Open Discussion: Week of December 8, 2014; Winter Meetings Edition

MLB began their coverage of baseball’s winter meetings at 8:00PM Sunday evening.  Early in the show, Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, and Dan Plesac offered their opinions on the level of activity we could expect from the Phillies at the 2014 Winter Meetings.  Their preview suggested that the Phillies –

  1. might be as inactive this year as they were last year because of the big contracts.
  2. had missed their window of opportunity for unloading their big contracts.
  3. had a new window and their big contracts didn’t look so bad.
  4. had an opportunity to move their big contracts, even Howard’s “if he’s able to turn it around” (Huh? What does that even mean?)

After these four earth shattering pronouncements, with which all three announcers agreed, I decided to mute the volume by 8:14PM and prep the Open Discussion for  Monday.

So, do you think the Phillies are going to make a major trade this week?  One of Hamels, Papelbon, Rollins, Howard, Byrd, Ruiz.  Do you think Hamels gets traded before Lester signs?

I believe that “no action” is more likely than some big move.  Maybe they are able to move Byrd.  I don’t see anything happening with Hamels before Lester signs unless some GM caves in and meets the Phillies’ high asking price.


447 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 8, 2014; Winter Meetings Edition

  1. Laughing at the breakdown on the MLB network guys’ report. I have to agree and don’t foresee a creative or refreshing approach coming under Amaro. We painted ourselves into a difficult situation and don’t have nearly enough exciting near-major league ready young talent.
    I can’t see Amaro getting the better end or even a good end of any deal moving Hamels given his track record.
    I give Byrd the best chance of going but still not a great chance.

  2. One step that can be accomplished by this current Phillies GM:
    Thursday is Rule 5 day…..draft a DeLino Deshields from the Astros org and keep him for the year… is a start with a young player with some potential for 2nd or some OF… not do an Inciarte scenario like a few years ago….Charlie preferred Mini-Mart as his 25 ilo Inciarte.
    Think long-term for a change.

    1. I keep praying and praying and praying that DeShields makes it to us. There are 7 teams picking ahead of us, though. None of them have what I would call a glaring need for an OF/2B, but few of them would have him completely blocked either (Boston is the least likely to pick him based on their OF/2B situation, and the Cubs are pretty set as well). And that’s not even taking into account the people who just plan to store him all year just because of his upside (Boston again probably wouldn’t want a dead roster spot, and the Rangers probably won’t either, but the other teams probably don’t expect to compete).

      I would say the Astros, BoSox, Rangers, and Cubs are almost locks to pass on him. But the other 3 worry me. It wouldn’t be hard for the D’backs to justify playing him or Cody Ross, or the Rockies to play him over Stubbs (although they also have Blackmon, I guess…), or the Twins over Schafer (how much do they like Hicks and Parmelee, and how far away do they think Buxton is?). Plus you never know what team will take him and see how long they can stash him, and hope that if they can’t the other team won’t want him back.

      1. Dan K….keep your fingers crossed.
        First that he is available.
        And second that this GM has the wherewithal to select him

  3. My hunch is also that their only addition will be a Rule 5 draftee. Too many things in the market will have to play out because the available Phillies players are not necessarily the most desirable trade option for most clubs. This is even true, to an extent, with Hamels (i.e.-the teams that lose out on Lester may step up with better offers or the teams that lose out on acquiring Upton might then have Byrd in their radar). Just because things don’t happen at the meetings doesn’t mean that they won’t happen before the start of spring training. I have no problem with Gillick and/or Amaro being patient and playing their cards close to the vest at this point of the off-season.

  4. The comment on Howard likely means that they don’t think he can be moved now, but that if he hits a little better than he did last season, he will be traded at the traded deadline. If nothing else, there is about $20 mill less to worry about at that time.

    Patience is fine. Over-valuing is not. Over-valuing, based on what you ‘need’ to get back in a trade to turn the team around is just an extension of the sort of gambling the Phillies management has done in the draft and international, where too many guys, up until the last two seasons, have been wish and a prayer type where a superb peripheral tool is used to gamble on ‘with his great CF D and speed, this guy could be a star if he ever learns to hit’.

    1. That had to be what he meant, but the context was more like “they can trade him before the season, if he turns it around next season”. Just Reynolds trying to say something nice about a player/team caught in a bad situation. It was funny (to me) to listen to him stumble over a statement he started and didn’t know how to end.

  5. I see the only thing happening is a pick up or 2 in the Rule V on Thursday. No way does Hamels get traded before Lester signs, and unless he goes to the Giants or a mystery team, he may not get traded at all. I still think that the back-up plan for the Cubs is Shields. Byrd also does not go until Cabrera signs. I still think his best spot is Seattle, but Phils have to eat half of option year. Nobody wants Pap or Howard, and JRoll is not going anywhere. Bleak is the operative word.

  6. I don’t see why we don’t just go hog wild with Rule 5 guys (considering our self imposed limitations) and get 2-4 of them and see if anything shakes out. There can’t be that many guys at the back end of the 25 man roster that they’re married to.

    1. We’re limited to 2 Rule 5 guys but no limit to the number of AAAA guys we give a screen test in ST, plus they generally can be signed to a contract that allows them to be stashed in AAA for a couple months to prove themselves and provide injury reserves.

    2. Try not get to pumped up about Rule 5 acquisitions…low percent actually pan out I guess just like most prospects.
      However, there have been noted success stories in the past, ie David Herndon, just joking . But there was Victorino a decade ago or so.
      But it is a way to acquire talent cheaply and you never know who the next Roberto Clemente will be sitting there on the draft board..

      1. Not really pumped up about Rule 5, just looking at it as another option to get a potential full timer. AAAA guys are good too, but I look at those as less upside, and certainly older players.

  7. They’ll need to come off their reported depends if anyone is getting traded at the meetings. In that cases we could see Byrd or Bastardo go for minimum returns.

    Still not sure Hamels will go as the Phils are unlikely to get the franchise altering deal they are looking for.

  8. Posted this in the old discussion and then realized this one was made. Figured I’d put it here so it will be seen.

    So apparently Ruben is working quietly on some possible deals.

    As we have seen in the past, Ruben is prefers to be the dark horse that comes in and gets the man he wants. Hopefully the dialogue he is having with other teams is progressing and some deals are made. I am prepared to watch a bad team in 2015. However, I am not prepared to watch the same bad team.

    It seems Lester’s price is rising and he is probably going to get a 7th year. 4 (possibly 5) years of Hamels could look like a better alternative if Lester’s stock keeps rising. An extra 2-3 years of Lester could cost any where from 40-65mil and would take him through age 37-38. 5 years of Hamels puts him at age 36 at the end of his deal.

    Scherzer will be looking for more money and will cost a draft pick to sign. Shields will also cost a pick and he could be looking at close to 100 mil depending on the Scherzer and Lester contracts. Once these guys start signing Hamels contract may look more appealing, especially for teams that do not have to accept his option year to acquire him.

    I am surprised with the amount of money and years free agent bats are getting that Byrd’s name isn’t talked about more. If you include his option his contract is 2yr for 16mil.
    Tori Hunter got 10.5 mil to play at age 39. Byrd is 36 and their numbers aren’t too far off last season.

    Hunter .286/.319/.446 .765 OPS 111OPS+

    Byrd .264/.312/.445 .757OPS 110OPS+

    A team that could acquire him without having to guarantee his option would get a lot of value for 8mil and I’m sure Ruben could throw in a couple mil to close a deal.

  9. What we don’t know is what Amaro wants for Byrd. It makes logical sense that he would make a better alternative to what is out there and the $ demands. So, logic would seem to indicate that Byrd would have a number of interested teams. But, that all falls apart if Amaro wants a ready to play in Majors prospect. I don’t think he brings that.

  10. I am hoping the Phillies don’t have a self imposed restriction of only looking for MLB ready prospects in return for Byrd or other veterans. We all know that they need MLB ready talent and don’t have much of that in their own farm system.

    But in many respects that ship sailed years ago. They wasted too many years over the last decade opting for signabilty over talent in the Draft and in LA.

    As the Roberto Hernandez trade demonstrated, you can maybe get prospects with higher upside, and maybe more of them, if you are willing to take back A and A+ level players.

    Yes, it’s a greater risk, but we have all seen enough flameouts even with so called MLB ready prospects. So I would prefer the higher risk for the higher upside.

    It might make 2015 and 2016 worse, but it could make 2018 and beyond much better. JMO.

    1. I see what you are saying and partially agree. While I don’t think Byrd will bring back MLB ready talent, I don’t think Hernandez is a good comp when discussing possible returns. I don’t see Arano and Valentin having high upsides either. Arano is projected as a back end starter or possibly a bull pen arm and Valentin may be able to start a 2B, but is more realistically a utility guy.

      I think Byrd should net a AAA or AA prospect who could arrive late 2015 or 2016 and then maybe an A or A+ type prospect depending on how good the first prospect is.

  11. Most of this is very circular and I submit that unless Amaro and company have something up their sleeve that not many of us have been talking about, that not much should happen until some of the bigger name free agents come off the board.

    The biggest concern is this organizations track record with trades for prospects in recent years i.e. Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence etc. There is a big question mark as to the current management player development and scouting to evaluate and grow talent. Hopefully changes have been made to rectify that but when you are in management, certain people have certain gifts and you want them in the right places. While everyone beats the snot out of Amaro, he has done a pretty good job with Free agents; Roy Halliday, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence, etc when he had the ammunition to do so. We even got Shane Victorino in Rule 5, and Speedy (pun intended) Werth off the scrap pile. Unfortunately whomever was giving Amaro info on future talent has made numerous mistakes. And the folks who have been drafting and developing talent have not done well either.

    I get tired of hearing people conjecture that Amaro is over valuing his players. That is his job, and oh the people who are telling us he is, are other teams GM’s…go figure. In a city, region, country, world that has no loyalty at times, there are three things to consider beyond getting good prospects for good to decent players.

    1) Making sure to get good prospects for whatever trade you do.
    2) Still field a ML team that is competitive even if you want to get younger (the sixers may have no fans left before they are done rebuilding).
    3) Upgrade your minor league talent development vs just trying to get new prospects

    Here’s my thoughts on all 3;

    1) I’d rather have Ryan Howard for 2 more years and let him retire a Phillie than giving him away, eating his salary, for some mini-mart prospects with no decent prospect to take his place. Up until he blew his tendon the guy would single handedly carry the team at times from 2006-2011 (see game 1 against cards in 2011 NLDS). He still shows sparks of that. Yes he always struck out alot, is horrid against lefties, and lacks mobility, but I would still take him at first base (bad defense and all) vs righties compared to anyone else in the system or an unproven prospect from another team. We should get some decent prospect(s) if we are going to eat his salary. Especially since there is no first base prospects in our system that can come in the next two years. If we can’t I say keep him and maybe he will have a good stretch and we can get more in return or worse case he retires a Phillie in 2016 (which he deserves). We also need to get good prospects for everyone else especially Hamels.

    2) If we could get fortunate as in pre 2010, and get a Vogelsong type (think of all the folks we let walk to soon) as #3 starter we could have a surprisingly good rotation (if some things brake right) to make next year interesting. With a good bullpen, and some improved hitting I really think that if the club does a better job of developing there minor league talent they can at least keep the next two years interesting while fielding a better team 2017. I thought we were in the same league with the Yankees and Red Sox who just keep adding?? We say we are (and have the payroll to prove it) but we think like the Astros. I really don’t want us to go the Astros/Sixers route. Why get rid of Hamels unless you get a great deal for him.

    3) The most important thing is not to dump players just to get younger. That is stupid in my opinion. The heavy lifting takes place in getting better talent evaluaters, and developers. Really a bunch on non-sexy moves that needs to take place beyond players. It is something that fans are not going to know if its being done right or wrong for the next two years, but we will know in 2017.

    1. All I have to say to this is, WOW. Wow. Wow. I seriously can’t believe you even included the word “intersting” when talking about potential for 2015. i’ll say it again, WOW. Dude, what have you been watching??? That is a serious question. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING???? Improved offense?? from where????? As much as it hates me to say it, this team ouside of Hamels and and couple bullpen pieces is FULL of scrubs. And yes, that included God himself Chase Utley. You people need to wake up, it is embarrasing reading some of your posts.

  12. Get good prospects for who other than Hamels? You can’t get a mediocre prospect for Howard even if you paid the entire $60Million. And, I really don’t care if he retires a Phil if the team gets better. Bring him back for 1 day like many others have, and then give him a day after he retires. And, Victorino was an Ed Wade signing and Werth was Gillick’s vecause he ws the one who drafted him. Amaro has no ability other than to trade for talent, because he will overpay if he has to. Doc, Lee, great trades, no doubt, Pence, not so much. And there is no one in the organization who has been able to spot other teams’ talent. And, so, trades the other way where we got the prospects have been awful.

    1. Agree with everything, but not sure what point your making with Howard. You just want to get rid of him for nothing? Than who plays 1st who is better than him against righties…Ruf?…..Franco, maybe but they are saying they want him at 3rd and see as how no one is lighting it up over there….

      Victorino was a rule 5

      1. Ruf is better than Howard across the board, and Ruf is really no better than AAAA. This means equally good AAAA guy available cheap. Howard did not hit RHP at all well in 2014. He was an across the board disaster: bat, glove, and baserunning. He will be negative WAR this year. It really is no problem to replace him with better. Yes, Howard was a great hitter in his prime, but that prime is long past. I really don’t see the passion that so many fans seem to have to put up with bad teams and no real rebuilding, just so that all of the 2008 core can retire as Phillies. That is what I call the nostalgia express. You can wallow in the nostalgia or the team can move faster to once again earn a post-season berth. Unfortunately, it’s a trade-off. To have one, you sacrifice/delay the other. I vote for the faster rebuild.

        If the Phillies go with the old guys in 2015, attendance will take another big step down. The nostalgia express just isn’t as popular as Giles/Montgomery thought. The fans want signs of movement toward a contender.

        1. I don’t think anyone is talking Nostalgia express here. I’m saying if you don’t get anything for Howard what is the point of getting rid of him? First I don’t think Ruf is going to be better, and with the exception of Franco who I’d rather see at third, I don’t get why you would want some AAAA non-prospect at 1st. Again just fielding a younger team for the sake of a younger team….I think even the Astro’s and Sixers are doing better than that and look how that is going.

          1. Addition by subtraction, I believe. Matt Rizzotti would probably provide more value to the team at this point, sentimentality aside.

          2. Don’t sell the ‘Stros short…they could be the next Nats, Pirates or Royals. Draft top 4/5 slot for 5 or 6 years in a row and wallah….you can become a respectable team.
            Plus they hit on 2nd and 3rd round picks.

