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Monday, November 20, 2006

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"Losing out on Soriano may signal a change in thinking regarding left fielder Pat Burrell, though the team still appears determined to deal him and absorb a portion of the $27 million that he is owed over the next two seasons. If Burrell is dealt, Aaron Rowand could shift to left, with Shane Victorino and Jeff Conine in center and right, respectively, but Gillick will remedy that." (phillies.com)

boggles the mind.

I want to comment on some of the points discussed in the previous thread.

1) On the concept of luck evening out over the season: I agree with that, and I'm not one for making excuses, but luck did not even out for the Phils last season. They caught many more bad breaks than good ones, from rain delays forcing double headers, to midnight starts on the road, to bad calls. Mathematically, many of you will disprove this, but I felt the wind was knocked from their sails many more times than they caught a break, particularly on offense.

With Soriano out of play, the best thing Gillick can do is give the offense someone who won't spot the opposition three runs after one or two innings. They were constantly playing catchup last season. Hopefully, it made them stronger.

2) On Piazza: I tend to believe reports that say the Phillies are okay with the catching situation. I also read an encouraging statement from Manuel saying he likes Ruiz's chances as an everyday player.

Here is what I do if I am Gillick.

I go to Schmidt and say look I will pay you $17M/4-5 years to pitch in Philly.

Then I go to Dave Roberts and offer him a $20/5year deal and ask him to bat leadoff

Then I go to Rollins and tell him you are now the 5 hole hitter. I move Howard to 3 hole, followed by Utley and then Rollins who is a switch hitter.

This is what I would do. Schmidt, Myers, Hamels, Lieber, Moyer might be the best rotation in baseball and yet your lineup is still killer.

i'd like piazza or estrada - not because i don't like what we have at catcher, but because they would be upgrades. estrada everyday and piazza more as a role player.

i agree with you jason that everything on offense is going to be ok even if they don't add anything else. like i said before - not landing soriano doesn't make the league leading offense worse. i do believe though that we have to have another starter (i hate the numbers game but i think we need a 3 or 4 at worst - moyer should be the worst starter on a playoff staff.)

i also believe that gillick will get it done.

If they're going to hand out one-year deals, I'd rather have them go to pitchers like Dotel or Mota.

reports are that schmidt will not sign here no matter the money.

The only thing I can say about the Soriano situation is that Gillick needs to do something and soon. Though at 136 million losing out on Soriano is a good thing.

PhillyRocks - interesting plan - though I suspect you could get roberts for cheaper. Word is he was looking for a 3 year 15 mill deal. We could move pat to right, and have a solid leadoff hitter.

If we go for schmidt at that price I'd prefer four years, and we better run a tight spring training and have our backup ready in case of injury. I doubt he's going to come to the east coast or philly though. Apparently he doesn't want to.

i hope gillick took/takes a shot at signing mussina. for some reason an extention witht he yankees hasn't been finalized. it was said to be 2 years 22 mil. i'd go 3 for 33 or 2 for about 26. he would bring some serious credibility to the franchise and would be making the famous al to nl switch.

it's not like he needs the money though.

I also like the idea of moving Rollins back in the line-up. It takes his speed out of the game a bit, but he is the third best hitter on the team, and Victorino or someone like Roberts would be great in the lead off spot.

I don't like going after another catcher, almost no matter who it is, because I don't see it as anywhere close to a top need. it's fourth at best, behind starting pitcher, outfield, and reliever(s). I don't see Piazza signing a one-year deal (although I could be wrong), and if Estrada comes here in a deal for Burrell that's really a terrible deal. (possibly prospects coming back would make it better, but I don't see that happening.)

I would much rather see Mussina or Zito (or Schmidt, although I think his durability should be a warning flag) here. I would gladly pay Zito Beltran money, or maybe even Soriano money, depending on how it's structured. we should also pursue Maddux - considering that he pitched in Wrigley for what, ten years?, I don't see why he couldn't pitch in CBP. of course the response will be that nobody wants to pitch for the Phillies, but that excuse just doesn't cut it. if the money's right and Gillick does his job selling the team, there's no reason pitchers shouldn't be willing to come here (aside from regional issues, wanting to stay near family, etc.). it's not Coors.

at this point, I have no desire to see estrada or piazza here. There's been enough upheaval in the C position over the last year. 4 different catchers last year alone. Coste calls a good game, so even if his bat falls silent, we'll still be ok, especially considering the upgrade of Nunez's bat.

