200 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 11-18-2013

    1. But how exactly should they go about getting “younger”? The really don’t have any prospects that both are ready for the big leagues and better than what they have already (the ones that do fit the description- Asche, Galvis, Pettibone, Deikman, de Fratus, etc. are already on the roster to go along with young players like Revere and Brown). They also don’t have the prospects it takes to trade for good young players (which teams are desperate to hold onto these days anyway). Plus the fewer and fewer quality players that make it to free agency are pretty much exclusively in their early 30s and commanding ridiculous sums.

      They will get younger one position at a time as propspects like Biddle and Franco, and possibly Morgan/Atherr/Dugan/Crawford, are ready but they aren’t there yet. The plan seems to be to try and stay somewhat comptitive until those guys are aready, or the system is improved enough to make a few trades. They backed themselves into this corner but this appears to be the only responsible approach in the short term. In other words, a bit of patience is needed

      1. Maybe skilled guys like Crawford, Cozens, ZGreen and a few others could push the envelope and come up a year earlier then expected….but that is still 2016 or so.

      2. It’s not just young players the Phils need to find. It’s young players who are good and who are starters either in the lineup or the rotation. Whether or not a reliever or a bench player is young or old is relatively unimportant.

        Of the players you mention, arguably none on the current 25-man roster meets all three criteria. Specifically, Galvis, Diekman, De Fratus, and, possibly, Asche may just be reserves or relievers. Pettibone appears to be just average. Brown is not a well-rounded player and may not be good enough for a contending team. In Revere’s case, I think it depends mainly on how well he plays defense in center. Even without any power, his hitting looks pretty good as well as his base-stealing ability.

        To be an elite team again, the Phils need four or five stars to replace Utley, Howard, Rollins, Halladay and Lee over the next two or three years. Hamels may be the only current star still remaining by 2017. In addition, the Phils will need seven or eight complementary players to replace the other current starters. Brown and Revere could possibly qualify as complementary players rather than stars.

        While it is desirable that some of these 13 starters be young (and cheap), it is not necessary that they all be young. Ideally, a team will have a balance of young players and veterans (Some may be surprised to learn that the 2013 team was actually younger than the 2008 championship team.).

        1. I don’t think we disagree. I personally don’t care if they get younger, only better. But the two are related- with the FA market being what it is, you really will need to obtain most of your “star” players from either your own system or by having sufficient prospects to make necessary trades. The point I was making is that they are, in fact, getting younger, piece by piece, and will continue to do so out of necessity.

        2. Not all players develop at the same rate. Brown’s likely to at least be a good regular and it’s still conceivable he could be a minor star. He’s the type of guy who might have his best seasons between ages 28 and 33 as he continues to improve his basic skill set. One thing I’ve learned from the great Dom Brown experiment is don’t underestimate the importance of early developed baseball skills and baseball instincts. I think a big reason that Dom Brown is still roudning into form is that he really did not grow up playing a ton of baseball and being groomed as a baseball player. He’s a true tool shed type player – raw skills waiting to be developed – and a success story at that. But he’s still learning that nuanced stuff at some level, which has put him a bit behind.

          1. Brown has had eight years to learn how to play the OF, and look what he’s done. I am opposed to changing the Constitution to give him a third term.

        3. ’08 included Jamie Moyer, who boosted the average roster age by like 3 years all on his own.

          A lot of young guys played for the ’13 out of necessity. The ’08 team seemed to use less rookies and seemed to be much more stable. Makes sense ’13 could be younger. I haven’t gone roster researching to see if my thoughts are true, but what rookies were used in ’08? I can’t think of one who played any significant time.

            1. Shane was the 2008 youngest starter at 27, FWIW, but only Burrell (31) and Feliz (33) were over 30 at the time, so your point is taken – it was a young and predictably healthy group. The roster also included regular bench guys aged 33, 35, 38 and 40. Then pitching staff “stalwarts” Moyer, Eyre, Seanez and Gordon at 45, 36, 39 and 40. The complimentary guys were older, which is a great way to get veteran leadership without having to count on those veterans to produce day in and day out.

              Or you can sign the old guys to be your starters and sit the young guys so they never get any big league experience, depressing their development and potential trade value. Either way.

          1. Their youngest starters were Kendrick (23) who made 20 starts the previous season and Hamels (24).

  1. @mds13, I couldn’t agree more. It’s a shame that Amaro won’t come out and say that and admit that. He needs to come out and temper expectations so that he and the Phils organization don’t feel pressured to make any further, stupid trades that decimate the farm system at the lowest levels, where there may be good talent working their way through.

    1. He won’t admit it publicly (for several reasons) but I think it’s fairly obvious due to the fact that he is only giving out short term deals (despite having money to go big) and not dealing the prospects he does have. I think he has probably already had this discussion with Montgomery who approved of the plan becuase if he felt the need to win now to save his job he’d have been in the hunt for big game this offseason.

      1. I’m somewhat concerned that Amaro isn’t done, and that he may still trade away younger, controllable players for older, more expensive talent. I get queezy just thinking about a Dom Brown trade for Jose Bautista. That kind of trade would be a punch to the nuts for the future of the team. I would trade Dom Brown, but it would have to be for a Rays-like Wil Myers for James Shields kind of trade.

        1. It’s an homage. You should take it as a compliment. And, I guess, also a location description thing. I mean, you had to know you weren’t the only Phillies fan located in the DC area.

            1. I’m in. I read PhPh to get an idea of what to expect from the Phils in future years, but I could also totally be that guy who has season tickets to a minor league team. It’s hard to do that, though, when I live a half mile from Gnats park and Bowie and the Potomac Gnats are the closest minor league teams.

            2. GNats not playing in a Phillies league is annoying. I’m fairly close to Bowie, so a Reading series there is def. my preference. I skipped out this year because I wanted to see Biddle and he was off that series and it was 100 degrees on Seth Rosin day. No thanks.

              I’ll mention it in the spring like I did last year and maybe we can get a couple more folks along for a game. The series is mid-week, in Mid-August, so who knows who will be around then. It could be almost no one interesting. Severino is probably the best Reading starter this year, unless Watson tears it up in A Ball and forces a promotion. We’ll see.

  2. In some respects, “Byrd” and “Ruiz” help the Phi’s get younger.
    While their 1st Rd pick is protected, their 2nd Rd pick is very high and signing an elite player would have cost them that pick.

    So they neither traded youth nor gave up any picks.
    More of a “Win a Few More Games” while trying to keep maximum future growth.

    Unlike the recent past when we lost sooo many 1st round picks and sent our youth packing for the “now”.

    I’m not saying the moves thrilled me, but I also realize that they don’t really harm the future too much.

  3. Both signings don’t bother me at all. Ruiz is a great fit for the Phils and AJ, McCann and Salty are all lefties. McCann is too expensive, Salty is apparently looking for 30 million, and AJ will not mesh with the current staff that is very comfortable with Chooch. Not thrilled about the 3rd year, but they could have done worse. Byrd helps to eliminate the loss of the the 2nd round pick with not much risk. He is an upgrade over what we currently have. So, all in all, not terrible. The upcoming moves will be the ones that make us cringe or smile.

