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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Comments

If the Phillies allow Rowand to walk away (not a bad move considering his price tag) AND trade Victorino this off-season, it would be a catastrophic loss to our offense. Michael Bourn is NOT an everyday player (at least not yet). He could potentially be a valuable platoon player in RF with Werth/Dobbs, but he would be an extreme drop in production at the CF spot. Victorino is a proven asset on this ballclub. He is already a top-of-the-lineup type of hitter and will only continue to improve his discipline and power at the plate. Look at the improvement he made in his base-stealing last off-season. Personally, I think the Phlyin' Hawaiian is prepared to have a breakout season in '08. It would certainly be a shame to see Victorino making great catches, throwing bullets from the outfield, and batting .290 with 15+ HR's for another team. Especially considering the return: most likely, a risk-filled arm with a higher salary. Trading Bourn for that type of risk/reward is sensible (because Bourn is the same type of player), but trading a cheap and proven player for a risk is non-sense.

I know there are those who favor Bourn over Victorino, because of his better plate discipline. But Vic also has more power, better defense & a much better arm than Bourn. More importantly, Vic has proven that he can hit major league pitching; Bourn is an unknown entity. Our OF will be taking a big hit if Rowand leaves. Unless we plan to sign one of the big-name FA outfielders, losing a 2nd starting outfielder would be a very risky proposition. Of course, if I could get the right starter, I'd reconsider.

Jason mentioned the Pirates as a possible trading partner & one guy I like on their staff is Paul Maholm. His numbers haven't been very good, but he's still young & has posted very strong GO/FO ratios in his first 2 seasons. I imagine the Pirates regard him highly since he was the 8th pick in the college draft. I don't know what it would take to get him but, if I could get him straight-up for Victorino, I would do it. I'm not sure if the Pirates would go for it, though.

The key is obviously the return.

If Vic gets you a #2/#3 starter and Bourne gets you a #4/#5 type who do you trade?

If you bring back Rowand (highly unlikely), does trading Vic hurt as much?

If you sign Schilling does that mean keep Vic and trade Bourne?

Way to many unknowns at this point. I'd like to see us somehow improve the pen and rotation without losing either Vic or Bourne, but I find that highly unlikely.

The bottom line to me really is that the two players are so similar in what they bring to the OF, and what they do not bring (Power and the ability to drive in runs), that the team will never have room for both of them in the same OF. Or at least they shouldn't in my opinion ... so moving one this off-season seems almost a certainty.

Vic is certainly the better player and the one they should keep although he'd probably bring a better return while Bourn is the cheaper player. Bourn will never be a ML hitter in my opinion. The Phils need to start doing the right thing here this off-season. They need to be aggressive in both the FA and trade markets and also tie up Howard long-term.

I'm also reading where Boston is gonna start talking contract with Schilling and Lowell next week. See this is why I say what I say about this organization. Rowand and Romero are gonna walk away because the Phils don't want to pay salaries that the current market demands. That's why it's gonna be a very poor off-season. AGAIN! Remember where you heard it first. I'm out.

Yeah, D. Patrone, thanks, we know where we heard it first (and second, and third...). We get it.

Anyway, from the last thread, the people who say that closer isn't a priority are wrong. Myers may wanna stay in the closer's spot, but the team is looking to upgrade the pitching, both starting and bullpen. Gillick and Montgomery and Amaro all said so this week. Pitching is their #1 priority. They want Rivera really badly, but it's most likely that he re-signs with the Yankees. I don't think they will get him, in fact im about 95% sure they wont, but if Rivera for some reason turns down the Yanks, the Phillies will pursue him as their #1 option for the offseason. You heard that here first.

D. Patrone - I think we are going to get one rather large "surprise" move this year, very similar to the surprise over the Garcia trade last winter. (Obviously that didn't work out as planned).

I'm hoping it is not a trade with the Marlins for Dontrell ... I think he is damaged goods right now - but I wouldn't be surprised if we try to pull something off with that team down there.

Vic/Happ/Prospect for Willis/Bullpen piece in a salary dump type move by the fish ...

Vic is what he is.
Bourn may have more potential upside.
I would still move Bourn, however.

I'm not sure I agree that Bourn will "never be a ML hitter." His swing is not what I'd call aesthetically pleasing, but it has been good enough to get him a .284 batting average in the minors & that's about what I see him hitting once he's had a couple years of major league experience under his belt.

