General Discussion – Day of 8-1-14 – So, So…So So Sad Edition

Well, with over 250 comments on the thread form yesterday, I’ll give you all a fresh one today to talk about your feelings. No trades (which doesn’t have to make you sad on its face) and Cliff Lee down with an injury again (which does). Frown.

Hmm…a frown, is by definition, “sad on its face”. I guess. Or I’m trying too hard to be clever for this early on a Friday.

Discuss.

117 thoughts on “General Discussion – Day of 8-1-14 – So, So…So So Sad Edition

  1. I have given RAJ the benefit of the doubt on several things. But not anymore. It is clear that he is playing checkers and the rest of the GMs are playing chess. His comments after the deadline cemented it for me. He has to go.

    1. He did admit openly last night that the money from Comcast gives him plenty of flexibility. Normally you will not hear that kind of a reference to a financial windfall backing by many GMs.
      Then again he may be on thin ice now.

    2. Yes, I went from thinking it was Montgomery to thinking Amaro is the worst. I still blame Montgomery, but clearly Amaro and the Phillies are outmatched. Have to hope ownership group got together and told Amaro only homeruns until they get someone in there that knows what to do.

  2. He is living in a dream world; no team would give up prospects and take on those contracts with those expensive bizarre vesting options.

    1. The Phillies continually said they were going to eat a good portion of the remaining contracts.
      Unless they lied, that should not have been an issue. The unrealistic prospect return for their players had to be the underlying reason why they failed to accomplish anything constructive yesterday.

      1. Or the fact that not many “prospects” were moved yesterday. The biggest concern that i see with Amaro right now is there might be an unwillingness of other GMs to want to deal with him.And they need every option open and available for right now. The Lee concern from other teams was warrented and now obvious, MArlon Byrd is a lesser OF than all of the other “names” moved yesterday (Cespedes, Jackson, Craig), and if we got that Return for Hamels people would lose it.

        We will never know the answer to this but depending on what he passed up, there is nothing wrong with holding onto assests that are down on value to see if they rebound before just dumping them. Ultimatly it is just their money they are wasting and they seem to have no issue with that.

        1. Okay, I’ve seen this rationale enough times, and I don’t understand it. Why would RAJ being a bad negotiator make ANY GM less likely to deal with them? Instead, they would SEEK HIM OUT because the deals they make with him are likely to be in their favor.

          1. I think that it’s about him getting fleeced in former trades and realizing it which has led him to ask for way to much and be hesitant to make any deal that isn’t a clear win for the Phils. That would make a GM wary of dealing with him.

            1. Exactly. He’s a buffoon. Giving away too much when he’s buying something and demanding way in excess of what the market will bear when he is selling something. And displaying virtually no creativity along the way. Not only do the Phillies not do things “outside of the box” sometimes I think they ARE the box.

      2. Did they really say that? I know they said they were willing to send some money with the guys. I don’t recall ever seeing that they would send more than say the remainder of the 2014 salary. As I read what RAJ said, and I tried to scan it carefully, I never got the sense that he was willing to pay to either buy the option year back from the player at say half the salary, or agree to cover the option cost for the other team.

    2. But that points directly back to RAJ. The Byrd, Burnett, and Papelbon contracts are stupid, over-market, and ridiculously complex. Byrd’s limited no-trade clause seems to have been just sprinkled mindlessly on the deal by an obtuse RAJ. Wasn’t Wade brought back to help with the contracts? He certainly hasn’t been helpful. And who is the genius who decided that Papelbon could get better than what will turn out to be $52 mill/4years from some other suitor, so we better rush out and surrender our first round draft pick in case some other team makes him a better offer?

      1. It was so dumb. He knew Howard was out, probably for year, and wanted a top closer because he thought they would win with Pitching. So, instead, they had an awful offense with no need for a closer. Then when Pence tried too hard to make up for Howard and Utley, he traded him for nothing. We may dispute the trade that got Pence here forever, but we traded a very good, every day, productive OF, who is loved in every clubhouse he is in. A legit Major League player, and got nothing in return.

      2. But in their mind since money is not an issue, and they were willing to even the economics then they should get prospect value back. But the market seemed to be Hey we will take these guys off your hands to relieve the money and not give you anything substantial back. I am not saying Amaro needs to stay but this deadline was not in the top 5 of his worst transgressions. Because he has multiple more chances to try and move these players, and by trying to move guys with team control past this year it afforded them to not have to settle on deals like they did with Victorino and Pence.

