is what we’re up against. First of all, runs plus RBIs minus HR is a hideous metric, much worse than even RBI alone, just a horrible, horrible way to evaluate a ball player. Any baseball professional, even Dusty Baker, would laugh in your face if you proposed that as a serious metric.

    Now, as I said, relying on RBI, while a mistake IMO, is at least a serious position, Ranking players by RBI (unlike the silly RBI plus R minus HR) will at least generate a reasonable list. But more specifically, your list of players proves … well, less than nothing. Those players certainly had great RBI totals, but you could ignore their RBI totals and they would STILL rank among the greatest ever. Easily. Based upon the REAL stats that matter. Do I really need to post the stats? Your mentions of Mantle and Bonds really help disprove your thesis – they are substantially better players than their RBI totals indicate.

    But if you want the clinching argument, just one name: Joe Carter. Almost 1500 RBI, 59th all time, and not one of the top 500 players of all time. Essentially an average hitter. Plenty more examples. Eddie Murray was a heck of a hitter, but not nearly the player Willie Mays was. Yet he has more RBI. And so on.

    1. Runs plus RBIs minus home runs used to be called runs produced. It always bothered me that HRs were being subtracted, because a home run is both an RBI and a run for the hitter. It would make more sense to take Runs plus RBIs, ignore the home runs and divide the total by 2.

      Performance with RISP is really not the same as what I meant when I said RBIs as a percentage of opportunities. That metric would have to take into account how many runners were on base, where they were on base, and how many were driven in whether by hits, walks or otherwise. A hit that did not bring home a run would not count. A GIDP that scored a run probably shouldn’t count though.

      1. Just to be clear in terms of tone, that comment wasn’t a reply to you. I should try to be less snarky to everyone, but I certainly am more respectfull of your position than I am of some other people’s, even while diagreeing with you.

      2. On the substance, I know someone keeps the stat you are looking for – I’ve seen it posted on Fangraphs – but it is, as far as I know, not regularly available anywhere.

        But performance with RISP (and to a much lesser extent, extra base performance with runners on first only) would have to be correlated very closely with what you are looking for, at least over a decent sample size.

  29. I think a lot depends on rollins,wanting to go back to west coast or not. but some team will overpay for him imo. I Really could see madson walking for a big payday, dont want the phillies to overpay him like they did for lidge, and ibanez money and length of contract must be in line,no more than three years 27 for madson. did anyone hear kruk today when asked about brown, he said to him he looks like he cant hit a fastball, look at the way they are pitching him. then sarge said if you cant hit a fastball it cant be taught. You can learn to hit off speed and breaking balls but fastball no, interesting comments,

    1. I have no respect for Kruk as a commentator. He was a heck of a hitter, though.

      Brown will be fine.

    2. Brown has hit plenty of fastballs so far…he’ll be fine.

      Rookies struggle…even elite ones.

  30. Hard to believe that Brown can’t hit a fastball given how high the Phillies have been on him, his minor league stats and the fact that he has not struck out much so far this year. He has been hitting in some bad luck, but I don’t believe that he can’t hit a fastball. What he can’t hit is a fastball above the letters and he shouldn’t be swinging at those, anyway.

    1. He’s hitting into some bad luck but otherwise he’s fine. Like a lot of guys, he has a hole in his swing high and inside. If you have to have a hole in your swing, that’s the best place to have one to be honest. Most pitchers have trouble pitching inside anyway and when they miss they either hit you or leave it in the happy zone for the hitter. He has really good plate discipline and pitch recognition and he’s vastly inproved his BB% and SO% this year. There are a lot of positives for him and he’s definitely holding his own this year.

      Any concern about his long-term prospects are completely overblown.

      1. I couldn’t agree more – Brown has a very bright future. I think, the likely worst case scenario for him is an above-average regular, the most likely scenario is a very good, multi-talented player and occasional all-star (basically, a lefty Jayson Werth), but his becoming a star is also well with the realm of reasonable possibilities.

