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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

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Unfortunately, they do not get a weekend series in Washington all season.

that's good for me...weekday games mean all of DC's fair weather fans (but who can blame them, really) put their tix on craigslist for nothing!

Three disappointments on the schedule:

One, no games in Yankee Stadium the last year it's open, two, no weekend games in the Nats new stadium (can you say "day off"?), and three, no home games against the Mets in September.

On the third note, the Phils didn't have many games against the Mets this last September, so I'll guess they'll have to try to beat up on the Mets before then.

Oops, one last disappointment:

The Cubs series is on a weekend (Labor Day) that I am always at the beach, instead of another weekend in the summer.

Shame. I love Wrigley - great atmosphere!

The "on deck series" has always been a scam, since season ticket holders are required to buy them. But at least when it was the Red Sox I could find someone to buy them for face value. But Toronto? Who the hell wants to see what amounts to a double A game against Toronto? I have to sell the Red Sox tickets on stubhub just to break even.

Quick note on the Burrell for Tejada trade from the last thread.

Burrell has already nixed one trade to Baltimore because of his FULL NO TRADE CLAUSE. Kinda pointless to speculate on that one...

Jason - any way people can occasionally use a larger font size on the typepad? That way, every time someone types "FULL NO TRADE CLAUSE" in a PtB post, they could increase the size a little bit. By Spring training we might see it in 96 or 120.

CJ - I think we recognize that the trade of Burrell is just an exercise for our minds at this point (at least I do). I was, actually, wondering about the house of cards built on the last thread which seemed to depend on Tejada as the everyday 3B (specifically, which pieces you might try to orchestrate with or without that trade).

The reality is that, when we face what the Gillick and the guys WILL do versus what they MIGHT do, the actuality is that many of the names which get easily bandied about (Burrell, Howard) are not gonna be moved. (Or to use Rockies terminology: If Burrell waives his clause, Satan might buy a parka.)

BTW - I read a completely different view of the schedule on another blog that says it sets up favorably because of combined winning percentage of the opponents and which opponents they get at home. Tough to agree with that based on what I see.

Jason, I was going to mention that post as well. I tend to agree with your analysis, but I did think it was interesting.

The link is - http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/UltraMegaOK1988/2007/10/22/Looking_into_the_Future

I still kind of wish we were discussing the *World Series* schedule and whether Howard should DH (letting Utley play first and Tad play second) for the Boston games.

JZ - that would be the Iguchi vs. Werth discussion. Yeah, that woulda been fun.

Disappointed that, yet again, the Phils open and close with waste (Nats) instead of potential division-on-the-line scenarios (although you never know, the Nats could be really good next year).

It is interesting the Phils get the Sox AND Angels AND Jays at home. Considering MLB had to give the Phils the Sox this year (because the Phils won the division; because the Braves would've bitched), that's the easiest scenario of IL the Phils could've had.

The schedule is pretty similar each year. Open with division/Central, move to the West, IL comes in, back to the division in and around the break, finish the West and Central series, then focus on the division with one or two Central teams mixed in at the end. Most series end up where they usually do (Cubs in August, San Fran in May, and Milwaukee is the new STL, as we play them very early, then very late).

Meh, looks like I'm gonna try and book a Midwestern road trip for Labor Day weekend.

i don't buy schedule griping in baseball. its 162 games. after 162 a team has had enough losses to creame puffs and enough wins against power houses to even things out. no matter what the schedule is, you can't argue that the final W-L after 162 is a poor reflection of a team. baseball is the truest regular season in sports. unless there is something crazy like 25 games in a 24 days to end the season or the mets getting 12 games agaisnt the d-rays, then no complaining.

I don't understand how the Phils do not get a weekend in D.C. at all during the entire season! That really is crazy when you think about it. It happened to them a couple of years ago with the Muts. Not one single weekend series at Shea that year. Only baseball can screw that up when you have 18 games against your own divisional foes. Unbelievable...

If A-Rod does end up signing with the Angels, the Red Sox and Angels tickets will definitely be pretty hot items next year.

For those reading on the east coast, do any of you know an actual Angels fan? I know one: my stepfather's lawyer.

And while I am complaining about schedules and such, what is the deal with the NL Central STILL having 6 teams and the AL West ONLY having 4 teams?! How damn hard is it for baseball to finalize 6 divisions with 5 teams in each of them?? It would help balance everything more if that were taken care of. Only baseball can keep ignoring that MAJOR issue...

Thanks for the schedule heads up. I would think the schedule should pretty much even out over 162 games and reflect the team's ability. However, the way I read it there are certainly few if any "breaks".

Also have a sense that next year will be tougher. Several good young teams like the Rocks and D-Backs; some improving teams like the Nats that will be more difficult to deal with this time around; and some other teams that just missed, are ticked off, and will crawl over ground glass to improve on their records like the Mets and Braves.

