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Thursday, November 08, 2007


I think this is a solid move. Lidge is as good a gamble as any in this market. Better to get good talent that's struggling than settle for marginal players like Lohse. Bourn is still no sure thing and at times he looked overmatched. I think the Phils will have to acquire one more outfielder (or resign Rowand). Perhaps they'll move Victorino to CF and pursue a corner guy.

As for the Astros, I guess they're moving Hunter Pence to RF. He looks pretty solid and they have a young but promising outfield.

If Myers is rotation-bound again, I hope we're not done.

Still think we need:
- One more reliever (not sold completely on Lidge as a closer again).
- A LOOGY (let's go with Romero).
- A No. 4 or 5 starter (in case Eaton is Eaton again; contingency, etc.).
- Offense. Can't go into 2008 with Burrell/Victorino/Werth/Roberson. Absolutely can't.

Posted by: Malcolm | Thursday, November 08, 2007 at 12:15 AM

I originally wanted Myers to go back to the rotation, as he represented the most fool-proof plan for the rotation (Schill was a question mark; the market stinks). But that was if we went hard after Cordero.

Lidge is probably No. 2 on the closer market because of his history, but I'm just not completely sold on Myers in the rotation. Not yet. I need more confidence.

OK, count me as being semi-impressed. Basically, this trade was Lidge for Bourn and Geary.

I'll be the first to say it. Geary will be missed. he was overworked in '06, and it showed in '07. I look for him to return to his '05 - '06 form. I predict there will be some Beerleaguers bemoaning the fact that he went to Houston.

Lidge, as we know, can be unhittable or very mortal. Hopefully, the Phils will get the unhittable version in 2008.

The interesting thing is that it really didn't take a lot of scouting on the Phils part to do this deal. They basically got known quantities in Lidge and Bruntlett.

I other words, it was impossible for their scout to screw this one up.

"it was impossible for their scouts to screw this up."

I really liked Myers as a closer, but for the reasons mentioned by Jason, the move makes sense. I will miss Bourn, but would much rather still have Shane.

On paper, at least, a good deal.

I'll be the first to say this as well:

Let's hope Ed Wade didn't do a reverse of the Abreu/Stocker trade.

If Lidge flames out, and Bourn gets on base, scores 100 runs, ateals 50 bags, and Geary returns to '05 - '06 form, there will be a lot of howling in Philadelphia.

The upgrade from "mystery starter #5" to Myers dwarfs every other consideration here. Unless Lidge is as toasted as Freddy Garcia turned out to be--and I'm pretty certain he's not--this was a slick move. Kudos to Gillick, and as Jason says, the other nice piece of this is that we addressed our biggest need at a much cheaper cost than I'd expected. Now, whether they re-sign Rowand or make a deal for Tejada--whom I think has a lot left in the tank and is no worse than even money to out-hit Lowell next year--they've got the dollars for one more big move plus two smaller ones (another reliever and a fourth OF, say).

Given what we know about Lidge, Bourn and Costanzo, this was a damn good deal. Bourn could become an elite CF, and Costanzo could learn plate discipline. But they probably (in Costanzo's case, almost definitely) won't. Nice move and worth the risk. Now let's resign Aaron!!!!

With Myers in the rotation, I still think we should go after Kuroda (if we ever were going after him) or another starter. We don't have much if anything to trade, but we do have money to spend, even if we resign Rowand. Obviously, there's nobody worth spending on among the FA starters so Kuroda is among the better options. The ownership said we might increase the payroll a little so another starter isn't necessarilly that unrealistic.

Regarding Eaton, I say plan around him like he doesn't exist and deal with him when we have to.

Good move. Re-sign Rowand and Romero (or get Lowell if Rowand splits), and I am officially excited about this team heading into next year.

Check out the reaction on MetsBlog:

A few guys are strutting, saying Lidge is a head case who could blow up in our faces (which is a real possibility), but most fans are genuinely concerned and think we completely flattened the Mets with this deal.

with Bourn gone does this clear the way for Greg Golson to take his spot as defensive sub and pinch runner?

The Phillies already missed Geary last year, when he was in the minors half the season and ineffective for another quarter of it.

This has to be deflating if you're an Astros fan. One minute, they're talking about initiating discussion with Aaron Rowand, then next minute the new GM is trading for draft picks he made with his old team. I think Michael Bourn has a chance to be a good player, but he's going to struggle against lefties for awhile - and I doubt he's going to get many season-ticket holders all that excited.

I would love to see Kuroda here and not worry about Adam Eaton the rest of the winter. They should set their sites on World Series and champions don't hand over spots in their rotations to Adam Eaton. Let Eaton become fallback plan A.

I would advise an "if it ain't broke, break it" strategy and go after a different bat than Rowand, but I have no strong opinion either way. However, all reports say his leadership is absolutely essential for this club ...

At least I don't have to see Costanzo as main winter league feature anymore.

it was lee thomas who pulled off abreu for stocker...

interesting coincidence that we got lidge after getting wagner from the stros' 4 years ago...

i am very happy about this at the moment.

Just to bring in a glass half-empty perspective, if Lidge struggles in the closer role, as he has the past couple years, what will we do? Yank Myers again, promote Flash? And who exactly are our setup men next season?