    1. I generally agree with this although i think the Salty signing was probably the optimal move because he’s still improving and could have some big seasons ahead of him. But, like so many of these moves, the problem is not in the individual moves themselves but the moves in the context of an organization full of older players and without a bevy of immediate stars in the minors. It’s just a bunch of bad planning and poor execution. A few years ago, when Ruben was trading all the prospects in sight, the question was what would the team do for talent in a few years. Ruben had no answer for this either. He’s a really rotten steward of the organization he was given and now all of his poor planning, bad contracts and ill-conceived decisions are catching up with him. In a way, he’s a lot like Omar Minaya (sure, it’s easy to sign Beltran and Santana with someone else’s money, but you have to find value too), which is sad and pathetic. He’s certainly making Howie Roseman (one of the more unfairly criticized sports figures in this town) look like a genius by comparison.

      1. The Red Sox benched Salty in the WS for David Ross. David Ross… And now they aren’t even considering keeping him, trying to get Chooch instead. That has buyer beware written all over it. Blaming RAJ for Joseph having a concussion and missing the entire year seems unfair. RAJ had a plan but it went awry. The Phils went the extra year, as RAJ does often, with Chooch but keeping him is absolutely the right move. Money aside, and assuming McCann is not a realistic option, Chooch is definitely the best choice for the Phils for 2014. I think RAJ wants to get the team younger but the reality is their minor leaguers are not better than the older major leaguers. I’m glad they resigned Utley because he looked pretty good in the 2nd half and he’s still better than Cesar and Galvis hasn’t shown yet that he can hit enough to be an everyday player. None of the catchers or outfielders are ready. Don’t you think the team would look different if Dom was ready two years earlier and they didn’t need to trade for Pence? What if Gillies, Hewitt or Collier were actually able to play in the majors by now? It took almost the entire season for some of the young bullpen arms to figure it out. I think there’s a plan but the problem has been the terrible development of the minor leaguers and the need to go to Plan B and Plan C

        1. The trouble there is no Plan B or Plan C. Placing all your hopes on one prospect doesn’t work especially a catcher.

  4. It’s interesting to see how much some of the more “educated” posters on this site hate on Brown… I’m not nearly ready to chalk him down as a “one dimensional” player… he had an OPS+ of 123 while sporting a very low .287 BABIP. I fully expect his BABIP to be .300 next season with an average right around .285 while achieving a slight improvement in ISO from say .222 to .235.

    In short, an OPS+ of 130 is likely, and that makes him out best outfielder by a large margin, you can’t win baseball if you don’t score runs and the phillies desperately need his offensive output even if his defense is lacking.

    1. I generally agree offensively, but he really needs to improve his defense for me to be excited about him. Some of the blame should be give to the fact that they have moved him around but the time has come to see some serious improvement. It’s not that he is merely OK defensively, he has been downright awful which really impacts his value.

      1. I agree with you that his defense doesn’t pass the smell test, I’m not sure what to say about that. In general I do think positional value and defensive metrics historically were undervalued in the statistical community when valuing a player, however I think that pendulum has swung back the other way. and what we see now in computations like WAR is an over-weighting over those metrics. Which is partially why I’m far more likely to forgive his defensive shortcomings and shout about his offensive prowess. That said, there is nothing I’d like better then for him to become a gold glove right fielder! 🙂

        1. Except don’t you think they are still going to have him play left field? I hope I’m wrong, but I see him and Byrd each playing the wrong positions this year. I think Brown could absolutely be an average to above average right fielder over time if he works at it.

          1. This. He would be my every day right fielder from day 1. I think he can be at least average over there. He just seemed completely lost in LF- again I like to hope that can be partially explained by not having a lot of experience over there.

            1. I’m completely lost as to why the Phils choose to play DBrown in left. Perhaps they fix this when players report in February. And we still need another OF’er. Bourjos? He fits well but can’t seem to stay on the field. Still, I’m all for bringing in players who can possibly be moved for young talent at next year’s deadline. Bourjos fits that mold (JJohnson as well). I keep hearing reports that the Phils don’t match well with the pitching starved Angels, but I’d say Pettibone is a pretty good place to start. Perhaps concerns of his shoulder?

            2. I definitely want a 4th OF not named Mayberry. Bourjos will cost players while Rajai Davis and Chris Young will cost more money. A saw a suggestion of Grady Sizemore but you can’t count on him being healthy. There’s probably several other names available that meet the need as well.

            3. As I have stated in other threads, I am a big Bourjos fan. Yes he’s had injuries but they aren’t of the chronic varierty. I think he will hit more like he did in his last season as a full time player than he has in the his last 2 injury plagued seasons (though I think he was hitting well last season before being hit in the wrist by a pitch). Plus he’s just entering his prime he gives you elite defense and speed. I would be comfortable going into the season with Byrd, Brown, Bourjos, Revere and Ruf as my OF.

              I haven’t seen reports on what it might take to get him.

            4. Bingo – my thoughts exactly. He’s the player they should target and, to their credit, I believe they are targeting him. They just can’t overpay too much.

          2. I agree with both of you on this… I’m not sure how he even ended up in LF… the management of dominic brown has been some of the most incompetent management of a player that I’ve seen from the Phillies since I become a fan, it’s absolutely stupefying. Sadly he’ll probably still be in LF to start spring training.

            1. I don’t even remember their explantion for that (if they even gave one). It made even less sense considering that meant putting Ruf in RF- a positon he hadn’t really played either.

            2. If I remember correctly, when they signed Delmon Young, they envisioned him as the better of the 2 in RF; and after Ruf under-performed in Spring Training, Dom was moved to LF. Perfect time now to make the switch-back.

            3. I doubt they viewed him as better. Delmon stinks defensively, although he does have an arm. I think they negotiated so poorly with him that he demanded to play RF to sign with them. Then they were afraid to make another change on Brown in mid-season.

            4. I know!!!! Was putting Dom Brown in left and Ruf in right like the single stupidest, most pointless thing you’ve ever seen? A moron who knew next to nothing about baseball would not do that. I think I know why they did it (“we’ve jerked Brown around enough, we need to leave him alone this year”), but the reason is beyond silly when you were putting Ruf there, who had never played there before, was just learning to play outfield generally and did not have the tools to play the position properly. Really?

            5. I believe that’s the reason why they did it too, and I also agree that it was a poor decision. The team was out of the playoff race pretty early on, so it would have been a great opportunity to put Brown back in RF, with low pressure, and just let him get some innings there.

            6. Ruben playing diamondl chess again….expecting off-season signinee Delmom Young as a better candidate for RF once he became available in May 2013.

            7. The Domonic Brown Left Field Experiment began in spring training 2012. At the time, we still had Hunter Pence in RF and Shane Victorino in CF. It was their attempt to get Brown on the field since they hadn’t yet decided they couldn’t afford to re-sign them. They decided to send him to AAA to learn the position and went north with Pence, Victorino, Mayberry, Nix, and Pierre as their OF. I was at spring training that year, Brown didn’t look comfortable in LF. I think he jammed his wrist on an ill-conceived dive. It wasn’t a surprise that he went to LHV.

    2. I believe that Charlie had a negative impact on Dom’s swing urging him to swing for homers and to pull the ball constantly. I don’t think Dom is a home run hitter, he wasn’t in the minors. I think he could be a 290 – 300 hitter with 90 walks and 35 doubles and 20 homers and be a much better all around hitter by hitting the ball to left center more, his natural swing. That’s what Sandberg was encouraging him to do late in the year and he had good success as he pulled himself out of a terrible pull hitting slump. We’ll see how he does next year but I’m very encouraged. I’m not sure I care all that much about him playing LF vs RF. You’d think his arm would play better in RF and I like lefty throwing OFers in RF but honestly, his path to fly balls is still pretty awful in either.