  31. I don’t believe Kruk’s comment. Kruk is not a scout. He’s part of an entertainment business that makes more money the more controversy it creates. Dave Hollins is a scout and his opinion of Brown is much different (Hollins believes that Brown will be a star). As for not being able to hit a fastball, I believe that Brown has seen and hit plenty of fastballs in the minor leagues . Some of our own guys (Mathieson, Cosart, DeFratus, Aumont, Ramirez) have plus fastballs. This young Dodger, Rubby De La Rosa, was throwing 98. There are a ton of live arms in the minor leagues. I don’t buy Kruk’s comment and he does not strike me a bright.

    1. for 100 years run production was the most significant stat used by ALL writers, statiticians in evaluating a players performance including bill james, now we have larry with his self didactic ways discounting bb history. sifka your argument is interesting. btw if u discount rbi,s in the case of the players i mentioned , like gehrig, or runs scored, and go by ops the group of great players go,s much falsely larger. i.e 1931 gehrigs greatest year he had 184 rbi,s and 163 runs scored total 347 minus 46 hr,s. rp of .301. FOR A 4 HITTER! 1956 mantles triple crown year. 130 rbi,s 132 runs scored total 262 minus 52 hr,s an rp of 210. notice the value of rbi,s and runs against hr,s. and mantle and mays who i went to every game to see willie my favorite player were no where near the last great run producers, williams and musial. as for ops mantles greatest year 56 his ops was 1200. in 31 gehrigs ops was 1100. virtually the same but notice rp of gehrig was .100 pts. higher or .35 % just showing why rp is a much more indicator of a players strenght.

      1. From what I’ve seen, Bill James followers discount heavily RBIs. So I’m not sure what you’re talking about there. And just because someone uses a stat for 100 years doesn’t make it right. Do you know how long people thought the earth was the center of the universe?

        While RBIs are important, they are outcomes. I think you should be more interested in drivers of a batter’s performance (as best as we can measure). In other words, how does one make RBIs occur. There are a lot of factors that a player is not in control of… position in batter order; speed of players on base, RISP, # of outs, the opposing pitcher; the opposing defensive positioning etc.

        So what is a driver of performance in the context of a player’s at bat that leads to RBIs and Runs Scored? Drivers of performance would be power (iso), plate discipline (bb/k, obp), and how one hits the ball (e.g. LD% vs. GB% v. FB%). These might not be the perfect stats, but it’s what’s available.

        Use your eyes besides that. Bad players on good teams or vice versa really change the make up of 27 outs and the RBIs in between. There are a lot of hollow RBI #’s out there. Wilson Valdez (our favorite double play machine) already has 17 this season.

        Or another way to look at it is; given the same salary and age; who would you rather have… Pujols or Howard… and why is that?

  32. Clearly Stutes is a better pitcher than when he came up. He has absorbed and learned. There is no stat for that.

  33. Nice job Gordon! Good luck

  34. imo its isnt about rollins versus madson. its not overpaying ,any contract for rollins over three years is a big risk, I really believe, even three years scares me, he is still good. but his range is not as good as before and it will mostly decline more. in madson case I really dont trust paying relievers big dollars for over three years ,even though madson is young. But you talk about risk, lose madson and trust the job to bastardo or stutes who any one on here knows i love . but let the league see them more before y trust you teams success on two unproven kids. If contreaes comes back to his previous form, then i would feel better with stutes and bastardo closeing some games and being setup men others,

    1. as usual alan u add another pithy comment. catch 22 your comments about overbeck above were to the point. once again were being force fed zagurski like the past 4-5 years. unfortunately the kid cannot get big league hitters out. someone mentioned to me about perez at lehigh, never saw him is he any good, i know he,s a lefty, or so ive heard.

      1. you mean the world isn,t flat? i dont care bill james followers, i care that james greatly values rp. and win shares.

        1. Sigh – Bill James certainly does not value RP as YOU define it. He hasn’t said much about it, since it RBI+R-HR been taking seriously by anyone in the past 30 years – but I do recall he, in passing, making the same obvious criticism* that everyone else has made about it. Really, if you set out to purposely to design a bad metric you couldn’t do better (or worse, depending on how you look at it).

