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Monday, November 12, 2007

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I liked Bay before and could again, I guess, but without Bourn and Rowand - someone with some speed who can play at the major league level (not Roberson) would be needed to at least back up Victorino. I don't know who is out there in that regard. The Phils history suggests they might miss out on Lowell and end up with a late run at Hunter or Jones.

Why do I have a bad feeling that the Phils are going to let Rowand walk but not bring in another significant player this offseason?

"A defensive liability with a weak arm, diminishing range and question marks about his effort..."

I could only imagine what you'd say about him if you DIDN'T like him.

I would be SHOCKED if the Phillies managed to get Bay via trade... Last season was completely due to his injury. I've been a big Bay fan for a number of years now, and when healthy, he is hands-down a top 5 NL OF offensively. No way the Phillies have enough to get Bay away from the Pirates, unless that management team does another brain-freeze trade like their Matt Morris deal.

That said, if they do get Bay, you can print up those playoff tickets! :P Then again, it is the phillies, so maybe you want to wait.

MG: Why do I have a bad feeling that the Phils are going to let Rowand walk but not bring in another significant player this offseason?

Because you're a pessimist?

I'm generally amused by the pessimism of Philadelphia fans. I mean, last season was a lost cause about a dozen times and yet we still won the division.

This off-season, we make two big moves... trading for a closer and re-signing a key free agent... before the free agent period even started, and list members are worried our off-season is now over.

I's pretty funny.

CJ - No, because the Phils seem pretty set on letting Rowand walk and $8-$12 M only buys spare parts in this FA market.

I was still optimistic last week, but I'm in MG's boat. Rowand isn't happening.

MG: So what you're saying is that the Phils won't make any more moves because they haven't re-signed Rowand before free agency starts?

It's the same kind of pessimism you had about Romero. Remember, they were "lowballing" him. You just can't believe everything you read in the papers.

Jason: I'm not saying they necessarily re-sign Rowand. I'm just saying that's not the only move available to this team and I don't think it's anywhere near the most essential to this team's success next season.

What about Elijah Dukes? He'd be relatively cheap in dollars and players and could be a steal. Then again, if we called up Mateo and had him Dukes and Myers on the same team we might have a PR nightmare. But hey, at least we won't lose any bench clearing brawls.

saw this linked from MLBTR:
Also, the team is prepared for life without Aaron Rowand, should the free agent leave. Shane Victorino would move to center and Jayson Werth would play right, leaving the team to search for a fourth outfielder to fill in. Options include Trot Nixon, Brad Wilkerson, Orlando Palmeiro, Rob Mackowiak and Fukudome.

so there's the expected longshots and junk pickups listed--if Orlando Palmeiro comes here I may light myself on fire--but Fukudome seems like an odd addition to those names. it's the first I've seen the Phillies even speculatively linked to him.

CJ - You continue to bring up your points but with no context. You did the same point about Romero. It was unlikely that Romero would resign initially with the Phils before the FA deadline.

It was only when the Phils completely altered their position to give Romero another year and another $1 million season that he agreed to resign. It wasn't so much a negotiation as a cave by the Phils' management on this particular player/contract in order to meet a perceived need.

Now, maybe the Phils will make an additional allowance or two to bring in a big player but that is not what they are saying publicly about their interest in particular players or their supposed budget flexibility.

I don't doubt that Gillick would like to do a number of things including bringing in another significant outfield bat or another starting pitcher but he has to work within the confines that he is given (which doesn't seem to be a whole lot right now).

CJ - What don't you acknowledge how far $8-$12 M goes in this FA market?

Do I think the Phils will bring in an additional player or two this offseason? Sure but it is unlikely to be a real impact guy unless they are willing to expand their payroll a bit or make a move to get rid of some salary somehow.

I am not happy about it and frankly my it disgusts me that this ownership raised prices by 8-10% this year but is not willing to really pass that along to payroll. Maybe that will change if they sign Howard to a long-term deal this offseason but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Jason:
Major Props on the way you ended the last thread!!!

I like Rowand but come on do you really want to give him 40 to 50 million? Really?? I mean really?

Beating your wife is one thing, having newspaper stories written about your sending your wife pictures of a gun and saying you plan to shoot her with it is another. And then topping that with telling reporters who come to ask you questions in the clubhouse that you're too busy playing Halo... I think Dukes crosses the line. Plus, he's one of those guys where his off-field problems carry over to the field to some extent.

Thing that caught my eye from PhuturePhillies:

Dominican Republic Winter League

Julio Mateo - 1-1/3.45 ERA, 15.2, 21 K, 5 BB, 9 K - Mateo is mostly starting, so his K rate is down

Call me crazy but does this mean the Phils are trying to make Mateo into a possible starter or is this common in Winter League ball?

