Something to Dream On: The 2016 Phillies

For Phillies fans this offseason really has been a continuation of what has been a rough 2 years.  The amount of hope left dwindles by the day, and the confidence that tomorrow will be better than today.  If you have hope, the year to target is 2016, it is when the contracts start to fall off and the first wave of prospects starts to arrive.  On the suggestions of John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) and Corinne (@Ut26), rather than just start with 2016 or look at the end result in 2018, this is the first part of a step by step transition of a rebuilding team.

In working on this activity here are the starting assumptions:

  • The Phillies are not trading away any players
  • Minor Leaguers will progress as “normal” and will not have any career ending injuries.
  • The Phillies will be rational about resigning players
  • I am not accounting for FA acquisitions and Draft Picks, however I will have a salary total that can be used to dream on FA acquisitions that could fill in the holes
  • Arbitration figures for salaries are taken from similar players

Obviously these are a lot of assumptions that will not hold true because prospects are unpredictable, draft picks especially the 2014 #7 overall pick could have large influences, and the front office will not be static for the next two years.

Catcher: Tommy Joseph and Carlos Ruiz

With his new deal Ruiz is under contract through the 2016 season and at this point is likely transitioning into more of a backup role.  Depending on Joseph’s development you good see anywhere from a 60-40 (either way) to 50-50 playing time split.  One half is going to be better offensively and the other will be better defensively.  Joseph has his limits and his risks, but he is a sponge when it comes to absorbing knowledge, and Chooch is one of the better catchers when it comes to working with pitching staff. Salary: 9 million

First Base: Ryan Howard

Howard isn’t going anywhere with his contract, and your hope is that by this point he is playing within himself and being managed correctly. Salary: 25 million

Second Base: Chase Utley

I could have gone with Hernandez here, but I think Utley sticks it out into the option years of the contract and provides value when he is on the field.  I have him at full salary, but if injuries come along he could provide savings. Salary: 15 million

Shortstop: J.P. Crawford, Freddy Galvis

Crawford in his rookie season is the starter here unless he stumbles at which point it may be Freddy holding down the position for a couple of months.  Either way Crawford should get the majority of the ABs.  The bat is going to be lacking at this point but the defense is going to be really solid.  Salary: 2 million

Third Base: Maikel Franco, Cody Asche

Franco is the starter here in his second full year in the major leagues.  I expect Franco’s early time in the majors is going to be up and down as he refines his approach at the plate.  If Franco is going to have a breakout in the majors it should be 2015.  Asche would not be a bad starter here and in this scenario might get some ABs as Franco plays 1B when Ryan Howard goes down to injury. Salary: 1 million

Outfield: Domonic Brown, Ben Revere, Aaron Altherr, Kelly Dugan, Cameron Perkins

Depending on the development of Altherr the highest upside group of starters is Brown-Altherr-Dugan.  Altherr has a small chance to be a monster player but it is more likely that he is somewhere around average regular.  Dugan is likely closer to a platoon player and Perkins should get ABs against LHPs.  Dugan and Perkins can both play both corners as well as 1B adding to the team’s flexibility. Salary: 14 million

Starting Pitching: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan

The first two names are a lock as Lee has his option vest and begins the last year of his career.  The questions come at the back of the rotation with MAG and Morgan (Biddle should be at least a back of the rotation starter), but the team still has Pettibone and possibly Severino Gonzalez to plug in as 4/5 starters.  Any version of the Phillies competing is going to come down to Hamels and Lee being aces with MAG and Biddle filling in as mid-rotation guys, if they can do that, they can spare having to put more money into the rotation.  Salary: 53.5 million

Bullpen:  Ethan Martin, Ken Giles, Jake Diekman, Justin De Fratus, Rob Rasmussen, Dan Child, Jay Johnson

I went with a bullpen that was cheap and had huge upside with hard throwing arms up and down.  By this point Diekman and De Fratus will have three full years in the majors and Martin will have had two years working out of the bullpen.  Had to that, flamethrower Ken Giles and you have a great back of the bullpen.  Dan Childs is a 2013 draftee with a plus fastball and good looking slider, he ended the year in hi-A and could move very quickly, Jay Johnson has a lot of the things to like about Diekman but with less velocity and a nastier breaking ball.  Rasmussen fits in here as the long man, but with his variety of breaking balls and hopefully a small uptick in velocity there is some upside there too. Salary: 5.5 million


