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Monday, November 19, 2007

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The Boston Herald is saying the Lowell deal is done. Three years.
http://bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view.bg?articleid=1045795

I'll repeat my comment from the end of the previous thread, based on the liklihood of Lowell not in Phils' pinstripes next season:

Blame ownership for the thousandth time. The Phils are ready to take over the city from the Eagles. They have a solid core of star players and could realistically compete for the World Series for a few years in a row with adding the right pieces: 3B, CF, one more SP. Unfortunately they will be happy to be a good team, not a possible dynasty because they don't want to spend. It is sickening and maddening, especially when one of the owners just made a $2.5B profit.

the blue jays got the steal of the offseason by getting kristen bell. that girl is super hot. veronica mars forever.

make that the As. the jays got ripped off. the joke is ruined. i hate the internet.

brio -

from espn.com

Both sides have been in intense negotiations all Monday. According to ESPN's Peter Gammons, both the Phillies and Dodgers were apparently willing to go to four years, but Lowell wants to remain in Boston.

If Lowell is taking three years, there is no other explanation other than that he wants to be in Boston.

You can't blame the Phillies for not signing Lowell. The Red Sox were his first choice, period.

Can't believe the Mets broke the bank for Luis Castillo, who hasn't been a terribly good player for quite awhile, especially now that he isn't nearly the SB threat he once was.

Agreed. Who can blame him? Or Schilling for that matter. Question is, now that we won't be getting Lowell, we we spend the money for Rowand? My guess is no. If Rowand leaves, I don't care what else Gillick does, it will have to be considered another poor off-season.

Iguchi would been a better choice for a shorter term. Four years to Castillo is too much. No power and getting old. If the Mets lock in with Silva, that will be another deal they'll regret. Mets look like a middle-of-the-pack ballclub.

If Rowand leaves, I don't care what else Gillick does, it will have to be considered another poor off-season.

I know you like being official Beerleaguer Debbie Downer, Patrone, but come on - that's absurd.

And if Castillo can get that kind of money from New York, god bless Iguchi for telling the Phillies thanks but no thanks regarding third base.

Not entirely absurd. The Phillies are making a conscious, tactical decision that a mediocre, injury-risk or .500 starting pitcher (i.e. the caliber of Adam Eaton when he was signed) is of more value to their roster than a center fielder and team leader who won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger last season. What happened with Eaton should be instructive: the goal shouldn't be to stockpiling any and all pitching at any and all cost. If it isn't *good* pitching, then what is the point? Just so you can say, 'oh, we spent on pitching'? It's a question of value to the roster. There's no way anyone can effectively argue that Carlos Silva or Randy Wolf is more valuable to a baseball team than Aaron Rowand.

Jon Garland has been rumored in the past as a possible starter via trade to Philly, has just been swapped to Anaheim for SS Orlando Cabrera.

but that's not the question, RSB. I think the Phillies are better off signing a combination of players along the lines of Jenkins + Koskie + Mahay than they are by signing Rowand and only Rowand. and the first three combined could be several million $ cheaper than Rowand, although until more FA contracts start getting handed out that's just conjecture.

and of course the Phillies would be even better raising payroll a little and signing Rowand plus a reliever and another 3B, but I think that's about as likely as us trading for Santana (i.e., not).

What if we added 'Ol Scotty Rolen? I think an infield of Rolen-Rollins-Utley-Howard would be incredible! Let's let by-gone's be by-gone's and grab Rolen.

"There's no way anyone can effectively argue that Carlos Silva or Randy Wolf is more valuable to a baseball team than Aaron Rowand."

RSB. many, Bill Conlin included, have argued that there are very few pitchers, even the good ones, who are more valuable than a position player who is on the field 160 games a year.


Are we at this stage:

Sign Rowand, trade Vic for pitching?

ae, I don't agree. If they could get all three of those players, maybe it's one thing, but I highly doubt they would spring for more than one of them in addition to a middling FA starter. Again, I don't think the value adds up to what Rowand provides.

The Lowell signing is a little deflating but it makes the Rowand issue that much more prominent. I would be very disappointed if they let him walk at this stage. Rolen has been debunked as an option and I wouldn't want him and his surly attitude here anyway.