Maybe I'm all wet, but I think next year will be tougher and a long hard slog for everyone. Lots of teams legitimately feel they are just a player or two away from a playoff berth and won't be standing still. My guess is that unless there are some pretty dramatic upgrades to the Phils, the rest of the NL won't be going into the season with much fear of the Phils; rather, they'll be feeling like "We're as good as those guys, that should have been us and that will be us this year".

JW - Not on the East Coast (not a lot of transplants from Orange County/LA to Philly) but the Moreno has done a good job of building a pretty loyal fan base/good baseball atmosphere despite several factors including:

1. Fickle SoCal sports fans who only support "winners"
2. Generic stadium that doesn't really stand out in comparison to the newer retro parks that have been built
3. Carving out a piece of the LA market from Dodger Blue
4. Being stuck in the vaste endless sprawl that is Anaheim.

Jon- you can't have two leagues of 15 teams each, otherwise you would either have to play an interleague game every day or have one team from each league with a day off.

The best 'fix' is to add two more teams (Portland & Vegas?).. or to contract (never gonna happen)

From Neyer's column on ESPN

AVG. PRODUCTION BY POSITION
LAST 10 WORLD SERIES WINNERS

BA HR RBI OBP SLG SB
C .260 18.3 79.6 .333 .416 3.0
1B .276 27.2 105.4 .363 .477 5.8
2B .278 12.5 66.1 .351 .404 17.6
SS .290 13.0 70.4 .350 .416 18.8
3B .269 23.4 96.5 .341 .448 5.7
LF .279 26.2 91.8 .355 .473 13.0
CF .289 18.3 93.0 .360 .444 22.6
RF .282 25.0 104.6 .352 .470 12.2
DH* .291 23.8 110.3 .354 .474 11.0

*Six teams instead of 10
Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau

If you look at the Phils' offensively right now, they are pretty unique compared to these averages. This past season the Phils were much stronger at a few positions (1B, 2B, SS, CF), average at a few positions (C, LF), and below average at one position(RF), and terrible at another (3B).

Weitzel - I hear that the Rockies are big fans of angels.

CJ, I was just wondering...does Pat Burrell have a no-trade clause in his contract?

I thought you might know...

As a DC transplant, I am not bothered by no weekend series here. with the new stadium, it may be tough to get weekend tickets here.

keepaaronrowand: He doesn't have a full no trade clause, as far as I know, but it's my understanding that he has a FULL NO TRADE CLAUSE.

Bob: Every year almost every team believes they're just a player or two away. When it all shakes out, many of those teams will be worse and some will be better. I don't think anyone feared the Phils this year, but that didn't stop us from winning the NL East. We know what improvements we need to make. I hope we don't get caught up in worrying about what other teams do.

For the record, I don't like Tejada for Burrell.

His OPS+ seems to be on the decline... from a high of 131 in 2004 (a career year, right before the rug got pulled out from under the steroid era, hmmmm) to 109 (his lowest point since his first full season back in 1999). In fact, this is the first year Tejada failed to crack .800 in OPS since '99.

Tejada has also stated his preference to remain at shortstop. Although he did mention he'd consider changing positions if it meant a chance to contend for the playoffs.

Since Burrell ain't getting traded, it'd take something else to get Tejada here anyway.

The Phils would be wise to simply let Pat play out his contract .... he may very well put up a big walk year which benefits us as well as the fact that we get picks if he leaves and have an extra $13-$15 Million in the budget to fill whatever gap we deem appropriate for 2009 instead of trading Pat now for another similar player and a similar contract .... I'd rather go shopping for a new car with options at every dealership (All of Free Agency), than just at a Chevy Dealership (Trade with the 4 teams Pat may be willing to accept a trade to) ....

I'm happy to hold onto Burrell for one more year and then see if there is anything out there we want to add more than re-upping Burrell .... very low risk/decent reward vs. moving him and assuming a lot of risk.

Just my two cents .... not to mention that he has a

FULL NO TRADE CLAUSE

Right now the schedule doesn't mean diddly. You never know when the other teams is going to have a bad run or who is going to be hurt. Didn't most people look at the Marlins this year and expect them to be better instead of worse? You never know what is going to happen between now and then, so why even worry about it?
I don not know any Angel Fan but I would like to see Vlad. Also I would like to call Gary Mathews Jr "Sarge" because he loves to hear that.

Thanks for the heads up, sh. Maybe those two cities could land teams (I'd actually really like to see a team in Oregon) or maybe baseball could lose a couple of teams. Either way, it should be addressed somehow/someway.

If Burrell puts up similar numbers next year what do you think he will get on the FA Market? Or do you think the Phils should offer him an extension? I know it's a long way off, and a BIG if, but I was wondering.

Reverend: Based on the rising prices and his age, I'm guessing the low-end of what Burrell will get is 4 years, $60M, and likely much higher.

I don't think so Clout. Burrell will have a decent payday next offseason if he is able to put up a typical Burrell year but he is not getting north of $15 million/year. Good hitter but not great plus he is a huge defensive liability at this point.

Burrell is almost going to have to go an AL team because no NL team is going to sign him long-term to play LF.

