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Friday, October 19, 2007

Comments

I'd like to follow up on Andy's question from last thread: why would anyone trade a top starter for Carrasco?

The answer is that no team would - unless, perhaps, the top pitcher is someone they're worried about losing in a year or two. The trade I proposed was not Carrasco for a top pitcher. It was a 3-way deal, where the Giants would give up Cain, we would give up Carrasco & some other prospects & the D-Rays would give up Crawford. Why would the Giants do this? To get a tremendous offensive player that they badly need. Why would the D-Rays do it? Because they're a small-market team & Crawford's contract is up at the end of 2008 (2009, if they exercise an $8.25M option), so they might as well get a top prospect for him.

It goes without saying that I am just sitting here making this stuff up & have no idea whether or not the trade could actually be made. But I do know that the Giants are open to trading Cain or Lowry, in order to bolster their offense. That's some action I would definitely like to see the Phillies get in on. The trade I'm proposing strikes me as a viable one, where all parties might come away happy.

Phillies News Death Valley, indeed. When are the Winter Meetings again?

Who knows, maybe the over-hyped Torre fall-out will shake out something for the Phils.

I will be keeping a close eye on how Gillick goes public during the hot stove time frame. Last year we saw him very publicly show interest in one of, if not THE, top free agents in Soriano, with most on this site doubting how serious he really was. Turns out, not so much, yet he did find a couple of nuggets in Dobbs and Werth. Also, there was much speculation going into Spring Training (as well as coming out) about Coste's role on this team after the Winter Tour included the backup catcher (and WHY isn't he considered a utility 3B again?).

I'm wondering if Gillick takes a similar approach in attempting to hype the team/sell some tix coming off of an improbable NL East victory. I'd think that the tickets may sell themselves with the right moves, not to mention a clear lack of a stud Free Agent, as well (if Andruw Jones pops up on Gillick's wish list, I might be sick).

There truly is no reason to attempt a smoke screen surrounding what is truly this team's weakness this off-season: pitching, pitching and some more pitching (of both the starter and reliever variety). I half-wonder if last year's Soriano talk was an attempt to ignore or cover-up the fact that Pat did not have a plan for the bullpen (also a clear need 365 days ago). I would just caution fans to not get too caught up in the public speculation and rumors (hell, even the direct quotes from Gillick himself) having anything to do with any other position. Is a utility infielder and CF a need for this team? Sure, but I don't care to hear about the plan to fill these holes quite as much as I want to SEE, with my own eyes, what the plan to fix the arms on this team is.

Last year (wrongfully so) was all about "protection for Howard." This off-season needs to be about "protection of a lead."

Amen. Preacher.

Preach,

i agree with you... this off-season's focus needs to be pitching pitching and more pitching. but i think you might be a little myopic in shunning the other needs for this team, specifically the 3B/outfield situations. i say this because a resolution of these positions may very well free up the trading chips we need to acquire solid pitching. let's face it, the free agent pitching crop is thin, so a trade may be Gillick's best bet...

Jason: The scout stuff on Golson gave me a strong 1990s flashback. They were saying the exact same thing about Reggie Taylor. If you look at Taylor's age 21 stats at Reading they are similar to Golson's, although Golson's K/BB is even more hideous (2/49). At age 22, he's got time to figure things out, but there's nothing yet to make me believe he'll be anything except the second coming of 5-tool prospect Reggie Taylor.

I think, regardless of trades, FA etc.. Myers goes back into the rotation.. I have no solid proof. Just a gut feeling that mgmt will consider that it was a mistake in the first place.. plus, most RP/ closers come cheaper than SP. Anyone agree.. or is it just my wishful thinking getting the best of me?

I love the "tools" discussion in baseball. So Golson can run, throw, or catch but can't hit for average or power. Kind of like a chef is amazingly talented doing prep work but has poor sense of how foods go together.

Hate to say it but I would be surprised if Golson ever even cracks the majors. He is getting a little old to be considered just "a developing youngster." More worrisome though is that he has really struggled with Double-A hitting. Maybe it will finally "click" this year but I would doubt it. If you could somehow leverage Golson in a trade for pitching, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Regarding Gillick at the winter meetings. I'm not so sure he was faking interest in Soriano. I think he made a generous offer and was blown out of the water by the Cubs. I'm glad we didn't come back with a higher offer. This winter, I don't think you will see him saying they are testing the water with ARod for PR purposes. I personally don't think he cares at all about the fans being happy with what he is trying to do. If we get outbid, thats fine. I think its good that they are sticking to where they see fair value for a player. I'd rather have them shell out the money around a few studs and fill in the holes then have a whole team of overpaid mediocre players.

