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Friday, November 02, 2007


If he can pitch like he can eat hot dogs, we need to land this Kobayashi guy.

Well, the Yankees just decided that someone with Abreu's production level is worth $16MM/yr.

That should help to set prices in the free agent market, as players (esp. OF) will be compared either favorably or unfavorably with him.

AWH, I'm sure you will perceive this as me getting on some kind of elevated horse, but:

the Yankees picking up Abreu's contract will have virtually no impact on the free agent market. A) it's $16M for one year, not multiple years. B) it's actually $14M if you subtract the $2M buyout they would have to pay. C) Abreu is not a free agent - there's no negotiating an option. D) the Yankees have essentially an unlimited payroll, so picking up any player's option is pretty much a no-brainer for them. E) I'm pretty sure that if the Yankees had declined his option, they would have also forfeited any compensation picks (Abreu is Type A).

not to put down Jason's sources, but if MLBTR's translation can be believed, Kobayashi did indeed file for free agency today.

ae: All your points are valid, but that won't stop an agent from saying, "My player is as good as Bobby Abreu, and he's making $16M."

For instance, OPS+ comparisons last three seasons:
Abreu: 114, 126, 126
Burrell: 127, 122, 128

If Burrell were a free agent this year, I think there's a good chance his agent would be looking at what comparable players are making.

(Disclaimer: I'm not saying Burrell and Abreu are equal players. I'll let you decide who's better. I'm just using it as an example.)

ae: Jason's source said Kobayahsi WOULD file for free agency, but likely stay in Japan and play with a different team.

CJ, only if the player's looking for a one-year deal. and MLBTR's post specifically says Kobayashi is interested in the MLB (although as I can't read Japanese I can't interpret exactly what that means).

I translated the page using babelfish and got this:
"The Lotte Co., Ltd. Kobayashi elegance English pitcher (33) on the 2nd, the reporter you interviewed at the Chiba marine stadium, "the free agent (FA) submitted the application to club. As for domestic all club of course, including also American measure, we would like to try hearing the story of the place where it shows interest ", that you expressed, you stated that the FA right which this season is acquired is used formally. Club side "we would like to have remaining behind. Until you decide, exhausting sincerity, we would like to discuss ", (club section Department Manager Honda) with you endeavor to dissuasion. "Thinking of the age aspect, it decided Kobayashi elegance. Reserving (declaration) when it is next year, growing older, also performance falls. You thought "that we would like to declare quickly even in order to raise feeling that you explain. After 23 "at the time of use it tried not to think in total 250 saving which is approached. It is there is prejudice in stopper, but there is no thought "of being only that, that and so on you spoke. Kobayashi elegance listed this season 27 saving, the season when the self has extended professional baseball longest record of 20 saving to 7 consecutively. As for total record in 9 years 36 victory 34 defeat/miss 227 saving and earned-run averages 2. 79."

That should clear it up.

I'd like to see them roll the dice on Saito myself.

At least one Yankees fan thinks Mike Lowell is a bad option...

This is a fascinating blog post that makes some really compelling points.

Excerpt: "How did he manage to hit a whopping .373/.418/.575 with 73 RBIs at home? By spraying the crap out of the Green Monster. Nearly all of his Fenway Park extra-base hits seemed to be a product of that wall. Meanwhile, on the road, Lowell hit just .276/.339/.428, numbers much more in line with his career stats and 2006 numbers."

The post includes a great hit chart. Would some of those hits off the green monster also reach our left field seats?

I also dont think the Yankees picking up Abreus option will effect the FA market any

clout - you've mentioned Saito before and he is interesting. But he's truly rolling the dice. His pitching is the stuff of legends, unbelievable off-speed and breaking pitchesd by all accounts, with pop on his fastball and (unheard of for most Phils) great command. But he also has been seriously injured and may still be. Count in the $30 MM posting fee and whatever he'd want as a salary and it gets dicey (as in rolling the...).

If we were the GMs or owners it might happen. I'm not sure our bunch will take that kind of risk. They are risk averse, to a large degree (which doesn't stop them from getting burned by the occasional Freddy Garcia).

Great post JW. Much more interesting than anything covered by the Philly sports media in regards to the offseason in the past week or so.

Latest news on ARod from ESPN:

"But team executives were told, sources say, that in order to arrange a meeting with Rodriguez, they would have to be prepared to make an extension offer that would take the third baseman's deal up to a total value of $350 million. That means that the offer the Yankees intended to propose would have been more than $100 million short."

Pardon me for my following social rant but this story just disgusted my father and I so much I had to comment.

This level of unwarranted greed disgusts me and it is not because I am one of the proletariat hordes who wants to overcome the ruling bourgeois.

Where are the national media guys bashing ARod and Baras? You hear it a little here and there but not really. Have we become so jaded and insular as a culture that this kind of greed no longer demands a social response or at least an inquiry into what kind of society we are becoming?

The most ironic part is that many baseball fans decry the "lack of competitiveness" and the "inequity of resources" between teams like the Yanks/Red Sox and the Royals. If anything, baseball has become much more socialist in nature over time and the luxury tax has been a significant hindrance on large-revenue generating teams. I find it oddly and sadly amusing that fans in most American sports clamor for equality yet espouse a completely different message outside of the sports medium. Ironic indeed.