They could sign Rowand and trade Vic. Then bring in a guy like Jenkins. That makes sense. But alas it doesn't appear that Gillick will go for it all. His MO over his tenure here has shown that.

Rowand is going--which I'm increasingly sure is for the best--and four more players are coming:

1) A starter, probably a #4 type with maybe some upside
2) A setup or situational reliever
3) A third baseman to either play full-time or split with Dobbs
4) A lefty hitting OF to platoon with Werth

I'd like the third baseman to be Tejada, but that probably only works if the Orioles send some money--which in turn means parting with a good prospect rather than some second-tier guy. If it isn't him, it'll probably be Mike Lamb or Morgan Ensberg.

Geoff Jenkins is the logical OF choice, but I have the feeling he's going to be too expensive. This could be the patented Gillick dumpster dive, which as we know sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

Really no idea about the two pitchers. Silva's not worth what he'll cost. I'd be fine with Wolf, though his fly-ball tendencies don't work particularly well for us.

Jason, I'm one of those posters predicting the Helms renaissance, and although I know it's not a perfect measure, I took a look at his BABIP over the last five years. 2007 saw him drop to .300 from a career high of .394 in 2006. Even if he just reverts to his career average of a BABIP of .338, his BA (disregarding HR) would increase to .275, which wouldn't be a terrible number to have in the lineup.

Now, if his bat speed has slowed, then there would be a good reason for that drop in BABIP, but given that it was our first year watching him play semi-regularly, I'm not convinced that any of us here can make the bat-speed argument based only on observation. If you show that his spray chart has changed over time, then I could be convinced that he is indeed swinging the bat more slowly. Until then, I'll be looking forward to a nice chunk of Helms bombs and the occasional blistering throw to nail the runner at first.

sifl: I would also predict a better season from Helms, but I'm skeptical. He did not have a good showing at the plate last season.

Again, I don't think the value adds up to what Rowand provides.

well, I disagree. I'm not that down on Rowand, but I think we need to have a realistic idea of what Rowand actually provides. the odds of him putting up a nearly .900 OPS again are not very good. as a 3 hitter, he's overmatched. as a 5 hitter, he's acceptable but unspectacular (especially for a team that considers itself the best offense in the NL).

I see Rowand as a reasonably good player who is by no means indispensable. if ownership was willing to expand payroll, I would love to keep him. but realistically, if my choice is between keeping Rowand, but leaving the rest of the roster intact and losing Rowand, but improving 2-4 other areas (and gaining 2 draft picks)--even if those improvements are secondary or tertiary options, I would absolutely take the latter strategy.

going after more players means increasing your risk that your acquisitions fail to deliver, but I think Rowand is very likely to fail to provide the offense many expect.

dalafi - I pretty much agree. However, the Phils may bring in these 4 players (SP, OF, 3B, and RP) but at least of 2 them will be true Value Village type acquistions like Werth, Dobbs, and Alfonseca were last year.

Maybe they pan out but this team is going to be paper-thin again next season with little to no pitching depth whatsoever.

The interesting thing about the Lowell deal is, the Phillies have shown their willingness to spend upwards of 40 million bucks to upgrade 3B, even as they shot down their willingness to do so. So they can't very well cry poor now, can they?

The draft picks for Rowand are completely overrated. Besides the crap shoot that is the MLB draft, the Phils increasingly have only gone after players they now they can sign at market level.

Basically means the Phils are relegated to drafting college players who might be talented but maybe not have the upside of a Hamels.

Not willing to spend a few extra bucks on a guy like Workman this year pretty much signals just how committed the Phils are to building their farm system.

The draft picks for Rowand are completely overrated. Besides the crap shoot that is the MLB draft, the Phils increasingly have only gone after players they now they can sign at market level.

that may be true, but that doesn't make them worthless. if anything, the fact that the Phillies draft poorly and refuse to take risks makes additional high picks even more valuable, since we need to overcome wasted picks on low-ceiling affordable types in the middle rounds.

