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Friday, December 07, 2007


They need to start serious negotiations with Lohse and/or Silva. They can't expect to trade for a decent started and the thought of them feeding at the bottom of the barrel for injured has-beens is purely nauseating. SPEND SOME MONEY, even if you overpay.

brio: Like we spent some money last year? I suppose you enjoy the return on the investment we're getting from Adam Eaton.

Spending for the sake of spending is stupid and short-sighted. It will cripple you down the road.

Its a complete farce for any regular poster on this site accusing another regular poster of not having a life. No I don't have a life. If I did I wouldn't be on this website all day long. In December.

Are we desperate enough to consider Jorge Cantu at 3b, yet?

Some one wants Wes Helms? Forget striking before another team comes along, strike before the roofies wear off.

CJ: so your argument is not to go after free agents at all in fear of them tanking or breaking down? Or maybe since Benson and the other surgical wonders have already gone under the knife they won't again? My point is teams that take a chance have a chance.

If Silva or lohse would sign a 1 or 2 year deal, then fine. Not for 4 years (or 5?) like they're asking. No way.

The bottom line is they should've signed Riske during the Winter Meetings; with that, they could've used Helms to maybe get that back-end starter they so covet. Like Sergio Mitre or something. Anything.

Silva and Lohse won't sign short-term deals. I don't necessarily want either of them. At this point, they should start thinking outside. Maybe a Julian Tavarez is worth the flier, or even Reyes. Someone who you know is giving you Lohse-like numbers.

Off point, but this is a follow-up from last thread.

Mike H says: "There is no correlation between payroll and playoff performance." I am wondering if this has been documented in any research, because I am mighty skeptical. Yes, there have been some lower payroll teams that got hot at the right time & went far in the playoffs (or even won it all). But half of the last 10 World Series have been won by the 2 highest payroll teams. And in 2 other years, the Yankees won the AL Championship but lost the WS. Obviously, neither the best nor the most expensive team is necessarily going to win the WS ever year. But I would venture to guess that, if you looked at the payrolls of the 8 playoff teams in each of the last 10 years, you would find that there is a not insignificant correlation between payroll & playoff success.

Whatever the correlation between payroll & playoff success, there is DEFINITELY a high correlation between pitching strength and playoff success. The Phillies' pitching -- in particular, their bullpen -- was not playoff-worthy last year and it was a key reason why they got swept away in 3 games. Since they don't have major league ready prospects to step in & fill the void, the only way to fix the problem is by spending money through free agency. Instead they're trying to cure their problems through the Rule 5 draft & by signing fringe players like Shane Youmans. Assuming, for argument's sake, that the Phillies still have enough offense to win the NL East, they would once again get wiped out in the playoffs because of their horrible bullpen.

Hey, I guess my post ended up being on point after all.

One thing to remember is that the Phillies are hardly alone in their inactivity, or inability to upgrade. Exactly who has upgraded their pitching so far in the off-season? There's been precious little movement anywhere.

Another thing to remember is, careful what you wish for. I don't mean to come off here as a Gillick apologist, but I really don't want to see mediocrities like Lohse or Silva clog up the payroll. I even had mulled over Mike Mussina on the last thread, but when it comes down to it, what is the point? How much better are people like this than even Carlos Carrasco or Josh Outman, just because they have name recognition? I get the idea of adding 'depth', but that's a goal you approach at lower cost and quantity as opposed to filling out the roster with multi-million dollar contracts. If what happened with Eaton a year ago made them 'gunshy' about making the same mistake - good! They should be. If there's nothing out there, there's nothing out there. Put together the best bullpen you possibly can, get a less embarrassing third baseman, and either re-sign Rowand or trade for a serviceable lefty outfielder. Plenty of time left to meet that itinerary.

Hear Hear!

I'd pass on Nestor, who apparently has no command. But for Helms I'd do Tankersley straight up. Aside from getting us a fine LOOGY, it'd mean I wouldn't have to watch Howard flail helplessly once a game in Miami.

RSB asks: How much better are [Silva and Lohse] than Carrasco and Outman? If this were 2010, I'd agree. But for 2008, the answer is: a lot better.

Also, I think we need to change our concept of what "clogs" up the payroll. A $9 or $10M annual salary is just the going rate these days for a bona fide starting pitcher. If you pay this amount, it only clogs up payroll if the pitcher fails to play up to the level of a bona fide starting pitcher (See, i.e., Adam Eaton). I'm not much of a Kyle Lohse fan, but he has been a consistently durable, & serviceable, starting pitcher throughout his career. There's little reason to fear that he'll turn into Adam Eaton.