          3. Because I look at the stats Howard put up last season with the bat and see a lot of guys who can do as well. A .690 OPS at 1B is horrible. Ruf was better than that with the bat. It would be hard to find a replacement who didn’t have the edge over Howard on D and baserunning. And… next season he’s yet another year older. Exactly what in his stats says he should be our starting 1B. Rollins and Utley are old, but they had good seasons. With Howard, it is not a case of simply getting younger, it is also a case of getting at least marginally better. And yes, YOU were talking nostalgia express, when you listed a big reason for keeping Howard being your desire to see him retire as a Phillie. If that is not pure nostalgia, exactly what is it?

            1. Its not pure nostalgia. I just don’t want to see a AAAA 1st baseman with the same or worse talent replace him. I think Howard will have a better year and while I would love to see someone better than him at first base I’d rather keep him for this year and see if we can get more for him later….again if we can’t get someone better. I just don’t think Ruf is better and I don’t think he has much upside. Maybe I’m wrong time will tell, ts my opinion that I would rather keep him than release him or just get rid of him. Most people may disagree but I have the right to my opinion. We’ll see what Ruben does, I don’t think he is listening to us.

          4. The Sixers are in pretty good shape for the future. Better to be the Sixers than the Pistons who have 1 more win and a mess of a roster or the Knicks with 2 more wins and 2 guys who are in the top 5 salaries this year.

            What does Howard bring to the table in terms of competing on a nightly basis? His stats are horrible across the board with the exception of HR and RBI and those are only because of the guys hitting in front of him.

            Ruf could hit the same and you would make out because Ruf will be paid $1 million versus Howard’s $20+ million.

            One more key difference in favor of the Sixers, they may not be the most talented team but they show effort and play hard.

        1. IMO I would rotate Utley between first and second like the Giants do with Buster Posey. I don’t know if Chase would go for that but it would probably keep him fresher as the season goes on and it would give the Phillies a chance to play Galvis and Franco (Franco would sit against tougher righties in my proposal).

  13. Most of the MLB comments are just to fill time and don’t offer anything new. As for this week, Lester has to be signed before Hamels can get traded. Hamels is not Plan A for anyone. No one wants to give up their prospects if they can just sign a guy for money. However, I predict that Lester will go for more years and dollars than expected. That should help the Hamels market. I do think Lester will be signed this week but I don’t think a Hamels deal will happen this week.
    I also don’t think Byrd is Plan A for anyone to fix their OF situation although he probably is Plan B for several teams. The Phils will have to eat some of the money in his option year to get a decent prospect. I don’t know if this will happen this week either though because some other guys need to get signed first.
    Bastardo could get moved anytime but he could also end up being a throw in to sweeten the Hamels deal since he’s a valuable small piece.
    I don’t see Papelbon getting traded until he only has one year left on his deal.
    Chooch could get traded or he could be brought back, that’s a tough one. If our Hamels deal brings back a catcher ready to start then Chooch will get traded. Otherwise, why bother because I can’t see him getting us much and we certainly don’t have anyone else ready internally.
    Revere? He might get traded later but he’s not Plan A or even Plan B for anyone. Trading him will also depend on whether we get back a CF (Betts or Pederson) in the Hamels deal. Most of any other deals are connected to what happens with Hamels and he’s connected to where Lester goes because that makes a big difference on who tries to deal for Hamels. The first domino is Lester…

  14. Phils should sign Lester and Scherzer and increase Hamels trade value.

    2015 Phils would be:
    1 Hamels
    2 Scherzer
    3 Lester
    4 Lee
    5 Pettibone / J Williams
    Closer – Papelbon
    Setup – Giles and Diekman
    Mid – Bastardo, DeFratus, and MAG
    Long – Rule 5

    1 Revere CF
    2 Ruiz C
    3 Utley 2B
    4 Byrd RF
    5 D Brown LF
    6 Rollins SS
    7 Ruf /Howard 1B
    8 Asche 3B

    Howard / Ruf
    C Hernandez
    Rule 5

    With that rotation, this roster would have a shot at contending . The second it doesn’t, there could be numerous assets to trade.

    1. LOL, actually that would be 2011 type of maneuver with Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt. Unfortunately with the exception of Hamels those guys got out pitched by the Cardinals in the playoffs, but they did make for an exciting regular season and franchise wins record However, I’ll bite on the joke.

      I’d go a little different with the lineup and have Howard and Ruf in the 5 spot and see if Franco can do 6 and play 3rd. Forget Hernandez unless you can’t find a better pinch hitter….you already have to add Sizemore…..still laughing though

    2. Even if we had that rotation our offense has done nothing for quite some time. How many gems have Hamels and Lee pitched and still lost because we could not score?

      I could possibly see throwing in an offer for Lester. He more than likely wouldn’t take a little more money to play on a terrible team. An offer from us could help drive up his cost a bit which would make Hamels contract more appealing. If Lester did happen to sign with us then we now have two of the best LHP in the game and Hamels is easier to trade for the FO because we still have an ace to use for selling tickets blah blah blah.

      From what I’ve read, Lester could be looking at about a 6-7yr 135-150mil contract.
      If Ruben put an offer in, the deal could easily include a 7th year if talks haven’t gotten there already. Maybe Ruben could help drive the price up around 160 over 7yrs. Heck he’d probably throw in an 8th year option to really make Hamels contract look good.

      I seriously doubt we sign any big free agents put driving up the price for a guy like Lester wouldn’t be a bad idea. I think we have to wait at least a year or two for some younger free agents to be available before we start spending big money.

  15. I need to vent because the management of this team and many “fans” have driven me to the point of madness. This team has constantly zigged when it should have zagged and now sit here with a giant hole that the current braintrust has shown no ability to get out of. Everyone here probably agrees with that but they will hate this next part. The Phillies should not be rebuilding in the traditional sense and should be focused on winning games.

    Last year with a couple of changes this was a playoff team. Stop laughing. If the following would have happened, and all could have happened you are looking at a wild card team.

    1. Sign Nelson Cruz for $8 million. He replaces Dom Brown and his -1.7 WAR with a WAR in the 4s.
    2. Trade for Doug Fister. Detroit called Ruben said he wouldn’t trade Biddle. There was a deal to be made and the Nats made it. Add 4.5 WAR.
    3. Don’t sign AJ Burnett. I loved the signing at the time but if you have Fister and Cruz you have saved a couple million and you have your 3 starter.
    3. Cliff Lee doesn’t get hurt. It never happened before but it happened and there was no depth to deal with it. Take some of the Burnett savings and add some depth (Jason Hammel?, Vance Worley?)
    4. Take advanced classes on How Lineup Positioning Effects Runs Scored. 600 ABs in the clean up spot to a player with an OPS of .690 is bat shit crazy. If you have Cruz you can easily make a 3-4-5 of Cruz-Utley-Byrd or some sort of combination. However, regardless of having Cruz or anyone else you cannot keep trotting out that player in that spot in the batting order. .690 OPS players have a great spot in the batting order…8 or 9.

    All this is said to illustrate with some smart, creative and short term moves this team can compete now while you wait for some of these hideous contracts to come off your books, gain flexibility, and have some real prospects season in the minors. The idea of having a $175 million payroll and not being able to compete is insane. If I was John Middleton and was told I was going to spend $175 million and I had no chance to compete I would fire everyone including the hot dog vendors and ticket takers.

    So if I was the Phillies GM for the day, I would realize I have these assets:

    – 2 ace quality starters. I am going to assume that Cliff Lee will return healthy and keep his control.
    – Jimmy Rollins may only have 2 years left but last year he was a top 5 MLB shortstop last year and I believe he will continue to be.
    – Chase Utley can still be a top 5 second baseman but needs to be limited to 120 games. A good right handed platoon partner would be a fit as Utley hit 233/327/356 vs LHP.
    – A potentially dominant bullpen. I would still look to add a piece (Jason Grilli?) but Papelbon, Giles, Diekman, could be very very good.

    and make my to-do list accordingly:

    – Forget about trading Cole Hamels. If the Red Sox start with Mookie Betts and/or Xander Bogarts or the Cubs add Kris Bryant, we can talk until then a package of magic beans don’t cut it. Cole is an all time top 3 Phillies pitcher, WS MVP, and last year was among the most dominant pitchers in baseball. I need a Colon or Texeira haul. BTW, in the history of baseball (not just the Phillies) the Colon and Texeira trades are the outliers. If you are trading the better player for a bunch of prospects you lose 90+% of the time.

    – Forget about trading Ryan Howard. You are going to have to pay almost the entire contract and get nothing back but an empty roster spot. Keep him, pray for a miracle, and don’t let him get anywhere close to the 4 hole. The team can’t control his production but can control where he hits in the lineup.

    – Trade Marlon Byrd. I thought this was an awful signing last year and I was wrong big time. He was great last year and offense is at a premium. I just don’t think you can count on that production again. He was in the Mexican League 3 years ago. I watch and see the production I just don’t think it happens again.

    – Trade for Shane Victorino. He has 1 year $12 million with his Boston deal. Boston has 864 OFers that need playing time. Vic was hurt most of last year so I think you can give up nothing and have some payroll eaten by BOS. 1 year at $6 million or so and I am in. Remember Vic had a 5.5 WAR for Boston in 2013.

    – Believe in platoons. We need some Brandon Moss (uh, we already had him) type 1B/OF types that can be platooned on matchups. Then we actually have to use that matchup data in our favor. Nate Shierholz would be a welcome addition. Kyle Blanks is interesting.

    – Sign Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to 2 year contracts with (a Rube favorite) player option years. I need talent. They have talent but keeping get hurt.

    – Add lots of “junk”. Have you looked at this 40 man roster? There are at least 10 guys that could go through waivers at any point and no one would claim them. Sean Rodriquez was DFAd. The Pirates signed him. Ryan Lavarnway DFAd. Dodgers signed him. Both would be better than guys we have.

    The real problem for this team is that they refuse to do the small moves to make the team better. The Bottom 10 guys on the 40 man should either be moving up to top 30 players or moving out. Hopefully Gillick can convince Ruben to do some “minor” moves like sign a broken down catcher with a bad wrist (Jason Werth) or a beer league all star (Matt Stairs).

    1. I disagree strongly. You write as if the Phillies didn’t try to compete last season, yet they obviously did. They hiked the payroll to $177 million and they added Byrd and Burnett and resigned Ruiz. You didn’t comment on the Ruiz re-signing, but said Byrd turned out well and you liked Burnett at the time. So, RAJ and the owners were basically all-in for 2014 and the team won only 73 games. Yes, they would have been better with a healthy Lee. Give Lee a +7 WAR season and the Phillies are only at 80 wins. You say the team should have subbed Cruz for Brown, but that didn’t make much sense. They were at budget and Brown was coming off a good 2013. It is easy to look at guys who had good 2014s and say ‘that’s who we should have added’ and look at Phillies with poor 2014s and say ‘that’s whom we should have unloaded’, but that is after-the-fact analysis.

      The current Phillies are not going to be contenders through making small moves. Hoping that a miracle happens with Howard in 2015 isn’t much of a plan. Just assuming Lee becomes the Lee of old is possible, but a less than 50-50 proposition. The fact is, with as many over-35 players as the Phillies have, substantial lost time to injury isn’t bad luck, it’s the expected result for at least one of the guys. Last year it happened to be Lee. Before that it was Halladay.

      I have no objection to taking a $6 mill, give up no prospect of real value, deal for Victorino. It’s a gamble. If he does well, he can be flipped at the deadline.

      I suspect the Phillies will try to do a lot of little adds from auditioning AAAA guys to looking for a reclamation project, like Werth or Vogelsong, to trying to get lucky with a Rule 5 pick. One of the guys I look to replace when I audition all of these guys would be Howard. He has gotten really, really bad.

      The odds of the 2015 Phillies winning even 81 games is really low.

      1. I think they were trying to win last year. My problem with the current decision makers is how they value players. Consistent small moves to improve an aging roster had to be made over the last 5 years and were never done. So regardless of where they are today that should be happening if you are 70 win team or a 102 win team.

        My point was they chose the wrong players and made the wrong moves but with the right moves you could have a team that is around the playoff chase and not an afterthought by July.

        Bottom line, you have 2 all time Phils up the middle (that are older and not as good as they had been), 2 ace quality starters, and a payroll of $170-$180 million, if the current decision makers cannot come up with a plan to put a competitive team on the field they should all go. Because I am pretty sure that there are a couple of guys on this board that could come up with enough “reasonable” ideas to make that work. They need to get younger and you can do that by signing 30 year olds to 2 or 3 year deals as opposed to 38 year olds to 3 year deals.

    2. small moves, lol. Wake up dude. There is no talent on the 25 man roster, let alone the 40. This needs to be blown up and anyone thinking otherwise is completely brainwashed. There’s been 6 years of opportunity to try to find the low key, big surprise impact type guys and it’s been nothing but miserable failure. Up until this past year the bullpen has been a disgrace, we have had no bench whatsoever, and the offense has continued to rapidly decline year after year. Now we are pointing to a 35 year old pitcher being hurt as a big cause for a 70 win season? The CORE of Utley, Rollins, Ruiz, ETC IS NOT A WINNING FORMULA!!!My God I seriously can’t take this fan base any more. This is an AWFUL team, and you want small moves in an attempt to try to win games? This fan base is COMICAL. Give all the thumbs down responses you want, but at least I can be honest about the product I see.

      1. I think you’ve just been mocked with thumbs up, but no matter, your view is largely correct. There is some value on both the 25-man and the 40-man roster. Unfortunately, in both cases it’s less value than for just about every other team in baseball. Doubly unfortunately, almost all of the best-performing talent from 2014 on our 25-man roster is really, really old, so the present talent value on the 25-man is likely to go down further, before it increases. Triply unfortunately, the top pitching talent we were counting on from the minors-portion of the 40-man roster is really sketchy. Biddle currently has a sore arm, after a concussion, sore leg, and pertussis. Even before the concussion and saying he was no longer happy pitching, Biddle showed a worrisome lack of control. So has Aumont, whose position on the 40-man seems generous. Morgan was a mediocre prospect who suddenly gained FB velocity and shot to the top of the class, before blowing out his shoulder and has yet to regain the plus velocity that transformed him from a severe suspect to a top prospect.

        I try to restrain myself from writing too harshly about the overly optimistic. We have entered the 25 darkest days of the year period and winter can be tough to make your way through in high spirits. I’ve come to realized that some fans need to convince themselves that their is hope for a 2015 Phillies contender to make it through this winter season.

        I’ve also come to realize that after so many bad seasons between 1993 and the recently-departed Phillies Golden Age, that many fans had just about given up on the Phillies every getting to the WS again and are so grateful for that finally happening that they will happily forgive any stupidity on the part of Phillies owners/management and happily accept anything management says.

        Since these two views class for many fans — management/ownership having declared full-on-rebuilding and publicly given up on 2015 and pretty much so on 2016.