If Lowell wants to stay in Boston, fine. I'm just sick of listening to Amaro and Gillick tell us who they're NOT going after and that the payroll may increase by a bit. That tells the fans that ownership is not willing to take the steps necessary to be a consistent top-flight team. If they let Rowand walk and end up with a has-been like Wolf or Colon, it'll be a disappointing off-season. Werth is not a 400AB guy, and 3B will be horrible both offensively and defensively. Expect far fewer runs.

I dispute the contention that the Phillies draft poorly.

Between 1996 and 2002 (the last year until very recently that they didn't decimate their own drafts through f/a signings), how many teams got more value from their drafts than Rollins, Wolf, Burrell, Madson, Geary, Myers, Utley, Howard and Hamels?

It's obviously way too soon to tell about the more recent drafts, but they've been run largely by the same crew who picked those nine guys.

If anything, it's painful to think about what the Phillies could have done with those 2003 and 2005 first-rounders they ceded (and no, I don't think they would have picked C.J. Henry with the latter one).

The question of who is more valuable, Rowand or (say) Silva, really depends on which Rowand you get.


Looking at Win Shares, it's a pretty easy question if you get the '04 or '07 Rowand (21, 23). Even his down year of '05, he still produced 19 Win Shares.

Silva, on the other hand, despite being a dependable guy every fifth day, has been only 14, 14, 3, 11.

Lohse: 6, 10, 4, 9.

Wolf: 6, 4, 2, 5.

Colon: 10, 19, 1, 0.

Rowand: 23, 19, 9. 23

Based on this, I think you can make a pretty compelling case that if you have $10-12M to spend, Rowand is a much better investment than any of the starting pitching options.

Now, it's possible these numbers are out of whack.

For example, Rowand unspectacular 2005 (.270/.329/.407) netted him as many WS (19) as Colon had in his Cy Young season! Rowand received a ridiculously high 8 fielding WS that year, which means that even if he hit like Neifi Perez he was more valuable *just for his defense* than Lohse has ever been!

well, poorly was probably the wrong word, but I do think the Phillies powers-that-be draft unwisely, especially when they value signability over talent (even beyond the extreme cases like Porcello). and course there's the Workman fiasco, which just made us look stupid, and our near-complete inability to come up with acceptable role players over the last few years (Bourn just being the exception that proves the rule).

2008 will be deja vu of 2006 with a 7-8-9 black hole if something is not done. On the flip side, at least Jimy Williams taught our pitchers how to bunt............

http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3561232

Ladies and gentlemen, the new manager of YOUR Lancaster Barnstormers: Mr. 5-for-1 himself, Von Hayes.

drafting isn't really the problem for this club -- its a crapshoot for everyone. their first round picks have been pretty good. developing talent, well, that seems to be elusive for the organization. beyond the picks that dejafi mentions, who weere all first or second rounders (Howard was fourth and Madson later), the team hasn't churned out too many above replacement level players at the ML level. guys like ruiz have been rarer, it seems. this was most glaring during the wade years when there was nothing on the farm to compete for spots in the bullpen.

to compensate for this, you have to either spend alot more money (wade) or get better value from the value village, which gillick has done an ok job of. wade's best value move was probably victorino. gillck made few this year that contributed somewhat -- dobbs, durbin's couple good starts, iguchi trade, romero.

at this point, the ML org needs to concentrate on getting the players who will best enable the team to outscore opponents. it could be pitching or it could position players. if it's a rowand-level player vs. randy wolf, it shouldn't be automatic that the pitcher is the better option. it shodul be more based on the market.

that said, the bullpen looks like it could be league average this year. that woudl be an accomplishment in and of itself.

gr--how many teams consistently get even "role players" from their lower-round picks? I hear what you're saying, but I'd much rather get franchise cornerstones out of my high picks (Rollins, Utley, Hamels) and the occasional enormous hit on a mid-round flyer (Howard) than crank out Zagurski or Kevin Sefcik types with regularity.

Role players are fine, but you win with stars. And the Phils have drafted stars over the last decade or so.

i completely agree, dajafi. but if we're getting good return on our high picks, while our farm system is consistantly rated near the bottom, my thinking is, what is it that we can improve? what would get us to the top of the list? more stars? better stars? or more marginal (cheap) talent developed from the mid to late rounds?

don't really know, actually, just asking.

malcolm, you just made my day. the vonderful one, back in the fold. awesome.

