General Discussion – Week of 7-30-14 – Thirty Thirty Thirty Four Hours To Go Edition

Thirty thirty thirty-four hours to go // Let’s get some people traded.

Nothin to lose, so let them boys go // Let’s get some people traded.

Get Paps to the airport, put Byrd on a plane,

If you can’t move Bastardo, it would be a shame.

You can’t control the fact that you signed Ryan Howard to that enormous contract // how did you not see that one coming, dummy?

Oh oh oh oh oh ohhhhhhh…

Discuss. (note – upon further review, my math is bad – it was 32 hours when i came up with this idea, but I added 8 to 24 and got 34. Wow!)

99 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 7-30-14 – Thirty Thirty Thirty Four Hours To Go Edition

  1. I just don’t get wanting to trade Bryd. The guy plays hard, top 5 NL in homers and above ave. RF. Plus his salary is reasonable.

    1. Explain to me how he helps the club make the playoffs during his current tenure, and I’m with you. It’s just not happening, and his value likely will not get any higher.

      1. Ya I agree I believe Byrd has been extremely valuable, I remember most people were blasting the signing when it happened. According to baseball ref has a 2.8 WAR and according to fangraphs a 1.5 WAR. If the prospect coming back is decent and isnt just an org filler the phils should kick in about 4 mil and make this trade happen. Buy Prospects and help this team for the future, because this team on the field now isnt the future.

      2. Papelbon wanted to be traded a year ago..

        Byrd should be gone along with Burnett.

        Amaro’s problem this trade deadline is twofold. The prospects he received back in the Lee to Seattle deal both flamed out. When he traded for Pence he gave up the farm. He does not want to make that same mistake so he is overly cautious.

        On the other hand the draft indicates that he wants MLB ready guys so he is looking for the same from other teams in every deal overplaying his hand.

        Then there is the possibility that the ownership may have his days numbered and do not want him to make any deals.

        Any way you look at it with the exception of ownership telling him not to make any deals indicates that Amaro botched the trade deadline unless something major happens. The team is not going to get any better next year and he assembled a 90+ loss team with $177 million dollars.

        1. I don’t think RAJ is thinking about past trades. And I don’t think he’s over playing his hand. It’s actually the exact opposite.

      3. One of the ways the Phils can accelerate the rebuilding process is to sign veteran players to short-term contracts and, if they perform well, trade them at the deadline for prospects who can become solid regulars.

        The Phils should have foreseen this opportunity when structuring Byrd’s and, more particularly, Burnett’s contract.

        If the Phils were to continue to sign veterans short-term over the next few years and trade them at deadline, they might actually pick up a couple of guys who become regulars on the next good team.

        1. Unfortunately most attractive veterans that would eventually bring back a prospect or two, will want ‘short-term’ contracts of 2 plus a vesting. Especially if they were not QO by their losing club.
          Plus in the open market they will go until they find that club if they are that attractive.

          1. And most 35-year old vets can’t even dream of 2-years plus an option. Unless they negotiate with RAJ.

  2. Am I the only one who has been going to twitter every 15 minutes to see if there is any new news / rumors?

    Brad – I will be looking to you to break some news!

  3. Interesting that Lester got scratched from his start today by Boston. A deal must be looming. I just hope it isn’t to the Cardinals or Dodgers. I want one of those 2 teams to pony up a haul for Hamels. I’d like to see Lester go to the Pirates.

    1. OR … maybe it would be good if one of them gets Lester … may make the other feel a reaction is necessary and give us a better chance to get what it would take for us to actually trade Hamels.

  4. JMills, not at all being condesending, but this is exactly the kind of player you DO trade. He is older so he will not be part of the future, and he provides skills that could be the final piece for a competing team, so they may be willing to give up a pretty big prospect. The Dodgers needed a stable 3b so bad in 2007 that they gave up Carlos Santana for one. Now Casey Blake was a fine player, but in terms of the long run, cleveland clearly won that deal.

    I like Byrd too man, but he has much more value to the team for what he can bring them for the future than what he can do for them. Sure he can hit 30 homers a year through next year, but what does that even matter with a team in this state?

