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Tuesday, November 21, 2006


i think its pretty clear from the "catching 50-60" games that coste is not in the teams plans. they didn't want him there after spring training last year, they brought in a below average catcher last season who stayed way longer than he should have, and they now won't even refer to him by name. while, realistically, coste is a minor player on the team going forward, he is nonetheless exactly the kind of player they should value - cheap, versitile, decent hitter. if they disregard him with this crappy bench in tow, then they're sort of crazy, aren't they?

Edges help?

PG talked to C. Lee reps and said that he is an interesting player.

We would have to give up a draft pick to get him and pay the big bucks.

I seriously doubt this will happen, PG can't panic that much, can he?

disregard - just read the last thread - sorry....

little behind today

Only two explanations for them being so silent on Coste:

They plan on trading him for whatever they can get.

Or they think that if they don't acknowledge him, they might be able to fool somebody into signing, and then send that person to Ottawa after ST.

This makes no sense on several levels:

1) why would you need to entice a player you're planning on trading for?

2) if the management is so cheap, why would they trade a great buzz creator and fan favorite like Coste (who's also cheap) for someone else?

I think they're just confused as to what to do with Coste. Which Chris Coste will show up? Will it be the minor league veteran of 33.5 years CC, or the major leaguer he played like for the past .5 year? They probably HOPE that he can be the same player this year - but are just afraid of the feeling they had about him when they CUT him from the team at the end of Spring ball last year.

Didn't he bat like .424 in ST last year?

They still need to entice free agents in case they can't work out a trade.

Either way, this is not my finest piece. I'm on a deadline here!

Will -

Yeh, Coste hit .424 and was sent down. I seriously can't believe that the he isn't part of the Phils plans next year.

He's cheap, and markettable. Plus, he can hit the cover off the ball.

You're reading too much into this. Ruiz is the starter, Coste is the backup. If one of them gets hurt they have no fallback because Jaramillo isn't ready and won't be for at least half a season. They need a vet to be 3rd catcher (either here or at Ottawa). Nothing more complicated than that.

Clout manages to sum up my long-winded post in a few lines. As for my take on Carlos Lee, see clout's post in the previous thread.

I'm curious about the carlos lee option. If they give him comparable money (17 mill), they'd be overpaying, but it doesn't mean they have to go more than 4 years. The OBP is good and he's right-handed. I guess its down to who else bids on him, but Red Sox are looking at JD Drew, Mets have gone for Alou - the other suitors chasing on outfield that I can think of are San Diego, San Fran (maybe) and Oakland. Anyone else have the spare cash to put down for him? Maybe gillick would even look at 3 years plus club option . . .

I like it so long as we don't trade Burrell, but I don't know whether gillick's latest stated preference for athletic players who can help contact pitchers means he'd look at lee. If they're prepared to go to 6 years and 100 mill for soriano AND resign wolf (which are what the early indications are), they can afford to keep Burrell.

Prefer it if they took a risk on Schmidt tho'.

Pat Burrell to Arizona for Johnny Estrada...

Gavin Floyd, Aaron Rowand and cash for Vernon Wells.

Pat Burrell to Arizona for Johnny Estrada...

Gavin Floyd, Aaron Rowand and cash for Vernon Wells.

Houston is reportedly pursuing Lee very seriously. also, the rumors I have read say Lee wants to play on the east coast (presumably including Houston). I believe Houston's first offer for Lee was 5/$15.

A) Burrell >>> Estrada.
B) that deal doesn't get done for Wells, and he's a one-year rental anyway.

"Gavin Floyd, Aaron Rowand and cash for Vernon Wells."

Why stop there? As long as we're dreaming, let's trade Clay Condrey for Manny Ramirez. And a pony.

As it turns out, the writer for discussed this very subject with a slightly different conclusion:

"Manager Charlie Manuel wants to give Carlos Ruiz every shot at becoming the team's everyday catcher, and Gillick said the team could be searching for a "younger backup catcher." While that would seem to be an indictment of 33-year-old Chris Coste, he could still qualify as a bench player/pinch-hitter and third catcher. ... If the season opened today, Aaron Rowand would be the center fielder with Shane Victorino in right and Jeff Conine serving as the fourth outfielder."