Andy said: "Boy has our minor league pitcher draft/develoment sucked royally."

Andy, welcome aboard. I have been arguing this for months.

If they were ewven average at scouting, drafting and developing pitchers, they wouldn't have had a pitching staff that ranked in the bottom half of MLB ERA in 18 of the last 21 years.

The company line that the signing of Thome, Bell et. al. cost them draft picks and hurt their minor league system, especially pitching, ignores the fact that the problem is not that recent. It goes back to the mid 1980's. Same old story.

I'll give them their props for the scouting, drafting and development of their position players - Rollins, Utley, Howard, Ruiz, Bourne (assuming he proves he can hit), but there is clearly something amiss as far as pitching is concerned.

The Phillies management are either in denial, willfully ignoring the problem, or just don't seem to be able to learn from their mistakes.


As far as Golson is concerned, maybe he'll "get it" as far as hitting is concerned, but unless he does, he'll be one of thousands of draftees who had tremendous physical gifts but never even sniffed a cup of coffee.

The Phillies don't need another outfielder who can 'run, catch and throw'. They already have Michael Bourne.

If anything, MLB history is replete with guys who couldn't do any of those three things - but they could hit.

"Build it and he'll come."

Rake and they'll find a place for you.

" the over-hyped Torre "

AMEN!

For anyone who doubts Myers will be in the rotation, I give you Game 2 of the NLDS, featuring KK, Lohse, Jose, & Condrey instead of our #2 pitcher.

clout, Reggie Taylor was last seen playing for the Lancaster Barnstormers, I believe.

Maybe there's a future for Golson in PA baseball after all.

In re: Golson
If there is a scout from another organization who's hot for him, let's make a deal. Seriously. Got a middle reliever? Or... We'll take 3b who fields just above average, can hit for average but not power and runs just enough to beat Burrell in the 90 ft dash.

AWH - I been on dat bandwagon, guy. Just looking at the dismal performance of the Wade years made me realize just how *blessed* Houston now is. (Maybe they can use a 5 tools guy with only 3 tools.)

I mean, really, how high can you be on someone who, in his fourth year of pro ball, against A and AA pitching gets 25 BBs versus 173 Ks. 173? Branyan without one true outcome equals...

Cube, not necessarily being myopic about the other needs. I do not want Gillick brainwashing the entire fanbase into thinking that he's looking to add a big bat, or radically upgrade 3B or anything with the intention of diverting everyone's attention from the void that he doesn't seem to have a valid plan to fill - pitching. I believe that is what happened last year. Pitching MUST be paramount and we should not settle for another "Value Village." While it may not be myopia employed by the Front Office, its certainly an advanced case of cataracts with pitching being somewhere in their peripheral vision.

I'd like to see Charlie talk to Golson about hitting. Charlie's put some good hitters on the right track while they were in the minors, you'd think that this would be an excellent opportunity to do the same.

Phillies News Death Valley! Great line. I read the thread headers and learn a lot, plus the BL All Star posters increase my knowledge. What can I add? Nothing right now.

On Torre: He was not successful in three other jobs, but he had lots of success at the tough Yankees position. He's a Cholly-like magr.

LFred: "the tough Yankees position"?

What's so tough about managing a team of all-stars?

I don't know why there's this infatuation with Torre as a great manager. He was a loser as a manager before he had Steinbrenner's budget behind him.

Now that I think about it, the D-Rays have depth at another position of need for us (Well I guess this depends on opinion of the needs). Concededly, this may be the least of the problems of the everyday players, but the D-Rays have 2 good catchers (Dionner Navarro and Raul Casanova). Navarro's numbers do not flesh out his potential. The Dodgers had him ahead of Russell Martin before they traded Navarro to the D-Backs (Well, that and the fact that Navarro had struggled and Martin flourished). Casanova has shown signs of being very productive in limited playing time. I do think that both of those guys are too good to be backups, but I also think that they both have the potential to be better offensively than Ruiz. If that were the case and either could play effectively on a consistent basis, I think I would be happy with Ruiz as a backup. I also think that there has been widespread acceptance of the idea that Ruiz plays much better with good rest. It might be the best case scenario for all involved. I like Ruiz, but I'm not sure that there could not be an increase offensively at that position.

