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Monday, November 05, 2007

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Schill outright said today he had NOT been contacted by the Phils. This is disappointing, I really wanted him to come back.

no, he said he had not been contacted by Gillick or Amaro. perhaps a fine distinction, but he pretty clearly did not say "the Phillies didn't contact me."

in any case it's moot, as he has said all along, to anyone who'd listen, that Boston was by far his first choice.

Very disappointing. that's really all i can say.

Yeah, if the Red Sox wanted him back, it didn't matter what the Phillies planned to pay him.

Why would Schilling leave with a chance at another ring siting in front of him? He's pitching for his legacy and his next WS ring.

To be honest, I'm not all that torn up about it. That he was one of the top starting pitchers available in free agency speaks to the absolute horrid state of free agent starters.

I'm not really too broken up. it would have been a great story, no doubt, and probably would have gotten us a lot of good local & national press. and if, fingers crossed, we make it to the playoffs again, it would've been great to have Schilling starting game 2.

but in the end, he's probably only going to pitch ~150 innings next year, and he'd have cost us a first round draft pick. all our problems would not have been solved by signing Schilling.

Even though some of you may not be too broken up I'm very broken up. I would've loved to see Schilling back in bloodstripes. He WAS the pitcher of my childhood. I'd love to see him pitching for my team now that I have a full grasp on the game. There aren't many pitchers better than him out there for free agency. Is Carlos Silva better? I don't think so. Let's hope these talks break down and Schil ends up where he belongs, the city of brotherly love.

ZT, i feel the same way. i honestly cannot be too objective with schilling because my memories of him go so deep. it sure would've been nice for him to come back. it's too bad we ever let him go. too bad.

It's intriguing that Schill didn't let this go on any longer, but hey, if he wanted to be back in Boston, and they want to pay him the bucks, that's fine.

I still think we should go hard at Bartolo Colon. Just posted a pro-Colon take on my blog. Take the flier. Couldn't be worse than Freddy.

There goes the last ray of hope. Then again, with Schilling, there is no telling where this report goes tomorrow. Just the other day, there was mutual "interest" with Schill and the Cards. Today, he is back as a Red Sock. Tomorrow he will be buying a home in Burma to pitch for the Laos MIA's.

In other and somewhat related news: I'm still not dating Jessica Biel, but there is interest.

In other bogus news: Scott Boras has been hired on to play Dr. Evil in the new Austin Powers movie. There have been rumors that Drew Rosenhouse was going to play Dr. Evil's son, going through a mid career crisis (But they figured Seth Green would again, be perfect for that part).

I'm not too concerned about Schilling, would have been nice, but oh well.

Gillick mentioned that he would pursue a starter via trade in the offseason anyway, someone would is young and would be around for a few more years unlike a Freddy Garcia deal.

So after doing some research, it seems like there are some real quality starters available for the right price. Tim Lincecum, Scott Kazmir, and Erik Bedard. In reality we don't have the prospects to acquire a Lincecum, or even Kazmir (unless Gillick can in fact pull off a miracle), but I think Bedard can be had at a fairly decent price.

Is this just wishful thinking on my part that we can acquire Bedard, possibly the other 2 guys this offseason via trade? If we can't get Schill or any of these guys, whats the next best option?

Well this Phils can't sign any FA's other than their own until Nov. 12 anyway. He said Boston was his first choice and who can blame him.

If the Phils called him we didn't hear about until today. Maybe we go after a closer and move Myers back to the rotation.

Rowand leaving and the Phils not getting a corner Of'der with pop in his bat bothers me more than Schilling not coming here, although I would have loved to have seen it.

It still could be a nice off-season for them, but also like I've said it could be a very poor one too. Schilling not coming here cannot be gauged as good or bad at the moment since he never really hit the open market.

We can only hope that Gillick has some magic in his hat.