So if you have been following along you are wondering where the positive outlook is, that team above really doesn’t look all that different from now, won’t it fail just as much?  The answer is yes it will, but what is missing from our exercise are FA’s, sure the market doesn’t look good but because you have now filled in a lot of spots with cheaper players through the farm, that roster above comes in at 124.5 million, and given current projections of the luxury tax, the 2016 tax will be around 189 million.  That is 65 million dollars that they can use to upgrade this team.  Overall what you gain in the future is salary flexibility as you have players like Franco, Biddle, and Crawford step into starting roles.

Join me next time with 2017, aka the time when Howard’s contract finally runs out.

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

93 thoughts on “Something to Dream On: The 2016 Phillies

  1. Or to put it another way, the wheels fall off.

    Nothing like 4 LHP’s in the rotation, should put them up there with last season’s White Sox.

    Waiting for the first wave of prospects to arrive? Seems to me like they’ve been saying that since the start of this blog some 8 (?) years back. And all teams have said that since the start of Class D baseball (which later became low A). Problem – these guys get exposed on way up or don’t arrive for other reasons.

    1. Didn’t the 2009 Phillies make the World Series with a rotation prominently featuring 4 lefties? (Hamels, Lee, Moyer, Happ)

      1. I went and looked it up. Looking at the LHP’s alone- you have Moyer who is slower than the norm- then and now- so you have some differentiation from the norm of the other rotation members that you might consider him an honorary Right Hander. To a lesser extent there might be some differentiation from Happ, also.

        As far as the allocation of starts- Blanton the most- then Moyer and or Hamels next at 2 and 3. Then you have the late-in-the-season acquired Cliff Lee and James Happ who made but 12 starts. Either one of those was exceeded by the combined starts of Chan Ho Park, Brett Myers, Pedro Martinez, Kyle Kendrick, and one start from Drew Carpenter.

        So I don’t think there was a plan to have 4 LHP’s as starters from the beginning, as the projected 2016 fantasy would be., Even though taken individually 4 of the top 5 starters in number of starts happened to be LHP’s.

          1. Don’t know – maybe Baseball Reference has a column to click on that would reveal that. I know that individually the starts of Chan Ho Park, Myers, Pedro Martinez, are close to the individual starts by either Lee or Happ. Somebody would have to figure that out. I don’t think it was planned and followed up on to have 4 LHP’s for the entire season.

          1. Yeah, that’s right. with the qualifications that Moyer differentiates from the others in style enough to break up the pattern (to a lesser extent, Happ) . And also the late in the season acquired Cliff Lee and the only 12 starts making Happ , were only slightly ahead of Chan Ho Park, Brett Myers , and Pedro Martinez. A relatively significant number from Kyle Kendrick , also. So , I think the assertion that there was 4 Left Handed Starters that season is not completely a fact for the season, in its entirety , And if such a claim is made, Somebody is cherry-picking facts to promote their point-of-view.

    1. I would like to pencil him but I don’t think he will be with the club and to say he will be is to say he will hit his ceiling. If someone wants to put him in the pen instead of Child I won’t argue.

      1. He’ll have all new pitching coaches, (except maybe if they keep Nichols), so if he’s going to figure it out, this may be the time.

  2. Don’t forget that aside from the AAV of the players on the 25-man roster, you have to subtract benefits (maybe $11M), bonuses, and the salaries of the 15 players on the 40-man roster (15 x $81.5K). Maybe a total of $12.5M more off the $65M tho rebuild the roster.

  3. Rather than answer each commenter individually about the rotation thing here is one response:

    It does not matter.

    The only time a 4 lefty rotation would possibly have problems is in the playoffs against a RHB heavy lineup, and even then your two top pitchers have virtually no platoon splits because of their changeups. Here are their career splits
    Hamels – vs RHB .238/.285/.394 vs LHB .241/.299/.394
    Lee – vs RHB .253/.297/.401 vs LHB .255/.292/.374

    1. Oh? The fact is that Left Handers of any stripe are like salt. In the proper amount they are seasoning. Any more than that they are poison. The effect is on all batters, after a time they become used to seeing LHP’s and , who can definitively state the 2nd Left Hander after the line-up sees a LHP the previous game is not short-shifted. 4 LHP’s would make that same effect for nearly every game. The test case- last season’s White Sox- didn’t win much.