General question (Sort of off topic, potential bad copy disclaimer here): What does anyone think of the possibility of attaining Rocco Baldelli from the perspective of what it would take to get him? Do you think he would be a good fit in any of the three scenario's I listed before?

I mentioned that it would probably take a pitching prospect and a mid to lower mid level MLB player that fills a need.

Any other thoughts?

Notes on Baldelli's contract. He is signed through 2008 with club options through 2011. He is owed significantly more money if the club options are picked up. He made $750,000 last year, but is scheduled to make 2.25 Million in 2008. Apparently he fired Scott Boras as his agent and negotiated his own contract with review of some guy named Casey Close. In 2009 he has a $6 Million option with a $4.0 million buyout. In 2010 he has a club option for $8.0 million and a $9 million option for 2011, but 2010/2011 options must be exercised together.

With this information, it seems that the D-Rays would be even more likely to trade him considering what they will owe him over the next 3 years. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like prices they would not be likely to pay a guy who would likely be sitting on the bench most of the year with their outfielders.

Yeah, Parker, I think Baldelli is an attainable Rowand alternative. He strikes out a bit and seems to have had injury porblems, but if you look at the list of guys most similar by age on B-Ref, he seems to have some potential. I do wonder if Castro and one of the RHPs from Williamsport might pry him loose.

Parker, the only question mark with Baldelli is his health. He was projected to be a stud when he first came up, but has been slowed by injuries.

With the amount of money his contract calls for he would certainly be affordable to the Phils the next couple of years.

If he's available because of overcrowding in the TB outfield, I'd be all for trying to acquire him (assuming he went through a full physical - no more Freddies).

However, affordable CF is going to be a rare commodity after the upcoming free agent season, making him more marketable.

Can the Phils compete with the other teams who would be looking to trade for him?

Apparently the Sox don't plan on giving Lowell more than years, according to MLBTR. Given that, it seems like he'll almost definitely try the FA market--barring a comeback in the next two games and a world series trophy. As much of a priority as pitching has to be for this team, I'd place making a run at Lowell at least as high, especially if Rowand's righty bat heads west.

*two years

Gillick said it would be '08 when we compete, so this is his chance to re-create himself. Get The Real Sandman signed. Get CBP's best ever hitter signed...Mike M'F'n Lowell. Now is the time. Aging youngsters.

Here's a hypothetical question:

Suppose cost/value weren't such a big issue. Who on the current Phillies would you retain, and who would you try to trade for or sign in the FA maarket?

I think Baldelli would be a good pickup even if we keep Rowand. Having Vic/Werth/Bourne/Dobbs as additional OF's, and Dobb's being the utility man. 3B would not be addressed, but perhaps the D-Rays would give up Iwamura in a deal as well. We would have to give up a few more players, but I cannot imaigine that they could ask for something outrageous when they do not have anywhere to put Longoria at.

I think that Baldelli gets traded, I just hope it is the Phillies. It just makes sense that they trade Baldelli. I also think that Iwamura gets traded, assuming that they think that Longoria is ready, which I think they do right now.

Phillies players participating in 2007 World Cup in Taiwan (starting in early November)---LHP Josh Outman, C Jason Jaramillo, LHP RJ Swindle

I remember a lot of talk about Baldelli last year, it has to be just because he has a Philly sounding name.

ZT, I talked about Baldelli alot last year because I thought he would have been a good pickup last year. Unfortunately, the circumstances were not as ripe then as they are now.

Baldelli is an interesting trade possibility. Given the Devil Rays outfield situation, it is likely they would move Baldelli in the right trade. The Devil Rays though would almost likely insist on a package of pitching that includes either two good pitching prospects or a MLB-starter.

Plus, Baldelli is the perfect "tease" player. He has definite ability but hasn't been able to stay on the field for the past 2 season and been plagued by injuries throughout his career. I bet that he has spurts of production over the next few seasons but I doubt he will ever stay on the field for more than 130 games or so.