Normally, it would be hard for me to get excited about a .284 hitter with no power whatsoever. But Bourn does walk & his base stealing prowess is unreal. It may be true that all he does is single & walk, but most of those singles & walks turn into doubles and, once Bourn is on second, he's going to score on any single hit to the outfield.

The bottom line, though, is that, while I like Bourn, I like having decent pitchers even more. Bourn is a bit of a lottery ticket right now. Moreover, there's going to be a learning curve with him & I'm not sure the Phillies can afford to wait out that learning curve. This is a team built to win now and a trade of Bourn can help us do that.

I love Patrone's completely illogical pessimism. it's beyond parody.

you realize Boston is publicly approaching the Schilling situation almost exactly the same way Philadelphia is approaching Rowand and Romero? or that Minnesota is doing the same thing with Hunter? how about Posada and Rivera in NY? or Cordero in Milwaukee? this is what happens with nearly every single free agent every single year: they test the market. (sure, there could be major differences with these teams in private. but you and I have absolutely no way of knowing what kind of negotiations Gillick or any other GM is carrying out.)

and I haven't even mentioned the fact that it would be borderline insane to sign Rowand to the 6/$84 contract he's publicly demanding right now. with Romero, maybe not insane, but at the very least it's way too early to hand out 3/$10.

The Orioles declined their option on Kris Benson. I'm trying to think of a reason to get excited about this, but alas, I can find none. Anyone think he is even worth a SP invite? I mean he has to at least still have some upside, as diminished as it might be. Is he still together with Ana Benson? If so, and we signed him, we would have two pitchers with two playboy model wives. Bet there is no other team that can claim that. In the words of my favorite writer/amourously annoying spot TV personality, Dan Lebetard: BAM!!!!!

General Question (Totally unrelated, and totally ridiculous):
Why does ESPN have an ESPN Deportes segment where the female sportscasters speak English? I thought the whole point of ESPN Deportes was to provide programming for people who cannot speak English, or at least not well. Am I wrong? Regardless, all of the women assigned to this project seem to be very good looking and the accents are intriguing. I guess it has that going for it, even if its overall purpose escapes me.

here's a question: does San Diego offer Ensberg arbitration? he can't get them a compensation pick, and he's already making $4.35M. he's another Mitchell report risk, I guess.

AE~
It is insane for 6/84 there's no way the Phils should do that. But when Byrnes signed an extention with Arizona for 3/30 I bet the Phils quietly balked. As far as me being an illogical pessimist, I wouldn't say totally illogical but a pessimist - absolutely! Gillick hasn't shown me much not to be. We don't know if the Phils even talked with Rowand at all. But if they did and he turned them down, you'd think they would want that to come out.

I know how the FA game is played. I know there's a whole lot of posturing going on. It does happen with most players. I don't disagree. If they really want to re-sign guys then they should do it. The Yanks really wouldn't let Rivera walk away will they? At least not without trying. Whether Rowand had a career year or not, they can't replace his production for less money which they are trying to do. Same thing with Burrell after '08. I'd LOVE to see them sign Schilling. And I know he's not the pitcher he once was. And it's gonna take 12-13 million.

JMarr~ Yes there could and probably will be a surprise move. One that will work out. I was all for the Garcia trade last year. We got burned on that one. And that happens to other teams as well. The Braves and Mike Gonzalez for instance.

I just once want to see Gillick out a team together that really will do some damage not could do some damage. One that will make traveling 250 miles to see them play worth it. Not the team that started off 4-11. So we'll see.

i thought rowand denied the 6yr, 84 mil. request. are we assuming that is bull (fair), or did i miss something in the news?

OT: Speaking of San Diego, here's a player who fits the Phillies mold and is an upgrade over Nunez: Geoff Blum. Switch hitter, can play all infield positions and about a .100 better OPS than Nuni. What are your thoughts on adding him as a dirt-cheap final defender off the bench?

that's fair, Patrone, the Phillies don't generally give fans much of a reason to be optimistic with the results. but that's a question of quality: I do expect some major moves this winter. there's (relatively) a lot of money floating around in Gillick's pockets this offseason, and there are a lot of guys to spend it on.

for the moment, I think he's doing the right thing. I don't believe Rowand or Romero is at all irreplaceable given the state of the market, so I wouldn't be in a rush to resign either one of them. maybe somebody will overpay one of them, but I don't think it has to be us.

that doesn't mean I think Gillick should be saving his pennies and making marginal this offseason. but for the moment I don't think he needs to make any rash moves. I'd rather wait to see how negotiations with some of the other FAs go.