      1. Yep that is why the White Sox were bad this year, their 4 left handed starters caused all of their hitters to be worth a combined -0.3 WAR. As for those left handed pitchers here is how they did:
        Chris Sale 6.9 WAR
        Jose Quintana 5.4 WAR
        Hector Santiago 2.8 WAR
        John Danks 0.9 WAR

        Danks might actually be done, his stuff is not the same as it was before, but he still managed nearly 140 IP.

        But no it had to be the 4 left handed starters that caused them to be bad.

        1. Agreed that having 4 LHP is no terribly big deal, but that doesn’t make this an adequate rotation. Not surprisingly there are a lot of big ifs here. I’m as big a fan of the MAG signing as anyone, in large part because it might signal a change in organizational philosophy, but he is still a guy, who as of the end of FIL had not thrown a pitch of a mound, because he was physically unable to do so. Morgan was a very pleasant surprise in 2012, but showed little beyond a repeatedly injured throwing shoulder in 2013. It is less than clear what either of these guys is going forward. Apparently rest and rehab, rather than surgery, being counted upon in both cases. That is a hit-or-miss thing.

          1. you said “but he is still a guy, who as of the end of FIL had not thrown a pitch of a mound, because he was physically unable to do so”?

            The part about the “physically unable to do so” – is that truly the case? Obviously, the modified contract was related to injury concerns. I thought that I read that the plan was to be slow with him in the fall (since he had taken much of the summer off). I don’t think I saw that the reason he did not pitch in a game was due to injury. This could certainly be the case (as I am sure the Phillies would not want to highlight this), but is this commonly accepted as the real reason for his lack of public appearances?

            1. I don’t know. What does it mean when he signs while the minors are still on-going and then goes to FIL and does nothing but long tossing. Pitchers routinely come into major and minor league ST after a winter off and are throwing of a mound within a week and pitching in exhibition games within two weeks. Why should MAG’s most of the summer off be any different than that?

            2. I saw him throwing some long-tosses and flat-ground throwing with the other pitchers in the FIL. Once they got going, they appeared not to be lobbing the ball as in warm-ups.

            3. I remember reading that FIL ended with MAG having yet to throw from the mound, along with one other pitcher (Morgan?). Presumably all of those other pitchers did go on to throw from the mound, since the FIL squad played actual games.

        2. So, those 4 pitchers managed to put up 16 wins over what they would have got from the Phantom Incognito or somebody. And you say that all of the hitters combined would only detract less than one half a win from that total. So where did that 15 1/2 wins disappear to? How much could the 5th starter have pitched and caused so many losses combined with the bullpen. I thought the bullpen was supposed to be promising anyway. And, yet, somehow, they managed to have the 3rd worst record in baseball. Looks like those guesses are way off.

      1. To add to that, if the Angels know they can’t sign him, they are going to trade him for a king’s ransom to someone who will sign him.

        Though if you want to think about 2018, then remember that Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will also be free agents

        1. Yes, those two crossed my mind as well. Harper is the one of the three I expect to sign with the club long term the most, then Machado, and Trout least of the three.

          But even if all three were on the market, it would be very unlikely to get more than one of them, and I’d suspect Trout would be the Phillies’ main target both for the “hometown” factor and because CF will probably be our biggest area of need between 3B, CF, and the corner OF spots.

          I don’t know which teams Trout would sign long-term with, but as I said if he’s determined to hit FA I’m not sure it would matter.

          Of course this is all what-if’s, but that’s exactly what the article is about.

          1. Harper’s agent is now, and always has been Scott Boras. I’d say that unless something changes radically about Boras’ philosophy, he’s the most likely to go free agent.

            1. And the corollary to that is that the Phillies will have no interest in the expensive Boras client and Boras will have no interest in the Phillies.

      2. See my reply to Aron below. Just because a team doesn’t want a player to hit FA doesn’t mean they won’t. He has legitimate reasons for wanting to be a FA, and the Angels have some severe limitations in their ability to sign him.

        If he wants to test the FA market, there’s nothing the team can do about it.

    1. Or to keep the Trout dream alive, the phillies stock up on first rounders and latin american prospects then trade them all to the angels.

