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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Comments

to carry over from the last thread...

Baxter:

the problem is they didn't really want to spend big long term bucks in free agency (or picking up salary in a trade) - that's the flaw, and the reason they will not make any true difference making moves like the Santana deal, or the Meche deal, or the Lilly deal etc.

Gillick is dealing with that restriction, and while we can criticize him for good or bad allocation of resources, the fact remains that he has a limited amount of resources to begin with. This limits him to the picking-around-the-edges approach that many here rightfully dislike.
/ Morty

b-a-p:
Sorry. Not me. (3rd grade grammar)
I've been busy doing child care.
(I do believe my first grader, however, knows the differences between they're and their and there).

Incidently, because the Mets (almost - I still pray for a break down on the contract stuff - about 48 hours to go right?) have Santana, I am willing to drink the kool-aid on Feliz. It is what it is.

It might be interesting, however, to discuss how to place him in the line-up so that he will do the least damage.


For instance, while I would never put him high enough in the line-up to accomplish this deed, he might be a good person to bat before Burrell - since he's almost never on first base, it would cut down on the DP possibilities.

Or maybe if he bats 8th, the pitchers don't have to waste any ST time on re-learning how to bunt.

Whoops; wrong on the 48 hour thing.

The Mets need to sign him by 5:00 pm on Friday. Let's see, that's 16 hours.

Everyone should be heading to their church/synagogue/mosque/temple/whatever wiccans go to.

Actually, I mostly would like the deal to fall through not because of what it might mean for the games in 2008. I would just like to hear from all the trolls never again.

Jason, since I'm drinking the kool-aid, I won't point out that most of his rbis came in blow-outs or in "cherry-picking" situations. I won't remind everyone that his career .269 BABIP is almost pitcher level. And I won't point out that the contribution of defense to winning games is a fairly subjective idea (read: hard to measure). (I also won't say that he has a .288 career OBP and that Billy Beane thinks that the OBP part of OPS is undervalued.)

Nope. I won't restate any of that stuff.

Did I mention that if you get some nice ricotta cavatelli and mix it with fresh spring broccoli rape sauteed in garlic and oil, the koolaid tastes a lot better?

Andy:

ain't happenin' cap'in'. Santana has all the leverage in the world, the Mets have none. I would love to be in Santana's shoes right now - he's gonna break the bank.
/ Morty

Santana may be a stud, but he's not Superman. He can be beaten. A 15-13 record from 2007 shows that 13 times he was beaten. These 20 win seasons and Cy Young projections are only predictions. We can make the same predictions for Cole Hamels.

Andy- Since you mention Billy Beane, he also believes that defense is undervalued and in each of the last 3 years, one of which ended with an ALCS appearance, he has put together one of the best defensive teams in the entire league.

a thought running through every phillie fan's mind.."damn, i wish that was santana."

Jack -
kind of interesting that, with Chavez still very questionable, Oakland showed absolutely no interest in Feliz.

In other words, even though defense is important, OBP still trumps defense.

Mets fan here,
I like the feliz signing quite a bit. He's the same kind of player as valentin was for the mets two years ago...a guy the plays solid defense at a premium position, won't ever hit for average, but can hit 20 HR's out of the 8 spot in the lineup. It's nice to clear the basepath's and then clear the pitcher spot so your leadoff guy can set the table. In the AL, I wouldn't see him as a plus, but it can't hurt to have that kind of player in the 8 spot in an NL batting order.

I think to compete though this year, the phils need to sign a guy like lohse or livan. I think it's unrealistic to expect moyer to keep up the innings he's been pitching as well as to expect kendrick to be as good as last year. It may be a stretch to expect eaton to be quite as bad as he was last year though.

All in all, I think we'll see the mets and phils run away from the braves, which couldn't make me happier. As much as I love to hate on the phillies and their fans, at least you guys show up to games and give a damn. By the way, I gotta think we'll be meeting in the NLCS this year at this point. I'm just not sold on any of the offenses out west. The pitching may be solid, but I think last year was a fluke with the mets and phils winning under 90.