D. Patrone

Umm... the Phils won the division lat year, that's SOME damage. I'd like to go further, of course, and they may have won it DESPITE Gillick, but we can't pretend they didn't do something (phinally) last year.

oops, "making marginal moves"

JW, honestly, after Abe-O, even Geoff Blum is an upgrade that I would consider. Call it "hitting rock bottom." At this point, any utility infielder who can reach the outfield grass with his bat is a trade up.

I would say that moving one of Vic and Bourn for some starter is not a terrible idea. Their cheap prices and solid D make them good trade chips for mid-rotation pitchers. As long as we keep one were not overloading the team with speed and under producing in the power department.

I had heard rumors of Mike Cameron in Philly, but that was before the whole stimulant debacle. Although missing the first 25 games isn't horrendous and it could drive his price down to a bargain. A May OF of Burrell-Cameron-Vic or Bourn w/ Werth platooning or def replacing doesn't look too shabby.

I wouldn't be a huge fan of the Phils grabbing Kris Benson. He's 33 and didn't play a game last year. His career numbers aren't great and he'll be 3 seasons since his last effective one. Although moving back to NL will improve his numbers somewhat. I guess I'd take him over Eaton, but were pretty much stuck with him.

I like both Bourn and Victorino, but if I had to choose between trading one of them, I'd say goodbye Michael.

Vic is more of the proven commoditity and I still think if he plays 150+ games next season, he's capable of 15+ hr and 40+ sb, with moderate on base skills, and terrific defense.

I didn't want Bourn traded away at the deadline for a 2 month rent-a-player. However, I am ok with him being dealt now for pitching. Bourn certainly doesn't have near the power Vic does, and is questionable against lefties, while Vic switch hits.

at the risk of being called irrationally sentimental... i think it would be a major mistake to let Rowand walk and then to trade Vic for pitching. they are two powerful forces in the clubhouse and, from my own athletic success, i put a lock of stock in clubhouse chemistry. they were both instrumental in keeping that clubhouse balanced and positive during such a tumultuous season last year and to remove both of them would certainly alter the chemistry of the club. a major asset as i saw it last season...

with that said now, i also heard rowand's agent debunnk the 6yrs/$84mil rumor. has that changed?

if not, then i'm still not certain rowand walks...

MLBtraderumors.com say the White Sox are meeting with Torii Hunter. I'm sure they'll still consider Rowand, but they might not want him back(at his price, espeically), like everyone thinks.

I just truly hope that, when the Phils go to trade either Vic or Bourn, they have fully considered the whole team, and carefully examine the player they get in return. We cannot give up speed like that for Carl Henry or Freddy Garcia. And they better have a plan for production in the OF and not, "Well, we tried to make a move to replace Vic and Rowand, but none of the options were good."

I'm trying to remain hopeful.

On a gut level, I would miss Victorino more than Bourn.

You don't want to let Rowand walk and trade Vic, but does anyone really think if they did that management would be content with a Burrell, Bourn, and Werth OF? I am all for taking the Rowand draft pick and letting someone else suffer through a 6 year contract for someone who had an out of character career year with over rated defense. As for Vic and Rowand's clubhouse chemistry - I don't know how much it helps. I had a played sports competitively through college and I agree that it sucks to have people you hate on your team and that can effect your play, but I don't necessarily know if you play better because you enjoy being there. I think that comes down to skill.

The Bourne - Vic debate is, IMHO, very simple: Vic does everything better except run and steal bases, and he's not much worse at that.

If you can get a decent return for either of them, then you move Bourne.


Since we're discussing trades, I'll resurrect this idea: Howard to LA for Loney, Billingsley and a prospect. I'd do it; LA probably won't. Would you?


BedBeard, Hunter will get more $$$ than Rowand. I'm sure they're just checking the market.


If they trade Vic for a starter who's barely arb eligible, then they can re-sign Rowand. I agree, that this team is significantly worse without Vic AND Rowand.