Tray hopefully this wasn't the last move for the bullpen this offseason, so we shouldn't worry about that now.

does anyone think trading bourn means gillick is planning to at least make a competitive offer to aaron?

this is a bit off the pitching topic, but has anyone heard anything about cory koskie for third, i heard he's back for this season and he put up decent numbers before getting hurt, should come cheap.

and back to pitching...what about 1 of the japanese closers also, would make a nice setup/backup or taking another 1yr on good old randy wolf, he is coming off an injury and can handle CBP, low risk high reward value village sounding to me

Agreed, ZT, but there are very few good free agent relievers, and I don't know how many quality setup men are for sale. Though maybe Gillick's talks with Baltimore were actually in reference to Chris Ray or Chad Bradford, not Tejada.

we can dream, but can gillick be trying for erik bedard?

imagine that rotation, hamels, myers, bedard, kendrick, moyer

absolute nasty

yeaaaaa boyeeeeeeee!

It's great to see that we're making moves--and making them early. I'm really excited as this solves issues with bullpen and the rotation. Myers was a good closer
though he's much more valuable in the rotation. So the rotation now looks:

Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Moyer, Eaton

It would be great to re-sign Lohse and figure out starter issues afterward. You can't ever have too much depth there; we all found that out unfortunately/ironically over the course of this year.

I like the action, now let's see some more.
If we don't re-sign Rowand, we absolutely need to fill that void by improving 3B (fingers crossed for Lowell). The offense can't really be replaced anywhere else.

What's our next move??


Gillick called Myers to inform him of the trade and the role change shortly before announcing the trade tonight.

"I think he was disappointed from the standpoint he wanted to stay at the back end of the bullpen," Gillick said. "But he realized what this does for us from a team standpoint."

Myers was playing an NFL video game when he took a call from a reporter moments after the trade went down.

"Pat asked me how I felt about it and I said I'd do whatever was best for the team," Myers said from Jacksonville, Fla. "It's a little disappointing because I felt closing was good for me. But the team has other needs and I can do both. I'm not surprised. You could read between the lines."

(cross posted at

This is an absolutely fantastic trade for the Phillies. Bourn is never going to amount to anything significant as a major leaguer. He's your classic speed guy with no power, a below average hitter that will play good defense and can steal bases. While I think Geary will bounce back from last year, 2006 was a fluke as well. He's a 4.50 ERA reliever. Costanzo has yet to show an ability to hit at any level and I'd be very surprised if he ever becomes an impact player as well.

Lidge is a top tier closer and is the classic needs-a-change-of-scenery guy. I expect he'll be just as good of a closer as Myers was or would be. Even more importantly, this move means Myers will be in the rotation. He has far more value there. Bruntlett is our new (f)utility infielder. No complaints there, I suppose.

Right now the Phillies rotation looks like:

with Lidge, Gordon, Madson out of the pen.

That looks pretty solid to me. They could certainly use another starter, as I think it's a good chance Kendrick falls back down to earth (or worse) or that Eaton repeats 2006. The bullpen I think can be filled out with internal candidates or cheap pickups. Zagurski could be back and I'd really like the Phillies to give Yoel Hernandez a shot.

Perhaps even more importantly, the Phillies still have money to sign free agents. They need a third baseman or right fielder. The bargain route would be Brad Wilkerson or Geoff Jenkins to platoon with Jayson Werth, both of whom wouldn't cost draft picks. There aren't really any reasonable options at 3B. Lowell is going to get paid way, way more than he deserves. I think the most reasonable top tier free agents for the Phillies would be Andruw Jones, Milton Bradley, or even... Barry Bonds*?

*Bonds will almost certainly be signed for less than he's worth, since many teams won't want him. I certainly don't like him as a person, but he's a damn good baseball player. The Bonds' circus in Philadelphia would be annoying and the prospect of a Burrell/Bonds corner outfield is scary. That said, I'd probably still take him.

Another factor that I just thought of is the draft pick repercussions. If Lidge turns in a good year this year, he should be a type A free agent. If you factor in the fact that there's a good chance the Phillies get a bonus round 1 pick a year from now, this deal looks even better.

I don't think we could possibly have what it takes to get Bedard. Baltimore doesn't strike me as a hard bargainer, but someone would have to be willing to give up more than Carrasco and Outman, or whatever else we have to offer.

I've gotta say I hate this deal. Lidge has not exactly been consistent and Bourn could turn into an outstanding everyday player. I like the fact that they sured up the rotation, but I just see the outcome being Houston with a solid starting centerfielder three years from now and the Phillies holding nothing. Here's to hoping I'm really wrong.

Great trade. Maybe Gillick has been reading all my posts about moving Myers back to the rotation.

First, let me say I like this deal. Gillick has to be applauded here. As you know, I've never liked Bourn, I just don't think he's an everyday ML hitter.

Secondly, Gillick finds a starter AND upgrades the 'pen.

Third, What this tells me is this: Gillick did not tip his hand here and I think now he will make an effort to re-sign Rowand and keep Vic in RF. And it sounds like he was posturing about 3B. Constanzo was regarded in some circles to be the 3Bman of the near future. Now that won't happen and PG has to look at that position for '09 and beyond, though he himself won't be here.