      3. Signing Marlon Byrd was fine. Signing him early in the FA process and overpaying with years, options, and clauses was not fine. He could have just waited and signed Nelly Cruz and gotten better production for less investment. I know that hindsight is 20/20 but that only accentuates the fact that he jumped too early and eagerly for Byrd.

        1. Even with the stupid option, Byrd is traded to Seattle, without the even stupider limited no-trade clause. It’s like RAJ is scared to death that if he lets his FA target stop and think or talk to another team that he won’t want to come to the Phillies, so he just gives in and gives in some more. Same thoughtless negotiation strategy with Papelbon and with promising Delmon Young he’d be our starting RF.

    1. I think Amaro has done an awful job, and this starts way back at the Lee deal, but Buster Olney offered zero info on any deal that Amaro turned down. Not even a mediocre prospect. So, some may be in favor of dumping players for nothing just to dump salaries, but I don’t think that helps at all. The team problem is talent evaluation and value/return. Not $. they can have these awful contracts and go spend money this Winter. Dumping doesn’t help.

      1. This is sort of a phony criticism. How can Olney or anyone possibly know what RAJ turned down. If he quoted another GM, that GM would be accused of posturing or lying. A lot of deals were made last month. We didn’t participate. You may choose to believe that RAJ’s overly-long, overly-fat contracts, with gratuitous options and no-trade clauses weren’t a factor. You may believe that RAJ offered to bring the contract cost down to fair market value and that he had a realistic appraisal of what fair market value was. You may believe that despite all the $ that RAJ supposedly offered up and that he wasn’t asking for that much in return, as he claims, and the other GMs just somehow dropped the ball. But isn’t that counting RAJ an awful lot of slack and giving him a level of credibility and benefit of the doubt that the totality of his performance in our GM chair simply doesn’t warrant?

      2. Nobody is going to give you a MLB ready prospect for a 35+ player with years on his contract.

        That is what the team is looking for, MLB ready prospects. How did I figure this out? Easy, what was the narrative given out on Daily News Live? How do you replace they guy, if you do not have a replacement ready you don’t make the deal.

        If you trade Byrd you play Ruf, Galvis for Rollins, Hernandez for Utley, Rupp for Ruiz. You then take the money you saved and grab a replacement in free agency.

        Second clue, during the draft they focused on guys close to being MLB ready.

        Not sure how aggressive they will be this winter when they have $129 million tied up to 9 guys.

  3. What rarely get mentioned, but in my opinion is a microcosm of RAJ incompetence is the fact that when he signed Papelbon he lost a first round pick, but he only needed to wait 1 week for the new CBA to kick in and then he wouldn’t have lost the draft pick. How good would an extra 1st round pick look in the system mostly devoid of high end talent. Most of the little talent we have is because of first round picks which RAJ incompetence cost the farm one of the most valuable assets. This was a few years ago so this first round pick would likely be able to step in and help in the near future. It is not like he was trying to sign him to a below market deal. He was bidding against him self, gave him a ridiculous over market contract, and unnecessarily lost a very valuable asset in a first round draft pick. If that is not the meaning of incompetent, i don’t know what is….

      1. Of course we don’t have the Sox front office making the pick and RAJ would’ve drafted some future wash-out like Larry Greene.

        1. The facts of the 2012 draft don’t support your narrative. 2012 looks like a pretty nice year, so far, or at least not one that falls into the same boxes as the Greene, Collier, Hewitt picks.

          They took Shane Watson with that year’s first pick and got a couple decent guys in early-mid rounds who may turn out to be players (namely Perkins, Cozens, Green and Pullin, plus Drew Anderson is a possible player from the late rounds) – Watson wasn’t a bad pick, he had a non-baseball injury. That’s just bad luck. Mitch Gueller was the odd pick that draft, but not because they went after raw tools, but rather because they took a two-way guy who hasn’t worked out the way they decided to use him.