Last point for now:

Be very careful and wary about trading away very good to great defensive players.

Bill James Primer #10 from the 1988 Abstract:

"A great deal of what is perceived as being pitching is in fact defense."


A recent example: Ellsbury's catch in the WS to bail out Papelbon. If Manny's out there, the tying run is on base. Papelbon records an unblemished save, because of great defense, not because the hitter didn't smoke his pitch.

Vic and Bourn are similar but not THAT similar. Bourn is faster and more patient at the plate, Vic has a better arm and more power. Vic is also 2 years older, which suggests that Bourn's numbers at age 26 could surpass Vic's. I think they will as far as OB and steals, but don't see him ever developing Vic's 12-15 HR power.

clout, your assessment ties right into mine, except about the OBP.

One of my favorite plays of the season happened back in July with the Phils hosting the Pirates. This was a game Durbin started and the Phils won it for him 10-5. It was also Iguchi's first game.

Fifth inning, Bourn singles and steals second. Vic walks. J-Roll, batting third, triples. There might have been more speed rounding the bases than at any point in baseball history. It was a track meet. Beautiful to watch - I saw the game from a club box, so we got a perfect view.


Nate Silver's view on the Phil's offseason needs and the rest of the NL East.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/10/29/bp.nleast/index.html

TJR, thanks. I saw the AL East this morn. I've been waiting.

No. 1 need is definitely not third base, as SI says. Rotation is Hamels, Moyer, Kendrick, plus Eaton, who did not make the playoff roster. Phillies need to look at it as a rotation that is, at best, 40 percent incomplete. I say "at best" due to the injury history of Hamels, age of Moyer, and inexperience of Kendrick. The prospects do not look ready, although there are some who need to be given looks in ST.

Third base is not the priority everyone is making it out to be.

I agree with pretty much everything that he says which is we have 4 bonafide superstars and with that if we get league average production everywhere else we should contend for the next 5 years. He also notes that given the starting pitching market we would be better off bringing Myers back to the rotation (I agree no matter what state of the market as 200IP from Myers is better than 60-70 as a closer).

On a side note to Free agents and draft compensation. What do we get if someone over pays for Romero? Is he Type A or B? Also very disappoint to see that we will get nothing if Lohse walks.

Here is the list I am referencing for draft pick compensation. Romero is left off...
Interesting to note that Hawkins, Affeldt and Woods require no draft compensation. I think Woods would be worth a 1 yr contract with an option to have the possibility of a hard throwing RP. With his injury history, I think he may be forced to take a 1 yr deal and if not, pay a little above market since the reward is very high.

I thought it inteesting that SI/Silver listed Carrasco as one of the "Key Ready-Now Youngsters".

Does he know something BeerLeaguers don't?

AWH: No. We know more.

the same Carlos Carrasco who walked nearly 6 per 9 in AA last year? we wish.

The SI column is typical of national guys. They get the general picture but don't have a good pulse on individual teams. Phils need at least one above average starter and 2 bullpen arms. In fact, it wouldn't even hurt if they had 3 arms to the bullpen since I don't think you can count on Gordon and Madson staying healthy and being effective.

Also, I just don't think an outfield of Werth/Bourn/Victorino/Burrell will be adequate for next year but I guess if it comes down to it I would go the route of adding additional arms to the bullpen or getting a decent starter than a guy like Jenkins.

Wouldn't 3 GOOD bullpen signings (Cordero Affeldt, Riske) along with re-signing Lohse, (thereby moving Myers back into the rotation) be preferable than 13-15 Mill for Schilling and some cheap crapshoot reliever? This bullpen now.. Myers excluded... is horrible.. Geary, Madson, Alfonsucka, Mesa can ALL hit the road. Any thoughts?

I actually am ok with that outfield because I view it as very similar to the one we put out this season and I think they will be able to get a platoon RF like Wilkerson or Jenkins. I just don't see Rowand putting up numbers like he did again since his BABIP was way higher than it has ever been before, he has erratic power season over season, and he is past the age of having his stats typically get better. I do see Vic getting better and pretty much matching the production of Rowand and playing better defense. Victorino's peripherals were much more inline with career norms and his ISOP has been increasing. I think it is reasonable to expect a .290/.355/.445 line from Vic next year. If you look back at his minor league stats he OPS over 900 in AA in 2003 and AAA in 2005. I think its very reasonable to expect the jump from him that many players see in his age range.