MG, and I was accused by 'from the district' of registering too much "righteous indignation".

I'll provide some help for you:

ARod and Boras are greedy.

Other players are greedy, too.

Owners are greedy.

The media understand that.

Billionaires are negotiating with millionaires to divide up the $6+ billion(and growing) in spoils of MLB revenue.

Why do you care who gets to keep it?

Lastly, there are many fans of American sports who clamor for equality and decry the greed, and do the same outside the sports medium. They call themselves socialists.

AWH - This has nothing to do with being a "socialist." That is a term that is thrown away way too often and in situations where it doesn't apply.

I care because this effects something that I derive an interest in and I guess it just offends me on some basic level. Plus, I am willing to bet that even people in the baseball world are pretty shocked by ARod's wanton greed.

I also care about the ARod story so much because I get sick and tired of hearing about how ARod cares about anything but money (which is 100% bullshit) and criticizes the fans/media get on him for his lack of performance/things in his personal life that may effect his baseball performance.

If he expects such a high salary, then he should be expect that he will be a lightning rod for controversy/criticism when he is performing.

Seattle did not pick up the option of Jose Guillen. He seems like an interesting option to play RF (assuming he is even somewhat affordable while addressing pitching and 3B). He has been a headcase in the past, but I don't think he is even in the same universe as Milton Bradley. Whatever problems he used to have seem to have been put behind him in recent years. I think he might be worth a look, and considering where he is coming from, I think Gillick probably will.

I also think that the speculated potential sale of the Phillies was actually the Phillies talking to Scott Boras about signing A-Rod.

Wow AWH throwing around the "Socialist" tag, I think that is taking over the line. In the words of Seinfeld: "Not that there is anything wrong with that", but I wonder if "socialist" was the appropriate term.

Parker, I didn't say ALL fans, I said "many".

Fact: There are socialists in the USA (and elsewhere).

Fact: Some of them are baseball fams.

I was referring to them. Please explain why that is "over the line".

P.S. I merely pointed this out in response to MG. I did not editorialize.

AWH, I was mostly just kidding, although I must admit, I kind off thought it interesting to see "socialist" posted this morning. Canada is a nation of social healthcare, which is obvously an idea founded in socialism. Its not like it is a naughty word, but I think that the term carries a lot of baggage, possibly from misunderstanding of its true meanings, and association with various dictataorial regimes.

Why do we care who keeps the money? Because both sides expect us to keep filling the trough, and to provide bigger troughs. There's no perceptible concern about the long-term issue of what it's doing to the fan base and the future of the sport.

How much do we pay for the privilege of parking at the ballgame? How much does it cost to sit 500 feet away from the diamond? How easy is it to watch CSN on something other than Comcast? How much is a beer and a hotdog at the park? Why are we (or the visitors we advertise for) expected to fund stadiums? How much does a 'replica' jersey cost? How much does it cost for the ability to watch an Astros-Pirates game online or on cable?

More importantly, which has been higher - the general rate of inflation or the baseball rate of inflation?

Do you want a sport where the in-studio audience is corporate partiers who pick up tickets as a handout for doing business, or people who bleed pinstripes day-in day-out? Do you think that the school kids of today will find the same loyalty to the sport that their parents did, or will fractionalized interest apply to pro team sports as well?

You're a family with 3 kids. Gas prices are eating a chunk out of your budget. How many times a year will you continue to drop $180 bucks for an evening at the ballpark? If you live in Plymouth Meeting, do you decide to drop that on the Phils-Brewers, or less than half of that on the Iron Pigs? Which will make your family happy?

Why have the minor leagues boomed? Because people found they got the basic ballpark experience they wanted without getting hung up on the travel time and price-gouging. For the casual fans, which outnumber the loyalists, the product on the field doesn't matter that much. MLB differentiates in just two areas to them: the bandwagon when a big-city team is a winner, and star name recognition at the game (not the performance, just the 'I saw' part).

Otherwise, it's heading for the same fate as hockey where there's a small core of loyalists who can't recognize that the enthusiasm in the building is apathy when you get to the street.

That's why we should care about the money.

Rant off, flame on.

Our starting catcher in 1986 and current AAA manager finally gets his shot:

According to the Beaver County Times, the Pirates could name Triple-A Ottawa manager John Russell their replacement for Jim Tracy as soon as Monday.

Russell, 46, was on the Pirates staff in 2003-05. He's reportedly being picked over White Sox bench coach Joey Cora, Dodgers bench coach Dave Jauss, Triple-A Indianapolis manager Trent Jewitt and Cleveland third0base coach Joel Skinner.

We've talked about A-Rod possibilities and how it might shape the market. Here's a new scenario, given Bora$$'$ overwhelming greed - what if no one springs for $35 per year for a player who will never agian have the year he had this year, which was better but, incidently, not THAT MUCH better than anybody else. What if no one pays him 35 for 10? Will he sit out? Will he come down in his price?

Gosh, Bora$$ listed the $350MM as his floor price. He wants even more than that.

I uderstand prices are going up. But really, whoever puts that kind of money into one player is dooming their team to years of mediocrity.