Morty -
Rationally, I know that.

But there's always room for hope.

In this case, that room is about 16 hours big.

Ski - since you bring up the myth that Feliz has "some pop," it is good, perhaps, to quote a paragraph from baseballeveolution which many folks keep ignoring"

"...pitchers are just simply figuring him out. It seems clear that they do that the more they face him. His 89 career HR, for instance, have been hit against 79 different pitchers, and no pitcher has ever allowed as many as 3 HR to Feliz. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me? It would seem so."

Of course, he's never batted against Santana, so that ought to be good for one dinger.

BP's top 100 prospects out...the mighty Phillies farm system has the 68th (Carrasco) and 96th (Savery) guys.

WORSE NEWS: Mets looking to sign Lohse as well. According to ESPN.com

Andy, we're talkin 5 PM tomorrow, right? That would be nearly 28 hours.

On his ESPN blog, Stark maintains the sides are far apart....Mets really have no leverage. So let's just say no extension is reached...does that mean the trade is simply nullified and theyre back to square 1???

Andy - Looks like that stat is from before the 2007 season, since Feliz hit 20 HR last year & his career total is now 109.

Additionally, it looks like he's now at 94 different pitchers, although he does have 3 against Randy Wolf.

Andy: I believe Wiccas should report to the nearest grove of trees.

That Dude,
the thing about Lohse is that his lifetime era in Shea is in the neighborhood of 7.50. Itd be great to get someone better than Eaton (which is just about anybody including Viccy the D); but the Mets getting Lohse is (especially considering other news this week) less than scary as a prospect.

Dan - right. 28. More time for you Wiccas to get to the forest.

109 divided by 94 is, ummmm, basically, 1.
Still.

But bring on Randy Wolf!!!!

Espn's insider has Carlos Carrasco ranked at 53 in their top 100 and predict him a #3 starter in the majors...is that really the best we've got?

The best thing I've heard all day are the last three words of this headline:

"Sources: Mets likely won't reach deal with Santana until Friday, if at all"

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3224116

So, lets just assume the Mariner's trade for Bedard...

...Any chance the Phils would be interested in Jarrod Washburn or Miguel Batista? Obviously, they wont part with Silva or Felix. The M's will be 6-deep in their rotation should Bedard be had. What would it take to get any of them? Do we want them? Thoughts?

For the record, Batista went 16-11 I believe with mid 4 ERA, Washburn went 10-15, with a similar ERA.

I'm thinking that the scene between Santana and his agent and Minaya bears some resemblance to a scene from a women's prison movie.

Andy,
Feliz hit 20 homeruns per year in SF, a real good pitchers park. I'm sure he'll face plenty of pitchers he hasn't seen that often. He's got some "pop", although not compared to guys like howard and burrell. He should easily hit 20-25 this year though playing in CBP.

Juan, no. Drabek, if he lives up to his potential, is the "best we've got." But he's a lot further away from being ready. Carrasco is at AA this year.

If (and this is a huge "if" - humongous really) all of these live up to their potential:
Drabek, Carrasco, Savery, Outman, E. Garcia,

and the Phils keep Hamels and Myers, the pitching could be very good by 2011.


But that's pure Alden-type rose-colored glasses, worn with copious amounts of kool-aid.

Which I'm drinking now thanks to Pedro and the Feeleedelphia Feeeellies.

Ski
Feliz hit 8 HRs in SF last year.

And, Ski, that 8 looks about like what his avreage for a year would work out to.

I imagine Santana on a beach somewhere in South America popping bottle after bottle of Chandon. And then going back into the villa for a money bath.

It's a celebration, bitches...

/ Morty

Andy, he hit 20 in 2007, 22 in 2006, 20 in 2005, 22 in 2004, and 16 in 2003. These stats came from baseballamerica.com and baseball reference.com. Double check them if you want, but he hit more than 8.

Now there's a debate to what "some pop" means? 20+ HRs is "some pop".