        The golden age was very nice. It’s good to know how we got there though. Most of that team was home-grown. Victorino was a Rule 5 guy whom we offered back and happily were turned down. Werth was a dumpster dive. This was not a team in 2008 in which FA played a big roll, although the trade for Lidge was huge and the trade deadline deals helped. The 2008 team, in addition to be home-grown, was also quite young. The Phillies have gotten away from that. Since 2008 they’ve sought very established major leaguers in trade or FA, really not given solid chances to their kids, not given any chance (like the one Werth got) to the AAAA guys who came through Allentown. SOme of those AAAA guys have made it fairly big. We’ll never know the fate of Brown (who was once among the top 5 prospects in all of baseball on just about everyone’s ranking) and Ruf, had they been given a solid shot to show their stuff and not been jerked around. Even Mayberry was having a very nice seasons when benched for the floundering Ibanez after the totally unnecessary Pence trade.

        The cause of the Phillies demise is simple and it lies in how they value talent. They’ve not adjusted to the post-PED reduction in value of 35+ major leaguers, they undervalue minor league prospects, they under-value draft’/international amateurs, and they undervalue 23+ Cuban and Japanese talent.

        Speaking of which: Rusney Castillo, the Cuban CF we passed on, because we were all over Tomas as the perfect fit for our OF, is now the #3 prospect in a very strong Red Sox farm system and was rated the #10 performer in the AFL.

      2. I agree they were awful. The point was to see how they could not be awful. You are stuck with Ryan Howard but unless Ruben included a player’s option on where he hits in the lineup you do not need to run him out in the cleanup hole. If we used statistical modeling and replaced Byrd for Howard in the 4 hole, I can all but guarantee this team scores a minimum of 25 more runs. Who cares you say? Well that would equate to 6 or 7 wins. Dom Brown was the WORST player in baseball last year. You replace him with a AAAA player and you win 2 or 3 more games. BTW, he hit 6th most of the year…..SIXTH.

        As bad as they were, though, why would we make trades just to get younger. Then we have a bunch of young guys who suck instead of old guys that suck.

        1. I agree Jason, and that was the main point I was trying to make. I’d rather have some has been’s who were awesome for us in the past (not for the sake of Nostalgia but for interest in watching), than a AAA farm team in the majors who never develops and frustrates me for the next decade or two.

          The other point I was trying to make is why are we blowing up the team???? The Red Sox for example just keep adding. I’d like to see us add some great free agents and get better that way. I know it will raise the payroll for the next year or two. But than a lot of the bloated contracts will start coming off. I’ll repeat myself again…the good teams don’t throw in the towel for 2-3 years. I think this strategy is a major mistake and could get us in a perpetual tailspin for decades not just 2-3 years.

          When we had the 2011 team we thought we would be good at least until this point and than make additions along the way. When Howard blew his tendon it has been one uncontrollable bad brake after another. The wheels fell off Haliday, Lee has a subpar year, than Hamels had a subpar year. I think ownership knew that the hitting was declining, but the hope was with 3 – 4 aces we would out pitch teams. That did not pan out. We had a lot of other things go wrong, Adam Morgen and Pettibone for example. Biddle is another. Drafting Toolsy players that did nothing. Concussions all around, etc., etc. This team has had a lot of bad breaks (and drafts) for the past few years. I thought AJ Burnett was a better pitcher,and that MAG could at least be a good 4th or 5th starter and the beat goes on.

          I just don’t like throwing in the towel for 3 years and hoping a bunch of unnamed prospects turn into a core. I mean that did happen with Rollins, Utley, Chooch, Howard, Victorino, Werth, Burrell, and Hamels, but that is the only time in the teams 100+ year history that it ever happened and I do remember seeing it come together when they brought Howard up. Now I don’t see anyone in our system who is close to any of the these guys (and I remember all of them as Phuture Phillies).

          Again this is not Nostalgia, it is not wanting to see us spin our wheels for another Decade or two. There is a reason why the fearless leaders of this site have been jumping ship. Rite now the team is a quadruple threat, little talent in the farm, aging superstars (at one time), under talented/developed young guys on the pro team (Brown, Asche, Buchanan, Revere), and a management that is throwing in the towel.

  16. I see the Red Sox have outrighted Jemile Weeks. That would be a nice low-risk signing by the Phils imo, but you know they won’t do it.

    1. I considered him also but the Phils don’t have a major league spot for him. He’s another 2B only guy which is very limiting unless someone has an opening at 2B and wants to give him a shot to redeem himself. Both brothers have tailed off in a big way….

  17. If reports are true, and that is far from a definite, and Red Sox lose out on Lester, what would be an acceptable return for Hamels? Assuming no Betts or Bogaerts, would Barnes Swihart and another piece be doable? Is Swihart out also and if so, how good is Vasquez? Or do most people want to keep Hamels if Betts is not coming here?

    1. Swihart, Castillo, Owens or Rodriguez, Devers — we send them Ruiz and Hamels
      Castillo, Devers, Owens, Rodriguez, Margot — we send them Ruiz and Bastardo

      1. My ideal BoSox deal would be Betts then Barnes and Brian Johnson. I think Barnes and Johnson would step in and pitch this season for us but there are many combinations I would do with them. They could give me Swihart/Cechinni/Owens and Barnes instead.

        How about Severino and Judge package from the Yankees. Don’t think Cole wants to go to NYC tho.

        Cubs: They would have to start me off with Soler then either Black or Blackburn and either Mejia or Sands. C.J Henry scares me with his injury history and slight frame.

        Dodgers: I’d be very uneasy dealing with them. I like Seager he IMO is a can’t miss borderline All Star. Pederson on the other hand is boom or bust. Their pitching stock is supremely risky and far away. I like Holmes a lot so I suppose I would want Seager Holmes and De Leon if I made a deal with them. Urias scares me.

    1. If the Phillies can get Betts plus for Hamels hats off to him.

      I think getting Peterson from the Dodgers is more likely and we’ve dealt with them a lot. I’d feel very confident in their evaluations of their players.

      Honestly as much as everyone hates on Ruben I think he’s approaching everything well. He had a very good offseason last year and they’ve drafted well the last two years.

  18. Once Lester settles on a destination we should hear something in the next day or so.

    It will be nice to get moving and see what we get back for Hamels and Byrd.

    I doubt Byrd brings much, if anything, due to his age and contract length. Don’t get your hopes up.

    A nice corner OF prospect would be great for Hamels and I look forward to seeing what else is in the deal.

    Hopefully some additional guys like Bastardo, Paps, Ruiz, and Revere are in demand. It would be nice to get started on the rebuild.

  19. I am curious why do we move byrd if they will give us nothing for him. We have no one to replace him. so its a salary dumb? correct. I saw who the sox gave up yesterday in a trade, on paper two marginal prospect at best or am I wrong.

      1. I sent my (season ticket money) all in a lump sum last month – I have a partial plan. I’m in the outfield (144) so it’s not quite as expensive (or nice) as the HOF club. The only plus these days has been the ability to improve our seats every year. We are only a few rows off the left field fence now, which isn’t bad. The question is whether I’m willing to hold on until things begin to improve.

        Getting a good return for Hamels, bringing in some young, talented kids and clearing salary space for the next run would all be helpful. Somebody might take Howard, but the Phillies would literally have to pay almost his entire salary – it’s just as likely he will have to be released.

        1. I Don’t have season tickets. but if I did this year would love to see some young guys, instead of the team we had last year. love to see franco, asche, biddle. play

    1. rocco….moving Byrd ‘for nothing’, in this GM eyes, frees up salary and RF for Ruben’s last month’s signing of Jeff Francouer.
      Seems obvious now how this GM operates.

    2. Byrd is not a part of the long-term plan so why keep him? He is in his late 30’s and a team on the edge who is looking for a corner OF bat may see him as the final piece to their puzzle.

      Make a deal and get something back in return.

      In addition, you free up some salary in the process.

      1. David if we get nothing for him, keep him for now, might have more value at trade deadline , when teams are in pennant drive, and less salary to commit to for the team that obtains him. I want to know what they will do this year with byrd money?

        1. Save Byrd’s money for the future. It makes no sense to spend up to $177 million on a 90 loss team. That is not how you rebuild.

          Last year we said move a guy at the trade deadline, he does not move, and we should wait and he will be in higher demand over the winter. Oh wait, now let’s hold off from the winter until the trade deadline, he will be worth more later on.

          At some point, you have to ish or get off the pot.

          Either you are rebuilding or you are sinking. One or the other.

          1. You’re not wrong about trading him (assuming that they can get SOMETHING of value for him, i.e., more than just org filler), but your obsession with salary is bordering on the pathological. “Saving his money for the future” … what future are you talking about? They have no salary commitment to him past 2016 (and maybe not past 2015). They are nowhere near the luxury tax threshold in 2015-2016, and not in a position to spend big on the FA market in those years anyway. Do you imagine that saving his salary in 2015-16 will allow for increased spending in 2017 and later? One, it doesn’t work that way, and two, their commitments are already so low for those years that it wouldn’t matter even if it did work that way.

            In terms of building the next contending team, Byrd’s salary has ZERO impact. None. Yes, by all means trade him if you get a decent return. But let’s not cloud the issue with completely irrelevant discussion of the salary situation.

            1. It is the point of not spending money on a 90 loss team that you do not need to spend.

              I know that you do not understand issues regarding roster construction and payroll so I am not going to continue this discussion any further.

          2. You keep using the term “roster construction” but it has become increasingly obvious YOU don’t understand what the term means.

            It’s hilarious to me that, in dozens of such exchanges, you haven’t even tried to spell out WHY you think that saving money would help. Saying “don’t spend money on a 90 loss team” isn’t so much a BAD argument as no argument at all. Unless you are an owner – then yeah, better to have the money in your pocket. But I don’t care about the owners’ personal finances – do you? From a fan’s perspective, and from the perspective of actually building a winning team, it matters not at all.

            As for continuing the discussion, THERE IS NO DISCUSSION. There’s you making odd assertions about payroll, me responding in detail as to why you are wrong, and you … not responding to my arguments AT ALL, but merely with irrelevant buzz words. It would be great to have an actual, you know, debate on the subject, but yes I agree that it doesn’t make sense to have a “discussion” like that.

            I can imagine, by the way, arguments that might be made to support your point. e.g., arguing that the money could be reallocated to scouting or development or the international market (it wouldn’t be, which is why it’s a bad argument).Not very good arguments in my mind, but arguments. But you’re not even making the BAD arguments. You’re making no arguments at all.

            1. You mentioned monies for the international market…last year I saw where the Yankees signed 10 of the top 30 international rated players, mostly in the LA market, for approx. $14M….and of course incurred the penalty. I think the Cubs did that two years ago and also were penalized by MLB.
              But they have a plan, I wish the Phillies would do something like that every five years or so, or even once a decade..

            2. Agree, though my guess is the rules on that will be changed.

              But as we know, there are other reasons why the Phillies won’t go that route – and Byrd’s salary isn’t one of them.

          3. David to trade byrd for nothing in my opinion is nuts. that’s all I meant. If I get nothing of value saving the money gets me what?

            1. Salary space to make trades during the season if a decent piece becomes available.

              What do you think a 37 year old OF is worth? You will not get much in return due to his age and contract length.

              You are not going to get a top 10 prospect for him. You might get a AA or AAA guy in the teens but that is about it.

  20. With all of the hoopla about Billy Beane, he traded Russell to get Samardzija and then traded him for 20 cents on the Dollar. What exactly did Ruben’s very good off-season last year consist of? Overpaid Burnett, added an option that made him untradeable at the Deadline, signed Byrd and gave him an extra year and added 4 teams he could not be traded to which screwed a Byrd for Chris Taylor deal with Seattle, and fielded a horrible team.

    1. I don’t know, maybe it had something to do with the fact that major league organizations value prospects and veterans differently than the crowd around here does?

      The first Samardzija deal was the oddity; the second business as usual.

      1. My only point was that if Ruben traded Russell to get Samardzija, then turned around in the off-season and got back what he did, he would be roasted. And, I think Ruben has done a terrible job and Beane got more from WSox than Rube got for Pence, but not close to the level of Russell. Not backing Rube, just think Beane is over rated.

        1. It may be arrogant but everyone including just about every baseball writer cannot figure out why Billy Beane is trading his pieces for pennies on the dollar.

  21. MLB Network’s John Smoltz trade proposal between Sox and Phillies:
    Hamels for Cespedes, pitchers Matt Barnes and de la Russa.

    Are you kidding me!

    1. The TV guys keep throwing out Cespedes trades that are foolish because the Phils would never take him in that deal. Its just silly… In a 3 team deal maybe I suppose….

      1. He is a FA after this year, they can’t stand him in Boston and what good would he do for the Phils who will stink again next year. I wouldn’t trade Buchanan for Cespedes.

  22. That is exactly the awful trade that fuels my nightmares. I have no interest in Cespedes or Rubby. If Red Sox won’t give up Betts or Swihart, then no deal. Simple. I have always believed that Dodgers were the best bet, especially if Giants add Lester. They may be inclined to give up Joc. Never thought the Cubs were a match. They will spend in FA, but not interested in moving their top prospects. Giants 3 WS wins has to gall Dodgers.

    1. Agree…LAD rivalry with Giants in NL West, is comparable to Yankees/Red Sox AL East.
      LAD may be the one who will be wiling to part with better prospects for Hamels more so then the Red Sox.

  23. Recognize that the teams aren’t the ones dropping hints to reporters about deals. The trade rumors all come from reporters guessing and from agents trying to get their guys’ names linked to a trade to show that they’re valuable. The GMs don’t say a word to anyone for fear that it will hurt their leverage. In fact, sometimes they might say something but its misinformation or its really intended to put pressure on someone else. The gamesmanship is a high level with these guys. Names don’t get thrown out until teams call agents to let them know what’s going on and the agents tell the reporters. Lester should pick his team today and get his 6/$150 deal which should make Hamels’ deal (4/$90) look pretty good, especially since Scherzer might get 7/$180 and Shields might even get 5/$100.
    Question: Would you rather get Betts or Pederson? Is a deal more important for the #1 guy in the deal or for the depth of the guys in the deal? Don’t we need to get back a guy who has a chance to become an ace like Urias?
    I don’t think the Cubs will be in on Hamels so I’m hoping that Lester goes there or to the Giants.

    1. Tough between Betts and Pedeson. Ibclined with betts because of his contact tool. Pederson may have more power but seems to have more swing and miss in his make-up.

      I wonder if Ruben can move Hamels more easily if he lowered his three prospect requirement down to two….a position player and a pitcher.
      For example….Betts and a Barnes (not Owens) or to LAD for Seager and an Anderson or Lee and not Urias.
      I think the other clubs would be more interested in listening then the three prospect requirement.

        1. Dodgers won’t trade Seager, they just let Hanley walk away and I have to assume they did that to make sure SS was open for Seager. OF is their depth and they’d rather trade Kemp than Pederson but that would require a 3 team deal. Some GM will have to trade pieces he doesn’t want to trade to get Hamels, it will physically make someone sick but that’s how this will get done. So far, RAJ is staying firm which is what he should do.

