General Discussion – Weekend of 7-18-2014 – Trade Talk Edition

Since I know there’s a lot of trade talk going around and will be for a while, I will try to get a couple open threads per week through the end of the month so we can keep at least the features a little bit free of general discussion. I try not to be a jerk about this, but today I just want to be able to read everyone’s comments on the draft thread without the rest of the daily back and forth. Please bring that stuff here.


122 thoughts on “General Discussion – Weekend of 7-18-2014 – Trade Talk Edition

  1. I’d like to think that the Phillies could retool their minor league system through trades, but I just don’t see much coming. You won’t get much back for Byrd; maybe Paxson from Seattle if you are lucky. They’re not trading Utley/Hamels; they are the face of the franchise. Chooch, Rollins, Mayberry, Brown get u very litte, if anything. Burnett might get you an A-ball player, or a AA guy, with little upside. Lee; how much will you get for a guy at his age, coming off an injury, making 20+ million/year. I think the Phillies have to continue to be REAL BAD for 3-5 years, get a bunch of Top-5 draft picks, and build that way. We’ve gotta accept that they are going to be real bad for quite a few years.

    1. Lee is going to depend so much on how he looks, and more so his velocity, I think, over the next couple weeks. Little chance he goes before July 31 unless he tosses 12-13 great innings over the next two starts and is back to 2013 velocity levels. Likely he clears waivers, though, or is claimed by a team who actually wants him. He’s kind of expensive and pretty much pointless to have if you’re not contending. A problem with him clearing may be if a team on his no-trade is trying to block a team that’s not. Then you may be stuck holding him until the off-season. He’s still valuable, (again contingent upon performance), and the number of suitors may increase, so you might not lose much for waiting.

      1. without a doubt Lee optimal trade value would be during off-season. I wouldn’t even listen to offers unless the offer is substantial. But again…who are the scouts out there lining up their pecking order…that’s what concerns me.

    2. Assume you mean Paxton. And no way they get him in return for Byrd. That would be a major coup for RAJ but Seattle holds Paxton in very high regard so this is something of a moot point. I admittedly over optimistic that they could land Franklin if they also chip in $8 mil. Maybe they throw in Aumont as well.

      Hope everyone realizes just how bad RAJ is at evaluating the market. Either too much money, too many years, or both on nearly every single contract. Still, pay 50% or more of what’s remaining and players like Lee, Papelbob and Byrd will have real value. You can’t fix this team by spending in the FA market, but you can go a long way towards addressing holes by “buying” other teams’ prospects ahea of the deadline. It’s the only good move they have

    3. Obviously I agree with most of this – but I’m a little more optimistic (if I can set aside my lack of faith in Amaro and company for just a few minutes). Assume just a little good luck – that most of the high ceiling guys pan out – not necessarily all hitting their ceiling, that’s asking too much, but at least that they end up with say 3 stars and a couple above average regulars. Fill in with lesser prospects, even assuming a higher failure rate among them, and a few decent but not huge salary free agents (there are still some out there). I could see the team being competitive by 2017, and contending in 2018.

  2. I think a deal is going to look very different then what most people on this blog are hoping Hamels for 3 prospects.

    I think it is going to look more like this:

    Lee + Pap to Dodgers for Kemp, Seager, Zach Lee.

    We take back a bad contract in Kemp, but get 2 near MLB ready prospects. This would be a win for the Dodgers because it removes depth from their OF. They are taking an injury risk with Lee, but they already have one with Kemp.

        1. The dodgers wont trade seager or joc. lets give them lee and pap for there janitor. I Just don’t get the love for prospects over proven players like lee and pap, when your fighting to win a championship. I am truly lost.

          1. Roccom, set aside for a second the abstract question of value – what determines value in fact are the perceptions of the buyers and sellers. Increasingly, most major league baseball teams place a very high value on prospects.

            Now, the “why” of the above is largely irrelevant, and is also speculative. But if I were to speculate, I’d speculate it is because, despite the fact that, while prospects often fail, when they succeed they have enormous value – years of guarenteed control at below market salaries.

            1. Well, except it doesn’t really make his point … or at least the controversial part of his argument. Break it down:

              (1) Prospects are risky. Yawn. No one disagrees with that. Of course, some are riskier than others.

              (2) Therefore, for a proven veteran, we should expect a huge haul of prospects in return, to compensate for the risk factor.

              Murphy, who is a pretty good and knowledgeable writer, is not making, and wouldn’t make, the second point. That point ignores several facts, including:

              (1) The fact that veterans (especially veterran pitchers) carry risk as well,
              (2) The fact that most (not all) major league organizations increasingly value prospects over veterans,
              (3) When you do hit wth a prospect, you get years of below market price control.

              Yes, I’ve said this before. It just doesn’t seem to sink in for some people (not directed at you so much Romus, though you do tend to overestimate the trade value of our veternas, albeit not as much as some people do).

        2. It’s not like the Dodgers really need to unload contracts to the point where they would need to deal their best prospect IMO. Seager’s about as untouchable as it gets prospect wise.

          To include Seager the conversation would probably have to start with Cole Hamels.