          And oh by the way, even the Greene Jr. draft (2011) has netted the club two big leaguers already in Cody Asche and Ken Giles, plus Roman Quinn, and the group of Colt Murray, Yacksel Rios, Adam Morgan, Austin Wright and Mitch Walding, all of whom are not completely done as prospects, though admittedly there’s not a sure big leaguer among them. Not a bad draft, so far, and a chance to be quite good if Quinn can manage to progress through the big leagues and one of those other guys manages to come around. I think Murray’s a big leaguer, but how much of one remains to be seen. He could be like a BJ Rosenberg ceiling, perhaps. That’s not much help. Rios is still so young and raw. Hard to know what to think. Wright and Morgan we know about, and Walding has shown signs of life but repeating a league.

    1. Yes, that alone was virtually a fireable offense. It marked him pernanetly as an impetuous, foolish, ill-informed, arrogant moron. Aside from that, he’s a freaking Einstein.

    2. I have made this comment before, and if I am wrong maybe someone can show me why, but when the Phils signed Papelbon it appeared to be a good move because it was before Boston had made a qualifying offer. and thus they really were not entitled to the Phils 1st round pick. After the fact MLB came up with the notion (IMO wrong) that Boston would probably have made that qualifying offer and retroactively awarded them the Phillies pick. Thus, instead of it being a great move by RAJ it was a status quo move in that they got the top-rated closer in the game in place of a 1st round pick, which when evaluating the production of the Phils 1st round picks over the previous 5 years and what they ended up getting from Papelbon most people might be OK with. I mean, look at the Reds signing Madson…. did that work out better for them than the Phils production from Papelbon, or the signing of KRod? Hey, I am far from a fan of Papelbon but……

      1. I thought that there were no ‘qualifying offers’ then. That off-season began under the old arbitration system. Teams had until sometime in December to tender an offer for arbitration purposes. If a team signed a player before that deadline they still surrendered their draft pick to the team that lost the player. Relief pitchers were able to become Type-A and Type-B free agents under the old system. Teams would ‘abuse’ the system to get draft picks.

        MLB was in the process of deciding what to do for that one off-season before the new CBA rules took effect and put in place a change which took away Type-A status from relief pitchers. Because of the change it awarded the pick(or the next pick I forget) to the team that lost the free agent, but *DID NOT* take the pick away from the team who signed them.

        So for instance if the Phillies had waited two weeks they would have kept their first round pick and Boston would have gotten a compensation pick slotted right after them. If the existing free agent compensation stayed in place the Phillies would have lost their pick under it. Since the Phillies signed Papelbon before waiting for the league to decide on the off-season rules they determined that they were operating under the old system and should be subject to the old penalties.

      2. First, Papelbon was not the top closer in baseball. Second, Boston didn’t want him. Third, there was no surprise in MLB’s awarding the pick to Boston. Teams have a deadline to make a QO. If another team signs the guy prior to that, then a draft pick is owed, because the signing took away the chance to make the QO.

  4. I don’t really have a problem with no trades being made yesterday. You ask for the sky for Hamels and don’t trade him unless you get it. You don’t need to move anyone and you can still revisist deals in August or the winter for most of them. Prospects aren’t being blocked because of anyone on the roster (unless you still consider Ruf a prospect, but Howard is unmovable.)
    It’s like during the offseason where many got upset that RAJ didn’t make bigger moves. The ones he made were pretty good – Byrd, Burnett, Hernandez – but he was hamstrung by stupid deals he made previously. He wasn’t able to move some guys because they had large contracts and play options (still his fault).
    What kills me is his comments afterwards. There is some truth in the overvaluing of prospects (look at all the players Cliff Lee has been traded for) but his general attitude and smugness kill me.
    I have no confidence in him facilitating the reloading of the Phillies. Time to move on.

    1. I don’t have a problem at all with RAJ making no trades yesterday. I’m not in favor of making a trade just for the sake of making a trade. If we’re not getting true value in return and ownership is saying we don’t need to shed salary, then why make a deal that’s nothing more than a salary dump.

      Do we have someone in the minors knocking on the door for MLB playing time that I’m not aware of?

    2. Don’t you think all GM’s are smug to some degree? It takes a great deal of self confidence to reach and want that position.

  5. Is there a consensus that Papelbon will get through waivers? Detroit still hasn’t solved their bullpen.

    1. I don’t really care whether or not Papelbon gets through waivers. I have no interest in paying him another $30 mill over the life of his contract and option. We aren’t in a position where we must dump salary, but we are constrained in what we do next year because of contract commitments. I think the $30 mill can be better spent in other ways, like buying Cuban or Japanese players. If someone blocks waivers on Papelbon, our answer should be “congratulations, he’s yours”. I’d take the same approach to Burnett and, of course, Howard. Those are all awful contracts. Besides being overpaid and a big candidate to decline because of injury or a further loss in velocity, Papelbon also is a personality which is best gone.

