Open Discussion: Week of November 24, 2014

We haven’t had an open discussion posted since November 3rd.  I’ll try to fill this void until …

First, here’s the link to Phillies Offseason League stats –

http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/org.jsp?id=phi

Check out pitchers Hector Neris, Elvis Arajo, and Manny Chavez. All have sub 1.00 ERAs, and WHIPs around .100.  Their SSS includes at least 9 appearances and 8.2 IP. Araujo and Chavez also have nice K/9 and K/BB numbers.

Willians Astudillo opened with a 3-run HR in 1-4 debut in VWL. Freddy Galvis is hitting below .300 for first time since 2011. He’s also striking out at a much higher rate that in previous VWL seasons.

With the rumors that Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez having agreed to sign with the Boston Red Sox swirling around, what if any impact will that have on the Phillies’ off season trade market? Is SF now in on a SP? Is Boston still a likely trade partner for Hamels?  Discuss.

 

220 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 24, 2014

  1. Wow, it’s been a while, but whatever.

    Jim: I believe you mean Pablo, not Pedro? Fix that whenever.

    And it’s SSS for sure, but I like some of those offseason numbers.

  2. Wow Kyle Seager gets $100M extension. Do we have anything the Mariners might want…

    I take it they will be calling for Cespedes

  3. I’d see what the Dodgers want for Kemp under the pretext we are getting him to trade him to a contender after a half season of mashing in CBP.

    The Dodgers would have to be tempted to unload $107M. I would take the gamble.

    1. I’m not a fan of taking on a big, bad contract with the intent of having someone to trade at the deadline. A deal like Kemp’s will make him difficult to move. I don’t think this would be an efficient use of resources.

  4. The Phils won’t be trading for Kemp and they won’t be trading JRoll. The plan is to get younger and our trades and signings will be done with that in mind. However, Utley and JRoll want to stay and we should applaud them for that. As for the Red Sox, its certainly crazy to see them spend so much and they’re not done apparently. They also want Lester back and they know they can’t win it all without a 2nd top pitcher. My thinking all along has been that the Sox would only want Hamels if they can get Lester first. With them signing the two bats, if they get Lester signed, they will absolutely try to get Hamels and they might overspend to get it done and to truly give themselves a chance to win next year. The Cubs want Hamels but they know they’re not ready to win next year so they won’t go overboard with their offer like I had hoped they would. If Hanley really goes to LF (I don’t believe that he will), the Red Sox have lots of OFs to trade. I don’t know if that means that Betts could go to us as the headliner for Hamels but it could.

    1. I would be willing to guess Ruben could rather easily be persuaded by Cherington to take Bradley, as the OF option, ilo of Betts, in any package deal with Hamels
      Just an opinion.

      1. Pat Gillick will be heavily involved in this trade so I doubt Bradley come here at all as the Red Sox lowered his value and other by bouncing them back and forth from AAA.

    2. not sure why you would applaud utley and rollins for preferring being comfortable and losing than having a chance to win again. you don’t think they care about the fans,do you? i would be more inclined to applaud a player that wants to win more than anything. the phils won’t be getting betts and i doubt very seriously that amaro has the balls or smarts to find a trading partner for hamels.

      1. TBarr, sometimes family is more important than money especially if you have earned as much as these two have and have managed it well. Rollins wife worked for the Phillies so she is from the area. In Utley’s case I think his father in law has business operations near Philadelphia.

  5. They better be right about this bogerts guy, I was not impressed in my brief look and Owens should come in the deal as well. Might be asking a lot but I would if they want hamels bad enough they will do it, otherwise wait until the trade deadline when desperation is abound

  6. I know Sebastian is no longer in our organization but I’m curious about everyone’s thoughts on why his hands lowered so drastically over the course of 2 seasons.

  7. For me I look at Bogaerts minor league body of work and see a kid 17-20 years old who was always way ahead of his peers. I see a kid with the skill set to succeed on a very high level in the MLB and I see last season’s big league performance again as a youngster that needs to realize what the league will try and do to him to get him out.

    I don’t think he is case where he can’t hit breaking pitches or anything like that. He is 22 so IMO he is only going to get closer to his minor league stats not further so if you are adding that and 2 starters ready to pitch in the MLB now you can’t beat that deal.

    Even better throw in chooch and some salary and see if you can pick up Brentz or Ramos

  8. I don’t know what the Sox are doing. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    How does this affect the Phillies? Impossible to say – I think it cuts a couple different ways. Keep in mind that even the Sox have budget limitations, so in that sense it could decrease the chance of a deal. But on balance, it probably does increase the chance of an overpay for Hamels – with “overpay” still being defined differently than the optimists around here define it. Boegarts, though, is probably now in play – but a poor fit for the Phillies. Betts is still not happening.

    My prediction – the Sox look to put together a package for a starting pitcher who is some combination of younger/cheaper than Hamels. Even so, Betts likely won’t be moved. But the recent signings (in combination – Ramirez at the rumored price to play third would have been quite defensible if they weren’t also signing Sandoval) do lessen my respect for the Sox brain trust – and hence makes them a little less predictable. I suppose the fans who dream of a massive overpay can take some comfort in that.

    1. If we landed Xander it creates the question with Crawford I get that but I could see one or the other moving to second. The main thing for me in a Hamels trade is getting 2 legit arms.

      Secondly if they just spent $180M on 2 position players and the price for Lester is 6/$140 do the Sox go there.

      To your point though and I brought this up earlier is Andrew Cashner who is only 28 and not a FA until 2017. I could see the Sox making a really strong offer for him. He is as dominant a right hander as you will find in the game. They could pair him with Owens and be just fine.

      1. DMAR,

        On #1, maybe, but that (somewhat) decreases the value of one of them.

        On #2, yeah, but while the deals may increase the chance of Hamels versus the FAs, they also increase the chance of no acquisition of a high priced FA OR Hamels.

        But as I said, I don’t really have a clue of what the Sox are trying to do, so all predictions (except that Betts is not happening) are tentative.

        1. Well you are always (ok maybe always isn’t fair) but anyway who cares about value at the position when you are trying to build a CORE for the future. If you got those 2 guys up the middle for the next 10 years I’m doing it.

          Just a friendly reminder from your old pal this is real baseball not fantasy.

          The Royals fought that for years with Alex Gordon as a 3B. The Dodgers did with Dee Gordon. If you have 2 SS and no 2B its ok to move one of them to 2B to have them both on the field and in the lineup at the same time right?

          But moot as things are starting to unfold it doesn’t look like the plan is to move Bogie in a trade. It looks like they would prefer to move Cespedes, Victorino. if possible.

          1. Franco as a first baseman as part of the core is, to put it kindly, not exciting. That isn’t the ONLY problem with your argument, but it is the biggest problem. His upside as a first baseman is a solid major league regular. For your “core” guys you want a higher upside than that.

            I think it’s possible that the Phillies indeed share your thinking – not likely, but possible. But if so, it is the same kind of thinking that got them into this mess in the first place.

            Now, IF Franco really was the kind of hitter that some people imagined when he was tearing up AA – a .300 plus hitter who could mash 30 plus HR – then I could see your argument. I’d still disagree, because he’s STILL losing a lot of value moving to first, but then it would make sense at least to see him as part of the core as a first baseman. But he’s not that guy – the batting average piece I mean, he could hit that many HR – never really was, never really will be.

            People talk about Pujols. But even setting aside the fact that he was a truly elite hitter, which Franco won’t be, they DID try him at third, and concluded that he couldn’t cut it defensively, while he was a plus defender at first base.

  9. I’m really at a loss for the stupidity being demonstrated by the Red Sox right now. If the reports are true of a 4 yr, $88M deal for Hanley, with the RAJ special on the back end, and about to give Sandoval somehwere in the neighborhood of 5 yrs, $90M, this is insane.

    If they play the two of them at SS and 3B, and in essence “give up” on Boegarts, I think that is crazy. Maybe they plan to play Hanley at SS for a year or two until Ortiz retires and then play him at DH, but to pay him $22M to DH is crazy in its own right.

    If they play Sandoval at 3B and move Hanley to LF, then they have a glut of OF’s and again I feel like $22M per year for Hanley in LF is crazy.

    I think the best scenario for the Phils would be for SF and some other team to get Scherzer and Lester, leaving the Sox and the Cubs landing neither.

