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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Comments

J: quite the news bundle there, very interesting. Several surprises on that list.

"The team has denied any movement to sell the team, with Phillies Vice President for public relations Larry Shenk stepping forward and calling the report “totally ridiculous and absurd."

Larry Shenk additionally denied several other unconfirmed rumors including the reports of the phenomenon known as gravity as "greatly overexaggerated" and "baseless."

I'm all for keeping Rowand, but not for more than 2-3 years and not for more than 8-10 mil a year. So he's probably gone.

New ownership would be just fine with me, too.

I can do without Schilling. His stuff certainly seems to be declining. What kind of money would he require? And I can't stand his personality.

Rivera just won't happen. Torre will be back or he would have been gone already.

Lowell would be a great pickup, but it depends on the years and the amount like Rowand. I don't see the Phils being the high bidders for his services. If A-Rod stays with the Yanks he'll probably stay with the Sox.

I'm torn on where Myers is most useful. I think it's easier to find a closer than a starter if Myers moves back to the rotation.

The catcher situation seems like a non-issue. Who would they get to replace the Ruiz-Coste tandem? Don't say LoDuca.

Romero will definitely be back. I just hope he can replicate his second-half performance. Middle relief is such a crapshoot.

CJ: My Kenny Lofton point was in response to your post about the Indians talent being home-grown. Lofton, who had a .781 OPS this season in addition to a great post-season so far, was a free agent signing. His post-season is most interesting compared to the Phillies big bats post-season, no?

Jack: Lofton was better offensively this season than Victorino. That's without even adjusting for park factors, which make the gap wider. You could look it up.

Mike: If you're right about all that, sounds like a 3rd place finish next season.

"The Giles/Montgomery/Gillick and Co. got cheap and tried to get out of a 2-year deal they had agreed to with Borowski. Then, to scare off other potential suitors, they leaked info on his medical exam. Integrity. All they did was piss the guy off and drive him elsewhere. And he got the contract he wanted."

i cant believe that nobody has called awh out on this one. Talk about baseless.

i didn't realize that lowell was a phillies fan growing up...interesting.

Mike Bacsik is available.The only thing that makes him better than the crap we have is that he is LH.He'd be cheap enough.Maybe if he knew he would be used just in relief...you never know with guys like him.Certainly doesn't have great stats.

The Rowand to sign with St. Louis rumor should not be a surprise. At All-star time, I speculated that La Russa was *courting* Rowand by letting him hit (instead of Pujols). Clout was the only one to agree.

Clout, not necessarily. Their offense can still be very successful if they lose Rowand and can't pick up Lowell. They can win as many games as they did this year (or more) with a somewhat weaker offense. The absolute first concern needs to be improving the pitching. The options above seem like a pipe dream (Rivera) and a guy on the decline (Schilling). The main concern, somehow, some way, has to be improving the pitching, starting with the bullpen. I have to believe someone in the front office can use the extra money they'll have to do better than garbage and retreads like Mesa, Alfonseca, Davis, Durbin, etc. etc. etc. I'd gladly sacrifice their #1 ranking on offense for something legitimately better than their #13 bullpen. You've got to agree, considering your own count of losses attributed to the bullpen this season.

From what I get from the post, the Phils are all but sold and current owners are going to inflict the aging Schilling on us as a parting shot. The last time Phils were sold was right after the World Series. Now we have a new stadium and have made a playoff appearance, so it's time to cash in.

Any talk of Rivera and Schilling also has that smell of "well look who we TRIED to get but the market was insane, so here's Jose Mesa, sorry."

Mike,
c'mon.
You're underestimating them.
Surely,
surely


it's more like "...so here's Garcia, Eaton and Barajas - we're number one, now; right?"

ftd, the reason no one called me out s that it was in the Daily News, and widely discussed on this blog. Check your facts before you rip me.

"Totally ridiculous and absurd."

Carefully chosen words which do not literally mean "untrue."

Read Zolecki's blog about "non-denial denials, for good stuff about ownership selling.

awh - do you have a link on that article?

referring to the daily news one about them backing out of borowski's contract because of money

ftd, I don't have access to the DN archives, but this post by clout referenced the article:

My favorite quote in today's Daily News comes from Joe Borowski who described his medical examination by Phillies' Dr. Michael Ciccotti:
"My physical was just the doctor pretty much hanging off my arms and not moving me whatsoever."

Obviously, Dr. Ciccotti was able to hang off Freddy Garcia's arms for a much longer period.