    2. Papelbon will certainly clear waivers. Any team that claims him must be prepared to take on the balance of his contract – and the Phillies would likely jump at the chance to be rid of that contract. Giles becomes the closer, and the Phillies free up $13 million next year (and possibly in 2016 as well).

      1. Phillies are better off paying someone 80-90% of Papelbon’s contract just to make him go away and make Giles the closer next year. If Papelbon closes enough games combined with this season he’ll vest his option for 2016.

        If the Phillies can’t find someone to take Papelbon at 80-90% off his salary they should just release him. Nothing will be more toxic in the locker room than if you have Papelbon stick around and NOT be the closer and I don’t think it makes any sense to have Papelbon potentially vest his option and tie up more salary for 2016.

  6. How does the waiver wire process really work?
    I get the following:
    If a team claims a player off waivers and has a viable claim as described above, his current team (the “waiving team”) may choose one of the following options:
    – arrange a trade with the claiming team for that player within two business days of the claim; or
    – rescind the request and keep the player on its major league roster, effectively canceling the waiver; or
    – do nothing and allow the claiming team to assume the player’s existing contract, pay the waiving team a waiver fee, and place the player on its active major league roster

    So, i get the above. But, my questions:
    1) Logistically, how are the waivers done? Is there some online application where GM’s go to and click a checkbox that says “waive this player”? And then the other GM’s can see who was waived?

    2) In practice, is there any reason not to waive every player?

    3) In practice, is there any reason you would waive someone on August 15th, for example, as compared to 12:01 AM on 8/1?

    1. I belioeve Wes Chamberlain -ugg is a pseudonym for Ruben Amaro, Jr, and he logged in here to learn how the waiver process works because he is too embarrassed to ask the other GMs.

    2. You send a list of players on whom you are requesting waivers to the league office. There is a limit to how many waivers may be requested at a time. Most teams request waivers on most of their players, in order to preserve their options.

  7. While I am not surprised no trades were consumated, I think it will be very telling if Amaro does not get fired. I have been worried that we would go through a drought like ’84-’92, but if this ownership group can’t see the immediate need to fire Amaro we may go through a ’16-’49 drought. Amaro has repeatedly shown he understands neither the free-agent market (Ibanez, Papelbon, Burnett, Byrd), the trade market, nor advanced statistical analysis. And his arrogance has made it so no other GM will even seriously negotiate with him.

    1. I realize RAJ’s fanny was in the GM chair, but I think Ibanez was on Gillick. Ibanez was Gillick’s fair-haired lad at Seattle.

  8. I have said what I have to say over the past week and yesterday proved me correct.

    Amaro overvalued his players and teams were more than willing to look elsewhere with regard to every player.

    He wanted MLB ready prospects and everyone was willing to offer no better than A ball gys for players over 35 with non-team friendly contracts.

    It is funny how everyone in the press and at home knew the problems except for him.

    1. They can do their job. Guys like Bob Ford writing article after article protecting Amaro are now part of a conspiracy to screw Phillies fans.

    2. David I been saying this for year. The writers that cover the Phillies are gutless, They are so afraid to tell the truth about this team, cause they would lose there privileges. The thumbs down people are the losers that this site has, cause they believe the Phillies do no wrong. I hated that guy paul hagman, I believe that was his name who cover them before, he only wrote negative after all the others wrote it. a gutless writer, I know people hate conliin and what he did and it was bad, but as a writer he was on top of the mistakes and cheapness of the Phillies back then. Now they spend , but scout bad and write bad contracts, Montgomery and amaro must go. david at least you have the guts to tell the truth.

  9. Don’t expect to see Lee pitch again until his contract year and then he’ll be lights out, Ruben will give him 5 years and a few player options keeping him around in s Phillies uniform until he’s 42.

  10. I just don’t understand how people here still don’t get it. I know for a fact that only unfair trades were being offered. That’s because no GM wants to look bad getting anything close to taken by the worst GM in baseball. His repetition is that of a privileged clueless idiot.