Thanks AE - had forgotten houston were pursuing lee. Doh. not so likely then.

The writer for seems to be a bit of a dunderhead. Worse than Conlin, actually.

my response to clout never appeared here. basically, i don't buy that a guy who's sought to start 50-60 games is just for AAA depth. and what can someone signed as a young backup provide you that coste did not?

Time to get creative. Forget Lee. Deal Burrell for whatever pitching you can get. Pursue either Roberts or Matthews Jr to play left and lead off. Slot J-Roll #5 beteen Howard and Helms. Done! You've improved team speed and defense, and J-Roll will thrive.

I stated this in another thread, but it fits here too:

Maybe we could land a Piazza and keep three catchers on the roster. Besides catching, Piazza could back up first. Coste could back up third, provided he proves he can in spring training, and Ruiz could handle the rest and be the back-up emergency catcher when the other two are playing. Give Piazza 2 starts (and plenty of pinch-hitting) a week, Coste 2 starts, and Ruiz 3 starts. Adjust it according to the hot bat. Problem solved. Also, in case one of them goes down, the others are major league ready.

Why not just offer Lieberthal a huge pay cut to be back up catcher? He already said he's willing to take the pay cut and he already said he wants to end his career here. He didn't do too bad at the end of the season. Also I don't know why Coste is falling off the radar. The guy was awesome this past year. He's definitely worthy of being the starting catcher.

It's time to say goodbye to Lieberthal.

just heard on ESPN News B. Olney reporting that the phillies brass laughed when Glavine's agent called asking if they would be interested in the services of the nearly 40 yr old....Finally for once I agree with the PHillies on a decision.

I wish they would trade for a proven closer and then ship Gordon for some mid level prospects. I really don't want to go through another July/August of Geary and other scrubs attempting to close games.

Um, and why exactly would they be laughing? They just signed a pitcher who's 43 to a 2-year deal. Glavine can still pitch, obviously. I'm also curious why the Mets aren't exactly keen on getting him back; age hasn't stopped them from stocking their rosters with all sorts of other geriatrics.

I don't think the Phillies need Piazza. Too expensive to sign as a part-time player. I don't know what kind of interest there is around baseball in Lieberthal, but if he'd be amenable to being a second or third string, I don't see how you could do better than that.

I actually agree with Clout (and others) on C. Lee: I don't like him. I recall that when the White Sox traded him and Ordonez out of town, Guillen blasted their effort; nothing I've seen of him has left a different impression. Essentially, you'd be replacing an expensive one-dimensional player with another expensive one-dimensional player. I sure hope that isn't Gillick's 'backup plan'.

Royals just got Jason LaRue for PTBNL and also received cash to offset LaRue's contract. That would have been an interesting pickup for the Phils. I also wouldn't have a problem with Lieby back at a much reduced salary.

I can't believe I actually believe with RSB on a bunch of issues. No thanks to Lieby or Piazza. This was a subpar defensive team last year and neither one of these gusy contributes enough offensive anymore to overcome their defensive liabilities.

As for the Phillies' brass laughing at Glavine, don't they realize they just signed a 44-year old pitcher for 2 years instead of 1 year. Yoke on the Phils on this one I bet.

Maybe Moyer will continue to surprise this year but he gave up alot of HRs and line drives last year. Phils' either have to put some better defensive behind him or I am willing to bet that Moyer doesn't enjoy much success next year - especially at CBP.

Anybody else notice that both the Mets and Marlins have been making some trades for young arms to potentially strengthen their bullpens over the past few days. As usual, the Phils continue to do nothing.

I really hope we are misinterpreting their plans for Coste here--the guy proved himself beyond a shadow of a doubt as far as I'm concerned, and he's younger than the other catchers we've had around here the past five years, so I just don't see the problem.

the phillies laughed at glavine because they know he is just using them as leverage - like the last time. good for them.

coste is a 33 year old minor leaguer who should have to fight for a spot. i think and hope he can win it, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be another mlb viable option.

