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Thursday, October 18, 2007


Pickins are slim in the non-Venezuelan FA market. Lots of familiar names like Alex S. Gonzalez, Tomas Perez. Jerry Hairston Jr. is available, but hasn't played much third. Damion Easley is also out there.

Wow, well this post is certainly a hot-stove reality check. No more talk about getting A-Rod? (only kidding) There are actually a few interesting names here. That so much Jason for separating the wheat from the chaff.

Also, some ofter Phillies news, from

"Slippery Rock, PA - The Slippery Rock Sliders professional baseball team, presented by Dollar Bank, has announced that two pitchers from their inaugural season, right-handed reliever Jared Simon and left-handed starter Dan Schwartz, have been signed by the Philadelphia Phillies.

"Simon was one of the top relievers in the Frontier League this summer," commented pitching coach Adam Shafer. "His control both at Wichita State and in Slippery Rock foreshadows a good professional baseball career. Dan Schwartz consistently topped 90 mph as a left-hander, and his starting experience in both the Big Ten Conference and the Frontier League makes him an attractive prospect."

And most interesting was this last part about the team itself:

"The Slippery Rock Sliders recently concluded their inaugural Frontier League season as part of a unique partnership with Slippery Rock University, where students composed the front office staff and were responsible for the day-to-day activities of the club."

How's that for a PE requirement?

Lastly, that was supposed to be "thanks so much Jason" in my post above. But I guess that was obvious.

I love trying to snuff out the Phillies lame moves before they happen.

The moral of the story is an Abraham Nunez return in 2008 is a legitimate possibility.

Which is more sad?

1.) The Phillies potential contemplation of Jose Castillo as a the Nunez replacement.
2.) The Pirates starting Jose Castillo at 3B last year.

I vote the Pirates, although I'm not sure how I would vote if it was Nunez v. Castillo for a starting 3B spot.

Ugh. There is no way I want Nunez brought back here next year. He is totally useless offensively. In fact, I would assert that he doesn't bring a single valuable offensive attribute to this club. Hell, you can't even count on him to make contact or sacrifice well.

Plus, he is only an above average defender at 3B and 2B. Phils really need to find a reserve infielder who is a capable defender at SS and 2B to give Jimmy and Utley the occasionable breather.

How about Easley?

I share the concerns that, if we bring back Nunez or someone similar, Cholly will be tempted to stick him into the starting lineup 30 times a year -- not to mention, using him in critical pinch hitting situations.

Assuming we sign a starting third baseman, we've already got 2 backups. Also, I believe Helms has played second base in the past -- probably not very well but, considering he'd only be starting a handful of games, he'd probably be adequate. So all we really need is someone who can play SS in the unlikely event that Rollins gets injured.

The bottom line is that this utility infielder's primary job description will not be to play defense, but to pinch hit in the late innings. Given Rollins' durability, I think it's more important to find a guy that can hit a little bit than it is to find a strong defensive player, whose defensive skills will probably never be needed anyhow. Unfortunately, I don't really see anyone on the FA list who fits that description & who would be willing to be a backup. Maybe someone like Tony Graffanino, who is more of a third baseman but could probably play SS in a pinch.

JW - Maybe. I guess it depends on what he wants. Ideally, a 1-yr deal.

BAP - Good points except about Helms playing 2B. That would be a comedy of errors (literally).

With Helms/Dobbs, Phils already have adequate reserve guys for 3B/1B. Guess it depends on what happens with 3B but I still think the Phils need a true middle infielder next year capable of playing SS and 2B.

That said, a reserve middle infielder is probably about 6 or 7th on this team's needs. Still, it is asking alot of JRol to start every game again next year and Utley to play 155-160 games. In reality, you should at least give them the occasional day off to save some wear and tear.

I figure that Gillick will take a stab here at trying to find another overlooke player here aka Dobbs/Werth of a year ago. Just hope it doesn't mean they bring in a no-talent guy like Thurston again.

MG: I agree with you. The season takes a noticeable toll on Utley especially. He looked spent in the NLDS. Having a capable infield backup for players who play as hard as Rollins and Utley do, and get plunked as much as Utley does, is essential. But they probably won't sink much money into it, which means we're looking at a light-hitting defensive option, like another Nunez or some of the other players mentioned here.