    1. I agree with your point but apparently with his contract your not going to get much for him.

    1. I actually give Ruben credit for holding out. While I do want him to overhaul the roster, you can’t give players away that have value. I believe as it gets closer to the deadline the teams that have been lowballing him will start making more realistic offers. Seattle needs a bat in the worst way, the orioles need a sp and a closer, dodgers want another starter. Teams have needs and you can’t just give players away because of a perceived notion of HAVING to sell.

  5. It is really a shame that Lee got hurt this year. He was pitching pretty good until the injury, I would like to have seen what we could’ve got for him had he not hit the DL. Nice to see ruben asking a lot for hamels. He is our best trade chip and has 4 years kept on his deal. While he is making a good deal of money, he is still a cheaper option long term than guys like scherzer and lester. Those guys are going to make a killing in free agency. Pretty much everything I have heard would have hamels going to LA, but the cardinals may have some interest as well.

    My question of the day for fellow followers of this blog:

    Would you rather trade hamels for a package revolving around (Pederson or Seager) or Taveras????

    I know a lot of people would want seager and pederson, but lets just say you’re preference of the two. Maybe deals like peterson or seager, urias, and schebler vs. Taveras, Kaminsky, and Grichuk.

    It would be nice to see them get a nice return for cole and bring in some promising prospects. Crawford has been pretty exciting and Nola should be a middle of the rotation guy sooner than later, but other than that we do not have a lot of quality prospects. Franco has been swinging a lot better of late so that is a good sign. Biddle has struggled and while I do not think it is time to panic, he is definitely a guy to monitor. We have some other prospects that are good and some out of the bunch will probably make the bigs. There is just not a lot of elite prospects here to really be confident in.

    1. Add Carlos Martinez to that package and swap Alexander Reyes for Kaminsky and you got a deal.

      1. Stephen Piscotty is another guy who I wouldn’t mind seeing in that trade. Martinez isn’t having the best year so that would probably make trading him easier for the cards. I’d be fine swapping reyes and kaminsky, both are the same age and at A ball. I like reyes because he is bigger than kaminsky and has a better fastball. Kaminsky throws left handed though and it is always nice to have good LHP prospects.

  6. Being reported the Red Sox want 2 Elite prospects for Lester a 2 month rental. Will be interesting to see what they end up getting.

    If Lester is worth 2 Elite and then you have to risk losing him to FA Hamels is surely the better value at 4 since he has 5 years/$90 Mil remaining. Lester will be at least 6/$144 maybe higher.

    1. The Sox are looking for 2 elite prospects and RAJ got Gillies, Aumont and a bag of used balls for Cliff Lee. Awesome.

    2. Is Hamels worth more than Lester? Probably, though also probably not as much more than Lester as many people around here think.

      But here’s the thing – the Sox may WANT two elite prospects, but they aren’t getting two “elite” prospects,They aren’t even getting one elite and one non-elite “top” prospect for him, whereas the Phillies might get that for Hamels (or might not).

      But of course we’re in crazy season now, where most people around here (not you as far as I know DMAR) are saying that 3 top prospects is the bare minimum the team should accept. Some people are talking about FOUR top prospects. If we define “top prospects” as “top 100 in baseball” I think that it is literally true that no player ever has been traded for four top prospects.

      It’s interesting that the one big mistake that the Phillies seem to be making this trade season (as opposed to past mistakes which are contributing to the lack of trades) is that the organization shares the unrealistic expectations of much of the readership here. (Again, not directed at you DMAR). I’m NOT one to take the position that they HAVE to trade Hamels, but if they can get a reasonable overpay (equivalent to the Shields deal), as opposed to a fantasy overpay, then they should take it. It looks like they won’t.

      Now, as I’ve argued extensively, they might not even get that, If they “only” are offered a reasonable price for him – say one top prospect and filler – then I would be okay with them turning it down.

  7. I think the question on trading Hamels is, what’s the time horizon to be competitive again? If it’s 3-4 years then yes, you have to trade him. Being forever the optimist, with the financial resources we have, I would hope it’s a shorter timeframe. That said I have no faith in Amaro’s ability to make the right moves. So for me I wouldn’t like to see them trade Hamels – he’s one of the top 10 pitchers in the game right now and they just don’t grow on trees. All pitchers are a crap shoot so no matter who you get back it’s very unlikely one of those guys turns into a Hamels-like star. So I say we jettison the rest (Byrd, Papelbon, Bastardo, Rollins, etc.) and see what we can get for them.

