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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

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I really want them to take a flyer on Dallas McPherson. See if he'll take a none guaranteed deal, or even a guaranteed one for close to the minimum. He was so highly touted at one point but due to his injuries I seem to remember reading somewhere he just wants a chance to play and understands he has something to prove before he is given any sort of major role. Sounds like good character and a classic low-risk high-reward play.

agreed 100%, Tony. why the hell not?

I think they should take a chance on Ensberg. He wouldn't cost too much, I'm sure.

anybody other than Nunez

Phillies were .535 when Dobbs played and .628 when he started (and .549 overall).

(if you prefer raw #s, that's 76-66 when he played and 49-29 when he started.)

and as long as we're using arbitrary statistics:

29-29 in Nunez starts
30-35 in Helms starts

Bourn had the best starting WP at 10-5; Roberson the worst at 0-3.

I'd feel better about the RF situation if Werth were the lefty and Jenkins the righty.

Relax, 3B is not the biggest fish this team has to fry. The real dire need is a #3 starting pitcher.

Dobbs, Helms and Bruntlett should be adequate since there is plenty of offense elsewhere. None of the remaining free agents represents a significant upgrade.

Besides, as the season wears on, if this trio is truly brutal, it will be much easier to plug a hole at 3B than at the top of the rotation.

How about Andy LaRoche?

Here's a name from WAY off the radar: Tony Batista. Yes, that Tony Batista. The one who put up MVP numbers before disappearing to Japan. He's still only 34, so he's younger than some of our other candidates. He's not a viable everyday third baseman, but he'd give us a right handed bat off the bench with huge power potential. Plus, he'd cost pretty much nothing...

I'd rather give Coste some time at 3rd, but they don't seem willing to do so.

Cripes, I forgot Batista was still in the league. Im not sure you gain much from having him around, in addition, I would rather have Nunez around for his DEFENSE, as it seems like that is a bit more pressing from a late inning perspecitive. and that is all. Nunez could probably spell Rollins or Utley if they needed a night off too. Ensberg still intrigues me, and would have no problem singing him to a deal similar to Wes Helms, or even going above that. Trouble with that is, can you move either Dobbs or Helms, because we'll then have a surplus of 3rd basemen.

What type of deal would it take to get Ensberg?

Feliz is the best of that list. They should take a shot on him.

PhillyRocks: Feliz ranked dead last on offense among all NL thirdbasemen with 400 PAs last season and 28th out of 30 in all of baseball. Anyone on that list is better than Feliz.

Forgive me if this was already mentioned but it looks like Ryan Howard will be gracing the cover of Sony's annual baseball game franchise, MLB: The Show.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6184522.html?action=convert&om_clk=latestnews&tag=latestnews;title;0

John D: The Phils traded for Bruntlett as an upgrade from Nunez. The chances of them carrying 2 utility infielders are zero. The chances of them cutting Bruntlett after trading for him so they can re-sign Nunez are less than zero.

I think we've given up on Wes Helms far too soon...the same way we did with Pat Burell. Imagine if he didn't veto the trade 2 years ago that would have sent him to Baltimore for Syndey Ponson. It's highly doubtful the Phils would have made the post season without his bat last year.

3rd base is not as gloomy as we think. Even Schmidt had a crappy season or two. Give him a chance.

J: "taxi squad" at 3b, classic.

I've taken one taxi in Philly and there was a distinct smell of recently cleaned vomit. This is about how I feel about the fare at 3b if Helms repeats his performance from last year. However, I'm with Clout on being optomistic on at least a marginal improvement from the Helmser.

i think if we signed feliz, i would offically start watching badmitten instead

3b is a pathetic travesty and just another glaring example of the team's lack of desire to win anything meaningful.
for god's sake . . . there isnt a salary cap.

remember when Dobbs started there was a right hander on the mound, seems to me a few other guys in the line-up hit righties better than lefties as well. But who knows maybe it was the Roy Hobbs affect. Coste in 2006, Dobbs and Werth in 2007, maybe one of these pitchers in 2008. I'm hoping

Helms was garbage when he was 'good'. maybe i just expect the team to try and win a World Series and get too disappointed when they dont even try.

I've seen No-hit play badmitten he can't hit the birdie either, usually right into the net

I wouldn't be surprised if Helms has a solid season next year. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if he has a horrendous year. So really, he's the biggest wild card on the team.

Third base is not much of a worry for me in 2008. It's 2009 and beyond, once Burrell is possibly outta here, that's the concern. At some point we need a stable third baseman.

