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Monday, December 25, 2006

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Hopefully this will drive the price up for Zito. The Met's seemed to be trying to leverage signing Suppan against Boras. Not that they don't have the money to pay him 18-20 million a year anyway.

10 Million a year actually seems reasonable in the market this year. I bet that Suppan could have made more money if he went to the highest bidder.

I'd like to praise Jeff Suppan for "the tenacious manner in which he has approached his long-sought big league career." Because, as we all know, the most important thing about major league players isn't their talent or ability or established level of performance or the match of those talents to the needs of the team that owns their contract. It's their tenaciousness.

"The Brewers are starting to look like a small force in the NL Central"

By default, the Brewers look like the team to beat in the NL Central in '07.
The Cubs fail to impress despite opening the vault and, is anyone as puzzled as I am over the lack of activity by Jocketty & Co.? World Series champs, and will most likely sell out the season in the new park.
I would be irate right now if I were a current season-ticket holder in St. Louis!

Interesting that the Brewers would offer such a relatively large contract to Suppan. Considering Milwaukee's payroll, they are tying up 30 to 40 % of that with 2 players (Suppan and Sheets). A deal like this could potentially hamstring a team like the Brewers with limited payroll flexibility. I like Milwaukee's rotation, but still think they need another bat to win the Central even if Fielder has a break out season in 2007. This takes away the Mets "Plan B", but I still have to believe they will eventually land Zito.

Hey, can't believe I'm posting on Christmas! Anyway Merry Christmas and Happy (though finished) Hanukkah to everyone.

Anyway, I agree that the Brew Crew are not the kind of team that should be making these deals, unless they have a lot of money sitting around that they can't spend.

I assume that this officially kills any Lieber=> Brewers deal.

Alby: Now, some more sophistication is showing in your thinking on this board. Ah, gee, -- you weren't being sarcastic, were you pal? LOL.

The posters have been hitting the Christmas cheer. That Pennsylvania Dutch Brand Egg Nog will do it every time.

The Brew Crew was a borderline CW contender last year, so they may be a team to beware of next year.

No sign of clout?

I meant WC! Durn egg nog!!

FoxSports says the Yankees are shopping Randy Johnson to Arizona.

I'd gamble on Huff for 3 years at that price, provided he doesn't receive a no-trade option. The Phils really need to get some more bullpen help too. They are really taking a risk in thinking that moving Lieber will fill those open voids. They need a fallback option (or two), and one of those pitchers definitely needs to be a legit left-handed hurler.

Why would Huff sign someplace where he wouldn't have a starting job?

Jason: I'm counting on you to get Charlie Manuel all liquered up at the festival, and have him tell the world what he really thinks of Pat Gillick.

If the Phils wanted Huff, they wouldn't have signed Helms. I still say first base is Huff's best position. He's not really an outfielder.

Christmas was good to me- XM Radio car and home kits, some nice clothes, Madden for PS2, and even a box of Phillies tissues (now I can blow my nose in them when they leave me crying).

Eric Junge is my boy from Bucknell. I went to Philly on a freezing cold "college night" to see him pitch. My wife and I ended up on tv for about 30 seconds because I had my Bucknell hoody on and there were only a handful of fans in the entire stadium.

Huff could have a starting job if Rowand were dealt. We need to upgrade this pen somehow. If it means dealing the Liebers and Rowands of the world, then sign Huff or Nixon now and start making some trades! I don't see the Phils going out of their way to court any relievers off of the remaining free agent list.

Jon, I am all for trading Rowand. I think he is redundant (Vic is a better, cheaper option in CF). But do you really want Huff and Burrell in the same outfield at the same time ? I should amend my previous post and say DH is Huff's best position. I like Nixon. At 33, he's an on base guy who would make a good platoon in right with Werth. But we traded/gave away a much better left-handed 33 year old right fielder last July who also gets on base a lot.

Yes, Jon, by all means, we must do all these things right now, because as we all know the season starts in just a few days...seriously, do you people EVER look at things from a point of view beyond the typical spoiled-child mentality of fans who want things now, now, now? How do you square this kind of impatience with rooting for a team with the lowest championships-per-season-played ratio of any team that existed before 1962?