      1. Only problem is that the Phillies don’t see the true value of Trout. He does a lot of WAR related things, but he doesn’t win MVP awards because those things aren’t understood by the media…or the Phillies.

  4. Great article. Provided we can move Howard (or platoon him) and make a couple good trades/good FA signings, we could have a playoff worthy team as early as 16/17

  5. I’d love to see Howard somehow traded, Franco at first and Asche at 3rd…..but I realize that scenario is nearly an impossibility.

    Man, RAJ can’t be shown the door fast enough. He’s the Matt Millen of baseball.

    1. I like what RAJ is doing. He’s really looking at 2016-2017 to completely turn over the roster by not signing any long-term free agents or trading away any prospects. If in the next 2 years the vets can put together a run great, if not – they’ll have a boatload of money and a bunch of young players in 2-3 years. Good plan.

      1. Long term strategic planning has a way of encountering detours, its how he adjusts to those unexpected events that proves his salt. I just do not have full confidence in his flexible abilities to adjust on the fly

  6. Let’s suppose team makes a good choice at #7 and plucks one of the many strong pitchers in this upcoming draft – say college pitcher. By 2016 he could possibly be a 4th or 5th starter – and he is a RHP ? I think it an error to assume so little change given a lot of $$ from a new tv contract, wholesale Cuban players available, and continued growth by players already in the system.

    1. If you go into the rabbit hole of predicting draft picks and free agents then you lose the point of the exercise.

      If they take a college pitcher at #7 in the 2014 draft there is a chance they should be ready at some point in 2016 (you probably want to clear Super 2 eligibility)

  7. I think counting on Lee to still be an 1/2 at that point is like counting on Halladay to be one last year. In addition to the strong development of Franco they would need Dugan to far exceed expectations. Really while I know you don’t draft on need, this team needs a 1/2 college starter and a middle of the lineup college RF to be the best players available in the next draft or find them in the international market. Rebuilding/retooling through Free Agency is just a short term fix these days that leads to years of mediocrity.

    I don’t see how the Angels don’t lock-up Trout before he hits free agency, but then again I don’t see how they dig themselves out from following the bad Pujois contract with the worse Hamilton one.

    1. There are a few reasons I believe then Angels don’t lock up Trout: the first being the Pujols and Hamilton contracts you mentioned. Secondly, I think Trout will want to hit FA as soon as possible. His Arbitration years will pay him plenty to secure his future, so he may as well see how much he can get. Plus the fact that he’ll be young and that he’s an absolute beast will mean record dollars and years. But most importantly, when the Angels had the chance to show him some good faith they instead bumped his pay by, what was it, 5k? If I were him, I wouldn’t be happy about that. Not that they are required to pay him anything other than the minimum, but if you truly value his contributions showing it would be nice. Good faith goes a long way.

      Also, and this is partly me just being extremely hopeful, he’s a life-long and devoted Phillies fan. If he wants to play for his favorite team, he won’t want to delay that process. And I’m willing to bet the Phils will shell out plenty of money to make it a mutually attractive deal.

    2. “Rebuilding/retooling through Free Agency is just a short term fix these days that leads to years of mediocrity.” I guess that’s why the Red Sox were so bad this past season.

      1. No it was homegrown talent and a few non-marquee free agent signings lead to what the Red Sox did. I guess I should have said Marquee multi-year contracts.. (You know the kind with extra years and options that Amaro likes to hand out?)

    3. The early rankings of the 2014 amateur draft prospects include a few college pitchers who could be drafted early. Although it’s too early for predictions, many forecasters say that lefty Carlos Rodon from NC State may be the no. 1 overall pick; so, he is unlikely to be available at no. 7.

      As for some of the others, Jeff Hoffman from East Carolina could also be gone by no.7. Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede, Aaron Nola from LSU, and lefty Sean Newcomb from Hartford might all be top college arms available when the Phillies choose. They say that Newcomb (6’5″, 240) hits 97, impressive for a lefty.

  8. That 2016 team looks like we should continue to expect top-12 draft picks for the next 3 seasons. Phillies are setting themselves up for a run in 2018/2019… Now just gotta wait 5 years.

    1. I’d rather wait 5 than go through 1984-2006 again. Which is what would happen with the win no at all costs ideas would lead to.