Anyone care for Jose Valentin? he's "only" 38 but plays 2b, 3b, and ss..

Omar Vizquel is now 41, but that guy can still play shortstop better than anyone I've ever seen!

I am slightly interested in Infante...also Joe Torre won't be back according to ESPN.

We might even see he, of the shaving cream pie in the face himself, Tomas Perez back here for a 2'nd tour of duty in Philly. He fits the bill of the guy who can play all of the infield positions and the front office loves the bench players with some personality who they can market. I can see it now, Larry Schenk adding another bobble-head, to the shamelessly overused promo collection, holding onto a pie instead of a bat. As unlikely as you might think this is, don’t be shocked at this possible development.

Torre rejected a $5 million, one year contract from the Yanks. He made $7.5 this year. Hell, he would have only had to have managed 1/2 a season before Steinbrenner would have canned him and then he could've played golf the rest of the summer. Wonder where he'll end up, on the field or in the booth?

Does anyone else here think Steinbrenner is an elitist moron?

Jason: Easley is very intriguing. He doesn't have much of a glove these days, but he still kills lefties and has fair pop vs. righties. Plus he plays corner OF in addition to all 4 INF positions.

If the Phils do sign a decent 3B, then a no-hit utility guy like Perez or Nunez isn't nearly as valuable as a guy with a bit less glove but a decent bat. Easley & Valentin fit that category.

Rob, explain the context of what you mean by elitist moron? It could be taken a number of ways.

Dobbs has played 4 games at second base. Does anyone know if he's any good..................................................................................................never mind.

Elitist.. the Yankee way or the hiway.. I think Torre is gettin screwed for the sake of the "Yankee Mystique" not to mentin being left to twist in the wind for 48 hrs or so. Moron--- means too stupid to know that Torre hasn't failed miserably.. also trying to fool the public by lowballing the offer so we'd think that TORRE was the one who made the decision by rejecting the asinine (moronic) offer

Here's a nutty trade. Ryan Howard and a prospect to KC for Gil Meche and Alex Gordon.

You could then sign Iguchi and move Utley to first.

AWH: Nutty is right. That is about all I can say about that. I assume that is scarcasm, considering that Gordon is nothing more than a prospect at this point himself (He hit .250 with about 12 HR in a full season, not exaclty burning it up). Gil Meche has one really good season, aside from that he has been just an above average pitcher. I recall last offseason that I said Meche would be a good signing and several on this site bashed me relentlessly saying he is an average pitcher.

Trading Howard alone for those two guys is a bad move, much less Howard AND a prospect.

bap said "The bottom line is that this utility infielder's primary job description will not be to play defense, but to pinch hit in the late innings."

bap, I am with you. They will only have 5 bench players (including the backup catcher) which only gives you 4 pinch hit options. Ideally you would want 2 righties and 2 lefties. You can't sacrifice a valuable pinch hit spot with a no hit middle infielder who won't start more than 12 games all season. If Utley or Rollins gets hurt, you'll need to make a trade to fill the spot -- like they did this year with Iguichi.

Gordon: .247 BA, 15 HR, 60 RBI. (Full season).

Meche: 2 years with ERA under 4, 2 with ERA above 5, the rest are in the mid to high 4 ERA. All of this occured in a pitchers park prior to his one season in KC.

1.72 BB, K ratio, .422 SLUG, .755 OPS against him career.

rob, I am not a Steinbrenner or Yankee fan - not even a little bit. I grew up in Washington, DC rooting for the now departed Senators, and we HATED the Yankees then(pre-Steinbrenner), and I still do.

BUT, Torre was overpaid at $7mm/year - twice as much as the next highest manager.

He won't get $7mm from any other team either.

As much as I detest "the Evil Empire", I don't think they were unreasonable is asking him to take a pay cut. His salary was based on many things, most importantly his being able to "win it all", which he hasn't done in 7 years.

Boards of directors at many corporations have cut CEO pay for lack of performance. Why should Joe Torre be any different?