One guy who never seems to surface even in Beerleaguer speculation is Adrian Cardenas, an impressive, multi-tooled second baseman in the low minors. He had a solid, if not spectacular season in Lakewood, and I'd assume he has a good chance of moving up to AA next season. Obviously he's blocked in the middle infield. It might sound like a bit of Tad Iguchi (or going back a few years, Chase Utley) redux, but the question is, can Cardenas play third base - and if not, when do the Phillies start dangling him in trade talks?

Would anyone here actually want Lowell for more than two years? I don't think I would. I don't see them getting him.

Last question: is it possible to be more obsessively repetitive in baseball writing than Jim Salisbury is on the possibility of the Phillies courting Curt Schilling in another month?

RSB

Cardenas could ultimately play 2B for the Phils IF Utley moves to 1B IF Howard is eventually traded. Kind of fits your scenario of Howard not progressing or possibly regressing and the Phils trading him while he still has value?

OK, I know, quite a few IFs in there

Some responses:

Parker: You do realize that Raul Casanova is a 35-year-old journeyman, don't you? Think Sal Fasano.

AWH: If money were no object? I'd sign Lowell, Jorge Posada (and I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned him) Lohse, Romero, Schilling & Linebrink.

AWH: Bourn and Golson can both run, catch and throw, but Golson has more power. Bourn, on the other hand, can actually get on base and hit for decent average, two things Golson will never be able to do.

RSB: Cardenas is considered a solid hitting prospect with a weak arm that will lead to a move to 2B at higher levels. He will never play 3B in the bigs.

Final thought: To all those who say they wouldn't sign so-and-so to that long of a contract or for that much money, please understand that those players WILL be signed for that long of a contract and that much money. They will all be bad contracts. If the Phils take your advice, they will avoid bad contracts. They will also sign nobody. Enjoy third place.

I saw a piece in one of the NY tabs this week that said Boras is looking for $400 million for A Rod. That's just shy of a half BILLION dollars.

AWH: Almost forgot, let me add Kaz Saito, 29 and one of the best pitchers in Japan who will be posted this offseason, to my fantasy, unlimited money, FA signings. His best pitch is a forkball, which batters hit into the ground. He's perfect for CBP. In fact, I'd go after him first.

Lets say Arod does leave Yanks for FA. What happens if nobody offers more stating its way too much. Will MLB be sued again? He made 25 million this year and how many teams are going to bid that much or in his case more?

"just shy of a half BILLION dollars" ??

It's eighty percent of 1/2 billion. Kind of like someone hitting .240 is just shy of .300.
(Just yankin' yer chain c-man.)

On the other hand - it is absolutely an obscene amount of money.

Saito sounds good. How much is HE gonna cost?

In re catchers
Catching has got to be a low priority for the Phils. Ruiz and Coste are in place and there is a gradual, steady stream of guys in the minors on their way. In fact, it is one of the current strengths of the Phils' minor leagues. Jaramillo, Marson, Gradoville, D'Arnaud (who will someday, at least, be a MLB back-up, even if he never learns to hit much). Oh, and Gosewisch, of course.

"To all those who say they wouldn't sign so-and-so to that long of a contract or for that much money, please understand that those players WILL be signed for that long of a contract and that much money."

clout, maybe people will finally listen to us. I don't know if it can be said more clearly than you just stated it. These players are going to get contracts that leave us scratching our heads.

You ask why? In my view there is a simple explanation:

Record MLB revenue, the sharing thereof, and expansion. It has made the true superstars even more valuable, and created greater demand for even marginal talents like Eaton, Lohse, Meche and Sarge, Jr.

We've been saying it for a couple of months now, haven't we?


Now, if I had to sign someone to a "bad contract" then I would re-sign Rowand.

Why?

Well, despite the fact that his offensive production will probably decline, the other intangibles he brings might make it a little easier to swallow 4-5 years from now. And, yes, fellow Beer Leaguers, he will get a deal at least 4 yrs. long.


clout, which do view as more valuable? A Golson, who might hit a few HRs for you, or Bourne?

Is Saito a RP or SP?

"clout, Reggie Taylor was last seen playing for the Lancaster Barnstormers, I believe."

yay... a hometown hero!

Clout, no I didn't realize Casanova's age. I guess I generally assume that anonymous catchers who put up decent stats are usually young and unheard of. I guess Casanova and Coste are the rare exceptions. On that note, the D-Rays do not have quite the depth at catcher that they previously did. :)

AWH: Well said, well said.