      1. I think the Phils, and Charlie, coached Dom to be more aggressive when ahead in the count. In the short term, it really paid off as he started to hit the ball hard more often than he had before. I’m sure it gave him a lot of confidence and for that reason, I sort of think it was smart.

        But at the same time, if Brown is going to be something like the player we once envisioned him being, he’ll have to marry the ability to hit the ball hard with his previously shown ability to be patient and wait for his pitch. There were plenty of times last year when he was overaggressive and got himself out.

  5. It goes back to the first and worst mistake, trading Lee after the 2009 World Series. At least 2 players from a trade of a guy who starred in a World Series should be ready to start for you. There is your youth! OF, 3rd baseman, it does not really matter, there should be 2 every day high level players. Otherwise, never make a trade like that.

    1. The Rays trade Shields and get back Wil Myers. The Phils trade Lee and get back Tyson Gillies. Interesting.

      1. Andrew Freidman vs Ruben Amaro.
        Begs the question…who makes the better GM’s….former MLB players or non-former?

        1. This whole nonsense “you had to play the game” garbage when it comes to GM qualifications is complete nonsense. It appears to me that the best GMs in Philadelphia right now are not former players Amaro or Holmgren, but glorified bean counters Roseman and Hinkie. I don’t think Roseman even played in high school, but, sure enough, he appears to be a far better talent evaluator than the “experienced” guys like Andy Reid.

  6. I’m I imagining this or did I read somewhere that Carlos Ruiz will be allowed to take adderall this year? If its true I guess it can only help but again I don’t remember where I saw it (if I did even see it). I know it’s hard to get clearance to use it if you’ve taken it before when you weren’t cleared to. Cliff Lee uses it, I do know that.

    1. Ruiz actually had clearance to use it for years. He must have not filled out some paperwork and got bonked for being an idiot. He now filled out the appropriate clearance papers and is back to his Adderall ways.

      1. something does not add up here. If you were allowed to take the drug, you and your agents would not let you forget to fill out the paperwork to continue to take the drug. Ruiz made $5MM last year, so a 25 game suspension cost him roughly $750,000K. I just can’t imagine “forgetting to submit the paperwork” as the reason behind this.
        Here is part of the exchange between Ruiz and reports when he reported to camp last year:

        Why were you taking the Adderall?
        “I got caught two times, and I pay for that,” Ruiz replied. “Like I said, I want to put that behind [me] and focus on this year.”

        What kind of effect did Adderall have on you? What was the benefit?
        “Like I said, I make a mistake and I pay for that,” Ruiz said. “I put that behind [me]. I’m ready for this season.”

        When someone asked Ruiz if he would try to get a prescription in order to keep taking Adderall, he had an interesting response.
        “That’s something that’s private between my doctor and me,” Ruiz said.

        “Baseball has rules,” Ruiz said. “When you make a mistake, you have to pay. I pay my 25 games. Like I said, I apologize to my organization, my teammates, my family, my fans. I’m trying to put everything behind [me] and get ready for the season.”

        But have you ever been diagnosed with ADHD?
        “Like I said,” Ruiz responded, “I got caught two times.”
        I guess if I had ADHD, I would not want to broadcast it to the world. But, if I got suspended for taking it, I think I would come out and try to defend my name by saying I was prescribed to take it. The back-story just seems odd to me.

    2. The highest percent of any profession that uses Adderall is baseball.
      Even higher percent then elementary school children.
      Shane Vic has been on it a few years now…legally prescribed under CBA regulations
      Did not realize how mentally unfocused players can get from playing baseball!

      1. He def didn’t screw up the paperwork. He wasn’t allowed to use it in the first place bc he didn’t seek the “ok” he would need too take it. But yeah I swear I read/heard that he’s good to go for this year, cleared to take it without further issues.

    3. From csnphilly.com:
      “Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports recently cited an official from a team that had courted Ruiz as saying that the catcher has since taken the necessary medical steps and been cleared by MLB to take the prescription drug. Asked about the report at Thursday night’s news conference, Kligman said, “That’s not something I think is appropriate to address at this time.”

  7. The Phillies just signed Reid Brignac to a minor league deal. He’s a very solid SS who was once a bright prospect but has failed miserably in the majors to date. I believe this may officially signal the end of the Mini Mart era!

    1. some additional context from MLBtraderumors:

      Brignac, 28 in January, split last season between the Rockies and Yankees, batting a combined .185/.219/.261 in 98 plate appearances. Brignac was once one of the game’s most highly regarded prospects back in his days as a Rays farmhand, ranking 17th on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospect List heading into the 2007 season. He cracked the Top 100 in each of the next three offseasons but has yet to be able to piece together his talents at the Major League level.

      A client of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, Brignac owns a career .272/.334/.430 slash line in nine minor league seasons and has experience at shortstop, second base an third base.

  8. Midnight Wednesday- rosters to be set for the Rule 5 draft in December. Players currently in organization not placed on by this deadline will be open for selection by other teams. Also AA and AAA rosters must be set – but that is not of much import .

    I see, with Ruiz included the current roster is at 35, that’s what they say.
    Go along with what a lot of people believe:
    They can add T. Joseph, C, K. Dugan, OF, A. Altherr, OF, Seth Rosin, RHP, and R. Rasmussen , LHP.

    That would take it to the full 40, if none are taken off the 40.

    That’s why the hope could be they decide to DFA in lieu of a future non-tendering of K. Frandsen and Mayberry. If they are not planning this , hopefully they change it.

    That would leave 2 spots open for Rule 5 draft selectees, which they should keep open till December.

    If there are any MLB quality players they want to sign before December’s draft, Then they can DFA other roster removal candidates as needed.

    1. I think Rosin and Rasumussen are reaches for inclusion on the 40-man, but I could be wrong. I do know that–all reasonable objections aside–Amaro has said he plans to offer a contract to Mayberry. I think this is partly a commentary the organization’s view of Ruf and partly a recognition of how little outfield depth the team has at the upper levels of the system. I’m not sure they’d be able to get a player as good as Mayberry as a nonroster invitee.

  9. The Arizona Fall League wrapped up a few days ago. K. Giles continues to be a person that is intriguing to me at least. Take away one terrible outing (7 runners, 6 ER in 0 innings), and his numbers were good. Outside that one inning, he pitched 10.1 innings, gave up no runs, 4 hits, and struck out 16.
    He did, however, walk 8 batters (including the 3 in the bad appearance listed above).

    I know it is a huge IF, but IF he could limit the BB/9 (5.8BB/9 over his career), it would appear that he could be an impact arm.


  10. To get a clearer picture of the status of the Phillies’ organization, it’s good to take a look at other organizations. I was looking at the Pirates, for example.

    They made the playoffs this year, and it was no fluke.

    They have a young MVP center fielder, a young stud pitcher, and three other pretty good, young position players at the major-league level.

    The Pirates’ farm system appears stacked. Polanco, Taillon, and Kingham are three prospects that could be ready for the big club in 2014. In addition, they have at least six or seven more prospects with decent chances to become regular position players or starting pitchers. Beyond their top ten prospects, the Pirates also appear to have a number of other well regarded minor leaguers.