    Then we get a new GM who knows how to properly spend our considerable resources.

    1. Having financial resources if good if you are going to spend wisely.

      When you have $129 million committed to 9 guys next year you have no resources.

      They should move Hamels because it makes sense in terms of bolstering the farm system.

      1. Why would you trade the youngish guy who can be a star for the rest of his contract in Philly and possibly contribute to our next contending team, while keeping old guys with no chance of helping our next bid for contention. I would only trade Hamels if we got an exhoribitant offer for him or if was part of a general housecleaning to add as many prospects as possible. The team that trades the ace almost always loses the trade, especially when you’re talking about a youngish ace. Trade Byrd, Barnett, Papelbon, Ruiz then I’d consider a good offer for Hamels. Actually, I think I’d trade Utley and Rollins before that.

        1. Hamels is 30 now. The way it looks we will not be back for at least 3-5 years.

          Will Hamels be the same at 35? Who knows but if you can get 2 top 10 prospects from a good farm system now you make the deal.

          Hamels brings you the best package. The rest bring you A level guys given their age and contract status.

      2. You know, of all of the many controversies on this site, many are not absolutely resolvable on the evidence.

        But this issue – the notion that we should shed salary so that we can spend money on the FA market – I’m scratching my head why people make this argument. One would think at a mere look at a list of the available free agents available next year would be enough to disabuse people of that notion.

        There are other problems with that notion – not the least of which is that the tradeable players don’t by and large have awful contracts (e.g., Hamels, while not having a GREAT contract, has a decent contract – you’re not going to be able to get equivalent value on the FA market). But on that point there’s enough uncertainly that I can understand people believing otherwise. Same is true for people expecting bigger returns for our players than is realistic.

        But you would think that anyone could look at a list of pending free agents and see that, once you get past a couple players who will go for crazy money, there just isn’t much there.

    2. The Phillies haven’t hit bottom yet. If they’re lucky, that doesn’t happen until 2015, meaning they will have had a four-year descent. If it takes just as long for them to climb back up (not unreasonable), it will be 2019 or so before the Phillies are good again.

      Over the next four years, Hamels would be much more valuable to a playoff team or one knocking on the door than he is to the Phillies. Moreover, if you put Hamels in one of the pitchers’ parks (LA, St. Louis, Pittsburgh), his performance is likely to improve since his homers allowed would go down.

      I believe that Hamels is somewhat underrated. Of the pitchers still in their prime who have pitched a lot of innings, only Kershaw, King Felix and Wainwright have a better ERA+.

  8. Without a doubt it is a risky move lest we forget that Brown was a top 4 prospect in all of baseball at one point. These guys surely don’t always become what they were in Minor League ball.

    Who thought Asche would be this bad, who thought Brown would be this bad and I’m not even going to ask about 1B. All three of those positions are at the bottom of all of MLB in OPS.

    1. Asche was never a big-time, legit prospect. Keep in mind that he was always a guy who needed time to adjust. He just turned 24 and doesn’t even have 500 plate appearances at the MLB level. Patience.

      1. Agreed – tried to give you a thumbs up but it didn’t take. Be patient with Asche – he’s adjusting. But the swing is a nice, powerful, thing of beauty and the approach is solid. It may take a few years, but he’s going to be good. Quite good in my opinion.

        1. Catch I’m willing to be patient just wondering what this season could have been had those three positions at least been league avg OPS.

          I’ll disagree with you slightly on approach. Asche is getting himself out more times than not swinging at garbage first pitch off speed away and he has become too pull happy. He is not letting anything travel at all and not using the middle of the field.

    2. i have no problem at all with asche to date. I think he will be an adequate player with a floor of 260 avg and 15hr going forward. he will at least buy us 2 more years to see what develops in the system.

    3. Regarding Brown, I think you have to question the scouting reports. I never ever remember reading a report stating that Brown was such a butcher in the OF and that he lacked baseball smarts.

      I actually think Brown is a better hitter than what he has shown this season, but not a 25-30 HR guy.

      I was very much disappointed by Brown’s 2013 performance and hoped the Phils would sell high last off-season.

      1. I think the moral of the Brown story is that we’re at the mercy of the scouts and they don’t always do a good job. That’s part of the risk in evaluating prospects.