"But when one baseball man who had spoken with Mets GM Omar Minaya was asked if the club could end up with both Santana and Lohse, the reply was: "Absolutely."

What fool said this? The Mets have deep pockets but if they do the Santana extension (6 years, $150 M), they getting closed to maxed out I would imagine because that would put them near $125-130 M total I think for this year.

Plus signing Lohse for another $10 M+ makes zero sense. Mets already have El Duque and Pelfrey to compete for the 5th spot. That would be a very stupid use of resources by the Mets.

Andy, don't forget Drabek also has injury problems. it's possibly better that he's having Tommy John now than three years from now, since he's young and still has time to develop, but it's still a real concern.

I'd be surprised if this wasn't a ploy to try to get the phils to overpay in dollars or years.

MG, "stupid use of resources" unless you are not counting on Pedro and El Duque to be healthy all season.

Andy was saying that Feliz hit 8 HR at home (and 12 away) not 8 overall.

I sincerely doubt the Mets are in serious negotiations with Lohse...if anything they're just driving the price up for Philadelphia.


Lake fred: Of course Santana can be beaten but the Mets staff without santana is superior to a twins staff without santana. You have to figure that plays into the mental aspect. Not to mention the AL offense v the NL Offense. Cole Hamels is gonna be solid this year if he can stay healthy but I don't think he'll outperform santana.

Andy,

By brining up Feliz's totals at home last year, you're making your oponents arguments for them.

SF is very difficult HR park for a dead pull RH hitter.

But on the road, Feliz HR totals have been:
12, 16, 10, 11.

Now considering the park he is coming to, I could see a 22-27 HR season easily. To answer P. O'Neil's question that is "some pop" for your 7 or 8 hitter.

ulysses:

health factor aside, Hamels has the ability to "match" or "mostly offset" Santana. But I, and every other Phils fan, liked Hamels matched up against Pedro, or Maine as the Mets number 1.
/ Morty

There is a great article over at the Hardball times on the economic impact of the Santana trade.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-bright-side-of-losing-santana/http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-bright-side-of-losing-santana/

Relevance is the author went back and analyzed all of BP's Top 100 from 1990-1999 for the article.

Read the intro of the article for the methodology of the article (which is well explained and laid-out by the article)

Take away for the Phils:

Pitchers ranked 51-75 and 76-100 are nearly likely to be busts as contributors based on author's WAB (Wins Above Bench) calculations with a slight edge to the 51-75 group. It is almost impossible for one of these to become an All-Star or a real difference maker.

So basically Savery and Carrasco might make it but odds are they are likely to be busts as contributors and their potential to be a Cole Hamels or Brett Myers type pitcher is pretty unlikely.

On the Feliz signing:

Gee, I'm so excited I think I'll go buy an eight spot of season tickets right behind first base!!!

Andy, it's worse than a scene from a women's prison movie. It's more like gay porn with Minaya and the Wilpons being the catchers, not the pitchers.

The Mets HAVE to make this deal. They will get ripped to no end if they don't do it.

Besides, Santana at 140MM or 160 MM? What really is the difference if it's a seven year deal? They're paying anyway.

Funny but the Braves system is littered with 5 guys on the BP 100 (even after they made the Texiera trade last year).

Hamels is a pretty good match up with santana, as is myers with pedro, but I don't like maine vs. moyer, perez vs. kendrick, and I definately don't like duque vs. eaton for the phils. I think getting lohse in as a number 3 at this point to offset the 3-5 guys is a must for philly.

Okay, I've been a Diehard Phillies fan all my life. I've got the MLBTV premium package just so I can follow the team down here in Baltimore. I own a Sunday Season Tix package and drive up every weekend there's a game. Just thought I'd establish my credentials for the rest of you, because I'm about to rain on the parade of everyone here hoping the Mets don't sign him.