I also didn't even notice that 3B as listed as the number one need by SI. No mention of it was really made in the article and I saw the two SP. That is my thought and I hope one of them is Myers.

"I don't think you can count on Gordon and Madson staying healthy and being effective."

MG, that is right on the money. As all serious sports fans know:

What's the #1 indicator of the possibility a player could get injured?

Answer: A previous injury.

With that in mind, Myers is also an injury risk (he wasn't exactly on and off the 15 day DL), as well as Howard and Vic and Rowand and Burrell and Coste and Utley and Chooch and Eaton and ... you get the idea.

Here's a prediction on the NL East next year:

Between the Braves, Mets and Phillies (the fish and Nats are a couple years away?), the team that goes into the season with the most depth at every position, especially on the pitching staff, will win the division.

The argument against Lohse is that he is probably going to look at Eaton, Meche, and Pinero contracts as a guideline for what he should get. Like Meche he has always been a pitcher with good stuff that hasn't learned how to fully use it. Plus he is still in his 20's and represented by Boras so I see him looking for 4yr at $8-10m per year. I'd rather have Schill for 1 year at $13-14.

just read where Gammons learned that Miguel Cabrera will be on the market.. He's 2 yrs away from FA.. He's also too heavy to play 3b anymore...Could the phils make him stop eating to play 3b?? :)

Between the Braves, Mets and Phillies (the fish and Nats are a couple years away?), the team that goes into the season with the most depth at every position, especially on the pitching staff, will win the division.

I don't necessarily disagree, but almost exactly the opposite happened this year. the Braves clearly had the most overall depth, especially factoring in their in-season moves, while the Phillies had the least.

rob, can you say Miguel "Mo Vaughn" Cabrera?

Based on how he's balooned up, I'd say he could be a bigger risk that Ryan Howard.

ae, you're right. PG did a good job with his in-season moves. Romero (me MOTO) was key. Also, the move to acquire Gooch "added depth", in that he was a more than adequate fill-in for Utley.

As much of a future as I think Bourn will have, I am concerned that by trading Victorino snd having Bourn hit second will put three left handers in a row in the line up with Utley and Howard behind him.

I would hope that if a trade is made, the Phillies would make a big signing in the outfield if Rowand is not retained. The market is thin however.

The best case scenario would be to move Myers back in the rotation and spend the money by over stocking the bullpen.

http://philliesphorum.mlblogs.com

AWH: Sure, Gillick added a couple parts... but not for depth. They were added for need. Gooch was practically non-existant after Utley came back. Romero didn't provide depth... he filled a HUGE hole.

The Braves, on the other hand, added a huge bat and two bullpen arms. Their bullpen was already head and shoulders above us to begin with.

I'll believe the Phils would trade Victorino before Bourn when I see it. Victorino is 1,000 percent more marketable than Bourn at this point, and I also believe Bourn has greater trade value because his ceiling is not as known as Victorino's. Teams who favor a marketing stance over baseball sense will perhaps be willing to shell out more for Victorino, i.e. a desperate team like Florida or Pittsburgh, so I'm not saying it's out of the question, but I would just have to say it's far more likely that Bourn would be the one to go. How much value do either of them really have, though? Not enough to get any more than a marginal starting pitcher, but possibly a decent reliever and a prospect, or two half-decent relievers.

I don't agree that addressing third base isn't a significant priority. The Phillies tried to patch the position with three deficient players and it was an ugly mess all season. Even if Helms plays better next season, he still can't field, and neither can Dobbs. Rely on those two again and they'll probably have to waste a roster spot on a defensive replacement who will get too many at-bats in the late innings of close games. I would even prefer a profound mediocrity like Ensberg to take over the position so that even if it isn't really an 'upgrade' they can narrow the position to two players instead of three. The problem with Koskie is he's left-handed and Helms would get the rest of his playing time instead of Dobbs, who's a better player. So yes, I'd rather see Ensberg/Dobbs rather than Koskie/Helms. I really *do not* want to see Helms play for the Phillies next year. He is an astoundingly poor defensive player and his offensive upside isn't worth sitting around and hoping for. Ensberg might be a hole in the lineup, but he'd at least provide more power than they got from the position last year and also provide better defense.