How could you hate this deal?!?

You are an idiot. We're playing to win it all now, not in three years, and we got a proven closer in Lidge for a speedy-defensive-platoon guy in Bourn. We already have a more proven guy in Victorino who is still developing and slugging with more consistency.

Not to mention, Myers is back in the rotation where he is certainly more valuable.

Also, we didnt spend any money on this deal, which allows for more free agent spending (say...rowand? romero? lowell? tejada? lohse? garland? the list goes on).

Baseball Prospectus doesn't really like the deal. Personally I think they are over valuing Bourn and Costanzo.

Its a good deal in my book. The Phils have needs that are being addressed. Can't argue too much with that.

BP doesn't consider that the Phillies would have kept Myers as a closer should no other RP come along (Cordero or Rivera). That alone, despite the fact that it should have been done stat-wise, makes this more valuable to the Phillies than at first glance

I'm beginnin' to like this Ed Wade fella.

Great deal. The Phillies shouldn't be done in the Hot Stove league, but this is a great start.

Clay Harris is a 3rd baseman! Good power, are range. This might be our future?

A few guys are strutting, saying Lidge is a head case who could blow up in our faces (which is a real possibility)

and the Mets certainly know something about head case closers who blow up in their faces

I just read the Baseball Prospectus article. That is why stat guys get a bad rap. The projections on Costanzo are crazy. That kid is never going to reach the majors. Let alone be a Steve Buechele type of player. This was a very good deal for the Phils. Don't have to overpay for a FA closer and improve the pen.

Astros must be dumping salary. That's the only reason I can think they'd make this deal. Lidge obviously had an injury plagued season but, at 31, should bounce back nicely. Very nicely.

I don't see Bourn ever being a superstar. He always reminded me a bit of Steve Jeltz. Jeltz was a much heralded speedster who never produced much at the major league level. Bourn is better but I don't believe he's ticketed for superstardom.

Could they really be planning to resign Rowand?

Nice pic to Lidge- it's the same one I used on my blog for today.

I'm good with this trade- Here's my take:In: Closer- Brad Lidge and Utility Infielder Eric Bruntlett. Lidge is a fireballer with closer tenacity, and is a welcomed addition to a lackluster bullpen. He brings with him 123 saves, 561 k's in only 401 ip, 3.30 era, and sparkling 1.20 whip. He's had some ups and downs over the past 2 seasons, but overall he's a tremendous reliever. Eric Bruntlett takes the place of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (aka No-Hit Nunez) as the primary backup at SS and 2nd with the glove to handle 3rd in late innings in replace of Dobbs/Helms. Brunt has even toiled some innings at all 3 outfield positions...added bonus in case of emergency. He's a .250 career hitter with a .687 OPS, but remember this is an upgrade.

Out: Michael Bourn, Gas Can Geary, and Mike Costanzo. I'll miss Bourn and his lightning quick speed on the basepaths, but at the expense of acquiring a closer I'm alright with his absence from the team next season. Gas Can has a classic nickname, but lets not forget how he got that infamous moniker. Thirdbase "prospect" Mike Costanzo is a strikeout and error making machine and in my opinion only possesses MLB power- nothing else, so I'm not too sad to see him go.

Outcome: I like this trade because the report is that Brett "the Hit Man" Myers is going back to the rotation where I feel he should have been the entire time. That now gives us a starting 5 of Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Moyer, and Eaton- I'll take that. Lidge is a decent closer, and Bruntlett will serve his purpose in the utility role. The departure of Bourn and most likely on his heels Aaron Rowand will leave us with Jayson Werth as the starting RF, and that scares me. Hopefully Gillick goes and signs a 3rd baseman to allow Dobbs to platoon with Werth or a quality 4th outfielder type because we all know Burrell needs a breather and Werth hasn't shown he can play every day yet. Still need to get some more relief help though..

Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Brew Crew may have a surplus of starters and are entertaining offers for RHSP Dave Bush (a Conestoga HS (Berwyn, PA) grad), and LHSP Chris Capuano.

Any BeerLeaguer interest in either of them?

Personally, I think Bush would love to pitch in Philly as he grew up a Phils fan (I met his Dad once who sid so), and IMO he would be a significant upgrade from Eaton's '07.

Besides, Eaton reportedly had an MRI in Seattle, and we don't know if he's even going to be healthy.

In reference to the scouts not being able to screw this up, I think they probably did quite a bit of scouting on Lidge during the regular season last year. There was a lot of bantering around that the Phillies were very interested in trading for Lidge at the deadline last season. I imagine the scouts had a lot of info on him from their scouting then, and felt he had the stuff to be a closer.

I love this move. I was one of the staunch "Myers as the closer" supporters, but that was mostly because he was much better at that than anyone else that the Phils had. That is not the case at this point. I actually think Myers future in the MLB (Although not immediate future) is as a closer. I would like Rowand to be resigned, but if not, I would like to see an attempt to get Rocco Baldelli. I know he has been injured quite a bit, but he has tremendous upside. The guy could hit 30 HR in the short porch. I think that his overall upside (Barring injury; something that Rowand is certainly not immune to) is higher than Rowand. All that aside, if Rowand is retainable, I would like to see that. If he is not, I'm strongly in favor of making a run for Baldelli.