Oh, and don't forget, whatever trades are made must comport with our No. 1 goal, making sure Christ Coste gets his playing time. So please, Pat Gillick, don't improve the bench by getting, say, a proven left-handed pinch-hitter, because while that might improve the team, it would hurt Christ Coste (that was initially a typo, but the more I think about it, the more I think we should change his name, the better to fit DavThom's image of him).

BOOK SWAP:

September Swoon by Wm. Kashatis is a fantastic book. Jason had it on display far right, and I picked it up after seeing it on Beerleaguer. As hard as the read gets when it comes to the final 12 games, it's excellent writing and information about the Phils and the 64 season.

I'd sign Huff at that price and tell him he'll start 5-6 times a week. If a Rowand trade possibility comes open, jump on it and play Victorino; if not, suddenly you've got a pretty nice looking bench with Vic, Coste, Werth and whoever isn't catching that day.

Adding Huff to play RF, with Lieber and Rowand now available as very useful trading chips, probably would render the Phils favorites in the NL East, and maybe the whole league.

Trot Nixon would be better than Huff - he has had less injury troubles and is a better defender - although they have remarkably similar numbers, however the Phillies seem to have done the best job of any team not overpaying for talent this winter. If they use some of that saved capital on another FA, they need to listen to IronPig, Lake Fred, Billy Mac and I and sign Scott Schoeneweis.

Happy Boxing Day all!

"Free-agent first baseman Shea Hillenbrand has agreed to a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" - not that big a deal on its face, but the domino effect should increase the likelihood of the Yankees sending Randy Johnson somewhere for a first baseman or reliever, which hopefully in turn would get them to spend their considerable wealth on Barry Zito - keeping him away from the Mets. Perhaps we could trade Lieber to our current nemesis for say, Duaner Sanchez or another reliever of his ilk....

Verdeforce, Interesting comment about Hillenbrand signing having downstream impact. I don't see the Yanks going after Zito though, but rather Clemens. And I can't see the Phils trading to make the Mets better. I am liking the idea of beginning the season with all 6 starters, and stashing one in the bullpen. The market for a proven starting pitcher can go nowhere but up.

You've read my mind, BM and V. I'm working on a Zito entry.

I'd definately go Huff over Nixon. I don't get this comment Verde:
"Trot Nixon would be better than Huff - he has had less injury troubles"

Games played (last 4 seasons):
Huff - 131, 154, 157, 162
Nixon - 114, 124, 48!, 134

Nixon probably is the better defender, but Huff is three years younger. I'm not sure about their splits, because what we really want is someone who can mash RH pitching and platoon with Werth. Nixon may have a bigger upside, but Huff is the surer bet.

I also think the team should sign one of these guys and keep Rowand AND Vic, unless they are blown away by an offer.

Rowand, Werth, Burrell, and Huff/Nixon all carry significant injury risks because of past history and/or body type. I think Vic is worth more as a 4th outfileder and defensive replacement than anything that Rowand would bring us. If you trade one of the two CF, you are one injury away from having Bourn, Roberson, or Jacobs in the lineup every day.

I'd prefer Huff over Nixon. Nixon may be a better fielder, but his injury history is enough to stay away from.

I have a hunch RJ is gone in the next day or 2 and Zito takes his place in the rotation. Which would be great-keepig Zito out of the Mets rotation.

kdon, Nixon has career .892 OPS against righties. Huff's is .848. So they both hit them well. As far as games played, Nixon was benched against LH pitching, so that explains (in large part) the games played. With regards to trading Rowand, Werth can play CF if Vic were to be injured. Phils also figure to add another LH bat who can play outfield. They won't start the season without one LH bat off the bench.

Alby, no the season does not start in a few days. I just would like to see the Phils do something now instead of later. The Phils have pissed away far too many opportunities at upgrades over the years. In case you forgot, it's now been 13 seasons since 1993. We all should demand that more be done sooner, rather than later. No sense of urgency has plagued this team over the past decade. Or would you rather Gillick sit back and wait to get the scrap heap players like Gonzalez and Fasano and apply that logic to the bullpen? I'd rather not wait and get next to nothing in return.

