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Monday, November 05, 2007

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"Florida is clearly in the driver's seat with Cabrera.. It would take Hamels, Jaramillo, Happ and Cardenas--- minimum. Even that could be topped by at least 5 clubs with organizational depth that the Phils havent had since 1974"

rob, can I rephrase you last sentence to read:


"organizational depth that the Phils havent had since the Giles group bought the team"?

I got caught right at the end of the previous thread... The Marlins still hold the hammer on Cabrera.. The Phils lack any real talent . let alonr the depth of same that is required to land a big fish (pun intended). Major League talent is the next option.. You're talkin Hamels, Ruiz and maybe Myers---JUST to sit at the table on this discussion.

maybe a slight coincidence AWH :)

Actually, we "might" be able to trade for Cabrera, but it would have to be a three-way trade with another team, and involve prospects the Marlins would want.

Downside: It would surely cost the Phils one of the core young MLB players on the team.

AWH-- The third team would also have to include a "major league ready" 3B.. which begs the question... Why (or how) would the Phils be involved at ALL? since the third team is providing damn nar everything

s/b near everything

Who needs Hamels? We have the highly effective Adam Eaton to take his place.

And yes, I would be fine with taking Cabrera at third and Dobbs at first next season.

That's really not a bad prospect, but it's completely an outside shot. I think Cabrera will probably stay with the Fish one more year. The Yanks could pony up huge for Cabrera, but I can't see them scrapping their key pieces in rebuild for Cabrera. There's a change in the Bronx.

Why would either of these teams be interested in helping one another? The Phillies struggle against this club enough as it is.

Could we get Cabrera for Howard, Bourn and a pitching prospect?

The upside for the Phils would be an incredible 3rd baseman, who is younger than Howard.

For the Marlins, they get a proven major league slugger, who is going to cost about $8M less than Cabrera this year, and is still a number of years away from free agency.

JT, even supposing that you could do that, what's the point? then you've got a defensive liability at third base and a substandard bat (Helms? Dobbs? so-so FA like Lamb?) at first. you're not substantially improving the team, aside from making it slightly younger but more expensive.

MLBTR posted its Top-50 Free Agents. It has us getting Schilling, Riske and Mike Lamb. I could see that happening.

Also has Rowand to the White Sox, Iguchi to the Mariners and Lieber to the Nats.

Outside of Phillie land, A-Rod to the Angels, Bonds to the Padres, Silva to the Mets.

Oh - Congrats to John Russell. The man paid his dues and deserves a shot. Agreed with Clout's assessment from the other day, about giving some new blood a shot instead of going with retreads like Grady Little.

Schill would help the rotation. Riske would boost the 'pen. Lamb...wait, I don't want Lamb. What has he done to prove he could be an every day 3rd baseman? If signed, he'd probably flop as bad as Helms. After pitching is addressed, we need a legit every day 3rd baseman. Not a superstar, just someone who can play the field and hit 7th in the lineup.

Howard, Bourn, & a pitching prospect for Cabrera would be overkill. Howard for Cabrera straight-up would be a very even deal. But the only way I would ever do it would be if we could lock up Cabrera for at least as much time as we have the rights to Howard (which I believe is through 2011). Assuming the Phillies could lock up Cabrera, yes, I'd make that trade straight up. But I can't see it ever happening; a trade of Cabrera for Howard is the stuff of fantasy leagues, not real baseball.

That Schil, Riske, Lamb prediction is right on target with what I would expect from the Phils this winter.

Florida is obviously the new Montreal of baseball - develops fine young talent and can't keep any of it, because the fans don't show up because the team doesn't win, because the team doesn't spend, because the fans don't show up. A rather hopeless cycle.

Although one does have to wonder if their desire to unload Willis and Cabrera extends beyond pure economics. Something about Willis obviously wasn't right last year, and it's pretty evident there's a sour relationship between Marlin management and Cabrera. Still, he's under 25 and doesn't strike me as someone with an incorrigible attitude problem. I agree with Jason, he's the far bigger prize than Rodriguez if he's moved this off-season.

If the Marlins were for some reason inclined to consider Howard as a primary exchange for Cabrera, I would make that deal in the instantaneous flicker of a split-second heartbeat. But an intra-divisional blockbuster of this nature is highly unlikely.