  9. Since we are dreaming here, mine is that Montgomery & Co. are gone and replaced by some really smart baseball people. Ultimately, that’s the only good solution for getting the Phillies out of the mess they are in.

    1. That’s not a good solution. Monty in company only depart by selling the Phillies to another ownership group. Most new ownership groups have to borrow a ton of $ to buy the team and start off really scrimping on spending, while they start to pay down that debt. That’s how the GIles ownership team started off. I suspect that a new group of owners would set the Phillies back about 5 years in their recovery.

      1. When I talk about getting rid of Montgomery & Co., I am not talking about changing ownership entirely, just the managing partner, his advisors, the GM and the people in other key front-office positions.

        As I recall, Giles reportedly received a 10% interest in the franchise when he became Managing Partner and relinquished a small part of that to Montgomery when the latter became Managing Partner. So, Montgomery can be replaced if he were to lose the support of the octogenarians, Betz and Buck (I believe that Middleton rests in third place in the ownership hierarchy and cannot make a move without the support of both Betz and Buck.).

        Getting back on topic, my dream is that Montgomery will lose the Betz and Buck support, which appears to be unlikely. That’s why it’s a dream. (Since Mrs. Betz and the remaining Buck brother are so old, I guess it’s possible for a younger, more enlightened generation of the Betz and Buck families to step in and demand change. But that’s another dream.).

  10. If Fielder’s contract can be moved with Detroit only contributing $30M, there may be hope yet that Howard’s can be moved (much less $ and years left) if we contribute half or more. I realize that Howard is older and injured, but Fielder has not been up to the expected level of production for the past couple of years- especially last year.

    1. Fielder had the Second highest WAR of his career in 2012 and is still in the upper echelons of First baseman, Howard is not.. And yes the injuries and age are a big issue. No comparison.

    2. Yeah, Fielder -29, Howard-34, I got that as around 5 years difference. Many personnel types consider that a big deal.

      1. Very true. But Howard’s contract is much shorter.

        It isn’t his age the prohibits a Howard trade, it’s the injuries and declining production )which may or may not be related). If Howard has a good year and stays healthy, that might be enough to fool an AL team in need of LH power to take a chance next offseason. Of course, the phillies would still have to contribute $20M.

  11. Just briefly, my non-original thoughts as to why this is a pretty depressing post:

    (1) Don’t trust Amaro to spend the money wisely, and

    (2) Even if the money was spent wisely, increasingly the FA market is more about filling holes with decent players than signing stars. Yeah, there are stars to be had, but fewer than in the past, and generally over priced and on the down side of their career. So IF the proposed 2016 lineup consisted of 3-5 stars, and we just needed to fill in holes, that would be promising. But only Hamels really projects to be a star among that group. Maybe Franco if he sticks at third, and Crawford eventually, but likely not in 2016 even if he’s in the majors. Surround that core with some decent veterans … and you have a mediocre team.

    1. The main assumption is no new free agents and I think that’s a false premise to start with. The Phils will definitely sign a pitcher of some kind in the next month and it will be at least for 4 years. I also think there will be another OF obtained by signing or trade although I agree that most Phillies FA signees are going to be complimentary players and not stars. Also, everyone wants us to get younger but what we should all really want is to get better, not younger, and our system doesn’t have any potential stars beyond Franco and Crawford. We need guys like Encarnacion, Grullion, and Tocci to become jewels.
      Apparently, many inside the Phillies think that Franco might win the 3B job this spring. That would certainly be a shocker to Asche (and to me). The Asche/Franco loser needs to be playing 3B at LHV every day in case the winner fails.

      1. ‘Apparently, many inside the Phillies think that Franco might win the 3B job this spring.’ – perhaps that may be the case, but the GM has stated on several occasions about Franco starting out at LHV and gaining more experience, and my guess is at a minimum EOM May to ensure the Super Two date is reached. When that date is will be determined for 2014 by MLB, but normally in the past it has been around midJune timeframe..

      2. None of which contradicts what I said – it reinforces it. Mediocrity as far as the eye can see. I didn’t say that they wouldn’t sign free agents, just that adding a few mediocre free agents to players already in the system wasn’t going to get the team anywhere. I see a team that, AT BEST, is going to win in the neighborhood of 85 games, as a decent staff is dragged down by a sub par group of regulars. Kind of what we have now with a slightly different – and maybe on balance marginally better (if everything breaks right) group of players.