Didn't Coste's performance last year mean anything to you, Tim? When does the hard evidence that he can hit major league pitching supplant the fact that he was previously a career minor leaguer? I don't feel it's fair to define him that way anymore, and neither should the Phillies.

rick - he's 33 and had a good year. i want his baseball card and want his books and will watch his movie. that doesn't mean he should be handed a job if there is a better option. i don't think competition for any sport in professional sports is unreasonable.

competition for any *spot

i just saw howitzer on abc 11 oclock news with maybe the hottest woman i ever saw. they were at the 6ers game. anybody else see that?

Competition for a spot on the roster? Since when is there competition on the Phillies? Coste batted over .400 in spring training and still couldn't make a team that gave a starting job to David Bell and whose other catchers sucked. Sal Fasano outperformed Coste in ST for the backup catcher position? Right.

Coste proved last season that he can hit major league pitching, very well in fact. It might have been a fluke season, but the Phillies should still be including him in their planning for 2007. Is his 2006 performance any more suspect than Wes Helms'?

What have the Phillies got to lose by giving a guy who batted .328 in 200 ABs a chance to show what he can do in a full season? His 7 HRs and 32 RBIs also project out pretty well over 500 ABs or so.

Nobody is claiming he is a longterm catching solution, or even that he should be the starting catcher rather than Ruiz. And he might collapse in 2007. But would you rather have Jason LaRue, who in the same number of ABs hit .194 and 'slugged' .394? Not me.

i agree whole-heartedly with george s. the team is out looking for another (albeit younger) version of coste. given who gillick lined up last year, i have little faith such an effort will produce anything resembling an improvement over what we already got. unless they're conducting all kinds of secret negotiations with arms around the leagues, i can't figure out what this org thinks they're doing to improve.

no thanks for piazza or lieby.

one thing to note- we don't need a backup firt baseman. we already have utley, helms. burrell, and conine that can fill in for howard those handful of games he doesn't start.

humberto cota may be getting released by the buccos because of money, he'd be the type of guy we should sign for what gillick is suggesting. and as much as i enjoyed coste last season, i wouldn't be suprised to see a big dip in his production.

In another fit of optimism, I wonder whether pat's backup/young solution might be someone he's targeting through the rule v draft in the upcoming winter meetings?

I would have laugh in there faces too regarding Glavine. They went after him the last time he was a FA and he laughed at them. Good for Gillick.

as long as Coste gets an honest shot I'm happy. A piazza or estrada or lieby would get the job with no question and no competition, so it's got to be somebody on a tier lower than them.

As far as Glavine goes, it's possible that they laughed at him BECAUSE they already signed moyer and a rotation consisting of 3 fossils is just ridiculous.

Didn't Glavine have a better year than any starter on the Phillies last year? He'll probably be better than 3/5 of our rotation next year, I don't see what there is to laugh about? He's a way better option than Wolf or Eaton or Moyer or Lieber.

Having hated Glavine for years, it'd be tough to see him in a Phillies uniform, but I could get used to it, since he proved his worth last year with the Muts.

I would start getting the gag reflex if we signed Piazza. I don't want him. I'm fine with Lieberthal coming back. I'm a big Coste fan. I don't get the management's take on catching, unless they want Coste to play 3B and 1B as a utility player.

When are we going to sign a pitcher?

Hey, Jason, the Grand Poobah of the BeerLeaguer, I just had an idea. This site is frequented by a lot of opinionated people, what would it take to add a question feature where we vote on questions? That would be cool. We could vote on things like who should be the starting catcher, left fielder, center fielder and manager.

when barry zito signs a deal . . .

I'll think about it, Fred.

This Piazza/Lieberthal business is a non issue. Neither one would sign here to split time with Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste. And the simple fact is, the Phillies don't want them. They said this in biting fashion. Gillick indicated Lieberthal wouldn't be back soon after he took the job.

The Phillies don't need big offense from the catcher position. They need someone who can catch, call a good game, and most of all, someone who's young and will be around awhile. They've had the same catcher since the mid-90s, and it's time to move forward.