If there's much more talk of trading for Cabrera, I'm gonna start talking about moving Myers back to the rotation. That's how remote I think the Cabrera trade chances are!

Savery's line for today:
3 inn, 1 hit, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 K

He walked the bases loaded in the first inning and allowed a run on a sac fly. The next two innings were uneventful.

JT,

the other potential downside is that I have heard Cabrera is slowly but steadily gaining some weight, and could be due to move to a less demanding position at some point in the not too distant future.

That would be a true Phiilies special. Trade the popular Howard to the Marlins to secure third base for the foreseeable future, then have Cabrera outgrow the position after a marginal year or two in the field and be forced to move to first or left. Meanwhile Howard works hard on his glove over the winter, becomes a solid fielder at first, and lays tape measure home runs on us every time he visits Philly.

Howard could be the centerpiece of a Cabrera trade, with Burrell shifting to first base and another addition to fill out the outfield. I'd do that deal, and I could see why the Marlins would as well (Ryan's going to be a lot cheaper for the next two years, and is probably about as much of a box office draw), but it's hard to envision such a scenario actually happening.

I think Lamb has a much more solid track record than Helms. if you look at their 4 years pre-free agency (and if anything I'm favoring Helms with this comparison by omitting his atrocious 2007):

Lamb
2007 .289/.366/.453 311 AB 112 OPS+
2006 .307/.361/.475 381 AB 113 OPS+
2005 .236/.284/.419 322 AB 81 OPS+
2004 .288/.356/.511 278 AB 119 OPS+

Helms
2006 .329/.390/.575 240 AB 149 OPS+
2005 .298/.356/.458 168 AB 111 OPS+
2004 .263/.331/.361 274 AB 80 OPS+
2003 .261/.330/.450 476 AB 103 OPS+

if you have to rely on one of these guys to post decent numbers over 300-400 AB, I think Lamb is clearly the better bet.

the concern I would have about Lamb is his defense; if he was even average I'd be all for it, but I understand he's much less than that.

Not to get all Dwight K. Schrute here, but Question: do we really want to give up all of that talent for (a) a young 3B that has make-up issues that would set a new record for Wheels' instances of the use of the "Space Cadet" moniker per game and (b) eroding glove skills that will make him a LF/RF by age 25?

and I realize talking about Mike Lamb and Wes Helms is a lot less interesting than talking about Miguel Cabrera and Ryan Howard, but I don't really see the point - you realize there's literally zero chance? signing Alex Rodriguez is a more likely solution to the 3B problem...

On the subject of crazy ideas that will never happen, how about signing F. Cordero for the ninth inning and pushing Myers down to setup man?

Can you imagine a bullpen anchored by Myers and Cordero? The team might actually secure a few leads.

i really can't understand how anybody would even daydream about the possibility of obtaining Miguel Cabrera. that seems like a nightmare!

we've watched this kid mature in the NL East for a few years know and, just by anecdotal evidence, it's clear his waistline is growing faster than the national debt. he's going to eat himself out of baseball faster than Cecil Fielder! his glovework is horrible! i bet he's a first baseman, DH or left fielder in two years.

Ae:

I agree it isn't going to happen, but there's really no compelling reason why it COULDN'T happen. Howard for Cabrera is a very even trade. The only reason it won't happen is because trades of one superstar for another just don't happen anymore. That's not a good reason & it's not reason enough to stop me from contemplating such a trade. And my contemplation says that: (1) the Marlins would make that trade; and (2) the trade would improve the Phillies, since Cabrera is right-handed, several years younger than Howard, & a better overall hitter.

And enough about Cabrera's weight. He's not terribly overweight and certainly no more so than Howard.

