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Thursday, November 02, 2006

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It's a lucky break, and I hope Gillick uses it well. I think we'll be holding off a sheffield deal until this and the pitching is resolved, unless the (alleged) sheffield deal a no-brainer at little cost to us.

I'm very interested to see how gillick operates this year. His hands aren't nearly as tied with only one no-trade clause on the books. Way more exciting then speculating on whether we'll get rhodes in a trade for j-mike . . .

I see this as more of a bad break. Who would possibly sign any of these three guys and lose a pick in the process? Fultz in particular. From the phillies point of view, I would not offer arbitration to Lieby or Fultz because they would probably accept it. If they were type B free agents we would have been assured of a sandwich pick under the new CBA. Now we will probably get nothing.

how on earth did lieberthal become a type A free agent?? if they had type Z, he would be their poster boy.

i hope the retain dellucci and let him platoon w/ victorino like they did this year.

and unless PG wants soriano to play 3rd base, he would be a horrible addition: his position and contract could be disasterous for the team.

I'm fairly certain a team will take Dellucci. Fultz ... I kind of have the same skepticism. I could see the Phillies going either way with arbitration.

One correction with your article Jason. Under the new CBA, a player rejecting arbitration can still negotiate with his old team at any time. The prohibition on negotiating with your old team until after May 15 is eliminated.

Thanks, Longwood. Like I said, this is not my bread and butter, but it's a situation I though was worth looking at, even if the initial post was a garbled mess.

To determine the ranking they look at the last two years. As much as many hate Lieby, he has been one of the better catchers in baseball over the last several years. The simple fact is there are not many good catchers out there.

He was overpaid, put you can't blame him for that. Blame that on Wade.

Lieby was paid appropriately: if he was healthy.

He would make a helluva good backup catcher and RH bat off the bench, or a DH and emergency catcher.

Dellucci is the only one that wil be offered arbitration, I have no idea why Fultz is on that list, and...

expect Rowand back.

I'll post this shortly. Randy Miller is reporting the Phillies are expected to make a serious bid for Wes Helms, with Mark DeRosa as a second option.

... as predicted right here on Beerleaguer.

Longwood - sorry, I was talking particularly with regard to delluci. I agree with you and jason on fultz - I'm in two minds about offering arbitration off the basis of last year's performance. I can't see anyone giving up a draft pick for him now that he's reverted to the very definition of avg (era+ of 102).

the logic in that Randy Miller article is just incomprehensible. not that he's wrong, but if what he says is really what the Phillies braintrust is thinking, it's really depressing.

Does Wes Helms even play 3rd base? And DeRosa only played 40 games at 3rd last year.

Saw that jason. If it's true, then I'm not best pleased, since I hoped we were in the iwamura stakes and the article says that's hooey. Helms is older, hits for less power and takse fewer walks. It's a good back up plan if iwamura fails, but I'd rather try something new and different. I expected more of gillick.

Haha, I love this. Gillick is definitely the anti-Wade. It's no coincidence that all of these rumors are floating around prior to the GM Meetings. Gillick and even Monty have been more "open" and willing to discuss these things than anytime I can remember in the Ed Wade era and I think it all has a purpose. He's clearly sending a message to the Mets (you guys will have company next year), as well as positioning himself in the perfect bargaining situation for whatever his REAL plans are. Essentially, he's sending a message to FA's, other teams, etc. that he has plenty of options out there. I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall when Gillick, Manuel and team execs are meeting to put together their plan of attack.

Helms only played 24 games at 3rd last year. In 2003 he played 130 games at 3rd with 19 errors and a .945 fielding %. In 2004 he had 16 errors (.904) in 66 games and they moved him to first. In other words this guy has Phillies written all over him.

best part of the Miller article is where he says that Iwamura's out because they want more power - this a guy who's hit 106 HR in his last three seasons.

so obviously, we go for Helms (58 career HR in 8 seasons, with 23 of them coming in one career season three years ago) and DeRosa (38 - not a typo - career HR in 9 seasons for an average of over 40 AB per HR, with a career high of all of 13 HR in 520 AB).

Willard Preacher - I really, really hope you're right. Its what I've said elsewhere, but just when I have a sensible explanation for the craziness, I remember this is the phillies, and suddenly I'm not so sure. last year we went for guys like gonzalez and fasano - why wouldn't gillick do that again?

Nice post Jason. Helped to explain the arbitration/compensation process. Definitely offer Dellucci arbitration. As for Fultz, it never hurts to have extra arms in the pen but I don't know if the Phils want to spend $1.5 million on a mediocre reliever.

Tony - So true. Wes Helms is meant to a Phil. Career scrub. Looks like 3B will continue to a black hole again next year.

No shortage of rumors going around!

