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Saturday, July 29, 2006

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Unlike some posters, I think you will see 2 months of Nunez playing every day. It's Gillick's only shot at restoring some trade value in the guy, which is essential if you're hoping to unload him over the winter and replace him with a minimum-wage journeyman. Someone like Sandoval.

Sandoval at third is a real stretch, but I agree Nunez will probably be the guy the rest of the way. Gillick said as much last night.

no bobby scales? disappointing.

Wow, one look at the lineup for tonight and I'm depressed. A 33yo rookie, a 27yo rookie, AND the worst hitter in MLB. We've joked about the old black hole, but Sandoval/Nunez/Pitcher...good grief.
If this is what the post "blowup" Phils will look like, no thanks!

At least it's Hamels v WIllis tonight...I haven't see CH pitch since his second game and couldn't believe how bad his ERA is. However, his peripherals look good with the exception of HR rate.

Is anybody an ESPN insider member? Usually there stuff is bs anyway, but Jayson Stark is pretty credible and of course is plugged into the Phils. There's an insider report on Abreu and the Phillies current strategy and I'd love to know what it says.

On another note, Buster Olney about an hour ago reported that Abreu is most likely a goner to NYY, but that BOS and NYM could sneak in last minute. He says the Phils and Yanks are in heated discussions. Looks like they're going to do this strictly as a dump and not get top prospects in return.

Doc, From Jason Stark:

"The Phillies weren't getting anywhere dangling Abreu out there by himself. So on Friday, they tried a different approach -- marketing Abreu in combination with their two available starting pitchers, Jon Lieber and Cory Lidle. The Phillies owe Abreu and Lieber a minimum of $32 million over the next season and a half. So we all know there is only one franchise that could absorb all those dollars -- the Yankees. Well, here's a coincidental development: Those two clubs talked actively through the day (and night) Friday about different variations of that deal. The Phillies apparently have backed off their demand that either Philip Hughes or A-plus outfield prospect Jose Tabata be included in any trade for Abreu. But they're still looking for real talent back, both in prospects and big-league arms (particularly reliever Scott Proctor, who could morph into a starter next year). However, the Yankees' reluctance to include Proctor, plus a couple of other prospects the Phillies have targeted, were causing the teams to look at other options Saturday. It's believed those options include an Abreu-Lidle combo deal or an Abreu-only trade. If the Abreu-Lidle package doesn't get them what they want, the Phillies have several teams ready to deal for Lidle (a list thought to be headed by the Dodgers and Rangers.) The Phillies also have tried to use Lidle as the centerpiece of a package that would include various bullpen pieces. And they've tried bundling him with players like Mike Lieberthal and Pat Burrell whose salaries they would like to expunge. So there were too many moving parts, as of Saturday afternoon, for any club to have a clear idea of which way they were heading. But all those conversations made one thing abundantly clear: GM Pat Gillick will be stepping in front of the microphone more than once between now and Monday. And the odds have picked up that in one of those sessions, Bobby Abreu will be standing right next to him."

First of all, this is NOT what the post-blow up Phillies are like. This season is over, so any lineup run out there is not going to be mistaken for a World Series champion. Consider the next two months as glorified spring training. Calm down to anyone who thinks the hot corner will be patrolled by Abe Nunez next year.

Second, Jayson Stark said last week that "any deal with Bobby has to be done by Friday at 4 PM because of waiving no trade clauses and so on." I don't buy that anymore, obviously. He's outta here and going to one team - the Yankees. It's just a matter of getting the values set on other players. You can also bet Larry Bowa had a hand in this as well. He talks up players he likes like a freaking magpie...

I am still hoping for an overhaul before Monday that includes Abreu. Why not call up Bobby Scales instead of Danny Sandoval. Sandoval is 27 and doesn't have the greatest numbers at Triple A?

Why not Scales? Because Rollins is the one that is hurt. If you call up a minor leaguer over Nuñez and stick him at third, you can imagine how ticked off Nuñez would be. It only takes one p---ed off person to ruin a clubhouse going through a bad year.

Utley's done it again...

Well, if the Phillies keep getting A ball prospects or names like Scott Proctor, this is what the team will look like...AAAA players masquerading as major leaguers and mid-priced vets.

Maybe the prospects turn out to be legit, but that's two or three years away. And the money saved we all know will be going into the ownership group's pockets. We'll have Utley, Howard, Hamels and Myers to build around, but I think the team will look more like the late 90s teams than the team of the past few years.

