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Friday, November 30, 2007

Comments

Jody Gerut? I realize that it's sort of a fun exercise to try to come up with incredibly obscure players who we think might have some value. But this is an enormous reach. I'd liken Gerut more to Karim Garcia or Randall Simon than to Jayson Werth. Unlike Garcia, Simon & Gerut, Werth was still young when we signed him & his recent inactivity had been the result of injuries, not ineptitude.

It's one thing to shop in Wal-Mart or the Dollar Store, but signing Jody Gerut would be like buying someone's used and soiled underwear at a garage sale.

But to a minor league contract and invite, which is all Gerut will get? I vote yes. Why is Gerut "inept?"

Last night I was wondering about Mathieson; ask and ye shall receive - from the Daily News this morning:
-------------
Minor league update
After two surgeries on his right arm in 14 months, righthander Scott Mathieson is returning to form and could see some extensive work in the big leagues next season.

Mike Arbuckle said Mathieson, 23, could start or become a late-inning reliever once he gets healthy. He said the team won't rush Mathieson's return and that he'lllikely get the bulk of his work at Triple A.
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I'd love to see him in the Phils bullpen; his fastball reportedly is filthy and in the mid- to upper 90s, and would provide a late-inning strike-out guy the Phils have been lacking.

F/the Previuod thread:

GM Carson~

Yeah my source told me it would a 1-yr 5 million offer dut I did not see anything official. As far as Kuroda, I posted yesterday that he's going to Seattle.

J~

As far as Percival is concearned, I read where his deal is 2 yrs @4 mil per and incentives could push the deal to 10 million.

On Jenkins~ He's absolutely the kind of hitter we need platooning in RF with Werth, LH with pop. They need that with Rowand probably gone.

I still maintain and agree with a lot of posters that while Gillick may be sly like a fox, he doesn't land top talent. He doesn't have th "go for it" attitude. I've said this before, he could make this tema the best in the NL and just won't. He needs to step up here but alas he won't. Whether the FA talent pool is thin or not, current market conditions dictate that you overpay for a guy you want. If you don't, you don't get a guy who might really help.

On Rowand~ Gillick doesn't want to pay what he wants and Hunter's deal makes his price go up. But Gillick doesn't get the fact that we need power in the OF. If you can't get Rowand, try to get A. Jones. Nobdy is knoking down anyone's door right now (ie Loshe). Maybe we can get Bora$$ to back down a somewhat in his demands for his players. But we'll never know if Gillick doesn't try.

"I still maintain and agree with a lot of posters that while Gillick may be sly like a fox, he doesn't land top talent. He doesn't have th "go for it" attitude. I've said this before, he could make this tema the best in the NL and just won't. He needs to step up here but alas he won't. Whether the FA talent pool is thin or not, current market conditions dictate that you overpay for a guy you want."

But is Gillick deciding how much he has to spend? Or is that coming from elsewhere, and he's working within the budget he's been given?

Also, overpaying for the guy you want leads to David Bell & Adam Eaton, as examples.

I'm not as wild about giving Geoff Jenkins $6-8 million a season as some people. To platoon? He's an upgrade, but at what cost? He makes the team slower and adds strikeouts to the lineup. I know it's bad Beerleaguer policy to gripe about strikeouts, but ... that's a lot of strikeouts.

Every time you guys mention David Bell, I start grinding my teeth and muttering curses under my breath. My dentist pleads with you all to stop.

j: I'm not sure what the definition of "inept" is, but Gerut was released by one of the worst teams in baseball. 2 full seasons have passed since then & not 1 team ever thought him worth picking up. His entire career, such as it was, consisted of one good rookie year -- which was 5 years ago.

This strikes me as the longest of long shots. In theory, I have no problem with giving anyone a spring training invite. In practice, however, I share the fear expressed by MG and others, that whenever the Phillies invite some long-shot reclamation project to spring training, they pretty much assume the long-shot reclamation project will stick & they take no further action to remedy that area of need. Past examples would be Jose Offerman, Alex Gonzalez, Sal Fasano, the various Rule 5 acquisitions, and, even though he didn't actually stick, Karim Garcia.