One last Schilling point. One of the differences between the Phils and Bosox, Red Sox players want to stay and Boston management gets it done. The Phils? 'Nuff said.

kkreider - not sure why you think Bedard would be much easier to get than Lincecum/Kazmir. maybe he'd be slightly cheaper, but not a whole lot. all three would require a much better package than the Phillies can offer.

in other Red Sox news, the Boston Herald says that Philadelphia's been linked to Coco Crisp. really?

I guess that could make sense if Victorino or Bourn is traded for pitching and Crisp becomes his replacement. but that seems like a pretty convoluted plan, not to mention that it doesn't get the power bat the outfield needs.

Kreider: I'm not the Orioles, but if I were, you would have to rip Bedard out of my dead hands before I got rid of him. That guy was the best pitcher in baseball last year before he got hurt (Nobody pitched any better after he got hurt, but he didn't pitch, so that is all that matters). The guy was on pace to break strikeout records before that oblique injury.

As for Kazmir, he is not far behind on the "Don't trade under any circumstances, unless you really, really want to, and you don't value your employment" list.

Lincecum would also fit that bill. Lowery is the guy the Giants supposedly are willing to deal, not Lincecum. They love Lincecum.

I am very broken up. Injury risk would have been a factor, but ususally when this man sets his mind to something baseball related, he gets it done. I expect a good year from Schilling next year, and even if he put up that stats he did last year (nearly 5 to 1 K to BB and an era under 4) that would have been a huge lift, especially since he would most certainly get the "switch to the NL" bounce. And it would have only taken a one year deal.

Now the Red Sox have six starting pitchers. What do they do with Wakefield next year? Bullpen?

I honestly thought we'd see Curt Schilling being a hero in the 2008 World Series in a Phils uniform...dammit!

Good, it would have been painful having to root for this idiot.

"I don't know that [third base] is going to be addressed," Pat Gillick said as the annual general manager meetings got under way yesterday at the posh Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress resort. "We'll go with [Wes] Helms and [Greg] Dobbs. Because we're going to concentrate on pitching. If we go in any direction, we're going to concentrate on pitching."
...
"If we make a deal, it will be for pitching," the general manager said. "If we spend money, we'll spend it on pitching."

via

well, you have to admire his focus, but this is kind of disappointing. one or two marginal moves at third and the corner OF could be very helpful. you don't have to go all out to improve our situation there.

also:

The Phillies did not pick up Nunez' option at the end of the season, making him a free agent. "We have somebody in mind [for that role]," Gillick said, without elaborating.
...
While not ruling out the possibility of moving righthander Brett Myers back to the rotation next season, Pat Gillick made it clear that he still views him as the closer. "I would say we don't want to move Myers out of the bullpen," he said.
...
Gillick said he was still "optimistic" that the Phillies can sign lefthander J.C. Romero, who filed for free agency, before he can begin negotiating with other teams on Monday.

Couple of interesting tidbits in Hagen's Daily News piece today out of the GM meetings in Orlando.

Gillick says the small-market (my words not his) Phillies don't have the resources to upgrade at thirdbase and he is content to go with Helms/Dobbs. He also said he's got a name in mind to replace Nunez although he wouldn't say who.

Finally, he said the entire focus will be on pitching (hooray!) and that he wants to keep Myers in the bullpen. He didn't mention Rowand, which is interesting, although in the past he has said they want to keep him.

With Rowand leaving, the offense takes a hit. I don't like this at all. This team needs to hit. Helms and Dobbs are marginal fielders at best. This is a typical Gillick approach. He never does what the phans want or what's best for the the team. Told you. Look forward to another poor off-season showing.

ae: You beat me to the punch by 4 minutes!

good thing I got to work early today!

Hagen actually does mention Rowand, but just in passing - after saying that Gillick's confident about resigning Romero, he does add that they're going to continue talking with Rowand. for whatever that's worth, anyway.

Gillick says they're "focused on pitching", but won't pursue Schilling. He will sign fluke-of-the-century JC Romero.