Take it for what it is worth considering the source, but Gammon's article on ESPN on the Lowell signing says the Phillies and the Dodgers were willing to go 4 years with Lowell.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3118926

Scott Rolen = no thanks. Bad character guy. He would be a cancer in this clubhouse.
Torii Hunter = Phils' FO needs to pull their head out and pursue this guy.
He's Garry Maddox with a much better bat.
And he wants to play here, as noted on SR950 last week before Jackass McBuzzkill said that he's not someone that the Phils would be interested in pursuing.

Dajafi- you propose the Phils are looking for a #4 starter- that's a lot of cash, how and who do you think it happen/be?

I'm thinking the Phils sign a guy coming off injury as insurance for Eaton. But maybe they really are interested in Kuroda from Japan...I truly believe it's time the Phils starting getting involved in the Eastern World market.

The insurance for Eaton has to come from the scrap piles because the Phils won't be able to spend for it. It will either be someone to flat out challenge or replace Eaton entirely, like Wolf or Colon, or an insurance policy - someone Tim Redding-ish. I don't have a list of pitchers who fit the bill, but there must be some out there.

This season, I'm all about finding cheap veterans who can be had for minimum or even minor league deals. No more of this Rule 5 business or Francisco Rosario. Target the vets, and if you go with unprovens, they should be able to throw strikes, like Justin Germano. Alfonseca did a servicable job for half a season. Guys like that are out there. Guys like Germano are out there ...

Carson, good question and I'm really not sure what the answer will prove to be. There really aren't pitching equivalents to Geoff Jenkins out there. Actually I think Silva and Lohse are the pitching equivalents to Jenkins--but they might be paid more like the pitching versions of Lowell.

What I'd look to do is add a guy who's on the outs with his current employer but has better peripherals than his W/L and ERA would lead you to think--someone like Chris Capuano. But the problem there is that the Phils don't have much to trade.

Still, if there's one thing I have faith in with Gillick, it's that he'll find some way to make the deal. The deal might prove to be helpful (Iguchi, Lohse, Moyer) or disastrous (Garcia), but it'll get made somehow.

What he could do as posted earlier is re-sign Rowand, trade Vic, and then bring a Jenkins or Mench. My gut feeling is based on his track record is he'll bring in not much more than garbage.

Don't get me worng here, I want to be wrong. But to me it seems like he's already made his big splash for the off-season in Lidge.

I know pitching and defense wins championships and Vic will be very good in CF, but in that ballpark, if pitchers don't get K's or ground-outs we've got to hit. The offense cannot afford to go backwards.

One of theings that must be considered is the ability (or lack thereof) of Gillick being able to get the right players, not just buget guys. We the phans all have our opinions and some good plans. Gillick should listen. The team would be better off. I want this team to win now and consistantly but it always seem that the FO is more concearned about butts in the seats.

I'm sorry for my pessimistic attitude but that stuff bothers me. You can't blame a FA for wanting to stay with his team. I mean, Glavine goes back to the Braves and takes a 5 million pay cut. When Gillick says he not gonna upgrade 3B and doesn't make a trade for a guy like Garland, well that ludicrous! And he gets away with that lind of thinking. This team has plenty of cash to spend but won't, just my gut feeling. If Gillick wants to do something he will, but it doesn't look to good right now.

Don't give up hope!!
If the Phils had a substantial 4 year deal on the table with Lowell, then they've basically been sh****ng us about the payroll and the platoon at 3B. Who knows? Maybe they are proceeding in secrecy, waiting for Joe Crede and Mark Prior to be non-tendered and working on deals with Affeldt and Jenkins. (Those are all pick-out-of-a-hat names, not any endorsement; although they might make us better.)

It's not even December yet. If they were gonna go the necessary mile for one guy, they still might be in the hunt for others. )(The news makes me optimistic; bet ya couldn't tell.)

malcolm, gr:
I still remember the summer of '85, I was doing a clinical term in Williamsport, without much access to news, much less games. One day I picked up the newspaper and saw that the Phils had drilled the Mets 26 - 7. Hayes had hit two home runs in the first inning - a solo and a grand slam. The Phils stuck that year; but pasting the Mets is worth it.