Under no circustanes do I want to see the Phils give Burrell an extension though but the odds of this are pretty remote anyways.

Phils have to do something about 3B base though. You can't go through another season of Dobbs/Helms at 3B. Below average offense and poor defense. I just hope that Phils don't sign a guy like Feliz to a 2 or 3-year deal.

Does anyone know what the average NL 3B hit in '07 (or Major League 3B)

Yep, this year April will be critical. Again. I wouldnt bank on overcoming another awful start. This is the easiest April of the Manuel Era and the team needs to come out of the gate.

Very tough interleague schedule.

Interesting question regarding Burrell and what he can expect on the market etc. - If he is coming off of a:

.270 30 HR, 95 RBI, 90 Run, 100 BB season and is healthy - I think he is likely to go 4 yr. 40 Million type deal.

I think he has to post something like the below for a $12-$14 Million per contract.

.275 36 HR, 105 RBI, 95 Run, 110 BB season

In a walk year and one where he will come to spring training healthy and with a lot of confidence, it's not unreasonable to think he can post the latter type of season.

league average for an NL 3B was .280/.348/.456 with 22 HR/93 RBI per 162 games.

compare these two players - both poor defensive LFs - over their three seasons ending at age 30:

A: hit .290/.348/.517/.866 - per 162 games averaged 34 HR, 112 RBI, 99 R, 58 BB, 81 SO
B: hit .266/.392/.503/.895 - per 162 games averaged 33 HR, 111 RBI, 84 R, 111 BB, 147 SO

player A is Carlos Lee. he got a 6 year/$100M contract after those three seasons.

player B, as I'm sure you've guessed, is Pat Burrell.

Honestly, baseball should contract two teams (Tampa and Florida come to mind initially), then move Milwaukee back to the AL and stick with 28 teams. Then go to 2 divisions of 7 again.

Phillies, Mets, Braves, Nationals, Pirates, Cubs, Cardinals

Reds, Astros, Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Padres

Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Indians, Brewers

Angels, Athletics, Rangers, Mariners, Twins, White Sox, Royals

But that won't happen.

Thanks, AE. Looking at that,

Average 3b : .280/.348/.456
Dobbs vs RHP : .277/.335/.473
Helms vs LHP : .282/.346/.444
Phillies 3b : .255/.321/.368

In short : The problem isn't the Phillies 3bs, its Charlie.

Question - Who got the most ABs for Phils 3bs?
Answer - Nunez

Question - Did Helms get more ABs vs RHP or LHP?
Answer - RHP

2 more years!

Bob Costas in his book FAIR BALL came up with a great idea for getting rid of the wild card and evening up the AL and NL. It involved I believe contraction and going with 4 divisions in each league. The book was a good read.

ae: That is why my estimate on Burrell's next contract is too low.

CJ,

For sure, no sense worrying about what you can't control, such as what other teams may or may not be up to.

However, one can only hope the front office guys of the Phils are as focused on what needs to be done as the Beerleaguer crew is.

ae, I agree that *when they are both in the lineup* Burrell and Lee are comparable players. What you didn't list were these totals.

Burrell:
669, 567, 598

Lee:
658, 688, 695

These are plate appearances. The last two years, Lee came to the plate *100* times more than Burrell. Teams pay for production, not rate stats.

By averaging out the numbers over 162 games, you ignore three major advatages Lee has over Burrell: He doesn't have to be pinch run for, he doesn't need a defensive caddy, and he doesn't have persistent injuries that require days off.

Malcolm, you're right. They're not going to eliminate a round of the playoffs and give up the revenue from it.

As far as leagues and scheduling are concerned, I would go the this route. Two leagues, 15 teams each, no divisions, and they all play each other an equal number of times - the top 4 teams make the playoffs seeded 1-4. You solve the odd number of teams in each league by having interleague play from May through August.

Mathematically, I think it could work so that no team was off for more than one night a week during April and September if three and four game series were alternated.

It will never happen.

As far as Pat Burrell is concerned, it continually amazes me that many on this site still don't "get it". What, say you, don't you get? Simple:

clout and I have been arguing for weeks, if not longer, that we are due to see a rise in MLB salaries because of three main factors which I won't bother to list here again (you might not "get it" anyway).

Say what you want about PB, but despite his ups and downs, he has been one of the more productive hitters in MLB the last couple of years.

25+ HRs and 95+ RBIs don't grow on trees.

As a matter of fact, while PB was only 14th in the NL in HR in '07, he would have been 7th in the "offensive minded" AL. In both leagues combined he's tied for 20th.

His 97 RBIs would have ranked him 17th and 18th in both leagues, and tied for 36th in both leagues combined.

So, let me see.......30 teams.......8 position players per team [240]....... plus 14 DHs in the AL, for a total of 254 starting hitters in both leagues.

In 2007 Burrell ranked 20th in HRs (top 10%) and 36th in RBIs (top 15%). In 2006, he was 34th in HRs (top 15%) and 40th in RBIs (top 16%).

Pat Burrell, despite his streakiness, is a known commodity in MLB. Teams will know what they are getting.

