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Thursday, December 20, 2007


hey, I never liked Helms!

regarding platooning, the 1914 Boston Braves (the "Miracle Braves") were the first team, I believe, to make heavy use of platoons. especially at third (Charlie Deal 74 G, Red Smith 60) and in the outfield (six different guys made at least 40 appearances; 11 total outfielders appeared in no less than 14 games).

Key with the Jenkins here is the 3rd year is an option. Might have been a real drag paying him $7-8 M with his production continues to decline.

Couldn't we get Crede for Cardenas? Maybe Cardenas and Bisenius? The White Sox could really use a prospect at 2B. Neither one of their current occupants hit above .234

an interesting point about Jenkins...I think we've had some debates about consistent performers versus streaky performers, and which one you'd rather have. well, take a look at Jenkins' 8 400+ PA seasons in OPS+:


that's four ~130 OPS+ seasons and four ~100 OPS+ seasons. basically he's either All-Star level or average...

7 different right fielders played in more than 10 games for the Miracle Braves that year. John McGraw picked it up for the Giants in the 20's. He subbed out Casey Stengel a bit in those days. Casey, of course, used that to his advantage in the 50s on the Yankees. Earl Weaver was a big proponent of it with Baltimore in the 1970s.

Kind of the end of an era if you're a Brewer fan. Jenkins was around since the first year Milwaukee was made an NL team. Looking at his career record, he was most solid in '99-'00, then had a nice three-year run in '03-'05. Hopefully, he's due for one more rebound; I'm willing to believe he has at least one more year of 25-plus homers left in him, which makes this a substantial addition. And this hasn't been brought up by anyone yet, but I also think Jenkins fits in well personality-wise on this team. He brings a lot of intensity to the table.

The Phillies could have done much worse here. This was one move I had said from the outset should have been made, and lo and behold, they made it.

I'm curious, was that picture of Jenkins taken after he crushed one into the right field seats? Or after he whiffed for the third time in four AB's?

Kidding about my last post. I'm on board with this signing.

I guess I must have glossed over the part where you mentioned Jenkins' character in the header, Jason - sorry.

there are certainly valid reasons to dislike the Jenkins signing. his strikeout rate is really not one of them.

Is the departure of Burrell really 'imminent'? Who's going to replace his righty power bat, a question all the more important after the Phillies just got even more left-handed going into next season?

RSB: That depends. The line "They've essentially replaced Rowand's bat and high character" was added about 15 minutes ago. Thought it was a good way of putting it.

The signings of both players are good ones for the Phils. Offensively, the RF platoon will do fine. With Vic in CF, defensively, he will be very good. Offensively he is what he is. Durbin as a reliever is good as well. As a starter, maybe not.

I believe that if Feliz and Lohse come off of their current demands, the Phils could sign both. Feliz (.252/20/72) last year should do well at CBB. Loshe should pitch 180 innings next year. He'd be great insurance if Eaton isn't healthy and maybe he'd be slotted as a starter and Eaton would be insurance for him. Plus, if Lohse were to be re-sign, what about Eaton in the 'pen? Didn't he say he'd go there last year if he had to?

You know I bash Gillick for not making moves but I tip my hat to him right now. I think the Phils are equal to or better than the team that finished '07. I also believe he's not done. He's smart like a fox. Might still have a trick or 2 up him sleeve.

Right now, when all the players who have yet to sign do, along with the guys who are signed, the total is 23 (not including La Forest, who has a split contract). That means 2 more players have to be brought in.

RSB: I think it is, that Burrell will be gone. I don't think they like him enough to extend him. He'll be ready for DH duty by then.

Oh RSB, you and I know that Burrell brings nothing to this team. Let's replace him with Juan Pierre. Sorry, I just had to throw that out.

I'm inclined to think you're right about Burrell, but not certain. Obviously they wanted him gone like a bundle of old newspapers in '06, and there remains the issue of having to substitute for him late in many games. But if he has a good year in the five hole and maintains the K/BB ratio he impressed with last season, I don't think it's a given that he's gone.