    1. Harsh words for the boys in bean town. I OTOH think they know exactly what they are doing it just needs to all unfold before it makes sense. A strong chance that it works in our favor.

      One thing that is obvious is that Ben likes veteran presence and preferably veterans with a strong track record.

      1. I’m sure that it will make MORE sense when it all unfolds. But at this point I can’t see ANY scenario where it makes MUCH sense. One of two things pretty much has to be true:

        (1) Ramirez plays SS and they trade Bogaerts when his value is at a low point.
        (2) They play Ramirez in LF.

        Neither of those scenarios makes sense IMO. I can imagine other scenarios but they make less sense.

        That doesn’t even address their excess of right handed hitters – which admittedly could and likely will be addressed in further moves.

        1. Apparently, Sandoval, as a switch-hitter was brought in to give some semblance of balance to their predominantly right-handed hitting lineup.

        2. I wonder if they see Sandoval, not Hanley, as their future DH…

          You said yourself that signing Hanley as a 3B makes some semblance of sense, so maybe they just want Panda for his stick and depth at 3B for if (when) Hanley gets hurt.

          1. To be clear, I’m not as harsh as Buddy on the point. Big picture, they made themselves a lot better, and each contract by itself is defensible at least. And we DO need to wait to see what other moves they make.

            But Sandoval at DH raises some of the same issues as Ramirez at LF or DH, maybe moreso – Sandoval, physique aside, grades out well as a defender at 3B. And ironically ties in with the Franco argument we’ve been having.

      2. Well in Buddy’s defense the Red Sox have difficulty picking a path and staying with it. They somehow won in 2013 with purchasing players who all had career years(like the 1993 Phillies) and then decided to go young. They did not have the patience to see their plan through and build from within and be stronger in the future. These signings will help short term but will be burdens by the end of their contracts and no one will help them out next time.

  10. They have Betts, Ramirez and the Cuban player in the outfield. I think they are willing to trade Bradley because he cannot hit. Maybe they trade Cespedes? But, I think they have given up on Middlebrooks and Bradley. I would not want either of them. Boegarts is still the SS. That is why I don’t see hamels traded to them. No Owens, Betts or Boegarts, and no Swihart. No combination of the rest interests me.

  11. If boegarts is the center piece boston tries to push on us I think I will just keep hamels. Maybe some team will get desperate at the trade deadline that matches better with what we need.

  12. LarryM – You have now criticized the RedSox and the A’s front offices. Two of the best in baseball. Maybe it’s your evaluation of prospects that “doesn’t make a lot of sense”?

    Saying Betts is “not happening” is absurd. He is absolutely in play. Especially if the Phillies want to throw in some money with Hamels.

    1. The trouble with having Betts in play….is what do the you have to forfeit to have him as part of the deal?
      The Sox and Cherington will negotiate ruben down.
      Who would be off the table..Owens, Swihart, Vasquez, and Bogaerts I am sure would be not part of the deal.
      Players that may have to be taken would be more the likely be Bradley, Ranaudo, Johnson, Coyle or Brentz.
      Not too attractive now.

      1. Would Castillo, Bradley and Ranaudo be workable? That leaves out Boegarts, Swihart, Owens, and Betts, the so-called off the table prospects. I don’t know if that is too little or too much. I would probably say too little, LarryM may say too much. I know how much $ Castillo got, but don’t know how good he is. Ranaudo may be a Bullpen piece and I have heard mixed reviews on Bradley, from destined to the Bullpen, to a better prospect than Owens.

      2. I wish I could find the article on Owens. they question his 92 mile per hour fast ball and his slow curve. scouts said they wonder how it would play in majors. so a owens and bogerts is not a top deal for hamels. I cant see any trade with boston without betts. I don’t care what larry says, it wont happen, then we don’t trade hamels simple. owens isn’t a long term replacement for hamels. in any deal f or hamels you must get value. and value isn’t Owens and bagaerts two guys who have lost some of there appeal.

        1. If you’re expectation is that you are going to get a long-term replacement for Hamels (say a legit #1/2 starter) then you are going to be disappointed. That generally doesn’t happen. If you expect that Hamels long-term replacement plus a very good starting position player, then you are going to be really disappointed. Boeggerts/Owens is a good return. I’d much prefer Swigart/Owens. I doubt we get either. I’m not in a rush to trade Hamels.

          1. That is my expectation Al and I won’t be disappointed to still have Cole go out there every 5th day for the Phillies. As Dan Plesac likes to say the price of poker has gone up.

            Nightengale said as much last night also! Whoever wants Hamels needs time to adjust to the cold temps of the water. In other words its going to hurt.

            Many here seem to be underestimating the cost of SP on the FA market. Lester has no comp associated with him that drives up the AAV cost.

            Scherzer does have comp associated with him and a really big AAV if you want to land him.

            Then you have Shields on another tier but also comp associated with signing him. So Cole by each passing day becomes a huge bargain for a Prospect rich team like the Sox who just pushed all their chips into the center of the table.

            1. And that’s why someone may overpay. But again, what looks like an overpay to most major league teams (and IMO objectively) is going to cause howls of outrage against Amaro as being not nearly enough.

    2. Agree V. The market for Hamels could not be shaping up better. And now the Cubs have an offer on the table for Lester that may take the Sox out of the running. To say Betts is untouchable is an absurdity. Phils should get a great return for Hamels because the market is shaping up that way (not because RAJ is smart)

      1. For all of the offensive upgrades Boston has made — Ramirez, Sandoval, Cespedes, Castillo — the Red Sox SP’s are lacking and Hamels would fill the void if Lester signs elsewhere.. The Red Sox’s rotation right now is number one Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, Al Webster, De La Rosa and Brandon Workman. Not too promising to say the least. Now this is discounting Owens, Ranaudo or Johnson…but they are all rookies. So if they don’t land Lester, their need for Hamels increases and with that his market value also increases.

          1. The A’s just traded one of the top prospects in baseball for 1.5 seasons of a pitcher worse than Hamels. It is all about supply and demand.

            1. Comparing Betts to Russell is a joke. Possibly similar upsides, but the risk on Betts is so much less, AND he can contribute at the major league level right now. Also, last time I checked the A’s were not in the market for Hamels so not sure why you or anyone think that deal means anything at all. Other problems with the comp but that’s enough.

              We couldn’t get Betts for Hamels AND Franco. Not that I’d do that deal.

              Look, there’s some room for debate here, though let’s keep in mind that, compared to the conventional wisdom I’m actually on the optimistic side. But anyone who thinks that Betts in in play has no credibility at all.

            2. To be clear, it’s absolutely possible that a deal with a Russell type prospect and lesser prospects could be obtained for Hamels. But people around her seem to expect a deal where the Phillies get a better than Russell level prospect, a Russell level prospect, AND another Russell level prospect. Not happening.

            3. Comparing Addison Russell to Mookie Betts is NOT a joke. It is actually a very fair comp. Russell killed Double AA last year and is said to be an elite defender at a premium position. He could absolutely be in the majors next year playing plus defense and providing power from Short, which makes him a very rare commodity.

              What is a joke is saying that Hamels and Shields are the same player. Here are their age 30 seasons (which is the year Shields was traded and this year for Hamels)

              Shields :
              – ERA+ 109
              – FIP 3.47

              Hamels:
              – ERA+ 151
              – FIP 3.07

              That is not even close. Add in that Hamels is proven in the post season and is locked up for 4 years, he is a much more valuable asset. The only thing that you can say in Shields favor is that he was cheaper. Which is very different than saying he is just as good.

              Look Larry, I know you MO. When someone challenges you you respond with aggressive tone and type a novel. But all I am saying is that it is not out of the question that Betts is in play when you are talking about trading one of the elite pitchers in the game at his age 30 season under a good contract.

            4. (1) Your first point is self discrediting, but I’ll make the argument briefly anyway: your argument goes to ceiling – which is very high for both. (Though in considering ceiling, note the fact that you are intentionally making a misleading argument by including Russell’s post trade performance – at the time of the trade, he had 57 PA in AA.) But the risk factor for a guy with 57 PA in AA (again, at the time of the trade), versus a player who has performed at a borderline star level in 213 major league PA, is huge. No one – no one – not even Russell’s mom – thinks that the comp is remotely reasonable. Certainly the Sox don’t, and they are the people deciding on whether Betts gets traded.