Helms can't get you Tankersley. I don't think he get get you anything straight-up, other than a bad prospect or an old, expensive reliever.

Marlins do need a 3B because the only real option they have there right now is Amezaga but the supposed interest in Wes Helms fails common sense.

Helms stands to make $2.15 M this year and has an option next year for $3.75 M next year with a 750k buyout.

For a team that is supposedly desperate to keep their payroll to an absolute minimum, why would the Marlins make an investment of nearly $3 M dollars ($2.15 M plus the 750k buyout) in Helms for basically one season? Makes no sense.

The only way I could see the Marlins being interested in Helms if the Phils agreed to pick up the cost of his buyout option and a bit of his salary this year. Probably at least $1 M and maybe slightly more. I also doubt this happening as the Phils have shown no desire to spend any additional money than absolutely necessary to fill their remaining perceived needs (starting pitcher and maybe a 3B, reserve OF).

for the marlins to take on helms and his $2 mil salary, you're not going to get tankersley. just getting nestor is like a godsend. realistically, helms has zero value. i can't figure out why florida would want him. they could plug anyone in there for less money and get about the same result. the phils might even have to send cash to get rid of him.

i would take a look at cantu. he's just 2 years removed from an all-star caliber season. he's more of a 1B these days because of the injury, but he could be a reclamation project. good righthanded bat if healthy.

from MLBTR:

The Fish are offering the Phils Scott Nestor for Wes Helms, who'd also compete at the hot corner.

BAP and others: Buy the paperback version of "Baseball Between the Numbers" and read the chapter called "Why Doesn't Billy Beane's $h1t Work in the Playoffs?" That will prove the payroll argument along with what you already said about 2 of the last 10 WS winners.

Then read this article to find out what does correlate. Yes, bullpen performance correlates much higher than a great deal of the offensive stats. Colorado proved that against the Phils with Manny Corpas ($382,000 last year) and Brian Fuentes ($3.5 million last year, but who collapsed in the middle of the season.)

Corpas fascinates me. Here's a guy who I saw personally in the High A California league in 2005 and was pretty ok. Never did I think that he would be the guy that 20 teams would love to have closing games in 2008.

Why are we all so eager to trade Helms? If we trade Helms, who plays third base?

If Wes Helms was a free agent and we had no 3rd baseman right now would you sign him over all the other available options? Hell no. Thats why you trade him for anything you can possibly get.

I'm sure we can replace Helms' "production" somehow; if trading him can pull any kind of relief help out of nowhere, I think it's a no-brainer.

Just taking a step back, but can someone offer any legitimate reason why the Fish would actually pay Helms? I simply don't see the attraction. It seems so utterly ridiculous that teams (other than perhaps the Yanks with the Girardi link) would even consider taking him and his salary off our hands?

bap - who cares. we had the league worst production at the postion. nuthin from nuthin leaves nuthin. nowhere to go but up. if we can get a reliever and an extra $2 mil to spend, its an improvement.

I guess Marlin's management likes Helms from his stay there? Who knows, just send him back!

Off topic: The "some dudes" line has been giving me a good laugh since it was first typed. Great stuff.

Deutsche Phan, sind Sie in die Vereinigten Staaten oder sind Sie in Deutchland?

One last thing about Corpas. If it were December of 2006, and you polled all the sportswriters, fans, and whoever for Colorado. You tell them "Your team will make it to the World Series in 2007. Guess who your closer will be to take them there?" 85% of them would have said Fuentes.

It is rare to predict the collapse of closers in mid season, yet it happens all the time. On the flip side, someone like Corpas goes from Modesto to the World Series in two years.

Helms does have zero value. Dumping his salary for a toiling minor leaguer is fine by me. Scott Nestor doesn't look like anything great, but neither did Wilfrido Laureno who we got for David Bell, we were just glad to be rid of that no-talent ass-clown;...same goes for Helms- good riddance!

My bad.... It is rare to predict the collapse of some dudes in mid season, yet some dudes collapse all the time. On the flip side, some dude like Corpas goes from Modesto to the World Series in two years...

Just relocated back from the Fatherland in time to snag tickets to see Kaz Matsui jack us up in the playoffs. Actually I was flying back during the NL East clinching game. Got off flight and celebrated in the terminal. Would have been a better memory if we made it a bit further...

In re: Colorado and Corpas
I wish Some of Our Dudes were as good as Some of Their Dudes.

(But that would take paying over slot for Some Better Dudes.)

Strange. A rumor (Helms to Marlins) that makes no sense has more credibility than the thought that, perhaps, the rumor is false. Like 90% of the rumors that are posted here.

Seems too good to be true.

But makes me too happy to believe its false.