CJ, we're not disagreeing, just phrasing it differently. Had the Phils had "depth" at the beginning of the season, there wouldn't have been a huge hole to fill.

Let's not get into a needless argument about semantics.

Can Bourne get us Maholm? He's no stud, but he's the ever-popular "innings-eater " with some upside.only 24 AND lefties usually blossom around age 27 or so. If that deal were on the table, I'd do it.. even if I had to toss in a mid-level prospect.

Miguel Cabrera's size increase reminds me Andruw Jones balloon act. I expect strange injuries and declining production by age 30.

The match I see out there guys is with the Blue Jays. Short of Rios their OF situation is dismal. If we could get Dustin McGowan and maybe a BP spare part for Vic or Bourn and a prospect I'd do it.

The only problem with the Pirates as a trading partner: THey don't have enough pitching to start trading pitchers. It would be like the Phillies trading their second or third best pitcher for a guy that is essentially a prospect in the one position where they have some depth, the outfield.

The Pirates have some depth in the OF, I should say.

JMARR the Blue Jays have a guy named Vernon Wells in CF, and two stud outfield prospects. If they gave us McGowan for either Bourne or Vic, it would be because Gillick had old photos of the Blue Jays ownership doing things that they weren't supposed to be doing.

Is Ensberg really that much of a defensive upgrade? I thought his defensive numbers last year were pretty close to Helms and Dobbs.

Off the subject here.

Does anyone know if the Phillies have been reaching out of the (Selig preferred) price slot in the MLB amateur draft for the players they've drafted? It seems like we don't have players in our system who will make contributions in the next year or two. Obviously Kendrick was an exception this year who came out of nowhere.

This seems like a quick way for the Phils to replenish the dearth in talent in the minors. Teams who aren't afraid to draft more expensive players than their allocated draft slots are replenishing their farm systems so much faster. The Tigers have been doing this and have arms galore in their system. I have to imagine the Red Sox have been doing the same with the contributions by numerous young players in the season and playoffs.

I'd like to see the Phils use the extra money from the 2 home playoff games wisely in the FA market as well as quickly try and develop some players from the bottom up.

Question for anyone to answer:

I'm looking for some help--maybe a FAQ page or website--that succinctly explains the "rules" of drafting, compensation picks, sandwich picks, etc. I see a ton of seemingly helpful links on the side of this webpage. Will any have a section that might help me out? This is really the first time I've ever wanted to truly understand what real GMs have to consider when looking at the free agent market.

It seems to me that most people who post here are well versed on these rules and their accompanying terminology, but alas, I am not. So before I start posting on things I don't know, I'd appreciate any helpful leads.

Thanks in advance.

Victorino for Olsen. HA!

CJ: Ensberg isn't a great third baseman by any stretch, but also not the type that requires a defensive replacement after the sixth inning. Any right-handed third baseman with competent defensive skills would adequately fit the bill, so long as he can handle not playing every day. I just don't think that Wes Helms should see any playing time at that position.

Lynsk - the short answer: not to any degree.

An example of how they have: their 12th round 2007 pick (Julian Sampson) got a significant signing bonus.

A better sign of how they've handled it: they failed to go "over slot" for a third round pick (Brandon Workman) who they moved up to the third round over where other teams had him predicted; he decided to go to U of Texas next year. We'll get an extra sandwich pick between the 3rd and 4th round as compensation. (Whoop!)

jhart - very often, helpful information on the draft comes from a site called Phuture Phillies. It seems to me there might, somewhere on the site, be an explanation or two on how things work.

jhart, start at mlb.com:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/draftday/rules.jsp

it's the draft rules.

some metrics say Ensberg's very good...I'd agree with RSB that he's at least competent at third and an upgrade over Helms/Dobbs.

jhart: cot's transaction glossary is very good for that kind of stuff.

I would not sign morgan ensberg...or any other player who still wears high-top cletes.

Caveat: any statement which begins the way this one does deserves to get shot down. So feel free.

If anyone still feels that a defensive upgrade at 3B with some offensive upside is still desirable and 3B is really where we need help, then why not shop Bourn to Oakland for Chavez. Sure he's lefty. But he is hot stuff defensively. (We can always shop Dobbs to somone else.)

Of course, it's all about the pitching, so I would save Bourn for a pitcher.