          1. the point is less about getting rid of the money and more about being productive with the money. Kemp is their 4th OF. Maybe 5th when the call up Joc. It is highly inefficient for them to keep him. Swapping his $100 mil for Lee’s improves efficiency dramatically. That is worth a lot! And I don’t mean Zach Lee when I say a lot. It has to be a top prospect to make that trade.

    1. do they really have a chance at landing Seager? If so, they would have two top 15 prospects in baseball (Seager and Crawford) by the end of the year.

    2. I’m not necessarily endorsing this specific deal, but the concenpt of “take back a bad contract” as part of the deal is IMO much more likely than the concept of “throw in 25 million dollars to get better prospects.

    3. I like your deal, but the Phils would need to get cash back since Kemp is owed so much money.

      The reason I’d do the deal is that Lee’s status is a question mark. Were Lee healthy, I’d want Seager and Zach Lee for Cliff alone plus cash. Papelbon and Kemp would be out.

      If this deal were on the table on July 31, should the Phils take the deal or gamble that Lee will be healthy again for a better deal this off-season?

      Another feature I like about your deal is getting Seager, who is an elite prospect. Pederson is not elite. In a trade involving either Lee or Hamels, my starting point is one elite prospect plus one or two other top prospects.

      1. For Lee? Seriously? I mean, we’ve been all over this for Hamels. and I have no desire to revisit it, but Lee is 5 years older, the injury sure to be a lingering concern (though possibly less of one depending upon how he pitches), and fewer years of control (not a disadvantage in my opinion, but based on our disagreement about Hamels, a negative factor in your opinion). And the MINIMUM you would take is an elite prospect and another top prospect???!!!! Seriously? Why don’t we simply call up the Angels and ask for Trout while we are at it? I’m even making the extremely doubtful assumption that the Philies kick in 25 million, and it doesn’t come CLOSE to adding up.

        1. You want to pretend that the Shields and Samardzija trades did not happen. Pull your head out of the sand. Those trades really did happen, and the return in each case was an elite prospect plus.

          If Lee is healthy again and restores his status as an ace by his starts the rest of this season, his value this coming season would exceed that of Shields and Samardzija. You act as though good pitchers are fungible and that one is as good as another. Any casual observer of the baseball scene knows this not to be true.

          If the 2016 option in Lee’s contract is made to vest and if the Phils send substantial cash, two years of Lee is worth more than 1 1/2 years of either Shields or Samardzija. If those two can get back an elite prospect and another good prospect, in one case another Top 100, a thinking person would conclude the possibility that Lee could bring back an elite prospect plus one or two other top prospects.

          You raise the issue of Lee’s age and health risk. While that is a factor today, it will be less a factor if Lee proves that he is healthy and pitches at a very high level the rest of this year. Under those circumstances, were Lee a free agent this off-season, he would receive a lucrative two- or three-year contract. To see these things, just lift your head, open your eyes, and observe.

          What on earth does Hamels’ contract have to do with Lee’s contract? We’re not trading Lee for Hamels. We’re trading each for a prospect package. In each case, the Phils’ pitcher and his contract is worth more than 1 1/2 years of either Shields or Samardzija. Once more, your thinking is shoddy.

          1. I guess it also comes down to comparing Ruben with Theo Epstein/Ned Hoyer and Freidman/Auld….the non- metric vs the metric leaning….the former player GM and the non-player GM.
            Confidence in Ruben is at the Ed Wadeion lowest.

          2. Your BASIC problem derek is that you’re immune to logic and reason. More specifically, you REFUSE to accept the basic concept of ANY kind of market that the BEST returns are not a legitimate standard for a typical return. It’s like saying you refuse to invest in the stock market unless you get a guarantee of Berkshire Hathaway level returns.

            AND the idea that a 35 year old Lee, even a healthy Lee, is as valuable as a 30 year old Shields is not just wrong, but laughably wrong. For a number of reasons, but mainly because your opinions about the relative value of a 30 year old and 35 year old (in terms of injury and decline risk) is shared by NO ONE inside professional baseball. You’re likely right about the value of Samardzja (though it is closer than you think because of the age difference), but ignore the fact that OAKLAND IS NO LONGER IN THE MARKET, so that deal means zero. zero, nothing, nil.

            Here’s the thing – even if I had time to continue this – I don’t, today was an aberration, and one I’ll be paying for in terms of increased work later – I really get no pleasure from this dialog. Arguing with a magical thinker is frustrating and leads to no good outcome. Add in the fact that AT BEST it’s a stupid and meaningless argument, since the Phillies certainly will not throw 25 million into the pot. So by all means,spin another fantasy and get the last word. You’ll get no more responses from me.

            1. Larry, you are in need of guidance on how to argue clearly and logically. I will try to provide some short-form guidance, even though you have shown yourself to be a poor listener.

              To support your position, you should cite examples of trades that support your position. In the absence of such examples, you should make a logical argument, complete with deductive reasoning (If you are baffled by what a logical argument is, look up things like modus ponens, modus tollens, tautologies, etc.).

              You have neither cited examples nor presented a logical argument. All you have done is make pronouncements. It is easy to make empty, negative assertions about prospect packages, but with nothing behind these assertions, yours are just the blusterings of a windbag.