          1. I for one don’t know why the Dodgers would be interested in more pitching. I know Greinke can opt out next year but if he does you have the potential of Price and Zimmerman as FA’s.

            I’m just saying if the Dodgers were to call me for Hamels I’d have to think about what I want. As it stands Seager may not stick at SS anyway and you could always send Jimmy as part of the package.

    2. Need to get a top level future all star caliber player. Trades with multi pieces historically have not worked out well.

  24. Honestly, I think the Giants could make a deal for Hamels. They could offer two of Beede, Crick, and Susac to start a conversation, I don’t think enough people talk about them as a possibility. They’re an old school team that would trade the prospects, I’m just not sure they have the right prospects and I’d be afraid of getting burned again. Acquiring Susac would allow them to trade Ruiz.

    1. I agree the Giants would be the type of team to part with prospects for Hamels in a New York minute but from the Phillies perspective I’d be wary of all 3 of those guys.

      I think they are more likely to stay at their floors rather than reach their ceiling’s which is good solid regulars but which one is the star? I think we need that for Hamels.

          1. thats a good question and I do not know the answer. Beede was drafted in June not sure when he signed and if that has an impact. I know it is 1 year in your system before they can be a named trade.

  25. I really believe, that we should, if the reports are true. That hamels cant bring us Betts, or Segar, and byrd is a salry dumb. Then why not just stay pat you cant improve with a bad package for hamels. if your not getting back a potential all-star then why do it?? Makes no sense. stay pat. if you want to unload byrd for francour do it doesn’t matter. after next year. it would be easier to move guys. So you bite the bullet if your the Phillies and spend romus season ticket money on a good restaurant for giles and Montgomery when they go on road trips. stink this year, and then try to make some moves. sorry romus had to say it.

    1. rocco…my season ticket money!….you are fortunate, you cannot see my hand and my extended digitius medius.

    2. Agreed. I think Byrd could get us a prospect if we are willing to accept a kid in Rookie or A ball. I’d be thrilled to get Jomar Reyes a 17 year old who put up good number in Rookie ball. If you are trying to get a kid in AA or AAA you are going to get a possible long man or a 4th OF type.

    1. Question:
      re: Roman Quinn,
      ‘ Most scouts now prefer his swing from the left side …..’.
      Does that mean:
      A. His left handed hitting side is now on par and better then before?….or
      B. His lefthanded hitting side is now preferred over his righthanded side of the plate?

    2. My sleeper is Rhys Hoskins and Fangraphs have him rated very low on the list, with RF being his opportune position.
      I think he has still been taking plays at first base.
      Plus I think his hit tool, especially his power will explode in 2015.
      I am hopeful he will go mid-season promo from Lakewood to Clearwater, similar to Asche a few years ago.

      1. Hoskins is interesting. The problem with college sluggers, however, is that you may really not be able to know what you’ve got until they hit the high minors.

      1. Sean Coyle you mean? Looks like and plays like Pedroia it seems. Small in stature but has shown a little pop. My guess is that when you have Pedroia and his big contract and Mookie Betts your profile gets lost in the shuffle.

      2. Unsustainable BABIP last year and high K rates look like the only red flags to me. Plus he just reached AA last year so you probably eill be hearing about him this season

      1. Coyle has good numbers and plus speed. He does have a fairly high K rate of 25%, but rather decent BB rate of 10%. But being the first time at AA last season may account for the elevated K rate percent.

  26. I am to the point that I would be happy with just about anything except for a bad Hamels trade. Coyle for Bastardo is just fine with me. He is scheduled to make 1.9Million in Arbitration. I would just as soon give someone else a shot.

  27. so Lester to the Windy City… no Kris Bryant for us 😦

    let’s see if Boston says fuggit & does what it takes to get Hamels.

    Xander/Betts, Owens/Rodriguez, Coyle, & Barnes for Hamels & Bastardo.

    1. Really want to get the Sox really biting on the bait!.
      if Ruben were a smart man…..have him contact Brian Cashman about any Yanks interest in Hamels, and let it be known to the likes of Gammons, Heyman, Rosenthal and Starks.
      That could get the Sox dander up.

    2. It really seems that we match up very well with Boston. We have the Ace they want, the high ob% catcher that they want and the lefty reliever that they want.

    1. If there is one team that I could see Utley and Jimmy waiving their no trade clause to go to it would be to the Dodgers. I could definitely see a package of Cole, Chase and Jimmy going to the Dodgers in a bock buster.

      1. I could see Cole and one of Rollins and Utley going. Rollins could play SS or if Utley was moved he could play 2B and Gordon could move to SS. I don’t see the Dodgers having a need for both.

        1. If Hamels gets moved…I imagine Rollins and Utley will not want to be part of another long and fortuitous (look that word up rocco) season. They may want to escape from Philadelphia faster then Snake Pliskin from NY.

        2. I am reading Dodgers want to trade Dee. Too low of an OB%. Having Revere and Dee at top of lineup is pretty interesting to me. On one hand, both are low OB% guys. But on the other, they would create havoc on the base paths.

  28. Not the best option for the Phillies but I think the better of two. Ideally I would have preferred the Dodgers or even Giants to slip in and get Lester. Theo was tremendously motivated to get his man.

    1. He got to stick it to John Henry
    2. He didn’t have to give up any draft picks
    3. He didn’t have to give away any of the prospects he worked so hard to acquire

    I guess if not the Phillies the Cubs fans deserve to see a WS in the near future.

    1. DMARS….actually this makes the other Central NL teams more keen to improve their standings. Cardinals could want a Darin Ruf at first base for platoon purposes. Pirates and Huntingdon just got slapped in the face for a wake-up…AJ Burnett may not be the whole answer now in their rotation. And the Reds are not hesitant about moving players to help them out.

      1. They are going to consider Piscotty as the platoon half to Adams at 1B. Unfortunately for us I don’t think Ruf excites anyone outside of Philadelphia. Now if he gets regular playing time this year and has a good 1st half maybe he brings you something in return.

  29. IMO, Lester signing with the Cubs does NOT rule them out of the Cole Hamels race. It seems that they are making a big push to contend. So why not trade some of their redundant position players for Cole and have a nasty rotation. I doubt we get Bryant, but they have a lot of interesting pieces.

    1. Agreed forget Bryant he is the Jewel of of that club. Having said that I am suspect of most of their position players. Soler is the real deal IMO he would have to lead that trade. Pitching is a different story and they just sent one of their best in Mejia to the D-Backs in the Montero deal.

      I see the Cubs turning their sights on Shields now not Hamels. That would be such drama as you have to think the Sox are now looking to funnel some of the money they were allocating towards Lester to him.

      1. would be great for us if the Cubs sign Shields.

        Cueto is actually starting to make me nervous. He is young and good. not sure why the Reds want to give him up, but he is probably more attractive than Cole. Or at least close enough to create a BATNA

        1. He’s a free agent after next year. The Reds may not think they can resign him. I agree that he’s a pretty good alternative to Cole.

    1. I’m not really excited about moving Cody Asche further down on the defensive end of the spectrum and I’m a big Cody Asche fan. Right now, he projects to be somewhere between slightly below average to above average as a third baseman, assuming his hitting progresses and his fielding continues to improve. As a corner outfielder, he would be very borderline (unless he becomes an Alex Gordon type fielder) and at first, he’s essentially a permanent liability. I guess the only defense of these types of movements is that it gives some flexibility and allows him to get at bats so he can continue to develop but long term, it doesn’t sound like a great idea for someone of Asche’s offensive profile.

      1. But realistically he’ll only move off of 3b if Franco forces him off, so what are you gonna do? Either turn him into a solid bench piece or trade him. His bat obviously doesn’t profile well as a starter at those other positions, but off the bench, you could do worse. I’m sure if Franco proves himself and the Phillies get a good offer for Asche, they’ll trade him. In the meantime, why not try to make him more versatile?

  30. I think the Cubs signing Hamels is great for the Phils. The Cubs are now a #2 pitcher away from being a very competitive team very quickly. They’ll try the Shields market first but also explore cheaper trade options but will also talk to the Phils about the expensive Hamels. The Phils might want Soler, and could offer Byrd back to be a veteran bat in their young lineup, plus Russell or Baez. The Cubs have the prospects and they can’t all play at the same time so they have to make some deals for pitching. The Red Sox obviously need a #1 starter (they won’t be in on Scherzer) and Hamels is the obvious guy to go after with their large prospect list that happens to match up well with the Phillies needs. They could go after one year pitchers that will cost them less however. The Dodgers know that Greinke will opt out after 2015, assuming he’s healthy, so they have to decide whether to make a run at Hamels also. They really don’t want to give up their prospects though.
    Prediction time!!

    1. O’s are showing interest in Byrd.
      I would happy to get a back-end guy like RHP Mike Wright in exchange.
      A little older at 25, and ranked only 4th/5th pitcher in their system, but has good velo, and could out-distance a 2014 Kyle Kendrick.
      Question marks in Pettibone and MAG, and Williams will need to remain consistent.
      And will Buchanan have a sophomore jinx issue!
      Wright could provide some insurance.

    2. Put another way the market for trades is flush. Sox reportedly are interested in Wade Miley. As mentioned above the Reds have Cueto, Latos and Chapman on the block.

      The Pads have Cashner whom I happen to believe is the next Scherzer. Its going to be extremely difficult to pull off a great deal for Hamels.

      IMO it would have been better for us if both the Cubs and Red Sox lost out on Lester.

      1. I agree that there are lots of options with different price tags. However, if I’m a GM and the goal is to win a championship, Hamels is the guy I would want of the guys available. Cueto is better but he’s only a one year rental guy and he will cost Lester type money next year. Cashner is good although I agree he could become very good but he’s clearly not on the same level as Hamels yet. Like buying anything, its about cost vs value. You can buy the Benz, the Chevy, or the Yugo and they will be priced accordingly.

  31. All of that makes sense except for the part that none of the teams will give up what it takes to get Hamels. We are back to the LarryM argument about the value of prospects. Not getting into that again, value of making a WS run vs. prospects, because he has convinced me that I am on the wrong side of the argument. But, without a major prospect, Hamels does not get traded. That is a Betts or a Swihart led pkg from the RSox, Joc plus from the Dodgers, Soler plus from the Cubs. I don’t see any of that happening. On a brighter note, why hasn’t the Bastardo/Coyle trade already happened?

    1. anonymous. Right now the prospects are overvalued. Detroit held on to there prospects and lost. This trend will pass. teams in a pennant drive will give up value. and realize that prospects are a gamble. veterans in most cases are a proven factor in a pennant drive. Larry has preached how great all these kids are for two years. So far he is 1000 right on how teams value them , Where he is dead wrong on is how the great kids he preached have played. Example. headley couldn’t be traded for the world, he went in toilet. profar was the great prospect and couldn’t be had, he now Is on the trade list, he has been okay. los Angeles angels wouldn’t give you there center fielder whos name excape me for hamels, and he was traded to cardinals and cant hit. and there are more, not one of the kids larry has put in the he is greater than god has shown that skill.

      1. I’ve heard the former GMs on MLB network often say that prospects get GMs fired and that prospects are usually overvalued and rarely reach the limits expected.

  32. I think this is a great scenario for the phillies to find themselves in. Not only will the Red Sox and dodgers likely pursue Hamels more aggressively but the team that got Lester, the cubs, is still going to be a major player in the Hamels trade market. Theo has had this in mind since at least before the season as evidenced by the Hamels claim. Theo knew that he had a good chance to sign Lester as a free agent and wasn’t testing the waters with the phillies as a contingency plan.

  33. I wish we had Scot Boras representing the Phillies in trying to sell Hamels’ value to other teams…. Boras is going to sell Scherzer for 7/$185M….

    1. Sherzer is going to get $200 million. Conflicting reports on whether the SF Giants went to or were willing to go to $168M for 7 for Lester. Lester was great last year but was only average for 2 prior years which is why Boston only offered 5/$70M in Spring Training.

        1. your on…loser has to watch every inning of a Phillies game for a month. That could be some real torture.

      1. If you send some money over possibly someone at the back end of their top 20. If you are asking them to take on the whole salary (not that it is a lot) you probably get a lottery ticket from their system.

  34. If he is a one year rental a package similar to Byrd.

    You have to realize that guys like Rollins, Byrd, and Ruiz are older vets with less time remaining on their contracts and careers. You are not going to get top guys for them.

    Hamels, on the other hand, has a few very high level years left so you can get at least one guy who will play a decade for you in return.

    Either way we rebuild our farm system and get guys in position to take over. Once the guys are in place we can focus on development and finding the missing pieces to the puzzle.

  35. Package Hamels, Chooch and Rollins to get Joc and Urias. Wouldn’t Ruiz also fit the Dodgers very well? Also, Pirates and Red Sox in on Bastardo

  36. I think this is huge that he has agreed to a trade. Let’s hope that a similar conversation is going on with Utley. Agree, that we can’t get much for either of them at this point, but neither of these guys will be a part of the next winning franchise. They are also both coming off of respectable years, so this is probably the highest their trade value is going to be. Get some lottery ticket A guys or maybe a backend of the top top 100 prospect and let’s move on.

    As a general matter, it seems like there are some actual rumors taking shape here. I am more optimistic we might actually get something done.

    1. Same here, if Rube can package Chase, Rollins, and/or Hamels for a nice package it jump starts the rebuild.

      It hurts to see them go but the Phillies need the salary flexibility that they would bring in return along with the prospects.

  37. David if the Phillies trade Chase, Rollins and hamels. What will romus be watching, Howard , brown as the stars of this team. Wow all that money to watch brown misjudge fly balls and Howard strike out,

    1. Nice one. You end up like the Sixers for a few years picking up reclamation projects for 1 year hoping that they do well and flip them at the trade deadline for more prospects.

      A perfect example would be SS. You have a two year gap between now and when Crawford should be ready so you sign a one year deal with the thought of flipping the guy if he does well. Maybe you get stuck with Galvis playing SS in September but this is not about winning, it is about putting in place the pieces that form the core of the next team.

      The more pieces the more you can focus on those weak spots. You become the Cubs for a few years and then jump on starting pitching when you feel that you are ready to make the turn.

      1. Ending up like the SIxers could mean 20 years of complete futility. You could be the Sixers have a great plan and win 3 championships in the next 10 years or you could be the Clippers who sucked for 20 years….or the Phillies from 84-2004 save 1 year.

        There is no guarantee that a complete rip apart rebuild will work.

    2. rocco….LOL.
      Gor your information, I will be sitting up at the Connie Mack Bar and enjoying the ambience that a ballpark offers during the summer.

    1. Any word on the return? Frankly, I find this move somewhat surprising — mostly because I thought Jimmy wanted to be a career Phillie.

            1. You think Lee is a #5 starter? Or you mean just for this year? He seems to have much better stuff than a #5 starter. He was a top 100 guy for 4 years after being a first round pick. his era this year was horrible and his k rate dropped, but his ground ball rate is awesome. also he was only 22 in AAA. So maybe just a tough transition year. any reports on the stuff?