Jon writes, "The Phils have pissed away far too many opportunities at upgrades over the years." I'm sorry, I'm not following you here. The most significant failure to upgrade the team came when Abreu was traded for three pieces of minor-league roster-fodder and a LOOGY. Any other "upgrade" you might name would have cost us something that we didn't pay. Just because you disagree with a move, or a failure to make one, doesn't make it a bad move. But I'm willing to hear your examples.

"We all should demand that more be done sooner, rather than later." Exactly the thinking, as I recall, that led to the Abreu trade.

"Would you rather Gillick sit back and wait to get the scrap heap players like Gonzalez and Fasano and apply that logic to the bullpen?" Nice straw man you've set up there, Jon -- because I'm not going to whine about Gillick's timetable, I must want him to sign crappy players. This is the sort of faulty logic people employ when they don't want to debate on the level. By the way, where's your evidence that Gillick settled for those players because he waited too long to move? A much more plausible explanation is that he was working within a budget, and he thought those were the best players available at the salaries he paid. After all, the Yankees thought Fasano was OK; it's not like he wound up with Tampa Bay. No, I don't think he was very good -- inferior to Coste, certainly -- but the opinion of him was shared by at least one other GM with a good track record.

"I'd rather not wait and get next to nothing in return." There are two problems with your argument. No. 1, how do you know Gillick isn't negotiating with player agents? Because he told some reporters that he's happy to go to spring training with the current roster? If that's your reason, you trust him at face value more than I do. He's under no obligation to tell the truth to reporters, and he knows it. No. 2, why do you conclude that waiting is such a poor strategy? When you have spare parts that aren't clogging up the roster, time is on your side. Outside of Junior Griffey, few players get hurt in the offseason; quite a few more might come up lame during the course of spring training, including some on the Phillies. Maybe it makes more sense to keep Rowand and Lieber for now and see how the first few weeks go at Clearwater. Maybe -- forgive me for the disloyalty, but common sense demands it -- Pat Gillick actually knows more about running a baseball team than the people who post on Beerleaguer. Just maybe, of course.

Damn, Alby. Excuse me for wanting to see a little more action and a little less of the status-quo. I especially like how you try to relate trades to possible free agent signings.

Sure, I'd like to see the Phils sign one or two relievers. I didn't know that called for my head. Heaven forbid we actually address a need now. Maybe you like having Brito, Castro, Sanches, Simon, and Warden fighting for two or three spots in an already weak and overused/injury-prone bullpen. Personally, I think that sucks.

It's funny how the urgency was there to sign a Borowski or a Weathers, but now nothing. There are obvious holes in the pen. Maybe we could get a guy who could fill a significant role (or two). Do you really think their prices are going to drop over time? I doubt it with the market already established this year. Why not get someone decent (yes, there are some decent options left) before another team swipes them from us yet again? It's not like I said Gillick couldn't get the job done.

I also said it would be wise to possibly sign Huff or Nixon so that we could trade Rowand or Lieber for the relief help we are seeking (or maybe if we signed a couple of relievers we could move those guys for some much needed minor league help so we wouldn't have to rely on the Britos of the world). Why not sign Huff or Nixon now and get the ball rolling on the trade front? Or must we wait yet again and settle for what is left after other teams address their needs with other players...

Alby says: "Pat Gillick actually knows more about running a baseball team than the people who post on Beerleaguer". I agree with you here, however you contradict yourself when it comes to Gillick and Abreu. You put down the Abreu trade, yet you seem to have faith in Gillick to continue to wait to make his moves during this off-season. If anything, Gillick/Wade waited too long in trading Abreu. Maybe if he was traded after the HR Derby the year before, or this past off-season, we might have actually gotten more than Matt Smith and a 6-pack of piss.

You can have all the Fasanos and Wardens you want. I'd rather sign productive players now, rather than waiting for the scrap heap later.

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