It appears Rownd's all but gone. The Phils will move Vic to CF and go woth a much cheaper option with another Of'der. I think they will bring in a guy for 3B too, but again a much cheaper option than Lowell.

They have a little more than 68 million in salaries for '08 committed to just 10 players 1 of which is Jim Thome. That means 16 players will be signed for the 25-man roster: Howard, Vic, Madsen, Ruiz, Werth, Dobbs, Coste and Lidge for sure. That leave 8 more players yet to be determined. Howard of course will get the biggest raise of the 1st 8, then possible FA signings, trade, waiver-wire guys etc.

Now let's say they will bump the opening day payroll 105 million, that leaves roughly 37 million for 14 players. IMO they could re-sign Rowand and Lowell maybe and still find a 4-5 starter and a BP arm. They could even strech the payroll just to get things done. They've got to realize going deep into the playoffs will bring in additional revenue which should off-set some of the addtional payroll right? We'll all see soon whether or not they'll go for or think small.

Tray: I think I agree with you on Dukes but his potential is damn tempting. Badelli would be nice too but the injuries probably concern me more than Dukes' off the field catastrophes (problems didn't seem strong enough). Perhaps (and likely) the answer is neither, but they would both come discounted and could reproduce Rowand's production if, and a major if it is, they can remain at the mlb level for the year.

Sixto: You could at least learn to spell your name right. It's "Lezcano" not "Lescano." Sheesh!

Anyone know if the phillies have interest in Percival? what would he cost?

MG: You completely misunderstand my point. You build up this pessimistic shell to live in based on various newspaper reports. I didn't hear anyone with the Phils or with Romero suggest the Phils "caved." That's your opinion based on rumor and innuendo.

My point is that the facts suggest this team has already been aggressive in the pre-free agent period in dealing for one of the best reliever arms available and re-signed a free agent reliever who was sure to get a lot of interest.

The Phils haven't yet re-signed Aaron Rowand. And they may not re-sign him at all. But I can list 29 other teams that also have not yet re-signed free agents they'd like to keep. That's the way the market goes.

Re-signing Aaron Rowand will not make or break this team. I'd much rather we sign an OF to platoon with Werth and spend the money on pitching then give in to the price tag Aaron Rowand will most certainly command.

hey clout 20+ years give a guy a break. But just because you don't like it i'm going to keep it.

I really hope we sign Fukudome to platoon in the outfield. I think the fans would love him just because of his name. Also I want to hear Harry Kalas say it.

Imagine this, I am siding with RSB on two opinions. First, Hamels has too much upside (of course assuming health, but ist that an assumption with anyone in todays game? Albiet, not a good one necessarily) and is too inexpensive to trade to anyone.

Also, Jason Bay would be a nice addition (Not in CF though) if he could be added on the relative cheap. All this said, I would still rather trade for Rocco Baldelli. I think he has more upside. He is younger, has better speed and can play more positions. He is a health concern, but so is Bay. Bay or Baldelli, I would be pleased, but I like Baldelli more.

I would also like to weigh in on the Romero discussion. Maybe he was a bit expensive, but perhaps he has turned a corner and will be more consistent. After all statistics, while a good determinant of future performance, are not fool proof. There are plenty of players that "Get it" later on in their careers. Perhaps Romero is one of these guys. He was an excellent addition to this team last season, and I would have been dissapointed to see him go elsewhere. Even if his role became diminished to primarily a LOOGY, that is a position of need for the team. I like keeping him in Philly, and hopefully he can keep it up. That is really all you can ask, and I don't think that we could have asked Romero for any more than what he gave the team last season. He was rewarded for (Shocker here) performance. I see no problem with that.

Victorino is a good Rowand replacement when you factor in the defensive upgrade. Few people remember that Vic was better than Rowand in 06. Rowand was among the league leaders in BABIP this year, and will almost certainly see his numbers fall back towards their career norms. Rowand's 2007 OPS at home was 100 points higher than away. In fact, the years when Rowand had a normal BABIP, his numbers are very similar to... Shane Victorino's. There's no reason to pay him $10+ mill for 4 years, especially when you have a better defender in-house who will likely put up similar offensive numbers. What this team needs is a RF, not a CF.

CJ: The $8 to $12M figure was not from "various newspapers reports." Those figures came straight from Gillick's own mouth. And that statement came before they signed Romero. The number is now $4 to $8M. As I said in the last thread, think Brad Wilkerson, Sidney Ponson, and a couple of Rule 5 draftees. If they really want to go hogwild, maybe we'll get Steve Trachsel instead of Sidney Ponson.