Oh, and Howard rules!!!!!

bye bye D-Train. Congratulations to Danny Sandoval, I believe that is his first career hit

BTW, I am not going to defend a guy who hits .169 even when he plays every day. That's why he's not going to win the starting 3B position.

They are clearing the decks now so they can restock this winter with FAs where they need to. That's how Gillick builds his teams, even dumping guys like A-Rod and then going out and winning 115 games for Seattle.

oh yeah home run chase utley

I'd like to believe your scenario is true MH but the problem is that if the Phillies dump $20 million from the payroll, that money is not going to be put back into the club...all the reports seem to be that the Phillies want to go to 70 or 75 million next year.

After Gillick allowed AROD to walk, they used the money to sign Ichiro to a huge deal, who was a key piece to that team. Here that won't be happening. This rebuilding effort is basically a bait and switch...make the fans think that the team is going to stock up on young talent when what they are really doing is a salary dump.

I think kdon has hit the nail on the head. more and more it looks like the Phils are looking to dump salary for next year. If they trade Abreu/Lieber/Lidle along with all of their free agents (Rhodes, Wolf, Lieberthal, Franklin) the Phils will have cleared of $50 million in payroll. Along with the Bell trade, this comes to nearly $55 million.

The Phils will need to fill three everyday positions next year (3B,C,RF), 2 starting pitchers, and a few bullpen spots. Starters will be 1B-Howard, 2B-Utley, SS-Rollins, LF-Burrell, CF-Rowland, SP (Myers, Hamels, Madson/Floyd?), Closer Gordon.

I am willing to bet Phils payroll is around $65 million next year. This will place them around 18-20 out of 30 MLB teams in total spending. The days of this ownership spending $90+ million are over. Gone. Done. We are going to return to the late 90s where the Phils had a few stars surrounded by a bunch of so-so talent.

kdon: I fear your assessment is correct.
P.S. There's a bizarre affection for minor league lifers like Bobby Scales on this site. I'm all for giving Crash Davis-type guys a cup of coffee in the bigs but why delude yourself into thinking he's a quality everyday player? Sheesh!

MG: Yep, I think you're on the money. Look for at least 5 years of winning between 70 and 83 games or so just like the mid to late 90s. I think they'll need a minimum of 3 new starting pitchers next season.

If my scenario does indeed occur, I will not go to another game in Citizens Bank park until this current ownership sells. I will continue to be a Phils fan but I won't finacially support them.

Playing your scenario out, we can also count on Gillick selling the rest of the goods - Utley, Howard, Burrell - around this time next season. And then PG will leave at the end of 2007, because why would an old man want to stick around a losing organization? Am I right?

even winning 70-83 games is going to be pretty damn difficult with the limitless payroll Mets, aggravatingly consistent Braves and constantly improving Marlins. thank god for the Nats, otherwise you could pretty much pencil in 100+ losses.

I'm not quite as pessimistic as you folks. I think that if Gillick clears enough salary now, he'll make trades this winter that add salary. If he can collect a few Tyler Clippard-type pieces--young pitchers with upside--such a deal or deals will be even easier.

Also, there's a rumor today that Aramis Ramirez has informed the Cubs he'll be opting out of his contract and testing the f/a waters. A right-handed slugging 3b in his late 20s... pretty much what you'd order from Central Casting, in terms of what the Phils need. And some of the big-money teams (Yanks, Mets) already have long-term answers at the hot corner. Phils could be very well-positioned to add Ramirez.

We're already making projections for the next 5 years. A bit premature don't you think ? Let's see how the offseason plays out first.

I don't think it's fair to make a blanket comparison between this team and the late 90s team based only on salary. These are different players with a different GM calling the shots. But if there must be a comparison, it should be that neither of those teams, nor the current $95 million team, produced a winner. Payroll isn't the greatest measuring stick for quality. Tonight's 12-3 winner against D-Train was brought to you by a starting lineup and pitcher that cost about $17 million, most of it belonging to Burrell.

There is much more to look forward to now than in the late 90s. Utley and Howard are superstars reaching their prime. Myers and Hamels could be very special at the top of the rotation. I wouldn't call Rollins so-so.

Five years seems a little extreme, that is, unless the GM does nothing to shed more of these long-term contracts, get some better prospects and reinvest that money in a better way. I would think long and hard about what I get back for Abreu. If it isn't enough, I would not move him. I don't like reading that Phillip Hughes is off the table. BS on them. Jon Lieber is another story. He should be gone. They're already getting a few contracts off the books after the season.

Even with a $70 million payroll (I've actually read no report that the team intends to drop payroll to this figure), there's still no reason they shouldn't be able add some good players in areas of need. I still trust our GM not to be as foolish as the other guy.