BAP: I agree with your point about pitching and playoffs, but to be honest, I don't think the Phils lost that series to the Rockies because of their pitching. They lost because of their hitters.

BB and Mike H, the problem with the Phillies is that the minor leagues rosters are populated by "some dudes" because of "them".

Thank you Clout, for re-injecting reason into the atmosphere. As wonderful as a dream as it is, you don't make signings like Helms and Eaton go away. You live with the consequences nearly all of the time. What continually gets me are Gillick's repeated comments about "not wanting to get into bed with someone you don't want to be in bed with." Is that a direct shot at Eaton, a self-critique, or a sign that he might have learned something???

Carson: Who replaces Helms?

Could Helms+ a mid-lower level prospect get us Gregg? The Phils could certainly use another proven, healthy arm in the back end of their bullpen.

clout, agreed. Only one game was a blowout. They lost the other 2 games by close scores in low-scoring games.

Clout - I know your question was directed at Carson, but I felt one of my previous posts applies.

"If Wes Helms was a free agent and we had no 3rd baseman right now would you sign him over all the other available options? Hell no. Thats why you trade him for anything you can possibly get."

"Is that a direct shot at Eaton, a self-critique, or a sign that he might have learned something?"

It's projection.

He still is not aware that he gets into bed with the same kinda mediocre talent time after time. But his sub-conscious, in an effort to assert itself, has him speak the words he so badly needs to hear.

Of course it is.

Andy: Well stated. I never thought's we'd get two GM's (vocal Pat and acting Pat) for the price of one. Just in case I need to reference it later, did he make that comment before or after the Romero signing?

ricky: I agree with your hypothetical, but that's slightly different than Crason saying we should dump Helms. Who replaces him? And what do you give up to get that replacement? And please don't say Feliz again. He'd be a downgrade, not an upgrade.

I would trade Helms for a bag of Fritos at this point. He's just another dude who's production equates to dick.

What about taking a flier on Jose Castillo? Was demoted to a utility role last season, but he does have some pop. He's also relatively inexpensive.

Deutsche -
I believe it was afterward, talking about Lohse or Rowand; but it would be interesting to make sure. Kinda does provide some ammo after a bad Romero outing. (Not that I, as a Beerleaguer, want to say anything potentially bad about Romero at this point.)

Feliz is an upgrade compared to Helms. I'll stand by this until clout murders me or I'm proven wrong.

If the Phils can get any kind of semi-legit bullpen arm for Helms, I would personally pack his bag. Phils could easily replace Helms with signing Lamb or even Engsberg.

John D: By pop, do you mean soda pop? Castillo is even worse than Feliz. He was cut by a last place team and rightly so. There are players worse than Helms, believe it or not.

Hey Dudes, I'm starting to think Clout is Wes Helms, hence the hatred about any 3rd base replacements.

A Row will sign a 5-yr deal with KC probably next week. Phils are still in it if they're willing to go over 3 yrs. The Royals are also after Silva. This is per a phone call I got here at work.

ricky: Well, if we do indeed end up with last year's platoon of Helms/Dobbs and Feliz lands a job somewhere as a regular, we'll get to see who has the better production.

MG: I'd do that too if I knew I could get Ensberg. What do you plan to give up to get him?

What the heck happened that now KC is willing to outspend anyone on FA's lately? Lol, yet they still took Hochevar at 1 because they didn't want to pay Andrew Miller. Oops.

Speaking of consequences... didn't we have to get Helms because No-Hit Nunez was so underwhelming after his "breakout" year of 2005? Remember that Rolen got hurt in mid-05 and Nuni stepped in. Then he went on the open market and "they" overpaid for him dearly in 2006. (I think of Carson every time I hear Nunez in 2006...) So "they" bring in Helms last year to cover the Nuni mess. Consequences, indeed...

Ensberg will most likely be non-tendered, thereby making him a free agent and available for money. But like minor league talent, we have no money and are hoping to sign a 3rd baseman for hot dogs.

Clout: We didn't hit, but the fact is, all 3 of those games were there to be won except that Colorado's bullpen came up big & ours came up small.

We lost to the Rockies because Hamels wore long sleeve underarmor, duh.

BAP: That's true too.

ricky: If you're right and he gets non-tendered we should be all over him. He's arb eligible but I can't imagine him getting a huge raise after the numbers he put up last year.

Ricky asks: "If Wes Helms was a free agent and we had no 3rd baseman right now would you sign him over all the other available options?"

The answer is: Yes, I would sign him over all other available FA options. If Helms were a FA, it would mean that Greg Dobbs was our third baseman -- which would mean we'd need either a full-time third baseman or a right-handed platoon mate. There is no available FA who I'd want as my full-time third baseman &, of the available right-handed third baseman, none is better than Helms in a normal year.