    The Phils’ future includes Hamels, maybe Brown, Franco, Biddle, and Crawford. The Pirates could have twice as many good starters and three times as many regular position players in the next three or four years. How do the Phils catch up?

    It’s difficult to be optimistic about the Phils’ future, particularly with Montgomery at the helm.

    A funny thing is that Neal Huntington, who took over as Pirates’ GM after the ’07 season, has been widely criticized over the years for his trades, his free-agent signings and his draft picks.

    1. Oh yeah? Why did they have to trade for an Outfielder and First Baseman to start at those positions at the most recent trade deadline?

      (Agree about the Montgomery thing , though)

    2. Yep, the Phillies only need to lose for 20 years so they get to keep picking in the top-5 in the draft and they will have a strong system too.. The Phillies organizational bashing on this site is beyond ridiculous at this point.

      1. You’re missing the point of my comment.

        Given the current state of the major league team with its aging core, the dearth of prospects on the farm, the limited opportunities that exist in free agency, and the Phils’ modest approach to international talent, it will be a long time before the Phils are a top team again.

        I used the Pirates as an example of one of the teams the Phils need to overtake just to show that the challenge is a formidable one. Once past the Pirates, the Phils have to deal with the true NL heavyweights like the Cards, the Dodgers, etc.

        If we limit ourselves to an examination of what the Phils are doing internally to improve and don’t look at the competition, we may fail to see the magnitude of the challenge the Phillies face.

        My criticism of Montgomery is that he is not up to this challenge.

        It has taken the Phils two years to descend from the penthouse to the outhouse. The ride back up will be much longer.

        1. I get the overall points and I agree with some of them. However, for several years while the team was winning division titles and going to the WS mostly everyone on this site understood that the team was going through a period where all of their star players were in their prime and mostly everyone agreed that once those stars got older, the team would decline. Now that they are at that point, suddenly team management is terrible and Amaro is an idiot.

          Yes, Rubin’s made some bad moves and he has his flaws but the team is where it was expected to be once Utley, Rollins, Howard, etc. reached their mid 30s.

          Whether or not people agree with it, its obvious that Amaro’s approach over the few years was to try to extend that period of success as long as possible by bringing in veteran pieces and making big deals for Halladay, Pence, etc. You can criticize that that approach didn’t work but it was an understandable risk.

          I do think the team realizes the magnitude of the challenge they face in rebuilding into a contender but because of the market they are in, they are not going to pull a Florida or Houston and blow the team up and become a 100 loss team while that happens.

          As a result, Amaro has to walk a fine line between building for the future and trying to put a competitive team on the field in 2014-2015.

    1. Where does it say “on the radar”? Looks to me like that guy just scans MLBTR to see who might be available someday. Looks like the guy mentioned just stepped off the boat, and I don’t know that he has established residency in a country other than Cuba or been cleared by the U.S. Government to sign a contract. Same way that guy took a half sentence from Ken Rosenthal, which was pure speculation by Rosenthal that the Phillies might take a look at Grady Sizemore if they were still looking for bench players, and that gets turned into an article also. What does somebody have to do to get on philly.com nowadays? Reek on the internet? That Ball’s Out’a Here.

        1. A truly stupid article. The Phillies ‘may look at’, not anyone from the Phillies have said they are interested in or may look at. It’s a story solely created by the author out of nothing more than 1)there is a new Cuban defector 2)the Phillies haven’t come out and said they aren’t interested, and 3)the Phillies signed a Cuban defector this year. Even dumber, more words in the article are devoted to explaining why the Phillies wouldn’t be interested in this guy than to saying why they would be. I’m all for adding $$-only young talent and would welcome genuine interest from the Phillies, but this is a zero information speculation article.

          1. Phillies look and shop at all the prospects according to the GM.
            Their check book however proves the frugality of their judgment.

          2. I’ve only recently been seeing this author’s “work” and have seen nothing redeeming or even entertaining in it.

            1. He’s pretty funny when he’s supposed to be. This isn’t that, obviously. It’s website filler in a slow period for baseball news, with the team perspective, (pretty obviously no interest).

              Also I looked at the comments for a minute and now my eyes are burning.

      1. To be fair to the writer, he probably didn’t write the headline. It now reads “Young Cuban Shortstop Defects to US,” which makes the story fine since that it itself newsworthy. Since he’s writing for philly.com, it’s reasonable to throw in a few lines about the likelihood that the phils will be interested.

        He did misidentify hernandez and a ss and neglect to mention JP Crawford though, so maybe he is just bad at his job.

  11. But, in defense of the Phillies, as many bad moves as they have made recently, the Pirates were a sub-.500 team for a lot of years. The Phils, did win the World Series, and won 101 games in 2011. A better comparison is the Cardinals, with more playoff success and more prospects in the system.

  12. I cant believe i am defending the phillies, but you cant compare the pirates who have drafted near the top for over ten years, to the phillies who havent had the kind of picks the pirates have had. that being said everyone knows my feeling on there lack of spending in other markets,

    1. That is the problem, exactly. The Pirates spent too many years not trying to compete at the Major League level. The Phils have made way too many mistakes in those other area. Even where they have picked, they could have spent more and had a number of quality prospects, Workman and Susac come to mind. Then there is the International market where they decideed not to particiapte for a number of years. It took them a long time to get back into Latin America after Giles shut it sown. I certainly don’t enjoy defending them.

    2. Yeah, two things there. The Pirates did it with a ton of amateur spending and a not all that high MLB budget. A home-grown core. That’s how the Phillies got where they got in 2008. Since then, starve the farm, big rise in MLB budget with FA signing and trading for contracts, and the results have dwindled. 2008 was our peak. If you counts wins in a season, which I kind of do, then the 102-win team was our peak. Still big budget, but not winning.

      Yes, they needed to spend more in other markets. They’ve had the revenue to do this. No problem there at all. It is a self-inflicted limit. Even now, with clearly stated hard rules on what can be spent, the Phillies put lesser limits on themselves. It’s not as though they were given above-average limits by Selig, they weren’t. They just unilaterally decided that those limits were too high and they wouldn’t spend up to them. Everyone knows my view and I know just about everyone’s counter-view on the two unsigned draft picks from the top 10, but consider this — the Phillies only budgeted the sum of their top 10 pick bonus pool. Selig allows more. First, you can over-spend by up to just under 5% — but not in the PHillies internal budget. Then you can sign as many $100K guys as you like in later rounds — but not in later rounds, we know this for certain, because the team waited an used the internally-budgeted money from the two unsigned picks to sign the later $100K guys. An aggressive team finds a way to spend 104.99% of it’s draft allocation and perhaps another 10-12 $100K guys. That is perfectly legal under the new system. Internationally, we still have close to $1 mill to go on this years allocation and also didn’t fully spend last year’s. That’s leaving prospects on the table.

      Why is a small-budget team like the Pirates willing to spend so much more on the draft than our owners are? We certainly couldn’t spend as much as the Pirates under the rules, although the Cubbies did internationally, but even with less cash flow than us and a lot higher amateur bonus pool than us from Selig, the Pirates didn’t feel financially constrained to voluntarily limit themselves to less than Selig gave them. I mean, they could have chosen to spend no more than the Phillies did. The $$ certainly mean more to their owners’ P/L statement than they do to the Phillies owners, for whom the max we could possibly spend in a year on amateur bonuses is not much beyond petty cash.