On Golson vs. Bourn: Bourn is more valuable in my opinion because he will make far fewer outs per PA than Golson. Golson's power isn't enough to offset his out rate.

Saito is a righty SP. He's 29, but I just checked his birthday and he'll be 30 before the season starts.

Baseball Cube shows a bit of a roller coaster. He was 20-3, 16-1 and 18-5 in 3 of the past 4 years all with good ERA, but in '04 he was 10-7, 6.26 because of shoulder problems. He also pitched under 160 IP in 2 of those years, for the same reason, and the injury risk could keep his money low enough to allow a team like the Phillies to get involved. His K/BB was sharply improved last season as he finally was 100%.

It should be noted that the reason not too many pitchers throw a forkball is that it is considered a high-injury risk pitch (and is hard to command). Nomo threw it and eventually succumbed to arms problems in his 30s. I think the pitch works better for a reliever, since he throws fewer pitches.

When I was growing up, Elroy Face was one of the best bullpen guys in the majors. He threw the forkball about 70% of the time because, as he once said, "There are fatsball hitters and there are breaking ball hitters but there's no such thing as a forkball hitter." You can say the same thing about the knuckle ball, which has a similar action, but slower.

Are there any Beerleaguers out there who follow the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Pacific League and know a little about Saito?

Clout,

Amen on your comments on the contracts. This is the current reality. Owners will have to pony up and get with the program or fall further and further behind. If the Phils owners don't realize this, they will be spinning their wheels to, as you say, "enjoy third place".

Not a great reality given current management's seeming insistence on keeping the payroll where it is, or maybe just raising it a bit.

Andy: Here's my take on the Phillies catching prospects. Neither Marson nor Gradoville are prospects and thus will never see the major leagues.

D'Arnaud is 18 years old and we need at least 2 more years before we can even call him a prospect, but clearly he has potential.

Jaramillo projects as a good-field, weak-hit backup. His defense isn't good enough to get him a regular job a la Mike Metheny.

IMO: I'd count Marson as a prospect. He's on the young side for his level and has progressed well. But that's just me.

Marson is not a prospect? Ha.

As much as I'm inclined to root for schilling tonight, if he pitches just average or worst we have a much better chance of signing him.

Corey Koskie (3B) was just releajust had hi '08 option declined by the Brew Crew.

His fielding stats don't look real impressive, his stick work seems to be in decline, and he'll turn 35 around the '08 All-Star break.

Would he be better value than any of the other available options?

Andy, BedBeard: Marson at 21 was decent in the Sally League last year and is young enough to prove me wrong. I know he's been wildly hyped on Phillies blogs and the Phillies own site. Just as all Phillies farmhands are, including Golson. But I'm not ready to trust one good year after 3 unimpressive ones. I do like his K/BB ratio. Let's see how he fares in AA ball.

AWH: My memory is that Koskie didn't play last season because he was unable to return from a serious concussion. If he's healthy, I'd sure take a flyer on him. He'd be heckuva lot cheaper than Lowell.

Clout: Do you think there is any way that Iwamura is back with the D-Rays next year?

I don't, not if they are intent on going with Longoria. There is simply no place to put him. He is most valuable to the D-Rays as trade bait. I don't know how he would fit as the Phillies 1B, but the amount of speed on the team would be absolutely ridiculous if he was at 3B.

Marson is not a prospect? Ha.

What has everyone so chunked up about Marson? He looks just ok.

Jason - I wouldn't say I'm "chunked up" about him. I just wouldn't dismiss him completely at age 21, with decent BB - K numbers and one year of marked improvement. I am perfectly willing to follow clout's advice and see what he does at AA.

In re: D'Arnaud.
I'm guessing he'll surface on a major league squad someday simply because of his superior defensive talents. It may mean, however, that he's nothing but a future back-up catcher, because who knows what he'll do over the next 4 - 6 years of minor league seasoning.

MLB Trade Rumours says the Yankees may make a big paly for Aaron Rowand. The rumor is they'll offer Wang, Kennedy and Melky Cabrera to the Twins for $antana.

I guess they'll need a CF if the Twins take the deal.

If the Yankees join the bidding then all I have to say is "Aaron, it was great sseing you in red pinstripes for a couple of years".

Also, there's a link here:

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=60316

saying the White Sox could be major players for ARod if he opt out of his contract.

If that's the case it seems to me both Josh Fields and Joe Crede might become available.