"If we make a deal", says Part-Timer Pat.

Rowand's gone, but Helms isn't. The pitching if anything may well be worse, absent a big improvement from Eaton (possible, but I wouldn't count on it)...and the attack will certainly be worse. If Gillick sticks to his "plan", they'll be lucky to win 80 games next year.

I realize this isn't a new comment, but: if Gillick's so hellbent on finding pitching, why does he refuse to seriously consider Myers as a starter? not that the market for relievers is that great this winter, but it's still substantially better than the market for starters. I have a hard time believing that the only reason is that Myers doesn't really feel like it. although I don't know what else it could be - unreported injury? threatened trade demands?

Gillick says they're "focused on pitching", but won't pursue Schilling.

it's not up to Gillick. he could be offering Schilling 4/$60 and daily backrubs and it wouldn't make any difference.

So quick to dismiss the 600 plus minor league free agents? Could 3B be solved with Fernando Tatis or Juan Richardson? Cliff Polite shoring-up the middle relief? Junior Spivey as the utility infielder? And with no Mesa or Schilling, we still need a 40plus ex-Phil pitcher. How about Rheal Cormier? He and Pete Laforest could speak French during mound conferences. And how about a spring training battle of pitching prospects Elizardo Ramirez and Ezequiel Astacio? How many days till spring training?

"It's not up to Gillick."

Come on. They haven't even called the guy.

The Phillies aren't players here because they won't offer appropriate money. Do you think Curt Schilling has ever turned down an available dollar?

Not surprised third base will not be a priority as I've said all along. They need pitching much more.

However, I wouldn't read too far into it, either. The names mentioned most are Lowell and A-Rod, so maybe it means they won't get involved in discussions on that level. But for guys like Koskie, Lamb ... I find it hard to believe they wouldn't kick the tires. That 's minor tinkering the Phils have the resources to get done.

well, you do have to admire his focus. i'd love an upgrade at 3B, but we didn't get swept away in the playoffs because of wes helms sucking. and, really, helms can only play better...right?

The Shangri-Las sang "I Can Never Go Home Anymore." They were singing the same song Schilling is singing while he negotiates with the Bosox. I don't want an aging Schilling clogging up a starter slot as his career downslides badly (as it appeared to be doing midseason in 2007).

Jason, your headers are depressing me. It's bad enough that we still have Adam Eaton; now, I read where our "prospect" cupboard is bare, so we can't trade prospects to acquire better current players, and conversely, we can depend on any good "prospects" coming up through the farm system to help the team in the future. The future looks grim.

Sorry, I meant to type: "we CAN'T depend on any good "prospects" coming up through the farm system to help the team..."

What's so great about the "focus"? It sounds more like laziness, or penny-pinching.

They're losing Rowand and a ton of offense, Ryan Howard will never play 150 games again as he neglects conditioning, Utley may've already peaked had his career year...you can't assume hitting is a settled issue for this team, or any other.

Gillick has to think in terms of building a team, not a pitching staff.

Helms will play better in 2008 and under the category of wild predictions (Geary non-tendered, veteran catcher added as backup) Helms has a better season than Greg Dobbs.

Come on. They haven't even called the guy.

The Phillies aren't players here because they won't offer appropriate money. Do you think Curt Schilling has ever turned down an available dollar?

this is ridiculous. Schilling has turned down money. he did it last night.

Schilling could probably get multiple years at something like $13-15M on the open market, yet he has constantly said that he wants only a one season deal, and prefers Boston over any other team, even if it means taking less money. early reports on this new contract aren't detailed, but they suggest an incentivized contract, which means a base of probably several million less than he'd get from any team on the open market.

whether you like or dislike Schilling, I don't think there's any reason to suspect him of lying or exaggerating about this. whether or not Gillick/Amaro called Schilling yesterday has absolutely no bearing on him signing a contract with Boston.