      1. All you need to do is read the reports coming out from other GM’s.

        There is a reason why Detroit looked elsewhere for a closer and Seattle looked elsewhere for an outfielder. Same goes for the Yankees and Dodgers with respect to pitching.

        1. Do you believe everything you hear and read? We need players not cash right now. Pat Gillick was never a big participant in the July 31 deadline which is outdated due to the extra divisions and wild card teams. Gillick did a majority of his deals in the August and winter.

  11. A team trading for Hamels and the four plus years remaining on his contract has to be thinking about the future and not just the present. The two big buyers pre-deadline, the A’s and Tigers, are thinking about this year’s playoffs, not two years out. In this context, it’s no surprise that Hamels remains a Phillie.

    The off-season is a better time for teams to address long-term needs. There could be a good market for Hamels after the season ends.

  12. ASsuming that Ruben is goine next year, who will replace him? I hope it is somebody from outside the org. But which org? Cardinals? Giants? Red Soxs? Cubs?

    1. This scares the daylights out of me. I’m afraid it will be someone internally or an old line type of guys. The odds are against a progressive, forward thinker, but maybe they will surprise us. They are not cheap and they really do want the best for the team and the fans.

    2. Not sure Ruben gets fired….he is SR VP of Operations also, so he may pull a Paul Holmgren of the Flyers and slide on up a bit in the org chart….then hire a GM, that meets his requirements.

      1. I agree. In Ruben the owners have someong who has grown up in the organization. By moving up a level and getting someone who pays attention to the nuances of numbers and contracts, the owners can make adjustments and still have control.

      2. Romus how about this keep lee ,Hamels. Burnett. bucanon. let Kendrick’s walk. add curz in outfield. and Franco at third. keep bullpen. platoon Howard with ruf. revere as fourth outfielder, would we be better in your opinion?? could we make playoffs.

        1. Lee could be done, or at least not as effective as he use to be approachin 37 next season.
          Hamels will be the stud.
          Burnett may be gone….there are nine teams on his list he can be dealt to.
          KK is probably gone….Buchanan take his spot.
          .As for the positional players, they are not doing it this year…except JRoll and Utley….and have to assume Asche gets better and I do believe Revere can be more productive from the lead-off spot.
          But will it be enough to challenge the Nats, Braves the Mets with Harvey back, the loaded Central…and then SF and LAD.
          Sorry, no.
          RAJ does not want to believe it but that is the cycle of baseball. ..

        2. Lets hold off an not assume Lee will be back next year because if his elbow is shot he probably won’t be pitching in 2015. I’m assuming you mean Cruz in the outfield, He is going to want a longer deal probably shooting for 2-3 years or so maybe 3 with a option. While he would be a definite upgrade idk if we take on any more long term contracts for guys in their 30s. He is 34 this year already. I think our best bet would to try and find the Cruz of this year or Byrd of last year. Guys who you can buy low on and sell high. I think Burnett should be back next year and hopefully if that hernia gets fixed he will be able to pitch more consistently.

          My question of the day…

          If Franco makes the club out of spring training as a third baseman do we moved Asche to the OF or trade him?

          1. I’m not sure that Asche’s value is all that high right now. He’s young and cheap, which is a mark in his favor, but he hasn’t been productive. I think he sticks around next year.

            1. Asche is a rookie who is having the ups and downs of a young player. He can stay at 3B if they want Franco moved to 1B when they release Ryan Howard (if he does not turn it around this season).

            2. No reason to do that if Franco is the better defender at 3B, which he likely is. I doubt they will release Howard.

    3. Why not the A’s? They have done very well and know the American League. Pat Gillick got most of his wonderful fill-ins from the American League.

      1. Can we get the A’s to move back here? How much do you think the territorial rights infrigement could get the Phils to settle for? $250m upfront and 5% of yearly TV revenue?

    4. The assistant gm for giants lives in south jersey, I forget his name, but he is well respected. maybe him

      1. rocco…John Barr, lives in Haddonfield.
        He also heads up the Giants international scouting dept also, besies VP of Ops and Asst GM…and he has about 30 years vested with the team….he will not leave.

  13. How do we know that Rube overvalued his hand? This quote….

    “We have some pretty good baseball players here.”

    Then why do you have the 8th worst record in baseball and sit in last place in the NL East?