Since when is Gillick "smart like a fox," DPatrone? What did he ever do that was remotely foxlike? When did he ever outfox a GM? As for Feliz, I like his defense and he would hit 25+ homers in CBP, but he doesn't get on base at all... sort of a problem. Then again, you could bat him 8th and just count on the occasional longball.

Tray: I don;t think it's a stretch to say, even from this remote vantage point, that Burrell's ability to be a firm buffer beteen Utley/Howard and Jenkins in the middle of the order is perhaps one of top three essentials to the Phillies' upcoming season. His value is enhanced to the Phillies above and beyond what it would be on most teams given the imbalance in the batting order, and therefore the context of his role in it. I am not (as you perhaps are aware) a great appreciator of players with Burrell's limited skill set, but regardless I can't deny how important he's become in the scheme of things here.

DPatrone: Feliz would be WORSE than a Helms/Dobbs platoon.

ae: The strikeouts are a downside. Not enough to "dislike" the signing, but they shouldn't be ignored like everyone seems to try to do. This is one of the best OBP teams in baseball. The top of the lineup can't advance on 2 Ks a game from Howard and 1 or 2 from Burrell and Jenkins.

And where does Burrell hit? Fifth, after Howard? Burrell seemed to find himself batting third last season.

Against Hudson:

1. Rollins
2. Utley
3. Burrell
4. Howard
5. Jenkins
6. Victorino
7. Dobbs
8. Ruiz

Looks solid this way as well ...

I also tend to believe that Burrell will head over to an AL team after next season. unfortunately there are really no free agent options whatsoever. Dunn? a lefty. Ibanez? old and a lefty. Abreu? I'm thinking an unlikely choice. Jacque Jones? sucks. the only guy who seems plausible (not that I'm endorsing it) is Juan Rivera, assuming he comes back healthy & productive and doesn't resign.

My mistake: Burrell was most productive hitting SIXTH last season.

Jason, I would be much more concerned about Jenkins' production than his K rate. Rowand wasn't exactly Joe Sewell and it didn't really hurt us last year.

I wouldn't go that far, clout; he is, by all reports, excellent defensively (Helms and Dobbs are awful), and he may have more power than either - and he certainly wouldn't put up a season as bad as Helms did last year. I also suspect that Dobbs overachieved a bit last season.


From last post, I do think there are much better metrics than range factor. I just was lazy and used it because I was already on Jenkins's B-Ref page.

I think Dewan's system (based on James, I think) is pretty well respected because it is based on observation rather than just totalling up assists and put outs.

Clout: Since you are so well read, mind pointing us to something that would support your contention that scouts disagree with James's system.

ae: You're right. He needs to hit for higher average and get on base more.

Jenkins logged 452 plate appearances last season. I'm going with the under. 435-450. In that range.

Or really, just any evidence by anyone (outside of the BBWAA!) claiming J-Roll is a top 5 defensive shortstop.

I was thinking Burrell would automatically hit fifth, but I think your lineup is a better idea, J, with Burrell as buffer between Utley and Howard, and Victorino hitting lower. Particularly against RHP. I think Howard gets pitched to a lot more with another lefty in the hole rather than Burrell.

"Or really, just any evidence by anyone (outside of the BBWAA!) claiming J-Roll is a top 5 defensive shortstop."

Not sure if you're talking about Gold Glove voting, but if you are, the voting is actually done by the managers in each league.

If he does alright this year, I wouldn't be surprise if Burrell gets an extra year from the Phils, if he wants it. Not much in next year's FA OF class and there's nothing on the pharm to replace him.

kdon said "Or really, just any evidence by anyone (outside of the BBWAA!) claiming J-Roll is a top 5 defensive shortstop."

Since you just mentioned it above as well, Dewans system has J-Roll rated as a top 5 shortstop.

Speaking of Dewans system, he had Geoff Jenkins as the player that should have won the RF Gold Glove in 2005.

