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Monday, August 06, 2007


Your right, Eaton is a problem we are stuck with. Hopefully it is a mental thing and it can be fixed but he is here as a starter for the remainder of the season whether we like it or not.

Lost in discussion, in case I missed it in any of the comments, and lost on me is Myers replacing Romero with two outs and the pitcher scheduled to hit third the following inning.

Um. Why?

It's times like those when I'm happy I'm *not* visiting my folks in South Jersey every Sunday.

Sadly, this team is what it is til the offseason. If it is going to win, it has to win with offense. Defense and pitching just wont do it, and all the while with the managing albatross around its neck.

The good news: If Cot's salary page is right, we only have about $40M committed to slary next year (with Burrell). I guess Gillick was right when he said the team would not compete until 2008 - Fuqua will be gone, and he'll have $60M to spend in the off season.


I think at least a chunk of that $60M has to go to lock up Ryan for a few years.

That does leave a lot of money for additions, no?

You could overpay for a few starters, relievers and a 3B.

I don't think that's right, VOR. my quick math shows $58.56M committed for 2008 (including salaries and contract buy-outs), and that's before calculating raises for Howard, Madson, Victorino, and Hamels.

Is Victorino arbitration eligible yet? I don't think Hamels is, so he's likely to get the Howard treatment this season and then a hefty bump the following season.

That still leaves a sizable chunk of change to overpay for some pitching. It's an impressive class this year, is it not?

ae: you are right - did the rough calc in my head before the Mateo trade, and not considering the buyouts or Moyer's min for next year.

But - considering they should open the purse strings given the number of sellouts this year, we should have at least 50M to play with, and yes, Howard and Cole need to get paid out of that too.

true, bridoc, but it's going to come out to a decent piece of change. (and I didn't even mention guys like Dobbs & Werth.)

FA pitchers available next year (no options):
Shawn Chacon PIT
Matt Clement BOS
Bartolo Colon LAA
Scott Elarton KC
Josh Fogg COL
Freddy Garcia PHI
Livan Hernandez ARZ
Jason Jennings HOU
Jon Lieber PHI
Kyle Lohse PHI
Rodrigo Lopez COL
Wade Miller CHC
Eric Milton CIN
Kenny Rogers DET
Curt Schilling BOS
Carlos Silva MIN
Kip Wells STL
Jaret Wright BAL
Carlos Zambrano CHC
Victor Zambrano NYM

Jeremy Affeldt COL
Armando Benitez FLA
Francisco Cordero MIL
Rheal Cormier CIN
Vic Darensbourg DET
Elmer Dessens MIL
Todd Jones DET
Jorge Julio COL
Joe Kennedy OAK
Byung-Hyun Kim FLA
Scott Linebrink MIL
Ron Mahay ATL
Trever Miller HOU
Mike Myers NYY
Chris Reitsma SEA
Mariano Rivera NYY
Rudy Seanez SD
Mike Timlin BOS
Mike Venafro MIN
Luis Vizcaino NYY
Bob Wickman ATL
Scott Williamson BAL
Jay Witasick TB
Kerry Wood CHC

I don't know if those are really impressive lists.

Out of 3rd basemen and outfielders in case Rowand goes:

Mike Lowell
Mike Lamb
Pedro Feliz
Eric Byrnes
Geoff Jenkins
Brad Wilkerson
Tori Hunter
Corey Patterson
Milton Bradley
ANdruw Jones
Mike Cameron
Eric Hinske
Jermaine Dye

These players all have club options next year:
Shawn Green, Adam Dunn and...

well a-rod can opt out of course my bad

the figure I usually assume for our committed 2008 payroll is around $75M, based on cot's and a poster on Back She Goes. which does leave $20-25M to spend, but you have to get an outfielder, a 3B, probably at least one starter, and several relievers.

Could you imagine this team with a legit 3rd baseman!?!

Add a legit #2 starter and a legit reliever, and presto!

Oh, and any manager whose middle name is not Fuqua.

What do people think of Mike Lowell. I remember him as a Philly-killer when he was on the Marlins, then had a terrible year. Then cast off and thrown in with the Beckett trade and has had a few decent seasons with the Sox. He's a competent fielder and right handed bat. I wonder though how much tread is left on his tires?