Here's hoping ARod opts out!

jobbers: interesting to consider. From all I've read, Cardenas is quite highly rated. I'd say he's someone to keep an eye on this season, especially if they think enough of him to put him at Reading, and especially if he projects exclusively as a right-side infielder.

Jason, I know you advocated locking in Howard to a long-term deal. I don't think this is the time to do it. Let him go to arbitration and let's see what happens next season. I am not at all saying Cardenas is a sure thing, but what seems most imperative is keeping the payroll as flexible as possible for pitching upgrades. Whatever legitimate position players there are to be found in the Phillies' system have to be acutely evaluated in the event that they may present younger and cheaper options going forward. Ryan Howard's 45 homers per year are nice, but are they really worth the 15% of the payroll they'll likely command by 2009? I posted earlier in the thread that Cardenas ought to perhaps be thought of as trade fodder, but I'm not at all sure that would be very wise at this point.

By the way, just wanted to remind everyone:

We are the National League Eastern Division champions!

That is all for now.

Malcolm:
thought of you last night when the Sox were smashing Cleveland. Hope things are not too bad for you in Red Sox nation.

Well it has been 27 years to the day since the Phils last won the World Series. Hopefully they can add the right pieces to do it again next year. Lowell, Schilling, and Rivera would be HUGE additions! Even adding two of them would be big. Hopefully we will see some early activity out of Gillick this off-season!

Parker: Longoria is the future at 3B for the D-Rays but he is not ready. He needs a full season at AA-AAA in '08. If he sharpens his BB/K ratio at those levels and maintains his power, he'll be ready to roll for '09. Of course, the D-Rays are famous for rushing prospects and then ruining them, so we'll see.

Iwamura is signed thru the '09 season with an option for '10 and there's a good chance he'll shift to 2B to make room for Longoria. I don't think they're inclined to trade him unless they get a great offer. He turned out to be a smart investment for them.

My Phillies rotation for next season:
Hamels, Schilling (maybe 1-year, $13M), Lohse (who'll be overpaid let's say 3 years, $27M), Kendrick and Moyer. If either of the latter 2 slip. I'd have Eaton and Happ waiting in the wings. Maybe Eaton goes to extended spring training for April. Based on the past few seasons, the chances of the Phillies needing another starter by mid-May are 100%.

clout - isn't Lohse advised by our least favorite agents? I do think the Phils will ump at Schilling (if Boston doesn't) but I think they're more likely to look at Silva than Lohse.

Hypothetical scenario, based on MLB Trade Rumors and articles linked to the site:

ARod opts out of his contract. A bidding war ensues between the Angels, White Sox, Red Sox, and Cubs (yes, the Cubs, who are apparently down on Ramirez and might look to move him if they can ink ARod; besides, would they really want Reinsdorf marketing ARod in Chicago for the next 10 years?).

The WSox land ARod, the RSox haven't re-signed Lowell and Fields and Crede are used by Kenny Williams to try to improve the team in other areas.

If that happens, do the RSox try to land Fields or Crede in a trade instead of re-signing Lowell, and are the Yankees players for Lowell or the the two surplus WSox 3Bs?

Can the Phillies realistically compete for any of these players, besides Lowell, who will only take $$$ and draft picks to land?

Lastly, I ask you all this, with cost as a consideration:

Ideally, which would you prefer at 3B for the Phils next year:

A healthy Crede, Josh Fields (either acquired through trading young talent or someone at the MLB level) or an aging Lowell, who's looking to cash in on his last contract, and will cost you major $$$ and draft picks?


An alterate scenario is if the Cubbies actually try to dump Ramirez and do sign ARod. The WSox would look to move Crede, Ramirez become available through a trade (the Cubs would probably eat some of the salary), Lowell is still out there and the Yankees and RSox are players for all three.


Also, if the Angels are the winning bidder for ARod, they might look to move their primary 3B, Chone Figgins, who doesn't have much power but is versatile(can play six different positions), hits for a decent average and gets on base.

The Yanks and RSox wouldn't be interested (no power, and Lowell makes a TON of $$$ in that bidding war), but he might fit nicely into the Phils lineup, especially if they re-sign Rowand and keep his 18-25 HR/yr. He could also spell Utley or JRoll occasionally, when Dobbs plays #B against RHP.

The above are just some SPECULATIVE thoughts, but it's going to be a fun hot stove season.

