Phillies Sign FA Sizemore and Avoid Arbitration with Jimenez

Yesterday, the Phillies signed Jerome Williams and I opined that he was the cheaper option over Kyle Kendrick.  Today’s story, first reported by Todd Zolecki, announces the signing of Grady Sizemore and Cesar Jimenez.  The Jimenez signing keeps some cheap pitching depth in the organization.  The Sizemore signing coupled with Darin Ruf’s only playing first base through his first five games for Tigres del Licey, probably signals the inevitable end of the “Darin Ruf Outfield Experiment” and quite possibly his tenure in the organization.

89 thoughts on “Phillies Sign FA Sizemore and Avoid Arbitration with Jimenez

  1. Atleast Gillick isn’t blowing smoke up anyone. Saw quick interview with him and he is calling what Phillies need to do as more of a ‘rebuild’ than a reload. That somewhat contradicts Amaro who was insisting all year the phillies could do this on fly and reload similar to what Boston did. Now that Gillick has expressed this opinion, I think there is real chance that Howard gets moved and maybe even cliff lee once he shows he is healthy.

  2. It’s smart if it’s the backup plan for Dom Brown. Hopefully Sizemore is the Roberto Hernandez of next year’s team.

  3. It’s also the perfect signing if we sign Thomas. Thomas might need a few months in AA/AAA. Let Sizemore play for a few months and then trade him.

    1. I still don’t get the Franco to first talk. Why would you move the better fielder off of third base?

      1. Well, the logic is that it is a temporary move to give him major league at bats without forcing Asche to the bench. Not sure I entirely buy it, but that’s the logic.

        I think the real problem with this scenario is that they won’t find a taker for Howard.

        1. Howard will be hard to move, but it is important to move him. That is a vital page turning as the Phillies move forward toward their new core.

        1. No. Asche has already been tried unsuccessfully at 2B. Ruf should play 1B, Utley should play 2B, Asche should get more time at 3B, and Franco should get more time in AAA to start 2015.

      2. If Franco is our best fielder we are in for a heap of trouble. The guy is still a AAA/MLB player who has yet to prove himself at the MLB level. Saying he is our best fielder is saying that he is better than Rollins and Chase.

        Even the pundits on CSN have used the term Franco and first base this offseason.

        Let’s no forget that Franco played a fair amount of games at first base in AAA as a contingency plan.

        1. He means that he is the team’s best fielding third baseman. FWIW, defensive metrics, in a very limited SS, suggest he is a better than average third baseman.

          If Franco has to be moved to first base, he will be an average regular at best. As a third baseman he could be a star. A permanent move to first base is a last resort which should be taken only if he utterly fails as a third baseman.

          Moving him to first base now on a permanent basis would be a huge unforced error, probably a worse decision than all but one decision of the Amaro era.

          1. I doubt a move to first would hurt his development that much. That is hyperbole.

            A lot will depend on his hitting ability, which is not at a MLB level. Despite all of the hooplah this summer Franco impressed no one in his short time with the team.

            Franco played 23 games at first base and 107 games at third base. If playing first base was not a consideration from the Phillies he would not have played there once a week.

            1. Which is why a temporary more to first might be okay. But you seem to be suggesting that a permanent move to first should be an option. Which is just insane.

            2. If Franco comes in and knocks the cover off the ball next year and Asche improves they will likely make first base a permanent spot for Franco.

              But the next two years look like rebuilds and it does not hurt you to try some different things.

              The one thing we cannot have is Howard back on the team next year.

            3. As a description of what likely will happen under those circumstances, you may be right. As a description of what should happen under those circumstances, you’re certainly wrong.

              You’re the roster construction guy. As a matter of roster construction, there are no circumstances – none – nor have there ever been in baseball history – where a player who is a decent fielding third baseman should be moved permanently to first base. It’s throwing wins out the window, pure and simple.

            4. Albert Pujols never played a game at 1B in the minors. He was primarily a 3B. It does happen.

            5. And it happened presumably because a judgment was made that he couldn’t handle the defensive responsibilities of the position.

            6. Pujols comment was mine Larry and I don’t think you are right about that…maybe but the Cards had a guy by the name of Polanco playing 3b when Albert came up.