I found this Gillick quote from Ed Hilt of the Atlantic City Press: “Our goal is to address both (pitching and hitting),” Gillick said. “You can't expect to do it. We wanted to do something with Wes Helms (a third baseman signed Friday) and we wanted to sign Soriano and we are at 50 percent. You can't have everything on your wish list.”

We're at 50%??? Does he equate Helms with Soriano? If so, all is lost.

On catching, Ruiz will be 28 for 2007. Is that too old? There's got to be some young backstop down on the farm that can fill in as a third guy. I'm sure he'd enjoy the MLB pay increase for doing not much.

Jason, I agree that the Phils don't need big offense from the catcher position and need someone who can catch and call a good game. I don't understand why they need someone young though to split time with Ruiz and Coste. Unless you mean low salary (meaning league minimum) when you mean young. Ruiz is still relatively young (at least not beat up). Coste is also injury free and could be a valuable spare part for another 3 or 4 years. And Jaramillo appears to be a prospect and ready in a year or two. The Phils have two inexperienced catchers. I would prefer a veteran type. That's why I mentioned a name like LaRue, who is satisified in a part time role and is a capable catcher who knows the hitters in the NL. Reds were happy to have a team take his salary and paid 1/2 of it to the Royals. Phils certainly have payroll flexibility for this. A lefty though would be preferrable with Ruiz and Coste both righties.

Carlos Maldonado became available yesterday after the Pirates released him. He's going to be 28 next season. He would be fine for AAA.

Who starts on Opening Day - Coste or Ruiz? Not who will get more starts as the year goes on, but on Opening Day who does everyone think will be the starting catcher?

Myers will likely be the opening day starter, so I would guess Ruiz.

I would hope it to be Coste. I think Coste is just so much better than Ruiz.

you need to show confidence in your starter, Ruiz should start.


and nobody saw howard on abc 11oclock news with that woman????

I think the reason that we would want a young catcher is because most likely they would be optioned to Ottawa (anyone with significant service time can reject a move to the minors, incluiding those acquired in trades). The Phillies bench will be bad enough with Conine and Nunez and Bourne/Roberson, let alone having some John Flaherty-type catch and throw guy as well.

I'd rather have a spot available for one of those life-long lefty PH, like Orlando Palmiero or Lenny Haris. I'd say Roberson could fill this role, but I fear Manuel might be lured into starting him, because he is all young and toolsy. What is Ricky Ledee up to these days?

Never mind, Ledee had a bad season (in 85 ABs) last year, gets on base at a good clip and has never played for Seattle...Gillick would never sign him.

In my continuing quest to find out what gillick really thinks of burrell, I came across the following article in philly burbs which">">which clearly states Gillick went out to visit Burrell several weeks ago to talk about next season. Gillick goes on to say (causing me to nearly punch my screen) that burrell could have maybe managed 35 homeruns if he hadn't been benched so much, and that his numbers 'arn't that bad' which is some epic faint praise.

The whole thing leaves me bewildered. Gillick has obviously sat down and chatted with the guy ahead of all the lousy headlines, suggests his manager mishandled him and then passes a most backhanded compliment.

And no one else thought to report this in the papers? Does pat really dislike mr gimpy, or is it someone else within the phillies?

confused, of edinburgh

jason, why do you think the pirates released maldonado? he seems to be another ruiz -- 27/28, tore up AAA last year, nothing to prove at the minor league level anymore. i suppose the they feel he's reached a ceiling, but at tha position, seems kind of careless to drop him.

Nice link, Oisin, although it still seems like Burrell is plan C (A=Soriano, B=Lee/Ramirez). I like Lee a lot, but I think he would basically just replace Burrell's production, and would have a longer contract. Also, there is really no way the two of them could be in the outfield together (this obviously obtains to Ramirez too)...Rowand or Vic would die of exhaustion in a week!

I still really don't get Gillick. He also says that right now Rowand isn't going anywhere and there would be a Vic/Conine platoon, even though offensively, that means RF will be a new balck hole. Why would you not instead simultaneously trade from a surplus (CF), sign a solid LH bat to platoon with Conine, and use Bourn to spell Vic in CF.

