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Monday, November 27, 2006

Comments

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.

We need to blow Schmidt out of the water. The whole "I want to stay on the west coast" stuff is garbage. Give him enough money and he'll pitch here. To me that's the only way this offseason would be a success. Because as of right now I think they're a little worse than last year.

If true, the Phils will once again lose out on someone whom they have targeted (one of their own nonetheless). I am not surprised that he is possibly going home, however I am rather quite sickened at the lack of urgency coming from the Ownership/GM of this team! There is no excuse to not have their top relievers in the fold once the Soriano deal fell through. Now they need to get off their collective asses and get a #5 starter in here, along with the addressing the holes in their bullpen! Wake the hell up Gillick (you are starting to look like more of a buffoon than Wade - and I didn't think that was possible)!

Maybe he is still upset about Terry Francona's handling of his young arm. If I remember correctly, Francona really abused him. But having said that I'm really willing to bet that Wolf intends on cashing in next year. He should be able to, especially while pitching in a pitcher's park. I'm actually pretty upset about Wolf leaving. Wolf actually has an upside. Who do we pick up now? Adam Eaton?

Jon - I hope there is a sense of urgency in the GM office, although I feel that they don't want to act with a sense of urgency or else they'll get screwed in any trade (like the Abreu deal).

They do, however, need to sign someone significant to placate the fan base. Wes Helms ain't gonna do it. Even a couple of good bullpen arms might do it.

Looks like Eaton and/or Batista are the few remaining options. At least neither will cost a draft pick.

Jason's right - this is still a money play. Wolf is positioning himself to get a world-class payday after this season, as opposed to the paltry 10-15 million he could get now with a longer deal. A noble move for the man who the Phillies paid $9 million to heal last year.

I say he should get JD Drew treatment.

Make a trade. The Diamondbacks just improved their rotation greatly for a package that was less than stellar. The D-Backs are a free agent pitcher away (Padilla?) from having the best staff in the division.

The Dodgers would present a nice situation for Lieberthal now that Wolf is close to signing, but I see they have Hall as their backup.

Give PG a break, Jon. If Wolf really wants to play in LA and has an opportunity to do so, nothing the Phils can do (more years, more money...within reason) is going to change that. Wolf could have an excellent year, but the Phils can make the playoffs without him. I agree that they still have a lot of work to do, though, especially in the pen...I get the feeling that Rowand will not be in red pinstripes next year. Hopefully we can get a solid arm for him.

The numbers are getting ridiculous. Baez get $19 million for 3 years to be a set-up man for Baltimore. His numbers last year were mediocre at best. These high numbers are probably the reason Gillick hasn't signed any pitchers. Gillick is an old school guy. It'll take him some time to get used to this new pay scale.

Shouldn't come as a surprise by now, but Baez signs for 3-yrs at $19M? It was only about one month ago that posts were speculating a similar price for a 4th or 5th starter.

In retrospect, Moyer and Helms now look like bargains. If only Gillick had picked up Rowand's option, he'd be pretty attractive as trade bait in the current mad market.

That's if you believe, LF, that this pay scale is here to stay. I don't - it looks to me like 2000 redux. I think half these guys will be unloaded in the next few years for salary relief.

The longer they go without signing a reliever, the more I'm starting to believe Segovia and Bisenius made a strong impression on them this fall.

Did anyone else read Zolecki's piece today, mentioning the possibility of Castro in the starting rotation? That seems like a stretch.

Right on, Maverick. Wolfie is rolling the dice on this one. Given that he is a #3 at best, he could be on the wrong side of the bubble while negotiating his next contract.

That's if you believe, LF, that this pay scale is here to stay. I don't - it looks to me like 2000 redux

If I recall correctly, the 2000 market was overextended for the top-level players only, and never filtered down to mediocre talent like Baez. Jamie Walker, etc.

The Orioles spend a combined $31M over 3 years for Baez and Walker!
On a belated Thanksgiving note: I give thanks that I'm not an Oriole fan. Angelos can really "f" up an organization.