  9. This team won’t be competitive for four years in the ABSOLUTE BEST CASE SCENARIO….and that is if they actually move these old guys all now. In fact, I don’t trust RAJ to build a winner ever really, so maybe the real rebuiling process starts when he is gone. Every year we hold on to these 2008 guys is another year before we will be competitive. He already messed up by not trading Utley last year before his 10 and 5 rights kicked in (last year, Utley for Pederson straight up would have been a logical trade for both sides) and by not trading Lee when he had a ton of value. So nothing in this world makes me thing he will do anything correctly in the next 24 hours.

    On the other hand, Hamels is the one guy where the Phillies have all the leverage. They don’t need to trade him, and he is under contract for awhile. He is also pitching better than he ever has before. Tell me LAD doesn’t want a Kershaw-Hamels-Greinke-Beckett/Ryu postseason rotation? Those guys would guarantee the Dodgers a WS appearance every yera until 2017, barring injury. So, if they want that, they have to give up Pederson, Urias, and Seager. Its that simple. Is that a ton, yes it is. But if they want him, that is the price. If they only want to give up 2 of them, no thanks.

    LAD is built to win now, and with their ownership, they seem to be the kind of team who will alwyas be buying. If any team is going to be willing to do a trade like that, it is them. I don’t really want an Oscar Tavares deal. I want Joc/Urias/Seager…those three. You want NL dominance for three years LA? Pay up. If not, there are worst things in life than holding on to an elite lefthanded starter. Everyone else, sell sell sell. Hamels is the one guy who you definitely need to make a team overpay.

    1. The Phillies did have enough money. Their draft allocation would have allowed a deal of up to about $450K, by going to 105% of their draft allocation. Of the 30 baseball organizations, 16 exceeded their draft pool allocation, and 9 of those did so by spending between 104% and 105% of their allocation, not counting the $100K payments to later round guys, which don’t count against the pool.

      1. Lester scratched today , something’s goiung down it appears with him.
        He did say he would like to return to the Sox after this year, so he is a true 2 or 3- month rental.
        Sox may only get one prospect in return.

      1. Agreed. When I checked out the Cardinals prospects earlier today, I hoped he would be included in any deal between the Cards and Phillies. Oh, well.

  10. Masterson isn’t a missing piece. He’s an inconsistent guy who cant get leftys out. I actually think the cards will end up using him in the pen in october, where he could be really good. But I don’t think this is their BIG move

  11. Now de fratus and hollands are going south. the one thing was the bullpen and now its falling apart. what a mess.

    1. It’s not falling apart. They are trying to sort out who will work going forward on the front end. Hollands is having a few bad outings – his stuff is very good and he should be fine. DeFratus, by contrast, has very borderline stuff – he has to have almost perfect command to be effective – he’s in an extended try out. Don’t worry too much about the BP, that really is one area of strength for the team going forward. Hitting and starting pitching, be afraid, be very afraid.

  12. Did anyone see what the players on this team are hitting with runner in scoring position its bad. Second per gammons dodgers wont deal any of the three seager, ped or urias, If the dodgers don’t win the pennant and these guys don’t become good. The fans there will go nuts, Oh I forgot they leave in seventh inning no matter what the score it to beat traffic. Gammons had some interesting things to say on the overvalue teams put on prospects.

  13. Dodgers are stupid but if they are serious then screw em. They wont deal any of those 3, and I would want ALL three lol. I cant wait for them to lose to the Nationals in the NLCS

    1. In today’s MLB, the Dodgers are the opposite of stupid by resolving not to trade those three. They’d otherwise find themselves in the same position the Phils are now mired in a few years from now: old, overpaid players and a bare cupboard in the minors.

  14. Maybe everyone should look at the home/away wins and losses. The Phils, after today’s loss, are 3 games under .500 away. Home won/loss is horrendous. Why? Is this team not built for CBP? How would you as GM fix the home record but keep the away record similar? If the Phils were .500 at home, they’d be at least be tied with the Mets at 7.5 games back. If some of those extra wins were against the division, who knows what the standings would look like. Just offering a tiny ray of sunlight in the middle of the storm of the century.