Jim Tracy and Grady Little are two of the worst managers in history so it's nice to see them gone and at least one new guy get a shot instead of the same old recycled garbage.

s97. it's about choices, isn't it? Before TV, at one time, minor league baseball was bigger in this country than it is today.

If it's coming back because MLB is pricing itself out of some households, then that's a good thing. Kids can get the experience anywhere.

My point is that MLB prices are going to go up anyway, regardless of whether players make more money or not. You're arguing over the split.

Owners aren't financially stupid. They make money, regardless of what they tell you, and THEY'RE GOING TO KEEP RAISING PRICES WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAVE TO PAY THE PLAYERS MORE.

If players damage their collective image through their greed and the fan base erodes because of it (remember the strike), then it will eventually cost them money.

Let them split the money any way they want to.

All I care about is that the team I follow and watch tries as best they can to win.

Lastly, everyone (all the writers and pundits) have assumed that Boras "knew" he had a deal at $300 - 350 million before Rodriguez opted out. I'm starting to wonder. His image was hurt by the timing of the announcement, and the Yankees (who usually set the market) seem to be sticking to their guns and telling Boras to "stick it". And it's coming from Steinbrenner - not Cashman. They won't be used to drive the price up. The Red Sox probably aren't going to participate - their fans would go nuts. Simply, a team has to look at whether they can duplicate that production for $30-35 million/yr, and spread the injury risk over several players.

At first I thought he could do that kind of deal, but now...I'll lay even money it doesn't happen.

Parker: Jose Guillen lifetime OPS: .772, lifetime OB .325. Lifetime K/BB ratio: 4/1.
Is that better than a Werth/Bourn platoon? I say no. Werth/Bourn are also better defensively. I think we can upgrade, but a high strikeout, low OB corner outfielder who's had attitude problems is not the way to go.

"whoever puts that kind of money into one player is dooming their team to years of mediocrity."

Andy, I agree. As I posted before, since free agency began, only once has a team with the highest paid player ever won the WS. It just seems to suck up too much of a team's resources.

Let me try to be calmer in how I say this:
Is Alex Rodriguez 75% better than anybody else playing? 'Cause that's what Bora$$ is asking.

If I were anyobody's GM I would, without collusion, just say no. If everybody is wise and sensible will: 1) Bora$$ come down in his price? or 2) Bora$$ claim there's collusion? or 3) Alex sits for a whole year like J.D. Drew?

A useless "if" I know, because there is bound to be one knucklehead GM who is okay with ruining his team for years to come for the sake of a one-time "coups."

On Guillen: (yikes) here is the argument about team morale again. It might be okay with saying he's over his problems, but he's had a lot of problems.

He has nailed the ball at CBP though.

yikes I thought I closed that tag.

Just one quick comment about the whole Arod thing. "Greed is good...Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit"

haha yeah so Arod's asking price is indeed disgusting but I'm more inclined to agree that its just billionaires and millionaires splitting up the pie. The kind of thing that turned many fans off in the 1994 strike.

TBex - Gordon Gecko is not a good role model. In fact he goes to jail in that movie.

My main point is that $35MM per year denigrates and insults everybody else. Manny Ramirez, who has been a key contributor on two WS winning teams (whom I would not really want in my OF, by the way) will get a league premium $20MM next year. I need someone to tell me how A-Rod's contributions to his team/the game are worth 75% more than Manny's.

(That's actually rhetorical, howqever, since we know that no one player is worth 75% more than every other player.)

I want the Mets to sign A-Rod. They might bash the heck out of us next year; but over the next 10 years, we will begin to whoop them pretty consistently.

Jose Guillen is more trouble than he's worth. Character is important to the make-up of a team; bring in one bad apple and he can offset the whole cart. At least the Phillies seem to have had enough sense to realize this. Besides, a lefty-hitting outfielder would make much more sense considering the presence of Jayson Werth.

There will be one or two teams stupid enough to go after Rodriguez, but most will note that he's been as far as the ALCS just once in his career and wisely back away. I would not say that Rodriguez is over-rated, but the importance of a guy like him to a *team* is over-stated. Did the Rangers get an ounce better for having imported him? Did the Yankees? Did the Mariners not go out and win 116 games the year after he left? He's a homerun hitter. When homerun hitters aren't hitting homeruns, they usually don't do much to help you win games. Rodriguez's defense and baserunning skills are decent, but nothing a litany of others don't do just as well or better. Great hitter, but that's it. No leadership qualities whatsoever. And as a person...well, is he a person? He strikes me as the archetypical 21st century android-athlete - I don't know if I've ever seen a player who was more blatantly money-motivated than Rodriguez. And he isn't worth half of what Boras is asking.

I think you guys may be reading too much into this $350M story. in the first place, it was leaked by Yankees sources, who don't want to look bad in the press and may have overstated the situation. and in the second place, if Rodriguez just doesn't want to play in NY (because of the pressure, or because he doesn't like his teammates, or whatever), he and Boras could have just made an absurd demand, just to see if they'd match it.

if anything is an affront to baseball, it's Sammy Sosa reportedly asking for $7M a year. now that's just crazy.

on Guillen, I think he's going to pull down a much bigger contract than what we should be looking to pay. he's only 31, and he's been very productive in 4 of the last 5 years. he's going to be looking for a multi-year deal as a starter, not a cheap contract to platoon with someone.