              (2) Your argument about Hamels versus Shields cherry picks the data pretty egregiously, comparing Hamels’ best season via ERA+ to one of Shields’ worst. Moreover, other measures of value (FIP, FIP+, WAR) are much closer for the two players. You can make an argument that Hamels has a talent edge, but not a huge one.

              All of that said, I’m not terribly interested in the argument as to whether in some abstract “objective” sense it would make sense for Boston to trade Betts for Hamels. I think the answer is pretty clearly that it would not, but ultimately the question is irrelevant. The only true value for the players is the value that the market places on the players. The evidence – direct and indirect – is absolutely clear that Boston places a far higher value on Betts than on Hamels. Even setting aside the longer length of control and the much lower salary – hardly irrelevant concerns – Boston likely believes (correctly in my view) that trading Betts for Hamels would hurt the team even in the short term. Not happening.

            5. To be clear, given the CURRENT configuration of Boston, on a purely short term basis the deal would help because of the surplus of position players. But they have better ways to reconfigure their roster than trading Betts for Hamels, and on a pure “value” basis I would bet on Betts being better even in the short run.

            6. LarryM – I didn’t cherry pick years on the Hamels vs. Shields comp. I picked the year he was traded. You are so quick shout over someone that you didn’t even look at the data. Shields was traded after his year 30 season. That represented his value at the time. And that value got one of the top prospects in baseball who was also MLB ready. Shields is clearly not in the league of Lester or Scherzer or Hamels for that matter.

              As for Betts, it has been reported that the Phillies are doing background checks on him. You can NOT do a background check on another team’s player without their permission. That is tampering. So the Sox gave permission.

              Also many top reporters have stated that Betts is in play.

              One other thing worth noting, the Red Sox currently have the worst starting staff in baseball. They need a #1 and a #2 and maybe a #3 unless you think that magic will happen for Clay B.

  13. Does Boston lose it’s 2d and 3Rd picks in the Draft now? They have a better pick in Rd. 1 than the Phils, so I know that is safe. Does it go 2d then 3rd for Panda and Hanley? Is there a sleeper team out there for Hamels, or would Cubs be next most likely after the Sox sign Lester? I want a deal where we say, ” those are 2 players we really like, we can see them in the line up in a year or 2″. But, I still don’t see a deal out there where we say anything except RAJ has to go!

  14. Breaking news…..the Phillies just traded Ryan Howard and a second round pick to the 76ers on exchange for a mid level trade exception. The 76ers subsequently released Howard.

    1. RAJ. Hinkie’s has a good chance to work in the end. RAJ’s plan has already failed and he’s now blindly groping for a new one. Since you asked the question, I guess you think RAJ has a plan. Care to share?

      1. No, I don’t. I was hoping someone thought he has one and would enlighten me. I think he is completely stumped as to where to go to rebuild.

      2. Yeah going 0-82 and not being guaranteed the first pick is really a good plan! Let’s destroy all confidence levels that the young players might have.

        1. No, let’s max out to put together a team that squeaks into the 8th spot, goes nowhere and forfeits its 1st round pick next year because of the stupidity of the previous GM. Do you forget the 1st for Arnett Moultrie that disappeared with making the lottery this year. Or the future 1st that we get back from the dumb Bynum trade because Hinkie held up Orlando. None of those moves are something RAJ would do. Sorry, this is not the forum for this.

  15. I think people are being a little unimaginative when they say that Crawford’s presence means that the Phillies wouldn’t do a deal with Bogaerts as the centerpiece. My plan if anyone cared to ask me would be to trade Hamels for Bogaerts and lesser prospect or two. After doing that, present Rollins (who I love and I would hate to see go) with the unfortunate reality of playing backup SS on a team is going to lose 110 games, and ask him to waive his 10-and-5 rights. Then flip him and his affordable contract to a major market team in need of a shortstop. (Yankees? Dodgers?) You bet that Bogaerts will have a true breakout season next year, then trade him at the deadline or in the offseason or even next year for a king’s ransom, as truly top tier shortstops with several seasons of control before free agency are far more valuable on the open market than Hamels (great as he is) would ever be.

    It’s a risk, in that you’re betting that Bogaerts is better than his performance to date suggests, a proposition that the Red Sox front office clearly seems to doubt. But given all the previous scouting reports, it seems like a fairly safe wager that he’s going to get better, maybe much better. And betting on Cole Hamels to stay healthy and effective between now and 2017 isn’t any less risky. If the move works out, it’s the kind of move that could really alter the future of the franchise, bringing back far more in terms of trade return than merely trading Hamels for prospects now.

    1. Interesting perspective. I look at acquiring Bogaerts a bit differently.

      Back when Cliff Lee was healthy and rumors of him going to Boston floated around Bogaerts was a name that came up quite often. Now with Hamels in the same situation Bogaerts continues to be a name that is brought up. I think Ruben and Co. really like Bogaerts and are pursuing him.

      With that being said if they land a guy they have coveted for a while would they really flip him? I guess if he could help fill another need and bring back a really good return they might do it, but if he has that break out year they might want to keep him moving forward.

      If he puts it all together I think he could be a very good player. He is still young and from what I’ve read he has started improving his plate discipline. If he truly did break out for the Phillies I could see him or JPC moving to second to make a very good middle infield for years to come.

  16. I like to know where you read that mattews. recent articles suggest he isn’t getting better with his bat,

    1. He’s got a .659 OPS in his first major league season — at age 21, as a SS. I think you are being more than a little rough on the guy. By comparison, Asche just put up a .699 OPS — at age 24 as a 3B. Which stat is more promising?

      I’m actually of the camp that you are not going to get maximum long-term return if you go for a guy like Xander, who is already in the bigs. Swigart is the better head-liner: we need a catcher, not yet a major leaguer. They are both high ceiling guys. If you think the Phillies can do better than Bogaerts, Owens, and a long-shot throw-in, God bless.

      1. Xander did end 2014 with a very nice September at the bat, although his May was better. The intervening months, not so much. He seems prone to prolonged slumps. His bat really hasn’t been a problem throughout his career, with a minor league career OPS of .862, while always being young for the league. A .906 OPS in the Eastern League at age 20 is not something to be scoffed at. He could very well be a star SS in the bigs.

      2. Amen. If they can turn Cole Hamels into Bogaerts, Owens and one of Devers or Margot, I would be ecstatic. But I guess that’s a lot to ask for…

      3. Please don’t compare XB and Asche. Asche was never a prospect, and, if he reaches his ceiling and hits .280 with 15HR, that would be fantastic. The expectations for XB are, obviously, considerably higher.

  17. The 3 positions needing filling are starting pitchers, outfielders and catcher. Whose prospects can fill those needs best by a Hamel’s trade maybe along with Ruiz? And have two of those prospects get into a Phillie uni at ’15s beginning…?

  18. Aaron Altherr decent numbers except K’s 35 in 105AB Any chance he makes the big club this spring or has he increased his trade value?

    1. No, there’s a 0% chance he makes the big club. He’s hoping he gets promoted to AAA after a poor season that saw him slide backwards. The best thing going for him is that Quinn will be playing CF at AA every day so if the Phils want Altherr to play CF every day, it will have to be at AAA. Having said that, he has lots of talent but really needs to shorten his swing and make more contact.

    2. The Phillies are projected to be the worsed team at all 3 OF positions. So why not give him a chance he cant do worse. I think he will break camp with the big league club.

  19. Back to Manny Chavez for a moment. He is one of the most intriguing guys under Phillies control. I originally he was a pint size lefty with some skills. Think Bastardo. But he’s 6’3″. He’s also never lost a game as a pro. Three years without losing a game. 9-0 in the VSL 2 years ago and 1-0 in the Mexican League last year. He’s 2-0 in the Offseason leagues this year. I remember him having a good winter league season last year (although he may have lost a game or two in last year’s winter league). I want to put him at the tail-end of our top 30 just based on intrigue. I hope he plays in the states this year and then I can get a read on him. I haven’t seen AndyB lurking around here in a while but if you’re watching do you know anything about him?

  20. The Phillies are a bad team. They will be a bad team in two years. Unless there is a change in management, the Phillies will remain a bad team in four years.