Cabrera has two speeds.. slow and fatter..why do you think the Marlins are even considering dealing him 2 yrs before FA? They can see the writing on the wall.. Cabrera balloons ffurther in the next 2 yrs and they won't be able to discuss him with ANY NL teams because he has gone all Mo Vaughn by then. Miggy would be a marketable DH only

looking at the stat sheet, Howard has a FP of .991 and Cabrera .941. although, it's tough to compare them head to head because they play different positions... so i compared Cabrera to other 3Bs and... the only other regular third basemen with worse FP in the major leagues were Kevin Kouzmanoff and Ryan Braun.

that's bad folks.

b_a_p, I meant that post to be kind of self-deprecating. I have no problem with people talking about unlikely trades; otherwise there's going to be a lot of boring posts for the next several months.

on more substantive matters, though, I would disagree that the trade would improve the Phillies all that much. Cabrera's going to be a lot more expensive a lot quicker, and he's not - in my opinion at least - a hugely better hitter. I do agree that his weight is pretty irrelevant, but in the sense that it's hurting or will soon hurt his defense at third it sure is relevant. not saying I wouldn't make the trade, but I don't know that it really solves any of the major problems this team's facing right now.

BAP-- Did you watch Cabrera this yr from aug on? The man CANNOT bend over well enough to play 3B.. Howard can BE overweight.. I believe 1B are notorious for it..His (Cabrera's) reactions suffered at a position where reaction is everything

why do you think the Marlins are even considering dealing him 2 yrs before FA?

because he's going to make some unprecedented amount of money in arbitration this year? if he was still cheap, the Marlins wouldn't care if he weighed 400 pounds and had to ride around in a motorized scooter.

I think price is actually the biggest reason that a Howard/Cabrera trade wouldn't go down. the Marlins in recent years have shown a serious preference for players with minimal MLB service time. I don't think there's much chance they pull off a major trade unless it's for players who still at least a few years from arbitration.

There's also some talk that he's had some problems with Marlins management...Probably just a sidebar issue,but it may play in to this decisionj

the only other regular third basemen with worse FP in the major leagues were Kevin Kouzmanoff and Ryan Braun.

in fairness to Cabrera, this kind of overstates his FP compared to the league. the gap between Cabrera (.941) and Braun (.895) is bigger than the gap between Cabrera and Akinori Iwamura, who posted the best FP in the majors at .975. this is actually the first season Cabrera has posted an FP below league average (which was .954 last year).

What I meant earlier in terms of a three way trade was Howard (or someone) to a third team that would net the Phils some prospects and some MLB talent - and here's the caveat - prospects and talent that the Marlins would be interested in.

You ship the prospects to the Fish for Fatso and the deal gets done. That way you don't have to get killed by Howard 19 time a year.

The Fish will trade within the division. Last I check both Delgado and Loduca got shipped to NYM for Mike Jacobs (a stud!) - Yusmeiro Petit (sent to AZ for Jorge Julio)- Grant Psomas, and Dante Brinkley - Gaby Hernandez respectively.

So far, not a lot of return for Carlos and Paul.

Maybe there's hope :)

ae- fair point on the fielding percentage stat... i guess another way to look at it would be to note that his FP at 3B has steadily decreased each year and i just don't see that trend easing with the weight he's putting on...

if you guys want to talk crazy rumors, how about this one...

ARod to the Marlins.

i actually think it makes a lot of sense and has a better chance of happening than anyone is admitting. my speculative evidence:

1- ARod is from Miami and would enjoy playing there
2- ARod and Boras are rumored to have sought in his last contract room to market ARod independently from the franchise, and Florida, as a team without confirmed superstars (Cabrara and Willis are not treated by Florida as such, even if their play merits it), might actually present that opportunity
3- the Marlins may not put butts in the seats, but they do get plenty of cash from revenue sharing that they've not spent. could they be saving up for a rainy day?
4- the Marlins franchise is facing a critical challenge. if they don't get a new stadium deal soon they may be forced out of town. this creates quite an incentive for management to make a move, like signing Rodriguez, that could get the turnstiles moving again and help to get a deal done.
5- the Marlins are now publicly offering Cabrera. which, admittedly could be for a bounty of reasons, but one of them certainly could be to clear room for ARod.
5a- talk has swirled for some time now of moving Hanley to centerfield, which would leave a convenient vacancy for ARod.

i'm not saying it's likely. i just don't think it's impossible. thoughts?

Jason, I'd love to see Myers in a setup role, but isn't his money too much for someone to use simply in the 8th inning? Or can one make the "we should spend craploads on our setup guy to prove we're big market!" argument?

CubeH, this is baseball. Anything is possible.