              I have acknowledged that there is no history of trades involving star pitchers on multi-year contracts and cash for a prospect package. Hence, I am not able to cite on-point examples. What I am able to do, however, is cite trades of good pitchers for excellent prospect packages. Then, by adding cash, we can make the acquisition of star pitchers more attractive to an acquiring team than the acquisition of merely good pitchers. More attractive is worth more than less attractive (Stop me if I’m going too fast). Therefore, the acquiring team should be willing to give up a better prospect package for star pitchers plus cash than for merely good pitchers.

              In the absence of a track record, I acknowledge that a trade of either a healthy Lee or Hamels plus substantial cash could yield two or three top prospects, i.e., a better package than either Shields or Samardzija produced, but this is not a certainty.

              Reasons that you give for a more modest return for Hamels or Lee are –
              1. Lee is not healthy;
              2. the Phils won’t send a lot of cash to the acquiring team; and
              3. the A’s are no longer in the market since they already traded for Samardzija.

              We can now add intellectual dishonesty to your flaws. We first began this discussion long before the season started – before Lee was hurt and before the A’s trade. It also was not a discussion specific to the Phillies or Amaro. It was a more general discussion of what to reasonably expect for pitchers of the calibre of Lee or Hamels if the GM is a reasonably good trader. My argument has always been about what the Phils should do, not what they will do. You have also argued previously what the Phils should do in trades. Now, you are trying to convert this discussion into a prediction game. Laughable.

              Since you can’t win the argument on the merits and you desperately want to win, is clear that you are resorting to evasion, distortion, misrepresentation, and outright dishonesty.

              I have made my position clear on an injured Lee: I would pull him off the market now, hope that he restores his previous value the remainder of this season, and trade him this off-season or at next year’s deadline. If he no longer can pitch at a high level, the Phils are out of luck.

              Re Hamels, I would hold onto him and, with the patience exhibited by a Friedman or an Epstein, wait until I am offered a package consisting of one elite prospect plus one or two other top prospects. As I have made clear elsewhere, an elite prospect is a Top 10 prospect or better and, generally, a top prospect is a Top 100 prospect. For Hamels plus cash, I would want a Top 10, a Top 50, and, maybe, a Top 80. If the second top prospect is good enough, I would not require a third top prospect.

          3. Well Lee is not going to magically show his health in 3 starts before the deadline. There is still going to be risk of reoccurence given his advanced age.

            Also it’s not Samardzija’s worth alone that got a top prospect. Samardzija PLUS Hammel was what got Adison Russell included. Oakland had talked to Tampa Bay about Price, but TB wanted Russell.

            Oakland only traded him when they got two SP’s. Hammel was under .300 ERA with the Cubs this year.

            Now would Cliff Lee be more attractive with the Phillies making him cost controllable and the team trading for him paying him $10-$12m a year? Sure… but his age is still going to lower his value and with both Shields and Samardzija you have the team trading for them (KC and OAK respectively) knowing when they become FA’s they’ll offer QO’s so at the least they’ll get a 1st round compensation pick as well. I don’t think any team trading for Cliff Lee is going to count on being able to do that.

            Did the Phillies end up offering Halladay a QO? No. Because age caught up to him and he was broken down and probably would have accepted it and you had a broken down pitcher making $13m.

            1. Billy Mckinney and Dan Straily were as good as players the Cubs wouldve gotten for Hammel.

              The new moneyball isnt the the overvaluing of prospects. The new moneyball is the overvaluing of a SINGULAR prospect.

    4. That would be a phenomenal deal for us. Seager is a top 5 prospect in all of baseball. I’d take him over Russell anyday. Zach Lee is a boring but competent bottom of rotation starter. Kemp has a terrible contract but he’s still got a lot left and would likely benefit from a change of scenery. He would instantly become our best outfielder and best hitter, while providing solid outfield defense.

      I’d probably eventually shift Seager to 2B to form an excellent long term double play duo with Crawford. With Franco’s glove(and bat) coming along he’s most valuable at 3B. A Seager – Crawford-Franco infield would be a great foundation to build around…and Kemp’s bat in the outfield is a nice bridge to those Single A prospects and likely future high draft picks.

      This isn’t as bad as you make it seem. Any deal involving Seager is a win for the Phillies as they start their rebuild in earnest. Lee provides that much needed young mlb ready arm and getting Kemp’s contribution is preferable to just eating the Hamels and Papelbon contracts. This deal puts a ton of pressure on Seager but if he becomes a middle infielder who bats in the middle of the order the rest of the deal doesn’t matter.

    1. Utley sounds delusional talking about there being time to make up the ground, but they have to play better baseball. Hard to imagine making the playoffs with less than 87 wins. They need to go 45-22 to achieve that. No team in baseball has been able to win that percentage of their games thus far this season. Perhaps he’s been recruited to help sell tickets.

      1. What do you want him to say-hey we will probably lose around 90 games again this year but come to CBP anyway? How would you handle it if you owned the Phillies? At least he wants to do better.

  3. The more I’m hoping for the Phils to be able to trade Papelbon and Revere to LA for Andre Either and a package of reasonable prospects if the Dodgers are willing to pick up about half of Either’s salary. This would enable the Phillies to place Either in right field if they trade Byrd. Either would bring much better defense and possibly a revival if hitting in a more friendly ballpark. The reduction of half Eithier’s salary would help LA better afford Paplebon.