    Bad teams don’t need top-flight relievers. Which brings us to Kenny Giles.

    By the next trade deadline if things go as expected, Giles will establish himself as a top-flight reliever who is cheap and under team control for the following five and a half years. That will make Giles much more valuable to a playoff team over that period than he will be to the Phillies.

    For a team with a scarcity of tradeable assets, Giles could be second in value only to Hamels by next summer, and trading him to a contender could bring back a good prospect.

    1. If I’m the Phillies I would absolutely have to be blown away to trade Kenny Giles anytime soon.

      Although the Phillies are not good right now, Giles is so young that he could be a big part of even a medium to long range plan to be competitive. A truly dominant young closer may not be worth a top of the rotation starter or a star position player, but that is a very valuable commodity.

      Another thing is that, although typically, it’s not a good idea to cater your player acquisition strategies to the fan base, there is perhaps no worse message you can send to the fans than trading away your young stars.

      If you trade Kenny Giles away you are going to take an enormous public relations hit and a big risk. If you do it, you had better get back a LOT of talent in return and you can’t screw it up. Period.

  21. There are two important reasons for demanding major-league-ready prospects in a trade. First, you want players who will make an immediate contribution to the big club. Second, you want to minimize the risk of acquiring players who fall along the wayside before reaching the majors.

    For these reasons, major-league-ready prospects generally cost more than those in the lower minors.

    Since the Phillies will be a bad team for awhile, they really do not need players who will make an immediate contribution. For this reason, I would be willing to gamble on highly regarded prospects who are two or three years away, i.e., 2017-18.

    To reduce somewhat the risk of failure, I would target young position players and steer away from pitchers, who generally are greater injury risks.

  22. Nothing starts without owens or barnes. need to get good pitching back in any trade for hamels. i’m not in any hurry to trade him either.

  23. Looks like the Dodgers are going to get involved in talks for Hamels. Hopefully another team or two will jump in and ruben will bring in a return we can be proud of.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/11/24/dodgers-join-red-sox-in-pursuit-of-cole-hamels/

    I also wonder if Lester going to a sleeper team would make the Giants would get involved for Hamels. They have a lot of good pitching prospects at AA that we would probably want and I would assume want to make some kind of splash since Sandoval left.

    1. The problem I see with the Dodgers is that they don’t have the upper level pitching that the Red Sox have. The Sox literally have 4 pitchers in Owens, Johnson, Ranuado and Barnes ready to come up and pitch in a rotation in 2015.

      The Dodgers best pitching prospects are Urias and Holmes both 18 both to far away to gamble on. So while I would love to get my hands on Corey or Joc it leaves me way short in the rotation.

      Having said that if you look at Friedman and what he expected from the Royals when he traded Shields he should be surprised when the Phillies call for Seager or Pederson and two solid pitching prospects in the deal.

      1. Urias is the only one from that group who has the potential to become an ace like Hamels. He may be young and come with a lot of risk, but I’d still take him over any of the Red Sox pitching prospects. That said, if I had the choice (and I recognize how unlikely it is), I’d prefer a package centered around XB, Betts or Swihart, unless the Dodgers are including Seager or Pederson, which I can’t see them doing. Give me XB, Betts or Swihart plus one of Owens/Johnson/Barnes plus one of Devers or Margot, and I’m ecstatic.

          1. I’ve seen worse on this site. A LOT worse. 🙂

            It’s funny, if you read (for example) the guys at Fangraphs, I’m a raving optimist by comparison. I actually don’t think many prospects are entirely off the table … Betts is, but that’s because of his stellar ML debut. Some of those other guys you mention are long shots but not entirely out of the question.

            Where I think I differ mostly with people around here is the second and third pieces. I think expecting one of the really good prospects AND a second top prospect is unrealistic. If you get Swihart, for example, you’re certainly not getting Owens as the second piece.

  24. Chris Nelson at one time was considered a top prospect by BA.
    More insurance for the middle infield I suppose.

  25. What I find hilarious about this is that when events prove me right about the trade value for Hamels, the dreamers among you, instead of changing your thinking, will just rip on Amaro for making a bad trade (or for not making a trade). And I get that, I do – Amaro’s record certainly doesn’t entitle him to the benefit of the doubt.

    But you really have to ignore a TON of evidence to conclude that the kind of mega hauls that some of you guys are expecting are a realistic possibility. The market is what it is, not what you guys wish that it is.

    But I will say this – if, somehow, the Phillies could convince the Sox to trade them Betts for Hamels even up, no other pieces involved, OF COURSE Amaro should jump on it. It would be the steal of the century. Betts is going to be a star.

    1. I provided the evidence in the James Shields trade as a comparable. Hamels is actually more favorable as there are more years of control and cost certainty

      right?

      1. I think that’s a valid starting point. But:

        (1) The return for Shields was much less than the fantasies being proposed by many (not you). IMO, for the below reasons I see that deal as being essentially the upper bound of a return for Hamels. Possible, yes. But “failure” to get that return would be more a reflection on the trade partners, not a reflection on Amaro.

        (2) More years of control but much higher salary. Again, that matters. The market probably regards Hamels as having less trade value than Shields at the time for that reason. He may be a bargain compared to the FA starting pitchers, bur not to Shields when acquired by KC.

        (3) Not dealing with Kaufman. Even if you think some of the criticism of Kaufman is unfair, the Boston/LA/Chicago organizations have a different approach and place a higher value on prospects.

        (4) This isn’t a response to you, as you haven’t made this mistake, but to others. Some people around here imagine that Hamels has more value (independent of salary and control) than Shields at the time. Not true; the two actually are good comps for each other.

        Now, that said, there are indeed concerns going the other way. Which is why an overpay equivalent to Shields is possible though not certain. But some people around here are imagining a return massively exceeding the return in the Shields deal. Not happening.

        1. Because of paying attention to people, on this site, specifically you, and elsewhere, my expectations for a Hamels return have dropped significantly. However, I still want a player that I know is going to play every day for a contending team and a SP that slots at 3. Not an Ace, not expecting Betts or Pederson. My position has been that otherwise there ins no sense to trade him. I would rather see him every 5th game, then get 3 or 4 players who will never amount to anything, ie, the Lee deal. That was a complete waste. Doing nothing does not cause me to blast RAJ, but another Lee deal does.

          1. That is a very valid concern. The Lee trade was a money dump, but the return wasn’t awful. Aumont and Gillies were both solid prospects. Not the sort of can’t-fail guys people are gunning for as a return in a Hamels trade, but very solid prospects who had established both good stats and strong tools and made it most of the way through Seattle’s farm. I think part of the problem with that deal has to be laid at the feet of the Phillies development staff and medical staff. People cite a deal or two as examples of what is possible, then say Hamels is better and they like his contract better because it has more years, so we should get more for Hamels. But the Phillies have been involved in a lot of ace pitcher trades that illustrate the counterpoint: the team that trades the ace pitcher invariably (well not always, but at least 80% of the time the ace pitcher stays healthy for at least a couple season) loses the trade. Acquiring, we won big on Carlton, Lee, Halladay, even on Oswalt. Selling, we got soaked on Schill and Lee. If Hamels has a great contract, then Halladay had an incredibly team-friendly contract. Toronto even threw $6 mill into the deal. What did they get in return? Some quite good prospects, none of whom were close to can’t-miss and who largely missed. I think that’s a fairly typical deal for an older, expensive, ace. Really, if you don’t need to save the salary $, you shouldn’t be trading your ace. Just because you are trading an ace with a ‘fair’ contract, doesn’t mean you are likely to get a HOF in return. You can get great players back in some of the strangest of serendipitous trades. Who would have though Houston could hit the jackpot trading the ancient Larry Anderson or the Phillies would strike gold for Kevin Stocker, or that you could get a HOF 2B for Ivan Dejesus. That’s the problem of pointing to one or two carefully selected ‘comps’.

    2. I would love to see Betts come to Philly. I think he will be an exciting player for a long time. I would say the chances are very slim, but who knows maybe the Red Sox miss out on some other starters and pull the trigger so they can compete next season.

      If we did acquire Betts I wonder if he would play CF or 2B in Philly. They seem to be high on Quinn in center and Betts and JPC up the middle would be nice.