Why is everyone stating that the Mets may get ARod. They are set at third short and have a good second baseman in Castillo. Where will Arod play or who on the team now will be moved?

ae: Think you hit it on the head with the story leak. AROD and Boras are taking a beating for how they put this out during the series and the Yanks are trying to pile on. My question is the contract that Alex got last time was because of Boras saying he had a phantom offer. That caused the Rangers to overbid by $100 million? What I wonder is if he will be able to pull that trick on anyone again. Someone will pay for him but i'm thinking AROD gets less then $30 mill/season.

fljerry, Castillo is a free agent, and he's also not actually that good. (i.e. Wright + Reyes + Rodriguez >>> Wright + Reyes + Castillo.)

I agree, malcolm...I think there's just not going to be that many teams that can bid on Rodriguez. but I would bet that somebody (Anaheim) will find a way to pay him 10/$300.

fljerry, ae - I'm still guessing that he'd play 1B and they'd find someone to take Delgado. But frankly, I only said that cause he'll ruin whomever takes him and it might as well be someone to our benefit.

I didn't realize Castillo was free agent but I've seen him down here in florida and thought he was a decent second baseman. He's a definite 300 hitter and lots of speed. To me he would be a perfect 2 hitter on that team. Hes a great bunter and beats out lots of infield hits. Can't believe they will not try to resign him.

As far as the Mets signing ARod is concerned, let me ask:

How much of an upgrade is he over David Wright? I'm not asking whether he's better (of course he is), but HOW MUCH of an upgrade is he?

He wants $30MM/yr or more. Is he really worth $25+MM more than David Wright?(DR, BTW, made $1.25MM in 2007). Is he that much better a player? Is he going to give his team that much better a chance to win?

The more I think about it, I think Boras is engaging in wishful thinking. The contract he negotiated before was way over what the market was (dumb Hicks), and I think malcolm's question is rhetorical, in that I don't think any owner or GM is going to let Boras "pull that trick" again.

It's not going to take collusion for ARod to get less than $30mm. It's just going to take understanding GMs saying: "Scott, the last contract isn't relevant - your boy was way overpaid then, and I'm not going to look like a fool by overpaying now. BTW, Scott, how many WS winners has he played for?"

It will be interesting to see where he winds up, and how much he gets.

Y'know, getting back to the top of the thread; what chance do we have at Fukudome? He might be an interesting replacement for Rowand (with Vic moving to center).

'course he is a lefty.
And west coast teams (usually) go buggy over Japanese ball players.

The Malcolm with a capital "M" checking in:

It would be an intriguing show of protest toward the system and the agent/player-led rules of the offseason if every team ignored A-Rod and denied him anything. Imagine what could happen from such a demonstration.

Of course, someone will pay what A-Rod is looking for, or at least close to it, and the system will continue to get worse.

Going back to the previous Vic/Bourn thread, the Astros are reportedly interested in acquiring a CF, but Rowand, Hunter and AJones may be out of their price range.

Not being a minor league guru, do the Astros have anyone in the high minors the Phillies would want in a trade - players for whom the Phils would/should be willing to give up Vic or Bourn?

It will be interesting to see how Boras plays this. The one thing he has on his side is the battle for LA going on between the Dodgers and Angels. Both teams could afford to pay AROD and the winner would own the town and headlines. LA seems like a perfect fit for him considering the easy going attittude.

andy, your right. a-rod is not 75% better than anyone else...not even close. the market for him is utterly ridiculous.

he sucks in the postseason. also, and no one is talking about this, he's 32! how can anyone be comfortable signing him to a contract whereby he could be 40 and making $35 mil. a year. unless he's jacked up, history tells us his performance will certainly decline by then.

Yeah, maybe Guillen is not the answer, then again I was not suggesting that RF was a huge need. he did his .362 against LH pitching last year with a 1.049 OPS clip. That will earn him some money, headcase or not.

AWH - I looked a while back and only saw Troy Patton, who's not even worth the loss of Bourn. (Their system looks worse than ours.)

We might, however, swing about 4 or 5 early draft picks, since Wade is the Houston GM.

AWH - I looked again. Don't they have Hunter Pence in Center? He had a pretty good year.

Parker: Guillen has always killed lefties and sucked against righties. This makes him a Werth clone. I'll take the original.

Malcolm: It would be cool if every MLB team ignored A Rod this offseason. And I know exactly what would happen. The players union would sue on grounds of collusion and they would win.

AWH: I'm gonna disagree with Andy here (not about athe overall quality of the Astros farm, but on a couple prospects). I like Matt Albers and Troy Patton. Both are LHP. Albers is a hard throwing stud with control problems. I think lakefred scouted him one game and he reported that Albers was serving up some fat pitches. Still, 24 with a great left arm is a nice thing to have. Patton is the opposite of Albers. He doesn't throw nearly as hard but has decent command and decent breaking pitches. He's only 22 and was superb at AA last year. He also held his own in 12 IP with Houston. His upside isn't as good as Albers, but he's more of a sure thing to me.

Would I deal Bourn or Vic for one of these guys? Yes. In a minute. Would Houston do it? NO.

clout - before you say they wouldn't do it, remember how competent their GM is.