Ever since Gillick has come to town he has tried to lower expectations. I think it's actually pretty clever of him to continually do so, because then when he makes a move, he gets all the credit. Plus since he's said that this is his last year as GM, I'm sure he wants to go out on a high note.

I'm very confident that by the end of the FA signing period we will have significantly upgraded either 3B or RF. An upgrade at both positions is not going to happen, but I for one am looking forward to what kind of new players we bring in.

I was surprised to see how little it cost the Tigers to acquire Jacque Jones (Cubs got Omar Infante). Jones and his $5M salary would have been a nice option for the OF.

Here's a name as a possible starting RF: Milton Bradley. Everyone knows his downside (team cancer, injury plagued), but he would like nice in the Phillies lineup hitting 5th or 6th.

Another option that I would love to see even more is Mike Cameron. Even though he's suspended 25 games for violating the league's steroid policy, he would be a fine addition that should come cheap.

As for Starting Pitching, I'd like to see the Phils bring back Randy Wolf as 4th/5th starter. I'm not sure how much it would cost to get him, but you would think he wouldn't mind returning to Philly.

Randy Wolf? No thanks.

Why not Wolf? Of course he's always going to be an injury concern, but when healthy last year, he did a decent job for the Dodgers. In April & May last year (when healthy) he was striking out 10 batters per 9 innings while keeping his walks at about 3BB/9IP. Plus he's only 31 years old.

If we're going to bring in a questionable FA, at least we can get a guy who's had some success here before.

Bradley? No thanks. And Cameron? Power, but bad average and strikes out a ton. Not in this lineup.

I actually just covered this in my blog: pheeling.wordpress.com

I like Shannon Stewart, if we're going the value village route.

We already have enough question marks in the starting rotation, Wolf just adds another one.

I would actually love to see the return of the Wolf pack.

Adding a question mark to the starting rotation is about the best we can do right now. Realistically, there's no way the Phils are going to sign a "top" FA Starting Pitcher. Considering the top of the FA class is Carlos Silva, I don't mind them not paying him $10M/yr.

So we either go fishing at Value Village Lake, or we stick with the 5 we got and pray. If we're going fishing, I'd prefer to go with the fish that I know instead of the fish that I don't. Bring back Randy Wolf.

I don't accept the premise that the Phillies must conduct their pitching search in the value village pile, because the budget won't allow for big ticket FAs.

Value village guys are ok as role players, but not as starters. Cameron is 35, strikes out a ton, has a terrible average, & looks to be on his last legs. Bradley is going to miss as much as half the year due to a torn ACL. Shannon Stewart is basically a 34-year old version of Shane Victorino, without the speed and defense & with a much stiffer price tag. I like Victorino just fine, but we don't need a second low OBP singles hitter in our starting outfield.

As value villagers go, I agree that Randy Wolf has some upside & I wouldn't be offended if the Phillies signed him. But he comes with a huge risk. That's pretty much what you get when you shop for your starting pitching in the bargain basement.

BAP: I understand your theory of Stewart being an older version of Victorino (it's close enough), but the market out there isn't really catered to the Phils' best interest. Especially after spending half their money already. I'd line up for re-signing Rowand or even grabbing Andruw Jones, but in that third tier, Stewart may be the best option.

So we replace Rowand's candy arm in CF with Bay's candy arm in RF. It could be worse. At least we have Victorino's laser in center (to go with his above-average range), along with Bay's nice right-handed bat to split up Utley and Howard. I would tend to think he would bounce back offensively with the quality of pitches he would see in front of Howard. The more I think about it, the more I like it, as long as we don't have to part with real high quality prospects in order to get him.

Jason Bay is going to be very expensive in terms of prospects.

I'd guess that he would cost the top 2 prospects in our organization (Carrasco +).

For another team with better prospects, he might only cost one, but (big surprise here) the Phillies aren't exactly stocked with Top 50 Prospects.

For Jason Bay - you say injuries, I say declining skills - I'd take a pass at that cost.

I wrote on TGP recently that it would not be a good decision to commit four years, $50 million plus to Rowand. I like what he brings on and off the field, but he'll get paid for what he's done, not what he's likely to do going forward.

It's also worth noting that if he signs with anybody but the Phillies, they're mostly getting the good player who hit .299/.368/.475 (road splits), not the beast who hit .319/.380/.557 in our bandbox.

Wish him well against 28 teams, thank him for a job well done, take the draft picks, and move on with a guy like Wilkerson.