    1. Byrd is better defensively than Ethier. Regardless, I don’t see the Phils taking back Ethier. Kemp maybe though.

      1. I don’t get the fascination with Kemp and his $100 million. It’s more of an albatross contract than Howard has. The guy is not longer good on defense. The offense also hasn’t been anything special this season. There seems to be an expectation that his health and performance will continue to improve, but that seems a risky bet at that kind of $. Hasn’t he also been an attitude problem in the past? How well does he fit into a bad team. We don’t need to trade to dump salary, but neither should we be taking on $21.5 mill a season through 2019.

    2. A Papelbon trade to LA seems incompatible. They already have a closer. Would Papelbon be a set-up man? I highly doubt he’d go for that.

        1. I know, but I believe Paps wants to remain a closer – that’s been his only role since 2006. Do the Dodgers want a $50M set-up man?

          1. Is LA on his no trade list? If not, he may not have a choice (though if he does, the only way he would agree to a set up role IMO would be if the option year is guarenteed.

            But from the Dodgers perspective – well, he doen’t have nearly that much left on the deal, and if the Phillies kicked in some, or (more likely) took back a bad contract, then sure. I mean, a 25 million dollar set up man is better than a 100 million dollar 4th outfielder.

          2. Papelbon isn’t a $50 mill setup man. He is owed $13 mill for next season. The Phillies can eat the rest of his $2014 salary — it’s already budgeted. He has an option at $13 mill for 2016, but has no chance to reach it, if he is used as a setup man, as the option is based on games finished.

      1. He’s still getting paid and LA is a great place to pitch. This may set up his next free agent contract after next season if he does well.

    3. Why would the dodgers want Revere? They already have too many OFs in Either, Kemp, Puig, Crawford and even Van Slyke. Now add in Joc and that’s 6 OFs. There’s no reason for them to even consider a trade with a team for an OFer.

  4. I hope I’m wrong but I really think Lee could wind up being an Abreu type salary dump deal. The Yanks need a pitcher bad but don’t have a lot of high end prospects to give. They could go to the Phils and say they’ll take Lee and take his remaining contract. In turn the Phils would prob get back 2 or 3 mid to lower end guys. Kinda like the Abreu deal. I can’t see the market being much better for a 35 yr old pitcher coming off an arm injury. Then there’s that whole $25 mill annually over the next 2.5 yrs potentially.

    1. The Phils won’t do a deal just to dump salary. Dollars are not their problem. They need talent and lots of it. Unfortunately, I don’t expect raj to find us any top talent for what we intend to trade. The Phils will kick in money to make a deal and some deals will occur.

    2. For Lee..I would take the Yankee’s prospects of Aaron Judge and LHP Banuelos.–you will not get Severino…also Brian Cashman will want some cash coming his way i am sure.

  5. I would not take that deal for Lee at all. Look, we just saw the A’s give up a top 5 prospect to win now. That shows that teams may not be as hesitant to give up a prospect as we think they are. If a team wants one of our guys, they are going to have to pay. Mariners don’t want to give up Paxton for Byrd? Fine, good luck making a playoff run. Dodgers won’t give up Pederson, alright no Hamels for you.

    I am 100% all for selling, but if teams want to get that last peice to put them over the top, they have to pay for it. RAJ did it and now he has to get another GM to do it.

    1. Look … really just about everyone here would be fine with selling if we got back the fantasy deals some are proposing. I’m sure Amaro is one of them! So IF you’re right, then we’re looking at a huge haul of great prospects over the next few days!

      But you can’t honestly describe yourself as “100% all for selling.” A person “100% all for selling” would favor getting the best possible deals for our veternas, even if they were “disappointing.”

      If fact, and ironically since some of Amaro’s biggest critics on this point* are also people who wouldn’t make trades unless the return was unusually good, my (educated) guess is that the reason that essentially no deals have been done this year of last is that the organization agrees with your last point – and hasn’t been able to find anyone to overpay for our veterans. (For the cognitively impaired out there, I’m NOT saying that the team is listening to its fans on that point, just that they happen to be thinking the same way. Mistakenly IMO.)

      *Of course I’m a big critic also, just on other grounds.

      1. As a matter of negotiating strategy – and I do that for a living – taking the kind of hard line position advocated here DOES increase the chances of big payoff. Arguably worth it (in some cases, anyway – IMO guys like Byrd and Papelbon you take what you can get). But the trade off is increasing the chance that no deal gets made. I just wish some people around here would realize that the trade off exists.

        1. I cant figure out your logic. I would take what you can get. I believe before you also said before what good is a salary dumb. Taking what you can get is a salary dump, or I am wrong.?

          1. Regarding taking on bad contracts, I was making a prediction, not advocating a strategy.

            But on that topic: given the team’s payroll trajectory (downward, just by natural attrition and, in the short and medium run, lack of home grown prospects to spend big money on) and the increasingly poor FA market, I would take on a bad contract IF (and only if) a “top” prospect came along with it, and they couldn’t get the top prospect without taking on the bad contract.

            Of course there are some bad contracts I wouldn’t take on under any circumstances.

    2. That was my point the other day danurda8888. I wouldn’t move anyone just for the sake of moving them. I feel if a contender wants to get top line pitcher like lee, they pay or he stays. if they want a good outfielder like Byrd give us something, byrd isn’t blocking anyone down in the minors. so he stays unless we get something. there is no reason to move guys just for the sake of moving them. Who do we have that we could replace lee with or Byrd. no one. The biggest negative with our argument is ruben is a moron and we don’t know what he will do and that scares me.