Castro, Sergovia, and Bisenius are probably a half a year away from being ready. All three have tremendous arms and a great upside.
Eaton would be a good fit for the team at SP. But with losing out on Soriano, ARam, Lee, Wolf, Estrada they have the $$$$ to go after Schmidt or Zito. With the price for pitching rising a trade of Leiber makes it more eye catching for other teams then they could add 2 pitchers.
Gillick really needs to add an arm to the pen soon before the market thins out too much.

Wolf going to LA is just more reason that major league teams should use their FA-to-be starters until their arms fall off. Only in the situation where you have a long term contract with a pitcher should you be limiting his innings, not overworking him, etc. Send him out there as long as he's effective.

In the world of FA, you get absolutely nothing back for investing in or protecting a pitcher's arm, so you should get every nickel's worth out of them before they go. And as Wolf and others have shown, they're not leaving you high and dry because you didn't offer them fair value. They're leaving because they want to play somewhere else, often for less money.

Managers like Dusty Baker and others have been critized for overworking their pitchers, potentially resulting in arm problems. That's poor judgement if the pitcher is on a longterm deal. But if not, what is the criticism about? The player's career? From a business standpoint, if he's not going to play for you in the future, why protect him?

I thought the Phillies did right by Randy Wolf. Unless he told the Phillies early on that he was not going to sign with them, he didn't reciprocate the treatment. And I'm pretty sure we'll hear the "it was a tough decision" speech sometime soon. Sorry Randy, don't buy it.



I'm getting frustrated with the lukewarm stove action that Gillick seems to be content with this off-season. We've gone from potential lineups including the likes of A-Ram and Soriano to the point where we really have no viable options to cover any of the "top priorities" that the Phils were supposed to take care of this off-season (protection for Howard, 5th starter, 3B, and bullpen help). And no, Helms is not the answer to get this team the additional wins to get into the playoffs, especially as other NL teams get better (the wild card competition, because as-is any talk of contending for the NL East is absurd).

I can't help but think that we've fallen victim to yet another off-season of all talk, no action. A ploy to sell some tickets, hope this team is competitive enough to generate enough attendance revenue and allow ownership another season of fat profits. Now, if only Gillick could trade away Burrell without having to eat too much salary, Montgomery and his buddies could fun a great February in Greece.

I remain in PG's corner but I too am getting a little nervous. Am hoping for an offer that blows away Schmidt or a blockbuster that could land Vernon Wells...

A guy can dream can't he? Waiting patiently for more realistic options hasn't worked.

I'm less nervours than the rest of you. If signing a free agent is part of your offseason strategy, then you have to plan for the eventuality that someone else will gazump your offer and you won't get the player. Unless you'll pay anything to get the player - which is not something that the fiscally prudent Gillick is likely to do. And gillick has said he won't obtain pitchers through FA because he thinks its too much of a gamble with your money - a viewpoint I find hard to disagree with in the current market, even if I want him to sign schmidt.

I fully expect him to have entered into negotiations with soriano and lee to see what what could be done, knowing all the while that he needs to work on trade options as well.

In one way, its as well the FA's have signed so quickly - it means that he can concentrate in the december GM meetings on trades and rule 5 options. Although I'm sure its not hard to manage FA negotiations and trade negotiations concurrently, it must be easier to think through the 'what-ifs' and contingencies if its one or the other.

I also think its crucial that Gillick doesn't sign any FA just to impress the fans. I'd rather he had a lousy plan instead of his plan being 'whatever keeps the fans happy'. As Beerleaguer has shown, we're a mercurial lot with a wide variety of opinions which often contradict each other. As such, we are not a good guide to how to run your ballclub.

Maybe one of Wolf's desire to sign with a club other than the Phillies was how he was used in September during the WC stretch run as he wasn't the fifth starter, but a 6th or 7th starter. That may have hurt his sense of value to the team. It probably pissed him off.

I'm with Oisin on this one...I don't think any of the big FA acquisitions have really *substantially* improved any teams. I'd rather have little steps here and there (obviously, bullpen must be one of them) than have Gillick handing out trainwreck contracts like the ones going to Matthews, Pierre, Soriano, Lee, Baez, et al.

of course our success this coming season depends a lot on who Gillick can find to fill the last rotation spot and the rest of the bullpen. I'm not convinced that this has to be a bombshell acquisition like Schmidt or Zito (although they would certainly help) - instead, I still believe that an intelligent (and maybe that's wishful thinking) job of scouting and bargaining could get it done cheaply and effectively. I'm still glad I'm a Phillies fan instead of a Cubs fan, because I don't think they've substantially improved that team despite throwing heaps of money at it.