Props to Pat Gillick on this one! A very good trade with the Phils having an outfield surplus! I hate to see Bourn go, but you have to give to get. Lidge is an upgrade over Myers in the pen, plus having Myers back in the rotation can only a good thing, at least in my opinion. Brunlett is also a nice upgrade over Nunez. I don't think anyone will miss Geary and with the fall Constanzo is haing I would be surprised if he is in Houston anytime soon. That being said, the Phils still should sign another starter along with two or three bullpen guys. Maybe they can even work out another trade for either Tejada or Crede. Both of their stocks are dropping, so it may be a good time to get something done! Again, a nice job by Gillick on getting something done early!

Lost in all this is that Wade's first major move is with the team that fired him.

Needless to say Amaro's relationship with Wade was a catalyst in making this happen not that I am an Amaro-supporter.

Great move and hopefully there are more to follow.

Via Crasnick, ESPN:

"In the hotel lobby at the general managers meetings, the initial take on this trade was generally pro-Phillies. Gillick still wants to upgrade the rotation of Hamels, Myers, Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer and Adam Eaton, and the Phils would like to re-sign free agent reliever J.C. Romero. But they know a closer of Lidge's caliber simply wouldn't have been available if not for those blots on his resume."

Good to know they're not done with the rotation, but does this mean they're done with the pen? I really hope not...

What about Takahiro Arai to play 3B? Iwamura, when healthy, did well for the Rays last year, Arai's bat seems to be a bit heavier (25-30 HR, 95+ RBI).

A couple of new thoughts:

-What type of season should we expect from Myers? A sub-4 ERA? A return to being one of the top 25 starters in the league? I'm concerned about his conditioning. He'll need to start preparing soon for 200+ innings instead of the 70 he'd have as closer.

-Arai? Probably a no for me. He plays in a tiny park so his power numbers must be taken with a grain of salt. Arai is Hiroshima's best-selling jersey for sure.

-I'm excited for the rest of the offseason. I definitely think they'll make a nice fat bid for Kuroda. They can't depend on Eaton.

-Should we be concerned over Lidge's surgery? Just like Garcia, the Phillies approved the deal after looking at medical records only, not a personal exam.

I really liked the trade after seeing Lidge's numbers from last year. I thought he had a horrible year (from his being yanked as closer) and that he hadn't ever recovered from his playoff woes a couple years back. But even the Baseball Prospectus article lauds his 3.15 equivalent ERA and 11.8 Ks / 9 IP. He's our closer, a clear upgrade for a very shaky bullpen, and it paves the way for Myers to return to the rotation, where he will have more value to the team due to the significantly higher innings he'll provide, as long as he's at least a little better than league average (which he always has been in his career).

As for the players we gave up, I don't know much about Costanzo, but I don't remember reading anywhere about him being the answer to our 3b problems, so despite Prospectus' lukewarm raves of him, I'm not overly concerned that he'll turn into even Steve Buechele any day soon. As for Bourn, he's at best a great fielder/runner/below average hitter who will probably spend the bulk of his career as a 4th OF. He would have been a decent stopgap if we don't re-sign Rowand, but his loss is not even remotely something to lament.

I really think Gillick did a good job here. If this pushes the team into re-signing Rowand - or results in a better OF than Burrell/Bourn/Victorino - then this is a major win. The fact that Ed Wade is on the other end of the trade - a man who spent nearly a decade here without making any moves that got us into the playoffs - makes me feel like it's a definite win and Bourn and Costanzo will turn into all the other wastes of space Wade traded for over the years.

could someone explain to me why constanzo is not a top prospect? I look at his numbers and my immediate reaction is that their impressive. can someone fill me in? thanks.

Not a particularly good defender. No command over the strike zone. Doesn't hit left-handed pitching. Too old to be this raw. Don't worry about him.

I like the trade, as I said on the earlier thread, but I am very suspicious that Gillick has now wrapped it up except for re-signing Romero.

The decision to move Myers back to the rotation means two things: 1. No Japanese player will be signed, no significant starter added to replace Eaton and, even scarier 2. Lidge is now the closer despite two years of failure in that role. Please compare his performance as closer over the past 2 years to his performance as setup man. It's night and day. He is living testament to the argument that some pitchers don't have the mental makeup to be closers, no matter how good their stuff.

If the only additional move is re-signing Romero and Lidge is made closer, this team won't win 85 games next year.

Clout: I hope not.

jeremY: I must say, yours is the most unintentionally hilarious post I've seen on here in awhile!!!

The B-Pro article was interesting, but I think missed the context of the trade.

I actually *do* think Costanzo could be an everyday 3B, and Bourn could be around an average CF, but neither one will be able to help the Phillies in the next few years (Costanzo because he is too young, Bourn because he is blocked by Vic).

The Phils have a chance to win now, and Lidge is by far the best player in this deal for '08. Also, as Silver points out, he is much cheaper than the alternatives, doesn't involve locking anyone up long-term, and if he does leave, nets the Phils a #1 draft pick.