The offseason will be revealing - we'll find out if Gillick is a shrewd, old GM or just an old GM who hasn't realized the game has passed him by.

To accentuate the positive, you'd take helms as solid bench help if you could get Iwamura.

Helms would bring a sturdy bat from the right side, but would subtract from an already suspect defense. On a positive note, if it wouldn't work, they have a very good pinch hitter, and can fall back on Nunez.

I'm still of the mind, however, that you need capable defenders backing up pitchers like Lieber and Moyer. So I think any addition at third must be able to defend, and Helms has proven that he can't.

Besides, where would Helms hit? As far as the lineup is concerned, the only true hole is behind Howard. I don't think he's being targeted to protect Howard, and shouldn't be. Does he hit seventh? Where does Rowand bat? Second? Does he hit ahead or behind Burrell? Back-to-back Helms and Burrell? Smells of prolonged slump. To me, Helms would be another slow, odd fit down at the bottom of the order.

Delluci is a keeper, Fultz would not be a bad option to offer arbitration, Leiber let him go.
As for the various rumors I am not surprised. This is good so the other teams won't know exactly whats going on until Gillick actually moves. If he lands Soriano they do not need a big bat at 3B and they could also trade Burrel and Rowand and play some younger guys such as Vic and Bourne. Especially if Delluca is retained. Bringing in 2 guys for 3B makes the IF crowded. Maybe Nunez would be shipped out in a package trade of some sort. Derosa could take his utility IF spot on the roster.

"...you need capable defenders backing up pitchers like Lieber and Moyer." Hear Hear! That one more threat in the lineup could be in the outfield or behind the plate. He has to be right-handed, capable of hitting #3, #4, or #5. Get that one guy and I'm OK with Nunez. Somebody has to hit #8.

Nunez proved that he needs to play every day to hit above .200

I don't think the Phils want him platooning at 3B again! If he starts at 3B, his superb defense will save lots of runs, and this will greatly outweigh his lack of hitting in the 8-hole (unless he slumps badly at the plate- which he did platooning with Bell at 3rd last season). Start him every day, or get rid of him.

Bell last game as a Phillie was 7/28/06

Nunez's numbers in 2006 until that day:
64 games / 18 starts
18/115 (.157)
7 R
5 RBI
6 BB
19 K
( horrible numbers here! )

Nunez's numbers in 2006 from 7/29 til 10/1:
59 games / 58 starts
50/207 (.242)
35 R
27 RBI
35 BB
39 K
( decent production and OBP for #8 hitter )

We all have seen how good he is with his glove.
If he's not replaced in an off-season move, he deserves a shot at everyday 3B.

Damn, my head is *spinning*! I can hardly keep track of all these rumors.

First, I really don't see Dellucci re-signing with the Phillies. He thinks he can play every day, and probably some other team out there will give him that shot. The Phillies wouldn't even offer him a chance to platoon.

Second, Wes Helms...they can do better. Even if they're looking for a 3B platoon with Nunez, they can do better. Helms had a solid year for Florida, but he's hardly an impact player offensively, and defensively, he's not even David Bell. It's apparent that if they want Soriano for the OF, their mindset is that the 3B acquisition will have to come at a budget price.

Third, in reading Hayes' article, I found myself shaking my head at the 'backup plans' he mentioned. 29 other teams have off-season agendas as well. If negotiations for Soriano break down, what makes them think Sheffield (or Aramis Ramirez) will still be around? It seems wiser to go with a realistic plan - based on which player they most likely to be able to get, and which player they actually *want* the most. I would prefer either Sheffield or Ramirez over Soriano, and I also think acquiring either of these other 'backup plans' is a far more realistic prospect than landing Soriano.

Nunez may have struggled getting the ball out of the infield, but he gave the lineup a better look hitting eighth over Fasano or anyone else. At least he was taking some walks and bringing the pitcher to the plate, and scoring some runs when he did get aboard. Howard, Coste, Rollins, Dellucci all got hot during the offensive run, so maybe his flaws were minimized, but I never truly thought the offense suffered because of Nunez. At certain points, I thought he did a nice job keeping the lineup moving. That's all you ask out of your No. 8 hitter. That's why the bottom of the Phillies' lineup has been such a failure over the last few seasons. Bell and Lieberthal would go down on one or two pitches, and Bell in particular always grounded into the rally-destroying DP. Coste was such a welcome change in that regard. At least he made pitchers work for it.

I hear David Bell may be on the market.

Wes Helms doesn't do much for me. I'm pretty much with RSB on getting ARam or Shef over Soriano.

Regardless of what does happen, as someone mentioned above, this sure is much more exciting than wondering who we can get for JMike.