I retract my above average comment on Meche. Aside from 2 good seasons, he has been an average pitcher at best.

On Jose Valentin. He has $4M option, which likely the Mets will reject with Castillo and Gotay (and maybe Easley) in his way. Bench of Werth , Helms , Dobbs , and Valentin isn't too bad. Valentin is not a bad pinch hit option from the left hand side. Useless against lefties.

BTW, rob, the Yankees team has so much talent ($$$ spent) a monkey could manage it to 90 wins.

Torre had a losing record as a manager before he managed the Yankees.


And furthermore, rob, you could even say that Steinbrenner bought Torre a ticket to the Hall of Fame.

Parker, You don't think Gordon will get any better, and would be an improvement at 3B for the Phils?

I'm not necessarily advocating the trade, but I think every option needs to be explored to improve the team.

And on the Torre front, has a poll asking readers to ranks the greatest managers of all-time. It includes Davey Johnson, but Walter Alston is not on the list. Pretty lame.

Ribbies- I attended Slippery Rock for 2 or 3 years back in the early 80's. From what I remember, I had a very good time. I do remember that they took education/sports/athletics very seriously. It sounds like they're doing a combination of co-op and a sort of student teaching. I wonder if other schools are following the model.

If I remember correctly, there were TONS of pitching injuries on the Yanks, AWH, It didnt look like they'd win 75 games, let alone 90.. I believe mgrs are NOT responsible for winning more than 5 games (in the AL), but somethjing MUST be said for the way that Torre held that tean together in the Petri Dish that is NYC

rob, he was, IMO, still overpaid, so asking him to take a pay cut was reasonable.

Don't you think so?

BTW, if you think AL mgrs are only responsible for winning 5 more games, is that worth $7mm?

I'll give Torre his props for being a steadying influence, but Chollie held the Phils together in a pretty tough town to manage in also. Is he worth $6mm for doing that?

AWH... Torre earned that total over 12 yrs.. in a larger market. Like players, salaries go up most of the time.. Cholly has 3 yrs in.. There is ALWAYS an argument for overpayment because, basically salary structure of baseball is way out of line as a rule. Should Bobby Cox take a pay cut now?.. no playoffs, after all. The answer is NO, because his money has BEEN earned by prior performance. (as was Torre's)

Notice that Torre had the stones to tell Steinbrenner to shove it

It wasn't the pay cut that was disrespectful it was the length of the contract, 1yr. They wanted him to be a lame duck manager again.
AWH: To say that the Yanks Bought Torre into HOF is silly. The teams he won the world series with had home grown talent not expensive free agents like today.

Screw Steinbrenner. Now Posada, Pettitte, and Rivera will walk away. Add A-Rod to the exodus and you're looking at no playoffs in '08. Love it!

Bob, there were a number of free agents on those Yankee teams as well. Take a look.

Also, the Yankees won the WS in '96, '97 '99, and '00.

I'll bet you can't guess which team was #1 in payroll for all four of those years?

Brio, those players will go where they get paid the most, the way they always do.

rob, once again for the slow people. This is a free market, and Torre was not signed for next year. Many players in MLB have taken pay cuts from on year to the next.

Please give me a LOGICAL reason why managers should be treated differently?

Torre may have told Steinbrenner to shove it, but so what.

As I stated before, he won't get $7MM anuwhere else.

I'll bet you he won't get $5MM either.

And, Bob, it's a business. The RESULTS that Steinbrenner expected, when he was paying Torre twice what the next highest paid manager was getting paid, are not there.

If you were running any business, would you continue to pay a manager of one of your facilities three times the going rate if you weren't getting the results you expected?

If your answer is yes then you are a fool.

Ribbies/Squatters - As a '96 Rock grad, I might be able to shed some light on the subject.

The school has a Sports Management program (a pretty good one in fact). Since I have graduated, it has seperated from the PE degree and is its own degree. It tends to focus on businees with a little communications twist. I think it was many of those students who received the college credit.

I think the Frontier League team was a late addition. If I remember correctly, some other team was not ready in time for the 2007 season and Slippery Rock, who has a very nice college stadium and the student workforce, took the team as a experiment to see if the market (Butler, Grove City, New Castle area would support Indy baseball).