Just finally got to watch the ninth-inning comeback for the first time. I didn't realize just how improbable it really was. Consider that the first batter of the inning, Helms, hit a little squib right back at the pitcher, who booted it. If that play is made, the game ends at 6-2 with Ruiz lining out to RF. And then there was Iguchi's 'single', which wasn't hit hard enough to be a routine infield out. If he doesn't hit it as weakly as he does, the game's over at 6-3. From there on in, Cordero flat-out melted down, and I can't believe Yost left him in all that time - pitching in his third straight game - to struggle so mightily. Rowand had a tremendous at-bat leading up to the Braun error.

What made it most enjoyable to play back after already knowing the outcome was the Milwaukee crowd standing on its feet for ten minutes, growing less and less confident in their two-out applause with each ensuing pitch. Siddown!

The Phillies, incidentally, did the exact same thing in Milwaukee last season - had two outs and no one on in the ninth, and came back to tie it off Turnbow - only to lose in the bottom half.

...came back from a three-run deficit, I forgot to add. In the game last year.

Has anyone else noticed how the Phillies and Mets schedules have been identical since just after the break? it continues this week with Atlanta in NY then coming to Philly, while FLA goes to Philly then NY.

Since that stretch began the Mets and Phils have identical records against identical teams. This shows the following:

1) For the past three weeks we have been equal to the Mets.
2) Since our injury problems are worse and we will get our guys back, there is hope.
3) That 4-11 start buried us.

Seems funny to be discussing the offseason with this season very much in play...but I'll play along.

Much of what happens this offseason depends on this September. If this team somehow grabs the Wild Card berth, I'm sorry to say that Cholly will return. If not, he's toast. (Or at the very least, he should be.)

Then, we have to see what becomes of Myers. I know many posters on here want him back in the rotation. I can see both sides of the argument. When he's on, he can be one of the top closers in MLB. Others, I'm sure, will argue that the role of closer is an overrated one.

I want to see Rowand back in red pinstripes next season. I believe he's earned it this season, and his personality fit perfectly with guys like Utley, Howard and Hamels. If he walks, his run production will need to be replaced by a stud third baseman...I would love to see Eric Byrnes manning the hot corner for us.

ae: where is the THome buyout info? I thought we were done this year. Also, I would hope they buy out Helms as well for the .75M. Im not even sure it is worth offering Madson arbitration. I just dont know what to make of him.
I know there are a lot of players on the roster they would like to resign - but they dont have to. Gillick has a veritable blank slate to work with this off-season. Pretty scary.

Bridoc, Byrnes is an outfielder

I don't know about Mike Lowell, I don't know how much more he has left. But hey, it would be much better then our 3rd base situation right now.

I was watching the Mets-Cubs game last night and it was mentioned that the Mets only went 28-30 in June & July.

Maybe the Mets weren't hit quite as hard as the Phils have been with injuries, but they still have had their fair share this year too. Generally, they are a bit more healthy now with a few general exceptions (Lo Duca, Beltran).

Still, unless the Mets have an injury to one of their few key guys (Reyes, Wright, Wagner), I don't see how they lose the division title because I don't think the Braves or Phils are capable of playing .600 the final 2 months and overtaking the Mets.

according to cot's, Philly is responsible for half of Thome's salary plus the 2009 buyout. since they have us listed as paying $7M of his $14M salary this year, I assume it was not a one-time lump-sum payment.

longwood - yes indeed the season start burned us.
I also think Interleague play screwed us a little - we couldve benefitted from a series or two vs the mets or atlanta, when they were really weak. Interleague play must go.

DO you offer Madson arb? Yes, in a heartbeat.

This team is so damn infuriating.

Can Eaton play third?

Nevermind on Byrnes.

I was obviously thinking of someone else.

Thanks for the heads up, Naylman.

Helms doesn't have a buyout until 2009. he's on this team next year.

and joe's right, you have to offer Madson arb unless he's got a career-ending injury. beggars can't be choosers...

Has anyone noticed that Adam Eaton has an incredibly bad case of Puffy eyes and Gin Blossoms?