StJH~

You are correct. Gillick is probably not deciding what to spend but the point is you've got to improve your team and just the talent pool may be thin, is that a reason not to re-sign Rowand or do other things? If Gillick really wants Rowand back, then get him, don't give us lip service.

Also, let me point out something about Eaton, I believe he's hurt. I've spoken to a guy who's seen him pitch when he was in Texas. When healthy he has pretty good stuff. Everybody's down on him. We'll see what happens there.

If Jenkins wants 7 million, what the heck, take a shot at him. Who's platooning with Werth at the moment? The team has to be improved. They've got 2 above average starting pitchers, Lidge and an improving BP, arguably the best 3/4 palyers you could have in the IF and some talent in the OF. Go all the way and you what you you gotta do to complete the puzzle.

"Last night on Comcast Daily News Live, Phillies GM Pat Gillick reiterated that payroll flexibility is not the issue when courting free agents. The problem, he stressed, is talent, and to a lesser extent, length of contract."

This is a load of crap basically. I can understand the Phils' reluctance to hand out long contracts to pitchers (particuarly a 5-year deal to a questionable guy like Lohse). That makes perfect sense. Even can understand their hesistation with giving Rowand a 5th year but you either play to play or not.

Money has always been the no. 1 issue with the Phils and it is why they end up with guys like Gordon and Eaton. They just aren't willing to pay top dollar for FA. The only exception to this was Thome and that was more of a marketing ploy than anything.

I will say that they have been more willing to invest in their own talent the past years which is a nice change instead of make horrendous trades like the Rolen and Schilling trades.

If you don't play to play in the FA world, then you get stuck with the Snelling and Youmans of the world. That strategy works to a degree and almost every team has to rely upon it to complete their roster. Still you need some legit talent to surround your star players and enough pitching to get by. Generally, the Phils haven't had enough of either the past 7 several seasons despite having some talented players who had led to them having winning records.

BAP: He was injured. Sorry for bringing him up. So up the anti for Geoff Jenkins then? Start the bidding at $10 million? Because your right field platoon is priority No. 1?

Mets trade Millage to the Nats for Schnieder and Church.

Good trade for the Metd there.

j: I do agree with you about Jenkins. That's a lot of coin for a part-time player & I'm not really wild about Jenkins to begin with. I'm also not wild about the idea of filling 2 starting spots with platoons. That leaves, in essence, a 3-man bench, with one of those men being the backup catcher & another being the light-hitting Eric Bruntlett. If the Phillies don't resign Rowand, they ought to make a serious run at Fukodome -- and not to be a platoon player, but to be the everyday right fielder.

I will make a caveat about Rolen. He won't have stayed here regardless of money because of Bown and guys in the Phils' organization but Schilling demanded to be traded because he was tired of the annual crap the Phils would trot out there in the late 90s.

JW - But that is the point about Jenkins. He probably isn't going to be signed long-term and for relatively small dollars (say $5-$6 M year which not long-dollars for a 4th OF who has some pop and plays good defense.)

If the Phils had a legit solution as their 4th OF, I would be in favor of that but they traded Bourn and Snelling/Roberson aren't the answer.

"Mets trade Millage to the Nats for Schnieder and Church.

Good trade for the Metd there."

If Metd was supposed to be Nats, I fully agree.

How the mighty Milledge has fallen. Thought he was a can't-miss prospect. They could have dealt him for much more a season ago. Schneider hits the Phillies well and they needed a catcher. Otherwise, it doesn't greatly improve their team.

As for the Phils' reluctance to signing marginal talent to relatively big dollars, that is BS too. It did prevent them from signing Nunez, Helms, or Barajas.

If Jenkins goes for that little, I would be shocked, but if $5-6 million for a year or two is all it is, I would do it.

Disagree on the Milledge trade JW. Gomez and the 19-year old prospect the Mets have are better prospects at this point. I think Milledge is overrated and Minaya was able to move him before his value diminished even more (although he should have traded him last offseason to the A's for Haren).

Mets' get rid of another guy who supposedly had real character issues (Mota was traded too) for a legit defensive catcher and an OF in Church is who is a good insurance policy for Alou/platoon candidate for RF.

