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Sunday, August 20, 2006

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Dan Daquette made some great moves as the Sox GM and was really the guy who architect behind the '04 team (Pedro, Lowe, Varitek, Manny, Nixon were Duke acquisitions).

Still, the Bragg/Moyer was one of the worst trades of the past 10 years. Funny how this press this gets but Moyer went to becoming a star and Bragg turned out to be a stiff who ha a short stay with the Sox.

I think its a sensible roll of the dice. If franklin could manage to look effective in relief for a period of 2 months, I'm sure the craftier moyer will do just fine down the stretch. What interests me now is whether mathieson stays up for further development.

Impeccable timing on this move. The Phillies current record no doubt enabled the trade and prevented would be suitors like Boston and NYM from an opportunity. I would be interested to hear the "behind the scenes" on the transaction.

in pat i trust. always have.

A terrific upside and no apparent immediate downside. A flat-out terrific deal.

i'm guessing that this is for the mathieson slot, but i wonder about brett myers. its not every day that your catcher comes out and says, publicly, that you have a dead arm.

i wouldnt be surprised if we saw brett miss a start, or do a 15 day dl tour to right his ship.

if brett's fine, i see mathieson to the bullpen, sanches down.

Hot off the press from ESPN:

Report: Unknown ailment could derail Mets' Glavine

Tom Glavine's season could be in jeopardy.

Glavine, 40, has experienced coldness in a finger on his pitching hand, and the New York Mets left-hander is scheduled to undergo medical tests next week in hopes of finding the cause, sources told the New York Daily News.

Glavine, a 287-game winner, is scheduled to have a CT scan Monday and an angiogram on Wednesday, the newspaper reported. Doctors are unsure whether Glavine's problem is related to a blood clot or possibly a "knot" in an artery near his left shoulder.

Agent Gregg Clifton confirmed Saturday that diagnostic tests are planned for next week, but he declined to elaborate. Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz would not acknowledge a medical issue.

Doctors apparently have ruled out an aneurysm, the newspaper reported. Last year, Mets reliever Felix Heredia experienced coldness and numbness in his pitching hand and ultimately was diagnosed with an aneurysm in the shoulder, which ended his Mets career.

Glavine (12-6, 3.92 ERA) hasn't been present in the clubhouse the last two days at Shea Stadium.

The loss of Glavine would be a serious blow to the Mets, who already have Pedro Martinez on the disabled list for the second time this season.

Dick: Terrific upside? That's a bit ridiculous to say at this point isn't it? Let's see how he pitches first.

That said, the Phils don't appear to have given up much. Barb is the only one of the two ever likely to taste the bigs and he's not among their top 10 prospects. Jason also makes an excellent point about Moyer having an advantage the first time through the league. Although Gillick's track record on deals has been very poor for the Phils so far, this one looks good at first glance.

what a horrible development for Tom Glavine. I'm hoping for a pinched-nerve type scenario where he can come back. its scary watching a HOF pitcher go out like this.

although, it couldnt have happened to a better team! the best guys in the rotation are el duque, and Steve Effing Trachsel!

the east may come in play :-)

There's a lot of room between Tim and Clout, so that's where I'll come down. Moyer has declined from his 38-to-40 year-old peak, but any pitcher avaiable at this point has flaws, or he wouldn't be available (would anyone prefer Sidney Ponson, just designated by the Yanks? No?) I agree, the element of unfamiliarity could help, and he's a big improvement over not just Mathieson but any of the in-house candidates in Scranton.

I hope Joe is right and Mathieson goes to the bullpen; he's much more useful than the mop-up duty Sanches is performing, and it would be nice to reduce the pitching staff to 12 before Sept. 1, when the playoff rosters are set. Yeah, I know the odds are against them, but you have to plan as if you might win, and I wouldn't want to go into the playoffs with the bench as currently constituted. Could a similar trade for another bat be in the offing?

Good move, mostly because the Phillies didn't give up any prospects of note and Mathieson was really struggling. Moyer is no longer a stud, but with the Phillies offense clicking, they just need someone to go six.