    3. RAJ got fleeced. Pence was a lot healthier and not nearly as expensive as Lee. That is a good return for Lee, especially if we don’t contribute significant $. If Lee hadn’t gone down for a big chunk of this season, and if we ate a ton of $, we could get more for him, but how attractive is he really at this point?

  6. Serious question here – for the people who think Hamels should get us 3 top prospects, Papelbon a top prospect, Byrd a good prospect, etc., is your fear:

    (1) That Amaro will negotiate poorly and accept less, or
    (2) That he will turn down really good offers?

    It sort of has to be one of the two. Or even both, I guess, though that would require having an even worse opinion of his talent judgment than I have.

    And if no deals happen, do you cut Amaro some slack, or just assume #2?

    1. For one, IMO, Hamels will not get you three ‘top’ prospects, nor Paps a top but Byrd could bring back one of an org’s 5 and below rated prospects by MLB/BA.

      But when it comes to 1 or 2 above… is 1 for me….I am not confident Ruben will negotiate for the best hand.

      Like I said before…Ruben takes the safe way most of the time….so the deals that will happen will be with Burnett, Byrd and Paps.

      Trading Hamels and Lee is too much of risk that he would take. .

    2. That Amaro will negotiate poorly and accept less. I don’t imagine Amaro turning down good offers because I have a hard to enivisioning getting really good offers

  7. Some very interesting opinions and ideas on possibly moves. Bringing Kemp over for lee would be something I would consider if im ruben. I would prefer to have him as a corner outfielder to try and avoid injury, but having him in center for a while would be an upgrade over revere and co. As far as bringing in elite prospects, I think we can forget about that. I would be happy with quality prospects and/or some younger major league ready talent. The only way we get any prospects worth getting excited about is if we move hamels and I highly doubt he is moved. My outlook on this deadline and possibly august for lee is that they just get some guys who have a chance to contribute to the big league club. Maybe in another year or two with less money on his deal we could trade hamels and get a decent return. From our point of view this is all speculation and there are always sleeper teams in on guys who could come into play. Our best hope is that injuries and other playoff contenders adding players forces a team to maybe over pay a little and land us a deal we would be happy about.

  8. I must be in the minority here, but I think Samardzija is an ace in the making – one of the best strikeout pitchers in the game while making big improvements in his walk rate. I don’t think we can say unequivicably that Hamels is better than him. Oakland overpaid for an underappreciated talent, but they did it because they think he’ll be that good.

    It might not be that all good pitchers are worth the package he garnered; it could be that Billy Beane wants the guy that is showing all the signs of a huge breakout that Verlander had a couple years ago (huge strikeout rate with dropping walk rate).

    1. Good point, one that even I perhaps underestimated. And it’s obviously not just Verlander – IMO the main reason Beane is so well regarded is that, whether because of good talent judgment or good organizational development skill (I’d guess mainly the former) he has just been phenomenally good at identifying and acquiring under valued assets. I mean, Josh Donaldson anyone?

      1. The closer I look at this, the more I think that this is a big part of the story. It’s an impossible to answer the following counter factual, but, given a choice between the deal he made (and recall he got Hammel also) and a deal for a healthy Lee or Hamels, even with a ton of money kicked in, who would he have picked? Not sure the answer is as obvious as some people are assuming.

  9. Very, very interesting stuff with Houston. Screwed up badly by not signing Aiken but possibly screwed up worse with Nix. Word is they agreed upon a contract and filed it with the league but then reneged. If Nix wins his grievance and Houston has to honor the contract, they go 17% over their pool thereby losing their 2 next first round picks.

    1. An under discussed (but not original on my part) aspect of this is that it really points up a huge flaw in the current slotting system – if you want to even think about signing a guy like Nix, you HAVE to go way under slot for your first round pick (and he better be a high pick as well).

      Of course that doesn’t absolve the Astros – even if you assume a bit more good faith than most people are assuming, how did they realistically think they could sign both of them? It was never really in the cards.

      I will say this, though – IMO the sequence of events supports the inference that the Astros really were concerned about the arm. (Of course, this doesn’t exclude the possibility that they were ALSO influenced by the fact that they could use the money saved to sign Nix.) But it was still a huge screw up on their part any way you look at it.

      1. If true, their reported last minute 5 mil offer doesn’t match the injury narrative. More likely they thought they needed to save money to sign Marshall but ended up empty handed. If Nix’s appeal goes through, that franchise could be set back for a while. Could you imagine the disdain Nix would face in the Astros system if they were forced to honor his deal and lost two much higher rated players in the process? Maybe the Nix distraction prevented their FO from signing Aiken or Marshall…which would mean Nix potentially cost them even more players in addition to the penalty.

    2. re: That Nix news; wow.

