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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

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Landing either Soriano or A-Ram would be amazing. Seriously, they're both right handed powers bats that would look great in the 5 hole. If either of these 2 were in a Phils uniform last season we'd still be playing baseball right now gearing up for the World Series. 3rd base is a must- you just can't defend a guy hitting around .200 with an OPS sub-.600. Howard had a higher slugging % than Nunez's OPS last season for crying out loud!

I know pitching is a need, but hopefully we can keep most of the starting rotation and fill the bullpen voids. Filling bullpen voids is a tricky task, because relief pitchers are very inconsistent except for the elite.

Two names to throw out in addition to these. Joe Crede is rumored to be available from the White Sox. He hit 30 hrs last season. And to a lesser extent, Adrian Beltre in Seattle has been rumored to be on the market for about two seasons. His contract is $13 million. If the Mariners swallow about half of that, Beltre is someone I wouldn't have a problem with at CBP. As disappointing as he's been for Seattle, he still rates as top four 3B in the American League.

The Mariners and White Sox are interested in Rowand. The Phils may be able to get Beltre or Crede for him. If they expand the deal the White Sox also want to deal a SP this offseason. ARam seams likely to stay where he is, however if that changes the Phils will likely be a top contender.

Soriano may be just a pipe dream, if the Phils fill most of their roster inexpensively then they may have a legitimate shot at him. Burrell would need to be moved first for this to happen. Improving LF is not a priority, however improving the 5th spot in the lineup is. This improvement in the lineup will come at 3B, LF, or RF. Come spring the Phils may have a totally different look in the OF as only Victorino stays with a young Bourn and possibly 2 freeagents brought in.

Is Gillick intentionally trying to undermine Burrell's trade value?

I have no interest at all in Soriano. he's going to be tremendously overpriced since he's coming off the best season of his career, and IMO he's very unlikely to repeat it since he's on the wrong side of 30. look what happened with Beltre with the Mariners - you really want that to happen here? (and in the case of Soriano, we wouldn't even have the benefit of great defense.) and the way Soriano collapsed at the end of the year (.641 OPS in September) is not exactly inspiring confidence in me for the future.

I'm with ae on Soriano. He scares me a little.

I am going to have a good laugh when all the posters here who've complained about Abreu & Burrell being overpaid, squeal when the Phils don't pony up to ridiculously overpay Ramirez or Soriano.

Here's a fun stat -- Average OPS past 3 seasons:
Ramirez .929
Abreu .912
Burrell .868
Soriano .846

Burrell isn't good enough or consistent enough to protect Howard. That point isn't even in question.

Adding someone who strikes out as much as Soriano can't be good for this lineup. Story on espn has Pinella going after A-Rod, which could free up Ramiez.

this is probably a pipe dream. Burrell's no trade clause makes this all highly unlikely. And clout, if they move Burrell's ridiculously overpaid contract and sign Ramirez to close to the same amount, how is that bad?

And here's a fun stat:
avg slg pct. the past 3 seasons:

Burrell - 0.487
Abreu - 0.493
ARam - 0.569
Soriano - 0.519

As much as I'd love to see our #5 hitter take a walk in a key situation, these stats may have more meaning.

Greg, that ESPN story also said that Ramirez would likely be a piece in the trade for Rodriguez. (specifically, Ramirez + high-level pitching prospect.)

Gillick's comments are BS. Burrell hit AHEAD of Howard for over half the season and Conine hit 5th down the stretch. Burrell was only given a small oppotunity to hit fifth. He had no problem hitting 5th behind Thome and Abreu. Give the guy a chance to get healthy and see what happens.

And I still don't see how the Phillies trade Burrell without picking up part of his salary or including a blue-chip prospect.

Also, while Soriano would be an improvement over Burrell, it would cost a lot. He is too streaky for my tastes. The IDEAL move would be to trade Rowand for Crede and then sign a LH outfielder (Dellucci) to platoon with Conine. A lineup like this:

Vic
Rollins
Howard
Utley
Burrell
Dellucci
Crede
Ruiz/Coste

Also, this lineup is not much more expensive than this years, leaving money for other needs. You have Conine, Bourn, the other catcher, a futility infielder, and a FA on the bench.