He may not be worth 4yrs, $60 million to the Phillies, but he's going to get at least that from some team - or, as clout said, maybe more.

(Thanks, ae, for helping out here with the Carlos Lee comparison above.)

The Phillies management and ownership are hoping and praying that someone (Golson?), ANYONE!, from the farm system develops so they can replace Pat's production. Otherwise, they are going to have a hard time replacing it for less money.

If they try to replace it in the FA market it will cost them money AND draft picks. If they extend Burrell it will only cost them money.


And then there's the question of re-signing Aaron Rowand. Again, with whom do you replace the production, nevermind leadership and other intangibles?


clout said it a couple of of threads ago:

The Phillies will either pay up or drop out.

kdon, you're point about PAs is a good one, but Burrell's OBP is WAY higher than Lee's.

In fact, despite coming to the plate almost *100* more times than Burrell, he only got on base 8 more times, 243 vs 235.

A "Moneyball" advocate could argue Burrell is much more offensively efficient than Lee.

And don't argue walks don't matter. When the Phillies beat the Mets 3-2 in the game Dobbs hit the sacfly in the 9th inning, Bourne scored from 3rd. Betcha can't guess who originally walked to get on base?

AWH, I actually agree with you completely when it comes to value.

I just think that teams will factor in Burrell's more limited role (I can't imagine an NL team signing him) when evaluating how much to pay him.

Also, I let ae off the hook a little earlier, but to say that both Lee and Burrell are "poor outfielders" is a little misleading. Lee may be a below average outfielder, but Burrell is easily the worst in the league and would be even more exposed in a park other than CPB.

Again, I'm not sure what *I* would do, but I don't think GMs will be all that high on Burrell.

Actually, kdon, there is speculation the Red Sox might have interest in Burrell. They're tired of Manny being Manny, plus, he may get close to ARod type money on a shorter deal, and with the short porch in LF at Fenway, Burrell's limited mobility becomes less of an issue.

Burrell is a productive offensive player but he has become a huge defensive liability. Plus, he will be 32 next year.

It will be difficult to replace his production but handing him an automatic extension would be incredibly foolish.

If anything, it almost seems the Burrell is destined to become to sign a 3 or 4-yr deal and become a DH in the AL. He could remain a productive offensive player and not get worn down by playing in the field.

If Pat Burrell Keeps the Same Discipline he has developed this year(I mean seriously, his walks were impressive) AND goes to an AL and only has to hit, I seriously see all of his offensive numbers jumping up 10-20%.

PTB not having to Run in the Oufield= Good. No aching feet. Mind more focused on Hitting, not what's sore because of shagging fly balls.

I should say, the first year, and then a decline in line with any other player through the ages of 33-36(assuming a 4 year deal)

One More Note: I think the best place for Him to Land is the Whitesox, and that's why i don't see why we shouldn't try and convince him of that.

Reinsdorf has no problem spending money, so he would be taken care of contract wise in 09.

The White sox could play him in LF for 08, and replace him with a rookie or someone else in 09(one less question for their outfield for 1 year).

Also, Burrell can DH against Lefties for 08.

Then when Thome's Contract is up, they have his replacement right there.


we could get garland out of it possibly even maybe a throw in of crede, if we throw in a prospect or two as well.

All things considered, it could happen, as Kenny Williams/Pat Gillick have proved they like dealing with one another.


On another note, Conlin has a column this morning promoting Ruben Amaro, Jr. for the GM job when Gillick leaves after '08.

link here:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/columnists/20071024_Bill_Conlin___Amaro_only_a_year_away_.html

The most hysterical quotes from the piece are the ending 2 paragraphs:

"I don't know him as well as I know his dad, but Junior has always been upfront with me - within the parameters of his job, that is. Some days he has responded to my e-mails within minutes.

If this shakes out the way it appears to be headed and Gillick rides into the sunset with dignity, leaving behind the young GM he has helped mentor, it could turn into an off-field win for the Phillies."

Which 'Jr.' has Conlin been watching the last several years? The one who contributes to the organization's inability to scout, draft, trade for or develop pitching talent, or the one who has not been truthful with the fan base in many of his public statements?

Maybe he'll turn out to be a good GM, but Giles and Montgomery need to pay attention to one thing:

The Phillies have not made the playoffs in their quarter century of ownership with an internally promoted GM at the helm.

Conlin even aluudes to or references the possibility of a "Yes, Monty." culture. He forgot to add "Yes, Bill."

I would say there's more than a possibility that that type of culture exists. They don't seem to like dissent, or people who aren't 'company' men.

IMO, they've gone far too long accepting an unacceptable level of pitching success at the MLB level (Isn't the MLB level what matters?). And as we know, pitching ultimately wins. Even Gillick does not seem to have been able to change it. It's almost as if the organization is in denial.

They do a decent job at developing position players (compare their MLB roster to the Mets, though there is a paucity of power hitting outfielders in the high minors), but pitching development has been a problem from 'day one'.