            2. I may be mistaken, but hasn’t the book on Lee always been his potential? He hasn’t had a great season at any level in the Dodgers system. Reminds a bit of another former first round pitcher the Phillies picked up from the Dodgers system…

            3. Kendrick and Lee have almost identical scouting reports.
              Hard sinker FB in low 90s…below average CB.
              WHIPs are similar….more hits IP…K rate similar per 9
              Projected mid-rotation.
              Same size. Both former HS QBs.
              It is so uncanny.
              Ruben could not have planned it any better.

            4. @G$,

              His peripherals are pretty strong for every year except this past one (in which he was a 22 year old in AAA, so).

              And either way, Lee (who is an upside pitcher that is remarkably close to the big leagues) is a great pickup for Jimmy. And it sounds like we’ll be getting more than just Lee, so I’m cautiously optimistic about this return already.

              Maybe we should exclusively deal with the Dodgers…

  38. Sad to see the era end but it has been done for 3 years. Jimmy deserves all the accolades we can give him for his career here, and I hope he wins with the Dodgers. We should be getting a decent prospect because he still helps the Dodgers. His D is still really good, they have Seager a year or 2 away, and he will love LA.

  39. Wow next Utley. what a infield this year , Asche, Galvis, herdanez and Howard with that power house outfield of brown, revere and Francour., what is Vegas over and under on wins. pitching staff lee. Buchanan, Williams, I cant stop laughing, sorry,

    1. rocco…glad you are happy and laughing…the 2015 team will finish lower in the NL East then the 2014 team! 🙂

      1. Never good to say everyone. I wanted us to add proven players versus more “prospects”. Not real confident in our ability to evaluate or develop young talent…but here we go. I hope I’m wrong but this could be a lot more than 2-3 years. I like the Red Sox route where they just keep adding (plus doing a good job in the minors). We are supposedly a top market team with the third largest payroll, but we are acting like the bottom of the barrel. We have crazy fans who will pack the stadium if they can sniff a winner. I guess we will have to just be phuture Phillies watching minor league players for several years waiting for another yatzee like the one we got after 100+ years with Burrel, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels, Chooch, Victorino, and Werth.

        Sorry to be a downer, but do not like the direction the team has taken, getting younger just for the sake of getting younger. I know many think it will make us better but I just don’t see it.

    2. Roccom, the only other way for the Phillies to get better is bust the Salary Cap wide open and why penalize yourself if the Phillies will not be a much better team. It is sad to see the end of an era with Jimmy Rollins but it has to be done to get younger. As for the players you mentioned, this is their opportunity to prove what they have and can they play in the Majors. Good luck Jimmy!

  40. David we has no choice but a rebuild. The ownership wouldn’t pay a tax to get better, and wouldn’t pay tomas,. Kept a moron gm. who got us in this mess along with a club president who didn’t know what he was doing, so as fans we were backed into a corner, and this is the only way with this ownership we can hope to get better.

  41. We could sign someone to a cheap, one year deal and if they play well flip them for another prospect or two at the deadline until Crawford is ready.

    The more guys we get into the pipeline the more chances we have to fill future spots from within and this free agency is showing us the value of building from within.

    Top guys are not making it to free agency except for a few pitchers that are getting crazy money.

  42. Are any of you old enough to remember the SS position pre Rollins? It was pretty ugly. Galvis is not an everyday player. Crawford can’t develop fast enough, as far as I am concerned. Apologies to Utley, but, I think Rollins was the greatest Phillie of this era and I will miss seeing him play very much. 15 years. Wow.

    1. Well I guess that depends what you mean by “greatest.” You also seem to be forgetting what our 2B situation prior to Utley had been like. If we go by WAR, Utley not only surpasses Rollins, but there is also a larger gap between Utley and the next-best 2B than there is between Rollins and the next-best SS. But they are both easily the greatest Phillie ever at their respective positions. Bar none. And while Utley is my favorite position player since Schmidt, seeing Rollins play has also been a great honor.

      It’s a shame that we will probably never see a duo as great as them together again. Especially not for so many consecutive years.

      But here’s hoping JP can light it up and maybe Pullin or Valentin or someone can step up to be his double-play partner-in-crime.

  43. If we got Zach Lee and I have not seen that as official yet then you have to do that deal. BTW, how ridiculous that they Yankees offered a AAA utility player for Jimmy.

  44. How smart is Friedman and that crew in LA. Zach Lee could be good but they get a SS that was top 5 in MLB last year without digging deep into the farm system.

          1. That just means he is better than the rest of the garbage in the system. In a land of midgets the 5 foot man is a giant

      1. I expected something that could be useful. I’m guessing the Phils asked for Coyle and Cherrington laughed himself to sleep.

      2. He makes Kendrick look like a strikeout pitcher. Will have to wait on scouting reports. Perhaps he brings a big fastball but his peripherals certainly leave something to be desired

    1. Well he is younger with very good comm and cont….and does not give up the long ball.
      Any scouting reports on his pitches?

  45. Rodriguez is pitching very well in AFL (before getting lit up in his last start) but only has 1 good year in 6 with the Pirates. AND he has to be on the 40 man roster.

    They couldn’t find anyone else that didn’t need 40 man protection?

    1. Jason….one good year in 6.
      Surely he would not have been Rule 5 eligible tomorrow!
      Ruben cannot be that naïve and uninformed

      1. He was put on the 40 man by Pittsburgh to be protected. It would truly be a Ruben daily double if he traded for him, left him unprotected, and someone else picked him up.

  46. Eric Longenhagen seems pretty bullish on this deal. He likes Joely

  47. For what it’s worth, there’s a write-up (with GIFs) of Joely over at fangraphs after his 2013 campaign. The basics; LHP with plus fastball (sits 90-93, touching 95 with run and sink), average change, and work-in-progress slider that sometimes flashes plus. Also with good amount of polish and command, and induces lots of grounders.

    Not actually a bad return at all for a rental of an inconsistent reliever.

    Link to article:

  48. Sure gonna miss jroll, he deserves to go out better than the Phils could do so I’m glad he is gone but nostalgia is running amuck! He is responsible for an awful lot of great memories during the run of NL titles

  49. Marlins just traded their #1 prospect for Dee Gordon.

    Here is an interesting comp:
    – Gordon: .326 OB%, 64 SB with 19 CS, UZR -3.2 (was -13.4 prior year)
    – Ben Revere: .325 OB%, 49 SB with 8 CS, UZR -6.4 (was -2.3 prior year)

    1. Don’t understand the thumbs down.
      But similar numbers between Rvere and Gordon.
      Not sure Revere could bring back the same level of a prospect.

  50. Sorry for another Rollins memorial post, but, until he’s honored here after retirement, here’s my sole chance. When I was coaching in Mt Airy baseball I always told the infielders to watch Rollins’ mechanics, which are almost always perfect. Many MLB SS’s backhand everything and that leads to errors. Jimmy squares up to every grounder, butt low, glove front and center, unless he HAS to backhand the ball. And then the perfect throwing motion. He should have won more Gold Gloves.

  51. In trying to be creative regarding Hamels, I wonder if there isn’t a slightly different solution. The primary focus seems to be on a deal that focuses on Hamels for prospects. The challenge is the Phils want top prospects, like 2-3, and the other teams are hesitant to part ways. A second possible solution is to add in a second player, i.e., Byrd, etc.

    The other way that I haven’t heard mentioned is that the Phillies trade Hamels for prospects and a bad contract or two. The Phillies, if they trade Hamels, and after trading Bastardo and Rollins, will have plenty of payroll flexibility and could easily take on a bad contract in exchange for getting better prospects. As an example, if the Phils traded with Los Angeles, could they take on the full contract of an Ethier or Kemp or Crawford as a way to get a better set of prospects. I’m not sure if the same opportunity exists with Boston or the Cubs, or other teams, but might be worth considering.

  52. Did anyone else perk up immensely now that 1) Heaney has been traded to the Dodgers, 2) the Phillies are getting minor league pitchers back, and 3) there is supposedly a 3rd team involved in the Rollins deal?

    This may have just gotten extremely interesting.

    1. I perked up when that was coupled with Chase Utley talks and Dee Gordon was going to the Fish. Obvious spot now for Utley.

      I don’t think we sniff Andrew Heaney though.

      Little nervous Ruben is doing deals with the Dodgers when they are obviously so much better than our “brain trust”

          1. But it’s essentially the regime that’s responsible for drafting Tim Beckham, LeVon Washington (and didn’t sign him), Josh Sale, Justin O’Conner, Drew Vettieson in the first/supplemental rounds.

            They also had an absurd amount of high draft picks and have had an arguably worse success rate than the Phillies. None of the Rays’ starters were drafted/signed as amateurs under Friedman’s watch as GM.

            So yeah, don’t assume they’ll pull one over on us.

            1. And Beckham as number one overall, no less.
              Glad someone else brought up the fact that the Rays, under the then Freidman, were not infallible to draft mistakes

  53. Any way we get the reading phillies up here and phillies in we get another back of the end sp we didn’t need Bastardo I would have like to added him in with another deal.

  54. Interesting if Hamels, Rollins and Utley would end up with Dodgers – the guy who beat them in 08, the guy who beat them in 09, and the LA kid they let get away. A San Diego kid, a Bay Area kid and an LA kid, all playing in SoCal.

  55. Assuming for a second the Phils don’t acquire another young shortstop in a trade this offseason, would everyone prefer to see Galvis get a real shot for a year as the everyday SS or sign a FA on a one year deal who you maybe can flip at the deadline? Or maybe the Phils sign a veteran SS to a 1 year deal with 14 player options included….

    1. I’ve really soured on Galvis. Would probably prefer a vet on a one year deal. But please Reuben, no vesting second year!

  56. I’m kind of shocked they traded Rollins. Other teams must really value him given that when the Phillies resigned him it didn’t seem that way.

    Not bad getting back a 13-17 guy for Bastardo. If either of those pitchers we’re supposedly getting for Rollins turn into anything real then that’s a pretty decent haul.

    Still waiting on the real trade to happen. After the awful haul Amaro has gotten for our major players in the past, he better get one heck of a haul for Cole Hamels to make up for it.

    It’s still unforgivable to me that he couldn’t trade Burnett, Papelbon, or Marlon Byrd last year. I doubt we get anything in return for Papelbon or Byrd now. I said from the beginning that Papelbon was a bad signing, and I said the same for Burnett.

    1. Calling Papelbon a bad signing is absurd. He has been one of the most dominate closers in baseball since his signing. You could argue that they paid a few million a year higher than they should, but that is based on no information. However, he has been an extremely productive pitcher for us.

      1. How exactly is it absurd? He was over the hill. He was one of the most dominant closers for the Red Sox, not for us. His velocity went WAY down the year we signed him and continued to go down every year after that. How many saves did he blow and how many leads to he either give up or almost give up? To call him one of the most dominant closers in baseball and to say “Calling Papelbon a bad signing is absurd” is what is absurd.

        1. I’m not a fan of the contract even now, but in his three years here, 3.05 is the HIGHEST FIP Paps has posted. His aggregate stats over those three years are as follows: 2.45 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 9.64 K/9, 2 BB/9, 12-10 record with 106 saves for a total of 4 WAR.

          That WAR ties him for 14th of all relievers over those three years (behind such notables as Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, and Greg Hollands), and his 198 IP ranks 20th (keep in mind this list also includes long relievers and swing starters).

          So, as unlikely as it seems, he’s essentially earning that ridiculous contract they gave him. Although again, even with hindsight, I’m not a fan of it.

          By the way, you asked about how many times he’s blown a save. 15. 15 times. In three years. 15 blown saves versus 106 saves. That’s a save percentage of almost 88% in case you don’t feel like doing the math.

          So no, he’s not Kimbrel. He’s not Chapman. But don’t sit there and pretend he’s bad. Hate him as a person. Hate his contract. I don’t really care. Just stop pretending like this is some scrub pitcher. He’s good. Really good.

          1. You didn’t include all of the times he gave up multiple runs and almost blew a save.

            No, he WAS “good. really good.” with Boston. Back when he could throw around 100 mph. He was the highest paid closer in history so no way has he earned that contract no matter what measure you use. Elite closers don’t have shaky innings every outing. They don’t put you on the edge of your seat as to whether or not they’ll blow the save. You can go by whatever stats you like but the eye test says he was not elite with the Phillies. Elite closers are not shaky like that.

            1. Paps gave up multiple runs in 3 games this year. 3. In two of those, the team scored 3 runs and in one they scored 4. And two of those resulted in blown saves.

              Which means two of his BS were the result of giving up a single run. One of which came in 2 IP instead of the typical 1 or fewer.

              Oh and he earned a grand total of 3 saves while giving up a run. Meaning that’s 36 saves in which he surrendered zero runs. Earned or otherwise.

              And just to make this sink in more, including those three clunkers of his he surrendered at least one run in only 8 total games. That is 57 games in which he blanked the opposing team. FIFTY. SEVEN.

              Furthermore, he only allowed more than 1 hit in 10 games. He only allowed baserunners to reach by walk in 11 games. And he allowed more than a single baserunner of any sort in a game 15 times, and more than 2 baserunners only 5 times. That means in 50 games, the opposing team could get, at most, ONE person on base.

              In 2014, Papelbon posted a WHIP of .90, an ERA 2.04, and allowed 2 HR all season. And if you discount those 3 bad games, his ERA becomes 0.74.

              So yeah, you keep telling us how bad he is. But if you feel like being objective, let me know.

            2. @Dan K: First of all, who is “us”? I’m talking to you, not anybody else. If you need to hide behind other people then that’s your deal but I never have in my life.

              Second, you mentioned this year, a year in which he had very good numbers compared to years past. What about those other years? How many times did he throw a legitimately scoreless inning?

              Unlike you, I am being objective. Not sure why you love the guy so much but he’s not elite by any means. He barely throws anywhere close to what he used to, he gets into long counts fairly often, and he has allowed plenty of baserunners as a Phillie.

              This year was a fluke, and the Phillies should have sold high. This upcoming season could be very ugly. He’s been showing signs of a major dropoff coming ever since the Phillies signed him. I’m not sure how any objective person could see otherwise. He was elite when he threw near 100mph. If he can’t throw that hard, he’s very hittable.

            3. Your conversation started with V1 and you’re using a message board perused by many people. So you’re talking to more than just me, therefore “us.” But feel free to try to make this personal if you want.

              And by the way, over his 3 years with the Phillies he has a 1.03 WHIP. So no, his numbers last year are only slightly better than his aggregate totals. And, again, his WORST year of the three resulted in a 2.92 ERA, 3.05 FIP, and 1.14 WHIP. That’s the worst of the three. But sure, I’ll play along a little longer, because I like stats.