Geoff Jenkins seems to a be a pretty good pickup for numerous reasons. I like his power bat, especially as I would assume he's going to rake at CBP.
Furthermore, I heard an interview with Ned Yost a couple days ago on 950AM I think, and Yost was praising Jenkins' defensive abilities. It's interesting that he played leftfield last year, rightfield the few years before, and leftfield again several years ago. If nothing else, I like the versatility.

Tray~ my meaning on "samart like a fox" is that he never lets on to what he is doing. He tried to downplay the interest in Benson by saying last night that he'll wait 2 months on Benson 'cause he's only throwing 76 miles and hour. That statement is BS. He'd sign Benson tomorrow if the price is right.

Clout~ The Phils would trade Helms for a bag of baseballs if they got another 3b-man. I don't know who it'll be, but Gillick's not done, that's for sure.

Vic's value is maximized in CF. Given that Rowand's going to Pac Bell (or whatever its called now), theres a good chance that 2008 Victorino has a better raw year than 2008 Rowand - that is, not adjusting for parks. Vic has a good chance to be as good or better than Coco Crisp, who before this season many statheads (including Theo Epstein) held in very high regard due to his defensive prowess.

"Since you just mentioned it above as well, Dewans system has J-Roll rated as a top 5 shortstop."

Not that I doubt it, but where are you looking? If I look at TheHardballTimes for the Revised Zone Rating, Rollins is 9th in the NL. If I look at the Zone Rating (on, Rollins is 6th in the NL.

By comparison, Range Factor also has Rollins as 6th in the NL.

The Phillies are better off, if we project Rowand regressing to the mean.

The Phillies also have Bruntlett vs. Nunez.

13th Batter OF (L)or(S), glove/Speed/Defense

Chris Snelling (L), Chris Roberson (S),
or Brandon Watson (L) instead of Bourne.

Coste or Jaramillo at back-up catcher, and most importantly, potentially one more month of Howard, Utley vs. Iguchi, and Victorino.

The team should top the Division and the League in Runs Scored for the Third Straight Year.

The only thing left on the hitting side of the fence is if the Phillies Land Beltre or Crede which would make things even better.

Watching the press conference..its comical...Mike Arbuckle thought Durbin was sitting next to him when it was really Jenkins. He doesnt even know the difference between the two. They were giving the players their jerseys and he said they will have to swap them because he thought Durbin was putting on Jenkins jersey.


Guess which team just spent two roster spots and $4.1 million on the following:

2005: 360.1 IP, 5.00 ERA
2006: 211.1 IP, 5.88 ERA
2007: 204 IP, 6.09 ERA

Your NL Champion Rockies, on Kip Wells and Mark Redman. Talk about dreck-tastic!

I look at this deal for Geoff Jenkins in one way- it made the 2008 Phillies better...enough said.

Doesn't appear as though the spam problem is fully fixed. And on Geoff Jenkins Day, of all days.

Debating over a Jenkins jersey... or a numberless Durbin.

These two signings are of the garage sale variety. Jenkins is on the the decline, but might do better in a platoon role. Like the 1993 Phillies with their LF - RF platoons, some players get a rebirth when they are put in the best position to achieve. This is what a platoon will do. He will not face lefties and Werth will not face righties. The postings that predict great expectations may be closer to being correct with combined platoon stats, as opposed to individual stats.
Durbin, as a pitcher, does not platoon and will have to be used in his best capacity. This is probably middle inning relief. He is not a starter or relief specialist. He is the new Clay Condrey. Expect no more and you will be satisfied. If he can't keep the ball down or has erratic control, he will be let go or boo'ed out of town.
I feel better about the team after these signings, but I'll try to remember all of the other like signings I have seen over the past 50 years. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Good signing overall for the Phils and glad to see that Gillick is still "in the game".
This makes the Holiday season a little more merry from a Phans' point of view. I get the feeling everyone was waiting with baited breath for something meaningful to happen. I'm excited about Vic in CF on an everyday basis.

"Since you just mentioned it above as well, Dewans system has J-Roll rated as a top 5 shortstop."

Where are you getting this? For 2007, J-Roll finished at #9.

