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Thursday, June 01, 2006

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Give me Willis or give me death!

Sam Borden of the New York Daily News writes: "The Yankees have been pleased with Melky Cabrera's play in left field but continue to explore other options. They've scouted the Phillies - for both Burrell and Bobby Abreu - and will also monitor the availability of Washington's Alfonso Soriano, but would hate to give up top prospects such as Eric Duncan or Phil Hughes."

The denial of the three way deal with the Marlins may be a smoke screen. Where there's smoke there is fire. I don't see a straight up Phillies-Yanks deal because the Yankees lack what the Phillies need...starting pitching. That's why the Marlins involvement with Willis makes more sense. I like both Burrell and Abreu, but of the two, I'd rather see Burrell traded away for something, than Abreu.

I am so sick of this team. Popping up bunts, grounding into double plays with runners on 3rd and less then 2 outs, failure to hit with runners in scoring position, bullpen blowing leads... It's why the Phillies are the Phillies and the Braves are the Braves. Things like that. The worst part is that the front office has done nothing to fix this in the last 4 years, it's the same bunch of underachieving, overpaid bums that were here 4 years ago except maybe the bullpen is even worse and older then it was last year. Yet we're force fed every spring that "this is the year" and I'm stupid enough to belive it.

By the way Jimmy Rollins is ABSOLUTELY KILLING us.

Fred if Burrell is traded who's our right handed bat in the middle of the lineup? I wouldn't mind seeing him traded but then we're looking at Rollins-Utley-Abreu-Howard. Too many lefties.

A trade is probably brewing, but if it includes bringing Aaron Small to Philly it's complete crap! Small is not good. I don't care that he was 10-0 last year for the Yanks, that was luck, he hasn't done anything previous to that or this season.

Trading Burrell would be a mistake, we need to right handed batter in the middle of the order.

I'd wait, but I'd keep an open mind about Burrell. If the Phillies fall out of contention and the Yankees still need a corner outfielder, it could be a great opportunity to get out of Burrell's contract and snare whatever top prospects the Yankees have ($13 million 2007, $14 million 2008). The Yankees are probably the only team that can afford Burrell, whose declining health is starting to make him more suited for DH. Along with Bobby's contract, and even Rowand's contract, that's too much committed to outfield. They will need to shop for a catcher and third baseman next season, and will almost certainly sign a top pitcher. I see this as the last season they can get away with Burrell in RF before he becomes a significant defensive liability.

I agree with both Tony and Carson with the fact that the Phils need to move Abreu more so than Burrell. While Bobby brings a little more to the table, you cannot have 4 straight lefties in the line-up. Right now 3 out of 4 also put the Phils in a tough spot late in games.

This paragraph is just speculation, but could a trade involving Burrell or Abreu be made without getting a pitcher in return? Would you approve of a trade that could maybe spark our line-up and give us a better chance at hitting with runners in scoring position? Wouldn't it be great if somehow we could move Abreu and Rollins to Baltimore and get Tejada and Lopez in return? The O's wouldn't need a catcher due to having Ramon Hernandez, so I would even throw in a quality prospect to get the deal done. Imagine this:

Victorino
Utley
Tejada
Howard
Burrell
Rowand
Lopez
Bell

Ahh one can dream... Anyway, I would be thrilled if we could land Willis. However, wouldn't it be great if we could upgrade the SS position and possibly the C position at the same time? You could also reunite Abreu with his buddy in Mora. He probably would waive his no-trade if he knew Mora wasn't part of the deal. Lieberthal could then catch twice a week, backing up Lopez, and Fasano could be sent back to Scranton.

Anyway, I was just trying to think of a different kind of scenario. Bottom line is that something needs to be done, sooner rather than later.

I scoff at the thought of the Yankees actually having prospects. They're prospects are piped up by the likes of Peter Gammons and other ESPN insiders along with the Yankees organization. Really, have the Yankees traded away any prospects recently that actually had a real impact? Not many, if any! I don't want the Yanks prospects, I want proven talent!

From the Phillies perspective, the prospects don't matter - they will just flip them to the Marlins. If it would be Burrell for Willis, I would do it as long as the Yankees pick up all of PtB's salary.

Here's a lineup that avoids lefty stacking (if PtB is traded):

Bobby
Vic
Utley
Rowand
Howard
Lieby
J-Roll
Stiff

Rowand isn't perfect for the 4-hole, but I like this lineup a lot...don't forget the '93 Phils' 3 best hitters were all lefthanded.

And I can't say how excited I am to hear that a Phillies GM is involved in three-way trade discussions, Wade never did anything that creative.

OK, can I propose a question? Which is the bigger problem? Is it suspect pitching or is it the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position/line-up issues? Which leaves the Phillies down more often? I think its a tough call, but actually tend to lean towards the hitting/line-up issues. It will be interesting to see how the Phillies remedy these problems. What do you guys think?

And yes kdon, it is great to at least see the possibility of a 3-way trade from Gillick!

Then there is the possibility Schuerholz says to Loria "I want Dontrelle, and I have all the prospects you need, including the best catcher in the minors."