Minaya still needs to find a way though to get another decent starter and strengthen the Mets' bullpen.

j: No need to apologize for bringing him up. And I hope I didn't sound like I was jumping down your throat. Like everyone else, I really appreciate the job you do here & the effort you make to give us all a place to vent. But I do need to call them as I see them.

Priority No. 1 is pitching. Priority No. 2 is bullpen. A bat to replace Rowand is Priority No. 3, but still a high priority. If the Phillies insist on seeking a platoon solution for their oufield shortage, I still think they can do better than Gerut or Jenkins. Luis Gonzalez is a name I've thrown out there in the past. Shawn Green would be ok too. And I'm also on board with the Corey Koskie idea, with Dobbs moving to the OF to be Werth's platoon mate.

Doesn't sound like we disagree all that much, MG. It makes sense for the Mets. Put it this way: I'm not losing much sleep over the Mets getting Schneider and Church.

It is interesting that Minaya seem to be empyting a bunch of the malcontents and rotten apples from the Mets' clubhouse. Milledge, Mota, and Lo Duca (all guys who were called out by their teammates last year and had noted various problems) are all gone. Chemistry is overrated but probably a good thing to get change the atmosphre of a team that had such a dramatic collaspe.

MG: Well said, about chemistry.

omar has to be moving one of those guys - he's shown he's far to savvy a GM to just make this deal and end there

JW - Agreed. I will really only be worried if the Mets are able to somewhere land a premier starter pitching or a stud bullpen guy. That would tip the scales in their favor.

Schneider was signed to throw out Phillies trying to steal. Mets catchers were horrible defensively last year and Schneider is one of the better defensive catchers in baseball. They'll prolly non-tender Estrada now.

wow: That's a good point. What will they do with Estrada? I forgot they got him.

If the Mets were that concerned about a tranquil clubhouse maybe they'll move the closer who has been bashing them on their own website. Gotta love Wags.

Bay Area, it's interesting you like the Werth signing so much more than the suggestion that we sign Jody Gerut. I understand the age difference argument, but check out Gerut on Baseball Reference. Who's his No. 1 comparable player?

Exactly. Jayson Werth.

Jason, the Newsday report on the trade says Estrada will probably be released. Gee, Minaya has channeled Pat Gillick from the Vicente Padilla era.

By the way, the Jay Stark column cited also included a great line from an unnamed scout on Padilla: "He doesn't have baggage, he has luggage."

Interesting.

Schneider will be a good player for the Mets. I've always been a fan, and he's a local guy, too. From Northampton area.

Someone's gonna have to explain to me why Carlos Gomez is such a hot commodity. Here are the minor league numbers for a couple of 22-year old minor league outfielders:

Player A: 1291 ABs -- .278/.339/.399 with 18 homeruns, an OPS of 738, and 141 steals (78% success rate)

Player B: 1676 ABs -- .260/.304/.399 with 33 homeruns, a .703 OPS, and 97 steals (77% success rate)

Player A is Carlos Gomez, widely viewed as a can't miss, blue chip prospect. Player B is Greg Golson, widely seen as a bust. Admittedly, Gomez's numbers are better, but not by much.

Someone's gonna have to explain to me why Carlos Gomez is such a hot commodity. Here are the minor league numbers for a couple of 22-year old minor league outfielders:

Player A: 1291 ABs -- .278/.339/.399 with 18 homeruns, an OPS of 738, and 141 steals (78% success rate)

Player B: 1676 ABs -- .260/.304/.399 with 33 homeruns, a .703 OPS, and 97 steals (77% success rate)

Player A is Carlos Gomez, widely viewed as a can't miss, blue chip prospect. Player B is Greg Golson, widely seen as a bust. Admittedly, Gomez's numbers are better, but not by much.

I think the market is softening for Roawnd and everyday that he doesn't get a nibble means he coul come back to us.

The difference between Golson and Gomez is that Gomez has elite speed. While he is still learning to use it, he is faster than Reyes. The other difference is in the k's. Golson was striking out 160 times in 546 at bats in A ball at age 20 while Gomez was striking out 97 times in AA ball at age 20. 2 guys heading 2 different directions.