      Not signing Aiken (or Marshall)is already a huge blow. Not sure what Aiken was thinking reportedly rejecting 5 mil offer. Getting more than that will be basically impossible and he probably sets his arb clock back. Is he going the JC route to save eligibility or going to UCLA? Both are a huge risk. Wasting 3 years, risking injury at UCLA, where he’d have to dominate to return to the top 10 let alone 1 overall. Aiken got lucky being drafted 1st overall on reputed polish. He’s great but doesn’t have elite plus-plus stuff and was drafted because of he’s relatively advanced for a prep pitcher. Now he’s forced to out pitch everyone in the country to get where he started. Not sure what happened here but seems very bad for both parties. Especially with Appel struggling, Houston really needs a future #1 to pair with all their young bats. I guess they could draft Kirby and possibly end up better off but yikes.

  10. I guess Aiken has never googled Matt Harrington. Is a crazy situation on one hand he might hurt himself by not accepting the 5 million, but on the other the Astros backed away from their word.

    The system is the problem here. It’s crazy that a teenager born in the United States has to make what the league says he can make, but if he was born in the Dominican or in Cuba or anywhere far and he could make as much as teams want to pay. That’s just ridiculous

    1. If you are 23 or under now from a foreign country, are you not obligated to go through the draft now? Or am I wrong?

  11. Per MLB Trade Rumors, Padres are going to get angels #2 (2b) and #6 (rp) prospects (MLB Rank) for Houston Street.

    1. Lindsay was probably their best prospect ahead of Cowart. Alvarez allowed only one run in 27 innings this season as the AA closer, striking out 12.7 per 9 while walking 3.3. They also got Rondon, a 20 year old shortstop hitting .330 in high A.
      According to mlb’s updated rankings the Angels gave their 1st, 4th and 5th best prospects for Huston Street. The other two pitchers thrown in the deal are 2013 2nd day picks but close to a wash. SD got a phenomenal return for Street. Is he really that much better than Papelbon? His 14 mil over the next two years is less than Papelbon is owed but the Phillies certainly would have covered the difference for a worse prospect package. Street is off the market but so is another buyer who was clearly willing to pay.

      Its frustrating seeing the Phillies, with less of a future than the Padres, never get anything done.

      The Phillies spending has lead to a last place team full of unmoveable contracts. Careful what you wish for (not that regulars advocated those deals). Yet again Ruben will draw a silly line in the sand and end up with nothing. Can we see exciting baseball in Philadelphia within the decade? Trades are the only route to reconstruct the roster within 3-4 years; relying on the draft and free agency will take much longer. Massive spending on older international free agents from Cuba and Asia is the only short cut, but after all the recent signings is there anyone left? Thomas is the only big prize I know of. There are some other Cubans but none project as stars. Yoon from Korea and Maeda from Japan could be worth signing but they seem more like bottom of rotation types than aces like Tasaka or Darvish.

  12. Amaro is a fool that should have not got this job. Every GM knows you’ll look like an idiot if someone like Amaro gets the best of you so no one will ever do a deal that’s remotely fair.

  13. Might not be popular , but I say keep our guys and then go for another run, for all the love that the Rays, Cubs and A’s get how many WS victories do they have in the last 30 years , but im all for trading Lee , Paps and anybody else who needs to go

  14. He’s the simplest was to evaluate these prospects for lee/Hamels/Pap/Byrd scenario . . . Ask yourself if you would do it if you were the other team.

    If you are the Dodgers GM would you give up those prospects for Lee? I wouldn’t. My rotations is good enough w Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Beckett and Haren. No need to add Lee and lose a SS who I am going to want playing for me (esp if they sign Hanley and move him back to 3B).

  15. I’m trying hard to appreciate the ‘take what you can get’ argument as it applies to players like Byrd and Papelbon, or even Lee for that matter. This is something of a head-scratcher though. Assuming we get little in value in return – then why exactly was the trade made at all? As a salary dump? OK, now what? How you going to reinvest that money? We all know by now that Free-Agency is slim pickings. So in all honestly, what do we do with these big savings by dumping salaries ahead of the deadline?

    I’ll continue to contend that the only way to get any value ahead of the deadline is to include cash in any deal in order to reduce the salary commitment of our overpaid players. Byrd, even with a guaranteed option, is worth a lot more in trade as a $4 million per year player than an $8 million per year player. Given the lack of available RH power options, he can actually be a valuable trade chip if we kick-in $8-$10 mil. Top 50 prospect valuable? Of course not. Top 100? Borderline. Still better than trading him for nothing though.

    Similar argument can be made for Papelbon – he’s a different commodity if you include $12-$15 million in any deal and he likely lands you a Top 100 type.

    What exactly is the alternative? Trade them for nothing or keep them and pay 100% of their salary anyway? I’d prefer option 3

    1. When you mention Top 100 player, for the most part, it is like trying to get one of a specific team’s’ top three or four rated prospect by BA or MLB
      Do you think Paps warrants a team’s, say LAD, number three prospect?

      1. Romus – I’d rather say Top 100 since includes the entire prospect pool. Obviously Team A’s Top 5 may be considerably better than Team B’s Top 5. As far as Pap’s value – if they bring his salary down to say, Huston Street’s level, and they can do so by kicking in cash, why could we expect a similar even if slightly lesser haul? Is anyone going to make the argument that Street is significant better than Papelbon strictly from an expected performance point of view?

        1. Yes agree, Steve-Tampa, kicking in the cash should help facilitate a more equitable return for Paps. And I believe Ruben is willing to kick in cash as he mentioned last month.