My problem with A-Ram is it looks like he might not cost that much less than Soriano. For that amount, I'll take Soriano's unique combination of speed and power, especially given A-Ram's slumping tendencies (as anyone who had him in fantasy last year is well aware of).

There's no way Delucci comes back; he went from a breakout year with the Rangers (29 HR) to on-and-off play for us and made it clear during the year that he basically hated the front office for that. Someone will sign him to start and we'll get a draft pick; fine by me.

Helms: great for the bench, madness to start him. If it comes to that stick with Nunez's glove and give away the 8 hole. Helms was atrocious defnsively at 3B last year (zone rating was .007 higher than noted gloveman Tony Batista).

Regarding "Zone Rating", I think that this is one of the more useless stats in basebal.

A Citizen's Blog did an article over the summer where he stated that, according to Zone Rating:
Barry Bonds was the best Outfielder in Baseball.
David Dellucci was the best Outfielder on the Phils.

So, take ZR with a truckload of salt, or not at all.

ZR is a sketchy stat, but a .904 fielding percentage the last time Helms played more than 50 games at third (2004) is enough to convince me. his lifetime FP at third isn't much better at .936 - only two qualified 3B were worse in 2006 (Chad Tracy, Edwin Encarnacion).

If ZR doesn't float your boat, fine; I don't know of a single defensive statistic that paints Helms in a positive light (at 3B at least; he seems to play a passable 1B).

Mav -

I wasn't arguing with your conclusion, just that ZR is an essentially meaningless stat.

I know - They need J. Weitzel at 3b next year!

As much as I like Dellucci's bat (his contribution to the winning streak post-Abreu was major) he just isn't a good enough defensive player to justify an everyday spot (even a platoon where he would get the majority of starts). He is sort of like the opposite of Nunez. At a certain point, no matter how good one aspect of your game is, if you can't even competently execute one of the basic fundamentals of baseball (Nunez-hitting the ball hard, Dellucci-throwing the ball) you can't start.

WP, above you talked about how great it is that Gillick is "throwing" out all these names and wheeling and dealing, but c'mon Helms and DeRosa - these guys are worse than Bell (I'm serious!)? You really think the Mets are scared of that?

when i was at the astros makeup game, the "real" last game of the year, i was stuck standing room only.

there were tons of us in the concourse, and there was a runner on 3rd, short fly to RF, dellucci caught, and noodle-armed the thing in, run scored.

there were a couple guys next to me that were STUNNED at dellucci's arm.

its stagerringly bad. amazingly bad. i'm coaching an 11 year old with a better arm.

he's a DH/offensive platoon OF.

Joe: I was at that game and experienced the same reaction. The entire park gasped.

"c'mon Helms and DeRosa - these guys are worse than Bell (I'm serious!)? You really think the Mets are scared of that?"

No, I sure don't, but if it keeps any team (not just the Mets) from thinking the Phils are high on Top Gun, thereby reducing their bid, mission accomplished. A blind auction is never a sure thing.

Helms/DeRosa currently ARE better than the Nunez option that was trotted out last season, too (offensively, anyway).

"As much as I like Dellucci's bat (his contribution to the winning streak post-Abreu was major) he just isn't a good enough defensive player to justify an everyday spot (even a platoon where he would get the majority of starts)."

kdon: Dellucci's defense is terrible, I agree 100% with that. Just think of how many more runs the Phils gave up having him on the field. His post Abreu numbers at the plate are far from being a major contribution though:

Dellucci (august & september '06):
32/120 (.267), 3 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 20 R, 17 BB, 6 HBP, 28 K
( he only had 10 extra base hits !)

heck, even Pat the Bat managed 19 extra-base hits and 27 RBI during the same time period (in 37 more ABs) and walked 38 times.

*source: baseballmusings.com

right, dellucci is best suited as a leftie pinch hitter, or in a platoon DH role.

His exposure must be limited, and only against righties.

Pat the Bat had a much better end of the year than did Dellucci.

Truthfully, I prefer having PtB on the team of DeLooch. he's less of a defensive liability and has shown a better bat against both RHP and LHP.

Problem with bringing Dellucci back is that the outfield is kind of crowded right now. A platoon of Victorino/Dellucci in RF works pretty well but what would the Phils do with Conine? Conine is making $2.1 million this year and I doubt the Phils will have an easy time moving him. Plus, it seems like the Phils are intent on bringing back Rowand.

Nunez may be a nice guy and a great fielder, but if he's our starting 3B (unless our next starter is injured) I'll be the first to call for Gillick's ouster. Teams normally have a weak hitting catcher or SS batting 8th, not a third baseman. This position needs a wintertime upgrade.

Got it WP, I forgot about the whole blind bid thing.