Giles, Montygomery and Co. obviously think there is nothing wrong. Until they recognize that 'something' is causing this lack of MLB pitching success nothing will change.

Maybe their loyal to the people in the organization responsible for pitching. If that's the case, then they are loyal to a fault.

Hiring Ruben Amaro, Jr. won't help them recognize the problem.

"Maybe they're loyal"

kdon, statistically speaking the difference on defense between Burrell and Lee is nil.

Burrell 2007 -9 FRAR, 84 Rate
Burrell 2006 +6 FRAR, 98 Rate
Burrell 2005 +7 FRAR, 97 Rate

Lee 2007 -1 FRAR, 92 Rate
Lee 2006 -1 FRAR (TEX)/-5 FRAR (MIL), 90 Rate (TEX)/87 Rate (MIL)
Lee 2005 -5 FRAR, 97 Rate

I don't watch every Astros game, so I can't say for sure, but I suspect that the only reason Lee "doesn't need a defensive caddy" is that his manager doesn't think Lee needs a defensive caddy. you are correct that Lee is faster and doesn't need a pinch runner, but I'll take the 44 points in OBP over Lee's slightly above average speed on the basepaths.

in any case, it doesn't really matter if you think Burrell is better or worse than Lee, because my point is that they're really very comparable in terms of production. (note that Burrell averages one less RBI per 162 despite, as you say, getting less PA.) that's why I have a hard time believing that 4/$40 is the best Burrell could do on the open market. (and if that is the best he could get, then the market is pretty screwed up.)

So, considering the attempted trades for seasons now, does Burrell's trade value actually INCREASE because he's in a contract year (i.e. "rental player")? Pending waiver of that damn FNTC, he could be some serious bait to a "Buyer" at the trade deadline.

We got to start realizing that Pat the Bat will be the Phillies LF for all of 2008. Instead of wasting our mental energies in imagined trades and player comparisons, we should resolve just to enjoy and savor his last year in Philly. If you want to spend time on Burrell imaginations, try to imagine who's going to be in LF for the Phils in 2009.

Ok phans. I haven't posted in a couple of weeks but here's what the Phils should do. It takes $$ but I believe thay have it. 1. Extend Burrell (offer 3/33 or thereabouts). Why? Right on this point 25HR, 95 RBI don't grow on trees. That will be hard to replace. Also, Burrell has never said a bad word about Philly. 2. Re-sign Rowand if possible (offer 4/40. If he takes it, fine. If not, the Phils can say they tried). Right now, I'd be talking to him if I were Gillick. I don't want Vic in CF with a Werth platoon in RF. There is very little power in that OF. 3. Bring in Schilling and Lowell. Crede is a health risk and none of the other FA 3Bmen excite me. It appears that Schilling would love to finish his career here. Upgrade the 'pen throgh trades (or FA if posible).

Remember Burrell most likely will not waive his FNTC. And the Phils have little to trade. Spend the money and get what you need.

I'm not a fan of trading Burrell, just as I wasn't last offseason either. We all know he deficiencies, but I don't think he gets nearly enough credit for the good stuff he brings to the table. I don't think he's worth 14 mil a season, but his production would be hard to replace on the cheap, so keep him around one more season. Even if we were to trade him, we'd have to eat a portion of his contract then go sign a free agent to replace his production for a lot of money, and in the end with the money used on the free agent and the money given to the team that takes Burrell our LF could end up being more expensive than Burrell's 14 mil contract and possibly less productive.

Patrone, the only question I have about your scenario is if Burrell would take a discount to remain in Philly. It may be that the best thing to do would be to extend his contract. The ? is what will it cost. I don't think 3/33 gets it done. Same with Rowand at 4/40. He'll get more elsewhere.

Besides, what's it going to cost to replace their production in the FA market or trade market? Either big $$$ and draft picks, or some pretty good prospects.


LFred, Burrell may waive the FNTC if it's a team he wants to go to and the financial terms are right. For instance, if the Yankees lose ARod and Posada, where will the RH power come from? Maybe they sign Lowell, but if ARod goes to Anaheim, then the Red Sox may not let Lowell walk so easily. So, in a scenario where Lowell is still in Boston, Arod is in Anaheim, and the Yankees need a RH bat, Burrell might accept a trade there if an extension comes along with it. The Yankees can certainly afford it. Actually, if the above scenario occurs, the Yankees may inquire about Burrell before the '08 season. If Gillick sends him there, he better not get raped this time, as he did in the Abreu trade.

Still, if Burrell were to accept a trade, clout's question needs to be answered:

With whom do you replace Burrell's production?

When Burrell was batting .201 with no power and basically only getting on base via the walk, I was hating him. But for the better part of his career in Philly I've stuck behind him and recognized his attributes. Strong accurate arm, plus on base skills, decent power, and an rbi man. We all know his drawbacks, but to be honest if he were to be traded replacing his production would be difficult and expensive. Lets keep the core group of players together for 2008 and build around them. Rowand is probably gone, but if we get a "real" 3rd baseman like Lowell or Atkins that replaces Fence-Face's production from CF. Then Vic can move to CF and hit 15 homeruns and steal 40 bases, and we can acquire a platoon outfielder with some pop- like Geoff Jenkins.