      I am not sure if I’m just being greedy (which I probably am), but I would love if we could at least grab a lottery ticket or two along with Betts. We have spent so much time scouting their system there has to be some guys that we see value in. If we grabbed Betts and one or two Ogando/Arano/Valetin prospects I’d have to tip my cap to Ruben on that.

    3. I think your argument is that of a man trying to defend past criminals and in this case past trades. I sorry but as a fan and a person who follows the sport I love. I don’t care about what other teams have done , If you want a left hand ace, you must give me back a stud everyday player and a potential good starting pitcher. I don’t have to move hamels, This is my price meet it or move on. with or without hamels this team will stink. With Owens and bogarets two guys who don’t project as all stars, And if you read into boston moves have move down the charts in Boston evaluation. Then why should I take them. Your closing argument larry is not convincing me or anyone on here with any sense to take a bad package.

    4. That by far is the biggest joke. Ever on here. A unproven kid for a top left-hand pitcher. Would you have traded Hanley Ramirez when he was same age for hamels. no I bet, now you have a guy who cant field and is a good hitter who is hurt, point is this its a prospect and you can twist it anyway you want but he is a prospect, Where In the world is he worth a top hard to find ace lefthand pitcher, who has a world series mvp. and is still only 30. Larry you live in a weird place with you judgment on prospects. You said we wouldn’t get San Diego to give us headly for hamels two years ago , How did that work out. you think san diego would make that trade now/ Do you think st Louis would trade us the untouchable center field of the century you raved about for hamels. Now you saying that a infield who is young and not proven at the major league level isn’t worth hamel. sorry will never buy that argument, the judge would laugh you out of his court if you make these silly arguments.

      1. My judgment on prospects happens to be shared by virtually every front office in the game.

        Why do you think that, with roughly one exception a year – Myers pre 2013, Russell 2014 – these guys don’t change hands any more? Actually, if we’re talking about a guy like Betts, once every … I was going to say every ten years, but I can’t think of the last time a guy like Betts – a highly regarded prospect who performed at a borderline star level in a 200 plus PA major league debut – was EVER traded at a similar stage of his career. Has it ever happened?

        1. The reason Larry is that few Ace pitchers are traded. Not the other way around. Any GM in baseball would trade their top prospect for a #1 starter in their prime. The delay in a Hamels trade is RAJ wants more than that. He wants 3 top prospects. And no one is doing that until the FA market clears. Boston would be crazy to make that trade if they can get Lester for no lost prospects. Even if they still want Hamels, they have a better negotiating position with Lester. In negotiation terminology, it is called a BATNA. Boston is lining theirs up now.

          1. There’s nothing particularly unique about an ace pitcher – except that they are more prone to injury than position players of equal value.

            There have been plenty of players of roughly Hamels quality (or better) available over the past couple of years (including some aces), some of whom were traded and other who weren’t. On the whole the returns for such players have been underwhelming.

            Now, that said I DO think Hamels will get a “top” prospect (in that regard I am actually more optimistic than a lot of people). But not two, and not a guy like Betts. What’s crazy is that the Phillies have been asking for THREE such prospects, and people around here seem to think that that’s what they should get.

            I’ve stated several times that I agree that, after the FA pitchers are signed there is a good possibility of an overpay by a team that doesn’t get one of the aces. The crucial difference in my opinion versus the opinions of some people around here is defining just what an overpay is going to look like. Given the out-sized expectations around here, it’s almost certain to disappoint a lot of fans.

          2. One thing to keep in mind regarding the “bidding war” argument – there is – there HAS TO BE – a maximum price teams are willing to pay for Hamels. Obviously in most negotiations the buyer doesn’t pay the maximum it is willing to pay, but IF the market is right for the seller, then the chance that someone will bid this theoretical maximum is high. Believe me, I get that. Negotiations is something I know a lot about professionally.

            There are two questions – is the market for an ace this winter a seller’s market, and, if so, what is the maximum that teams are willing to pay. As for the first question, the answer is unclear – the fact that THREE aces are available in the FA market somewhat undercuts the argument that we have a seller’s market – but it is possible that, when the dust settles, we will have a seller’s market.

            It’s the second question where I differ with people. Given a whole host of factors, and the recent history of the trade market, and the fact that the possible buyers are organizations who highly value prospects, I think that EVEN A TEAM WHO MISSES OUT ON AN ACE FA isn’t going to go crazy in terms of their max offer. They’ll choose to pass on the ace rather than give up (say) two top prospects.

          3. What I am reading is the delay is being cause by, there being some good pitching out there in fa. I can see a gm paying top dollar for a lester or someone else over using his prospects. That being said, how many times have we seen a top ace with a mvp in world series , with a good contract for 4 more years. go on the market? that is the guestion I have.

            1. I’m not sure that being MVP in a 6-years ago WS is significant enough to put in the search function. It seems an attempt to create uniqueness, where uniqueness doesn’t exist. So let’s just talk aces on a reasonable contract and consider what we gave up to get Lee and Halladay. Also consider that Hamels missed time to injury at the start of this season. Not pointing at you, but a statement that I read fairly frequently that I really dislike is “if they want our ace, then they have to give up their top two prospects.” Well, the value of the top two prospects varies all over the map, depending upon which team you are dealing with. Some team’s 3rd and 4th prospects are better than other teams’ top two prospects. Some systems are really loaded and others are quite sparse, especially at the top.

      1. The funny thing about it is that I actually have a pretty darn good track record. Not that I deserve THAT much credit – my predictions tend to be pretty conservative; I don’t go out on a limb and I stick to what I know. The truth is that, given how negative I’ve been over the past couple of years. I wish my track record wasn’t so good, i.e., I wish my pessimism hadn’t been so often justified by events.

        Trying to think what I’ve been really wrong on. Brown I guess; I really thought he would be better. But I’m not alone in making that particular mistake. Also Papelbon’s bottom line results last year were a lot better than I expected. The team was a little (but not much) worse than I expected last year, but that’s partly double counting (I thought Brown would be better) and partly the Lee injury.

        Can’t think of too many other wrong predictions. I was surprised by the Oakland deal, but I wouldn’t call that a mistake – there are always outliers, and on the whole my opinions about the trade market have been amply justified by events.

        1. And , lest I am wrong, your preference is to analyze and forecast on positional players vs pitchers, who tend to be more fluid and injury prone.

        2. Larry you don’t think you were wrong on headley value? when we talked trade before and you weren’t wrong on how good bourjous would be> sorry I cant spell.

        3. Most importantly, you’re wrong about your own self-assessment. It’s not a big deal as most people tend to overrate their own abilities though I would contend that you take it to a whole other level. To be honest I don’t read your comments any longer – just skip right over them. But I can recall from the 2012 off season that you were quite wrong about contracts for Pagan and implied value for Upton (BJ). Regardless as to whether you feel you are always right, which you aren’t, your posts are no longer tolerable due to the condescending tone.

          One of these days I’ll be in Clearwater for ST and I’ll here someone say ‘Larry’, and if I subsequent get confirmation of the ‘Larry’ by hearing a condescending remark, you can bet your life that I’ll walk over to ‘greet’ you.

          Ahhh, just kidding. Misdirected anger. I’m really mad at RAJ. While I had argued that the Phillies should not approach $100mil for Tomas, I was unpleasantly surprised that they would not exceed the $11+ mil per year it took to sign him. I would have certainly risked 6/72 to sign him. Amaro is the 2nd biggest tool mentioned regularly on this board.

        4. People don’t want to admit it for some reason, but Larry has really not be wrong too often on his predictions, although he doesn’t make a lot of them. He totally nailed the Hunter Pence trade at the time. A lot of us were wrong on Brown – it’s possible that Brown might still snap out of it, but the problem is that even if he becomes a decent offensive player again, he does a lot of the little things – like play defense – pretty poorly, so it will be tough for him to become a good all around player.

          Well, I suppose the good news is that Nola and Crawford will be coming along soon – at least there should be something to look forward to watching aside from the young bullpen.

          I’m very curious about what they are going to do this offseason – for the last few years it’s been a little like watching a car crash in slow motion. I’d like to see some changes that bode well for the future.

          1. The Phillies are ranked at 100/1 outsiders along with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and the Minnesota Twins to win it in 2015.

            1. Well their broadcast team took a hit…Jamie Moyer told them he plans on staying on the West Coast with his family and will not be doing the broadcast with Tom McCarthy and Matt Stairs.