It looks like a roster casualty, gr:

From Honest Wagner (Bucs blog): "... the Bucs filled out their 40-man roster Monday night, adding OF Nyjer Morgan, LHP Dave Davidson, and RHP Romulo Sanchez, while dropping C Carlos Maldonado."

Their 40-man roster includes Cota, Doumit and Paulino at catcher. There seemed to be some outrage that Cota still has a job after hitting .190.

Just to make my point clearer, it seems like Gillick is spending the entire offseason pursuing a PLAYER WE ALREADY HAVE...the team has obvious holes in RF, the rotation and the bullpen (and, possibly, still at 3B), and Gillick is focusing all his attention on looking for a big, slow, left-fielder, who has pop and hits RH!

If they sign Lee for $15M and then pay some other team $7M to take Burrell...well, oh hell, it's better not to think about it!

It's just a little disappointing the Phillies haven't gotten in on more of the early transactions that are taking place. They need to act on a setup man pronto.

the setup man thing is baffling, unless they've been in extended negotiations and didn't want to comment. I can understand a lot of GM's holding back on statements about the FA pitchers, but the price in the relief guys market is pretty well established now.

I like Carlos Lee also. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think Guillen was in Chicago when Lee was there and, to tell you the truth, I couldn't give a flying you know what about his opinion. He rips every guy that leaves Chicago. I've never seen him dog it and considering the fact that he's such a big dude, how does one explain the fact that he's been in double digit SBs every year of his career. He had 19 last year. Don't give me the "padding his stats" line either. And he's no worse than Burrell defensively.

Well, what would we think if Gillick offered Borowski or Weathers $3M a year (what Spier got)?
I'd say Weathers is proabably marginally better than Condrey or Rick White, but not by much.

Borowski is probably looking for more, too, because he now has his special "Closer" membership badge which entitles him to extort at least 3-4M extra from GMs above his actual talent.

I keep flip-flopping on this. currently I'm saying Borowski, on account of him being younger, even if he wants to a a closer full-time.

and yeah, 3m seems the going rate, so just do it. don't see us getting borowski if he's desperate to close, though.

sod it, changed my mind again. weathers, 3m. he'll be less fussy.

Curse gillick's tight-lipped nature. Choice of slightly better than average relief is ALL we can argue about? Sometimes it feels like ed wade never left.

Sadly, as more time passes I think our conjecture about who the Phils might get is pretty meaningless. I just don't see them doing much of anything else this offseason. Acquiring a veteran catcher, one or two veterans arms for the pen, and a marginal 5th starter. That's it.

MG - I almost don't mind that plan, except it still leaves us looking at an outfield of burrell, Rowand and Vic. and I don't like the idea of the latter two in the outfield.

With winter meetings coming up and word being that wolf wants things sorted for him by start of said meetings, I'm confident we'll see some other moves. Just not confident they will be sensible ones.

The madness continues .

Don't the GM's know that heavy drinking and drug use can impair your decision-making process?

Seriously tho', as rosenthal points out - this means fewer suitors next year for the andruw jones' of this world. arf.

5 years 50 mil for an average baseball player who had a good year. man i should have been born bigger and faster and practiced more.

Things like this give me hope that I will yet attain my dream job of running the phillies. I can show the brain trust glowing expert references from numerous banks, credit companies, sheriff's offices . . .

There is a report/rumor on that "Philly may blow everyone out of the water" in the Carlos Lee sweepstakes. UGh, I'd rather have Soriano.

5 years 50 million makes me wonder what we could have got back in a trade had we waited to trade Abreu in the offseason.