(Just looked it up - it was June 11, 1985: Hayes was 3/6 with 4 runs and 6 RBIs, Charles Hudson got the win by giving up "only" seven runs in five innings.)

excuse me
I meant to say: "The Phils *stunk* that year..."

(As if that's some kind of anomaly.)

For kingmyno and others who were puzzled about the Garland-Cabrera trade, stjoehawk had the correct explanation on the last thread. Both are free agents at the end of next season. Cabrera is an upgrade over Uribe at SS and the Sox think have the young pitching to replace Garland. Plus they save $3 million.

The Met’s have yet to inspire me this off-season and I’m on board with Gillick’s moves and lack of moves so far. I’m all for not signing Rowand based on the numbers I’ve read for the guy. I also think the draft picks are valuable, because the Phillies desperately need to replenish the farm system. The more high picks the better the chances of getting players of value.

In the spirit of full discloser I’ve never been a big Rowand fan. I think he’s a nice player but I think he is too inconsistent from year to year to merit a long term deal. I also don’t think it is prudent giving a long term contract too a guy that could have anywhere between 1350 or 6 games left in him based on his all or nothing style.

I’ve killed the team in the past for some of their terrible signings, so I can’t endorse such a short sighted signing now. I see Johnny Damon potential all over Rowand.

The Lowell thing blows my mind as well. Last off-season the Soxs couldn’t give Lowell away. Then he has a freakishly great season at 34, and that was greatly influenced by his home park, and Phans were dying to give him 4 years 12 million. I know we feel the team is close, but let’s keep our wits about us.

When Clout says that the White Sox have the young pitching, he, like Kenny Williams, is assuming that their #5 starter is Gavin Floyd. Take it for what it's worth.

Buster Olney just told Jody Mac on 950 that Charlie Manuel,Gillick & Amaro were on a conference call last night w/ Lowell & offered 4/50mill. Olney said the red Sox increased their offer slightly last night.

If the Lowell offer is true (and I have my doubts), then he must have really did not want to play in Philly. Big difference between 3/37 M vs. 4/50 M.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the new manager of YOUR Lancaster Barnstormers: Mr. 5-for-1 himself, Von Hayes."

Huh. Interesting. I figured with ex-Barnstormers manager Tommy Herr re-applying they'd go that direction. But I think I'm happy that they're not going with what they already know. (Although since Von Hayes has a pretty excellent A and AA managing record that probably made the decision easier.)

dajafi: You mean like Eric Valent and Brad Baisley?

The way to tell if a team has good drafts is to see how many of those draftees are currently in the major leagues. As I recall the Phillies were in the middle of the pack in numbers of draftees now in MLB. I think draft picks are wildly overrated unless they are one of thye top 4 picks or so. I'd rather have a proven vet than a draft pick.

It's official, Mariano Rivera is going back to the Yankees. It just hit the Associated Press wires.

If true - and it may not be - it also shows how little they believe in Dobbs/Helms at third next season.

Not only does it show how little they believe in Helms/Dobbs, it shows us that we should take every public comment that the front office makes with a grain of salt.

Or maybe it means ownership agreed to put up the funds in the wake of Middleton's billions.

If the Front Office is offering Lowell 4 yrs./$50M, then obviously they aren't content with Helms and Dobbs.

Anybody think we make a legitimate offer for Tejada? The remaining free agents are average at best.

Yeah boys, if there's anything good we can take out of the Lowell signing, it's that the front office isn't laying down on their $8-$12M promise. Maybe they are looking to spend to win.

Whatever the case, true offer or not, it shows that Gillick has been lying about 3B all along doesn't it? Now if the money was there for Lowell is it there for Rowand? If so, then sign Rowand, and bring in Jenkins to platoon in RF. Could Vic bring Joe Crede or another 3b-man? Or pitching help?

What boggles my mind is Lowell turned down an extra 12 million or so from the Phils. I guess winning the WS will do that. I can't fault Lowell at all. What I want to know is what will Gillick do now that his true feelings about 3B are known?