My God, if Gillick actually wants to PAY $7M to have an outfield of Rowand/Vic/Conine, then he is has clearly lost touch with any ability to recognize what does and does not help teams win games.

His last years in Seattle and his time in Baltimore were pretty terrible, but I was holding out hope that he would revert to his Toronto and early Seattle days, but this looks less and less likely.

The terrible FA signings, the terrible Abreu/Lidle/Padilla trades, the decision to keep Manuel despite almost universal recognition that the team underachieves, and now the pathological insistence on trading a player who is either your third or forth best hitter for absolutely nothing (and PAYING FOR THE RIGHT TO DO THIS) while doing almost nothing to improve what is BY FAR the teams beakest weaknes (pitching) really is mind boggling. From what I can tell so far, The 21st century Gillick is inferior to Wade and one of the worst GMs in the business.

The only qualification is that his hands are tied by management (i.e., they are dictating the salary cuts), and this means that he is just a hatchet man rather than simply incompetent.

umm, "beakest" = biggest

I want Vernon Wells.

So before I get any corrections, I don't mean that Seattle and Baltimore were terrible under his watch, but that in both cases, the farm system was decimated and the team was terrible after he ledt.

wow kdon that was pretty lame.

that makes it less lame - lol

but you should clarify calling a certain hall of famer and one of the most respected exectives in baseball a 'hatchet man' - he's had the job for a year. and not knowing the inner working of the front office or what his plan is i think he deserves a little more than that.

Not to break the Phillies thread, because there is certainly a lot going on (though all of it seems with the Phils on the sidelines), but just heard terrible news that former Eagles great Andre Waters killed himself last night with a self inflicted gunshot wound. He was as Philly as they come and will be sorely missed. RIP Andre.

Um, so are you actually going to defend Gillick's tenure so far or his rationale, or just call my argument "lame." Doesn't really do much for the discussion to call posts names.

I also think what is said is crystal clear, but I'll repeat it: IF Gillick is basically just cutting salary, THEN he is a hatchet man. IF he is not just cutting salary, THEN he is simply doing a poor job.

Kdon, I don't think we can assume that burrell is now up for trade, and then assume that the rowand, victorino, conine outfield is what he definitely wants.

There was no talk of phillies shopping burrell at the gm meetings - just talk of 'phillies wanting to get rid of burrell'. Had the phillies approached teams, we would have heard of it. Gillick talked of waiting for the market to mature, and with his wished-for outfielder gone, and him admitting that you don't find a player producing burrell's numbers regularly.

Having said all that, I think gillick's performance as a gm so far has been average. The padilla trade+abreu and lidle trade are bad, bad, marks against him. his prudence in the contracts he's given offsets some of the horrible signings made last year - a-gon, franklin, rhodes. I like the man's willingness to adapt, cut mistakes and change course quickly, but I yet to remain convinced that he can consistently trade for good value. I alway felt we started evaluating him from the july deadline and on that basis, his first year has been average.

let's rein our hyperbole in a little. Gillick's nowhere a Hall of Famer. when in comes to executives in the Hall, you got Branch Rickey, you got Bill Veeck...you pretty much need to be a pantheon GM to make it to Cooperstown, and Gillick isn't exactly Charlie Comiskey.

PhillyRocks: I like your thinking, had the same idea on the previous thread. I'll repeat it since few will probably see it.

Pros & cons of Roberts in CF, Rollins batting 5th:

Slim pickings of the remaining position players on the FA market. A few players that could be good gambles but few, if any, would be a good fit in the current Phils line-up.

How about a Rowand trade for whatever pitching help he would bring, sign Dave Roberts to lead-off and play CF, and drop JRoll to 5th to protect Howard.
Roberts would provide the classic lead-off hitter the Phils lack, the line-up would have more speed distibuted throughout, and JRoll would (1)make it more difficult for the opposition to match-up, and (2) have more RBI opportunities. You'd still have a weak arm in center but Roberts might be a slight improvement defensively. On the downside, Rollins would lose some ABs further down in the order and Howard would clog the basepaths for Jimmy.