There's no way this contract extension doesn't get signed. The sides are far apart now, but the Mets are going to cave. Santana will get all the money he wants. Why? He's 1) arguably the best pitcher in baseball 2) He's exactly what the Mets need most 3) They 1-up the Yankees by singing him 4) He'll get this money anyway as a free agent next year 5) They have the money to do it 6) They'll look like idiots if they don't work it out; it doesn't matter what Santana's demands are, they have to give in.

And yes, I am fully aware that if I am wrong, I'm eating a Big Bird sized crow here.

This notion of Feliz getting some kind of major power boost by coming to CBP is total bunk. Feliz's may benefit from the slight shorter fence in the LF corner at CBP but the dimensions are nearly the same as SBC.

Figure Feliz is able to make get a boost of 2-3 more HRs by playing in CBP but he is not suddenly going to become a 25-30 HR guy. I actually would be happier to see Feliz reverse his declining SLG percentage by hitting from a few more 2B this year. If Feliz even loses a bit of power (say hits 15 HRs), he probably have a SLG percentage under .400 and he will be a completely useless offensive player.

Anyone hear if the Phillies dropped anyone from the 40-man roster to Feliz?

I can't remember is they were sitting at 39 or 40...

"Funny but the Braves system is littered with 5 guys on the BP 100 (even after they made the Texiera trade last year)."

Three of the 6 on the list were brought to the Braves via trades (one in the LaRoche deal and two in the Renteria deal).

MG: Hitting is contagious. He will be playing 150 or so games in the best lineup in the NL. The Giants lineup was abysmal. I do agree though that appx. 3 more HR's will be hit, but who knows? he could hit 20, or he could hit 28.

Don't underestimate the effects of hitting in a great lineup. I played ball through highschool, and I can say from experience, hitting is contagious.

Johan is definitely going to be signed. Its just a matter of how long the mets are gonna stand their ground before they cave. Any team would try to do what the mets are doing... except the yanks of course.

i could see the Mets actually making a play for Lohse. if they're smart, their ultimate plan should be to send El Duque to the 'pen. he can't finish a season as a starter anymore. the last two seasons have proved that.

El Duque in the pen... that scares me. a shorter workload for Hernandez would make him downright nasty.

The main points are these:

Feliz did not hit 20 HRs in a "pitcher friendly" park last year.

109 off 94 pitchers indicates that he mainly, for the most part, almost always hits mistakes. Pitchers know this. IMO that's the main reason his SLG is decreasing (.418!?!? last year) (which is not a player "with pop"), and the main reason he will not benefit from the Zen. (Unless, for some reason, pitchers are more mistake prone here.)

(Seriously, if all you saw was .418 SLG, and not the 20 HRs, would you assume a player had "some pop"?)

Just as importantly, any manager worth anything will not regularly bat Feliz 8th. The opposition pitcher will simply toss pitches out of the strike zone (knowing the pitcher is up next) until he hits weakly somewhere. How many times did the Giants start him batting 8th in the last four years?

He will bat seventh, meaning Ruiz will almost never hit with runners on base.

Yikes. I gotta stop thinking about this, I'm trying to drink the kool-aid!

You've put way too much thought into this. He's here, it's done, move on to the bullpen.

Thanks, O'Neil, that's exactly what I've gotta do. Here:

We are gonna be wizards on the field! No infield hits here. Haha! Try to bunt, baby!

And just wait, twenty unexpected bombs! Boom!

We are gonna eat people up.


(Kool-aid is also good with fried calamari with marinara.)

(Not bad with Pad Thai.)

(I like the Hong Kong-style fried noodles too, the really thin ones. They're perfect with bright red cherry kool-aid.)

Wiccans probably go to the Unitarian church.

If Ski "Michael" Bolton is right, could you imagine a seven game NLCS war between these two teams? Freaking psycho. Seamus McCaffrey would be back in business!

You can rape broccoli?!?

andy, your posts are very entertaining. can't wait to see your guys on april 8. gonna be a great season.

I have never said that pitching is ready in our minor leagues. It is 2 years away. This year our AA Reading Club will have real prospects to watch.