      1. The question of the last part is answered by the statement at the beginning . The Pirates spent much less on the MLB roster. I haven’t looked at the exact figures, but I’d guess the Pirates overall spending is much less also. You can say the Phillies have control of their more veteran players for a few more years, Or you can you say they’re stuck with them, take your pick. As far as the spend, spend, spend thing, Some people are turning into a one note Samba. It doesn’t bother me they didn’t sign those two College guys. I look at a draft list, I don’t want them to sign half of the guys they drafted to begin with. If they were going to lavish whatever amount of money they wanted on whoever had demands, they would have selected different guys to start with.

        They can draft super promising guys at every draft position and pay them whatever, but what team does that? They all draft some College “veterans” for less money, and if they don’t like the money, see Ya’ next year.

        Signing untold numbers from Latin America, makes no sense, unless it can be shown the y are legitimate prospects, in which other teams might get involved, and then they wind up costing an arm and a leg.

        Looks to me like PHILA does not have the type of system to hold the sign all the draft picks and all the Latin Americans thing anyway. They have one Rookie League Team and one Short Season Team, that’s it. A few years back, they sent 4 promising young Catchers to the Rookie League, they all split the plate Appearances 4 ways, and it looks like none of them turned out (3 guys released and Francisco Diaz of the Pirates system)

        What they should do is finagle a spot in the Appalachian League, and use that as a defacto second short season team , and then add 3 more Rookie League teams. That would be 4 feeding into 2. Then, they could handle the whole “sign everyone” thing . Till then, I DOUBT IT.

        1. Why add another team? We don’t have enough talent for the teams we have. We have a lot of non-prospect filler on the farm.

          1. Well, if one would sign all the draft picks and a massive expenditure in Latin America then it would require a place for them to start and play as regulars. Instead of jamming them all into one Rookie League team for the High School and Latin American guys and then one Short Season A league team for the guys who make it through Rookie League and any College players they bring in. Otherwise, promising players don’t get playing time and play around on the bench till they turn 19 and then you have another non-prospect. If they have non-prospects on the bench, that’s what they should have, and that’s a product of the development model that the MLB as a whole pursues. But if they sign all they can and good prospects fill the bench, then those players turn into non-prospects at a far greater expense than they do now. And fewer players are developed.

            1. As I said originally, we do not have prospects languishing on the bench. Go through our minor league rosters. Look at the number of players who are too old for league and players whose numbers are just abysmal. There are an awful lot of total non-prospects being used to simply fill out the rosters. A fair number of minor league vets and guys from the Atlantic League, etc. had to be signed last summer, just to keep the rosters filled at levels below AAA. I really don’t see that a problem with our farm is that guys who are any sort of prospect at all are unable to play because of a numbers crunch. The real talent is very thin on the ground.

            2. Well, I was talking about if the team was to sign on to your (or is that Allentown 2) never ending harangue to sign every draft pick (presumably comprised of promising players) and a full load of prospects from Latin America. Then they would need to add more farm teams to utilize all those would-be studs the Allentown(s) believe to be going to other teams presently.

            3. Tell me anon 13…..those teams that have two rookie level teams in the states…do they also have teams and academies in the DR and Ven?

            4. Well , I had to go and look it up and write it down to remember it all. But off the top, don’t believe that it matters, as all promising players could be sent to the states, players from either country could be placed in the other country with permission, and a lot of the movement away from Venezuela is due to the political and security issues there.

              That said, It surprised me to see the answer is yes.

              Teams with more than one stateside Rookie League team and an academy in both the Dominican and Venezuela :
              Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays

              Teams with more than one stateside Rookie League team and 2 teams in the Dominican:
              Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, New York Yankees ,Pittsburgh Pirates

              Teams with more than one stateside Rookie League team and a team in the Dominican:
              Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim , Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, and Toronto Blue Jays.

              Team with 3 stateside Rookie League teams ( two Rookie Advanced- presumably one used as a Short Season equivalent) and a team in the Dominican:
              :Kansas City Royals

              (Note: if the’re very any teams with 2 Rookie League stateside and no Short Season Team, they were not included on this list)

              Well that’s 16 by my count, which I have as more than half. Most of these teams are noted for a higher level of development. Maybe on to something more than originally thought.

  13. I would be ok with being patient while the younger players in the system developed if I thought the team had a good general manager and that the organization would be willing to adapt its philosophy to a more analytical approach. The fact that so many commenters on this site seem to defend the GM and the organization is troubling to me, it seems like they have created a culture of stepford fans akin to what the Flyers have. As long as Amaro continues to stay in charge I can’t the trajectory of the organization’s future changing.

    1. Alex that is the thing that drives me nuts, How, no matter what the phillies do,there is no wrong in peoples eyes, any good organization that wanted to win, would have seen the last two years, and lack of talent, and inability to build a bullpen, the overpaying for players, the over spending and longer than necessary contracts, by amaro, would have let amaro walk ,but not this team. they will keep going this course of failure for more years than is necessary, with this teams money to spend and a good gm, they can contend every year like the cardinals, but fail to see the light,

    2. Alex- what site are you reading? I can’t think of a single poster on here who wouldn’t have fired Amaro years ago or who doesn’t think he is criminally neglectful of analytics. that’s not to say every move the guys has made has been terrible or that every move he makes now is automaticaly terrible beofre it has a chance to succeed or fail on its own terms. For me, this whole WIP/philly.com callers/posters dramatic overaction to, and simplification of, every little event without thinking about it or analyzing it has gotten a bit old.

      Assuming Amaro is the GM for the short term, as he appears to be, what is your alternative solution? Would you have him gut the team and lose 100 games for a few seasons? Sign a few mediocre FAs to long contracts? Trade what’s left of value in the system for modest upgrades at certain positons?

      1. I wouldn’t have fired RAJ years ago. Really, you would? Not many years ago we were coming off a 102-win season with a very strong team which RAJ had considerably strengthened, if admittedly not built. I wouldn’t rush to fire RAJ today. My gripes, which long precede RAJ, are largely around neglect of the farm, ignoring modern stat analysis, and trusting faded vets over promising rookies. Not of those problems began with RAJ, so I really don’t think his removal will change any of them. He is a much smarter, generally and in a baseball sense than Ed Wade. If he’s gone, the owners will choose another Wade, like as not. Gillick had more baseball smarts, but was more old-school than even RAJ or Wade, and made as many bad trades and signings. I really don’t see what would be changed by firing RAJ, although I am not at all happy with what he has done the past two years. Apart from signing MAG, I’m sort of scratching my head to list RAJ actions in the past two years, which are worthy of applause.

        1. Yeah, fair point- I went a little overboard. But I would have let him go when Charlie was (though of course, I have a different philosophy on how to build a club than the Phillies do).

          You are correct that there is an philosophical organizational failure at play here- and maybe to that extent Amaro is just adhering to that philosophy and is therfore insulated from blame internally (I do think the club feels like they have been more “unlucky” than “wrong” when it comes to acquisitions and contracts- I disagree of course). But there is also a talent evalaution and resourcre allocation problem of which Amaro himself is guilty (it wasn’t Monty who designed the package for Pence, and I doubt it was Monty who approached Amaro about re-signing to years early, for example). Monty may espouse the good old boy scouting philosphy and is also guilty of other mistakes (like the historic lack of spending in LA) but I doubt he is involved much, if at all, with player acquitons and contracts. So I don’t necessarily agree that the next GM hire automatically sentences the club to the same fate. Obviously, the best hope is that Monty himself modifies the club’s philosphy.