I agree WP, if the Phils still trade Burrell at this point, they are officially in fire sale mode. I genuinely think that the team tried to land Soriano and Lee, however, and that this wasn't a smokescreen.

I'm torn between ripping the Phillies for their failure to use the so-called Abreu saving to improve the team (remember all those July 31 posts about how that $13M could be used...ha!) and applauding them for realizing that the market is way overvalued.

Right now, teams like St. Louis and the Phillies seem to be standing still, but these terrible contracts are going to kill the other teams in the years to come.

also, I don't see how it's absurd to contend for the NL East. the Mets' rotation is sketchy, the Marlins' young players could easily backslide, the Braves appear to have as many holes as the Phillies, and the Nationals are just not in the discussion.

gillick went to see Wagner last year. why? to make it look like he was gonna do something with him all the while knowing he didnt have a shot.
He did the same with Sorryanno and Lee this year never fully intending to sign them.
spring training will hit with less than a spectacular signing and he will say, I told you I dont expect to compete until 2008.

I motion to permanently add "gazump" to the official Beerleaguer vernacular.

Jim, I'd like to give Gillick a break, but he has done absolutely nothing in his time here to allow for that breather. I was OK with bringing Gillick in (although I would have preferred Hunsicker) but the ownership is either holding him back or he is simply letting player after player pass by. I need to see something more than Wes Helms and honestly I don't know what to expect anymore.

Gillick should have pursued Baez more. Why is it so hard for the Phillies to at least have one reliever in the fold by now? They really have 2 or 3 holes in the pen and now a #5 starter problem as well. Prices will continue to rise the longer they wait. Maybe I would feel better if the Phillies actually initiated and followed through with a couple of signings or made a few trades. I know it's only November, but I feel less confident as time goes by. Baez would have been a better option than Borowski. Don't you think Borowski is going to command that same kind of money now that Baltimore overpayed for Baez?

And please, don't insult the fan base with Castro as a major league #5 starter at this time. Last I heard he was going to stretch things out in the minors and is now possibly going to do that on the big league level? Not good (as in Adam Eaton not good).

The Phillies did sign someone, however, its not a player. It is reported that the Phils hired Texas Ranger third base coach, 54 year old Steve Smith to replace the departed Art Howe.

Authentic Manuel quote on Steve Smith from Phillies.com:

"Steve came highly recommended to me by many people in this game whose opinion I trust," said Manuel. "He's done a great job everywhere he's been and I think his track record speaks for itself."

Straight from the horse's mouth, and by mouth, I mean Scott Palmer's mouth.

Jon: I agree with you that Gillick deserves no slack, but for a different reason. He has chosen NOT to participate in fiscal insanity and I can't fault him for that. BUT, if you're going to avoid the FA market then you better be able to make good trades and lesser signings. Gillick's track record on that, as I documented here awhile ago with each of his personnel moves, has been HORRIBLE.

Last offseason I was willing to give Gillick a pass. He was new and needed some time to evaluate the organization.

This offseason, I am still patient but just haven't seen real reason to be positive. Gillick badly misread this market. Instead of getting something value, he was willing to just shed salary.

Now, every major free agent that the Phils have targeted so far has gone for alot more money than projected. I don't expect the Phils to spend $150-$200 million this offseason; however, I am expecting that this team will be improved next year.

Maybe Gillick pulls a rabbit out of his hat but I doubt it.

What about John Russell for the Phillies 3rd base coach? He's been a 3rd base coach in the past at the major league level with the Pirates and worked well with the SWB Barons last year.

Steve Smith? I hope he's not as generic as his name. Anyone ever heard of him?

I agree with the perspectives of both Oisin and Jon here. On the one hand - it's only November. I was going to write something about how Gillick seems to be taking the opposite approach to Wade - making most of his moves *during* the season and doing comparatively little in the off-season. But he does have four months to play with before the Phillies begin the '07 season. A lot can happen, even if we can't immediately forsee it.