I would ditto Parker's (groupie like devotion?) interest in Baldelli. He may be available cheaply enough to afford in a trade. Righty, speed, defense, big upside. (Big downside though: injury-prone?)

If I held the money, though, I'd go after Hunter or Jones. Hunter might be better. Better average, fewer Ks, capable D.

I'd talk to Jones first, though, since he's a type B. As much as Jones Ks, he still is a superb outfielder. If he hits closer to career norms than he did this past year, he would capably replace Rowand in the line-up. Jones also has one major downside - he's represented the Prince of Darkness.

Jon: LF is Bay's only position at this point.

slackerjoe: Beyond the fact that Wolf had arthoscopic shoulder surgery in September, I'm not sure a.) that he wants to come back since he's on record as saying he prefers the West Coast or b.) management wants him back.

BAP: I'm with you. I don't want Cameron, Stewart or Bradley. Too expensive, too old and in Bradley's case, also too nuts. Let's get a halfway decent lefty platoon guy to team with Werth in RF.

Dave X: I'm with you, too. Vic is actually far more valuable in CF than in RF.

"MG: You completely misunderstand my point. You build up this pessimistic shell to live in based on various newspaper reports. I didn't hear anyone with the Phils or with Romero suggest the Phils "caved." That's your opinion based on rumor and innuendo."

CJ - Are you really that dense? The media did report that the Phils were initially looking at signing Romero to a 2 yr/$3 million a year.

Romero obviously wanted additional money and an extra year. Romero got both and this means the Phils were willing to give in to both of his demands in order to fill a perceived need before Romero could become a FA and test the market. If the Phils weren't willing to meet of all Romero's demands, they would have let him enter the FA market.

What don't you understand about that? Two parties entered a negotiation and one party ceded to all of the major demands of the other to order to prevent other suitors from potentially entering the negotiation. That is not really a complicated concept to understand.

Color me utterly baffled by the high regard for Wilkerson on this board. He's 30 years old and hasn't had a good year since 2004. Plus, even when he was good he struck out in 30% of his ABs. That's the last kind of guy we need.

I'd try Happ and another prospect or two before I offer up Carrasco. Happ (being the main minor leaguer) and others should get the deal done if the Phils are picking up his remaining salary. That being said, I would be surpised if the Phils actually picked up his salary. It would be nice if they proved me wrong, but I wouldn't count on it.

Hey Clout. Could Burrell be moved to rightfield for his last remaining season? Would it even be worth trying? Just throwing out ideas to see if any of them stick.

CJ - I agree that resigning Rowand with not make or break the Phils but they miss his offense. Plus, as I said earlier, I just don't know what kind of substantial pitching resources the Phils are going to be able to acquire without upping their payroll a bit. That is not being pessimistic - it is just looking at the facts as presented.

slackerjoe: The Jones-Infante trade is a bit puzzling, but I have to think this is a salary dump by the Cubs who save $4M on the deal. Plus Jones is an FA after next year. Infante is a decent utility guy who plays INF and OF and has good pop. Better than Bruntlett. The Cubs could try Craig Monroe as Jones' replacement in LF, but I'm guessing they realize he's not good enough and will acquire someone else or shift deRosa out there.

The other thing about Bradley is that, somehow, he is a type A. I REALLY don't want to give up a draft pick for the talking game board.

The last thing the Phils need is Wilkerson. There is no need for another left-handed stick who whiffs more often than he comes through with a hit. In 2007 he whiffed 107 times in 338 ABs (79 hits), and in 2006 he whiffed 116 times in 320 ABs (71 hits). No thanks.

clout - baffled with you on Wilkerson.

Jon: He's pretty brutal in LF, but here again, I don't think he's worse defensively than Dobbs out there.

interesting note. aaron rowand is not currently listed on the phillies 40 man roster on their website.

A left-handed bat would complement Werth nicely but even a guy like Jenkins supposedly has a bunch of interest including the Tigers and Padres.

Plus, if Rowand does walk, this lineup is really heavily lifted to the left-side. This lineup struggled against LHP starters last year at times and it could become more of an issue next year without Rowand.

dajafi - while i don't think that the phils will spend the money on offense, i do agree that A. Jones might be a good value, especially if it would cost similar money to Rowand. Flat out, Jones is a much better player. Also, Burrell's contract is ending next year and they really need a right-handed bat to anchor the lineup. There is obvious risk, but he's more likely to regress back to the mean.

I am intrigued to see Werth's skill set over a full season. .863 OPS; .404 OBP; and 1.058 OPS v. LHP.

More seriously though, this team still needs pitching. I think bullpen pieces can be had for less risk, less money. On the cheaper end, I could see Riske, Vizcaino, or Hawkins as nice upgrades from Alfonseca and Joe Table in the 7th.