          1. Oh? If you followed the Pence acquisition on MLBTR, it was revealed in the case of Houston paying a portion of the Pence contract, it came down to a negotiation between David Montgomery and the Astros owner Drayton McLane. Money wise, he did a bang-up job on that, and the team wound up paying very little for Pence before he was shipped out. You will find that is the case in a lot of the big dollar acquisitions of the team, so I would say David Montgomery has all the say. And remember, this country is run by the Golden Rule- the man with the Gold makes the rule.

            And , if you check the relatively recent interview Mr. Montgomery did with Comcast or philly.com or something (still widely available on internet- google David Montgomery) he states that all decisions the team makes are group decisions- and stated that WE have a say in everything. I guess you’ve got to hit people over the head with a piece of sausage before they get that. I put that on here before, and all I got back was a lot of nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah stuff.

            And I guess I’ll have to state for the stickler on here, that David Montgomery does not own 100% of the team, reportedly very little. Forbes magazine (admittedly might be way off or a guess) states the team is worth around $800 million. And the sticklers story is that these 4 entities which, on the average, have about $200 million sunk into the franchise. According to this theory those 4 entities have no say in anything and Dave Montgomery has all the say ( even though the claim is he has less than $50,000 in the operation.) I believe this, and have some magic beans for sale.

            1. He is a silent partner by law. It pertains to the tax status of the investment and perhaps even the legal liability.

            2. I didn’t know Monty was involved in the financial negotiaitons over Pence. My point was that I doubt he was involved in negotiating the prospect package which is, of course, what made that deal hard to stomach. I have no doubt he has sign-off and perhaps more on large longterm contracts like those given to Lee, Hamels and Howard (though as I siad I still blame Amaro for the timing of that deal. even if it was Monty’s idea, Amaro is the hired “baseball man” and should have strongly counseled against it ).

              As for the “group decisions’ comment, I know he has said that in the past but he and Amaro have also both said at other times that Amaro has final say on baseball decisions. Althought there isn’t always a brightline between what consitutes a baseball and non-baseball deicisions, the more aggregious decisions of the past few years (Howard contract possibly excluded) cannot really be argued to be anything other than pure baseball decisions.

            3. The two issues are one and the same. It requires significantly fewer/less prospects going to Houston if there isn’t money coming back or even if there isn’t as much money coming back. I hardly think RAJ agreed on a prospect package with Houston and then Monty and Drayton decided how much money was coming back. The two issues are always tightly intertwined. A salary relief trade becomes not much salary relief if you send enough $$ along with the player. It wasn’t as if Pence was blocking a prospect, as Thome was, or not able to field his position any more, as Thome pretty much was, so this was a trade by Houston just to make Pence disappear. They either got a lot of salary relief or they got a lot of talent.

            4. Of course they can be argued to be more than pure baseball decisions. Was giving Pat Burrell an early extension with a FNTC a baseball decision? No, it was the owners wanting to make a statement after the very publicly nasty departure of two stars. Was the Abreu salary dump a purely baseball decision? Was trading Lee for prospects a purely baseball decision? Was trading away Pence a purely baseball decision. Extending Howard early seems more in the line of Phillies statement signings than a baseball decision. Many were saying his body type wouldn’t wear well. There was no need to just jump out and do this. The Phillies have made statement signings, going back to the signing of the two Koreans and Tartabull. They sometimes feel the need to make a PR splash and add a name to sell tickets. They sometimes feel the need to demonstrate that management is not cheap, after the media have accused them of same. The Phillies sometimes spend to reward a guy whom the fans want to see rewarded, more as a PR decision than a baseball decision. That is what got the Daulton and Dykstra extensions following the 1993 WS. There was a lot that went into the Howard extension: rewarding a HR hero from the WS team, demonstrating that the team had entered the elite stratosphere of big spending teams, and suggesting to fans that they were witnessing the start of a WS dynasty with an ownership/management willing to do whatever necessary to extend that dynasty. There were more than baseball considerations in the Rollins extension, as well. The Phillies aren’t unique in this. Cal Ripken certainly got more $ than pure baseball decision merited, so did ARod and Jeter. Baseball is primarily a business and that business is entertainment, so most owners try to keep the fans happy. The fans want ‘their’ stars to retire with their team. The owners know this. Satisfying that nostalgic urge sells tickets in the present and possibly in the future. I think there was some of that thinking in the Ruiz extension, as well.

        2. Resigning Cole Hamels was a huge move and a great one. He has committed errors, but few of omission. His hands have been tied by many issues, which have been discussed here already. He listened and learned from Pat Gillick that pitching is the name of the game. His aggressiveness is what everyone wanted after Ed Wade. I’m not complaining.

      2. You should speak for yourself as not everyone has your opinion. RAJ did a nice job up to 2012 with 2013 not so hot. He was probably pressured into resigning Rollins at Mr. Montgomery’s urging. If you look at the perpective of the Phillies as a business; RAJ has done a very good job for the owners in keeping the team winning (up to 2012) and pushing the Cable TV package higher. Now it is time to rebuild the team but not all the pieces are ready and will take a few more years. I know that most people don’t like the scouting first approach but it did work up to 2012 but he learned under Pat Gillick who stressed scouting. He has taken steps to change mostly hiring Joe Jordan who aggressively promotes prospects, hiring a sabremetics analyst and others.

        1. Well, in fairness, we have since learned that he did not actually hire a sabermetrics analyst. He responded favorably to the commissioner’s request that he extend an internship to a guy who had done stat analysis for arb cases in the commish’s office. That sounds like not a permanent position (the guy also did an internship with the Mets — if I were that guy, I’d be getting a bit tired of internships) and not really what we think of as a sabermetrics analyst.

  14. Starting to smell like the ’90s around here;

    “FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies have interviewed Rafael Chaves for their vacant pitching coach position. Chaves used to be the Mariners’ pitching coach and is currently the Dodgers’ minor league pitching coordinator. The Phillies have been turned down by a few people and, thus, are still scrambling to fill the position.”


        1. roccom…think about it. If the Phillies finish in 2014 down in the division standings with the Marlins, fighting to avoid the basement, the outcry, from the public and his darlings the media, to Monty will be just too much for him. He will make the move. CSN may even hint to him to make the move to appease the fan base. Then finally there is that TV contract on the horizon that could come into play.

      1. I think I heard he was semi-retired and living in Arizona and now may go with local team D-Backs and still be at home..

        1. Unfortunately on google it shows Dave Duncan lost his wife to cancer 5 months ago, so his status may now be up in the air.

      1. I live in the Atlanta area, and quasi-follow the high-school prospects here. 2 of the top 9 picks from the 2013 draft were from the eastern Atlanta suburbs (Frazier and Meadows), and picks 30 and 37 were also from Atlanta-area high-schoolers.

        Of the scout.com top 50 prospects for the 2014 draft, they list 28 high-schoolers, 4 of which are from the Atlanta area as well (including Dylan Cease, who plays a mile down the road from me).

        It is a pretty good place for baseball (relatively decent baseball weather 9 months a year, 5MM people, high-end programs like East Cobb baseball, etc).