Look at the trades the Fish did for Loduca and Delgado. So far, the only MLB benefit to them has been provided by Jorge Julio and Mike Jacobs. Not a lot of return on those two.

The Phils got Abreu for Kevin Stocker, then traded him away for a month-and-a-half of Matt Smith.

Despite getting Hanley Ramirez and Anibel Sanchez from the BoSox in a trade, right now you'd have to say "advantage Bosox" because they have a WS title to show for it.

The Bosox sold Babe Ruth and regreted it fo rover 80 years.

The Dodgers actually tried to trade Jackie Robinson to their archrivals, the NY Giants.

Weird stuff happens.

You could be right. They may want to move Cabrera to make room for ARod.

Some of the best relievers in baseball work the 8th inning. Actually, they tend to get the ball more than closers. Betancourt, Okajima were pretty important parts for their teams out of that role. I've seen the "too much money" argument before, and to that I say 1) use him where you need him, 2) what price would you pay to not worry about the final innings? 3) why do I care how much they're paying him and how they allocate that money? If he's an overpaid setup man, so what?

Jim Ed Warden is God's way of telling you your scouts suck.

Forget Cabrera and A-Rod -- what would it take to acquire Larry Beinfest?

I think it would make sense to use Myers in more than just a one-inning role; hey, the bullpen ace can come back into play here. Of course, I'd much rather see Myers in the rotation, but we don't get everything we want.

If the Phils can go out, grab Cordero or Rivera and a starter worthy of the top of the rotation, I'm all for using Myers in the 8th.

ae beat me to the punch on the Lamb/Helms comparison. Really no comparison. Lamb has been clearly superior. He would be an upgrade, bad glove and all.

P.S. I agree with the posters who say Cabrera will be moved to 1B permanently within 2 seasons.

"Hanley Ramirez, 23, who will become the best short stop in the NL next season.."

Jason, do you know something about J-Roll that we don't?

atty: the NL players voted him top SS this past season.

Yeah, Ramirez is the best SS in the NL. Rollins is most valuable player in the league.

Clout: Great line.

Jason: If we're overpaying setup men, we're messing up our ability to address the rest of our needs. We're not the Yankees. It's one thing to make adjustments midseason and to say "the hell with what we're paying him", but when you're organizing your team ahead of time, it's a bad idea and a recipe for long term failure.
As for not worrying about the final innings. Yeah, it'd be great, but if we invest $25 mil per year in innings 8 and 9, we won't have any money to improve a rotation whose #3 starter is Jamie Moyer, so innings 8 and 9 won't matter.
And for everyone who's given up on Myers to the rotation.. Greg Maddux, at this point the definition of league average starter, just signed with the Pads for $10mil. A closer of Myers' abilities would cost $12 mil on the open market. Brett Myers the starter would command something starting at $15 mil a year. Have we really given in to the decision making of Gillick and Bretty friggin Myers this early in the offseason?

And my main point is... We're much better off paying Cordero 3yrs/36mil and putting Myers back in the rotation than leaving Myers as closer and paying Curt "Freddy Garcia redux" Schilling 13mil next year.

clout - fantastic.

I think that one gets a BEERLEAGUER top ten nomination.

If anyone outside of the NL, specifically the NL East gets Cabrera I would be pleased.

Schilling and Riske would be a nice offseason but the Phils still need a legit lefty out the pen (there are only 3 or 4 on the market including Romero and the Phils need to sign one of them even if they have to overpay since they don't have a viable internal candidate).

As for Lamb - I am kind of mixed. He has spared sparingly at 3B but his defensive stats aren't bad. I just remember him having slow reactions to play 3B.

If the Phils can sign him to a reasonable 2-year deal similiar to what Helms got last year, I would do it. Basically, you figure the Phils will go with a platoon at 3B next year then and play the hot hand between Lamb/Helms.

It would give the Phils a better bench and allow Cholly to have some decent options off the bench next season.

If the Phils refuse to sign at least 2 or 3 arms for the pen, they it is going to be vital that Gillick is able to find a diamond in the rough for the bullpen either via a Rule V move, a minor league FA signing, or a minor trade.

This is one thing that Gillick has utterly failed at so during the past 2 offseasons.