Besides , clout, I did mention Patton, who may be a better prospect than Bourn, but not, at this point, worth the LOSS of Bourn (which is coupled, of course, with the loss of Rowand).

In addition to Pence, they have Carlos Lee camped in LF and a few younger guys who might be right fielders. They also have Tim Raines.


I most certainly agree with your point about money and pointa about going to see minor league baseball. I am in that boat where If I the family to a major league game it's big bucks out of my pocket. Why? The closest major league teams to me are Baltimore and the Nats. Living in the Ricmond Va. doesn't afford me to cpme home to see a Phils game very often. I work right around the corner from where the Richmond Braves play and my the head man in my building buys a complete season ticket package. 4 seats 2 rows behind the R-Braves dugout. Since he can't make all the games a lot of diiferent people get to use the tickets.

Even when I buy tickets they are not terribly expensive and I am a handicaapped individual so I get to sit behind home plate anyway. Some night hot dogs are a buck and it's fun to watch games anyway. The Braves won the IL championship this year and fans of the team had lots to cheer about.

Money IS what it's all about. I love the Phiily teams. I'm Philadelphian. I want to take trips back home to see the Phils a couple times a year. I didn't this year. I never thought the Phils would win anything. Gillick hasn't shown much in the way of putting a team together that can be a lead-pipe lock to make the playoffs. When and if he does that, maybe phans like myself would come to games more.

Now, I have family members who have partial season ticket plans and they've told me that if Rowand walks and 3b,the OF and the pitching syaff are not upgraded they will cancel their tickets. Ticket prices were raised last years abd the team drew more than 3.1 million. They have money to spend and they need to do it. Players' salaries are not coming down.

They made no effort to re-sign any of their own FA's during the season so they'd better have plan that will work. I have been told that a reliable source that the Phils will be aggressive this winter. Let's hope so.

Most of you know I'm a pessimist. Now you know why. But I'm a great phans that really root for the team. Blogging on this site is a lot of fun because it's great to talk Phillies baseball all year. I use my real name because I don't want to hide anything.

One last point (and sorry for being long-winded here), Abreu's option has no $$ impact on the FA market. The option of course was something was in his contract. If it were not picked up then the Yanks, then the $$ he would have been paid maybe would impact the market. Not so now.

Patrone - thanks.

I know that the games I and my family can go to are the Staten Island Yanks, who usually do well, since the Yankees take drafting and development seriously. And we can afford these tickets. My mother-in-law from North Carolina, who had never gone to a professional baseball game, went this year and loved it. I don't know if she would have liked it so much if the tickets had been more expensive.

Which is not to say I do not want the Phils to be aggressive in the off-season. With the four studs on their roster they can be competitive now, and should work to be.

ESPN is reporting that the cards are expressing interest in signing Curt Schilling and the interest is mutual. I don't know what all this means until someone signs on a line, but apparently interest exists. No word as to whether negotiations have begun.

In other news I have interest in Jessica Beil. I hope that the Cardinals and I share some qualities in this case.

Parker - does she look anything like Jessica Biel?

Speaking of minor league baseball, the Iron Pigs (phils AAA new team) was picked up by the Pirates as their new manager. Too bad we won't be seeing him here in Allentown.

Andy, lol, very similar. Biel, not Beil. But I do hope that Schillings interest in the Cards is analogous to Jessica Biel's interest in a relationship with me.

Its about like that line from Dumb and Dumber: "So you are telling me there is a chance."

I don't get the Guillen bashing. You want to say he hits like Werth yet his career L/R splits aren't very drastic. He's an over .800 OPS guy for the past 5 years when healthy. And he actually has a significant sample of ML ABs.

Yes he strikes out a lot and is certainly not as strong as Bourn defensively but I have a hardtime believing Werth is demonstrably better. And the OB is dragged down by his early years. When healthy he's put up .353 .338 .352 .350 ish numbers the past 5 years.

I said it in the other thread that I would give him the money before Rowand and I stand by that now. Just think it may get too pricey to worry about such an upgrade. But I think for cheap he's a good move.

And Guillen was run out of Anaheim and after reading Fantasyland it sounded like he wasn't that great of a guy. But he hasn't had a problem since so that may be behind him.

Very good news for John Russell. As far as Schilling and the Cards, Peter Gammons thinks that STL is the best bet for him and wouldn't be surprised if he signs with either the Cards or Phils. Does anyone know if the Phils even contacted him? this is why I get upset with this team. They never let out what they're doing and when they don't get their man they always offer some BS excuse. I sat heck with STL. Go get the guy.

Jessica Biel's very average. Anyway, there's nothing wrong, in my opinion, with what A-Rod's doing. He has no plans to go to a bad team; ergo, we can't conclude that he cares more about money than winning. I'd even go so far as to say that he'd have a better chance at winning with the Angels or Dodgers (or Cubs) than he would with the Yankees. As the best baseball player in the whole world, a one in six billion talent, his feeling that he deserves to be paid an obscene amount of money is understandable. Whatever club he goes to, he'll help them generate a lot of revenue and he deserves his share of that. It's not as if A-Rod's stealing from the fans in the stands; he's getting paid by ownership. If an owner can afford him, then I don't see why he should take a so-called principled stand and not sign him. It'd be no more greedy to give him the money than it would be to pocket it and cost the team and the fans 10 or so wins, which is what the statheads claim A-Rod is worth.