    2. Huston Street, by all accounts, is a terrific team guy, and having a great year. Who would take Pap over him? It has been discussed before here that there are maybe 4 closer types, Street 1 of them, who are more trade valuable than Pap. And, with all of the fantasy trades we would love the Phils to make, does anyone really believe Hamels gets traded? Or that Lee is worth anything close to what the Cubs got? Or that Byrd brings even as much as we got for Pence? And “as much” is sarcasm.

  16. None of the Angels prospects were top 100! I’m surprised. Highly thought of within Angels system but not ‘studs’. Makes one wonder what Pap is really worth to a contender.

    1. Anonymous I just want over the deal. the number one prospects is a 250 hitter in California league. just because they are top prospects of a team. doesn’t mean they are anything special. We could give up our second best prospect biddle a head case. only untouchable we have imo is Crawford. so we could give them a package like that and it would be great. look at our top twenty. I would give say tocci ,alteer they are in top ten for us, but none of them is special/

  17. Very surprised that the angels gave up so much for street. It will be interesting to see now what other closers start going for. Street is having a better year, is about 3 years younger and is signed through 2015 for 7mil. Pap being older with a less exciting contract is not going to get us this kind of return. However, if ruben takes some money off the deal maybe they can land a prospect in a teams top ten, along with a 12-20 guy and maybe a low level guy. I would be very pleased with that kind of return.

      1. Would be fantastic, but it’s not going to happen. Harvey is a grade A prospect. We’d be lucky if we got a grade B and C prospect and they ate most of the salaries.

        1. Being somewhat facetious catch. But only somewhat. It depends on how much salary the Phils would eat. I have to ask though; why would we be lucky if they ate most of the salaries? That’s contrary to the point. I’d rather eat salary for a better prospect than have the other team take on salary for nothing more than a AAAA ceiling ‘prospect’. What’s the point of such a deal? How would they reinvest the savings? I’d rather just keep Papelbon and Burnett.

      2. I am thinking more in line with Mike Wright and Jon Keller and maybe Schoop as an added

  18. Theres no point in trading Lee right now if they dont get the value he had before he was injured. If they get low balled, let him dominate the rest of the season and trade him in the Winter for fair value.

    1. Possibly, but with this organization it’s more likely to be like last year. Sell at the all-star break somewhat because of recognizing the season was lost and then act delusional in the off-season and think “hey, if a BILLION DIFFERENT THINGS break our way” we can get in the playoffs next year… So let’s not trade Cliff Lee this winter when his value is high and other teams have missed out on targets.

      You probably could have traded Cliff Lee to Arizona during the winter when they missed out on Tanaka.

  19. I am totally amazed. I have read reports that teams aren’t willing to give up 3 prospects for Hamels. I also read he wouldn’t mind going. But they will give up a lot for price, price is owed 20 million next year . and does anyone think he will sign for less than 5 years 125 million? Hamels has been lights out with no run support. How many lefthanders right now are better than Hamels?

    1. I don’t feel they will acquire any good prospects because Hamels and Utley stay. Maybe AAprospect for Lee and another piece in August. Next yr Ruf/Howard 1st platoon, Ut, JRoll,Frranco,Choch OF Asche, Sizemore Cam PerkinsRotation Hamels FA, they spend again, Nola, Buchanan ands #5 from some fringe trade. Please tell me I am wrong

  20. Omg Broomall I hope your wrong. I just cant watch Howard anymore. I Guess its only me but Sandberg isn’t the manager I thought, last night they walked, semi intentional Utley to get to Howard. he has 2 rbis and is hitting 109 in last two weeks. and the rbi were on a jam shot to left center. Howard has been so bad its sad he is out there, no speed , bad fielding. giving us nothing.

    1. Howard has certainly been hard to watch. You would think at this point they would at least move him down in the lineup. Lets get Asche batting in the 2 hole or even fifth if you’d like. He has been swinging a better bat since coming off the DL and needs to get as many ABs as possible during a lost cause season. I think if you put him in front of utley we might see a little more pop in his bat being that he should see some more fastballs. After the deadline I wouldn’t mind seeing a lineup along the lines of:

      1,) Sizemore LF
      2.) Asche 3B
      3.) Utley 2B
      4.) Ruf 1B
      5.) Rollins SS
      6.) Ruiz C
      7.) Revere CF
      8.) Whoever RF

      Franco could be a guy to get some time at first and push Ruf to the outfield. Dugan could be a guy that gets some time in the outfield as well. Hard to really make a lineup when you don’t know who is getting traded and who is being acquired, I am assuming byrd definitely goes though. The only thing I am looking forward to seeing the second half is some young guys getting a chance to play and any intriguing prospects we may land.

      1. I not familiar with whoever in RF, but I’m looking forward to him more than the rest.

  21. Everyone knows Amaro is a fool that should have never gotten his job. Every GM knows you’ll look like an idiot if someone like Amaro gets the best of you. Thus no one will ever do a deal that’s remotely fair with the Phillies. Amaro will kill this organization.