If the Yanks deal cabrera in a santana deal, the market on rowand will become a lot tougher. I do feel that the Phillies are holding back decent offers from a lot of 2nd tier guys until they see what rowand does (ie Jenkins...$6 million for a year of a platoon = worthwhile, $6 million for a year of a 5th outfielder = bad)

BAP -
One thing, maybe.
Gomez gets hits more than he strikes out. (Which means he probably knows the difference between an off-speed pitch and a fast ball.)

I'm pretty stunned by this Milledge trade. if his stock's down to other teams, it's because Minaya has been following the Phillies' patented strategy of relentlessly talking down your own players until you have to trade them for peanuts. at 22 years old, Milledge hit .272/.341/.446. he's got an .860 minor league OPS. that's pretty damn good. I don't see the supposed character issues as detracting from that.

true, Church is a pretty decent player. but he's going to be 29 - the odds are good that he's already peaked. and Schneider is indeed very good defensively, but he's also an over-30 catcher who can't really hit (except against us). the Mets got two decent players, but that's a pretty astonishingly weak haul for a high-ceiling guy like Milledge.

Not a blockbuster trade by any means but I do think Brian Schneider is going to work out to be a much better catcher than LoDuca, heck maybe even Estrada. They are definetly set when it comes to catchers. They still have holes in the rotation and in the pen that need addressed. If they were going after Santana that is pretty much not going to happen without Miledge for trade bait, unless Minaya does something crazy/stupid and offers David Wright.

Alby: If I'm to remain intellectually honest, I will have to concede that I also hated the Jayson Werth signing at the time it was made. Would I hate a Jody Gerut signing any more than I hated the Jayson Werth signing at the time it was made? Maybe not, if he was just being offered a spring training invite. But if he was deemed the solution to our RF problem, then I would indeed hate it even more than I hated the Werth signing, since he is several years older than Werth.

I was wrong about Jayson Werth, but that doesn't mean that everyone who fits a similar profile will turn into a similar success story.

From a Jayson Stark chat (ongoing ESPN.com):
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Scott (Philly): Anyway the Phils can get in on Haren? Maybe something like Victorino, Carrasco, and Cardenas???

SportsNation Jayson Stark: (1:43 PM ET ) Nah. Way too pricey for them. They made a run at Haren at the GM meetings, I heard, and got shot down, big-time. They have so few prospects, they can't make a trade like that. They need to have SOMEBODY to call up when 16 guys get hurt next year.
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Mets trade milledge for....brian schneider and ryan church...HOT DEAL for the HOT PROSPECT

Plus, when Gomez moved up to AA, he had his average, OBP & SLG increase. When Golson made the same move, they all decreased.

Additionally, in 37 games at AA, Golson had 49 Ks and 2 BBs.

Estrada threw out 8% of baserunners last year, Loduca 20% and Schneider 28%. I was much happier at the thought of running on Estrada even after he had his arm cleaned out.

The good news from the Milledge trade is that theres one less piece that the Mets have to make a trade for a pitcher. This will make it that much harder for them to go after Haren or Blanton.

I have a hard time believing that people are high on this trade. a week ago everyone was insisting that the Mota/Estrada trade was a huge coup from Minaya, and now Estrada will likely end up cut. a day ago, Milledge was a prime chip for Santana/Haren/Cabrera, and now he turns into a no-hit catcher (making $5M in 2008 and 2009) and a nearly-30 outfielder. I expect to see Reyes traded for peanuts any second now and replaced with Eckstein, since Minaya's apparently stocking up on "gritty" white boys to make up for losing Lo Duca.

That's one of the other points Gillick admitted to last night - they don't have the prospects to make deals for players like Haren. Barkann brought up Dontrelle Willis and Johan Santana. Get real, Barkann.

Gillick also restated that Carassco and Outman are planned for 2009 and not ready to pitch this year.

Can Estrada play 3rd base...?

Anyways, like the trade alot for the Mets. Milledge never really impressed me as a player. Ive always liked Church's versatility and Scnider, while not a great hitter (although he is a phillies killer) has a great arm, can call a great game, and just does some of those little things that can get teams to the playoffs.