            7. Remember Tony laRussa did move Pujols back to third base in 2011…..if only for a week or so. And the Angels have used him over there in a pinch also.

          2. Franco has everything defensively at 3B except range. He has plus hands, plus arm, and plus reaction quickness. That is enough to be a good defensive 3B. He will undoubtedly be the Phillies long-term 3B. I don’t think he’ll be ready to start in the majors out of ST. When he comes up, it won’t be the worst thing in the world if he spends half a season at 1B.

            1. Range is a funny thing. If you look at the stats the best guys at 3B are the ones with the shortest range while the guys with the largest range are some of the worst fielders.

              You cannot make an error if you do not touch the ball so it is in guys interest to keep their range low.

              If we accept that 2015 is a developmental year the whole point is to nurture our young talent while trading veterans for additional chips.

              Everything hinges on the Phillies signing Tomas and the deals now are insurance plans in the event they lose out.

            2. Toma’s has bust written all over him. His only above average tool is raw power but it will never be realized in game because of a poor hit tool.

        2. I didn’t say Franco was our best fielder. I said he was a better fieder (than Asche). There will always be talk of moving a big man off of third. That talk dog Sandoval early in his career, too. I am not saying Franco is the next Sandoval but he certainly is a better fielder than Asche although I am in no way saying that he showed any indication that he his bat is currently ready for the Major Leagues.

  4. This is certainly a no-brainer. He’s cheap. He plays all 3 OF positions. If Byrd is traded, he’ll be playing a lot of RF and the Cuban isn’t signed. If Brown is traded or his abilities continue to fade, Grady will play LF a lot. He can spell Revere in CF or possibly outright win the CF battle (not sure he can play 150 games in CF but it’s possible).If the Cuban is signed and all others are still around and making hay then he’s a good 5th OF’er or tradable. Don’t want to jinx it but it sounds win-win-win…

    1. I think it really depends upon how he is used. If he’s the 4th outfielder, fine. If he is the regular at either corner – maybe not so fine, depending upon who he displaces.

      1. I agree with you, the Sizemore signing is fine if he’s only the 4th OF. The 4th OF has to be able to play CF and Sizemore can do that. He can’t play 150 games or probably even 120 games but as a 4th OF playing 2 games a week and pinch hitting, he’s a professional and will do well. In a perfect world, we’d have someone from the miner leagues ready for this job but we don’t.

      1. Actually I would but I don’t think Joe wants to be involved with rebuilds. I’d be really surprised if he doesn’t wind up with the Dodgers.

  5. I think this will be the MO for the off season. Older guys willing to take short term deals. Maybe one or two get really hot and turn themselves into a trade chip at the deadline.

    1. Actually younger guys than we’ve added the last two off-seasons. I have no problem at all adding low-30s guys on one-year deals. It’s the multi-year deals, complicated by options and no-trade clauses to the 35+ guys which are the killers. I think the Phillies could have a decent team in 2016 if they are smart. Too bad that they’re committed to $17 mil that year for the ancient Byrd and Ruiz, which is an un-forced shooting themselves in the foot on top of still paying big $ to Howard.

  6. With the bonus money in the draft being capped, the luxury tax threshold, and a shortage of impact free agent options at a reasonable age and quality, there are very few ways teams that have a distinct financial advantage, like the Phils, can use it as a competitive advantage. However, there are a few ways….

    1. The international free agent markets in Cuba and Southeast Asia
    2. Team President
    3. General Manager
    4. Manager
    5. Coaching Staff
    6. Scouts and other minor league development and front office employees
    7. Training facilities and technology

    I’m not sure Joe Maddon would do anything to turn this team into a contender now, but why not spend the money necessary to hire a unique managerial talent and lock him in for the next 5 years? Why not go throw an insane amount of money at Billy Beane and see if you could lure him from Oakland? And go throw big bucks at young up and coming scouts in the Cardinals organization? Why not pay what it takes to sign Tomas? And the best available Japanese player?