I was not projecting 5 years out. That is just ridiculous. Plus, I don't see the Phils getting rid of Howard, Utley, or Myers. They will need to attract fans to the stadium.

Point taken Weitzel about the Phils being a different team than the late 90s. Phils have some very good young players that will prevent them from being a total debacle. Still, if this team's payroll is only $65-$70 million next year, Gillick needs to to hit on almost every move he makes from the trading deadline through this offseason.

To date, Gillick has had a little of the good (Gordon), the bad (Franklin), and the ugly (Nunez). More troubling though is the current state of the Phils farm system, There is little to no help coming to the major league team until early 2008. No positional players besides Bourn really interest me and the arms are still at AA/A.

Look at the Phils first draft pick since 2000:

2000-Utley, 1st (All-Star)
2001-Floyd, 1st (Bust to date)
2002-Hamels, 1st (Promising)

But since 2003:
2003-Moss, 3rd (I smell a stiff)
2004-Golson, 1st (Shown very little)
2005-Costanzo, 2nd (Too early but has really struggled this yr)
2006-Drabek, 1st (Won't see him earlier than 2009)

Don't know about you but since 2003, the Phils first picks and their overall drafts have been weak and that is why I am worried. Phils won't have picks to trade to acquire proven talent and won't have cheap replacements they control for a number of years. With a reduced payroll, this does not bode well.

ESPN says Hamels left the game injured. Any scoop on that?

ladies and gentleman, fabio castro has entered the building. it takes an 8 run lead in the 9th to get him in the game. he is the new aqualung.

hamels had x-rays taken and they were negative.

Clout:
So, acording to you, "(t)here's a bizarre affection for minor league lifers . . . (you're) all for giving Crash Davis-type guys a cup of coffee in the bigs . . . but why delude (one's self) into thinking (these Crash Davis-type guys are) . . . quality everyday players?" After all, Clout, there *always* must be a conclusively valid reason why a "career minor leaguer" hasn't been given a major league shot, right? Always, right? Wrong.
It sure is a good thing that someone had a "bizarre" enough affection with "Crash Davis" Coste so as to (albeit belatedly) give Coste a shot at major league baseball, isn't it? Coste's stats after today: 23 games, .339 BA, .500 slugging pct., 62 at bats, 2 HR's, 14 RBI's, etc. [and about "sample size", don't even start that tired song until you give Coste (or Sandoval, or Scales) enough at bats to prove that he (they) *can't* perform effectively at this level]
My essential point, Clout, is that neither you, nor anyone else, may definitively say that Chris Coste (or Sandoval or Scales, etc.) would (or would not), be a success at the major league level, until the guy(s) got a chance. That is all that this is about . . a CHANCE! To my knowledge, Bobby Scales has never had a major league at bat. The guy is hitting the cover off the ball in AAA, and you don't even want him to get a CHANCE in the bigs to see if he can perform there. The heck with conventional MLB scouting and player personnel evaluation wisdom, when it comes to guys who have never had an MLB shot, and by a "shot", I don't mean a handful of stray at bats. The signing of Abe Nunez is a perfect example of failed MLB "mainstream" conventional scouting and player eval wisdom. Another such example was the ill-advised signing of Sal Fasano. And these kinds of evaluation failures are found in all organizations. The truth is, there are many guys who have been buried and forgotten in the minors unjustly. I've seen it first-hand. Furthermore, the fan-oriented, fantasy-type "scouting report" sites, referenced by you and some others on this board, do not represent real professional player evaluation scouting reports anyway.
And finally, congratulations to Danny Sandoval. That was indeed his first major league hit tonight.

kdon: Your post above states: "Wow, one look at the lineup for tonight and I'm depressed. A 33yo rookie, a 27yo rookie" . . . yada, yada, yada.
"Tonight" is July 29, 2006.
Final score: Phillies 12, Marlins 3. Now, that's really "depressing", isn't it, kdon! Lets see here . . . hmmm ... the box score for tonight's game: Phillies (11 hits, 12 runs, four Phillies home runs, etc.). All I can say, kdon, is that I sure hope you feel "depressed" more often from this point on, because your pre-game lineup "depression" likely will mean that most of the right people will be in the Phillies' starting lineup. A Phillies win tonight by a blowout score? Now that sure is "depressing", ain't it pal? But don't take no Prozac, kdon. I'd like so see the Phillies go on a winning tear.