Washington, to the south of Pittsburgh, has had some success. Slippery Rock finished last in record and attendence (for some reason only played about 1/3 of the games at home) Not sure if the team, met the goals of the front office and the league!

Go Rock!

How about Wilson Betemit as the utility guy? What is his contract status?

More 3bs would make things too confusing for Charlie.

From the guys at baseball analysts...

In terms of break and velocity, the most similar pitch in the ENTIRE MLB to Jamie Moyer's fastball is... Cole Hamels' changeup.

Rusty: Betemit is several years away from free agency.

AWH: Parker may not realize that Gordon is only 23, bats lefty and is one of the best, if not THE best, hitting prospects in all of baseball.

Hey clout, would you do that deal? I don't know if I would (nutty, remember), but I'd think about it.

Clout: Ah, but I have not forgotten those things, but If I'm trading Howard for a 3B it better be someone like David Wright and an MLB ready pitcher for Howard and a prospect.

AWH: It is not that I think that Gordon will not get any better, its just that he is not great right now. To trade an MVP, ROY, and perennial MVP cantidate for a guy that has one year in the majors (at the not as young as it seems age of 23) and produced below average and expected numbers, is outlandish. Meche is not near good enough to make that even, and if we had to give up a prospect as well, it is ridiculous. If anything, they should give us Gordon, Meche, and a prospect for Howard. Of course they would never do that, and that is why the deal is not even dead, it was never even concieved.

Gordon is exactly what clout says he is: "One of the best hitting prospects in baseball." It seems to me that some guy named Drew also had such a label. How did that work out? How many others? I'm not saying that he is not going to get better, but the Phillies would not be getting George Brett (Con Pine-tar).

Jose Castillo, in the year he played the most games (148) actually grounded into 22 double plays. He IS the new Nunez.

Asdrubal Cabrera gone, bank it.

Ok, that bank was not FDIC insured.

That's a really tempting deal, Howard for Gordon and Meche. Clout is right, Gordon is one of the top young prospects playing in the majors right now, a guy most scouts have projected for consistent all-star type performance. Also, when considering Meche's stats, keep in mind he has pitched in the AL his entire career. He'd be quite a good pitcher in the NL (although switching leagues didn't help Barry Zito all that much). I wouldn't do it, because there's a good possibility Gordon doesn't provide enough value in the next 2 years to coincide with Jimmy and Chase's primes, and Meche isn't a SURE top 2 starter. I think you keep Howard's big bat in the lineup and ride these guys through their primes. However, anyone who dismisses this out of hand is a a Philly homer who knows Howard's big name and doesn't follow baseball.

Speaking of Venezuelan infielders, here's Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians, who I saw play earlier this season when he was with AA Akron.

Jack, etc.
I still wouldn't do that deal. Two things (1?) have to happen before it's a viable trade. Howard needs to have his next year and Gordon needs to have his next year. We do not, yet, know to what extent for Howard his 2007 Ks will become more the career norm than his 2006 BA. And we do not know if the very young Gordon will pan out. Looking at his peripherals, I kinda get the idea he's gonna be a player. Worth Howard? Hmmmm...not so far.

Other point: KC is not going to trade him. Philly is not going to trade Hoard. Neither move makes sense for people trying to sell tickets.

Please, for the sake of reality, folks, acknowledge that Howard is worth more to ownership than what he can produce on the field. He's not going anywhere over the coming winter.

In re: utility infielders. If the Phils find no one by the time Spring training rolls around, I think they ought to, at least, bring to Florida from AAA Ottowa (as a non-roster invitee) Travis "Gookie" Dawkins. He would not be any imporvement over Nunez in any tangible baseball respect, but he has a great name. How much fun would it be to mess with "Goooookie" during the season? Should we start a petition?

As for Ottowa - I kept thinking that looks wrong every time I (mis)spelled it. So please substitute Ottawa on any hard copies of the above modest proposal.