Oh, I see J-Roll makes the top 5 for 05-07, but that is a cumulative list. Plus/minus is cumulative over time, so J-Roll moves ahead of a ton of SS simply because he has played so much over the past three years.

For example, that rates him ahead of Tulowitski, who is clearly a better defensive SS.

STJ. Thanks for the corrections. After Abreu won a gold glove, I was sure it was a writer's award.

Now Gillick's smart like a fox because he denied wanting to sign Benson (on account of Benson's throwing just 76 mph - really??), but in reality he really would sign him. Actually, that just makes Gillick a devious idiot.

The Durbin move really isn't a bad one from a Relief corp standpoint. We really need a guy or two down there that can go more than one inning ... and at least Durbin can do that. If he has to make an emergency start or two throughout the course of the year - he could do that as well. Face it, we've run worse guys out there than Chad Durbin each of the last 3+ seasons on a temporary basis.

I like what I'm reading about Jenkins' leadership traits. I was concerned about losing that when Rowand left. PG is loading up on "good guys" which helps stop slumps and losing streaks. I think we're down to 3B and another starter. What about Livan as the 5th starter? He'll get you 12-12 and 200+ innings. I'll take that from the 5th spot.

Tray- Clout doesn't believe in defense. He thinks that runs scored count for more than runs saved. He is wrong. He has ignored the biggest advances in sabermetrics in the last few years, which is that DEFENSE MATTERS and that it can be objectively measured. I'm not saying Feliz is a good pickup, because he's absolutely miserable at getting on base, but the point is that making an argument with Clout over defense is useless because he doesn't think it matters, solely because we play in a hitter's park. I would argue it matters even more, especially if you want to get groundball pitchers here, which everyone seems to agree with.

Granted its the 2006 edition, but its the one I have, in The Fielding Bible, by John Dewan, page 23, which are based on the singular 2005 season, Rollins was the 4th overall ranked SS in MLB.

Good luck Jack, I spent my first 2 weeks on the site arguing this with Clout, its one of those things where we will just have to agree to disagree.

4 Years 48 Million for Silva ... makes Myers 3yr/$30M look like a bargain now doesn't it?

If Mike Cameron is the answer then I'd love to know the question.

It essentially makes sense to "overpay" for the first year as baseball inflation makes most extensions look amazing in hindsight.

Ok, so fielding bible online has J-Roll ranked 7th in '06, 9th in '07, and ricky has him 5th in '05.

That sounds about right, not quite an elite defensive player, but still very good.


Hell, that Silva deal almost makes the Eaton deal look...oh, well, maybe not!

Who is about to have a very similar season statistically to Ron Gant's 1999 year with the Phillies?

Who, during his season in which he was age 34, had the most strikeouts in a season with 160?

Just a gut feeling, but I think Jenkins may have one more good year left in him. He has been pretty up and down throughout his career and, after 2 rather mediocre years, he's due for a good one. It won't hurt that he's playing half his games at CB Park.

On Durbin, I'm actually a little puzzled how anyone can have anything good to say about this signing. Clay Condrey was the 7th best guy in the Phillies' 2007 bullpen & Durbin is a downgrade from him. There are probably no fewer than 50 relievers on this year's FA market who are better than Chad Durbin.

I don't know what to think about all the strikeouts. While in a single player even 100 strikesouts as opposed to groundouts will only result in a few runs difference over the course of a season, I think putting multiple high-strikeout players back to back has been shown to be more detrimental to run creation. That said, it didn't seem to hurt the Phillies too much last season, so while it may have decreased their ceiling the floor is still rather high.

wow, Ron Gant...he MUST have been roided up..miss the days of him and Gregg man G-Jeff did hit for the cycle though

Jenkins signing is solid....and Durbin could be a good stop gap innings eater on nights when Moyer/5th starter cant get out of the 5th inning...

still think PG will swing a trade for a 3B..maybe giving up Madson and some prospects..but from what i've read out there, the price tag on Crede and even more so with Blalock, are pretty high..