On the other hand, there's been quite a lot of action to this point already, and outside of acquiring the underwhelming Wes Helms, the Phillies have been passive spectators. I don't understand why the Phils don't even bother sniffing a guy like Baez. Not that he's a world-class pitcher, but he is markedly better than what they were dragging out there in late-inning tie ballgames last season. They have a need, they readily admit the need, and then they sit around and do nothing. Okay, true: for all I know Gillick's got his ear glued to the phones 20 hours a day. But wouldn't that eventually start to net some results? I was willing to be patient with him through the off-season last year, and nothing ever got done. I do wonder if a similar reward would be in store for the gallant perspective of assuming the Old Wise One is merely "taking his time".

Wow, clout, I was going to say almost exactly the same thing, Gillick can't be fully commended because he didn't sit out the spending spree, he just lost. If he had pursued more creative options or realized the true value of a player like Abreu, then he would get more credit. As it stands, his best work so far has been his failures (and PtB no-trade clause is probably the best thing the Phillies have going for them!)

Jon, do you really want to pay Baez $6M per year? I think the difference between Baez and someone like Condrey is probably about 5-10 runs a year, if that. I'd much have that $6M put into signing a 5th starter or allowing the PHils to make a mid-season trade.

Baez is a total Ed Wade move. What people seem to misunderstand is that while the bullpen is extremely important, finding good arms is alomst a complete crapshoot, specifically because in ony 60-70 IP, ERA can fluctuate wildly. UNless you have a proven guy who has succeeded over 5-6 years, you really have no true sense of the guy's ability.

Also, Baez has thrown a lot of games at a fairly young age and last year's struggles (specifically the steep decline in his K rate) may indicate a tired arm.

kdon, you nailed it. I never thought I'd say it, but Burrell's full no-trade at this point may be the only thing keeping this team from going back to the drawing board. If nothing else, this off-season is renewing our hopes for the Midnight Mayor. Sad, to say the least.

RSB, you never heard of Steve Smith??? He's only the best wide receiver in the National Football League. We need him on this roster, player or coach. I love the speed. Oh, wait, it's a different Steve Smith? Crap!!!

as much as i would like to join in on the gillick has to do more groans on this thread - i have a calendar on my desk and it still says november, so i'm not going to do that. as i've said previously i refuse to believe that this is whole thing is some dave montgomery conspiracy and PG is playing the lead in some lame 'weekend at bernies - phillies edition' movie.

I mean I am getting nervous about the lack of getting quality talent into the bullpen by Gillick. But at the same time, if he makes one of the idiotic moves done by the Cubs or Orioles were probably crucifying the man right now. HE would have handcuff the org for 5-10 years and I am glad he hasn't. I am confident Gillick will make a move, he is just bidding his time, he will probably end up with Borowski or Weathers, and he will get a pitcher, we just have to be patient.

KDon brings up some good points about Baez but Gillick does need to make an "Ed Wade" type move and bring in at least one reliable veteran arm that can close.

Phils may have to pay a premium for this but they desperately need an alternative if Gordon goes down for a prolonged time period.

Tim makes a good point, the GM meetings are coming up, and it's one of Gillick's last chances to really change my opinion on how well he can do a trade.

I will lose no sleep over "missing out" on Baez. Chad Bradford would be my ideal pickup, depending (as always) on the price tag.

Wolf was one of the only pitchers the fans were good to and he still wants to leave. Can't really blame Gillick, if he wants to leave he's gonna leave.

Phils are quickly running out of options.

1. Other than Rowand & Burrell, Gillick has no position players available to trade, and few remaining candidates to replace Burrell, if traded.

2. Most available talent on the trade market would require young arms in return. ChiSox dangled Garcia to Texas for prospects, Yanks received quality pitching in return for Sheffield, D-Rays want prospective ML pitchers for Baldelli. One of the few Phils bright spots is their minor league pitchers. Giving up any real prospects would decimate their farm system (again).

ae wrote above: Right now, teams like St. Louis and the Phillies seem to be standing still, but these terrible contracts are going to kill the other teams in the years to come.

What's up with the Cardinals? World Champions with a brand new stadium filled to capacity for the entire season, yet they've made no moves (not even involved in many rumors) so far to replace Suppan, Mulder, Marquis and Weaver.