Andy, the runor is they would move Hunter Pence to RF if they could acquire a CF.

Tray, "cost the team and the fans 10 or so wins" as compared to who?

My question above when discussing the Mets was about Davis Wright. So I ask you, is he really 10 wins better than Wright? Is he 10 wins better than Aramis Ramirez? Miguel Cabrera? Mike Lowell?

Take a look at the Phillies. Would he really add 10 wins if they just signed him and didn't upgrade their pitching?

thrillhouse - stuff like this makes me wonder how much Guiillen is over it.

Tray - just a question: ten wins or ten wins over replacement?

And, given the way you then have to let all your homegrown talent leaev when they turn arb-eligible, and given the morale on a team where everyone else says (in the deep recesses of their mind - and only occasionally, of course), "Well, he's getting 15 times more than me, so I don't have to work so hard."

AWH - that trade wouldn't work for me then. I'd want Pence in return. (Just being unreasonable.) (But hoping that Wade is as bad for them as he was for us.)

Parker - I heard Biel wants a full no trade clause.

Andy: Thats a deal breaker, she better go to Ed Wade in Houston.

Tray: Average (Biel)?, Did you see, "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry?"

thrillhouse: I think we begin to get into trouble when we twist stats to make our case as in throwing out the "early years" or using only the "years where he wasn't injured." His stats are his stats, his injuries are his injuries.

Andy: Name 3 moves that Wade made that were worse than Gillick.

Andy - In his defense having gone to plus seen numerous Angels/Mariners games there is outright venom between the Angels and him and Brendan Donnelly was a reliever on the 2004 Angels with Guillen. After reading that of course is stated in the paragraph. Don't know why he brings up fighting a bat boy though, I read the quote as send the bat boy as a messenger so he can meet and fight Donnelly outside.

But anyways in LA he was boo-ed and thrown at I believe. Probably won't be a saint but I find it hard to believe he could be so negative that guys like Utley Vic Rollins and Howard who bring nothing but positives couldn't balance it out or straighten him out. The bland boring Mariners were competitive with him "poisoning" their clubhouse.

Clout I subscribe to the belief that if the past 5 years he has been X and 10 years ago he was Y he will be more likely to be X than Y. And to not discount an injury is foolish. Granted his last 5 years were his "prime" I still think the short term lower money deal he may get as a forgotten man in the OF market this year makes him viable.

By the way

Parker: Guillen has always killed lefties and sucked against righties. This makes him a Werth clone. I'll take the original.

This is just flat wrong. I hardly call .799 vs .764 on his career killing vs sucking. Even in 2005 he had a reverse split.

Comparing Werth to him is not right either because Werth has never proven healthy enough to be a full time player or as effective a player.

clout - I'm not so much getting into defending Gillick.

I just remember drafting Tim Moss as the first player we got to choose in that draft. Why was that?

c-guy: I would be willing to do some research, however, and make some comparisons between Wade and Cashman or Wade and Shapiro or Wade and Epstein or Wade and Beane. (You know, if it's even possible to make those sort of comparisons.)

clout - who did we pick in the second round after Hamels? I'm sort of forgetting.

That's what I get for trying to be snide and snotty. Sorry. What I meant to say was - how about the year BEFORE we drafted Hamels, when we picked Gavin Floyd first (which is, actually okay: he looked very good back then), but then didn't have another pick until the fourth round.

My main concern with Wade is that he did not show respect for the draft. His picks look like someone tossing coins: either they're really good (not very often) or they are "no way they'll ever make the majors" organizational filler.

He doesn't make trades any worse than some of those made by Gillick. That does not make a very good recommendation, however.

Andy: Based on quality of prospects drafted and trade results, I'd rate Wade as no better than average as a GM who fared better on prospects than on trades. Using those same criteria for the 2 years of Gillick, I'd rate Gillick as well below average, although we have only his horrible trades to judge him by. If Drabek, Cardenas, Savery and D'Arnaud pan out, then his grade goes up.

Hey folks!
Doing a little research (so that when clout shows how foolish I truly am, I'll be able to muster at least one more quirky, off-base reply), I came across the utility player we want! It's not because he's fast, or a great fielder (though he can steal an occasional base and field just about any position), nor because he's a great hitter (as many DPs as HRs, usually). We need him for his name.

Not even his first or last name either. We need him for his very Hawaiian middle name - which we would then insist be the name called by all PA announcers across the league.

Bronson Sardinha - 24 year old at AAA in the Yankees organization.

Bronson Kiheimahanaomauiakeo Sardinha

How can you beat an eleven syllable name?

clout - Wade might have even fared better on prospects if he had more draft picks to work with. For instance, who knows, maybe he could have picked someone like Kelley Shoppach, or Kirk Saarlos, or Shelley Duncan in the fourth round of the 2001 draft - if only he had that pick.


Our next pick after Hamels was Zach Segovia, then some high school third baseman named Kiel Fisher, then some pitcher named Nicholas Bourgeois, then Hank Blalock's brother, Jake. A bunch of garbage, in other words. But that's not really Ed Wade's fault. It's just the nature of the major league draft. If you get one good major league regular out of your draft, you've had a pretty good draft. If you get 2, you've had a great draft.