I wouldn't get my hopes up for anything more though, Moyer has a FIPS ERA over 5 playing in a pitchers park. No DH and the NLs general suckitude will help though.

Of course, we had a better pitcher than Moyer a few weeks ago on the roster but...oh well.

Something worth mentioning: The positive turn the farm system has taken - pitching-wise - allowed the Phils to assemble a pretty nice package for Moyer. Randy Miller has a nice report this morning about the arms on the farm, with commentary from Mike Arbuckle.

I am in a minority on this board, but I don't see the point in acquiring a 43 year old flyball pitcher (who won't be here next year) in this pointless pursuit of a wildcard -- particularly when you gave away a better groundball pitcher (Lidle) two weeks ago for nothing. I would rather see opportunities to evaluate or showcase players like Floyd.

Jason, is there a link to the Randy Miller article?

Billy Mac,

I'd normally agree with you, but this deal seems almost entirely without consequences. The current season needs another starter arm, and we have a glut of mediocre A pitchers due to July's trades. Mathieson seems the most ready of minor league arms, and he's not cutting it. I don't think anyone else is close, though I'd give Mazone a shot if the Wild Card melts away and/or Moyer totally blows. Don't forget the cash, too.

This deal will go a long way in showing players like Utley and Howard that their efforts haven't been in vain. They've been outstanding this season. The only reason they're still under .500 is because the Phillies could not come up with the starting pitching.

Consider it a gift, and the players will see it as a vote of confidence. Moyer is a name player. Getting this close, and pulling the rug out from under Utley and Howard just to give Floyd a couple of late-season starts, might be the kind of smack in the face that pushed Rolen out of town. Why should the Phillies have any faith in Floyd, especially in a Wild Card race? He's shown nothing at all.

It's probably time to forget Lidle, Abreu and the rest. They were part of a mix that didn't win, and it was correctly time to change the mix. The team does not miss them. They're 13-8 since the trade, and the difference is night and day. Did you see them last night? Different team. Utley was ready to brawl in an 8-0 ballgame.

The time to acquire starting pitching was in June -- not Aug 19th. This is when Gillick sat on his hands and allowed the team to completely fall out of the race. I see your point about Utley and Howard. And I enjoy the wins. But this is their 6th series since the trade deadline and if they were to lose today, they would be 3-3. And if Gillick was really serious about a sub 500 team making a playoff run , then address a bench which consists of AAA players like Sandoval and Roberson. I see Gillick speaking out both sides of his mouth.

Something else to mention. The Cubs, as a team, are batting .238 against lefty pitching. Dead last in the league. Moyer stands to face them twice.

Alby, on radio this afternoon, Mike Arbuckle said he's looking for a power bat off the bench.

Dead on accurate, J: This sends the message that management is willing to go after a perfectly pluckable wild card plum. Even if they make the playoffs, will they go far? Almost certainly not. But I suspect I'm older than most of the posters here, and at my age I'm not about to sneeze at a playoff appearance just because the team's not that good. With all respect, Billy Mac, I can't see a whole lot of benefit for the future in giving Floyd a few more starts the next six weeks. We gave up nothing (in the "Abreu was traded for nothing" sense) and at least get some hope in return. As J sez, the failure of management to look like it was trying is what led to the departure of Rolen (and, notably, Schilling as well). Let's not make that mistake again, please.

Thanks for the link.

Utley would have been ready to brawl in an 8-0 game BEFORE the trade, that's just who he is.

What's changed is the catcher position and the starting pitching. When the Phillies pitch well, they win. Again, hard to see how the RF can alter ERA.

Billy: Totally agreed on the bench issue. Roberson is a place-holder. Thanks for the news, Mike. Let's see who PG can scrape up without trading anyone of great value. Heck, let's see them promote Pedro Swann.

Last note: Gillick has some debt to repay with this team. Clout, B-Mac, Alby and others are correct in their criticism of his other moves.