Here are the teams reportedly interested in Dontrelle, listed by Baseball America's organizational rankings of farm system depth:

1. Diamondbacks
2. Dodgers
3. (Marlins rank in this spot)
4. Angels
7. Braves
8. Red Sox
16. Rangers
17. Yankees
21. Phillies
25. Blue Jays
28. Mets

Yeah, it's not happening unless we give up Hamels and I don't want to do that...also, I guess I should give up my dreams of lineup construction, here's Manuel from today's Daily News:

Manuel: "Batting Abreu in the leadoff never even crosses my mind, because he is a guy, if you look at the stats, he not only gets on base on base but hits with runners in scoring position."

Manuel also said he doesn't really care about offense from the catching position, he's more concerned with defense and ability to call a game...is that Lieberthal? Not in my book!

Jason: When did Schuerholz last trade a top prospect to a division rival?

Don't think it's ever happened.

Popping up bunts, grounding into double plays with runners on 3rd and less then 2 outs....

Just you wait until they start grounding into double plays with 2 outs. Then you'll really be upset.

funny statement Zach, and the sad truth is that the Phillies would find the way to make that 4th out!

Sometimes Zach, I think David Bell could ground into a triple play driving to the grocery store, but I digress.

If the Beerleaguer commentors were the Phillies GM committee, the Phillies would never make a trade as there is a lot of different opinions of the values of players and/or their position's worth.

To answer Tony, if Burrell goes, I'd replace him with Victorino.

For the question of value to a team of an individual hitter vs. an individual starting pitcher, I think a quality starting pitcher is more valuable to a team than a quality everyday outfielder.

If we can get Willis I would be willing to part with Hamels, Abreu or Burrell and prospects. As great as Hamels could be, he has been hurt an awful lot, and Willis is a proven stud and only 2 years older than Hamels. You can't get something for nothing.

"Give me Willis or give me death"

Sometimes Zach, I think David Bell could ground into a triple play driving to the grocery store, but I digress.

I was thinking of throwing in a Bell joke there too, but he's a lot better this year.

I'd hate to trade Hamels and have him turn into the next Sandy Koufax.

"I'd hate to trade Hamels and have him turn into the next Sandy Koufax."

I would as well, but I would hate more to keep him when I could have had Willis and have him turn into Pat Combs.

I saw Sandy Koufax pitch and Cole Hamels is no Sandy Koufax.

Of course, let me be the first to point out that Dontrelle Willis currently has less pitching win shares than Gavin Floyd.

Willis now pitches for a sorry team. Last year in the major leagues (unlike Cole Hamel), Willis was 22-10 with 7 CGs and 5 SOs pitching 236.1 innings with a 2.63 ERA. I could give a rip about his win shares vs. Floyd. Another positive feature is that he's a lefty. With Willis, the Phils could have a righty lefty rotation sandwiching Myers and Madson between Willis and Hamels. Floyd and Lidle could fight it out for the last spot in the rotation and Lieber can go on the 180 day DL list.

Juss sayin'. The lousy team and lousy atmosphere won't help, but he's not setting the world on fire at all this season. 40 strikeouts, 25 walks.

Bring up Gio/Matheison/Segovia and send down Madson/Floyd/Lieber.


I just don't see the Phillies in the Dontrelle Derby. Neither they nor the Yankees have the prospects that the Marlins can demand (not want, mind you -- demand!). As Jason's list above suggests, I would guess it's either the DBacks or Dodgers who will get him. The Marlins don't need to trade him and will only do so if someone blows them away with an offer. The Phillies don't have what it takes to do that.

Thanks Nat! You shook me out of my dreamworld back to reality!

As much as I hate to say it, I cringe at the thought of trading away Burrell after watching that 16-inning game with the Mets. After they pinch ran for PB and lost his bat for the extra innings, I knew the game was lost as we had NO power left (which was the only way that game was going to be won). Glad to see Abreu finally coming around, but after the 2nd half of last year, I'm not sold on his ability to hit the deep ball. Obviously Howard is the power hitter of the future for the club, but until May rolled around, he had a hard time being consistent.

Give me a pitcher, though, over hitting. I'm getting tired of waiting for Myers every fifth day and hoping to outslug whoever it is we're playing.

I agree with Willard about hoping to outslug everybody every game.

Let's just wait and see what deals happen. I almost positive Gillick will shake things up, but at what cost? Who will be shipped out? Who will come in? It's the big mystery, but I'm the realist here saying I doubt it makes that big of a difference anyway!

The old rule applies-you don't trade an everyday player for pitcher. The Phils would have to get a good deal more tha Willis for Abreu or Burrell...as much as I'd like to have Dontrelle. Aaron Small ain't gonna do it. The Phillies, who donm't have an excess of anything-not prospects, nor hitting or pitching at the major league level, aren't in a good position to make this deal.

I mentioned this before, but the biggest reason you don't trade Hamels for Willis is that the latter becomes a free agent far sooner, and he might not like the idea of pitching in a shrunken ballpark.

As much as I'd like to see Abreu and/or Burrell moved, the name Aaron Small makes me shudder nearly as much as the name Ryan Franklin. DON'T DO IT. And I agree, losing Burrell would leave the offense twenty times more vulnerable than it already is to left-handed pitching.

When I think of all the road games this month, and see names like Eude Brito, Ryan Madson, and Gavin Floyd in the rotation, and people like Cory Lidle expected to be the glue...it suddenly gives me a sinking feeling that this season could be over really quick.

RSB, I completely agree, this season is quickly sinking. I think it was over before it started though, because the "clutch" hitting still isn't here and the pitching generally is bad, not just poor, but BAD!!!

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