Posted by: clout | Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 02:05 PM

awh - forgive me if I don't take your word for it, but I don't remember them backing out of the contract for any reason other than the physical. If offered proof I will gladly stand corrected.

why would the ownership have been temporarily not cheap long enough to agree to the terms of the contract? seems strange to me.

ftd, they had a 2 YEAR DEAL with Borowski. Why else wouldn't they have agreed to the original deal if money wasn't the concern? Make sense, please!

you are postulating that they agreed to a two year deal, that it got far enough in the negotiating process to announce the deal publicly, and then all of a sudden

"got cheap and tried to get out of a 2-year deal they had agreed to with Borowski."

The way you are articulating your arguement makes it sound like they backed out purely for monitary concerns. If that were the case, I argue they wouldnt have agreed to the deal in the first place.

I think the public stance that the organization takes makes a lot more sense then what you are positing. That they agreed to the deal, and then the doctors advised them against a two year deal because of the state of his shoulder.

These are clearly two different scenarios.

Anyone watching the Cleveland/Sox game on fox?? The Indians seem to be getting every single break in the game, just like the Rockies.
Every day more and more it's seeming like it's predestined that the Indians and Rockies will meet in the World Series this year...

Rivera would be my top choice, but unlikely to happen...

ftd, you're young and haven't been around long. It's always about the money with these owners.

AWH - may i someday be as wise as you

I ain't that wise. I've just been observing this ownership group since they bought the team. I actually met Bill Giles once. Very nice man...true gentleman. He hasn't been very good at running a baseball operation, though.

back to physicals. i still hold to the theory that gillick knew garcia was an injury risk and went ahead anyway. lets say its 50/50 garcia will win 18 games for you or suck and not last the season due to arm problems. gillick knows this and decides its 1 year and there are no other starting pitchers available so why not risk it. if it works great. if not the team is no worse than if they had not acquired him. you can say he wasted the money but where else was it going to go? there weren't other available starting pitchers. obviously the plan fell apart but it was part of the gamble. gillick can't own up to this becasue its crazy, but i think it went down that way.

ftd, I found this at Swing and a Miss. The article was in the Inquirer:

CLEVELAND - The Phillies could have used Joe Borowski.

They actually had him, but they decided after a physical in November that his shoulder did not look sound and backed off a two-year, $9 million contract with an option for a third season. Borowski eventually signed a one-year, $4.25 million contract with a $4 million option for 2008 with the Cleveland Indians. He is 0-3 with a 6.33 ERA with 20 saves in 22 opportunities this season. His ERA is high, but drop two bad appearances, and it is a respectable 3.18.

Borowski said he was happy with the way things turned out, but that doesn't mean he's not puzzled by what happened with the Phillies.

"My physical was just the doctor [Michael Ciccotti] pretty much hanging off my arms and not moving me whatsoever," Borowski said. "That's the funny part. He said I did so-so on my physical. What else does he want me to do? Jump through hoops?"

"With all due respect to the player, he's free to speak as he sees fit," said Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phils' assistant GM. "We are fully supportive of Dr. Ciccotti and his ability to diagnose our players and free agents. We are very confident in his findings."

The Phillies had Borowski undergo an MRI exam on his shoulder.

"They came back with another offer," Borowski said. "Then everybody knew that same day that I supposedly failed my physical when it was supposed to be hush-hush. There were a lot of funny things. That's why I think it worked out for the best. You don't want to be involved in stuff like that."

link here:

http://swingandmiss.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html

BTW, do you think Borowski is happy he's in Cleveland?

nutter, a logical conclusion based on the available evidence.

Indians look young, fresh and energized. They also look well led. The Sox look old, injured and weak in spots. Red Sox manager (Francona) seems to be grasping for straws.

Bottom line: Indians in five. Rockies over Indians in 7

Other Notable Notes:

• Schilling would be great: would it depend upon the ownership??
• Torre is going nowhere: uh yeah
• Rivera: apparently is attached at the hip to Joe Torre, so he is a Yankee.
• Lowell: I'm running to the toilet to vomit from thinking about this happening. I would much rather have Feliz (Don't ask me why. It has something to do with injuries)
• Gillick indorses Ruiz/Coste: shocking revalation for the "Costespiricists"

Parker - Feliz at $7 million for 2 years. Nein!

I don't see any case for Feliz over Lowell. Especially based on injuries. Lowell has played in 150+ the last four seasons. Feliz is only a year younger. There's no comparison offensively. The only thing that will be scary about Lowell is the price tag.

Parker, that's ridiculous. I think you don't want anyone to ask you why because there's no conceivable reason why.