Final thought: It's going to be very interesting to see if ARod opts out, and how it affects the market and movement of players if he does.

Not sure I'm interested in Fields, who might develop into a righty Russell Branyan (he strikes out)(a lot).

But Figgins...hmmm. Figgins would answer a lot of questions and allow much concentration on pitching.

With Figgins aboard, the Phils could neglect/forget seeking a utlity guy, since that's what he is. He could make a lot of starts and if Jimmy needs a rest (the most that I'll talk about here), could pick up the SS duties. His OBP is decent enough for a bottom of the order guy, and would add to the team speed.

I hadn't thought about the ramifications of the LAA picking up A-Rod. i wonder what we'd have to offer them for Chone.

Andy: Silva's numbers the past 2 seasons aren't all that great and I don't think he's quite as good as Lohse. Both are back of rotation type guys and I bet they sign very similar contracts. If there is a big gap in cost, then I would go Silva.

In my opinion, the Angels would have no interest in trading Figgins even if they do sign A Rod. Anderson is really a liability in the OF and will be moved to DH.

clout, good point, but again, I was just speculating. You're right, Figgins is a vey valuable players because he's not an offensive liablity, and can play play everywhere except P and C.

One final, final:

If the RSox land ARod, Lowell probably moves to the Yanks, and not much changes anywhere else, except maybe Crede is made available.

Anything can happen, of course.

clout, do you really think Lohse will ONLY get a 3yr/$27 MM contract? There just ain't no pitchin', and after last night, I'll bet the Red Sox keep Schilling.

I've been assuming Lohse will get a Lilly or Meche type deal, or something close to it.

AWH: You're probably right. I'm engaging in some wishful thinking there.

Oh, and I Know I mentioned him earlier, buy Corey Koskie is an available 3B (assuming he's healthy), as well as the others mentioned.

I'll be pulling for the Indians tonight for only one reaon: Schilling's effort wil be a little less prominent in their ownership's mind. Maybe that way Schilling makes it back here for his swan song. If Koskie is healthy, he will be better and cheaper than Pedro Feliz... Statistically, they are similar, with Koskie's lifetime avg at 275 compared to feliz' 252 Koskie is an above average fielder too

clout - Silva was much better this year than last - in fact that 2006 looked like a deviation from his career norm re: HRs. Still - they truly are both back of the rotation guys. Unfortunately we have a rotation that's Hamels and back of the rotation guys and AA pitchers.

I do believe they have to make a run at Cordero or (eeeps!) Rivera (get out yer wallet) so they can try to convince Brett "No Really I Wanna Be A Closer" Myers to get back in the line-up. That and pray Happ is ready and someone will pay Eaton some of the money we owe him.

In re: Koskie
A healthy Koskie would be better than Feliz or Lamb. But I'm guessing that the reason they released him is he is not healthy.

Also: on the 3B front. I've asked before and hope maybe someone knows. Is there anyway to get Dobbs' minor league splits? His career numbers (especially in Seattle) he hit LHPs for average. In the minors he always adjusted in his second full year. I'm wondering if he might not be better this year. Course, that's mostly wishful thinkin' too.

rob - got another reason to root for the Injuns. Wanna keep Drew as far from another series ring as possible.

clout -
The other reasons I lean toward Silva over Lohse.
1) Silva's GO/AO has always been over 1 and is a career 1.5. Lohse's has fluctuated but never above 1.3 and usually below 1. His career: .99.
2) Silva tends to throw more innings than Lohse. This might be who the managers are and the amount of time in the AL, but Silva's gone over 200 IP a few times. Lohse just once, a while back.

One other reason the Phils might go for Silva over Lohse is he's bigger. 6'4" to 6'2" and 245 to 210. I've heard often that Phils like size (tall'n'fall).

And really isn't Lohse represented by that guy?

Andy: Here's more stats for you, totals for 2004-06.

Hits per 9 IP: Silva 10.8, Lohse 10.2
HRs per 9 IP: Silva 1.3, Lohse 1.0
BA against: Silva .301, Lohse .291

Silva may have a better GO/AO but he gives up more HRs and more hits than Lohse.

Andy, the reasons the Brewers didn't exercize Koskie's option (he was not released outright) are 6.5mm and Ryan Braun [.324, 34, 97, and 153 OPS+]. Koskie would have been nothing more than an expensive utility player for them, unless he was traded, which would be tough unless they ate some of the money.