When we look back on the season, I think the move that will jump out much more than it does today is starting the season with Sal Fasano as Mike Lieberthal's backup. Do you remember how bad this team was with overmatched Sal in the lineup and calling pitches? How could the talented players like J-Roll and Utley have possibly taken him seriously, or the team for inserting him in the mix? Gillick added too many losers. Whoever gave him advice that Fasano could catch 80+ games should get canned.

J, to be fair, I'm not sure Fasano was ever seen as an 80+-game backup, which still reflects badly on PG, just in a different way -- he should have looked for a LH catcher/platoon partner for Lieby. In an unrelated, their-misfortune-helps-us note, the Reds just put Eddie Guardado on the DL.

I agree with Billy Mac. Earlier in the season, when some posters were talking about making upgrades, all we heard was "oh, they're not good enough anyway, blow it up," but now we get excited by a team two games under .500 (BTW, I AM excited, very excited, because I frickin' love baseball and Pennant races) doing a mid-level move.

It's a good move and it may help the team make the playoffs, which would be awesome (I agree with Alby, ANY postseason appearence would be great!) I just wish there had been a commitment to winning from the begining.

When I look back at this season on Aug 20th, I see a GM that did absolutely nothing from June 8 to July 6th as this team lost 8 consecutive series. This is when Manual should have been fired and some pitching help acquired. Instead he gave us Brito, Sanches, Bernaro, Mathieson, White and the like.

Sure they did. 80 games. I remember thinking "Wow, that's a lot."

I see your point to an extent, B-Mac. The best time to deal for pitching was before the season, not June when over half the teams are in it and stalling until the deadline. Bobby was shopped for pitching days after Gillick took over, rumored deals for pitching I'm positive few posters would have endorsed. I was all for many of the packages that were floated, deals that included everyone from Jason Marquis, to Erik Bedard, to Brandon Backe to Jose Contreras. That's the time period when gripes about pitching are truly justified, not June when the best you get is El Duque, which I also would have welcomed.

We both agree in premise. Not enough was done to improve the pitching staff. PG would probably agree.

BM, I'm pretty sure the owners primary goal this season was to shed payroll rather than win, and that Gillick was not allowed to add salary.

If they get the WC, it will be because Utley and Howard are simply magnificent players, not ownership or Gillick.

Good point, J. In the offseason, Abreu was thought to be worth a #1 starter, and PG didn't pull the trigger on any of those deals because none of those guys is better than a mid-rotation guy (though with my access to O's broadcasts, I have to give a ringing endorsement to what Mazzone has done with Bedard. On the other hand, there's no guarantee he would have taken such a big step forward in Philly.)

Hey, maybe Pat should take all check swings. The results are better that way ;-).

P the B...clutch!

kdon, agree completely. Notice even how Moyer deal involved cash although the Phils probably shed payroll by $7M in the past 3 weeks.

Q: If it took resigning Mike Lieberthal to keep friend and neighbor Randy Wolf in town, would you do it?

If he keeps hitting the way he has while splitting the time 50/50 w/Coste, why not? He indicated he'd be willing to sign as a backup, if I'm not mistaken. Based on what I've seen from Wolf so far, I'm hoping they sign him quickly, before he hits the FA market.

Good points by Billy and Jason...That it sends a good message to the players is a helpful element before Moyer ever throws a pitch. It may be hard to deny that Gillick is "speaking out of both sides of his mouth", and yet I feel both his seller and his buyer trades made sense. What I don't agree with is the notion that the acquisition of Moyer is pointless because they had an equal or better pitcher in Lidle who they just dumped a few weeks ago. Without Lidle, the Abreu trade doesn't get done. That trade gave this team new life. Without it, I don't feel like they're making the run they are right now. And now that they're on this run, adding another pitcher is a good move.

Clout, when we're talking about "upside", we're assuming that Moyer isn't going to be giving up 6 to 8 runs a game and will likely maintain the kind of performances that made him among the AL leaders in innings pitched. It's pretty safe to say you know what you're getting after someone's pitched for over 20 years. So why do we have to wait until he pitches for his new team to determine there's good upside? And by the way, what is behind this magic number of having to average 7 runs a game? The team ERA is 4.73 - so wouldn't an average of 5 or 6 runs be good enough?