I'd rather see Alfonseca, Mesa, and Nunez back in Philly next season that Feliz. seriously, have you looked at his numbers? he's just terrible.

yeah, I would actually LOVE to see Lowell in a Phillies uniform next year.
This past season he was very subpar defensively, but over the past few seasons he's been great overall. Also, he can obviously still pound the ball and would definitely provide the right-handed protection for Utley and Howard that Rowand provided this past year.
You have to bear in mind that, assuming Rowand is gone for next year, you absolutely have to have another intimidating righty in the lineup besides Burrell. Lowell can supply all of that - if he can be signed, that would be a phenomenal start to the offseason.

Its funny but this talk of acquiring a big-name FA is eeirly similiar to last offseason. Remember when everyone thought the Phils were going to make an honest run at Soriano or Lee and that turned out to be BS?

I am almost certain that the Phils let Rowand walk this offseason and take some "middling" moves to round out the roster for next year.

MG: great. so not only are you a debbie-downer during the season but in the offseason too?? come on man...
whatever. no matter what your philosophy and expectations with regard to the phillies management may be, you can still enter into the conversation with constructive additions, rather than the typical cynicism that is evoked in your posts.

Phillies to-do list for today:
1. Fire Rich Dubee.
2. Hire Leo Mazzone.

Why isn't anyone talking about the fact that one of the best pitching coaches in baseball history is currently available? Get this guy NOW!!!!!!!!

Sorry if I came off a little strong there. Of course people have a right to be cynical and skeptical about the phillies management's decisions in the past based on the past few off-seasons.
But seriously, the post-season is still going on and we're already blaming the phillies management for the mistakes we are assuming will be committed in the next few months?

Just a few WAG predictions for the off-season...

1. Curt Schilling will sign a short-term, incentive-laden contract with the Phils and finish his career as a Phillie. He will slot into the #2 spot in the rotation and he and Moyer will be nice bridges for the solid young prospects at the high minors level next year. And, he will give the pitching staff something they desperately need. A true veteran leader who's "been there" and knows what it takes to win in the postseason. Happ will be the 5th starter. Carrasco and Outman will start the year at AAA, and should anyone get hurt (or 4 or 5 guys get hurt like this year), they will be first in line to take their spots).

2. Joe Crede will be the opening day starter at 3B next April. The White Sox need to trade him (Josh Fields is now their 3B) and Gillick and Williams have a good trading history. Crede is a flyball hitter who hit 30 HR's in 2006 and is still just 29 years old. If his back checks out OK, a deal will get done. It makes too much sense not to happen. Would the Sox want Flash back? Their bullpen is a disaster and if Flash also checks out OK physically (another big "if"), a match could be made. He would be a perfect 8th inning guy for them and they liked him when he pitched there before.

3. Victorino will take over as the everyday CF. No brainer here. Rowand will be allowed to leave, for a off-the-charts contract, that the Phils will not come close to matching (even if they wanted to). Vic is a much, much lower priced alternative, that brings, quite possibly, more to the table on the field. Rowand's intangibles will be missed. But, Vic runs much better, is younger, will cover more ground in the OF, throws better and is much cheaper. Pretty easy decision with this one.

4. Bourn will be traded for a late inning reliever. The Phils will need a 8th inning guy. Can Bourn fetch them a good one, preferrably one under the age of 40? Probably (along with a throw-in minor leaguer). Bourn is very intriguing for many clubs. You could keep him around in the same role he had this year. But, eventually, the kid has to get some AB's and some playing time as more than a late-inning defensive replacement/pinch-runner. Just not much room in the Phils outfield (if Vic becomes the starting CF) for him. Plus, that 8th inning guy is VITAL for the 2008 team. Getting a good one (like most playoff teams HAD this year) could be the key to repeating in the East. Bourn is probably the best major league chip they have to deal. Let's see what he could fetch (or at least be a centerpiece of what could be caught).

5. Eaton (with Philly eating most of the contract) will be traded. With the dearth of starting pitching in baseball, as bad as Eaton was, he is still over .500 in his career and won double digit games this year. He will have suitors, for the right price. Maybe package him with a young minor league prospect for either a corner outfielder (5th outfielder type with some speed) or a utility infielder (the Nunez role) that can play 3rd, SS or 2nd) and a young minor league prospect.

diggity - Not blaming but you need a bit of a reality check. This offseason is really key. Probably Gillick's most important yet.

This team finally got over a hump this but they have to take the attitude that they were lucky to make the playoffs this year with 89 wins. Likely next year that even duplicating the 89 wins won't get them back into the playoffs again. Plus, the Phils can't assume this team will improve on its own - especially if Rowand doesn't come back.