If Rollins doesn't take MVP, I'm FLIPPING JETTAS! Who's WITH ME???

i really think the team is willing to spend the big bucks. they're just unwilling to say it publicly. they want to avoid being tied down by fan demand/media pressure to spend the money on players they don't think are worth it... if they said they were willing to spend another $30 million (arbitrary figure) then wouldn't we all be demanding that they sign lowell and rowand and maybe even cordero too? i really think they're covering their arses because the reality of the situation is that a team can't guarantee the signability of a player, no matter how much money they offer. case in point: Mike Lowell. (assuming of course the rumors are true about the contract offer)

baseball is a tough business. you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. and i think Gillick is just trying to walk the highwire this off-season.

DPatrone: why do you feel you are entitled to be told by Phillies management exactly what their plans are? Do you think broadcasting that information helps them in negotiations?
They probably view shoring up 3rd base as a more important than adding an OF, likely for the defensive weight of the positions, and the scarcity of credible ML 3Bmen.
And if the front office starts basing their decisions off of the whims of the fans, even those as reasonable as most on Beerleaguer, then they should all be fired.

Jason, I hope you are right (as Eskin said), and I believe that the two are tied together. I believe that Gillick's been given the green light to improve 3B by spending more, but Gillick is holding that fact back.

I also take the Lowell buzz as some indication that FO is playing their cards close to the vest. Cube, I think you nailed it. They aren't going out and blindly spending $ in a weak market and don't want expectations raised along thos lines, but it seems like there are some indications that if they feel the right situation is out there, they will move off dead center.

AE, good points re: how to improve the team w/o wrecking the budget if that's what is destined to happen. Emotionally, I tend to side with Patrone and some of the others on their feelings about management being so close and settling for a good team rather than a great one. However, I learn a little every day on this site.

Two quick points:

1) Gammons and Olney reported on the Phillies being all over Lowell. Where was the Philly media on this? Either the national guys are fabricating or the local press is slacking. Something's way off one way or the other.

2) Dajafi asserts that "Role players are fine, but you win with stars." I submit strong disagreement. Stars are nice, but you win with depth. Baseball rewards teams that produce in quantity, not just highly selective quality.

Whatever the case, I'd bet Gillick denies any deals offered. He's not showing his hand at all, no matter what it is, if it's there at all.

That said, I'll go with Buster and Peter over Zolecki and Hayes (sorry, local guys, but they've been doing it for years), EVEN THOUGH Gillick was quoted to deny ESPN's credibility.

In fact, that quote itself is very telling considering it WAS Buster and Peter who leaked the offer.

Also, RSB, dajafi: I'm in the middle. It takes a team effort to win the World Series, but you need that high talent somewhere. The '07 Sox had Ortiz/Ramirez/Beckett, the '06 Cards had Pujols/Carpenter, the '05 White Sox had Buehrle/Konerko.

Put it this way, the Phils HAVE the stars in place. They need the players around them. They were close last year, but need a few more smaller parts. So this year, the need for role players is tremendous. They don't necessarily need a Tejada/Willis; they need players who will overachieve a little. Every championship team is full of overachievers.

RSB the Local guys, each and every one of them, had to write about McNabb and the Eagles. What else do you expect?

RSB, the local guys did ask the team- including Gillick- Zo's got it on his blog. Gillick shot him down by asking why the priorites would change. When the questioner suggests that Middleton's money could have changed things, Gillick says the priority is still pitching, and the preference is starting to relief.

How much is Tori Hunter asking for and how many years? I keep reading that Rowand is a cheaper option then Hunter or Jones so what do they want? Does Rowand really expect 6yrs 84 Mil?

RSB:I agree on your criticism of the local media. Olney said he was shocked that Gillick dismissed his reports. He said the info came from very solid sources & he checked again to make sure he was correct.
Olney mentioned that Phillies management asked Lowell's camp to contact them once they were ready to make a decision. Olney said the Phills offer last night was their first to Lowell. I'm guessing the Phills didn't want Lowell to use them to just drive his price up to the Sox.