        The 4 year contract is going to go to a decent pitcher but not a star. The hypothetical outfielder may well be less than that. Certainly not a star. As I said, and as you say, complementary pieces.

        You say “[w]e need guys like Encarnacion, Grullion, and Tocci to become jewels. Even setting aside the fact that none of those guys are likely to be playing in the major leagues in 2016, if that’s what we’re counting on, that’s not a rosy picture. Look, every system has guys like that. If you hit on one in ten of them, you’re doing extraordinarily well. It’s like a family barely making ends meet relying upon winning the lottery as a solution to their financial problems.

        1. The extern will be the solution to all those problems. 😦

          I actually do hope this is a slow entry into modern times and thinking, but any real appreciation for analytics/sabermetrics will seem to only occur post-Amaro. And another expected sub-.500 season or two should lead to that outcome, as much as I want them to be much better than that.

  12. 2016 isn’t much to dream on Matt. More like a nightmare. Phils will be cellar dwellers by then as the Fish pass them. Rebuilding should start now using the Boston model – trade aging vets in decline, promote from within and fill in with high-value players obtained by trade or FA. Instead the Phils continue to follow the Amaro model – sign more old vets in their declining years and hope against all logic that they perform again like they did in their prime. LarryM has it right. This is depressing. With a management shakeup we may be able to dream again by 2019.

    1. I prefer an impact bat at 7th overall and a college pitcher in the 2nd round. That 2nd rounder could still move quickly and we need a middle of the order bat for the next generation.

    2. While I appreciate the support, my perspective is a little different. The comp with Boston is interesting but not quite in the way that you state. Their model isn’t to trade vets in decline – sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. The LA trade was sui generis, not something that is easily duplicated (and IMO not the main reason for their return to the WS). But look at some of their other signings – Victorino, Ortiz, etc. And some of their younger guys signed to very long contracts – e.g., Pedroia signed through his age 38 season. No, Boston does not shy away from paying big money for older players where appropriate.

      At the end of the day, Boston’s edge is talent judgment, from the bottom to the top. Not easily or quickly duplicated. There was plenty of back and forth on these boards over the summer regarding the “tear it down” option, but it became clear that there would have been no prospect bonanza if the Philies traded away their veterans. At the end of the day, the “tear it down” advocates have only one argument, and IMO not a good one: better draft position & international money for finishing with a worse record. And whatever else you can say about the Boston model, that isn’t it.

      1. Here’s an interesting hypo – not that the Phillies necessarily should have done this (or maybe even could have, because of an overlap in contracts), but just in terms of talent judgment …

        Vic’s contract and Werth’s contracts, together, are not much more than Howard’s. Factor in likely discounts (for Werth especially) if they had been locked up before they hit the market, and we’re talking roughly similar contract totals.

        So … Werth/Vic/Ruf or moderately priced FA first baseman versus Revere/Byrd/Howard. That’s, what, at least 6 wins more in 2014? Enough that with a decent starting pitcher FA (Garza maybe?) the team really could contend in 2014. Still a very old team, maybe not the best strategy for 2015 and so on, but a much better team at the same price.

        It’s about talent evaluation, not (in general) holding on to veterans too long.

        1. At least 6 wins, if Howard plays as I expect he will and the Phillies don’t platoon his, as I expect they won’t. They could have and should have done this. The early Howard extension was a huge unforced error. They took all of the risk, two years early, and didn’t get a cost discount. Even in his prime, Howard was pretty much a one-dimensional player with a body that was not expected to age well.

          1. You should take over for RAJ, I’m sure with you at the helm the Phils would over take the Yanks in total world series rings.

            1. I detect sarcasm and a bit of facetiousness in your post July.
              But truly, Rube seems to be his own worst enemy.
              Time for a non-ballplayer guy take over the General Management.
              Someone like Billy Beane.
              Oops…he played ball.
              Nevertheless, 2014 will be Rube’s swan song as the Phillies fight the Marlins for the better Rule 4 pick.

            2. I would not set a goal of WS rings. I would set a goal of being a legitimate contender each and every season and reaching the post-season virtually every year.

            3. But then you’d have nothing to complain about, what would you do with your time. I’m guessing you’d spend your time on the Sixers board then.