Pitching is the main problem, and everyone knows that. We need at least 1 more starter and major help in the bullpen. Alfonseca better not be back!

In the nearly 10 years Amaro Jr.'s been with the Phillies, I have yet to hear him talk much about baseball itself. What does he believe in, what is his philosophy, how he would go about making the Phils better, how he evaluates talent (if he can), why he thinks Ed Wade was such a good GM (don't laugh, he says that). In other words, I want to hear him talk BASEBALL and more BASEBALL. I'd like to hear his views on sabermetrics, who his assistants will be, what criteria will he been looking for in the draft, how will he value a player he wants to acquire or deal. If nothing changes from the way it is now, nothing will ever change and the Phils will just meander along for another couple of decades hoping to get lucky and maybe make it to a World Series. That's never a plan if you don't have a concrete goal. I want to see a stated goal and how it is to be accomplished.
If you want to really understand what I mean, read today's Boston Globe on Theo Epstein and his thoughts.

Carson, what clout and I have been trying to convey to you and others is the market is shifting upward.

Burrell IS worth $14 million a year - in this market - to some team. You may not think so but he'll probably get that much, and in this market maybe more.

For goodness sakes, look at my post above. Despite all of Philly's frustration with him (stikeouts, LOB) in the past he's still in the top 15-16% of run producers in MLB - not the NL - MLB!

He's going to get paid. Your point that if he's allowed to walk (or traded) that his production could be more expensive to replace is dead-on accurate.

We may not think these players are worth the money they get paid, but MLB just set an all-time attendance figure, TV ratings have improved, and new stadiums are coming (NYY, NYM, DC, MN) which will only increase revenues.

There's more cash coming, and salaries are going to go up, especially for run producers like Burrell, and pitchers who can actually get hitters out.

Lastly, Carson, if Burrell get traded in the last year of his contract (without an extension), it's likely to be to a team in contention who needs the bat. It's unlikely the Phils agree to pick up any of his salary, unless they got a lot of talent in return. If he get's an extension, it's likely the team he goes to will have agreed to pay him.

@AWH~

You're right of course. My #'s were just speculation. Burrell should take a discount and remain. If Rowand gets more than 4/40 and he's gone , so be it. My point is we don't hear anything going on woth our own FA's and I question why that is. If Rowand and Romero like it in Philly so much, let's see what it would take to get it done. I'm all for fiscal sanity. I agree with you, IF we get a guy like Lowell, then let's bring in a guy to play RF and move Vic to center. He IS a better of'der than Rowand with a cannon for an arm. I just don't want him in Center with no pop in Right. I'm not a big phan of Bourn. I like Werth and Dobbs but not as everyday players or a combined platoon in RF.

As far as the SP is concerned, Moyer, Hamels, and yes unfortunately Eaton are here. They won't eat part of Eaton's contract to move him (that would be admiiting a mistake to sign him in the first pace), so he won't be moved. Add Schilling and Kendrick to the mix, fix the 'pen and then we'll have a darn good team to root for with all of the other things in place. That will be fun. Let's face it the current team if they would have made it probably would have a real tough time with the BoSox or the Tribe. Our team has to be improved so we can make the playoffs for a few years in a row.

I'd extend Burrell simply because even through all the stuff our fans have given him, he still believes this is the best baseball city in the world. I kind of respect that.

there is no way in hell that burrell will get 15 mil. a year. he will likely go to the AL an dh. by that time, he will be 32. it is widely believed that he is overvalued in his current contract.

he'll be lucky if he gets $9 mil. a year for more than 2 years. i hope the phillies do not offer him an extension at that rate.

elliott, 39 year old Frank Thomas got 2 years/$18M+ from Toronto (going up to 3 years/$28M with a vesting option).

please, attempt to make an argument that Burrell 2009-20xx is a worse investment than Thomas 2007-2008.

One guy I compared Burrell versus early before spring training was JD Drew which is interesting because of his Philly ties and similar stats in 2006.

Drew somehow scored a 5yr/70M contract ($14M for each year) in the beginning of last year after opting out of LA.

This past year Burrell was the better bargin for $14 million statistically:

G AB R H HR RBI BB SO OBP SLG AVE
Pat Burrell:
155/472/77/121/30/97/114/120/.400/.502/.256
JD Drew:
140/466/84/126/11/64/ 70/100/.373/.423/.270

The last 6 years Burrell has averaged 147 games a year with almost 29 HRs & 96 RBIs while Drew averaged 123 games with 19 HRs & 66 RBIs.

AS others have mentioned clout's minimum of 4yr/$60M is a bargain and Burrell's agent should be looking for at least $16M-18M a year based upon that market comparison if he was smart.

elliott, you are in denial.

The salary realities have changed and continue to change.