In re: third base. The more likely it looks that we'll have a Dobbs Helms platoon, the more depressing it gets. Really, Lowell would be worth the money and loss of the draft pick if there was someone somewher in the wings. But Costanzo has so far to go and Moose Mattair, hmmmmm... not much better.

Andy, I agree it would never happen, but this is fun to debate just because we love baseball right?

Here's the thing about your point: giving them another year changes the whole deal. If Howard has a great year and Gordon doesn't develop much, then no way we do the deal. If Howard declines a little bit, and Gordon takes a major step forward, no way they would do the deal. The interesting part about this deal, for me, is the timing. I think this would be the year it might make sense for both teams. Again, I'm on record as saying I wouldn't do it. But I love baseball and love thinking about these sorts of things (as opposed to the no-fun crowd here who just says "never happen, thats stupid, lets talk about Greg Dobbs some more"). Come on guys its the beginning of the offseason. Let's have some fun.

Also on the Howard trade that won't happen this winter. It will be interesting to see if he works on his weaknesses: with the glove, throwing, and cutting down on the K's, this winter; or whether he coasts into spring training figuring he has it knocked.

I would guess Chase Utley is probably watching and analyzing films for the 100th time already of his AB's over the last three games even as I'm typing this.

BTW, Lowell just made a great play at 3rd to take a hit away from Cabrera, who stared at him like "What do I need to do?"

Lowell would look pretty good in Phillies pinstripes and would render the Nunez saga a moot point. Dream on.

"That's a really tempting deal, Howard for Gordon and Meche."

The first truly crazy and ridiculous offseason
trade idea. It has begun. Up their with the Phils trading for Santana or signing ARod.

It is utterly absurd how the national media guys are vilifying the Yankees and stating they are crazy for letting Torre walk.

Funny, but I thought a manager who does not meet expectations over several years usually gets canned. Granted the expectations in NY are quite lofty but you can make a credible point that Torre has underperformed given the ample resources he had.

Hell, the Yanks were closed out in the playoffs 3 times at home the past couple of years. That says volumes to me.

Yankees' ownership realized almost 2 years ago that they needed to change their model and they have. If you notice, they have traded away aging players for some pretty damn good prospects. Also, they have spent a bunch of money signing high-talent guys in the draft again.

The Yankees are becoming a younger team and Torre is not the manager this team needs. Change can be a good thing and it was time in NY.

I despise the Yanks but one last point - this team has somehow managed to get high-value prospects in return for their aging superstars. Somehow the Phils have basically managed to get a bag of magic beans when they traded Abreu, a questionable return (basically only 2 years of Rowand) when they traded Thome, and nothing when they have moved minor parts the past two seasons.

Clout constantly harps on this point but he has a great case. Good teams find a way to get something of value in return generally for their assets.

MG- It would never happen. I wouldn't do it. But it's the offseason so it's fun to explore hypotheticals. At least I find it fun. I guess your fun i blindly shooting down people's posts. That's cool too dude. I was having a nice discussion with Andy about it. You decided that instead of pulling the stick out from your a**, youd open your mouth. Stupidity ensues.

Jack - Funny but where did I criticize anyone? I thought it was funny because it was so wacky and typical of what you see/hear in the offseason. No reason to go off on a tirade dick.

Now that Torre isn't going to be back - I would love to see the Phils sign Rivera to close and move Myers back in the rotation. Solves two issues but it is probably a pipe dream (Rivera will probably command decent starter money $12-$14 million) and Gillick seems pretty dead-set on keeping Myers as the closer.

All I know is that a bullpen with Rivera, a resigned Romero, and one other FA arm (Hawkins, Seanez) along with some holdovers including Madson and Gordon would look pretty inviting.


Probably a pipe dream as you say, but boy, what a way to fill in a huge gap for the Phils and address two problems at once. Having Hamels and Myers as your 1-2 starters isn't too shabby either.

The other thing is that Rivera is such a recognized name, this would really kick up some excitement from the fan base, demonstrate that the owners are really serious about improving the team, etc.

I don't know, but based on his work ethic and strong loyalty to Torre, I suspect he would mesh well with Cholly's low key approach. Also, he would be an added positive clubhouse presence. Not a real vocal leader maybe, but certainly one who has been through it all, would lead by example, and would command enormous respect from the other players.