Lieby back are you out of your ***NG mind RSB...Catcher, is not even 3rd priority, Pratt now Lieby, Pat will now get rid of both... OUT WITH THE OLD, IT IS HOLDING US (PHILLIES INC.) BACK IN EVERY WAY YOU CAN IMAGINE ... THE SPIRT, CHARACTER AND DRIVE OF THE YOUNG LEADERS OF THIS TEAM NEED THE SPACE TO NOW WORK WITH AND START TO BUILD UP THE PSYCHE OF THEIR TEAM... How much more obvious could it be, did you see who won the NL MVP, did you hear him talk afterwards, were you listening to what he said and how he said it .... Remember that quote by Teddy Roosevelt, "speak softly, but carry a big stick..." Ryan is the leader and the brass should help create an environment where he can lead. Mind you Jimmy and Chase need that space too. But really, Ryan Howard glows like nothing I've ever seen. Chase and Jimmy are nice and do glow but this guy, wow Haley's comet indeed. Or did he drop from the stars?

wow - i've never really seen a post like that. lol

i don't think going after players is a mutually exclusive exercise. just because the newspapers say gillick is focusing on this or that today doesn't mean the rest of the organization and even gillick himself aren't multitasking.

I'll have one of whatever Warren Brewster is having.

Teddy Roosevelt to Ryan howard to Haley's Comet. That has to be some sort of record. Congratulations, Jason will be along shortly with your Beerleaguer coffee mug.

If Gary Mathews Jr. is going to get 5 years/$55 million from the CAA (as reported on ESPN insider) then I think we all need to accept that Pat Burrell is no longer overpaid. Hopefully Gillick is looking at trades right now instead of (over)spending FA money on offensive players. Perhaps we could interest the Brewers in a deal for Kevin Mench or else sign Trot Nixon (an excellent defender) to be part of a L/R platoon with Conine in RF? Perhaps bid on this other Japanese pitcher Igawa. Try to trade Aaron Rowand for either a 3B prospect (and think about converting Mike Costanzo to a LF or RF down on the farm) or, hopefully, for some pitching help (3B may not be a problem if Costanzo can make a leap and improve at AA this year and continue such progress for, again hopefully, the IronPigs in '08). I like the idea of using Segovia out of the pen in '07. Offer arbitration to Dellucci and hopefully get the draft pick compensation if someone signs him or trade him if he accepts.

i agree with MPN - if soriano is 17 mil, lee is probably 15, mathews 10 or 11 and pierre 9. i put burrell right int he middle 12 or 13. i can't see eating his salary at this point, especially if he is healthy. (i hope that's why gillick went out to visit him. i would really like to see pat play at cbp for one year healthy before giving up on him)

hey MPN - have a good thanksgiving and God bless you man - stay safe.

I've just realised what a crafty, crafty exec pat gillick is. He clearly slipped a weeks worthy of ecstasy into every other GMs food at the meetings. Now he's sitting back and laughing whilst watching the cash chase those serotinin rushes.

Never mind Pat, MPN, someone over at philliesphans mentioned that wes helms' contract is starting to look better by the second.

I think Oisin is on to something. Instead of breaking the bank for Carlos Lee, who can only play LF and whose HR & RBI #s are no better than Burrell's, why not focus on trades to get pitching? Then spend money on next year's FA pool, which is far superior to this years.
Aaron Rowand is a good Beerleaguer debate topic. Here is my take: The Aaron Rowand of 2005 is a damn good player: productive offense, mild pop, first-rate defense, hustle and leadership. The Aaron Rowand of 2006 is just an OK player.
Now you tell me which Aaron Rowand we get next season and I'll tell you what we should do.

I agree with you clout, although shopping him and seeing what we can get should never be out of the question with him.

They're letting us off early today. You all have a good Thanksgiving. I'll check in from time to time depending how the football games go and how I'm put to work in the off time to put up Christmas lights or do chores. Living down south, I might cut the grass, too!

I doubt that much will happen today. We'll probably be exactly where we are today, next Monday. Enjoy your turkey.

You make a good point clout about Rowand - I think the two biggest questions next year for the Phils are Rowand and Gordon.

Phils absolutely need Gordon to pitch like he did in the half half of the season (3-3,

Rowand needs to have a much better season next year. Offensivly, Rowand was producing until the wall incident in May and he wasn't the same afterwards. Have to give a pass there. If Rowand can give the Phils .280 with 20 HR and get on base a little more, that would be sufficient.