            2. Most of the family are in Seattle, where his wife is.
              His son may be playing pro ball in the minors I guess, maybe in Florida.
              I think his son played on the same college team as Phillies prospect Aaron Brown.

            3. Hutton Moyer of Pepperdine. Named to All-CIF in 2012.

              PERSONAL :Given name is Hutton Scott Moyer … Undecided major … Son of Jamie and Karen Moyer … Brother to seven siblings … Father, Jamie, was a 25-year Major League veteran, who earned a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 … Chose Pepperdine because it is a great opportunity to get to the next level.

            4. Not sure what the down-thumber’s argument is, but the Phillies are an awful team s things stand today. I’m not saying they can’t improve things between now and the start of the season — signing Tomas certainly would have been an improvement, for instance. But… this is an old team coming off of consecutive 73-win seasons. The oldsters aren’t going to improve as a group as they ripen. Lee may or may not be back. If he is back he may or may not be more than a shadow of his pre-injury self. At his age, going the Halladay injury route is a 50-50 thing. I doubt Franco is ready to start the season in Philly and there is precious little other immediate help down on the farm so… exactly how aren’t the Phillies an awful team today? Do you see 70 wins as not bad enough to qualify as awful?

          2. J64 – not sure what you are contending with regard to the Pence deal. I don’t know a single Phan who wouldn’t agree that we gave up too much for him, and this was immediately following the trade and without yet knowing that Santana would be the PTBNL. While there was certainly excitement after acquiring a player of Pence’s caliber, the widely held opinion was that RAJ gave up too much for a player who wasn’t needed to compete for a WS.

            1. Seems whenever the Pence deal is brought up, the PTBNL player, Dom Santana, to many posters, is the one of the most regrettable parts of that deal.
              Not sure why.
              His MiLB K rate is horrendous and those type players usually come out big with power then gradually level down with mediocre BA/OBPS/OPS with high K rates in the majors.
              Santana can be compared to Tomas as for the over-all hit tool…..power tool plus and every other aspect 45 or lower.
              Now he could have been used as enticement in a trade package but as a regular corner OFer not sure if he will measure up.
              I could be wrong.

            2. He’s also only 22 Romus – won’t turn 23 until next August. Accompanying those strikeouts is also a lot of walks. While it’s yet to be seen whether he will develop into a star, I would love to have him in the conversation for LF/RF for the Phils in 2015

            3. it will be interesting to see how he pans out.
              Not sure if he will stay on the Astros , since they do have pretty few decent young OFers
              But wherever he ends up, he could eventually be another guffaw by Ruben.

            4. If he really is comparable to Tomas, a guy who’s two years older and just landed a $70 million contract, then it just goes to show how bad that screw up was. Santana is definitely no sure thing and he was always known as a lottery ticket, but he has a chance to be a very good player.

        5. LarryM has made a lot of good points over the years, and I enjoy his opinions. I don’t always agree, but appreciate that he takes the time to explain them. Back to Hamels, who is the only hope for obtaining building blocks. I believe that he should bring the equivalent of JPCrawford, Aaron Nola, and Kelly Dugan. A high level prospect but not Russell, Peterson or Betts, which is where I see Crawford right now. A SP slotting as a 3 on a good team and a guy who projects to be a 4th/5th OF. I haven’t seen any of the proposed “objective” trades bring that much, so I have advocated keeping him. That, IMO is a fair return, not the blown away type, and regardless of how good Crawford may ultimately get as a player, he is, right now, not at the level of the 3 mentioned above. JB,Jr, Ranaudo and Middlebrooks or another guy, is just an awful return for Hamels. Swihart, Barnes and a 3rd is much better.

  26. I think I would be very cautious about accepting a trade for Bogaerts, when the Red Sox seem to have given up on him to sign Hanley, a player who was off and on for his entire career. I’m sure the Red Sox know a lot more about their own prospects than we do.

    Practically nothing about what the Red Sox are doing makes much sense to me, but them giving up on Bogaerts seems most likely.

      1. Publicly at this time they are saying Xander is still the SS that could be smoke or they are serious about Hanley playing LF

  27. Love what boston did. Thinking about future. Get hamels use Xander ,betts etc. every one knows boston pumps up prospects thru media outlets by trading info with reporters in exchange to make their prospects look like world beaters when they are not that good. They will fleece Rub. Save this post
    2015
    1. Victorino rf
    2. podroia. 2b
    3papi DH
    4 panda 3b
    5 hanley SS
    6. Napoli 1b
    Etc

    2017
    Panda moves over to 1b/dh
    Hanley 3b/1b/dh
    Makes sense to me

    1. There is no chance that Victorino starts for that team with all those OFs. He’s like the 5th OF right now, just ahead of Bradley.

  28. Getting the Dodgers into the news as also chasing Hamels is a big deal, hopefully its true. The Cubs clearly don’t want to give up a big haul because they don’t think they’re ready to win yet. The Dodgers would love to win next year although its hard to see them give up Pederson and Urias for Hamels. There has been lots of reporting how Pederson can’t hit lefties and how he struggled in his call up and in winter ball. Having said that, I’d take him and Urias and some other lower prospect and feel good about it. I’d rather have Betts and one of the Sox’ pitchers (Betts AND Bogaerts is a nice dream). Unfortunately, I’m guessing that the Red Sox and Dodgers are both still just trotting out names of guys they’re happy to lose and not guys that make them cringe to lose. The Phils will hold out for the later type and its impossible to know how things will play out. Along the way, I expect Byrd and Bastardo to get traded too but Bastardo will probably be part of a multi player deal with Byrd or Hamels. I don’t expect any other moves. Pap is too expensive and considered a cancer, Chooch is too expensive, Lee is too risky, Brown is going to be retained, and Revere won’t get you enough. I expect we’re going to be talking about the Hamels trade possibilities well into December.

  29. I think well into July for Hamels trades and if Lee can be healthy, Lee deals also. They have to move Byrd, we need something to talk about, Otherwise, I don’t complain about doing nothing tradewise. I do complain that we don’t get Tomas. And, I would like you guys to give me someone to hope for in June. Cameron?

  30. Here is what is interesting with regard to the rumors about the Dodgers getting back in on Hamels. Friedman was on the prospect side of the Shields for Meyers deal. A deal that is now widely recognized as helping the Royals get to the World Series. He has budget to spend now, and so I bet he is more than likely to be willing to flip prospects for a shot at getting to the WS. My guess is if the rumors are true, then he knows that either Pederson or Seager have to be coming to Philly.

    1. I wonder how much the Dodgers getting involved is just them trying see if Amaro is dumb enough to take a package headlined by Kemp or Ethier. I don’t see them trading Seeger or Urias. Pederson is possible just because the glut they have in the OF. However, with Kershaw and Greinke I just don’t see their need to overwhelm the Phillies.

      1. There is also value in driving up the price another team has to pay. V1gain says the Dodgers have money to spend. Hello, Lester!

      2. They may feel no need to overwhelm the Phillies.
        But they need to try to overtake the Giants.
        Giants have Bumgarner and a healthy Matt Cain coming back
        So they may think Hamels may get them over the hump.

  31. I’m not turning away from the Red Sox. They have the biggest need for Cole now and they have the depth in the farm to get it done and they have precisely what we need.

    They went all in on a bad hand I believe.

  32. When they didn’t make trades at the deadline all the apologists told me it was smarter to wait until the offseason when they’d have more options. Now I’m hearing they might wait for the deadline when there’s more desperation. So is this just an endless cycle of incompetence that the fan boys will just brush away?

    1. Zeile…wait until spring training starts when clubs determine where their weaknesses lay and can hurriedly correct them.

  33. What about this proposal:

    SEA gets: Cespedes and Byrd

    BOS gets: Hamels

    PHI gets: Paxton, Barnes, Coyle, and Marlette

    Not sure how fair this is or who would “win this trade” on paper. It would give us two young cost controlled starters and a couple nice prospects.

    SEA would get a LF in Cespedes and RF/DH in Byrd. Not sure if they’d want to lock up Cespedes as a part of the trade

    BOS would get their ace without moving Betts, Bogaerts, Owens etc.

    Feel free to make suggestions, build this up, or tear it apart. I kind of just threw it together so if anyone wants to edit my draft please feel free. I am curious to see your opinions on this.