What I have said is that Ed Wade's last three years, and the ownership that allowed him leeway, are in large part to blame for the sad state of Phillies Minor Leagues.

Gillick realized this, drafted primarily pitching, there are no guarantees, but our minor leagues have improved immensely.

Our minor leagues were rated 4th of all 30 teams in pitching, so the arms are there. They are in AA and below and should not be rushed.


Andy: Seriously dude, lighten up. Feliz is a bad offensive player, and everyone knows that. His lifetime Slugging percentage is also greater than Ruiz's, Victorino's, Werth's, Dobbs', equal to Helms and 10 point below Rollins'. Ok, so he doesn't have pop like Chase, Howard, or Pat. But he's about middle of the road for our team in terms of slugging percentage, and has hit more home runs over the last 4 years than every single one of those players. So it's safe to say he has "some pop". He's also the best defensive third baseman in the game. It's not like he has negative value- he had, in fact, more value than our 3rd basemen last year.

Why would 20 HRs be unexpected? He's done it each of the last 4 years.

Alden, listen, I apologize for using a cloutistic revision of your name. I do agree that the Phils' minor league pitching is better than it was two years ago. I wish we had better position prospects, but que sera whatever.

Frankly, my own rose-colored glasses extend to Brummett and Chapman, both of whom, in my dreams, are very good bullpen arms by 2012.

Andy- Also, why would Beane consider signing Feliz? He already has a 3rd baseman signed for a huge contract, even if that guy is struggling. If you know anything about baseball, you know it doesn't make sense for a small-market team like the A's to invest in a free agent at a position they already have a big contract at. Our 2 situations were completely different. Use your head.

Ok, in the non-Feliz division: Where do people stand on Scott Mathieson? Do people see him contributing as a bullpen piece this year? I know a lot of people consider him to be a setup guy or closer for this team down the line, but the team has insisted he'll start the year as a starter in the minors. Also, is he fully rehabbed from the injury yet? Interested to hear what the consensus is on him from people here.

Jack -

1) IMO Beane would never ever ever sign Feliz or anyone else whoe makes out 72% of the time.

2) Feliz's SLG over the last three years is .423. If you think that he'll revert to the higher numbers of his younger years, before pitchers figured him out feel free.

3) Hey. He's here. He's what we have. If I "use my head" I cannot abide this decision, so I refuse to do that. I'll use my hope and choose to cheer for him - hoping that he'll actually hit a few meaningful home runs in red pinstripes.

RANDOM TIDBIT!

Vegas Insider has the Phils at 15/2 to win the NL pennant. Mets at 5/2.

Bodog has the Phils at 5/1. Mets at 5/2.

I like Bodog.

If hitting is contagious, what the hell happened to No-Hit Nunez?

No worries Andy, nice to see some optimists to balance the site.

Many believe that draft picks do not matter. Wade had one first round pick or sandwich pick in his last 3 years, Gillick will have 6.

Draft picks do not automatically become stars, but if you have no high round draft picks the Utley's of the world are rarer.

Ensberg signs with Ynks. I guess Helms isn't going there.

Brett: You should like Vegas, that way you can bet on the phillies and make more money...just a thought (never bet on a team you root for though, especially one that employs Rueben Amaro Jr. and Adam Eaton)

Looking at the top 100 list the twins got numbers 65 and 79 from the mets, gomez and the one whose name I can't spell. Obviously its pointless to debate whether or not the phillies could have matched on prospects as THE PHILLIES DIDN'T WANT SANTANA. We don't even want to sign our own players, let alone give up prospects to sign other teams players. All of the sudden, with their new stadium the mets have turned into an AL East team in terms of spending, so look out. We already busted our nut on Thome when we built are stadium so we have no way to massively increase payroll to keep up with the mets. The best thing we can do to combat the mets long term is to pay over slot for draft picks starting this year. The mets would be smart to sign lohse, they have the money and if they're going all out they might as well really go all out. This is a concept that is completely lost on the phillies, they only know how to do things half way.

hitting is contagious...without Nunez, I expect Howard to hit 90 HRs.

also - to the person who said that it was interesting that the A's weren't interested in Feliz - i think there's a difference in trying to replace your injured clubhouse leader and (until recently) number 3 hitter and replacing a platoon of 3 offensively challenged batsmen who hit either 7th or 8th in the lineup.

morty: "the problem is they didn't really want to spend big long term bucks in free agency (or picking up salary in a trade)"

Oh, boo-hoo, poor Gillick! Sounds like an excuse-making to me. They claimed to have made bids for both Lowell and Kuroda, which seems to contradict your post.