          James’ win shares have been criticized by some, but his underlying methodology with regard to hitting yields results very close to the results of any other serious analytical approach to hitting stats. And does so by ignoring RBIs and placing a high value on getting on base. James has made precisely the same criticisms of RBIs that we are making. (And defense of putting a high vlue on BBs and OBP.)

          There are still people out there who don’t accept the revolution in statistical analysis. If you are one of them, I’m unlikely to change your mind. But you cannot at the same time (a) be a Bill James fan, and (b) love RBI totals and not care much about BBs and OBP.

          *Okay, I’m being overly snarky, and I guess I shouldn’t use the excuse that I’m just responding in kind. Here is the serious criticism of an un-serious metric: (a) you have already heard what I think about RBI, but that’s the BEST part of the metric; (b) runs are even more context dependent than RBI – they depend a great deal upon how good the guys hitting behind you are. Of course getting on base helps – but we can measure that directly; (c) subtracting HR is the worst part – penalizing a player for hitting HR is perverse; (d) the metric DOESN’T measure a lot of important things. It doesn’t measure how much the player contributed to a run being scored – a player who hits a solo HR gets the same credit as a player who hits into a FC and comes around to score – and it doesn’t measure contributions to scoring that don’t result in an RBI or run (e.g., single, single, run scoring single – the second player gets no credit). There’s more, but I don’t want to write a dissertation. Basically the system rewards player who don’t hit HR but play for strong hitting teams.

          1. payroll will losing 50-60-mil. it would be insane not to resign madson. if jimmy signs for 2-3 at 12 per great. if not i go after stephen drew. thats 25 mil. left field if overbeck is not ready i go after ludwig now. singleton, no future here, and a pitcher. for those of u who would let madson go, remember r. hernandez. like the yankees or the phillies of 08 its nice to know the game is over after 7. btw rp subtracts hr,s because they are alresdy counted. cant count them twice ,can u.

            1. Payroll will not lose 50-60 million when raises of players on long term contracts are factored in. It’s one thing to have different opinions about prospects, but when it comes to easily checkable facts, there is no excuse for getting them wrong & you’re just embarrassing yourself by posting when you fail to do that.

              Now, as for your opinions, that’s a slightly different matter – but in your case, only slightly, as you are far and away the least knowledgeable person posting around here and your opinions are ill informed and moronic. And I’m bending over backwards to be polite. As for Madson, I guess that would depend on the contract price, wouldn’t it? If he is asking more than 3/30 they would IMO be insane to sign him, and even at 3/30 there is IMO a good case to let him walk. But at least there you’re in the real world. The chance that we could acquire Drew is zero. Heck, if you want to dream the impossible, why don’t we get Drew, Pujols, Zimmerman, Gonzalez and Kemp while we are at it. The Phillies would never lose!!!!! Your Overbeck/Singleton comments have to be a joke as even you are aren’t that stupid.

              I understand why HR aren’t counted in RP, but that doesn’t make it a meaningful metric. I explained why it is not a meaningful metric. Anyone with the cognitive abilities of a retarded chimp should have been able to understand my explanation.

            2. In terms of payroll, just to be clear, if you compare current payroll to next year’s guaranteed payroll, it is indeed 53 million less. But that’s massively deceptive, as only 9 players are included in the total for next year. Not included are Hamels, Madson, a left fielder, a shortstop, a starting pitcher, 5 other relievers, 5 backup players, and Brown. The 5 other relievers, 5 backup players, and Brown are overall going to cost at least 15-20 million, leaving roughly 40-45 million for Hamels, Madson, a left fielder, a shortstop and a starting pitcher.

              I’m assuming only a modest increase in the payroll to avoid the luxury tax. If the increase is greater, that gives them a little more flexibility but still not much.

    1. it,s nice to see u contradict yourself in one post. you are the master of circular logic. 1st their not losing 50 mil. than their not. are they testing you to see if you can mimic human behavior. btw just tell me where you intend to play singleton.