"if Orlando Palmeiro comes here I may light myself on fire." Don't know why but this really caught me as funny. Thanks the laugh!

Randy Wolf? Talk about wearing blinders. The guy was really never that good even the few years he was healthy. A fly ball pitcher, too.

If the Phillies were to not sign Rowand but sign Lowell (I realize I'm dreaming here) I would be happy. I think Lowell would more than make up for Rowands numbers and Vic in center will do better than Dobbs/Helms.

if the other options are guys like Nixon and Palmeiro, I'll take my chances with Wilkerson. my expectations aren't high, but he'd be cheap and could come up with a decent season.

clearly the better course of action would be signing a more legitimate platoon outfielder like Jenkins or--crazy as it may sound--pursuing an actual full-time impact player, but I think that's going to be unlikely.

Andy, I've now been accused of being Baldelli's agent and a Baldelli groupie, which I guess is ok, but I would rather be his agent. At least I would be getting paid for obsessing over him.

With about 35 minutes and counting until free agents hit the open market, here are some pondering questions and thoughts:

-Have there been any talks between the Phils and Lohse? They have been pretty mum on that. Also, management didn't rule out Leiber.. if all fails, how much would it cost to bring him back maybe?

-Lowell has reportedly recieved and offer of $35-45 million for 3 years from the BoSox...Phils really don't have a chance if the money being offered is toward the latter money amount.

-The Phils still need to upgrade the bullpen if they are going to do anything. There are enough solid arms out there that I would be shocked if the Phils didn't make a run at one of them.

-Lastly, BRING US FUKUDOME! Oh the joy I would get from Harry the K trying that one out.

Fukudome would be the best option for this offense, taking into account production, position and of course, cash. After him, it's trolling the third and fourth tiers for Werth's platoon buddy. Which I still think Shannon Stewart is the best option for. Maybe Luis Gonzalez. Age means nothing.

Also, if Fukudome doesn't go here, I'd like to see him in Minnesota, just for the sheer hilarity of him popping one out off the roof or nailing the hefty bag for a double, then someone screaming, "Fuk-U-Dome!"

That is what I bring.

Posada resigns with the Yanks.

He gets 4 years, $52 million.

That's what you can do when you're worth two Philadelphia Phillies franchises.

Wow, that's a LOT of money for an old catcher!

The money total is a bit absurd for Jorge but like Malcolm said... thats what you can do when you have that much money.

Well, the Yankees really didn't have other options out there, Posada is coming off a career year and the Posada-Yankees relationship is pretty strong. He pretty much set his own price, screwing with the Mets along the way while knowing the Yanks would cave.

Remember, the Yanks may use this as a bargaining chip for Rivera.

Also remember, the Yanks are getting some money of the books (A-Rod).

Posada knew what he was doing here, and knew the Yanks wanted him to stay on board. He'll ride the contract out to retirement, get his number out there in centerfield and be part of the old-timers day with Mattingly, Yogi and Jeter, etc.

Defintitely a good deal for Posada.

Not so sure the Yankees will be getting value for years 3 and 4, but like they say, it's only money and the Yankees have plenty of it.

Plus this means the Mets are stuck with LoDuca for '08. Haha! I'll take our Ruiz/Coste tandem over Loduca/whoever for the Mets.

Trolling at MLB.com, and saw this in their "25 free agents" piece:

Kazuo Matsui, 2B: Matsui finally adjusted to big league pitching (.288), and he's always been an underrated runner (87 percent career stolen-base percentage). Suitors: Astros, White Sox and Phillies.

Am I missing something? Matsui has never played an inning of third base. Are they that enamored from the grand slam in game two? I'm confused...

I wouldn't say the Mets are definitely stuck with LoDuca. I'm sure they'll make a play for both Barrett and Torrealba. The latter isn't necessarily a name I'd like to see on the opposite lineup card 19 times a year.

Also, it's 12:04 a.m. Nov. 13. Do you know where your free agents are?

Andy, I've been offline for a while but I'll answer your question from the previous thread:

I didn't postulate anything on the payroll for 2008.

If we go by what Montgomery was quoted as saying in the paper - that they spent approx. $103 MM in 2007, and that the payroll budget for '08 could possibly be in the same range (I believe it was in the Inquirer), I subtracted the approximate '07 expenditures that will come off the books, and did my best to total up an estimate of what additional monies are already spoken for in 2008. It stands to reason that all other salary expenditures will be the same.