I am concerned because it just doesn't sound like the Phils are committed to being seriously attempting to upgrade this team. They emphasized how much money they spent this past season, how the FA market looks overpriced, and that management is isn't supposedly interested in selling.

Tell me where I am wrong? Plus, what about the past two offseasons?

Gillick has left a lot to be desired with his FA acquisitions for the most part. I am hoping that this offseason is different but I will believe it when I see it.

Couple of foolish notions I have seen posted:

1. Eaton will be traded or the Phils will eat his contract - Flat out ridiculous. No team will trade for Eaton after his performance last season and with 2 yrs/$16 million left on his deal. Plus, the Phils aren't about to pay a team $8 million to take Eaton's contract let alone eat his entire remaining salary. Phils either figure out a way to get him to pitch better or sink with him again.

2. One of starters coming out of spring training will be from the farm system -
Gillick has stated in pretty strong terms that the minor league pitching prospects aren't ready yet. If Gillick (who isn't afraid of promoting young talent) says that they aren't ready, then he either he doesn't like what he sees and/or he doesn't think they are ready. Phils will either sign another FA starter or acquire one in a trade.

3. Bourn will bring something of decent value in return - I like Bourn. He demonstrated he has some value to this team last season. Plus, he has shown some glimpses that he could be a legit leadoff man and play CF. However, I don't see how Bourn by himself is going to get either the starting pitcher or the decent setup man the Phils' need. It likely would take Bourn plus at least a prospect or two to accomplish that.

I just can't see Aaron Rowand as a Cardinal. St. Louis seems too white-bread for a guy like him. But if the Phils lose Rowand, will they make a run at another free-agent CF or will they go with Bourn, who's pretty much their lone trading chip? It will be interesting indeed to see how all of this plays out.

By the way, I thought Larry Shenk was retiring already. Loyal to the death.

The Red Sox were the best team in baseball all season. It'd be a terrible disappointment for them to get bounced in the ALCS. Cleveland is just unbelievable at home, though. Boston had to know they were in deep caca when they couldn't win that extra-inning game at Fenway. Still, if the Sox win on Thursday, they'll have a great shot of getting in. If they don't, the Schilling/Lowell talk will begin to quickly intensify. Does Boston have a potential alternative to play 3B, possibly in their system? How how hard will they go after Lowell? I don't think they'll push all that hard to keep Schilling.

Saw the notion of trading for Garland from the ChiSox over at ACitizensBlog--Mike over there prophesizes Garland for Outman/Jason Donald (I don't know why exactly the Sox should need him). Also the Crede thing. If an aggressive push is made for Lowell, and fails, what to think about Garland and Crede coming over? What would we have to give up? I ask the prevailing wisdom of Beerleaguer.

RSB - Youkilis came up as a third baseman.

MG - I think your paranoia and pessimism are a little overstated. first, it's not like Gillick made only marginal moves last year. the Garcia trade was obviously a huge mistake in hindsight, but at the time it was one of the more significant moves of the offseason. true, he didn't hand out a huge FA contract to Soriano or Lee. but considering how things turned out, he was probably 100% right on both cases.

second, I don't know where you're getting the idea that management is not going to attempt to upgrade the team. we all read the report in the Morning Call where they talked about raising payroll. so they're not going to go into Mets territory - that's a given. but the fact that they're publicly discussing even a slight increase is a pretty big shift from past years. and the fact is, the FA market this offseason is not real deep where we really need it. it's not like everybody's clamoring to bring Andruw Jones here, and even Lowell and Schilling aren't getting much more than cautious support.

it's not like I don't understand the negativity. we're all Philly fans here; it's our nature to expect the worst. but like dave, I think it's a little early to start with the depression about 2008.

ae/MG, Feliz would not be my first choice under any circumstances. I just have very little faith in Lowell staying healthy. I was shocked that Feliz is 32 (a bit older than I thought). I still think that he has more life in his legs than Lowell. It seems to me that if you make Lowell the 3B, you put yourself in the position of necessarily having to adress the position again in two years time at the latest. Feliz may run along those same lines.

Personally I am in the Joe Crede camp (Assuming some kind of deal could be worked out). I think a Crede deal is significantly more likely than a trade of Atkins. The Rockies have repeatedly stated it is their top offseason priority to resign Atkins, and I would put money on him being the 1B for the Rockies next season. There has been some talk about Crede and his shoulder, which is definately a concern (See Scott Rolen). If I am not mistaken though, Lowell has had some shoulder problems as well, Correct? Either way, Crede is younger than both Rolen and Lowell, and I don't really think Rolen is done at this point either (Note, I'm in no way suggesting Rolen is an option. Only using him as a point of reference for a shoulder injury).