      1. They are not “losing” 53 million, unless you make the silly move of counting players who they control and who they intend (for the most part) to keep, but whom aren’t under contract yet for next year – Hamels (arb), Francisco (arb), Bastardo (arb), Valdez (arb), Kendrick (arb), Stutes, Brown (both pre-arb). If you assume that those players don’t get raises (and they will) – they are making 15 million this year, mostly Hamels – they are “losing” a net of around 38 million – and they need to use that 38 million to sign a closer, a left fielder, a shortstop, and either sign or pay a club controlled player for a starting pitcher slot, 3 back ups and 2 relievers.

        38 million, actually more like 35 million when you count raises to the arb eligible players (chiefly Hamels). 35 million, not 50-60 million. An error on your part of 15-25 million, which you could have correct by looking at one web site and doing some addition and subtraction.

        Try to keep up. If you can’t, stop posting.

      2. Anonymous, the payroll won’t decrease 50 million, no matter how you count it.
        The salaries for next year:
        Cliff Lee: 21.5 mil
        Halladay: 20 mil
        Howard : 20 mil
        C Utley: 15 mil
        Victorino: 9.5 mil
        J Blanton: 8.5 mil
        Polanco: 6.25 mil
        C Ruiz: 3.75 mil
        Contreras: 2.5 mil
        Dom Brown : 0.5 mil
        Lidge Buyout: 1.5 mil
        TOTAL : 109 million
        It’s safe to assume they will offer Hamels arbitration. That’s 15 million minimum. Oswalt has a mutual option buyout of 2 million. That is a payroll of 126 million.
        That is 11 players under contract. No Oswalt. No Shortstop. No Leftfielder. No closer. No bullpen or bench.
        Madson is not an automatic re-sign.

        1. When was the last time a contender signed a league average or betrer LF for 5 million?
          How likely is it that Phillies won’t offer arbitration to Rollins, Madson, Kendrick and Fransisco?
          On top of the 126 million minimum payroll:
          Rollins (or equivalent SS): 10 million
          LF (starting level OPS/wOBA): 10 Million
          Bastardo, Stutes, Herndon and Worley: 2 million
          Replacements for Baez, Kendrick, Francisco, Schneider, Gload, Lidge, Valdez and Martinez: 5-10 million
          That is about 30 million more in salaries. 126m + 30m = 156 millon.
          156 million is the payroll ASSUMING they don’t bring back Oswalt or Madson. If they bring back Oswalt, the payroll is 170 million, BEFORE re-signing Madson.

          1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see BenFran and Kendrick both non-tendered. Neither is worth what they might receive in arbitration at this point.

            This is not to say they won’t be back but arbitration isn’t automatic for either.

            1. Francisco is absolutlely easily worth what he will get in arb. Not a close call, and the Phillies are too good an organization to non-tender him. NEPP frankly I am surprised that you are joining in the almost cult like Francisco hate.

              Kendrick is probabbly another story, but if he keeps his ERA under 4.00, I bet he gets tendered also. I would non-tender him if it was up to me, though.

              In terms of the overall payroll, of course, it doesn’t matter a great deal; neither is going to get all that much, and the Phillies would need to pay replacements. For Francisco especially, that won’t be a major league minimum player or close to it.

            2. I dont hate him at all but Ben Fran could easily be non-tendered and signed to a new deal. Paying him the $2-3 million he’ll get in Arbitration might not be the smartest move is all.

          2. Mike – I think your off about $10 million, in part because yours is a 27-man roster. I think the Phils can sign Hamels, Rollins, Oswalt and Madson as well as fill the LF opening for $170 million.

            1. Sorry for the errors this morning – I think you are off about $10 million, in part because yours is a 27-man roster. I think the Phils can sign Hamels, Rollins, Oswalt and Madson as well as fill the LF opening for a total payroll of $170 million.