Burrell at #6, Helms at #7, and Ruiz/Coste at #8 would be a huge improvement over the previous black hole.

erm, should've finished a sentence there ' . . . and him admitting that you odn't find a player producing burrell's numbers regularly, there's good reason to believe he'll keep burrell.'

i'll defend gillick -

pitching the name of the game and look what he's done. two young lefties - castro, matt white. justin germano a projected starter from the reds. brought up cole. gave mathieson a shot instead of retreads like paul abbott. traded for moyer. traded for gio gonzalez our best pitching prospect. drafted drabek. didn't trade myers even though there was pressure too.

i only said it was lame because it was filled with emotion onesidedness - to say he hasn't tried about pitching - when that is all he's talked about since day one just struck me as lame. i'm sorry. i take it back.

phillies fans should accept that gillick didn't come here to win with ed wades teams. he traded wades players (some lazy, some with alchohol problem) for whatever he could. the team was more fun to watch, shows more promise, has more young pitching all under the ONE YEAR PG has been here. rome wasn't built in a day.

I hope you are right Oisin, I was responding to the quote in the first post that left open the possibility of a Conine/Vic/Rowand outfield.

I agree that Gillick adapts quickly, but that doesn't mean he is succesful, such as the decision to start Floyd in the rotation based on two spring training starts even though he had clearly demonstrated his full level of sucktitude fir two years.

Also, I don't think the ability to sign bad players to cheap contracts and then cut those same players is really a strength. I can count the "good" moves made by Gillick on my thumbs: the Thome trade (which I though was good at the time and obviously neccesary, but depends greatly on the success of Gonzalez) and the Tejeda-Dellucci deal (which I defended a lot in face of criticism), and could be bad if Tejeda develops).

So we have two good moves so far (but could still go bad), how about bad moves.

Fassano, Nunez, Gonzalez, and Franklin signings. Terrrible, just terrible, close to the four worst players in all of baseball, seriously.

Michaels-Rhodes. Bad move, even though J-Mike was exposed as an everyday outfielder.

Padilla-Rodriguez deal. Bad move, obviously, 15 game winner for litrerally nothing.

Abreu/Lidle deal. Bad move. All-star OF and dependable pitcher for what most scouts think to be low-level prospects.

Bell trade. Probably useless, but the worst possible time to trade Bell, when our backup was hitting .170 and he had no value.

I'm proabably missing some moves (oh, I guess there is Gordon, which seems OK for now, but depends on his health), but I don't see how you can possible defend this guy's record.

We can also add things like the failure to beat out the D- Rays for top gun or the Conine deal. Moyer we will have to see.


Seriously Tim, you are defending Gillick because he started Mathieson? Or the fact the he DRAFTED a pitcher, regardless if this was a good pick or not? Or because we picked up frickin' Matt White and Fabian Castro, a LOOGY and a 5'8" pitcher slated to start in AA? Talk about damning with faint praise!

Gillick hasn't been about pitching this offseason, it has been about two things, Soriano and Burrell. Gillick was saved from doing something stupid by the Cubs, and hopefully the Yankees, Red SOx and Giants will keep him from doing something stuupid with Burrell.

i can't help you if you don't think gillick isn't about pitching. that is just odd. every statement he makes ends with soemthing like "but pitching is the name of the game and we need more and we need the young pitchers to step up." you don't recognize the trend i pointed out to you? or your a scout and don't think those moves are good? you say he's worse than wade, but wade wouldn't have brought up cole or mathieson or traded for moyer. we would have the same team that nobody wanted to cheer for.

gillick is a good gm. the phillies barely missed the playoffs in his first year. only one big player has signed - what you call a bad contract - and you're killing the guy for not signing him even though he shouldn't have signed him. i don't get it - i think you're just bitter today.

kdon - tim raises a good point about pitchers - we were going to have to bite the bullet on floyd, and given that his and franklin's numbers were equally as good, it was encouraging that gillick went with the younger option. I can't criticise a GM for selecting a young pitcher with promise one last time over an old homerun machine.