    I think there are opportunities for teams with the financial means to overcome baseball’s efforts for parity and equality, it will just require new and different thinking. If a team will pay Grady Sizemore, Cesar Jimenez, and Jerome Williams $5.1M to play baseball next year, why not pay Joe Maddon $5.1M (or more ) to manage that team?

    1. You are correct. Those are among the very few ways the Phillies can turn their $$ to a competitive advantage. Another way would have been to spend close to 105% of their draft allocation, as 9 teams actually did, while the Phillies were one of only 14 to spend less than the allocation. They should also spend 105% of the international allocation year-in and year-out. When there is a tactical advantage to be gained, they also can exceed the lux tax cap and pay a small tax.

      1. The international bonus monies allocation is somewhat tricky.
        If they only spend 90% of their allocation, but sign 2 of the top 15 international talents, as designated by BA/MLB, each year, then I would be happy. Those particular signings are usually 6/7 figure signings.
        They did that with Pujols and Grullon, and then with Encarnacion and another, who’s name escapes me now, but in 2014 it was only Gamboa.
        I want to get at least 2 of the top 15 every year.
        The Yankees in 2014 got 8 of the top 15, and the Cubs did something similar in 2013.

        1. I totally disagree with giving pap up for nothing. I don’t care about his lack of velocity. He pitch great , and there is no reason to give him away. I know his contract is big, but if you don’t get value keep him. They have the money. Relief pitchers especially in late august are valuable. I cant see giving him away, Giles can be slowly be moved into the closer role. He is only 23, People just want to move him cause he isn’t a nice guy, big deal. You don’t think there are asses on the giants or royals?

          1. rocco…you talking to me, I say, you talking to me!
            Who said anything about giving up Paps for nada?
            And yes btw, between both the Giants and Royals I count 50 some arses, two roster fulls.

  7. Let’s develop a new stat. We’ll call it Wins Over Expectation; WOE for short. This will be the # of wins minus the expectation of wins at the beginning of the season. Say you think the Phils will win 62 games and they win 65 then the WOE is 3. If you’re an optimist and you pick the Phils to win 82 games and they win 65 then you get a -17. What’s to be gained you say? You have a measure actuals to expectation or you can drink away your tales of WOE in the bar.

  8. If I am a GM of any contending or a team on the brink of contending team and I need an LF or RF, the first thing I do is trade for Marlon Byrd. His numbers are quite good and his defense passable. What makes him extremely valuable is that he has spent time in Philly. Look at what former Phillies have done since being moved from Philly. Pat Burrell won a world series after Phillies traded him. Aaron Rowand won a world series after traded by Phillies. Victorino has won a world series. Pence has won a world series and is playing in his second after being traded by Philly. If you a GM right now you should be knocking down our door for Byrd! Our former OFs turn your team in to magical contenders. Heck, when we traded Cliff Lee he found his way to the world series for Texas. All jokes aside it seems like everyone we trade turns to gold and everyone we acquire via trade is pyrite (aka fools gold).

    On a more serious note Ruben needs to sign Tomas and make some trades to turn this thing around. Lets get some talent and new faces in Philly so I have more reasons to tune into some more games next year! I can’t continue to self-harm myself by watching this team. Howard and Brown have to go. Idc what we get for either, If a team offers a couple trucks full of tasty cakes you take the deal for either guy. If I see Howard strikeout with a man on third and one or no outs one more time I think I may have to be institutionalized. If I have to sit through another year of Brown playing LF I’ll cry myself to sleep every night. He looks like a baby deer running on a lubricated sheet of ice during a rainstorm when hes tracking down fly balls. I can’t do it anymore. Please Ruben do the right thing and actually rebuild. Don’t just throw the word around and say we are rebuilding. Rebuilding requires a plan and then implementation of that plan.

    1. First sentence is a hot mess, my apologies. It should read something like…
      If I am the GM of any contending team or a team on the brink of contending and I need an LF or RF,

  9. After Cruz and Cabrera, Byrd does have some value. IDK what he brings, but if they are finally acknowledging that they are not contenders, let’s have some new faces play. I still think Pap and Ryan Howard bring back nothing in terms of talent, but I am happy to see new faces. Why lose 90 to 100 games with the same old ones?