            2. No Derek. It’s a 26 man roster (including Lidge, who is on the DL). I didn’t add Madson into the total. In order to say there is an extra 10 million lying around, you have to identify who isn’t going to get paid the amounts estimated.
              Are the Phillies going to replace (or re-sign)Gload, Kendrick, Francisco, Schneider, Valdez, Baez and Martinez for less than 8 million?
              Are the Phillies going to sign Rollins and a Leftfielder for 5 million each? If not, there is no 10 million left.
              IMO, The Phillies will have to choose between Oswalt or Madson to keep the payroll at 170 million.

            3. THE MAGIC WORD KEEP THE PAYROOL AT 173. so u agree btw oswalt will not be back. i could say the phillies have 45 wins and some of you would spend 8 paragraphs trying to explain how they really dont. this is not a pissing contest it,s a blog. grow up. btw happy fathers day to those who are dads.

            4. I haven’t studied this as closely as others, but I think the Phillies might be able to shoe horn in some extra players by back-loading contracts, including a contract for Madson – he might get $8 million first year and then $10 and $12 million in subsequent years. And if they want to keep Oswalt (still uncertain), they will probably dump Kendrick if they believe Blanton is healthy. They really will not need Kendrick with all the excess pitching.

            5. The back loaded contract idea is one way they could possibly keep everyone but Oswalt. (as I demonstrated above, there is just no way to make the numbers work if Oswalt comes back.) Of course back loaded contracts could cause other problems down the road.

              But, again, the point here all along is that the salary situation is going to be tight – and in a tight salary situation, if Madson or Rollins ask for the moon, they are likely gone.

              And honestly it’s annoying that several people here just simply haven’t bothered – still haven’t bothered, even now – to simply add the damn numbers up.

              A separate point is that I do not think Madson is going to forgo FA for 3/30, however configured – he is at least going to try to get more. Once he is a FA, he is IMO unlikely to return. Maybe he discovers that the market for his services isn’t what he thinks it is, and re-signs with the team after testing the market. I wouldn’t count on that, though. I also think – with a much lower level of certainty – that Madson will get 4/50 – and if he does, it won’t be (and shouldn’t be) from the Phillies.

            6. Well, it all depends on upon how much Madson is his own man or how much he wants to explore free agency. Not every player who signs with Scott Boras becomes his personal _itch (although many do) and some players actually want to stay with their existing teams. In any event, agreed the Phillies won’t and should not pay him 4/50. To me, it’s still possible that the Phillies will neither return Madson nor Oswalt and will pursue a corner outfielder instead. But I think it’s just as possible that the Phillies try to extend Madson during the season and let all of the major contract issues just play themselves out after the season is over.

              By the way, in terms of back-loading contract, I am not just talking about Madson, but also Hamels as well as I expect the Phillies to approach Hamels’ team this winter about a long term deal and I expect them to explain that they need salary relief in 2012. It wouldn’t shock me at all if Hamels’ 2012 number is similar to his 2011 salary, with huge increases thereafter. Hamels has indicated he wants to be a Phillie for as long as possible, so I anticipate that discussion going pretty well – I think, like Utley before him, Hamels and the Phillies are pretty close to being on the same page.

            7. Well then it looks like we are mostly in agreement on this stuff, with you being a tad more optimistic about some of it. But it seems to me that the bottom line is still:

              (1) Things could get tight, depending upon variables that all of us can only speculate about; and
              (2) Madson’s continued presence on the team is very much an open question;
              (3) There isn’t enough money for Oswalt, unless there are severe economies elsewhere.

              I also think there are some serious trade offs with regard to long term contracts. Locking up Hamels, Madson, Rollins and a corner OF for multiple years, especially with back-loaded contracts, is going to limit flexibility down the road.

            8. catch 22 i agree about the phils knowing the value of madson. i know most of you remember all of the years sweating out the 8 -9 th innings with the dogs we had. there are some who say the bullpen is the most important part of a team. but has,nt it felt good not to sweat the end of a game. as for lf i dont think ludwig will go for 8 mil. and he is a free agent. fyi if you want an all left handed lineup coughlin can probably be had for a song and dance. a steal.