I wasn't a fan of Ed Wade and I think he richly deserved to be fired. But the rap that he lost too many draft picks through FA signings is unwarranted. Baseball drafting is an absolute crapshoot, except that the odds of winning in craps are actually a whole lot better than the odds of getting a quality major league player with an early draft pick. Not to mention that draft picks are further devalued by the time factor -- since it's usually a 3 or 4 year wait before the draftee is major league ready, plus another 2 or 3 year learning period at the major league level.

If I could lock up a solid major league player for 3 years, at the cost of a late first or early second round pick in that year's draft, I'd do it almost every time. The problem with Ed Wade wasn't the strategy, but the execution. He signed a lot of FAs who simply weren't very good & his trades were worse yet.

b_a_p, Bill James might disagree with you, depending what your definition is of a "solid major league player".

From the 1988 Abstract:

" Primer #6. The chance of getting a good player with a high draft pick is substantial enough that is clearly a disastrous strategy to give up a first-round draft pick to sign a player like Rick Dempsey, Pete Falcone, or Bill Stein."

clout and Andy, I think your debate regarding Gillick vs. Wade, and their performance at the draft level, is a pointless waste of time. You both know that the GM's affect on the draft, at least in the Phils organization, is zero to extemely minor.

It's Arbuckle's baby, he's the one that calls the shots for the most part. That's why he is always the one who does the interviews afterwards about the players they've picked. Have you ever heard a story about him being overruled by the GM in the draft room? I don't think it happens.

Now, it seems that, from our observation of the results, that the Phillies have had very good success if they are drafting in the upper rounds. Of the core group of Phillies young players, Hamels, Burrell, and Utley and Rollins are all 1st or 2nd rounders. Howard is the outlier, the abberation, having been drafted in the 5th. And don't kill me for this, but Eaton was a 1st rounder also.

The organization has used the fact (or excuse) that because of the lost draft picks in the upper rounds due to Wade's FA signings, that that is the reason for the dearth of MLB ready prospects in the high minors.

What does it indicate? Perhaps, there seems to be a deficiency in the effective scouting of talent in HS and college.

However, in the team's defense, this is the list of "notable" MLB players, the round drafted (the complete list of players is on, not previously mentioned, that they've drafted in the Arbuckle era, and that have made some contribution to their teams:

Gomes 1
Rolen 2
Coggin 1
Marlon Anderson 2
Drew 1
Wolf 2
Turnbow 5
Estrada 17
Michaels 4
Madson 9
Geary 15
Punto 21
Byrd 10
Buchholz 6
Roberson 9
Mathieson 17
Bourne 4

I do not know how they compare overall to other teams success ratios, but others have done comparisons here to other teams in the past. I believe they rank somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Now, where clout is dead-on about Gillick AND Wade is their abysmal performance in the trade market. Management has really demonstrated an inability to get quality prospects in return for superstars such as Schilling, Rolen or Abreu - prospects that could have made up for the lack of draft picks because of the FA signings.

That would seem to be an indication that their major and minor league scouting operations are in need of some assistance.

I share that view. The proof is in the pudding.

BAP, on Segovia: I actually meant the year before - that is: who he drafted after Floyd in 2001. The point there is that we had no second or third round pick in 2001 when we were picking 4th. Your odds of throwing one seven in 4 rolls are better than those of throwing it in 2.

Actually, if you'd like to list those poorly executed deals you mention, made by Wade, clout seems to be interested in that information.

Snipped from a CityPaper 9-19-96 article about the Phils: (this is *1996*)

About the Arbuckle
If Rolen is a harbinger of the Arbuckle regime, then fans rightfully can have their hopes up.

Among other Phillies prospects, Arbuckle defends his increasingly criticized right-handed pitchers Carlton Loewer (first pick, 1994) and Wayne Gomes (first pick, 1993). "People and the press get impatient," Arbuckle says. "It happens with every first-round draft pick — people assume they're going to move quickly. Had you seen Chipper Jones at the plate in September, October, you would have been embarrassed he was your first-round pick. I go by what my eyes tell me, not what people say. These are both going to be major league pitchers."

Other prospects Arbuckle named were second baseman Marlon Anderson (second pick, 1995), popularly considered an heir-apparent to Morandini, who is now with the AA team (and another of Arbuckle's picks). In the A ball league, right-handed pitchers David Coggin ("He's got the best arm in the organization," says one scout) Randy Knoll and Jason Boyd.

Arbuckle's A ball list of prospects concurs with those of Blengino and a scout I talked to, separately — minus Boyd, plus pitcher Robert Burger and center fielder Reggie Taylor.

I call one of the top-of-the-pack farm systems to get an outside opinion on what the Phils' farm system looks like. "It's improved — there's a lot of respect out there for what Mike's done," says Jay Robertson, director of scouting for the Cleveland Indians, and himself a member of the Phillies' scouting department 1982 through 1987.

"You had a situation [with the Phillies] in which you had scouts who'd all grown old together," Robertson says (adds he doesn't mean age when he says old]. "Things had stagnated a little. Mike took over, kind of lit a little fire under them... they seem to be going at it pretty hard, always out there."