McPherson is still young enough to be that stable option, and he's so cheap he could be signed on for some work in AAA while we figure out what's happening at third this season. As of now, there's no other hope for 2009 and beyond. Unless you're banking on Joe Crede or some other middling guy in free agency.

My solution: Go after McPherson and give him the chance to prove himself again. And draft a 3B early this year. The taxi squad can suffice another season, and if McPherson McPhlames out, sign someone like a Crede for three years and find your lost Burrell power in the outfield.

Also, Clout, "they think that I got no respect, but, everything means less than zero."

Also, just a point I need to make about McPherson: With his name, isn't it NATURAL for him to be on this club? I mean, come on.

Yes, third base is the most glaring problem facing the 2008 Phillies. While I sort of agree that Helms is due for at least a dead-cat bounce, I share Jason's skepticism regarding Dobbs--little power, little patience, lousy glove. As the last guy on your bench he's fine; as a half-time regular, not at all.

Feliz is a nuclear-powered vacuum of outs, legitimately one of the worst offensive players in MLB--but at this point if they could get him for one year, $5 million I'd do it, bat him 8th, and try to make sure I left the room whenever he was up.

I really don't know why they aren't interested in Ensberg. Does he have an injury problem?

My guess is that they hope to trade for Crede during ST, but other teams will be in on him too.

ELVIS just left the building

Phils issued a press release with all of all their winter tour stops along with the online chat schedule.

http://tinyurl.com/ypoxqn

ONLINE CHATS:

• Friday, Jan. 11 - Chat with Assistant General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., 3 p.m., www.phillies.com.

• Wednesday, Jan. 16 - Chat with outfielder Pat Burrell, 5:15 p.m., www.phillies.com.

• Thursday, Jan. 17 - Chat with All-Star Chase Utley, 3:30 p.m., www.phillies.com.

Some questions for Ruben:

- How does it feel knowing you rode daddy's coattails all the way to the front office?
- Tell me more about Ricky Otero.
- World Series contender. I mean, really? Did you see the bullpen?
-Again, why are you the assistant GM?

Clout:

Just trying to assess your reasoning here, dont take it as an attack...

So do you think the Phils be looking at an upgrade over Helms/Dobbs or rather an upgrade over Bruntlett to piece their 3rd base position together?

dajafi, Generally agree that Dobbs is a bench guy disguised as a 3b, but he did have 34 xbh last year in 324 ABs ; not too shabby. I don't see a miraculous turnaround by Helms. I would expect his 2008 to be closer to 2007 than 2006. Ensberg is cooked, but would OK with Feliz or Crede. Having to use 3 players every night at 3b is not a way to win a division.

If you traded for anyone or brought back Nunez, that player would need Helm's roster spot. The bench is full.

Clout, While I agree the chances of the Phils carrying 2 utility infielders is zero, Bruntlett has options remaining so he could assigned to the minors. It would not surprise me if the Phils brought in Nunez or someone like him as a non roster invitee to compete for this spot.

I am surprised no one has signed McPherson yet. As mentioned, he is a classic low risk/high reward type of player. He could probably be had fairly cheep. Too bad management is even cheeper.

Screw Nunez. I don't want to see his pathetic act here anymore. We don't need him with Brunlett. He would probably command the same type of money that McPherson would. I say take the chance on the younger guy with the definite higher upside.

Billy Mac: Let me ask you a question. They traded for Eric Bruntlett. They will pay him more than $500,000 this year even if he is in the minors. Do you honestly think they will re-sign the guy he replaced and then send Bruntlett to Allentown?

John D asks, "So do you think the Phils be looking at an upgrade over Helms/Dobbs or rather an upgrade over Bruntlett to piece their 3rd base position together?"

My answer to the first is no, but I wish they would. My answer to the second is simply no.

Billy Mac: Ensberg is cooked but Feliz is fine? Yipes!!!!

Ensberg and Feliz both suck. Koskie is OK, but he is just another veteran to me. I would be very surprised if he put up better numbers than Dobbs. Your best bet is McPherson. If he doesn't have a good spring or starts slow, you can send him to Allentown and live with a Dobbs-Helms platoon.

The Phils should have jumped at an offer for Helms to the Marlins when they had it. They should have taken some relief pitching and I agree with most of you that we should sign McPherson. This guy was suppose to be a stud a few years ago. From sportsline:

The 27-year-old is a big-time injury-risk sleeper -- especially when you consider he was challenging one Ryan Howard for the minor league homer title just a few years ago. There is tremendous power potential here and it is being made affordable because of a wild strikeout rate, a low batting average and some major injury risk.

this guy has the name, the power potential and even has the high strikeout rate to fit in with this team. Also, his salary last year was 382,000. He is not going to cost anyone that much money, probably cheaper than Helms.