I know Utley is the least of anyone's worries, but Washington has been pounding him inside and getting him out easily all series.

Regarding right-handed bat: Does anyone know the contract status of Kearns next season? I believe he's headed for arbitration after the season.

See, he's the type of player the Phils could be interested in. Right-handed outfielder with power, no long-term expensive deal required, can play every day or platoon. Washington is a rebuilding team. The Phillies need pop from that side of the plate, and are certainly going to attempt to move Burrell.

phew ... Nationals are sloppy.

yeah, Soriano is scattershot no matter where you put him. by the way, I looked it up to be sure -- Soriano's last stint playing 3B wasn't in the minor leagues, it was in the DR before he went to Hiroshima at age 17.

Hrm, I don't want to get hopes up, but this is exactly what the phils did last year - never lose more than 2 games at a stretch, and always chip away at the wild card lead. I just hope we can start the season like this next year.

RSB, you are right that the Abreu deal couldn't be done without Lidle, but that's only because the Phillies refused to include any money in the deal. If they had included money, they could have got a better deal from Anaheim, kept Lidle (or dealt him seperately for better prospects), AND acquired Moyer.

Kearns is making 1.85M this year and I would imagine he would get 5-6M next year. Considering that Burrell is pretty much untradable, trading for Kearns would mean dumping Dellucci (or paying about 10M for a RF platoon). I'd rather keep the prospects and go with the outfield rotation Manuel is using now.

kdon, are you sure that it was an either/or proposition in terms of Lidle or cash to the Yanks?

I can't believe Gillick would have not opted as you suggest if he could have. You don't work in the business for thirty-plus years without covering all your bases and executing optimally.

Read that article about the current state of the Phils' pitching depth. I agree that below AA-Reading, the Phils have a number of pitchers worth watching.

Still, you have to be wary for two reasons. Most of the prospects are in A or
Rookie leagues. It is going to be at least another 2 or 3 years before you see any of these guys make an impact on the Phils. Plus, the washout-rate of pitching prospects from A to the majors is incredibly high (e.g., injuries, stuff, etc).

Best case scenario is a number of the pitchers continue to develop and 1 or 2 of the guys mentioned at Reading helps this club by the end of next year/early 2008.

The Phillies still have six more games against the Nationals after today's game. You have to like that, especially with the addition of Moyer to eliminate the uncertainty of that fifth spot.

It's hard to believe that Phils possibly won't play a team with a winning record during the entire month of Sept. Speaks volume about how inept the NL is this year. Phils would be lucky to win 75 games in the AL.

Wild prediction: The addition of 43-year-old Moyer will have a positive influence on Brett Myers.

Let's not get silly about this "buyer and seller" stuff. This is ONE move Gillick has made to actually improve the team. Almost all of his other moves (including last winter's deals) have merely been designed to cut costs. Pat's a seller who may now be displaying some "seller's remorse".

RSB, I'm not sure about the Yankees, but the word was that Anaheim would have traded for Abreu alone if the Phillies had included salary (also, that the Phillies could have recieved better prospects for Lidle alone than Abreu/Lidle). This isn't a knock on Gillick. I think he was ordered to trade Abreu and his entire salary; the inflexibility of ownership is why Gillick couldn't get any better prospects.

We'll see how untradable Burrell is after two months of boos and benching. I like the idea of a guy like Kearns completing a solid outfield rotation.

Wolf looks like he's all the way back. Extremely positive development for the Phillies. He and Lieberthal have risen from the dead and just might figure into their plans beyond this season, after all.

Can't believe how good Lieby has been swinging the bat (.351 2 HR 5 RBIs this month coming into today). Looks like sitting more really has helped him get his offensive back. Maybe a platoon of Coste/Lieberthal at C will cut it for next season.

I don't believe Gillick was "ordered" to do anything. I don't think he would have taken the job if it involved taking orders.