I think that Lidge will be every bit as effective as Myers was in 2007; hopefully more so.

I never saw Bourn as an everyday OF. Add in the fact that most never really saw Vic as an everyday OF and you could have had a pretty volatile lineup every day (especially if PB gets into one of his patented slumps). I think that Rowand needs to be the next priority.

I'm cracking up at all of the posts about how Myers was meant to be a starter all along. Combing through the archives, any time anyone entertained the notion of moving him back to the rotation, it was met with a steady chorus of "The Front Office says he's STAYING in the 'pen." All of a sudden, he's a top tier starter again??? He may need a short adjustment period and I hope that they string him out earlier in Spring Training than they would with most starters. I think he'll be okay (although I was getting used to the idea of Weitzel at the back end of the rotation), but I don't see 2006 Brett toeing the mound early in 2008.

You're right clout, Lidge was just sick last year in the set-up role, average as closer.

Obviously, it's a mental issue, so it may help to get him out of Houston (though Philly isn't the best place to come!).

I don't think you can categorically state that he doesn't have the mental makeup, however, when he was one of the top closers in the game in '04 and '05.

And moving Myers to the rotation has *nothing* to do with replacing Eaton. THe question is whether you get Myers or some mid-level Suppan type for 5/50.

"Weitzel at the back end of the Rotation?"

J. did you finally develop that slider?

Good deal on the whole. I don't see Bruntlett as an offensive upgrade on Nunez (compare their numbers), but hopefully Charlie will limit his AB's.

Obviously getting Myers back into the rotation-adding a strong starter with no expense-is the coup here. Losing Geary is a bummer-if heart ever trups talent, it does for him. But in essence the Phils gave up the possibility that Bourn will become a good keadoff guy (50-50) for a closer who's probably no more of a crap shoot than anybody this side of Mariano Rivera, and a revitalized rotation.

Id' rather see te team go for Andruw Jones (same age, more power, similar defense at this stage of his career) than look to re-sign Rowand, but i don't see it happening.

A lot will end up depending on how good Jayson Werth really is.

I'm gonna have to stop saying bad things about Pat Gillick. For a while. Unless he thinks he's done now.

He used the "upside potential" (that 5% of being half-decent) of Costanzo very nicely.

The Astros should be happy with Bourn. I think we should be happier with Lidge and Myers as the #2 starter.

Imagine a rotation of Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Kendrick, Kuroda. The only rotation that would rival that in terms of different looks would be Boston.

Let the 6th-inning Eaton era begin Pat!

I would love to see it Jason. I won't insist on the *Eaton will be in the rotation* chant because we all saw what happened when people tried to stifle the Myers discussion.

I would love to see us have an $8M swingman, if it meant that rotation above, but I wouldn't bet on it.

The really interesting question is that we should have money to sign one 10-15M longterm contract, so there will be more than just Romero. I agree with clout that the deal is useless unless the money saved by putting Myers in the rotation is used elswhere.

THe possibilities: Kuroda/Lowell/Rowand/Jones/A-Rod

Great move by the Phils on paper:
- Acquired RP with closer potential
- Can move Myers back to the rotation, where he belongs
- Addressed utility infielder concern in Bruntlett
The intriguing thing about this deal is that they included their "3B of the future" in Costanzo. Whether he's a prospect or not is debatable, but this says to me that the Phils intend on bringing someone in this offseason to play 3B for 3+ years while they draft/develop another 3B prospect.

As much as I would like to believe that this move means that Gillick will pursue a 3B, I think it is equally as likely that he goes with Helms/Dobbs platoon. I think that he is expecting Helms to rebound this year, and maybe it will happen. Most of us thought that he would be decent with the bat last year, but that was not the case. Hopefully he can rebound this year regardless if that is as the starting 3B or as a bench guy.

"Not a particularly good defender. No command over the strike zone. Doesn't hit left-handed pitching. Too old to be this raw. Don't worry about him."

You do realize what former minor-leaguer this sounds like, right? (hint: he won the MVP 2 years ago)

Tartan, when Costanzo hits 48 HR over three levels at age 24, then I'll consider the comparison.

yeah, comparing Costanzo to Howard is priceless. and as kdon implied but didn't specifically say, one of those three levels Howard was playing at was THE MAJOR LEAGUES. Costanzo, on the other hand, can't deal with Arizona Fall League pitching.

Why does everyone have Moyers being penciled in as a #3 SP? He's a guy with a 5+ ERA who's best quality is that he's consistently below league average, but not Eaton-level. He's your #5 starter at best.

(I fully recognize he came up very big in the NL-East clincher and his playoff start, but we have to look at the whole package for 2008.)

Kendrick - I hope - is a #4 SP. I expect some regression in his numbers next year.

So from my point of view, we still need a soid #3 SP. Kuroda would be a nice guy to gamble considering what's available in Free Agency.

I like this trade a lot... it improves our closer and our rotation all in one shot. We'll miss Bourne on our off days or if there's an injury, but we'll relish Myers every 5 days and Lidge every damn day. Thank you Ed Wade.

the bullpen still needs work. they replaced myers with lidge and are no better in the pen than last season. need depth. the rotation is much better, but they need to add an arm.