I have no proof whatsoever, but it certainly looks like he's hungover on the mou.d, every day.

@JZ -- Romero was taking out because Damian Miller was coming up (Right Hander). And since we had no buddy available on the bench... no double switch could be made.

ae: thanks - now i see.

Growing up playing 3rd and idolizing Mike Schmidt makes the hot corner one of my favorite positions on the field. Phils had some ok 3-sackers since Schmidt left- Hollins, Hayes, Zeile, and Rolen...but since Rolen has left it has been a nightmare! David F'n Bell...I hate him with passion. And now Nunez and Helms, I'm screaming bloody murder!!! Get me a real 3rd baseman please, that's why I was clamoring for A-Ram this offseason (damn Cubs!).

This isn't a popular topic with MG, but I'm definitely curious whether Iguchi could play some third base.

He's 33 in 2008 and a free agent after the season if the Phillies do not extend him. Like everyone else, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired with their third basemen. They need to upgrade next season.

Is Iguchi a possibility? I like what I've seen at the plate as a No. 2 hitter. My feeling is he could probably get a starting job as a second baseman elsewhere, maybe in St. Louis, but interest could be minimal because of his age. The Phillies would not get a draft pick as compensation, and may be better prepared to pay for his services than a lot of other clubs. Plus, they wouldn't need to test free agency - that would appear to be the only other avenue besides a trade, which won't happen. Considering the potential loss of a draft pick, Iguchi could be a pretty safe play - and short term. Just one season left if they extend him. Costanzo isn't an option for 2008, if ever.

Does Iguchi have the arm for third base? That's the question. Otherwise, I could absolutely live with marginal power at the corner. Also, at this stage of his career, he'd make one hell of a useful utility man.

If only Cabrera could be had....
This team has ZERO 3rd base prospects, to make things worse.

I thought Iguchi played 3rd in Japan, injured his shoulder, and was moved to 2d. It would be nice if he could play 3rd, but im not optomistic.

Iguchi played shortstop before he injured his shoulder...based on what I've seen, I think he'd have the glove to play third - it's the arm that would be the sticking point.

I do think he'd be a great piece to have in the lineup - he really seems to have the right mindset for a #2 hitter. maybe he strikes out more than you'd like, but I think his positives (patience, some power, good speed) make up for that.

VOR - accoridng to, Iguchi played SS from '97-'00, and then moved to second from '01-'04. I'm not saying he can't play third, but it doesn't appear that he has. Unless someone else can correct me.

Sorry, ae. Didn't see your post before I typed.

If Iguchi could somehow become a serviceable starting third baseman next season, it would be a great boost for the club. He'd even be a nice addition to the bottom of the order. Top of the lineup might look like Bourn/Rollins or Rollins/Bourn. Push all the chips on free agent pitching and lock up Howard.

Why would we not offer arbitration to Ryan Madson?

Before getting injured this season, he sported a 3.05 ERA and a 1.268 WHIP. In his 35 appearances since his disasterous three-game start, he's compiled a 2.47 ERA and a 1.216 WHIP, with 38 K's and 19 BB's. He'd only given up 3 HRs and opponents were hitting .228 against him over that stretch.

And we don't want this guy in our bullpen?

@GM-Carson -- You included Rolen in with a group of "OK 3rd baseman". Rolen was in another class compared to Zeile, Hollins and Hayes who were okay gloves and above average sluggers. Rolen was on his way to superstardom before injuries (Vet Stadium-induced???) slowed his progress.

ah, there ya go. but i think they said the reason for the position change was because of the injury. sure he has the glove and the range, but the throw from third might be the problem. if he could do it, im all for it.

Jason: I could support that. I really think it's more important to improve pitching than to fix third base.

Our lineup could be:
Bourn CF
Rollins SS
Utley 2B
Howard 1B
Burrell LF
Victorino RF
Iguchi 3B
Ruiz/Coste C

Is it as dynamic? Maybe not. Will it produce enough runs if we could improve our pitching? I definitely think so.

CJ: Yes - I meant 6-7, but you got it. Yup. That would not be a popular outfield with Clout, but I see a winner there.