Also, are the Nationals scaring anyone else right now? I dont think they'll make any serious run at the playoffs this eyar, but I also don't think they'll be abysmal like they have been. Bergmann/Chico/Patterson/Hanrahan/Hill is a pretty decent rotation (rivals the Phils, numbers wise) and with a lineup looking like Lopez/Belliard/Zimmermann/Young/Logan (or Maxwell)/Kearns/Mo Pena...They have some firepower. This isn't a team I'd like to play 20 times in a year.

My point? The Phils have to do something to propel them above even pesky teams like the Nats, or they have a chance of faltering

They've been able to do some nice, economic things with their rotation over the years and have a very good bullpen with Cordero, Rauch and Rivera, but thier lineup is weaker than weak. The rotation has trouble staying healthy. They're right where they were last year, but I would list them as a favorite for Andruw Jones.

Does Golson have a good arm? Maybe we could turn him into a reliever since he likes k's so much.

Ken Rosenthal's report on the trade includes this: "The Mets proposed sending Estrada along with Milledge to the Nationals, one source says, but the Nats apparently balked at the idea."

Minaya isn't doing much to excite the Met fan base so far, I can't imagine they're too thrilled with getting two marginal players from a second-division team for a guy they'd believed was going to be their next great position player. Character issues or not, Milledge has about fifty times the upside as either Schneider or Church. And what in the world is he trying to do with both Estrada and Schneider - hold a race for the 20-minute mile? Estrada is too good of a player to just release, so you'd have to figure they'd flip one or the other somewhere else.

Meanwhile, we begin to better understand why the Phillies have increased Amaro's role as spokesperson - Gillick can't seem to stop gnawing on his own foot. If the issue isn't money, then explain to the world why you're about to let your All-Star center fielder walk. If the reports on Jenkins being too 'pricey' are predicated on anything other than the Phillies' tentative plan to still make a run at Rowand - though why do they seem insistent on waiting for someone else to make an offer before they get involved? - this furthers the notion that Gillick is not to be taken seriously when he speaks. Jenkins is hardly the kind of player you'd ever call a 'priority', but he's very likely the best option out there to platoon with Werth, if it must come to that. So if they plan to both let Rowand walk *and* not go after the next best possibility to reinforce the outfield, Phillies fans have every right to be thoroughly disgusted.

Gillick should know better to not make the perception worse by trying to bullsh*t people. Yeah, Pat, the market is weak, but tell me what other solutions you have to find talent.

They're trying to deal Estrada, and if that can't be done they'll just non-tender him, because the trade with the Brew Crew was a Mota salary dump anyway.

"Does Golson have a good arm? Maybe we could turn him into a reliever since he likes k's so much."

That made me laught out loud...nice!

In addition to all the other differences between Golson and Gomez listed above, I would add that a difference of 30 points in OBP is not all that "close," particularly when Golson's is at the unacceptable level of .309.

I think Minaya is hell bent on getting either Haren or Blanton from Oakland...i'm not sure Beane was too enamored with Lastings Milledge...Mets may put together a package like Carlos Gomez, Heilman and Humber or Pelfrey for Haren...and Heilman + a good prospect for Blanton

The Texas Ranger released OF Victor Diaz...he is still young, has some pop and fits the value village mold...think he K's a ton though

the Mets can't trade Gomez because they just dumped Milledge. and it would be pretty damn impressive if Minaya could trade Heilman twice. I was pretty sure the CBA forbade that.

Carson, ricky:

Actually, yes. Golson's by all accounts a great fielder. He just has difficulty judging the speed of pitches.

Dealing Milledge essentially just took them out of the Haren game and into the Blanton level.

ae -

I must agree with you. This is the only board I have saw that is doing anything but ripping Minaya a new one. Rest assured, if Pat Gillick had made the same move we would be reading different opinions on the matter.

Ryan Church = .272/.349/.464
Lastings Millege = .272/.341/.446

granted Millege's was in only 150 abs, too small a sample size, but why wouldn't he be able to improve upon those stats greatly, considering what he did in the minors?