They are content to sit on the sidelines while every game is a sellout. Phils look like big spenders compared to the Cards. Wonder how that's playing in Cardinals Nation?

Do I think Baez is worth 6 million? No, but that is what the market is this year. I do believe he is equal to Borowski and better than Weathers, who will command just as much as now that Baez got that offer from the Orioles.

Ideally, the Phils would pump all of their freed-up money into the starter vacancy, but I have no reason to believe that they will do anything more exciting than an Adam Eaton. This team needs a Jason Schmidt, along with salvaging what they can out of the reliever crop, especially if trades are not going to be made (anyone here any rumors lately on the pen - I haven't). I agree with a previous poster that money talks. Throw it at Schmidt or watch Eaton throw homer after homer after homer.

vor - just to clarify, that was actually kdon's post.

Eaton signs with the Phils for 3 years/$24M

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2677728

I'll be surprised if Eaton posts a sub-4.50 ERA, but whatever...everybody else seems to like him for some reason I can't discern, and he's certainly better than the ludricous Castro-as-number-five rumor floating around recently.

ESPN is reporting the Phillies have signed Adam Eaton to a 3-year deal at 8M per. As noted earlier Eaton has averaged fewer IP per start than just about anyone in the NL the past 3 years, but he's better than any of the second-tier FA RHPs left except Padilla and you know that wouldn't happen. That makes this a good signing, giving the rotation a better righty/lefty balance, assuming some arms are added to the 'pen.

come on clout, I beat you by four minutes!

;)

Olney has an article up tracking the latest Manny rumblings. Mostly speculation, of course, but teams in on the Manny sweepstakes seem to be the Giants, the Padres (with a package built around Scott Linebrink?? Okay, sure) and the Dodgers.

The Phillies are certainly no worse-positioned to make a deal than the Giants, although the Dodgers have enough MLB-ready young talent to blow everyone out of the water. If I were Gillick I would focus exclusively on this, instead of making misguided forays into the free agent market in the name of pitching. If we're going to spend (in terms of payroll or trading talent) I would go for guaranteed quality over filling an immediate need every time.

Next year the rotation may be in much better shape, and Manny will still be a dangerous hitter. The Batistas, Eatons and Weavers, however, will still be their mediocre selves, no matter how much they're earning.

Well, that's just depressing.

ae: Good job! I agree with your skepticism on Eaton, but the Phils had no interest in a top tier FA starter so that left the group including Padilla, Lilly, Marquis, Meche, Armas, Batista, Ohka and a bunch of lesser lights than that. I hope everyone appreciates the irony of Padilla being the best of that lot, but Eaton might be second best. Trivia fans will note that Eaton was a Phils prospect who was dealt for Andy Ashby, an utter failure here, in yet another bad Phillies trade.

maverick: Please offer even one shred of evidence for this statement: "Next year the rotation may be in much better shape." This is a rotation that subtracted Wolf. Who's the 5th starter if the Phils do nothing? What happens if Leiber and Moyer show their age?

Okay, the best I can spin this is that Eaton has a 3.62 ERA against the NL East (excluding Philly). Of course, my math could be wrong.

This is by no means a terrible signing, but it speaks to one of the biggest gripes about Gillick on this board: a near-pathological lack of creativity. Giving up and offering a three-year deal to the lesser of the FA evils is not the mark of a talented baseball exec.

Eaton? Not good enough.

Good signing as Phils needed a 5th starter. Also since Eaton wasn't type A free agent, he doesn't cost us anything but money. Now, we need to address the bullpen.

Clout, you have once again mis-interpreted one of my posts. I meant after this coming year, when Hamels and Myers may well have developed further and Gonzalez and Castro might be MLB-ready.

"He [Gillick] and Eaton met on Gillick's 38th wedding anniversary."

I AM TIRED OF HEARING THAT GILLICK IS A PAWN. pawns/frauds/hacks don't do things like this. they don't go 3k miles away from their wives becusae they are making ownership rich to go tofrance. this is a solid, quality signing - both in talent and money. the phillies have 5 major league quality starters in the rotation for the first time in a long time.