Since we're thikning out of the box? What about this???

iguchi to Short... Rollins to third... His arm is very strong. He has 3rd base power...

Also, when considering Iguchi at third you have compare him to the likely other options. Even if he arm is somewhat weak, I think I would still trust him more than Helms or Dobbs who seem to air mail a throw or two a game.

Are we sure the Phils will still owe money for Thome next year? Could've sworn we put that to rest at some point. I vaguely remember there was an interview with someone in mgmt(Monty? Gillick? Amaro?) saying they have that $ freed up.

Great suggestion, Mike. I wonder if J-Roll would go for it.

Mike: Interesting thinking... but is SS a position where defense is more important? Isn't Rollins amongst the best in the league there?

Iguchi said that he'd be willing to give it a try, and Manuel said he was already taking grounders at third - but the flip side is that he had shoulder surgery in the past, and might not be able to handle the position. Everyone wants to know if Iguchi is a possibility at 3B, but I doubt we'll know before Utley comes back. If he could, it would indeed be a major coup for this team.

CJ: That is true about SS. Interesting topic for an off day, to be sure.

I don't think Rollins is interested in 3rd:

"The general manager did not ask Rollins because he wants him to move to third. He just wanted to know how difficult Rollins thought it would be to make the transition from shortstop to third.

"No way," Rollins said. "I tried third for a couple games in high school, and that was enough for me."

I know I asked this before and got ripped but does it make any sense to consider Burrell at 3B?

He played there in college and I believed some in the minors but was moved due to Rolen being dubbed the "franchise".

It might be a better career move for him as it would be less running strain on his legs/ankles/feet but his arm is still strong.

These are professional athletes and you would think making a transition back to a former position should not be all that difficult if you put the time and effort into it.

Just a thought but obviously that opens up an outfield position as well.

Rollins already has expressed disinclination towards moving to third base. You don't experiment with shifting two players out of their normal positions when there's only one player's viability in question here.

The same article goes on to say:

Iguchi, who has played only second base in the majors, played shortstop in Japan. He said Monday he had played only a couple of games at third base in his life, and that came during a rehab appearance in the Japanese minor leagues. But Iguchi also said he would do what he could to help the team.

JB: No. He's a statue. His best position would be DH.

@Ribbies -- thanks, I remember reading that, and here I thought I came up with an original idea for the day. I'm going to back to sticking my head in the sand...

Gillick's problem has been trying to fix what he perceives as problems on the offense. The offense is pretty well stacked. This season he should have let Coste have the back-up job to Ruiz (and used Jaramillo in AAA if there was an injury). He also should have just accepted Nunez as the everyday thirdbasemen, but allowed Dobbes to challenge him for the job. There was no need to spend money on those two positions. The Phils problem every year has been pitching - both starting and bullpen. Next season, Gillick needs to leave the offense alone. Gillick could make many Phils fans happy by signing Schilling to a one or two year deal, and by making a sincere effort to landing Zambrano (for the love of god, Not VICTOR). If Zambrano falls through then sign a groundball specialist like Silva.

Resign Dobbs to play thirdbase until Constanzo is ready, let Rowand walk and replace him with Bourn. I like Rowand just as much as the next guy, but we don't need to spend $10mil a year on a guy who is primarily a defensive player. Rowand is having a contract year offensively, and with our pitching problems it is unjustifiable to spend starting pitching money on him.

Although Howard and Hamels may not like waiting another year for a paycheck, the bulk of their money can be tied to the expiring commitments to Burrell and Thome.

A lineup of Bourn, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Burrell, Victorino, Ruiz/Coste, Dobbes boasts power and speed and sacrifices very little.

Send Myers back to the rotation. Starting Rotation of Schilling, Hamels, Myers, Zambrano or Silva, and Moyer or Eaton gives the Phils the best 1-2-3 punch of any team.
This may necessitate trading Eaton (for nothing) or relegating him to the bullpen for long relief and emergency starts, but thats his own doing. Moyer may retire.

Also sign a reliable closer like Nathan or Cordero, and a reliable setup guy like Linebrink.

Our offense is fine ... Commit ALL available money to pitching!