Unless Montgomery is lying or the budget changed (a possibility), the Phillies are close to their budget for '08 and can't re-sign Rowand or take on any huge new contracts.
The raises you saw for Burrell, Myers and others that have contracts are increases that are contractural. Now, I estimated Ryan Howard would get an $8MM raise in arbitration, which is probably a high estimate. But even if he only gets a $5mm raise that still, IMO, doesn't leave enough to do anything major, especially re-sign Rowand.

Unless one is sitting in on the discussions between Giles, Monty, Gillick and Co., it's not an exact science. If you think you can improve on the numbers, by all means do so.

No one has a monopoly on good ideas.

As far as right-handed bats go, I'm going to predict right now that we'll see at least the 2003 version of Wes Helms next year, if not the 2006 version. Rowand did have a wonderful year, but there's no way that 2007 version returns. Let's get another pitcher or two, prepare for Howard's return to form, Utley's true breakout year, a contract year from Burrell, another monster year from Rollins, and continued heroics from the likes of Werth and Coste. I know optimism isn't hip on Beerleaguer, but if we can just get enough pitching to keep most games under a couple of field goals, I think this offense can get even better.

Oh, and I'll weigh in on the Rowand discussion.

The Phillies, I believe, were willing to pay Rowand market value, but until 12:01 today no one had any idea of what Rowand's "market value" is.

We'll see.

Come on, where are all the signings? How long do we have to wait until the first Free Agent is signed?

You would have to imagine the phones are working like crazy for everyone, but here's an interesting thing to think about: How many calls do you think Bonds has got so far?

Where's all the talk about Mike Lowell? Apparently the deal the Red Sox offered was not up to his standard... Now I know it is not in the phillies philosophy to throw money around with the big boys for the marquee free agents (save for a guy like Thome) but is there any way the phillies offer him a 4-year deal like he wants??
Obviously, that's putting a lot of trust in a guy who's in his mid-30's, and he's going to cost a pretty penny. But isn't this at least something to be looking into at this point??

I would love to see the Phillies sign Mike Lowell. We can debate whether 4 years or $60 million or whatever he's gonna get is a good deal or not, but I would love to have his bat in the #5 hole.

I just don't think there's a chance hell that we outbid the Yankees for his services. Not a chance in hell.

No...its not. I don't understand why we would want to sign a guy like lowell, when were just going to have to possibly replace him defensivly half way through his contract, and if his power numbers decline, then what do we have? A guy whose making 15 million a season who were waiting to try and trade to an AL team as a DH?

No thanks.

I don't see any reason in the world why Torri Hunter would want to come the NL, when he can stay in the AL and make the same money. The white sox are going to give him whatever he wants. They will overpay for him all day long. Don't see why we should jump in, or that he would even consider coming to the NL or the Phils?(obviously there is nothing to prove my thoughts on this, just my gut feeling)

Andruw Jones on the other hand? Now thats a real possibility and one i would pursue. I know his numbers at CBP are abysmal...so what, don't see them staying that way if he's actually a phil.

Unforutnatley for the whole Jason Bay idea, i don't think the phils have the prospects to get it done, period. There are teams who do, and who will. Nope...

Not a good FA class for us. Nothing out there really addresses our needs perfectly, no one seems like a great fit, just seems like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

Sign Wilkerson, Sign Wolf, Give Howard his raise, and pick up a couple of relievers who can eat up innings.

The best we can hope for is for Adam Eaton or Wolf to not suck, and we can trade one of them(hopefully eaton) by the deadline for some good prospects.

This team, while in a win now mentality, needs to be smart and also quietly restock the minors with quality players.

Lowell is not going to look good 4 years from now, his career year this year was driven (like most career years are) by a well above-average BABIP, at least for him. Take away the batting average that, at age 33, is 40 points above his career norm - including this year - and and there's no way he's worth the money. When you factor in production and the amount of revenues a player brings, A-Rod is probably the better bet... but neither is going to happen.

OF is a more important problem than 3B anyway. Its extremely rare that a baseball team can go through the season without at least one OF missing a decent amount of time, if any of the three get injured you're looking at Roberson seeing major time. The front office probably realizes this, which is why I think any big positional player move will come in the form of a player who can play all 3 OF positions and, at the very least, hit righties. In a dream world its Fukudome or Andruw, realistically, its Cameron or Bradley.

Dave X, Bradley is hurt, and no one knows how well he'll recover. A torn ACL takes at least a year of recovery time for most athletes (so give Donavan McNabb a break). IMO, it will take him until late summer at the earliest(I had the surgery, too). So, count me out of the Bradley sweepsteaks, because I don't think he passes GO and collects his $200 until well after the All-Star break. Maybe he surpeises, but it's not worth the risk or draft picks.