            9. I was going to stop enaging anon – but the continued reference to the fictional player Ludwig* has bested my resolve.

              I assume the reference is actually to Ryan Ludwick. And he is a guy that could be on the Phillies’ list. I have no idea what he will sign for, though I wouldnt simply assume that he would go for less than 8 million per year. He’s making almost that much this year & could get more as a FA. Beyond that, my reservation is that I would be very reluctant to offer a mediocrity like Ludwick a multi-year contract, and I have a sense someone will. Either try to sign someone to a one year contract – a stop gap measure – or aim to sign someone better (and hopefully younger) for a longer contract.

              In a way Ludwick is the last guy you want to target – a 32 YO (33 next year) looking to sign his first FA contract. But guys like Ludwick are exactly the kind of guy that’s hard to predict – some of them end up overpaid, some of them end up without a job in the spring & can then be had for cheap. If you can get him for a cheap one year contract, maybe. Which would give you a little (but not a lot) more payroll flexibility.

              *Could we be talking about mad King Ludwig of Bavaria? He’s been dead for a century and a half and to my knowledge never played baseball.

            10. My first four priorities for 2012 would be to agree on contracts with Hamels, Oswalt, Rollins and Madson. I disagree with the assertion that the Phils cannot keep all four. With some deferred money, I think the total cash outlay in 2012 would not exceed $50 million for these four in 2012.

              My lowest priority would be to sign a LF. I would not spend $10 million, maybe half that.

              Regarding the rest of the roster, I think we could pay the minimum to five bullpen guys and two bench guys for a total of $3.5 million. The other three bench guys would average $2 million for a total of $6 million.

              The total payroll for 24 players would be under $170 million. The signing of a LF would push the total payroll over $170 million, but not by much.

            11. I forgot to say that, if the Phils think that Oswalt is healthy enough, I would tear up the option and sign him to a two- or three-year deal with incentives based on innings pitched. This contract could also include deferred money.

            12. Off how? How do you see the numbers working? I’m trying to be nice today, but we’re not in an area now where “well I disagree with you” works. We’re talking about objective facts her. You need to get into the numbers if anyone is going to take you seriously. And the numbers just don’t add up.

              And Oswalt … include him and it REALLY doesn’t add up. Even without Oswalt (and his option certainly will not be picked up), keeping Rollins, Madson AND adding even an average left fielder .. the numbers work out only if you make incredibly unrealistic assumptions about how much it is going to take to sign those people (and/or regarding the results of the Hamels arb or contract negotiations).

              Just as a baseline assumption, keeping precisely the current roster, except replacing Ibanez with a better 10 million dollar option, would yield a payroll at least 190 million. That’s assuming 35 million for Hamels/Rollins/Madson, which IMO is an incredibly optimistic assumption.

              Now, IF my optimistic assumptions about Madson/Rollins/Hamels contracts come to pass, it IS possible that they could keep everyone but Oswalt if the payroll goes up to 175 million. The point isn’t that that is impossible – it’s that it, back to where we started, choices may need to be made.

              On top of that, next year’s salary situation is not the only variable here. Rollins (or a replacement), Madson, and a decent left fielder are all going to demand multi year contracts. Hamels could of course just go to arbitration, but the wiser course might be a long term contract. Should Rollins get more than 3 years? No. Some people think 2 years is plenty. Should Mason get more than 3 years? I say no to that, though some people disagree. But if the Phillies won’t go more than 3 on either player, they might be gone.

              Finally, saying that ANY player “has” to be re-signed is a long term path to mediocrity. Sometimes players ask for too much. When they do, a team needs to be able to let them go.