A scout I spoke to, who asked to remain anonymous, was less positive.

"Mike Arbuckle has them on the right track. But is he enough? No. Some of their area scouts are a very average lot at best... area scouts are the foot soldiers of this business. If you don't have area scouts, you're not going to have the product that top organizations have. I don't think Mike has full authority with picking area scouts." (Arbuckle's response: "We have made some changes — four to five changes in an area scout staff of about 16 to 17. I don't think until you've worked with the staff yourself, and read their reports, you can judge their ability.")

"The Phillies have got to make some personnel decisions with scouting, with player development," the scout adds. "Otherwise, they're going to muddle along forever. No one man can do it all."

I'm not a fan of whoever's responsible for the minors. On a good day, they're average. Other days the results speak for themselves.

AWH - It's not my pissing match.

I made some snide comments about trying to rob Houston now that Wade is their GM and clout called me on it. (Fair enough, I suppose.) I do not think that Gillick is much, if any, better. I do think we'll look back in five years and say that Gillick's era saw a marginal increase in the overall draft quality - but may have been lacking in studs.

s97 - NICE POST!

It is amazing, isn't it? Eleven years later we're still making comments about potential deficiencies in the scouting staff.

For me, The most notable anecdote about the article you posted is Arbuckle's assessment of Gomes and Loewer. Maybe it was the injuries with Loewer (with Coggin, yes) but boy was he wrong about Gomes' ultimate ability.

I've said repeatedly on this site, that when it comes to scouting, drafting, developing and trading for pitching, the Phillies seem to be deficient.

After reading the article you posted, maybe Arbuckle should be limited to his opinion on position players.

He is, after all, a big if not the reason they brought Eaton back. He was the one who originally drafted him, and probably gave Gillick the thumbs up, instead of admitting or realizing that Eaton hadn't panned out the way they thought.

I guess it's tough for some to admit they've made a mistake. Worse is not even recognizing it.

I actually read, AWH, on one of those sabremetric blogs that A-Rod would have given us 10 wins if we had him at third instead of Helms, Nunez, and Dobbs. This is the link:

It seems reasonable to me; we would have been an absolute offensive juggernaut. I mean, you're talking about replacing the weakest spot in our whole lineup with the best hitter in baseball. I'm not saying we would have gone very far in the playoffs, but in the regular season we probably would've been the best team in the NL. Now, the situation isn't quite as extreme with the Dodgers, especially if Andy LaRoche ever gets any good, but it's close. Angels - I like Chone Figgins, but A-Rod would be a huge upgrade. Anyway, I just don't see the greed in taking money from a billionaire; it's not like A-Rod's salary gets passed on to the fans somehow, though if it comes to that, I would pay a little more to see a Dodgers game if I were a Dodgers fan and A-Rod signed with them.

Miguel Cabrera is being shopped.

He might not be ARod and he may have a few extra cheeseburgers, but he's a top 10 MLB hitter.

Carrasco + Bourn for Cabrera?

Carrasco is an overrated No. 1 organizational prospect. No chance they settle for that.

Jason - absolutely correct.

Forget Cabrera - the Phillies don't have enough to trade, especially if they're competing with Boston, NYY or LAA. Those teams can put together a much better package of prospects.

Additionally, Cabrera has numbers through age 24 that rival ARod's (less HRs, higher BA, more RBIs). They would have to make a decision in 2 yrs. which cheesesteak loving corner infielder they were going to keep.

Remember, with these owners it's about the money and not pissing off the commisioner's office.

I don't think Giles and Montgomery understand how big baseball could be in this town, especially with the Eagles seemingly mediocre.

A couple of moves that net one or two huge talents like Cabrera, and this town will be talking baseball during football season for the first time in years.

They may also give them Dobbs and possibly Helms who they liked previously on their team
They will need a third baseman. Cabrera is still very young and has been getting better each year

I have a question for the rest of you BeerLeaguers:

If ownership started acting like they operate in the fifth largest market, and the Phllies made the playoffs for four of the next five years, how many additional fans (not us, we're hard core) do you think the team would attract?

If he's available, Cabrera's the real prize this winter, not A-Rod. The team that gets Cabrera would be able to stay flexible for a couple years.

Dobbs and Helms? Try Cole Hamels. Cabrera is a 25-year-old future MVP.

Let's just say for the sake of argument you could get Cabrera...

Wouldn't it make sense to just hire a personal dietitian or chef or whatever takes for him to stay healthy. If your paying him 10MM a year, what's an extra 200K for that?

Furthermore, consider if he hits these type of numbers in his current shape, imagine what he could hit if he had a lean body? He's only 24.

I was talking about adding Dobbs and Helms along with Bourn or Vic and Carasco and money

If Fish trade Cabrera they then will need a third baseman. (unless they sign Arod). they will be in the same position as Yanks and maybe Boston and us. Where will they get a third baseman to replace Cabrera. Remember they are not signing him because of money. They can't trade for an established 3rd baseman since again its money. We have Dobbs whose making nuttin and if we throw in Bourn or Vic and Caraso then they will be getting young players. (naturally I believe we would be throwing in lots of money)

fjerry: That deal can be topped by just about every team in baseball.

J - probably - but then again any trade we try to make would be topped by teams with better farm systems

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EST. 2005

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