And its important not to forget smith - we may yet get that closer from within that we've all hoped for from either him or castro. The decision to see whether castro has the endurance to cope as a starter also indicates gillick is assessing all possibilities.

I will defend gillick's propensity to change course and reverse decisions as a good one for this reason - if you're a good executive in any business, you have to be flexible and constantly assess everything. gillick speaks in those terms all the time, and his cutting of bad decisions proves he really does walk the walk.

It's not been a good start for him, by any means. Even smith salvages some of the abreu +lidle trade, its still terrible that gillick was prepared to put lidle in to make abreu palatable.

Its terrible that in being desperate to dump abreu's salary, he underestimated the outfield market when he KNEW a new labour deal was going through this year. Even half-yearly figures on attendence figures and cash streams MUST have been healthy. I can't believe that MLB doesn't distribute such information on a quarterly basis.

Gillick behaves like a good exec who has made some bad mistakes. That's why I'm cautiously optimistic that he'll make the right moves, but not 100% behind him.

again, kdon - you say gillick was saved from doing something stupid by the cubs, but we DON'T KNOW the details of the offer. What we know is what he said: he doesn't sign players to NTC's and doesn't like players to sign to long contracts.

And can we get off the 5'8"-therefore-must-be-of-no-use analysis of Castro? The astro's were quietly picking up short pitchers with a lighter build and doing well out of it in the late 90s/early 00's.

136 million for Soriano? Imagine what the phils will have to pay to keep Howard and Utley!

thanks for the support oisin - i'm not saying pg is perfect - he should have got more for abreu. i'm saying he's a well respected gm who is one year and two weeks into building something he thinks can win.

i also will throw my support behind the jroll batter lower comment. i love him leadoff but just think he's developing into what could be a dangerous middle of the lineup guy.

Let's not think about that right now. We've got them for cheap which is why we need to win in the next year or two.

I'm still on the fence about Gillick but will give him credit (so far) for not opening the vault for free agents.

The factors driving a few owners to throw Monopoly money at a thin free agent market - the sale of the Nationals, revenue from the WBC, a new TV contract - are not annual occurences. A year from now, with a better pool of free agents and less money to go around, we could be lauding Gillick for his foresight and fiscal responsibility.

I have been on board with the J-Roll down in the lineup move all along.

Signing Roberts makes perfect sense to me. This linuep would be fine. Add pitching and we will contend for the east.

Roberts
Victorino
Utley
Howard
Jollins
Burrell
Helms
Ruiz

Trade Rowand like previously mentioned.

Can we get Delluchi back? Is it even possible?

It's still to too early to judge Gillick but the prognosis is not looking too good. Gillick's first offseason was pretty weak. Awful signings and some terrible trades. Still have to see how Gordon's health turns out and how acquisitions from Thome trade perform.

I also wasn't impressed by his in-season moves last season. Totally misjudged the market by moving Abreu during the season instead of waiting until this offseason. The only real strength so far seems to be that Gillick isn't afraid to take some risk by promoting players and getting rid of mistakes. That is a big change from Wade's tenure.

The recent comment about the Burrell trade just boogles my mind. Does Gillick think that an outfield of Rowand-Victorino-Conine can compete? I hope this isn't serious.

I still that the $90 million payroll comment from Dave Montgomery earlier this offseason was just crap. Pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the Phils just aren't going to spend any money this offseason.

It's going to be another offseason of acquiring retreads and bit players.

It's still to too early to judge Gillick but the prognosis is not looking too good. Gillick's first offseason was pretty weak. Awful signings and some terrible trades. Still have to see how Gordon's health turns out and how acquisitions from Thome trade perform.

I also wasn't impressed by his in-season moves last season. Totally misjudged the market by moving Abreu during the season instead of waiting until this offseason. The only real strength so far seems to be that Gillick isn't afraid to take some risk by promoting players and getting rid of mistakes. That is a big change from Wade's tenure.

The recent comment about the Burrell trade just boogles my mind. Does Gillick think that an outfield of Rowand-Victorino-Conine can compete? I hope this isn't serious.