    1. IMO I think Giles as the closer and Ruf at first full time would attract more fans than Pap and Howard. At this point if we can get a prospect like Arano for Pap I would do it. We’d save some money and could see Giles as the closer. Also wouldn’t have to deal with Paps antics anymore. Saving some money on Pap would give us a little more money to use on another starter and an open roster spot. We could bring up another guy from the minors to try and establish himself or go for a cheap reliever and let them try and establish trade value.

      1. I agree. My point with cutting payroll is to give these guys a chance and gain some flexibility down the line for when we are ready to make that big move.

        Just like when the Royals added Shields, the Giants added Pence, and now the Cubs looking to add an ace.

        You get the young guys up here, watch them develop, and save some space to add those complementary pieces you may be missing via free agency or trade.

  10. On a different and unrelated note, I would like to congratulate Jimmy Rollins for winning the Roberto Clemente Humanitarian Award with Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox. I know we all get frustrated with Jimmy’s batting sometimes but this award is for Off Field Contributions for helping disadvantaged children in Philadelphia learn and stay interested in academics(I attended one event for a Mental Health event). Rollins is one of the few athletes who lives and truly cares about the city he plays in. Bravo Jimmy!

  11. So there’s a story out today that says Joe Maddon won’t be managing the Phils in 2015 because RAJ stated “we have a manager and it’s Ryne Sandberg”. The story goes on to say RAJ could be fired this season and if he is, Sandberg could also be fired. At that point, it says if Maddon hasn’t been hired by then, he’d be an immediate candidate for Phils.

    So let’s get this straight, Phils could fire RAJ and Sandberg now, and hire a new GM and Maddon, or they can just keep these geniuses?

  12. I would not blame Sandberg too much. There is only so much you can do with this roster.

    When he tried to platoon Ruf with Howard he was told to start Howard. Then he was told to start Howard again so that he could get to 100 RBI’s.

    When the ownership is micromanaging the on field lineup it makes for a difficult situation.

  13. Memo to Franco fans: will this guy EVER hit MLB pitching? Not so sure. He has yet to deal successfully with AAA pitching. The jury is out on this…with little evidence over the past season to justify faith that he will come around. He has, so far, lots of problems with breaking balls and adjusting to change-ups. Then there is the “iron bar” swing. IMO, it is highly problematical that he will ever be adequate for MLB no matter how we wish it.

    No third base; no 1st base. Just a probable lost cause. It would be startling to me if he gained the necessary adjustments to become an adequate MLB player.

    Sorry about that; we could use a righty hitter with power. Just not likely him.

    1. Huh? First, the term is arm-bar swing, not iron-bar swing. Second, it hasn’t stopped Franco from hitting very well and with power. Third, Franco was very young for AAA. It took him half a season to adjust, then he hit very well at the end of the season. His glove and arm were always just fine. Given his youth and the adjustment period to AAA, I didn’t expect his first month in the major leagues to be a great success with the bat. It was just the start of his adjustment period. I think he could profit from another half season in AAA, then finish his MLB adjustment in the second half of what will surely be a dismal 2015 for the Phillies. Franco seems the real deal.

    2. Art D….wow, what a take.
      And he was all of 21-years old in AAA, facing quality and experienced pitchers.
      Franco was a minus 5.9 age differential in AAA.
      I guess, according to your analysis, another failed prospect

      1. I don’t have the stats, I watched Franco play and in the beginning of the season until about late June, he had a ton of trouble with junk ball pitching. Then he got it, and started to hit, he made the adjustment. so I believe its only a matter of time.. He has a nice swing. he looks like he will hit, he crushes fastballs.

  14. Iron bar does fine with me. Check in midway through ’15s season. IMO, he’ll do just like he did in ’14. When he shows that he can hit AAA pitching, I’ll be happy to see it. I doubt he’ll be able to do that…at least at an acceptable level for gaining a MLB job…as a regular.

    There are too many holes in his swing as I pointed our early in the “14 season…which assessment was justified. I would be pleased if he proved me wrong; I doubt it.

    So far I’ve got the one-up on predictions.

    1. You also predicted Cody Asche would be an all-star, and that’s what your Franco dislike is all about, you see he is going to move your golden boy Asche off the position.