        Marlon Byrd and Domonic Brown are from the Atlanta burbs, while Ethan Martin is from a town that is 90 or so miles from Atlanta.

        1. And there are more past and current MLB from Georgia. They do well vs larger states like perrenial feeders like Calif, Tex and Florida.

            1. I am either too young or too old to get the reference. I guess I could be too dumb – not smart enough to figure it out.

  15. Wow that was a doozy. Dombrowski or Daniels take your pick. The Tigers only had to kick in $30 Million of the remaining $168 Fielder was owed.

    Castellanos now gets to play 3rd Miggy Moves to first and Kinsler sures up 2B. As I’ve said Dombrowski never wanted Fielder but an owner allowed an agent to get in his head and two seasons later the player is gone.

    1. Initial impression is that this trade makes sense for both teams. But, over the long term, I will say advantage – Tigers.

      Day 1 – I think it is great for the Rangers. They get a very solid bat in Fielder, and can slot Profar into second base. But. 5 years from now, when Prince is 34 years old and weighs 315 pounds, I don’t think you will have an MLB player in him, and he will still be making $24MM/year (he will make $24MM per through 2020.

      1. Well we all know Ryan Howard will never weigh 315lbs…he will be svelte, however, he still will not be able to hit lefthanders.

        1. Interesting question. I will say it depends. If he goes out and hits 325 next year with 45 homers, and leads the Rangers to a title, then this is a huge step in ‘earning’ his contract. If he then proceeded to hit 260 and averaged 24 HR’s a year for the remainder of the contract (i.e. decent numbers, but certainly not 24MM per year #’s), I would say yes, the contract was worth it. If he instead led the team to a championship next year, but then proceeded to hit 240 with 14 HR’s a year on average over the next 6 years, then no, I would not say it was worth the contract.

          If you are making $24MM a year, I expect star level play. If you earn a championship for your team, that buys you SOME (and maybe a good deal of) goodwill towards evaluating the contract. But, you still need to produce for over the duration to be able to justify the contract.

          Similar with Howard – had he homered off of Carpenter in the playoff game (who just retired if you missed it), and had the Phillies gone on to win that game and then eventually the WS – that by itself would not have justified the contract. It would have garnered goodwill, but certainly would not have justified the contract (yeah yeah, I know the circumstances of the contract were different, but you get my point)

      2. It definitely does. I also like the move for both Clubs and you can’t fault Fielder one bit. I think pitching still rules the day so I’m interested to see how we improve our starting rotation.

        We have a shot to get back into the NL East with the Braves losing Hudson and McCann if we find 2 solid starters to go behind Hamels/Lee.

        Does anyone else like Dugan’s chances to come up at some point and be a platoon partner to Byrd?

    2. DMAR, there is hope for trading Ryan Howard after this trade has been done. I know Howard’s contract was terrible(and still is) but compared to Fielder’s contract he is a bargain. The Phillies will have to eat alot of money to make this happen but this trade makes it more of a possibility to make room for Mikael Franco by trading Ryan Howard..

      1. I don’t believe so during the off season. I imagine if he came out and had another solid spring training there might be some takers or interest but no way without similar money going back.

        Good orgs don’t stay anchored to mistakes IMO so they should definitely be exploring opportunities to move him.

  16. Bob McClure the new pitching coach. He served as pitching coach for Kansas City (2006-11) and Boston (2012, not 2013).
    Hopefully third time is a charm.

  17. I don’t understand the Pitching Coach hire. Royals, with very little good pitching and the Red Sox when they all had lousy years, is his resume. And Duncan signs with Dbacks same day.

    1. It certainly is a head scratcher.
      With the rejections…McDowell and a few others, McClure was a two tier candidate.
      Makes me wonder how other baseball people perceive working for Ruben as the GM

      1. Maybe they feel ruben is on the way out, and its a sinking ship, so why associate yourself with this situation, when something else is out there, only a guy who was a failure somewhere else would consider this job imo, a guy who is well respected doesnt want to get hired on a sinking ship,

    1. Since that’s what the Phils were most of my life it’s kind of a return to norm. this past ‘golden period’ was the rare outlier.

      1. The ‘golden period’ was a rare instance where three or more of your home-growns end up as one of the Top 1-2 in franchise history at their respective positions. I’d said this earlier in the summer – the golden period was not the result of a master plan coming to fruition, it was happenstance. Not sure if some realize how well the stars aligned for Ruben and his career. He was handed a team with no less than 4 home-grown stars and was then given an open checkbook.

        1. Ruben has succeeded in turning the Phillies ‘golden period’ into the ‘renaissance age’.
          With Chooch and Marlon now in the fold, they are so old most remember Benjamin Lincoln!
          They will be showing pix of their grandkids on the bench between innings.
          Metamucil is now on the buffet table in the locker room.

      2. The ‘golden period’ was in fact a rare outlier. But due to the ballpark and the new TV deal the club is and will remain a much higher revenue team than they were in the 80s and 90s. It would take flat out incometance to squander that advantage and have a prolonged period of being a bad team. Not saying that can’t happen or isn’t happening though

        1. No, it could be tough to ccme back, especially as ownership/management is acting. A lot has changed since we moved into the past golden age. We no longer have a new stadium. We are operating in an era in which there is more money in baseball. That, coupled with the lux tax cap, means that more and more teams are going to be spending in the range of the lux cap and TV contract or no TV contract, our $$ advantage is severely eroded. You see that already with the lousy FA classes, driven by early lock-ups, and the escalating FA salaries to truly marginal players. To come back, a team needs to add good new talent faster than its competitors. The Phillies have yet to find a way to do that. They’ve been unable to use their $$ to any real advantage the past three seasons, they don’t stand out in the draft, they don’t stand out in international, they don’t stand out in the quality/quantity of talent on the farm, they don’t stand out in terms of good young talent on the big club, which just needs another year to fully develop. Instruction in the minors or scouting of other teams’ talent seems to be a problem. Guys we thought were very promising when acquired in trades just haven’t developed. We’ve had a rash of arm injuries. Franco and Asche have been big success stories in development, but a lot of guys have made it up to AA looking great and then not fulfilled what their potential seemed to be. A number of guys, most recently Ruf and Galvis, the team seems unable to decide what to do with. Galvis is the extreme case. The Phillies are unwilling to play him in the bigs, keep giving him more minor league seasoning as almost a default option. If the team can’t accept him as a major league starter, then why in the world aren’t they getting major league bench value from him and giving so much playing time to M&M last season?

          1. All fair points. It will definitely be tough to come back. And while I concede that there is much more money entering the game it and a dwindling FA market it will still take complete incompetance for a team with a $160M+ payroll to revert to the debacle of the past for an extended period of time. But they do themselves no favors considering that their spending power has been further eroded by their own decisions in how they chose to spend that money.

            The intial way back is best done through the minor leagues and that will take a couple of years certainly. But the new TV contract will allow them to re-sign their own players, afford to perhaps overpay a bit in the FA market, and make it more easy to live with the occasional mistake signings. Those advantages are real.

            1. The TV money only makes a difference if they are willing to exceed the lux cap on a regular basis. As of now, they have sufficient money to spend up to the cap, so more money has no impact, unless it is spent, that is if they exceed the cap. Well, I guess the other way it helps, and this confirms your main argument, is that it prevents a rerun of the post-1993 collapse where bad contracts, a losing team, and falling revenue led to reduced spending and revenue/spending chasing each other down the drain. The TV revenue would provide a cushion against falling attendance and allow the team to remain at the lux cap limit, regardless of almost how much other revenue falls.