And for those, like CJ, who continue to insist Gillick is doing the best he can and bullpen help just isn't available:
"The Brewers have reportedly picked up Salomon Torres from the Pirates for right-handers Marino Salas and Kevin Roberts."

"The Phillies are focusing on Tadahito Iguchi to fill their void at third base. Club officials don't have much interest in Morgan Ensberg, who could be non-tendered by the Padres next week."

I'm hoping the new news that MLB would tell us no on the waiver for Iguchi could make Ensberg a possibility. The guys not an allstar anymore, but he's an everyday 3rd baseman. People can gripe about the .230 average, but it comes with an 840 career OPS.

Kevin Mench will be non-tendered, according to ESPN. No fit for the Phils really, but newsworthy.

"The Brewers have reportedly picked up Salomon Torres from the Pirates for right-handers Marino Salas and Kevin Roberts."


brio: My argument is not that we don't go after free agents out of fear. My argument is that you don't spend money, even overpay as you suggest, just to say we've spent money. If Adam Eaton were the best pitcher on the free agent market this year and the Phils desperately needed pitching, would you advocate a 4-year $40 million deal for him? Of course you wouldn't.

Spending just to say we spent is dumb.

clout wrote: "And for those, like CJ, who continue to insist Gillick is doing the best he can and bullpen help just isn't available"


I've NEVER, EVER insisted he's doing the best he can. In fact, I think replacing Myers with Lidge is a downgrade. Where did you ever get this crazy idea? Is there where I get to hear you admit you're wrong? ;-)

CJ: Did I misintrepret this?

"Why don't some of you relax and save your moaning and groaning about what we didn't do for when we don't actually do it?"

I read that to mean, we should all relax, Gillick is doing the best he can.

Lets look at the Helms major league track record....

2001 - 728 OPS (216 ab)
2002 - 688 OPS (210 ab)
2003 - 780 OPS (476 ab)
2004 - 692 OPS (274 ab)
2005 - 814 OPS (168 ab)
2006 - 965 OPS (240 ab)
2007 - 665 OPS (280 ab)

Career average 761. Lamb 766. Koskie 825. Ensberg 842. Feliz 721 (I already admitted he can't take a walk or hit for any sort of decent average so don't comment)

Either way, I would call Helms my 5th option of those 5.

"Torres turns 36 in March. He threw a monstrous 280 innings in relief over 2004-2006, so it's no surprise his elbow started barking in 2007. His strikeout rate in '07 was actually a career high, but his groundball rate decreased and he allowed a lot more home runs and hits than usual."

The Phillies need to get away from this "dump him for nothing" mentality. There's a good chance Helms will outshine Dobbs and many of the other 3B options out there. It was one of my early offseason predictions. But if Helms can help get them pitching, they should do it.

I'd take him(Torres). What level are those "dudes" that got sent to Pitt?

A 36-year-old Torres is 4 years younger than Flash ...

clout: Yes, as usual, you misinterpreted it and drew your own conclusions.

My point is that people are moaning and groaning that we won't do anything else between now and the beginning of the season. It's the typical irrational opinion that Philadelphia fans latch onto. I also questioned Brio's seemingly non-specific request to just SPEND SOME MONEY, which is also irrational.

I don't want to Phils to spend money on bad players. That they haven't acquired anyone yet doesn't mean they won't. They need to. I've been a huge proponent of getting starting pitching help in order to move Myers back to closer.

To suggest I've defended Gillick's non-moves is flat wrong. But I'm not awaiting an apology that won't come.

Ricky: Feliz & Enberg suck. Lamb and Koskie are both left-handed & fairly terrible against left-handers. They are both viable platoon options, but they would replace Dobbs, not Helms. A Helms-Dobbs platoon is better than a full-time Mike Lamb or a full-time Corey Koskie.

CJ: OK, let me get this straight. Even as pitchers who could help this team at reasoinable prices are being signed by other teams, we should all remain calm and not complain until the season opener?

If that's not what you're saying, then we speak different languages.

So...any reason the phillies should not try to nab Koskie? (sorry if this has been asked to death, I have not seen a good analysis of why the Phils should not go after him)

Clout, Is Aaron Cook's 3 years at $30 million, or any eighth inning guy at $3.5M average, reasonable? Remember that for his career, Cook is 36-35 with a 4.47 ERA.

And please be serious. No Philadelphia fan can't stop from complaining for four whole months.

Clout - why don't we at least wait until Pitchers and Catchers report until we crucify Gillick and the FO.