No point crying after spilt milk, but man oh man I wish things would have woked out differently with the Iguchi thing. In the final analysis, can there be any doubt that both iguchi and the phils would have preferred to have him at third this year? not to mention his ability to support the middle infield. i speak some japanese and posted a message to him on his blog which he replied to obliquely in his general comments a few days later - there, he more or less 'didnt deny this', which from a japanese (especially one who doesnt want to offend his new team) is as pretty close to a 'yep' as you're gonna get.

1) helms is making over 2mil this season
2) the guy the marlins offered was complete trash
3) the marlins wanted us to pick up about 60% of helm's salary
4) mcpherson also supposedly had good leather and a plus arm

5) according to mlbtraderumors feliz is looking for 3 yrs, that is a far worse idea than ANYTHING even if that means playing eaton as our third baseman, he can probably hit better than feliz or nunez

Tony: Excellent posts.

I do get tired of typing this, but it remains true: Iguchi's arm precludes him playing 3b at a major league level. He would catch more balls than Dobbs or Helms, but in 18 games against the Mets, Reyes would probably get 30 bunt base hits.

Not that this is a solution for 2008 (or even 2009), but since we have a good hitting minor leaguer who may end being blocked at the position he has been playing in the minors (Cardenas), can he be converted to third, which is an easier position to defend than second? Does he have the arm for it?

all reports say cardenas has no shot at third, his best bet is corner outfield, where his arm would be below avg, but his bat should continue to develop and would play in LF

I still like Feliz. At the very least he'd make a fine defensive replacement. No one can deny that. According to some metrics, he was the best defensive third baseman in baseball last year. He doesn't get on base, but I think our offense would survive with one easy out, just as we somehow managed to lead the league in runs scored in spite of Nunez. Moreover, unlike Nunez, he's actually hit 20 home runs the past four years - in a pitcher's park. I don't know why a rich man's Abraham Nunez is so objectionable to some of you when the real one didn't hurt us at all. Does anyone really think that third base defense is so meaningless that we would've been better off last season with Helms and Dobbs alone? If not, then I don't know how you can argue against Feliz, at least from a talent perspective. Of course, if he asks for too much money, that's another matter, but it's obvious that there's not a great deal of interest in him so I don't know how much he could really get.

feliz will never sign to be a bench player, he wants to start and frankly i for one would sacrifice the defense for some obp

If they got rid of Helms then they would have saved over 800,000. That is more than double than what McPherson made last year. If the Phils signed him for less than they would have save money and only have 3 3rd basemen instead of four.

So start him then. Who would you rather start? Greg Dobbs? This is a guy who had a .250 and .288 OBP in his first two big league seasons. Then, after 29 stellar games with Seattle in 2006, he comes over here and hits pretty well. How do we know we'll see last year's Dobbs this year? We don't. Then there's Helms. He could hit - until last year. Maybe he'll revert to norms in 2008, maybe not. Even if he does revert to his norms, those norms aren't so great, his career line is .265/.326./.435. Not exactly a whole lot better than Feliz's .252/.288/.433. I'm just not sure either one's mediocre hitting makes up for their defensive ineptitude.

Among the third baseman on that list, there is no one who would be a certain upgrade over what the Phillies have now. However, Koskie, McPherson & Ensberg all have significantly higher upsides than Helms/Dobbs. It's inexplicable to me that all 3 of these guys are still available and the Phillies seemingly have no interest in any of them.

This is going to be a sore point again during '08. I don't just see a real viable solution here. Just have to hope that Helms can rebound to his career offensive levels and Cholly doesn't start making defensive replacements with Bruntlett in the 6th inning.

I am still more concerned about the pitching.

BTY, the only way I want to see Nunez back at CBP is if he is on an opposing team or in the stands.

The funniest/saddest thing I saw last year at one of the games I went to at CBP was a guy with a Nunez jersey. I wouldn't wear a game-worn/signed Nunez jersey let along pay $50+ dollars for one.

That will be worthy of a caption/photo on ESPN's "Cash Money!" jerseys section in a few years.

Last random thought - if the Phils are going to spend any additional money this offseason I would spend it on another veteran reliever.

Tray: Not sure on the comparison between Feliz and Helms. That .326 is quite a bit higher than Feliz's .288, and that's what makes Feliz a black hole in the lineup.

BTW, how about that pummelling of Temple tonight?

Sort of, off topic but, as more time passes, the more and more I think that Mets are going to Land Santana.