            2. I guess that was sort of my point. But to your point, I agree that having big money is no longer as likley to lead to success as it used to but it probably should keep you from being awful. In other words, .500 should probably be the floor for this franchise when things are bad (absent total mismanagement).

            3. Which also reinforces my point that last year’s 73-win season was evidence of fairly gross mismanagement.

    2. Right. But for different reasons. Those Phillies were cheap – there Phillies have an unqualified GM

  18. Reid Brignac may not be a heavy power swinger with a bat in his hands, but with the ladies he is a legitmate power hitter with a decent BABIP..
    Lauern Anderson, Michelle Rogers and Christiana Santiago.

    1. okay – how many of us just googled (and then ogled) the above 3 ladies (I assume the Michelle Rogers that I was looking at was not the right one – the one I saw looked like my next door neighbor).

      And now – let’s all pay a moment of respect to Mr. Jeter.

    1. Missinelli asks questions like a defense attorney…tactless.
      Actually felt sympathetic to Ruben who had to go on the defensive.

  19. News: Mets sign Chris B. Young (the Outfielder(. Buster Olney says one year at 7.25 million.
    So much for some peoples low cost 4th OF options.

  20. 7.25 Million for Young almost makes the Byrd signing look good. Much better hitter is Byrd and not close defensively. Not saying Rube is doing a good job at all, but the numebrs are crazier than ever.

    1. Only one-yr deal for Young. I would certainly take his contract over Byrd’s. Young could build value during the season – Byrd can’t. He’s maxed out with that moronic contract RAJ gave him

      1. Ruben has again sealed his fate….apparently he now has to tender John Mayberry and bring him back for another year. I do not see any other way or move he can make.
        Who is the 4th? Tyson Gillies is too much of a risk for Ruben’s blood.
        Yesterday he claims people are not interested in, and wanting to see a five-year rebuilding reclamation, however I guess the last few years erosion is acceptable!
        Is there anyone out there who is enthusiastically excited about 2014?

        1. Oh no we have to bring back JMJ as our 4th OF. What is the world coming to. Do we live in a world where JMJ isn’t a good 4th OF who can play the whole OF and 1st base and hit lefties pretty well. I mean as long as you don’t have to start the guy everyday he’s valuable. I don’t really get the Mayberry hate.

            1. Christopher and allentown……check his numbers for the this past season and the 2nd half of 2012. In a contract year he did not make himself stand out. His power for HRs has regressed from 2011 each year.
              Defensively he has not been outstanding…and isn’t that what a 4th OF should be first and foremost.
              Then take the eye test for his base running….the next pick off will be his third or fourth in the last 3 years.
              And is he the problem…no, but he doesn’t bring the added value you need.
              I like his personality but now after 3/4 years and he turns 30 or so, time for a change.
              IMO, I would take a chance on Gillies.

            2. I have no problem taking a chance on Gillies. I just don’t see replacing JMJ from outside the organizations as any kind of priority. Yes he hasn’t gotten worse. Yes he is far from good, but he is only the #4 or 5 OF and he is cheap. Frankly, I would have rather played him than Delmon Young last season. The Phillies are not going to contend in 2014. Such a team really has no reason to bring in another spare OF to try to slightly better what we will get from JMJ. At many $millions more, a guy like Chris Young is not even going to be better.

            1. I am not a big mayberry fan, but in todays market he isnt a bad fifth outfielder-first basemen for less than two million. imo chris young at 7 milllion for one year was the better move than byrd-mayberry but hey we are stuck with ruben for at least three more years, and we have to hope , that we are the 69 mets and pull a big upset,

            2. True. 4th/5th OF on second division teams simply aren’t going to be world beaters. He is relatively inexpensive and not bad for a 4th/5th OF. I worry a lot more about CF and whether Byrd can come close to repeating his 2013. I think you are correct that RAJ has 3 years to try to turn the ship around.

        2. Yeah, this is the bad gamble that Phillies management has made. They’ve decided if they keep the nostalgia-fest going, with recognizable names of old players, that they can continue to sell tickets. In other words, a young and up-coming team might have also won 73 games last season, but management doesn’t think they would have sold as many tickets. That logic keeps you locked into an aging team in decline, which has no future. RAJ is quoted as saying 2014 success depends upon a productive Howard. How good a bet is that? Is it really any better a bet than the Youngs were? And on top of that, he’s betting on a repeat good season from the ancient Byrd and no deterioration or serious injury from his other mid-30s players.

          1. Ruben also brought up Franco and where his future lies in the field. Left field was dismissed because he is a bit ‘slow fooed’.
            So presumably it comes down to third or first.

            1. Despite what many want to believe, we really do need a 1B. I don’t think 2014 is Franco’s year, however, at least not prior to the AS break. Let the guy get some time in AAA.

            2. Yes agree. First base may be his final destination. Though Ruben did say they did consider moving Asche to left field because of his athleticism.

      2. You are kidding are you not? A .200 hitter last year who went through three teams last year and has been sliding longer than Ryan Howard? On another note at least RAJ did not trade our best prospects for fringe performers like Freese and Salas like the LA Angels GM did.

    1. I wonder if Rube was looking at him. He just said he was looking for someone to fill in for Revere in 2014 as a 4th OFer if necessary..

  21. Anonymous got here before I did: Bourjos to the Cardinals for Freese. I wonder if the Cards have an internal 3B replacement for Freese? Call me crazy, but Cody Asche really seems like the type of player they love: college pedigree, good makeup, etc. I know prospect trades rarely happen, but what about Asche for a bullpen piece and a prospect out of St. Louis’ deep system, maybe an outfielder? Then hope that Franco can win the job out of Spring Training or else go with some combination of Galvis/journeyman until he’s ready. Anyhow, just a thought.

    1. Plus Asche is from th St Louis area. If it happens, maybe they be willing also to take on another local kid…Ryan Howard.

        1. Could be the steal, but he would get blasted on this site…check his BB rate in AA, though his K rate is not bad at 17%.

      1. Yes, Kolten Wong; as you may recall, he played in the World Series and was infamously picked off first base to end Game 4. That said, he’s just 23 and had a very nice year in AAA.

  22. You have to understand that I hate the Cardinals, but respect what they do. Kolten Wong moves in to 2d, Carpenter to 3rd and Bourjos plays a terrific Centerfield for them even if he doesn’t hit a lot. I would prefer him to Revere by a long shot, but we have no one to trade without further killing the farm system. I just have a very bad feeling that Rube is going to make a terrible trade of our top prospects, Franco and Biddle. He can’t trade Crawford yet or I would really be sick.

  23. Chris Young and Bourjos off the market on the same day. Any interest in Jon Jay as our 4th OF? I’d still rather have Rajai over him. He’ll be on the market now though unless they’re trading Taveras to get their SS, which I doubt. Drew seems like a good fit for St Louis.

  24. Strange my tomato plants die each winter about the same time as the Phillies. Something in the soil???. I hope Ruben is having “ole byrd” for thanksgiving. Don’t worry more bad will come after the holidays.

    1. started to write ” another” and forgot . Hope I make it to 72

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