You may be right - health may have something to do with it - but I'll bet dollars and cents were the deciding factors.

Interestingly, the Brewers infield hit 126 HR in 2007.

The Phillies infield hit 114 HR counting both Helms and Dobbs.

Check out this article titled

"A-Rod, a Bargain at $300 Million"

http://money.cnn.com/2007/10/19/commentary/sportsbiz/index.htm

clout - yup.
All of which means, when you take into account Lohse's higher BB/9 rate and much higher career ERA, it's pretty much a wash.

Andy: I'll take walks over hits and HRs. And I'm talking about the past 3 years, not when Silva was a reliever.

I think the Indians might be interested in interviewing Steve Smith for their opening at Third base coach.

Ribbies, yeah, saw it too. The 3B coach choked. His player was running, but he choked.

Congratulations 2007 AL champion Yank... er, Red Sox. It's getting hard to tell the difference what with the huge payroll and the huge (trendy, bandwagon) fanbase. Red Sox Nation is the most obnoxious concept in fandom. I guess I have to get behind the Rockiese now.

Well, so much for Mike Lowell and Curt Schilling.

Ok, here is the quandry, Do you?

a.) Pull for the Red Sox because of Schilling and so that they beat the tar out of the Rockies (Revenge, or at least pleasurable humiliation of a former playoff opponent).
b.) Pull For the Rockies because they are the team playing the Red Sox and because at least we could say that our team lost to the eventual WS champ and didn't lose a game in over two months (Shameful pleasure at seeing Red Sox or Yankees win. It is kind of like watching the Death Star blow up in Star Wars, it never gets old).

Ribbies: Lol, Steve Smith has never seen a signal he did not think was green. The guy might not have made it, but Smith would have sent him. He probably has a standing order for anyone who gets to third base to just head home.

Those dudes do not excite me in the least. How can they even be considered minor league fodder?

OOps, should be seeing the Yankess (Intentional misspelling) or Red Sox "lose", not win.

clout:
as **starters**
Lohse OPS=.796
Silva OPS=.799
(Which kinda says "choose yer poison; BUT:)

Lohse ERA=4.84
Silva ERA=4.46

I'll choose the fewers runs (which were, incidently, compiled mostly in the American League). It's a wash; but a wash that when you consider runs given up (which is more important than anything else), the league they've been in and the salary considerations, that leans in the direction of Silva.

But that's just me.

I've been offline since AWH asked me this question: "LFred: "the tough Yankees position"?

What's so tough about managing a team of all-stars?

I don't know why there's this infatuation with Torre as a great manager. He was a loser as a manager before he had Steinbrenner's budget behind him."

I think the toughness is working for a George Steinbrenner. To be able to work twelve years for that hot headed maniac deserves praise. Managing the best talent money can buy was not the reason I called the position tough. When Torre took the job it was a hot seat. He sat on it for twelve years. The cowards were unwilling to fire him, so they gave him a pay cut. I think Torre was stupid to turn down even the reduced salaries. He should have accepted the demoted, but still lucrative salary, and let Steinbrenner stew in it some more.

clout's numbers would appear to recommend Lohse over Silva.

Clout,
Who is the better starter Myers or Lohse? If Myers he should be put back in the rotation as a the number two, why pay the type of money Lohse will command. Why not try to resign Lieber, if healthy, to a one year incentive laden contract. I'm sure he will be cheaper to sign than Lohse. They need to go all out to sign Rivera or Cordero as the closer. Use the money not spent on a Lohse to fill out the bullpen.

If you look at the stats for Slippery Rock Zac Cline had better numbers than Dan Schwartz and the Phillies let Zac go from Clearwater in the begining of the year. Am I missing something?

I don't think it's worth going after Lieber unless it's a ridiculously cheap contract. he'll be 38, he doesn't take care of himself physically, and he looked to be on the decline even without an injury - his walk rate really spiked this last year. maybe it was just bad luck, but Lieber walked almost as many guys (22 vs 24) in 78 innings in 2007 as in 168 innings in 2006. true, it is still a good walk rate, but that should be an alarming trend.

I'm hoping that since Lieber is looking for a contract that he will be getting into better shape than he has been. I would only give him a one year low base incentive loaded contract. I just don't want to commit to another mediocre pitcher, especially one represented by the parasite.

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EST. 2005

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