              He gave up runs in 14 games total; meaning 52 games he blanked the opponent.
              He gave up two runs in 5 games, which accounted for 3 of his 7 BS, and he got one save in those.
              He gave up 3 runs twice, neither of which were save situations and he didn’t factor into the decision. (One of these games had an unearned run as well)
              That means he gave up only 1 run in 7 games, and 4 of those 7 led to blown saves, two led to saves.
              26 of his 29 saves were earned without allowing a single run.

              He also gave up runs in 14 games total; meaning 56 games he held the opponent scoreless.
              He gave up 2 runs in four games, and 3 runs in two. Those six games accounted for ALL FOUR of his blown saves. By the way, in one of those two 3 run games, ALL THREE runs were unearned. And he was credited with a BS and a loss.
              He earned a grand total of ONE save in games which he gave up any runs.
              THIRTY SEVEN of his 38 saves came as a result of him holding the other team to no runs.

              It seems your memory is failing you. Papelbon is a dick. He’s a loudmouth, and I disagree in principle with paying any reliever that kind of money. But he’s still a top-tier reliever.

              So again, if you want to be objective and use FACTS to back up your claims rather than, you know, your faulty memory and opinions, let me know. Here’s a link to his fangraphs page in case you want to actually use some information to try to make a point:

            4. @Dan K: Okay buddy, and when his numbers match the way he’s actually pitched in the coming seasons, you can tell me how elite he is some more.

              Elite closers get elite prospects and major trade interest. Did Papelbon? No. There’s a reason for that. He’s not worth his contract, and those teams know it.

        2. True phan his velocity was down but he saved games, He pitched well for this team, your just making a bad statement. look at his saves and blown saves, he saved a high percentage of his games, was he overpaid sure, but he has been good closer for this team.

      1. Wouldn’t mind having Xander one bit. I think the Red Sox think they’re too good already to give up a lot for Hamels. I’m not sure if they’re right or not, but I think that’s what they think. It kind of annoys me actually, because these teams want the farm for their players then want to act like they’re doing the Phillies a favor trading for our best players.

        Either way the Phillies need to break the cycle of all of our Philly teams getting back junk for our best players.

      2. Dan I never saw either dela rosa or Webster pitch. But just looking at there numbers they aren’t nothing but Kendrick’s or worse type pitchers Boston gave up nothing but some innings they could replace very easy. Look right now major league teams are not going to give up prospects, its just the way its going, and it will cost teams. Boston will take a chance that Miley will give them a good start every 4 or 5 day, instead of a hamels or Lester. I just don’t see Boston signing all that offense and refusing to add a ace starter . makes no sense. but it the way baseball right now is going. You saw it last year teams need closer and wouldn’t deal for pap, he lost his velocity and every excuse was made that he was done, but he saves games, I don’t care how its done, a save is a save, IMO he has learned in this stage of his career to pitch with less velocity and is a good closer. I would never just give him away, it sets the tone to teams your a easy mark,

        1. Rocco you are correct sir. These two had all the stuff in the world but for what ever reason they just couldn’t (to this point) figure out how to command it.

          Miley gets crushed by Right Handed hitters but still serviceable. I think both sides end up disappointed.

        2. They both have career minor league K/9s above 8 ( 8.5 for Webster, 8.9 for De La Rosa) which is part of their upside. By comparison, Miley’s rate in the minors was an even 7. In addition, Webster is a consensus top-100 prospect, and Rubby was also in 2013 according to BA. Plus the fact that Rubby is 25, Webster is 24, and Rubby doesn’t hit arbitration until 2016 while Webster won’t be eligible for it until 2018. Whereas Miley will be a FA in 2018.

          So basically they got Miley, who is probably a #4 for Boston, for two pitchers with higher upside, that are young and cost controlled and major-league ready. PLUS another minor leaguer.

          So if we’re talking about Hamels, who is much, MUCH better and infinitely more valuable than Miley, what does that make his cost in prospects? If Miley is worth 2 major-league ready prospects, one ranked ~50 in baseball, and the other ~90, plus a PTBNL, Hamels is easily worth a top-15, top 50, and a lottery ticket.

          So that’s where my comment comes from. I don’t get it; they would give up that much for Wade Miley, but Bogaerts/Betts were both off the table for Hamels? Makes no sense. The BoSox HAVE to see something they like about Miley a very great deal. They must think he’s going to step up in a big way. And/or they must think that both the pitchers they shipped to Arizona are going to completely tank.

      1. Just like the Phillies to get our hopes up and then not deliver.

        Granted, it was a commenter here but I’m still blaming the Phillies. I knew it was too good to be true.

  57. ithink they should trade or fire arrmaro jr. completely out of the pillies system. he has done noththing but traded away alot of great players that won the championship. the Phillies need a better team man that isn’t it in for the money. ammarrow jr. sucks . never was any good at picking players.

    1. It is time to move on from the 2008 core. The remnants of that core are aging and even with added support were good for only 73 wins each of last two seasons. Badly needed to turn the page and aim for our next playoff core.

      1. Turn where we have a bull pen Hamels Revere, Ruf, Asche, Franco,
        .All we need is a rotation, corner outfields, ss , a bench . Our hole Division is getting better . 2016 can’t come soon enough. The funny this Dogers a are getting old and over paid again.

  58. By the way, I really don’t get this idea of “rebuilding”. This isn’t basketball, hockey, football, or some other salary cap sport. You can develop prospects and trade away talent while also adding talent. You don’t have to do one or the other.

    This reeks of the same “small market” nonsense the Phillies tried to shove down our throats until they started making money hand over fist. I wouldn’t want them to sign a guy like Lester (obviously already gone) or Scherzer but without adding a decent player via free agency what exactly is our lineup going to look like? Are we seriously going to start Ruiz and his hitting at catcher? Please tell me we don’t start Dom Brown (remember when many commenters here claimed he would easily replace Werth right away and insulted anybody who disagreed?). I’d be okay with starting Franco at 1st and Ruff in left as well as Asche at 3rd and Hernandez at 2nd, but who is our shortstop then? I love Galvis’ glove but I just don’t think he can hit at the MLB level.

    Don’t get me started on our starting pitchers. Can we please add a top prospect who can stay healthy for once? I had such high hopes for Biddle but now I don’t know if he’ll ever stay healthy enough to pitch for the Phillies.

    1. There is a salary cap in baseball, at least a lux tax cap that very few teams ever exceed. The Phillies were snugged up against it last season and won all of 73 games, same as the year before. This year the old core is yet another year older. It was most definitely time for a rebuild, actually it was a year late. The Phillies are going to lose a lot of games in 2015. That will be the bottom of this cycle. It had to happen. Postponing it would only make it worse and delay the Phillies return to contention. That said, they do need to spend more $ on non-major leaguers. They should have signed Rusney Castillo.

      1. Agree….just look at Rizzo and the Nats….with Jordan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond entering their final year and great players who. incidentally, would be part of a very good core of this Phillies team….Rizzo is looking to move them for the best package of young controlled players…..a plan that Ruben could never get the courage to do in the past with Rollins, Chooch or Utley and he misjudged the Howard contract fiasco. Then again two different personalities in Rizzo and Amaro, one is not aversed to risk when it comes to youth.

        1. I honestly believe a lot of that is ownership and not Amaro. Ownership wanted to hang onto the core for way too long, reward past performance, etc., and that’s why we are where we are.

        2. Interesting perspective. I might add that the Nationals have not won a championship yet and selling veteran players for young players will move them farther away form winning this coming year, not closer. news flash – its hard to win a championship (the Giants’ and Cardinals’ success notwithstanding). And it very hard to retool and keep winning. The Phillies have only had 2 sustained winning teams in over 100 years and they were both created by farm grown (ie. cheap) players. The team tried to push the window for another run and got close, winning 102 games, but not close enough. That St Louis loss and Howard’s injury was the beginning of the end. And now we enter the Steve Jeltz era….(in between Bowa and JRoll) as we wait for JP and cross our fingers. Unfortunately, I don’t see the makings of a championship team in our minor leagues right now.

      2. But it’s baseball. You can do both. The good teams do. You keep the most important players while dealing the less important ones and replacing them either from within, via trade, or via free agency.

        That’s how the Red Sox won twice in a decade. That’s how the Giants won what, three times this decade? That’s definitely how the Yankees and every other major team that consistently won has won.

        It isn’t a matter of either-or. It’s a matter of not overspending in a trade or free agency but being willing to pull the trigger for somebody who’s worth it. The Phillies fail in both aspects.

  59. LOL trade the best SS in Phillies history at a time what it is necessary to do so and this board gets an influx of new posters….I love it. And they actually have the balls to use a handle.

    Welcome aboard Gents and Ladies if it applies!

  60. One year of Howie Kendrick is worth six years of Heaney – a major-league-ready, Top-18 prospect in all of baseball. So says the Dodgers and their brilliant FO.

    I thought top prospects don’t get traded, particularly by the smart teams.

    Is this still one more exception that we should ignore when evaluating a trade of four years of Hamels plus enough cash ($30-35 million) to bring his AAV down to $15 million?

    1. d…stairs,
      Oh no!
      Another dig at you know who.
      Here we go again…it starts.
      All we need now is for dcurban and V1again to jump on board and we let the ‘War and Peace’ postings begin.

    2. (1) Again ignoring factors which major league organizations care about. Kendrick is cheap, and that matters, even for the Dodgers. The probably true conventional wisdom is that the recent FO changes were (in part) made with $ in mind – that is, get more bang for their payroll buck. Also Kendrick is very highly regarded – arguably as valuable as Hamels (Ss perceived by major league front offices). Finally, the difference in contract years is (again in the minds of major league front offices) IS not necessarily a big advantage for Hamels, given perceived injury risk for starting pitchers and his AAV which is not a bargain. Keep in mind that they will either resign Kendrick or get a pick in exchange – that pick will have real value. All of which is not to say that Hamels has LESS trade value than Kendrick. Maybe even marginally more. A prospect like Heaney is a realistic ask as the headliner to a Hamels deal, and he probably brings you a little more in terms of the other prospects. But still not a Betts, probably not a Boegarts, and not a second “top” prospect.

      (2) The “still one more exception that we should ignore” comment is revealing, but not in the way that you think. IF you think that we should ONLY consider the very few deals where a top 50 prospect changes hands, and ignore the many, many trades for good or even star veterans where a top 50 prospect doesn’t change hands, then your argument would make sense. But if one properly considers ALL relevant deals in evaluating the market … then you do indeed have one more deal where a top prospect changes hands, versus, even in the last couple days, several where the return seems underwhelming (by the standards of a certain segment of the commenters here).

      1. I can’t seem to get you to focus on the $30-35 million that goes with Hamels. Why is that? This is an important part of the trade scenario, worth one top prospect all by itself.

        1. Because the teams which are in the market for Hamels now aren’t interested in selling their top prospects.

          I agree that, for SOME organizations, that would make a difference (though not as big a difference as you think). But not the organizations in the market for Hamels.

  61. Derek. I just think the dodgers see it as going all in now to win , something others teams wont do ,trading a prospect for a major league veteran who is good, even for one year, and with seager coming up they have someone to replace Kendrick. Lets see how good boston is this year and keep track of all those hof prospect they have, that is something I want to see, especially when only I believe this number is right, 17 percent of the prospects make a impact. most never live up to there billing

    1. rocco…..if Hamels does end up with the Sox in a deal…wouldn’t it be ironic if Workman comes back to Ruben and the gang, as part of the package. You would really like that!

  62. I am interested to see what else the Red Sox do, because Wade Miley is a #4 SP, and scares no one in the AL. Throw in JB,JR, and you have the crappy offer from Boston for Hamels. Rubby and Webster are worth very little.

  63. I have to say the A’s the Sox and the Dodgers are turning this off season on its ear. Nothing is making sense from an analytic’s stand point.

    I mean really Kemp plus $31 million for Grandal, Wieland and an unnamed prospect.

    Who wants Cole in their stocking…

    1. Dmar I cant make sense out of this trade. The prospects the dodgers got for kemp, to me just doesn’t add up. plus 30 million?

      1. Maybe the unnamed prospect is pretty darn good. I said a while back the Phillies should have called and offered to take the whole Kemp Salary on.

        Could you imagine what Kemps numbers might look like in half a season at the bank? You could then turn around and really maximize his value at the trade deadline.

        1. Agree he could be an asset on a contender but he could just as easily be on the DL a lot and his attitude has been questioned. His contract is a big risk as you ask yourself how healthy will he be in 5 years?

    2. The As are the ones that I cant make sense of. I think all of their trades were on a discounted value. Moss for a 24 yr old AA 2B, Donaldson for Lawrie, some mediocre P prospects and A ball guys, and Smardijiza for a utility IF and a P. I don’t get it.

      A top P prospect (Heany) and a bunch of other good young players for a All Star 2B and a #4 starter makes sense.

      A good quality veteran 2B for Heany makes sense (maybe a little rich for Kendrick)

      Kemp is a quality bat who still has tremendous physical tools. A young catcher and 2 high quality pitching prospects for 6 years at $12 M a year is reasonable when you look at the lack of bats available in the market.

      Based on the earlier As trades, I thought we may get a bag of used balls and some magic beans for Hamels. With the stuff today, there may actually be value to be had.

      1. There’s going to be value, for sure. As I’ve acknowledged all along. A “top” prospect (but not a guy like Betts who is essentially already a proven major league player), and another good (but not “top”) prospect. Not the fantasy deals imagined by some around here. IMO the recent trades don’t really move the needle much at all in terms of my evaluation of the market.

          1. Push back accepted and respected, but (1) compared to prospects without 200 plus quality ML PA, yes he is proven; (2) His K/BB data is quite good. Those # stabilize quickly.

            Is he as “proven” as a player with, say 1000 major league PA? No. But he’s passed the “do his skills translate to the major leagues” test with flying colors.

            1. True but you and I both know how the league works on young players. Its an evolution of sorts. 200 PA’s is not enough for the league to figure you out. Advanced scouting and video is going to kick in…they will find your weakness.

              Listen I’m not trying to undermine his value but the weight of those PA’s coming at the end of the season when your team is out of it is extremely light.

              Its cliche but not every player is able to make the adjustments necessary to stay in the bigs. If he had posted those numbers over a season of AB’s then I would tend to agree with you.

              Having said all of that I still wouldn’t require him in the trade. I would go after Xander, Barnes, Johnson minimum and try to get Ramos or Brentz as a 4th.

            2. I don’t really disagree, which I why I said that he isn’t as “proven” as a guy with 1000 PA under their belts. But my perception is that players who have a tough time adopting to the majors usually show signs of that early on, i.e., in the first couple of hundred PA. Players who get off to a really good start in 200 plus PA – and I mean a legitimately good start, not fueled by an unsustainable BABIP – rarely become busts. Especially when they are very good prospects to begin with, i.e., have the scouting and minor league performance indicators supporting their good play.

              Add to this – or maybe this is the reason why the first paragraph is true – is that players with good contact skills and plate discipline – the BB/K data support this – tend to be successful in making the adjustments that you refer to.