To me, that is easily the best lineup in the NL. If the problem is protecting Howard, then SWITCH him and Utley in the batting order! Mark McGuire hit 3rd for Chrst's sake, there is no reason not to put Utley behind Howard other than the respective builds of the players.

Oh, and why do we need to trade Burrell to free up money? I thought that was the point of the Abreu trade, no? Or LIeberthal and Wolf comming off the books?

The fans here are playing right into Gillick's hands. Ownership systematically tears down a player in the media so that when they dump salary, everybody says good riddance. Rolen, Schilling, Abreu...Peter asked above why Gillick is lowering Burrell's trade value, this is the answer.

If the Cubbie's give away ARam and a blue-chip pitching prospect, they must have Ed Wade as an advisor.

Seriously, that would be a trade of Hershel Walker inequity.

Or, if you're clout, Abreu trade inequity...

Despite Burrell's ingratiating habit of striking out in crucial situations, I'd like to see him get his foot taken care of medically. I would tend to believe that he'd be a better fielder, baserunner and hitter with both feet feeling normal.

I haven't heard anything about any offseason plans for Burrell's foot.

This is one of the best threads on here in quite some time. A lot of good conversation, suggesting multiple solutions.

Beltre's power numbers would most likely go up with half his games at the CIT, so I'm ok with acquiring him if the M's eat part of his contract.

I also like the numbers thrown out on Burrell. Burrell probably isn't the answer behind Howard, but he might be. He really was banged up this season and still managed to put up a good OPS with a final 2 crappy months. If we could get A-Ram, Crede, or even Beltre to bat 5th then plug Burrell in the 6 hole...Yahtzee, maga lineup!

What about Rowand and Moyer to the M's for Beltre with the M's eating half the contract?

I like Beltre for several reasons - first, you're buying low, which puts us in a position of strength (and Beltre's '06 season was actually not bad at all - 39 doubles and 25 HR from the 5/6 hole would have looked real nice this year). and second, even if Beltre is a disappointment at the plate, he's a fine defensive third baseman - 6th best ZR in baseball this year at .799 (6 points higher than Nunez, FWIW). even without any cash from Seattle, his salary is not at all unreasonable, especially compared to the numbers being thrown around for Soriano/Ramirez. and finally, he's still only 27.

I question just how the wish list 'appears' to be headed by Soriano and Ramirez, and if it 'appears' to anyone else other than Marcus Hayes. What has he heard, why is he making that contention? What makes him think the Phillies would possibly want Alfonso Soriano, who despite his big-deal power, is a highly erratic and inconsistent player? What makes him think the Cubs are so eager to get rid of Ramirez, or that the Phillies have anything (which they're willing to trade) that would fit the Cubs' needs? A guy like Crede, on the other hand, seems much more likely, much cheaper, and also seems much more like the kind of player Gillick is looking for to add to this mix.

RSB- A-Ram has the ability to opt out of his contract and it has been reported that he will do so. No trade to the Cubs will be needed.

I agree with kdon that it would probably be easiest to flip Utley and Howard's places in the order. We batted Thome third and we can certainly do the same with Howard, even if he isn't hitting at a .313 clip. Utley in the four hole also adds some speed in front of Burrell which could cut down on some GIDPs.

As for dumping Burrell and paying close to $.50 on the dollar, this makes no sense to me. This is doubly the case if we hold onto Rowand and he is the starting LF under the Bill Conlin scenario (LF Rowand, CF Bourn, RF Victorino). We'd be, in effect, paying Rowand $10-11 million for next year ($5 if we exercise the club option plus the $5-6 million we'd be on the hook for Pat). This would be a grand saving of $2-3 million. At least with the Thome payment we are getting a suitable replacement player in Howard at a digestable $5.8 to $6 for `06 and `07.

True, DQ, although it's very possible that the Cubs would trade him even if he didn't opt out of the contract.

It's hard to presume that anything Gillck does or doesn't do is predictable, because he's fairly impossible to decipher. But to whatever extent observations about him indicate anything, I *don't* believe he would pursue, Ramirez, Soriano, or Beltre.

Utley would be a little miscast hitting behind Howard. His speed and base hits make him a much better guy to have at the top of the order. Utley is the player Howard should be driving home.