As far as Cameron is concerned, 'no, thank you'. 1) What else might he be taking?, and 2)because of #1 he is a continued suspension risk.

The rest of you posters can dream about AJones, but Boras is looking for more $$$ than his current 5/75 deal. I don't see the Phils doing that, and I wouldn't if I were them. Hunter is also likely to be more expensive than Rowand, and he's 2 years older.

Just as most of you, I would like to see them re-sign Rowand. Yes, he'll probably decline a bit, but keep in mind, the clubhouse atmosphere that exists at the Zen is largely his doing. No one talked about that aspect of playing for the Phillies until he arrived. He plays hurt, leaves it all on the field and sets a great example for teammates.

Romero, in a post-game interview only a month after he arrived, said he was having more fun playing in Philly than he had had in years. That means something.

So if keeping Rowand makes it easier to keep other players, makes it easier to sign FAs, and keeps the clubhouse focused on the team winning, then maybe he's worth an extra year and another $million (sounds nuts, I know). It also won't cost any draft picks.

It may only be a coincidence that since they traded Rowand away the WhiteSox have been flushed to the cellar, but the talent drop-off hasn't, IMO, been that dramatic.

Good luck to Giles, Monty and Gillick! There are no 'easy' answers out there.

Dave X, Bradley is hurt, and no one knows how well he'll recover. A torn ACL takes at least a year of recovery time for most athletes (so give Donavan McNabb a break). IMO, it will take him until late summer at the earliest(I had the surgery, too). So, count me out of the Bradley sweepsteaks, because I don't think he passes GO and collects his $200 until well after the All-Star break. Maybe he surpeises, but it's not worth the risk or draft picks.

As far as Cameron is concerned, 'no, thank you'. 1) What else might he be taking?, and 2)because of #1 he is a continued suspension risk.

The rest of you posters can dream about AJones, but Boras is looking for more $$$ than his current 5/75 deal. I don't see the Phils doing that, and I wouldn't if I were them. Hunter is also likely to be more expensive than Rowand, and he's 2 years older.

Just as most of you, I would like to see them re-sign Rowand. Yes, he'll probably decline a bit, but keep in mind, the clubhouse atmosphere that exists at the Zen is largely his doing. No one talked about that aspect of playing for the Phillies until he arrived. He plays hurt, leaves it all on the field and sets a great example for teammates.

Romero, in a post-game interview only a month after he arrived, said he was having more fun playing in Philly than he had had in years. That means something.

So if keeping Rowand makes it easier to keep other players, makes it easier to sign FAs, and keeps the clubhouse focused on the team winning, then maybe he's worth an extra year and another $million (sounds nuts, I know). It also won't cost any draft picks.

It may only be a coincidence that since they traded Rowand away the WhiteSox have been flushed to the cellar, but the talent drop-off hasn't, IMO, been that dramatic.

Good luck to Giles, Monty and Gillick! There are no 'easy' answers out there.

AWH,

You said it! I read Beerleaguer and think about the various combinations of players, and the $ involved, and whether the Phils are willing to loosen their wallets in what appears to be a wildly inflationary market, and there truly aren't any easy or clear paths to follow.

A couple of gut feels.

No to Milton Bradley. Clubhouse atmosphere seems good at CBP, and the Phils don't have enough raw talent or the right personalities to make a guy like him a good fit.

Unless Andrew Jones is a true possibility, make a serious effort at keeping Rowand. Not seeing how we can replace his playing or leadership in the current market without leaving a big gap. The recent trades are fine, but if AR leaves and we try to fill in the gaps with patchwork, I'm not sure we haven't just shuffled deck chairs on the Titanic.

Management needs to realize if they want to have a real, honest shot at going deep into the playoffs, they need to open the pocketbooks a bit. Not to acquire junk, but if there is a real upgrade out there, they need to consider it seriously. Otherwise, we'll spin our wheels while other teams draw further out of reach.

Bottom line

MM: I agree that this team needs to make smart moves and if they do, it means they'll ignore your suggestions of signing Wolf & Wilkerson.

Re: Andruw Jones, he'd be wonderful in CF, but when you play in a bandbox should you emphasize defense or offense? Given how expensive Jones will be, and given the fact Vic fits better in CF than anywhere else, I'd rather save the money for pitching and just find a decent lefty bat to platoon with Werth. As long as this team is doomed to playing in the best hitters' park in the majors, it will have to be built around big boppers and pitchers who can keep the ball in the yard. Any other approach will fail.

AWH~

If you read my earlier post on this thread, you'll see I did exactly the same thing as you. Based on what I read from this morning's Inquirer, they don't have much to spend.