Frankly, I'm not willing to make excuses for Gillick. I think Baxter's scenario was quite do-able and the team would be better today for it. Gillick hasn't signed bullpen help or a starter because he likes the pitching the way it is now. And he thinks spending money for Feliz is better than spending money for pitching.

Feel free to make excuses, but those are the facts.

Jack: I think your love for Feliz is getting to the point of absurdity:

"He's also the best defensive third baseman in the game."

Next you'll be telling us his OPS this season will break .800

Marlins signed third baseman Dallas McPherson to a one-year contract

kdon: Which is a better statistical measure of a player's offense, OPS or HRs?

I see McPherson signed with the Marlins today.

"Jack: I think your love for Feliz is getting to the point of absurdity:

"He's also the best defensive third baseman in the game." "

Actually, according to the results of The Fielding Bible Awards for 2007, he was.

http://www.billjamesonline.net/fieldingbible/default.asp

BP's top 100 prospects out...the mighty Phillies farm system has the 68th (Carrasco) and 96th (Savery) guys.

Posted by: ae | Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 01:33 PM

This fits in with Sickels' analysis from last week. He only listed the top 50 hitting prospects and the top 50 pitching prospects in baseball. No Phillie made either list.

Great - Ensberg to Yanks, McPherson to Fish ... Helms to AAA Phillies? I think we'll have to give Helms away at this point.

Phillies still need to remove somebody from the 40 man roster.

from phillies.com:

Feliz, who will turn 33 in late April, hit .253 with 20 homers and 72 RBIs with the Giants in 2007, including a .310 average with runners in scoring position. He adds another right-handed bat to the Phillies' lineup.

Known as a strong defensive player, Feliz squashes the expected platoon of Greg Dobbs and Wes Helms, with Helms likely to be dealt by Opening Day.

2 things, great use of spin by the phillies by way of their use of Feliz's stats. Second, he "squashes" the platoon? I'm no big fan of the platoon but the only thing Feliz is capable of squashing is optimism among phillies fans.

Clout - Agreed. Gillick really got a free pass because this team has generally won in spite of him. He has made a few nice mid-tier moves (Moyer trade, Werth/Dobbs signings) but every major move he has made has been a failure so far:

- Thome trade (2 seasons of Rowand but required them to give up a bunch of money and the Phils have nothing to show today for it)
- Gordon signing (Basically Phils have gotten half a good season of Gordon while paying him closer-type money; a good performance this year by Gordon would change my take on this)
- Abreu/Lidle trade (Complete failure; no further discussion needed)
- Garcia trade (Nice on paper but turned out to be a complete failure)
- Eaton signing (Maybe he turns it around but I doubt it)

Will see:
- Lidge trade
- Jenkins signing

"Thome trade (2 seasons of Rowand but required them to give up a bunch of money and the Phils have nothing to show today for it)"

The Phillies do have a 2007 NL East championship flag. While it's not even a league championship, it is something.

"Great - Ensberg to Yanks, McPherson to Fish ... Helms to AAA Phillies? I think we'll have to give Helms away at this point."

This is really interesting. I can't imagine the Phils will possibly eat Helms salary by releasing him outright. Going to be an awkward issue if he is still on the Phils' club come spring training.