Another astute observation from Salmon. Sure, getting Gordon, as we all know, was designed to weaken the team, and of course signing a free agent is designed to cut costs. Getting Dellucci? That was a move made to weaken the team, certainly. And now, Gillick has changed his mind entirely and has "remorse" that he ever traded good ol' Bobby and his all-star junkballer Cory Lidle. He's been so ashamed of himself, he couldn't come out of his office for days until he found a way to make it up to everyone.

There were numerous other deals available for Abreu. We all read the stories. Gillick made the worst possible deal-trading not only the best RF in Phillies' history but a much-needed starting pitcher-because his ONLY concern was dumping payroll. How hard is that to understand?

The fact that Pat Gillick belongs in the Hall of Fame as an executive, considering his amazing track record in Toronto, Baltimore, and Seattle, doesn't mean that he's doing a good job here. These are two facts some people can't seem to separate. John Schuerholz also will go to the Hall, but he's a lousy GM now, as well. Deal with reality.

I do like that, Jason. When I made my fearless prediction that they could go 31-18, I had the Phils going 6-3 against the Nats. After today, that looks very possible. Houston is still a worry for me, though. Their pitching has been very good since the All Star break.

Phils are 16-5 on Sundays, according to Harry on the radio.

Meaningless and gratuitous home run by Nuñez. Anything to get him up over Mendoza...

If dealing with reality means believing that John Salmon knows better about running a better team than Pat Gillick and John Scheurholz, I'll pass, thanks.

MG: Unfortunately it's not a real platoon, since they're both righthanded. But so what? If there's one thing this team has it's left-handed bats.

On Kearns, I'm not sure what the Phils could trade that Bowden would want, assuming Bowden keeps the job. I doubt Kearns would be available unless Soriano re-signs. One name I'd throw out there, though, is Gavin Floyd, who's from the Baltimore-Washington area. Actually I'd throw his name out there and see what Bowden would offer in return.

RSB-Man, you just refuse to deal with facts. Gordon was a cheaper alternative to a younger, better Wagner. Dellucci is also cheap-less than a million a year-and he's a 32 year old career mediocrity having a career year. Free agent or not this winter, that's a REALLY late peak. Would you have predicted that? If there was any attempt being made to salvage this year before the Moyer deal, why move Bell, Abreu, and Lidle now?

RSB, once again you argue just to argue. It's not me you're arguing with, but reality. I likedthe line from Toronto GM JP Ricciardi-if you need money, you used to have to have to go to the Mob, but now you just need Pat Gillick's cell phone number.

Not a real platoon but Lieby has shown he has still be effective if he only plays 2-3 games a week vs. 4-5 games. Lieby has said some foolish/puzzling things this season but if he is willing to come back on the cheap, he is worth a look for next year.

RSB: "If dealing with reality means believing that John Salmon knows better about running a better team than Pat Gillick and John Scheurholz, I'll pass, thanks."

Uhh-RSB, that's a logical fallacy known as "argument from authority." Look at where the Phila. and Atlanta clubs are now, compared with a year ago. The case against Pat and John is obviously stronger than the argument for them. Again, the fact that thse guys used to be wonderfull at their jobs doesn't mean they still are. The game has passed them by.

Yawn.

It must be a total Phillies blowout if the only thing we can discuss here is Pat Gillick's chess moves. Yawn...

Jason, I don't know if Moyer will have a positive influence on Myers. Myers may be hurt, for all we know, with his legs. At 27, he's around the same point in his career that Curt Schilling was in 1992/93. Are his best years ahead? All depends on the mental makeup and what's important in life. Schill didn't "flip the switch" until 1996 or 97.

I swear I didn't write "Yawn" after RSB did.

This game is starting to get out of control...

update: Glaviner has a blood clot, he's done. THE NL is wide open now.

Oh, his legs. Right. I guess when you've exhausted every excuse in the book - cold nights, hot nights, humid nights, unmudded baseballs, umpires, the porch in left field, Bobby Abreu's glove and Chris Coste - it doesn't hurt to go with a pair of knackered and bent 26-year-old legs.

Why am I trying to defend a wife-beater? That's the real question to ask...

Unfortunate, but interesting development. Two words: Jon Lieber. Discuss.