    1. you are giving the Phillies too much credit. They tie for the 6th/7th worst record in baseball.

      I cannot bring myself to root against the Phillies, but I will say that I am not overly upset when they do lose. I would life another top 6 or 7 1st overall pick (if not higher). The Astros not signing Aiken will not help us there.

  14. There are only 2 things to do now:

    1. Tear it down and rebuild. Trade everyone over the age of 25 and hope you get lucky with 4 great prospects again and supplement with free agents. DO NOT give long term, high money 3rd contracts. Give yourself a window when a player is in his early 20s with an expiring contract to trade him and reload for another run.

    2. Dump all of your salary and sign free agents. Spend like crazy in the overseas markets and try to get a few superstars then supplement with your minor leagues. DO NOT give long term, high money 3rd contracts. This method doesn’t really work but if you stay away from the monster/franchise killer/bobby bonilla contracts, you will probably be a borderline playoff team/contender most years.

    That’s it! There are no other choices. Trying to middle the two will only delay the path to respectability. If we stay on our current course, we can expect to be terrible for a decade.

      1. My take is that you are not signing any big contract guys for at least 2 years. This team, as it is currently construed, stinks. Add a superstar (why would one want to come here?), and it still stinks, add a second really good player, and you still are not good. Howard’s contract will continue to be a burden, and now Lee’s 2015 looks iffy, at best (his 2015 contract calls for $25MM, with a 12.5MM buy out). So, between him and Howard next year, IF Lee is out, you are basically sitting on $62MM of dead money.

        As Larry has pointed out on here, the young players are not adding much at this point. The trade market for the Phillies veterans does not seem to be promising – at least in terms of players who might come in and make an immediate impact,

        I agree with the thought of investing in overseas players, and hope for a bit of luck there. That said, this team is several years away from being competitive. Take a Cubs approach, reduce spending next year, invest in young Latin talent, get high draft picks, hope to pick up a prospect here and there, and look forward to 2017.

        1. We really don’t need guys to come in and make an immediate impact. We needed guys who could make a big impact a few years from now. There is no way the Phillies can compete in 2015. Planning or trading to compete in 2015 is living in a fantasy world.

    1. Dumping Salary does nothing for this team. They apparently are in on the cuban OF which can get to ridiculous money because of who is bidding. But look at the 31 and under FA for next year.

      Nick Hundley (31) – $5MM club option
      Adam Lind (31) – $7.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
      Chris Getz (31)
      Tyler Greene (31)
      Tyler Greene (31)
      Jed Lowrie (31)
      Hanley Ramirez (31)
      Delmon Young (29)
      Denard Span (31) – $9MM club option with a $500K buyout
      Chris Young (31)
      Tyler Colvin (29)
      Jeff Francoeur (31)
      Nick Markakis (31) – $17.5MM mutual option with a $2MM buyout
      Nate Schierholtz (31)
      Brett Anderson (27) – $12MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
      Chad Billingsley (30) – $14MM club option with a $3MM buyout
      Wei-Yin Chen (29) – $4.75MM club option with a $372K buyout
      Johnny Cueto (29) – $10MM club option with an $800K buyout
      Yovani Gallardo (29) – $13MM club option with a $600K buyout
      Josh Johnson (31) – $4MM club option
      Kyle Kendrick (30)
      Jon Lester (31)
      Francisco Liriano (31)
      Paul Maholm (33)
      Justin Masterson (30)
      Brandon McCarthy (31)
      Brandon Morrow (30) – $10MM club option with a $1MM buyout
      Felipe Paulino (31) – $4MM club option with a $250K buyout
      Max Scherzer (30)
      Carlos Villanueva (31)
      Edinson Volquez (30)
      Andrew Bailey (31)
      Andrew Bailey (31)
      Huston Street (31)
      Joba Chamberlain (29)
      Luke Gregerson (31)
      Luke Hochevar (31)
      David Robertson (30)
      Joakim Soria (30) – $7MM club option with a $500K buyout
      Jose Mijares (29)
      Andrew Miller (30)
      Franklin Morales (29)

      Dumping money will not stop this from taking 7-8 yrs to get back to a playoff team, but on the bright side we are 2 yrs in already.

      1. Wrong. The clock doesn’t start till Amaro leaves because every second he is here sets the club back further and further.