How cares who the Phils remove from the 40-man roster to add Feliz? Not exactly like they are going to release some young player with real upside.

stjoehawk: If Clout doesn't believe something, it can't be true. Anyway, he doesn't need stats to tell him who is good at defense and who isn't, because he is a professional scout, who specializes in couting the defensive abilities of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Also, you think Baxter's plan was very do-able? Let's go through it

Sign Cordero- This was doable, and would've cost most of our budget for the offseason, as he is costing almost 12 million this year and the next 3.

Sign Joe Nathan- Not a free agent, and doesn't want to be traded out of Minnesota.

Trade for an Ace-
Santana: Not doable because of money
Bedard: Not doable because of prospects
Haren: Not doable because of prospects
Willis: Not really an ace, and they wanted to deal him with Cabrera which they did. Probably wouldn't have wanted to deal him within the division either. Possibly was doable.
Snell: Probably could've gotten him with our best prospects, even though they don't seem inclined to trade him. Maybe doable.

Out of all our top prospects that Baxter listed, he didn't include the only 1 who has EVER appeared in a top 100 prospects list, Carrasco. How was that supposed to land us an ace?

If you guys think this is realistic, than I guess that's what you believe, but it seems to me most of this was a pipe dream- we simply don't have the ownership willing to pay enough money, or the farm system deep enough, to land the vast majority of these guys. It sucks.

"The Phillies do have a 2007 NL East championship flag. While it's not even a league championship, it is something."

I think most people seem to forget that the Phillies actually made the playoffs last year.

Oh, Savery appeared this year too. He was not included in Baxter's list. So Baxter and Clout think its realistic we could've traded for an Ace without giving up our 2 top prospects.

clout:

I'm not getting sucked into toilet bowl (round and round) arguments with you, man.

Suffice it to say, if the Phils were committed to doing what it takes, dollar wise, to put this team over the top, then they would have gotten one of those deals you mention done. That they did not says it all to me.

As far as Gillick, I'll just echo what MG said above.
/ Morty

P ONeill - Do you make a commission on Phils' ticket sales? Last season was nice but the Phils didn't win a single freaking playoff game and now it looks like they face an uphill climb to get back to the playoffs this year. Frankly, I would like the Phils to make the playoffs once more than every 15 or 20 years.

MG- Agree with your analysis of Gillick's major moves, except the Thome trade I think needs to be considered a little better. We were in a position of extreme weak leverage, as we had Howard who obviously needed to play, and we couldn't use one of them as a DH (a reason that havign different rules in the leagues is so stupid). We had to trade him, and gettin 2 seasons of Rowand was a decent take from it. It's a lot better than what we got from the Abreu deal...

If the Phillies can't get anything more than garbage players in return for Helms -- as is likely -- then I say, don't trade him. I'm tired of these deals where we get pennies on the dollar, just because we're trying to dump salary.

Helms is not without his uses. He is almost certainly a better hitter than he showed last year & would be a much, much better bat off the bench than the wretched Eric Bruntlett. Of course, a bench of Helms, Dobbs, Coste & 2 outfielders would leave us with no backup SS. But you can count me as not terribly worried. Rollins played all 162 games last year & has played in at least 158 games 3 years in a row. The odds of Rollins getting injured next year are relatively slim, given his history. On the other hand, the odds that either Helms or Bruntlett will have to come off the bench to hit in critical situations are 100%. It's not worth keeping Bruntlett over Helms, on the slim possibility that you'll need a backup SS. In a pinch, Feliz could move to SS &, if Rollins is out for more than a day or two, they can call up Jason Donald or some other minor leaguer.

Why did Amaro refer to Feliz as bringing "balance to the lineup?" He might bring something, but a team loaded with lefties that already strikes out too much... I wouldn't say he brings balance.

I tend to agree with you BAP. I would rather just keep Helms considering we would get close to dick for him on the market. I wouldnt mind his bat off the bench, as I think he is better suited as a PH role anyways. Dobbs/Helms/Coste/Werth (or Jenkins)/ Snelling (or Bruntlett) works for me.

Who is our speed guy off the bench? (pinch runner)

Capt Obvious: Maybe because he's a righty and doesn't strike out that much?