    1. ematt9….you must have a lot of time on your hands to think of so many trade scenarios. its hard keeping up with all the proposals.

      1. Haha I do not have as much time on my hands as my numerous trade proposals may suggest. Thinking of trade proposals keeps me entertained since watching the team on tv has lost that effect.

        1. ematt9…….you are falling behind today….no proposals yet to ponder about!
          Better put that thinking cap on.

    1. Very interesting idea, not so much with Lavarnway in particular (although it could be a good pick-up) but with how the Phillies should be approaching things right now in general.

      The Phillies should be moving heaven and earth to stock up the team and the AAA squad with guys who have some demonstrated ability but just haven’t caught on yet. Lavarnway is a good example of this type of player – he’s actually quite a good hitter, but is not all that great as a catcher, has no other natural position and he’s struggled a bit in his major league trials and I think those struggles have also hurt his minor league numbers. But, if things break right, he could be a useful puzzle piece. The goal is to be on the constant lookout for players with some upside. Most will fizzle, but it only takes a few hits to make the strategy extremely worthwhile. It’s the sort of approach that netted Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino and J.C. Romero. I actually think the team is trying to do this on the pitching side of the ledger (see Neffi Ogando), but I’d like to see this more on the offensive side rather than signing the same old 29 year old washouts who have no shot of success.

      1. I mean, they signed Koyie Hill, a 35 or 36 yr old guy to be a depth catcher. Isn’t Lavernway, who was once considered a good prospect, seem like he’s worth a shot in our situation over Hill, as you correctly described it?

  34. I’m just throwing something wild out there that probably has no merit whatsoever but what if the Dodgers are considering trading Greinke (who can opt out after next year) for prospects that they can use to acquire Cole Hamels (kind of like the Cliff Lee/Roy Halladay trades in 2010).

    1. That would be not at all like the Cliff Lee/Roy Halladay trades. Trading Lee was a salary dump to balance that year’s budget. Ask yourself, if RAJ really traded Lee, because he was so anxious to take prospects back and replenish the farm, then why did he give extra/better prospects to Toronto so he could have them throw $6 million into the deal? And why does the $6 million plus the Lee trade just happen to turn out to be current year budget neutral? Over the years, Phillies GMs have said a lot of stupid and obviously outright false things to put a little veneer on things so it wasn’t 100% obvious that things were being decided for budget reasons. The owners can’t stand being accused of allowing $ to drive baseball decisions. So we get fictions about the huge deal that the ingrate Scott Rolen turned down, stories about how Abreu was traded to improve team chemistry (even though the first attempt was to trade Pat Burrell to cut salary). This is why the ludicrous Pence trade was structured in such a way that impoverished Houston paid all of his remaining salary for that season. Of course we gave up Santana as an extra prospect to get that salary relief.

  35. The Toronto Blue Jays could be a player for Cole Hamels and they may be more likely to give the Phillies what they would want due to how we worked with them in the Roy Hallay deal.

    1. If the Jays are a partner in the deal, I guess it would have to start with Danny Norris as the lead prospect in return for Hamels
      However, from their I would not have any idea what the Jays would offer and the Phillies would accept. And two chips in J. Hoffman and Max Pentcoast are ineligible for trade.

    2. How come the Angels never get mentioned as a possible trade partner? Wouldn’t you think they would look at Hamels as their difference maker, bringing him back near home?

  36. Maybe its me romus. Larry says, and maybe I read it wrong. The red sox wouldn’t trade betts even up for hamels. What is more valuable. a maybe good player. or a proven young left-hand ace? What is harder to find a Sandoval type or Cole hamels.

    1. roccom, you’re making at least 3 mistakes:

      (1) Not including salary and years of control in your calculations of value;
      (2) Underestimating the value of (and overestimating the risk factor for) Betts (almost certain to be “good,” likely to be much more than that).
      (3) Not accounting for the injury risk factor on Hamels.

      Now, If I’m wrong in some abstract sense about “value,” then so are the Red Sox, who value players similarly. Possible of course, but of little consolation to the Phillies.

      1. What you’re not taking into consideration is the dearth of quality pitching and the need for quality pitching to win. Its easy to say a team won’t give up a kid for an established pitcher until you realize you can’t find that quality of pitcher anywhere else. By the way, history has clearly shown that the kids acquired are rarely as good as expected/hoped for and rarely as good as the veteran they’re traded for.

        1. First of all, perspective: if I’m wrong, so are 95% of all major league front offices and 98% of the national media (most of whom are more pessimistic than I am about the return for Hamels). Possible I admit, but realize that the “experts” are on my side. Secondly, even if I’m wrong, it doesn’t matter, because the Sox agree with me.

          That aside …

          (1) There’s no particular dearth of quality pitching. Just isn’t. Except to the limited extent that there are relatively few “star” level players at any position. Which does get factored into the equation, which is why Hamels may well get a good return, despite the fact that his contract is decent but not particularly a bargain. (Parenthetically, if one looks at this year’s FA market in particular, quality pitching is MUCH MORE available than quality position players).

          (2) You’re wrong about history – “rarely” is WAY too strong. But add in Bett’s 200 plus major league PAs, which everyone seems to be forgetting. Well regarded prospect plus 200 ML PA at a borderline star level of play as a 21 YO (now 22) … the failure rate on THAT combination is very very low. Less – much less – than the injury risk for Hamels.

          It really cracks me up … this is not some oddball opinion I’m expounding, it’s the conventional wisdom. Sometimes the conventional wisdom is wrong, but, since it’s shared by most major league front offices – and all of the potential buyers – it really doesn’t matter if the conventional wisdom is wrong.

  37. Larry that’s were we disagree, ALMOST CERTAIN TO BE GOOD. I am giving you a hard to find top proven winner for a almost certain. I take the sure thing, over almost certain, but that is me.

    1. But is Hamels “almost certain” to be an ace going forward? Certainly NOT – the injury risk for starting pitchers is quite high.

      1. It’s odd sometimes what gets down voted … of everything I’ve said on the question of Hamel’s trade value, THIS is what gets down voted? It’s not like there is any remote controversy about how vulnerable starting pitchers are to injury. I’d expect more push back on my other points.

        1. On another site…..posters giving a ‘thumbs down’ must sign in and post their counter-point, or it doesn’t take.

        1. rocco…….you asked harder to find, a Sandoval or Hamels type….for the most part both. Whats easier to keep healthy for longevity purposes….a Sandoval-type I would think.
          Pitchers breakdown too much anymore it seems.
          Not sure how to answer that.
          As for Betts and Hamels…like I saw earlier from LarryM I think….Betts can give many years of control and looks to also a 10/12 year contributor, whereas Hamels at age31-sweason next year, may be a 4/5 year guy at the most, barring a breakdown.

      2. That same risk exists with every pitcher though. Hamels has a very fluid motion and works out like crazy to stay in shape year round.

    2. Well that’s an argument for keeping Hamels, rather than a convincing argument that Boston will strip-mine their farm to acquire. There is really only one advantage that trading for Hamels offers them: he is relatively cheap. For a team that is not hurting for $$, that is still an advantage, but not a big one. Lester costs them nothing but $$. They know and like Lester and he likes them. If they can’t get Lester, then Scherzer costs them less money than Lester and only a 4th round pick surrendered. That is what the Phillies are up against in moving Hamels to Boston for a king’s ransom — there are very solid competing choices. Given that, how much is it reasonably worth to them in prospects to sign Hamels for fewer $ and years than Lester. I doubt they see Hamels as the superior player. He missed time to injury in 2014 and is far more a question mark to them than Lester is.

  38. Word is getting out that Amaro has not moved off of his trade deadline position and is looking for the ‘deal of the century’ for Hamels.

    As much as it pains me, it appears as though Hamels and others will stay.

    Then again when the December meetings roll around things will break and move quite fast.

    Once Tomas and Lester sign there will be a flood of movement as people sign based on their perceived relationship to both Tomas and Lester.

    1. That is a major blow to the rebuilding effort.

      $11.5 million per year? The Phillies should have been able to at least match the offer.

      We should see some movement regarding outfield talent which will be interesting.