      2. Jason two quality type pitching prospects? maybe I saw the wrong names, if that quality, man baseball is in trouble and a 26 yr old catcher who is similar to ruf. That trade imo was a steal for san Diego. If Kemp is healthy they can flip him for a lot more, then the low level players they gave up. and he dodgers did get some salary relief, I thought Kemp would bring more especially with the 30 million,

      1. The Dodgers moves make perfect sense in the analytics that I’m using (with a dash of added “let’s introduce some payroll sanity here” thrown in).

        The As, less so (though the $ factor is huge there, helping to make some sense of it). which doesn’t mean they are wrong – just that, ironically in a Moneyball world, they still march to their own drummer, so to speak.

        1. You are right about the A’s, they have their own drumbeat which most people do not understand but it was worked for Beane over the years so you have to give him that. I think that the late season collapses had something to do with this as well.

          Beane sticks true to his roots and was not going to overpay for either guy.

          It is a shame that they cannot get a new stadium because the team deserves better.

  64. Red Sox moved fast, getting Porcello for Cespedes. Supposedly 2 low level prospects accompany Cespedes to Detroit. Porcello is not an ace either. But, I think Cespedes will not play great in Detroit.

  65. Who wants to bet that I lose the bet I made yesterday that Scherzer gets $200 Mil? That goofy arse Illitch will go behind Dombrowski’s back again like he did with Prince Fielder and make a deal with Boras for Scherzer

    The bet was i would have to watch every inning of every Phillies game in 2015. Not feasibly possible but I would certainly try.

    1. I think the bet was only for a month but I think we are going to have to make modifications. Given the soon to accompany fire sale that is now officially going on I think a mercy rule should go in place. Say when they are down by 5 you can stop watching.

      May still have to cut it down to a week for your own sanity

    2. Are you sure he wants to spend that money given all of the money he’s supposed to shell out on that Red Wings entertainment district?

      I know he’s got plenty of money but I would have to think that would make him a little more hesitant to back up the Brinks truck for players.

  66. If the Reds are selling that could definitely undermine what we are trying to do. Latos/Cueto if the Sox got in on either of them forget dealing Hamels there.

    1. I just love the misinformation and misleading information people post on this site. Yes, he was a 42nd round pick out of high school, but he was a first round pick (20th chosen) last year. Give me a break!!!!!

      1. Shame on me for the big bucks they are paying all of us to share info its quite an atrocity to misread that on BR….Ahole!

          1. I’m hiring a good fact checker Romus if you’re interested. The pay is only thumbs up clicks but its a prestigious position that looks good on a resume.

        1. Oh come on now, relax (man people are touchy around here). I responded because your entire point was that all the Phillies could get for Rollins was a 42nd round pick. In any event, it’s a moot point since Crawford was not in the trade. They got a really good return with Eflin and Windle.

          1. Ok not a big deal but that wasn’t my point J and I wasn’t trying to mislead anyone. My point which I didn’t state in fairness to you was that Latos should have returned more in my opinion and the fact that he didn’t is giving credence to those that say we are expecting/hoping for too much for Hamels.

            1. All is good – it was not at all fair of me to assume that you trying to mislead anyone or selectively use information – it just drives me nuts when people do try to do that. We all make mistakes when we are posting and we sure are not paid to be fact checkers. Sorry about that.

  67. Since the Phillies will still need to field a team to play on a daily basis and since there are no prospects ready to be in the majors except maybe Franco. Who gets added? I would prefer short 1 or 2 year contracts on players that can be flipped at the deadline. Here’s my list of candidates and $$s

    Evereth Cabrera SS 1/$3MM replaces Jimmy. Maybe better offensively at this point

    Alex Rios OF 1/$10MM Needs to rebuild value after a lousy year with Texas. I remember watching the first series last year against the Rangers and watching him wear out our pitching. Thought he was going to have a huge year. I don’t think he will get a multi year deal. He could replace the soon to be traded Marlon Byrd.

    Kyle Blanks 1B/OF 1/$1MM If he could stop getting injured I think he is Chris Carter from Houston. 30 HR power .240 BA. Still young. If he hits he has good trade value if not no real $$ loss. AND think of all the good or bad nicknames.

    Mike Carp IB/OF same type of player as Blanks. Same type of deal.

    Corey Hart 1B/OF is he just shot? He lost a year then was horrible in Seattle but he used to be a really good player. .275/25 homer type of guy. I thought he had torn his ACL. I’m no doctor but I was unaware the ACL was connected to the hit bone. Seattle also must have been unaware of this.

    Brett Anderson SP I think Cleveland wants him on more than 1 year. I wouldn’t go more than 1 year

    Brandon Beachy/Kris Medlen SP Both out for most of the year with TJ surgery. I would sign them both on 2 year deals or 1 year deal with team options. Medlen maybe gets 2/$8. I think Beachy may be 2/$4 or $5. Either would immediately be our best “prospect” to go in the 2016 rotation.

    Brandon Morrow SP I have always liked this guy. If he is healthy he is electric. 1/$4M?

    Gavin Floyd/Aaron Harang/Roberto Hernandez Anyone like these guys at 1/$4M. Almost want to sign Roberto Hernandez as a thank you due to his great contribution of actually getting us prospects last year.

    1. I thought the Phils should have gotten him. He was really good in 2013 but dealt with knee issues all year last year

      1. Masterson has always had good stuff but man he could never get through a line-up a second type. Threw a heavy ball with a lot of sink and run but never seemed to command it well.

  68. Love that the Astros said publicly that DeShields wouldn’t get picked in the Rule 5. Yeah, he lasted 3 picks.

    1. I like these picks. Herrera is a shortstop who has hit well in the minors and is tearing it up in the Venezuela winter league this year – a very good risk, especially since we’ll need to carry a new backup shortstop anyway. He’s 23. Andy Oliver is a strong armed lefty with control problems who was converted to relief last year. He had very high strikeout rates and low hit rates in AAA and his control improved. Both guys could actually be keepers. That was a really good Rule 5 draft from what I can tell.

      1. I’m no longer seeing Andrew Oliver as having been selected by the Phils. You?

        I do like the Herrera pick as well. I’d like to hear more about him. His offense sounds promising. Not much power, but seems like a good on base guy, which we know the Phils could use.

      2. Seems like 2 guys worth a shot on a bad team. Herrera vs Blanco vs Cesar Hernandez for 2 spots. It looks like he’s mostly played 2B coming up. He’ll probably need to be able to play SS to stick on the team.

    2. Here is what I know, Baseball America profiled 40+ guys in their preview of the Rule 5. Neither Herrera or Oliver was mentioned. Everyone else that has been taken was profiled. Not saying the Phillies are wrong and BA is always right but the Phillies track record has shown they should be given the benefit of the doubt either.

    3. Looked up Odubel(not David) Herrera from Texas-he is a 2B who hit .321 in AA all year in 2014. He is not a power hitter, has a 18.4% K rate, a 7.6% Walk rate and .354 OBP. He was also rated the best defensive 2B in the Texas League for 2014 so he looks like an interesting pickup.

  69. Elfin from the Padres may be the 2d piece in Rollis trade. Kemp deal not official because of large $ changing hands 25-30 Million. Are the Red Sox rerally going to tru to contend without a #1 SP? Porcello, Miley, Bucholz, Masterson does not do it for me. Although they kept the top prospects and only spent the slop they wanted Phils to take for Hamels, they are stll not that good.

      1. Article does show ‘Doobie’…oh boy…. does have the potential to be a major leaguer 2nd baseman. With his contact abilities to the opposite field especially, it is encouraging, even with limited power. I like the pick.

  70. My concern with 2 Rule 5 picks is that they will do everything possible to keep them on the 40 man and not add 1 year pieces that can be flipped for additional talent.

    Right now I want at least 3 starters from outside the org and make Buchanan or MAG beat them out. If the 3 pitch well they get flipped to a contender if they suck they are DFAd within 2 months.

    1. Yeah but the problem with that thinking is that last year we had multiple guys we could have flipped at the deadline and never pulled the trigger. There’s no guarantee that our front office will make the deal to trade those 1 year guys and “sell high” like they should.

      1. I agree with that. I can only hope that if you know your mindset is full rebuild mode that you understand that you have to make the deals to get what you can. What will truly piss me off is that they do this rebuild and let young players who have no business being in the majors play (a la Micheal Martinez, BJ Rosenberg, etc.) and do not spend money. If this payroll all of a sudden drops by $40 million and not replaced, and they try and sell us on this bs that young players need to play I will be done.

        Young players with talent and who are ready need to play but don’t try to push Freddy Galvis at SS, a bunch of David Buchanan’s as the rotation, etc.

  71. See we lost 3 of the 30 AAA selections. Simon, Francisco. Lavin. That seems an excessive amount for 1 team, especially given our poor system.

  72. Something I just saw provides good perspective regarding Hamels and the Red Sox:

    If the Sox valued Lester at 6 years $135M as has ben reported, they certainly wouldn’t rate Hamels as being worth 5/110 plus Betts (or another combination of their top 6-7 prospects).

    Smart teams don’t go into win now mode. I’m sure the Sox are very comfortable waiting until next season’s FA market to get they’re ace, or at least until the deadline when one of those rentals can be had for a song.

    1. The Red Sox’s problem is that they will have the same issues next year as Porcello, Masterson are Free Agents next year. Not sure if Miley is a FA next year also but their starting pitching staff is not that good. They will have to win many 8-7 games to contend.

    2. I do agree and frankly I think they have the makings of a solid al beit young staff in house ready to pitch in the majors this season. If I’m the Sox I don’t do any of the deals I myself have proposed.

      The fan boy that I am hopes they see it differently…

      1. DMAR, I totally disagree with you on the Red Sox starting pitching situation. All they did was avoid the inevitable trade to get an top notch pitcher and it will haunt them this year and they will not contend. The Red Sox seem to have outsmarted themselves by trading Jon Lester and not resigning him instead. I wonder how patient their fan base will be about the lack of effective starting pitching and a burned out bullpen by July.

    3. You are viewing Hamels and Lester as equals. This is faulty logic on your part. The numbers bear out that Hamels is superior in every pitching metric.

      Last 4 seasons FIP:
      Hamels 3.05 / 3.30 / 3.26 / 3.07
      Lester 3.83 / 4.11 / 3.59 / 2.80

      Career FIP:
      Hamels 3.48
      Lester 3.58

      Baseball Reference Average Season
      Hamels 223 IP 3.27 ERA 3.48 FIP 1.142 WHIP 3.77 SO/W
      Lester 215 IP 3.58 ERA 3.58 FIP 1.276 WHIP 2.67 SO/W

      Similar but Hamels is clearly better and more consistent. Lester had a great year last year but there was a reason BOS only offered $70M in Spring Training. He was not that good the 3 years prior.

      1. I view the Hamels situation to be better not primarily because Hamels is the better pitcher (although, frankly, I think he is), but because is contract is for less money, fewer years and does not carry Hamels as far into his projected risk/decline years as Lester’s contract does.

        I’m also not crestfallen that they haven’t traded him yet – if he doesn’t fall apart this year (always a risk, to be sure), I think he could easily command more during the frenzy of the trade deadline than they could get for him now when teams are fairly deliberate in their thinking.

        Every year, some crazy desperate GM overpays at the deadline for talent he feels he needs to take his team over the top. There’s a good chance there will be someone this year who feels that Cole Hamels is his ticket to the playoffs and perhaps even keeping his job (don’t underestimate the power of personal gain).

        1. No question that the contract situation is better. Add that he is a better pitcher and you come to the conclusion that we need to get the very top end for any team looking to acquire him.

          Regardless of the money, what do you think the Dodgers would want for Kershaw. Cole was just as dominant his last 20 starts last year as Kershaw was. The money plays a role but I would be happy to have a real ace for my prospects.

          Not that long ago there were arguments over if Biddle or Morgan was our top prospect. At this point, I would be happy seeing both make the majors, let alone being solid contributors.

      2. I’m not viewing them the same. I’m saying that it’s unlikely the Red Sox view the difference between player and contract as significant enough to give up the value of some combination of their top prospects.

        It’s funny, the same people that criticise Amaro (correctly IMO) for mortgaging the future to win now a few years back are now seem to be arguing that the Red Sox do exactly that.

    4. the problem with your theory is that next year the prices are going up on the Ace FA pitchers. They weren’t even close on Lester, so how are they going to get Price or any other Ace? Not going to happen. Waiting until next year is a fantasy.

      1. How is waiting until next year fantasy? I don’t understand this mentality that the Red Sox have to go for it all this season and mortgage their future to do so. You need to realize that many other organizations are run differently than the Phillies

        1. because the red sox have proven that they don’t want to pay top dollar for a FA pitcher. Lester not only was a top performer, but also a great clubhouse guy and they knew him extremely well. if they weren’t willing to come even close to market price on him, who will they pay top dollar for? no one is the answer. their strategy is clear. they want to go with a strong lineup and a bunch of #3 pitchers and a great bullpen. they are not interested in paying market for a #1 pitcher either in price or prospects.

        1. I am saying, that it appears that the Red Sox strategy is to invest heavily in their lineup and have a strong bullpen and a bunch of #3 starters. I don’t think they will spend to have an Ace pitcher. My evidence of that is how far below market they were for Lester, who is not only an Ace, but also a guy they knew well and liked and also wouldn’t cost them a draft pick. if they wouldn’t spend on him, they won’t spend that money on any pitcher until they become convinced that their strategy won’t work.

          1. Apparently big ticket free agent pitchers would prefer to pitch in the NL vs the AL for obvious reasons….unless the money offered by an AL team, blows them out of the water.

            1. maybe, but that has nothing to do with the red sox, who weren’t even close on Lester. apparently San Francisco was the high bidder and Lester chose Cubs over them. but the sox were like $20mil lower.

  73. If the latest rumors are true, the return on Rollins is underwhelming. And I say that even as someone whose expectations regarding such a return were low to being with.

    1. LarryM, you are the one who has caused me to lower my expectations for all of our guys. I thought this was more than expected for Rollins. Windle is a High A guy, sure and Eflin or Elfin seems to be well thought of. I also would like your take on the Red Sox, who held on to their top guys and did not get a #1 starter. Went middle of the road. What do you think?

    2. I disagree on the Rollins deal. Both Windle and Elfin should pitch at AA next year and grade out as 50 overall on, similar grade to Biddle or Eduardo Rodriguez, Brian Johnson or Matt Barnes from BoSox. They’ll both be in our top 10, probably in the middle. Can’t complain. Also of note, Kendrys Morales (who was awful last yr).signed for 2 yr/17 mill. Maybe there is a market for Ryan Howard where the Phils could get some salary relief.

      1. I think the guys we are supposed to be getting are fine for one season of Rollins. I’m not commenting too specifically, because the deal doesn’t seem to be final and some tweeters are saying that the guys we are getting aren’t fixed yet. I guess it depends upon commish approving the Kemp trade.