Maybe because he's a great fielding, awful hitting player in a lineup filled with the opposite (not really, but at least Pat and Howard)?

Jack: the problem with making excuses for management is that you have no facts to support your argument.

If you weren't so busy creaming your jeans over Feliz, you'd realize that you can make a trade for a quality starting pitcher even if your prospects aren't A+. It happens all the time.

Frankly, even the Mets prospects in the package for Santana aren't exactly dazzling.

If the Phils were willing to trade Victorino, Geary and a higher end prospect like Jaramillo or Happ, they'd be right in the mix for a quality pitcher. In fact, it wouldn't even take a package that good to get Snell.

Apologists explain why management couldn't have done better. I'm telling you that they could've. And should've.

stjoehawk: Well, if the Fielding Bible says so, it must be true! LOL

Clout: You have your opinion on the matter, and I have mine. My opinion is that there isn't a single pitcher on that list, except for maybe Willis (who is clearly the worst on there) who could've been had for Victorino, Geary and Jaramillo/Happ. It took Bourn/Geary/Costanzo just to get a relief pitcher who had struggled for the last 2 years in Houston and was enetering his contract year. But a starter like Danny Haren, Bedard or Ian Snell would cost only a slightly better package? You'll be hard-pressed to convince me that could've worked.

The Mets package for Santana was certainly not dazzling at all; Boston and Yankees both made better offers. The key to that deal was Santana having a no-trade clause, wanting to go to the NL, and the Mets' ownership being willing to pay him a long-term, 150 million dollar extension. Our ownership wouldn't do that, which sucks. Still, even in that unimpressive package, Gomez is rated consistently higher than any of our prospects.

Capt Obvious: Maybe because he's a righty and doesn't strike out that much?

well, Wes Helms is a righty and Abe Nunez doesn't strike out much. doesn't seem like much of an argument to me.

Captain Obvious - Why did Amaro refer to Feliz as bringing "balance to the lineup?"

Understand every team does this is exactly the kind of extra turd polishing the Phils seem to have done for the past 20+ years on a marginal signing.

One thing I will Gillick credit for is that he generally has been straight-forward with the media/fans. I doubt that will happen when "Yes-Man" Amaro becomes GM.

I know you're all about relievers, and rightfully so because ours aren't very good, but starters are worth more. Especially ones that are cost-controlled for multiple years like Haren, Bedard and Snell. The guy going to the O's for Bedard, Adam Jones, is better than any combination of players we could've offered. If the Pirates wanted to trade Snell, don't you think they could've gotten a good offer for him? I know you think I'm making excuses, but I'm just being realistic about how baseball works these days.

John D: I guess the pinch runner would be Taguchi. My own feeling is that, having a fast guy on the bench is both a positive & a negative. Sure, there are times when you'd like to use a pinch runner, but our maanger tends to use pinch runners too early & too often. For every time last year that the pinch runner scored a run that Burrell wouldn't have scored, there were at least 20 times when the pinch runner/defensive replacement ended up coming to the plate in situations where you would have much rather had Burrell.

ae- I was simply corercting Capt. Obvious, who said that Feliz was a lefty and struck out a lot.

Maybe he brings balance because the rest of the lineup is good at baseball offensively, and he isn't?

Jack, of course I'm just guessing, but I don't think the Pirates could get nearly as good an offer for Snell. Snell doesn't have the record of dominance that Bedard has, let alone Santana. he was an unimpressive 9-12 with a 3.76 last year and gave up more hits than innings (underlying numbers were better, and he's only 25--but in terms of his reputation to the baseball world, that's significant).

a lot of people happen to think that he's got a lot of potential to turn into a legitimate top-of-the-order pitcher, but at the moment he's really not more than a #3 pitcher on a contending team. you're buying into potential talent rather than realized talent, which is where he's extremely different from Bedard and Santana.

I think it's very possible that the Phillies could have traded for Snell with a package not much better than what they gave up for Lidge.

touche, Jack...

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