Clout- nobody claims that Bobby Scales is an everyday MLB player, but some of us would like to see him given a shot at playing in a possible reserve role. It's funny how you "know" these players worth before they even make their debut.

I'm willing to admit when I'm wrong, and I was wrong about Chris Coste. My assessment on him was that he was a "feel good" story only and that at 33 he wouldn't be able to contribute. Well, with some playing time he's hitting and I like his defense behind the plate, so hopefully next year he can be backup 3rd/C. Phils would have never known he could do it if he hadn't been given the chance, so I say do the same for Scales because he could be a backup corner OF and 3rd baseman for next season.

davthom73- leader of the Coste-to-Coste fan club.

Drama Queen + Stubborn & Blind- co-heads of Bobby Scales fan club.

Anybody want to claim Sandoval?

P.S. excellent post davthom, you spoke my thoughts exactly!

davthom: Strange logic. Scouts can never know whether a minor leaguer will succeed in the bigs unless they allow him to play in the bigs. Thus, all minor leaguers should play in the bigs. The Phillies lineup of backup players won 12-3 last night so that means the "right people" are in the lineup. Guess they'll play .700 ball rest of the way if we can get CM to start his backups.
Like I say, strange logic.
DQ: To be perfectly clear I am not saying that minor league vets NEVER make it. I am saying that 98% of them don't make it. So dragging up a bunch of 28 to 30-year-old minor leaguers isn't going to help you win. The odds are against it.

Who cares about winning this season? It's time to see what the Phillies have in the minors. If they end up failing, well then they know! But they could end up finding some very cheap bench players that will contribute more than the Abe "no hit" Nunez's of the baseball world. And I don't think davthom was claiming to start the backups every game. You need to calm yourself down Clout and see that you might not be the almighty knowledge god you think you are. I see you throwing darts at many people's opinion/logic on this site all the time, as do I from time to time, but you need to know that it will be thrown back your way too!

Queen: Bring it on!
P.S. I agree that winning this year doesn't matter. My point was that the vast majority of minor league lifers are not going to suddenly break through just because you bring them up and play them. Focusing on developing bench players is silly when you consider the much larger issues this team has.

Clout: You allege "strange logic" on my part, while you mistakenly assert that my point was that "(s)couts can never know whether a minor leaguer will succeed in the bigs unless they allow him to play in the bigs . . . "(t)hus, all minor leaguers should play in the bigs."
Of course, that was not what I said, nor what I meant. Again, my position, restated here for your benefit, is simply that a number of alleged "career minor leaguers" (I'm not going to put a percentage on it, but I believe it to be far higher than your arbitrary 2%), who have consistently hit well at the AAA level, are never given a shot in the big leagues, but that if such players had just been given a "shot", they would have succeeded, and succeeded well, at baseball's highest level. That is my point, and that is all that I was saying. I know that I'm not going to convince you of this proposition, but in Chris Coste's ever-increasing body of major league work (call it an ever-more-representative "sample", if you like) Coste is proving, with every game in which he plays, that you were dead wrong about him when he was brought up.
Let's be clear. Scouts get it wrong, many times. Baseball scouts regularly associate with each other in "packs", both while they actually scout games (at the MLB and minor league levels), and during off-hours. That is what they do. They socialize together, and they regularly share, with each other, their assessments about players. This dynamic, I submit, is not unlike "pack journalism", of which we have an abundance these days, both in sports coverage, and in general news coverage as well. Originalkity of thought, and originality of assessment, is, too often, the victim. I submit that in this environment, players are often unfairly "typecast", and, as a direct result of that, unfairly and incorrectly denied major league opportunities.
Finally, as for your reference to my post in response to kdon's stated "depression", when kdon saw a "33-year-old rookie" (Coste) and a "27-year-old rookie" (Sandoval) in last night's Phillies starting lineup night, I simply advised kdon to stay "depressed", just like he was night, and I told kdon to stay of the Prozac, because I'll take a 12-3 Phillies win any day. Would the Phillies score 12 runs with that lineup every game? Certainly not. But when was the last time that the Phillies scored 12 runs, or even 10 runs, in any game, with any lineup, this season?

Clout: "Bring it on"? Hmmmmm ... I submit such an invitation will prove to have been no more advisable for you, than it has proven for the contemporary originator of that expression. Clout, by the way, do you wear a flight jacket too?
And precisely what *is* wrong with discussing all aspects of the Phillies present personnel ("bench" players included), anyway? It sure beats talking about all of those *many* trades that the Phillies have been able to pull off so far before tomorrow night's trading deadline.

davthom, you are becoming my friend. very thoughtful posts!

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