It really doesnt matter, to end the speculation Eaton was just signed by the phils 3 yrs and 24 million

maverick: Sorry, I misunderstood. You're referring to 2008 then. Your post seemed to suggest you think they should go after Manny and ignore pitching for 2007.

burrell and lieber and a prospect might get you manny and matt clement. (not that i want to do that)

i think gillick can walk and chew gum at the same time. everything is not mutually exclusive.

Well, that is sort of what I meant. I meant that if I were in Gillick's shoes I would resolve the Manny thing first (i.e., give it our best shot) and then address pitching. I know that's blasphemy around here, but Manny is a once-in-a-generation player and the FA pitchers seem largely interchangable to me.

Simply put -- wouldn't Ted Lilly have been a much better option? (look at their career numbers...Lilly has been excellent save a few innings early in his career and an injury shortened 2005)

Matsuzaka
Papelbon
Wakefield
Beckett
Schilling

Why the Red Sox would give up Manny to add Lieber to this list is beyond me.

lily's older, will cost more and left handed. so i would say no. just my opinointhough.

im happy with this. eaton is only 29 and actually has upside for a free agent (i think jason wrote about that). he doesn't walk people so he should be able to survive the homerun ball. he cost 2 mil more a year than danny baez and only 1 mil more than lieber who signed years ago. just getting him to sign before zito/ schmidt is an accomplishment. this may turn into the best fa signing around the league.

and maverick - they could trade lieber or someone else for somehting. matzusaka isn't there yet and they don't have a catcher for wakefield.

Adam Eaton as the 5th starter? I'll take it. Can he do any worse than Gavin Floyd - or at least three-quarters of the rest of the NL's fifth starters in '07? I doubt it.

Lilly may have been a better option, but he will almost certainly be more expensive. My guess is he goes to the Yankees for 4/40 or thereabouts.

Tim - if the Sox strike out on Matsuzaka they can plug Clement into the rotation. They are one of the few teams not currently hurting for starting pitching, which means that Lieber is not a viable trade piece for them.

RSB, I will agree with you than that, but I think Wolf will have better numbers come the end of the year. Hopefully we will be pleasently surprised with Eaton instead of reading headlines like "Eaton Alive!".

What about signing Barry Bonds? Still an on-base machine, still has power, and according to the statheads he's actually better than Burrell defensively.

i'm just throwing it out there maverick not saying it will happen. clemnent is a terrible contract and they are dieing to get ride of manny. what i was thinking when i wrote that was that gillick didn't have the depth to trade anyone to be 'creative' or flexible like people want. now he can. lieber has victor zambrano for scott kazmir value to a desperate team right now.

remember it's still november.

Ah yes, the joys of believing ZR. just remember - ZR had Dellucci rated as the best outfielder on the Phillies last year.

Bonds could be the ultimate protection for Howard, but I can guarantee that he would lead the Phillies in one stat, far eclipsing anything Burrell could do: getting booed at CBP. The Phans would be merciless.

" AM TIRED OF HEARING THAT GILLICK IS A PAWN. pawns/frauds/hacks don't do things like this. they don't go 3k miles away from their wives becusae they are making ownership rich to go tofrance."

It's Seattle. If I'm not mistaken, Gillick has some HUGE ties to the city. He didn't exactly fly to the Venezualan prisons to rescure Ugie Urbina here. He was probably already in town for Thanksgiving.

I agree that Wolf will probably have better numbers than Eaton, but Dodger Stadium will have a lot to do with that. And as far as Wolf is concerned, he seemed determined to play for his hometown team. It's not like the Phils didn't go after him. But I can live with the tradeoff.

wp - ok. whatever makes you right. if you can't give the guy some credit for effort that's on you.

as for wolf - i agree, you can't make him sign here. if eaton can give 200 innings (a good sized if) i think the tradeoff will be fine. i didn't like the 3 lefty thing anyway.

"

Ah yes, the joys of believing ZR. just remember - ZR had Dellucci rated as the best outfielder on the Phillies last year.

Bonds could be the ultimate protection for Howard, but I can guarantee that he would lead the Phillies in one stat, far eclipsing anything Burrell could do: getting booed at CBP. The Phans would be merciless.
"

How awesome would it be if the homerun ball that beats the record is thrown back out onto the field? I know that it probably wouldn't happen but the best chance of it happening is at CBP.