  22. Always good dialogue here. Unfortunately, the Phillies are selling low due to overpaying in years and contracts, in addition to being a losing team. Trade partners try to take advantage of the situation. Much like the stock market, you can’t overreact to the perception of things and try to assess logically. I think the Phillies should trade what they are ready to back fill (or soon will be) with youth and talent. You may not get much by way of prospects in return, but a new injection of players will make the same impact. That leaves trading Papelbon, Byrd, Burnett, Ruiz, and Kendrick. Replacing with Giles, Dugan or Altherr, Nola, Rupp or Joseph, and whomever is next in line. Rupp needs a chance to play everyday at the major league level. I’m not ready to give up on Brown just yet and would rather move him to a platoon situation to get himself straight. I would do the same with Ryan Howard with Maikel Franco and trade him in the off-season. Hamels and Lee are # 1 / 2 starters. We don’t have anyone to replace them in the minors, so they shouldn’t be traded.

  23. I know this isn’t the place for this but can I just vent real quick? Had a legion playoff game today against Flemmington who was 41-0 coming into the game (Thats sick!) we lost 1-0 in 9innings . . . we had so many chances to win, god that hurts.

    On a side note I was at a 15 yr old all star game today scouting a team we could play (also coach a 15 yr old team) and there was this kid who was 6’3 about 215 . . . he walks to the mound so I figure hmmm lets see what he has. First warm up (From the left side) POP! i’m thinking “that looks 88-89”, next warm up POP! Again “that HAS TO BE upper 80’s if not 90”. So I walk over to the first base side to get a better look (again hes a lefty) . . there was a parent with a gun (not a coach, there were no college coaches there, i’ll explain) . . first pitch of the game 91, second pitch 92, third third pitch 93 . . out loud I said “wow” and a parent turns around and says “He’s been as high as 97”. Wow. This kid is big, left handed and throws effortlessly. Jason Groome, 15 years old sitting 91-93. I talked to his Dad who said “he already has been offered by Virginia and Louisville and it’s between them two but . . . (and he pauses) he’ll never step foot on a college campus.” Meaning he;s getting drafted and i’ll tell you what, if a 15 year old could get drafted, hes prob a supplemental 1st or 2nd round pick. I was floored. Anyways just thought it was interesting and kinda about a prospect right?

    1. Kid’s Dad better hope the Astros are still not drafting at the number one pick in 2/3 years.

      1. That kid’s dad will be sending the Astros a pre-draft letter titled “Don’t even f#$king think about it”.

    1. If Monty steps down after this year or next, I think Ruben gets the promotion to the President’s job..
      And then also gets to interview any candidates for the GM position.
      Guarantee one candidate will be Ed Wade.

        1. Billy basically had that opportunity with Boston and shot it down. He will never leave Oakland and while his GM salary may be paltry his stake in the club at some point may be worth hundreds of millions. My opinion of course.

          1. NO I understand and that may indeed be true. But Oakland is Oakland and maybe he wins the WS this year and decides to move on?

          2. Can we have Oakland leave Oakland? Just need a multi-billionaire to move them back to Philadelphia and probabl pay the Phils at least $250m for coming into their territorial rights.

  24. Can you imagine if RAJ had decided two years ago that “rebuilding” was the proper path for the organization to take, traded away most of the major league talent and drafted Mark Appel??

    Only then to top of that steaming pile of dog crap by tanking the 2013 season in historic measure only to not sign the first overall pick (or the 5th rounder as well who by all accounts was a 2nd round talent) after having reached verbal agreement with both?? Fans would be burning Citizens Bank Park to the ground at this very moment.

    All things considered, I’d say things could certainly be worse.

    1. LOL. You know things are going bad for an organization when, in retrospect, Ed Wade looks like the “smart guy” in the front office. That now applies to two teams! Yikes!!!!!!

      1. You’re 1000% correct with that statement.

        The ‘Stros are going to [most likely] get the 1st and 2nd picks in the 2015 draft. What are the chances that they A) sign both of these picks; and B) actually draft major league talent?? I’m thinking its less than 50/50.

        Again, things in Philly could be worse. We got are top 10 picks signed so there were no issues with the pool allotment and have several guys in there worth following for the next couple of years.

    1. If I don’t have to send $, yes. Burnett isn’t that good and is due a mountain of $$.

    2. Perhaps Burnett for OF Willy Garcia.
      Gacia is an enigma of sorts but the Buccos outfield is set for a decade with McC-Polanco-Marte, so he will go at sometime.

  25. I really understand what larry was talking about. Burnett for Worley, and your serious. just give him away who in gods name wants Worley back.

    1. Burnett is 38 next season. He still has $6.5 mill of his signing bonus due. If he makes 3 more starts he has an $8.5 mill player option for next season; 6 more starts and it rises to $10 mill; and $11.75 mill if he has 9 more starts this season. RAJ really loaded the Burnett contract money into 2015. That’s what he does if he wants to add a player for current year and is tight on budget, as with acquisitions of Halladay, Oswalt, and Pence. So, assuming Burnett stays healthy and gets his 9 additional 2014 starts, including bonus he will have cost $8.5 mill in calendar 2014 and $18.25 million in calendar 2015. That’s tremendously expensive for a 38-year old starter coming off a 4.08 ERA, 1.36 WHIP losing season.

      1. Really, to understand the Phillies problems, one needs to take a very close look at how RAJ includes extra prospects in trades, just salary-dumps a guy like Lee, gives extra contract years, and back-loads deals to control current year spending. Burnett is more of a fiscal bomb than Papelbon for next season and close to Howard.

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