Helms may have a better year, but even so he won't be league average.

The Phillies need to invest in free agents where they don't have tradeable pieces. But the Silent Partners only see player contracts as expenses, not, in fact, as investments in future playoff runs and World Series appearances.

AE, they didn't even try to acquire Schilling. No effort. How does what you write refute my point?

Schilling has said a lot of things. It's all negotiating points. Now he only wanted to play in Boston all along. What he said two weeks ago was entirely differrnt. But you can read his mind!

Coco Crisp? If Shane Victorino lost his offense, he'd be Coco Crisp. Great defense, below-average bat. Maybe a change to the NL will invigorate him, and maybe his best is yet to come (he's only going to be 28).

But if we trade Vic for pitching (which I guess would be the point), then pick up Crisp, we NEED to upgrade offense, preferably at 3B. Honestly, Crisp could be a No. 2 hitter, but is more likely a No. 8 hitter.

But what this is all about really, is we're making a trade. It's very likely we're trading away one of our speedy outfielders and a prospect or two for pitching (Willis, Garland, Bedard).

I still think moving Myers to the rotation would be the best starting pitching move out there, giving us the chance to five into the Cordero sweepstakes with $10 M to offer. And we don't lose any of the youngsters. Remember, Crisp and Ramirez had their Ellsbury. Vic and Burrell should have their Bourn.

Jason: I agree with each of the predictions in your last post.

martin: Are you a masochist?

Malcolm-How can you trade Victorino with Rowand gone? Bourn won't hit enough to be an everyday guy.

John, I direct you to Jason's post at the top of the page: "the Sox hold negotiating rights until Nov. 12."

so what, exactly, do you propose Gillick should have done, since he wasn't even allowed to negotiate with Schilling? close his eyes and wish really hard?

I wouldn't trade Vic with Rowand gone. But if they're looking into Crisp, it's very likely they're thinking about it.

"they didn't even try to acquire Schilling. No effort."

The Phillies can't discuss contracts with free agents yet, can they?

Malcolm, obviously we're just guessing here based on an offhand comment in the Boston press, but I think the idea would be that Crisp + whatever pitcher you get by trading Victorino is better than Victorino + whatever FA mediocrity we end up with.

I actually don't think it's a terrible idea; I think there's a pretty decent chance Crisp could revert to .290/.340/.440 playing in the NL and CBP, and Boston would not be asking a whole lot in return. but it does seem pretty complicated and would really depend on who the pitcher is. if it's a major trade (i.e. Victorino + prospects) for a legitimate top-of-the-rotation guy, then go for it. if it's for another sketchy longshot, then it's a waste of time.

worth noting that Crisp's age 25 line of .300/.345/.465 is pretty comparable to Victorino's age 26 line of .281/.347/.423. Crisp has not come close to an .800 OPS since then, but it's not like there's a guarantee that Victorino will either.

John Salmon: Given that Bourn and Vic have nearly idnetical minor league stats (Bourn's are a bit better) on what factual basis do you write, "Bourn won't hit enough to be an everyday guy"?

I don't get the Crisp rumor at all. We'd have to give up something to get him so even if we dealt Vic for pitching it would be wash, not an upgrade.

The Crisp rumor stinks of hot stove crap. 'Tis the season.

Basing it, clout, on Bourn's MLB numbers-singles hitter solely (.378 SA in '07).

Given that the pitching is unlikely to be much improved, he can't plausibly replace Rowand.

Schilling has said he's been in contact with some teams. Anti-tampering rules are a joke.

Given that the pitching is unlikely to be much improved

this is an assumption that just makes no sense. Gillick is going to have literally tens of millions of dollars to spend on pitching this offseason - from that you conclude that he's not going to make any improvements?

I mean, no matter how bad of a GM you think he is, he's working off the league's worst pitching staff. it's not like it would be that hard to improve it.