    1. The splits are weird this year. The team ERA is 3.64 at home and 4.4 away. The team has scored 3.62 at home and 4.1 on the road. Howard and Brown have been brutal at CBP

      1. Once Howard sells his house he will pick up his game at CBP.
        It may have been weighing on his mind!

        1. I think Brown has a 62 wRC+ at CBP this year. That’s hard to do. Howard not much better. Those two positions, and to a lesser extent 3B are really killing the team

  15. Seems like a lot of teams are gonna pass on byrd because of his option. The yankees are really the only team that has interest from what I have read, but they are cautious of the option as well. Byrd is a perfect example of how bad ruben is. Byrd had a good year last season and a two year contract for him would be fair. Ruben should have known if things go south that we were gonna be sellers. Isn’t it his job to realize that it would be hard to move byrd with the option on his contract. If I was the GM this past offseason I would have really wanted him on a one year deal. However, I would’ve added a second year to get the deal done for what has turned out to be a very productive player for a reasonable price. If he did not want the two year deal then move else where. There is no way I throw in an option to his deal. I highly doubt any other team would’ve given him three years so it is not like there was a lot of competition to lock him up to a multiyear deal. You can not be a GM and say repeatedly that you are trying to make the team younger and then keep signing older players to bad deals. If Byrd only had a two year deal without the option then we would be able to get younger because he probably would’ve been traded by now.

    I think my next few points on why this was a bad deal will be the icing on the cake.

    1.) Mike Morse signed a one year deal with the giants for 6 mil. He turned 32 this season which is not young, but younger than Byrd and his contract was a ONE YEAR DEAL! He is not as good a defender and he is not having as good a year as Byrd, but put him in the bank and maybe he hits a couple more runs. Had he been signed we would have a right handed power bat to trade.

    2.) Rajai Davis signed a two year deal for 10 mil(No Option). He is a little younger than byrd but not as powerful. He is hitting .295 with 25SB though and still would be a tradable bat.

    3.) Nelson Cruz signed a one year deal with the orioles for 8 mil….Take a minute to finish throwing up than come back and finish reading. Cruz could have had a monster season hitting in the bank. Teams would be calling constantly for his bat. I have minimal confidence in Ruben and that is being generous, but even he couldn’t screw up that trade. Had we signed Cruz instead of Byrd we would be a lot better off and would be acquiring some good prospects this deadline.

    Plain and simple the option on Byrd’s contract was extremely stupid on ruben’s part. None of these other right handed hitters got an option for a third year and all of them are younger!
    2/3 got one year deals which is exactly what we needed. A bat to hold down an outfield spot for “one more run” and have a tradable contract if the team stinks which it does.

    1. If you don’t like the Byrd deal, and I don’t either, the back-loaded Burnett deal will make you throw up in your mouth. And he was a guy we got to fill the couple month gap that Hamels was supposed to be out. Then look at the option in Papelbon’s deal: He’s got his $39 mill, and we rushed out and didn’t wait to see if he got the Qualifying Offer from Boston (unlikely, they had grown to hate his guts) out of fear that someone else would give a better deal to this clubhouse cancer and lost our first round draft pick to sign him. Then RAJ including a vesting option for another $13 mill in 2016. Would anybody else have given a competing bid? Was the option really necessary. It’s the sort of asinine option that ties a manager’s hands and leads to discord if someone else is given a save opportunity or Paps is asked to come into a tie game or a tough situation in the 8th inning, because it’s based upon games finished.

      We were supposed to be ‘slowly rebuilding in place’ while waiting for HOwards’ awful contract to expire, but RAJ keeps negotiating more bad contracts, giving us more old, expensive guys who are untradeable.

      Our management truly is brilliant.

      1. It is a shame that ruben handcuffed the team the way he did and you brought up some other bad deals. I wonder what our team would look like if we gave Jayson Werth the 5yr 125mil that howard got. I know that the nationals way overpaid for him but at this point I think we would all replace howard with Werth (from a contract standpoint I am aware they play different positions) Howard resigned in 2010 but had two years left on his deal. So I believe after the 2011 he would have become a free agent. Werth left in 2010 so if they resigned/extended him ( deal with Nats cost less than Howards deal but was longer) idk if they could’ve afforded to resign Werth in 2010 and have Howards contract for that season and the next. That gives them the option to trade howard at age 30 in 2010 if they can’t afford him. I would assume they could’ve gotten some good prospects for him at the time or if they could’ve afforded him until 2011 just let him walk in free agency and take the comp pick. That would’ve made a hole at first base that I don’t really have an answer for. Since there really wasn’t a first baseman ready in the minors maybe just move Utley to first and find a second baseman. That might have helped Utleys knees a little but who knows.