But I'd take Chavez over Ensburg and I'm not certain Oakland isn't looking to divest. (But beware of dealing with Billy Beane (a.k.a. Old Nick). You could end up with Jeremy Giambi.

Of course, it's all about the pitching, so I'd put my energy and trading chips into that area.

But it would make it realy hard to start a righty against the Phils.

But it is all about the pitching.

i'd be so sad if we lost the flyin Hawaiian

Assuming that Victorino has more trade value than Bourn, my preference at this point would be to see Rowand re-signed for something like three years, $33 million and a vesting fourth year; deal Victorino for pitching and/or Miguel Tejada or Hank Blalock (with other pieces on one or both sides), and hold onto Bourn as the fourth OF.

If Rowand's gone, keeping Victorino is more important. He's proven, he has much more power than Bourn, and he should be fine for the remainder of the decade--by which point he'll be both prohibitively expensive and on the verge of losing a step, and hopefully by when one or more of Golson, D'Arby Myers and Dominic Brown will be in the mix for a big-league job. Something like Bourn for Willis could be feasible, though Dontrelle makes me pretty nervous as an injury risk.

Andy: I'd do Bourn for Chavez. I'd do Abie Nunez for Mike Cameron too. Or maybe Happ for Santana. I'd even do Coste for Soriano.

dajafi: Building your team around Golson is probably a bad idea.

I can not see how anyone would not want Cabrera at third next season. Forget the weight the guy is one hell of a hitter. Hes also played outfield prior to third. His offense would make up for the mistakes at third. Now what do we have to get him from the fish? They definitely need a center fielder. They are set in second short and have a few good first baseman (jacobs for one) If they lose Cabrera they would need a third baseman so we throw in
Dobbs and Helms. Guess we would lose Vic to center field for them. I'd make this trade in a minute but I suppose we would have to throw in a few prospects besides.


Sometimes it's helpful to actually look at facts before we jump to conclusions. The Bourn-Vic comparisons are a bit difficult because of the 2-year age difference. So let's look at their minor league career stats:
Vic: .282, .343, .416, 183 SB/69 CS
Bourn.284, .378, .392, 163 SB/28 CS

Any reason to believe that Bourn will be less successful?

It should be noted that Vic played in 688 minor league games, Bourn in 387. Yet Bourn's SB total is only 20 fewer and his rate is far superior. Given that he's 2 years younger, is it possible he will improve? Is it possible he could be a high-OB, high-speed, lefty hitting leadoff man who can hit .285 and maybe even .300 (which would put his OB around .390) with a few years experience?

clout, not planning on Golson by any means but if the playability ever catches up to the raw talent--maybe a 10-15 percent chance--he's quite an asset.

My point, and maybe I shouldn't have used names which are just distracting, is that Victorino should be serviceable for the time frame in which the Phils are presumably thinking about (while they have the Big Four under control and in their primes).

Wasn't Vic the most valuable player a few years ago in the high minors? Vic has learned a lot about stealing so the stealing comparisons shouldn't be used to compare the two. Vic had a high percentage in stolen bases this year but not saying probably Bourn would steal more if he had gotten on base as much as Vic. Also with Utley batting behind Vic most of time he may not have the steal sign on and expecially if Howard was up he wouldn't steal at all.

fljerry: You are correct. Vic was MVP in Triple A at age 24. Bourn, at age 24, was in the big leagues as a part-time player.

Trade Victorino. Trade Bourn. Golson as your starting CF in '08!

Why stop there? Golson in CF. Costanzo at 3rd base. Carrasco & Carpenter in the starting rotation. And JJ Henry as our utility infielder. Oh, I forgot, JJ Henry is out of baseball.

If the price for Cabrera is prospects, like the report said, the Phils would lose the bidding war to ... uh ... just about all of baseball.

BAP: C.J. (Carl)
And why use him as a utility when he plays SS so well?

dajafi - after Golson struck 173 times this year (against like 2 dozen walks), I'm not sure I'd go 10 - 15 % chance. I'm thinking more like 0 - 5%. He simply cannot judge the speed of the ball coming home. In this era of excellent change-ups he'd be dead meat on a stick against MLB pitching.

clout - I'm not sure I'd trade stale post-game pretzels for Cameron. But I knew that a straight up trade is unrealistic. A related question: How much longer do you think Oakland is going to hang on to Chavez?