Either way, 3B needs to be addressed, but what do you do with Wesley Rodrigo Helms?

Parker: Do you ever look at the stats? Among everyday thirdbasemen (500+ PAs), Feliz ranked dead last in offense.

"I am concerned because it just doesn't sound like the Phils are committed to being seriously attempting to upgrade this team. They emphasized how much money they spent this past season, how the FA market looks overpriced, and that management is isn't supposedly interested in selling. "


MG, is the FA market "overpriced"? Are the Phillies right about that.

I could make the opposite argument.

I could posit that the FA market is fairly priced, just at a higher level. Here's why:

1) MLB revenues are at an all-time high, double ehat they were when ARod and Manny signed their current contracts.

2) Revenue sharing - even small mkt teams have more money to spend (Gil Meche, anyone?)

3) Most teams are trying to lock up their best young talent with long-term deals (i.e. Utley, Wright, Reyes), which results in less free agents hitting the market.

Add in the law of supply and demand, and you get an FA market that is fairly priced based on the players and money available to spend on them.

Salaries move upward, and fans and observers think players are "overpaid" based on the most recent data available.

But wages go up almost every year in other businesses and professions, and no one blinks an eye.

I'm not arguing anything other than the dynamics of the FA market COULD be changing based on the aformentioned reasons.

If this is the case, then teams are going to have to get a lot better at player development and then let their talent walk, or they are going to have to increase payroll, even if it means keeping their FA plaers to be - never mind competing in the open market against other clubs.

Just a thought.

AWH: I agree 100% with your post. And, as evidence, I think Lohse will get a contract that will cause some posters here to pass out.

I'll say it again, if you get upset about the Phillies way overpaying for a free agent, you need to move to the Royals blog. The ridiculous numbers in MLB are about to get even more ridiculous. The Phillies will either pay up or drop out.

Here is your opening day rotation as of this moment:

1. Cole Hamels. One of the league's best young guns is an injury waiting to happen.\

2. Kyle Kendrick. His K/IP ratio is worrisome, but it's skewed by an extereme unbalance between righties and lefties. Unless he can do better vs. LH he cannot repeat this season's performance.

3. Jamie Moyer. He turns 45 next month.

4. Adam Eaton. The day he was signed, I noted he ranked near dead laast over the past 2 years (05-06) in innings per start. I think, like Jason Marquis, he bounces back, but he is nothing more than a short-innings, back of rotation guy.

5. Nobody. I agree with Gillick that none of the kids are ready. Happ, who's closest. needs at least a half season at AAA.

Even if everything goes right, this team needs two more proven, solid starting pitchers. They will have to overpay, either in the FA market (Lohse) or by trade.

You guys are talking about getting involved in bidding wars with the Yankees and Red Sox for guys who are in their 30's and 40's. I'm all for spending money, but lets try to be a little smarter about it.

Clout: I looked at the stats. Which is why I said He would NOT be my FIRST choice. He would definitely be an upgrade overe what the Phillies are throwing out now. He might tack on 5-10 more HR to his 20 HR per year average. He would be better defensively than anyone that we have now, and probably better than Lowell (Have not looked at defensive stats, but someone posted them the other day and they were good I believe better than Lowell)

If Crede is healthy, I really like the idea of getting him. He has low strikeout totals, is right-handed, young, and can probably hit 30 homers in CBP. The only thing I don't like is his agent...Scott Boras (and he can become a FA after next year).

to add on to what i just posted, the fact that he is FA after 2008 could be good...if constanzo is ready.

AWH/MG:
Please note, you are not disputing facts, but rather the interpretation of them.

It's not that the FA market IS overpriced, we've pretty much established that it is what it is: players will get what the teams will pay. Since they WILL pay, it's not overpriced.

The difference is what MG points out: the statements by Philly's uppermanagement that indicate THEY believe the market is overpriced. Rhetorically, they're indicating little interest in utilizing the FA market to any degree in upgrading the team.

In re: hot stove suggestions
I really suggest everybody take a look at some of the suggestions being offered by fans from other teams over at MLB Trade Rumors. They are truly hilarious (ae has been there; ask him). Many have the Phils trading Pat "Full No Trade Clause" Burrell to the Angels.

My three cents:

1¢ - I'm glad Coste won't have to labor in AA ball for half a season next year. I be Coste will be glad to earn MLB bucks for a full season.