We think they do per to them not so. Sophans, don't look for anything big 'cause they're taking the small-market approach.

CJ~ I was wrong on Romero, but before you criticize people make sure you get your facts straight. I know how this team works.

1) AWH - on the money question: there was no judgment in my question. I just wanted to hear how you got your numbers so I didn't have to do the work (I'm lazy that way).

2) On free agent OFs, the only ones we actually want are expensive. Wilkerson is not an upgrade over Werth. Cameron will never hit 30 HRs again, but may reach 150 Ks. Bradley is a type A FA who also, incidently, brings a truly lousy attitude. As I said above, if I held the money, I'd (try my hardest not to regurgitate) and talk to Borass about Jones - because we don't play all our games at CBP and the CF has to cover some of the gap in LF. But I also do not believe we have the kind of money to buy Jones. It might be fun to invite Borass in, however, and puke on him. (So sorry, fella.)

3) Fukudome lovers - y'all realize he's a lefty, right? If he's the regular RF then we have one less RH bat in the line-up (unless you platoon him?).

4) So if we're gonna spend on pitchers for CBP, should we look at those who throw more groundballs, like Silva, ahead of those who throw half and half flyballs, like Lohse?

Re Romero: as if we had any choice. Can you say Zag/Fabio/Smith?

Re Mateo: as if he'll ever play in a Phillie uni, after rotting in Reading in Sept.

Re Rowand: as if there was ever any intent to pay him, with Vic available.

I see MLB has chosen its "sexiest fan alive." Sorry, clout.

Hey, Mariano Rivera is still on the board, and it's after 9 am!!

(Care to add another "as if," curt?)

My 2¢ on a lot of recent discussion.

On Rowand: I think he's a gone pecan. Someone else will overpay him for his career year last year. He has intangibles and clubhouse value but he does have a candy arm. (Thanks, Jon.)

I would not trade Hamels for Santana straight up.

The Beerleaguer thought patrol has convinced me to vote "No" on Jason Bay. I also vote "No" on Andruw Jones.

I believe the Yankees overpaid big time for Posada.

MLB.com lists their 25 top FAs with interested teams. They list the Phils as "suitors" for the following:

Scott "Type A" Linebrink, Kaz "Never Played 3B" Matsui, Livan "I'm Really About 55" Hernandez, Josh "nough said" Fogg, and Milton "Go Directly to DL" Bradley.

Wonder what they know that we don't.

Andy-
the only one who interests me on that list is Linebrink.
if you think of a bullpen that has:
Lidge
Linebrink
Romero
Flash (looked good down the stretch last year)
Madson
Mateo
Mathieson

That's a damn good pen. One more lefty picked up this offseason and I'd say it's damn near perfect. Of course this is assuming a lot from Lidge, but if we pick up Linebrink and another lefty, I love the pen going into next year.

MLB.com's Seth Everett was on WIP this morning. He said he had several one-on-ones with Phillies executives, including Gillick. In addition to Kuroda, he said the Phillies are very interested in bringing back Randy Wolf. He didn't indicate that the Phillies expressed any strong interest in any position players; Wolf and Kuroda were the only ones mentioned by name.

Also, he said that the Phils not signing Rowand will come down to the numbers, but not money. The years on the contract keep growing -- and you know what, I'm fine with that. If Rowand gets 5 or 6 years from someone, good for him. I think it's a terrible deal for a club to make, though.

diggity -
something like: add Affeldt or Mahay and keep Mathieson in the minors 'til needed. But that'd be expensive.

Wolf reminds me too much of those cancerous Lieberthal, Rolen, Bell teams. He hasn't picthed over 140 innings since '04 and can be long-ball prone. I'll pass but that's just me.

I'd look into Wolf. I like him a hell of a lot more than Eaton.

Only way I'd go for Wolf is a low 2008 base salary with good sized bonus amounts for every 50 IP over 100. Add in a innings-based vesting option for 2009 (at the market rate for a healthy pitcher), and I'd think that's a decent deal.

A caller on 950 brought a hypothetical situation this morning which could be plausible-

The Twins who are shopping Santana offer him to the Phils for Rollins. The Phils turn it down, and I believe rightfully so.

The Twins then move onto the Mets who trade Reyes for Santana, then sign ARod to play SS. While this would be as big blockbuster as we've seen in years, and unlikely to happen, it would scare the crap out of us Phils fans.

The catch with Wolf is the fly ball thing. His good seasons in Philly were at the Vet. Any lefty fly ball pitcher will have some problems here. That being said, I like him more than Eaton, too. I like moldy graham crackers better than Eaton.

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