I do think that the Mets will eventually Land Santana.

I also think they will pay a King's Ransom for him. The red-sox are almost essentially adding icing to the cake by Landing Santana. It would be awesome, for sure, but they still have a pretty formidable rotation without the addition of Santana.

The Yankees could always use another Marquee Name, but the reality will eventually set in that if they Sign Santana, and have ARod on the Payroll, even the yankees will have a tipping point as far as payroll is concerned, and will probably not be able to make it past the Red Sox for the next 5 years, as the rest of the team will be close to garbarge, or aging.

The Mets will do something stupid because, well, they are the mets and will probably eventually give in and offer up Reyes, in addition to some higher prospects, and it will go down.

The other reason this deal will definitley go down is because their is no way in hell, the twins risk losing Santana to an injury in his walk year. Zero.

Someone's going to get desperate. The Red-Sox and Yankees know what they have, with or without Santana. The mets on the other hand...well, I wouldn't say they've improved this off-season, and i wouldn't say things are Kosher in that clubhouse right now.

Omar will pull the trigger before April, IMO.


I also think it won't make that significant of an impact. Were still only talking about one new pitcher, every 5-6 games. The Phils may see him, 3-4 times over the whole season, and everyone gets lucky sometimes.

What i think is kind of suprising, is how worried we are about the Mets adding one player, yet we show no trepidation as to the braves quiet rebuilding.

J: Is it too early for an overview of the other teams in the division and whats going on with them, as it seems the only thing getting attention is the mets, maybe, landing Bedard or Santana?

Simple math: Santana in rotation bumps Humber/Pelfrey. That alone is probably worth an additional 5-7 wins at least and would make the Mets the clear frontrunner in NL East.

I'd still love to see Koskie brought in on a minor league contract and see how he does in spring training.

koskie missed the past 1 or 2 seasons with concussion syndrome and even before he wasnt that great with a bat, but would be an interesting play

The Twins are using the Mets against the Yankees and Red Sox to bump up their trade offers. The Mets are just a pawn in this whole thing.

J, I have to congratulate you. Bob Ford wrote an article in the INKY yesterday about Clemens that echoed some of the thoughts we had been discussing here on BeerLeaguer - one to two days before the article was published.

Thanks for providing a forum that let's us get out ahead on the issues and share ideas!

UD Hens, if the latest discussions are true, that the Mets are going to include both Gomez and Mertinez in the deal, than the Mets have raised the stakes considerably, and may have the best offer on the table.

AWH, the problem with the Mets' offer is that the Twins want a potential stud pitcher in the package, and the Mets' young pitchers are all looking horribly overrated right now. The Twins are under no deadline pressure; there's always the chance that desperation sets in should the Bosox or Yanks fall behind early or lose a major rotation member to injury.

Tray: "I don't know why a rich man's Abraham Nunez is so objectionable to some of you when the real one didn't hurt us at all."

That might be the most ignorant statement ever posted. Nunez "didn't hurt us at all"?
What the hell games were you watching?

Alby: I'm inclined to agree with you. The latest Mets offer is Carlos Gomez, Deolis Guerra, Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey.

The latest Yanks offer is Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Marquez and "another prospect" that isn't Ian Kennedy, according to the NY Daily News.

The best prospect in that bunch is Hughes and the best player is Gomez. The Twins have rejected both offers with the sticking point being an additional prospect in Mets offer and the identity of the final prospect in the Yanks offer.

The Red Sox have offered Coco Crisp, Jon Lester, Justin Masterson and Jed Lowrie.
Crisp isn't as good as Melky and Lester isn't as good as Hughes, but the other 2 prospects are better than the bottom of the Yanks offer.

One of those 3 teams will make an upgrade and land him before spring training in my opinion.

Jason, what a character you are! You write a nice thread header about third base and at the end slip in a line suggesting that No Hit Nuni might come back. Immediately my stomach tightens up in a knot. The posters go nuts. You are a sly dog, Mr. Weitzel!

Crede or Inge are the best trade bets.

Chavez or Beltran are the give up the farm bets. There have been consistent but very vague rumors about these two since Dec 1st.

McPherson or Koskie are the give a young guy a chance bets. There are reasons we do not know about that all the other 30 teams have not signed them yet.

Ensberg and Feliz are the been there done that "Rod Barajas" bets. No thanks.

I think that Crede or Inge will be our guy. It will put Dobbs back on the bench with spot starts. Helms will have to be traded because there is no extra bench spot.

Dobbs, Bruntlett, Coste or Jaramillo, Werth, and Taguchi will be the bench.