I still that the $90 million payroll comment from Dave Montgomery earlier this offseason was just crap. Pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the Phils just aren't going to spend any money this offseason.

It's going to be another offseason of acquiring retreads and bit players.

Ok I'm officially reversing my opinion on Burrell at this point. He had a horrible last month and a half, but I believe that if he can finally get healthy then he can get back to the 30 HR/117 RBI guy. He is not old. He is actually younger than Soriano. These are supposed to be the best years of his carrer. (If you look at recent peaks by players). I just hope that he gets surgery, or something that will get him healthy. If he does, then he is valuable and a major power threat. He did bat for a higher average two years ago than Soriano did last year and had more RBI's. (OK I know Soriano hit leadoff much of the season, but 117 RBI's is not too shabby. Also, Burrell drove in 90 this season and he was barely walking, plus he had wrist problems. I think for the hit we would take giving him away, we have to give him another look.

IMO Rollins is far, far too streaky to be a reliable presence lower in the order. second half Jimmy (.298/.346/.540/16HR) would be great. first half Jimmy (.259/.322/.421/9HR) not so much. maybe you could ride out the streakiness if he's hitting sixth, but then he's too good to stick down there when he's on.

When I say barely walking, I did not mean Base on Balls. I meant physically.

can piazza play the OF? just kidding.

"It's going to be another offseason of acquiring retreads and bit players."

Is this such a bad thing? (Assuming they are paid like retreads and bit players). If there's nothing worth spending the money on, don't open up the checkbook. Target Zambrano next offseason, and in the meantime throw some money around the Dominican and make sure that getting our picks signed this year isn't a problem.

I too would rather have a magical Manny or Lowry trade, but in the event that reality intrudes and keeps that from happening, we could do worse than to sit on our hands for a year.

MG: Awhile back I listed every transaction that PG has made since joining the team. Any reasonable person would have to say they were dreadful overall, with a few bright spots. Given so many of his moves have turned out poorly I can't complain about him not forcing anything now. I think adding Soriano without upgrading the pitching would've been a big mistake. Now they can focus on pitching, which is what the team needs more than anything. I think if PG adds 3 good relievers and a solid starter, we may forget about all his horrible moves last off-season.
P.S. The Wade haters/Gillick apologists repeatedly cite last year's finish as evidence that PG is better. It's as if 2005 never existed. For those who forgot, the 2005 team had a better record and lasted longer before being eliminated than the 2006 team.

If we're talking about Dave Roberts, why aren't we talking about Juan Pierre, who is also a free agent and a better player? But then again, I doubt the Phillies are talking about either of them. I don't think moving Rollins down in the lineup would be the worst idea in the world, but it does not appear that the Phils are giving this idea any consideration.

But if the alternative is a sluggard like Piazza - even as I have sounded the alarm for protecting Howard, I would prefer a player like Pierre (or Matthews) to Piazza. Piazza can drive the ball, but that's about it. He'd give you fewer K's than Burrell but would hurt the defense and kill innings with DPs. I know Pierre has no arm, but I prefer exciting players who can track the ball down, make things happen on the bases, put the ball in play, and play the game right. The Phils have their power in the lineup. What they need is more players who get on base and can move around the bases.

Clout, that's the biggest abuse of bottom-line statmongering I've ever seen - you've outdone yourself. Are you really trying to qualify Wade as 'better' than Gillick because the '05 team won three more games and was eliminated one day later in the season? Really, is the word 'context' entirely missing from your dictionary?

I'm not really a big fan of Roberts *or* Pierre, but Roberts has several points in his favor: 1) he costs about half as much as Pierre (based on 2006 salaries), 2) for his career, he's 7% more successful stealing bases with a comparable per 162 game average, 3) he appears to be much better at taking walks (averages 18 more walks per 162 games in over 100 fewer AB). but like I said, I'm not really big on either of them and I don't see how they fit on this team.