Yeah - to get Crisp we'd likely have to give up one of the second-tier prospects. So why do it? Why not just give up a second-tier prospect and Bourn for the type of pitcher you could probably get for Vic?

yeah ESPN just reported it as official.
#@!& me

AE-I guess you see Gillick as being more involved/competent than I do.

Think of the various pitchers. Eaton-likely a little better, but will he reach league average? He rarely has. Kendrick-won't repeat his success, though he may be serviceable. Loshe I imagine is gone. Moyer's ERA was north of 5 in '07, and a few nice starts near the end of the year don't change the fact he's got little left.

The bullpen's in disarray, and Pat's instinct is to sign retreads he don't help matters. Again, Romero's BB rate makes his '07 in Philly unrepeatable.

I agree that the Crisp thing is probably just meaningless rumor cruft, but the way I'm thinking it makes sense is this:

Team X wants to trade their pitcher for a centerfielder; they don't want mid-level prospects. they also have no interest in Bourn because they don't think he can make it at the ML level, whereas Victorino has a ML track record.

yes, it's a little complicated and probably unlikely, but I don't think it's radically unfeasible. at least no less than trading Ryan Howard for Miguel Cabrera.

I'm not broken up about Schilling at all. I'm not into nostalgia signings & that's what Schilling would have been. He is a shell of his former self &, at his age & with his recent injury history, there is no way in the world he duplicates this year's stat line in 2008. A 5-man rotation which features 2 40-something starters is not a formula for success.

The Phillies may not have the prospects to land Johann Santana or Miguel Cabrera, but they've got good enough prospects to land a young, promising starting pitcher like Paul Maholm or Daniel Cabrera. And I have to agree with Ae; I don't understand why they're so resistant to the idea of moving Myers back to the rotation. It's a lot easier to find someone who can close than it is to find a decent starting pitcher. But I've made this argument about 8 zillion times and Gillick doesn't seem to be listening to me.

Crisp stinks.

The Coco Crisp item doesn't even rise to the level of an unfounded rumor. The writer didn't even say that the Phillies had expressed interest in Crisp; he merely pointed out that they Phillies would be among the teams with a CF vacancy.

After last season's fiasco with Jon Lieber, I would hope the Phillies don't make any more moves which are predicated on the expectation that they will be able to make another move (i.e., signing Crisp in the hopes they can trade Vic for pitching). When you do that, all it does is devalue the guy you hope to trade, by sending a signal that you are desperate to trade him. That's why they were unable to unload Lieber last off-season.

I'm not a Gillick fan, but I've learned this about the guy: He rarely shows his hand in public.

I wouldn't put too much stock into his comments yesterday. He may be feigning disinterest in getting help at 3B so he doesn't appear too eager.

I'm still gunning for Bartolo Colon. You don't need a fastball to win in CBP. In fact, unless you are God, it's generally discouraged.

I dont know if anyone caught this on ESPNews or not but they had the genius that is Steve Phillips on talking about the Dodgers and what they need to do to make the WS...he said that they should try and trade for Miguel Cabrera or sign A-Rod. Then he said they should move "I Used To Run Base Like" Juan Pierre to LF and sign a CF with pop and good D. He mentioned Andruw and Torii as their top choices, then said settle for Cameron or Rowand if they had to. Then he said(and I'm paraphrasing)"Once they have all these everyday pieces in place, they can then take some of the young prospects they have and go to the Twins and wow them for Johan Santana...Then they will make the WS"

what GREAT insight... sign the best player in baseball or trade for a top 5 hitter in baseball, sign one of the 4 CFs who are out there, all of whom are top 10 defensively, and then trade for the best pitcher(which, if they can somehow pull off a trade for Miggy, would they really have enough left to WOW the Twinkies, and if so, can we have some of their spare prospects)

HE GETS PAID TO SAY THIS STUFF!!! He sounds like one of us here on Beerleaguer with all of our hopes and dreams...Sadly, I think Dodgers might do all this...