MG, I loved your story about the guy with the Nunez jersey. My church sponsored a golf tourney and the organizers had special shirts made for the tournament committee members. Later, I was making a sales call at the local second hand Salvation Army Thrift store. Lo and behold, there was one of my church golf tourney committee member golf shirts hanging on the rack on sale for $4. That's where that fan got his No Hit Nuni jersey, at the local second hand Salvation Army Thrift store. No real fan would pay retail for such a jersey. Maybe the fan found the shirt in a dumpster.

On the bullpen front, it appears that Otsuka is next in line for elbow surgery that will cost him all of next season.

I expect that Dobbs will prove to be a better hitter versus lefties than Jason gives him credit for. As an everyday player in the minors (Tacoma, AAA) in both 2005 and 2006 he slugged .500 against lefties compared to about .400 versus righties and his OPS both years was better against lefties than against righties. He hit half of his homers at Tacoma against lefties. In the majors he's barely been given a chance versus lefties but his career batting average is .279 against lefties and .264 against righties. This is hardly the profile of a "lopsided hitter".

I also think that Nunez has been getting too much credit defensively at the expense of Helms and Dobbs. According to http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/cat_probabilistic_model_of_range.php, the best defensive statistics I know of, Nunez achieves 99% of the the outs an average major league third baseman would get while Helms and Dobbs are further below average at 96%. I'd say the difference of 3% translates into about a dozen lost outs a year and would be counter balanced by about 30 points in batting average. These stats account for where and how hard each ball was hit. The more widely available range factor per 9 innings is biased in favor of Nunez since he played more behind ground ball pitchers.

In summary, although third base is certainly a weak spot, I am not nearly as worried about about it as Jason is. I expect Dobbs to hold down the regular position adequately and I like the fact that Helms gives the team competitive depth at the postition.

if that Brian Roberts-to-Chicago trade goes through, I wonder if Mark DeRosa would be a trade option. his 2009 salary is a little high, but given our lack of internal options and the shoddy state of the free agent market it's not unacceptable. his numbers the last two years would look pretty nice in our lineup. and he's got history in Philly.

I was dead against DeRosa to Philly last offseason- wish we would have signed him instead of Eaton and Barajas!

according to reports our of minneapolis, the current offer is gomez, guerra, mulvey and humber. the twins have said if they also add martinez it's a done deal - could be an interesting situation

piss on me if the Mutts get Santana...I'm going to go crawl up in the fetal position while sucking my thumb and crying in the corner.

I think I was pretty opposed to DeRosa too. but with the other options on the table he doesn't look so bad any more.

Speaking of DeRosa, the Cubs might already be the best team in the National League. If they add Brian Roberts, look for them to win 100 games & finally break their World Series drought. I sure wish we had owners with the same level of commitment as the Cubs.

Again- what about Andy LaRoche?
The Dodgers seem to have grown frustrated with LaRoche's development and are trying to unload him.
Since they also have Nomar Garciaparra and two better 3B prospects,(Joel Guzman, Blake Dewitt)the Dodgers don't need LaRoche, and he's fading from their plans.

Andy LaRoche is younger than Dallas MacPherson, and unlike MacPherson, he no injury problems. However, like MacPherson, LaRoche has spectacular power and a great arm for third. How about a prospect for prospect swap, like, say Cardenas for LaRoche? I'd prefer to package several mid-level prospects, but the Dodgers don't exactly need more depth in their farm system. Although Cardenas has more momentum, LaRoche is still more highly regarded, and obviously, much more advanced.

Alden, BELTRAN, or Adrian Beltre?

Chavez - great fielder, injury risk, in decline as a hitter - not worth the farm - will never happen.

Beltre - probably the best of the lot you listed, but also, IMO, with what they've got offensively, not worht the farm.

Crede, McPherson and Koskie - all recovering from injuries so you really don't know what you're getting. McPherson is probably the only one you can get on a minor league deal. I don't know if the other two are worth the risk, but if it were up me, a healthy Koskie would be my choice, and McPherson would be stashed in Allentown until he was determined to be healthy.

Carson: it looks more and more like the dark horse Mets could land him (going by the MLBTR speculation). Grab a raincoat because some urine might be headed your way from up the turnpike, unfortunately.

Beltre of Seattle

Dobbs was definately over exposed last year. He batted .190 the last 2 months of the year. Helms will not get better we can only hope he doesn't get worse if that's possible and Eric Bruntlett, heis what he is and that's a utility middle infielder who can't hit a lick. If nothing is done to improve the black hole at 3rd it will come back to bite them. We're talking a real ugly bite.

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