JB - no. Burrell has been an outfielder for seven seasons now. He cannot be thought to have infield skills any longer. He could throw but he would not be able to move around at all. I don't think the Phillies would consider such a thing for a split-second.

Maybe a few years ago you could consider Burrell at third, but with his mobility where it is today (feet issues... not to mention the wrist), it's just not a viable option. I like the idea of trying to keep Iguchi and giving Helms spot starts against lefties.

Yeh, put it this way, Iguchi will absolutley give 3B a try because where else is he going to get a chance to play? Rollins and Utley will play every day for the most part. Plus, Iguchi is a free agent after this season and he isn't going to be earning himself a better contract just coming in to pinch hit here and there.

it'd be great to resign Iguchi for third, almost like we never traded Polanco. I really see Iguchi as the second coming of polanco. If we don't resign Rowand though, it'd be tough to rely on Burrell in the 5 spot. I am, however, all in favor of a starting lineup with Bourn in left, Rowand in center, and victorino in right (assuming that at some point over the life of rowand's assumed contract that he'd move to LF). I don't think the lack of power in the outfield would be that big of a problem. You'd be getting 20ish homers from CF and RF plus 30-35 homers from 2B, 25-30 from SS, and 40+ from 1B.

They need to pounce on relief pitching immediately so they know how to use Myers next season. The last thing they need is to strike out and get nothing, or scramble through the scrap pile like they did with Alfonseca and set up another mid-season flip/flop with Myers.

lekh: With that outfield, what exactly are you planning to do with Pat Burrell?

Great quote from Yost, the Brewer manager:

"Asked if yesterday's outcome was 'poetic justice' after Saturday night when the Phillies blew a four-run lead with ace Cole Hamels on the mound and Corey Hart robbed Iguchi of a homer, Brewers manager Ned Yost said, 'I don't really like poetry.'"

Good comments on my Burrell post - just amplifies how deficient his outfield range has become and when he is not hitting it is double jeopardy.

Oh yeah, some in the media say that Charlie deserves an extention because he has kept the team afloat. That assertions lacks any semblance of reality. The pitching staff is horrid. Charlie has done nothing to help it. The offense is so talented it has kept the team afloat on its own. Charlie doesn't yell and Charlie doesn't make waves. Thats all that Charlie does that the team likes.

Charlie has cost the teams wins by not knowing when to pinch hit for a pitcher, not knowing how or when to do double switches and not knowing which hitters or pitcher to put in a game. I know Charlie makes the players feel warm and fuzzy, but there are qualified managerial candidates who are player friendly and have the strategic minds of atleast a third grade kickball coach. The guy I'd like to see coaching is Terry Pendleton ... very smart, well-liked coach. Get a decent coach and you'll win that ever elusive 3-5 more games a season that is promised every year.

CJ: with that outfield, Burrell would have been moved. If they kept Burrell (or, rather, couldn't get rid of him) then I guess start Burrell in left and have Bourn sit. However, I find it highly unlikely that both Burrell AND Rowand will be on the team next year, though Burrell is more likely to stay (for obvious reasons).

Gillick's best moves have been similar in nature. Moyer and Iguchi, traded from a non-contender late in the season. Moyer was resigned with lots of perks. Iguchi can be extended. Is there anyone else - a struggling veteran pitcher perhaps - who meets the same description? Any GMs getting anxious to clear the books to make a big off-season splash?


I don't think the Phils can go another year without locking up Howard. He was already a bit peeved about his contract this season. Gillick, or his replacement, NEED to show him the money.

Names from previously posted FA lists that intrigue me going into the offseason:
- Colon
- Schilling
- Lamb
- Wilkerson
None of the relievers really excites me, although a few have the potential to be upgrades over the current collection of smegma.
BTW, Rivera will not be available - the Yankees will find a way to re-sign him.

I find it highly unlikely that both Burrell AND Rowand will be on the team next year, though Burrell is more likely to stay (for obvious reasons).

If you would have asked me a month ago if I wanted Burrell on the team next year, I would have said no way. Funny how much a hot streak can change my opinion of a player!

Rutgers ESQ: "Oh yeah, some in the media say that Charlie deserves an extention because he has kept the team afloat. That assertions lacks any semblance of reality."