Sounds too good to be true. It probably is...

As an aside on Rivera, I took in a game at Yankee Stadium this year and was fortunate to get to see Mariano close it out. This was just a routine mid-year game against the Jays that the Yanks had pretty well in hand, but When "Enter Sandman" came on the PA and he started walking in from the pen, the crowd went nuts. It was electric.

Doesn't Arizona has a surplus of young outfielders?

Would you do Ryan Howard for Connor Jackson (1B), Chris Young (OF), and Tony Pena (RP)?

That would fill a lot of needs plus net the Phillies one of the best young outfielders in the majors.

I wonder however if Arizona would be interested.

Slackerjoe, that deal sounds infinitely more interesting than Howard for Gordon, although I would demand another relief pitcher in the deal. All that being said, I would never consider trading Howard until he is in his mid 30's.

MG, amen on trading Howard idea: crazy.

""That's a really tempting deal, Howard for Gordon and Meche."

The first truly crazy and ridiculous offseason
trade idea. It has begun. Up their with the Phils trading for Santana or signing ARod."

Wait - What about my Howard for Santana suggestion Wednesday?

Why is trading Howard for Santana so far fetched? No way can Minnesota resign him and with the expiring contracts; Garcia, Lieber, and Barajas this year and Burrell next plus not having to pay a likely record arbitration amount to Howard. Do you want to see them keep bringing in more like Eaton and Lohse? Of all people you know that pitching is what wins.
Don't you believe that Santana will be as big for PR as Howard?

What makes anyone think the phils will offer
Rivera more $$$ than the Yanks. Torre or no Torre ,he will follow the money.Talk is cheap,the whole bunch(Maybe not A-Rod)(Boras) will stay with the Yankees.

Dave Kingman:
the PR thing should be addressed to me.
No. Howard plays everyday, is out there doing charity all the time, has a huge smile and hits the ball very very far (you know, when he hits it). Any day you come out to CBP, you got a chance of seeing Ryan launch one. Plus Howard is homegrown. Santana only pitches once every five days. Howard wins the ticket selling contest hands down.

But the exercise ("How about Howard for {insert three to five names of choice}?") is always fun. Just keep in mind it's not really gonna happen.

I'd rather play the game thusly:
what do we think we CAN get for -
1) Adam Eaton (and how much salary do we eat)
2) Wesley Helms
3) Roberson
4) Any combination of Costanzo, Golson, Durbin, Jaramillo, Castro
5) Even Vic, Werth or Dobbs

It would be interesting to think what might be available from other teams less marquis players for the Phils less marquis players.

I still have this feeling that A-Rod and Lowell are gonna switch teams.

"Would you do Ryan Howard for Connor Jackson (1B), Chris Young (OF), and Tony Pena (RP)?"


Chris (Brandon) Young and Conor Jackson added up don't get the same offensive production as Ryan Howard and any OF the Phils trot out. Dumb move. The Diamondbacks would drool with delight over this deal.

Kingman, The simplest answer is that these kinds of trades just don't happen. I'm not sure why that is -- and it would make for an interesting topic of discussion. But it's true. The last truly blockbuster baseball trade I can remember was Cansecco for Sierra, and even that happened when both players had already started to go into decline.

Simply for salary reasons, Howard for Santana would be an absurd trade. Santana would be a one-year rental, who is going to command an obscene contract starting in 2009 (if Barry Zito is worth 7 years, $126M, Santana must be worth 7 years, $180M). Not to mention that, to find someone who would do a reasonable approximation of Howard's production, you'd have to fork out another $15M per year type of contract.

Putting salary ramifications aside & evaluating the trade purely on merit, it's debatable whether it would be a good idea to swap a great everyday player for a great starter who will only play 33 or 34 games in a season. Besides, not only do many pitchers burn out at an early age, but they are also much more subject to injury and off-years than everyday players.

I agree with you that Howard is fun to watch but a replacement player for him at first plus Santana is more valuable than Howard plus a Lohse or Silva or whatever Eaton type pitcher they would sign. I truly believe that Howard's body type (see Vaughn) will not lend itself to a long productive career.