  35. First Oswalt is a cost to the Phillies of 5 million this season as 11 million of salary is paid by Houston, if you look at the top of the Phillies payroll page on Cot’s B>C. So ,, if he returns for next season at his full salary of 16 million it is a cost of 11 million to the current payroll. Mutual option, so maybe he doesn’t return. Numbers show there are mistakes in everyone’s calculations to now on this thread.
    It is indeed a fact that around 57 million in expiring contracts occur at end of season, figuring all non-tenders and no one returns. That is the way to start to figure, as you can not assume things unknown, and you do not editorialize or doctor the results while you are calculating.
    Contracts to be added on among signed players:
    Lee 10.5
    Victorino 2
    Polanco 1
    Ruiz .95
    That’s 14.5 in raises , let’s say, so that leaves: 42.5 left over:
    I say they do indeed non-tender all except Hamels, bounce Kendrick he figures as a reliever and makes too much, and bounce Francisco because Mayberry has more utility as a bench player, and as a starter they can find a player with more utility and they can do better. The other bench arbitration cases they non-tender and resign at minimum salary or replace with minimum salary (possible Valdez, Orr)
    Roster (unknown Salary in all caps) SP- Halladay, Lee, Blanton, HAMELS, Worley
    RP (OPTIONAL CLOSER) Contreras, Bastardo (don’t see as ARB eligible) Stutes, Herndon (renewed for minimum) Aumont (min) Zagurski (min) Mathieson (min)
    RP’ add 3 min salaries (-1.2 million) leaving 41.3 million
    C- Ruiz, Gosewisch (min) or other (min)
    C add 1 min salary(-.4) or 40.9 remaining
    IF- Howard, Utley, (POSSIBLE SS) Polanco, Valdez (non-tendered and resigned at min) Martinez (renewed at min)
    IF- add 2 min salaries at .8 million, leaving 40.1
    OF- (POSSIBLE LF), Victorino , D. Brown, Mayberry(min) POSSIBLE RESERVE OF) (min) or other min.
    OF- add 1 min .4 or 39. 8 remaining.

    What could be done: add CL, SS, LF for 39.8
    Forego Closer,, use Contreras mixing in Aumont, add Mathieson as Long Man, add SS and LF for 39.8 mil.
    Forego SS- use Martinez as Starter, add Pete Orr (decline ARB) resign at min. add CL and LF for 39.8 mil.
    Can’t see forgoing LF whatsoever, but if so add CL and SS for 39.8 mil.

    possible: use Contreras as Closer with Aumont or other min salary working in, use Martinez at SS, add LF for somewhat less than 39.8 . save some money for future.Or the only possible OF I see worth much would be a conversion for Albert Pujols to play LF. The rest is somewhat of a Motley Crew, and taking Jose Reyes out of the SS’s and if Rollins goes, same there, and the closers outside of Madson probably still cost alot, so bringing back Rollins and Madson might fly.

  36. I know people will say this is crazy but i wouldnt offer francisco a new deal. I rather have mayberry both are 220 hitters and mayberry is far far superior runner, outfielder. And if they can sign a decent leftfielder, i believe that i would let oswalt walk, and go with hamels , lee, halladay, worley and mystery man joe blanton.

  37. For the record, I don’t believe the Phillies will return either Madson or Oswalt. Oswalt is worth 16 million for 1 year to a team that needs a #1 or #2, but the Phillies don’t need to pay that to their #4 starter. As far as Madson goes, 3 years 30 million is too much, let alone 4/50. KRod, Cordero, Lidge and Papelbon will be on the market. There won’t be enough demand to get him that kind of money.
    The way the Phillies have set up their high minors with relievers (Aumont, DeFratus and potentially JC Ramirez) wasting 10-12 million per on Madson, for a potential WAR of 2-2.5, is silly. Contreras can put up a WAR of 1.5 for a fraction of the cost.

  38. To kind of expand on one aspect of my last comment – the real bargain free agents don’t tend to get signed until spring training or just before. The Phillies have generally been conservative in the sense of trying to more or less set their roster long before spring training. The result is fewer bargain signings. It’s a trade off, one can argue about whether it’s a good one, but I wouldn’t expect the Phillies to change their strategy.

  39. Well derek, it seems you went through the numbers, based on your 4:04 post. At least you backed off your position that I overestimated the total salary by 10 million. You’re basically applying similar numbers except for some reason you choose to ignore the salary of starting LF.
    I said the total salary would be 170 million without Ryan Madson.
    You said the total salary would be 170 million before signing a Left Fielder.

    I don’t think it is very likely they will field a team without a Left Fielder.

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