What is with the love for Burrell? The man is lost at the plate. If he was worth anything he would have been moved by now. Teams see the tape and know for the price he is worthless. Plus come on do you really think we will start the season with Conine in RF full time?? He is over 40. That was a comment based on what we have now. Move Burrell sign a starter rework the back of the pen and find a bat that doesn't choke with runners in scoring position. Soriano going for 136 was crazy and we shouldn't have paid that but you can't tell me we can't find a bat out there. Plus don't tell me about our farm team AAA had maybe 3 prospects on it. They were fringe prospects at best. This team is young enough to compete for the next few years if we can move some prospects to get a bat that can protect Howard I say do it. Come on where it the logic here.

Maverick - Yes. Acquiring retreads and bit players won't put this team in the playoffs. Period. How can you be satisfied with another "competitive" team that misses the WC by 2 or 3 games? I think most Phils' fans would refute your opinion pretty quickly.

RSB - You suggested acquiring Gary Matthews Jr. and now Juan Pierre. I know you love to harp on the current Phils' player shortcomings but do you really think these guys are upgrades? Juan Pierre is nearing the "completely washed-up" phase of his career and Gary Matthews Jr. is classic case of overachieving in a contract year. I would rather have the Phils' keep who they currently have than either one of these guys.

Potential Free Agents After This Season:

Carlos Zambrano
Michael Young
Joe Nathan
Chris Carpenter
Andruw Jones
Vernon Wells
Adam Dunn

Waiting to bid on one of these names would NOT be the worst thing in the world.

Great comment from Salisbury today on Carlos Lee:

"Carlos Lee is still out there, but his weight gives some teams pause. He might be one long-term deal from becoming a Wing Bowl contestant."

I don't think anyone here is surprised that the Phils didn't land Soriano. I don't think anyone believed the Montgomery was going to allow that kind of money to be spent (regardless of what he said) on any one player before they have to shell out for Utley and Howard. I highly doubt the Phils will pursue Zito or Schmidt. They should offer one of them an insane deal where the players association would put pressure on the free agent to sign here or at least make a team like the Muts overpay. Unfortuantely, I highly doubt that is going to happen. I would like to see them go out and sign a couple of their top relievers *now* before they too disappear. I am tired of seeing the Phillies options disappear, one, after another, after another...

Interesting list of free agents. Andruw, Dunn or Wells would be just what we're looking for -- but if Soriano can pull down his staggering sum, what will those guys go for?

Well, Justin Speier just signed a 4 year deal with the Angels. Cross another reliever off the list. The Phillies need to get off their asses and sign some relievers now! There is never a sense of urgency with this team!

So who are the relievers the Phillies should go after? Clout recommends "3 good relievers and a solid starter." Who are they? Does Randy Wolf qualify as a "solid starter" and would he still be the right acquisition if we end up paying him 8 million dollars a year?

Let's say we close our eyes and try really hard to believe in fairies and the next morning Gillick trades Rowand for a good setup man. Where do the other two good relievers come from? Do we really think that this team is just David Weathers and Joe Borowski short of making the playoffs?

I say don't spend unless it's worthwhile. Handing out multi-year deals to old middle relievers behind a "fix pitching now" mandate strikes me as a futile gesture. If it's going to be a free agent, at least roll the dice on depressed value with upside potential, i.e. Gagne or Dotel.

I would go after Baez and Borowski now that Speier is off the market. I don't have a high opinion regarding Weathers. I wouldn't even mind an incentive based deal for Gagne. The Phils were looking into Kerry Wood, so why not gamble on Gagne?

Wolf be my choice for the #5 spot, but there is no way we should have to shell out 9 or 10 million a year for him. A 3-year 21 million deal should be good enough. I would even give him a shot at free agency next year and offer him a 1 year deal for 7 million straight up. Then he could explore his options after being fully healthy for a season. Of course, you never hear this kind of talk from the Phillies.

*would be

In the movie Animal House, Kent Dorfman (later to be named Flounder) was a legacy when pledging to get into Delta House.

In this case Gary Matthews Jr. is a legacy. His dad was on the 1980 World Series winning Phillies team. If we signed him, he'd have to live up to his dad's Phillies success.

In this analogy, the Phillies are Delta House and Pat Gillick is Dean Vernon Wormer. On this team, I guess Burrell is Otter (a ladies man), Utley is Boon, and Howard is Bluto.

In all seriousness, Gagne is worth the risk. He'd be good Flash insurance.