        This is all just hindsight, but I liked the way Werth played. He hit for a good average, had power, some speed, pretty good defender, and had a strong arm. Hard to believe that professional evaluators thought Howard would age better than Werth. Werth IMO just had a lot more value to our team than Howard, plus he’s got that hella sweet beard now. With all these terrible moves its hard not to think what could’ve been if the org hadn’t made so many long term deals.

        1. One thing Ruben did that sticks in my craw……was the Dec 2008 two-year deal he gave Werth ilo of a 3/4 year deal with more monies upfront.
          After 2010 the OF charades domino began….

  16. If the Phillies pick up Byrd’s option-2016 of $8M, then he should be able to be moved more easily.
    I think if it is the Royals I would guess a RHP Christian Binford could be had since Byrd gives them 2.5 years of contractual playing time vs the 2-month rental player.

  17. Look byrd at 8 million a year for his production is worth it. plain and simple. If teams don’t want to commit to two years on a guy who isn’t slowly down. Then we keep him. There isn’t anyone in minors who can replace him. I don’t understand the guy has 20 homeruns and plays a good outfield.

    1. Teams are leery of that vesting/option year (2016) at 8M mainly due to his age I would think.
      But Ruben in the past has said the Phillies will be willing to pick-up portions of the contract.

    2. This is true, but at his age the odds of his production two years from now being remotely as good are close to nil. Players do age out into worthlessness. Sometimes, as with Carlton and Howard, the drop is precipitous, but it’s been quite sharp with A-ROd and Pujols and Fielder as well. Byrd’s stats have already slipped a bit from last season and that option year is for his age 38 season. How many players have good age 38 seasons? In signing a 35-year old OF, who in their right mind gambles 3 years into the future?

      1. Agreed. But, Raul Ibanez managed a decent age 38 season. And his age 39, 40, and 41 seasons would probably be an offensive upgrade for the Phillies this year. (tic, I think)

      2. allentown…..you are correct, the odds are against players who age. STill if RAJ is serious then they should pick up the option year of $8M…..which comes down to total percent of the remaining contract of approx 45%.

  18. Orioles shut down hunter Harvey prospects are just that prospects. So far all we gave up for pence, hasn’t hurt us? and now Houston is trying to move cosart. singleton is a strikeout machine, even though its early, haven’t seen Santana. villar cant hit. zeid era is worse than aumonts.

    1. If every one of the prospects we gave up for Pence produces negative value, it still would have been a bad trade. Because we didn’t trade them when their value was negative, we traded them when their value was high. For a piece we didn’t need. And one we didn’t even keep long term.

      You’re right that prospects are prospects, but they’re also assets. And if you don’t get good value for your assets, then you’re doing a bad job. You don’t sell a $4 stock for 30 cents. Even if it crashes to 10 cents the next day it was still a bad deal.

  19. I am very curious to know how much technology affects trades now. I dont think you will ever see a trade like the one booben completed for cliff lee again(from indians). Knapp(?) was the only prospect that may have hurt losing. I thought it was pretty obvious the other three would do nothing.

    Great post by Bellman above about w/l home and away. It would be neat to see one of the writers tackle that. Too bad this minor league site.

      1. It is not Nola. Miguel Nunez was pitching, according to the Twitter (someone had the wrong info in the online minor league site.

  20. I am going to steal a line that I saw on the Twitter today.

    Only 20 hours until we start talking about players who will clear waivers and are eligible for trade/post-season prior to the end of August.

    I really do hope that at this time tomorrow, we are coming to phuturephillies and see a new headline that talks about the new prospects in the system, and people arguing over where the prospect should be in the top 30.

    Heck, I will even smile if we have an argument over a newly acquired prospect and where they should be ranked that leads to an arm-bar swing conversation (a reference to this general time last year when that topic drove hundreds of posts)

    1. Winks took a nice twittier shot at the PhuturePhils handle for reporting in error. Twitter fued brewing?

  21. Tyler Colvin was released by SF he’s only 28 was good for a while in Colorado for awhile . Sign him to a minor league contact see what happens.

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