Saber vs. scout arguments are like arguing creation vs. evolution.

Neither side will budge on their belief structure, nor accept that in the right context there is room for both. It’s taken me a while to realize this but seems to be the case.

I’m not directly calling anyone else out, I’m just starting to think it is a pointless argument.

I also won't be around much for the next couple days and even though I'm fairly new here, I want to wish all of BL happy holidays! You all keep safe so we can argue well into the new year.

BAP - Durbin wasn't signed to pitch in tight situations .... he's nothing to get overly excited about - but we did need someone to give us innings when needed, and he's certainly capable of doing that much more so than Joe Table or Rosario or Castro et. al.

I was wondering whether Cardenas and Bisenius would get us Crede.. The W. Sox 2b men are terrible.. If another lower level prospect is needed, let's do it.. I think Helms is a black hole and Dobbs is corner utility material.. nothing more-- nothing less.

Has it been reported elsewhere that Benson was only throwing 76mph? With Moyer, the PHils could have two pitchers with 76mph fastballs.

Anyone have a price on Durbin?

the phillies without burrell? i know the day is coming. i know i spent years waiting for it, but now i can't fathom it. he has somehow become the embodiement of the team. not nationally, but certainly locally. it was no coincidence that they focused on burrell on the steps during the last inning of the clincher. all that potential. all that frustration. his slumps have become bigger than the team. there are only two things he can talk about anymore. one being his struggles and the other being his most recent break from his slump. its a constant tale of failure and redemption. he is everyone's favorite to boo and cheer. he may have been the greatest test of our fandom. i think we passed. love him or hate him, when he goes a huge part of this exciting but frustrating era (the phills first consistently good era in 30 yrs) goes with him.

Jack: If you can prove to me that Feliz's glove would save more runs at thirdbase than his bat would cost, I'd be all for it. I await your proof.

WE had Nunez for defense and I'm sure he did not win any games even though his defense was fairly good. I'm sure with his bat he probably in long run lost us more than he won for us. seeing him make a great stop and looking like he saved a game, but where was he when we needed a hit to win a game.

What are the chances of the A's trading Chavez? What would it take to get him? Does anyone think he is worth it? Is he too big of an injury risk?

The question Clout is, do we NEED feliz' OBP to have a successful 2008? I'll take his defense , he can hit .250 with 15 HR 70 RBI and have an OBP of 290.. who cares? He protects Moyer and the other pitchers. Who the hell needs offense there?? HIS offense would be gravy on THIS team

nutter, I believe Burrell is now the longest tenured Phillie, then Rollins.

Unless they can replace his RH power (not an easy thing) he will be missed after '08.

How many RH hitters have averaged 30 HR and 100 RBIs the last three seasons?

The only way I can conceive that they'll keep him is if they significantly raise payroll, because they'll have to pay #6 as well, and Hamels will be arb eligible soon.

If they don't replace his bat it will significantly alter the compostition of the lineup.

If they don't replace Burrell's bat, the Phils become even more susceptible to left-handed pitching than they already are. If they don't extend him, they'll have to spend a similar amount to replace him, don't you think? Which wouldn't be bad if such a player is out there, because the defense would certainly improve that way. But such players aren't exactly growing on trees (Burrell's OPS last year was 15th in the league, IIRC).

'Anyone have a price on Durbin?'

Gillick found him for $2.99 in the Sporting Goods aisle, next to a tennis racket with a duct-taped handle and a circa 1991 Kevin Maas Little Leaguer's mitt. They waited until today to sign him because he had a green price tag (50% off on Thursdays). Evidently the Pirates had spotted Durbin first, but already had too many items on lay-away and were forced to skulk off to the St. Vincent de Paul across the street, where they were last seen eyeing a chipped Kris Benson bobblehead.

RSB: Boo. Probably too long for that kind of response. Good try, though.

I meant, of course, anyone know the terms of the deal?

rob: Feliz ranked DEAD LAST among all NL thirdbasemen (with 400 PAs) in offense last season. How many runs per year would his glove save at thirdbase? How many runs per year would his bat cost the team? That's the calculation. How many games per year do you think turn on a defensive play at thirdbase? How many turn because of an out in a key situation?