This offense would still be good without Howard. I am sick of seeing pichers like Ryan Franklin, Eaton, Lohse and experiments like Gavin Floyd and Madson as starters. For this team to far in the playoffs next year they need to get another stud to go with Hamels.

On the subject of hypothetical trades, the Giants' GM, Brian Sabean, recently said that, in the team's quest to improve its offense, it's probably "inevitable" that they'll have to trade one of their 3 young aces. I think Lincecum is probably untouchable, but I'd love to have Matt Cain & I wouldn't mind at all if we got Noah Lowry.

Problem is, I don't think we really have what the Giants want. We're not going to trade our big 3 & Victorino certainly isn't enough to fetch you Noah Lowry. Burrell might well be good enough to fetch Lowry, but the Giants aren't going to trade a top pitcher for a one-year rental. The only way this could ever work would be if the Phillies could find a team that wants a few top prospects & has a big bat to offer the Giants in a 3-way trade. So, just for sh*ts and giggles, let's say Carl Crawford to the Giants, Matt Cain to the Phillies & Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, and Mike Costanzo to the D-Rays.

Kingman: "This offense would still be good without Howard."

How about without Howard and Rowand? Who would be your 3-4-5 hitters? Utley, Burrell & Helms? Utley, Burrell and Werth? Utley, Burrell & Ruiz? What about in 2009, when Burrell will be gone too? You want a 3-4-5 of Utley, Werth & Costanzo?

With Rowand gone, this offense would NOT still be good without Howard.

They could trade for a right handed bat. A hitter is much easier to get than is a pitcher like Santana. They haven't had someone like him since Schilling left. Hopefully Hamels will be a great one but with his injury history who knows. Also, in 2 years Utley can move to first once Cardenas is ready.

"For this team to far in the playoffs next year they need to get another stud to go with Hamels.

Posted by: Dave Kingman"

Of course they've already got one. Unfortunately he only pitches the 9th inning when we have a 1-3 run lead...

Ok, let me throw another deal out there for Howard.

The Dodgers need a big bat. Would you deal Howard for Chad Billingsley (stud SP), James Loney (young 1B/OF), and Jonathon Broxton (fireballing RP)?

I'd do it in a heartbeat but I doubt the Dodgers would go for it unless they were more interested in pumping up season ticket sales.

b_a_p, I tend to agree with you. A three-(or four) way deal might benefit more than a two-way.

Remember the trade in 2004 that landed the Cubs Nomar and Cabrera wound up at SS for the Red Sox? It was a four-way deal. The Cubs gave up nothing, basically, Brendan Harris, Francis Beltran, and everyone's favorite Phillie Alex Gonzalez (to the Xpos). The got Nomar and Matt Murton. Only Harris has done anything since.

It was a good trade for the RSox too, the gave up Nomar and Matt Murton, and got Cabrera and Mientkiewicz, both who help win the WS.

The Twins actually made out the worst in the whole deal. The got Justin Jones(?) for Mientkiewicz.

Let's see how creative Gillick, LL and the rest of management can be?

On the topic of realistic possibilities (Not that this actually falls in that category, but is infinitely more realistic than any trade of Howard).

Rocco Baldelli: He has a bad history of injury problems (Which could actually make him more affordable for the Phillies), but the guy can hit and steal a bag or three. He has mid 20 HR power, but I think he could touch 30 in the right season.

Rationale: Tampa has too many outfielders. Currently they are running out Delmon Young, B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford as starters. The backups are Baldelli, Gomes, Norton, and potentially Elijah Dukes (If he ever stops sending pictures of guns to his ex-girlfriend). The D-Rays are probably not going to try to move Dukes because he has no real value at this point (except maybe to the Dallas Cowboys, who will give anybody a shot). Basically, Baldelli is the odd man out. Upton is there to stay, just like Crawford and Young. The only possibility is trading Gomes and using one of those guys as a DH in place of Gomes, but I think that is unlikely.