I'd make this trade in a minute

really? you'd be willing to trade Victorino, Dobbs, and Helms for MIGUEL 25 YEARS OLD CAREER .950 OPS CABRERA? brave words.

One thing that bothers me about Vic is that he does not seem to put the TEAM first. Obviously, he is very talented but I really value players who put the team and winning above all else. I can't say I see that with Vic. And stopping "pieing" people during interviews too..

If Bourn is willing to walk and get on base by any means nessecary, why not have him lead-off? Isn't that what we need? A legit table-setter?

Hit Utley 2, Rollins 3 and Howard 4. Wouldn't that solve the L-L-L issue at 2-3-4? Not to mention there would be 3 rabbits at the top of the line-up.

I am not convinced we can win the World Series without a proper leadoff hitter. We can't always try to hit homeruns. I'm pretty sure we saw how that went v. CO.

Clearly, Bourn isn't a proven commodity but you drafted him for a reason and you have to give players a full blown chance before you see their true colors. Players often feed off the confidence shown to them by coaches and front office.

With that being said, I think we would be wise to somehow keep Rowand if we can trade Vic. Losing both would be tough. Rowand clearly puts TEAM FIRST.

wow...I really hope that's some quality sarcasm, legend.

yeaa it is quality scarcasm. I actually would love to see Vic pie more people after games

Legend: What are you seeing that indicates Victorino isn't putting the team first?

Getting caught trying to steal 3rd with 2 outs - down by more than one run - this happened more than once.. Then saying he doesn't know why people are getting on him about it and it isn't his fault.

His body language during the stretch run of the season when he was not playing was poor.. RARELY bunts, which is a sin with his speed. He just sends the wrong vibes in that regard.

I said he is very talented, his ARM is staggering. I can't remember anyone making those kind of plays in RF ever. He has stupid speed and he is a good hitter.

All I am saying is that if we could get solid value for him I think we should do it and try to re-sign Rowand and keep Bourn. Shouldn't we learn from the CHI SOX letting Rowand go and them turning to shyt?

Just because the sox sucked after they lost rowand does not mean that this is the reason they sucked. there's no causal relationship. thome has been arguably a bigger asset for them than rowand was.

paying rowand anything more than $10 million is a bad deal...and it may turn out that even that amount will be regrettable.

So body language and wrong vibes then?

Look out, alden's back!

i never understand why people think that a player doesn't walk because he isn't willing to walk or because he does't understand the value of the walk. major league pitchers don't miss by much when they miss and the hitter doesn't have all day to decide ball from strike. different players have different skills. for example, pat burrell is good at drawing walks but bad at hitting the ball the other way.

My feeling is that Victorino is ultimately going to end up the better player, although neither is going to be an all star. They have a close minor league OPS, but Vic played in the minors straight out of HS whereas Bourn came from college. That means Victorino had his years 18-20 drag down his averages - although even without them, he wouldn't be a spectacular player. Still, the absolute lack of power from Bourn has to be concerning. Ultimately the decision (if one is made) of who to trade should come down to who can offer the most in return, and if any position is going to be upgraded in free agency, it should be RF.

Offensively, IMO, assuming they were both playinf CF, comparing Vic to Bourne is like comparing Garry Maddox to Juan Pierre.

AWH, I'm not sure if you meant that as an insult or not, but you realize Maddox and Pierre have pretty similar career lines? .301/.348/.374 and .285/.320/.413 (guess which is which!).

not to mention that Bourn is just not that similar to Pierre. Bourn will strike out a lot but draw some walks; Pierre never does either one. the Bourn/Pierre comparison is just like the Burrell/Kingman comparison that was oh so popular several months ago - it ignores a hugely important part of the game (i.e. actually reaching base).

So, is it a sign of snobbery or group-wisdom that, when we talk about OF replacement options, no beerleaguers bring up the human game board about to leave SD? (His career OPS is .890 and his OPS+ is over 100 for the last 4 (5?) years.) I guess we do believe in "intangibles."

Or the fact that he hates Philly and we hate him.

(Yeah, but ZT, it would give all the pitchers free reign to plunk him in batting practice.)

And that we'd have to overpay him and give up a draft pick. (Actually, it will ber interesting to see who's willing to lose a draft pick and gain a headache.)

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