    2. THIRD idea sign two free agents and pay the tax for two years, until we unload Howard lee. cruz aand lester are my first choices.

      1. This is another fantasy. The Phillies are not going to pay the luxury tax. They are not going to compete in 2015 and they know it. I don’t know about Cruz, but Lester has zero interest in coming to Philadelphia. He has already said he is returning to Boston. If he decides to go elsewhere, it will not be to the last place team in the NL East. It will take both a very compelling opportunity and compelling money to keep him from returning to Boston.

        The Phillies, unless they unload a big salary or two, are not going to be signing a big $ FA this winter. Nor should they.

  15. so, question here. Papelbon’s 2016 $13MM option is guaranteed with 55 games finished in 2015 or 100 games finished in 2014-15. He currently has 35 finished games this year, meaning he is on pace for roughly 46 games, give or take. My take would be for him to NOT finish any game that is not a save situation, and also work in the occasional situation where you give Giles a chance to close. Make it all but certain that his 2016 option will not vest next year. even if he stays 100% healthy. Leave him at no more than 41 or 42 games completed by the end of this year – tops.

    This gives you a bit of financial flexibility, helps minimize the length of the crappy contract, helps get a guy out of town that no one seems to like, and increases the (small) chance that someone will take him off your hands. The team stinks – Giles looks like he will be the next closer – why not work him in slowly into the role. Who cares is Papelbon complains?

    1. Sounds like a plan.
      Maybe even MAG may also close or set-up next season
      Seems bullpen could be a strength…who would have thought 4 months ago.

    2. The problem with a complaining Papelbon is that it is toxic to the clubhose, then again he has been complaining for the last 2 years..

    3. great plan BUT the players association would sniff that out and i can only imagine what that would lead to. and imagine the blow back on Amaro after the whole college situation this year. I think the phils will be bad enough to not have to worry too much about the option.

      1. They would if Papelbon were our best reliever. If Giles or MAG is better, then they don’t have much of a case.

    4. The players association will appeal. if you want to get him out buy out his last year. at half. someone will pick him up

  16. romus Susie is fatter. I have her number for you if you go to reading. Imhof is low 90 with room to grow they said in the article/

    1. rocco……appreciate the help with Susie…but going in another direction.
      And as for Imhof, if he can elevate his velo, just a couple of ticks to say sitting at 93….he could be a guy that will be enjoyable watching at CBP.
      Still his ceiling to me is a mid-rotation to end-of rotation.pitcher

        1. You trust Jon Heyman to prove your point? This man will write and print anything whether there is evidence or not to back up the story. I hope the Phillies beat up on the Mariners this month and help keep them out of a playoff berth.

          1. There was talk from other GM’s as well about the Phillies putting too high a price tag on their players. Do you believe the other GM’s or RAJ’s drivel over the past few days that teams were not aggressive enough and that the 7th worst team in the league (last place in division) has pretty good players?

        2. I said this in the previous thread, but I’ll repeat it: Amaro can’t be criticized for asking the moon in a negotiation. That’s why it’s a negotiation. Byrd didn’t get traded because interested teams didn’t offer the prospects that the Phils thought would help the organization.

          1. When 7 or 8 guys are linked to other teams in trades and nobody gets traded where does the problem lie?

            If another team thinks the other side is ‘asking for the world’ and can get a comparable player for less who erred?

          2. He can be criticized for backing off the moon, especially when he’s left holding vanishing assets who won’t even be with the Phillies next season. There is negotiating hard and then there is being stubbornly stupid. Papelbon, Kendrick, Burnett, Hernandez — two or three of these guys really needed to be traded.

            1. That should be for NOT backing off the moon. Hey, a GM either wants to trade or he doesn’t. He either understands the market or he has his head stuck in fantasy land. There are some guys (Hamels, Utley) that you happily hand onto, unless you are given the moon. A lot of other guys on this team — not so much.

            2. Papelbon, Burnett and Byrd are all strong candidates to be dealt in August deals. Why panic at the deadline and give them away when you’re not happy with the returns you’re being offered? Kendrick and Hernandez aren’t getting you anything, so why bother when you need them to start games.

              It’s funny that Amaro gets killed for the returns he’s gotten in previous trades, and is now getting killed for having the audacity to try and get better returns. God forbid.