Where would Baldelli fit in? There are a variety of possibilities. First, he could fill a void in CF if Rowand is gone. Second (Better option), he would be in RF (he played CF for D-Rays) with Victorino in CF. Third (Least likely considering PTB's full no trade and Rowand being unlikely to return), He moves to LF, Rowand plays CF, and Vic/Werth/Bourn in RF. Baldelli could bat anywhere from leadoff to the 3 Hole, or he could bat lower in the lineup. His bat would be about the equivalent of Rowand, although I think he is more of a pure talent than Rowand with the bat. Defensively, he is probably a wash with Rowand, with Rowand probably getting the slight edge, only on instincts, not with speed.

Any thoughts? By the way, it does not address 3B, but Iwamura of the D-Rays seems to also fit the bill of potential trade bait. Evan Longoria is pretty much set to take that job, and unless they move Iwamura to 1B or 2B, he is likely to be the odd man out in the IF.

slacker, I'd do that deal yesterday, except those three are all young (the oldest is 23) and I'll bet the Dodgers consider them part of their young core for the future.

Hey, how come the Phillies don't have three young players that good?

How about Howard and Vic to TB for Crawford and Kazmir?

Then move Burrell to 1B.

I know, I know, TB considers them untouchable, but it's fun to speculate.

Addition to Previous Post: Also positive on Baldelli, his initials are R.B. the same as Rocky Balboa. I could see the fans chanting Rocky, Rocky, Rocky!! when he comes to the plate. Rocco Baldelli is only a few letters away from Rocky Balboa. I like the possibilities.

I suggested Damion Easley on my blog a couple weeks ago for the utility infielder role. He can play all the infield positions and possibly outfield in a pinch, plus he has some pop and would be a valuable pinch-hitter.

In the NL the bench really matters. I'm not expecting every player to be able to hit "lights-out" because they'd be a starter if that were the case, but hitting like Nunez is not acceptable.

Parker, I don't know how good Iwamura is defensively, but as a LH hitter, he might not be an improvement from Dobbs.

AWH, we are talking realistic, or at least not impossible. Why would the D-Rays trade their best pitcher and arguably their best OF, when they have enough power and Vic would not be as good as Crawford in any category. The one thing they are short on is pitching, not power or speed. The trade makes no sense. They will trade power and speed for pitching, I would assume, considering those are their strenghts and pitching is their weakness.

Baldelli makes much more sense than Kazmir and Crawford. That is dreamy, but unrealistic.

@B-A-P: please don't send Carrasco anywhere. The trading of people like CC (see Gonzalez, G.) is the kind of thing that keeps us from growing a frightening pitching staff from our minors and filling in the MLB staff when an emergency arises. Carrasco has got to be seen as virtually untouchable. (I'd hate to lose Donald, too, but might be budged for the right deal.)

Parker - yeah. Baldelli might be available, might fit in well, might replace the loss of Rowand (might even be better in the long run - better speed, potentially better pop). I wonder what kind of package the Rays might want for him. Any guesses?

slackerjoe - that's more along the lines of Howard's worth. Understanding that this is just an exercise and it's never really gonna happen; I think getting Loney, an OBP guy to hold the fort, Billingsley to be a #2 and Broxton to toss flames would be closer to RH's real value. I'm still not sure that I'd want to make this sort of trade in a season when I'm also losing A-Row.

Parker, do you read? I implied as much in my post.

in re: young players that good
The same reason Houston won't have young players that good in 5 years.

I'm at least glad to see that the fanbase is somewhat open minded about the thought of shopping Howard. Regardless of whether or not ownership would consider it, it at least says that there is abject interest in improving this team. Not to take a thing away from Howard, who is by all accounts an absolute stud, with a very high ceiling, but it is important to remember that it takes talent to get talent. Hypothetical or not, WE WILL NOT get anything of value for Eaton, Helms, Roberson, etc.

I'm all for supporting the "home grown" guy, but we'd be foolish to think that Howard wouldn't turn tail and run at the first opportunity if the money was better elsewhere, also. This is a business. The simplest financial lesson we can learn is "buy low, sell high." After all, this is the Phils - they ain't fleecing anyone in a trade.

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EST. 2005

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