2¢ - The Phillies will identify another team that has an Eaton-like situation (bad player-bad contract). They will make a trade. Each team will proudly talk about the potential and the change-of-scenery-will-do-the-player-good routine. In other words, they swap dogs and tell the fans they are working to improve the team. Personally, I feel Eaton will be better next year, so trade him to the AL.

3¢ - Rowand is probably a gone pecan. I hope we keep Bourn and make him a starter. I'd prefer an OF of Burrell-Bourn-Vic than one starting Werth.

I meant to type: "I bet Coste will be glad to earn MLB bucks for a full season."

Costanzo should be a non-factor in any serious decision the Phils make at third base this offseason. He is not a prospect. He is only a threat to Greg Dobbs as a lefty platoon player.

While I would agree with clout that the minor league pitchers like Happ probably need another good half season, I would caution in making proclaimations like Gillick made about counting them out until 2009.

Why? 2006 and 2007 come to mind. 2006 was the year Gavin Floyd won a job out of spring training and pushed Ryan Franklin to the bullpen, and also the year Hamels made the jump - basically from Single-A. 2007 was, of course, Kendrick, and they also were forced to go with Durbin for a while.

Much of this didn't work out, but it demonstrates the basic premise that anything can happen, specifically in spring training. They tend to give about seven or eight starters looks each spring. Last year, the oddballs who got chances were Lieber, Happ, Mazone, Germano. I think Segovia also got a turn or two.

Guys go down, guys get hot. The fifth starter spot will go to Adam Eaton. I am certain of this; he will not be traded, waived, etc. He's here and will be given another shot - which he could lose in a matter of weeks to the hottest minor league hand.

You never know. Also - having at least one rotation spot in flux would make the Phillies no different than almost every team, including very good pitching staffs like San Diego, where they settled on Germano, who was a waiver claim from the Phils.

The difference is the Phils are no good at judging talent in spring training, while the Padres are.

On the Crede issue, you won't hear me complain about adding that kind of production. My concern would be Phillies team physician Dr. Spaceman advising on a deal involving any player with a history of injury. He has not gotten many of these correct.

"Dr. Spaceman"

Dr. Spaceman is his father. Call him Leo.

Needs: SP, 3B, & 2 LHRP

I see us resigning Lohse. Just a feeling.

I don't see us getting either A-Rod or Lowell. Yankees will get one, Boston the other. Who's left? Branyon, Batista, Bellhorn? A trade?

I pray we resign Romero. We still need another LHRP from somewhere. Guardado, Kennedy, King, Mahay, Miller?

Jason:
Tampa Bay has several awful starters. They might give us a dog for our dog.

(Actually, I had a modest proposal in my devious little mind in about August - send Eaton to Texas for Padilla and then stick HIM at AAA to re-learn relieving. It probably wouldn't have worked out; but it would've helped two teams redeploy bad players in a way that sort of saved some face.) (Given the Mateo acquisition, Padilla's exactly the kinda guy we trade for anyway. Maybe Offerman's available, too.)

Shane:
Affeldt.

I would look at someone like Kennedy because I subscribe to the belief that you can't have enough pitching depth, especially when your pitching staff is Hamels/Kendrick/Moyer/Eaton/Nothing.

Kennedy isn't good enough to be a starter at this stage of his career, doesn't miss bats, is transitioning into full-time relief, but he's a decent failsafe if Eaton can't turn it around. If they can get a left-hander like Kennedy for peanuts, why not?

Parker - Feliz is marginally better than Lowell by most defensive metrics I've seen. offensively, there is absolutely no comparison. I also don't get the common assumption that any 20 HR guy will instantly turn into a 30 HR guy in CBP. I seem to recall many rash predictions of that nature for Wes Helms, and that didn't work out so well.

I don't get the appeal of Crede either. in his career season he hit .283/.323/.506 with 30 HR. there's nothing really wrong with that; I could live with that kind of production from 3B next year. but that ignores that his career batting line is a pathetic .259/.305/.446. why would you take the chance that a guy coming off of season-ending back surgery is going to duplicate a career year? especially since it would probably cost us a pretty good player from a shallow minor league system that can't afford to take many more hits.

for instance, some of Baseball Prospectus' fielding stats on Lowell/Feliz:

Lowell 2007 11 FRAA, 107 Rate
Lowell 2006 18 FRAA, 112 Rate
Feliz 2007 12 FRAA, 109 Rate
Feliz 2006 10 FRAA, 106 Rate

ae: I am with you on Crede. His numbers are even worse taking into account ballpark.