Watched highlights of today's press conference. Seem like stand-up guys. Durbin said he's not intimidated by the park and understands he needs to throw more sinkers and cutters. And Jenkins seems like an approachable guy.

Mr J mentioned the 1993 Phillies platoons in BOTH corner outfield positions. Because it's fun to trot out names from the past, these platoons were:

Jim Eisenreich and Wes Chamberlain in RF, and Pete Incaviglia and Milt Thompson in LF.

Individually, these guys would not excite anyone as power corner outfield players, but in platoon roles, they were quite effective, as in good enough be on a team that won the NL pennant.

I'm comfortable with a Jenkins/Werth platoon, they might actually be better than either '93 platoon. Maybe a similar formula for the '08 Phils (all-star infield plus decent outfield platoon) can carry them to the pennant as well.

BAP: Durbin is no great shakes, but he's better than Condrey and he's coming off his best year. For one thing, Condrey isn't a swingman. He hasn't started a game since 2005 in AAA and the results there weren't pretty.

Would you approve of the Phils paying Burrell $10M, $11M, $12M, $13M for a four year deal after this season? Would the Phils do it? Would Burrell take it? Figure he would want 4 years. He should realize his D, streakyness, Ks and lack of speed will take him out of the top tier. He won't sign a 2 year deal. Will the Phils have any other options?

Any thoughts?

I think the Phils should jump at 2 years for $20-ish but I think Pat the Bat would want longer.

Many of you guys would go nuts seeing Pat resign - but it MIGHT be the best move.

JMARR: I guess I just don't see "inning eater to pitch when we're already 10 runs behind" as a particularly high priority. And I don't really get the concept of going in search of a 7th reliever when they still don't have a 5th and 6th reliever.

brother: Being anti-platoon is just silly. History is filled with teams that won championships with platoons. In the 1950s, Stengel use to platoon his position players AND his pitchers.

Obviously if you have a guy who can hit all pitching, that's the ideal. But when you don't (as was the case with the '93 Phils), or if you have an older player who can only give you 120 games, then platooning can work out well.

If you doubt THW's point, go to MLB Trade Rumors for a look at next season's free agent class. You might want to have some Pepto Bismol handy first.

BAP: I don't think they have a #2 reliever myself. If they think they can go a full season with Gordon in that spot, they're nuts.

Clout: He IS coming off his best year, which still wasn't exactly good. And his other years have been so unspeakably bad that last year looks very much like an anomaly.

Durbin may be a swingman, but it's in the same way that Pete LaForest is a catcher. I sure wouldn't want him to have to start for us next year. Having a "proven track record" doesn't count for much when all that track record proves is that you're not major league material.

Clout: We agree on Chad Durbin as a better candidate for 11th/12th pitcher than Condrey and J.D.

Durbin is certainly not special but he adds badly needed depth. For a team that generally had a very weak bullpen last year, it has baffled that Gillick has generally not chosen to bring in a few more guys like Durbin to provide a few more viable options to round out the last few pitching spots.

JW - Totally agreed. Even a mediocre Chad Durbin is almost better than holdover option from last year (Rosario, Condrey, J.D.).

I am just worried that Durbin is likely to be annointed the 5th starter coming into spring training. If that is the case and the Phils refuse to get another legit starter, I hope they have a more open competition for the 5th starter spot.

Gillick said they're working on some additional moves. He might have meant Benson. Maybe Lohse. I don't get the impression Durbin is getting serious consideration for the fifth starter position just based on how much Arbuckle emphasized his ability to do both.

I keep reading John Parrish's name. This one has Phillies written all over it. Second lefty material. Time in Baltimore and Seattle. Could probably get him at a minimum. And from Lancaster, Pa.

The Phillies roster is like a monthly menu with three nights of prime steak and 27 nights of ramen. It costs the same as a balanced diet, and it's occasionally spectacular, but you spend most of your days with little to look forward to.