Brian G~

Being out of state, I want a good idea of what this team is doing. I'm not saying that Gillick should tip his hand at anything, but if they really wanted Lowell they should have made the offer a week ago instead of saying that they weren't interested. Same thing with Rowand, He's said he would return "if things were right". Well I say to that, PG find out if you can make it right and if you can do it, do it. If you can't then let the phans know at least that you tried. You see, by the time the Phils are done posturing, all of the decent players are gone. Do I think Loshe is worth a $40 million dollar contract? No. Probably no one else does either. But I'd rather hear that they're at least trying to bring him back if they are, than hear that thy're thinking about Jon Lieber.

Let me ask you something. Were you an adult the last time the Phils made the playoffs? I was 22 when the Phils won the Series in '80. I was a season ticket from '81 through '88 . Since '80 they made the playoffs I believe 4 times. Count 'em 4. I, like a lot of phans are old school and I'm gettin' old waiting. A lot of us are.

Now I'm not suggesting that they should go out and spend 200 million but I don't want to read about quiet weekends for the Phils on a blog. I want them to go out and do what it takes to put a lead-pipe-cinch (to quote the great Whitey Ashburn)playoff team on the field and I don't want to hear any excuses. Everyone should feel that way, don't you agree?

If it's true that the Phillies made that offer to Lowell, why are they so determined not to have anyone know about it? What the hell is it with this organization and its culture of deception and secrecy? The scenario here is hardly anomalous but it's bizarre all the same.

Probably right kells, Phils didn't want Lowell to use them. That's a reason why PG doesn't run around saying "guess what everyone, we're going to make an offer to Lowell b/c we really need a 3B!!!"

B's Beard~

You're right, PG's not gonna say that and shouldn't. But he shouldn't think the phans are stupid enough to believe that the current 3B tandem is good enough. Now that Lowell is gone, I wonder if Gillick has a plan B. Garland and Crede would have looked nice in Phils' uniforms.

I'll go out on a limb and say Rowand returns now that he knows they're willing to spend and that Vic gets traded. If not then we've got major holes in RF & 3B.

I don't think the Phillies' motivation is that unreasonable. if they make it known that they have cash that they're willing to spend, media/fans are going to put enormous pressure on them to spend it--on what, it doesn't matter.

if I were a GM in Philadelphia (or NY or Boston, for that matter; any city with extremely high pressure fans & media), I would keep stuff like available cash, FA targets, etc. as quiet as absolutely possible. imagine if Phillies' management had made a "many millions" comment like Braves management did recently--there would be riots in the streets if they didn't spend every last dime, even if it means handing out multiyear deals to the absolute dregs of the FA class.

and of course, keeping your targets and spendable cash quiet is going to help you in negotiations and the like with agents.

I don't think I can imagine any possible situation where Victorino is traded. it would turn the one position in the entire lineup where we could have decent depth into a major liability.

I agree with ae. I can't see any future transaction that includes Victorino. I think the FO made a decision that of all the outfielders, Bourn was the most expendable. The result yielded a new closer (Lidge) and the return of Myers to the starting rotation.

Moving Victorino after already trading Bourn leaves you with Burrell and Werth since Rowand is no guarantee to return. And if the FO isn't willing to break the bank on Rowand, I hardly imagine they are eager to throw big bucks at Hunter, Jones, or Cameron.

How do we know that the Phils didn't just float out this offer knowing he was already heading back to Boston ? It would fit their M.O.

From Lauber's Blog:

"'The only thing I can tell you is we've had contact with Lowell's representatives,' Amaro said."

Alright, it's over, we didn't get Lowell, so wht the secrecy now?

Let me get this straight - the Phils aren't going to disclose that they made a very reasonable and competitive offer to Lowell after the fact?

Not only does this fail the "common sense" PR test but it is exactly the opposite of what Phils' management has done the past 10 years when they are unable to sign a premier FA.

I really don't care about whether they were honest or any other details.

we wanted schilling and lowell, and now we have neither. that disappoints me...pure and simple.

Something stinks about this "Lowell" offer by the Phils that was supposedly 4 yr/$50 M deal. My bet is that somebody here isn't telling the entire truth and that Olney got bogus information or disinformation.

elliott - I understand but it is important because it relates to how this team fundamentally operates. If the Lowell offer at 4 yr/$50 M was genuine, then they absolutely did try to make a move to acquire a player to improve to their chances at winning a championship in place of some additional profits this season.