Plus ... talk about perfect timing! What do you think the Mets would have given up for Moyer? Probably a whole lot more than two single-A pitching prospects.

Hum? Jon Lieber? Wha...?

Oh, in regards to Glavine.

Nah.

How about the Phils being in the process of blowing this one?

Just a point of debate: Would anyone have interest in dealing Jon Lieber to the Mets at this point?

That was the worst inning in some time. Cholly could have been a bit quicker on his feet there. Geez!

What the? I go out for 20 minutes and they've almost blown the game!?! Guess Abe's miracle HR wasn't meaningless after all....

Depends on what Lieber we're talking about... the one who goes 5-1 in September or the balky groin and out of shape one. I would not want to take that chance that he go 5-1 on another team.

I don't think they'd trade to help a division rival...particularly now that they're hurting. Not to say the the Phils realistically have a shot to make a run at NY, but with Pedro and Glavine down, you never know.

Let 'em bleed. Leibers gotta stay if we are a chance for the WC. Maybe if we completely blow our chances, otherwise whats the point of getting a 43 year old then palming off Leiber. Then what, bring back Mathieson?

Gametime: Great work Jimmy!

Good point Blood, it would also effectively nullify the acquisition of Moyer.

The Mets would have to go 11-28 the rest of the way to have it get scary. I'd like to see them limp to the NL East title and have them thinking in a 5 game series...

I think we should take PG at his word: The team has found itself in contention for the WC, which makes him a buyer.

RSB, I took issue with the phrase "terrific upside." I think it is too early to declare this trade has "terrific upside." I do like the trade, though. With regard to your continued excuse-making about how Abreu dragged the team down and him leaving prompted everyone to suddenly get hot: Let's see how it goes the rest of the season. 21 games is about 13% of a season. Abreu's OBS since the trade is 1.021 so he must be dragging the Yankees down like crazy. How have they done since the trade?

Jason: Great question! If you took re-signing Leiby to keep Wolf, would you do it? If it was a 1-year contract, yes. But I can't imagine Leiby settling for a 1-year. Again, I take PG at his word: This team is in rebuild mode next season. Let's platoon Ruiz/Coste, develop the young pitching and then sign some big names to fill holes for 2008. If that means we lose Leiby & Wolf, so be it.

Didn't look like Dubee and Manuel were on the same page as to when to lift Madson. It would appear that Manuel wanted him out earlier, but Dubee must have liked something he saw on his clipboard.

What is Madson doing? Bring in Fabio to put out the fire!

Phils have scored 47 runs in Wolf's 5 starts.

Why was Madson throwing the curve so much? Reminds me of what the late great Paul Owens said about Marty Bystrom: You can lead a horse to water, but you can't stick his &%#@ head in it.

Danger alert!

I would deal Lieber to the Mets, but only if the deal included a legitimate prospect at AA or AAA level -- not just a salary dump. I probably would do it for someone like Oliver Perez.

It looks like we are going to get a taste of Rhodes as the closer, which is a taste not as sweet as donuts or ice cream...

The Phils are trying to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory.

The Phillies have gone 14-7 since Abreu was last in the lineup. Yankees have gone 12-7 since he arrived, but according to you, Clout, it's only 13.78943 percent of the season so it doesn't mean anything anyway.

Don't look now, but if Abe had gotten a hit just now, he would have cracked the Mendoza Line.

Need a hit here badly.

Harry...sigh...

We should trade Lieber and the $40 million the team saved for Endy Chavez, Michael Tucker, and Ricky Ledee.

Rhodes coming in...my fingers, toes, and ears are crossed.

That was a real bad one for Harry. I think it's the day games after the night games that do him in...

We'll be right. Arthur has'nt blown a save all year. :)

What happened with Harry? I'm listening to the radio broadcast.

He thought Rollins' sac fly was off the wall for a double. Wheels had to correct him.

Phew! Crappy game, but winning ugly is better than losing. Re-group Phils!

Abe "I can see the Mendoza Line from here" Nunez is the player of the game. We have to admit he's been somewhat better with regular playing time, don't we?

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