I would go so far as to say that a lack of pitching depth was the major failure of the 2007 team - and before the season, everyone thought there was a surplus. You simply can't have enough pitching. How they fill out the rotation and bullpen with savvy spare parts - outside of big pieces like Schilling - could be the difference again next season.

I agree, Jason. I don't think the offense needs more than minor tweaks - say a part-time bat with some power for the outfield, someone to platoon at third with Helms, and an infield defensive specialist. (say, Brad Wilkerson, Mike Lamb, and Generic No-Hit Infielder - hell, bring back Nunez if he'll take a substantial pay cut.)

those three roles should be able to be filled relatively cheaply, and any other available salary needs to go into pitching. going after one of the Japanese FAs that may hit the market this season could be well worth it, but I'm honestly not familiar enough with the candidates to say.

Jason,

I agree that Costanzo is not major league ready this season, but why do you say he's not a prospect? From what I've seen, he's got the makings of a major leagure ballplayer. He made tremendous improvement throughout his AA season at Reading and I believe he was tied for the league league in homers. Watching him, he just has the look of a guy destined for the majors and you can't argue he doensn't have power or strong arm. He just needs seasoning and to cut down the strikeouts. Maybe I'm biased about home-grown talent, especially prospects I see here in Reading, but I was surprised by your appraisal of Costanzo.

It's a different world than it was even 10 years ago with pitching where six innings, three runs is a quality start. Middle relief is becoming vitally important. The Phillies need to snuff out the failed starters like Kennedy while they're still young and see if they can hack it in relief.

swh: Maybe it's a little harsh, but 157 strikeouts, average defense at best, very little production against left-handed pitching looks like Russell Branyan. Not the type of player the Phils should hold a spot for at third, in my opinion. He's a marginal prospect whose ceiling is as a platoon player.

Constanzo is 1-for-17 with 10 strikeouts and a home run this fall.

ae, clout:
Joe Crede = David Bell
mostly.

swh
Costanzo needs a full season where hits LH pitching at least 3/4 as well as he hits righties and gets at least 3/4 as many BBs as Ks.

Frankly, all the fascination with our two minor league K-Kings (the other is Golson) is astounding to me. They might best be used as trade bait with bottom-line obsessed teams such as the Marlins or Pirates.

And one has to wonder how Philly would deal with LHP if we added another high-K Lefty to the line-up. Tankersley would drool.

clout: I know I'm slow on the response, but I certainly didn't want to suggest that none of the Indians players were free agents. Of course any team needs a mix of home grown talent and free agents to be successful. I'm just suggesting that finding home grown talent enables teams to be as successful with small payrolls as teams with massive payrolls.

J, its funny the phills have one of the last 9 inning pitchers, but they turned him into a 1 inning pitcher. i still believe that young pitchers should go longer in games in the minors so they can learn to get people out as their stuff fades. that way they won't be useless after the 6th inning for the length of their carears.

nutter - who are you talking about? Myers? he averaged barely more than 6 IP as a starter.

JW - I totally agree about the pitching depth. The Phils' pitching is pretty threadbare and their aren't many viable options.

In fact, I would rather have the Phils bring in 2 or 3 decent options to bolster the bullpen instead of signing a guy like Linebrink for 3 yr/$12-$15 million yr.

The Phils also have to be better this offseason at getting at some "hits" on their marginal pitching moves. Gillick did find some nuggets of gold with Werth and Dobbs last year. He needs to do the same for the pitching this year.

The starting rotation is going to be a fascinating story all offseason and into spring training even if the Phils acquire 2 starters. Just a ton of question marks there and even more troubling than the bullpen if Myers remains the closer.

Breaking news: The Rockies success prove that the 1993 Braves choked against the Phillies -

http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/sportscolumns/entries/2007/10/17/rockies_proved.html

The comments below the article are pretty funny.

I would be shocked if Costanzo if ever the staring 3B for the Phils. Just too many holes. However, I do bet he eventually finds a home at some point in the majors as a utility/bench guy. Probably a guy off the bench who might play the corner outfield position, 3B, or even 1B.

I've been on the signing Kennedy bandwagon for a little...welcome aboard Jason

ae: Probably unfair to call Myers a 9 inning pitcher, since he has all of 6 career complete games in 143 starts... but he did make it into the 8th inning in about 25% of his starts in 2006 (8 of 31). His rate was lower in 2005 at just 5 of 34.