I'm cautiously optimistic that Gillick isn't going to settle for a Hamels/Myers/Kendrick/Moyer/Eaton rotation.

his public statements don't worry me too much; he's established a pretty consistent track record of pessimism. and the one other hallmark of his career in Philadelphia is a willingness to recognize mistakes.

I think Gillick would be very willing to stick Eaton on the DL (he's already started hinting at it), eat his contract in a salary dump trade, or relegate him to mop-up if he can find another starter via FA/trade. it goes without saying that that's a very big "if", obviously, but I don't think the rotation is a foregone conclusion yet.

Semi-related question:

Is Lieber still under contract to the Phils? And if so, how does that factor into plans for the rotation? Obviously he's nothing special, but at least he's no Adam Eaton.

this is spectacular.

myers is a starting pitcher and should be back.

if the phil's sign kuroda, trade for tejeda (who i agree will be traded for surprisingly little), and sign a journeyman corner outfielder like jose guillen or brad wilkerson or even sammy sosa, they are in great shape and probably within budget.

romero and a couple other pen pieces would be nice also.

Clout: I disagree that Lidge's performance as closer over the last 2 years shows that he doesn't have the mental makeup to be closer. If that were true, then how does one explain his 2004 & 2005 seasons, when he was one of the game's best closers? A pitcher can lose velocity on his fastball over time, but I find it hard to believe that he just woke up one morning & had lost the mental edge that was needed to be a closer.

I haven't made a detailed study of Lidge's stats as closer versus his stats as setup man. But I suspect some of the difference has to do with nothing more than the small sample size. I don't doubt that there was also some kind of mental issue going on; once he started to fail, he probably lost confidence and things spiraled. But he has proven in the past that he is fully capable of being one of the game's best closers, and his stuff is still there.

I have a hunch that while Eaton is a Phillie next year, he'll be spending quite a bit of time on the DL. I'm hoping that the reason why he was really bad, instead of just ok, is because of a shoulder problem. That'll be a best case scenario.

I like this trade as well. You have to believe that Wade could have gotten a better haul elsewhere. What we've done here, however, is improve the rotation. One can't really argue this is a bullpen upgrade because you are loosing Myers in that role.

Obviously, Gillick can't stop here. Bullpen upgrades need to be made and another bat or sp must be acquired before this can be considered a successful offseaon. (Doing both would be a very successful offseason).
It looks like the habitually pessimistic posters believe this will be the biggest deal of the offseason, and the more optimistic (optimism for a phillies fan really just means a lack of pessimism) believe that more will be done. Its tough for me to say what I believe will happen.

Remember all the posters who, with such gusto and condescension, told all of us calling for Myers return to the bullpen that it will never happen, and that we were naïve to even discuss it?

ae, you may be right. This is likely Gillick's last year in a significant position in professional baseball.

His once-great status has been tarmished recently, and he may go beyond tinkering.

The big question, however, is what *the owners* do. If the artificial cap is again around $95M, I don't see how the Phillies afford a starter like Kuroda (say, $10M per). In reality, if you pay $10M for a starter, you are really paying more like $17M (for 2 years!), because Eaton will either be on the DL or taking up a mop-up role that could be filled by a league minimum player.

There were a lot of posters on Beerleaguer who insisted Myers would never move back into the rotation--but look what happened. Maybe we should now be preparing ourselves for the mythical trade of Pat Burrell and signing of A-Rod. :)

I have to admit I didn't think it would happen.

Wake up to see and hear the Phils have made a huge move. I like this trade for the fact that Gillick realizes the Phils need to win NOW ('08 or '09 really). The Phils have a dynamic core of young players and there is a power vaccum in the NL.

They need to take advantage of this and try to win a world championship with this current core still healthy and putting up dominant numbers.

Clout: Do you care to admit that you have been consistently wrong over the last 5 months, assuring all of us that Myers was in the bullpen to stay? I just figured after months of your condescension when any of us proposed the idea, it would be a classy move by you to admit you were wrong. Can you do it?

Also, I would say that Lidge is the perfect example of how there is NO specific mental makeup needed to be a closer. He was a dominant closer for 2 years, he gave up a bad homer to Pujols, and it sent his career into a little tailspin, although he rebounded nicely this year. This suggests to me that there is nothing about the role of closer that affects him, but rather, specific circumstances of blowing a World Series clinching game, which is rather unique. I agree with posters who say that he needs a change of scenery. Being welcomed as a hero here will hopefully do wonders for his pysche; as long as his stuff stays filthy, that should be all he needs.

Great trade we have money go after Hunter then Rowand then Lowell

Couple of overlooked things so far:

1. I like that Gillick made this trade early in the offseason. It allows Myers to start his offseason training regimen to prepare for being a starter. Smoltz made this point last season that it is critical a starter has an entire offseason training routine to prepare for the upcoming season.

Plus, the Phils aren't going to be forced to pick through the remains of the FA market.