  17. Nola to AA. Hope he pitches well, and we see him at CBP next year, in the rotation, not as a guest.

  18. To me, the hard question now is whether Nola or Franco is the #2 prospect in the system. Most will probably err on the side of Franco due to his youth, demonstrated experience and power potential. If you’re like me you probably guessed that Franco – who has always been extremely young at every level – is younger than Nola.

    Ahhh, but that’s not the case. Believe it or not, Nola is actually 10 months younger than Franco -and if he were a month younger, Nola would be considered to be in his age 20 year – as it is, he just turned 21 and ran roughshod through high A ball. His relative youth, pinpoint command, solid stuff, and perhaps additional projection in velocity as he fills out, has me slightly favoring Nola over Franco, who I think has significant upside, but also has limitations due to his lack of speed, trouble with break balls (damned arm bar!!!), and not exceptional OBP projection. That said, Franco could easily end up being the better major leaguer if things break his way.

    But it’s a close call and both should probably be up in the majors for good sometime next year.

    What do you think?

    1. It’s still Franco for me because I think his ceiling is higher. Nola is young but is already very polished and doesn’t offer that much physical projection. I suppose there’s an off chance he adds velocity or adds another pitch to improve his ceiling but it’s hard to count on stuff like that.

      Nola has the higher floor but basically I see Franco with a better chance to be an all-star, so I’m sticking with him.

    2. The one thing about Franco…besides being young at every level he has been slotted at…..whenever he struggles early…this year and back inLakewood a few years ago…he responds and adjusts and progresses. He has not tail-off in at any level but finished on a high note, which is a good.
      Agree on Nola, his youth is too his benefit and with a little more increase strength should bring an uptick or two more velo on his FB.

  19. So .. my thoughts 2 days later. Preliminary:

    (1) We don’t know what Amaro was offered.
    (2) The understandable tendency, which I share, is to not give Amaro the benefit of the doubt when trying to sort out what happened at the deadline. And he did make some silly comments. But I think some people take this tendency too far.
    (3) There is circumstantial evidence regarding what the market looked like. The first A’s deal aside – and the A’s were never a plausible destination for Hamels – teams on the whole were very very reluctant to part with top prospects, even for very good veterans (and in Price’s case, not just a rental). Some of us predicted that.

    Putting all that together, and acknowledging that there is some uncertainty, my tentative conclusions are:

    (1) The lack of deals by itself probably doesn’t significantly hurt the team’s long term future. Salary dumps weren’t going to help (unless they could have dumped Howard, which they couldn’t), and the haul in prospects would have been light. That doesn’t mean moves should not have been made, but (as with last year) dreams of a huge haul of top prospects – or possibly ANY haul of top prospects – were unrealistic, and a free agent driven “Red Sox Style rebuild” even more so. BUT
    (2) Yet more evidence of poor talent judgment on Amaro’s part, his central failing, which does NOT bode well for the future.

    1. I was waiting to hear from you. I agree that we don’t know if Rube turned down anything, and just dumping salary does not do much good. But why is he the one who makes dumb comments? “Walks don’t matter”. “Maybe I am delusional, but we are a playoff team”, now it is the other GMs fault for not being aggressive enough. This rebuild looks like a very long road.

  20. Sigh. Per Jim Salisbury’s Twitter account, Phillies catching prospect Tommy Joseph will have season-ending wrist surgery Tuesday.

  21. Apparently Brian Cashman of the Yankees called off the trade with the Phillies for Byrd when Ruben wanted no less then Aaron Judge in return.

    1. If we send along $, Byrd for Judge is a fair trade. Judge is an interesting gamble, but a very big gamble. Hitters as tall as he is often have a tough time adjusting to top pitching as they move up the ladder. He’s hitting well now, but only in A-ball. Judge is hardly a slam-dunk and hardly one of the elite OF prospects in minor league baseball.

      1. For Byrd – a guy who was on the market last off season and got a basically market rate contract, or a tad above. Yes, he’s having a pretty good year. But a guy his age on a market rate deal is not worth a heck of a lot. Yeah, throwing in $ changes that a little, but only a little. It MAY be true that, in the abstract, Judge would be a fair return, but not in today’s market, especially for a team like the Yankees who are borderline contenders at best this season.

        One can argue that, under those circumstances, keeping Byrd was the right call. But Judge, warts and all, was a much bigger return than could have been reasonably expected for Byrd.

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