A-Ram would only be an option here if he opted out of his contract with the Cubs and could sign as a FA. Otherwise, the only player the Cubs would consider trading him for would be Brett Myers and the Phillies aren't trading away starting pitching.

A-Ram doens't come without his liabilities, but he just might need a change of scenery to leave behind the negatives a lot of people on the Northside perceive. Whether or not feels Philadelphia is a good place for a fresh start is entirely another matter. The Phils cannot offer him much Latin American heritage as a club, but they can dangle three guys named Rollins, Utley and Howard in front of him and a chance to be part of one of the best foursomes ever assembled. (Yeah, I know, that and $3.40 will get you a latte.)

Crede is a very good option as others have pointed out and may be available if the Phils would part with Rowand, whom the WS are said to still covet. But I have to believe the WS would want more than Rowand in such a deal.

Unless someone is willing to take ALL of Burrell's contract, the Phils should not trade him. I know he draws many of our ire, including mine, but bottom line is if we get rid of him then that's another huge hole in the lineup. Keep Burrell, and hope he can get healthy physically and menatally.

"where or not HE feels...."

Wow, talk about sloppy. Sorry, Jason.

"WHETHER or not HE feels"

Will:
If you think Ramirez will sign for what the Phils are paying Burrell, I want some of what you're smoking!

DQ I like your summary of the lineup with a Beltre or Crede in there. I agree that Beltre would be better hitting in CBP and at age 27 worth while to obtain. The Phils could get him cheaper in the way or players if they take on his salary. With Crede they could try to expand a deal to include Garcia or another SP. With either one of these 2 at 3B I could see Bourn in RF next year as they can afford to try a rookie.

Interesting thread as usual:

1. Why would anyone want Beltre on this team? Beltre's contract is exactly the type of terrible long-term contract that Gillick is supposedly trying to avoid. Beltre is owed $13 million+ for the next 3 years. While Beltre does play excellent defense, his offense has generally been very mediocre. Beltre career OPS is .785 and if you take out his fluky season 3 years ago it is around .750. Plus, Beltre is streaky. No protection for Howard here.

2. Totally agree on Soriano. Soriano will be vastly overpaid by some stupid team this offseason. Plus, Soriano has a reputation of being a very selfish player. Phils don't need this flash over substance.

3. If the Phils could sign A-Ram, it definitely would be a plus but I don't know if A-Ram will come here. Besides the money issues, A-Ram has been known to have a "thin-skin" at times. If A-Ram signs a big-time deal with the Phils, the fans are going to expect alot out of him right away.

4. As for trading Burrell, I would be willing to bet that there is a greater than 50% chance he will be a Phillie again next season. Besides the no-trade clause, I just don't see the Phils handing over a ton of money to get rid of him. Phils might trade Burrell for nothing but I doubt they will also fork over $8-$10 million to do it. If the Phils do get A-Ram, I would not mind seeing Burrell hit 6th in this lineup. Less pressure and hopefully he gets a little healtheir this offseason.


according to mlbcontracts.blogspot.com, Beltre makes $11.5M in 2007 and $12M in 2008/09. he plays in a heavy pitchers' stadium in the American League - there's no guarantee, but it's not unreasonable to expect him to perform better at CBP in the NL. I would pretty confidently predict an OPS around .850 from Beltre as a Phillie with a better than decent chance he does better. obviously Ramirez is a pretty good bet to put up even better numbers, but he'll probably cost at least $3-5M more per year, is a year older, and is an unreliable quantity defensively. additionally, Ramirez (or Soriano, or Sheffield) will start a bidding war and end up ridiculously overpriced. Beltre - theoretically at least - should be available for a much more favorable deal from our end.

I'm not saying that Beltre is the missing link for this team, or even necessarily the way to go for us in the future, but I think I'd rather have Gillick pursue him than Soriano or Sheffield, who I think are eliciting completely unreasonable overreactions from columnists/commenters/etc.

Ok- here's how I would rank all the options discussed above for the off-season right-handed bat addition.

1. A-Ram, 2. Crede, 3. Beltre, 4. Soriano, 5. Sheffield.

*Notice the first 3 are 3rd baseman, because that's what we need. Then we keep Burrell and let him bat 6th...that'll be a damn good 6 hole hitter. We can allow Conine, Bourn, Victorino, and Rowand to split time in RF depending on who the CF is.

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