On Dellucci, your numbers are a little misleading, duder. I meant to say that IMMEDIATELY after Abreu left, Dellucci picked up the slack. While his combined Sept and AUgust numbers were poor, here is a further breakdown:
Aug: .288/.393/.548
Sept:.234/.357/.319

Even further, in the first 16 games after Abreu was traded, Dellucci hit .400 with 4HR, 15R and 11 BB. He fell off a cliff after that, but he was probably the hitter most resposible (other than Howard) for getting the Phillies back into the race.

good point kdon.

rollins also had 6HR, 19R, 17RBI during that 16 game stretch

I will be second in line for calling for Gillick's head if Nunez trots out there on April 2nd!

Nunez, I agree with JW and Dick Richards above. Somebody's got to hit 8th; only the Yankees are loaded enough to trot out A-Rod in the 8-hole. If the Phils land a bat like Soriano or Sheffield, would a slick-fielding, ~.250 hitting 3B with decent speed and plate discipline really be all that bad hitting 8th?

Like Jason said, you can't discount Honest Abe's defense. I vividly remember several key plays he made to save one or more runs. If we bring in Helms or DeRosa, their (potential) offensive advantage over Nunez could easily be wiped out by fielding mistakes. And frankly, I've seen quite enough fielding mistakes from the Phils for my taste.

How is it that Nunez generally gets a free pass? Nunez is one of the biggest stiffs to put on a Phillies uniform in recent history.

Reasons why Nunez is a stiff:

1. He is worthless as a pinch-hitter. Last year as a PH, Nunez went 5 for 39. That translates into .128 AVG 0 HRs 2 RBs with an .350 OPS. Pitchers hit better. Not much better as a PH from 2003-05 as Nunez went 26 for 125 (.208 AVG 2 HRs with an OPS of .538.)

2. His career OPS+ number is 64% compared to the league average. This is a terrible number for any non-pitcher.

3. His career defensive stats at 3B (FP, RF, ZR, +/-) indicate that he is better than league average but not by that much.

Let's stop trying to pretend that Nunez's above average glove at 3B somehow compensates for his pathetic offense. Nunez is only productive at 3B when he starts and his offensive production (.674 OPS from 2003-05 and .612 OPS in 2006) is not adequate enough for the 3B position.


People are talking about Nunez here like he is Brooks Robinson at 3B. He is a good fielder with decent range and a solid arm but he is no Gold Glover. Plus, Nunez was horrendous last year offensively. He had one of the most of atrocious offensive seasons in Phils' recent history.

There are a couple of other reasons why Nunez has limited valuable. Nunez is a terrible pinch-hitter and has posted weak numbers throughout his career in such a role. Nunez.

Nunez plays fine defense, but it's not like he's magical with the mitt. He committed some errors down the stretch drive that lead to big runs. In my opinion his defense doesn't come close to making up with his pitiful lack of offense. Say all you want about his numbers after Bell left and he started regularly, those #'s still don't impress me. Some of you want to bash Pat Burrell and trade him away because he "underperforms", then what the hell do you call Nuni's output?!

If the Phillies begin next season with Nunez as their starting 3B and a rotation of Hamels-Myers-Leiber-Moyer-Wolf without a proven 6th starter and a hugely upgraded bullpen, they will NOT make the playoffs. And that's including either Sheffield or Soriano.

Other free agent options at 3B include Aubrey Huff and then, a cheaper Pedro Feliz. Ty Wiggington, who had a career season in Tampa last year, could be bargained with.
Now, in the OF, Ricky Ledee is available once again, along with Shannon Stewart, and Juan Pierre. If Burrell were moved for help at thrid or in the rotation, I could probably live with a platoon of Ledee and Conine in Left. Could say screw the Rowand experiment and go with a guy like Pierre (three seasons of 200 or more hits and is a dead on stolen base threat)..hit him second, behind Rollins and you have another boost of energy at the top infront of Utley and Howard. As for the rotation, a guy like Gil Meche, Jason Marquis, or Padilla. Also, alot of good relievers available this year; Including Politte, Dotel, Baez. Good trade targets include OF Jay Gibbons, IF Jorge Cantu, John Grabow. Point is I'd rather have 3 or 4 good quality players to make up the roster and clubhouse, instead of one supposed savior. Guys who coming into their prime and not two or three years from retirement. I'm sick of hearing how wonderful Shefield and Soriano are when they're is alot of talent available. They already have Moyer, Conine for that veteren leadership, now they just need a lil extra support in the gaps. It don't have to be that expensive if their bold enough to fill the roster up with quality players. I mean why sign Soriano for that kind of money when Utley and Howard are both going to need big money contracts in a few years..and why sign one soriano for the cost of 3 players at 3 different positions...so wasteful.

Are you serious when you refer to Marquis, Politte, Dotel, and others as good options?

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