One thing that really disappointed me about Rowand was his defensive. Thought the Phils supposedly had a gold-glove caliber CF. Even before the injury in May, Rowand struggled in CF. If Burrell is in LF and Conine in RF this season for some games, it is absolutely vital that Rowand covers alot of ground.

Maybe its me but it seems that Rowand just doesn't do the little things well on defense. A few points on Rowand's defense:

1. Rowand insists on throwing over the cutoff's man head even though he was a weak arm. This is an ego-thing and I wish Rowand would check that at the door next year.

2. Rowand covers alot of ground but takes some awkward routes to flyballs. Kind of diminishes his range at times.

3. Rowand is hyperaggressive in the field and needs to let other guys make the play in the field when they call for it. Rowand is going to wind up injuring himself and/or someone else next season if this continues.

Speaking of OF defense, the Cubs are close to signing Cliff Floyd. That would give them an OF of Floyd-Soriano-Jacque Jones, which would easily be the worst defensive OF in the NL. This is a team that has spent huge bucks this off-season (Soriano, DeRosa, Floyd) and looks more and more like a sub-.500 team.

Agreed clout, the Cubs are a train wreck waiting to happen.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Clout, I think you mean the '04 Rowand as the good version (126 OPS+). '06 was close to a carbon copy of '05 (87, 93, respectively)

Considering that '04 sticks out as a career year, I'm betting we get the '05, '04 (as well as '02) Rowand version. I have a feeling Rowand's percieved value is higher at this point than his actual value. Paging Mr. Wiliams...

OK, Pierre at $9M, Gary freakin Mathews Jr. at $10M...Abreu at $14M would have been a bargain (for one year, no less) and Burrell is officially valuable...if teams want him now, they pay his entire salary and give us at least one A prospect, similar to what the Yankees got for Sheffield.

Gillick better figure out quickly that the guy he and his manager spent a year messing with is now a critical piece of the team signed at a reasonable rate.

"Gary Matthews Jr. reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday on a $50 million, five-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels following a career year with the Texas Rangers." -

Another one bites the dust...

What do you think it will take to get Carlos Lee?

I think it would take 6 years and $85-90 million to get Lee. Should have kept Abreu!

Rather then get Lee they should take all of that money and try to way overpay for Jason Schmidt. Think about it. If you sign Lee for 6 years (and he's going to ask for that...he won't sign for 3-4) after 4 you're going to end up trading him to an AL team where he can DH. So at some point there is a realistic possiblity that you will pay him to play somewhere else. You might as well overpay on a shorter contract to a pitcher, and at least you'll have a better shot at getting your money's worth.

I think it would take 6 years and $85-90 million to get Lee. Should have kept Abreu!

Rather then get Lee they should take all of that money and try to way overpay for Jason Schmidt. Think about it. If you sign Lee for 6 years (and he's going to ask for that...he won't sign for 3-4) after 4 you're going to end up trading him to an AL team where he can DH. So at some point there is a realistic possiblity that you will pay him to play somewhere else. You might as well overpay on a shorter contract to a pitcher, and at least you'll have a better shot at getting your money's worth.

NH – I figure six years with about $16 mil. /year will get Lee. The Astros have reportedly offered $14 mil. /year for five years.

I would rather see the money go into pitching as well. May be not Schmidt (too injury prone); though he did make $10.5 mil. in ’06. He might be had for 4yr. $15 mil. Good G/F ratio while in Frisco. Though, if you read below, it looks doubtful.

“The Dodgers and Mariners are the leading candidates to sign Giants free-agent starter Jason Schmidt. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has an "in" with Schmidt from his years as assistant GM in San Francisco. If the Dodgers fail to land Schmidt, they are interested in Blue Jays free-agent left-hander Ted Lilly, also being pursued by the Yankees and Cubs.” – Fox Sports

Who are the Phillies interested in?