      1. David, why did so many other teams pass on him if he was so great? The odds are that he won’t be on Arizona’s opening day roster as many sources say he could be with the high minor league teams. Not to say he is not talented but what team would allow 1 to 3 years of development then have him leave as a Free Agent at that money? In my opinion, his agent did him a disservice by taking the opt-out clause after four years which shows that he is not dedicated to Arizona or any MLB team.

        1. OMG ruben amaro is here. I just don’t understand how in gods name you can defend this team. Phil the excuse box is in the back room what a joke. Why did teams pass on him. simple the teams with money spent it in Latin market and fa. or will spend on lester and others. Your three years of development is a joke, you don’t sign a guy like these and wait three years. Why in the world do guys get blinded by how bad this team has become and how poor they are at trying to improve.

          1. rocco…there are pro and cons about the Tomas signing. His hit tool, other then power was questionable by most all scouts. And his defense is limited to the corner OF positions, and due to his 40 speed RF is also questionable. He could also play first base I suppose, but the D-Backs have an all-star there now so that’s out of the question.
            Now he would have looked good in CBP in LF and at the plate for the power tool for sure. But he could be a 260/315/600 guy with 25 HRs and 150 plus Ks. Not sure the fans would want that.
            Just have to see how it plays out.
            Perhaps Moncada is on the Phillie’s radar instead.

            1. Look all we heard was how they were front runners for this guy. Then when its time to pay , they find fault. They just don’t get it, I personally don’t want to hear. it will take us two or more years to rebuild, I didn’t mess up this team, Ruben and Montgomery did, and no one is fired. and they feed us the same bull, his defense. how bad could he be. I take 25 plus homeruns with luzinski type d. like dom brown is better d, They just keep ignoring other markets for talent beside draft, and fa. I wish I had a list of how many good players, they let go out of latin market by being cheap there. I believe its the same with the Cuban players. This kid was a chance to see big offensive improvement on this team.

          2. Roccom, are you and David Urban the same Person?-just kidding! Matt WInkleman had a nice write up on why Tomas in the contract he signed was not a good fit for the Phillies.

  39. Now that Tomas is signed all we can do is hope we didn’t miss out on the next Cuban star. This of course could be a blessing in disguise like the BJ Upton situation. We apparently were offering him more money than Atlanta, but luckily he went there instead.

    However, with the lack of OF prospects in our system Ruben and Co. better pray Tomas doesn’t become a star or even a solid regular. I’m sure we could’ve matched that offer so they must be convinced his defense isn’t worth his potential bat.

    So as we stand none of our veterans have been moved and we have not acquired any young talent. Hopefully things will progress around the winter meetings and this off season won’t be a complete bust.

  40. So apparently the Yankees have contacted RAJ about Rollins but the asking price was way to high.

    Not sure how you can say it’s a blow to the rebuilding by not signing Tomas, I mean we don’t know what he’s going to be. I know he has a lot of power but IMO it’s not gonna play in games bc there isn’t enough contact.

    1. Didn’t Phillies ask for Aaron Judge back in July during the Byrd discussions?
      Perhaps it was the same asking price and Cashman told Ruben …hit the road jack.

      1. His contact was an issue…….he may be a BA 250 – OBP 320 guy with 25/30 HRs….would the Phillie faithful be happy with that production.

        1. If Tomas, or any other kid coming to the Phillies by age 24, hit .260, with a .320 obp and 25 HR, I’d be very happy. Thirty HR and I’d be ecstatic. Who do you think will give the Phillies that kind of production? Our top HR guy in 2014 was only 25 HR (with a .312 obp) and our leadoff hitter had an obp of only .325. If Tomas puts up what you seem to regard as unacceptable numbers, he’d be the top hitter on the Phillies. I’ll happily take that for the deal Tomas signed.

        2. Yeah since he is only 23 and may require a year of seasoning. Do you see any prospects on the farm with 25-30 HR potential?

          I could scratch out a top 3 in a few years of Quinn/Crawford/Franco but then you get lost on the four and five spots.

          Given the money being thrown about now do you pay $11 million to a very good prospect from Cuba or roll the dice on the farm?

          For you to fill that cleanup spot you need to find someone who:

          1. Is a free agent.
          2. Wants to come to Philadelphia.
          3. Knows that he will get paid lots of dollars.

          You essentially put yourself in a situation like the Nationals when they overpaid for Werth.

      2. In the near term maybe but we have Dylan Cozens , Luis Pujols, J. Tromp and Aaron Brown in the lower minor pipeline. These youngsters power is good and hopefully we will see them in Philadelphia soon.

        1. These guys are all sort of iffy prospects. I don’t think any of them even in our top 5. I’m not saying they aren’t legit prospects, I especially like Cozens, but none of them is a top prospect, pretty much all B to C+ guys.

  41. This is shaping up to be a very exciting season, the same group of players coming back a year older if we’re lucky maybe we get to watch a washed up Jeff Francouer get major league at bats. Back to being the Junk organization they have been for most of their existence, wish the A’s would have stayed.

    1. Believe it or not….the A’s have the most professional championships of any sports team in Philadelphia history….and they have been gone 60 years.
      Hard to believe Harry!

  42. Did not see that Donaldson trade coming at all… Toronto is active again. Also, that deal kind of puts into perspective the type of deal Hamels will bring back. Donaldson is one of the top 5 players in the American League and he didn’t net the type of package people here want for Hamels (Mookie Betts +++)

    1. I just read Donaldson trade, I was wondering, and don’t have a clue. I was thinking would a ashe, Bastardo and say pettibone or biddle have been equal to what Oakland got back.?

      1. I certainly am not a talent evaluator, but from what I read, Lawrie is much more valued as an upside player than Asche, and Beane seems to think both pitchers will be in his rotation. So Bastardo and a Biddle, who presently has negligible value, with Asche, does not come close to Donaldson. Not that I am a Billy Beane fan, I think he is over rated. I think his Smardzja deal was terrible. I know I spelled it wrong! And, I think this Donalson trade was a bad one also. Why can’t the Phils be on the good end of a terrible deal?

  43. Okay romus he is my guestion since I am bored. If we had the pieces like say asche, pettibone, bastardo or biddle to Oakland for donalson and signed tomas. would we be a contender in the east in your opinion.

    1. The team to beat is the Nats. They are loaded. Top to bottom.
      So, in essence, the Philies would be fighting for the wild card.
      Giving those four…two of which were contributors in 2014…Asche and Bastardo…in exchange for Donaldson, which incidentally not sure Billy bean would do the trade but he has been noted in the past to go out on a limb with prospects, is an upgrade. However, can Donaldson sustain his recent performance is a question, after all he is a late bloomer these last two years and 2015 is his age 29 season..
      Having Tomas is another question mark.
      And with only Hamels coming back as the reliable arm (Lee’s health, Williams history, Buchanan’s age and the sophomore thing and all, MAG another question mark and the mysterians, and who else knows who) the Phillies pitching is suspect.
      And lets not forget the Mets….Harvey returns, Wheeler and maybe Noah Syn…unless the he is traded for a shortstop, Gee and their ROY pitcher…so they would appear more balance and stronger then the revamp Phillies as you would have it.

      I say more like a pretender in the NL East until July then they fall out of it.

    2. rocco….Billy Bean does take risks. With this Donaldson trade to the Jays again he is banking on young prospects to come through for him. Of course his fan base is not as rabid as the Phillies fan base and they put their trust in his decision making process.

  44. Kyle Blanks released by the A’s. I would consider signing him on a 1yr deal. A righty bat who can play corner outfield and first base. He’s been hurt a lot and has played in cavernous parks during his short career. Could be a decent value guy on a one-year deal

  45. Kyle Blanks released by the A’s. I would consider signing him on a 1yr deal. A righty bat who can play corner outfield and first base. He’s been hurt a lot and has played in cavernous parks during his short career. Could be a decent value guy on a one-year deal

  46. Is Toronto now a possible Hamels destination? They could use him and seem to be going all out for the AL East. Not getting Norris, but what would be a LarryM fair value from Toronto for Hamels?

  47. If Pence had helped the Phils win the WS in 2011, the trade would not matter. It would have been worth it. But, the team, that year, also needed a replacement at 3B for Polanco, who was hurt in May and never recovered, and conrinued to get more injured. Cholly would not play Valdez. Then, after the horrible loss to the Cards, Pence was given away the next year, and Phils got next to nothing in return, making the original deal even worse.

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