2. This move leaves the Phils with money to spend. Lidge gets a bump in arbitration but he is probably at $6 M next season. Basically, the Phils still have about $20 M to play with this offseason.

3. Bruntlett is a nice throw-in. I have wanted the Phils to get an adequate bench player for 2B/SS for two seasons now. Hopefully, an occasional day off for Utley will keep him from wearing down a bit late in the season. Bruntlett fits that roll and can even play LF or 3B if necessary.

The big question, however, is what *the owners* do. If the artificial cap is again around $95M, I don't see how the Phillies afford a starter like Kuroda (say, $10M per). In reality, if you pay $10M for a starter, you are really paying more like $17M (for 2 years!), because Eaton will either be on the DL or taking up a mop-up role that could be filled by a league minimum player.

well, two points. first, Montgomery has gone on the record as saying that the payroll could go beyond the $105M range for 2008. (it is interesting to note that Montgomery in that article estimates payroll at $103M, while cot's pegs it at about $96M, including Thome.) now that and $10 will buy you a movie ticket these days, but at the very least it's an encouraging comment and seems to show some willingness to open the ol' checkbook.

second, my understanding is that the current payroll is at something like $70M (can anyone confirm or deny?). add on a $6-7M raise for Howard (assuming he wins something like the $7.4M Cabrera arb award) and around $8M (I'm guessing) for Lidge, and you should still have at least $15-20M to play with. I believe--and if anyone knows better, please correct me on this; I don't claim to be omniscient on payroll matters--there is still the money for one more big move.

MG, I think that's a great point on the timing of the move. here's hoping Myers doesn't take winter training tips from Lil' Johnny Lieber.

There are some comments on BTF about the concept of the Phillies signing A-Rod to a 2-3 year deal at $40 - $45 million / year.

No chance of the team expanding the payroll like that, but it would be an interesting idea.

I think we did fairly well in this trade. I really can't think of the type of SP we could have gotten for Bourn.

I definitely don't think Lidge is cooked. It would be great if we got him re-signed as well so we wouldn't be "renting" him and he's young enough where another deal wouldn't have disastrous final years.

I do agree with Clout that if this team's only offseason moves are the Lidge trade and to resign Rowand, they is no certainty they will win 85 games.

I am still against resigning Rowand at $14 M. If anything, this team needs to sign at least 2 additional bullpen guys. A certifiable LOOGY (just unacceptable to count on Zagurski being a legit option for the start of next season) and a hard-throwing RHP (e.g., Riske). Plus, I still would rather have this team sign Jenkins to platoon in RF with Werth.

Put it this way - Would you rather have the Phils resign Rowand and maybe bullpen guy or have the Phils sign Jenkins ($7-8 M), Romero ($3 M), and Riske ($4 M). I go with the later option.

I really like this deal. not only does gillick sure up the bullpen, but also gets better starter than he could have acquired on the FA market. myers is a proven starter and the 1-2 punch of hamels and myers in a playoff series cannot be overlooked. i like this deal much more than other options that were tossed around (i.e. victorino for willis. the next move has to be to re-sign rowand and keep vic in right.

i think bourn will turn out to be a legitimate everyday player, but i dont think he'll ever be more than a juan pierre-type player. an everyday outfield with victorino and bourn doesnt have nearly enough pop.

i would love to see the phils make a real run at lohse to sure up the rotation, because marching eaton out every fifth day is not something im comfortable with at all.

if myers starts again does this mean he will button his jersey again and the locker room spelling b's are over?

It's a great deal. Period. We dealt Michael Bourn, a nice but unproven commodity, and a couple of guys who won't be missed... and in return we got an electric bullpen arm (perhaps the best or second best bullpen arm that will be available this offseason) and a utility infielder that we needed who will give us more than Nunez.

What's not to like?

I do have one worry, however, in that Lidge more recently has been more successful in the set-up role. If we have Madson/Gordon/Romero/Lidge to get to Myers, that's a hell of a bullpen, in my mind. However, moving Myers back to the rotation is a big upgrade there, too.

From here, I want us to go after another starter (Kuroda would be great) and at least one more bullpen arm (if not two) as well as either a starting third baseman (allowing us to platoon Dobbs with Werth in RF) or a corner OF.

1st) When i my buddy first called me up last night, I hated the deal, because for some reason I thought Myers would drag his feet about going back to the rotation. He won't, so, that makes this deal excellent.

2nd) I had originally over-valued Bourn, and on 2nd thought, don't understand why I did. If anything he's a Juan Pierre, and even if he ever figures out how to hit everyday, he'll lose it in under 5 years.

3rd) I Hope the words "Contingent on a Medical Evaluation" are somewhere in this trade.

4th) We still need a another starter, two other relievers, and a RH Bat. I think were going to resign Rowand, and it could happen as early as next week. I think he legitimately wants to play here, and this move shows him that Gillick is going to put together a contender. Let's take him, and maybe he settles for five years, instead of six?

I think trading for Tejada is a terrible idea. I think he is a guy who if he's going to perform at all, it will be in the AL. Maybe the Orioles can swap him with the rangers? Kinsler and a RP?

Yea...I would be all about Andruw Jones though. I mean, any body's whose watched him play at CBP knows just how amazing he would be here. And he's not done yet. Last year was just an apparition(sp?)