Quite a statement from someone who blithely tosses off names like C. Zambrano and J. Nathan on his off-season shopping list.

By the way, to whomever expressed a desire for Cabrera to man 3B: He's well on his way to eating his way to a future at 1B. His range factor has dropped every year, and it's now way below average.

random thought, we (or any team really) should draft more knuckleballers, or more realistically, we should hire someone who can teach the knuckleball at the lower levels. I'm not talking about teaching it to guys like Savery, Outman, and Carrasco. We should every year pick a couple of guys that can't throw as hard and have no shot as is at the show. Nothing may ever come of it, but if you can teach a couple of young borderline pitchers a knuckleball and stick with them for a couple of years you could come up with a valubale long relief specialist or even the next Wakefield.

I hear Canseco's been working on his knuckleball...


also, given the stadium we inhabit, I think every pitcher the phillies develop should be required to be able to throw a sinker (or another groundball inducing varient of the sinker).

Howard's bargaining position is tenuous at best. This season has not been as successful as last. It has especially been marred by the god-awful number of K's. Moreover, He's still the Phils property for four more seasons. I don't advocate completely low balling, but instead to backload the contract (not severely), but enough so that his money comes rolling in after 2008. If the money is guaranteed, he should be amenable to backloading the contract a tad so that the team can get starting/relief pitching!

Also, there is no solution to the "thirdbase problem." Let Dobbs have the job for a season or two. he hits well enough and plays above average defense. Wait for Costanzo ... with every advancement he K's a lot in the begining, but gradually improves. He may also have a ton of errors, but his defense has really improved the last month or so. He's got 21 HR's in AA and was voted the thirdbasemen with the strongest arm in single A ball last year. He should be ready by 2009.

Dobbs at 3b for "a season for two" is not a good idea. he's a barely competent fielder and not very impressive as a hitter - no patience, and his power has gone off a cliff in the last two months.

speaking of Tim Wakefield, this is slightly off-topic, but if you've never seen his contract, you should really take a look. Boston can basically renew him at $4M per season (plus a few minor performance bonuses) in perpetuity, without a buy-out if they decline and with no commitment beyond the current season.

Howard is still having a pretty fantastic season, statistically. His K rate is worrisome, but he's on pace for .268, 46/139. Those are huge numbers, and to keep labor peace, he's due for a raise.

as far as Howard's bargaining position: I think a guy who's one year removed from an MVP trophy and who has a very real chance at leading the NL in HR and RBI this year isn't going to have a hard time getting the deal he wants.

Rutgers: Howard's "less impressive" year includes being 2nd in the league in HRs, first in RBI, third in slugging, 5th in OPS and first in HR's per ABs.

He missed a few weeks this season and is still one of the most feared hitters in baseball.

It's true, he has his bad streaks, as most hitters do, and I wish he wouldn't strike out so much... but, really, he's got a bad bargaining position if he ends up leading the league in HR and RBI for the 2nd year in a row??

Viewing that free agent pitcher list above, there aren't many starters I would want. Big Z, Colon, Schilling if he came with a major hometown discount.

But here's the thing, Gillick historically deplores the idea of signing starting pitchers as free agents. Add in the Eaton debacle, and he is probably even more distasteful of it. My guess is he will go after relievers and shift Myers to the starting rotation.

I agree, Tom; I don't think Gillick is going to make a major starter acquisition through FA Silva is probably the only one on that list I could see landing here.

Schilling on the cheap - he still follows the Phillies and posts on Phillies blogs.

I don't see Schilling taking much of a paycut to keep playing. someone will give him $12-13M for two or three years.


I'd be careful with Schilling. This rotation is drek, but a multiyear deal for big $ isn't a great idea.

"For Curt Schilling, too, these final eight weeks have great meaning. After indicating throughout last season that he would retire at the end of the 2007 season, Schilling has since indicated he wants to play through 2008. He has asked the Red Sox for a one-year, $13 million contract extension and they have politely turned him down, and so far it looks like the Sox have made the right decision. Since July 15 of last season, after all, Schilling is a relatively mediocre 10-8 with a 4.55 ERA. In 164 innings, he has allowed an eye-popping 203 hits and 21 home runs while striking out 130. In his last 24 games, he has won consecutive starts just once. "

I think Schill would come to Philly, but I'm afraid he would require at least a 2 year deal to do so in that 12 to 13MM range. That's my guess.