I'm not saying that he's tied up in a room somewhere and not trying to make this team better. If that's what was desired of a GM, then Gillick wouldn't have been hired. All I am saying is that there are clear cut lines within PG must work, as is evidenced by Montgomery laying out the Phillies desired payroll to the media (a number that they are still far short of hitting, as well). Gillick does not have the open checkbook and magical workings that he's had in the past. This is the Philadelphia Phillies and he will need to work under the same rules that Wade had to work under (i.e. keep payroll under control while producing an entertaining and competitive product). I don't think anyone on this board would say that he's been given the keys to the car to build a World Series winner.

I agree that he did good by not selling out the future just to have Soriano in a uniform, however, I am also not naive enough to think that he's going to get into the mix for Schmidt or Zito. That's a pipe dream and a moot point now that Eaton is #5.

Here's my wish list:

Manny
2 relievers as good (and colorful) as The Beard.

Amen, lets play ball.

i think the phillies payroll hasn't been the problem and will not be the problem. the second i believe it is i will cancel my season tickets. gillick got a guy from seattle to sign in philly, before the market was ever set for starters. i think that's a great move.

it's been reported 1000 times that schmidt and zito are not coming here. they are going to get 15-20 mil a year and sign with whatever team they want. you can't force people to sign with you. zito is trying to make the hall - you think he can do that in cbp? neither does he.

From Ken Mandel at phillies.com
"If the club can move Burrell and don't add another bat, Philadelphia's outfield could be Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino and Jeff Conine from left to right."

Are you pumped ?

My wish list would be, two more relievers, and then somehow swing a trade of Pat Burrell for a decent leadoff guy... not even necessarily a guy with better OBP than Rollins. If we could move him to #5 our Howard protection problem would be solved. If Jimmy's in one of his funks then Chase and Howard could be flipped temporarily.

Of course, this is all asking a lot of Manuel. I still am sort of in shock that he'll be our skipper next year.

Personally, I like the move. Screw Wolf if he is going to bail after we did right by him. Eaton at some upside, and I value him just under Wolf.

Now we just go get the Bullpen help we need and we will be fighting for the wildcard again.

If we get a big bat in a trade, which I doubt, then we will contend for the East.

I am happy the rotation is filled out and it isn't by a ML shot in the dark. We will have one of them in the rotation when Lieber has a heart attack midseason anyway.

gg - ship the east

that assumes that dellucci doesn't come back, that burrell doesn't bring a corner outfielder in return and that gillick doesn't sign a free agent.

i do not believe that will be the outfield.

i want miguel batista now to be the emergency starter and 8th inning guy.

Eaton had some solid seasons for the Pads when he was healthy and he was pitching in the biggest hitters park in the league last year. A lot of teams were seriously interested in him. I think this is a good move. I am not even that concerned about not getting rid of Burrell. I think if he can get healthy (Big if I know) then he can hit 30 HR and drive in more than 100 RBI. He was a walking hopital record last year and he may be again this year, but his value will be drastically increased if he comes back healthy and starts out like he did 2 years ago. Then we can talk about moving him mid-season or whatever is appropriate.

Not psyched about Eaton signing but a necessary evil at this point. Phils absolutely needed another starter since they don't have an internal candidate ready to begin the season in the starting rotation.

Just have to cross-fingers and hope Eaton stays healthy. I recommend wrapping him in bubbletape during all road trips.

The notion that Eaton got that money to be a fifth starter is laughable. Anyway you slice it, it's a significant downgrade from Wolf, and while Eaton's not going to be looked at to be a rock in that rotation, as a 2 or a 3 if things don't change... fortunately it's early enough that there's at least TIME for more changes...

in a perfect season moyer would be the worst pitcher. myers/hamels would fight it out at the top and lieber/eaton will be healthy and productive. i can't stand the notion of pitchers being assigned numbers. i think it's worthless. who is the number 5 start on the whitesox? what's the difference between a 3 and 4? it drives me nuts. how about five guys with 14-18 wins each and 200 innings each. that should be the goal of every staff every year.

Eaton is (as I have stated 8 days ago) a younger Cory Lidle..I also predicted Helms, Eaton and Weathers back then.. The reason this was easy to see is because the Phillies (for YEARS)have made mediocre enough signings to spark debate but NOT to win championships..

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EST. 2005

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