You are right...I think it would be tough to get someone like Schmidt here, but to me he is the best available option since he's a power pitcher. He definitely is an injury risk, but since he's older he wouldn't need the 6-7 year contract that Zito is going to want. And the only way you get him is to severely overpay, kind of like the way the Mets totally overpaid to get Pedro Martinez. I just don't think Gillick would do something like that. I just don't like putting almost 100million into Carlos Lee. The guy is almost 300 pounds. If we don't like the way Burrell moves around out there, how is Lee going to look?

Good post about Rowand, Clout. Someone mentioned "dealing from strength" at CF. This will become even more significant once teams start suffering injuries. The best time to deal Rowand might be during spring training or the season when teams have to fill holes.

According to Randy Miller, Phils have absolutely no interest in Lee.

Which is, IMO, something to be thankful for!

Even *I* would rather have seen the Phillies kept Abreu if Carlos Lee is the big acquisition that "payroll flexibility" enables the Phillies to get. Really, how exactly do you move "forward" with a big lug like Lee?

All the good position-playing free agents, other than Lee, are now gone, swallowed up in the course of a short ten days. Curiously, nearly all the FA pitchers remain on the market. What gives there?

I think I've finally learned something useful: do not listen to a word Pat Gillick says. No one has the faintest idea if he means a single thing that comes out of his mouth. He seemed 'refreshing' and 'candid' at first, remember? Well, either he completely lacks a real plan or he's determined to give each different writer a 'candid' statement that differs from the next. I've never seen such inconsistent statements from a baseball executive.

Lets not forget the Abreu was batting.277 with 8 HR when he was traded. That is not alot of value. Had he been hitting like he did in NY the Phils would have been in the playoffs. Lets not dismiss what was happening.

Why are people comparing Lee to Burrell offensively? Lee didn't have Rollins, Victorino, Utley and Howard in front of him like Burrell did. Carlos Lee, going by his stats and RISP stats, would have 140 RBI. Burrell could never do that. Burrell would make a good 6-7 hole hitter, but not in a RBI spot. I want to see both Rowand and Burrell gone and replaced with Lee and Nixon. I want to see a Nixon/Conine platoon in RF next year. They might have some issues in LF but he will produce enough runs to take care of that.

Regarding the Coste/Ruiz deal and the need for a 3rd catcher. This might be what they are thinking because this is what I am thinking.
Helms is going to be the everyday 3B. Nunez will back up both Rollins and Utley. Conine and Helms will back up Howard. So who is going to back up Helms. How about Coste. A backup catcher isn't going to play much. This will allow a RH pinch hitter with Coste. This will allow coste to get more AB. If he was hitting like he was last year then he would be very good in this spot. Ruiz is the catcher of today and tommorrow. Lets not forget he is a pretty good hitter in his own right. Ruiz is the better catcher. But this is what I think there thinking is.

RSB - I think most of gillick's statements are the opposite - anything but candid, frequently non-committal. A writer jumps when he says 'Lee is certainly an attractive player' but doesn't say any more.

The most telling statement I saw from him was in the following report:

"All I've ever said is that we intended to improve our club and everybody drew their own conclusions from that. They looked at our lineup and decided we need to protect Ryan Howard and concluded that we should go after Soriano or Manny Ramirez or Carlos Lee or somebody like that.

What bugs me is that the conclusions are being drawn on the basis of sources inside phillies hq. Gillick knows nature abhors a vacuum, knows the reporters will try to get info from other sources, so unless he's set up a campaign of disinformation on the scale of something from west berlin during the cold-war era, he knows the writers will get info on the phils moves.

Which brings me back to my original point - the two types of statements on Burrell. Whether you like him or not, if you want him traded it would make sense not to say you're desperate to trade him (as all the sources say) and if you want to keep him and get him playing well, the same applies.

Final Question - how many of the phils organisation *actually* need to know the list of priorities for the time outside of montgomery, gillick, manuel and arbuckle?

RSB wrote -"All the good position-playing free agents, other than Lee, are now gone, swallowed up in the course of a short ten days. Curiously, nearly all the FA pitchers remain on the market. What gives there?"

The free agent pitchers are waiting on the deal Matsuzaka gets. No reason for any of the big guns like Zito to sign before they see what Matsuzaka gets.

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EST. 2005

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