Not getting Schilling would be a blow to this team. Yeah, he has a bunch of innings on his arm but he would still be a very effective pitcher in the NL. The only real issue with him is he able to make 30 starts next year. Given the poor state of the Phils' starting rotation, I definitely would have liked to see that gamble.

Even if the Phils are counting on Eaton to be in the rotation next year, Gillick still needs to come up with another starter. I am not optimistic that it will be any better than a back-end guy like Lohse. Ugh.

according to Olney, it's an $8M deal with $2M in incentives for Schilling.

John, do you still think that Schilling wouldn't leave money on the table? simply calling that a "hometown discount" would be a serious understatement.

Yeah, Schill just wanted an offer from the Sox, something good enough to take for one year. He wasn't Clemens-ing it up.

The important thing here is it's more certain the man's going to the Hall with the Sox, not the Phils.

Bartolo Colon - No under any circumstance. He has basically become so unfit that he physically can't stay healthy enough to pitch. You can get away with that kind of crap when you are in your mid-20s but not your mid-30s.

Call me crazy but I would rather have the Phils resign Lieber on the cheap than after Colon for a rotation spot.

Schilling's contract is the deal of the century...it is less than what we paid Freddie last year!

Players Union has to be disappointed in Schil's descision.

JW - I still think it would be an a big mistake to non-tender Geary. The Phils basically did the same thing with Fultz last year and he turned out to have a pretty effective year with the Tribe.

Given how thin the FA market for relievers is and how little depth the Phils have in the bullpen, I definitely think Geary is worth bringing back at $1.25-$1.5 M. Seems like a lot of a back-end bullpen guy but it is really peanuts in this market.

This is the type of move that a winning organization is willing to make and eat the marginal cost on if it doesn't pan out for a year. Phils desperately need some depth in their bullpen and letting Geary walk won't help.

Never thought I would be a huge supporter of Geary but I would much rather see him in the pen next year in the 5th or 6th inning than last year's denizens of the Value Village.

If Cholly gives Geary a day off once in awhile...instead of pitching him 10 days in a row he'll do the job.

We don't know Colon's health at the moment. If he's cheap enough to take a one-year incentive-laced flier with an option for '09, and he seems healthy enough, why not? It's more low risk than Garcia ever was, and we're not giving up anything for him.

agreed on Geary, MG

i'm with you on geary too. i just want him to be a 6th inning guy...and not pitch to left-handed hitters.

i'll throw my support behind geary as well. i think he got overworked last season as a result of his phenomenal 2006 and i'm willing to bet he bounces back effectively this season with more cautioned usage...

i'm leary of Colon however. i remember watching a Yankees/Angels game last season on ESPN and even their dimwitted broadcasters were commenting on how washed up he was pitching...

not that the intelligence of ESPN analysts is a truly reliable metric, but if Joe Morgan notices how badly he's pitching, then he's pitching really poorly...

Dammit, I really hate the Red Sox.

Unless something major happens, I can't see this team returning to the playoffs with Kyle Kendrick as the #2 starter.

For anyone who thinks it's no big deal that we couldn't land a pitcher who put up an ERA of 3.87 in an AL bandbox, consider the following ZiPS projections for our current starting pitchers under contract:

Cole Hamels* 3.66 14-7 192.0
LEAGUE AVERAGE STARTER ------- 4.69 ERA
Kyle Kendrick 4.91 12-12 196.0
Jamie Moyer* 4.96 11-12 196.0
Adam Eaton 5.53 8-11 153.0

I don't see anyone on the market or in AAA who will come in under that 4.69 mark, meaning we are likely to go into next season with 80% of the rotation as subpar.

Even guys like Lohshe (4.78), Happ (5.61), Outman (5.41), and Mathieson (5.59) are no help.

Without Schilling, it becomes an imperative that Myers returns to the rotation.

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