      1. Yes…I stand by my prediction. Asche was rushed through the system more quickly than any Phillies prospect I can recall. MLB has suddenly become a low batting average game. Guys like Asche–an Utley clone on hard working–will gain and improve and with his work ethic the results will be as I predicted.

        I was, and remain, skeptical about Franco. It is understandable that Phils Phans would lust after a possible righty power hitter. The romance with Franco is stuffed with lovers’ hopes, desires and wishes…but love IS blind to deficiencies to be seen by others, just not the lovers.

        The FACTS about Franco are disturbing: the problems with swinging out of the strike zone, difficulty with off-speed and breaking stuff, etc. They are LARGE problems out of sight of romancers…but are to be seen by non-lovers unromantically inclined.

        1. First, Asche wasn’t rushed. He moved through the minors like most college players who have success are. And with Franco, no one will dispute that he has things to work on, but you make it sound like he has issues that were surprisingly exposed this year. The arm-bar swing business was known in 2013 when he was tearing through AA. Some people just chose to ignore it because of the numbers he put up. Same goes with his aggressive approach.

          Those things may end up being too much for him to overcome, but a lot of people expected him to be challenged in the beginning. It’s not a death sentence for his career.

          Finally, why give Asche the benefit of the doubt because of work ethic, but not Franco? Franco struggled when he first got to Lakewood, but adjusted and dominated. Then he did the same thing in AAA. He’s already shown the ability to adjust.

          1. Largely because Asche responded with an acceptable first year in the bigs. Franco certainly did not even do that at the lower AAA level.

            1. Franco’s AAA line wasn’t that bad, and his second half was much better than his first. Not to mention that he’s two years younger than Asche.

        2. Art D….Sox are looking for a young lefthanded hitting third baseman….how about a combo package of Hamels and Asche to the Sox for Betts, Owens and Bogaerts? 🙂

          1. Hamels alone should bring them back. Trade Asche? Who plays third base? Certainly not Franco who has miles to go before he could qualify…if at all.

            I do like Betts who is ready to take his shot at MLB. Also, Owens who is said to be the best lefty in the minors. I had thought about Blake Swihart, catcher, as the third to get along with the others.

            Betts is said to be either a 2nd baseman or CFer. IMO, we have acquired a “hidden gem” in Valentin for 2nd base who looks to hit 2nd in the order. And, Quinn is coming along, slowly, for CF. Betts seems to have growing capability to add some power in his swing, but now seems like a good ba and oba candidate for CF. A bit of a dilemma to be worked out in two seasons.

            P.S. I don’t trust Bogaerts who took a dump in his shot at MLB. All those minor lg plaudits disappeared at the bigs. As a “throw-in” he could come back…but that is a job for scouts/coaches to watch him and detect his failings…if discoverable. Meanwhile, we have a piss-poor collection of catchers in our system none of whom engenders excitement nor anything close to being ready.

            1. Well, we do agree on Hamels ‘s worth and value.
              For example:
              Per ESPN WAR rankings, Hamels was the 4th best pitcher in baseball in 2014 (2nd in NL to only Kershaw). ………..Per Fangraphs cumulative WAR rankings, Hamels was the 8th best pitcher in baseball for the cumulative period 2011 through 2014, and was the 9th best pitcher in baseball in WAR for pitchers for period 2007 through 2014………Hamels status as an elite pitcher is incontrovertible. He has been one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball based on virtually any time frame one wants to measure : 2014 alone, 2011 to 2014, 2007 through 2014, etc.

            2. I read that Boston has really soured on bogaerts. I would suspect they could unload him on Amaro.

            3. rocco….Bogaerts may have not lived up to the advance billing that was expected….but then again what prospects do everytime!
              However, Cherington still has plenty of hope for him,
              Who they may want to unload is Jackie Bradley, more so because of their surplus of ready-made MLB OFers on their 40 and the fact he under performed.

          2. If we are to trade Hamels and Asche to Boston I would like to see Betts and Owens to start. I personally would pass on Bogaerts. I would try to add another starter instead, Rodriguez, Johnson, Barnes, and Ball are guys that come to mind. To finish the deal I would try to grab a guy like Shaw.