Please tell me why anyone (including veiled Arab women) would want Pat Burrell over Carlos Lee. What am I missing here? Carlos Lee is so far superior a hitter to Burrell that I actually had to use the men's room to get cleaned up. I laughed so hard that I had an accident.

Have you seen Lee lately? At the end of the season he was easily pushing 265-275. Might be an ok DH but this would be a diaster in the field.

If we sign Andruw Jones after next season (Which we wont) I would vomit and be pissed off for three weeks. I dont want any Braves castoffs. THey are all BUMS. The Braves are horrible. Jones can take his .250 batting average elsewhere. And by the way the Mets signed Alou. This is a great move for us. Alou is a decently big investment and he sucks, so cheers to you Mets and your economic irresponsibility.

I don't know about Alou sucking. I think he was the best guy on the market for our "protection needs". Better then Soriano,given the commitment and cost, if he could stay healthy.

I like signing Jose Guillen regardless of Burrell staying or going. I think he will be cheap with a 1 yr injury rebound deal. I'd rather have Vic in CF and Guillen in RF, then Rowand and Vic. Every arm would be a plus with Vic in CF. If we could get some kind of pitching for Aaron, I think OF offense and defense doesn't skip a beat. Just lose a good clubhouse guy for a crumb. And defensively he's an upgrade over Burrell in left. Worse eye about the same power when healthy.

Why worry about free agents for next year. Even if those starters were to become free agents they wouldn't want to come to Philly. Not with NY and Boston and other contenders trying to sign them as well. Nathan is in his mid 30's. With several teams also going after him. Michael Young? We need a SS or 2b? No need. Dunn? Another left handed bat in the middle of the order that strikes out 170 times. Jones would demand what Soriano got. Plus Boston and the Dodgers would be pushing for his services. Wells would also demand a big contract. I think it is ridiculous to look towards next year. If the Phillies don't win FA won't want to come here. I like Eaton. He could fit in as a #3 on this team. Hamels is still going to have to be watched because of his history of arm trouble. I agree about Lee. You put clause in his contract about weight and he will come in looking like Mr. Atlas. But we still need to move Burrell. The man looked lost at the plate at the end of this season.

Jose Guillen is an interesting name. I wouldn't mind seeing him split time with Conine in right if we can unload Rowand for some kind of pitching. I could live with a Burrell, Victorino, Guillen/Conine outfield with either Conine or Guillen available off the bench when the other is starting.

Well my post from last week was partially wrong. I thought that the phillies would try to go young with pitching and do it from within while breaking the bank on a FA hitter. Looks like they will not spend serious money on a hitter and try to patch up wounds with minor deals for the short term. Looks like they will not go get a top starter so i still wouldn't be surprised to see Happ and/or Segovia make this team to give some depth to the staff. Also it appears they will go after some experienced relievers with the ability to close in case of the inevitable injury to Gordon in July/August.

Well considering the phillies have raised ticket prices for the 4th consecutive year in the Bank and payroll remained relatively constant and this year it will most likely be reduced i'm pissed. Why raise ticket prices??? And didn't the owners just get a boatload of $ with the new collectible bargaining contract & TV deal from ESPN/FOX??? THese owners are so ignorant its riduculous! Greedy bastards who do not care about the average fan. I just hope they look across the street to the Wacovia Center and see the corporate crowd the flyers now draw. Its a totally different crowd then say 10 years ago when the average joe could take his kids to the game and pretty soon the phils will have the same dillema.

Peace out my hommies

juan richardson had a nice year in AA for Texas last year. .311 17 hr and 78rbi i still wonder if the guy was poorly handled here. By the way what ever happened to the other top gun 3rd basemen we always heard of Terry Jones and Jake Blalock???

Just some corrections. Joe Nathan turns 32 tomorrow. Secondly, It's Rich Hill (starting pitcher from the Cubs) who by the way was dominant in the 2nd half last year. He's been a top prospect for several years and looks like he turned a major corner after the All Star break.

In the 7 years that Mr. "Called 3rd strike" has been with the Phillies they have not gotten to post season play. And, they will not in 07,either.

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EST. 2005

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