I think the fans would have a very different perspective of a team that tried to improve vs. one that didn't make any substantial effort. Substance is very important - particularly in an industry driven by popular opinion.

Imagine a conference call with Gillick, Manuel, and Amaro - Curly, Moe, and Larry immediately come to mind.

I guess Amaro will be signed to the GM league minimum which is where they discovered this new bounty of cash.

Mike H: "When Clout says that the White Sox have the young pitching, he, like Kenny Williams, is assuming that their #5 starter is Gavin Floyd."

Here is what I wrote, "Cabrera is an upgrade over Uribe at SS and the Sox think have the young pitching to replace Garland."

Note the words "the Sox think." Not "I think." I'm not much impressed by Floyd so far, but he's too young to give up on. I also think the Sox are not done and can trade Crede and Uribe for a starting pitcher or two. In any event, I don't think it's a bad trade at all for the Sox, who weren't planning to re-sign Garland.

MG: There is no question that someone is lying on the Lowell deal. It could be the sources who speak to Gammons and Olney or it could be the Phillies. Given their respective track records, which would you choose?

clout - Let's play conspiracy theory. Could it be the same source that gave the "scoop" to Gammons and Olney was also a Phils' employee feeding them bogus info on purpose?
And why didn't Stark report on this story for ESPN?

Is this why the local guys didn't report on the Lowell story because they knew the Phils' source was bogus or because the Phils didn't want to try and deceive the local media guys who would be more capable and interested in figuring out if this was a bogus story?

I do think there is some really bogus about the supposed "4 yr/50 M deal" the Phils offered to Lowell. It's really funny because I was listening to WEEI last week at work. Sean McAdam said that the supposed real issue with the Sox signing Lowell was that Epstein and the Sox didn't want to grant Lowell a guaranteed 4th year.

For as much money as the Sox have spent recently, they have held pretty fast in their negotations with their own players. The Sox weren't willing to give Damon an additional year nor Pedro. Both guys left as a result. Now Lowell decides to buck the trend and stay in Boston?

The way I see it there are two angles on this:

1. Lowell's people lied to Olney and Gammons
2. Someone in the Phils' organization lied to Olney and Gammons

Scenario 2 makes a bunch more sense than Scenario 1. The only real issue in my mind is if this was a purposeful disinformation campaign by Monty or just someone spouting in the front office.

I think Olney gets his stuff from the agent. I believe we made the offer, but we probably knew it would not be accepted.

On Sportscenter they said Lowell considered the Phillies offer for about an hour and was leaning towards taking it, but then took the Sox deal. So, I would lean towards the they made him a respectable offer side of things. Of course, they think saving face is pretending they didn't make an offer and saying they're OK with what they have.

I'd much rather they come out and just say that Lowell turned down a damn good offer from them.

From espn.com:

According to Olney, the Phillies on Sunday night engaged the free-agent third baseman in a conference call, where the framework of a four-year, $50 million deal was discussed. After Lowell spoke with general manager Pat Gillick, assistant GM Ruben Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel, there was a period of about an hour or so where it looked like Lowell was going to sign with the Phillies. The offer would have been formalized if Lowell had agreed to the deal.

Time to find out if Rollins is MVP or not. An ESPN poll for voters has Holliday winning by a great advantage.

Yesterday, in an under the radar move, the In a curious move, Phillies purchased the contract of 2B Brad Harman from Single A Clearwater yesterday.

Harman, a 21 year old Australian, hit .281 at Clearwater last season. I'm not much for extrapolating ML stats, but he K'd 105 times in 448 AB last year with little power, and doesn't appear to be much of a prospect.

Has anybody seen him play?

"Yesterday, in a curious move tat flew under the radar"

Also, I was wrong about Harman's age: he turned 22 yesterday.

It was to protect him from the rule 5 draft, but yeah, he doesnt seem to be much of a prospect.

Harman's contract was most likely purchased to protect him from Rule 5, as I think the deadline for that was this week.

IIRC phuturephillies reported some time ago that Harman had a death in the family early last year and was pretty distracted from baseball. his second half numbers, I believe, were much stronger.

Anyone know of a decent website with a list of the Rule 5 elgible players this year?

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