Is it that difficult to find a good defensive catcher who can't hit?

hmmmm...
Victor Diaz
hmmmm...
Jody Gerut
hmmmm...
decisions, decisions

Can I get them 2 for a buck?

Andy,

I literally meant his arm, I could care less how he fields, I'm more concerned with whether he might be able to throw in the mid 90's so as to not become a total loss.

AE, did i miss something??? Pretty sure Milledge was only Met traded....

I think they'll land Blanton but from a phils standpoint, I would love to see them get Livan.

ftd:
I'm with you.
Given the ages of the two OFs, Milledge will probably end up with much better career numbers. Good to see someone else's GM pulling a deal like this...

(unless, maybe Milledge is on Mitchell's list?)

ricky -
sorry I wasn't clear. Yes, he has a good arm. (Along with lots of speed on the basepaths and in the field, but...) he can throw a ton.

Dan
ae was making a joke; you had the Mets including him in the Haren deal and then for Blanton, too.

thanks, Andy...obviously, i based that on the Mets getting one of those two players, not both..

there's talk that the Mets are in serious talks about Bedard...hope that doesnt go down

BAP: ricky stole my thunder on the Golson-Gomez comp. His points are good. I would only add that the difference in career OPS is not exactly small and you have to note the age/level at which these guys are playing (i.e. Gomez put up good #s in a half season of AAA at age 21, while Golson was putting up brutal numbers in a half season of AA at the same age.) Gomez and Golson are miles apart, even though the total stats look closer.

My new dream is to get Leyson Septimo in the Rule 5 draft. Converted D-backs outfielder, who is a lefty and can hit triple digits on the gun.

from the district: I'm with you!

Schneider's offense is way worse than LoDuca's. In fact, even though LoDuca had a career bad year on offense last season (.689 OPS), Schneider's was even worse (.661). Schneider is a top glove man, of course, but Church is basically a 'tweener: Not enough power to play the corners, not enough glove to play CF. He's a 4th outfielder on a contending team, a starter on a bad team. And, at age 29, Church is what you see, what you get. He won't be blossoming into a power hitter.

So you're dealing a topnotch prospect at age 22 for a good-field, no-hit catcher and a 4th outfielder, aged 31 and 29. Only way this works out for Minaya is if Milledge flops.

I don't buy the NY hype about Milledge. (Rule of thumb: Reduce every projection you ever read about a Yankee or Met prospect by 20%). I don't think he'll ever hit 30 HRs or steal 30 bases and his OB will never be anything special. But I DO think he can be one of those 20-25 HR, 85 RBI, .280 guys who is an everyday player for the next 10 years. The Mets clearly did not get equal value.

Obviously, Gomez is a better prospect than Golson-- as is just about anyone who has a realistic chance of making the majors in the next 3 years. I wasn't trying to make the claim that the 2 players are equal. I was merely posting the 2 players' stats side-by-side in order to illustrate a point. And that point was that Gomez's hype far exceeds his on--field production up to now. The Mets are great when it comes to adverising their prospects as something far greater than they actually are -- Lastings Milledge being a classic example. Unfortunately, while they got the hype part down well, they whiffed on the execution -- waiting far too long to get rid of Milledge. Had they traded him a year ago, they probably could have gotten the type of top-of-the-rotation starter that they are now trying (so far, unsuccessfully) to acquire.

As a Phils fan, I like the Milledge trade. Although I agree that all NYC players are overrated, its hard for me to believe that the Mets couldn't get more for Milledge. Maybe they were just so insulted by Billy Beane's lack of interest in him, that they thought he had no value.

Mets fans are going nuts, especially now that Olney compared it to the Scott Kazmir trade...

sorry- Keith Law, not Olney

Milledge got to that team at exactly the wrong time, with Willie Randolph at the helm. Randolph spent too long with the Yankees, being indoctrinated in their stick-up-the-butt style. I don't think Milledge ever got out of Randolph's doghouse after that greet-the-fans stunt following his first ML home run couple of seasons ago.

Clout, I agree with your premise, but I think you're being charitable with the numbers. I would reduce Yankee hype by 25%, Mets hype by at least 33%, Humber and Pelfrey being the latest examples.

Reduce every projection you ever read about a Yankee or Met prospect by 40%

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