        1. I hope we can Kang I ready don’t want trade Hamels but if starts with Will Myers who I think is a stud and 2 vg pitching prospects then I would listen. RAJ SAID GALVIS is the starter for now. I don ‘t think he will be healthy for a full season.

  74. So I was watching MLB network last night and I think it was Jon Paul Morosi who had said the Yankees were in on Rollins but RAJ asked for Severino and or Judge. Did anyone else hear the same thing?

    I mean you have to ask right…

    1. The criticism wasn’t that he asked, it was that this was his non-negotiable bottom line. There was a lot of comment that RAJ was afraid to make anything other than an obviously great deal after the criticism over the Lee, Pence, and Victorino trades and the sometimes rumors that after two 73-loss seasons his job was less than secure. It wasn’t just the Yankees — just about every potential trade partner was saying that RAJ was being unreasonable. These other teams seemed able to make deals elsewhere. One thing stood out in the criticism: RAJ likes to trade for guys who are signed for more than just the remainder of current year (although he then turned around and dumped Pence for just about squat after being all enthusiastic that he was under Phillies control at time of acquiring him). Other teams don’t agree. RAJ thought the Byrd and Burnett and Papelbon contracts weren’t a problem. Other teams didn’t agree. His demands to the Yankees go back to the old major-league-ready curse of past Phillies trading of vets which have brought us guys like the immortal Omar Daal.

      1. My favorite Ruben comment that I saw recently was his dispute that he doesn’t ask for too much because he asks other teams to make offers. Sounds like a great strategy. Don’t actually have an opinion on the other guys prospects and ask for someone you want just see if they start offering guys up.

      2. I have no problem with him having that stance for a guy like Hamels. I have a problem with him having that stance for a guy like Marlon Byrd or especially Burnett. We could not have asked for a better situation when it came to Burnett and yet Amaro wanted way too much for him. Papelbon, too, was fooling the rest of the league with his low ERA and we could’ve gotten a good return for him but Amaro wanted too much.

        I guarantee you at the very least Burnett, Byrd, and maybe Papelbon are going to have huge dropoffs this season. Papelbon I can understand but Byrd, Burnett? Those are periphery guys who bounce from team to team at this point. Sometimes you win those trades, sometimes you lose, but they have a lot less risk than trading away a core player and you have to do those trades.

        I’m sorry but it’s just getting harder and harder to be optimistic about the way this team is run, no matter who the GM is. Ownership has been the problem for years. I had a feeling when they hired Ruben that he would be a “yes man”, and I think I was right.

        The Papelbon signing reminds me a lot of the Flyers signing Vinnie. It makes your front office look good, like you’re “all in”, but makes little sense when it comes time to play.

      3. I can’t imagine that’s true, at least not this offseason. I’m not a fan of a lot of the stuff he has done, but he’s not a complete idiot. You can’t be to actually get the GM job. That being said, I watch Jim Bowden on ESPN and tend to think he is a complete idiot, so maybe

  75. Just looking at Twitter and see a report from Jayson Stark that says this:

    “Source familiar with Jimmy Rollins deal says teams still aren’t sure what exact final makeup of trade will be, amazingly enough”

    Amazing. Easily the greatest Ruben Amaro trade ever. The Phils don’t do PTBNL. They do Players To Not Be Named.

    Going to sell my fandom on Ebay…..

    1. Jason, have you considered it may be the Dodgers and Padres holding things up with all the physicals going on? Bet you blame Ruben for the last Noreaster too.

  76. If you’ve been watching and listening to Dan O’Dowd lately on the MLB network you would come away with a realization that very few GM’s have the autonomy to be GM’s. He doesn’t say to be a defense or an excuse. I think the picture he tries to paint is a good one which is there is so much more media attention on the GMS than there was in the past. It used to be all that focus was on the manager.

    And if you paid close attention you would have heard Dan say as he was sitting next to Jon Heyman that he was surprised Jon didn’t have the number on Max Scherzer seeing how Boras sends him a 1099 every year. Jon’s face turned red right through the layers of make-up he had on. You could have heard an ant fart in the 30 seconds of awkward silence that followed.

    Not sure what that infers to the rest of you but what I took from that is pretty clear all these so called reporters are just pawns in a billion dollar game of poker.

    And we are the silly crowd that tunes in to watch them play it. God I am so naive!

    1. Don’t have MLB Network, had to cut channels, but this is kind of what I have been saying since the Halladay trade. The Phillies care too much about PR and looking like they’re doing something, and RAJ’s hands are tied because of it. If not doing a deal is going to “make the Phillies look bad” then they automatically do it just to save face, whether or not it’s a good idea. Other teams see all of this and they try to take advantage of the fact that they have the leverage and screw the Phillies.

  77. My morning tid-bits. Mayo and Callis released a mock top 10. Mayo has Daz Cameron falling to us at 10; Callis thinks he goes to the Rangers at 4. Callis has us taking lefty HS prospect Justin Hopper—-HOOPER!

    Speaking of the Rangers I was listening to Jon Daniels talk about trading prospects. He laughs and says he gets criticism for not trading prospects and criticism for trading too many.

    He feels his prospects are available for the right package that package being a guy who would be around longer than 2 years.

    He is looking for a front line starter

    1. Guy is going to cream his pants. By the time 2016 comes around we’ll have a much better idea of what we’ll have in Giles, Asche, Franco, Nola and Crawford. Not to mention players he may acquire at next year’s deadline. I think if the Phillies feel they can compete for a playoff spot in 2016 thell spend money, but I don’t think they felt there was much of a chance for 2015. And I agree.

  78. One of the reasons why Ruben disappoints me. His comment about Ruf concerning the brief experiment last July.
    Article from Matt Gelb.

    ‘Sandberg tried to implement a platoon with Darin Ruf last July, but that was nixed by the front office. Amaro insisted Howard’s salary would not restrict Sandberg from reducing Howard’s playing time next season. But is that not what happened in 2014?

    “I don’t think anybody really stepped up to take the job,” Amaro said. “Ruf didn’t do anything to own it.”

    Ruf, recalled from the minors on July 22, started at first base for three straight games from July 23 to 25 and went 2 for 8 with a double and three strikeouts. After that, he started eight of the season’s final 59 games at first. The chances to “step up” were not ample.’

  79. Melky Cabrera has an agreement to sign with the Chicago White Sox as of today. Let the Marlon Byrd contest begin!

  80. I guess there are some nice ballplayers. Last night at sixers game my son who is 17, was in super box with cole. who had security around him. My son asked can I shake his hand and say hello and the guard say no. Cole heard them and said no let him come here. and they had a brief chat, made my kids day. even after watching those sixers. and he said coles wife is beautiful.

  81. Nat’s Rizzo gets his guys to eventually replace Desmond and Zimmerman….Turner for ss and Ross-RHP power pitcher……Ruben needs to take a lesson.

    1. I have watched turner in college . just based on what I seen in college in short sample. I didn’t think he would come out and be this good. especially at shortstop, didn’t like his bat, but looks like a stud prospect. so wrong on this guy.

  82. No you should mean the Phillies ownership excluding John Middleton. These are prospects not established young players as they will not be MLB ready in two years.

  83. Giants looking for a third baseman…hello Ruben…..Asche will eventually be bumped by Franco, possibly later in the 2015 season, duh!
    Lets be proactive and think long-term for a change.
    May be able to get a LHP like Adalberto Mejiia and another peice….Mejiia and Shane Watson can ‘rehab’ together and start pitching in June sometime after their 50-game suspensions are up.

    1. I think Asche will have more trade value in the coming years. I’m not against moving him, but want to see more of him before I make any permanent moves. Franco really doesn’t need to start with the big club next year so I’d like to take advantage of more seasoning for Franco by also getting a longer look at Asche.

  84. I am getting more and more excited about Herrera. He has the highest batting average and OPS of all qualifying batters in the Venezuelan Winter League – and has stolen seven bases without being caught. I’d be pretty excited if we got this from a corner outfielder, but from a middle infielder and potential centerfielder, it’s extremely noteworthy even if you take winter league stats with a grain of salt (as I think one should). It will be fun to see how he does in spring training. We could have a real keeper on our hands – good job by the scouting staff to sniff this guy out and take him in the Rule 5 draft.

    1. You do have to like Herrera’s size and compactness. And he has hit with BA/OBP at every level. But like many LAs draws few walks.
      To be honest, however, in 2015 I prefer to watch him in CF then Ben.
      If Ben can be moved for a prospect, or in a package, that would be fine.
      What is there to lose! What’s below last place?

  85. Someone pls explain to me how braves get two of sandiego top prospects plus two other, for a one year rental. I Just don’t get this trade.

    1. rocco…only Fried appears to be someone who will be an impact player. Not sure , judging by their peripherals, about the Petersons, though Smith could be a Bourne type player.
      Plus Upton may elect FAing and if the QO option is still around next year, he gets QO, and the Pads get a selective comp pick in 2016.
      And finally, look at it on a positive note…..Phillies pharm system may have now passed the Padres system.

    2. Understand Raphael Furcal is blimping on the Phillies radar to replace JRoll for a year. He is the right veteran age by Ruben’s standard and will come cheap.

      1. Furcal would stand contrary to everything the Phils FO has been saying the past few months. I want to see Galvis. I’d like to see a bit more of Cesar. Furcal would be a waste of a signing IMO

  86. I know its too late but I wonder If the Phillies offered the dodgers hamels, rollins and Utley if they could have worked something out. since the dodgers need a second basemen, shortstop. and a starter. we could have sweeten the deal with some money to offset chase contract.

      1. I meant before those trades. Hamels Utley, rollins, for prospects to rebuild. we could have taken Gordon, and either one of there top two prospects and two lower level prospects. win win for both teams,

  87. Could the win-now Padres be players for local product Hamels? They now have too many OF’s. Would love Hedges and someone like Liriano and/or Gettys? Hunter Renfroe? Is Casey Kelly still regarded well?

      1. Pads already checked out Myers’ wrist stress fracture and pass the physical.
        Not sure they are willing to deal him. They would try to peddle another OFer off, kind of like the Sox wanted to do ilo of a Betts.

    1. Don’t you think that they are just trying to sway Ryan’s willingness to move to another team-preferably AL? This issue was out there last year and only can cause drama and unrest which a bad team does not need. Don’t agree with your last sentence in that he addressed the “elephant in the room” problem. Have to listen to the radio interview because writers have a habit of changing quotes around to fit their stories these days.

      1. Steve, this quote was taken out of context as I listened to the entire interview on “97,5fanatic,com” and the writer left the fact that they approached Ryan and told him of the new direction the team was to want to play younger players. The rest of is remarks about Ryan were supportive, he will not be released and that they will work with his presence on the team.

  88. They will be platooning or otherwise working around having him. Hope he puts up the #s they expect, etc. It really was not a knock on Howard. But, there is also a report that the Phils may be in on Asdrubal Cabrera, but have to move $ first. Can someone please explain to me why they need to move more $? $10Million saved on Rollins, don’t have to pay Burnett, $2Millionsaved on Bastardo, and they have $ regardless. Crasnick could be making stuff up, but this notion has been out there that RAJ cannot spend $. If true, is he just a caretaker for the year, and new GM coming in?

    1. Sounds like that is the latest terminology they will use to excuse themselves from pursuing what the fan base and the media begin highlighting in a player who is available and they have no interest.
      Must be a PR move.
      I guess it wouldn’t appear good for them if they came out and say…..we have no interest in John Doe, even though the fans and media keep talking about his availability.

  89. I know there not in on nobody What is there game plan ? Philly is a major marketing area. The phillies are going to get Billions from Comcast . If they are going to fire RAJ do it why wait .Could they be the team in on Kang ? Telling Howard well we don’t you here but we’re not going to cut you.

    1. SB Nation reporting that Phils may be the favorite. I’d have to say, this would be a totally shock to me. Sure, it had crossed my mind, but exited in favor of a more reasonable thought before a Kang signing by the Phillies could become rooted as a contemplation. He’s said to be looking for $5-$6 mil per season for 4 years. He’s 27. I would certainly consider it a good risk at 4yrs/20mil. A little lengthy, but $5 mil per? At that AAS he could bring great trade value in 2 yrs if he plays merely average

  90. Maybe they are really following a plan. First to hit the international market hard, to get young talent. and shed the older players, and be in on on good Cuban players. just a guess.

    1. Well Fangraphs has predicted the Philiies as one of the handful of teams that will bust the international spending allocation this year, since the feeling is an international draft will be established by or prior to 2017.
      As for Cuba and their players, a country with a population of 10M plus-similar to the DR,….their pipeline of players will keep on coming…..there are probably a multitude of 13 and 14 -year olds that are on teams radars already. And with things opening up soon between US and them, things could be very interesting.

  91. I mentioned Kang a few months ago, his power is intriguing and at this point a 2-3 year deal at 10-15m would hurt how? The Wil Myers (although SD has shot down the idea of moving him) would be a great move imo (also add in another top 10 in their org and a bottom 20 guy as well, i’d pick Michael Gettys and Ryan Butler . . That might be too steep for SD). The line up all of a sudden is something to dream on in the near future with . . .

    1. Ben Revere LF
    2. JP Crawford SS
    3. Wil Myers CF
    4. Maikel Franco 3B
    8. Kang 2B

    LF, 1B and C are the spots that would need to be address but there should be money to spend, maybe Justin Upton next off season to slot into the 5 hole (or flip him and Franco), or move Franco to first if Asche develops more this year. A catcher will be the toughest to find (Wieters is the only decent FA C), hopefully Knapp or Grullon make some strides (I actually didn’t realize how good Knapps number were at Lakewood this year .290/.354/.438) . . So if everything worked out as I laid out above the line up could look like . .

    1. Ben Revere LF
    2. JP Crawford SS
    3. Wil Myers CF
    4. Justin Upton RF
    5. Maikel Franco 1B
    6. Cody Asche 3B
    7. Andrew Knapp C
    8. Kang 2B

    That’s 8 guys who might cost 35-40m tops which allows for at least 100m to work on the rest of the roster, mainly the rotation which should have some cheap arms in it as well with 2 or 3 of the following Nola, Biddle, Pettibone, Buchanan, Eflin, Windle, S. Gonzalez, Imhof plus a FA or 2 added in there (2015 FA Pitchers – Cueto/Fister/Gallardo/Greinke/Latos/Price/Samardzija/Zimmerman)

    1. Jordan Zimmerman 5yr 110m
    2. Mat Latos 5yr 100m
    3. Gallardo 3yr 36m
    4. Nola 500k
    5. Biddle/Eflin/Imhof/Pettibone .500k

    55-57M Rotation

    As I said above, this is something to dream on but it would be the way I would try to build the Phillies back up. There would also be more money to add to the line up, maybe subtract Revere for a FA like Cespedes/Parra/Fowler or a FA 1B like Chris Davis. Again just something to dream on.

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