AWH, you are right about burrell i was going to mention his status as the longest tenured phil but i wasn't 100% sure. it turns out he has rollins beat by a few months. he goes so far back that he played with schilling and morandini.
honestly, i would probably keep him even just for what he is as a player. when i factor in how much fun it is to have him around then i have to hope they get him to stay. he might stay for less. i mean he has refused every ticket out of town and he is known to love the city, which is my favorite thing about him. as frustrating as it was when he refused trades it was always really cool that a big part of that was that he loved the city. he loved the nightlife and hanging around rittenhouse. i like that about him.
on a side note, why in the world would million dollar athletes choose to live in moorestown or gladwynne mcmansions when they can afford to live in downtown luxury condos and really live it up? they are young, rich, and opting to sit around the burbs and play video games. come on guys the women are in the city!

I would be somewhat surprised if Benson signs with the Phillies. If you look at things from his perspective he sees 5 starters (for better or for worse) already lined up and this is not a guy who would want a swing role out of the bullpen. Of course this is contingent on:
1) Eaton and his MRI: are the Phillies blowing smoke about his arm stiffness?
2) Kendrick as a starter: do the Phillies really believe he is able to reproduce his 2007 season or do they think it was a fluke? Is he slated for AAA unless he has a fantastic spring?
Of course we can't read Pat & Co's mind on these two points but if Benson does sign I would expect 1) and/or 2) to be true (and they tell Benson as much). Otherwise if Benson signs he is hoping for an injury to occur to gain a starting spot -- not likely for someone who is looking to reestablish himself as a starter as he would want a pretty sure guarantee of starting.
It may be that Pat waits until March and sees what happens in Clearwater (especially if -- gasp! -- they are actually telling the truth about Eaton's MRI) and then makes some Value Village acquisition.

According to the New York Post, Phillies are out of the bidding for Lohse...

According to Phillies assistant GM Ruben Amaro, Philadelphia's refusal to go beyond three years for the right-hander ended their pursuit of Lohse, who finished last season in Philly.
It's believed the Mets have made an offer to the 29-year-old for four years, but it's not known if it is for the $10 million Per he is seeking.

so clout.. you're saying that switching to a Phils team that is 30 pct more productive than SF won't cause Feliz' numbers(and way more RBI opptys) to translate into a middle of the road offensive 3B.. ? plus he'd save about 3-5 games with his glove compared to that piece of wood named Helms. Helms cant hit in OR out of the clutch

Is it me, or looking at MLBtraderumors list, do you get the feeling help at 3B is coming from nowhere save a trade? The 2008 FA Class at third:

Casey Blake (35)
Hank Blalock (28) - $6.2MM club option for '09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Joe Crede (31)
Nomar Garciaparra (35)
Troy Glaus (32) - $11.25MM player option for '09
Wes Helms (33) - $3.75MM club option for '09
Chipper Jones (37) - $8-11MM vesting option for '09

For all intents and purposes, there are two names left on the Phillies radar: Kyle Anna Benson and Akinori Otsuka. If they are out of the running for any starting pitcher that will make $11M, that takes names off the list. I don't believe the "sly fox" has an ace up his sleeve or has a red dog that flies at midnight, or other such nonsense. The sly fox waits for these two to play out and that's it.

I think Otsuka will go back to San Diego.

Malcolm, you're right. Being as I actually approved the signing of Durbin, my sarcasm was a little half-hearted and misplaced. Still, it was kind of fun so I went with it.

So let the Mets get their big prize in Lohse. Does anyone mind the prospect of facing him four or five times next season, with the way the Phillies are set up left-handed? Bring it on, Lohsers.

So what was that Beltre stuff that I read yesterday and excitedly responded to. Was that a hoax? I sure liked the talk since effectively Eaton and shortly thereafter Helms would be gone.

Does Boston trade any pitching if they end up with Santana?

If Durbin pitches likes last year, yes, he's a slight upgrade over Condrey. I guess we have a difference of opinion about how likely that is. When I look at his career stats, last season looks like an anomaly.

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