I think he'd like to get to 230 to 240 victories and perhaps another playoff appearance to pad his borderline HOF credentials. Add another 300 to 350Ks or so, would put him close to 3400 to 3500ks (depending on how he would finish this season.)

Bringing a World Series to Philadelphia, would almost guarantee Hall of Fame votes he otherwise might not have had.

Coming here, would probably keep Moyer from retiring (not saying he's planning on) But I'm sure Schilling would love to mentor a Myers like Moyer is mentoring Hamels...

Given this rotation:

Kendrick 6th starter in case any the 40 year olds need "downtime". I'm assuming that he would get 10 to 15 starts next year picking up spots with that rotation.

They still need to address the back end of the bullpen... But adding a Schilling despite the cost would be an earth shattering type of move (fanbase, media-wise, freeagent market) that could cause a solid back-end pitcher who is looking to contend might jump at?

That's assuming he's healthy. And promises to keep his mouth shut for 12 months???

Crazy Jon - how about the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Cubs, or Braves, to name five teams just off the top of my head? any one of them could need a veteran FA starter, depending on how the offseason goes. whoever loses the Zambrano sweepstakes is going to want to spend that money on something.

Let's assume the Phillies can somehow sign a big-time front end starter... and can move Myers back into the rotation. Hamels, Free Agent, Myers, Moyer, Eaton could be good... but what's our bullpen?

Closer?, Setup?, LOOGY?, Madson, ?, ?, Kendrick

That's about 5 bullpen parts to find. Does Durbin stay up... would seem to be redundant if we've got Kendrick. Is Romero still under contract? Would we want him to stay? Alfonseca and Mesa are sent off to pasture, right? Is Geary even an option? Are there legit bullpen arms in our system?

What are the chances Schilling would even keep his mouth shut about the ballpark for three seconds? Forget it, they'll never bring back a guy who's critical of the organization.

Funniest comment of recent memory is putting leadfoot (What is wrong with his foot?) Burrell at third.

Can Burrell play first base? We can put Howard in the outfield with newly converted outfielder Eaton. We can put Coste in the bullpen and let Helms and Werth be starting pitchers. Barajas can be GM and Sarge can become the Mgr. Cholly will become the radio colorman.

I love the outside the box thinking, but how about a little "inside the box" thinking. Being as anyone that can play just a modicum of defense at 3B and hit respectibly is an upgrade, how about giving a shot to a guy who made a minor league All-Star game at the position????? For the life of me, I HAVE to know what Coste did to anger anyone with any sort of decision making moxie in Philadelphia.

I would like to see them sign Affeldt and Cordero..The money may be prohibitive.. but then sign a 3B,( Pedro Feliz) put Myers back in the rotation..( Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Kendrick, Eaton..) re-sign Rowand.. release Gordon and Mesa.. let Carrasco and Happ battle for bullpen-- initially

I off-days. We forget all about the team on the field and post about the upcoming off-season. Why don't we discuss the impact that Takeo Spikes is going to have? Or McNabb's ACL? Or Reggie Brown? Or Nick Murphy?

The Phils better come out on Tuesday ready to play, because I don't know if I can discuss the holes on this team any longer. It is quite depressing.

Sorry. Should read "I off-days..."

Third time's a charm: "I off-days..."

Red Sox signed OF Bobby Kielty to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Kielty was released by the A's on August 1 and could join the Red Sox as a platoon partner for J.D. Drew after getting some at-bats in the minors.

You're telling me this guy is really worse that Jayson Werth? Werth and Burrell together in the outfield is mediocre at best, atrocious at worst (see in re: 1st inning of yesterday's game)

R. Billingsly: Are you trying to type "I (heart) off-days"?

And, really, what's a better time to talk about the future then on a day when we don't have to discuss game strategy?

Where will Mathieson fit in to next year's team, I wonder? Last I heard, he's got an outside shot to be ready for a September call-up, but I'm not as informed on the minors as a lot of you guys ...

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EST. 2005

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