Honestly - there isn't anyone (team) blowing me away at this point --- slow and steady may win this race

As for another Patrone "source" scoop - I read that the Royals were in on Rowand in an article today --- sounds like this source just has a newspaper subscription or an internet connection ....

If Rowand goes to KC for 5 years, he'll regreat that when their 25 games under .500 each of those 5 years hitting .270 with 22 HR's and 80 RBI's ..... best of luck ARow.

Why not bonds? Why not?

Ok . . . time for a methaphor.

In San Francisco, a one-bedroom condominium costs around $550,000. Is this reasonable? In the abstract, maybe not. But if you want to own a home in San Francisco, you have to pay it.

because we have a left fielder

Torres would kind of scare me--with his workload 2004-06 (averaging more than 85 appearances a year) and injury last year, he could be done in the majors. say what you will about Gordon, at least he's well rested.

all depends what Milwaukee gave up, I guess. were those guys filler or merely "some dudes"?


1. Where does he play? Certainly not anwhere but LF - and he can't really do that any longer - he can hardly run.

2. Where does Burrell Play if Barry plays LF?

3. Locker Room Dynamic - no thanks.

4. May very well be in jail - no thanks.

5. Should we go on?

oops, I meant were those guys merely "some dudes" or legit prospects.

way to mess up your stupid joke, ae.

2.5 million, plus incentives...clause for in LF, burreel can then platoon in right with werth, spell barry 35 games. look at his OPS. give him his own locker room.

clout: Again, you are showing a lack of reading comprehension.

I said, rather clearly, that you should save your bitching and moaning about moves we didn't do until after we don't do them. It is irrational to declare: "This team is standing pat until the start of the season and that pisses me off."

Get pissed off about the David Riske signing or the Torres trade if you want... that's rational (well, some more rational than others)... but don't start pissing and moaning about a lost offseason until we at least get to pitchers and catchers.

CJ: OK, fair enough, but with each lost opportunity it becomes more and more difficult for Gillick to fill the gaps, no?

Jkane: Werth/Burrell would be the world's first platoon where both batters are right-handed.

Burrell can't platoon with Werth. Burrell can't paly RF and they're both right-handed.

My Bad, you are correct...I just feel like he is the ultimate but-low phils bargain right now, with tremendous upside if we can get him in the lineup. where can you get that production cheaper? THat's all...


Only on beerleaguer will I argue "Jose Castillo vs. Wes Helms" but...


2007- 0/24/.244/.270
2006- 14/65/.253/.299
2005- 11/53/.268/.307

Avg past 3 years- 12.5/47/.255/.292


2007- 5/34/.246/.297
2006- 10/47/.329/.390
2005- 4/24/.298/.356

Avg past 3 years- 6/35.291/.348

Granted, thats 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back, but, Castillo has more "pop" than Helms and can play multiple positions.

Sign this man!

A couple years ago when we were looking to get rid of Burrell I would've been happy to have Bonds, but there's nowhere to put him.

BAP - I'm pretty sure there are more people on the "Helms sucks" than there are on the "Ensberg sucks" bangwagon. Obviously there is no magic perfect option at 3rd, but Ensberg wouldnt need to be platooned at 3rd, he could be the fulltime 3rd basemen, allowing dobbs to platoon with werth, and helms could supposedly bring back some sort of reliever or relief prospect from the marlins. the net effect is having one platoon instead of 2 and thereby having an extra spot for a pinch hitter or reliever.

John D: check out the number of at bats before declaring Castillo has more pop.

07 - infinite ab/hr (didn't hit a single one in 221 ABs)
06 - 37
05 - 33

07 - 56 ab/hr
06 - 24
05 - 33

Wes's numbers are better in every year. Although for him they were very down this past year. Castillo was a starter and Helms played sparingly so Castillo needed more at bats to produce those homers.

Whoops, my own stats have an error. Helms needed 47 ab/hr in '05. Still its at best pretty even between the 2 players, and you cannot say that Castillo has any more pop.

I refuse to believe there is a worse 3rd baseman in the league than Wes Helms. Simply refuse.

And shame on all of you for defending him.

John D:
Helms OPS for the past 3 years is .807
Castillo OPS for the past 3 years is .680

It's not even close. End of story.

Helms is heinous.
Take the pitcher for him and get one of these other clowns in here.
At least they have proven that they have the ability to play everyday 3B, albeit in a mediocre fashion.
That's more than Helms has proven for his career.

clout: Absolutely. But it's a long off-season... and Brad Lidge wasn't exactly chopped liver. Absent other moves, I think our rotation is stronger but our bullpen weaker. I do not, however, believe the Lidge move is the end.

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