His contract is only considered to be overvalued in the context of what EXPECTATIONS were for him after his 37 HR, 116 RBI season in 2002.

The realities are: the last 3 years he has averaged 30 HR and 103 RBIs. Hitters that can do that will get paid.

There are only so many players that have put up top 15% numbers.

Pat Burrell is one of them.

He will get paid, for longer and more than you think.

Sorry - Burrell was only making $13 million last year and will make $14 this year, my mistake.

JB, I made the same comparison this offseason and was almost laughed off MLB Trade Rumors. it isn't a perfect comparison, mostly because Drew is a very good defensive RF (Boston even played him in center a few times this year), but it's a lot closer than some people think.

over the last three years, the only outfielders in all of baseball with a better OPS than Burrell are Ramirez, Holliday, Guerrero, Dunn, and Ordonez. think about that for a second, because apparently that qualifies him for a substantial pay cut.

Does anyone think that Burrell would take a Home Team discount? He said he wants to be here and refuses to be traded so I think it is a possibility, but what constitutes a discount in this market.

Here is something I would NOT want to happen but taking emotion out of the scenario it makes a little sense for the best interests of the team.

The best trading chip we may have is Chase Utley as he would probably bring us what we need which is a front-of-the-rotation number one all-star pitcher.

We could sign Iguchi for 2B and possibly get a Jake Peavy-caliber pitcher under the right circumstances.

AGAIN nothing I would want to happen since he is my favorite player BUT from a business standpoint committed to winning it would be something to consider to better the team from a strenghts & weaknesses perspective.

Cardenas waiting in the wings hopefully down the road and Hamels & Peavy along with possibly signing Schilling and/or Lohse with Kendrick would look pretty formidable.

It would be devasting to lose Chase but unfortunately he is probably the easiest to replace with Iguchi and we would have to have a good match such as an offensive-starved team like SD.

ae - I thought about the defensive angle as well but durability might even out that argument a bit.

Scary how similar their stats were in 2006.

That's a really odd trade, JB. Hard to justify trading away your best player, and I don't think the Padres are inclined to give Peavy up for anything. After Chris Young, they don't really have any good starters down the road (Maddux will retire some day). Oh, and once we got him he would probably just walk for a huge deal after 2009. If you're going to deal any of our star players, I think it would be Howard.

Burrell is a tough case. He doesn't get the good press that a similar (perhaps worse) player like Carlos Lee does. Thats doesn't mean that some smart GM won't give Burrell what he's due, but it does mean a dumb GM won't. If Burrell gets a Lee-like deal, thats 6 years / $100 mill. Given the Phil's financial constraints, if they have to chose next year between extending Burrell or giving Howard his first long-term contract, the choice is clearly Howard.

Complicating matters is the fact that the Phils have no real position prospects besides a 2b and maybe Jason Donald at SS. While most teams have at least one 1b/OF prospect, if the Phillies intend to replace Burrell, they'll need to do so on the FA market or via trade.

Still, 6 Years / 100 Mill? If Burrell's defense is already going downhill fast - LF would be a disaster area in 2011 or 2012. It ultimately comes down to how long of a contract he wants, I think. He may well be worth 4/50 or 4/60, but if you go any longer than 4 years (and even that might be stretching it), it won't be worthwhile, IMO...

well, I wouldn't sign Burrell to 6/$100 either. but it's hard to look at the market and see him getting substantially less.

Couple of comments based on posts in this thread:
- The Phils did that Chase Utley trade 25 years ago when they traded away Ryne Sandberg. That didn't work out too good for them.
- Anyone can drive in runs if they spend 500-600 at-bats in the 3,4, and 5 holes, which is where Burrell has spent the majority of his time in Philly. Example of this theory - Aaron Rowand had the best year of his career offensively, hitting mostly in the 5 hole.
- Burrell is currently the 4th best position player on the Phils (I'm assuming Rowand's gone).
- Burrell has an outstanding OPS, which would be tough to replace, but his OPS wasn't so hot in the 1st half of the season, and the Phils remained competitive without his production.
- I'd take Manny for Burrell in a second - the Sox would be foolish to make that deal.
- If you could trade Burrell for a decent starting pitcher/pitching prospect, would you do it? At this point, I would - the Phils have already proven that they aren't good enough to win it all with the current group - again, as the 4th best player on the team, he's one of the few guys that they could afford to trade away without causing too severe of an impact.

Burrell is currently the 4th best position player on the Phils (I'm assuming Rowand's gone).

well, that's utterly meaningless, considering that the other three players are the 2006 MVP, the 2007 MVP, and the guy who would've been the 2007 MVP if not for injury.

- Burrell has an outstanding OPS, which would be tough to replace, but his OPS wasn't so hot in the 1st half of the season, and the Phils remained competitive without his production.
by "remained competitive," you're of course referring to the time when the Phils were as much as 6-8 games back and as low as 4th in the division. um, ok. I guess that's competitive, somehow.

- I'd take Manny for Burrell in a second - the Sox would be foolish to make that deal.
well, yes, obviously. Ramirez is going to the Hall of Fame. not sure why you think this is remotely controversial.