I'm not sure how that ranks in the league.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2007/10/duchscherer-to-.html

interesting story speculating that the a's may be more likely to trade dan haren.

i think haren would be an awesome pick-up for the phils. he was pretty dominating this year, he's young, cheap for the next two (maybe 3)years, and does not have any major injury issues (that i'm aware of).

the a's love obp. how about trading burrell (eating some of the salary), along with bourn and another pretty solid prospect.

keep rowand, keep vic in right, platoon dobbs and werth in left.

thoughts?

oh...and gotta sign a third baseman and bullpen help (but we knew that anyway).

elliott, unless the "pretty solid prospect" is Carrasco, I don't think Beane bothers returning Gillick's call.

I assume that is Ian Kennedy that everyone is talking about. If so, why would the Yankees trade him? For whom? I would highly doubt that acquiring Kennedy is possible (assuming it is the same Kennedy).

Hamels/Kendrick/Moyer/Eaton/Nothing

Talk about a buzz kill. I think this means we need at LEAST 2 SP and need to push Eaton to the 'pen. Hard to fathom that we had "too many" starters coming out of ST last year.

St. Louis' first-round pick (#13) is protected if Rowand signs with the Cards. That means the Phils would get a supplemental pick (around #35 or so) and St. Louis' second-round selection (#55 or so). That's not a good return for Rowand.
If the Phils go out in the market and sign a Class A free agent (like Lowell or Linebrink), they would forfeit their own first-round pick (#23) because it's not protected.
This is not a good position to be in. But hey, it's the Phillies.

Eaton to the pen would work out a lot like Lieber to the pen, in my opinion.

I'm just glad it took Gillick an entire season to realize the Ruiz-Coste tandem is solid... why is he our GM? Can we please get rid of that jerk.

"The difference is the Phils are no good at judging talent in spring training, while the Padres are."

Jason, I agree, but I would add to that statement:

***The Phils are no good at judging PITCHING talent in spring training, and do not do a very good job judging/scouting it either in the FA market or for any potential trade candidates.***

This has been what's led to the team's ERA being in the bottom half of the league and MLB for 18 of the last 21 years.

But then, when I've pointed this out in the past I've been accused by others here of being excessively harsh on ownership/management.


clout, your comment "The Phillies will either pay up or drop out" rings so true. That same feeling among ownership may be the reason the 'sale of the franchise' rumors have popped up. Giles and the rest may be feeling the same way the Bob and Ruly Carpenter did.

They may feel continually escalating salaries will hurt the long-term value of the franchise (less to the bottom line) and want to sell 'while the iron is hot and the team is competitive.

shane, I like Ray King...always have. Has very solid LOOGY splits. Just ask Ryan Howard.

Parker, Joe Kennedy.

Excellent hot-stove discussion in this thread. It's all reality and no trade-howard talks. Don't have much to add except a hunch that Eaton will be a Phil next year and in the rotation.

<< CLOUT: I've been accused by others here of being excessively harsh on ownership/management. >>

There is no such thing as being too harsh on Phillies management. I think you're not harsh enough.

Gillick has already gone on record to say that any additions will be trade acquisitions as opposed to FA signings. He did not expound on who would go or who would come aboard. My question is, with Gillick "retiring" after the season, what does he really care about what shape he leaves the Phillies in? My hunch is that it will be a Roger Clemens/Larry Brown type of retirement, before he is lured back by some other club. Anything to get away from this ownership without bashing them so he can save face for all involved. I know this sounds very Philly-fan-like, but I got a bad feeling about this...

"It's all reality and no trade-howard talks."

Good point. So just to fill the quota, I'd propose Ryan Howard for Johan Santana, with the Phillies moving Utley to first & resigning Iguchi to play second.

Yeah, that should work for both the 'all reality' and ' no trade-howard' talk.

elliot: Crazy trade for a few reasons. 1) Pat Burrell has a full no trade clause (I love repeating that again and again). 2) The A's would not take on Burrell's salary, so we'd have to eat it and lose the production at the same time and then try to re-sign Rowand and a third baseman and pitching help?

Jason: I agree... Eaton to the pen makes no sense. He's terrible in early innings... which is all reliever pitch.

philliescampalumnus: Well, Pat Gillick has a Phillies playoff appearance and NL East crown on his resume now. How do other Phils GMs compare?

i overstated myers. i just remember him being a guy who pitched late into games. i like him more as a starter but moving him to the pen was the right move this year it 100% saved the season. but really that conversation has been done. i say move him where the need is next year. i still think closers are easier to find than starters. enough.
keep lohse/get shilling. get linebrink or corderro and maybe king/equivalent.
get lowell. let rowand walk.

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