Corey Koskie for 3B. Its worth the risk and we should be going the cheap route on third base.

Though Nothing that Wrong with the 3B we have now really, if used correctly, now that we have bruntlett as well.

I do agree with Baseball Prospectus that this trade has some definite upside for Ed Wade but no-where near the Abreu/Stocker type of deal.

Astros are clearly going into full rebuilding mode and Lidge was gone after '08. This trade provides the Astros with young, cheap pieces for the next couple of seasons.

This success of this trade really hinges upon Constanzo though. Bourn is pretty much a known quantity. The only real question with Bourn is will his OBP be high enough at the MLB level to be a starting CF/leadoff hitter.

One thing I totally disagree with on BP though is the Constanzo-Buechele comparison. Buechele had already made the majors at age 23 and played an entire season with the Rangers at 24. Constanzo still needs some considerable time at AA to develop and will probably won't be ready until at least '09.

Buechele also became a pretty decent defensive player at 3B capable of making some highlight plays. Constanzo is a butcher at 3B and the few times I have seen him play in Reading he looks like he is fighting himself out there. Nothing fluid at all about his fielding at 3B. I would be shocked if Constanzo ever develops into an adequate defensive 3B.

Constanzo will almost certainly get at least a cup of coffee in the near future at the MLB-level because of his left-handed power but I trust Gillick's evaluation of young position players. I am willing to bet that Gillick didn't like what he saw in Constanzo and was willing to move him for a player that the Phils needed now.

Well I guess it is EASIER to get a Front Line closer than a Starter. I'm glad to be wrong.

I hoping his change of scenery will benefit Lidge. I'm concerned that we are missing a chance at exploring Myers in the backend of the bullpen. The key to me, is that he REALLY LIKED IT. He reminded me a little of Tug McGraw.

The Tugger was NEVER lights out. He made you nervous, he put guys on, but he got out of his jams. It was a thrill ride, that McGraw loved to be on. Similar to how Mitch Williams felt about being there.

On the face of it, this makes the team better on paper. If with eaton in the rotation. We need to get another starter. We learned last year, you need to have at least 7 guys you can count on to start.

I hate losing bourn because I think he was so dangerous. But if Golson is what they say he is... we will be better off with him. Even if Golson strikes out 100 times more than Bourn would.

For the most part, 90% of the beerleaguers were not Costanzo fans. I think while many didn't see him as a the answer to the 3B option. I think the LEFT HAND power option of the bench that Manuel is so favorable too, would have been perfect for the kid. I sorta wish they gave him the shut in September instead of the Branyan/Pierre option. (Note to Costanzo, learn to catch, you will add 8 years to your career.)

I don't think Costanzo will make the Astros forget Caminetti. But I'd hate to see him in the 'Stro's uniform dumping balls into the upper deck in Right Field.

Overall I'm VERY happy about this deal. I also think this definitely means that they are targeting Rowand.

I'm hopeful this trade will help the team, but I'm uncomfortable with them trading away young talent. After next season, Lidge will be gone, and what will we have to show for the deal? A championship, we hope. But if not, it's a problem.

The bullpen has been mentioned a few times now, what about Mateo?

I believe he has a court case coming up in December, is it likely that all the controversy will have been forgotten by the spring and he is our LHP in the pen? Bear in mind we have been talking about Myers all though this thread!

Tim L

Who should we be trading?

ae, I posted the exact #s before, but here are approximates on the money "SAVED" (players released or not re-signed) in the budget/cost structure for 2007:

Garcia 10.0mm
Lieber 7.83mm
Rowand 4.35mm
Nunez 1.7mm
Barajas 2.5mm
Romero .2mm (prorated minimum)
Iguchi 1.0 mmm (prorated est.)
Lohse 1.6mm (prorated est.)
Alfons. .6mm (I think he earned some incentives)

The total comes to $29.78 MM not including Thome's money, which goes away after '08.

They just sent Bourn and Geary to Houston (savings of $1.2MM), and picked up Lidge and Bruntlett, which I estimate will cost them $7 - 7.5 million, so %6.2mm of the "savings" that was spent on players last year is used up.

That leaves $23.5MM that they spent last year, that still isn't spent in '08.

With that money they have to give Howard a big raise ($7-8mm?), so they might have $15 -16 million left if they don't spend more than 2007.

Again, these are just estimates.

Also, I believe Montgomery said they actually spent $103 million in '07, because of the mid-season pickups.

any body's whose watched him play at CBP knows just how amazing he would be here

not true, actually. Jones has hit all of .193/.245/.363 w/6 HR in 151 PA @ CBP.

2007 was not a ghost but an abberation for Andruw Jones. Many people have brought up the juice and him and can't totally disagree but we probably wouldn't be in his price range given our other needs.

I still like Guillen though after having read the top 50 free agents at, I doubt any sort of cheap deal is out of the question. Best available corner OF can't be that cheap.

I think after 2008 the potential picks for Lidge would definitely help bolster the minors. Right now we're barren at the near ready level which is a problem but Carrasco might be an 09 option, among others though no bats to get real excited about still.

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