"Jim Ed Warden is God's way of telling you your scouts suck."

BRAVO!!!

Brian G, well put.

Fans especially tend to overemphasize the importance of set-up guys because the games they cost you tend to be heartbreakers (blown leads in the 7th and 8th).

However, games can be lost in the first five innings too, and the Phils had plenty of games where the offense was good enough that they should have blown teams out. Instead, starters would go 4 or 5 innings, give up 5 runs, and the fans bitch when the bullpen blows a 6-5 lead.

Right now, I am more concerned with the starters as I am with the pen. (However, if they put Myers in the rotation tommorow, I'd immediately become more worried about the bullpen.

andy pettite just declined his $16 million option for next year. any thoughts on where he'll end up?

of course I have no expectations that he would end up here, but I would love to see him in Philly...

MG, your analysis is correct, but you seem to be ignoring some of the previous posts.

For Gillick to find a diamond in the rough, it would require the scouting department to at least identify someone for him to assess.

As clout so lyrically and succintly posted above, for some reason, this organization does a below average scouting pitchers.

The proof is in the MLB track record - 18 of the last 21 years they have been in the bottom half of league ERA, and the highest they have been is #6.

Somethin' ain't right, but they don't seem to be able to fix it.

Andy Pettitte declined his 2008 option, according to ESPN.

Calm down, jumpers, reports are Pettitte is likely not to test the market and will, instead, retire.

Of course, at 35, the guy has at least 3 more years in the tank, you'd have to think. I mean, if I'm the guy, I go at it a couple more years, selfishly, like Clemens, Schilling, etc., and gun for a Hall of Fame berth. But Pettitte and selfish never really mixed.

If that's it for him, great career, but if he decides to jump in somewhere else, the heavy hitters should line up.

BTW, remember when the Phils were incredibly close to trading for Pettitte at the end of the trading deadline? (was that 2001?)

kdon: You weren't concerned about the bullpen last offseason either.

diggity: Pettitte has been quoted in the NY papers as saying he would either come back with the Yankees or retire.

clout: ah, ok. that's all i was looking for. just wanted to throw it out there. didn't think anything was going to come of it, but it's worth making at least a call to pettite and his agent, no??

kdon is right : Starting pitching should be the priority, especially if it comes down to a #2 starter vs a $8 million setup guy. Phillies staters were less below average than Phillies relievers were, but given that starters (are supposed to) pitch 6 innings a game, and that the average Phillies starter had an ERA of 4.9 (bullpen was 4.5), we really need to fix that.

Its not that the bullpen isn't a problem, but that Kendrick-Moyer-Eaton-? is a bigger problem.

it's worth making at least a call to pettite and his agent, no??

Gillick shouldn't waste the dime, since he'll need it to pay for our new setup ace, who's currently tearing it up for an independent league team somewhere in Canada.

well then, everybody get your "WELCOME BACK CARLOS" signs ready.

Good for Schill! It's nice to see him go out the way he wants to.

He may even get another ring out of it.


Think a little bit more:

That could mean the Bosox are going to try to put together a package for Cabrera, and include Bucholz or Lester.

J- Thanks for leading us into a discussion of the Bullpen Ace theory. I’m strongly in favor of an 8-9 combination like Myers and Cordero and tend to believe that it would make most Beerleaguers feel less queasy when our starters leave the game after 6 1/3 with a two run lead. It also follows our Skipper's theory of building backwards from the end of the game which I believe he was exposing last off-season. If I were more stat-minded, I'd crunch the numbers on what's the best investment this off season if we had the choice between one starter and two bullpen pieces as compared with fortifying our bullpen. If we could sign a F Cordero, Linebrink, Romero and one more as compared to signing a starter and one bullpen piece, would that earn us more wins? And would that mean that we'd win more one run games and games that we don't score four runs or more, which is what we need to improve upon from this past season?

dc, remember, they hate to give up draft picks.

BTW, Scott Lauber reported on his blog that Schilling said the Phils had not contacted him.

AWH- I hear you on the draft picks. I guess I could make it more of a theoretical discussion than I did with throwing specific names out: would we be better off in tight games by investing in three bullpen pieces rather than one starter and one bullpen piece this off season?

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