            Boston gets Hamels, an ace with a reasonable contract and Asche a young third baseman who has shown improvements on defense and at the plate. Asche will give good production and will be inexpensive. IMO Asche is still developing and has more to show at the plate. I think he can become a better hitter and add a little more pop.

            Philly gets Betts who can play CF/2B, Owens a potential #2 starter who would look good in front of Nola long term. Another starter to add some depth to our system and possibly provide another #3 type starter (Ball probably has the most upside, but is farthest away) To finish we grab Shaw as a much needed first base prospect.

            To break down the deal:

            Asche for Betts. Boston can put Castillo in CF and Pedroia at 2B so they don’t really need Betts. They do need an upgrade at 3B and Asche could be that guy.

            Hamels for Owens, a #7-12 sp prospect, and 1B Travis Shaw. I think one of a team’s top 3 prospects, a mid top 20 prospect, and a back end top 20 prospect is fair for Hamels.

            If Boston adds Hamels and Shields their rotation looks pretty good. Buchholz is the #3 with plenty of young options to fill the last two spots.

            1. Now that plan does have some merit and it is a risk with moving Hamels.
              However, if Ruben would like to hurry up the ‘rebuilding phase’ and make Gillick re-think his timetable for contention…then an investment of $220M plus…..for Tomas and Lester or Scherzer would need to happen.
              Bottom-line…the Hamels contract is almost a wash with either of a contract for Lester or Scherzer, sans maybe $2/3M per annum.
              And you still have your ace in either of them.

            2. I believe that LarryM would say that we are not getting Owens and Betts, Betts is all we could hope for, and Asche brings nothing additional to the trade table. I still hope they keep Hamels.

            3. So…who would play 3rd base after Asche is traded (a mistake)?? Franco is not now or maybe never ready for MLB. We don’t have to give up Asche in order to get Betts and Owens plus another pitcher? Catcher? Ofer?

              Asche for OUR 3rd base while he develops steadily into the fine player I and some others contend.

      2. When Franco becomes more of a Golden Boy, we all will be able to call him that. Yes, you are not mistaken that I’ve taken to Asche because of all I see in him…like some have fallen in love with Franco. The difference is that Asche has one season of MLB when he did OK for a rookie and, IMO, stands to gain more in the coming years playing third in Philly. Franco has not shown that he can handle AAA pitchers let alone MLB pitchers.

        We should give Franco the chance to do well, and maybe he’ll justify the passion felt for him by many here. Until he does that WELL, I’ll stand by our present 3rd baseman.

    1. What happen to Rosenberg? I cant believe with the stuff he showed in September 0f 2013. He was hitting 97 and had a off speed pitch, and now he is released, makes no sense.

        1. Allentown its weird to me , how he just lost his stuff. I still cant, believe how bad he went in one season. I really thought he was that seventh or eight inning guy.

          1. For Rosenberg, everything sort of went wrong at the same time. He lost about 3-4 MPH on his fastball, he didn’t further develop his breaking pitches, he struggled with command, he may have been hurt and it looks like he was not in top physical shape (this year he looked quite heavy). I’d try to keep him around, however, because he’s got a lot more ability than most of the AAAA players who take up roster space in Lehigh Valley to fill innings – if he turns it around, that’s great. If not, it’s not a big deal.

  15. My hope for a trade for Bourjos was dealt a tragic blow. Horribly, Oscar Taveras was killed in a car accident over the weekend. The cards have lost a terrific young prospect and probably can’t trade Bourjos now. RIP Oscar, very sad.

    1. My gosh this is so sad. When you’re young, you think about how there’s a player who is going to be great that you’ll never see achieve that greatness. When you get to be middle-aged like I am, all you can think about is his family and your own family and how quickly dreams can be turned into tragegy and how we need to celebrate every day with our friends and family as if it were our last.

  16. With regard to Watson it was kind of Mayo to leave out the drug suspension and that it was his second positive test…

  17. If I were a betting man Scherzer gets a 6yr/$160 million deal plus and with his mechanics and delivery ends up being productive for 2 maybe 3 of those years before TJ surgery comes calling.

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