            4. I don’t even follow the Sixers — couldn’t care less about pro-basketball. Partly a consequence of the Sixers stinking forever, partly the refs allowing everyone to walk with the ball.

            5. Hey, if you’ve been happy with the past two seasons and the current state of the parent team and the farm, then just keep humming your happy Phillies management tune. I’m not.

            6. Actually the NBA is focusing on cutting down on traveling, its getting better. As far as the last 2 years as a Phillies fan, I’ve been far from happy with Phillies management. Its been more depressing than anything.

  13. What was that guys name that was the genesis for having a bunch of people drink Kool-Aid or something because he thought the world was doomed…

    1. Rev James Jones of Guina….actually it was Flavor -Aid….but the expression….’drinking the Kool-Aid’ stemmed fror that tragedy.

  14. Sandy Alderson is a very smart guy who is highly regarded in the industry. He was one of the first guys to embrace sabermetrics in the mid-’90s.

    A guy like Alderson might have enough clout to assume the Phils’ GM job and run things with minimal interference from Montgomery. If so, he might be able to turn the ship around.

    1. Really? He actually did a better job before he embraced Sabermetrics. He had the right formula get a bunch of meat heads and have them take steroids. Then he tries to say he embraced it before Billy. Sh!t he was so excited to use the new magical formula he jumped ship and went to the cozy confines of the MLB office.

      How is his Saber Geek stuff going for the Met’s these days?

      Look no disrespect to Mr. Alderson but to suggest he is smart because he embraced Sabermetrics is plain silly. Was he dumb before that.

      1. So Ruben has the NERVE.
        Today on the radio with Glen Macnow and Anthony G. he defends the signing of Marlon Byrd and starts referencing WAR and BABIP.
        Give me a break!
        Since when did he ever care about analytics.
        And now he espouses the terminology to justify his move (s).
        This is blarney.

  15. Chris Young signed with the Mets for $7.25M. I figured we wouldn’t get him when teams were offering him starting jobs with starter’s money. He has potential but he earned his .200 last year with 25% Ks. I wanted him for around $3M, boy was I off. I’m still hoping for Rajai Davis, I don’t think Bourjos will happen.

      1. Steve Adams from
        ‘Cardinals were in the market for a defensive upgrade from Jon Jay, whose center field defense has graded out as a negative over the course of his career. In that sense, the two sides line up well for a trade,’

  16. Maikel Franco has 25 strikeouts in the Caribbean League. He had 31 while at reading. I hope that this isn’t a major issue or becomes one. Also, I have to imagine if the Phillies have another bad year, Amaro might be gone. This is where I hope the Phillies go outside the club and find someone new.

    1. I am with you.
      Phillies falter miserably in 2014, Ruben’s job is in jeopardy, no matter how many people say Monty will not fire him.
      As for Franco’s K rate in the DR Winter…maybe the pitchers are more experienced and older then AA ball, throwing plenty of good controlled off-speed stuff.

      1. Could well be true, but that is just another way of saying that, despite how well he did in 2013, he is not ready to start 2014 in Philadelphia.

        1. And that’s not a knock on Franco at all. At his age, and how far he flashed up the system last season, he has proven himself to be an excellent prospect. He also isn’t ready for the bigs.

      2. I just don’t want him to become a Howard and look to hit home runs. He may be tired from the long season, its just a concern going forward.

        The Phillies desperately need someone new in that organization. This team, as constructed right now, is in no position to win a World Series. Ruben is trying to put a band-aid over a broken arm.

  17. While several of the transactions made during the Amaro era have been criticized, IMO two really reflect the rank incompetence of Montgomery & Co.:
    1. throwing Cliff Lee out in 2009 like he was garbage, and
    2. signing Papelbon prematurely causing the loss of the Phils’ first-round pick in 2012.

    Those two blunders alone cost the Phils three or four good prospects, two of whom could be young, cost-controlled regulars on today’s 25-man roster. The outlook for the Phils would be brighter today had these two transactions been handled by professionals. In other industries, people get fired for either one of these major mistakes.

  18. We all know the biggest blunder of the phillies owners, gm . not signing any young latin talent, when they didnt have the first round picks,spending the money they were saving in the draft in the latin market, and they could have had a couple of young kids ready to take over, and wouldnt have had to sign some of the older players they have,

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