- If you could trade Burrell for a decent starting pitcher/pitching prospect, would you do it?
obviously it depends what you mean by decent, but again, I don't think that's remotely controversial. the problem is that Burrell is worth much more to the Phillies (who have nobody internal who can replace him and no minor league outfielders even close to ML-ready) than he is to other teams.

Crazy Jon, please define "decent" starting pitcher/pitching prospect?

The real question is what kind of starting pitcher would they get for a 30 HR, 100 RBI hitter in a trade?

Actually, what would the HAVE to get in a SP that would be a fair tradeoff for the loss of Burrell's production?

Burrell impacts 145 games a year. A SP would impact 33-35, max.

It would have to be a "pretty decent" SP to make up for the loss of run production.

Which begs another question: If Rowand is not re-signed and they trade Burrell, how good does their pitching have to be to make up for losing 2/3 of their outfield, 55 HRs and 186 RBIs of run production?

IMO, it can't be done. You will never get the kind of pitching either in return for Burrell in a trade, and/or in the FA market for both Rowand and Burrell's salaries.

This is a very important offseason (me MOTO) for Giles, Monty, Gillick and the "Heir Apparent".

They might do best treading very lightly.

ae, you beat me to the punch on the definition of "decent".

ae, I beg to differ. If (yes, IF) the Yankees lose both ARod and Posada this offseason, then someone like Burrell would be as valuable to them as to the Phillies.

The problem is I don't think they, or anyone else for that matter, would be willing to give up fair value in PITCHING for Burrell or someone like him.

While maybe ARod/Boras can work something out with the Yankees, I think it's almost a forgone conclusion that he opts out of his contract. Without Torre, it's going to cost the Yankees A LOT of money to re-sign their own free agents. ARod may leave anyway, and Rivera and Posada can milk the "Joe's gone" cow until the Yankee teets are sore.

ae, to use your example, Posada and Rivera could be just as valuable to other teams as the Yankees. Hence, they will see what they can get in the open market and force the Yankees to pay up, assuming they want to stay in the Bronx.

Some really foolish comments on here about Burrell and his potential worth. I can't believe some people here who think Burrell would get $16-$18 million/year. Fat chance. Even in this market with additional revenues Burrell wouldn't get that kind of money.

Do people forget that way Burrell that was a below average/average player for at least half of last year? Just look at the splits: Decent April, below average May, horrendous June, unbelievable July, very good August, and below average Sept. 3 below average/average months there.

Plus, Burrell has greatly benefited from playing at CBP since '04. If you look at his road/home splits since then, Burrell puts up an OPS over .950 at CBP vs. less than OPS of .820 on the road.

I would be pretty shocked if Burrell remains the NL next year. His is exactly the kind of player the DH rule was created for - aging veterans who can still be very productive offensive players but can't play in the field due to health/limitations.

Would I bet that Burrell get a decent contract next year if he plays 150 games again and has a typical Burrell season - yes but it would be probably be for slightly less that what he is making in '07 ($12-$13 million range for 3-4 years). Big difference between $12-$13 million/year vs. $16-$18 million/year

As for the comparison to the Lee contract, that was widely regarded as a stupid contract last year by a majority of baseball people (just as the Eaton contract was by most GMs). The Astros outbid themselves for Lee by probably $10-$15 million over the course of the deal.

AWH, you may be right. but even in that situation, the Yankees would still have Abreu, Cabrera, Matsui, Damon, and Giambi to cover some combination of the three outfield spots, DH, and first base (and Shelley Duncan, I guess) before accounting for Burrell. so even then, while he would have some value, I don't think NY would be willing to give up as much as we would need to get in return to make the deal worthwhile.

MG - the fact that stupid contracts have been signed in the past does not preclude them from being signed again in the future. Silva could easily make 4/$44 this year. Rowand could get that 6/$84 he's looking for. you will never go broke betting on higher contracts.

unrelatedly, saw on MLB Trade Rumors that the Inquirer reports that management actually has asked Iguchi if he would be willing to play third, and he turned them down. I have to say, I am very surprised (by mgmt, not by Iguchi). source.

I looked at my post above, the one referencing the HRs and RBIs for Rowand and Burrell combined.

It reminded me that in 1931, at the age of 28, Lou Gehrig hit 46 HRs and had 184 RBIs - by himself.

It was an off year - he only hit .341. The year before he had hit .379.

ae, their all good hitters - but all LEFT HANDED. That's where Burrell adds value.

But, we agree. While in that situation he may represent great value to the Yankees, as I said, I don't think they'd be willing to give up fair value in return.

Interestingly, Giambi's contract is up in '08 as well as Burrell's. He won't be re-signed. If the Yanks need a RH stick....

AWH, that's true, I was more referring to the positional logjam. from their perspective they would have to not only swing a trade for Burrell but also convince someone to take one of their overpaid, rapidly aging defensive liabilities off their hands. not saying they wouldn't still do it, only that it wouldn't be easy.

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